Saturday, June 10, 2006

Dear Restored Vows,

Restored Vows writes:

Before we got married, I told my wife that I had same-sex attractions. I thought it would "go away" when I got married. It didn't.

My marriage is currently on the rocks. I am not very romantic and our love (sex) life is basically dead. Any advice for the romantically challenged?

I'd really like a wife's perspective on your thoughts and feelings. I am not out to my wife, but she knows something is up.


Dear Restored Vows,

I hope that I am not being too blunt or unkind, but here goes. . .

Advice for the romantically challenged: If you love her and want to stay with her, then fake affection - fake wanting her. Be nice to her. Do the dishes. If you are having "performance problems," use another part of your body to bring her to pleasure island. If you can't do this, then . . . do I have to finish the sentence?

She knows something is up: What can I say? I can't tell you whether to tell your wife or not, if that is what you are asking.

Countless times, Eddy has said that he wishes that he hadn't said anything to me. My reply is always, "So you wish that at this moment, even now, that you would still be deceiving me. Thanks a lot."

But that is me. In the field of information seeking behavior people fall between two extremes: monitors and blunters. In a nutshell, monitors want to know everything about a situation. Blunters don't.

I am definitely a monitor. I want to know the truth, no matter what it is, so I can deal with it. Your wife might not want to know. You told her once, and she chose not to deal with it then.

Soon after the "big announcement" a very dear friend of mine (who says that this is all a "phase" for Eddy - but that is another story) gave me a recording of Carly Simon singing "We Have No Secrets". Basically, the singer wishes that she didn't know everything. Sometimes it is better not to know everything.

When Eddy told me that his sexual attractions were same-sex, it took a huge weight off of my shoulders - there wasn't something wrong with me. A hundred different things suddenly made sense.

On the other hand, I was - and still am - completely crushed. There are days that no matter what I have said, and no matter that usually I like to hear the naked truth, I wish that I didn't know.

Or, perhaps it is that I am wishing that it just isn't true.

You have to ask yourself why you want to tell or not tell. If your affairs are really over, telling her just to relieve your conscience isn't really fair - it puts your burden onto her. It drags her into the closet with you. And, once you tell her, you can't take it back.

On the other hand, she's not getting any younger. If you tell her, you should tell her now.

Condoms or not, her health may be at risk; you really have a moral obligation to tell her now.

Marriage vows are made between two people. It takes both people to "restore" them.

B

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4 Comments:

Blogger A Troll At Sea said...

B:

I wonder all the time if I am doing the right thing, if I have done the right thing. But no one ever walks up to us and answers the question for us, we just have to act on faith.

And that is a scary thing to do.

Hang in there.

The Troll

Sunday, June 11, 2006 2:37:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

B, you are a wise woman.

KK and I are to a point in our collective and individual journeys where we are both certain that knowing and dealing is far better than the pain of secret keeping. I think there are times when we both wish this weren't all true, but only because of the complications. I'm through feeling guilty that I'm gay, and she's through wanting me to be something I'm not and never will be.

I hope Eddy is okay. I've missed hearing his voice of late.

Monday, June 12, 2006 6:31:00 AM  
Blogger Restored Vows said...

B -

It is interesting to hear from another woman's perspective. As mentioned, before we got married, I confessed to a same-sex encounter. When we were dating, she had just came off of giving up a baby to adoption (she had been sexually assaulted and became pregnant. Being raised a conservative Christian, she didn't believe in abortion. Today that baby is a 16 year old young man. I applauded my wife's decision as she could have been justified to having an abortion).

I have known people (both men and women) who have left the gay/lesbian life through their Christian faith. Some have been successful, others not.

Within my current vocation as a social worker, we are ethically mandated to advocate for any minority -- whether that is ethnic, religious, or sexual orientation. I sat in classes on diversity where I was professionally conflicted. What takes priority: my own Christian beliefs on homosexuality or professional obligation for tolerance and acceptance of GLBT individuals. I chose to work with mental health/substance abuse, as compared to GLBT issues, as I have not resolved those issues personally for myself.

My parents went through a nasty divorce in the late 1970's, so that is always in the back of my mind. Plus I know that my wife's socio-economic status will take a nose dive if we got divorced. I don't want my kids to be on the welfare lines.

The internet is both a useful and a dangerous tool. There is a sense of on-line community that is rare in our "could-care-less" suburban lives. However, the internet was the catalyst of my "hookups" and immersion into the gay lifestyle. However, I am on the fringe. Not fully gay and not fully straight. Bi-married men seem to an outcast in their own right. Too straight to be gay and too gay to be straight.

I also wonder how much of my own sexual abuse as a kid plays into this. My mom had a bi boyfriend that got me drunk and sexually molested me (oral sex at age 15). I'm sure that plays into this situation currently. Too many questions and no answers.....

I do know of some ex-gay ministries. However, they are not for everyone. The person has to want to change, just like my addicts that I work with daily.

As Troll has said, hang in there.

RV

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Nate said...

Hi B
We are going for a new form of honesty. KA knows everything and points out she would be okay with knowing all of the global but less of the details.

Our latest is that we will not discuss if or if not I have the occassinal hookup (I have not for six weeks). On the other hand we have discussed I will never lie and if she asks I will tell her.

It is hard on you women in this. When I saw the title of your next post I thought of what Ben's wife put on his website (originally an e-mail to me). In effect she wants to know in this having cake and eating it paradigm we live in, where is the cake for the wives.

Thanks as always for giving us the other perspective.

Nate

Monday, June 19, 2006 9:48:00 PM  

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