Late one night my wife confronted me about a few things that she found on my iPhone. I had been caught. I could feel her anguish just by looking into her eyes. I was shattered, but not devastated like she was. How would you react if you found out your spouse had a same-gender attraction? Imagine the pain of finding out that you had not been fully loved. In hindsight, I can clearly see how my SSA caused her to feel inadequate, to feel substandard and not loved. I hate that. I hated the position I was in, and I hated how I made her feel. It was a really difficult night. It would be a novel if I were to write all of our conversation. Truthfully, there are some parts of my admissions that I would never like to think about again, but they are mine. I own them.
My wife and I married in our 20’s in the temple. True Mormon style. It wasn’t a difficult decision to marry her. She is intelligent, witty, driven, good looking and her parents always offered dinner. She checked all the boxes. It has never been easy for me to love. I don’t love holidays, chocolate, cheesecake or Christmas presents.
In hindsight I believe I created that natural defense mechanism to avoid hurting people that I care for. If somebody found out who I really was I could make their
separation from me easier by hedging against that self imposed barrier. It has everything to do with the creation of exit strategies. If I needed to, I could break off my relationships to avoid additional pain and confrontation. It was my way of limiting collateral damage.
I do not think I am alone in this pattern.
So now, too many years after our wedding day, she knows a very real and detailed part of my life. She is my support system. She loves me. She has released me from a pain that I struggled for so long to bear alone.
Her love for me is stronger than the love I have for myself. My SSA doesn’t consume my thoughts, it doesn’t control my future, but it is a part of me. For many years I hated the fact I wasn’t ‘normal.’ Only recently have I begun to embrace it. And so, today, I am re-learning to love my wife. Today I am beginning to see the sun rise above crumbling walls. It is beautiful. Some days are cloudy and some days bring storms. This is not an easy process. It is painful to talk about transgressions and the pain you put your eternal companion through. Fortunately for me (and my family) I never physically cheated on my wife. That is a tender mercy. The feelings I have today for my wife, for the Savior, and for myself have placed me in a much better place. You can find that place too. You need to be there.
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” –Victor Hugo