Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eye lock...




January is always a very hard month. It isn't the post-holiday blues. Nor is it the increased darkness, cold, inversions that sink the soul. No, for me, it is something more...

January is the anniversary of my "coming out" to my wife. It's now been seven years! Where has the time gone? With each passing year, there are moments and events celebrating great improvement, but with each January, it's like those emotions of the first "revelation" of my attractions bubbles up again and renews its ugliness, if only in the sense of increased anxiety, emotions on edge, self-doubt and worthlessness all hitting her hard and thus affecting me as well.

In that environment, an amazing thing happened. It was a week ago in church. I was on the stand as usual and she was sitting second row back with clear eye contact with me. I could tell in reading her eyes that her emotions were close to the surface, ready to bubble over. We sang the closing hymn and our eyes locked. This particular hymn has special meaning to the two of us for a variety of reasons - it's one of "our hymns". As we sang, we didn't look down at the words - we knew them by heart - we stayed in an eye-lock.

In that connection, I tried to portray as I was singing, that I loved her, that I still did even after seven years of the "revelation", and that I hoped she felt that, too.

I started singing in our shared second language, and she could tell from my lips that I was no longer singing in English. I could see her change to our second shared language as well. It was then that I was hit by a spiritual feeling that overwhelmed my body - something that I hesitate to share but feel I need to. In that moment, I felt an assurance that I still did love her, that I did want to stay with her, that we are meant for each other to be connected despite my attractions otherwise, and how grateful I am for her still being there with me after these seven years!

It was an incredible moment of peace, knowledge, assurance, pure intelligence all in one. I started to tear up and so did she. That was it... and then it was over.

***

More than not, I wonder if sharing such personal feelings really has any value to this community anymore. I'm at the point of thinking I have nothing more to share... I've hesitated to share this very personal experience. But I hope it has value for others as they read this.

The feeling that came did not say that my feelings for men will go away or even decrease, they just are... and that is the way it just is... but it's okay, and it's okay to still share my life with an incredible, amazingly wonderful woman, and how grateful I am for these last seven tough years.

I hope that has value to you.

Thanks for listening.

18 comments:

naturgesetz said...

I would think this could be very affirming to married men who have SSA — very encouraging to them as they strive to remain faithful.

For my part, as one who has remained celibate, I just want to say I'm glad to know of this positive moment, with its implications.

Neal said...

Very cool. So glad you had that moment.

And please don't go silent on us again!

Sean said...

Such a great experience! Thanks for sharing! I hope you are well and if you disappear hopefully we can stay in touch! PS I realized just barely that I didn't respond to your email. I will do that soon (probably this weekend).

Joe said...

Absolutely it is relevant! There are several different pathways taken by people in this community. For some of us, your experience offers hope. The rest should gain more understanding and respect for your choice/direction. Thank you.

Ned said...

Congratulations on seven years, Beck. And on that Capraesque moment with your wife. It certainly is relevant and helps put my 21 years of being out to my wife in perspective.

My three decade marriage to the female love of my life is wonderful and difficult. My decade of friendship with the male love of my life is also filled with wonder and challenge.

I have sought an illusive third way as I know you have. Perhaps we have found it without knowing it, by keeping covenants yet seeking to embrace our full identity as same gender loving men married to remarkable women, as fathers, sons, brothers and friends, as men of faith and doubt.

Adrian said...

I really enjoyed hearing of your experience. It's going on eleven years since I told my wife of my hidden nature. I wish I could say it has been getting better but I can't. We get along well and have a good relationship in most ways. But there is always a subcurrent of tension whenever anything gay is mentioned or even portrayed on tv, etc. Hopefully sometime she will get over her angst against gay people and people with homosexual attarctions. But, I think not. At, least she is still with me and most of the time we pretend that the inner tensions don't exist. You are very fortunate. I wish you both well..........Adon

Anonymous said...

Grazie, mi amico - Kengo

Beck said...

NATURGESETZ: I appreciate you seeing the moment as affirming and positive, even if it is different from your valid chosen path.

NEAL: I don't plan on going "silent", but I don't feel as "vocal" as in the past. As things happen or thoughts or feelings come that seem valid for this blog community, I will continue to speak out. But after nearly six years of blogging, I am not sure what still needs to be said...

but I'm still here as long as I feel relevant and worthy of contribution.

Beck said...

SEAN: SO good to see you are alive and well! I'm glad you popped in. As for "disappearing", I'm still here, just not sure how relevant my droning on about my life serves for any readers out there... but maybe the status quo is noteworthy for some.

JOE: Thanks for your viewpoint that this stuff is still relevant. I don't know that the way I'm living my life is of "hope" to others... it just is my reality. I don't wish such a life on anyone. I'm still in constant conflict with my inner voices and the battle of those voices pull me in many directions... but experiences like the one I've described in this post help to settle me down and anchor me to stay on this path.

Beck said...

NED: Your 21 years puts to shame my 7 years of being "out" to my wife. Thank you for your example to me, my man.

ADON: I didn't mean to imply that she doesn't get angsty about gay issues (in the media, on the street, or even with me). It is still there with her never being fully comfortable about it. She has come to accept that I am who I am, but the angst is there if I show signs of pulling away from her and seeking a different path away from her and the family. Her acceptance of me is in understanding me for who I am and that she still chooses to be with me (and I with her). If I were to choose to not be with her, then this "capraesque" moment would no longer exist.

in other words, all is well as I keep myself in check and focus on making it work WITH her and not against her and as she comes to understand and appreciate me for who I am... That has its challenges, for sure, but hey, isn't that what I've promised to do as a married man?

KENGO: Soooo good to see you here! Grazie a te, amico mio!

Alex said...

Hey Beck. I don't know you as well as most of your readers, but I just want to thank you for sharing this.

I'm on a different path from you now, but I was married for three years. We chose divorce. I say we because I didn't leave her and she didn't leave me. We decided together not to be married.

But I don't think that everyone has to make that choice, nor should they. I love my ex-wife. I love her in a way I may never love another human being. I respect her decision to divorce me, but I can't bedrudge any man gay or straight trying to stay with the woman they love and work things out. I think that each relationship is unique. From what I can tell, it sounds like you have something truly remarkable and special with your wife. I'm sure you know this already, but don't let the naysayers out there cheat that away from you. You aren't any less happy because of the choices you made to stay together.

I respect you sir. Thanks again for sharing.

Beck said...

ALEX: This means a lot to me. I need to read your story in return and understand where you are going.

I don't expect everyone to agree. I don't even ask for understanding or confirmation (though I do appreciate it). I certainly don't see myself as someone to emulate or hold in high esteem.

I just want to sometimes tell my story and hope it has validity for others.

Thanks for seeing it for what it is.

Beck said...
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Anonymous said...

I appreciate that you chose to share this. I have never before seen blogs like yours for people in my situation. I told my wife 12 years ago when our dating started getting serious. I had realized what I was dealing with and it was on my mind at the time, and I felt I needed to tell her to be honest before our relationship went any farther.

Finding your blog and others like it, I feel less alone with my SSA.

Beck said...

ANON: I am so grateful that you commented. Sometimes I wonder how many "anonymouses" there are out there not knowing that people taking similar paths with similar loads exist.

We aren't alone, though often it feels that way.

I'd be interested in hearing more about your story. Mine is pretty well spelled out over the course of six years of blogging, though I don't recommend reading it - I haven't for years.

Beck said...
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Anonymous said...

Beck, this post brought tears to my eyes. So inspiring. My husband and I are going through a difficult time right now and divorce has been discussed many many times...this post was a reminder to me that love can still remain when other issues arise. Thank you. Your whole blog is very inspiring.

Anonymous said...

great message, very helpful