Saturday, April 26, 2008

Walking on eggshells...


It's been two weeks! My how time flies when you're having fun walking on eggshells...


And I've been good - cold turkey - for two weeks now. No indiscretions (how innocent they may be to some). None! Ever since cleaning the slate, and emptying the archives, the temptations have diminished, and the angst has decreased - at least for now. I don't know whether this will be something that I can keep up, but one day, and one week at a time, and hopefully soon - one month at at time.


My son has not confronted me. He seems pretty normal and has not pulled back from me either as I try to assess his reactions and interactions to me to notice any different behavior. As far as I can tell, he hasn't discussed the "indiscretion" further with my wife or with his siblings. I fear, however, that someday, somewhere, sometime, the confrontation will occur and I'll have to deal with it. But for now, it seems to have passed and if I've benefited by being awakened to this new reality, and to a new commitment, then so be it.


My wife has been extremely kind, more loving, and more willing to forgive. It's really freaking me out! I didn't expect such a reaction. I know I'm being watched. I realize the choice is mine. I feel like I have two strikes now and I'm still at the plate ready to either hit a home run or strike out all together. I recognize that I must restore trust and show commitment to her and to them, and earn their love and commitment. It just seems to be happening too willingly on her part. Why is that?


I think she still takes upon herself some of the "blame" for my being the way I am - thinking "If only I were kinder and more loving... if only I could get him to love me more... if only I could make myself more attractive to him - then all of this will go away." After 3 years, she still thinks this way. I don't know how to tell her that it isn't anything that she has or hasn't done to "cause" this and that loving me more, or becoming more attractive isn't going to change things. But, how do I get her to realize this isn't anything she's done or can do? I even spoke to her, earnestly offering to seek out marriage counseling to help her to understand me better and to help me understand her better - but not trying to change each other. She thought it wouldn't do any good.


I just want her to love me for who I am and to accept that I am the same loving and devoted person she fell in love with two-and-a-half decades ago. I just want to be me, to manage my attractions in a way that does not hurt anyone, particularly my family, and helps me to keep in tune with the Spirit. Is that asking for too much?


I mean, I don't want to spend my entire eternity glancing over my shoulder, wondering what they are thinking, wondering if they are just waiting for me to screw up and fall big time, wondering what they are wondering every time I'm alone with another guy, or on the computer in the basement, etc. I don't want to have to live like this!


So there you have it. My son has been scarred for life and isn't telling me about it - and my wife is trying to love me into becoming more attracted to her.


What a mess I've made of everything! It's not easy walking on eggshells...

14 comments:

Silver said...

Interesting isn't it? How a woman, a wife can think this is all her doing, her fault, her lack of wahtever that caused us to stray or look to the side.

I have to agree Beck that in my case she had little to do with this, at least the underlying cause or the fact that I just am, same sex attracted. It just was, long before I met her.

Yet, I have noticed that I am dependent upon her and very influenced by her mood. I can't help but, notice that you comment on her reaction, you watch for her to react in some way, say something, lower the boom maybe? I think you are more influenced by her than you might realize.

If not, I'll just say that in my house "if mamma aint happy; aint nobody happy". I think a woman does truly set the tone in a home and has a lot of power and influence over "her man". (the man is the head, the woman the neck etc...) She moves me where she wants me, usually.

So, In some ways she does have influence over my behavior and needs. I know this, when the marriage is good, when our relationship is solid and we are one; my SSA diminishes and my desire to stray relents, a lot.

Food for thought.

Silver

santorio said...

for what it's worth, during the past two weeks i have never been so careful to close all my emails, delete the history file, etc. there is a sneakiness about all this. wouldn't it be grand, one would think, to have a relationship where nothing was hidden, no private thoughts, no privacy, no individuality... wait a minute, can i recall that request?

elbow said...

There seems to be something really counter intuitive about hiding parts of yourself and disguising things so that it appears that you have "everything in order". I wish you could be honest with your wife and with your son. I mean, you aren't doing anything wrong and if she loves you as she says she does then why does it matter if you're looking at pg rated visuals? You're gay so doesn't it make sense that you would want some kind of connection with men? And isn't it better to explore that connection with men in a audio visual way rather than have your desires stray into the context of someone human and real?

I don't know. I'm just thinking. Of course I don't have the answers, but "cold turkey" isn't the answer...it seems to only be a quick fix to what is underneath your struggle...connection with a man.

playasinmar said...

It blows my mind that you were considering ending this blog.

It's eating you up to worry about what your son must be thinking and you worry about the final confrontation. Well, guess what

it's eating him, too

You need to man up and sit him down with your wife and discuss this before it becomes really destructive.

Neal said...

My thoughts -

Get on your knees and ask for the Lord's help and guidance in this matter. Your family is the most important thing in your life. He will help you know what to do, although I tend to think Playa is right here - your wife and your son sound like they're in denial, and that will ultimately hurt them more than knowing the truth.

There's a really great guy on my web site who had to tell his teenage kids about his SSA. His situation was much rougher than yours. If you would like to speak with him, I can try to arrange a swap of e-mails addresses.

We love you, Beck. But we're just your cyber-family. Take care of your real family now.


Neal

Beck said...

SILVER: My wife has nothing to do with this! I am not the way I am because of anything she's done or not done. There is no correlation! How I can explain this to her and not have her feel even more responsible, or feeling even of less worth, or suggesting that I don't love her, as I most certainly do, is the dilemma. Counseling seems iffy at best, but if there is someone who can help us through this dilemma to come to an understanding that she's not responsible for my attractions in a way that doesn't hurt her in the process - that's what I'm after.

I don't want to destroy her hope. We are eternal and I want to be part of her for eternity. I don't want the realization that she can't do anything about it to destroy her hope in our marriage.

Beck said...

SANTORIO: There are things we keep private and secret from everyone, even our companion. Yes, there is room for individuality, private thoughts and desires, but where do those thoughts and desires and individuality cross the line into hurt, disrespect, destruction of the other?

Beck said...

ELBOW: I agree that "honesty" would be best - but like Santorio raises, how honest should one be? Do you tell EVERYTHING you think or desire? I don't think so, not to the detriment to another.

"...if she loves you as she says she does then why does it matter if you're looking at pg rated visuals?" Good question! I think right now she's realizing this is better than going after the real thing in the flesh, but it isn't the best... shouldn't I be thinking of her and desiring her? Where does this put our relationship if she's open to my desires being centered on the lust of other men?

Beck said...

PLAYA: "It blows my mind that you were considering ending this blog..." Yeah, I know... A month ago I thought everything was cool and I didn't need you guys and the cyber-therapy I get from this place, and now I seem to need it more than ever. I guess I still don't have much of anything figured out.

"...You need to man up and sit him down with your wife and discuss this before it becomes really destructive..." But what do you want me to say - huh? "hey son, by the way, your dad is gay and always has been, and that's why he hitting on good looking young men at church all the time"

It's not that easy. There are unique situations here. Call me in denial. Call them in denial, but do I make it a bigger deal than it is? Do I create emotional scars from healing wounds that aren't festering? If you're going to give me the order to do something of that magnitude, then follow up and tell me what you would say if you were in my situation!

Beck said...

NEAL: "...your wife and your son sound like they're in denial, and that will ultimately hurt them more than knowing the truth." Okay, so same thing I said to Playa - what would you say if you were in my situation? Where is the ultimate hurt coming from? Explain yourself! If I don't screw up and keep keepin' on, and get down on my knees and follow the spirit in what I feel is best, then how is that hurting them?

playasinmar said...

The truth, Beck, you tell the truth. It's weird and uncomfortable and painful and necessary.

You had the secrecy thing going for you but you blew it. That game is over.

Another way to look at it: How would you feel if you were the son in this situation. Would you want to be ignored? What would happen to your thoughts if left to your own devices?

Damon said...

Hey Beck-

First of all, since your wife doesn't think therapy will make much difference, I again strongly suggest you read Good-bye I Love You and No More Goodbyes by Carol Lynn Pearson.

She's been through what you and your wife are dealing with. She and her husband dealt with it differently than you are. However, I know her writing will offer amazing insight.

She offers telephone consultations. She isn't a therapist and doesn't claim to be. She just offers her advise after decades of dealing with this issue specifically with Church members.

She might be able to add insight to questions like, should you tell your son? How does your wife deal with your SSA and still keep her self worth intact? Her website...

http://www.clpearson.com/

Just checking it out can't hurt.


I'm not sure PLAYA is 100% correct about the fact that this is eating up your son. Since he's already talked to your wife about it, he could go back to her if this was really festering.

I agree with Neal, you should search out your Father in Heaven with how to address this situation with your son.

Walking on eggshells for a long period of time is a very hard thing to do.

As always my thoughts and prayers are with you!

~Damon

Kengo Biddles said...

"I don't want to spend my entire eternity glancing over my shoulder, wondering what they are thinking, wondering if they are just waiting for me to screw up and fall big time,"

I know this feeling.

Boy do I know this feeling.

I think that what everyone else has said is true...you need to approach this with prayer; you need to consider talking with your son. You need to carefully work out what these changes in your relationships mean.

Prayer will help. If you need to chat with me, you have my number.

Parallel Mormon said...

Beck,

I am with you 100%. These brethren of ours are well-intentioned, but I advise you to keep doing what you're doing. There is a time and a place for everything. We don't need to be perfect parents to be good parents. Discuss these matters with the Lord and have Him let you know what and when if ever to say anything.

I am actually thinking of when to tell my baby girl. She's only 4 now, but I think she knows. Anyway, my great concern is that she'll look for a guy just like daddy because daddy adores her so much, and in so doing she'll meet some heart-cramped, up-tight crypto-gay. Not that I or anyone else like me is so bad, but she needs to know what her full "inheritance" is before she signs the consent to accept form.

In the meantime, this Blog should be good enough for anyone. If you need more, you'll ask, and we'll all be happy to give. Cheers, bud!

James, the Parallel Mormon