Sunday, December 25, 2011

I came out to my wife... A new chapter....

So I finally did it. On Friday night I broke down and told my wife about my attraction toward men.

I had gone to bed somewhat depressed at about 6:30pm. I woke up at about 8pm and she was reading beside me. I couldn't fall back asleep. My heart was pounding and in my throat. I was at a point of despair. I was at a point where I was prepared for the worst. I asked myself, what is better; me leading myself into a deeper and deeper depression to a point where I might lose it or worse hurt myself or should I just put it all out on the table and at a minimum unburden myself of this million pound secret? I was at a point where even her worst reaction seemed like an upgrade to me from where I was at.

We started talking about a frum organization that was hosting a lecture on how frum Jews should deal with the emerging issue of  homosexuals within our community. She spoke sympathetically about it and said that it needs to take place and how she is impressed that they are doing this.

That was my moment.

I put my head in my hands and quietly told her that I had something to share with her. She verbalized to me that I was scaring her. I told her that she has the right to be scared because what I was about to say was going to be a life changer. She again said that I was scaring her. At that point there was no turning back. What in reality was probably a minute or two felt like an eternity, I struggled with trying to say the words to her. I started mumbling. "I am..." and then I stopped. I said "I have this problem where I am..." then I stopped again. This went on for a bit until I finally said to her that I am physically attracted to men. I explained that I  have this burning desire to be intimate with a man and it has been getting more and more intense. I told her that I have had it since I was a teenager and on differing levels of intensity throughout the years. I assured her that I never in my life had a gay relationship or encounter. I assured her that I never cheated on her. I also assured her that I loved her and that when I have been with her over the years there were many times that I was in the moment and doing it out of a true physical attraction to her.

I am lucky to have shared with her over the years all the negativity that I received from my parents, therapists, bullies and male "role models" growing up. This allowed me to explain where alot of the intimacy issues took form.

She started crying. It was close to hysterical but not quite out of control. She asked me if  that meant that I wanted to pursue the need and find a man to live with. She asked me if I didn't want to be with her any more. I told her that from my perspective I am still trying to figure it all out. I wasnt looking to throw out everything we had. I explained that I recognize that so much of my need is deep rooted into my psych from a troubled and abusive childhood. We continued talking. I told her I was willing to work with her and try further therapy together and/or separate to see if there is a way for me to develop that intimacy with a man in a non sexual way and/or figure out ways that I can find the intimacy I lack through my relationship with her. I told her that there are no guarantees that this will work but I was ready to give it my all.

I explained that I have no expectation of her response. I told her she doesn't need to respond and/or if she does in any way I would let it be and understand.

She took a tissue and wiped her eyes. She looked at me with a resolve and said (i am paraphrasing but this is pretty close), "I want to be there for you. I want to do what it takes to see if we could make this work. I want to join you for this journey".

I was floored. I was ready for her to walk out. I was ready for rage. I was not expecting this loving and caring response. Don't get me wrong, I wont say that I wasn't hoping for it... but expecting it, I wasn't.

I don't want to ramble on but we talked for a few hours. She asked me a lot of questions. I answered them honestly. We talked about some of the men in my life and who I am attracted to and who not. It got to a point where we were able to even laugh about it.

In summary, she was amazing. I feel closer to her already and in fact had a day today where I just wanted to hug her and be with her all day. I know this feeling won't last forever and there are huge struggles ahead but this is the best start I could have asked for.

I wasn't sure that I wanted to write this blog post because I am now committed to working on my relationship with my wife in a way that can bring depth and intimacy to our relationship. What this means to me is that my struggles will be taking a shift from being shared primarily with the general public through my blog to being shared with her privately. I felt I needed to write this because I owed it to the people that have been reading and that I have met through this blog to share this important update..

With this blog, I have made a number of friends and acquaintances and I don't plan on losing your friendship. If you have any questions or if you want to check in and see how I am doing, feel free to email me or comment on the blog. Depending on how things go I may or may not be posting the intimate details of my life for a while.

I don't know where this journey will take me but yet again here starts a new chapter.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Intimacy

I can't do it. I don't know why. There is an intimacy line I can not seem to cross. Be it something as simple as my therapists hug. I can physically go through the motions but I can't let myself in.

I want to be able to fully give myself to a hug. I want to be able to hold someone for a few moments and feel like there is something that can't be spoken that is passing to and from... through us. Not something physical but something really close. Intimacy. I want to feel it. I imagine true intimacy to be exhilarating.

I have always had an issue with feeling pleasure. When I am with my wife and getting to a point of which I should revel in the feeling of ecstasy, I pull back. I need to stop. I can't let myself go there. Do I feel that I am not deserving of pleasure? Do I feel that giving into pleasure, forces me to face a level of connection I am not comfortable with? A combination of both?

How do I break ground here? I know I can create the intimacy in an outbound communication because I do it with my kids all the time. I hug them for seconds longer than they expect and give them one last squeeze. I massage them and caress their arms. I tell them I love them in so many different ways. Problem is, that is me to them... I need to be able to recieve that from someone else. Not just recieve it but accept it and live it.

I wish I understood this aspect of me so that I can get some semblance of control over it.

Has anyone had success working through intimacy issues? Any recommendations?

Thank you

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Orthodox Rabbis Homosexual Declaration... Part 2



This post is a follow up to a prior blog entry. See link below;


http://frumgaymarried.blogspot.com/2011/11/orthodox-rabbis-homosexual-declaration.html


This is my opinion on the statement signed by right wing Rabbi's relating to Orthodoxy's position on homosexuality. Generally and then very specific...

There is never any distinction made in the statement between gay sex and the homosexual attraction. Vague references made to the "homosexual lifestyle" and "identity" and "inclinations", without actually discussing what the Torah considers wrong is misleading and extremely convenient. How can a Rabbi, representing Torah, sign a statement that pretends to be the ultimate position on a Torah subject which doesn't address what the Torah actually says? Can one make a statement about keeping Shabbos and not mention refraining from work? Can one talk about Kosher without pointing out the prohibition is to eat it? If you are going to state the absolute Torah position on homosexuality, you MUST make this distinction or else you are tainting the entire declaration.


Which leads me to my second point. As a result of the above, the statement is simply false. Saying things like "The Torah makes a clear statement that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle or a genuine identity by severely prohibiting its conduct" is false and contradictory. Does the Torah make a clear statement or is it a derivative of the conducts prohibition? Which one is it? In other words, it never says anywhere in the Torah clearly that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle, it simply states that a man should not have anal sex with a man (and barely says that). Also, is there anything the Torah forbids that isn't "severely forbidden"? What a conveniently manipulative verbal construct.


And I further quote " Particularly the Torah writes this in regards to homosexuality and other forbidden sexual liaisons" - Again convenient to pick homosexuality out as the model of "forbidden sexual liasons". What about straight up old fashioned adultery? Where is the statement about that? How insensitive to call a homosexual relationship a "liaison" as if a powerful intimate attraction between males needs to be "a secretive or adulterous sexual relationship" as Collins defines it. (More on the "abomination" factor in here). Not to beat a dead horse but again, no distinction made between the act and the "lifestyle".

I don't want to get sidetracked by pointing out that it's been clearly documented that reparative therapy has a ridiculously low success rate and that there is no clear evidence that the source of homosexual inclination  "are primarily innocent victims of childhood emotional wounds." and that there isn't a genetic component to it.

I want to focus on what I find to be the most challenging and ultimately most painful piece of this statement.

And I quote "The concept that G-d created a human being who is unable to find happiness in a loving relationship unless he violates a biblical prohibition is neither plausible nor acceptable... Impossible, life long, Torah prohibited situations with no achievable solutions are not (part and parcel of this world)". And most painful "Abandoning people to lifelong loneliness and despair by denying all hope of overcoming and healing their same-sex attraction is heartlessly cruel."

Do they even hear what they are saying? Is this a challenge? I can make a much simpler derivation than the forced ones that the Rabbi's pulled out above. They are saying that the Torah and Hashem are heartlessly cruel. How do I know this? Because I (and many people who I have spoke to through my blog) live a life of loneliness and many times despair and have no semblance of a hope of overcoming my (our) same-sex attraction. They call this "heartlessly cruel". They say it is "neither plausible nor acceptable".

Until I read this I said to myself that even though I am not at this point yet, I can hope to reconcile God and my homosexuality by seeing it as a life long challenge that I will struggle through (albeit a horrible and painful struggle). This declaration says that my goal is wrong. It says that the Torah couldn't prohibit something like this. It says that it couldn't be part of our world. It says that its heartlessly cruel.

Is this what I want to spend my entire life trying to connect to? 

Ultimately, I am fortunate not to buy into this crap. I don't believe the logical construct in those paragraphs. I believe someone can have lifelong struggles and God expects them to have it and get through life (I can't internalize it yet, but I believe it). There are people who's sexual organs simply don't work. There are people whose bodies are entirely paralyzed. Does that make God heartlessly cruel? What a horrible thing to say to someone struggling. Do they think that will make the homosexual want to change him or herself and connect to Hashem? Based on the flaws in their logic, it doesn't quite cause me to turn my back on Torah values and frumkeit; but a chillul Hashem it is. It has made me think about whether the Torah is cruel. It has devalued what it means to call someone a gadol hador. Until now I always maintained an innocent appreciation of daas Torah. It has taken that away from me. 

I am somewhat exhausted from writing about this so I will leave this for now. I continue to pray for Hashem to help me see and feel his love. I ask Hashem to please help my parents, friends, rabbis and "gedolim" to bring out their Godliness in beautiful, sensitive and loving ways so that I can have people on this world after whom I can model His apparent beauty.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Some days

I just want to cuddle up with my blanket and pillow and cry... When the same heartbreaking Phish song is playing over and over again you know its been a rough one... I am pulling out of it though. That's the good news.

Have a great night.