Last week I was looking forward to going to a married bi/gay support group on Friday night – a chance at a healthy outlet to connect in a non-cyber, non-sexual way with fellow travelers. Carrie knew and while not jumping for joy was on board. This was also the weekend that would have been Anna and Bill’s wedding, the one that was interrupted by some questionable (see, I am capable of understatement) behavior on Bill’s part.
Wednesday the phone rings: friends of my wife, by extension friends of mine. They have made the trip from out of town even though the wedding is cancelled. A short negotiation and it is settled: dinner at our home on Friday night. Now this sounds pretty simple but anyone who has been reading here for a while is starting to cringe. I need to think about the schedule. Support group – meets only once a month, a seeming first step on the new journey. Dinner with out-of –towners: really friends of my wife, a husband twenty years my senior who I never could connect with.
Much thought, discussions with Carrie, discussions with Sam. Friday morning dawn breaks, I shower, I dress and off to work. Clothing suitable for work and appropriate for heading into the City or just coming home: all bases are covered. Somewhere along the way rationality breaks through the narcissistic haze – I have lost my mind. A telephone call home and simple question of when the guests are arriving so I can time my leaving the office: a simple answer and as the clock chimes six, I am home.
Carrie had been afraid that my disappointment would arrive home with me – the sullen Nate. Her fears were grounded in the reality of our years together. Honesty easily morphs into tacky social behavior. But I am forewarned and I am learning. I pop in the door, smile on my face, a perfect host. Actually it was quite easy, the evening moved along pleasantly and our guests excused themselves at a reasonable hour.
It felt good making the right choice for a change. The meeting will be there next month: I am not exactly suffering between my e-mails, blogs and friends, and Carrie for at least a moment does not feel like I have one foot out the door. That night we lay in bed and hugged, at first a hug of comfort for comfort is something we will both need for this weekend. But as is often the case the hug of comfort became a hug of desire which led to a hug of passion. We were one again, if only for a while.
It was the first time we had made love since Carrie set very fair rules. It was the first time we made love since accepting who I am and by extension our future. It was the first time we made love without the lie that the storm was ending. It was the first time we made love in our new life. And it was good.
Good, yes: I love Carrie and have never argued with sex with a woman. (If Carrie was here she would add I have never argued with sex, period.) But it was not an epiphany. It strangely made clear that as excited as I can get for my wife – an excitement on all burners, physical and emotional – that my desire for men, the Gay side, remains alive and well.
Carrie and I have since made love again: a silent break of dawn love making, little touches speaking volumes. So I go forward with a ray of hope. I have always known that a relationship built on my being with men while Carrie learns celibacy could never work.
I have learned from this weekend. I have learned that Carrie, Carrie and our family deserves respect, a feeling of being first. This will be tested; it will be tested when I go to Chicago, if not earlier. But in many ways my actions will ultimately determine the success of our newly defined marriage. I just pray that next time the good judgment will kick in sooner, before leaving more damage in my wake, damage that always takes so long to repair, longer to repair than to destroy.