Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Response to Oisin

In response to my last post, Oisin wrote a post of his own which was followed by another post with an apology at the end. While I did not expect an apology, I am grateful for it and harbor no ill feelings. I must admit that I had a hard time sleeping the night that I read the original post, but his is not the only voice that I have had running through my head over the past few weeks. So in response . . .

No, my wife and I do not have any children. My wife has desperately wanted to have kids for our entire marriage, but I have not been able to consent with the realization that our marriage is an "underwater tsunami" at times. I too would love to have kids, but it seems very irresponsible at this time. However, when we put aside trying to be the perfect Mormon ideal of marriage and family life, things are relatively calm and we genuinely enjoy each other's company.

There have been several posts in the MoHo blogosphere lately about compassion, for which I am grateful. As Oisin pointed out, my recent posts have had nothing positive to say about my relationship with my wife which is more a reflection of my angst and depression than an accurate portrayal of our evolving situation (also, while none of my posts are untrue, I sometimes focus so much on minute details that I leave out some important supporting details of reality). In fact, the last few weeks have been some of the best of our 3.5 year marriage. My wife really is a very faithful companion, has a great compassion for and knowledge of children that will make her a great mom, goes out of her way to do little things for me to show that she cares, and has a solid faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Although surprising for me to read, you are right that our core problems often have very little to do with "the gay" inside of me. It was perhaps most painful for me to read that we/I have "got major trust and maturity issues," but that is probably a fair assessment of our situation. Up to and including my adolescence I was often praised (one of the things I love most in life) for my maturity but it seems that somewhere along the way I have regressed, or at least stopped progressing. While not a valid excuse for not doing better, I'm sure others can relate to feeling like so much energy is expended on trying to reconcile being Gay and Mormon that other aspects of personal growth sometimes get neglected.

I think my wife would agree that most of her trust issues in our relationship go back to the very beginning - when I simultaneously ended my roommateship with Greg and tried to have a romantic/intimate relationship with a woman by getting married. While I thought I had done all of the work required of me in reparative therapy, was confident that I was well on my way to being "cured," and believed the LDS Family Services counselor that this was a temporary condition, what I failed to realize was that I was still getting most of my emotional needs met by a male to whom I would return each night after a date with my wife-to-be. It was only after I was moved physically, emotionally, and socially from him that I realized what a huge void had been left. In trying to work through my feelings I wrote in a notebook, that my wife later found, that I was still in love with him and did not know if I could ever get over losing him. She was devastated to be married to someone who loved another (even though I really could not comprehend how much I loved him until he was gone) and I don't think she has ever been able to get past that (not that I can really blame her). From whence come my trust issues, I'm not quite sure.

I completely agree that it would be much better to jump ship now than to have kids, with the increased stress they bring, and then decide to bail. But as I'm sure you are aware, that is not as simple a decision as we would like to think. That option, as all others currently before us, scares my wife and me to the point of paralysis. Do we have the "currency" to pay the high price for a mixed-orientation marriage? Right now - admittedly, NO. Some very useful things are coming out of our recently-resumed marital therapy, but we are both in agreement that we cannot continue down the path that we have been on thus far.

Oisin, though painful, thank you for your response to my post. To others who have comments, I am glad to hear them as they help me stretch my mind in an effort to find the path that is truly right for me.

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