*that’s “mixed orientation marriage” for the uninitiated
Well, its exactly 4:08 am and I am wide awake. My brain is anyway. My eyes keep doing this fuzzy- jittery thing that I can’t seem to shake. BUT- I’m full of thoughts so I must unload them.
I just finished a post on my “other” blog- you know, the one that everybody knows about as opposed to “this” blog that very few know about- regarding our daughter and our struggles with her ADD. It’s strange to feel this double life. I kind of get, to a small extent, what Husband lives every day. There is a side to my life that VERY few know about. It’s always been there, but with this renewed interest and intensity the division is much more pronounced.
In my reading it has come to my attention that there is a desire- not necessarily a need- for some sort of checklist or litmus test for making a MOM work. Not that checking a box will guarantee the success or failure of any venture, but some people-me included- like the neatness of a list. I won’t pretend that my commentary will be all inclusive, or conclusive for that matter- its just what is weighing on my mind this early Friday morning.
Number one. The homosexual partner’s desire to make it work.
I’m sorry, but if Husband wants to go, there ain’t nothin’ I can do to stop him. I have been in denial about this, but the fact remains: This ball is in his court.
2. The spouse’s desire to make it work.
Yes, I do have some input into the success or failure of the marriage. Thankfully! If I’m not willing to put up with a few “quirks” then I should pack my bags. I have tried pouting my way into changing his behavior. It works for pretty much everything else, why not this?!? We always joke that one reason I married him is because he was the first guy who wouldn’t take any of my crap. It is what I despise most about him, but ironically the thing that I’ve come to value, and a big part of what holds us together.
I was sickened by a new member of one of my discussion groups. Newly married- 2 months- fully aware of her husband’s SSA, but he had been “healed” of it. (not that I don’t believe in reparative therapy, but it never is good to place all of your trust and hope in something “never coming back”.) She said that she couldn’t stand to hear him talk about his past relationships or his current struggles, and hopes that he will just get over it and stop talking about it. Well, my dear- he may stop talking about it TO YOU, but eventually it will find an outlet. I would MUCH rather Husband talk to me than anyone else. This can go too far however, and I’ve had to be honest with myself and him about the extent of info he shares. I’m not okay with hearing the details of his office-crush’s cuteness, for instance. We have spent too many endless nights talking me down after one word or inference pushed me past my limits. I ask too many questions. I’m curious. BUT it doesn’t help our marriage if all I can think about is exactly where he put his hands when he kissed *****. (that would be the ex-boyfriend for those of you who are just joining in.) (actually, I think I started using his name. Shane. There I said it. I may need to go throw up now.) You get my point. Communication and honesty go both ways. Both parties need to be aware of the types of info that is helpful, and that which is damaging. Those lines are not firm, and can flow with the time of day. Communication. Honest communication.
4. Compromise. (obviously)
We both gave up something when we entered into this marriage. I didn’t have the ability- and maybe Husband didn’t either- to understand the extent of the sacrifice. I didn’t realize, for instance, how important my sexuality was, or would become. I didn’t realize, for instance, that Husband would not only long for male sex, but male companionship and romance (throwing up again- I’m working on that.) I just thought that he would learn to live without male sex, and life would progress beyond that. I thought that it would be okay that my big boobs and long lanky sexy legs didn’t exactly make him “stand up straight” but that he could appreciate them and that would be enough. Well, it’s a bigger deal than I anticipated. We continue on the path of compromise.
I have a few nasty habits. Nothing I would care to discuss, but they’re there and I admit it, and that alone serves its purpose. Husband doesn’t have nasty habits, but there are things that are inherent in his gayness that could cause problems if I wasn’t so amazing ly cool and accepting. (be quiet Husband- this is my blog.) His affinity for female friends, and their affinity for him, for instance. I realize that there is NO sexual attraction to them, but there is an emotional bond that I don’t particularly care for. Also, these women, whether he likes it or not, are sexually attracted to him. There is something completely irrestistible about a man who is genuinely interested in the color of the shoes you wore to your cousin’s wedding. That, to a woman is sexy. Yes, my view of sexy is generally tilted toward the gay crowd, but women are generally turned on by emotion over visuals. It also helps that Husband IS sexy. He keeps telling me that he’s not, but come on! You know you are, babe. Enough with the humble facade.
6. Open Mind
This has been pushed past any limit I may have perceived to have set. Way past. The limit just keeps getting pushed further and further. If I have a comfort zone, I wouldn’t recognize it if it was wrapped up in a pretty box with my name on it. It has been necessary to be honest with myself where the limits should be- going too far in either direction can cause serious damage rather than bring us together. If you get my drift.
7. Natural connection/chemistry
There is no amount of work on a relationship that can compensate for a lack of “cosmic connection”. Husband and I have this sense of each other that can’t be forced or created. When all else is failing in this marriage, our “one-ness” in this sense reaches out and catches us.
Even though Husband has not always respected our covenants, he has respected me. I haven’t always respected every aspect of his behavior, but I have a deep respect for the choice he makes to be here. As human beings we deserve a base level of respect from one another. Name-calling, mud-slinging and derisive comments have no place in our life. None.
9. Physical intimacy
No, not sex, but loving touch. Husband is a naturally affectionate person. I am not. It took time for me to get comfortable with his hand-holding, kissing, sitting on my lap-ness, and now that its all I get- I depend on it. I would most definitely shrivel up and die without it.
Our faith hasn’t always been the same. I thought that we needed to believe the same way and behave the same way to share faith. Not so. God is the only thing that can save us from ourselves, and sometimes, each other. Our individual relationship with God is the most important relationship we have. Even more so than with each other. This freaks me out. I fear that if I let go of him, and reach for Him, I will lose him. In all reality, if I reach for Him, everything that is unnecessary or unhealthy will fall away, and the good things will stay. Talk about a leap of faith.
Husband just came down to go to the gym. After reading a couple of threads on -L- about locker rooms and saunas, I’m hesitant to support all this working-out. If husband starts showering there I may have to intervene. Working out has had its positive and negative effects. He feels better, is happier. He looks better- but that makes him more attractive. Why didn’t I just marry a short hairy fat man? Not that it would diminish his gayness if he were unattractive, but he wouldn’t get propositioned so much. I know, irrational thoughts. After all, I get to see him naked and appreciate the fruits of his labor. (sorry for the imagery, MOHO’s- don’t want to contribute to your angst.)
In my tiredness and emotional weakness I shared with him the image that was keeping me awake this morning. I shouldn’t have, and I knew it, but I did. It only feeds the doubt that simmers under the surface. All of the hearts and flowers that I have been writing here for the past hour, all of the positive self talk and prayer have been negated in two sentences- whispered to him so daughter couldn’t hear. (did I mention that she’s awake too?) Why don’t I listen?
We will make it. Right? Right?
Gotta go pray.