Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Will it ever get better?


so, I've been out of town and slow to respond, but here's the deal...

I came to the conclusion that I am a sane person (relatively speaking) and that I can function maturely and in control of my passions and emotions (for the most part) and that surely I can meet a fellow MOHO in a public and open forum for good friendship and conversation.

And, so despite my personal commitment to promise to do otherwise, I took the steps and met a fellow community member that has gone from an on-line acquaintance to a friend, a brother, a dear man who understands me (which isn't always something even I can do), and who, for whatever strange reason I still can't comprehend, actually wanted to meet and know me face-to-face and appreciate who I am and to understand better my story.

We met in a very public space, in a very "sacred" space, out in the open, but private enough to have a conversation that I will remember with great fondness for many days to come. That's it... nothing more. A hug goodbye and we left, unsure if we will meet again, but sure (at least I am) for being better having spent that brief but wonderful time together.

So there you have it. Nothing earth-shattering (sorry to disappoint those who wanted more). And yet, personally impactful and moving nonetheless. Maybe I've disappointed others for having done so (again) without my wife's knowledge, I don't know, but it felt like the right and appropriate thing to do at the time, and so I did it.

I don't need to justify why I did what I did. Nor, do I need to explain my reasons for why the timing of this meeting doesn't fit well with a sit-down in-depth dialogue with my wife. Circumstances are such that stress and pressure keep such discussions currently at bay - at least to be had at another more calm and appropriate time when we are together. The HOW I'm going to tell her is something for another post on another day.

So, what does it mean? How have I changed? How am I doing now that I've broken my promise?

Well, to be honest, I feel really good and at peace. I feel the meeting has become a catalyst of sorts for a discussion that will be happening soon with my wife (that should have happened years ago) that can involve principles outlined in loving advice from MOHO Hawaii in the previous post comments. Maybe not as forcefully, but ending with a better direction of at least not hiding future meetings from her. Ultimately, that is my goal - to be able to make these connections of affirmation without repercussions or guilt and with her understanding the need, and not feeling pain or threatened by such meetings. I've lived my life "alone" for too long and such repression does no one any good.

I read in someone's blog a few days ago a quote that went something like this: "Even seven thousand years of joy cannot make up for seven years of repression" or something like that. Well... what about 30 years of repression?

My new MOHO friend asked me how I do it? How I manage to live the way I do? How I am able to keep up the facade and still function in some sort of sanity and normalcy?

It makes me wonder, too. If it gives him such pause as to how I am doing it month after month and year after year, and now decade after decade, how am I able to do it? And why do I do it?

And then I wonder if I would ever really change? Would I permit myself to truly be myself?

He asked me where I would like to see myself in 5 or 10 years. I said I hoped that I would see myself as being "free" - not free of marriage, or the bonds of the church and culture with which I am immersed and choose to be living my life willingly - but "free" from the guilt and repression, and "free" to be myself and hopefully find joy therein.

I've thought a lot about that answer since last Friday and I'm not sure if I'll ever get there. I wrote on Abelard's blog this evening that the "It Gets Better" campaign is wonderful for the younger set, those coming out in the teen and early twenties with their lives ahead of them, but as for those of us who are well into mid-life years, with years of repression accounted for and neatly packaged up and stacked in our tidy closets, I struggle to see that it really does get better from here...

All of this seems so self-centered and so self-serving. It's all about me, after all, no?

That's when I stop and count my blessing, realizing the "good life" that I do have, and that somehow, in the right time and place, all I want is the opportunity (and willingness and courage to take action) to LIVE and be real, and be me! Including meeting fellow MOHO brothers in public and "sacred" forums of face-to-face interaction and connection in plain daylight... no hiding.

Maybe then there will remain some hope that it's never ever too late for life to "get better".


Neal said...

I'm proud of you. A lot of us gave you advice, but ultimately you are the best judge of what's appropriate for you.

I think discussing with wife will be a good thing, but may take a while for her to fully accept and be comfortable with. Ultimately I think you CAN have your cake and eat it too! :D

Sean said...

it has taken me some time to figure out/realize that I am not living a lie. because i have chosen to live the way i choose.
i have been blessed to be gay, to be married, and to have children. but my blessing are not limited not is my talents.
Beck, I think it's wonderful that you beginning a relationship that is beyond the internet. another of my great discoveries is that have real people (that know me for all of who i am) has been the biggest stress reliever in my life.
one day i hope to meet you as well.

mandi said...

It may have something to do with the fact that the person you met is a pretty incredible man. Maybe.

Beck said...

NEAL: Thanks for your comment. If, however, I wanted to have my "cake and eat it too!", I would most definitely want a BOYFRIEND to hang out with, to go hiking and swimming with, to cuddle with, while still having my wife and family and life as is. Believe me when I say that that sounds good - really good, even dreamlike.

Yet, that's not what I'm after. As much as I'd like it, and dream about having it, I'm after just the freedom within my own choices of being ME, of not having to hide, and that includes the occasional affirmation of visiting with fellow MOHOs who can help me heal by meeting face-to-face and talk about what it means to be me.

That's it.

Is that too much to ask? Am I asking for too much cake?

SEAN: Real people who know me for who I am, vulnerable and real, can be a stress reliever in my life. I agree. It is healing.

But, may I ask HOW you got your wife to accept this as a good step for HER without being a threat to her marriage, self-image, and self-worth?

Beck said...

MANDI: It is comforting to see you posting here. I thought you were mad at me, or at least frustrated with my alter-ego. After all you did scold me and slap me in the head! :)

Yes, he is quite an incredible man! And I am even more convinced than ever that he's married to an amazing and incredible woman!

mandi said...

Did he pay you to say that? :)

Beck said...

Let's just say that your Christmas budget will be reduced this year! :)

naturgesetz said...

I've only read this and the previous two posts. SO I apologize if I'm misunderstanding your current situation.

It seems to me that remaining committed to your wife and your marriage is the right thing to do — which is what I understand you are doing.

I see nothing wrong in in face to face meetings with fellow MoHos in public and even sacred public places — especially if your wife knows. I have met a few homosexual bloggers over the past year or so, and I found the meetings very positive. They did not tempt me to abandon the celibacy to which I am called as a single man. But the meetings helped me feel less isolated in my journey.

I think it is admirable that although you recognize the urge to have a boyfriend, as you describe in your comment, you choose not to pursue it. If it would not be marital infidelity by definition, it would put tremendous pressure on you to go beyond cuddling to greater physical intimacy, which would certainly be infidelity to your wife.

So here's hoping you can have the sorts of friendships which will be personally comforting and affirming without violating your marital commitment. I believe it can be done, and I believe you can do it.

Always ask God to help you, to give you what is good for you and to restrain you from what is not good.

Beck said...

NATURGESETZ: Welcome to my blog. I hope you take the time to read other posts and maybe get to know my story better. I appreciate your comments here and they are very appropriate.

Yes, such face-to-face meetings have helped to affirm the path I've chosen, and to bring a sense of less isolation in my journey.

I accept that I've chosen a conflicting and difficult path where my inner feelings and my external life are not in harmony with each other. To a degree, maybe we all do that.

I admire your choice of celibacy as you journey as a single man. I sense a conviction within you that keeps you on this chosen path. I, too, have convictions that often are hard to explain to others who question why or how I am able to stay on this difficult path of internal conflict.

Thank you for visiting and please check in again. I would be interested in your point of view and how you feel about following my and other MOHO journeys.

naturgesetz said...

Okay. Thanks for the welcome and the invitation to share my point of view. I'll be glad to when I think I have something useful to say. So now I'm following you (as opposed to stalking, LOL).

And if celibacy has its difficulties, I'm sure being faithful to a marriage has its own, as you are experiencing and sharing. I really admire people like you who remain faithful despite the struggles.

Adon said...

I read your blog with keen interest. I read it regularly but don't always comment

You voice many of the feelings that I have but haven't pursued. I am somewhat envious of you though, in that you have a more open dialogue with your wife and that you have some great friends that you can talk to.

Thanks for sharing with us....Adon