Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another way?

I received an email from a faithful reader after my last post. It said:

"I fear you've been drinking too much of the prevailing "koolaid" in the MOHOsphere. Your choice isn't just in living a "lie" or divorce. It's a false dichotomy. Maybe you do need to step back and reconsider things?"

As I read this I realized that maybe my writing style may be too subtle in trying to get over the message that I'm trying to portray. What my last post was trying to point out is that those like me in long-term MOMs do not need to necessarily fall in the trap of this false dichotomy of thinking. There is more to our choices than just a) living a "lie" or b) divorce / leaving the church. What I'm trying to say here (and I think I've been trying to say it now for nearly 5 years of blogging) is just the opposite. I'm trying to make the point that there are other ways, different choices and paths, that allow us to shine, be passionate, reflect the full color spectrum of life AND be happy in our marriage and still have a testimony!

Sure it's hard. And sure, there are compromises. But there are hard compromises in every relationship and situation. I'm not here to say that mine is the chosen path for you. I'm not trying to be the poster-boy of the MOMs out there. I certainly have demonstrated that I don't have all the answers, or even a few. But I am saying this:

1. I chose to marry at a different time and space. In that mentality, I was completely satisfied with my chose and felt it the right and passionate thing to do.

2. I came out to myself more than two decades later, and came out to my wife a few months later. With this time delay, I had created a wonderful life with my marriage, marrying my best friend, and we had created a family with kids and home and career and callings that bind us together in ways that I treasure.

3. But with this revelation, came grief and sorrow, confusion and frustration. I was convinced we were heading for divorce, even if I completely brushed it under the rug and never came "out" again. So, in one sense it was to choose to live the "lie" or divorce.

4. In the last six years of living with this revelation between us, I have had varying success of being able to find another way. Sometimes it's easier to not talk about the elephant in the room. Sometimes it's hard to feel alive when I'm constantly looking over my shoulder to see if she's watching. And it's certainly hell to live by hiding and sneaking behind her back. But sometimes, it's wonderful to be able to express myself openly, with passion and love without recourse or worry. This understanding between us of "what I need" verses "what she needs" verses "what we need" is an on-going, life-long process of hard compromise, but I feel for me and my situation, for the wonderful life I've been able to create and live, it is worth it. And I will forever seek to find this OTHER WAY.

Maybe you feel I have been drinking the "koolaid" - that leads to nothing but heartache, dishonesty, dullness, and worthlessness. And why would I cut myself short? Maybe I am "the exception" in this community. Maybe I'm the odd ball of all MOHOs who believes there is another way. Maybe you dismiss me and this blog because I don't prescribe to the standard message of authenticity meaning only what you want it to mean, fitting your definition of what is right and real and honest for you. Maybe I am never going to know "true happiness" and what it really feels like to completely be one with another man as I have so passionately desired, having only tasted of that feeling.

But maybe that's okay. Maybe having my wife to snuggle with and be partners with and create a life with, to serve together, to struggle together, to achieve together, to travel together and experience the world together, and to grow together, and see her acceptance of me over time, maybe having my children around me, and eventually their children and seeing our family blossom as our kids move into adulthood and find their own way, maybe as I serve and find ways that are acceptable and respectful to us both as I find ways to be more 'expressive' and more "ME", maybe as we come through this loving each other even more...
then maybe it's worth seeking this OTHER WAY.

I was called out, and rightfully so, that MY WAY does not mean that I am suggesting others, particularly young MOHOs who are not married now, should have hope of following this same path.
I do not.

That said, I do want to be able to be accepted by the community and find validation and support and encouragement and love, even if I am the "exception".

I'm naive enough to believe that this "other way" is worth FIGHTING for! And that I'm blind enough to truly feel I can find JOY!

There is always room for exception. That's what makes us all so "exception"-al!



Neal said...

I admire you for remaining committed and faithful, and for putting your family first. I think there is a lot of "me disease" going around right now. It's refreshing to see somone who is willing to sacrifice what he wants for the good of others. Is that not what Christ meant when he said "He that will lose his life, for my sake, shall find it"? That comment was all about service and putting others first. I think that's what it means to be authentically Christian.

Keep being you! You have no obligation to "please the crowd" here on the Blogshere. Your family and your relationship with God are what count, and you seem to have your head on pretty straight in that regard, IMHO. I think you ARE exceptional!

Anonymous said...

Amen to what neal said! :)

Beck said...

NEAL and LJ: I appreciate your comments. I'm not sure that I deserve them. Sure, I'd like to think that my head's on straight, but it doesn't always seem that way (no pun intended).

I'm not sure that I'm doing the right thing for the right reason... sometimes it feels that way, and I do have my convictions, but other times it feels like I'm just plain scared to live my life more openly. So, yeah, at times it feels right, and at other times, it feels disingenuous.

Forester said...

We have so much in common. What an incredible journey we are having. You inspire me!

Beck said...

FORESTER: I inspire you? Wow! I'm not sure how to respond to that, but thanks.

I easily get confused along the way, and I'm still figuring it out much more slowly than most, but I do feel anchored in my goals even as I slip and fall along the way. If that inspires you, then let's lock hands and keep going forward!

Crisco said...

It is nice to hear from you that you continue to work at your marriage and that you're happy. I know we all have the angst, but you seem to recognize the good situation you are in and are not willing to just walk away from it for a pretty face.
You are a good example to the rest of us trying to make a MOM work. I recognize that it just doesn't work for everybody. There's not guidebook for how to deal with our feelings for guys, follow God, and be faithful to our wives. We do our best with the talents God gave us.
BTW, Merry Christmas!

Beck said...

CRISCO: You are more than kind! Thanks for seeing what I'm trying to do and seeing value in this approach as being authentic in its way for me in my situation. I don't pretend to be an example for others to follow as much as a voice out there to say that this is what I'm doing, that it can be done, and with some sense of happiness and joy.

And I'm here to say that until either or both of us don't want to continue any longer, I'm going to stick this out to the end, despite the odds and nay-sayers, and will continue to work toward more honesty and self-affirmation as I go, with my wife at my side.

mohoguy said...

You also inspire me. Seems like this community is about supporting each other as we each find our path. You are helping more than you know. We are in this together as much as we are in it individually. Keep believing in yourself and your path. Have a great holiday.

Adon said...

Sorry I haven't commented lately, but be assured that I am still following along and absorbing what you write. Our life experiences are so parrallel that it's uncanny. We have made simlilar choices with sililar results in so many areas. We are different in some ways too, I am sure.

I've also read your more recent post concerning your son who's serving a mission. Maybe he is struggling with similar issues as maybe you were at his age and will follow in a similar path as his Dad. Would it be so bad?

My own son served a mission in similar circumstances. He has since gone inactive and will not say why. He has in the past expressed having OGTs, but never has said he was gay. He recently married and I "wonder" how that will work out.

I still am astounded that it took me so long to figure out that I was gay. What if I had figured it out much sooner?

Sorry, I'm just babbling along here, but wanted to let you know that I still appreciate having you around here in blogland. I wished you were here to talk to sometimes. It would be interesting......Adon

Beck said...

ADON: Yes it would be "interesting" to be there to chat. I'm open to email but don't find myself in your parts very often.

We do have much in common. Our stories and late discoveries are similar. My son's issues are not of a sexual orientation base, but are disheartening and discouraging. I wish I knew how to help him.

Thanks for your encouragement to stay around in the blogosphere. I sometimes (often) wonder if it is really worth it to still stay around and give voice to my saga... glad to know that you are still out there and find value in my writings.

Scott N said...

I did a double-take, and then laughed out loud...

I read:

I'm open to email but don't find myself in your parts very often.

... as:

I'm open to email but don't find myself in your pants very often.

(Perhaps this is just evidence of my dirty mind...)

Beck said...

Oh Scottie! Such a dirty mind! :)

Glad to make you laugh.