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!