I originally wrote this early October, 2012.  It's now eight months later.  I feel like I have slowed down and stabilized but that has brought it's own challenges.  More on that later.

So the complications of affection and intimacy have been weighing on my mind this week.  I feel that I’m confused about what is right and I am hoping that writing it down will help.  As I’ve talked to Wrylon about some of it, she answers in such a matter of fact way that I am envious of the clarity that has been gifted to her.  However I must admit that I enjoy the complexities and facets of life.  She sees the diamond and that it is beautiful, I look at each cut and facet and how the reflections play off each other, dividing the light and creating rainbows.

I'm not sure what I wanted to say but suddenly my thoughts are clouded.  Clarity is replaced with a fog.  I want to push on, to try and to pursue this line of thought, to chase the thought that has just eluded me.  But I can’t.  To do so would be to create substance from illusion.

For Wrylon and I, affection and intimacy are like that.  She knows that she needs it and for the most part it is clear to her what it is.  For me it seems to be right in front of me but so elusive at the same time.  I feel like I should just accept it for how it is, or just walk away from it, or just not worry about it, or just figure it out, or just get over it.  But I can’t.  I can’t do any of those, or haven’t yet been able to.  All I’ve been able to do is to just sit back and let it each day come after the one before, with the new experiences and emotions of that day.  And the strangest part of that for me is that I am loving it.

Coming out to myself was an incredibly freeing and relaxing thing.  I felt like one that had woken from a dream.  It was as if I was seeing everything new for the first time. I realized then that, if I permitted it to be, this would be a fantastic voyage of self discovery.  And it has been.  Every day has been different and new and exciting and fantastic in it’s own way.  At first I was afraid, terribly afraid that this feeling of wonder and freedom that I was feeling would fade.  I was of course confused and awkward.  This was so new.  All of it seemed so new.  Even my relationship with Wrylon was more fulfilling.  Gone was the expectation that I had to be attracted to her.  I often felt like I needed to force myself somehow to be attracted to her.  It was a silly worry, really, because I really am attracted to her.  Granted there are some differences from how I have perceived straight men look at women, but it is a very deep and complex attraction.  It is something special that is reserved just for her.  And in some unique way being husband and wife in all that entails has made us, together, complete.

Yet there has been a weight on my mind.  I have been confused, frustrated, feeling at times that I want something more.  Why on earth would I want anything more?  Is that not all that a person could desire?  To feel complete?  Maybe I'm missing something...

Maybe if I am still for a minute the clarity will return.

Continued...
Posted by Lucas Jones On 6/24/2013 10:09:00 PM 7 comments

7 comments:

  1. As you are a gay men, it makes sense that the 'more' you would want is the affection and love of another man.
    You have been very candid about how being gay doesn't go away, so it seems that you may always be looking for what you cannot have, the love and affection of another man. Not just as a friend but as a partner. It's not something that can be intellectualized away.
    I am a single straight woman in my later 40s and I crave so deeply the love and affection from a man; it goes to the very fiber of my being. I can try to fill that with other people or other things but it is still there. I can't intellectualize my way out of it. I can try to push it away but it is there. And so I try to accept it.
    You have chosen to give up what would be natural for you, for lack of a better way to put it. It is a part of you that cannot be filled by your wife. I don't know, perhaps acceptance of that is the way to go. We must all in a way pick up the holes in our psyches and carry on.
    And I want to be clear here; it is not a bad thing what you are wanting but can't for now define. It doesn't make your marriage less. It is just the reality of a gay man in a straight marriage.
    What I'm curious about is the straight wife in such a marriage - is there anything missing for her in being loved by a gay man instead of a straight man - not missing in a bad way but just perhaps, missing.

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  2. Lucas and I have talked about your comment for the last few days. There is one thing missing and it’s really the only think we could come up with. There is a passion and a hormonal surge that normally comes when you find someone beautiful and attractive and you are with them, etc. Luke has that for guys and does not have that for girls, including me. That really doesn’t put a damper on much though. Sometimes it is frustrating, but not overly so, or overly often. He is attracted to me; he just doesn’t have that initial hormonal surge that most guys have.


    I have heard 2 comments about this topic. The one was from Lolly Weed of Joshweed.com. She said something to the effect, which I will probably get really badly, sorry, most relationships start with passion and develop compassion whereas in mixed marriages often they start with compassion and develop passion. I think this was very true for Lucas. For me, I had no idea he didn’t have that passion, so he was interested enough and loving and everything else that I really didn’t know.

    The other comment I have heard was something to the effect of those hormonal surges and passion lead to a lot of “wham bam thank you ‘mam” type encounters. I am not, by any means, saying that is all guys. but you get the idea, I hope. That wouldn’t work for Lucas. So, as you can imagine, I get more time spent with me and I think we are both very satisfied.

    So I guess there are disadvantages and advantages just like the weighing of a lot of things when you are looking for a boyfriend, companion, husband or wife or even just a friend. We all come when our own package with good traits and traits that for whatever reason we don’t find so good or that we find bad. There are things in Lucas’s package that I wouldn’t mind adjusting or getting rid of, like ADD, but him being SSA is actually not one of them.

    In saying all that though, I will be honest. I did have to work through the fact that I did mostly “think” I was married to a straight guy for 13 years. I mostly have worked through that. Other than that though, I pretty much can only just see positives. There are often things that I have to shift in my brain. Things that don’t fit in the box I had them in and such. Married to and the package of a straight Lucas, that I thought I was married too, and was in a lot of ways, is different than this package of a gay/SSA Lucas and both of us are having to adjust our thoughts and where they fit and such. It is essentially the same package; we just have a bit different way of looking at it. This isn’t a bad thing, it just is and it’s something that is just going to take time and that’s ok.

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  3. thank you for responding.
    being gay, like being straight, is of course about more than just sexual attraction. It is about emotional intimacy as well - and I think that for a gay man to not allow himself to have that with another man (not as a friend but as a partner) there will be some longing left. the emotional intimacy with a wife for a gay man can be deep and profound as well of course - I'm not saying it is either/or. But something will always be missing and hence, longing. I don't think that analyzing it will change it necessarily
    I can imagine that after 13 years of marriage, it would be difficult for you as his wife to adjust. The mind seems to have an incredible ability to adjust as a way of coping - if you weren't able to, you'd be unhappy I'd imagine.
    But I always find that it is in the depths of our being where we can't intellectualize - that the deepest story is told. I hope you are letting yourselves listen to that as well and to accept what truth those deep longings have to tell you.

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  4. Wow. Good discussion. As a woman, I've only been in romantic relationships with women. I've allowed myself to follow my "natural instincts," and I have never regretted it. However, I also know that, in this post, I very much identify with Lucas. Why? Because I'm working on a newer relationship, after emerging from another very long relationship. I'm used to the old relationship, the one I'm familiar with and used to. I get lonely, at times, when I realize there is deep something that is, at least momentarily, missing from my present relationship. It is easier to understand how my old relationship can influence my new one because the situation is so concrete and obvious. What isn't as concrete and obvious are the influences old ideas have on us when we are embracing new truths/opinions. We are forced to make a pardigm shift, and though the shift may be in the right direction, there are a lot of loose ends we have to work through. And sometimes we mislabel or mis-identify what is creating our longings and doubts and despair. Old ideas will always initially cloud our vision of new ideas, just as new ideas can cloud our memories of the old. I know that what has been referenced above is focused on physical and emotional longings we think are created because of the challenges of a mixed mariage, but how much of that longing Lucas is referring to being blamed on his actual situation verses on how he, or society, or social movements and politics, understands, works through, views, and debates over, his situation. Maybe we are just seeing the tip of the iceburg. How much longing and struggle is created with any obstacle that requires change, be it physical (a new relationship) or mental (a pardigm shift in thinking about homosexuality, or self discovery about one's own sexuality). How much internal discontent occurs when old ideas and perspectives cloud a vision that is making out the shapes of new and refreshing ideas/perspectives that have to potential to free and liberate us, taking us to better places. The old can create doubt and fear; change can be confusing and full of mis-labeled and misunderstood feeligns.

    Everything about my newer relationship, on the surface, seems perfect. We have so many common interests, common values, a deep friendship that has developed over many years, a mutualsexual attraction towards each other. But, there is something, and that something maybe changes periodically, that creates a longing in me. Of course, I try to identify it, and sort out it all out, and fix it, and work on it, and it comes and goes, but it is still there, at least sometimes. And what makes it so upsetting is that it doesn't make sense to me at moments, and makes complete sense at other moments. Like the anonymous individual pointed out, it doesn't always fully work, and doesn't remove the issue, to intellectualize it; in fact, it may make it worse at times, while at other times intellectualizing it makes it almost all better. But, deep down, I think that my longing and loneliness can be attributed to, yes, things that I miss from my past relationship, but also to my confusion about the unnknowns and unfamiliarity of my present one. I know that it will take time to understand what it is that I'm even missing, let alone to figure out why I'm missing it and work with my partner to figure out what we need to do differently as a couple, given the resources we have, to better understand, support and recognize/meet our needs. And, if there are issues that aren't easily fixed, what do we need to do to not only find peace with what we have (because what we have is so important to give up for the sake of small, maybe unfixable, problems/details), but to embrace and use all that we do have to more than compensate for the void that would exist if we dwell on what we can't have.

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    Replies
    1. I love your comments. Thank you for sharing them.

      Delete
  5. My point is, I think I agree with both Lucas and the previous commentator - maybe there is something left longing in a gay man that "can't" be "satisfied" through a straight marriage. Maybe that is a fact. But, I think it is safe to say any couple can find something that they miss having, if they wish to dwell on it. I think you can find something left longing in almost anyone you meet that is in (or out of) a relationship, and I think that breakups and divorce are often the products of a fairytale idea that we have that there is such a thing as a perfect relationship. But, I think that those couples that have the closest to "perfect" relationships, are those that recognize imperfection, and form their own type of perfection by not taking any of the good for granted, working on the imperfections that can be worked on(they don't ignore them, but don't dwell on them, either), develop the wisdom to know the difference between what can, and what cannot, be changed, and work with each other to support and understand and love each other through the difficulties, including those created by less-than-perfect-issues that cannot be changed. Right now, so much emphasis is placed on the importance of intimacy. It seems appropriate and makes sense - it IS important. But what is there, maybe even yet to be discovered by science, or something yet to be given a name, that is as important as intimacy, or better describes intimacy, itself?

    I struggle as I try to support Lucas and his wife in their decision to stay in a "mixed marriage." I would not want to subject myself to that. Sometimes it seems unhealthy to me - especially as I look at it from my perspective, beliefs, and experience. I have the same struggle surface as I try to support and respect my family's religious beliefs. But maybe, their marriage is the most healthy answer for them after all. Just as I don't want to take away the peace Mom's religious beliefs brings to her (no matter how unhealthy and destructive I found the same beliefs bring to mine), I don't want to suggest something beautiful in Lucas and his wife's lives is not worth embracing just because I don't believe it would be healthy for me.

    It seems that their approach to this "challenge" of theirs’ is creating the very strong and loving bonds that more than compensate for the imperfections and resulting longings they are recognizing and facing. Their approach is very deliberate, honest, supportive, and dedicated. Their willingness to look at their situation from different perspectives strengthens their ability to tackle each of their unique issues, and the politics and rigid thinking (on every side of the mixed marriage issue) that are forcing them to very deliberately approach their situation and exercise creative thinking is perhaps a blessing to them, as those of us dealing with our own "longings" and cloudy issues aren't being questioned and debated with and forced to the realization that perhaps we need to cultivate creative perspectives to strengthen our own, imperfect relationships.

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  6. The gay/straight battle always focuses on denied intimacies (which is progress, given that many used to only focus on sex), and often what is forgotten in the battle are the actual number of intimacy types that exist - that intimacy, and what contributes to intimacy, cannot easily be defined. Some things that are required and needed to maintain health for some couples are absolutely unnecessary for other couples. What are those things that are absolutely crucial for every relationship? I don't know that anyone can, with complete confidence, say what belongs on that list to apply to every marriage/relationship. Just as some people must have their religious convictions, while others must have a strong social network, and still others just need a loving family - everyone is different and no one has everything. Everyone understands the world and relationships and life differently. Even if there was nothing left to be questioned; even if we had all the answers; different individuals would still understand those facts differently.

    What is my point? Good question. I think my point is that, though I'm relieved, from my perspective, to hear the anonymous individual raise her concerns, and she did it in a loving way, it seems, I'm just as relieved to hear Lucas and his wife's perspectives and optimism, because they are the ones that have to figure out for themselves what works and what doesn't, and it seems like they are doing a great job of embracing the positives and sorting through, and compensating for, the "negatives."

    I'm thankful that the Anonymous individual was willing to offer her opinion and belief and perspective. I think thoughtful, honest, and open discussions will only help us move away from the grip of life's longings and embrace the peace and support that we have to learn to develop and discover. But most importantly, I think the owner(s) of the struggle are the only one(s) that can decide what works best for him/her/them; they have to be trusted to do what is best for them, and I think it very difficult for anyone to rightly claim they have the right answer for anyone else, at least in matters that are so individualistic and personal.

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