Saturday, December 16, 2006

You Do The Math

This week much time was spent on my HOW group reading and of course writing – I cannot help myself. And there have been some threads that keep trying to come together, though I just cannot envision the final tapestry yet.

There are some simple facts in my existence. I love my wife, she is my best friend, my ally in life. Simply put, it is a land of emotional gratification. But while we can still enjoy sex, it would be disingenuous not to qualify that with the truth: I enjoy sex with men even more.

And I am not exactly hurting when it comes to sex with men. I have a boyfriend and we usually get to see each other every week. We are friends, he reads this blog so there are no secrets, and we have wonderful dizzying sex. Simply put, it is a land of sexual gratification. But while we are good friends, it would be disingenuous not to qualify that with the truth: neither of us would give up everything to be together.

So I have the home life, I have the sex life. Most would think the problem is that Carrie would not tolerate knowing of Sam. But no: it seems that I have found Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, complete with Carrie’s signature. And what a ticket it was: see your “friend” discretely, have occasional sex with me, present a unified family to the world. It did come with a caveat: do nothing to embarrass her and the children. That should not be so hard – I am conservative in dress and manner and devote many waking hours to my profession.

So I sit here on an early Saturday morning and need to ask myself why are things spinning, devolving by the day. I have written of last weekend, watching Cold Case, the “Kiss”, of Carrie’s response, of the subsequent hurt, jealousy and anger. But that was just the trigger: it seems the gun was loaded long ago and the trigger was jimmied to take only a fleeting touch. Yes, the foundations for this week were set long ago.

I could go back and blame it on my upcoming trip to Chicago: it is hard to fit a weekend into a lunch hour. Carrie never knows if and when I see Sam: it is hard to ignore a weekend away. But that begs the question – defining a “disease” by its symptoms.


There has been a question floating around, a sub text to what am I looking for: am I trying to force Carrie to kick me out, if not literally, figuratively. I was struck by a comment on my blog from a gay man who I have come to greatly respect:
Welcome to the real world... I think that in your mind this is what you wanted and expected all along...

But what is it that I so clearly want; that everyone else seems to see so clearly yet to me is still shrouded in fog? Maybe of greater import is the fog borne of not being so smart or I am so engaged that I have lost the picture in the pixels? Or did Dylan say it best – I quoted this a few weeks back:
When the truth's in our hearts and we still don't believe?

I keep checking the word count, hoping that I am at the magic 850 level when I can say the post is going too long, time to end and save some thoughts for another day, but I am only at 600, plenty of room left. The thing is that I do not want to finish this post because I can feel where it is going and it hurts so much, too much. I write with tears in my eyes.

I consider myself a rational man, not one to say as in the old accountants joke, how much is two plus two: what do you want it to be. So I do not need to go back and re-read what I have written here. Carrie has suggested I re-read my whole blog and I will, but it is not necessary. I know where she is going, where she is steering me. As the old saying goes: you do the math: it seems that I have all the pieces yet am unable to finish the puzzle.

Therefore something is still missing. Is that found in simple self acceptance? Maybe in the Holy Grail for married men – a full night in the arms of another man – or simply found by borrowing Thom’s boots and kicking down the closet walls?

I can hear my therapist saying time’s up, see you next session. And so you will.


(And never having been one for inside jokes, Thom is a bear of a man on my HOW group who has used his boots to kick down his closet walls and I am sure would be happy to lend them to any others ready to take down their own walls.)

6 comments:

marlan said...

How different the road has been for your marriage. Mine was a disaster, and I welcomed its end. The coming out part; however, is much the same. I, too, needed that push, that ultimatum, to finally allow myself to leave and fully come out.

Why does it happen that way? I believe there are two reasons--one being the daunting nature of the coming out process itself and the other, the devotion many men feel towards their family unit--wanting to ensure they can leave knowing they have done all they can and hoping they can continue to be a good father and parent. Both of these reasons can create emotional hurdles to overcome, and that is hard to face.

Best wishes on the rest of the journey.

Paul said...

OK, Nate, let me try to weigh in. And you know I’m not one that can even develop a thesis for a blog post. So unfortunately I’ll ramble.

Personally (and we all know this is only based on personal experience, not an in-depth study of physiology and psychology), I believe:

(1) That there’s a continuum between totally straight and totally gay, and that many men (and women) fall somewhere in the middle;

(2) Being classified either straight or gay is a very complex situation, full of both physical and emotional dimensions (i.e., What gives you a hard-on? Who do you best relate to emotionally?) -- conversely, being straight or gay isn’t just determined by one dimension;

(3) When someone falls in the middle -- neither totally straight nor totally gay, that individual has to determine what lifestyle they want to live (at least in terms of having a committed partnership with either a different-sex or same-sex partner);

(3) When someone is bisexual and is in a relationship, AND the partner/spouse knows of the same-sex-attraction, the two people together must determine and agree to acceptable boundaries (this obviously does not address those that are in a relationship yet keep their same-sex-attraction and/or activities private/hidden).

It’s easy when one determines that they are either straight or gay. Then I do agree that it’s best that they are “true to themselves” and live the life of their straightness/gayness. I get upset at gay men expecting bi-sexual men to come out of the closet and live a gay lifestyle.

Nate, from what you’ve written in your blog, and what you’ve personally told me, I don’t believe that you’re totally gay. I believe that you are as you started this blog – bi. You may be somewhat close to totally gay, but you’ve got a respectable amount of bi in you.

I think that’s what makes this issue so incredibly difficult. It’s up to YOU to decide what type of lifestyle YOU want to live, who YOU want to have committed relationships with, and what constraints YOUR PARTNER is willing to accept.

I know guys that like gay sex, but don’t like to regularly be around other men.

I know guys that don’t like to be around women, but love sex with them.

I know guys that only like to be around other guys and have gay sex.

I know guys that like gay sex, but remain faithful to their wives.

I know guys that like gay sex, but cheat on their wives.

I know guys that can’t even imagine having sex with another man, nor living with one.

I know – and you know – there are a lot of different situations.

Heck, I know people that don't even like to have sex -- at all!

I too feel that Carrie is willing to give you somewhat of a golden ticket. She recognizes and accepts your need for gay sex. I’m not sure you have determined who you’d like to live with, or if you’d rather live alone.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t embarrass” is a VERY big compromise on her part. I believe most wives would say, “it’s me or the highway.”

Fidelity is often one of the biggest issues in a relationship. If two gay men are “committed partners” (but one is really bisexual) don’t you think that the gay partner might also have issues with the bi partner one sneaking off to get laid by some female?

Nate, you’re not the first married man to have an affair – either openly or secretly – either with another man or another woman. (In fact, we all on this blog even know that this isn’t your first marriage.) You’re smart, you’re sensitive. I’m sure you’ll work this out. And I hope that I don’t sound like I’m making any judgments about what’s right, or best, for you, Carrie, or the kids.

What gives you a hard-on? Who do you want to live with?

(Oh my ... I see I’ve exceeded 600 words. I’ve got to stop for now.)

A Troll At Sea said...

Nate:

you have some idea of the gift Carrie has given you, but I can assure you that it is not only a great gift but a rare one.

You do what you have to do, but KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, and if possible, know why.

There are some things that can simply never be un-done. And it can be as small as one word, as three words to the wrong person.

My suspicion is that you will not be able to live that many lives at once, yourself. At some point you will have to seek a center and let your life come to rest around it.

You are the only one who can know where that center wants to be. But KNOW IT before you force a choice or an event that causes more sorrow than you can imagine as your own responsibility.

You and your family and your lovers are all in my heart.

Breathe deep, live deep in truth and grace.

yr
Troll

Spider said...

OK - at the risk of being over the top and out of line, and I certainly do NOT mean to be Nate because I understand and identify with your position - but there needs to be a voice of reality here.

You don't need to go back and re-read your entire blog - just re-read this post...

"I love my wife, she is my best friend, my ally in life. Simply put, it is a land of emotional gratification. "

"And I am not exactly hurting when it comes to sex with men. I have a boyfriend and we usually get to see each other every week. We are friends, he reads this blog so there are no secrets, and we have wonderful dizzying sex. Simply put, it is a land of sexual gratification."

"golden ticket, complete with Carrie’s signature. And what a ticket it was: see your “friend” discretely, have occasional sex with me, present a unified family to the world. It did come with a caveat: do nothing to embarrass her and the children. That should not be so hard – I am conservative in dress and manner and devote many waking hours to my profession."

HELL MAN - you fucking have it all! You get sex from your wife, from your boyfriend, other men. Your boyfriend doesn't want a commitment, all your wife is asking is that you "don't embarass the family", Chicago man and the others - they have no responsibility.

Hello - Peter Pan, your table is ready! You are having ALL the benefits from all the relationships with NONE of the work or responsibility... who of us wouldn't love that. Sleep with who you want when you want and no strings... I don't think you are confused or "that everyone else seems to see so clearly yet to me is still shrouded in fog? Maybe of greater import is the fog borne of not being so smart or I am so engaged that I have lost the picture in the pixels?"

Carrie and the family allow you to maintain your image of the "straight family man" - so you don't have to deal with any of the issues that gay men have to deal with on a regular basis in the business world. So you can go get the gay sex you really want - from men who do not want a relationship or are doing the same thing you are doing, so there are no issues you have to deal with there...

You want to be straight with all the beneifts that that involves and none of the responsibilities - you want to be gay with all the fun that involves and none of the responsibilities or strings or issues that go along with that.

I hope you know that Carrie is an absloute SAINT! I would have kicked your ass to the curb a long time ago. I LOVE my ex-wife - she is my best friend... and there is no way that I could treat my best friend the way you are treating Carrie...

Lets face it Nate - this ain't your first time at the rodeo... it is time to grow up, take a stand and do what is right... right now, the only person in your life who is really coming out on the good side of your actions is YOU - not your family, your "boyfriend" or anyone else... and that is not exactly fair...

Nate, I say this will a boatload of tough love and respect for you - and you have every right to go tell me to go fuck myself... as a gay man who was a married man with a family, I just can't sit here and watch you toss your life away and ruin everyone elses...

I think I am over the 850 mark...

Nate said...

A friend of mine likes to say when three people tell you you're drunk, lay down.

Those reading see the online comments, not the direct e-mails. By my count the chorus is up to five. That calls for some serious laying down.

I need to sleep on these comments -lay down if you will - but wanted to say that as painful as they are for me to read, and they do sting, I thank you all for them. I am listening, i just hope I am capable of hearing.

A deservedly chastened,
Nate

The "heckler" said...

Nate-

I think you need to be honest with yourself and figure out where do you feel the MOST connected and fulfilled on a spiritual, physical and mental level?

If Carrie told you, "Nate, follow your bliss. We will both be happier in the long run. I will be OK and you will be OK."

What would you do?