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.