And a quiet old lady whispering “hush.”

Fact of the matter is that I married a gay guy.  It wasn’t going to be smooth sailing, and we both knew that.  At the ages of 22 and 26, we didn’t have much of an idea what our life together would look like.  Marriage at its best is rocky, and I knew that I would much rather do the rocky marriage thing with him than any other guy I had ever met.  (and I had met a lot.)  What we did know- all those years ago- was that if our life even somewhat resembled the life we shared while dating, it was going to be very, very good.

Dealing with the gay thing is positively NOT easy when you’re not being gay.  It takes a whole new set of rules, a set which has yet to be successfully written.  Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus just doesn’t cut it in this situation.  Even others who have navigated these waters don’t have all the answers because each of us is so different in our level of need, our level of understanding and even our level of interest in making it all happen.  Straight folks can’t possibly understand why anyone would want to live this way.  Heck, even we wonder why we want to live this way some days.

However sensible it may seem to just give it all up and move on, it is not.  There is this thing that Husband and I have that has saved us time and time again from throwing in the towel, and that is our friendship.  Sometimes I wish I were less of a friend and more of a wife, but if that were the case, I’d no longer be Mrs. Jensen.  I’d be Mrs. Somebody Else.  We wouldn’t have survived year #3.  When Husband comes to me and says, “hey, I’m wanting out right now” it isn’t as my Husband that he is saying it.  It is as my BF, needing to let off some steam in order to bring in some perspective so he can face being Mr. Jensen again.  Believe me- when he comes to me in those moments, it is anything but flippant.  It is anything but carelessly tossing about his wiles and whims.  If we knew of another way around it, we would do it.

You see, for the bulk of our marriage, he stuffed it.  He played it “straight.”  (For the most part.  You really can’t hide his brand of fabulousness.)  He kept his desires to himself, did all he could to keep me as sexually satisfied as possible, and quietly suffered.  Maybe some guys can live that way, but he couldn’t.  So we decided to try it this way- total honesty.  So far, it is getting mixed reviews; total honesty piled on top of an already depressed wife is not a really great combination.  But as I stated before, I’d much rather he let out his steam here with me, than in a sauna in a Chicago hotel.

This all sounds really horrible to an outsider.  But those of you who know us, know that our life is so much more than gay husband/ put-upon wife.  You see the love and utter devotion we have for each other.  You see our happy and vibrant children, and the fullness we get out of every day- together.  I see our marriage- our life together as more than fulfilling one anothers dreams and whims.  It is working together to make something beautiful and positive out of what others may discard.  It is soaking the good out of every moment and using the bad to develop qualities that would lie dormant otherwise.

I fell in love with Husband because he understood me in a way that no other even approached.  I felt more beautiful with him because my beauty wasn’t merely a turn-on, but because he knew exactly why I was beautiful to him.  I loved him because he would tenderly take my face in his hands and kiss away the darkness that haunted me.  I love him for the way he treats others- the way that everyone he meets can sense the light and goodness that is in him, and then want to be more because of that.  I love his energy- his fire and his passions for what he loves.  I knew he would be an amazing father, and he is.  I knew he would support me in whatever I desired, and he does.

Even through all of the clouds of hurt and sadness, these things still shine so brightly.  We debate back and forth the wisdom of our union, but I cannot conclude that I wouldn’t do it all over again- even in the midst of the ugliness.

So when someone comes to me and asks what to do in their marriage, I simply cannot say.  I may have my ideas, but I really don’t know.  What I do know is that hiding who you are is different from hiding what you may want at the moment.  Being open and honest is always best, but the level of honesty may need to vary based on the dynamics of your relationship.  Only you can decide.  When the dissonance of so many opinions becomes confusing rather than clarifying, it is time to step away from the voices and listen to the one that matters.

Once again, may I state that I am not a put-upon wife.  The path I have chosen is not an easy one, and may not make sense, but it is the path I have chosen.

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15 thoughts on “And a quiet old lady whispering “hush.”

  1. May I say that this post has really deeply touched me. It is saying exactly what I need to hear. Maybe others have said the same thing, but I wasn’t prepared to hear the message. This time I think I’m beginning to hear.

    This is what hits me the most: “What I do know is that hiding who you are is different from hiding what you may want at the moment. Being open and honest is always best, but the level of honesty may need to vary based on the dynamics of your relationship. Only you can decide. When the dissonance of so many opinions becomes confusing rather than clarifying, it is time to step away from the voices and listen to the one that matters.”

    Thank you for that. I think I can be “honest” in who I am without being blatantly open about what I may “want” at the moment. There is a subtle difference. Thanks for clarifying that! I’m hearing bells go off in my head.

    • Your response brought tears to my eyes. Rarely do I do this- because I don’t want Divine Intervention to soften the edges of what I write- but I uttered a quick prayer when I sat down. I didn’t want to screw this post up. I’m so glad you found something in it.

  2. This post is an absolute keeper! It only took me 23 years of our 25 to reach the level of honesty of which you speak. I should have trusted my wife sooner. We were happy, just not as fulfilled as we are now.

    I love hearing you articulate why you choose to remain with MJ. It helps me understand possibly why my wife has made the same choice.

    Love and respect you both tremendously!

    Steve

    • Oh, although my interactions with you have been brief, I can still rattle off a lengthy list of reasons why your wife would stick around.

  3. i totally understand the concept of bite yer tongue – think before you open up your mouth. if the words “i need man touch” are spoken – it is a call to circle the wagons. a deep plea for help. have you ever been in a desperate situation – panic in your chest – hard to breath – white knuckle – gritted teeth – kind of situation? NOT justifying the chaos i cause in the life of my precious wife – don’t even understand WHY the feelings get to that point – that’s just where we were when MH wrote her post the other day. i posed the question on my blog – “what sort of person says that sort of thing to a loved one?” well . . . a person who is in trouble & not in his right mind. we could state a few expletives to describe him but for now, let’s just leave it at – he’s someone trying to make it through the mess that is sometimes his life & he feels deeply for the fact that his split-a-part often gets caught in the crossfire . . . husband

  4. Thank you so much for this post!!! I totally agree that each MOM marriage is different and there is no right answer on how to work it. Thanks.

  5. Pretty sure you know I love you guys. I feel blessed to be someone who has seen you two together in your element…your home & family.

    First, you two are great parents. Your children worship the ground you both walk upon. You are blessed with three children that each have a very unique personality and view on the world. You guys are raising three children that will someday “wow” those around them. I would call them your and MNJ’s greatest achievements in this life.

    The two of you together make an awesome team. The love between you two is evident to anyone who either reads your blogs or, in the luckiest cases, get to witness it first-hand. You both have chosen to walk through this life with each other no matter what. That is a commitment that many are too afraid to make anymore…speaking from personal experience here. No matter what you two have or will ever choose, I know the love for each other will always be there.

    One final thought…it does not matter what anyone else on this planet says to you. It is not their place to sit in judgement of you. You both are making the best decisions in your lives seen through your eyes. No one else has the same view that you have, so why would you need their skewed advice?

    Love you guys!

  6. Thank you for a moving and eloquent post.

    Your words are both inspiring and tragic. Sitting here, I’ve reread them at least twice, and I find myself wondering about what might have been.

    After my mission, I myself dated a number of girls with the intention of getting married. One, I believe, might even have agreed to the kind of arrangement you and your husband have. I cared deeply for her, but after prayer, and in consultation with my bishop at the time, I ended the relationship rather than take the plunge into marriage. I feared my personal desire for a family was not enough to ask her to endure a marriage with homosexuality as a kind of third partner.

    While I realize that what works or doesn’t work for you has no bearing on others, your post heartens me to know someone took that path I didn’t take, and survived to tell the tale.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

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