Sunday, August 19, 2012

Decisions, decisions, continued . . . HELP!!!

My best hetero-dating experiences came after admitting to myself that I was attracted to men.  What is that all about?  I have some theories but I will save them for another post.

I spent many, difficult, exhausting months working with a university campus counsellor, a psychiatrist, an LDS Family Services counsellor, and a bishop before I came to terms with my sexuality to a sufficient degree that I would not break down into tears upon thinking about it.  Most of my "work" in an effort to allow my attractions and my religion to occupy my mind with some level of harmony came from the workbook created by Evergreen International that was provided to me by LDSFS.  While I have much to say about EI at a later time and have since come to disagree with their approach, the workbook really did help me survive those first difficult months.  I bought in to the idea that homosexuality was an "issue" that one could "work through" by becoming more masculine, participating in masculine activities, and resolving childhood problems.  I had done the work, to the best of my ability, as prescribed and was confident that I was now ready to seriously date and marry as a final step in my treatment process.  So I did.

That three word sentence might seem a little simplistic in describing my getting married, but in some ways it was as simple as that.  Getting married was next on my list of essential to-dos that had been carefully planned out by generations of Mormon forebears.  I was supposed to do it.  I had never imagined any other way.  So I did.

That is not to discount the fact that I love my wife, that she is a wonderful friend and companion, and that I really do feel that there is something special about her, something different than any other girl I have met.  But I never did spend much time really questioning if I was ready.  The idea of a mixed-orientation marriage had still never crossed my mind.  I had come to terms with being attracted to men, but somehow that did not translate into being aware that I was gay (a large part of this had to do with the way EI and LDSFA presented ideas about SSA to me).  That awareness would have left me with a HUGE DECISION to make in my life.  But without being aware of such a decision I moved forward as planned.  I told the girl that is now my wife that I struggled with same-sex attraction and porn.  We shed some tears over that revelation.  I asked her to read the Evergreen website.  And we moved forward, with some measure of caution, but without the slightest clue what a trial this would prove to be for both of us.

My inner mind knew, right after getting married, that things were not going to be a smooth-sailing fairy tale as we had hoped.  But I tried desperately to push those fears away and have hope that time would make everything better.  It was about three months in to our marriage that I slipped up by looking at porn and soon felt that I should be honest with my wife and confess my mistake.  Nothing could have prepared me for the deluge of tears, the blood-curdling moaning and wailing, the palpable distrust and sense of betrayal.  She believed that our marriage was over.  The wailing went on for days and I just could not stand it.  The sound of pain in her cries made me wish I was dead - that is no hyperbole.  I was scared to death and just wanted to run.  I did not know how to console her.  I did not know if she wanted me to console her.  I felt MUCH more devastated about how she felt than I did about what I had done.  My heart was in an emotional vice.  I can only imagine what she was feeling, but the overwhelming emotion made my heart die a little more each day.

Things did get a little better over the following weeks, but life was little more than surviving for us.  I remember reading on some website the following statistics (the numbers don't seem exactly scientific, but my sense of these marriages from my readings of others' situations makes me believe that they are not too far off the mark):  It said that upon coming to terms with a spouses homosexuality about one third of couples divorce almost immediately, about one third takes time to really think things through (over the course of a few months) before divorcing, and only the final third decides to try to make things work.  Of those in the final third, about two-thirds end up divorcing within a couple of years.  Maybe someone out there has more reliable statistics?  But those were very staggering numbers for me.

We decided to stay together.  Or perhaps more accurately, my wife decided we would stay together while I tried to avoid making any decision either way at all costs, resulting in a de facto decision to stay together.  We sought counseling and my wife was convinced, or so I thought, to give me at least 6 months to really start to work through things if it was her desire to stay together.  However, it didn't take long for her to start trying to force me to make a decision and that sort of forcing brought me to the point of being suicidal on more than one occasion.  My mind could not grasp fully embracing either decision.  I attempted to take my own life at one point . . . insert very long story . . . and as a result spent four days in a mental institution (no wonder I can't make any friends - I'm crazy!!!).  It was only after that that my wife decided that she really would leave me alone to really figure things out.  I think that she must have counted out exactly 6 months from that decision because it seemed like things started to get heated again overnight.  She was threatening to move on if I did not decide to make things work.  I was, and still am, not fully decided.  I don't know how to even begin to make such a decision.  But I said I was going to give it my best effort to make things work.

That was almost a year ago.  I have still managed to somehow avoid making any real decisions in my mind.  About 8 months ago she started pushing me to find out when we would start having kids.  I kept punting the question.  I finally convinced her to wait until October before we tried having kids.  As you may be aware, October is coming very soon . . . and . . . er . . . I am almost out of time and definitely out of excuses!  I really do want kids.  I really do love her.  I really do like men.  And after reading about so many failed marriages, if I am eventually going to break or go insane I would rather do it before adding kids to the equation . . . HELP!!!!!!

P.S.  Maybe I should have titled this post "Procrastination, procrastination" because there is not much decision making going on here.


  1. Again, I cannot speak for you and your wife. However, I can speak as one who may be in the minor corner of the minority who has chosen to stay together with my wife in a solid form of contentment and love. It is possible. It can work. But with sacrifice and difficulty. I wouldn't recommend this path I've chosen to anyone.

    I'm on this path due to the delay in coming out after 20+ years of marriage. The kids were already here. We didn't need to decide whether we should have any.

    You are the only one to decide such things with your wife. Kids are a blessing and a trial. They add joy and stress to a relationship. No relationship is perfect, and there never is a "perfect" time to have kids. But realize that kids need a full and honest chance to have a loving father and mother to support and sustain them.

    As hard as it may be, you really need to have that heart-to-heart with your wife and not procrastinate this discussion BEFORE having kids. You've been given that opportunity that I never had. Take advantage of it. You aren't doomed for predestined failure (as the statistics might indicate) unless, perhaps, you refuse to face reality together and work through what works best for both of you.

    1. We are getting better at discussing things, but I do not think we are ready to have the big discussion that we should have before considering having children. But how do I tell my wife that?

  2. I ran into your blog today.

    Haven't read much yet, but I'm here to tell you that when I was told by a bishop a long time ago that by getting married I would basically have a sexual outlet and my attractions would disappear I thought it would be the silver bullet to my angst at around your age. I was horrified six months later when I realized that wasn't true--I still in my horror kept the news from my wife and shortly after that we were pregnant. Work, school, mortgages and kids later didn't make anything better for me so after 15 years and two kids everything fell apart--was there any need for it? I don't know. I was so bent on having kids and a family in the traditional LDS way that I never explored the full impact of what being gay was (I didn't even dare call it that)'re about 1/2 way down the road that took me years to muddle through.

    During the years of angst, I couldn't tell what would be the worst--living in a life that didn't fit me, not being able to connect with my ex-wife sexually and more important emotionally and always feeling that something didn't quite fit or letting it all go. By the time I had no control over things and lost it all, I had hurt her, the kids in ways that no person should ever hurt. We've since come a long ways, but has taken years to get there and even after divorce and having moved on in a lot of ways sometimes the pain of knowing I shouldn't have put anyone else through this still stings....

    I know there are a lot of good arguments out there for making a mixed-orientation marriages work--I suppose it is possible, but in my observation the odds aren't great--I have a lot of friends who have been through this--so it isn't just my personal experience, I also know that it takes a lot of work for you to make it work--relationships are hard, no matter what. Ultimately you have to decide what works best for you, if I can just be blunt about 1 thing is please don't have kids until you are sure of what you will do first, no need to drag another human being into this mess (sorry to put it so bluntly).

    1. Thank you for sharing your story! That is exactly what I am worried about. I am not ready to throw in the towel just yet, but I am terrified of the pain and sadness that would result if I reach my breaking point 10 or 15 years from now. Not to worry about the bluntness. I know you are right - I need to really figure things out before having kids. I just wished my wife and I were more ready to talk about things in a more open, direct way.

    2. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with admitting that you're still not ready (if you're not) at the October deadline, it just poses the issue that she may have to decide if she can live with that or not. Hopefully you'll figure out a way to talk about things in a more open, direct way---these are the kind I refer to as "the hard things to talk about"--but if you both create an open environment where it is safe to talk about anything in time it gets easier. Listen to your gut feeling and we're all here to support you!

    3. Well, it happened pretty quickly - I already spoke to my wife about waiting another year to work on our relationship before adding kids to the mix. It went pretty well!

  3. I think your wife is sounding pretty desperate. It also sounds like she thinks children are going to change things.

    I'm not married, and I never have been, but I think if it were me I would try to take a step back and look at the whole situation 'outside the box'. I would make a list of the things that were working and the things that weren't. I would write down how I really, honestly felt about my marriage, my spouse - everything. Then I would list out all the options about where I could go with those feelings. Included in that I would list my motivations for each potential action (i.e. 'Am I considering doing this because of social pressure?). With a clear 'map' of the possibilties, I would then take it to the Lord. I agree with Miguel that I would not have kids until I was sure of the road ahead, or unless I really felt strongly that's what the Lord wanted me to do.

    1. My wife is very insecure. She was long before I ever met her so this situation has really pushed her to the brink on so many occasions. Thanks so much for the suggestion - I like the map idea.

  4. Hey there blank slate. I just found your blog, and I can relate to what you're going through. I was married for three years, before coming to terms with the fact that I'm gay and that our marriage wasn't going to work.

    My blog is at, where I go through and work through a lot of the things you are coming to terms with.

    The most important thing you need in your life right now is support. I think this is good you are looking for answers. You'll figure out pretty soon though that there isn't one answer. We've all taken different paths, and the circumstances of your marriage are different from the rest of us.

    That being said, there is wisdom in coming to terms with the fact that so many of us couldn't make it work. And why didn't we make it work? As I'm sure you know, it isn't because we didn't try hard enough or pray hard enough. When it comes down to it, we're gay. But more than that, it takes two to be in a marriage. Some people CAN make it work. But can you and your wife?

    From what I can tell, and I just started your blog so forgive me, your wife isn't very tolerant of the fact that you sometimes look at porn. That's going to be difficult. I'm not trying to give you the green light, but you should understand why you look at porn (which I think frankly is very understandable). But for your wife to react that violently shows me she's not very open minded or understanding of your sexuality. I think that's going to be hard for her, and hard for you, if you decide to make it work.

    As you know, you can keep it in your pants, but you can't control the fact that you are physically, emotionally, and romantically attracted to other men. Evergreen tells you to work through this by having healthy relationships with men who aren't gay. I think that's great, but don't limit yourself. Because as you reject other gay people, you are rejecting yourself, or a part of yourself. That is something I had to learn the hard way.

    I could talk for hours. I'm here for you, whatever you need. I know how difficult this is and may God bless you as you continue to find your path.

    To echo what has been said. Kids will not fix your marriage. I didn't have kids, and that was one of the circumstances that lead me to decide to get divorced. You should cherish the fact that you have time, and the circumstances, to think through this.

    Lastly, and this is one of the few times I've said this publicly, I've also been in a mental institution for a few days, for the same reason. The pain and struggle you are going through is intense. Make sure you are meeting with a professional that will listen to you and support you whatever path you choose. I do promise it gets better.

    1. Hi Alex,

      I could not agree with you more. I need some support. Even the little bit of blogging that I have done and the responses I have received have helped me feel a considerable amount of support - especially since I have been bottling up everything inside for a long time. For one reason or another all of my close friends have disappeared since being married. I have been so down for many months and it makes being social very difficult. My wife is the only person besides coworkers (I just started a new job so I really do not connect to any of them yet either) that I have any amount of regular contact with. Since we are not at a place in our relationship where I can be completely open it is a very lonely life most of the time.

      Lack of money/insurance has kept me from seeing a mental health professional on a regular basis. However, I was able to meet with my counsellor yesterday and my insurance at my new job should allow me to see him more often for which I am very grateful. I hated the idea of seeing a shrink in the beginning but when things got really bad I forced myself to go. It will be good to be back on a more frequent schedule again.

      Thanks for your comments and offered support. It is so nice to fell like there are people out there supporting me.