Restored Vows (a married man who says that he "struggles with same-sex attractions") posted this comment a few days ago on HURRICANE:
If you want to get divorced and lead a gay lifestyle, go for it. But you need to think through to the outcome of your decision. I'll leave you with a modified version of what President Reagan said in 1984: "Are you better off (gay and divorced) than you were (married)?
Better off. It seems like that ought to be fairly easy to figure out, right? But what does it mean? Better off.
I have considered this at length, and I think I will be better off gay and divorced than married. (And really, Restored Vows should have left "gay" out of it. I can stay married. I can get divorced. I can't change being gay.) Here's why...
KK and I had eight or nine really great years together. The last bit of our marriage before I came out was not a happy time for either one of us. Most people we know didn't see that. Really, in some ways we didn't see it either. But I was deeply unhappy and unsatisfied with my life. From about the time my younger daughter was born, I developed a death wish. I wasn't suicidal in that I wasn't planning my own death. But I was hoping for it. I imagined a plane crash on a business trip. Getting pushed in front of an oncoming subway car. A heart attack. Cancer. I was deeply unhealthy. I was overweight and out of shape. I had acid reflux disease that I hoped would become something much more serious.
I wanted out of my life. I figured it would be better if I were to go to my grave at an early age with my secret still mine than shame my family with my homosexuality. I figured my children would be better off with a dead father than a gay one. I knew KK would be better off with a dead husband than a gay one.
Better off. Better off dead.
Surely, part of my emotional pain came from keeping a deep, dark secret from the people I loved the most--especially KK. It could be argued that once I came out to her, I should have been able to press forward together with her. We could share the burden. We could make it work, despite our mixed orientations. Many couples try to do this, and some find a measure of success. We could be like them.
KK wanted this, at least on some level. She wanted the security and love that a husband would provide her. And she loved me. And to this day, I feel sorrow for the pain that this has caused her. I love her. She is my closest friend. But once I came out to her, I found myself driven to feel self acceptance and happiness about being gay. I didn't want it to be a cross I had to bear. I didn't want it to be a challenge we would struggle through together. With her love and encouragement, I began to embrace my gay self, and that set me on a path that leads out of the marriage.
I'm 34. KK is 33. There is a lot of life left ahead for both of us. She has gotten a grip on her depression and begun the process of realizing professional ambitions she didn't know she harbored. I am openly and happily gay. I'm meeting new people and feeling no shame for this simple fact of who I am.
Better off? I think so. There is pain in the short term, and there will be challenges in both the short and long term. But this is the best chance for both of us to find lasting happiness. And that's better off.