Thursday, January 01, 2009

Number 12...

Yesterday, I found myself sitting in the lounge area of the South Visitors' Center on Temple Square. This space has meaning for me. I've found it to be a place of meditation where I can go occasionally and find a bit of peace. It was where I've gone for solice after coming to terms with the passing of my father. Typically, you can sit and stare out at the Temple through the large view windows and be left alone without harassment from the Sisters to take one of their tours.

This time, I was meeting another of the MOHOs for the first time. But, my previous appointment ended sooner than I thought and so I came early and had some time to contemplate what I was doing here. I was secretly meeting someone at the base of the Temple. And as I thought, I felt uneasy about the way my life is going, and a need for a new direction and more focused purpose. I pondered over my "what I want" list and realized this current path of my clandestined or stealthy personality is no longer the path I want.

It felt a lot like being in "An Affair to Remember" or "Sleepless in Seattle" where I started observing others that passed through the lobby and I wondered to myself: "Is that him?" or "I wonder if that good looking guy is him". I wondered if he was really going to come or if he was detained. I had forgotten to bring with me his number, but I was sure that he would come, so I waited for his call. And as I waited, and as I contemplated my current path, and as I stared out at the granite temple spires against the cold New Year's Eve sky, I realized that this isn't the life I want.

Maybe it's just the season of feeling a bit melancholy. Maybe it's the economy and the downturn in my business and the associated stresses that come from instability. Maybe it's the New Year and the desire to do better and be better. I want to be more real and less fantasy-based. I want to not be so secretive and hidden, and instead be more honest.

I need to change.

Happy New Year!

P.S. The actual meeting was brief but great! Number 12. He did show and was very nice and we shared a warm embrace. I wish I had had more time or was more willing to give more... (my wife called during our visit - I fibbed a bit about where I was - and felt even worse for doing so, hating myself for putting me and others into my warped make-believe world). But that will be for another time, I'm sure.


A.J. said...

I don't met to hang out at temple square? Why do you feel guilty? It doesn't seem like you did anything wrong unless it was not telling your wife where you were and who you were with. It wasn't like you made out or anything.

Formerly known as Peter said...

How would this scene have felt if you had been sitting on that bench, waiting to meet a Moho for the first time, with your wife next to you holding your hand? What brings the guilt is that you know she should involved in this process, and her absence hurts you both, and certainly hurts your marriage. It's not wrong to blog, or meet Moho's, or talk about the ambiguities of being a gay Mormon. Just get your wife involved with you. Let her into the new world you're discovering.

Scot said...

Happy New Year!

A.J.: "unless it was not telling your wife where you were and who you were with."

It may sound silly but, personally, that alone would drive me crazy.

I think, Beck, less secrecy with those closest to you is a great resolution for the new year. Even if you do nothing in any clandestine meeting, it seems like it could still become a wedge, and not just between yourself and others but between parts of yourself.

Beck said...

It wasn't the meeting itself - in fact, most if not all of these thoughts were a result of my contemplation PRIOR to the meeting. And it had NOTHING to do with #12. There was no intention, nor desire to do anything inappropriate - it wasn't the location (though there is some irony in it) either - it had nothing to do with any of that.

It has everything to do with pondering! It has everything to do with me, and being dishonest, and in hiding myself and in living a double life and in keeping things from her.

Whether it was guilt or just being tired of constantly looking over my shoulder - I'm just tired of hiding. I'm tired of being two people.

Sarah said...

Then stop hiding! You have so much to gain by doing so! Be brave! If she truly loves you, then she will accept you, ALL of you, and all of us as well.

Hugs, Beck. I only have your best interest in mind.

Let us know how to help!

Scott said...

I'm just guessing here, but I wouldn't be surprised if the blogging and the meetings with MoHos end up being much less an issue with your wife than the fact that you've been keeping these secrets from her.

Is this post simply an exploration of the thoughts and feelings that you had as you contemplated the clandestine nature of your meeting, or is it a declaration of a firm resolve to end the secrecy and open yourself up to your wife?

Hopefully it's the latter. Either way, I'll echo Sarah's statement that we're standing ready to do whatever we can to help.

Forester said...

Beck, I know how you feel. Everything I do in this world is not known to my wife. I tend to limit how much time I spend thinking, talking or doing anything related to SGA. That's why I tend not to blog too much. In reality, I like living a straight life, with the occasional gay moment. I encounter the most problems when my SGA becomes the focal point. This is another reason why I don't tell my wife. I want to be able to choose when and with whom I share my SGA. Once I tell my wife, I lose this control.

Forester said...

I forgot to mention that I met one MoHo blogger in person a year or so ago and had the same feelings you had. My wife didn't know about it, and although innocent as it was, it didn't seem right. I had to make the choice that if I wanted to continue meeting other gay Mormon men, I would have to tell my wife and do it with her support. Since I'm not ready for that, I had to stop meeting them. As muc as I like to brag that I've reached a balance between being gay and married, that balance only seems to work when I focus on the choices I've already made. The more I read blogs about gay married men, the less I want to tell my wife.

Silver said...

Unfortunately, women like Sarah are exceptional and rare. In my experience most wives harbor a great deal of anger and resentment surrounding this issue. They feel victimized and traumatized by their husbands "betrayal" and "condition". In my case it as been a three year long struggle to maintain the relationship.

I am very co-dependent with my wife. I am controlled and sometimes it seems, manipulated by her emotions and reactions. It has been a labor to free myself from this and to be true and authentic with myself and with her.

I belong to a support group. We meet weekly, eight men, with the support of our wives. There is a ninth man who has to "sneak" behind his wifes back to meet with us. His comment was, "Please be discrete and don't disclose that I was here. I'm here because I need this so badly, but she can't know. I feel like my wife is more of a mother than a wife."

I have thought a lot about this. I fear my wife's reactions. My efforts to involve her are frequently met with expressions of disgust or disaproval. When she becomes like my mother, I detach and shut her out in self defense. I can't bear to have her be maternal towards me. It is the worst turn off imaginable.

It hurts most to be rejected by those you value most.

I wanted to attend Scott and Sarah's party. I couldn't take her. She didn't want to go. She is repulsed by anything "Gay". In that sort of environment I find her reactions condemning both to me and my friends.

That is why I lead a double life. I hate it, but I don't feel I have a choice.


Beck said...

SARAH and SCOTT: You see things so clearly and so resolutely, nothiing clouding your vision. Not all is perfectly clear and there is much fogginess in the forecast.

But, I will say that I am moving toward a resolve to stop hiding. It isn't clear how I will do it, but I am determined to do so.

Beck said...

FORESTER: I see you in me as you see me in you. There are similar feelings and unresolved fears in both of our situations. Though I have opened to my wife more than you have to yours, there are multiple levels of revealing our true selves to our spouse, and to give you advice how to do it is worthless. Only you know how.

I'm just stating here that I am preparing myself to take the next step and let her know of where I stand and that I'm tired of hiding from her. Instead, I want her with me, beside me, completely and without fear.

Beck said...

SILVER: The chastising and scolding "motherly tone" is the biggest turnoff. So, we need to be stronger and less willing to fulfill the "child" role and become better co-equal partners instead of co-dependent.

I am sad for your double life as I'm sure you are of mine. But, as I strive to combine these lives into one in this coming year, I pray the same for you. For this is a hell of a way to live our lives!

Sarah said...

Though I have opened to my wife more than you have to yours, there are multiple levels of revealing our true selves to our spouse, and to give you advice how to do it is worthless. Only you know how.

I am sorry if sometimes I seem to be forcing my point of view on all of you. I don't know why I am the way I am. I just have a prayer in my heart for each of you that your wives will see you as I see you, and that as you each try to hopefully be more honest with them, God will soften their hearts and let them see.

My heart breaks for each of you. I truly love you all so much. Good luck and God bless each of you as you contemplate and figure out your relationships with your wives.

Silver said...

You are right. It is much better to be co-equal. We have made progress. I point out to her when I feel shamed by her. I don't tolerate her judgements like I did before. I stand my ground more and tell her what I will not do. I express my differing opinions. It is a more honest relationship now, but it is very tiring and we are now in open conflict instead of silent conflict like before. I guess it is better. I'm just tired of jousting, so I just don't tell her a lot of things...

Beck said...

SARAH said: "...I am sorry if sometimes I seem to be forcing my point of view on all of you."

I don't think any of us here think you force your point of view, at least I know that I don't think that. I need your point of view to keep me thinking of the possibilities that are out there that I otherwise don't consider.

Your prayers are so needed and appreciated!