Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Cat is Out of the Bag

Before my wife and I were really dating (but after I had come to terms with "struggling with same-sex attraction" - gay was just too much for me too handle at the time) I had an undesirable encounter with someone she had known growing up.  I do not remember the circumstances surrounding the meeting except that he was attending school out of town and happened to be in town and wanted to visit some friends.  I did not like him from the moment I met him.  He was very cocky and full of himself and just overall seemed like a real douche bag.  Then for some reason I needed to get on my computer and as soon as I pulled it out he felt the need to tell a joke:  "Do you know what the worst thing about buying a Mac is? . . . Telling your parents that you're gay!"  I was not amused!  His little joke really irritated me.  I probably did my best to laugh it off but I was not laughing inside.  I did not like that term and certainly did not identify with it.  I was flabbergasted - am I that flamboyant or effeminate?  I thought I was doing a good job of hiding in my closet.  And even though I am not that partial to Macintosh computers I was offended on my computer's behalf as well!  My family was not very technologically involved growing up so when it came time to go to college I knew I would need a computer but I don't know that I had ever even used a laptop despite growing up in a time when they were very common.  My dad had asked our bishop, who did a lot of multimedia stuff for work, and he suggested getting a Mac so that's what we did.

My wife is much more of a night owl than I am.  Well, maybe that is not exactly true.  I would like to stay up later as well but often end up going to bed before her.  I need my sleep.  I struggled with severe insomnia for years and years.  Right now I take medication to help me sleep (which I hate) and I am convinced that I would be certifiably insane if it was not for this little pill.  I have had two sleep studies done and the doctors are not really sure what to tell me.  It is obvious that I have a hard time falling asleep, but on top of that, even when I am asleep, my brain wave activity goes into a wakeful state about once every two and a half minutes without me being consciously aware of it.  So needless to say, I do not get deep sleep and wake up feeling exhausted basically every day.  All of that to say that when it is bed time I now go to bed with the help of my medication no matter what else is going on in my life!  My wife on the other hand, does not use the convenience of a sleep aid.  When things are tense between us her sleep suffers which I lament greatly.  And as luck would have it, her sleep has been suffering lately.

When she has a lot on her mind she often goes into the front room (and does stuff on her computer - which I have tried to tell her is adding to her not being able to sleep!) as I get ready for bed.  She has been doing this nearly every night for a week or two so I know she has been worrying and thinking a lot.  This morning before church I could tell something was up.  I knew she was tired and likely had not slept much, but there was something more.  I asked her if she was mad at me, which she denied.  We got ready, went to church, taught our lesson, and on the way home, she said that the lesson, which she had read but I primarily taught, was difficult for her today.  It was on telling the truth.  She said that she needed to talk to me but was not ready just yet.  We did not say much else to each other in the car or once we got home.  She went into the bedroom and I stayed in the front room.  About a half hour later she called me into the bedroom requesting that we talk.  I thought I knew what she was going to say.  I thought she would confess that she had read my blog.  And I was pretty anxious about what she would have to say about it.

As I have mentioned before, we recently started using our apartment complex's free wi-fi to save money and it is painfully SLOW.  For some reason my Mac is able to grab on to the band width that is available (there must be some term for this - I am pretty computer illiterate) much better than her PC.  I have the habit, as it seems most Mac users do, of leaving lots of things open on my computer.  I almost always have my browser open with about a dozen tabs loaded.  Lately those tabs have been my blog, my anonymous email account, Beck's blog, a couple of other blogs that I have recently come across, etc.  Last night she was having trouble loading some stuff that she wanted to pull up on her computer and asked if she could use mine for a minute.  I pulled up a new window for her to use.  She looked up what she needed to and then as I got up to get some water she said that she needed to check her email.  I became worried at this point because she uses gmail and my anonymous email, which was open in another window, was already logged on to gmail.  But, not wanting to look like I was trying to hide anything, I decided not to intervene.  I knew that as soon as she pulled up gmail my account would appear.  I also knew that seeing that account would make my blog title very obvious since they are both titled the same and I get updates when people post on my blog.

I was surprised, however, that this is not what she confessed when I joined her in the bedroom.   The first thing out of her mouth was that she had been up very late the last couple of nights thinking and that maybe it is best if we get a divorce.  I was not expecting that!  We have mentioned it in the past so it is not like it came out of nowhere, but caught me by surprise none the less.  I did not know what to say and did not end up saying anything.  She said that she knows that I am still in love with Greg, that she is feeling like she is at the end of the rope, that she thinks I would be happier if she did not hold me back any more, and lots of other things that my brain is now failing to recall.  I was laying on the bed trying to face her, but decided to turn the other way.  She began to cry and I started to cry as well.  I wasn't sad, I wasn't happy, I just felt dead.  This is not a new feeling to me.  I do not feel regular emotions very often right now.  I just feel dead.

Then there was silence.  For several minutes there was silence.  Then she started saying, verbatim, the words that so many straight wives married to gay men have said over the years.  She talked about the hurt, the uncertainty, the dreams that were slipping away.  And then her tone changed.  She said, "but I love you and I want to be married to you.  I just can't stand to see you so down any more."  She asked me if I still want to be married, which I answered in the affirmative.  She asked me if I thought I could let go of Greg, to which I said I was still trying to figure out how.  She asked if I believed the church was true, to which I said I was trying to believe.

I just laid there contemplating the words I would use in a letter to say goodbye to the few people who are still important in my life right now.  She left the room and I just laid there.  For hours.  She came back in much later and said she had more she needed to say.  It was then that she confessed to having read my blog last night.   She rehearsed how it happened exactly as I had imagined it.  She said she was so sorry and that she would never, ever read it again.  She said that she knows that I need an outlet for my feelings but she was so tired of not knowing what is going on in my head.  I was most surprised that at the end she said that she did not learn anything new from my blog.  What does this mean?  Well, I guess it could mean a couple of things:  I am being pretty open and honest with her or I am not being too overtly open even in my anonymity.

Well, there you have it.  My secret blog is not so secret anymore.  She has repeatedly told me that she will never look at my blog again.  Do I believe her?  I do not know.  Should I still keep blogging?  Haven't decided.  What does one do in this situation?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I am sorry you have a difficult time sleeping. (Me, too. I can relate to sleep studies, not sleeping well, and a brain never quieting down.) I am glad you are able to use something that helps.

    I have many conflicting emotions after reading your blog post. So much going on right now with you, your wife, both of your emotions and feelings, your need for an outlet via your blog, her wanting to read what you think, her saying maybe the two of you should divorce, your feelings of feeling "dead", etc. Maybe now is a good time to get outside help for the both of you, an objective ear that can help you sort things through? I know you wrote in an earlier post that money was tight for you and that this has impacted your ability to seek out a counselor. Would you feel comfortable asking your Bishop for some help with this? I really hate to see you, and her, in so much pain. I know that if not for a gifted therapist when I was trying to sort out the gay thing (in addition to child and sexual abuse trauma), I would not be alive.

    Sending good energy and love your way. Duck

  3. Couples Therapy is a great idea. If you really want to stay married then possibly finding other wives in her situation might help your wife as well.

  4. Polygamy is not the answer!

    Ha ha, I'm ridiculous. Sorry. Seriously, though, agree with the above. Bishops definitely help people get counseling. That might be a good route to go.

  5. I'm sorry for a lot of painful things going on here, but I'm not sorry that she found out about your blog. I do trust her. I think you should, too. If you want to be trusted, then trust her feelings, too.

    When my wife found out about my blog, I went into severe panic. I put my blog on "invite only" mode for several months and went "under cover" so that she would not read it. I came back out, because I became convinced that she was respectful of my blog privacy and to this day I think she has honored that faithfully.

    I also am not sorry that you and she are talking the hard reality of your situation, of Greg, of needing an outlet, etc. She mentions "divorce" but I don't know that she really means it as it appears she is willing to work things out with you, giving you space to think and express yourself. Who knows, your marriage may end, but yet, it might not. With discussion of your beliefs and doubts, inner desires and outer expressions of love and how they all tie in with you as a couple, you can come to a mutual agreement. Maybe this can be done yourselves, maybe with outside counseling... Bishops are great, but often don't know what to do with such situations, and rely on professionals who, in my opinion, can help facilitate, but don't know the answers either. Maybe a facilitator is all that is needed. Maybe not.

    What is good news of all of this is that the "cat is out of the bag" and their ain't no way it's getting back in, so stop trying to force it back in.

  6. I feel for you and your wife. I am glad that the cat got out of the bag, apparently peacefully. I have five cats. They like going in bags on their own. They don't like being put in bags (i.e. - their kennel carrier for vet visits.) Best wishes.

  7. It seems like neither one of you want to admit that it would be better for each of you to move on. She will not say, "It would be best for ME to move on so that I can feel whole," and you will not say, "It would be best for ME to find a man to love and I need to do that if I am going to hope to be happy." You both seem to put it on the other person- "she thinks I would be happier if she did not hold me back any more."

    Of course you both love each other and you don't want to hurt the other person... but eventually someone has to be strong enough to take ownership of their own well-being and admit that they need something more. Putting it on the other person by saying things like, "I want you to be happy" or "I'm holding you back" or "I think it would be best for you" only makes the other feel guilty. As if they are the one that failed.

    The fact is, neither of you "fail" if marriage doesn't work out. You have both tried to find ways to resolve issues. You have both considered the other person and their feelings. The only failure their can be at this point to the failure to be honest with yourselves and take control over your own well-being. If you can't learn to do that for yourself, how can you ever learn to do that for someone else?

  8. Morning. Have not read anything lately from your blog, just wanted to say hi and hope you are doing alright. Is there anything I can do to help?

    Happy day. Sending love and good energy your way. Duck

  9. Hi. Thinking of you and hoping you are well and happy. We miss you. Hope to see you blogging someday soon, again. :) love, Duck