Friday, November 02, 2007

Articulating reflections...


I think I need to clarify something from my last post...


As I've had a few days to think about it, my feelings I'm feeling about what my wife said and thinks isn't necessarily "hurt" as it is "disappointment". I'm disappointed that after nearly three years of being more "open" about the situation, we have not ventured much past the common notion of any distinction between "gay feelings" and embracing the "gay way".


And as I'm concluding here, this disappointment has more to do with ME than with HER because I have not helped her, or educated her on the distinction, but I've refused to articulate it better. I need to do a better job at this communication gig. This is my responsibility. As I learn and grow and accept, I need to invite her to understand the same thing.


Over the course of many years now, I've had all this time to really take a good look at myself, and to study myself, to reflect on the reflection staring back at me in the mirror. I've had time to think and meditate and pray and fast and find comfort in the Lord and find comfort in that acceptance of Love from the Lord and from myself. I've grown from self-hatred to self-acceptance. I've been able to make a distinction. She has not had these years of contemplation and, even now, is willing to put them "out of sight / out of mind" as they are too painful to deal with. Contemplating that her husband has very strong attractions for other men, and that despite all of her efforts to love and be attractive and provocative, he remains attracted to other men, is something that destroys her self-esteem, self-worth and image as a woman. As much as she tries to wrap her brain around this concept, in her world, in her mind, it is too incomprehensible. To blame her for her reaction or how she's coping is unfair and unjust. I am not here to do that. She is wonderfully sensitive to my needs and hopes and dreams and desires and I don't want to portray it otherwise.


But to expect her to be "up to speed" with me, isn't her fault, it's mine. I need to bring her along carefully and lovingly.


This is not easy. In fact, it's damn hard!


But in the end, I'm convinced it is the right thing to do!


11 comments:

J G-W said...

Beck, it's natural to feel disappointment when something like this happens. But you are right to remind yourself of how far you have come, and how far she has come.

What God sees in us is the good stuff, the stuff that's becoming perfected and completed; not the incomplete, imperfect stuff. The good stuff is what we should focus on in ourselves and in others too.

Scot said...

That sounds like a very reasonable way to look at the incident. The gay person has to work it out and deal with it directly, but I can see, for family, less attention is more of a tempting option. It is damn hard.

I'm surprised how uneasy, though, it makes me to hear in local churches on Sunday my neighbors may be discussing how horrible it is that society now puts up with people like us, like we're some sort of sad sign of evil in the later days. At least when I was going to the LDS church they’d never bring up such a horrible thing as gay people with teens. Progress :-).

Forester said...

Beck, I for one appreciate you sharing this with us. If I eventually come out to my wife, I have learned a great deal from yours and others experiences. Waiting to talk to my wife about it for a number of years doesn't necessarily make it any easier.

GeckoMan said...

So if you're disappointed, mostly in yourself, for allowing your wife's perception of 'evil' to slide, then what are you going to do about it?

Is it all well and good, this 'revelation' that DD was gay? I don't see the whole world accepting or embracing it, rather I see it as stirring up more controversy ("dialog is good, dialog is good") on the issue of character development and the complexities of the culture we live in.

So just what is evil in this whole scenario, and what is not? These are tempting philosophical questions indeed.

Beck said...

JGW: Concentrating on the good stuff! That's what I've got to do... but along with that, I've got to move the conversation along and I need to be cautious (and positive) but help her to see that certain generalities can be damaging.

SCOT: If you can see "progress" in the fact that the dialog is reaching the YW classes of the LDS church, then I guess that would be progress. I know last month the dialog reached down and swooped into the priesthood meeting as well and touched me deeply (see past blogs). But, my message here to myself is to be more pro-active in helping the dialog along, not just in public, or in priesthood meeting, but in my own family, in my own marriage.

Beck said...

FORESTER: You touch me deeply. You are an amazing person. You show such tenderness and care for everyone, but particularly for your wife and family. You are an example to me. I wish I had the answers! Heck... I'm just making this up as I go here...

GECKO: I'm disappointed in not being more vocal in moving the dialog along with my wife. I need to seek opportunities to "bring her along". What am I going to do? Teach her by words AND personal example that being gay is not a sin, is not sinful, is not shameful, and should not be shunned or feared, and that there is a place of love for our gay brothers and sisters that has nothing to do with 'evil'.

playasinmar said...

Dare Devil is gay?

Ron Schow said...

How would it be to give your wife a copy of the new pamphlet and a copy of Elder Holland's article from the October Ensign, ask her to read them, and share with you what she thinks they suggest about a situation like the one with Dumbledore?

That might give her a chance to think it over a bit and when she wants to talk more, you might help her understand that our own Brethren are inviting the members of the Church to be understanding and compassionate toward someone like Dumbledore.

I find it interesting that you are facing the same situation they are facing on the BYU campus. Someone on the staff of the Daily Universe needs to write an article to help the BYU students understand the recent statements of our leaders and how those statements suggest we should be kind to the Dumbledore's of the world and those in the Church. The recent letter there is an open invitation for a guest editorial or article. Someone needs to step up and do that. So far I don't think I've heard of anything close to that being put in the paper.

BTW, I have now passed out about 50 copies of "God Loveth His Children" and have another 40 to pass out today to a group. And I have notified my Branch President that when I lead home evening in my Branch the next time, I'll be passing out copies there and discussing Elder Holland's article.

I will be happy to share copies if anyone needs them.

Beck said...

Ron: Nice suggestion... I think I can use the October Ensign as a spring board and go from there maybe into the pamphlet. Thanks for your encouragement.

FoxyJ said...

I've been thinking about your posts for the last few days and hope you don't mind if I share a few of my thoughts. Your wife is obviously aware of your attractions, but I doubt she thinks of you as "gay" and certainly not in the way that those she is labelling are. When Mr. Fob first told me he was attracted to men, it honestly meant very little to me. Especially because we didn't discuss the specifics of it very much. For the first year or so of our marriage we both treated it as a non-issue because neither of us brought it up or discussed it. However, during the last few years he has wanted to come out more and publicly identify himself as gay and find stronger ties with the gay community. This has been an adjustment for both of us. I didn't think I was a very homophobic person, but I've had to examine many of my attitudes and prejudices along the way. Also, it's important to remember that while for you being gay is a major part of your identity and something you think about constantly, your wife probably doesn't think about it half as much, especially if you never bring it up with her. Humans are naturally self-centered and it takes a lot of work to be empathetic. I'm sure she has a lot on her mind, and if you don't bring up your concerns with her, she won't know what's going on. I know Ben was very scared to share more about himself with me for fear that I would reject him. It was scary for me to get more deeply into issues that threaten our marriage. We still have a bad habit of skimming the surface and leaving things unsaid. At the same time, I have decided that I usually feel more hurt by his rejection of me as a confidante than by most things he has said. I hope some of this makes sense; I just wanted to try and share some of my thoughts from the other side of the closet, so to speak :)

Beck said...

FoxyJ: I really enjoy your viewpoint of "the other side". This community is so one-sided in many ways and we rarely stand back to see the other side of the coin, or how our spouses are dealing with the same situation. Your perspective is pricesless and I am grateful to you for voicing it here.

My wife does NOT think about these things constantly. Out-of-sight, for the most part, does mean out-of-mind. I can concur with the thoughts that if I don't bring it up, she's not going to dwell on it.

At the same time, there is truth in the thought that it is my "rejection of her" that is more hurtful than actually just being gay. My need for her, my inclusion of her, my desire to be with her in all aspects of our lives together is what is more important. When I came out to her, it wasn't the shock of knowing I was attracted to guys (she knew), but it was my rejection of her as a woman that was the hardest thing to overcome.

Thanks for your insights. Please know how grateful I am for your willingness to join in the dialogue and help me personally on this journey.