I was with a man last week, a friend of mine. Married with two kids, good job, comfortable life. The only fly in the ointment being his insatiable desire for other men.
He had always known that he was gay but fell in love with a beautiful woman. He still loves her, loves his children and his comfortable life. When I met him he was in pieces because he was about to tell his wife the truth about his other life. The life he could no longer contain, compartmentalize.
You know, whether it is another man or another woman the deceit is just the same. However, his wife, the woman he had been with for twenty years utterly trusted and loved him. She described him as the center of her world. Now, after therapy, he had decided to tell her the truth.
You know I am in two minds about FULL DISCLOSURE. Depending on how it is handled it can be a great thing. The truth, as we all know, tends to set you free-but at what price for the wife? For the children?
Is it possible to love and cherish a woman yet have a secret gay life? I have written on these pages that I believe that it is. That men think differently about monogamy than women. Judging by just how broken the man is he really loves his wife and finds his gay life unexplainable.
Of course we do not live in the 1950′s when society was less tolerant of homosexuality but we must not underestimate two things: firstly, the desire for a regular life of marriage and children with a woman and secondly that the love that develops between a man and a woman regardless of orientation is still real.
The gay lifestyle is not exactly my cup of tea, the bars and clubs, the endless hooking up-found in urban gay life. Gay men don’t do a very good job of advertising the better part of our lives. Anyhow that’s another story.
I have loved women during my life and whilst I loved them I was not hankering after men. The emotional commitment that I had was just as valid as that that I had with men.
Having sex with a man is far easier than telling a man ‘I love you’.
Sexuality and relationships are complicated and whilst some relationships do not fit the norm we should not discount the love that exists there.
My friend desperately loves his wife and children, their lives together have been rich and varied. Has he been more dishonest than a man who cheated on his wife with other woman?
Can a man still love his wife and have sexual relations with other men? My friend tells me that he can and does. Just like Darwin who believed both in God and evolution. When asked how this was possible to believe in God and his theory of evolution he replied ‘because I do’.
I rather like the Victorian model where gay men married and had children and had affairs with men on the side. This may not suit the out and prouds or the uber hetero but may suit some people an the middle of the Kinsey spectrum. We are not all one thing or the other until we say we are. We are not gay until we say we are. When we say that we love someone why should this not be believed just because our sexuality is more complicated or in the words of Derek Jarman less ‘common’.
I have loved many women and whilst I have always been honest about my interest in men they seemed to not care as long as they were or felt loved. Women have a huge capacity for love, for tolerance and forgiveness.