Saturday, September 18, 2010

Still pondering

I have been very silent as of late for those few of you who are pay attention to this blog. I can't say why exactly. In part it's because I'm just trying to live my life and appreciate what I have. In part it's also because life has been stressful. Part of that stress is now gone. My wife and I can now move on past that particular problem.
Now my particular dilemma is coming to the forefront. Now that this particular stress is gone, I'm about ready to share with my wife this other part of my life with her. It scares me to death like very little else that I've dreaded before. It's not that I think my wife is going to hate me or anything like that. I'm sure that the first few days will be rough. It's that I will be throwing this completely awkward element into our marriage. I also worry about where this will take our marriage. Scott and Sarah's recent decision to divorce is not very inspiring right now. (Dichotomy's blog). So any advice on how to broach the subject? I keep thinking delicacy is in order.


Scott said...

I'm sorry if my choices and actions have caused you anxiety. :(

Coming out to your wife will irrevocably change your relationship with her.

Some of these changes will be good. You might find it easier to be honest and open with each other, and to communicate your wants, needs, hopes and fears. If your wife has had any esteem issues because she has sensed that you are not completely and fully "in love" with her, she might be relieved to understand the reasons.

Some of these changes won't be as good. Your wife might wonder what else you've been keeping from her since you married her. She might have a hard time understanding homosexuality--perhaps she will believe it is a choice, or feel a sense of failure that she has been unable to "cure" you.

Very possibly she'll feel all of the above, and a hundred other emotions besides. In the meantime you will be feeling anxious, and relieved, and scared, and elated.

I highly recommend having a copy of "No More Goodbyes" ready to give to her to read. It will make a huge difference in how well she is able to accept and understand the things you will have revealed to her.

In my opinion, coming out to your wife will have an net positive effect on each of you individually, as it represents a step toward complete acceptance and understanding (of "self", for you, and of "others", for her).

Unfortunately, there's a chance (and perhaps even a likelihood) that coming out to your wife will have a net negative effect on your relationship with each other. Probably not immediately (most couples seem to go through something of a "honeymoon phase" when the gay spouse comes out. And I guess a lot depends on how "closeted" you remain--if you're only out to your wife, and nobody else, it will be easier to maintain your relationship (but harder to feel "honest" or "complete" or entirely "yourself").

The bare truth is that you're in a crappy situation. Up to this point you've been making most of the sacrifices. Coming out to your wife allows her to shoulder some of that burden. But marriage will still require sacrifice (above and beyond what is normally expected of a married couple). Only time will tell whether both of you can make the sacrifices necessary to keep your marriage intact.

I'll be sending positive thoughts and energy your way.


Mister Curie said...

I applaud your desire to share this aspect of your life with your wife. I agree that it will change a lot, but I think it is a positive thing to not have secrets from your wife. I recommend the book, "When Husbands Come Out of the Closet" for you and your wife. It will help you to both understand the changes occuring in your marriage and it gives very helpful advice on how to maintain the marriage even with those changes. Good luck!

Beck said...

Scott is right. It will irrevocably change your relationship with her. But that can be good.

Just remember that you've had a lifetime to come to this point. She'll have a few moments to get her head around it. In other words, it will take time, and you'll need to grant her that time and not be so anxious to not give her the space she needs to understand what you are saying.

What I've learned since coming out to my wife is that she's on a different pace in learning and embracing this reality. Your wife is on her own timetable and shouldn't feel obligated to meet anyone else' timetable.

Meanwhile, love her! Love her! Love her!

Crisco said...

Thanks for all the kind thoughts. I guess it's the great unknown that scares me more than anything. My wife is a really good person (otherwise why would I be with her?). I am hopeful that after the initial shock, that things will continue to be good for us if not better for me having opened up.