Thursday, July 21, 2011

Some thoughts I'd like to share

I have been by myself for a few days. The family is on vacation and will be back on Monday. I thought that I would take some time for myself and do some reflecting, perhaps even post on this blog or journal. Instead, I have been working, exercising and watching movies. Those are all good things too.

I just haven't been processing or progressing. I am sort of just stuck in the moment, not really sure where I'm going. Anyway, here's a few thoughts I've been having, not in any particular order:

-I thought I would be stronger by now resisting pornography. My therapist, who I haven't seen in awhile, has had a focus to work towards a better relationship with the Savior and with my wife, and not being too concerned with the pornography. I look back over the past year and see a consistent pattern of 2-3 months of strength, followed by an overwhelming upwelling of emotion related to my attractions to men that leads me to look at pornography. I'm truly beginning to understand that I can't do this alone. So I went to an LDS support group for this particular problem. I was reluctant to go for a long time, but it was good I think. I need to do things differently and find a better way to understand how to rely on God. This 12-step program does have a beauty to it, without being judgmental. The moderator was a very kind service missionary, joking with me to make sure I was comfortable before we started.

-I haven't made much progress on my relationship with my wife. She wants to feel included, but yet goes into a weird emotional state anytime there's a mention of anything gay. It's difficult. I feel like there's a wall there. Part of it is a long history of not talking about this with her, part of it is the negative impact to my wife, part of it is also reading other men's blogs who have made their relationship work for a long time do not seem to talk about elephant in the room much. I want to be open, but realize discretion is okay too. I don't want to keep reminding her how different I am, but then I ask myself how authentic I am in her presence. It's a crazy balance because our lives have been so intertwined for so long--since senior year of high school--that I just can't imagine myself without her. In fact, I don't want to. We do have a good relationship, but it's still strange figuring out how to make our relationship continue to be strong and where to go from here. I know we can be happier than we are now.

-Happiness has been on my mind for a bit. A friend asked me recently if I was excited about anything in my life right now. I couldn't really answer him, and am still working on that. That was a very insightful question.

-Lately, I've been preoccupied with looks. It is so stupid, I know. I was always very skinny, pale, and now way too hairy. Over the last few years, I really have been working hard on increasing my physical endurance and strength. I look in the mirror and actually see some muscle tone. I find myself craving any sort of compliment from a guy that means someone notices. I even find myself wanting to take my shirt off from time to time. It's a nice feeling, having a little more confidence. I'm not going to take my picture and post it around the Internet--even before some recent political scandals, I've known that's a bad idea. So sorry, no pics with this post. :) Nonetheless, that desire for some sort of recognition remains unfulfilled, but I recognize it's a bit selfish. I certainly don't make friends based on their looks. A couple of my friends look good to me, the others are only so-so. I love who they are, not their looks. Anyway, it's been on my mind lately, and wish it would go away. Maybe it's an early mid-life crisis thing--I'm turning 35 soon. It's not really important, but wouldn't it be nice if some guy hit on me because he thought I was cute. I would not complain.

I guess that's about it for major gay topics I've been thinking about lately. I do have other things that occupy my time and thoughts. I just wanted to share for those few who actually read this blog. I'm doing okay, but still feel a bit distant from God and wishing I had some more direction.


Bravone said...

Did I write this? It's going to work out.

Forester said...

You express many of the same feelings, confusions, longings and sadness that I feel. I've thought about the porn thing and considered doing the 12 step program. I would be interested to see how this works out for you. I have my own feelings about the program, although I haven't done it. I hope that it's not being used as a program to overcome same gender thoughts and feelings. Do you think you are actually addicted to porn? From what you said, it sure doesn't sound like it. To me, it sounds like your occasional look is quite minor compared to most addicts. I know you feel you want to do better at this, and it is a worthy cause, but be careful not to beat yourself up too much about it. Spiritual progress is a life-long effort, don't feel like a failure if you don't meet your expectations. I think your therapist was right about focusing on your marriage, your family and relationship with God.

I, like you, couldn't imagine my life without my wife and family. They are what I want most in life, even though my actions don't always show it. I know that we're taught that our actions should reflect our beliefs and our desires, but that just simply is not usually the case. I often do things that don't fit with my sincere intentions. I make stupid mistakes (as evidenced in my blog) and will probably continue to make many of them. I have definately learned from my mistakes, and although I may end up doing some of the same stupid things, it doesn't mean I haven't progressed. It's that continual upward line that counts, not the smaller ups and downs. What may seem to be an incredible low point in our progress compared to the past five, ten or even 20 years, actually turns out to be a small dip in the eternal scheme. I'm not saying that those small dips can't be life changing moments. They can actually be the catalyst for greater change and progress.

The response from your wife is exactly what I would anticipate from mine if I told her about my attraction to men. Not all of us have spouses like MNJ's (do you read his blog?). Maybe I should give her the opportunity to prove herslef, but I'm just not up for dealing with it. I know this may sound selfish, but it is what it is, for now at least. I know that she would love and support me, but I also know she would never understand, and trying to understand would just make things harder for us.

recover and thrive said...

I think you're on the right path. . and I think its ok to want to look good, just as long as its not our daily focus. . . the happiness question is hard to answer, I think its a daily process, at least for me, but hey that half marathon is something to be excited about right?!

AL SMITH said...

Skinny, pale and hairy works for me ;-)

Benny said...

You married guys are so impressive to me. I'm single and don't really see ever getting married myself. I'm blown away by how you handle things and the commitment you have. In fact, I think I'll add a post to my blog about it.

Bobster said...

Your experiences mirror mine, although I first told my wife nearly 24 years ago (we've been married 27 years - and still married). Thanks for sharing. This is the first time I've read your blog. I'll be reading more.