Recently, a member of the MOHO community reached out to me. I've been thinking a lot about this request to update my feelings of where I was versus where I am now. It's got me thinking that maybe I have something still to say. I'm going to take the risk and attempt to post something of my dialogue with one in hopes that it can be of help to others and to myself as I continue on this path of a conflicted life.
In my correspondence, I was asked:
You mention that when you just leave it alone, "the gay" seems to leave you alone right now. I wonder if you could reflect on your current reality as it relates to the following quote that I included in a recent post that you wrote:
When I was in complete denial I was fine. I went over a decade with hardly a hiccup in attraction issues... I dealt with it just fine - but I pulled away from my wife, I became dull and lifeless, but I survived.
When I opened up to my bromances, I started coming alive. I was excited and passionate again, not just about them, but about my church service, about spiritual things, about work, about creativity, about reaching out to those in need, etc. But, with my bromances came the fact that I was turned on to guys and this is what was bringing me to the fact that I was always turned on to guys, I just suppressed it for so long that I had forgotten - and then it started to gush forward... and here I am.
I ask you to reflect on this because the dichotomy between being dull and lifeless and being passionate and energized of spirit has weighed heavily on my mind...
Yes, I did say that my life "became alive" when I started opening up myself to bromantic experiences. They were tintilating and exciting in a youthful, twitterpated way. I was exploring new and exciting territory and discovering where my true passion was. I love being loved by young guys. And I love bromantically love loving them back. It, however, was coming to the point where I either needed to keep up with this facade or let it crumble and break down around me as I would need to "come out". I realized these guys loved me for who I am as a straight married dude, not a gay but married guy looking for some snuggle time. I also became very uneasy with my wife and the double life I was leading. I loved the attention and the relationships and I loved being around and with and touching and hugging them... but it wasn't real. It was a fantasy. I wasn't being real to them or to my wife and when she confronted me on them, I had to decide: Was I going to leave her for this fantasy, or was I going to hold to what I had created with her that was real.
Ultimately, for a variety of family issues, I chose the reality of marriage, family, church, etc. over the fantasy of loving straight guys in the way that they never would have allowed me to do had they known I was gay with ulterior motives (even if subconscious in nature).
Am I regretting my choice? Not at all. I have become closer to my wife and have become more resolved to stay committed to her. It has created in me a sense of peace. No, I am not living the "exciting life of encounters", and yet, I'm okay with that. I struggle every day to keep on this path I've chosen, and it is a daily struggle. I find that the peace that has come, however, sustains me and is enough to keep going and fighting the good fight of staying with my family.
Do I miss the bromance encounters? You bet I do! But my resolve has strengthened and I feel understanding from Heavenly Father. I am convinced he knows what I'm going through and I've been able to come to a place with him where my slip ups are understood and I can get out of bed the next day and do better without beating myself up to death with guilt and angst as I used to. I'm a gay guy and He knows that. He also knows that path I'm trying to stay on and I feel the spirit pushing me forward, even when I occasionally, and often, mess up.
Don't know if this helps... it's just my current journey I'm on. I'm not sure how applicable it is to you. But may I confirm my conviction that Heavenly Father knows you just as much as he knows me! And He loves you and wants only the best for you! I know that to be true.