A Response to a Comment…aka, “My Commitment to My Family”

Posted: February 6, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

This week I received the following comment on a post that I made a couple of months ago…

“…as a Christian, I believe that we are supposed to follow Christ’s example of denying self and bringing glory to the Father. Loving God and loving others… love is not self-serving, right? As I have been reading your blog (I’ve read several of your most recent posts), I really am struggling with how you can truthfully believe you are honoring God by potentially abandoning the marriage commitment you made to your wife. And not to mention your children. I don’t want to sound judgmental – I am honestly interested in your answer. I completely recognize your need to be yourself, but at what expense? I’d love to know your response if you feel you can share.”

Since these question are extremely valid, I thought I would use this blog post to share my answer to her questions.

 

Dear Wellness Mom…

You have some great questions here.  And since you really don’t know me, I am sure it is easy to question my motives in all that you are reading on my blog.  I wish you did know me because we would be able to sit down and interact about your thoughts rather than just respond to each other on a blog.  I would be able to share with you how excruciating this journey has been to me for the very reasons that you noted in your comment.  I care so much for my wife and kids that I want to do what is best for them…even if that were to mean much sacrifice on my part.  To be sure, there has already been a great deal of sacrifice on my part for nearly 20 years.  I thought that suppressing my sexuality and my needs was the right thing to do for the sake of my wife and kids.  But in the past 8 months, I have discovered that such thinking may not necessarily be true.

You see, when I am not able to be myself, I stuff a lot of physical and emotional energy.  Over time, that “stuffing” spills out in my life in different ways.  Unfortunately, my wife and kids suffer from the ways that this occurs.  They get a depressed me.  They get an angry me.  They get a secretive me.  I have not been functioning well as a gay man who is trying desperately to stuff what is true about himself and living in a straight life.  It hasn’t worked…just ask my wife!

I don’t mean to splice words but “abandoning” my marriage commitment is NOT something I am planning on doing.  I made a vow to my wife and family and that will not change, even if we are not legally married.  You see, my wife and I have spent a lot of time talking about this.  SHE is not happy.  She wants to be loved in a way that I can’t love her.  So in talking about our relationship, we have both come to the conclusion that what is best is for us to move on a find what we are looking for.  Honestly, the most loving thing I can do for my wife is to let her go.  She deserves more than I can give her.  She doesn’t feel abandoned.  She is actually excited for the potential she has in her life down the road.  That’s how unfulfilled she has been being married to me!

As for my kids…truthfully, this has been the greatest point of anguish for me.  What is better, for me to be myself and not be married to their mom?  Or for me to go on living a lie and fail keep both their mom and me unhappy and unfulfilled?  Probably the former.  But because of my deep love for them, I will not be “leaving” them.  As my wife and I have talked, I plan to be just as much a part of their lives in the future as I am now.  I may not live under the same roof 24/7, but I plan to continue to have dinners with my family, go to kids’ sports game, take my kids to school, help with homework, etc.  My commitment is to my family first and foremost.  Because my wife and I can be friends on the other side of this, I will continue to be a fixture in our home, even if I don’t sleep there and live there.  This is what our plan is.  And in all of that, I will be able to teach my kids how to live out their faith even when life gets messy and doesn’t look like how we envision it to look.  In that, I think I will be able to give them a greater gift of love than if I stayed and lived a lie.  Does that make sense?

I hope this answers your questions.  Feel free to interact more if you would like!

 

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Comments
  1. bill says:

    Thanks for this post. It reflects the long journey you have been on, and the integrity you have held on to as you have come to grips with the implications of your choices. God bless you and your family as you move forward.

  2. youknowho says:

    Amen, hermano…amen.

  3. I had the same struggle, the same questions, just a few years ago. Because of our commitment to one another, and to our children, my former wife and I have continued together many family traditions and celebrations. We are ALL much happier now.

    We are as sick as our secrets. The Truth is the ONLY thing that sets us free.

    I know it is tough, will get tougher, will hurt, and feel better. ‘Tis a roller coaster.

    I applaud and support your courage.

  4. Encouraged by this and by BearToast Joe… I pray that this will be true for us as well. I’ve really had to wrestle with this. How much is “selfishness”? I actually had coffee with a friend a while back and I was saying, “in marriage, we are supposed to lay down our lives, to sacrifice for the other…” He said, “Well yeah, I sacrifice and lay down my life for my wife… We give and take, we put each other first, but at no time have I ever been asked to literally deny a central part of my identity.” ::sigh:: That’s a good point.

    As far as my commitment… I’m not even comfortable using the term “leaving” my wife and family. I’m NOT GOING ANYWHERE. I made some vows to my wife 20+ years ago that I am still very committed to… I WILL love her and honor her. I WILL care for her in sickness and in health. I want her to be cared for. I want her to be safe and secure. I want to walk with her through this life.

    • Pastor Chris says:

      Yes…and…

      Just remember, it takes two. She may not let you do all of that if you are not married. My ex basically shut me out of her life and she turned very toxic. It’s great to have all of that as a value but just be open to things being different if she chooses to do things differently. Especially if there is a remarriage…that changes everything!

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