Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hiding reality...

Why, if this MOHO queerosphere is so caring and helpful, is no one hitting me on the back of the head telling me to wake up and get over certain things in my life? Why is no one helping me to see how dishonest my life is? Why is no one pointing out my cheating heart and deception?

I'm so frustrated with myself... I need someone to really give me a good slap!


We rented the movie "The Prestige" the other night. I recommend it highly. Without giving away too much, the movie centers, among other things, on a theme of "duplicity", particularly in a marital relationship. There are certain half-truths being shared, but never the full honesty in the relationship (is that vague enough?).

Anyway, I watched the movie first with my teenage son and we both really liked the magic, the mystery, the intrigue of the story and its presentation. So, I was anxious to share it with my wife and she and I watched it together the next night. Her reaction was quite different than mine had been as I watched it the first time with my son. Instead of the mystery and intrigue, she noted the duplicity, the cheating, the deceit in the marriage of one of the main characters - and how he had proven that he did not love his wife because he did not tell her the truth and kept secrets from her.

"If he really loved her, he would have told her!" she declared emphatically with a kind of personal sting.

"But, then, there wouldn't have been a movie," I countered, not understanding why she hadn't seen that the story was centered on him keeping secrets and living a double life...

And then it came down on my like a slap in the face - I'm living a double life. I continue to have duplicity in my life... I am dishonest with her as I allow myself to be caught up in things that would only hurt her if she really knew - including my "continued" feelings for Tim, and including even this blog - which remains a secret to her.

Yes, she knows. Deep down she knows that I am not completely hers, that I have a wandering eye for guys, that I would rather be with guys, etc... And I hide from her my "encounters" with Tim (though they are pretty open - even in the church parking lot) and this blog - because, as I excuse myself - "I don't want to hurt you!"

Deception destroyed many lives in that movie... all for the sake of hurting others, or NOT hurting others. I think she was trying to tell me that I'm still hurting her. I don't want to be deceptive... and yet I am. I still keep secrets. I keep lots of secrets... I'm tired of hiding reality, but I'm not willing to fully come out in the open in all things - so I continue to live duplicitously.

What a hell I've created...


Kengo Biddles said...

*SLAP* Did that help?

But seriously, I have one comment.

Straights (and I've heard many of my married-straight-friends say this) have a wandering eye themselves. It's the nature of the Y chromosome. If you _really_ feel like you're cheating on your wife with Tim, I guess you should break it off. But if it's just a good friendship, she needs to get over it.

drex said...

I didn't slap you because I don't really know you and I feel like people are getting pissed that I'm always handing out advice and feeling uppity about my perceived position. It's likely just my insecurity coming out, but that's the feeling I get, and it makes me hesitant to respond to new people.

But if you're looking for an opinion, it appears that you need to sit down and define your relationship with Tim, then figure out whether it's better for your mental health and your wife's peace of mind if you keep that friendship going or not. If knowing Tim is available to lean on and if you then turn to him instead of your wife, you likely have a problem there that ought to be addressed. If you think that you can still be friends with Tim and build things with your wife, I would make her part of that relationship. I'm close friends with another moho, and my girlfriend is close to him as well, but she has expressed concern over us being alone together, so I clear any solitary interactions with him before they happen. We both love him to bits, but she doesn't want me to be in a situation where I'll be tempted, if at all possible. By being open about when I talk with my friend and interacting with both of them at the same time more than with just him alone, things have stayed safer, temptation-wise, the relationship boundaries are much clearer, and I'm always reminded that I have someone else's feelings on the line if I mess up. Your wife might be upset that you weren't more open with her before, but odds are she'll appreciate the new openness and will be able to give you a different (and probably needed) perspective on the situation.

And there I go coming across preachy again. >_< Sorry.

Mormon Enigma said...

I would slap you - but then I would feel like a hypocrite.

I went 27 years without even telling my wife that she was married to a gay man. She knows now, and seems to be OK with it (at least on the surface), but there are still things that I haven't shared with her. I still have secrets.

Personally, I think you and your wife need to sit down and have a DTR. A DTR with Tim might be OK, but I fear that it might exasperate your problems.

Perhaps, as -L- might suggest, a counselor might be able to help you sort through these issues and figure out the best course of action.

P.S. Just because we don't slap you to try to bring you to your senses doesn't mean that we don't love you. Maybe we're just commiserating with you and using your thoughts and feelings to reexamine our own lives.

Scot said...

I can see how sometimes white lies, and lies of omission are the right choice. You’d lie to save a life. You’d omit truths from the explanations you give your child on traumatic topics, for their sake. My impression is that this is the sort of deception you’re involved in here. The question is if it’s justified, which, honestly, I don’t know, but, regardless of your objections, you seem to be an honorable man to me.

At the same time I can see that, sure, I am applying a double standard. I’m secret-phobic in my personal life (and I blab too much online :-)), and there’s one person who knows more about me than I do; that’s the way I like it. Is it uncaring and unhelpful to not slap you into complete honesty, in your situation then? I don’t really know. General rule = zero secrets from spouses. But I can see how there could be exceptions, compromises.

I could certainly be wrong and I’m sure it’s horrible regardless, but it just seems, in your life, there are some facts you’ve taken on as burdens, for your family’s sake. I wonder, what end would absolute honesty with her bring for your family? An end you want? Is there a good chance it’s one you’d not want before the kids were grown first? I’d rather folks in your shoes not have such feelings, but...

I just worry being brutally honest may be literally brutal on you all, at this point. So, I’ll not slap you :-).

Kengo Biddles said...

Everyone else commented on secret-keeping and since I'm Mr. Know-it-all, I'll tell you that it's healthier in my marriage that Miki doesn't know about my blog, and some of the things that I've written would stress her too much. I tell her after the fact. I tell her when it feels right and I feel that it won't hurt her or our relationship. So Scot and I are in agreement again, that Lies of Omission with a loved one are not always a bad thing.

MoHoHawaii said...

No slaps here.

It took a lot of years to get you to where you are now. It will take a while for you to adjust to the new understanding of your situation... you can't expect your wife to make the same transition in her thinking while you are still figuring things out for yourself.

Give yourself a break. These things take time. What kind of life do you want in 10 years? What small steps can you take now in tha direction?

Catching Waterfalls said...

I've been reading your blog for a while. This relationship with Tim is facinating to me. Maybe because I've had a "straight" hug and snuggle friend for a while too, and I know how much that can suck when it isn't returned the same way it is given. I feel for you, I'm not married and I'm not Mormon, but I feel like I still have some understanding of what it is like. Maybe it is because I'm just a plain old non-denominational gay christian that it is easier for me. But I really hope that you can find a way to accept yourself and follow your heart.

-L- said...

When I moved away from Utah, I left behind my roommate/best friend. My relationship with him is what originally caused my wife to suspect that I'm gay. Basically, she believes he was in love with me (and I reciprocated to some limited extent). So now, although I would love to still be in touch with him, she has expressed her preference that we sever that close friendship because it had already gone too deep. This hurt me when she suggested it because I love him. But I've since become a believer. I can make new friends and hopefully can manage to keep their friendship from ever overstepping and putting me in another situation like this one.

When I hear that people try to stay close with previous lovers or mutual crushes, I lean toward the position that that's just a bad idea. I think I have said as much. Your situation may not fit that description, but just the fact that you are nervous about it and looking for feedback makes me think you could stand to err on the safe side of things.

As for honesty with spouses, I perfectly understand the conflict. For the most part I think our marriage is more open than 99% of all marriages and that has been the secret to feeling happy and free from shame. But when I screw up (with porn), I'm not falling all over myself to bring it up (again) with my wife. It's just something I dread. I'll do it. I won't be dishonest if she asks. But I tend to avoid it.

Marriage is really about being one with one's spouse, so to the extent that you can be honest with her about your feelings for Tim and your blog, you can expect her to be your advocate in the process of dealing with those struggles/issues... you should be able to count on her being on your side no matter what. If you think she may not respond that way without some help, you'll need a third party (ahem... counselor) to help out with the process.

Good luck. :-)

Beck said...

KB: Thanks for the slap, it felt good - give me another one! Thanks for your straight-forward approach about Tim. It helps me to put him in proper perspective.

"...Lies of Omission with a loved one are not always a bad thing..." I've got to contemplate that. My lies (of the Blog, of my feelings for Tim, among other things)are definitely omissions - and are omitted out of love.

DREX: Don't worry - slap away! I'm not offended by your handing out advice. I've enjoyed recently readin your blog and find strength and resolve in your story.

M.E: You are my commiserating buddy! Our stories and feelings and delayed coming-out realizations all tie together. I feel your love - don't know that I'm good for you, though!

SCOT: The wisdom flows from your every word. You see things so clearly - things that I cannot see. I agree - I don't envision any advantage to complete honesty at this point - as long as deep down I want to be with her and continue to build my life with her - but I struggle with the timing of my feelings just the same.

MOHOH: I have been giving a lot of thought to your "gay adolescent" concept. I'll be posting more. Thanks for contributing to this MOHO community and welcome to the family!

WATERFALLS: I'm glad you're out there. Tim is my body-hugging, neck-kissing, straight snuggle buddy. I'm in a dead-end, adolescent, twitterpated relationship, but I have a dear, dear friend in him. I just need to keep it all in perspective... the weirdness of it all is all in my head.

L: I know you HAVE told me all of this before. I feel it fatigues you to even read about my latest angst-fest. I know for you, dear friend, it's getting old, and I should get on with it. I've blogged about this for nearly a year. I feel you're anxiousness for me to move on. At times, I have. At times, I've moved on, I'm focused on her, I'm okay with things. But I trip and fall occasionally. I wander off. I still have self-doubt.

I like that I frustrate you! :) That means a lot to me... Thanks for the slap!