Sunday, May 29, 2005

Gay Man + Heterosexual Woman ... Can it Work?

This is great! I love dialogue! Scott, Patmos: thanks for sharing your perspectives! I think only good can come from discussing the issue from all angles.

In this blog, I want to speak to a point I’ve talked about earlier, one that Scott mentioned twice in the past two or three days.

Should a man who is attracted to other men marry a woman? This really hits at the heart of my struggle. Though for the past decade I have always planned on marrying a girl, within the last few years I’ve started to reconsider. As Scott asked, would any parent want their daughter to marry a gay man? Would any woman want to deal with the problems associated with having a gay husband?

I can only imagine how hard it must be for those women who do stand by their homosexual husbands. It must oftentimes be demoralizing, humiliating and stressful to deal with. I can only imagine how a woman must feel in that situation. I’m sure it’s not easy. That’s why I am very, VERY far from the marriage path. I just don’t want to put a woman through that.

However, I know there are many women who do live in those circumstances, women who seem to be happy. Those women’s gay spouses also claim to be happily married, love their children and have good marriages. This leads me to believe that there is a way to make marriage between a gay man and a heterosexual woman work, without making the woman’s life a living hell. I imagine that creating such a marriage would require a lot of open communication and love from both spouses. And I doubt it is easy. But when has marriage ever been easy? (What’s the latest statistic on the nation’s divorce rate?)

Consider this: every person brings a certain amount of “baggage” to a relationship/marriage. Whether it’s past mistakes, medical problems, character flaws, etc., each partner must learn to love the other person and work together. Let’s say I decide to get married to a woman. If I promise to love her and stand by her through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, etc, etc, who’s to say it wouldn’t work out?

Again, I know gay men who say their attraction toward men has decreased as they have worked to overcome their homosexuality. I have no reason to doubt these men. They are good people, men whom I trust. It’s really not hard to believe that one could decrease his sexual desires through concerted effort. People change behaviors – and even desires – all the time. Consider former smokers, alcoholics, liars, cheaters, potty mouths, anorexics, overeaters, etc. People are able to control, diminish and even change desires. It’s not easy though. Consider also all the people who have tried to make changes for years, even decades, but who are not able to. Sad stories. True stories.

The road to change is not easy. I’ll be honest: I think coming out may be the easy way out for me. I really think I could weather it fairly well. That said, I just don’t think the homosexual lifestyle is right for me.

So now we see where I stand ... I am too scared to inflict pain on a woman by marrying her, and I don’t believe living life as a gay man is right for me. Yep, I’m sitting dead smack in the middle of the fence. I’ve got to fall on one side or another sometime. Till then, I’ll be blogging. :)

9 Comments:

Anonymous Scott said...

Not much for me to say here, since I've said it already.

When I came out to my father, (a realistic, non-judgemental, somewhat liberal mormon), he took me on a long walk and he asked if I have ever tried to make love to a woman (I was in my mid-20's.) Even though he did not come out and directly say, I believe he felt that in this case, I should consider fornication. Repentance and the struggle back may be worth the "experiment."

I then went through how uncomfortable I was in an intimate situation with a woman. As I mentioned before, I would become physically ill even "french kissing" a woman, much less anything else. So all that being said about my hetero experience, I ask you this question.

Would you be able to have sex with a woman? I mean physically. There is little chance I could "rise" to the occation, so to speak. So a hetero life for me would mean little or NO sex.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous C. said...

Dear G.M.: I enjoy your work. But there is a logical fallacy in your argument that if people can change some desires (such as desires for smoking and drinking) they can change all desires (including sexual ones). The fact that people can change SOME desires does not prove that people can change ALL desires. Some desires may well be more fundamental than others, may be far more firmly entrenched in our very being. Some may be changeable. Some may not be. If you do an Internet search on "reparative therapies," you will learn that so-called "reparative therapies" do not work. That is to say, most people CANNOT change their sexual orientation. That is the consensus of scientific research. There are no long-term, generally accepted studies showing that people can change their basic, primary sexual desires. (Except, perhaps, for a very small group of bisexuals whose sexual preferences are more flexible or malleable.)But sex researchers do not believe that people can, for the most part, change their basic sexual orientation. OK. So what does that mean, if you are gay? Marrying a woman--when you cannot give her the full measure of love that someone totally attracted to her could, and when you are going to feel more attracted to others than you would feel to her--is most likely going to shortchange the woman. And yourself. More another time. -- C.D.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

Another question:

GayMormon said:
"That said, I just don’t think the homosexual lifestyle is right for me."

What exactly is the "homosexual lifestyle" to you?

I know gay men who have had 100's of sexual partners and I know a few who have had just 1 partner. Many have the same as their straight counterparts. Even though it may be easier for gay men to find sex, it doesn't have to be only about sex. Committment and monogamy exists in many "homosexual lifestyles." As a gay couple, most of our social friends are in healthy committed and monogamous relationships.

And if marriage was an option for us, I believe it would offer a formal legal ceremony where committment and monogamy is expected. As you know, the mormon church fights this with all their might. (and tons of your tithing dollars) ANOTHER TOPIC / ANOTHER TIME....

Scott

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

We are called to be perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect. Yet, our loving Father knows that this perfection will never be reached in this life. You may have heard this parallel before, that our existence is like a three act play. It is as if we have walked into theater as the second act was already taking place. But, we are not just a member of the audience, we are characters on stage without a script trying to work our way through the best we can. We must also remember that the phrase "happily ever after" never happens in the second act. This being said, life was meant to be a struggle, filled with temptations and choices that need to be made. If not, what kind of test would this be? You said that if you were to enter into homosexual relationship you knew it would be going against what God wants. We must be willing to surrender all. This not only includes all hopes that one might have of having a homosexual relationship, but, thankfully, it also includes surrendering all burdens and fears and giving them to the Lord. Give this burden of marriage to the Lord in prayer. He answers prayers. You know this. Any marriage, not only those between a homosexual and a heterosexual, must only be done after much prayer, fasting, and once an answer has been received. I would urge anyone not to enter into marriage merely because of religious pressure or influence from other people. I do not believe that because marriage is a requirement for the highest degree of exaltation, that it should be the sole reason for getting married. If one does not have the opportunity in this life, there will be in the next. Now, of course, only God can say whether or not we have truly had this opportunity. I believe that homosexuality is one reason (not that we are born with it though, but it most certainly is not a choice). You know that True happiness and True joy can only come from living the gospel. God's love is infinite as is Christ's atoning sacrifice. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid," John 14:27. You have the Comforter with you, let it guide you in all things.

Hope this helps. I'm always up for some good doctrinal discussion. Unlike you, I was not born in the Church but am a convert of less than two years (yet, we must all be converted in heart). I am far from perfect, and as I read over what I have written I almost want to scream at myself to take my own advice and live by it. I feel I must rid myself of the hope to live in a homosexual relationship. Since I joined the Church, I've had ups and downs dealing with this issue and feel that my testimony is being tried. I have to decide what I'm going to do, but then again, don't we all? Remember that we are not judged against other people but we are judged against ourselves and knowledge we've gained.

With much love and hope,
Mike

7:43 AM  
Anonymous C. said...

Mike: May I offer a brief response to your comment? You wrote that "true hapiness and joy can only come from living the Gospel." I can understand your repeating that mantra; we've all heard those words many times, and many of us have unthinkingly repeated them by rote to others. But really think it through bit. There are billions of people on this earth, of all dfferent religious beliefs; some,in fact, have never heard of the Gospel. But there are people in all regions,of all different beliefs, who find joy and happiness. My friends who are gay do not appear to differ from those who are straight in terms of who's happy or who's not. My own life has actually been a lot happier, freer, and more productive since I came out than it was while I was struggling to figure out what choices were best. I'm always up for good doctrinal discussions, too. But we have free agency. We have--and need to exercise--skills at critical thinking. People may proclaim, "This is doctrine"--hoping you will not question any further. But nobody has all the ansswers.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

C.:

Thank you very much for your response :-) Yes, you are absolutely right. I cannot of course degrade or try and judge the happiness that someone has even though they have not heard or are not living by the Gospel. Happiness in this life is an interesting thing. A person can be happy in one situation, and were another person placed in that same state, he or she might be miserable. Some people can find joy in the "little things" whereas others can't. Is happiness a choice? Perhaps to some extent. But, when does it go to far and just become fake and another mask that we wear?

I hope that I wasn't just regurgitating words that I've heard, but since I'm not sure, probably part of me was. The Gospel, as well as prayer, is supposed to be uplifting always. The blessings and consequences of living by or going against it are a natural cause and effect. I do believe, however, that one may know the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost. This is something we certainly can never use to its full potential though.

Thanks again,
Mike

p.s. Thanks too for reminding me to capatilize the G in Gospel! Also, I truly am glad that you are happier now and want to congratulate you. You are certainly a braver man than I.

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Me again, sorry,

C.: In the above post I wrote, "...the happiness that someone has even though they have not heard or are not living by the Gospel." The phrase "are not living by the Gospel" was a wrong choice. I did not mean to presume that you or anyone else was "not living by the Gospel." I suppose that Christ was the only one who lived 100% of the Gospel 100% of the time. As has been said many times before, "nobody's perfect." I could easily believe that you would be judged more righteous than I by He who is our final judge and one and only with that authority. Sorry for any offense or confusion this may cuase.

-Mike

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am heterosexual woman with a homosexual husband. We've been together 6 years. In my opinion, having good communication, respect, and LOVE any marriage is possible.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been married for 12 years this month and my husband and best friend just told me a month ago that he was gay. It has devasted my world and I am so confused. At first I was in denial and then angry at him. I love him with all my heart. We have three beautiful children. He says he will not leave me and he loves me. I am so scared that he will not want to continue being married to me and he will turn to the homosexual lifestyle. He says that he does not want to live that lifestyle. I am so scared that I will not be loved and desired like I want to be. I know that sounds selfish. I pray constantly that God will give me peace. I am so anxious now when my husband goes to the gym and out with his buddies. I am having trouble trusting him. I want to so much and I want everything to be okay. We communicate great and have a wonderful friendship. I know that we have a better marriage than other couples I know. I know our marriage is deeper and is based on real love. I just wish that God will grant my husband with the desire for me like I have for him. I cry daily and I think I am depressed. I do not talk to anyone about this.

3:13 PM  

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