Monday, February 25, 2008

"I married a gay man."

Moving story by an anonymous woman who had the misfortune of marrying a deeply-closeted gay man. Both come from a very religious and conservative backround and this upbringing made it nearly impossible for "Chris" to accept the fact that he is gay. To make matters worse, her gay former husband was also in the military, so the DADT policy contributed to keeping his closet door nailed firmly shut.

You might wonder why Chris couldn't accept his homosexuality, but the sin factor was ingrained in him at an early age. Being gay would not only endanger his job and family life, it could also cost him his relationship with his parents, his church and God. Chris feared that coming out would invalidate him as a human being — and might even send him to hell...

The only thing that saved my sanity was the Straight Spouse Network, an international support group founded by another woman who'd been married to a gay man. During my first SSN meeting, I sat in the corner and cried the entire time. At least I knew I wasn't alone. I soon learned that straight spouses typically blame themselves for not being sexy enough to keep their husband from straying. As bad as it is when another woman manages to steal your husband, at least you believe you can compete. When your husband wants another man, it denies your entire being. I also learned that a surprising number of gays in the military are married because marriage is such a useful front. You can't be gay in the military, and if you're married, then of course you're not gay. (MSNBC)

When I was younger I was tempted to do the same thing "Chris" had done: marry some girl I was friends with and hope that a loving, heterosexual relationship would develop. Yet at the time I knew that it would be wrong to do this as long as I still had the 'problem' of being gay, something I figured I'd 'outgrow' in time. Naive as that may sound now, thank God this stopped me from making the biggest mistake of my life and deeply hurting some poor woman. It really angers me when I hear the so-called "exgay" groups pushing this kind of crap that puts straight spouses at a tremendous risk of emotional harm, as well as the "exgay" one. What "Chris" did by marrying this woman when he knew he was gay, and others like him, was very, very wrong. I certainly am not qualified to judge him and the others on this matter, only God is. Yet those who encourage such actions either directly or indirectly through their hostility towards homosexuals have much to answer for. I hope that all of them will find the forgiveness they need and the courage to soldier on by righting as much of the wrongs they have done as possible.