Thursday, August 20, 2009

I lie...

I don't know if anyone is even tuning in and reading this tiresome stuff anymore...as the comments have dwindled to nothing... and that is okay... I'm tired of it, too.

But, I'm blogging because my original intent was to use this to help me through some difficult decisions - life altering decisions - and I find myself still needing this tool to work through things because I'm a slow learner.

The lesson for the day: When you lie, you've always got to cover up your backside.

I have been caught in several lies lately. My wife remembers things that "just don't add up" or "just don't sound right" and now the connect-the-dots exercise is coming to fruition and the picture is forming and she sees the string of deceit, deception, dishonesty, and disloyalty.

I lie to avoid conflict. I lie to avoid hurt. I lie to avoid confrontation. I lie to avoid pain... In the end, the truth slowly comes out and there still remains the conflict, the hurt, the confrontation, the pain.

Having been caught, I fessed up to numerous encounters with gay men of this community, and even to having attended once the Scott-and-Sarah monthly party full of gay men. Again, it wasn't so much the thought of doing those things that bothered and hurt her, but it was the string of lies and the lack of trust shown on my part - particularly not trusting her with the truth, or giving her the chance to handle the truth. By telling lies, I excluded her from these choices I was making, even if those choices were good choices, reaffirming choices, choices that focused me back to her instead of away from her.

Some may view her list of expectations (as noted in my previous post) as a "lock-and-chain" attitude, where no real agency can exist.

One anonymous commenter emailed me and said:


Here is one response (to her):
If marriage is going to be a lock and chain and I have no freedom to meet friends that I choose or write in the privacy of my own diary, then I can't live with that.
I promise you I will not break the vows of sexual fidelity, but I don't promise not to hug someone or be friends with someone. You have the same freedom I do. I am committed to our family and to you. And you simply will have to trust me. I am not going to be locked and chained around your ankle so you can watch me constantly.
You can tell me what you want me to do as you have, but I can't live with that kind of loss of my personal agency.

I see this viewpoint. I really do, and I understand it and the wisdom behind it. To make such a statement I would have to be trustworthy to expect trust in my choices, but so far my way about accomplishing these things has been anything but trustworthy. Thus, I also see her viewpoint that my shutting her out by not being honest has focused my choices on what is best for myself and not what is best for us.

So, how can I have both? How can I restore trust once it is lost? How can I have a free exercise of agency and freedom while not being self-centered and selfish? Is one exclusive of the other? Can I place my needs above hers? above what is best for us?

I'm tired of the facade. I'm tired of telling lies and covering my backside. I'm tired of hurting her as step-by-step she finds out more about my deception.

Is there any way that this downhill slide can turn around?

15 comments:

Hidden said...

I'm definitely still here, reading and listening. My heart goes out to you, I wish I could more of a support... I just don't know what to say.

If your marriage is to survive, I feel like both of you need to work at making changes. Right now it's just gridlock rife with double standards and a refusal to understand, which allows neither of you to progress, "win," or move forward.

Ron Schow said...

I'm here also.

I think it would be good to focus on her possible willingness to get into couple therapy.

It seems like you need an opportunity for each of you to express desires and requests of the other and then to work out some compromises which may not totally satisfy the other but will honor certain basic core commitments. For instance, you can promise and reaffirm your vow of sexual fidelity within your marriage. But did you take a vow to never go anywhere without asking her permission? Did you make a vow to give up the personal privacy of your own diary?

I think I hear you saying you feel you have been in a place of discovery and you are able to be a better husband and father now. If that is true, then it seems like that has been a good thing you've been doing and not something you need to abandon.

Anonymous said...

I, too, am here. Praying for you and your loved ones.

Philip said...

Beck,

Just a few thoughts...

I lie to avoid the difficulty that honesty brings.

In other words, I lie to spare my feelings; not hers.

When my wife eventually finds out, the cover up is always worse than the lie.

So I have learned not to lie unless I have a damn good reason.

Recently, I had a very good reason. I posted about what happened on my blog. I felt that if I had told my wife what was going on (I hadn't done anything wrong and was not planning on doing anything wrong) that she would have demanded I take certain actions. I was very emotional and knew I had to make what was for me a very difficult decision -and- I wanted to make the decision; not be forced into making a decision.

I was afraid that if I didn't decide for myself that I might not be able to put it behind me.

So it was a lie, a lie of omission because I needed time to sort things out.

But I make it a habit to be truthful most of the time.

Regards,
Philip

Sean said...

Ok, here we go...

I agree with what a lot what the guy wrote BUT in order for that to happen, you MUST gain her trust back. As soon as you gain that back (it may be awhile), you can use your agency again. Place yourself in your wife's position. How would you feel if she was doing the same? Would you be able to trust her immediately? My guess is no... you need to work together before agency and choices come again because it's your fault that you lied to her and lost her trust.

Bror said...

yes, I am tuning in more that ever bud. Sometimes I read them two or three times to make sure I got everything. And I am definitely not tired of your blog.
I think being honest with your wife is the best way to go. I would like to think I tell my wife everything but I am sure I don't. But as far as meeting and chatting with my gay friends, I always tell her. No, she doesn't like it but she can see I need these friends like she needs hers. Yes, it's not the same but I am not the same. My needs are different than say my "normal" brothers.
I have accepted that anything gay causes my wife stress. The only thing I have going for me is my track record. I have been a good boy but that still doesn't give her any peace. Will she ever have peace about me being gay. She and I agree the answer is no. She wants to but can't. And things get a bit stressful once a month if you know what I mean. I wish there was a big button to push and make everything ok. But there is not and that is why we are here helping each other out.
Keep on blogging Beck because we need you.
bror

Beck said...

HIDDEN: Thanks for still being out there. It's become a bit lonely in this "private realm". I didn't think I'd mind it, but I do. I need help and input more than ever and I appreciate you just saying you're there, even if you don't know what to say.

Yes, we are in a bit of a gridlock. I have been living a "double life" and wanting more than is functionally possible in a marital relationship such as ours, but I've got to get her up to speed so that she has more understanding of all this.

I recognize that I've been the one holding her understanding back because I've refused to talk about it. Now that we are talking about it, it seems no better... I can only hope that time and trust can heal wounds and soften hearts so that that understanding can come and we can "move forward".

Beck said...

RON: I've brought up "couple therapy" and offered it to her. Her response was that in this current psychological environment, any therapist would take my side and not hers and that she would be told to be more sensitive, more understanding and more tolerant of me and my issues.

How do I confront that? Most likely I'd like the therapist to help her understand all the good that I've been able to do and be for the last 50 years - that I haven't cheated, that I haven't been sexually unfaithful, that I have been able to keep myself and my sexual fidelity within our marriage. So, a therapist seeing the uniqueness and praiseworthy track record of "this gay guy", then how would that come across to her other than "taking my side".

I don't want to abandon the path I'm on. I want and need friendships and relationships that allow me to be "me" in expressing appropriate affection and appropriate touching - but I've got to figure it out within the confines of my marriage - whether therapy can get us there, I don't know... but believe me, I'm going to try whatever I can to make it work - for her AND for me.

ANON: Thanks for your prayers. Being a "by invitation" blog now, I'm not sure who you are and would love you to reveal yourself to me.

Beck said...

PHILIP said: "I lie to spare my feelings, not hers"..

This has been the lesson of this phase. I lie, and continue to lie to a lesser degree, because it is avoiding the conflict and feelings that I may have to go through if I tell the truth.

In the end, this is a selfish point of view. I can argue that I was "protecting" her feelings, but in reality I wsa sparing my own... OUCH!

Sure, lies of omission to "buy some time" are my standard reaction. But "buying time" may work for a while, but in the end, it catches up to you... that is what I've learned this last week.

Beck said...

SEAN: She's used the reversal-argument on me, on how I would feel if she were meeting guys for lunch. I know it's not exactly the same, but I can't justify my relationships any more than hers, so that's why I lie - there's something inherently "wrong" in the relationships - otherwise, why would I lie about them?

Sure, nothing "wrong" happened, but the impropriety is hard to get past without her being totally on board - and that won't happen until I restore trust - if ever.

But, when will I know that she trusts me?

Beck said...

BROR: Thanks for being out there. I appreciate it.

So, how has your wife got to the point of "seeing the need of these friends" even though she doesn't like it? What have you done specifically to get her to see the value of such chats, encounters, friendships, relationships?

I need help in figuring out how to help her to see the "need" without feeling the "mistrust".

She can't see past the idea that two gay guys meeting together will be playing with fire, no matter how it is cloaked, no matter what rules are established - it's still two gay guys getting together - how do I get her to accept this kind of thing as non-threatening and tolerable?

Bror said...

I guess she can see the Bror with gay friends is way happier than the Bror without gay friends. Life really sucked before I found you and others like me. I had pretty much given up on life. I was just going through the motions and basically on a path of self destruction. My wife and I were not getting along. We really couldn't stand each other. But now that she knows things are better. She can understand where I am coming from. She doesn't want to drag my ass off to the shrink anymore. She worries too about me having gay friends and being alone. She is still not comfortable with it at all. It's to bad everyone thinks all we want to do is bone each other. I myself self crave the friendship, oneness and understanding more than anything. It's not all about sex I tell her all the time. I still haven't convinced her of this and don't know that I ever will.

Hidden said...

Beck,

I didn't read all the comments, but in response to the one you left me... it's not ALL you holding her back because you won't talk about it. Far as I can see, even if you DO want to talk about it, she doesn't want to HEAR it. So it's not just on you, it's both.

Kengo Biddles said...

Honesty, utter honesty has been the saving grace in our marriage. Yes, I don't itemize every cute guy that turns my head throughout the day, but when I go to some "gay" function, she knows about it. When I meet a gay friend for lunch, she knows about it.

To do less than that would ruin her trust, and I agree with Sean -- it may take quite some time to earn it back.

Another thing that came to mind was a PostSecret I read today. (Warning -- it's not very work appropriate, as some post secrets are...)

Scott said...

As I said in my comment on the last post, I forget to check the private blogs as regularly as I should, but I am here--and I'm always an email away if you need to talk.

I wondered about your wife's statement that any therapist would automatically take your side "and that she would be told to be more sensitive, more understanding and more tolerant of [you] and [your] issues."

Is being more sensitive and understanding a bad thing? Is her recognition (or assumption) that a therapist would encourage her in this direction actually a recognition that she could be more sensitive and understanding than she has been?

Would she rather look for a therapist who would tell her that she's the wronged party here, and that you need to go back in your closet and give up all of these contacts and experiences that you have found so beneficial? I'm sure you could find one if you looked around a bit.

The truth of the matter is that you've both made some mistakes and you've both got some changes to make, and a good therapist will help both of you to see that and help both of you to grow individually so that you can grow closer together.

If she's refusing to consider that she might need to be more sensitive and understanding, then I'm worried that (in her mind) she's placed all of the blame for your current struggles on your shoulders. While it's true that your opening up to her was the catalyst that brought the current situation about, it's also true that her attitude (or your perception of it, at least) was what prevented you from opening up long ago. It's very rare that one individual carries all of the blame in a marital issue, and you need to work together to make things better.

Of course, I'm preaching to the choir. She's the one who needs to understand all of this. But maybe I've said something than can help you help her to see that therapy together could be the right way to go?