Friday, July 30, 2010
A year of restraint...
This blog has become a measuring stick of sorts, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad... whether any progress is being made... noting the passage of time... re-evaluating this situation called "my life".
This is one of those measuring stick moments. A year ago this month, several things happened regarding my relationship with my wife:
1) I opened up to my wife about this MOHO community, what a "MOHO" was, that I had friends within this community, and that I had met many of them, and some on a frequent basis, all behind her back, and that a closeness was developing with some - this became a huge threat to her, not so much that she didn't trust my behavior or morals, or even faithfulness to her, but that I was lying and deceitful and dishonest about it all, and as such, she lost trust in me.
2) I opened up about blogging, tired of lying about it.
3) I opened up about my feelings and needing to seek counseling to help me sort through these feelings of confusion I found myself in.
4) I opened up about my feelings for other men, and the conflicting emotions of how to have good, positive and supporting non-threatening relationships with men and still want and desire a sound and firm and complete marital relationship with my wife.
5) I started therapy with a local psychologist with the hope of sorting out "what I want" type questions in my wandering path of being gay and married, and wanting to understand what both of those mean.
6) I closed down my public blog and went private for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I wasn't ready for my wife to read the inner thoughts I was expressing about this certain aspect of who I was. NOTE: This seems contradictory to all the other "openings" I was going through at the time, but I guess I wasn't ready to be that open yet. I wanted her to know that it was out there, and I used it as a form of self-therapy and that somehow it was okay to share vulnerable personal things to the universe, but not to those I love the most... at least not yet. All things in good time... (the funny thing was - she never showed the desire to find my blog or read it. She said that she respected my privacy and felt it would be an intrusion into that privacy and thus, didn't feel compelled to spy or pry into my blogging world or community).
7) I closed myself off to others and self-imposed a moratorium of sorts and went into a restraint mode of operation.
Now a year has passed and I look back and wonder where I've been, where I thought I was going, and what lessons I'm learning (or have learned) on the course I'm on, and whether the choices I've made have been good ones... choices of honoring my wife's feelings and wishes regarding relationships outside our marriage and putting her feelings above mine; choices of no longer hiding such friendships of fellow MOHOs from her even though the knowledge of such friendships was painful to her; choices of not meeting someone behind her back and without her knowledge and being secretive and dishonest in that hiding process; choices of removing myself emotionally from my "boys" in the ward, particularly as both have come back to live in the neighborhood again and all the feelings of the past being rekindled for good and bad with those now adult men; choices of attempting to regain her trust that was lost or at least severely damaged by hiding and being dishonest and outright lying; choices of putting my marriage first above all else, including my personal needs, for the benefit of "us".
I would like to say that I have confidence that my choices have been good for me and for her and for our relationship and our family. I would like to say that I have learned that there is no better path than the one I'm on. I would like to say that I have all the answers for any married card-carrying Mormon man who also is gay. I would like to be able to bear my testimony about these things. Yet, I can't say any of those things confidently. I'm still trying to figure it out.
After a year of trying to do what I felt was the "right thing to do" for me, why do I still feel so conflicted? Is there no assurance? Can there ever be peace? When does this battle cease?
NOTE to me: The next post will try to spell out the lessons I've learned, the good that has come, the reason for continuing on this path or not. I hope to then analyze the bad that has come as well, and maybe try to come to terms with where I'm going from here, maybe with some adjustments and re-evaluate "what I want". Warning to myself: this may get ugly!