Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lessons learned / blessings realized...

What Mormon Enigma is going through right now has consumed me these last couple of days. I know it shouldn't, but it has. Maybe it's because I'm not so removed from such an emotional and all-encompassing experience as what he is going through.

As I've stated a few blogs ago, it has now been two years since "coming out" to my wife after 20 years of marriage. It is still very fresh and on-the-surface of our relationship. Yes, our ride over the course of the last two years has been rough and bumpy. My continuation of "attraction issues" and "infatuations" hasn't helped.

But, I want it to be clear that despite what my blog may say or portray, despite my lusting thoughts and romantic dreams for guys, both fictitious and real, despite my emphasis on this personal struggle (that remains mostly mental and internal - expressed openly only through my alter-ego of the queerosphere of MOHOs) I am committed to making it through this and staying with my wife and family.

I want to profess the following statements of belief that I feel have been neglected in my blog, and I want Mormon Enigma especially to hear them at this unique and particular life-changing time:

1. I am glad that I told my wife of my feelings, thoughts, and infatuations. Though by telling her, I have become somewhat limited in my "contact" with the same sex. This is both a good and bad thing. Good, in the sense that the path I was on was definitely leading to my doing something that would forever break up the family. Bad, in the sense that much of my contact with the same sex has been central to my "being". Thus, my angst continues on. But, still no regret in telling her.

2. My physical love for my wife (though not emphasized nearly as it may ought to be in this blog) is strong and constant. It is funny that prior to coming out, we were drifting hopelessly apart. I was not allowing her to be a part of my life more and more... and wished for no intimacy at all. Now, after two years, we are more intimate together than we ever were before! Though I still have "issues" and may not "desire" it as much as she does, she is more patient and understanding with me and we have established a level of physical intimacy that seems to work and strengthen the marriage. We have made it a point to be more affectionate in front of the kids encouraging them to see our affection more openly than we ever did before.

3. My emotional love for my wife has increased in the last two years since "coming out". There is a bonding that this "revealed secret" between us has created that wasn't there before.

4. My appreciation for my wife has magnified as I've realized what she could have done and what she has gone through because of my "coming out". She most definitely could have asked for / demanded a divorce. She was hurt, with feelings of a "wasted life" that I caused her to endure all through the "good years". She has suffered pain and loneliness as she has turned to no one for support as there hasn't been anyone there to turn to - no friend, no family, not even her mother - no church, no bishop, no neighbor... and so she has turned to me and I to her as we figure out this journey together. She has proven to be a ROCK and FOUNDATION of strength. As awful as some periods have been, sobbing uncontrollably (often times alone in the bathroom), she has found inner strength and peace and commitment and tenacity to make this work. These characteristics have come through in shining splendor! Had I not "come out" I may have missed seeing what a wonderful, amazing woman she really is.

5. In some ways, we are still the same. We still struggle. I still have my volcanic urges for male bonding and companionship that sometimes erupt and make our lives difficult. She still feels like she hasn't been good enough, beautiful enough, desirous enough to keep me from being attracted to men. She still feels and hopes that in time I will overcome this attraction and desire and she will become all that I want. We still are struggling to be on the same page of understanding on this one... We have a long way to go for her to truly understand what is going on inside of me and that this has ALWAYS been going on inside me and that it ISN'T HER FAULT... But, even more importantly to me and my self-worth and sanity - IT ISN'T MY FAULT EITHER!!!

6. We are committed more so than ever to our covenants and marriage vows (now don't laugh at me those of you who have followed the blog and know of my mind's thoughts and desires and requited loves... there is another side to the story). I know that she is the only woman for me. (And that means more than the fact that I haven't been interested in any other women!!!) I know that she is uniquely blessed with a combination of qualities that makes her perfect for me. We are best friends. We share so many likes and passions. Our kids are our focus. And we hold a firm faith in the sealing power of the priesthood and in keeping the marital covenants.

7. An interesting side comment from "coming out to my wife and myself": I find myself questioning my beliefs more, my core beliefs, my beliefs in the Church, the meaning behind all of this, and the questioning (as is my blog's overall theme) continues to grow - for I really don't have a clue as to what I'm doing here, but I'm trying to figure it out and do what is right. This isn't easy, but being more open with my wife about the uneasiness has been a good outcome.

Call me delusional, call me living a fantasy or a lie. You're probably right. No argument from me here. I am delusional. I live more of my life in a fantasy world as a means whereby to deal with my gayness in a heterosexual world. And thus, I'm living a lie. But you know... as much as I dream of being held and caressed and loved by another man, I can't imagine my life without my wife.

So, Mormon Enigma - I encourage you on! I am behind you and your wife all the way!!! I am the champion of your cause! I want to scream from the roof-tops that YOU'RE OKAY and SHE'S OKAY and you'll get through this and come out better - whatever your "better" means to you and she! I don't mean to imply by any means that my story is your story or should be your story! It isn't. You have your own story.

But if I can be of some source of inspiration or help at this critical time, then my coming out has been worth it, and this blog has been worth it, and this can be a BLESSING.

I do want to say this: If I can do it this long and with this much success (warts and all) then there is hope for you and what I see as an amazing woman you call your wife.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Temple and Other Thoughts...

I attended the temple this week and it has triggered some thoughts - some good, some bad.

As I sat in the session, I was overcome with feelings of unworthiness. It wasn't that I had done something "really wrong" as much as that for the first time I didn't feel like I belonged. I was there more on assignment than on personal worship. In and of itself, this probably bothered me the most. But it was more than that... I really didn't belong there!

Some people feel like frequenting the Temple is a "social" thing to do. There are Ward Temple Nights, Date Nights to the temple, etc. I don't feel this way and yet that is what it has been reduced to in my mind. The sacredness was gone. I didn't feel anything other than fakeness. I wondered: Maybe I was the one that was fake!

I pondered why I was feeling so out of sorts. I started analysing my feelings and I realized I needed to be there. I wanted to be there. I was "worthy" to be there (yes, even with my various menagerie of gay thoughts) for the Lord knows all about my gay thoughts, gay struggles, and gay desires, and my efforts to do the best I can. So, judge me as you will - I was there "worthily". I am a card-carrying member in good standing despite my struggles and challenges - which are many.

It triggered my thoughts back to when I was interviewing a sister for her temple recommend. This was years ago when one of the questions went something like this: "Do you consider yourself worthy, in every way, to enter the House of the Lord?" She was a good and faithful sister, a very sincere woman of the Church. She looked at me and said: "No, I'm not!" As I explored this a bit, I realized that she was just being honest and truthful to admit that she was not worthy in every way. And in her context, NONE of us are worthy to enter the House of the Lord. It is interesting to note that the phrase "in every way" is no longer included in that last question of the temple recommend interview. The Church brethren finally realized how impossible it is to answer such a question honestly, right after being drilled about being "totally honest in our dealings with our fellow men". The irony is profound!

I explained to her that the Temple is not for "perfect people". In fact, it is full of "imperfect people". If we truly were worthy "in every way" we would be perfect. And of course none of us are... And so, here I found myself this week sitting in the dark feeling a bit "imperfect" and wondering if I should remove myself from such perfect people surrounding me - that I realized I needed to be there to offer service, to be part of something grand and "holy", something bigger than myself - imperfections, struggles and all...

But then, I'm reminded of the imagery used to portray heaven. Cold grey marble floors and steps with harsh, sharp corners, fiberglass Doric columns that support nothing, and wispy curtains flapping in the breeze. No furniture, not even a marble bench - being forced to stand all the time... I don't think it seems very heaven-like to me. As much as I love marble, it's not very comfortable. It's hard and cold, especially bare-footed! :-) I know it's all figurative and all, but I guess as I contemplated it more and more, I concluded that I'd much prefer the "Lone and Dreary World" as my heaven. I know it's my mortal eyes with finite vision, refusing to see the bigger picture here... and realizing that judgment day is much like that where we, ourselves, decide to stay where we are most comfortable... was all of this a sign that I'm really not "celestial enough" and that my natural man desires of gayness are getting the best of me?

And since I'm at it (preparing to be struck by lightening), I couldn't help but be caught up in thinking: "Now did Adam and Eve really live in Missouri?" I still have a very hard time with that one! I've been to Missouri numerous times (and no offense to my fellow Missourians) but I just plain don't get it!

Don't get me wrong - I don't mean to be sacrilegious (even though that's how I feel in my alter-ego that you know as "Beck")... as I've had amazing experiences of spiritual vividness in the temple where the veil has seemed very thin and I have felt much love, sustaining influence, and clearness of thought. I have seen my family brought together in harmony (which is a miracle in and of itself). I have created an eternal family, and I have helped my kindred dead in ways they could not do for themselves, and I have brought others to the temple for their own "spiritual gifts".

As much as I'm a visual person, I need to frequent the temple more performing service away from the film. It's a distraction at best! When I'm one-on-one doing the real work of the other ordinances, I feel better.

Maybe I should be zapped by a lighting bolt or two... or at least a good slap in the head!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


During a home teaching visit on Sunday there was a statement made that Satan gives up on us as we resist his temptations. If we continue resisting, the temptation eventually goes away completely. The home teacher noted that he was tempted greatly by tobacco and alcohol in his youth, but now after decades of resisting such temptations, has absolutely no desire to smoke or drink. His personal testimony was that we need to keep resisting and soon Satan will simply leave us alone, giving up on us as a "lost cause".

This statement and personal witness has made me think. I don't know that I totally support his supposition that with enough resistance, Satan gives up on us and doesn't tempt us any longer. Indeed, I may believe that we may build enough strength against certain temptations, but then OTHER temptations come in their place. I don't know that in this life we are ever without temptation, no matter how righteous or resistant we are.

It's given me thought to my situation. I have never been tempted to smoke or drink and continue to have no desire to do so. So? Is it because I'm strong and righteous in this area? And yet, I continue to have "temptations" of lusting after beautiful guys. I've resisted ALL MY LIFE acting on these temptations and yet they are still there... So where is the truth in his theory?

I think we are all different and cannot judge or simplify our "weaknesses" in such a straight-forward manner. First of all, I don't believe it is Satan that is tempting me. I feel it is just me being me. I do believe that as I allow my thoughts of these feelings to dwell on them I become weaker and when I allow my thoughts to move on to other things, I become stronger - but the temptation that is part of being human and part of this physical life remains. It is always there! As for my personal experience, it will always be there.

I know I don't help the cause of trying to "remain pure in my thoughts" when I allow my thoughts to take flight... as seems to be more like the case of recent months. I seem to find myself closing my eyes at night, trying to fall asleep, and I slip into thoughts of being held by or cuddling with a guy, often times a particular guy, :-) It has become a natural reaction to falling asleep... I fall asleep in a semi-dream-like state of being embraced with Him. Elbow kiddingly mentioned that we all do this. That surprised me, as I felt I was the only one to have such a habit - to have an "imaginary boyfriend". (Am I the only one that has these going-to-sleep rituals? Am I unique here?) I guess I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it. But, this has become almost a ritual to fall asleep.

I find myself rarely dreaming a subconscious dream (not the daydreaming type, but real dreams) but when I do (and I can remember them) they are often of me in the arms of another guy on the beach, at the pool, keep house together, holding hands together - typically the romantic kind - but even having sex together (oh my!). I never have heterosexual dreams - ever! I dream of good-looking fit guys working out together with me and helping me to be more fit as well. These dreams are vivid and detailed and realistic. These dreams just come! I have tried resisting them, but they just come into my subconscious mind. I don't know if I'm supposed to wake myself up and start humming my favorite hymn or what, but I doubt that will do any good...

I know that Elder Packer has spoken about the mind as a movie theater with a perfect memory... but I really have avoided the hard-porn stuff just as I've avoided tobacco and alcohol, and yet my thought and dreams in a semi-sleep and full-sleep state are almost always now gay-centered and involve more and more intimacy. I feel that nothing can enter my mind that I don't allow in - so maybe I've allowed more "in" than I've thought. All I know is I continue to have a subconscious mind that is very actively pursuing another agenda that my conscious mind.

Are these really just temptations that can be resisted over a lifetime? Can I really resist them to the point that they go away? Or are these subconscious thoughts of some other nature? What is a temptation from Satan that I permit to enter into my mind? Or, what is a feeling of my natural man that is trying to make itself heard and known?

I don't have any answers. Or I may not be open to accepting the obvious answers (such as I'm allowing it to happen and even enjoy it so I'm becoming "beyond feeling" (note: it is getting to the point that I put up little if any resistance at all) and the still small voice is getting very tired of whispering counter-thoughts, but that really couldn't be it could it???). Maybe someone may want to spell it out for me and be my shrink dream analyst... All I know is I'm having a harder time resisting these thoughts, subconscious or otherwise... Maybe paraphrasing Enduring Eric, I've fallen off the train and at least am running along side the tracks but maybe allowing myself to not keep up, nor hop back on... and so the tool of temptation might be working after all?

Friday, January 19, 2007


There was a time many years ago when I was first married that when I heard of someone referring to himself as a "Gay Mormon", I wrote him off as insane, and whacked out, and considered the combination of those two words as incompatible and non-existent! The thought process would go something like this:

"If he were truly "Gay" then he wouldn't be a Mormon, for everyone knows that there are no gays in the Church, for if they were, they would be excommunicated for sure, and therefore, would no longer be a "member of the Church" and thus no longer a "Mormon". "

The words to me back then were mutually exclusive. Either you were one or the other, but you couldn't be both.

Soon after I was married, I was confronted with this dilemma. It happened when "F", my dear friend from my mission, admitted to me that he was sent home from his mission because he was a "Gay Mormon". (If you go back to my posts in May 2006 I introduce you to "F" and lament his eventual death from AIDS). At that time in my life, I was trying so hard to put these "feelings" way deep into my past, trying to focus on my marriage, on our new family unit, on what was "true" and "eternal" and "me". My past experiences with "F" were in the past and I had moved on and so I didn't want to think about being "gay". I was a good and faithful "Mormon" and so I couldn't be "gay". Right?

Of course, "F" knew otherwise. He knew me! He knew me!

He tried to get me to be introduced to "Affirmation" and to accept that there were many of "us" out there that were "Gay Mormons". But I could not accept it. I could not even admit to myself that such people existed. They didn't exist in my mind, at least in the mind of who I wanted to be at that time in my life. They didn't fit the "formula" or the "label" of what I wanted to label myself as. I refused to accept it and told him so... and that was the beginning of the end between "F" and me. For in so doing, I was rejecting him for who he was. I was rejecting that he could "exist" and since he couldn't exist, then he didn't exist. And for a long time he didn't exist in my mind.

But you know, I could never forget him. I was haunted by him. I knew of his horrific death and I felt so terrible that I did nothing to help him. I did not reach out. Or at least, by the time I overcame my homophobic feelings toward him, and realized how much I truly loved him, had loved him, and wanted to love him - it was too late.

I am haunted by this memory as I think about labels that are put on people, and by the labels that I put on myself. I am haunted by the fact that I had allowed homophobic teachings and traditions to enter my thoughts and permeate my psyche to the point that I could no longer accept "F" as a person in my life, at least publicly. Secretly, I longed for him. I wanted him. But my "Church" and my "Culture" and my "Tradition" would not and could not allow it.

I am haunted by the fact that these homophobic teachings allowed "F" to lose all hope. He loved the Church and its people, the Gospel and its teachings. But when he was shunned, ostracized and abandoned by the very people and teachings he loved and truly believed in, he lost hope. He allowed himself to get to the point where he believed that God no longer loved him either, that Christ and his Atonement had no affect on him because he "didn't exist" - people like him weren't supposed to exist and thus how could God love him enough to care about him. He lost all hope! He allowed himself to destroy himself for there was nothing left in this life for him because of the "labels" and their hateful meaning that they implied toward him.

Advancing forward some twenty years and I laugh at the irony of it all. Now I have a blog where I proudly declare to an anonymous world that I am a "Gay Mormon". That I do exist! That those two words in the context of "Me" do exist together. I still can't blend them together in the cultural and religious communities as I would like to, as others have been able to do, but I have reached the point (for I'm still afraid that what happened to "F" could and would happen to me - I could still be destroyed in an instance as he was by the hatred that is still part of this cultural scene I find myself in), but I'm trying not to even care... they are just labels - words that have different meanings to different people even within this "queerosphere".

For you see, I am a gay man. And I am a Mormon. I exist.
I am Me!

I am sorry, "F". I truly am sorry. I hope you still love me enough that you can laugh with a little delight of appreciating irony that it's taken me this long, but I'm okay with what you knew and tried to teach me about "ME" all along... I will try to do a better job of letting others know of you in hopes that others won't lose this same hope.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


* man

* husband

* father

* father of active kids

* loving husband and father of active great kids

* not nearly as loving and attentive husband of a wife who loves him despite everything (even though she still can't figure out why), and father, wishing he had more time to play with the great active kids

* desiring to learn to be more loving and attentive as a husband to a dear and beautiful wife hwo loves him despite everything, and a time-giving father who actually plays with and struggles with his great and beautiful kids.


* brother

* son

* distant brother and son

* distant and not wanting to be involved with extended family brother and son.


* average guy

* average non-assuming guy

* average non-assuming, sensitive guy

* average non-assuming, sensitive guy who hates playing basketball

* average non-assuming, sensitive guy who hates playing basketball but loves to watch BYU football


* approaching middle-age guy

* young-acting but still approaching middle-age guy

* young-acting but still approaching (no more like being pulled by time dragging and kicking) middle-age guy.

* young-acting, doing stupid things (like snowmobiling off cliffs), hair on the wild side (thinking he's "bad") approaching middle-age (but under severe protest) guy.

* young-acting, doing stupid things (like snowmobiling off cliffs), hair on the wild side (thinking he's "bad") approaching middle-age (but under severe protest) thinking he's younger than he really is and fooling himself to think that everyone else thinks he's as young as he wants you to believe (at least I've got lots of hair) guy.


* designer

* professional designer

* hard-working / self-employed professional designer

* hard-working (working 80-hour weeks) / self-employed professional designer who loves to wear a good looking tie.


* Mormon

* Believing Mormon

* Believing (though with sincere doubts of everything the Church teaches) Mormon.

* Testimony-bearing, believing (though with sincere doubts of everything the Church teaches) Mormon guy who believes Christ and tries to follow Him by listening to the still small voice.

* Testimony-bearing, believing (with sincere doubts) card-carrying Mormon who tries to follow Christ and listen to the still small voice.

* Testimony-bearing, believing (with doubts) card-carrying, active, priesthood leader-ing and SS teaching life-time Mormon who believes Christ, tries to follow Him and listens (though not nearly as he should as he's getting on into middle age and losing his hearing , at least spiritual hearing) still small voice.

* Testimony-bearing, believing (with doubts) card-carrying, active, priesthood leader-ing and SS teaching, returned missionary, BYU graduate, MTC teaching (wishing he could have made a career living at the MTC) life-time Mormon who believes Christ, tries to follow Him and listens (though not nearly as he should as he's getting on into middle age and losing his hearing , at least spiritual hearing) to the still small voice.


* Travel-freak

* National Geographic photographer wannabe travel-freak

* Seriously planning on taking a year off sabbatical to discover the world, National Geographic photographer wannabe travel-freak

* Seriously planning on taking a year off sabbatical to discover the world, National Geographic photographer wannabe travel-freak who would be happier on the back roads of a foreign country searching for that perfect photo-moment or cultural-interaction experience than on I-15 in rush hour on the Wasatch Front.

* Pianist
* Composer
* Piano-playing composer
* Piano-playing composer of several unpublished diddies still in my head, but someday I'll get around to publishing.

* Southern European affezionato

* Southern European affezionato wishing to find the perfect stone farm house to restore

* Southern European affezionato wishing to find the perfect stone farm house to restore to its 15th C perfection with 21st century comforts like indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water (and a hot tub)


* Gay

* Gay guy

* Confused and often selfish gay guy

* Struggling gay guy who is "out" only to himself, his wife and a couple of friends (not counting the queerosphere).

* Very closeted, struggling non-practicing gay guy who is "out" only to himself, his wife and a couple of friends (not counting the queerosphere) who loves young good-looking guys

* Struggling non-practicing, closeted gay guy, who dreams constantly of kissing and loving young guys wishing the guys he loves were gay too.

* Struggling to find himself, trying to not be too self-absorbed while at the same time trying not to be too self-depreciating, self-hating, self-loathing, non-practicing closeted (though the door is opening and light is penetrating the dark corners of his hidden world) gay guy who dreams constantly of kissing and loving young guys wishing the guys he loves were gay too while at the same time being everything else and so much more as noted above.

You and I can label me any way we want...

but I'm still just me,

trying to do the best I can,

to be "me".

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


1.a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.
2.a false argument; sophism.

In Church on Sunday there was a discussion of "sophistries", relating to the arguments or teachings of the world that seem very true at the surface, and yet subtly false at the core.

One brother gave an example: "BE TRUE TO YOURSELF!"

Now, over the course of the last 9 months of blogging, I've heard this advice countless times given to myself and others regarding the importance of accepting the essence of being "gay". And to not be true to oneself (one's gayness) because of outside pressures of religion, tradition, culture etc. is completely wrong; to deny oneself of his basic sexual identity, leads only to self-hatred, unhappiness, and self-inflicting angst and misery.

To a great extent, I do believe this - particularly when it comes to beating up on oneself, hating oneself, wanting to cause harm to oneself. I've been there / done that, and it isn't a good place to be. To come to terms with the truth of oneself is a GOOD THING.

This brother said further. "Being true to oneself - sounds good, sounds right, sound irrefutable. But being true to oneself over what IS right and good, is wrong. It's a subtle thing..."

It has made me think a lot this week of my coming to terms with "who I am" and "being true to myself". I am more than my sexual orientation. I have thoughts and feelings, spiritual promptings and revelations, experiences and knowledge gained from life's trials and experiences that make me who I am as well. I need to be true to myself when all of these other parts of myself tell me otherwise to NOT act upon these very real, very powerful, very consuming passions I feel toward guys, and a couple of guys in particular. I need to be true to my married self. I need to be true to my family self. I need to be true to my religious self. I need to be true to my sexual self.

As these various selves combine and conflict with each other, I find the axiom of "being true to yourself" ringing hollow. There's got to be something more to live for! There's got to be something that IS true, and right and good for all aspects of myself, not just one aspect of myself.

I don't want to judge anyone who has chosen against this line of thinking. These are my thoughts. I don't know where I'm even going with this. I feel like I'm Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life" where he makes the deal with Mr. Potter and shakes his hand to draw up the papers for a lucrative job and career move - and then looks down at his hand and becomes creeped-out by what he just did...

It just doesn't feel right FOR ME, to live my life by this axiom of life. As much as I want to kiss a guy and make love to a guy doesn't mean necessarily that I should do it. Does it? Be true to yourself - maybe should be "Be true to truth."

Aww... but there's the rub... what is truth?

It's not sophistry!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A thorny blessing...

I am taking the liberty of robbing from Hawaii Dave's blog. I guess I can since his comment was addressed directly to me. He wrote:


Of all struggling and emerging gays, those in your position have it the hardest, which makes the blessing hard to recognize. Your story is both a cautionary tale for young, unmarried gays who have been socialized to believe they should pursue heterosexual relationships, and a reflection of the blessing of being gay. Bear with me here.

By getting married instead of leading a gay life from the outset, you've wound up in wrenching, seemingly no-win situation. You have a wife and children whom you love and want to spend your life with, but you also long to be with a man. It doesn't appear you can have both, so you choose, with great angst, to live without homosexual intimacy. It's likely that, should you remain committed to forgoing gay sex, the best you can hope for is a life in which you successfully employ coping mechanisms that lessen the emotional impact of your being unable to act on that essential part of your being.

To the extent that even one young gay Mormon reads your blog and is prompted to reconsider a decision to get married, your being gay is a blessing.

To the extent that anyone else reading your blog is moved to try to change antigay religious doctrine, your being gay is a blessing.

To the extent you are able to grow spiritually, emotionally and/or intellectually from your experiences, your being gay is a blessing.

To the extent others respect you as a decent and good man, and you positively present to them your status as a gay man as well, you will enlighten them, and your being gay will further be a blessing. (I know, that's getting way ahead of the curve.)

I could go on, but I think you get my point.

Hang in there, Beck.

I appreciate Dave's viewpoint - maybe because it isn't exactly mine and he gets me to think in different ways that I typically wouldn't think - and I like that, but there is genuine love and support just the same.

I have come to the conclusion that blessings can come from being able to grow spiritually, emotionally and/or intellectually from my experiences, being gay. I know this frustrates some, but that's okay, too. I am a frustrated man. But, in my frustration, I am also blessed by the choices I've made, including those associated with marriage, family and commitments to beliefs. I hope as I blog here, these blessings come through the "angst". This blog isn't a personal journal of all experiences in my life - it is a window in my thoughts and feelings of a very particular aspect of my life that is not and cannot be expressed in any other way or forum!

THIS aspect of my life sometimes may come across as my entire existence. It isn't! At times my anxiety level may make it seem like it is, and at times my passions and desires overwhelm me for a period - but I've learned to deal, to cope, and even enjoy the ride!

Paul struggled with his angst and was able to turn it into a blessing, even a thorny blessing.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

--2 Cor 12:7-10

I hope to be able to be as Paul where I can see strength and blessings with my "thorn in the flesh". I use his term, not in a negative light as some, where this gayness is a burden or a wart that should be removed, but as a blessing of strength and uniqueness that makes me be better for it - and hopefully be a blessing for those around me and those who read this blog who may be struggling similarly - and thus even a larger blessing. (Now if you didn't know it already in my attempts to 'walk the line' or 'have it both ways', I'm really delusional now!!!)

Thus, I feel I have grown and progressed over the last few years of coming to terms with THIS issue. And that is a good thing - even a blessing! I don't hate who I am. I don't despise the feelings that I have. I don't look upon these emotions and desires in disgust... For they remind me to take "pleasure in my infirmities".

For where thorns grow, there also blooms the beautiful rose!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


The saga continues...

It wasn't enough that all of the emotions of our "anniversary" of coming out were boiling at the surface, and the encounters with "boyfriends" at Church complicating matters... Now it was Will coming by at the house to say goodbye as he heads off to college again (out of state). I did not invite him to come. He came on his own. Though his coming to the house made me excited, it also made me very nervous. I immediately felt like I was two-timing my wife. But then I thought about it and realized this was a guy that just came to hang out and chat. What's so wrong about that?

Well plenty, I guess. In my naive way of desiring to have "it" both ways, I entertained him in good friendship and conversation - that was it. We chatted for about an hour together before my wife came down and saw us together - we weren't doing anything but talking. I could feel the ice in the room, the chill penetrated my every fiber as she stormed out not saying a word, but passing a glance at me communicating her displeasure with having Will in our house.

I haven't really discussed "Will" on my blog very much. I don't feel I need to, because for the most part I'm "over" him and have no romantic feelings as I once did. Let me just clarify that it was those very romantic feelings for him that triggered my coming "out" to my wife. And this being the week of the anniversary of that confession - well, needless to say, tensions were mile-high!

I knew I had to end our get together, even though I desired the thought of taking him to lunch or skiing or something... but I knew I couldn't. If I had gone with him, my marriage would have been over with.

In some ways I was angry - no, more perturbed that she would still be so jealous of him. I didn't do anything. We just talked.

We fondly hugged each other and rubbed our heads and necks together renewing a bit of the fire between us, but before it could get too far (with the thought that she'd come down again and find us in each other's arms) I escorted him out the back door and wished him well in his new semester.

So, now it was time to face the music! I went upstairs and found my wife crying, trying to hold back her emotions, though it was more than obvious that she was livid and angry and so intolerant of the "choices" I was making.

I tried to talk. She didn't want to talk about it. I didn't go away and waited for a few minutes to let her calm down. At first she resisted, but eventually I pulled her to the couch and we plopped down together and I held her tightly and she started to cry. I didn't say anything. I just was thinking that my "choices" were really impacting her more than I thought and I realized how innocent things in my eyes weren't so innocent in hers.

She finally spoke:

"What if I had a boyfriend that came to chat, how would you feel about that?"

I thought for a minute and could see that knowing that I was gay, having Will in my house would be like her having a boyfriend in my house as well. "I wouldn't like it at all," I responded quietly.

"So can't you see how this makes me feel?"

"Yeah, I see your point," I stammered.

"So, do you still have feelings for him? Do you still want to marry him?"

This second question floored me. Yes, I had and to a certain lesser degree have "feelings" for him, but I never thought of marrying him. It puzzled me that she would put our relationship in those terms. "Of course not," I rebutted, trying to figure out where she was going with this line of questioning.

"But you wanted to marry him at one point, did you not?" she questioned pointedly.

I didn't quite know what to say. All I could think of was: "I want to be married to you!"

"You do? You really STILL want to be married to me?" she asked tearfully but forcefully.

It finally dawned on my thick-headed, slow to catch on skull... she was feeling vulnerable and insecure! It was a fear of me desiring to leave her for him. It was a fear or insecurity of my abandoning her. I was fearful of her abandoning me! She wasn't so concerned of what we were doing together - trusting me that he came over just to chat - but it was more a concern that I no longer desired to be with her, to be a part of her and that I wanted to leave her for him. I realized in that moment that my actions were making her jealousy turn to vulnerability as she feels she is losing me to my desires for guys.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) the conversation did NOT turn to other guys, particularly toward "Tim". Had it turned to HIM I would have had a harder time being honest with her questions. It isn't that I intentionally hide these feelings; I just don't feel the need right now to open a new wound in such a state of vulnerability. As Tim is also leaving for college this week, I'm convinced that time will heal that wound and we can hold on to something bigger and more important than my desires for male relationships - important as they are to me right now in my trails and tribulations.

So, for now, both of them are gone! I've survived another first week of January! We are still married, though our relationship, at best, is insecure and vulnerable, as I continue to learn to manage my intense feelings of "love" for men, while at the same time managing my desires for eternal family.

I know this isn't an easy road I'm choosing. I know I could make it easier on myself by choosing one path or the other. I know some have questioned my motives for continuing this path seeking a different result - and diagnosing me as certifiably insane! But this is the tight rope I walk. I have hope in being able to get to the other side, but it isn't as easy as just saying that I won't do it again. I know I will. If not in reality, then in fantasy. I recognize my unfaithfulness. I want to stay true to the bigger picture here, to my covenants. Thoughts of already blowing them have entered my mind and so - what's the point of continuing to fight? I mean, is there any hope for someone so messed up like me???

But I do continue to fight for my marriage, even though my "love" for them has become important to "fight for" as well - as wrong as that may sound.

I guess I am most definitely institutionally insane!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2nd Anniversary!

It's now been two years since...

* Since my wife confronted me once and for all and I spilled it all and came "out" to her in a complete confession of SSA feelings of a lifetime. In the most difficult moment of our marriage, I told her with no doubt that I was GAY! (NOTE: I had come "out" to myself in no uncertain terms about six months earlier - after years and years of fighting and refusing to realize my reality as I realized I had a major problem as I allowed myself to fall in love with "Will" - an amazing guy that was becoming in me more than just an amazing guy friend...)

* Since my wife went into a deep depression. This news to her was not really news. It was more a confirmation of years of doubt, confusion, speculation about these feelings inside me. It was just the fact that I had admitted it to her with no doubt is what brought the beginning of the end of our relationship (or so I thought). I knew in coming "out" that I risked the end of our marriage, the breakup of our family, and the hope for any chance of eternity.

* Since anger, disgust, hurt, unworthiness, pain, heartache, lost time, lost opportunity entered in earnest in our marriage. I wanted to take it all back - but I couldn't. And she knew it. She just didn't want to believe it was true. Once coming "out" is out, there is no way to say "oh... I was just kidding, sorry!".

* Since a miracle happened where her heart softened toward me - in time - and we began a slow process of restoring what brought us together in the first place - that we really were in love with each other - and that she was in love with a gay man - and that was who I was. This after much distance, healing, and hard work to restore what was lost. The sham that had become our marriage had a reason... now it was up to us to decide if this would remain a sham or the real thing.

* Since we began a journey or rediscovery in passion, sexuality, commitment.

I have tried to seal my soul to her since then. (I know my blog chronicles the opposite). I have failed miserably. I've walked the fine line. I've pushed myself to the edge. I've desired to cross over the line with all my heart. I've wanted to be swept away from it all.

I've allowed myself to still "love" Will and now to emotionally and romantically "fall in love" with Tim, knowing they can't offer more than just very close, very intimate friendship. I've dreamed of it being more. I've desired romance. And thus, I continue to bring pain, heartache and confusion with my wife.

She knows that in some ways I haven't changed. She'd tried to "change" me thinking increased romance and marital sexuality would click something in my brain and I would be different - I would desire her more, I would desire guys less. But now, after two years, she knows that isn't going to happen... and she blames herself.

In many ways, we have become closer, more romantic, more committed as we've worked together on this relationship now that the issue is "out" in the open between us. We've made good progress and there is hope and purpose for staying together. She's seen me stop my daily contact with my "friends", the hanging out, etc. but in the process she's realized that this limitation of contact has made my feelings for HIM even stronger. My heart ACHES for him! She sees it in my eyes. She sees it in his eyes. She knows that I love him. I know I've made her heart ACHE as she's caught us together in each other's arms...

And so, on this 2nd anniversary, she cries into her pillow. She relives the pain and anguish thrust upon her with this revelation. As much as she "knew", she's still in denial. She still can't believe that she has been married to such a jerk as I am now for over two decades... And so she endures, she hangs on, she hopes for a better tomorrow.

We cuddle. I try to comfort her. She sobs. There isn't much I can do. She knows I'm not totally hers. But she is totally mine. It isn't fair to her. I recognize the unfairness of this situation. I don't want it to be this way (or do I - in many ways I am the jerk that wants the traditional husband/wife eternal marriage while having my guy-love on the side. What's wrong with this picture? I've allowed myself to attempt to live this deceptive lifestyle - it's a lie - I can't have it both ways - it's too much work!)

At least she allows me to cuddle.

She's a saint. I'm a cad.

I know there is a reason for holding on if we both want it. I'm not sure what I want any more...

KB reminds me of my covenants. Yes - my covenants... those covenants are what have kept us together more than anything else. But, have I kept them, truly kept them in the sense of any meaning "beyond this life" with blessings of eternity to come - IF I really am not sealed to her in my heart and desire so much for an intimate male relationship??? Though I have never physically crossed the line of extramarital sexual relations - I have within my thoughts, dreams, passions and desires of my heart. As a man thinketh, so is he, right? So what am I but a liar, two-timer, cheater and jerk.

In the fireside to the youth of the church on Sunday (New Year's Eve) at the Conference Center, the Prophet stated: "Choose to be wise and happy... or stupid and miserable."

I've been a bit of all of the above. I've wondered... was it really the right thing to come "out" to her? Was it wise to reveal such internal thoughts and anguish to her? From this wisdom, has happiness come? Or was it stupid and we are now just miserable - hanging on... hanging onto a false hope?

I don't know. I think it has been good to be "out" to her... we've been able to put a name to it and to recognize it is real and a part of us (for good or bad), and that we still love each other despite it all and still want to be together after all... But two years later, there is still a lot of pain, a lot of heartache, a lot of tears, a lot of misery. Maybe it wasn't so wise!!!!


Monday, January 01, 2007

Cycle of Attraction...

My life is going in circles and I don' t seem to be progressing anywhere fast. There seems to be a cycle of attraction, through a common pattern...

My thoughts go back to a Dec 31st many years ago when I was an MTC teacher (pre-marriage days). I had recently returned from my mission the summer before. I loved teaching the missionaries. It was as if I attended BYU in order to teach at the MTC instead of teach at the MTC as a job to go to school at BYU. My priorities were all messed up. I lived at the MTC. It was the only place where I was truly happy. I hated the "real world". At the MTC I could make my reality. At this time, I had become so extremely attached and attracted to a particular missionary that I hardly could breathe when I was around him. He was my every thought. At this time in my life I did not believe or even acknowledge that I was gay (that came years later as those of you know who are following along) - no at this time, I was caught up in the spirit of the "brotherhood" and my longing for male companionship.

During my one and only post-mission / pre-Christmas holidays I spent at home with my parents, I was a true jerk. I didn't want to be with them. They didn't know what was going on inside me. Heck, I didn't even know what was going on inside me. All I knew was that I loved this particular missionary - body and soul - and I was miserable thinking about him leaving on his mission. I remember he made me a tape of a song he had written for me and I remember sulking in my room away from my parents playing it over and over again crying myself to sleep. My mom tried to figure me out but I'm sure I put up enough road blocks that she even gave up on me.

I remember meeting two departing districts at the SLC Airport in route to their missions. One district left before the fog rolled in but HIS district (of just three elders) stayed most of the day waiting for the fog to lift enough to take off. I remember holding him in my arms for hours in the airport quietly talking, caressing each other in the bonds of "romance" I had created for myself. I remember weeping openly after seeing him board the plane. I didn't care what others may of thought of me that day. I was "in love". I still can feel the emotion of that New Year's Eve.

* * * *
Fast forward to yesterday - and the cycle of my life continues.

Several of "my" young men (now post-mission college students) had returned home for the holidays from their respective universities. It was so much fun seeing them again. It was like a line-up of greeting good ol' Beck with a warm holiday hug. It felt good to know that the years had been kind and we still had something between us. Some hugs were quick but heart-felt, others more distant, and some very affectionate. I started analyzing the differences and attaching meaning to the physical contact we had with each other.

Of course, I came to the conclusion that my feelings for Tim were the strongest they had ever been. He sat with me at the back of Priesthood / RS combined lesson and I had my arm around him. I felt so warm and good inside. I wanted him to be there always. I noticed my daughter came in late and though we made eye-contact, she did not come sit with me, but chose to stay on the other side of the chapel. (When I asked her later that day why she didn't come sit with me, she said in a very snide and sharp tone of disgust: "I didn't want to interrupt your lovefest with your boyfriend!" She said this around the dinner table that afternoon in front of the whole family - that got my wife's attention and she started inquiring what I had been doing, etc. Needless to say it was awkward at best and it made me realize for the first time that maybe I was overdoing the affection thing and it was bothering (even creeping out) my own daughter. Was I that obvious? Of course I try to be somewhat discrete, but it isn't easy when I'm not thinking "straight".

Anyway, advance forward to an incident after the Sunday School hour... The young man that began it all - meaning that began the realization within me finally that I was truly gay - had returned from college and found me alone in the hall. He is gorgeous and to this day is such a good friend. I will call him "Will". Will has been gone quite a while out of state to school and though we write emails back and forth, the passage of time has softened the strength of my attraction toward him. But, when I saw him in the hall, I fell into his awaiting arms (we have been huggers for years now). The funny thing was, though, as I fell into an embrace that the "magic" wasn't there. We both could tell that the special friendship and indebtedness was still there, but the "magic" was gone. This came as a huge revelation to me, as I had banked all my hopes and aspirations of a relationship around him. And though I see him as bringing me to the reality of myself more than anyone else, it just wasn't the same. Time had taken it's toll.

Now advance forward to after Sacrament Meeting. I was talking to the SS president and the HP group leader as nearly all of the congregation had gone home. My family had gone home in a separate car. It was then that I noticed that HE was waiting for me. When everyone was gone and we were essentially alone in the foyer, Tim grabbed me and we embraced romantically. It was like no other hugging scene from this very long hugging day. He wrapped his large hand around my head and pulled me toward him. I pressed my cheek to his. We rocked back and forth. I knew this was going to be it... he was going off to college. He was leaving me! It was the SLC Airport scene of two decades earlier all over again. I found myself emotionally and romantically and physically attached to a guy - a gorgeous, wonderful guy who loves me.

"I don't know what I'm supposed to do without you," I whispered in his ear, still embracing him hard full body.

"Hey," he tried to calm me... "You made it through my mission without me being around, right?" he pulled back to smile and make close eye-contact, our faces just inches apart.

"Yeah, but that was different," I rebutted... "This time, you're going off to school and on to bigger and better things and time is going to rob me of you!"

We held hands for a moment. He hugged me again telling me that he would never allow that to happen. And then he left.

I know better. It won't be the same. And maybe that's a good thing... I've been a blubbering idiot since then, trying to hide (not this time from my Mom, but from my wife). I've allowed this cycle of emotional and romantic inclinations, of physical male bonding to ruin my life again, and again and again...

I know that as an outsider, I can hear some say: "Hey, Beck! Wake up! Do you see what you are doing? Think of this as a straight situation where you are carrying on so over another young woman! Do you see the absurdity of the situation? Smell the coffee burning, you moron!"

I know, I know... It's the same ol' cycle that has nearly ruined our marriage countless times. It is where I cannot find the way to seal my heart completely to her. As much as I try, and believe me I've tried, I can't do it. I get caught up in other guys and become attached when I shouldn't and then I begin to make associations of leaps of logic that just aren't real or practical and then I start "hurting" those that really are my true "family"... not this world of pretend.

Maybe it's for the best that Will has gone. Maybe it's for the best that Tim is going. Maybe it's for the best... For you see, at that moment yesterday, had he asked me to truly go with him (though I know he never would have or could have) I would have liked to have thought that I would go!

But here I sit, depressed for another holiday - contemplating the reality of my situation. I recently heard a statistic that only 5 to 10% of mixed-orientation marriages really last, that the pressures of these attractions finally win out. I've tried so hard to fight those odds. Over 20 years I've been fighting. I'm the "odd one out" of all odd ones... I'm still fighting but I don't feel like I'm winning. I feel like my heart has betrayed her. I feel unfaithful. I feel unworthy. I feel disloyal and dishonest. I feel like I'm cheating. And I know she knows. She woke up crying this morning... believe me I know!

But I don't know what to do about it. I'm caught in this endless cycle... If it isn't the departing missionary, it's Will. And if it isn't Will, it's Tim. And if it isn't Tim, then it will be someone else... It's a cycle - a pattern that I've allowed to happen to get my drug "fix" of male intimacy while being untrue to my wife.

Maybe some growth is finally happening this time around... Though my heart is breaking right now, I am at least recognizing what is going on. Will I learn from this and try to keep from allowing my heart to be so emotionally and romantically attracted to another guy in the future?

I doubt it.

I'm feeling like such a jerk right now.

What a way to start another year.

Happy New Year!