Monday, November 06, 2006


At BiByDays, Nate posted a long and impassioned letter from Carrie; I started to leave a comment, but it just kept growing in length, and I eventually decided to move it over here and leave their comment page in peace.

Nate and Carrie:

I have wrestled long to find the meaning of the fact that I seemed to be the only one in this corner of blog-world who had not acted on the desires that threatened to destroy his marriage, and that I seem to have been one of the first for whom it actually did so.

I know it's not -- because I was any better than my brothers. And I don't think it's just because I am more repressed, although that has a toehold already. No, I knew that I could not remain who I was and do what I so desired to do. Anymore than I could remain who I was and remain silent, once I decided that silence was actually death. For me.

It's not that I loved her any less. But she, with perfectly good reason if with less than perfect charity, could not live with anything less than all of me. As though, looking back, she had ever had all of me. What was now present as the 800-pound gorilla in the room was always there as the monkey on my back, as she knew it was when we married.

But I told myself that other husbands struggled with other desires, and this was the lot I was given to struggle with. Different in nature, but not different in relation, if that makes any sense. I often said what I believed to be true: that my head had desired gay sex, but that my heart had other plans. It was not so simple as that, though one great simplifier was the fact that gay sex never really delivered what my head had anticipated, while my experience of sex with women was just about the opposite. Go figure.

[And how does this bode well for my future? Ay, there's the rub...]

Like many of the other divisions I maintained in my head and in my life, the division between heart and head came crashing down eventually: and last spring, what I had allowed myself in my head suddenly asserted itself in my heart. That was when I knew I was doomed, and when my wife knew that we were doomed.

I will readily admit that when I hit the wall AGAIN, when I came up against my own inability to deny what I was, as well as who I was, what I needed more than anything was complete openness.

Here too I suspect I am something of an exception. The two straws that broke the camel's back were the need to end the silence and the need to find some sort of relationship with another man. Well, I have certainly received the toll of my first wish upon my head: I am alone, far from home, and between competing "communities" that both make claims which I can never whole-heartedly endorse.

I am an unfortunate amphibian forced to choose between the water and the land. How I resented being forced to choose! And did I make the right choice? I believed so for over thiry years; since moving out, I have always suspected that this last time I had not. But now it was what seemed clearly to have become NECESSARY at the time, because for me silence had in fact come to closely resemble death.

Now, how the chorus of "Bravo's" sets my teeth on edge! I find the activities of the cheerleaders who applaud my supposed courage -- as though I would have chosen this path if it had not been necessary -- almost as aggravating as the people who told me to suck it up for the good of my marriage. They speak about terrain they only know from its similarities to their home turf, which in both cases doesn't overlap much with mine...

But having said that, this weekend I faced a terrible new reality: I did really feel better. I had stopped feeling like there was no tomorrow -- there was in fact a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how far away it might be. But the terror of it was this: it was only because I had crossed some internal line, begun to sunder my emotional connection to my wife, that my situation had been made bearable -- the disappearance of the backward glance, the stirring of the heartstrings, the longing for all the companionship and loving. All that was focused elsewhere, on a future so uncertain as to be unlikely altogether. My life of the last twenty-seven years had in fact begun to die.

And it is with heavy heart that I have to say: "It is finished." God help me.

I spent much of the spring wringing my hands over the prospect of buying my own peace of mind at the price of inflicting untold suffering on others, and yet, when push came to shove, that is exactly what I did. And remains what I have done. May my children forgive me, may my soon-to-be-ex-wife forgive me, and may God have mercy on my soul. Some day, some day.

I don't know whether this makes any sense to you, in a situation so clearly different, but no less terrifying, where love and desire are so clearly different and so clearly hanging in the balance. But it is what your cry brought out in me, and it is all I have to offer.

Your suffering is not the same, and yet it is what we have in common. We are, for better or worse, human, created in God's image but with our feet, if not our minds, firmly rooted in the mud from which we were so fearfully and wonderfully made.

My heart goes out to you, and all who walk this path.
May you not follow in my footsteps.

On my last trip home to pack up the studio I came upon a trove of cards that had fallen behind my desk, or just slipped off their display edges into various corners. The one that held my thoughts was a black-and-white card my wife gave me for my birthday in the dark days when I doubted that she could love me, when all her time and effort went into her new life, and so little went into our common life... A quote from Cleopatra VII:

"You fool, I could have poisoned you a hundred times,
if I had been able to live without you."

It was only so funny then; it is not funny now at all. The declaration lay, still lies, on my heart like a stone. I return tomorrow for the funeral of a dear friend, at her church. Bound to be a difficult time for all concerned...

On an entirely frivolous note:

There is probably no deeper meaning to the fact that as soon as I started posting again, my visitor numbers began to tank, but I still wonder what to make of it. At least I can welcome a couple of new corporate time-wasters: mystery men at Shell Services International, Bank One Columbus, and whomever for whatever reason is logging on from the French Pontifical Seminary in Italy [Rome???]. It does kind of make you wonder. Recent visitors:



United StatesUnited States



South AfricaSouth Africa



Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia












United KingdomUnited Kingdom













A hearty welcome to you all:
post a comment and let us hear your voice.


  1. I like your letter to Nate and Carrie. Your insight into their situation is very interesting especially coming from someone with some experience having taken a path.
    It's interesting to hear your take on your journey summed up too.
    As for your know my opinion! OJO

  2. Troll, you absolutely give me hope for the future. Regardless of how things go for David and me, just having seen your example has convinced me that I will survive, however much or little I like it. Hang in there, because I am rooting for you.
    Always my best!

  3. "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

    How Frank is that? Frank Herbert that is.

  4. Great.
    Now there are three of you. So which one of you is managing to hack the computer at the French Pontifical Seminary?

    Ever-lovin' Blue-eyed