Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sharing the Closet

I have been thinking of two things which have finally intersected in my mind. I have shared most anything that can be conceived of with my wife this week. The glaring exception is this blog; she knows I read blogs and this has raised whole questions of community and support systems. At some point she will be reading this because I will tell her but it seems easier to tell her I have sex with other men than to say I am sharing my thoughts with this little world. Now maybe I am projecting her reaction, but I think not. She has always said she could live (not happily and maybe not for long) with affairs of the flesh but not affairs of the mind and heart. In some strange way she (understandably) conceives of this being the latter.

This brings me to the closet where I am quite firmly ensconced. Other than my wife there is really no one who both actually knows me and knows that I am bi – a condition we see no reason to change. What I didn’t realize was that by telling her, I dragged her into the closet with me. I sent a two e-mails to fellow travelers in this asking how their wives dealt with it. Both were kindly, thoughtfully answered and were greatly appreciated. One of the responses included:

“So really the question is why does she feel the need to share it and define it to others. Would she go into graphic detail about your sex life together with others? In a way isn't that what this is. If she feels like she's hiding something then that's something else to discuss.”

I thought about this and realized that it is a question that could be directed as much to me (or him) as to her. Why do I maintain a blog – an act of some effort – if not to share with others? The answer to me is that humans require contact, feedback – a sense of community and this is the only way I know to have that. Why should she ask, or receive, any less?

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