Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Breaking point

A couple of months ago, I blogged about the choices we have has gay Mormon's - which prompted a couple of interesting comments. At the time I started to write a detailed response - but opted instead to make it into a blog post of it's own. Unfortunately, this blog post has been sitting in my drafts folder since then and I am just now getting around to publishing it.

In my blog post on January 7, 2009 titled Choices, one of the comments was
Anonymous said...
Enigma, are you okay with your wife being married to a queer man? Do you believe she has the right to be in a relationship with a partner who loves her in ALL ways? Or do you have an open relationship where both can have your intamacy needs met? As they say, too often Mormon women are sacrificed on the alter of male vanity. I hope that's not the case for your wife.
Followed by
Jodi said...
Would you be okay with your daughter living in a sexless , incomplete, and unsatisfying marriage?

Anonymous broached the topic of, so called, open marriage - where both spouses are free to seek out sexual relationships outside of the marriage covenant.

Now, I am an accepting person.
  • I can accept that some mixed orientation marriages are just not going to work out - that it is best for all concerned to end the marriage.
  • I can accept that some young men cannot live with the limited options the LDS church gives them - if they want to remain an active card carrying member; that is, marry a girl or lifelong celibacy along with the associated loneliness and isolation.
  • I can accept when two men or two women love one another and live in a committed monogamous marriage-like relationship.
  • I can accept gay marriage.
But, like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, I can only be stretched so far - if I bend too much I'll break. There are some things I just cannot accept, such as the stereotypical promiscuity that gay culture is known for. Open marriage is another area I just cannot accept. I know that some couples in mixed orientation marriages find that an open marriage works for them - but I find the whole notion of an open marriage kinda creepy. You can't have your cake and eat it too. If there is anybody reading this blog who has an open marriage - I'm sorry if this offends you, it's just how I feel.

Now, I'm not exactly sure what these two comments are getting at. Are they suggesting that I am doing my wife a disservice by staying married to her? Are they saying that my wife would be better off without me than she is with me?

Jodi's comment presumes that when a straight woman is married to a gay man then it will be a sexless, incomplete, and unsatisfying marriage. I'm sure that may be true in some cases, perhaps even in many or even most cases - but it is wrong to assume that to be true in all cases.

As my mother used to say "it takes two to tango". My wife is just as free to end our marriage so that she could seek out a heterosexual male companion as I am to end our marriage to seek out a homosexual male companion. My wife is a strong independent woman - I have no doubt she would do that if she felt that would be the right thing to do. But, the fact of the matter is, both of us feel that the life we've built together is worth saving. While being married to a gay man is certainly not a fairy tale marriage - truthfully, how many marriages are?

Now, perhaps Jodi is the victim of a husband who came out as gay and then cheated on her. If that is the case then I am truly sorry. This is another area that I just cannot accept. If a married man feels that he needs to seek sexual fulfillment outside of his marriage - gay or straight. He owes it to his wife to formally end their marriage relationship before starting another relationship. Being gay does not give us license to do things that straight men shouldn't do.

I've known several work colleagues who have been unfaithful to their spouses (men and women). In a couple of cases I considered them a close personal friend. But, once the infidelity started - I distanced myself from them. Not out of some sort of self righteous indignation - I've known other single work colleagues whom I knew were out sowing their wild oats and have gotten along well with them. It's just that, once a married person gets involved in infidelity - I just don't feel like I have anything in common with them anymore. Also, if they are untrustworthy in their marriage - what's to say they won't be untrustworthy in our friendship?

Like the song "Then What" by Clay Walker says
Then what?
Whatcha gonna do
When the new wears off and the old shines through?
When it ain't really love and it ain't really lust?
You ain't anybody anyone's gonna trust.
Then what?
Where ya gonna turn
When ya can't turn back from the bridges you burned?
When fate can't wait to kick ya in the butt
Then what?
Oh then what?


Beck said...

I have come to accept and be accepting of all that you profess to accept as well. I even push the limits of what a "relationship" might be within a marriage that involves another person, though for now that relationship for me has been one of bromancing more than sexual. And I've struggled with the "appropriateness" and "fairness" of even that.

Am I entitled to anything different than a straight guy in a marriage? Your point where you state: "Being gay does not give us license to do things that straight men shouldn't do." - I am struggling with this concept though I know in the marriage-vow-world it should be a no brainer.

As for your strong wife and her level of freedom, I do not think you are robbing her of anything. She knows you and accepts you and has chosen to stay with you as you have chosen to stay with her and build upon what you have already created (a beautiful family unit with children and grandchildren). There is only good in all of this. It is honest. It is free choice on both parties and is making the best of what has been given. Anything more, pushing for divorce for the sake of her intimacy needs being met and not sacrificed at the altar of male vanity, seems wrong and unjust. Both of you have chosen to be together and love each other despite these other issues. End of subject.

Anything else would be a breaking point.

robert said...

I must say that I am struck by the term: "altar of male vanity". It is an interesting turn of phrase.