Monday, December 22, 2014

Coming out makes you a better parent

Please read this interesting post on being a closeted, gay parent.

Michael writes the blog Coming out in Mid-Life and was the very first gay blogger who I read (along with Kelly of Rambling along in Life), many years before I knew I was gay.

Michael was also the first gay blogger who I e-mailed about my desperate situation.   I still recall my fear and excitement, heart pounding, when I read his thoughtful, experienced and supportive response.  His experience was like a beacon of hope for me, a light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.

I'll let the article speak for itself, but a few points jumped out at me:

Bonnie Kaye, M.Ed:  "I believe these marriages* are toxic. (* closeted gay men married to straight wives.)  Marriages are based on honest communication, intimacy on a physical and emotional level, and fidelity. A gay husband isn't able to provide this to a woman in a sustaining way, as his urges to be with men heighten as the years go on."

"The evidence also suggests that a large number of gay men are married to women."

Buddy Bear's response:  I agree wholeheartedly with this, based on countless requests for sex which I've received from married men in the past four years.  There are far more gay or bi men married to women out there than anyone could possibly imagine!

I must add that I had never done anything sexual with a man before marriage and had never fooled around with men during my marriage, either.

I have also told dozens of young men who I've hooked up with, such as the Hungry closeted Spaniard, that their attraction to men will only get stronger as the move into their mid 30s and beyond. 

Many of them think that they can fool around with men while having a girlfriend on the side.  I tell them: "Don't do it!  Don't ruin the life of that young woman!"

Michael:  "I certainly was not a happy person while in the closet and that unhappiness and self-hatred had to spill over into my parenting.

Despite all of the turmoil, I like to think that I am now a far better parent and, I hope my children have learned that they need to live their lives to make themselves happy, not please parents or societal expectations. "

Buddy Bear's response:   During the eighteen years of my marriage, I believed that I was the best Dad in the world, and I still think this.  I must point out that I do not think that I was truly closeted back then: I was just in the deepest denial about my attraction to men.  In fact, I was completely unaware of the possibility of "men -on-men."

My entire life, apart from my teaching job, revolved around my kids and around our home.  I did virtually everything with and for them without much help from my wife:   grocery shopping, cooking, helping them with homework, teaching them countless skills ranging from welding, cooking to house wiring, car repair, carpentry and knitting.

Our fondest memories involve me taking them and gangs of their friends on a million outings such as skiing, hiking, camping, shopping, kayaking, swimming and countless school events while my wife stayed at home in bed.

Having said that, it must have been obvious to the kids that our marriage was lacking true intimacy and physical affection.  This situation only worsened as my wife's bitterness towards me became more entrenched and more obvious to outsiders. 

In the end, I felt trapped in a desperately unhappy situation which I could not escape, exactly the sort of "toxic" marriage which Bonnie wrote about.  And in fairness, my ex-wife was equally unhappy, trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage.

My next post will be on my relationship with my children right now.






16 comments:

  1. "grocery shopping, cooking, helping them with homework, teaching them countless skills ranging from welding, cooking to house wiring and knitting." Another correspondence between our lives -- we were both nurturers and neither of us hesitated to take on tasks "normally" done by women (during some lean times, I made some jumpers and other simple but stylish clothing for my daughters, one of the benefits of being a theatrical designer is a lot of different skills). Yes, when I went into my 30s, the desire for men became stronger and a bit later on, my daughters actively supported my coming out ("we don't care if it's a woman or a man -- we just want you to be happy").

    When the anti-gays and rabid religious types say that gays should marry heterosexually to be "cured" of their sinful ways, I always want to advise them to get onto manhunt or grindr or any of the other hook-up sites and see what the consequences are of gay men in sham marriages and to consider the pain and heartbreak it causes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wise words indeed, in everything you said. We do have many similarities, don't we, Will?

      But you were a pioneer as a gay Dad raising his kids alone. I'm sure that you served as an inspiration and a role model for many people who observed you and your thriving family.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the link to my post. You are so right that trying to be a closeted gay and marrying is a huge mistake that will only bring heartache for many.

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    Replies
    1. Michael, you continue to be an inspiration and role model for me and for countless other gay men, especially the married, closeted ones. Thank you!

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  3. Thank you for reading my blog all these years... and thank you for the link... It means a lot to me that my little spot on the internet might have some effect on someones life... I hope you and your kids have a great holiday... big ole HUGZ!!!! Take care!
    Kelly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kelly! You have many more online admirers than you could probably imagine. I've said this before, it was such a pleasure meeting you in August 2013. It was such a complete shock when you walked into Cubby's apartment in all your handsomeness and Southern charm. Such a pleasure!

      I wish you, Jeff and your doggies a fantastic Christmas holiday! :-)

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  4. and just look how your kids have turned out - FABULOUS!

    do any of them knit? do you? (curious knitter here)

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    1. Yes, they are all great young adults!

      My mother taught me to knit when I was five but I only knit two warped doilies; I didn't take to knitting at that time. My mother is from Finland so we only knit in the Eastern European or Russian knitting style, far quicker than any other style.

      At 19 - 20, while undergoing cancer treatments (surgery, radiation etc), I took up knitting with a vengeance.

      I had much time to occupy and I could not mentally focus on any sort of reading due to the stress of being a cancer patient. As well, I was too fatigued to do any other physical activity. During that time, I knit three beautiful sweaters and one Afghan in a zig-zag pattern.

      For my birthday this year, I requested (and received) enough wool to make a very large, multi-coloured Afghan done in squares which I have not yet started.

      Both my daughters are accomplished and skilled knitters, both taught by their grandmother (my mother) in the Russian style. They often give knitted Christmas presents such as scarves or toques.

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  5. Now we know why she was a bitch when you broke up with her. She no longer can be a queen! LOL!

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    Replies
    1. I know you were joking, Rick, but I don't really use the "b" word with respect to my former wife. I know she was (and is) very erratic in her behaviour, but it was never her plan to be married to a gay guy and be divorced at 58.

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    2. I understand Buddy and sorry to call her a b. Sometimes I type too fast thinking of the joke but not the people.

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    3. Not to worry, Rick! No hard done!

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  6. I certainly know that while I was "courting" and engaged to a straight woman (because it was expected), the relationship with my foster son suffered. It wasn't a division of love, it was a division of desires that cause untold hurt between us all. Unfortunately, this led to complete estrangement of a young man whom I truly loved as my own child.

    I am so much happier being out, and proud, and busy in the LGBT community. I may or may not find that special man whom I will be with forever; it will happen if it happens. But otherwise, I am completely happy being out, and wish I'd done this 40 years ago!!!

    Peace <3
    Jay

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'll bet you won't guess which muscle in your body is the muscle that gets rid of joint and back pain, anxiety and excessive fat.

    If this "hidden" highly powerful primal muscle is healthy, you are healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (even if they're dating somebody else now) you must watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Get your ex CRAWLING back to you...?

    ReplyDelete

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