Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dear Anonymous, Part 2b

This is my second post responding to a comment from an anonymous reader, left on this linked post.
I am sorry for your pain.. and i won't go into the rights or wrongs of being gay.. But one thing I do have to ask.. and perhaps you should as well.. You made a vow when you and your 'wife' got married. You have children.. you have a responabilty to them.. even though you have 'come out' so to speak.. does that mean you have the right to throw away the life you have, the one you built with YOUR wife? with your children? Does your happiness come before your families?? Is it really worth the destruction that your causing??not only to them.. but to your soul as well.. ?? Think about it. please
posted by "Anonymous"
In my last post, I was writing about why I married, and I would like to finish that.

When I met my wife, I was working very diligently in therapy not to be gay. It was just a problem with relationships, so I thought. My therapist was a little less enlightened than I might now wish. But I thought I would “straighten out.”

I do not hate women, not do I find them unattractive. And I was definitely attracted to the woman who is my wife. And, (even though I would never have framed it this way at the time), I definitely wanted to be straight. And, I wanted children, a family, I desperately wanted to be able to have the family that I did not have growing up. I wanted to “get it right this time.”

I wanted to be successful, happy, normal, regular, ordinary. And, I fell in love. I did not marry to “straighten me out.” I married because I was very much in love with a beautiful woman. With all I knew of relationship, love, and “the way things were supposed to be”, I entered into marriage with the best of intentions, and the sincerest hopes.

I wish I knew why so many gay men marry. Why it is we seem to be able to be attracted to both men and women. Perhaps I am bi-sexual. But I have always felt the same-sex attraction to be stronger for me. With all the culture, society, the Church, etc., etc. telling me that marrying is the right thing to do, I felt I was doing the right thing.

Despite all the pain this is causing me and those I love, I refuse to think I “made a mistake” in marrying. My two wonderful and amazing children are a product of this marriage. And, my wife and I have had many good years together. I cannot wipe it all away as a “mistake.” Though it is very difficult to see God in all this, still I feel God’s presence very keenly.

For many years, I have prayed for me to change. I have prayed to others, I have prayed. But never (until recently) did I do the obvious: I asked God, “am I gay.” Never have I felt God’s condemnation, and now I feel God’s affirmation. Yes. I am gay. I do not understand. It is not (really) what I want. I so want to be that normal, ordinary, straight, regular, everyday.

So why break these vows? Why not just live as I have for the past 20 years. Because I am dying, I am committing suicide of the soul. The truth is the only thing that will set us free. I cannot go on living a lie.

Grace & Peace to all, Joe.


Sean said...

I could have written every word of this post, EXCEPT for the part where you said you feel God's presence keenly. I thought I used to feel God's presence keenly. I genuinely did! But now that I have stepped back, it was all just wishful thinking. My "relationship" with God was TOTALLY based on my subjective, unbased FEELINGS of God's "presence." I don't know about you, but that's not a "relationship" to me.

I married, like you, with same sex attraction. We had two fabulous children who have grown to be such great people. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. I THOUGHT I had a "relationship" with God. (Incidentally, that phrase "relationship with God (or Jesus) doesn't actually appear in the Bible.) But I have reevaluated and have come to the conclusion that there really never was one. Why pray? It didn't change God's mind. And it surely didn't change ME in any way. (And I was TOTALLY sincere in believing that God loved and cared for me, and that even if he didn't "change" me, then I would still just trust him for whatever he wanted to do in my life-- resting on the promise he gave that he would be there to comfort me... But he wasn't, was he.) I don't pray anymore. I don't expect God to do anything anymore-- if he even does exist in the personal form that I used to believe in. I'm not bitter, I'm just realistic.

CanEragon said...

Why do so many gay men marry? Because society does not look at the homosexual like they do the heterosexual. Marriage is the logical progression of all that is normal and for the church, all that is sacred, for you must get married and procreate for the good of your religion and mankind and the proliferation of your family seed. There are many men who got married in past generations that bore children and abused wives and kept secrets and damaged those children for life with the sins of the fathers. Sad really...

But we must thank society for its ignorance and disregard for humanity in the fact that they, for so long, never gave credence to same sex relations - and that stems mostly from the teachings of the church. I know that today. Marriage is supposed to "change us" from sinful thoughts or deviant lifestyles. That's the premise behind most "ex-gay" ministries.

To think own self be true... Living a lie only hurts you, and I have said, better to live in the light of truth than the darkness of ones closet. Relationships might change, but LOVE remains constant, if you allow that love to exist within the new parameters of your new found truth. Your children should grow up with a more "open" vision of humanity and life and love, I hope this does not create for them trauma that only therapy and medication may cure.

You have the opportunity to build a life centered aound family and love, it's not always about sex. But finding real love for yourself in the arms of someone with whom you can begin to explore the real you that has been in a closet for so long. I sometimes envy people at this position, because I always think, "what would I do differently" now? I don't think I'd go back, but only to visit certain times, but not to Live it Through once again.

Writing is therapeutic don't you find?

Peace Bro..


Drew said...

Thank you for your post -- it touched my soul on many levels.

I hope, most of all, that you are granted the grace and peace you so graciously offer to others.

A Troll At Sea said...

Joe: I posted a comment which seems to have disappeared; I hope I have not caused offense somehow.
I want to thank you for your honesty, and for your willingness to open yourself to the rest of us this way. But might Anonymous have a point? Yes, the truth is promised to set us free, but WHOSE truth? Surely you don't believe that your truth is the only one where at least two people, and your children as well, are intimately concerned.
My own wife has said that she can't do both things: live with me and accept me as gay. Where that is headed I don't know, though now I am with the former ClosetMan rather than Chris at 48 -- I am not at all sure that my own "happiness" can be purchased by leaving the only community I have known for 25 years, let alone at the cost of other people's happiness.
Truth is another issue: I have told my wife that I intend to tell our children, and if I can manage it, to branch out from there. How I will deal with the inevitable gossip that will result from telling anyone on my side of the family I don't know -- discretion is not a pronounced family trait -- an argument for gay-ness being a recessive gene, I suppose.
But what action that truth requires of you is another matter entirely, or at least, so it seems to me now.
Hang in there. Love is what makes you WHO you are, and you have to hold on to that while you struggle with WHAT you are.
God bless you, and keep you, and let his countenance shine upon you.

CanEragon said...

In the end, the only thing that matters to God is that we did our best, we loved those we could and we were honest, wise and true.

Who I am honestly with integrity will always trump What I am. And being Gay is only part of my existence. I am also a husband, a friend, a christian and a human being. Dealing with all the liminal states will come in time, don't rush the process or try to figure it out all at once.

One Step At a Time
One Day At a Time