Anyway, a few weeks ago, I received the following message on Facebook:
Hi, do you know who I am? I'm a non-gay, happily married with kids, active LDS friend of Scott's, who happens to have grown up with same sex attractions (SSA).
Scott once encouraged me to tell my wife about being SSA, kindly offering to have you talk with my wife if she was having trouble dealing with it. When I did eventually tell her, she was fine and didn't really want or need to have someone to talk to, but I've sort of wondered what you might have said.
Now I see that your relationship/marriage with him is hitting some serious turbulence. I don't know the nature of that turbulence and don't really care to. That's personal. But if you wouldn't mind, what would you have said? And would that message change now that things are more difficult?
Thanks in advance and tell Scott hi for me. We haven't spoken much since I expressed my dismay that he was not as active in the church as he was when we first met, but I still follow him on FB and am interested in how things are going.
Me, a couple of weeks later. A quick response because I kept putting it off and thought I should at least be nice enough to acknowlege that I got it:
Don't really know who you are, I have no idea what I would have said. Depends on if it was before or after January.
His quick reply:
Thanks for responding and satisfying my curiosity. I take it then, the answer to my second question is yes and the answer to my first question is that you would have been more encouraging toward making the relationship work out before January than you would now.
That being the case, and supposing I really want my marriage to succeed, would you have any advice for me now?
Me, now that my brain is finally working on the subject:
You know, I'm not sure my sure my advice to her would have changed, because I don't think I would have changed anything in what I did even if I could go back. It would have been communication and patience and to love you no matter what choices you make. Vent her problems if needed with other wives, not to people who will be judgmental of your choices.
To you, I'm not sure. Make her your first priority, but be sure to take care of yourself. If you hide and suppress inside who you really are, it just might explode later, or it will wear away at you gradually, making you more and more miserable, which is not good for your marriage either. So talk about everything with her, even if it hurts her sometimes. Come up with healthy solutions together. And always, always, always treat her like a queen. Little, thoughtful things mean the most: flowers, dates, holding her hand, taking the initiative to snuggle with her at night or during a movie.
This is probably stuff you already know...
Maybe I know it, but it is stuff I need to be constantly reminded of. It is the new and everlasting covenant. That's why I need to treat her as a queen. It is part of being faithful to my covenant.
As for the little thoughtful things, those are the hardest to remember, but I suppose that problem is not unique to someone in my situation. All men struggle with that.
Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate it.
No problem. Best wishes to them for the future.
(sigh...longing for what I used to have...)