I woke up this morning at 5 AM (not so great when you can sleep in until 9), I was wide awake and had an immediate thought that I needed to blog about what I believe. I guess you could call it a testimony but it breaks from the traditional subject matter of the Mormon variety.
I have shared my testimony too many times to count but today as I sit here thinking about what I truly believe I am struggling to articulate what I feel/know.
From the time I was very young I have never questioned the truthfulness of the gospel. Over the last few years I have started questioning everything. After I realized that I am gay I started to wonder about many of the things I held to be "true." These questions have haunted me continually for the last three years and I realized today that I have slowly been formulating my own belief system. I have serious issues with the plan of salvation, which stems from my being gay. I believe that my sexuality was not a choice but is an inherent part of who I am. I did not decide at the age of 9 that I was attracted to boys, though that's how old I was when I had my first crush, though I didn't realize what it was. I believe that had my parents been more open and understanding about homosexuality I would have come out much sooner and been true to who I now know myself to be. I believe that sexuality is not something which is rigid but I do not believe that I can change my inherent attraction to men. I believe that God made me the way that I am and that he accepts me completely. I believe that there is a place for hetero and homo-sexual people in the life to come and in the plan of salvation. (Otherwise why would God have created me this way?) These are just a few of the core beliefs that I hold but what does that mean for my marriage.
I married my wife because I thought I loved her, and in fact I do love her but not the way that a husband should. I realize now that I married her out of requirement, I thought I had to be married to a woman and have children in order to be fulfilled and follow the plan of salvation. After coming out to my wife I explained this to her and I stated that obedience to the plan is one of the core reasons I wanted to save our marriage. I realized today that I may no longer feel this way. I realized that what I chose to do nearly 8 years ago by getting married was the biggest deception I have ever committed. I entered into a marriage with an unknowing woman, lied to myself and her about my sexuality, and thought that this deception would insure my salvation. I now realize why my wife has said a few times that she felt "manipulated and used," because she has been. I was not strong enough to stand up and recognize who I am and face the reality of my situation. Instead of stepping away from the dogma I chose to submit and now I have landed us into a very difficult and painful situation. I accept full responsibility for my actions and apologize to her for them.
Now the resulting question is: What now? How do we proceed? It has been a crazy and busy day so I haven't had a chance to speak with my wife about all of the things I have realized today, but I want more than anything to share all of this with her. I am fearful of what her reaction may be, but I feel she has the right to know. After all, we entered into a marriage under false pretenses and now I have to let her know where I really stand so we can decide how to proceed. I do not feel that I can stay in a marriage that has been built around a lie. I feel horrible that I did not tell her before we got married but in all fairness I did not even fully realize at that point.
I guess this is why I have been brutally honest since coming out to her. My honesty has shocked her several times but I can't stand the constant cover up that is happening in relation to the church, my beliefs, and our marriage. I only wish I knew how to approach the subject with her. I am pretty sure this will scare her to death since she still views that church as the ultimate authority and does not question at all (at least that is how I perceive her feelings). I worry my honesty will be the final straw for our marriage and I don't know if I am truly ready to face the consequences.
I have told her several times that I do not believe that my sexuality can change and I told her that I don't know that I want it to be changed anyway. This was unsettling for her but I think she has accepted now because she no longer asks me if I want it to change/go away. I think she is still holding to the idea that with enough prayer, fasting, etc. my "gay" will go away and we can have a normal marriage.
Maybe I am totally wrong in these things that I believe and maybe our marriage is the path to salvation, but I don't see how I can reconcile who I am inside with the gospel at this point and time. I feel lost but not in a bad way but rather in a way that will help me grow and strengthen me as an individual. My journey through life has not felt easy but now it is beginning to feel worth living.
Hopefully everything I have shared here makes sense, I have found all of this very difficult to articulate. I guess all that matters is that I have articulated these thoughts/beliefs and I have gotten a lot out of this post. All I can say is that I believe these things and that is all that matters.