#5 What I have learned from Josh Weed’s Unicorn post

unicornEarly June of this year (2012) was a particularly eventful month. My wife was in the final stages of pregnancy and was about to give birth to our third child. As June was unfolding, I kept receiving promptings that I should start sharing my experience with same-sex attraction on this blog. After writing a couple of posts – which I recently temporarily removed, so that they are published again in the future within a proper context – I ran into Josh Weed’s coming out post titled “Club Unicorn: In which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary”.

Reading Josh’s post turned out to be a life changing event for me. It pulled my emotions out of the ground where they had been buried for more than a decade. Through the example of Josh and Lolly I finally got some of the most important answers to the issues of my marriage.

Let them sprout as they may

First, I realized that I don’t have to run away and hide from my feelings of same-sex attraction. Instead, I should let them sprout as they may, and then face them with courage, conviction and good intention. I should not pretend they don’t exist, I should not be ashamed of them, I should not condemn them or pronounce them illegitimate. I should not make them wanted or unwanted, I should just face them “as is.” I should be honest, sincere and authentic about them.

Second, I realized that I must become totally open about them with my wife. I should be brutally honest. Because I hadn’t been open with my wife about my same-sex attraction at the beginning of our relationship, I should give her total freedom to end our marriage if she wishes to, and I should not complain about it.

Third, I got to realizing that I do not need to suppress my attraction towards other men in order to be a good husband and father, and an exceptional lover to my wife. It is something that defies logic and conventional wisdom, but it is my experience that the more open an SSA guy is with his wife with his attractions and the more his wife is understanding, accepting and at ease with it, the better their sexual life. I have difficulty understanding how this works, but it does work and my wife testifies of that as well.

Fourth – and unrelated directly to my same-sex attraction – Josh Weed taught me a lot about unconditional love. Before reading his coming-out post, I didn’t know how to “hate the sin, but love the sinner.” I thought I was supposed to be judgmental as long as I did not “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Beep. Wrong. That’s the job of an ecclesiastical leader, in my case – since I’m a Mormon – of a bishop and/or a Stake President. My job is not to throw baby and not to throw bathwater, but to love.

Well, that’s tough for me as I’m a judgmental guy, but I’m striving to do better.

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