Edited and updated.

I've always tried to portray a very positive attitude when writing about my husband being SSA. For the most part that is very accurate. There are hard things too. The longer we are it though the more I realize that all marriages are just as hard.  We all have trials that we go through to make us stronger and ours is no different.  I think as long as a SSA person has learned to have healthy relationships with their same gender and they keep strong in their marriage then it is no different than being in a “normal” marriage which also will always have its issues too.

As Will has grown emotionally he has taken more notice of people and their reactions/actions to people around them and now understands them better too.   He has noticed that some guys he is around, really like being around girls. Yes, obviously, but let me explain more.  He and a good straight guy friend, who both enjoy each other’s company, will be talking alone. A gal will walk in and the guy friends demeanor changes. He is happier and I’m sure many other emotions too.  It doesn't have to be a gal he is attracted to or even one his own age necessarily. It is a gal and he likes being around gals. I’m sure not every gal will change his demeanor but majority will. I am that way with guys. In a normal marriage that works great as you have a guy and girl and they make each other happier when they are together.

Now, my husband is happier when he is with me but I am still not a guy. There is something different and I don’t know if it is even something you can pinpoint. That is hard. Not bad, but hard. Does that mean he would be better in a (sexual) relationship with a guy?  No.  He is happy with me and we like being married and we have a really good, real marriage. He does have lots of guy friends that he can be himself around and get the guy time that he needs. He doesn't need to be in a relationship with a guy to get quality time with guys.

Another hard thing is often when he is on the phone with other SSA guys I would get annoyed at his tone of voice or something.   I never could pinpoint what bugged me.  That was frustrating because I didn't care that he was on the phone with whatever guy it was, there was just something that bugged me and it wasn't every SSA guy, just some of them.  Last night I was listening to him talk, not the conversation but just his voice. It donned on me what I was hearing.  Luke talks to guys the way guys talk to girls or girls talk to each other. I don’t think I have ever heard guys talk to other guys that way. If you don’t know what I am talking about pay attention to how people talk to each other and you’ll see what I am mean. Pay attention to how a guys talk to girls and then how he talks to other guys. A lot of guys often talk to girls differently then they talk to other guys.  Light bulb moment. :)  The tone of voice was out of place for who was talking too from my frame of reference and so I hadn't realized that is what I was hearing. It took a minute or two to wrap my brain around that one and I don’t think it’s quite there yet. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just the way it is thing. I have never associated, well until now, with gay or SSA men, so I had never heard guys talking to other guys the way guys normally talk to girls. So for me it was out of place and I had to find a place and understanding for it in my head.

Having a “straight” husband for over a decade, a father, uncles, boyfriends, brothers and guy friends is very different than having a gay husband.   The way most guys interact with gals would be in a lot of ways how a gay/SSA guy would interact with guys and even more so other SSA/gay guys.   It throws you for a loop a little bit and it takes some wrapping your brain around.  It’s hard, not bad at all, but hard.  As a world we see hard as bad and it’s not.  They are very different things.  So happily I tuned out my husband’s conversation no longer annoyed at him while he was on the phone.

Marriage is hard no matter who you marry and no matter what baggage and stuff both people come with.  New stuff always comes up or is thrown at you and life is just really hard at times!   It has been almost 11 months since we both consciously realized that my husband was gay.   It has been hard. It has also been one of the best years of our marriage.  We are closer together, yes we still fight (usually it isn't even close to being about SSA stuff, that I think would actually be easier), yes some days are really hard, but at the end of the day we are closer than we have ever been.   I think we are both happier and more satisfied in our marriage.  No secrets, no hidden thoughts, this is us, all of us and we still really enjoy being together, are best friends, love each other’s company, love being married and love having a family together.

Many SSA people don’t see a guy-gal marriage in the future or think it the impossible dream.  I don’t think it is.  I think in some ways it is harder just because it isn't the norm and there are things you aren't used to.  My husband talks to some guys, like guys talk to gals. On the other hand as one of our best friends pointed out last night, I just gained myself the best shopping partner ever!  He is right too!   I also have a sweet, kind, sensitive, caring and stereotypical in many of those ways guy.  He is a wonderful father and there are many other benefits.  So is being married to a gay guy hard?  Yes, very, but being married in general is hard but worth every single moment!

~Azalea
Posted by Azalea Adamson On 4/29/2013 01:12:00 PM 11 comments

11 comments:

  1. Thank you for your honesty. I think it would be very, very difficult - even terrifying at first - to hear your husband talking intimately with other men. And I think it is completely normal to feel that way.
    It does feel just a bit that you may be trying to convince yourself that it is okay - maybe I'm completely reading into something that isn't there. Bad is such a relative term - is it bad that your husband speaks intimately to other men and is spoken intimately back in return? I don't think it's a matter of good or bad as you say. It sounds as though it is fulfilling for him - he is getting the emotional closeness and intimacy from other men that he needs. That would be hard and its great that you are allowing yourself to acknowledge that.
    And yes, all marriages can be hard. If my husband were to speak in the tone you are talking about (which I understand) to another woman - I would feel emotionally cheated on and I'm not sure I could overcome it. So kudos to you.

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  3. I hear what you are saying and I understand that tone of voice (and quite enjoy being on the receiving end of it myself!) It is kind of flirtatious and endearing for sure. I hear you.
    It seems that gay men are given more leeway to use that kind of voice with other men and be intimate in that (non-sexual) way with them because they are not doing that with another woman type thing. Now if your husband were straight and calling other women and using that kind of voice on a regular basis, would that be acceptable?
    And you aren't getting that kind of intimacy -I realize that you are getting other types of emotional intimacy from your husband - but you aren't getting the kind of intimacy that he is instead channelling where it is more natural for him -toward other men. You can call it emotional closeness instead of intimacy, the terms don't really matter I don't think, but you are missing out on a level of emotional intimacy that he is not, because he is getting it from other men if that makes sense. When you said not really being able to pin it down I thought that described it perfectly - it's nebulous and not quite concrete, the deep emotional needs that a gay man has for another man that cannot be met by a woman, even his wife. As you would have some needs as a straight woman that he can't meet. True enough no partner fulfills all of the other partner's needs but when a partner goes outside of the marriage to look for it - be it with another woman or another man, that could be a concern.
    He cares and loves you for sure in a deep and profound way. At the same time, he is attracted to and developing intimacy and emotional closeness with other gay men. He may never touch them sexually but he will perhaps be being intimate emotionally in some way I imagine.
    Is it at all correct to say that in a sense, by being married to a gay man, you are accepting that you have to share him with other men who he will form possibly deep emotional bonds with that will in some ways at least be deeper than the bonds he has with you because he is gay?
    And you are right, being upset about it won't change anything and I admire your attitude!
    Marriage certainly can be hard and being married to a gay man adds different layers and levels to the difficulties. I'm not sure I would be encouraging other gay men to get married unless the women understand completely the kind of shared emotional closeness that will go on. And really understand it and not think that it is going to go away type thing and that just because their husband is sexually monogamous, that he is not necessarily emotionally monogamous if that makes sense. I mean he is in terms of other women but not in terms of other men. It's a fine line you two are walking and I wish you the best.

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    1. Apparently there are many levels of intimacy and I'm not sure that we're talking about the same ones. The intimate friendships I have with other gay men are on average more intimate that those that I have with straight men and with women, but that does not imply that they are sexual. I am a married man and I am not looking for other sexual relationships.

      I am curious how your response would be if my wife were a male partner who had just realized that I talk to other gay men in a more endearing manner than I talk to straight men? I have several straight friends that I have on many occasions taking a softer tone with women than they do with men.

      In addition, the bonds I form with gay men are deep and may be nearly as deep as but are not deeper than those I have with my wife. They are more intimate than I am able form with most women, but that is key in why I chose this marriage and one of the key things that attracted me to her. For whatever reason the bonds I have with my wife are able to be very deep and intimate. When I'm down, all I need to do is picture her smiling face and it brightens my day. She is my best friend and the person I have chosen to share my life with. That creates its own special bond.

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  4. Thanks for responding. I'm sorry I wasn't clear - I don't think that those bonds you have with other men are sexual in any way.
    And I absolutely understand and respect that you have very deep and intimate bonds with your wife. Again, I'm sorry I wasn't clear.
    I apologize if I have misunderstood - the way I was reading this was that you need deep emotional intimacy with other gay men, an intimacy that your wife as a woman can't meet.
    If you were in a relationship with another man, and you had regular emotionally intimate phone calls with other gay men, then I would think that your partner was open to you having some of your needs (not sexual) met elsewhere and that he was okay with that. Some men would be fine with that I imagine and some wouldn't be.
    By that same token, if your wife were to have intimate emotional bonding with other men in order to have needs met that you can't meet - would you be okay with that? Would a straight man be okay with that?
    Again, I may have completely misunderstood but it seems that as long as it's not sexual, then it's not considered a concern. But Azalea has said she has to work to wrap her brain around this, which I think makes sense. She is watching/listening to you develop deep emotional connections with other men which I completely get are not sexual. All I'm saying is that I see that that could be hard and could be painful. I'm sure you are sensitive to that. It might be good if she had the same opportunity to develop deep emotional friendships with some straight men and if not, how is that different from what you are doing?
    I personally in the past have had friendships with the opposite sex(I am straight) that have been extremely emotionally (but not sexually) intimate. As a married woman, those types of relationships would not be appropriate for me now and were I to have them, I would consider that emotionally cheating on my husband. But that's me. Every person is different and every couple is different in terms of what they can accept. For me, were my husband to be getting some of his emotional needs met by other women (he is straight) I would have a hard time with that, even though he wasn't sexually intimate with anyone but me.
    His emotional investment in another woman would be just as difficult for me as if he had had an actual sexual affair if that makes sense.
    But I apologize because I realize that you and your wife have a great relationship and have discussed what you each are open to in terms of needs being met elsewhere. And I admire that because as I say that's not an easy road and what I meant by a fine line is that even without being sexual, emotional bonds between two gay men can be very intense. It's great that you have been able to negotiate that.

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    1. Thank you for clarifying. You've given me some food for thought. I've reflected on this and here's what I've come up with. I agree with you. Intimate emotional relationships with other gay men would be no more appropriate for me as a married man than they would be if I was straight and had that close of a relationship with other women.

      Regarding one of your other thoughts, there was a time that I would have also agreed with you that I needed a deeply emotionally intimate relationship with a man. I no longer believe this. I have learned that no one relationship will meet all of my needs. Instead of searching and longing for the ultimate relationship, the all-fulfilling-can't-live-without-you romance portrayed in the media, I have started to examine the relationships I already have. There is something unique I get from each of my relationships, be it a budding friendship or the intimate relationship I have with my wife. They all work together to build me up and help me make it in this life.

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    2. Quoting Anonymous: "I personally in the past have had friendships with the opposite sex(I am straight) that have been extremely emotionally (but not sexually) intimate. As a married woman, those types of relationships would not be appropriate for me now and were I to have them, I would consider that emotionally cheating on my husband....His emotional investment in another woman would be just as difficult for me as if he had had an actual sexual affair if that makes sense."

      These were my thoughts exactly, and I believe almost all other husbands and wives who are faithful to each other would agree with this too (speaking of straight couples). My husband feels the same. Anything else could lead to sexual infidelity eventually. Maybe this is partly the "fine line you walk" that Anonymous speaks of. "Better to be safe than sorry," applies here as much as anywhere. Best to keep your eyes open to the realities that exist. Heaven help you to do so.

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    3. Replying to Will Adamson May 1, 2013 at 2:56 PM,

      I think you've found the key and concluded rightly. I praise you for that.

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    4. Will, I found your blog through a friend. Your conclusions here are, I think, admirable and true and right.

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  5. When we feel open and accepted by someone, our tone changes. It is a less guarded tone and more of an intimate tone, only in the sense that we do not have pretense in our voice. It's funny how I started thinking about who I would have that kind of "tone" with on the phone. Who knows me best with no secrets...who do I joke around with that no one else would understand...who do I NOT try to impress but just BE REAL with...in my life it is my sons (grown). Honestly, we have that kind of relationship where we do that. I know that sometimes I pull back into the "Mama voice" but overall we are REAL and just say what we feel. When I talk to my parents, I still try to present the very best picture of what is going on with me and protect them or impress them. When I talk with an old friend (girl) I am louder and more excited in sharing. When I talk with a male friend that I am attracted to I am more shy, almost coy, and flirty. You made me think about this and how the "tone" can say alot. Just like body language which we pick up on but do not actually stop and analyze out loud very much. We are mindful of these things, but hardly stop to analyze it with words.

    The most important thing in my life has been the ability to accept me as I truly am, which God has always known and my spiritual life is based upon. I try to be open but know I truly am most open with those with whom I feel unconditional love, which is my children. It is such a wondrous blessing in life to have someone (or someones) in your life you can have this kind of relationship with!! You two are so awesome and I know God is smiling on you and your efforts to be authentic. Love you.

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    1. Anonymous, May 1, 2013,

      You are very wise. I tried paying attention to my tone of voice. (Great idea!) I am most REAL with my immediate family (husband, kids). I related to what you said, that "I know that sometimes I pull back into the "Mama voice" but overall we are REAL and just say what we feel. When I talk to my parents, I still try to present the very best picture of what is going on with me and protect them or impress them." I do this too. My kids hate my "mama" voice, as they say.

      Reaching the point of "accepting me as I truly am, which God has always known and my spiritual life is based upon" -- that's the most important goal in this being REAL, I think.

      Will, I give you great credit for thinking things through and being open to the advice of people like Anonymous, being willing to change and grow. Reading Azalea's post that began this discussion "Adjusting My Frame of Reference", I felt it must be so hard and confusing for her. But it does sound like you two have a love that will get you through. I noticed on another page an Anonymous who was hard on you. You replied in a spirit of kindness and I thought that was amazingly well done of you.

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