It’s been a while since I wrote. My wife and I have been living in the same house, and talking, but saying very little of any depth. One friend described it as ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ form of marriage. I tend to think of it as ‘parallel play’ where we both coexist but operate in parallel.
This weekend our son is away and we’re just two adults alone, and quite frankly, I’m all stressed out. I want to talk. To have an intimate conversation, but I don’t really know what I want to say. So I thought I’d take a stab at writing here what I want to communicate with my wife.
First, these weeks have been very difficult. I feel constricted at home. Not myself. Like I’m living a make-believe life, which in many ways I am.
I’m very clear in my mind that I am a gay man. Not bi. Not confused. Gay. That said, I wonder what still holds me back. In part, it is the fear of loss: my home; my son; and yes the appearance of being married. As much as I feel that I don’t really care at this point in my life who knows I’m gay, I have years and years of hiding to get over.
Yesterday I went to the urologist. I have BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia) which essentially means a benign enlargement of the prostate. So I started taking Flomax and had a number of side effects and stopped taking the drug after two weeks. The urologist began to talk about surgery and could see that I was very uncomfortable and asked me what I was most concerned about. What I wanted to say, but didn’t, was this: I am married but about to come out as a gay man and don’t want to do anything that would mess up my ability to have sex, particularly as I start exploring sexually with men.
What I actually said was something much more benign. I asked myself why I couldn’t tell him the truth. Well, for one thing, I was uncomfortable with the fact that I am gay being in the doctor’s electronic record. Information that could also be obtained by my insurance company. I tell this story primarily to point out that as much as I tell myself that feel ready, to be honest with the world, I shy away with great discomfort in disclosing my sexuality. What’s the deal here?
I want to develop a network of gay friends. I’m afraid of putting that out there for my wife, who’s uncomfortable with my even going to the support group for gay married men that I go to every other week. I myself am afraid that when a man wants to be friends with me, what he really wants is sex. There are two men who are partners that I met at the support group, both older, one 60 and one 63 and they’re both still married. They’ve been very friendly to me and want to get together for dinner. I’m suspicious of what they want and don’t trust that it’s only for friendship. And I may be right in my suspicion but I wish I could go with the flow more.
There’s a guy who I really like that I met on Grindr and we chat, talk on the phone, meet for drinks or meals. I’m not interested in him sexually but it’s nice to have a friend. Again, I’m suspicious of what he really wants.
So how do I move on? How do I work with my wife to agree on the next steps here so we’re not just living in a parallel play world? I’m not really sure. I don’t even know where to begin the conversation.