#4 I thought I was relating to my wife like any straight guy and I was wrong

weddingAt the time of our wedding, I didn’t tell my wife that I was gay. I know, I know, that’s unfair towards her, you’d say. But, please, don’t judge me too harshly, because at the time I didn’t know any better.

Prospects of finding a faithful Latter-day Saint woman in the area of my residence were – and still are – flat out horrible. Members are very few and far between. The cultural sentiment towards dating – and even more so towards marriage – is very negative among the general public, and that spills over into the local church. (That’s why we shed population like there’s no tomorrow: if the trend continues, there won’t be a single person living in my country in less than 200 years.) So, revelation of my same-sex attraction to my future spouse could have had a devastating effect on our relationship and future. Or so I thought.

My wife says that she would have married me even if I had told her. And it is not that I don’t believe her. I’m just saying that, ultimately, only God knows possible outcomes of past unrealized options.

Anyway, we did get married, but soon into our marriage, I started to behave rather awkwardly. But I wasn’t aware of it. I thought I was behaving like any straight guy. No, I wasn’t cheating her or physically abusing her or desiring to abandon her. God forbid. I simply wasn’t giving her love and affection the way she’d expected. I was rather reserved and distant. To her, that was hurtful. I didn’t have an intention to hurt my wife. I wanted her to feel loved and connected, but I was clueless how to achieve it.

“Are you gay?”

She was kicking and screaming, so to speak, for the attention and affection, and I finally offered some. Just enough so that we could continue developing our marital relationship, but not a bit more. It was tough for me, and I didn’t know why. I pushed my same-sex attraction deep into my subconsciousness, and it morphed into all different kinds of bothers.

Thankfully, both my wife and I were mature enough to press forth on the path towards strengthening our marriage. We had our successes, and we were proud of them. But there has always been something between us that wasn’t entirely “straight”. We would sometimes get struck by a heavy emotional problem or misunderstanding that would blow out of nowhere, and both of us would be totally bewildered by it.

After about five years into the marriage, my wife – in a moment of quiet reflection – asked me if I had homosexual inclinations. Her question came pretty much out of the blue. When I asked her where did she get that idea, she said that my brother, to whom she had been rather close in the first few years of our marriage, gave her a hint. The only way how he could have figured it out is through some of my high-school friends to whom I had come out much earlier. I’d never committed any of them to silence.

At first, she quickly dismissed that idea, but later, as our relationship – with all of it’s peculiar difficulties – continue to unfold, she somehow remembered his words.

Some years before she asked me the question, I had already had a brief conversation with my priesthood leader about whether I should come out to her or not. He advised me against it. But there was no question in my mind that, if asked directly and straightforwardly, I would tell her the truth. And so I did.

She wasn’t overly concerned about my answer. She thought it was not a big deal and that I got over it through marrying her. She obviously wasn’t connecting our marital challenges with the issue of my same-sex attraction, and neither was I. That would come another five years later.

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