Elbow: On The Table

Thursday, October 11, 2007

On The Table

I’ve been beating myself up for so long about my marriage. It was really easy for me to just brush off the common judgments of people who looked down on me for the choices that I’ve made. I was outwardly adamant about explaining that my past is valid and good, but inside I silently felt the pain and the prick and the loneliness of being alone after I’ve had my best friend to soothe and comfort me for three years.

So I want to come clean. I want to be honest and I want to be as truthful as I can be in this moment. I was holding back a lot because I didn’t want to drag my wife onto the pages of this blog anymore than she had been. I wanted to protect her and myself for saying the wrong thing about our very intimate and personal choices. What I never said and what I am giving permission to say now is that my marriage wasn’t right from the beginning, and I didn’t get a divorce solely because I happen to be gay. My wife and I got a divorce because our marriage wasn’t right.

If my wife happened to be a man and happened to have a penis and a face like Patrick Wilson and a chest like Chad White then we still would have gotten a divorce. If I were straight and I connected emotionally and spiritually to the physical makeup and soul components of a woman more than a man's then I still and even then would have proceeded with the divorce. If I hadn’t been sexually molested as a young boy and didn’t have various sexual urges to look at porn or to masturbate, the marriage would have ended still. If my wife didn’t care that I checked out guys or felt a close connection to men, then we still would have ended the marriage because it just wasn’t right.

Something I never understood about marriage and the union of two people is that it takes a best friend energy to want to form your life with someone, but just because two people are best friends doesn’t mean they should get married to each other. Just because two people really care about each other, and are perhaps in love doesn’t mean they should get married. There’s more to a marriage and a lasting relationship than being best friends and even being in love. Love matters, but so does connection and forgiveness and freedom and trust and permission and encouragement and laughter and sex.

Having been married and knowing what it’s like to be with someone as a spouse I see now that there were so many things lacking. We had the obvious external beauty of a typical couple; beauty, smiles and worldly successes. It was easy to look at my life and trust that everything you saw was real and lasting. People saw my marriage as an example and template for a compatible couple. Sometimes what you see is not what you get.

I could have stayed in my painfully flawed marriage and I could have tried harder to make something that was obviously the color of turquoise a rich and shiny rust, but it still would have been a lie and on the inside it would still be a completely different color.

I want to be my own color and live in a relationship that compliments my tone and texture and hue. I started this week feeling overwhelmingly sad because I was letting myself feel guilty for not being straight enough, not being strong enough or not being less me. But I see now that no matter what I could have done or no matter the actions I could have taken, my marriage would have still ended in divorce.

It was almost easier saying that I got divorced because I’m gay, but it feels more honest saying that I’m no longer married because it just wasn’t right. And now the obstacle is letting myself allow feelings of happiness in my life. I deserve to be happy because my life is happy. And it feels good to finally get that off my chest.


Blogger greenhand said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. I can totally relate with you on your divorce, but in regards to the church and my frequency. Many people think I'm not going to church just because of my sexuality, but I have other reasons. Just like how your marraige wasn't right and not solely because of your sexuality, it is the same reason why I don't go to church anymore... There are other reasons. It's not just our sexuality, there are other factors that influence our lives besides our sexuality, and I'm glad you emphasized that.

10:00 AM  
Blogger gentlefriend said...

Thank you for your honesty. I wish you well in your pursuit of a friendship that will be conducive to marriage.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Forester said...

I think you hit marriage right on. Marriage takes more than just being best friends or just loving each other. I've never understood the best friend thing. I wouldn't ever consider my wife my best friend - and not in a bad way. I would never have children with my best friend. She is my companion, part of me. Your rib analogy fits well, especially in a scriptural context. We really do remove a part of ourselves to make it work. I can't imagine your feelings of loss and disappointment. I'm sure you didn't go into the relationship thinking you would be so unhappy. I know you can get through this. I know you can move forward with happiness and peace and love in the face of a world full of hate, doubt and sorrow. Satan's greatest victory is despair and the loss of hope. Don't ever lose hope in the future. You are a good person, worthy of being happy.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Love this post. Thanks for your honesty.

10:49 PM  

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