Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Out of the closet, day 2

Yesterday morning started out as most mornings do with me going upstairs to my home office to begin work, and my wife going off to work (she started working part time teaching quilting/sewing since our children are grown). She only works about 4 hours/day, so she came home shortly after lunch. I had finished with my last meeting of the day and was downstairs taking a break, sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of (herbal) tea (I'm nursing a sore throat). She came and sat next to me on the bench, put her head on my shoulders, and quietly sobbed.

This is killing me. I'm just the clueless gay husband who has no idea what to do other than reassure her. I feel like such a heel. What have I done? I never meant to hurt her. I feel like I need to apologize; but, I don't know what I would be apologizing for. Do I need to apologize for being gay? That's like apologizing for having blond hair. Do I need to apologize for not telling her sooner? It has only been a few short months since I even admitted it to myself. Should I try to act as if nothing is wrong and just go on as if nothing had happened? Or should I be a more doting husband? How much more can/should I dote? I've been cooking dinner every night since she returned, I've been putting my dirty socks in the laundry hamper each night, I've been home with her each night. I just don't know what else I can do other than holding her, and telling her that I love her.

The fact of the matter is, this is hard on me too. I'm trying to reassure her, but who can I turn to for reassurance? I'm starting to feel so very much alone. Telling her was supposed to rid me of these feelings of loneliness, not spur them on.

There was a Relief Society activity last night. She was hesitating about going; so, I strongly encouraged her to go. I felt she needed to get out of the house to mingle with other sisters and think about something else for a while; but, was that the right thing to do?

Something one of the sisters said at the meeting caused her to have a sort of epiphany. When she came home, she told me that driving home she realized that I haven't changed. I'm the same person I've always been. If anyone needs changing it's her - she needs to change her thoughts and attitude. Is this a good thing? Or is this an indication that she is blaming herself?

After we retired to bed, we stayed awake for a while and talked some more. As we were talking she cried some more. I seem to be getting really good at making her cry. I shared with her some of the things I've had to put up with in my life, such as living with daily taunts of 'queer' and 'faggot' in junior high school. Mostly, I just held her and stroked her.

I admitted to her that I'm reading blogs by other gay Mormon's and that I have my own blog. I also admitted that I've joined a few discussion groups (q-saints, gayldsmormons, etc.) and that there are a handful of people that I email with back and forth. I've tried to convince her that these are good people, many of whom have going through what we are going through, and that I gain strength from them. But, she said that this worries her. How can I reassure her that these are good things?

This morning I asked her how she was doing and she replied she was doing better. Tonight is Mutual; so, that will give us both something to do other than staying home with her crying and me feeling guilty about it.

So, this is where we are, stay tuned.


Foxx said...

Something similar happened to me when I came out to my parents. I told them I was going to a Family Fellowship meeting. They were really uncomfortable with me talking about it with anyone, virtual or not. I guessed they were afraid that they would influence my decisions away from what they wanted me to do.

I think it's a natural reaction to change to ask questions like, "Who is influencing this change in him?" Then they want to blame it on anything that has been a secret. Eventually it will dawn on them that, at least in this case, no change has taken place but your willingness to share another intimate part of yourself with them.

It's hard on a person to think they know someone so well, just to find out that they don't.

If you wonder what she's worried about, ask her. It will give you a better idea of where to place your reassurance.

Hang in there. This part's bumpy, but I'm sure it will get better from here.

Mormon Enigma said...

I did ask her what specifically she was worried about; but, she said she didn't know.

She is very concerned about me maintaining anonymity. She has brought that up on several occasions. I've assured her that I use a pseudonym and haven't publicly disclosed any personal information other than I live in Texas.

I think, along with everything else, she is embarrassed by it and is deathly afraid that someone we know will find out.

At least I don't have to worry about her talking about it with someone I didn't particularly want to know. That was a cause of some tension between us a couple of years ago when I first started taking antidepressants and she talked about it with some of her friends.

Anonymous said...

I'm two and a half weeks into my post coming out to my wife life. We've been married 40 1/2 years, with three children and 10 grandchildren...this has not been fun. My year has been governed by Brokeback Mountain and the devastation it visited on me. I'm glad to have found your blog...I'm so dumb I had no idea there would be so many of us!


Elbow said...

I really feel for you. This experience is close to home for me. I'm a lot younger than you, but what you are saying about your relationship with your wife is heartbreaking. Hang in there. I appreciate your voice in this gay mormon blog world.

Loyalist (with defects) said...

I really can't say much about coming out of the closet. I've come close to telling my wife but have backed away because of fear and not wanting to cause additional stress in the marriage.

The best I can say is I will keep you and your wife in my prayers. Good luck to you. a thought just occurred. Maybe you might want to point her to the blog of both she and her husband Another Other have bloggs that might be helpful. that way she can be a part of this portion of you.

Beck said...

Okay... you know I've been there - so take it for what it's worth: you're making good steps. Keep going. Keep talking. Keep hugging and caressing. Keep helping her to know that you still love her and that you haven't changed. This is a big step for her. She's processing a lot of information, feelings, ideas - all of which are very unnerving and difficult to understand. Of course she's sobbing... but she's coming home to sob in your arms instead of someone else's. That's a good sign! She still needs time. Give her time. Let her process. But be there for her.

As for us blogger fools out here, well, you decide if we're getting in the way. Of course she's hesitant to see you talking to others about it (even anonymously) when she has no one to talk to. Make her your priority as painful as it is to her. Open up to her about aspects of your life history that help her to understand this is what you are and that you are still the man she loves.

More off line...

-L- said...

It's likely to continue to be awkward for some time. Do what you can to keep your head above water by recognizing that your wife needs to process things in her own time and way. It's good that she already had the epiphany. And good that you two keep talking about it. Communication, as always, is the key to keeping things good between the two of you. It sounds like her sensing a lack of communication is what got her concerned. Just be honest about every aspect of the issue (your faith, your vision of your future with her and your family, etc.) and the two of you can pick up and move on realizing how your relationship can be strengthened instead of threatened by this issue.