Elbow: June 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Best Friend

Today when I was talking with my wife on the phone we established once again that we were best friends. It's been a long time since we've been able to truly feel this way about each other. So much resentment had built up between us that it was hard to remember what had brought us together in the first place. We know now that our friendship and love for each other can't be compromised.
I respect her so much.
I always knew how amazing she was, but I was fearful of her reaction if she knew that I didn't want to be married anymore because of my homosexuality. I underestimated her ability to accept and love me, and now through it all, she has made me feel so loved and so accepted. She's been a huge support and an amazing resource for me being able to find my happiness again. And she has found a new sense of self. She no longer has to feel less of a human being because her husband isn't attracted to her. She no longer has to cry at night because she feels unloved and inferior. She looks forward to a future with a man who loves her both emotionally and physically.
Her therapist gave her a copy of Carol Lynn Pearson's book No More Goodbyes and since my wife has finished reading it, she has started to realize that there is more to life than forcing ourselves into boxes. My wife now is able to fully understand what my feelings for men mean, and how to not personalize them, but to allow me to be...me. Her book is amaizng, and really inspiring. I couldn't have read it at a more important time in my life. I gave it to my mom to read and she expressed so much love for me after she read it. I'm so thankful for Sister Pearson and her testimony of love, because she has truly blessed my life and the lives of those around me.
I've felt so blessed to have my wife's friendship, but it's also been hard because when we talk about the future, we don't see ourselves married. She's looking for a place of her own, and I'm in the process of going back to school and looking for my own place as well. It's sad, but as my wife said to me on the phone tonight; "you have to live your life." And as much as I don't really have the answers for what that means, I know that I am now capable of living my life to its fullest.
The Lord has blessed me tremendously. My family has been warm, my friends have been so giving and I have grown in ways that I don't even fully comprehend yet. I look back at the brick wall that I kept running into and couldn't climb and couldn't go around it. I just walked away. A gay man shouldn't be married to a woman, and I have a testimony of that now. It's not right for me, and while it may be right for others, I see myself being an advocate for those that were struggling through what I went through for the past couple of years.
And through it all, I have everything I've ever wanted, peace and love. And even though my wife will no longer be my wife, she will always remain my best and truest friend.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Peace and Moving On

I'm in still in UT. I've decided not to go back to my parents house. I'm going to live at my sister's place in Utah Valley. I feel a lot better here, and yet I miss New York City and I'm really longing for California.

I actually just got back from a quick weekend stay in Los Angeles. I was helping out my buddy with his business there and I just got back tonight.

When I was in California I was able to see my wife for the first time since our separation. I had lots of anxiety to deal with and a lot of emotions to worry about, but she's in a good place. She's amazing and I love her so much. She mentioned that she was a different person now, which I agree with.

Being married to a gay man was not the best situation for her. She became a person who was unwilling to trust, she became bitter towards me and our marriage. She hated herself and she hated anything that had to do with me feeling freedom on any level. She has been a rock for me during this time. I love her, and I miss her so much, but I know that we are doing the right thing. She said some of the most beautiful things she's ever said to me. She said "we were best friends before, and we were best friends when we were married, and I know that we are going to be able to stay best friends..." I love her for saying that. It's what I've always wanted for us.

I truly have a testimony that the Lord is watching over me. He listened to our pain and to our situation and he provided a way for us to progress and to flourish and to continue to live to fullest capacity of our souls. I'm clear now. I feel so much deeper, I'm not living in fear, and I'm not afraid of myself and my wife. And yet, through all of this I look back and I don't regret a thing. I loved being with her, but now that the responsibilities of marriage have been lifted from me, I feel a sense of relief.

Life is amazing. I'm happy and I'm sad, but I know I'm doing the right thing. For the first time in my life I feel like I'm doing something really right and really good. I'm at peace and I'm feeling a sense of completion.

Divorce is hard. Being married to a woman as a gay man is harder. Trying to tell my family that I'm getting a divorce because I'm gay is even harder than that, but slowly and with the Lord's help, I'm becoming who I need to be.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Thank You For Scot And His Inspiring Family

Even though this has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life, I know that I'm doing the right thing. My wife and I talk every day on the phone and some conversations are good, and others are really bad, but we are doing something about our relationship and that makes me feel closer to obtaining some sense of peace.

Tonight I had the amazing privilege of having dinner with Scot and his family. I can't tell you how fun it was. I felt so good just sitting with him and his partner and two of the most charming kids I've ever seen. Their life is a blessing, and I just want to publicly thank him for letting me see a glimpse into what I want my life to be like.

And I realize now that I'm free to think and feel on my own, without any pressure of unnecessary guilt, that I can have the life that I've always wanted. I want a family, I want kids, and I want a husband. I use to feel like getting a divorce from my wife was giving up a family, but now I see that I'm gaining my life. I'm able to freely act and think the way that makes me thrive and that allows me breathe with exceptional vibrancy. I don't want to live a life in the Church that makes me feel guilty for feeling love. I want to love a man, I want a man to love me, and I don't want to pretend any more that I'm a straight man and that I'm ok with the Church discriminating against homosexual couples.

I'm looking for peace. And I feel like everyday I'm getting a step closer. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, but I don't think that Jesus would kick out a homosexual couple who practice monogamy and who have dedicated their lives and existence to their children and to the concept of a loving family. Jesus would accept them with open arms. So why won't the church?

There's a lot of things I have to do in order to get my life on the right track, but I feel action and momentum. It's been a long time coming. I've felt a lot of guilt and a lot of pain. I've felt trapped and I've felt overwhelmed with feelings of disgust for myself. But I'm done feeling that way. I'm ready to take risk after risk for the opportunity to live life to its fullest, and to look back at my life when it's over and feel like I did everything I wanted, and that I did everything I needed to do to build a life that I can be proud of.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Smile Like You Mean It

Being separated is...great. I feel so relieved now that I don't have to see my wife's face everyday. Do I sound awkwardly ungrateful? I feel little touches of guilt once and a while, but all in all, I'm feeling really good. I like being separated. I like feeling like I have a wife, and that I don't have a wife at the same time. It's an odd situation to be in.
Living at my parents house = not so good. I love them, but they are my parents and they want me to of course be the little amazing Mormon boy that they've raised. I feel that they are disappointed in me. My dad hasn't said more than a couple of sentences when I'm around, and all my mom can talk about is how hard it's going to be if I get a divorce and have to be celebate because that's what the church teaches. Whatever. I don't really care if she keeps talking to me about it, or if my dad continues his silent treatment. I love them anyway, and they are supportive in thier own way.
Right now I'm just concentrating on "getting better" as my wife likes to say. She feels like I might be able to have a marriage with her if I sort out the things that I need to work on as a gay husband in a straight marriage. But I have a feeling that I won't be returning to the marriage any time soon. I love my wife, and that's what makes this all the harder. I'm unwilling to let her go, and she's unwilling to let me let her go. So here we are. We talk on the phone and have separate lives.
If she'd ask for a divorce then I'd gladly give it, but I don't think she's ready for that. The separation is giving us a lot of time to think about this, and to adjust to being sigle again. At least that's how I see it.
I spoke to my in-law's about our situation last week, and it was the hardest thing I've ever done. I felt like I needed to come out to her parents and let them know what was going on with me. My wife was too embarassed and too ashamed to tell them. So I spoke with them for about two hours and they have been really supportive. Oddly enough, my father in-law commented that if I was going to end it, that I should allow my wife to end it first, and make it look like it was her decision. I thought that was funny, a little awkward, but I had to laugh inside. I've been trying to do that for the past two years now...get her to end it.
I'm happy. I feel really good about the separation. I love my wife, but I also want her to be happier than she is when she's with her gay husband. I have hope that we are going to make the right decision.
And to everyone who has been worrying about me, thank you so much. My spine is healing, and I feel like I am to my old self again.