Thursday, April 20, 2006

Troll's Questions and More

Away for five days and so many, many posts in my head, but this questionnaire of Troll’s seems to get to much of it. The basis of my thoughts are that after 100 days of posting and wrestling, whining and back pedaling, my heart has caught up to my head. I started my blog with a very simple premise – a married bi-sexual male. Really not much more to it.

I, as anyone reading realizes, did not believe this premise emotionally – I was still the straight guy who happens to like giving blow jobs… After 100 days, for reasons I cannot fully explain, have come to accept that I am a full blown bi-sexual. I am attracted to both sexes and have a real weakness for homoerotic fantasies and encounters with other men.

I also believe that had my life been different, maybe the gay side would have been more apparent and maybe I would have had relationships (as opposed to encounters). As it turned out after what I refer to as two and a half marriages (I consider living with a woman for seven years to be the half), I am with my “soulmate” (hate the word, but it works) and have been able to lead an amazing open life.

So with too much introduction and the knowledge that I consider myself bi – a concurrent bisexual as the multidimensional scale decided, or a sexually charged slut as I would term myself - here are my meager answers. (I have bolded the questions because unlike Woe, the concept of HTML colors is still beyond me, but I will get there someday.)

How many of you still want to stay married?
I want to stay married. I love my wife and family and am happy with my life with them. I fear loneliness and giving up what I have and like for some unknown that I do not even fully understand.

How many of you have given up or would give up sex with men to stay married?
This is a trick question to me because it ignores the underlying problem in my relationship. In the past I have given up sex with men and suspect I could do it again. What I could not give up are my homoerotic fantasies, that third person in our bed my wife refers to. This becomes an issue as we try to find a middle ground in the bedroom that recognizes my physical desires while having it be only two of us in the bed. I suppose simply put I can give up actions (the psychic price to be determined) but I cannot change the hard wired person I am.

How many of you think you can come out and stay married? How many of your wives can bear remaining in relationship with you once you come out?
Finally an easy one, thank god. I have come out and believe we will stay married. I have the advantage of having my fantasies known before we were married. So while there is a huge difference between having some fantasies on the table as opposed to being openly bi/gay in orientation it is still a lot easier than starting the conversation from scratch.

How many of you have given up or would give up your marriages to be free as gay men?
I would not give up my marriage. My prison is not a marriage to someone who knows everything about me and still loves me; my prison is living a life of denial to even those closest to me. My wife and I (these are joint decisions to us) spend hours discussing telling one of my sisters – what happens when she tells the next person… (I thought this was another easy one, but issues of freedom never are.)

How many of you think you can have your cake and eat it too? [That seems to me to be an attractive but essentially impossible proposition, but what do I know?]
If I ate a piece of cake for every time KA and I have discussed this specific question over the past three months, I would be so rotund that no self respecting man or woman would be seen with me, solving everything I suppose. It is the essential question.

Ultimately I do not believe one can have their cake and eat it. Currently it is accepted in our home that I will continue to explore. The issue for Chicago (I am already sick of talking about it) is not whether I will attempt to have sex with a man: it is only a matter of going about it and trying to have something one step above anonymous.

I think it is even accepted that after some period of exploration while I will try to be good, I will ultimately have my failures. But the concept that I will find a boyfriend and have an ongoing relationship would be even more than my exceedingly understanding wife would accept and frankly more than I could ask her to accept and still look at myself in the mirror..

I know that some of us married knowing we "had been" gay; others of us have discovered that they were gay without acting on it. I think that it is fair to say that what we ALL have in common is that the resolution of the issue is going to involve a great deal of suffering on someone's part; who suffers, and who decides who suffers? I am only now beginning to take on board the magnitude of what I am talking about.
Everyone suffers because you cannot have the cake and eat it. My “suffering” is accepting that due to fear and paralysis, I did not explore my gay side when I was thirty years younger. Add it to the list of life’s regrets.
As a side note I have recently discovered Dolly Parton’s original version of I Will Always Love You. It is the song our wives would sing us if they were to leave and it drips with suffering.. Seems like a very "gay" thing to admit, but it has reduced me to tears more than once.

I am also beginning to get the awful feeling that I am the only person out here on this electronic plain who is not at all sure gaining his freedom is worth losing his family; things are a little complicated in my case because I don't even know whether I could be happy living as a gay man, free or otherwise, which makes the thought of jeopardizing what I have seem a lot less appealing, if not pointless.
You are not alone in this one. It is a common theme for many of us. I started writing a fancy response, but sometimes the right answer is Yes. You have spoken for me in the phrasing of your question.

But I would welcome all your comments, from wherever you are on the spectrum. If you have already posted your thoughts on the subject, send me a link. No judgments, no preconceptions -- I really just want to know where you are..

Troll - thanks for creating such a good framework for us to speak and listen.

I confess that I jumped into this because I just do not want to write my next post dealing with my rage issues. I figure if I end on this note, it will force me to start to address some issues I keep trying to avoid.

1 comment:

A Troll At Sea said...

Dear, lost, clueless Nate:

I can't believe I am now giving lessons in HTML. When you create your post, you have a line over the text box with a lot of scary looking symbols. One is a black "T" with some colored squares. If you highlight the text you want to colorize [can you highlight text?], then click on the "T" you will see a grid of colors. Click on the color you want, and your text will then magically appear in that color. You want to bear in mind that you are putting text on top of a greenish-putty-color [not to say snot- or vomit-color] so your range of what looks good will be the teeniest bit narrower than other people's. You might want to think about customizing your background color...

I can't tell you what it means to me that you and WOE have stepped up to the plate the way you have. When I posted my "pop quiz" back on April 2nd, I had this crazy idea that I would get immediate answers. Two days later I was so torn by the lack of response that I tried a Big Saddo Appeal. [Patience has never been my strong suit.] But I have to say that the responses that have come in, weeks later, have taught me again that anything worth having is worth waiting for. Thank you both, and those who weighed in in the interim as well. Every little bit helps.

Now, on to the questions from April 5th, those of you who fit the other end of the demographic... and I know there are more of you out there than there are of "us".

Nate, I feel that what I am staring at is that the stage you are in now could only be a transition phase for me, and the tension between the halves of myself would continue to eat away at me. The "Flip" side of that [with apologies to my Möbius friend] is that I really have no idea, thirty years down the road, if I could even be happy in an exclusive gay relationship. There are physical if not emotional hurdles that don't exist when you are young and are going to live forever. Well, lots of me doesn't work anymore.

But what I AM taking on board for the first time is how often the "homosexual" side of myself I have fended off for so long have not been thwarted sexual urges, but thwarted love. It took me the better part of a decade to figure out that the reason I had never liked the wife of one of my dearest friends is that I'm jealous she had him. [Duh.] Once I saw it it was so obvious I couldn't understand why the rest of our assembled families hadn't seen it before I did [Thank God for small mercies.] I went for a walk with a friend and suddenly realized that the still, quiet connection that had always bound me to him went far deeper than I had been willing to admit. I now see it EVERYWHERE. [Perhaps more than it is there, that is another story of another set of wrinkles in the heart and soul...]

And all of that is pretty much impossible to square with staying married, or at least I don't see how I can square that circle yet.

So, I love my wife and wonder if the best thing I can do for her is not to leave. It's a pretty sorry state. I may try to figure some of this out in a post soon, but at the moment I am Just Too Tired.

Thanks again for your candor.
And caring.

Lost, Clueless