Friday, October 28, 2011

Hum a good hymn!

I hate it when this happens. It shows how little self-control I have... and how truly weak I am... and maybe how much a man like me needs to be married to a woman.

You see, my wife is out of town for over a week - and when that happens, the temptation meter jumps to the max! I feel overwhelming desires to do things, think things, that she wouldn't approve of (and that my core values wouldn't approve of either). I want to watch gay-themed films, and doing so will undoubtedly trigger desires to long for some guy to hug, which will lead to me really needing to kiss a guy. I know I don't have anyone in my life that will provide that connection (unless... um... any takers? :) ), and so these desires fail to linger in the real world, but instead, they linger in the mind - a dangerous place that destroys will power, positive image, self-mastery, self-worth.


I really need her here to keep me steady, sane, safe, in control...

Is there value in mixed-oriented marriage after all? Is it normal to fall off the wagon when the parole officer is looking the other way? Why do I feel like a playing mouse when the "cat" is away?

Or am I a just a slutty boy simply wanting to get it on with anything male that moves?

Why does this happen? Is this really my "core value"?

I hate this... got to stay strong... got to stay clean... I need to think of a favorite scripture or hum a good hymn!


naturgesetz said...

How about Ephesians 4:17-32 — with particular attention to verses 22-24 and 30.

Joe said...

If I lived anywhere near you I would totally take you up on your offer.

But at least you have somebody to keep you in line most of the time. Some of us came out to ourselves while still single. I respect your desire to keep yourself clean for her, even if she wouldn't know.

Beck said...

NATURGESETZ: Putting off the "old man" and putting on the "new"... a time of change, of renewal, of repentance. Good thoughts.

I particularly like v. 32: "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another..."

I sincerely try to be that kind, tenderhearted, forgiving guy... but not so much with myself.

Thank you for following me here, encouraging me to stay strong, to find forgiveness, to have hope in the "new man".

Beck said...

JOE: I'm flattered... but why? Why would you "totally take me up on the offer"? What is it that makes you see in me what I cannot see myself?

PNWReader said...

I suspect Maxwell (RIP) would tell you to take your pick of Milton (cloistered virtue) or Lehi (opposition in all things).

As annoying as some temptations are, to repeatedly endure them is not failure to overcome them. The natural man is not the one who yields, but the one who never though to resist. many pet heresies, so few HPG meetings in which to air them.

And then to ask a really personal question: is the temptation's attraction in the potential for mutuality or is this just touch hunger following a familiar neural pathway? And does that make a difference in your coping strategy? If you do watch any gay-themed films, you definitely need to live blog it.

And finally, what Joe said.

Beck said...

PNW: Wow! You said a lot. The comment of: "... to repeatedly endure them is not failure to overcome them," is giving me pause.

I have come to accept that these "tempations", these feelings are not going away. They will not be overcome, at least in the way that they need to be considered wrong or disgusting, but instead, they just are, and as I currently see it, they just will be.

I have accepted that right now, for now, for me and mine, I cannot fully embrace them. My enduring is for others, not for me. Situations are, and maybe always will be such that I am unable to fully embrace what "just is".

Maybe that's a coward's way to say that I'm afraid... I'm scared... I'm alone.

This post is not about "overcoming" as much as finding it interesting that when the protective cloak of my wife is gone for a time, these feelings, longings, and desires rise so very quickly to the surface, and how to deal with that juxtaposition of thoughts when she is not here, and how maybe this is good, keeping family together, concentrating on children with much bigger and serious concerns than mine, who need a father, and she needs a husband. Or maybe this is bad, because I keep revisting over and over and over again these feelings - feelings that I have come to recognize as being in my core from the beginning - an essential part of who it is that I am.

HPG discussions can never understand these feelings, misguided or misinterpreted as they may be. And so I hide, and come apart when I'm alone. I go to my rock on my mountain and weep alone.

What do I long for? Connection. Touch. Spirit-to-spirit understanding of these feelings. Physical expressions of passion and love. Maybe that's naive. Maybe that's adolescent.

But I've put away my affectionate side for over a year now... and all I've come to realize is that I am not as happy and I feel a bit more distant and removed from those around me, and from God. I feel that as I shun affection, as I keep myself from naturally expressing these feelings, I become more miserable and lost.

Gay Mormon Engineer said...

I think you are putting to much responsibility on your wife for you. As long as you use external locks to prevent you from doing things you will set up yourself for failure. Being good should be from within. Also stop focusing on try not to think or do things instead focus on ways to become more Christlike. For example when your wife goes somewhere volunteer at a nursing home. Find ways to help others instead of trying to struggle with yourself.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Beck.....just happened to stumble across your blog. At first I thought this guy has got to be kidding but then I realized you may be serious. I have only one thing to say and I am not sure I should since I do not know you. But I will and you can do with it as you probably will: Be true to yourself man and to your wife. There is no shame in how you feel about other men....that is who you are. I am sure you have heard this before. There is no admiration here for keeping your wife safe of learning the truth. Grow up.

Beck said...

GME: Thanks for your concern. I hope you realize that my core values and beliefs and what I do or not do are definitely rooted in myself, not in external sources, such as my wife. Is she an influence that keeps be grounded? Of course, but my roots are my own and my motives are my own.

This post was more to point out to myself the interesting observation how "temptation" comes at funny and vulnerable times, and how they seem to coincide when I am more "available" to do things I wouldn't otherwise do when she is out of town.

This post was not about my going off the deep end, or not having core values that make up who I am ever as much as being gay. It was more about how interesting the timing is of such feelings, and how I wish that once these temptations have been resisted successfully in the past and "put to bed", they always cycle back without fail. Is that my fault? Or is that just the way it works?

I don't know the answers to these things - that's why I am pondering them now through this blog.

Instead of going off the deep end this week, I have immersed myself in others lives - particularly today - visiting spontaneously with a couple of widows and a neighbor in need. I made dinner for my young adult kids and spent quality time with them.

Thank you for your encouragement to get past this funk. I will. I always do. But isn't it interesting how the cycle continues to cycle?

Beck said...

ANON: Thanks for reading. I find it interesting how each of the commenters here are fairly new to my blog, and that the "old timers" are either moving on or already gone.

As you may note, I've been blogging for over 5-1/2 years. I don't suggest anyone go back and read my full story, but if you had, you would know that I have already come fully out to my wife. She is not in the dark and yes, I am trying to "grow up".

I know there is nothing wrong with the feelings I have for being attracted to men. I quite enjoy them, thank you very much! :) I used to be full of angst all the time. In fact, my blog used to be called "Beck's Angst" because that is how I felt.

I no longer feel that way. I have accepted and come to love who I am, and the joy it is to be found in circumstances where I love loving men.

That said, I still miss the touch and closeness of male bonding. I crave it and yet I have purposely removed myself from it. Maybe that is why these "feelings" keep cycling back.

Again, I'm just noting to myself, (as the blog is as much for me to give voice to thoughts and feelings that I have no other way to express in the "real" world, as to help others in my similar situation as a married (30 years) active LDS family man) that isn't it curious and more than odd that such feelings and "temptations" come in cycles when my wife is not around.

I find that intriguing and hope you do, too. I hope you can find that though my choices may not be yours, they are still mine. I am who I am, and I'm doing the best I can with what I've been given. I'm trying to hold together a family with many complicated issues going on at this time. I'm trying to hold together a marriage fully devulged of a gay man married to a straight woman, and all that that involves. I'm trying to remain sane while I personally choose to boycott the deep and intimate physical relationship that I desire with another man...

It's complicated. But yes, I'm serious. This is my life. I'm not kidding. But I do give voice here to my alter-ego, not my whole being and hope you can read between the lines that I am more "grown up" than my alter ego may appear - for there is more to me than just these random thoughts and feelings that I give voice to through this odd blog medium.

Thank you for reading and caring to comment. It means a lot to me. And next time don't be so "anonymous". :)

Mr. B. said...

some good comments. I might leave 1 more. You may be able to find someone or some people near you (not quite sure where you live) that can be the support you need. I've found that guys (married or single, straight or gay) need to have bro-nights every once in a while.

Good luck with that. I think I'll go find a few more strong solid gay friends where I live!

Beck said...

MR. B.: I tried that approached a couple of years ago (just ask several of the older MOHOs) and it just made things more complicated than I could handle.

I couldn't find the line between good fun bromance and slipping into full romance. And with marriage and outside friendships that slip into romance because I desire that more than anything (other than my marriage), it just wasn't a good thing for her and was too stressful to balance for me.

If I could find a safe way to bromantically keep things just friendly and no more, that is what the other parts of me would desire, but particularly if a guy is open to more affection, I am all to eager to comply and even initiate the physical contact.

So, for now, I've chosen not to go down that slippery road where my feet have slipped before. Someday, maybe, I hope to be able to bring that goodness back into my fundamental being.

If you, or anyone, know how to make it work without slipping, please advise...

Scott N said...

Perhaps groups would be safer? I get together with a few other guys once or twice a month for coffee (or herbal tea or hot chocolate) and conversation and I think there's a good chance you'd fit in and feel comfortable with them.

If you're interested, let me know and I'll make sure I invite you next time we get together.

Beck said...

SCOTT: You exist! You're still out there! Thanks for the comment... Groups would be better, for sure, but too large of groups and I feel very uncomfortable (remember the time I came to your house party?) You probably don't and no one really did anything, but I just felt overwhelmed and so confused and out of place... I'm much more "outgoing" in a more intimate group where my "comfort zone" isn't stretched too far. I guess I lack self confidence in a group of guys that have it all figured out who they are, while I'm still hesitant to give any outward expression of the man inside.

But, thanks for the offer and I'll give it some thought. Your encouragement is appreciated. I feel like you so quickly passed me by on this path that I'm not even in your rear view mirror, having lagged way behind.

Scott N said...

Of course I'm still here. :) ... I just haven't felt like I have much to contribute to your posts anymore, since we're in such different places now. But I'm still reading.

There are maybe a dozen guys in this group of friends, but we rarely have even half that when we get together for coffee. And I think that you know (online, at least) at least one of the guys who;s usually there (Miguel, aka Public Loneliness).

Most of us have been married and have kids (so you'd have that in common), but all of us are separated or divorced (which may or may not be an issue for you). And all of us have left the church to some degree or another, though at least one of us still believes, and attends somewhat regularly.

I'd understand if the demographic I've described would make you uncomfortable or anxious (and I can't promise that there wouldn't be statements suggesting that you'd be happier if you made different choices), but they're all great guys and I'm certain they'd all support your right to choose your own path.

You're welcome any time—I'd love to catch up in person. :)

Beck said...

SCOTT: I'm truly flattered at the invite. To be honest, like always I'm more timid than I probably should be. You all have moved on and I'm still here. I don't know which is better - they just are. It makes me realize just how stuck I am.

Please give Sarah a hug for me.

recover and thrive said...

I know the feeling! its hard to stay strong when the wife is gone - but doesn't it feel great when you stayed true!

Beck said...

R&T: Though I don't always portray myself as knowing who I am, I do know pretty much who I am and what I'll do even in situations where the "temptations" seem to increase... and "stay strong" despite it all, even when part of me wants to be in a very different circumstance. And yes,though the thrill may be worth the venture into the world of "what ifs", it does feel good to keep your head on "straight" (no pun intended).

Scott N said...

You're only "stuck" if you feel like you should be somewhere other than where you are.

If that's not the case, better to say we're just on different paths. :)

Beck said...

SCOTT: It's not an "either / or" decision - it's somewhere in between. Sure, I'd like to be hanging out with the gang, but I'm afraid I'm on a different path - at least for now. Thanks for being okay with that and letting it be left at that.