I've been in a funk all week... it has a lot to do with the fact that I've faced the reality that I've never been "in love" in my life. Sure, I thought I was "in love" with my wife up until this week's discussion with her. Sure, I've been infatuated with many men, but never truly "in love" other than in dreams, fantasies and desires for a few men in my life, but never really "in love".
This was exacerbated yesterday when my wife and I were discussing our teenage daughter and her "friend-who-is-a-boy" and how she thought our daughter was falling "in love" with him, and I just couldn't accept that she would be making college decisions and future choices based on a teenage infatuation.
My wife stared at me and said: "... you really don't get it, do you?"
ME: "What don't I get?"
SHE: "Our daughter is in love."
ME: "No she's not..." I rebutted, refusing to accept it.
and then my wife slammed me good: "I realize you aren't "in love" with me, but... have you ever been IN LOVE with anyone?"
It stunned me, particularly with all that has been going on in my mind. And I didn't say anything and abruptly stopped the conversation. It cut me to the core. And as I think about it, I wonder - Is she right? Have I truly not been "in love" with anyone?
I'm "in love" with the idea of being in love with my wife being in love with me...
I'm "in love" with the idea of having Thomas openly show his love for me...
I'm "in love" with my boys that continue to shower affection on me...
But am I truly "in love" with anyone?
Yes, I have built a love for all things good in our marriage and friendship and relationship and there is much good in it. But, since I am not "in love" with her, but am in this relationship to the end, will I ever find out what it feels like to really be "in love" with anyone?
What it comes down to is that she loves me in ways that I can't love her. She is ashamed of this. She is ashamed that I am gay. She is ashamed that I have these affections and attractions for men. She is ashamed of me that I say I cannot change. She is ashamed that she has married a gay man and wants to keep it hidden and quiet from everyone else, including, and especially our kids. She is ashamed that I have this problem and I don't see it as a problem. She is ashamed that I have an affinity for those who have chosen to pursue different paths than the Church's prescribed path. She is ashamed that I am incapable of love. She only hopes that in the eternities things will be better.
In reality, as I told Abe in an email, I should be angry with her because she is ashamed of her husband for being who he really is and facing it for the first time. I should be angry with her because she cannot accept this thing within me that I did not choose nor seek out. I should be angry with her for wanting to hide me back in the back of the closet.
But, how can I be angry with her when I am ashamed of myself as well. Sure, I'm bold and beautiful in this blogging community, and I've come a huge distance from hating myself to completely accepting this reality within me, and seeing no need to be "cured", etc., but in real life I don't hold my head up high that I am gay. So if I am still ashamed publicly of who I am, how can I expect her to not be ashamed of this part of me as well?
I simply can't...
And so, as I remain ashamed, I simply can't be "in love" with anyone...
because I can't love myself!