Thursday, May 19, 2011

The hunger that never goes away...

Reading Invictus' last post really got to me... The idea of being hungry, of the desire and longing that doesn't goes away. Sure, that's part of the human experience and it's just part of life.

I know personally of others here who feel strongly otherwise, but I've done well, I feel, in controlling my appetite and managing my hunger. I've been able to find a path that keeps things in balance for the most part, I've been able to build a family, career and fairly nice and respectable life, a happy life full of fulfillment and good will,and yet...

as much as I try to do what I believe is right and true and best for me and for my loved ones, as much as I try to serve and give and please others, as much as I try to stay in balance, and work hard and long and stay busy doing good things, as much as I give of my "time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed me or may bless me", as much as I strive to repent and endure to the end...

as much as I do all of the above (and as much as my wife hopes and wishes and prays for it to diminish)...

I just wanted to testify once and for all of one truth...

that that longing, that desire, as much as I try to control or manage, or overcompensate in other good things, NEVER, EVER GOES AWAY!

Will it ever?


playasinmar said...

Not until you get some.

MoHoHawaii said...

You can make the sense of longing go away by changing your life circumstances as Invictus P. has. However, doing this would require trading one set of problems for another. The question is whether the new problems would be preferable to your current problems.

People might make different choices at different stages of life. I took a different path than you did and am happy with that, but I was a lot younger when I did that. I understand why you have taken the path that you have and wish you the best.

I wish I knew a practical way to ease the pain of mismatched orientation. I guess I disagree with the mainstream LDS thinking against masturbation and pornography. I see these as important palliatives that can stabilize an otherwise volatile situation. Long-term stability requires long-term accommodation.

I don't know what measures will work for you in the long run for accommodating your needs. If your sense of longing is unbearably acute, it's a sign that you need to do something. Hopefully, you can make changes that don't introduce new problems that you would find unacceptable.

As always, my $0.02, which may be worth what you paid for it. :- )

Miguel said...

Life is life...

Who is to say that you "get some", you make choices and you may never feed the hunger completely. I realize we all make our choices in as much as we're willing to pay the price (because we pay a price one way or another-plain and simple).

Clive Durham said...

"The hunger that never goes away" is not just sexual desire. While sex is obviously a part of the package, for me the bulk of the anguish stemmed more from a sense of artifice and deceit resulting from living a life that was incompatible with who I actually was.

Leaving the bonds of false heterosexuality was in itself liberating. Divorcing my wife (whom I loved and still love), coming out to friends and family, choosing to be who I actually am all brought relief and peace. Living a life as an openly gay man even without homo "sexual" experience in the end created a sense of contentment that I had never before imagined.

naturgesetz said...

You find men attractive. That probably won't go away without a miracle.

But IMO we are not entitled to have all our hungers satisfied. So I'd encourage you to continue to do all the things that you know are right.

I think that if you accept that the hunger will probably be there for the rest of your life, and that you do not have to satisfy it, you will be able to live with it more easily than if you tell yourself that you can't. As long as you believe that homosexual activity is wrong, you can find the strength you need.

Ned said...

Beck, my dear friend, do other hungers really ever go away?

You eat a Thanksgiving Feast and a few hours later, what do you want? More food. Another piece of pie. Maybe a cold turkey sandwich. (pun intended)

You attend the symphony or an engaging play or a great ball game. And what happens a few days or weeks or months later? You want more music, more drama, more sports.

You buy a fast new computer, or a new car, or a new suit. It's wonderful at first. Then in a while the computer doesn't seem all that fast any more. The car loses the new car smell. The new suit becomes just a suit. And eventually you hunger again for new technology or attire.

At least I do. So...

Just when I think I've accepted my MOM relationship, I find there's some new wrinkle, or some old one that returns.

Just when I think, I've got it pretty good, something comes along to show me that while I am blessed, I am also greatly challenged.

Just when I think I can swim fluently, I don't breathe right on a flip turn and a little water goes up my nose.

So yes, I relate to your hunger that never goes away. I feel it too. I do an innocent online chat with an old buddy, and pretty soon all I can think about is being in his arms.

But I also realize that most everything in life ebbs and flows. The rain--I hope, I pray, I imagine--will eventually give way to sunshine. Hey I live in Salt Lake not Seattle. And then after a while it will be too hot and I'll long for cool rainy days like today.

I have no answers. But I'm grateful for the way you pose questions. And I'm grateful for your friendship. Maybe our satisfaction in life relates more to the challenge of asking unanswerable questions rather than ease of finding questionable answers.

What do you think, Beck?

Andy said...

What Ned said. My life ebbs and flows. Some days are easy and some are more introspective and sometimes I feel even a little deseperate. You must decided where your sacrifices are going to be made. I know it's not fair, it just is.

ScarletSinner said...

I have to agree with Clive. "The hunger that never goes away" is not just sexual desire. While sex is obviously a part of the package, for me the bulk of the anguish stemmed more from a sense of artifice and deceit resulting from living a life that was incompatible with who I actually was."

SO very true for me and so many others as well.

But as cliche as it sounds, i guess you just have to keep your chin up, and hold out hope that fate hasnt forgotten you yet.

Beck said...

PLAYA: You still exist and hang around! Yeah, you'd think that I want some... But what is it that I want, that I hunger for. I may be deceived by denying myself a lifetime of "getting some", but I really am not referring to the "sex". It's a desire for acceptance, understanding, love, connection, and yes, passion. And maybe if I were honest, it could include sex, but really that's not what this is about.

MOHOH: My "sense of longing" is not "unbearably acute". I'm actually quite calm and in a good place all things considered. I am doing well and staying in balance. My kids still love me and are accepting of me more and more, and my wife continues to love and support me.

This post is more about just witnessing that even with all this "good" and with continuing on what I consider to be wise and "good" choices for me, there is still and always will be a longing, a hunger, a desire that will never be satisfied.

That is all. Just wanted to be clear on that point. I didn't want to be misconstrued for anyone out there to think that I thought it would be otherwise or even expect it to be otherwise.

Beck said...

MIGUEL: Yes, life is a constant battle of various hungers. We all hunger even if we do "get some". It is part of life.

CD: You are so right... my thoughts are not on sex, but just on the fact that despite it all, even the good, this longing and hunger for something that I can't have, won't have, don't have for whatever reason, is still here and never will go away. Trying to be more honest with my feelings and with my family has helped to soften the pain, but the ache inside is still forever there.

Beck said...

NATURGESETZ: I do accept it. I do accept that this will be with me for the rest of my life. I am NOT bemoaning that fact or even complaining about it. That was what I did years ago when I was in denial and even as I started blogging. I am not filled with angst or confusion as I once was.

Instead, I am wanting to be clear to those who may follow this blog, even with the infrequency of recent posts, that even as I continue to believe in what I believe and continue to feel good about the choices I make willingly to lead my life as I have, I will state again, without any angst, that this "doesn't get better". The longing for, and desire and hunger for this unfed need, is always there. Just for what it's worth.

I find strength in just simply admitting that to myself, and to you.

NED: You're right that other hungers don't go away. We need constant nurishment to body and spirit. But we do feed ourselves and gain strength from food. For those like us, however, we starve ourselves of these other longings and desires.

I guess it "gets better" as acceptance and time heal past hunger pains, but the ache in the belly is still there, and that's just the way it is.

No ill will. No anger or even frustration... just a simple fact that was spurred on by the "longing" post of Vic's. This longing of mine, though I may imply otherwise, is still henceforth and forever present.

Beck said...

ANDY: You're right. It just is.

SCARLET: I like that thought that "fate hasn't forgotten me yet". There's something to hold onto and have hope.

There is always room for hope...

Invictus Pilgrim said...

You wrote, "I find strength in just simply admitting that to myself, and to you."

I think this is very healthy. You have made and are making choices which are valid for you, which work for you, which bring you happiness. All of that is to be affirmed, and you know I support you in the path you have chosen.

That being said, you are who you are; you will never be different. And you need to not only acknowledge who you are, you need to love who you are, including recognizing the "longing" you feel - which I believe, knowing you only to the degree I do, is an emotional longing far more than anything physical.

I believe you long to unite that with part of yourself that has been so long suppressed, denied, starved. All this, to me, is totally understandable and deserves to be acknowledged and validated. IMO, this is not precluded by the path you are on, and I think this is what you are saying. And I support you 1000% in that.

As a concluding comment, I would point out that your wife has made choices, too. She has chosen to stay with you, knowing what she does. The same is true with other gay men in mixed-orientation marriages. In other cases, such as mine, there are other factors at work in the marriage, and there are instances where the wife chooses not to stay in the marriage. I think this needs to be remembered: there are TWO people in every marriage, and each person is entitled to and does make their own choices.

Crisco said...

I am finding out how much better it is to be open and honest with oneself and with those close to you. I don't experience so much emotional angst now that my close friends and my wife knows about me. I continue to go to work every day, come home to the kids and wife, do the dishes just about every night, enjoy the same books and movies, but I haven't been rejected. That's a huge difference. Sure I do wonder what purpose is served by feeling an attraction to men and a desire to find a love a male partner. What was God thinking? I have my internal struggles on this issue and what the church teaches. I'm confused. On the other hand, I'm loved. I have a wonderful family to come home to every night. I'm happy, not miserable. I still have moments of pain and loneliness for something I can never have based on my commitment to my marriage. Those moments don't come as frequently as before. I also recognize that just leaving a marriage doesn't mean I would immediately find a perfect soulmate in another guy. I may spend the rest of my life looking for Mr. Right and never find him. I am focused on the good things in my life, and I do realize I'm blessed and at peace.

Anonymous said...

I think that hunger is only a small part of it.

There is the things you do to yourself to keep from acting on that hunger and the effect it has on you and as a consequence the effect you have on others.

What I did to fight the hunger when I was young almost destroyed me and almost destroyed my marriage. Here I was fighting the hunger to save my marriage but I almost ended up destroying it.

But when I was young fighting my hunger meant fighting being gay. Not allowing myself to even feel one gay feeling. That is a one way path to self destruction.

So I struck a balance.

I made peace with my sexuality but still don't act on it -so- I am not totally at peace.

My wife made peace with my sexuality and so did my kids.

So while I don't act on it, I am still what 4/5ths the way there.

But there is also the other things that I keep myself from experiencing.

Not doing those things leave me feeling not liberated; somewhat stifled.

I never hear people that don't act on it talk about how not acting on it affects who they are. For me, not acting on it limits me. Somehow I know I could be more than I am. I have a greater capacity for intimacy with a man than with a woman. I have not just given up sex by not acting on it. I have also given up my greater capacity for intimacy.

I have given up part of who I am.


Beck said...

INVICTUS: Loving who I am, including my longings, is what I am attempting to do. But lifelong suppression, denial, and starvation make that only an attempt and not nearly a reality.

You're partially right that I mostly long for the emotional connection, but there is a physical component to it as well... not necessarily sexual, yet definitely physical.

Life is made of the choices we make. Yes, my wife has made choices as well. Never have I suggested that everyone's choices must follow mine or my wife's choices. I honor you in your choices as you seek for the best for your loved ones and yourself.

You still want to go to lunch?

Beck said...

CRISCO: Your comments are spot-on and reflect my sentiments precisely. I could end the meaning behind this post by just saying "I concur".

PHILIP: There is that part of me that remains a hunger inside because it is not fed or satisfied. It does affect who I am as I make choices to deny that hunger... thus the longing never ever goes away. Part of that longing goes beyond the "emotional" or "physical" connection, but moreso, to the longing of what sort of man I would be had I acted upon this hunger.

But I do know who I am. I can also ask myself: would I be the man I am today if I had made different choices?

Invictus Pilgrim said...

Sure. I'd like that. Just send me an email and let me know when you'd like to go.

Kengo Biddles said...

Not that my perspective will be accepted by many here, but I have to agree that the feelings ebb and flow. I've been watching snippets of a german television series that features an openly gay character and a seemingly straight hetero character that eventually falls for the gay character.

Eventually the two marry.

I have desperately wanted that. I've wanted that loving, supporting, completing relationship.

I think that MoHoHI hit it on the head - trading one set of problems for another. Which are worse? Which are better?

My wife and I recently considered purchasing a business. The prevailing suggestion to all of our dreaming and planning was to cast a pessimistic eye on things. EVERYTHING about the business before we committed to any change.

We're grateful we did. The business opportunity was not a good fit for us, and we ended up declining. I can't help but think that I'm at the same point in my life. Yes, There are many drawbacks to my current marriage.

I didn't get the June Cleaver that I've expected a wife to be.

Our sex life isn't what it was, for a multitude of reasons.

I'm not pleased with our physical health, and I don't feel like she wants to change. So there are my list of problems (at least the top few).

Would pursuing a homosexual relationship be any better? Would I find anyone that would meet my "June Cleaver" expectations, or let me be the "June Cleaver" I want to be?

Could I give up daily access to my darling boys?

Could I give up my faith? (This is speaking only for myself. I don't think I could keep my faith - not with my past track record.)

Here's one thing that I've learned from watching this German TV show:

You have to work at a relationship.

At least one of the actors on the series is straight. The other is ostensibly (who knows). But they both expressed in interviews that they've tried to find ways to show their ongoing love as a "couple" when filming on the set. They touch each other in passing. They rest a hand on the other. They share bites of a banana.

I think that much of what we want, what we yearn for depends on what we cultivate. And I'll leave it at that, lest I hijack your blog. (Think I've already done it, actually.)

Beck said...

KENGO: Hijack away! I think your comments are extremely appropriate. It does that work, and the trade offs do need to be weighed and balanced.

And maybe the best point - our desires, longings, and hunger are filled with the romantic view of "what if" instead of the reality of "this is what you get".

Thanks for your comments and good to see you're still around and hanging in there!

Ned said...

KENGO: I agree with Beck, it's very nice to hear from you again. Those of us in a committed MOM relationship with children (and in my case even a grandchild) have invested many years, even decades, in building our families. We're not just dealing with mixed orientations, but with mixed bags of delight and frustration, blessings and challenges, some darkness and much light. I realize how much I've received and given. That doesn't take away my desire for something more, but agree with you that the trade offs--at this point--may not be worth it. I hate the idea of divorcing my wife, and all the trauma that would create for so many people I love. On that other hand, the idea of outliving her, of having remained as faithful as I could be throughout her mortal life, and then being blessed with a God-given "somewhere, sometime, someplace" for something else holds some appeal. What does that say about me?

BECK: You cut right to the heart of the matter in speculating that "...our desires, longings, and hunger are filled with the romantic view of 'what if' instead of the reality of 'this is what you get'." Amen to that.

MoHoHawaii said...

The question of whether new problems or current problems are preferable isn't rhetorical. By posing it, I don't mean to suggest that the status quo is always preferable. Instead, I see it as the central question that must be faced when considering major life changes. The answer depends on the particulars of the situation and the needs of the people involved.

Bror said...

I believe that it never goes away Beck. I am not so sure I want it to go away either. The older I get the more I like being me.

Beck said...

MOHOH: The status quo is always the best, but it's more an issue of the "known" verses the "unknown" and fear of the unknown keeps the status quo seeming to be better. In reality, it may not be for most and we should be open to new situations and changes. Yet, changes aren't always easy. Yes, these are fair questions to ask and sometimes the answer varies based on the situation.

BROR: I like being me as well! As I get older, I am becoming more at peace with living in my own skin. But my own skin may still long to be in someone else's skin... literally or figuratively, you decide!

Beck said...

NED: I am a hopeless romantic! What can I say? The reality is always there, but the romantic view is also always there.

Bravone said...

I wouldn't trade my marriage for anything, but do understand the longing you describe to a great degree. I do, however, long to be by my wife's side all our remaining days. I want to grow old with her, and am! This longing supersedes other longings in my life to the degree that I yearn and strive to be worthy of her continued love.

You have been and are an amazing example to me.

Ti voglio molto, molto bene.


Beck said...

BRAVONE: I do long for my wife as well, without which I could not stay married these almost 30 years! It's an interesting play between longings of two different types. How "interesting" it makes my life to not have my longings in just one basket - how simple life would be otherwise.

I am grateful for your example of devotion to your wife and the strength you show in your actions as you continue to love her and make that longing even greater.

Grazie per l'esempio che non finisce mai. Ti voglio bene assai.