Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Q is for questioning

C is questioning.

Not as in LGBTQ where the q is for questioning.  No such luck.  That would make things a lot easier in at least some ways.  And C's brother thought C and I were lesbian and gay when their mother outed me to the family.

No, the questioning was just that - questions.  C got home last night with the kids.  Their trip went well.  I was alone, busy but alone, all weekend.  I spent a bit of time watching gay movies.  Not porn but gay themed movies.  Streaming Netflix is a wonderful thing.

At about 11am yesterday C called me to chat.  And asked the first question.  "Do you want me to come home?"  I said, "Of course, honey" and consoled her as she cried. 

But then I thought about it.  Yes I do want her to come home with the kids, but it was nice being home just by myself.  It was nice not having to be in the straight world.  I didn't run of to Chelsea, the Castro or South Beach.  But I was able to watch a gay romance and enjoy it. 

And C's question made me think.  Yes, I want to be a single gay man.  I don't want to abandon the kids.  I don't think I'll run off to the nearest gayborhood - I may want to but the kids come first.  But i want to live the life of a gay man.  And I have trouble doing that when as a heterosexually married man.  Some seem to be able to do it, but I but the gay away when living straight, I suppress unconsciously.  I can take it out on occasion, but then I put it away.  It's like living two lives.

Then we went for a walk today.  C asked two questions.  "Where do we go from here?"  And "How would you see yourself living if we separated?"  I avoided both.  I'm not good talking about such things on the spur of the moment.  Saying point blank, "I'd like to live as a gay man reasonably close to you all so I would be involved in the lives of the kids, but separate so I could just be gay."  That seemed to be a bit much.  I don't want to push away so hard and quickly at least yet.

Yes, I am hedging my bets making sure that I don't burn any bridges.  But then again, I am not being authentic in my relationship with C.   Not authentic to myself, to C or to us.  WOW!  I hadn't thought of it in those terms until I wrote it.  Is this course of keeping things undercover and quiet, of allowing my gayness to be suppressed, of thinking I may be able to remain married inauthentic to all parties concerned? 

Friday, May 27, 2011


Sometimes you just screw up.

I know - "the computer made me do it."  Well in this case it was not looking at the computer that made me do it.

I sync home and work computers and my phone with Mobile Me with contacts and calendar.  I love it.  BUT when you make plans for Memorial Day weekend with your wife you should always check in at least one of those places to see if you have booked anything else.

So instead of spending tonight and tomorrow with C I will spend tonight alone and tomorrow doing something related to work.  The only good side is that we are also so short staffed at work that it would have been difficult to leave today as planned.

I am as a whole sort of relieved.  I do not have to spend time in intense conversation with C.  I can be just me and gay.  There is a gay event tonight and a couple of other places I can go where I can just be.  I spent some of last night just pondering - what do I want; what do I need for now.  Do I need to be separate from C in order to be authentic.  Do I need to stay married to be authentic.  Authentically what of course is the question.  And really the question is how separate or how together do I need to be.  It is not an all or nothing deal. 

I am already more separate from C than I was when I came out to myself and to her.  And I will always be connected at least in virtue of the kids and I hope at least out of friendship and mutual caring.  But things are not the way they were.  Nor are they now the way they will be.

I am a work in progress.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eye of the Hurricane?

So, it's been  a week.  A pretty level week all things considered.

Job-wise not so good.  Both prospects I had did not pan out :-(.  But I am not sure that either would have been as gay friendly as I want.  So I'm back to the drawing board again.

Things with C are calm.  She is holding on for "The Vows".  We vowed for better or worse.  Some times I think it's the 1950's with the way she says that.

Depression wise things are better and that's a good thing of course.  BUT there is this nagging sort of malaise.  I'm just out of sorts, out of connection, feeling dis-ease.

C and the kids are going away tonight to her parents house.  But I have to work.  Tomorrow I will leave work very early and join them.  C and I are going to go away for a night without the kids.  This is the first time we have done this in a long time.  The last time was before I came out to her.

So it should be an interesting weekend.  I'm not sure we will do a lot of discussing anything - we can really tend to dance around any substantive issues - not wanting to rock the boat and all.  Sort of like being in the eye of a hurricane and hoping that the wind has stopped for good - but it has not.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Road Less Traveled?

No great reason to write now other than it's a rainy day, I have a break at work before an early evening meeting, and I haven't written in a day.

Life has been extremely busy of late.  This week we have yet to have everyone home in the evening.  A lot of that is me.  I was out Sunday night (with two of the kids), Tuesday night (work), Wednesday night (work), Thursday night (work) and Friday night (gay time - yeah!!)  And Saturday we will all be home.

Home has been interesting of late.  C has become almost needy.  Not that she is putting pressure on me or leaning on me too much.  But she is letting out some of the pain that she feels to her best friend (me). 

It's becoming an interesting waltz - us supporting each other.

It has begun to make me think and ponder whether a mixed orientation marriage is a viable alternative for us.
In deciding to separate I had three alternatives in mind.
  1. Separate - each of us go our separate ways albeit connected out of our care for each other and the children.
  2. Stay together monogamously.
  3. Some sort of open marriage.
#2 seemed like it would be an impossibly difficult burden.  It would in some senses be living a lie and not be an authentic choice.  Yes, yes I know that this is sacrificing C for the sake of authenticity.  But for the past several years I have acknowledged that I am gay I have tried #2.  And I have put on 50 pounds (coming off nicely thank you), had heart issues, been suicidally depressed, and generally disconnected from life and joyless.

#2 is not working.  Now I could try to be out but not sexually active, but for some reason, in my head, that would be like lying.  I also know myself enough to know I would in no way be "out" then.  I am not one to wear anything personal on my sleeve.  And being out is important to me.

#3 I discarded.  C is not ok with this.  I was not sure I was either.

Therefore I was left with #1 - to separate.

My rethinking is about broaching the possibility of some sort of open marriage.  It's an awful solution, but then so too are any of the other alternatives.  An open marriage might be able to preserve our relationship in some fashion that is better than separating for each of us and give me what I need sexually and socially.  I have met some who make it work; it's not easy.

But no one said the road would be easy.  And add gay to the mixture . . .

Robert Frost's poem comes to mind:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Perhaps it is not which road that is taken, but walking that road with dignity and respect and to the best of my ability treating my walking companions the same. 

I am not sure which road I am going down, but I will do my best to walk tall and walk well.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Morning has broken?

I re-read the last few post of the blog and realized that they were all very depressing, lacking hope and to some extent lacking perspective. 

Some time on Friday last I decided to (or perhaps it just happened) look where my feet are, to stay in the moment and enjoy what I have.  I told C that in the morning as she was heading off to her parents for a visit.  I told her as well that right now I am here where I am. 

I had a wonderful weekend with the kids.  Friday night when I got home from work the younger ones and I mowed the lawn while the oldest one made dinner.  We then had a wonderfully relaxing day on Saturday.  I left the house only to get the newspaper (which wasn't even there).  Sunday was busy as usual. 

Morning seems to have broken on the mood I'd been in last week.  Or perhaps it's more like "Light dawns on Marblehead." 

Right now I decide to be where I am and not worry about where I am going.  There is a heck of a lot of work to do in the here and now - especially since I did not do much last week.

I have no clue what that means for this gay, married to a woman man.  But right now I live with and in that paradox.   Tomorrow is another day to be lived in that moment. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

150 and holding

Effexor up to 150mg as of tonight.  Took it on an empty stomach - not such a good idea.

Not sure it's working or at least the way it's supposed to.  Feel lethargic, not so good thoughts - seem to be obsessing in an odd way.  Hard to concentrate at work.  Not sure if it's the meds, the stress, or just overblown.  Dry mouth is pretty bad as well.  We'll see if it fades like it did at first.

C is pissed at me.  We haven't communicated much since the abortive therapy session on Monday. Mostly slept when not at work. 

Yesterday was not a good day.  Nor was today.  Don't hold out a lot of hope for tomorrow either. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I always did do well on tests!

So, feeling a bit down.  Can't concentrate well at work.  I was poking around and found a depression test online.

Results of your
Depression Quiz

You scored a total of 75

< 10
70-79  « You
> 80 

Now that's depressing!  And I assume it's mostly depressed people taking the test!!

Damn meds aren't helping any right now.   Well my mouth is a desert and my dick is soft as melted butter, but mood wise no better after 18 days on the meds. 

Have to go home after work - not looking forward to that either.  Maybe I'll mow the lawn and go very slowly.


Feel like I'm waist deep in quicksand and sinking ever so slowly. 

Couples therapy was last night.  I walked out toward the end.  Things were hitting close to home on several occasions.  Particularly talking about childhood crap (came up because mom is still in town).  Yes, I had a sort of crappy childhood, but it could have been a whole lot worse.  Yes, I isolated at the age of 12 or so - my take is that that is when I realized I'm gay and hide it and everything else away.  Sure my father was an alcoholic and that didn't help a damn thing. 

But hearing C repeatedly say that I was doing no work was just too much.  All I'm doing is abandoning her, the kids and our vows.  Like this is on a whim.  Like I realized yesterday that I'm gay and poof decide to leave today.  Like I haven't spent the past 6 years trying to deal with this, the last two years with her.  That was too much to hear and I had to choose exploding or running - I ran.  The ride home was horrific.  I was not feeling particularly safe.

Then I come to work today to read an email that says a significant source of revenue is likely to be unavailable.  This means we are in a full blown cash flow crisis. 

It's not going to be a good day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Gallows Humor?

Ok.  I am at work and wasn't working.  Instead I was trying to distract myself and trying to find that answer on the internet because there is the answer to everything (no I do NOT believe that).   So as a break from work I googled "straight spouse" and confined the search to blogs.  Maybe I could get some insight from "the other side".  There wasn't a whole lot, so I worked and searched when I needed a quick break hoping I'd come across something interesting.  Then I came across the best headline - it was a post to a blog.   "Choosing The Best Atlanta Manslaughter Attorney". 

Fortunately, the blog does not seem to be about the best way to kill your not so straight spouse!! 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Okay so today is Mother's Day.  And my mother (who I am not out to) is staying in our house.  This is an ideal situation given the stress C and I are under (he said, dripping with sarcasm).  To make it more interesting, I revert and withdraw when she is here.  Indeed, right now it feels that the anti-depressants aren't working at all.  Well they are in the sense that they seem to have removed all libido among other things!!  At about 4pm today I thought it was 8pm.  C then has to pick up the pieces.  Well she doesn't have to, but she does.

The issue is that my mom reverts too and sets herself up.  So in setting the table she asks, "Do we need silverware."  It's like begging to get a, "No mum, we bend over and eat right off the plates, it saves on the water bill."  Or, "Are the dishes in the dishwasher clean or dirty?" which begs a "Why don't you check instead of asking the 10 year old?"  Both did happen.  I didn't respond either time. 

Then to make matters more interesting we're out at the local Target and my mom is walking next to me.  Out of the blue she asks, "Was your childhood happy?"  Again, this called for a "Yes, mom, it was so happy and supportive that I repressed being gay for over 40 years."  Or, "sure mom,  alcohol, emotional neglect, with a modicum of poverty makes for an idyllic childhood."  Instead, I gave a more appropriate answer, perhaps it was a Mother's Day gift, and said, "of course it was." 

And no childhood wasn't miserable, but somewhere around 11-12 years old I withdrew from the world around me in a big way.  This was in conjunction with first realizing that I wasn't like all the other boys, but did like boys.  That too was repressed for 40 years.  Marriage, kids, a life later - whoa and behold he's gay still.

I know - whine, whine, whine.  But right now that is where I am - feeling whiny and sorry for myself.  Saying and writing it makes it less.  It makes me grateful for the mother I do have, who loves us all greatly, especially the kids.  And given her circumstances does quite well.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Count Down

Two months.  Two months from today marks our 25th wedding anniversary. 

What do you get for the wife of a gay man for her wedding anniversary?  Sounds like the beginning of a politically incorrect joke. 

Suggestions are welcome!!  Sort of serious there.  Remember not only are am I gay, but I've uttered those fateful words, "Honey, I can't stay married to you and be authentic.  I'm sorry."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Reality Check

So life has been a bit crazy of late.  Gay, married, separating, friends - life is a bit crazy.

It's easy to think that things are so tough for me; it's easy to feel sorry for myself.  Then earlier today I get a reality check.  I work in a nonprofit that has regular contact with people on the edge including people who are mentally ill and not seeking or open to any treatment.

One such person was in today.  Just "treated and released" from a mental psych ward a week ago.  Released to the street and homeless.  Not taking the meds needed, but taking other "meds".  The person begins to lose it, talking in a demonic voice, threatening staff and other guests. 

Life is a bit "crazy" now, but I can distinguish what is real and what is not.  I can function enough to hold down a job and feed my family.  I will sleep in a warm bed tonight.

Life is good.

Then two other reality checks.  I am at a meeting tonight and there is this amazingly cute man, perhaps a little young for me (perhaps not) across the room.  I have all I can do to not stare.  I hope he is noticing me.  Was he looking at me out of the corner of his eye?  I never had that feeling for a woman.  I felt a little weak in the knees.

Then I'm staying up too late.  Laying in bed and just thinking is too much so I stay up late.  Watching Torchwood on Netflix.  It's the episode with the infamous gay kiss.  I want to cry.  Weak in the knees again.  I want to dance and embrace like that.  I want to be able to do that openly and honestly and authentically.

Life is good.  And there is hope.  Today I will live in that hope.

The Walk

C and I did indeed take a walk before dinner yesterday.  We must have walked for close to two hours.  Two years ago we did a lot of walking and talking.  Mostly we talked about the revelation that I am gay and what that meant to us individually, as a couple and as a family.  We would also talk about how we would make it work; what it would look like to live together with this new information.  And we talked about our fears and insecurities.

Yesterday we talked about much the same with one twist.  We talked about how we could do this, do this separation, in the best possible way.  We came up with no concrete answers.  I am not sure of my job situation - I am up for two better (in terms of pay) ones.  Concrete arrangements have to wait to see what, if anything, develops there.  But we were concrete in our wanting to do this in the best possible fashion. 

Two points of conversation stood out.  The sticking point is that C wants a commitment from me that I will be around, stay around until the kids are out of the house.  That's about 9 years at this point since the youngest is 9.  I cannot commit to that at this point - I have to think about it.

The second point was the C mentioned moving closer to her parents in the hope that they will support her.  While they are dysfunctional (who isn't), they would do the best they could.  That excited me in a way that showed me that I could not commit to staying.  I could then move to a gayborhood between where we are now and where her parents are and be regularly present to the kids.  C then added would you be willing to move nearer my parents.  We'll talk about that at some future point, but the answer is almost certainly no.

That all confirmed a couple of things for me. 
  1. This is a VERY hard road, but it is the right one.  There will be a lot of pain along for all parties. 
  2. I want to live as a gay man as much as I am able given the responsibilities I have.  
  3. The most healthful, most authentic path is not the easiest one at least in the short term.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

O What a tangled web we weave!

I think this post is remarkable in three ways.  It is, first of all, the second post in a single day.  It also makes more than half of the posts done in this year.  Perhaps then it marks a real determination not to closet myself any longer.

But, thirdly and most importantly, it marks a change.  I have a date tonight.  No, not a date with some hot guy, but a date with my wife.  I just got off the phone with her and she was in tears.  She is feeling an overwhelming sadness.  Her marriage of almost 25 years is for all intents and purposes ending.  Even if we stay legally married for some financial reason we will not be married in our hearts or spirits.  And that is hard. 

How do you help the best friend you have, have ever had, to get over the ending of her marriage.  That is excruciatingly difficult.  But then add that the marriage is to you and you have said it has to end because you're gay.  It's not right - it's like a parent at the funeral of a child - it is not the right order of things.

But it is.  And indeed it is a tangled web.  But here it is not because I am deceiving.  That would only have made it worse.  Here the web is tangled because I have to help my best friend deal with the dissolution of her marriage to me.

So before dinner we will go for a walk around the neighborhood.  Two years ago we took a lot of walks.  As I walled off and isolated the walks ended.  Today I am not walled off in that way.  I will go for the walk and continue to feel great sadness for and with my friend.  I will feel sadness for myself too. 

But I will also walk in knowing that this is the route to authenticity and wholeness.  This is the route that will give meaning to "the truth will set you free".  This is a hard but necessary road.  And this is the change.  I have been running from this pain for years now.  It is an intense, personal pain.  But today I will go for a walk where I encounter, face and try to hold that pain.  There is no way through this except for walking through this.  It sucks, but the alternatives are worse - I will, I can no longer suppress who and what I am healthfully.

So it is.

Looking around

The more I look around at other blogs out there I realize two things.

The first is that there are a whole lot of other guys out there who are coming out in there 40's after 20+ years of marriage.  A group of bi/gay married guys I went to once had about 3-4 of the 10 guys there who came out to there wives after 23 years of marriage.  Go figure!  In that sense I no longer feel alone or unique.  That is a good thing.

The second is that there does not seem to be a way to find peace while remaining monogamous.  I have bumped into a few online who say they are, but some are only during a transition period and others really are not monogamous.  I think it can be done, but I am not sure at what price.  And I am pretty sure that I cannot.  I have spent so long suppressing and repressing that I could just fall back into that and become detached and depressed.  I do not want that any longer.

So, C and I went to the therapist last night.  She, the therapist, asked what our agenda for the evening was.  We began talking about looking forward.  Particularly, did I have an agenda or timeline.  What did I see going forward vis a vis living arrangements.  Oddly enough I did not have one - I have not spent a  lot of time on realistic ones.  Sure running off might be something to daydream about, but not the hard work.  So it's time to begin thinking about that.

It looks like we are moving to some sort of separate, but equal arrangement - let's hope it works better than it did in other areas.  We would share common space and have either separate bedrooms or a mother-in-law sort of apartment.  It should be interesting to see how it develops.

We then spent a good bit of time talking about C and school and work.  Both the therapist and I are pushing for school - now is the time to do it.  But that one is out of my hands.

Things are amazingly amicable.  Not that I  expected histrionics.  On the way home last night C turned to me and said that part of her wanted to punish me - kick my ass out and show me what life would be like without her.  My response was simply that part of me wants to be punished too.  But that the better parts of ourselves are doing this better.

And so it is.