Saturday, November 17, 2007

Coincidences...




Coincidences!




Do you believe in them? Or are you one of those that believes "everything has a purpose"?




As noted previously, I'm going through some severe struggles with my family in crisis as well as needing to rebuild my business while juggling my own sense of self-worth (or lack thereof) in the universe, gay attractions notwithstanding.




So, in that spirit, out of the blue, an independent consultant offered a name of a person that I should consider hiring - someone that he felt would fit my company's needs perfectly. I hate hiring people. I don't like change. I would rather overwork myself than train somebody new. Was it a coincidence that this person made such a suggestion right when I needed it? I talked to him by phone (as he is out of town) and things felt good. So, we agreed to meet at a mutually convenient place in a public food court at a mall where we could decide if a working relationship could work for both of us. He suggested a place that I had not been to before and I agreed to meet him there at the appointed hour.




The interview went well and I was pleased with the prospects of hiring this person. We got along well from the start and my consultant friend was right - it was a "good fit".




Then it happened -




*sigh*




another "coincidence". While sitting there in animated dialogue, I look up and catch out of the corner of my eye - Tim - my "Tim" walking by! He was wearing a dark blue dress shirt with a sharp golden tie, his hair perfectly cut to grooming perfection reflecting maturity, style and refinement. My heart leaped. I haven't had my heart leap out of my chest in years, but it leaped - to the point of my feeling the need to catch it before it fell out of my body.




After noticing "him" pass by, I really couldn't concentrate on much else. I ended the interview and we walked out to our respective cars. As I did so, I noticed Tim again, this time at the store where he was working. He didn't see me as I nervously proceeded to my car.




I sat in the car, contented that I had solved one of my work-related stressful situations, and contemplated another. Let me explain for those of you who are not following along with my gay soap opera (which is probably everyone of my vast reading audience):




Tim is a tall, gorgeously handsome, young man that I have known now for nearly ten years. Our relationship has evolved from teacher-student, to mentor-"mentee", to older friend-younger friend, to brother-brother to confidants to my fantasy world of infatuation and obsession. He literally saved my life once and I have felt a bond, a kinship, a brotherhood, an affection and affinity for him ever since - and to my pleasant surprise - instead of the normal evolution of multi-generational friendships over time - it has been reciprocated and strengthened, not weakened over the passing of time... I have recognized this evolution and thus have distanced myself purposefully so as to not make a wonderful friendship into something that it is not - and trying to balance my strong-felt feelings for him with my commitments and covenants. In that distancing, I have seen him sparingly this last year, the last time being over five months ago.




But even with distance, as my stress levels increase, my pon-farr increases proportionally, and thus my fantasies of him increase as well. This has become unwise. One of my fellow MOHOs has pointed out that this has become an obsession of mine. I know my obsession is inside my mind. I am aware of it. I have used "him" as a personification of my gay adolescent needs and I'm not proud of it. Like with all my intimate relationships I haven't been completely "truthful" about my emotional attraction needs. In being honest about him with my wife, I nearly destroyed my marriage, and have attempted, to no avail, to move beyond him. In finding no strength to "confess my attraction" to him other than my physical and emotional sense of bonding I "need" with him - I have permitted our relationship to continue into whatever you will make of it - he being a willing participant.




I sat in my car contemplating the "coincidence" factor of meeting with someone just at the right moment and in the right place to catch a glimpse of my fantasy-boy. Was this supposed to mean something? Should I go in and find him? What would I say - that I was scoping him out and found out where he worked? He hadn't seen me, so it would be safe to drive off and forget about the whole thing. As such thoughts went through my head, my heart kept beating faster. My head, heart, and spirit weren't communicating very well, and I didn't know what to do - but the overwhelming thought was this: He is my friend. We have continued to correspond and he has shared things with me that only I know of. Our level of mutual love and brotherhood has never been stronger, despite the distance between us. He has declared his "love" for me and I for him. We mutually recognize our "odd and unique" relationship that goes beyond the boundaries of normalcy, and cannot be reasoned or explained to the innocent bystander.




I thought to myself - this is so stupid. I didn't do anything wrong! I'm not rendezvousing with him. It's an innocent coincidence... that's all... and shouldn't friends, particularly with our kind of friendship, be able to meet in a public emporium and say "hi"? So, I got out of the car and went back into the mall. Nervous, but confident, I walked into the store and he wasn't there. I asked the manager if "Tim" worked there, to be sure I wasn't imagining things - my fantasy world running wild and overriding my reality world. No, I wasn't imagining things - Tim did work there, but had just gone on a quick errand and would return shortly. He asked for my name and I told him I was "just a friend" and that I would return later.




I walked around the mall feeling like a school girl. Should I return later? I was giddy inside. What was I doing? I'm supposed to be the mature one here! I had business to take care of! I had family needs to be met! I needed to keep my pon-farr in check and here I was in the middle of the day, roaming a mall lost in thought of his reaction to my showing up. I felt nervous like I did on my first date in high school. I thought to myself: "You're such a drama queen! This is so gay!"




As I rounded the corner of his store, I caught sight of him talking to the manager, his back turned away from me. My heart beating stronger than normal, I entered the store. The manager saw me and was about to indicate my presence to Tim, when I asked if either of the gentlemen could help me make a selection of one of the fine items there behind the counter. Hearing my voice, Tim turned around and broke into an enormous smile of surprise.




"What are you doing here?" he asked, obviously not expecting me, as he came around the counter quickly and instinctively enveloped me in one of his classic all-body hugs, our bodies welding together as one in the middle of the store. I fell into his embrace and kissed his neck. We held each other tightly, forgetting that his boss (and other customers) were standing there watching us. NOTE: It was one thing to do "our thing" in the corridors of the church where such "brotherhood affection" had become common place between Beck-n-Tim, but in a store in a mall in front of his boss?




Still holding each other hip-to-hip around our waists, I asked the manager if I could steal Tim for a few minutes. Fortunately, he agreed, and Tim and I walked out arm-in-arm and found a place to sit and talk. Many things have been going on in my life. Even more things have been going on in his - hard, difficult choices to be made and situations to be resolved. I noticed as we spoke just how beautiful he was, as if I was seeing him for the first time. I studied his deep blue eyes and noticed how stunning they were - they made my heart melt. I was completely twitterpated. My gay adolescence kicked in and I was in love-lust-infatuation all over again. The cliche sounds not so stupid when you really feel "putty in his hands". We ended up talking for well over an hour, arm-in-arm, completely oblivious to others that might have been watching us. Tears were shed. Comfort given on both parts. I really felt a weird sense of romance-spirit-brotherhood-boyfriend-ship all at once. Yes, I really did feel the spirit as we communicated very intimate things to each other.




I told him that I was worried about keeping him from his job. He didn't seem to be so worried. Even so, I told him I needed to go. We returned to the store where I saw the manager smile at me. Tim and I embraced again, caressing each other. I cuddled into him, he did the same. And then it was over, and I left.




As I drove onto the freeway, I felt so good and warm inside. I didn't feel the least bit guilty about it, even if I should have. I genuinely smiled as I couldn't help but marvel at the "coincidences" in our lives...

22 comments:

playasinmar said...

I'm one who believes everything has it's purpose. Totally random coincidences included.

J G-W said...

Beck - Your friendship with "Tim" sounds like some of the male friendships I had before I came out.

One friendship in particular, with "Bruce," involved deep emotional sharing, and lots of hugging and holding hands. We would spend the night at each other's house, and even, on one occasion, slept in the same bed. When we slept together, there was no sex of course -- I would never, ever at that point have dreamed of going there -- but we held each other and I would stroke and run my fingers through his hair as we talked. Neither of us thought of this as the least bit sexual. If either of us had, I feel certain it would have stopped immediately.

At one point, I even entertained the hope/dream that "Bruce" and I would be life-long best friends. We would each marry and then buy houses next door to each other. We would see each other every day and spend lots of time together. I actually talked with him about this wish/dream, and he acknowledged that he felt the same way.

I remember on my last visit to see "Bruce," we spent some time visiting an "ex-gay" friend of his. Before we went to see the friend, he discretely told me that this friend "used to" struggle with homosexuality. When this friend saw how freely "Bruce" and I shared physical affection, holding hands, or putting our arms around each other, and sleeping on the floor of his living room in the same sleeping bag, I remember seeing this terrible, pained, anxious look on his friend's face. At one point, he said, "You two have a remarkable friendship. You are so lucky."

"Bruce" on occasion confided in me that though he was certain he was not homosexual, that he was occasionally tormented by fear that he "might be" homosexual. I remember at the time assuring him by saying, "Oh, don't worry about those feelings, everybody feels that way." I was, of course, speaking for myself.

Neal said...

Beck,

Like your new blog look!

As for the post:

In this case, I'm not sure where the coincidences end and plain ole' hormones begin!

I had a guy in my Ward who I literally had to avoid because of a "gay adolescent" crush somewhat like you're describing. We had been really good friends, home teaching companions, etc.; but my attraction to him just got to be too much. I think it really hurt him when I started avoiding him and his family (married with 5 kids), but it was something I had to do for my own sake. Will I ever really "get over" this guy? No, but I think that's pretty normal. We all have people we get crushes on or even fall in love with that don't or can't end in a "relationship". We're all tempted at times - gay or straight - to stray. We're human, aren't we? Goes with the territory. But then that little "choice" thing comes into play, and hopefully we make the right one.


Best Regards,

Neal

Parallel Mormon said...

Beck,

Your narrative is vivid, it was like I could visualize it, as though I were there, seeing and experiencing it. It was amazingly expressive, the descriptions conveying the message.

I am not sure what this means. I am not sure whether these are spiritual connections, perhaps pre-mortal bonds that were not snapped by the veil of forgetfulness. Certainly it is powerful, and I wonder whether many if not most gay men have experienced this to some degree. For that matter, have straight men experienced this to some degree?

I am sure, though, that any intense friendship that, for whatever reason, drifts into gay infatuation, it is not worth what you stand to loose. This young man, whose beauty and warmth you have aptly conveyed for us (quite a talent, I must add), cannot ever give you what your dear wife has, nor your beautiful children.

I had to Google pon farr to understand it, (thank you for the Vulcanism, I always welcome new words into my vocabulary), but therein lies the key for you, my friend. I believe that the key to bridging our homosexuality is unmittigatingly putting the love, happiness and pleasure of our wife above our own, to the exclusion of our own.

I worry that by cherishing your infatuation and nurturing it, you are revealing a clear preference, that is, what matters most (not exlusively, only most) to you is your own needs, and this is why the battle continues to rage.

When I put K before myself to the exclusion of myself, my gay pon farrs ceased being relegated to mere stirrings, and a powerful pon farr far greater than the gay ones emerged, and I could embrace them going places I never dreamed possible.

I fear you are vulnerable and playing with fire.

As for coincidences, I believe in random events, coincidences and the power to make of either what we will, either for good or for sorrow.

GeckoMan said...

Last week I was in the Temple, doing initiatory ordinances for my ancestors. One piece of the blessing really stood out to me as it repeated through 11 names: the blessing for our breast (ie., our heart). I encourage you to go and get reminded, if you don't recall it from memory.

Beck, obviously you have deep affection for this friend that is shared and reciprocated. How wonderful. But, can you keep this connection with him and honor your marital covenants to your wife? Will re-starting this relationship generate hiding and deceptive behaviors, knowing your disclosure might threaten her trust and security with you? Only you know the answers.

Beck said...

PLAYA: I, too, do NOT believe in totally random coincidences. Their purpose, however, is what we choose to do with them. Choosing nothing often makes them totally random.

Beck said...

JOHN said: "Neither of us thought of this as the least bit sexual. If either of us had, I feel certain it would have stopped immediately." My relationship with Tim is NOT sexual. If either of us interpret our relationship as that - it would MOST CERTAINLY STOP!

So, that having been said, is there something inherently wrong with a deep, close, mutually reciprocated friendship, even if, and especially if one party is a proven closeted gay?

And, what ever happened to "Bruce"? What is the rest of the story? Have you kept in touch?

"...You two have a remarkable friendship. You are so lucky." Is that such a terrible thing?

Beck said...

NEAL said: "We all have people we get crushes on or even fall in love with that don't or can't end in a "relationship"."

Why can't the friendship be a relationship of close friendship? Why must we jump to making it more? Why is there the assumption that it needs to inevitably go to the next level? Why do we run and hide when close friendships develop? Can't we see the value and beauty of brotherly love? If I am able to draw the line and keep it drawn, how is such a friendship considered evil? Is it wrong to feel such feelings for him? I'm not going to do anything but feel a closeness with him, and be supportive of him and for him. Isn't that what life is supposed to be all about? Why does our culture have such negative connotations on friendships that become super close? Why must we "choose" to walk away?

I need answers to these questions. I seek input, but I want you to know that I'm not "choosing" to abandon who I am. I am not going to live my life in a straight-jacket either!

Beck said...

GECKO said: "But, can you keep this connection with him and honor your marital covenants to your wife?"

I appreciate your genuine concern for me and my eternal worth, but, please explain where I have violated or placed in jeopardy my marital convenants? I know you are concerned for me, as Sam and L and Kengo and others have been in the past when I've "fallen" into this pattern before. My entire life has fallen in this pattern. But where have I violated my covenants?

I have done nothing but be a close friend, a confidant, a brother, a father figure, a mentor to him. I have not been and will never be his lover! Even if my fantasy world has allowed me to slip into that role, my real world has not.

If he had rebuffed me, or been uncomfortable with my intimacy with him, I would have stopped for I do not want to place my lust over his feelings of confidence and deep rooted love for me.

I have given myself to only one person, my wife, for those feelings and actions. I have sworn before God, angels and witnesses in the House of the Lord that I will have only her as my companion. But, I will be damned if I can't, in my gay sense of warped reality in coping with these attraction issues that have blessed and cursed me my entire life, have spiritual, emotional, deeply-held friendships of common affection with others in this life.

I have a huge guilt complex. I have been called on the carpet for this time and time again in this blog, not necessarily by you, but by others. I appreciate the 'wake up calls' but dear brother - I just want to have and feel and share and know some closeness with a fellow brother. I guess in this society, in this culture, with my background and tendencies, with limitations of affection firmly planted in our Puritan upbringing of distancing ourselves from others and NOT CONNECTING, as the spirit may dictate to do otherwise, we aren't permitted to do so.

Beck said...

PARALLEL: I am glad you liked the narrative. I try to be real, for that is what happened and this is the only place where I can reveal what is really happening to me.

You said: "When I put K before myself to the exclusion of myself, my gay pon farrs ceased being relegated to mere stirrings, and a powerful pon farr far greater than the gay ones emerged, and I could embrace them going places I never dreamed possible." I can see the tremendous transformation that has occurred in your life as you've confronted your situation with your wife. It has turned out well for you and I am sincerely pleased for you. Such feelings of increased love and devotion and CONNECTION occurred for me as well. But now, a few years later, I find myself being the same person that I always have been and my attractions for men have not diminished as hoped. I am just as attracted, if not even more to men. But after 26 years of marriage, I'm not about to throw myself in front of a train. I just need a little bit of closeness of "another kind" to keep me, not you, but me in a sane and healthy place.

Yes, I may be playing with fire, as you and others have said. But keeping it public, in the open view of all, and with the spiritual conviction of brotherly love, I don't see getting burned as you do. Help me to see the errors of my way, when in reality all I seek is to love a close and reciprocating friend in a dear and close non-sexual way.

I'm not going to be made to feel "guilty" for such a beautiful thing in my life. I may be vulnerable, and as such, will continue to stay on guard. But my self-imposed boundaries of several decades now, have served me well to keep things within proper perspective.

Call me blind. Call me naive. Call me stupid. Call me a fool. For me, living life without knowing such friendships are possible seems foolish.

Foxx said...

Just a few things.

Coincidence and purpose? I believe that any meaning a coincidence has is one we assign to it. That does not lessen its significance, however. I prefer the word serendipity to describe fortunate coincidences.

I believe that the key to bridging our homosexuality is unmittigatingly putting the love, happiness and pleasure of our wife above our own, to the exclusion of our own [love, happiness, and pleasure].

While sublimating your needs in favor of someone else's may, in fact, allow you to forget your own desires and attractions, I do not think it is the healthiest template for a relationship, as it leans toward codependency. In an intimate relationship of equality, you have to acknowledge and prioritize all needs. Yes, you will tend to prioritize your partner's needs above your own, but you would trust they will show you the same consideration.

What I think you are asking here is perfectly normal: is it a terrible thing to be so close to someone?

I say no. I think it's a fantastic thing. On some level, Tim brings something to your proverbial table that you otherwise aren't getting in your life, and that is what makes him so attractive. Perhaps it's his ability to be intimate with you on a non-sexual level. Only you can really know what that is, but the point is that, psychologically speaking, he has something you need. Recognizing that and allowing it to be so is not a bad thing. Overemphasizing its importance in proportion to the other things that are important to your life can be a bad thing.

The danger here, which I'm sure you already know, is the fact that you desire Tim. He has become the object of your fantasy. The way you describe your encounters indicates how exciting, and possibly erotic, these experiences are for you. So, what I think people are seeing here is the beginning of the "As a man thinketh, so is he" adage. So be careful - but I don't have to tell you that. ;)

DNV said...

Beck: "Why can't the friendship be a relationship of close friendship? Why must we jump to making it more? Why is there the assumption that it needs to inevitably go to the next level? Why do we run and hide when close friendships develop? Can't we see the value and beauty of brotherly love?"

Yes, brotherly love can be beautiful. I don't think there is a rule or particular reason we can't have close friendships with those of the same sex. I have several, including my Bishop. We hug warmly every time we see each other. We truly do love each other as friends and brothers. There is nothing sexual there, and the trust between us is mutual and complete. This doesn't exactly compare with your relationship with Tim, but our relationship is immensely important to me, as I don't have a wife and family and the attendant affection found in those relationships. You are truly blessed to have that in your life.


"Is it wrong to feel such feelings for him? I'm not going to do anything but feel a closeness with him, and be supportive of him and for him. Isn't that what life is supposed to be all about? Why does our culture have such negative connotations on friendships that become super close? Why must we "choose" to walk away?"

I chose to walk away because my fantasies for my friend became very sexual in nature. For me, putting myself in a situation that clearly causes inappropriate sexual fantasies was not keeping my covenants. Nor was it fair to my friend. Joseph walked away from Potiphars wife, did he not? (actually, I think he ran!) Walking away from temptation is a viable option.

If you can keep those lines drawn, as you mention, then I truly do admire you, Beck. You are succeeding where I failed miserably .


Regards,


Neal

J G-W said...

Beck - In answer to your questions, I have a couple of thoughts.

In my friendship with "Bruce," there was never any explicit fantasizing about how that friendship might become more physically intimate (of course it was already pretty physically intimate, about as much as possible without any genital activity). Of course, I was at that point still hoping that my feelings of same-sex attraction would go away and I still assumed that I would marry heterosexually.

Clearly, my unconscious desire to have something much more than a "very close" friendship surfaced in the way we interacted physically with each other, and in my "wish" that he and I could live next door to each other and always be physically close.

We drifted apart both because of geography (he lived in one part of the country, I in another), but also because those unconscious desires were coming to the surface. In other words, I was starting to come to terms with my gayness. This was not something I felt able to explore further with him.

"Bruce" and I have not had contact in years. The last time we saw each other was in 1995, when Göran and I were on our honeymoon (just happened to be in the part of the country where he lives). By that time I had come out to him. He and Göran and I met for lunch. He was gracious, but the conversation stayed at a fairly superficial level.

I don't regret that our friendship changed. I am grateful for what we had, and for the sheer gift that it was to me at that time in my life. I feel it was for the best that our relationship changed, because deep down inside I wanted something from him that he could not give me at the time.

I have close, deep, meaningful friendships, but none with that kind of limerence. The intensity and emotional closeness I once felt for "Bruce" I now feel for my life-companion Göran, and I am content to keep those kinds of feelings focused on him.

Do I think you can maintain that kind of friendship with "Tim" at a healthy level? Can an intense, platonic relationship with him fulfill some of the needs you have as a gay man for connection with a man, but still allow you to fully honor your relationship with your wife? I don't think anyone can answer those questions but you.

Parallel Mormon said...

Beck,

Buddy, first of all, breathe deep. We are your blog-buddies, and we're always in the rink with you.

As for guilt, there are three types. There is the guilt we feel because we have truly done something wrong, and there is the guilt we feel because we have been convinced we did something wrong (whether the act was wrong or not). The third type is the guilt we feel for hormonal or chemical imbalances, a type that should be treated medically. My point was not to guilt you, but I will acknowldge a fine line between soberness and some mild guilt.

I categorically disagree with the assertions on this blog that it is okay for any man to seek the moral comfort, bodily uplifting and tactile reassurance of anyone other than his wife (in all regards) and his family and friends (sans sexual). Insofar as cultural norms allow or disallow dissimilar forms of contact between men, such norms are to be deemed arbitrary, so I concur with Geckoman that only you can choose what is appropriate, at least as far as naming broad categories goes.

However, let me offer the following perspective. You hug and kiss this man, go arm in arm with him, and enjoy the tenderest, sweetest moments which, in your case, and probably his too, are laden with unanswered sexual passion, and you do it in public. Ostensibly the "public" location was meant to keep tabs on how far the physical contact would go, and it was meant, ostensibly, to show that the engagement was out in the open, therefore nothing wrong could be intended.

Beck, I like you a lot, I respect you, you have helped me tremendously, but I must say phooey! The public location was also your way to out your feelings in front of the world thus possibly erroding your aversion to transgression and resolve to full fidelity. Moreover, anyone could have seen you, your wife, a family friend, and anyone could report it back to your wife. There exists the possibility that you, on some level, attempted to out yourself in a decidedly homoerotic fashion.

Your wife can and would love to be the one you turn to and share such passion and tenderness. How about if she turned and did the same thing with a man, a man she burned for passionately with the explicit resolve to "be faithful," all hugs and horny kisses notwithstanding.

As for names, I have none to call you. We all have a heavy cross to bear, no exceptions. Please do be careful.

Beck said...

FOXX said: "... is it a terrible thing to be so close to someone? I say no. I think it's a fantastic thing."

Thanks for recognizing what I'm trying to say. I think it's a fantastic thing! I would hope everyone has such a friend in their life. I think it does much good and helps to keep me in balance - and yet, I see your warning, as well as from others, and I know the "caution light" is on.

Beck said...

NEAL said: "If you can keep those lines drawn, as you mention, then I truly do admire you, Beck. You are succeeding where I failed miserably."

Neal, I appreciate your admiration though I don't feel like I deserve any such thing. I am as screwed up and confused as anyone who has come out to himself 23 years into his marriage and is still dealing with the ramifications of such self-appreciation and self-recognition.

I do know that I have the advantage of him being a distance away where I don't see him regularly, and the conviction that he is straight and cannot take this friendship to another level (sexual). Thus, I relax in that safety of knowing we aren't going into that level. I cannot expect it of him now would I do so. All I'm saying is there's got to be a place for someone in my situation that can cherish a friendship such as this without getting all wigged out.

So far I've been able (for the most part) to do that. I guess time will tell how admirable I will be. My intentions, though maybe difficult to comprehend, are indeed admirable.

Thanks for your comments and viewpoint. I admire that you have such a close relationship with your Bishop. I wish I had that with mine.

Beck said...

JOHN said: "I was starting to come to terms with my gayness. This was not something I felt able to explore further with him."

I, too, have begun to come to terms with my gayness. The difference here is that I do NOT desire (except sometimes subconsciously) to explore further with him. I just want comfort and reinforcement, affection and friendship. I don't - in my real life - want anything more. I want him to be well and happy and I'd like to help him on his way. Is that so bad?

"Do I think you can maintain that kind of friendship with "Tim" at a healthy level? Can an intense, platonic relationship with him fulfill some of the needs you have as a gay man for connection with a man, but still allow you to fully honor your relationship with your wife? I don't think anyone can answer those questions but you."

You're right. I hold the questions and the answers. I have the trump card. I'm in control. It is still valuable and appreciated to receive advice from friends. I think I'll respond to this further on another post...

Beck said...

PARALLEL said: "I categorically disagree with the assertions on this blog that it is okay for any man to seek the moral comfort, bodily uplifting and tactile reassurance of anyone other than his wife..."

I guess we categorically will have to disagree here. I understand your point and for the most part I concur that my primary goal for affection, moral comfort, bodily uplifting and tactile reassurance must be centered on my wife. There is a sense of inpropriety to a point when I do such things with Tim. If I were to do this for sexual reasons, I would totally concur that I'm acting inappropriate, but to say that a married person cannot have a dear and close friendship with another person, a friendship with emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical and social aspects to it, then I think one is missing out on a very beautiful thing.

"Ostensibly the "public" location was meant to keep tabs on how far the physical contact would go, and it was meant, ostensibly, to show that the engagement was out in the open, therefore nothing wrong could be intended."

Yes, you're right. I justify my affection (right or wrong) because I'm doing it in the open. I'm not hiding it. I may subconsciously want to be "out", but that isn't my primary or even secondary motive here. I think it is much more the "innocent and safe" feeling of a public setting.

I do think it is a cultural thing as well. I've lived in and loved a culture that would laugh at the discussion we are having of male-to-male public display of affection. I think subconsciously I long to feel and have that again and am upset that I have to justify my behavior because of artificial barriers.

If you really knew me, met me, followed me through my life, you would know that I have always been and will always be a "touchy-feely" kind of guy. My ward and neighbors, friends and family have accepted this as a "genuine" part of who I am. Why should I change this essential and crucial part of who I am and only be such to my wife?

"Your wife can and would love to be the one you turn to and share such passion and tenderness."

You're right. No argument there. She would be and she is. In my life, however, it just isn't as black-and-white as it seems to be in yours. I'm still sorting through the very grey, "horny kisses" notwithstanding.

I really do appreciate your viewpoint Parallel. You get me to think and that is what I like about this blog. It helps me to think about things that I am unable to do anywhere else.

playasinmar said...

Affection coming exclusivly from your wife seems like a rather ethnocentric worry.

A hug is just a hug.

J G-W said...

Beck, I think you've gradually wound your way around to this on your own in the course of this discussion, but I just wanted to second this...

You've expressed worry about some of the feelings and/or fantasies that have cropped up in your relationship with "Tim," but ultimately you have affirmed that there need to be appropriate boundaries, and you have committed yourself to respect those boundaries.

Those boundaries are really important -- both to preserve this unique friendship that you really value, and to preserve your marriage. I suspect that in time, you will find the right balance.

I applaud your efforts to model new kinds of friendship that may ultimately prove to be a great source of strength and support to you and to your marriage.

I hope that as time goes on, and you become stronger in your sense of yourself and your sense of appropriate boundaries, that it will have a positive effect on your marriage and strengthen your relationship with your wife. Hopefully, as your wife gains more confidence in your love for and commitment to her, you can communicate better with her about your needs for friendship and support -- such as the friendship and support you get from this blogging community.

You keep complaining that there needs to be a handbook for married Mohos. Well, keep working at this. The handbook is your life.

GeckoMan said...

My dear Beck,

I never accused you of going beyond the boundaries of your marital covenants, I was simply trying to ask if could keep both connections in good faith. My concern for you and your marriage generated from your comment that your wife had had a very hard time with this relationship when she found out about it in your context.

Having a truly close male friend to share personal thoughts and feelings with is a huge blessing, and should be guarded and valued as priceless. I hope you can maintain your friendship in terms that promote support and love for one another and yet do not compromise the trust you have with your eternal companion.

Have you spoken with your wife about your recent encounter and your feelings in its aftermath? I think you need not feel guilty about anything you enjoy with 'Tim,' so long as you are also out in the open with your wife. If you were to do anything with him that would distress her, then I would reconsider that behavior.

Yes, you alone control and know your personal boundariess, but do you respect your wife's boundaries as well? I sometimes have disregarded my wife's feelings and limits in pursuing my own will, and later regretted my self-centeredness when I realized how I had injured her.

I wish you all the best, my friend, in having your heart be the receptical of pure and virtuous principles. God bless all our friendships to that end.

Beck said...

GECKO: You're amazing! I needed to hear that. Sometimes, most of the time, I find myself worried only for my current needs and desires, and not reflect on hers. But as FOXX noted, I hope for a way where reciprocity can play into all of our feelings and needs here.

I haven't desired to share all about Tim with my wife, but I plan on doing so when the time is right and appropriate to be received in the proper spirit. In the meanwhile, I plan to build hope, not destory it, in our marriage, as I find some sense of internal peace that comes with following the spirit.

Your words are important to me and I cherish your thoughtfulness.