Since you asked …I’m a gay married Mormon in the closet
Posted on October 28, 2008
Filed Under Uncategorized
I am a 40-year-old gay man who is heterosexually married. We have a couple of teenagers and live in a good neighborhood, go to church and from outward appearances have a great life.
But I’m miserable. You see, I have made some really dumb decisions in my life because I haven’t always been happy with life in general.
For example, my life on earth was sprung from two checked-out, laissez-faire parents who gave me no structure. So what did I do about that when I was a teen? I became Mormon. I needed structure, a sense of identity and got it. What did I give up in the deal to become Mormon? Transparency. I already knew I was gay. So I told them I wasn’t, got baptized, served a two-year mission, went to Brigham Young University and got married — all according to script.
When I was single, I felt conflicted. My attractions ran toward men, but I have always enjoyed women as friends. And then I met my wife. We were friends first, so she knew I was gay when we married. We doubted we should get married, but we were getting old by Mormon standards. We were counseled by our church leaders to forget our concerns about my sexual orientation and move ahead with the relationship. They said if we had enough faith and enough trust in God, our marriage would be successful. No one mentioned the immense level of distress we would both suffer almost as quickly as we married. No one told us how to deal with the fact that regardless of our faith, we were a mixed marriage of sorts. Gay man and straight woman. Great as shopping buddies, but not as husband and wife, I think.
So you know how issues like these — those pesky issues that just won’t go away because you don’t talk about them, and how they resurface in odd ways? Yeah, ours have popped up incrementally and collectively throughout our 18-year marriage. We both gained a ton of weight. We are in huge amounts of debt. And we have this enormous secret between us that our kids are trying to figure out — that their dad is gay and this is the reason for the dull ache that is so pervasive in our home, despite the perky Mormonspeak at the breakfast table.
What do we do? She won’t talk about the gay thing and after years of bullying by her on several levels, I want a divorce. But our debt is huge and she hasn’t worked in years (albeit she is well-educated) and we have five more years until our kids are both out of school and on their own in college. I don’t want to stay. I’m getting older and want for us both to be happy.
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