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Former lurker wants to say his piece

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by razorsharp, May 10, 2014.

  1. Black Raven

    Black Raven Guest

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    If you ever decide to marry a woman with the extreme inner struggle you've had ever since you were seven (SSA), you are a nothing but a cruel, selfish and greedy bastard. No matter how you try to sugar-coat it, unless you can let her in on your "secret", it is based on a lie and utterly unfair.

    Do NOT draw other people into your personal circle of hell.
    There is NO WAY for ANY relationship with ANYONE to work without letting them know just how much of a problem you have with homosexuality, and your very own same sex attraction.

    I will be perfectly honest and bold with you, and I'm aware I'm being anything but kind:

    You are so stuck in your ways and beliefs and not accepting homosexuality that I want to slap your face until you wake up - Judging by your posts, you are being a daft, stubborn idiot, hellbent on leading a miserable life.

    Fine. Have it your way.
    I won't waste energy to help those who obviously don't want to be truly helped.

    But I will spend energy telling you not to pull any other human being down into your pit.
    No matter what you do, unless you can be open about your struggle and SSA about any potential partner, you're being a selfish and cruel bastard. End of the line.

    Don't. You. Dare.
     
    #121 Black Raven, Nov 25, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  2. Benway

    Benway Guest

    I must agree with this, even given my situation. What I have is like being in a personal hell, and I wouldn't wish it on another human being. Marrying to try to "pray the gay away" is a foolish waste of time, I'm addressing this to RS, who seems to hold his faith in high regards. If you want to believe all of the trite written in that 2000 page omnibus of pamphlets, you go right ahead but you shouldn't try to 'cure' yourself by marrying an unsuspecting woman.

    I had a similar idea, and it didn't work for me. I had a one night stand with a loose girl, I thought it would 'fix' me, but after it was done I realized I couldn't be fixed. I'm broken-- not because of my sexuality but because of the way I perceive it. My mind is so fixated on the thoughts of anxiety and depression inside affiliated with the joy that having a same sex relationship would bring me that they're indivisible. All I got out of my one night stand was more anxiety, chlamydia and a prescription for the antibiotics at the clinic.

    Now I may not like who I am, but I have no issues with the homosexual community. I think they're great people-- that's why I'm here. The gay culture is one of the finest there's been in the last eight hundred years, it's had artists, writers, filmmakers and musicians who make legions of straight people look lame by comparison. Maybe subconsciously I'm here in an attempt to fix my broken thinking. Maybe. But don't get with a girl you know that you're not gonna be able to get it up with because all it's gonna get you is more pain the way did to me.
     
  3. danielo21

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    #123 danielo21, Nov 25, 2014
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  4. razorsharp

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    Valid points from all of you. I don't think that I want to get married to cure myself. I probably won't be completely cured. There is more to marriage than sex. Marriage also allows us to build more stable lives with our partners as we go through the stages of life.

    I want to go down that route, and I don't believe there is anything wrong with that. Yes, I must admit, marriage to a woman would have extra challenges to someone like me. But what if I was attracted to this woman?

    Even completely straight men are still attracted to women other than their wives..it doesn't mean that it will seriously adversely affect their marriage (in a lot of cases - although infidelity is common).

    I guess what i'm asking you guys who have been/are married is:
    1. is it really that bad that the SSA becomes such a distraction to marriage?
    2. can the SSA be ignored somewhat? (for example - if i'm around family members and not alone, if i'm busy with things, the SSA doesn't always bother me).
    3. Is it possible for both parties to be stable in such a marriage?

    I'm asking these things because i've never been married. Is there something that i'm missing that can only be experienced/appreciated by actually being married with regards to me being an SSA struggler??

    A few guys who have replied here who have been married seem to by screaming at me to avoid it, but have not given me a solid reason (s) why it would be such a bad idea.

    I guess I'm after solid reasoning behind your advice. Again, I can't really argue with anyone because I've never been married.
     
    #124 razorsharp, Nov 25, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  5. danielo21

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    I've never been married either (too young for that haha)so my opinion here doesn't count but you only have to look around you. Why everyone that has been married is telling you not do it? Surely a marriage isn't only sex and you will get companionship, children, a stable home (maybe)... but there is also a lot of people that never marry and they don't seem to be unhappy even when they are older. But you seem to be. I think you are expecting that marriage busy life will make forget about your feelings, which are the cause of your unhapiness. Everybody is giving you solid reasons, which you don't want to accept. The cause of your depression is not being feeling alone, so marriage won't improve anything in this regard.
     
  6. piano71

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    Something to bear in mind for everyone reading this thread:

    The "ex-gay" movement, which is closely aligned with conservative (mostly Christian) churches, invented the terminology surrounding "unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA)." I didn't even see this phrase until a few years ago. How did this lingo come about? They needed to put a kinder/gentler face on conversion therapy by toning down the moral disapproval - "love the sinner, hate the sin." Guys don't like being berated for being unmanly, immoral, fundamentally flawed, etc. So who would pay a therapist $150/hr or drop their life savings on a summer-long residency program if they're just going to have hate preached at them? Yet that's exactly what these conversion therapy programs do!

    However, the ex-gay movement has nearly completely folded. The largest group, Exodus International, closed its doors last year. Also see the news/current events section, as last week I posted a story about another "ex-gay" leader, John Smid, who left Love In Action, and recently married a same-sex partner.

    The failures of the ex-gay movement are not limited to Christian-based groups. An orthodox Jewish ex-gay group, JONAH, was sued for consumer fraud for promoting "therapies" that don't work.

    Even John Paulk, for years a holdout in the ex-gay movement, has abandoned ex-gay groups and come out as a gay man.

    Why not marry a woman? A few reasons for starters:
    - If your attractions to your to-be wife are weak or insincere, while her attractions to you are strong and sincere, this will lead to an unsatisfying sex life, and conflict within the relationship.
    - Because you're hiding the issue from yourself and others, you can't explain why there is a lack of mutual attraction or sexual interest. This leads to even more conflict, as well as increased temptation for infidelity on both sides.
    - The ex-gay movement assumes that heterosexual marriage is the only morally valid relationship. They don't explain why, other than "it's always been that way" or "the Bible says so." (This interpretation is actually newer, dating to the Middle Ages rather than the days when J.C. walked the earth.) Should we toss out everything else that humanity has learned or changed in the last 2,000 years, so as to conform only to beliefs and discoveries that existed at the time the Bible was written? Why single out gay, and not everything else?
    - An unhappy marriage doesn't create a conducive environment for raising children. Unhappy parents may unknowingly inflict trauma on their children, which will hurt their psychological development, performance in school, happiness in relationships when they grow up, etc.

    Bottom line:

    It is far easier, not to mention more effective, to find a progressive church (check out gaychurch.org to find affirming congregations in your area) and modify your own belief system, rather than to deceive yourself and others for decades. A gay man forcing himself into a hetero marriage is deceiving himself, his wife, and everyone around him on a grand scale.

    How is this widespread and long-term lying/deception more "moral" than being in a relationship with another man? Many of us here have decided: it is not. Better to live honestly and adapt our beliefs to include what psychiatrists have learned in the last 150 years.

    And one last note:

    Fundamentalist Christians do not have the only valid method of following Christ. I really urge you to check out progressive churches, and see that there are people who sincerely follow Jesus AND accept/affirm gay relationships.
     
    #126 piano71, Nov 25, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  7. Benway

    Benway Guest

    Here's a fun one regarding the Church.

    The New Testament remains, for the most part, mum about homosexuality. The only place it's really condemned is in the Old Testament, in the laws thrown down by Moses and his pals. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul has an issue with it, but ultimately, Jesus outranks Paul making Paul's opinion meaningless. Also consider Jesus never said anything about homosexuality (with the possible exception of referring to Herod Antipas as a "fox," but that could mean anything) so why Christians are so oddly homophobic utterly baffles me because it wasn't Christians who wrote these "rules" it was ancient Jews.

    Now, I'm of Jewish descent, and I've been around Jewish people all my life and what really baffles me is why when the Torah/Old Testament is explicit about punishing homosexuals (their idea, not God's) is why are the followers of Judaism so accepting of the gay community? It's like Christians, who killed ten times more Jews in the Inquisition than Adolph Hitler ever did said "I sure hate those Jews, but I hate homos even more!" And somewhere along the line the Jewish community grew ostracized by their Gentile counterparts and disassociated themselves from the Christian churches.

    So, long story short: Jewish Bible equals anti-homosexuality, Christian Bible equals... a blank spot. According to the book, Jesus outranks both Moses and the Israelite and all the Apostles, including the first Pope, Peter. There, I just cured Christian homophobia. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
     
  8. Aldrick

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    razorsharp -

    Although I managed to wisely dodge the bullet when it came to marrying a woman, I can still answer your question. One of the big mistakes you are making is the assumption that being gay is primarily about sex. Sexual Orientation also involves romantic attraction, and truthfully that is the more powerful of the two drives. I would even go as far as to argue that it is one of the primary reasons gay-straight marriages fail.

    Speaking from experience, I have cared for many women in my life. I loved and admired them dearly. However, no matter how much I have cared for a woman, I have never romantically loved a woman. Comparing my feelings toward a woman and my romantic affections toward men? It is a pale imitation.

    Could you spend your life living a lie? Possibly. Some people have done that. None that I have known or heard of have ever been happy, and many were filled with regrets.

    Of course, your feelings and what you want pale in comparison to what you would be doing to a potential wife. There would be no way I could ethically sanction such a marriage, especially if you intended to keep your romantic and sexual attractions toward men a secret from her--it would be a marriage based on a lie. Which is another primary reason gay-straight marriages fail.
     
  9. biAnnika

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    Razor, I've never been married to man, so perhaps I'm not the one you have in mind to listen to.

    But I am a woman...and although most of what you've written here suggests you don't have much respect for women, I'll take a shot at speaking from that perspective.

    All I hear is "me me me". *I* want to go down that route. *I* don't believe there's anything wrong with that. *I* think I can keep it together. There would be extra challenges for *me*.

    Goddamnit, there'll be a woman involved. A living breathing woman. That is a form of human being, btw. Trust me, she doesn't want to be your experiment. Yes, you're damned right she'd find it upsetting if she knew you were gay (sorry, pal, but I'm not about to medicalize same-sex attraction...you may suffer from it, but it's no health malady). But that's the reason *to* tell her; not the reason to keep it from her. If she won't marry you knowing that about you, then you shouldn't want her.

    But it is despicable to marry with what *you* consider to be a medical condition (or a mental condition) and not tell her about it *well* beforehand. You're not the be-all-end-all-male-in-charge who has to take care of her and keep her from upsetting thoughts (like the fact that you'd rather be anywhere other than between her legs). She'll have a mind of her own, and doesn't need you to make decisions for her like whether or not she should marry a gay man. Let her make that decision on her own.

    You ask for reasons *why* you shouldn't marry a woman. Criminy, man. There are *hundreds* of stories of people here who did just that, feeling pretty much as you do, and the marriages ended...generally with quite a bit of pain attached. Are you really so damned special that you think you'll be the exception? So very strong that you can keep it together where so many have failed? Or will you the super-strong one who offs himself inexplicably after n years of marriage? It's sick.

    Sorry, I'm with Black Raven: torture yourself if you must, but don't you dare drag another unsuspecting person into it. You tell her ahead of time, and she decides she wants to try anyway, and I'm totally fine. But if you believe that the God you believe in sanctions misrepresenting yourself to your spouse, then you have worse problems than homosexuality.
     
  10. Damien

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    We could do a trade if you like. My remaining hetero attraction, for your gayness. I wouldn't mind at all.

    On a serious note, do get some counselling for what you are going through. Not only is there absolutely nothing wrong with you at all, being gay is in fact something to be celebrated. Whatever one's natural sexuality is, it is to be explored and rejoiced in, imo. Sex is one of the most wonderful gifts Life gives us.
     
  11. razorsharp

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    Thanks. It's good to get a woman's view on the subject. I've mentioned this before but you seem to have overlooked it: I am attracted to some women. Does that change the situation?
     
  12. biAnnika

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    It's not been overlooked. It's just impossible to know what to do with it. You could be bisexual...but you've never made it *sound* that way. Or you could be bargaining with yourself...trying desperately to hold onto the fact that you can find some female forms appealing (lots of gay men say this), so you don't have to swallow the fact that you don't actually want to have sex with them.

    I know which sounds more likely to me, given all you've said.

    But you tell us, please: *does* it change the situation?
     
  13. Wildside

    Wildside Guest

    some people are happy to come out, some are happier not to. so is happiness at decision, to some degree?
     
  14. greatwhale

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    I have been reading this thread for a while...

    You certainly have some very strong beliefs about yourself and what you call Same Sex Attraction, or "SSA". So now you are an "SSA struggler", maybe we should add that to the LGBT letters? That's really neat, give it a label that sums it all up...all so neat...and perfect. Just slap a label on it, can it, and shove it into the back of the closet, soon to gather dust.

    Well, fact is, you're riding a wild tiger my friend, and your (extreme?) delusion is that you think you can tame it.

    So let's cover your questions, shall we?

    1) "Is it really that bad that..." OMG, after every bloody thing written in the last 7 sections of this thread, you are still asking this? You should meet my ex, I guarantee that'll cure you, but not of "SSA".

    2) "Can the SSA be ignored somewhat?" No. Period. And the more you try, the more it'll pop up sideways, like that whack-a-mole game.

    3) "Is it possible for both parties to be stable in such a marriage?" Well...dictatorships are stable, as are theocracies...would you want to live there? How about a hellish marriage during which you will soon enough find that having sex with her becomes a perpetual question as to whether your penis will be up to the task?

    You need a solid reason? By the golden chariots of Odin! How fucking solid does it have to be?! You've been given diamond-solid advice, from people who've been there, from people who entered into marriages because they could not believe that being gay applied to them, myself included. The delusion you are suffering from, my friend, is exceptionalism, the firm belief that you are somehow above it all (been there too, by the way) and somehow different, so for you (and only you!), all of this advice does not apply?

    Well the only thing that's different is that you are just a little further along in acknowledging your "SSA" than we were when we married. And this is THE worst part of what you are contemplating. Marrying, when you already know your sexual orientation (when that is not even a question) is not only delusional, but deeply unethical.

    Remember that you would be involving another human being in her deepest, most intimate and significant relationship. How could you do that to someone who's willing to share her life with you, and to bear your children?

    Sure, you feel strong enough now to give 100% to your marriage, that's easy to say...until you find that giving 100% really means fighting yourself 100% of the time. Believe me when I tell you, it is exhausting, and sooner or later, you will find there is not enough effort left in you to maintain the farce that your marriage will become, and I guarantee THAT, 100 percent.
     
  15. Spaceman

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    RS, you've been given exceptional advice from people uniquely qualified to give it. You deserve credit for coming here to ask for it. Ignore it at your peril.

    Benway, interesting observations about the old and new testaments as they relate to homosexuality. Being Jewish myself, I'm not unbiased, but I have a couple theories why most (but certainly not all) Jews have been able to socially evolve rather than cling to outdated scripture...why they embrace the gay community to a large degree.

    One is that the Jewish religion/culture has always placed a large emphasis on learning and critical thought that allows reason and logic to overcome superstition and fundamentalism.

    Secondly, as a historically oppressed minority, Jews know all too well the life and death consequences when the majority uses dogma and religious differences to put down or attempt to destroy a perceived enemy.

    The Jews' struggle for acceptance and equal rights has many parallels to those very same struggles faced by the gay community. I believe that's a key reason so many Jews feel compassion and respect for gays. So that makes two minorities I'm proud to be part of.
     
  16. Weston

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    This.
     
  17. greatwhale

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    A more careful reading of Torah (analogous to the Old Testament) must, of necessity, involve nothing short of a long story. The infamous verse in Leviticus (chapters 18, 20) has a whole host of interpretations when it comes to concluding that homosexuality is clearly condemned. A proper reading of Torah also implies that there can be multiple and often contradictory interpretations of certain passages. The sages of old in the first century, like Hillel and Shammai, could have completely opposite understandings of a verse, and yet "both these and those are the words of the living God" and must be respected.

    In his book Wrestling with God and Men, Rabbi Steven Greenberg offers us the following translation of the famous verse, it will seem unfamiliar but it is actually the closest to the actual Hebrew text:

    It does not simply say: "you shall not lie with a man" it is more specific than that, it seems to very specifically prohibit anal penetration, and it seems to apply only to the male recipient of penetration. The word toevah is also closer to "abhorrent" or offending the accepted order of things or a ritual desecration. The implications of this is that all other forms of same-sex relations (from kissing to mutual masturbation) are NOT prohibited...

    Rabbi Greenberg goes on to talk about other sexual prohibitions, such as niddah which prohibits a man having sex with his wife during her period. Clearly, among many, if not the majority of orthodox couples, this prohibition is probably not observed as it should be. Yet no one is condemned in their congregations for violating that law, simply because it would be considered immodest to start prying into the private sexual lives of couples.

    Judaism has been able to be both faithful to the law and yet retain a sense of critical thinking when it comes to understanding the source texts. In the final analysis, Torah is largely silent on homosexual relationships.

    The Torah tradition of scholarship, more than two millennia of interpretations and commentary, is far more important, and in that context, there is far greater nuance into understanding what the Bible is all about.
     
  18. Benway

    Benway Guest

    Interesting stuff, I love language-- it allows room for infinite interpretation. The general churchgoer isn't going to know that, though-- many of them believe that the Bible was written in English and that the newer 'translations' are something along the lines of Cliff's Notes because "Shakespeare wrote the King James Bible."
     
  19. Wildside

    Wildside Guest

    some answers from my own experience:

    1. is it really that bad that the SSA becomes such a distraction to marriage?

    yes, that has been my experience. especially if she doesn't know. the more i've tried to suppress it, the stronger my SSA asserted itself. and then I blamed other problems in the marriage as causing or making my SSA worse. Like, if she only gave me enough sex, I wouldn't feel that way. there is not enough straight sex in the world to satisfy my need to be with a man.

    2. can the SSA be ignored somewhat? (for example - if i'm around family members and not alone, if i'm busy with things, the SSA doesn't always bother me).

    I've tried that. thing is that we are not always with family members or busy. there will always be down times, and there will always be times when we lonely, angry, bored, horny, etc. and that's when the gay porn on the internet happens, and eventually visits to abs's and tearooms for unsafe and unhealthy sex. and then there is the exhaustion and stress from always fighting it, always keeping the mask up.

    3. Is it possible for *both* parties to be stable in such a marriage?

    not sure what you mean by stable. but there have been some really hard times, and I think that living a lie made a normal stable relationship impossible.

    that's my experience. keep asking specific question like these, and we can keep giving you specific answers from our experiences as gay men in heterosexual marriages. I got into it because I was very young and hadn't figured it out. but me, personally, i would never have done it on purpose. for me, it is a tragedy for her and for me. there are a lot of other ways to satisfy my need for company, or for an emotional connection with someone other than marriage. female friends are fine, men and women as friends. but marriage is some serious shit. but bottom line, no matter what, is to be honest from the start. once you start with a lie, you have a really hard time breaking out of it. it reminds me of a woman I knew who lied to her boyfriend about her age when she was 22, because she was older than him. he didn't find out until he applied for social security, and found out that he was still too young but she was already eligible. 40 years of marriage, with what was pretty much a harmless lie, if you can accept that there are such things. imagine all those years with a lie about the essence of who we are
     
  20. piano71

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    You probably already know this, but "SSA struggler" is a code phrase for a participant in conversion therapy or the ex-gay movement. It describes those who are gay but "don't want to be gay" so as to conform to conservative/orthodox religious teachings. As such, we won't be adding this catch-phrase to the LGBTQIA rainbow. :slight_smile:

    The only good thing about this catch-phrase, in my opinion, is it opens the door for people who are gay and experiencing a conflict with religion to come out to themselves (i.e., acknowledge feelings for other guys are real).

    When one stops "struggling" with "unwanted" "SSA," they usually label themselves with one of those other letters.

    Besides, LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and ally) is 7 letters, one for each color of the rainbow, and covers just about any imaginable description of sexual orientation. Including straight people who figured out that it's useless for others to struggle with "unwanted SSA." :slight_smile: