Monday, July 31, 2006

Eyes Wide Shut

Ran across this quote and picture:
El sueño de la razón produce monstruos.
~Francisco de Goya, Los Caprichos, 1799
"The sleep of reason produces monsters."
reminds me of my longtime favorite quote:
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing it,
doesn't go away."
~Philip K. Dick
You know how little kids will cover their eyes and think you can't see them? Is this where I am? Covering my eyes to hide from something - to try to make it go away? Or am I having faith that love will conquer all?
Cate writes:
"I still don't really believe that he isn't gay, but I do believe that his love for me might be stronger than any gay tendencies he has."


Monday, July 24, 2006

Flipped Out

First of all,

Wow, guys! Thank you for your honest answers. So much of it resonates with our story: the climate of the 80s, the religion, the desire to create a family, falling in love. What you all wrote helps me better understand Eddy.

Flip threw a question back at me:

If, before you married, your husband had told you about his attraction to other men, would you still have married him? Why or why not?

Here is how I responded:

The short answer: I don't know.

The longer answer: Maybe not. He broke up with me three times (including one engagement)before we married. The combination would have made me pretty wary of how long it would be until he broke up with me again.

Or maybe I wouldn't have married him because I would have wanted to set him free.

More likely, I would have married him, thinking that he was "cured" which is what he was desperately hoping/believing at the time (also the 80s). And after our last break up (the engagement) I thought about him and missed him every day (for a year and a half in which we didn't communicate once). I loved him. I still do. And actually, I feel lucky to have been married to him at all. His inability to come to terms with it all, embrace his gay-self, come out . . . was my gain.



Tuesday, July 18, 2006

gay husbands tell all

Survey question of the day for all of you gay husbands in straight marriages.

For one reason or another, despite your sexual attraction to men, you married a woman. Why?

(Just looking for honest, direct answers. I want to get a clearer picture of this phenemonen. I am not trying to point fingers. Please feel free to remain anonymous.)


Thursday, July 13, 2006

buddha, the divorce fairy, and bounce out

I would like to think that I live in the present. Buddhism calls it mindfulness: being completely engrossed in the present, neither bemoaning the past, wishing away the present, nor borrowing from the future. You are eating an orange. Slow down. Notice the minute droplets of spray when you peel the orange or peel away sections. Notice the colors, the smell, the juice on your tongue. . . yadda, yadda, yadda.

But the present is so entirely bittersweet. Here we are, living together, like we have for sixteen years. Soon, we will go to bed. For once the TV is off. We are both sitting in the dark, both online. The room is dark except for our computer screens and the green and red lights on our 21st century gadgets, our own personal stars (or are they planets because they are not twinkling?). Eddy complains that the cat won't eat mosquitos, so what good is it? (Did our last cat eat mosquitos?) Playing "bounce-out" (for the last two hours), now he is rather quiet except for an occasional cough or hum. An hour or two ago (until tonight he was a "bounce-out" virgin), he frequently muttered mild expletives, as if this game were of utmost importance. (He is passionate about everything.) The steady tick-tock of our cuckoo clock contrasts with the random squeaking and bouncing and honking of his game. I realize that usually, Eddy is the one to pull the chain to make the pinecone weights rise to the top to give us a few more hours of ticking. I realize that I like that he does this. I think that he must have something on his mind to be distracting himself with his mindless game. The air-conditioning kicks on. I feel the air on my neck and shoulders. My eyelids are heavy. I should really go to bed. Unexciting, I know, but peaceful, comfortable. I love him.

When I am mindful, notice these things, notice him, notice us, at times I am unbearably wistful because the truth is that the more gay that he feels he is allowed to be, the happier he seems to be. He says this is my imagination, but it is not.

Living with Eddy reminds me of the movie Ghost. Demi Moore's husband, (Patrick Swayze, I think) is dead. He comes back as a ghost. She sees him and struggles to feel him. The sexy pottery scene. She feels him, his arms around her, her hands on hers holding the clay. She knows that she has to let go, but desperately wants not to.

But Eddy is here, so maybe a better description is that I know that our marriage is terminally ill. The odds are not good. Right now we are living in remission, hoping, fantasizing, that we are the lucky ones who will beat the odds. We have some things in our favor. But like the grim reaper, the divorce fairy (no pun intended), will eventually come to collect. Our very own terms of endearment.

I think of another Buddhist teaching -- that the the cause of all suffering is desire and attachment. But what is life without desire? I can't imagine life without feelings. I would take the package containing both suffering and joy over detachment any day.



Sunday, July 02, 2006

what they said when i told them my husband is gay

Over the last two years, I have gone to people for support. Some of their responses have surprised me. Here they are (abbreviated) in roughly chronological order as accurately as I can remember them. I list the most helpful response last, though.

  • my friend, D: No! He can't be. It's just a phase.
  • my therapist (after I asked her, "What am I supposed to do with this information?): Just breathe.
  • my friend, S: I had a friend who went through that. It was really a beautiful story . . . blah, blah, blah (after divorcing, both the husband and wife end up in same sex relationships, they all get along, the husband dies, the funeral is beautiful)
  • my sister: I can see that. Are you going to leave? (or maybe it was, when will you leave?)
  • a local pastor (outside of our circle) who didn't know either of us: God wants us all to be whole people.
  • my friend, J: Oh, Bea! I am so sorry. He's such a great guy. We love Eddy. Do you think that you can stay together?
  • my professor (after I explained why I left class crying): Does he want out? (No, I replied) Well, you can't play for both teams!?
  • my friend, H: Oh, Bea! I am so sorry. But how could he have done anything else (but stay in the closet) with all of the bad religion you both were raised in?
  • my friend, S, a year later: Bea, I think that you just need to find someone else.
  • my friend, D, a year later: I still think that this is a phase.

But the best advice was given to me about a month after "the revelation". It was by a PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) volunteer, who seven (now nine) years ago went through all of this. She said, #1 the rollercoaster will stop. #2 don't listen to what anyone else says; you and Eddy have to do what is right for you, and it might not look like anything anyone else has ever done.