Monday, November 11, 2013

Sink or Swim

Therapy has been going really well for me. I am finding balance in my life and I am accepting things as they are not for what they have been. We have spent a lot of time helping me reconnect with my emotions and I couldn't be happier with the progress I have made. Last week in my session I admitted that I want to get divorced and move on with my life. So my therapist asked me what that future looks like for me. I was baffled for a moment as I had never fully explored what I wanted in my "gay" future. I have daydreamed about things but I had never really discussed this with anyone. I mentioned a few things but we had to cut it short due to time constraints so today we picked up where we left off last time.

This time however we spent a lot of time talking about the things that hold me back from moving forward in the direction that I would like to go. What I determined is that there are two reasons: 1) I don't want to cause my wife more pain and 2) Financially we are not in a place to facilitate a divorced living situation. I feel emotionally ready to get a divorce and move on but financially I m stuck. So the reality is that I will probably need to stay married for a while longer.

One of the most shocking moments for me during this session was when my therapist asked me what my feelings were about getting divorced. I explained to her that setting aside my feelings on how much this would change the lives of my two boys, I felt relief and like a weight would be lifted off of my shoulders. Until today I did not realize how disconnected I truly felt from my wife. Despite how our relationship has improved, after bottoming out when I told her I was gay, my relationship with my wife is still only a shell of what I feel a true relationship could be. I feel like we function as roommates who have children together. As I was explaining all this to her I began to realize that I do not know how to be in love. I have NEVER been in love. I was in love with the idea of marriage when I married my wife and I do love her to a certain degree but not the way a person should love another person in a relationship. I guess what I truly realized today was that though some gay men are able to find satisfaction and fulfillment in their mixed orientation marriages, I am not able to do that. This idea seems foreign to me. I told my therapist how foreign it seemed to me that some guys were able to do this. I said that I wished I could understand how they are able to do this and then maybe I could find happiness in our situation. I no longer believe in the church and so the whole plan of "happiness" that we are taught doesn't bear sway in my thought process. Meaning, I don't have to stay married to a woman to find happiness in this life so why should I do it, for her and my sake?

I really do want to move on for the chance of finding happiness over staying where I am at and knowing that I will not be happy. I told my therapist I would like to take a break from therapy to process this and assess how I could possibly make changes in my life to make my divorce possible. She agreed that this might be a good move for me so I can assess and then come back with my ideas so that we can take a look at strategies to deal with the reality of what a divorced and out me might have to face. All in all I feel that I am in a much better place than I was two months ago when I started therapy but I still feel like there are things I need to learn. Like how to face being openly gay and divorced but also figuring out how to be in love. I want to fall in love so badly that it hurts physically. I cannot just stay where I am at without ever experiencing being in love. No one deserves to live without having true love and I cannot allow myself to go on pretending its ok for me to just survive my life. I want to live it and LOVE it!!! So I guess this is the part where I either sink or swim but either way if I try to live life at least I will be truly living. So how do I move forward now???? That is the real question!


  1. Awesome post! I'm so glad I stumbled upon it. Even though I am not married, the questions you're asking are many of the exact same ones I am currently trying to answer. The blog posts I've written in the past week or so deal with those kinds of questions.
    I wish you luck and look forward to continuing to read about your progress towards true happiness.

  2. I feel your pain, being married with two kids myself, I would say I have been there, but I am there right now, and feel what your are talking about, especially in your search for happiness. The difference, I guess, is that I went from a very miserable gay man searching for happiness in a marriage with someone he isn't attracted to, to a man who is happy in a relationship with a great friend raising his two kids.

    The difference came from me realizing that I had made a commitment to my wife to be her husband, and I had to live up to that commitment because it was what I must do as a man (gay, straight, bi, tri, whatever) and not because my family, church, or anyone else expected of it from me. Yes, I probably knew I was gay before we got married, and I do think I would be happy in a relationship with a man (to be honest, gay men in a committed long-term relationship are a rarity, not the norm) but I had to find happiness in my life while honoring commitments I made, even under the duress of family and church commitments who I feel did pressure me into it. I had to divorce myself from those demands first, and then things started to change.

    My biggest change came about from something my grandfather told me, who related to me what it was like to be a POW in Vietnam. Under circumstances that were extremely less than ideal, he chose to be happy, and didn't put the burden of being happy on anyone else but himself. He wasn't happy all the time, but he did find happiness in service to others, in helping his fellow soldiers in anyway he could. He found happiness in the service of others and living up to his commitments as a soldier as best he could, even though the circumstances were less than ideal. He found that he could find immense happiness and joy in the service of others, and thus be happy in the worst of circumstances.

    I hope it doesn't come across that I consider marriage to my wife the same as being a POW, but sometimes I do feel trapped as a gay man in this marriage, but it is then I have to realize I need to stop being so selfish and focused on my happiness, and focus on the happiness of others. It is then I put down what I am doing and play ball with my son, or have a tea party with my daughter. I work to make them happy, and trying to be the best father I can be, and slowly I start to come out of my funk. I hug my wife from behind as she cooks dinner, I make the bed and find small ways to let her know I love her and respect her, not only as the mother of my children, but as the friend that she is.

    Maybe take this time while you try to prepare for divorce and focus on the happiness of others, see if you don't come to a new understanding. If not, nothing lost, right?

  3. Great post, I'm glad you're getting a lot of retrospective and time to think things over. Some of us rush to do one thing or another and that often times trigger unforeseen issues so you seem to be on the right track.

    I know it isn't cool to think of one's happiness. Lots of articles out there talk about selfishness, giving/losing ourselves on behalf of others. I think there's a place for that in life, but that should be once we've been able to meet and maintain our own needs. Doing things in because our own happiness is not the same as doing them in spite of them. Big difference there. Hang in there!

  4. In my own opinion, I feel that love comes when its ready. I had never felt love for someone (outside of my own family) until my (ex)boyfriend and I told it to each other. That only lasted for 3 months. I can't help be feel when true love comes I will recognize it and realize everything else was not complete love. It will happen when you meet the right person. Don't worry if you haven't felt it yet. In my opinion.