Thursday, February 1, 2007

Out of the closet, day 3

First of all, I have to say that I'm overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support I've received from my friends here in the blogosphere (or queerosphere, which ever term you prefer), both through comments to my blog entries and via emails sent directly to me. I want to publicly thank everyone who has reached out to me. I don't feel so alone anymore. I just wish there wasn't the geographic separation between us because I feel like I want to give each and everyone one of you a big hug.

I think my wife and I are making progress. She really is a strong woman and I pulled the rug out from under her; but, I think she is starting to regain her composure. Yesterday, we made it through one day without her crying, at least that I was aware of. She came home from work at her normal time but then left again to run some errands. Afterwards, she said she wanted to make dinner. I tried to tell her that I had it taken care of, but she insisted. So, I cleaned out and loaded the dishwasher and then set the table while she was making dinner. After dinner we both went to Mutual. Afterwards, we came home and watched "Hero's" which she had recorded on Monday night. So, it was a pretty normal Wednesday evening for us.

My wife works with the young women and I normally go with the young men at Mutual; so, we aren't usually together in the same room. Last night, however, we had the Teachers, Priests, Mia Maids, and Laurals all together making invitations for a Valentine's Dinner they are putting on for their parents in two weeks and finalizing the plans for the dinner. I was doing my normal banter with the young men which, sometimes, includes putting my arm around their shoulder. But, it occurred to me that she may start looking at these kinds of things in a new light, and some things may start to bother her. I'm going to have to learn to be more sensitive to her feelings.

I've been trying to be near her as much as I can when she is home in case she wants to talk, or if she just needs a hug. But, I'm beginning to perceive that she is starting to feel like I'm smothering her. So, I'm going to back off a bit. I'm thinking she needs some alone time now so that she can process this information.

This morning, I got up early and showered. As I was getting dressed, she asked what time my meetings started and if we had time to talk. I didn't have any early morning meetings today; so, I got right back in bed and took her hand in mine, and we talked for over an hour. Yesterday, I had sent her a link to Wife of a gay Mormon. She said she had been reading it. She also linked to her husbands blog, gaymormonandmarried, to read his story. She said that it was giving her a much greater understanding. This was the first time she was introduced to the term 'SSA'. She explained that she liked that term much better than 'gay' because of the connotations with the gay culture. I told her that I understood what she was saying and then explained that I didn't particularly like the term SSA (or SGA) because it makes me feel like there is something wrong with me, and I don't feel like I'm broken. I added that I do not think in terms of the gay culture, but more in terms of personality, interests, attributes, etc.; and, that in those terms, I probably have more in common with other gay men than I do with most straight men. This particular topic of conversation, I'm sure, is far from over.

She also said that she realizes that I have a need to explore this side of me and that she needs to learn to trust that I won't do anything inappropriate. I believe that latter comment was in response to something I did yesterday. I was testing the water a bit; so, before we left for Mutual, I told her that there was a show on Logo TV (a GBLT cable station) that I wanted to record so that I could watch it later. As I was setting up the DVR, she walked through the TV room and noticed that I was having problems because there are already two shows recording at that time; so, she pointed out one of them and told me I could cancel the recording because she probably wouldn't watch it anyway so that I could record my show.

Finally, she said that she was feeling much better and that she didn't feel a need to go talk to a therapist anymore. I pointed out that I really didn't come out of the closet, I've pulled her into my closet. I explained that she may start feeling alone at times with no one to talk to; but, that the option to go talk to a counselor was always an option for her.

After we talked, I finished getting dressed, and we went into the kitchen for our morning scripture study. We've been trying something new lately by doing more of a topical type of study rather than just reading start to finish. We started with 2 Ne 25:23 ("...for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.") and have been going through the references, reading the Bible dictionary, etc. This morning, after we read some more of the references and other links, she got out the hymnal and looked up hymns dealing with "grace". She was particularly drawn to "Rock of Ages". ("Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in thee..."). That is, actually, one of my favorite hymns. I believe the events over the last couple of days are giving her a new perspective. And, perhaps, for me too.

We still haven't watched "States of Grace - God's Army II" yet (too much other stuff going on); but, she said that, maybe, we can watch it tonight. Good thing Netflix allows you to keep the DVD's as long as you want. I was hoping my daughter would watch it with us; but, she's got a new boyfriend; so, we don't see her much anymore. I did actually get a chance to meet her new beau Tuesday, and he seems like a nice enough fellow. Unfortunately, he is not LDS; but, he is involved in his church. They are both members of the same World of Warcraft guild which is how they met. Whoda thunk it? World of Warcraft as a dating service?


Beck said...

Great progress! Congrats! You two are handling it with love and respect.

As for the arm over the shoulder of the YM - this will become an issue of "trust" that you will need to develop with her as she watches you with "new eyes". As much as you may want to retract your coming out to her, there is no retraction - there is no: "I was just kidding". So be aware that her trust in you is being tested under new scrutiny - but that can become a good thing!

Mormon Enigma said...

I'm starting to realize that we're going to establish some boundaries. What I can and cannot talk about with her, what I can and cannot watch, what I can and cannot do, etc.

Beck said...

I guess you need to look at it as "what is appropriate" for a gay married mormon man to do in your marriage if you want to stay married and faithful, devoted and loyal to your wife - instead of "what you can and cannot do".

Good luck! This begins the hard part for you!

Mormon Enigma said...

You're right. I didn't mean to imply that I wanted to see how much I could get away with.

This is all so hard. There needs to be a gay Mormon husband manual.

Loyalist (with defects) said...

whoa! did you mention a Manual for Gay Mormon Husbands (GMH)?

I wonder it will be sold through Deseret Books?


best wishes to you and your wife.

Beck said...

I can't stand reading manuals (computer program installation, how-to-assemble, etc.) and I certainly don't teach from the Church manuals (much better to wing it with the spirit), but I bet I would study the GMH Handbook of Instructions! :)

-L- said...

I was hoping to read your take on States of Grace! Still looking forward to it.

You both still need counseling, IMHO. ;-) In my know-it-all style, truly yours, L.

Mormon Enigma said...

We just watched "States of Grace" tonight; so, I'll (hopefully) be posting my review tomorrow.

Jason said...

Hey, I finally read what's been going on here. (I'm a slow-poke in the blogging world recently, but there's been a bit of a buzz about your situation lately, so I caught wind.) Thanks for visiting and linking my and my wife's blogs.

I just wanted to say that it truly sounds like you are doing a good job of sifting through the newness of your situation. These issues are disgustingly complex, especially in conjunction with the inherent complexities of marriage, and I'm impressed with your focus on making things easy for your wife and your consistency in scripture study and other spiritual activities. Though the great winds of life are storming, it's obvious that you're anchored to a good spot, which is something that should provide you and your wife both with great hope. Feel free to email me (my email's on my info page) or to have your wife email Leslie anytime, though it sounds like you guys are already receiving a lot of great support. You're both in our prayers.