Living in conflict with myself

The lead up to the decision to tell my wife of my same sex attraction came after many years of living with the conflict within myself.

I could not reconcile within me the reality of my deepest feelings about what I was in the world with the everyday reality of my life

I will explain in later blog posts the longer history of my feelings and explain how I came to be married and gay, but in this blog today I will explain the circumstances that were apparent in late 2012 which made me feel that I had no choice but to reveal my secret.

I was stressed, anxious, difficult to live with and over stretched with work and family and voluntary commitments that I had entered into for the service of others. I felt a tendency to suicidal thoughts mainly because I could not accept that I could break away from the way I was living my life and embrace a gay lifestyle.

I felt that If I chose to live a gay life I would simply be putting my life into further conflict because I would be substituting one aspect of my character with that of another and I risked losing everything – my wife and my daughters and possibly my friends.

However, in early November 2012 I was away for a long weekend in Cumbria when a combination of fatigue and trying to help my daughter with her A Level homework tipped me over into anger and resentment. I became verbally aggressive to my wife, went off to sulk, refused to drive home and as part of the exchange between us my wife said to me these words:-

“In your anger you come across as a man who is gay”

I feigned even more anger  – how dare she refer to me in those words – like a school bully  – but at the same time I knew that I could not go on in denial for much longer.

I came home and started to think again how I could seek out help. I was nervous of typing anything gay related into a search engine because I was always concerned that my wife would find my interest in the subject in my online history. I decided to risk it, so I did search for “married and gay” and I came across a book by Joseph Nicolosi PhD called:-

“Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality – A new Clinical Approach”

In the introduction to this book are the following words:-

“There are homosexual men who reject the label of “gay” along with all of the implications that label would bestow on them. Although “homosexual” may name an undeniable aspect of their psychology, “gay” describes a life-style and values they do not claim. These men experience conflict between their values and sexual orientation”

At the time of reading these words and not having read the book, which I did read and rejected subsequently, I felt that these words helped to explain my internal conflict and dilemma for which I remain grateful. I picked up the phone and asked my younger brother if I could see him about an urgent and private matter on which I needed his help – he offered to see me the following evening at a local pub near his home which is 60 miles away from where I live.

I also sent an e-mail to a coach from whom I had received intense professional development seven years earlier to ask for her services relating to work related concerns that I was experiencing.

My journey to self acceptance had started  – I was emotionally exhausted and could go no further in isolation – I had put in place the two key people who would lead me to confronting my lovely wife with the truth.

My next blog will be – My Brother’s Support

William Defoe

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