Monday, August 22, 2011

Is married and gay easier than single and gay as a member of the LDS church?

As any of my readers know (I don't think I have many yet), I'm new to the blog world and I've been reading a lot of various posts from those of you who are married.  I just have to say how impressed I am by your commitment and desire to do what you feel is right.  I'm amazed that you could be deeply attracted to men but somehow continue to show such devotion to your wives and children.  Some of you are still married and will stay married, others of you were married and are no longer married.  But in both cases, I've been so impressed with the ongoing love that continues to be offered to spouses and children whether couples stay married or not.

With that in mind, let me pose this question for discussion:  As a Mormon gay man, is it easier to be single or easier to be married?  I'd love any opinions on the topic, not because I think I'm right or wrong on this topic.  I'm just curious how my attitude stacks up against your experiences.

Single and gay in the church
As a single man in the church, I spend zero time being concerned about a spouse, whether I should tell her about my attraction, how it might affect the children in the future, whether I'll remain faithful, whether I'll be able to perform sexually, etc.  I do spend a fair amount of time thinking how nice it would be to have a partner in life and to build a family.  Just because I'm attracted to men doesn't mean I don't want children.  I think I'd be a damn good husband and father, but I don't really see it within my sights so this is my biggest challenge as a single gay man in the church who at the present time is still very active.  Will I ever have that?  Will I ever build a life with someone the way married men do?  I get offers to be set up with girls all the time and that's a pain.  I also grow weary of trying to fit in and not stand out.  I mean, if you're single at 34 years old and aren't in a relationship, people talk and assume and speculate.  I hate dealing with that.  I sometimes feel that my life lacks purpose and meaning, despite career and educational pursuits.  If these other goals aren't geared toward building a life and family with someone, you'd be amazed at how unmotivated you can get at times.  I know that married gay men can struggle just as much, but I hope you get what I mean here.

Married and gay in the church
You have the joy and satisfaction of having a family unit and that must be rewarding.  Coming home to a wife and kids who can't wait to see you instead of coming home to your own place.  Having a clear purpose in life is more likely because you're not just living life for yourself.  At the same time, the added stress of providing for a whole family (needs and wants) requires a lot of selflessness.  I am giving by nature, but I can see how I exhibit some selfish behavior as a single gay man who doesn't really date.  Some married men may feel that it would be so much easier to get physical needs met as a single guy.  But let me put it this way:  a lot of you married men are getting more quality time in the bedroom than little ole celibate me gets.  Along with that, you're getting affirmation, affection, and overall fulfillment of family life.  I recognize that it's not all roses though.

I've had some cool conversations about this in the past where a gay married man said it would be so much easier to be single and gay, but I'm not so sure.  Sometimes, I think the stability of a family and spouse would really help me with this issue.  It's just that the very thought of dating a woman brings me extreme sadness, so how am I going to ever get to that?  On the other hand, I don't think I fully understand the plight (sorry to use that word) of what it's like to be gay and married, especially with kids.

Long story short, thanks for your posts.  I find them helpful, whether you're still married or not, whether you're still affiliated with the church or not.  Your posts will be helpful as I make some decisions in the coming year.



  1. Re: Coming home to a wife and kids who can't wait to see you instead of coming home to your own place.

    It feels great to have someone who's devoted to you. The point that jumps out about your post is that it looks like this "can't wait see you!" feeling won't be mutual. This theoretical wife you're imagining would be a person who has her own dreams and desires. There's a good chance she'd love to come home to a spouse who can't wait to see her.

    If you want devoted affection from someone without having to reciprocate, get a dog. If you want a life partner and soul-mate, follow your heart. (What happened to that "I'm at a point where being in a good relationship with a great guy might be an option" in your sidebar?) If you want kids, why do they have to be your biological/genetic kids? There are a lot of kids in this world who could use a loving father.

  2. Hi there,
    I found your blog through Invictus Pilgrim. Having been married a woman I can tell you that the fairy tale is a great thing to dream about until the realities of life start growing a bigger and bigger wedge between you two (and I'm not just talking about the usual work, bills, kids and daily life stuff). Being married to a woman always felt like I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and of course my anxiety was manifested in many other ways which were not pleasant.

    On the other hand my X's self-esteem and self-worth as a woman was always on the floor because she always thought "if I was only skinnier, more beautiful, more adventurous in bed", that kind of thing... I can't complain, life was not always sad and miserable, we had a few very good years and 2 wonderful kids out of it, but the rest of the time I spent trying to compensate in many areas of life for what I couldn't give her. Is it better to have someone to come home to? of course, but as CL Hanson says, would you want to come home to them as well after a while? There are many ways of being happy, I'm finding that in the discoveries of my new life where things seem to fit better from a lot of perspectives and yet, life somehow still manages to be complex, interesting, scary and wonderful at the same time! Hope to be able to follow your journey and yes, regardless of where life takes you there's a huge community out there that I've noticed has evolved past Mohos who is behind you.

  3. Benny,

    I'm single, gay, Mormon and in my mid fifties. My story is a long one, but I can relate to where you are. At this point I've found a comfortable spot being single, faithful, and active in the Church. But it took me a while to get there. Over time I can share as much or as little of my experience with you as you want. In the mean time, welcome to the Bloggernacle!!

  4. @C.L. - I'm not suggesting at all that I want affection without reciprocation, but you make a good point. If anything, my life on the "fence" has been nothing but giving love to others without it being reciprocated back to me. Up till now, I've had feelings for guys off and on, even fell in love once or twice, but it was pretty much u requited. Even if I thought there was a chance of them feeling the same way, I wouldn't have pursued a relationship in the past. I think my main point with that part was that as difficult as it can be at times for married and single men to manage attractions to the same sex, I envy married men a bit in that that have someone in their corner, a partner, you know? As a single man who hasn't really dated men in the past, that's something I long for. Thanks for your comment though. That could really be the topic for a whole new post.

    @Miguel - thanks for checking out my blog and commenting. I know that marriage isn't a fairy tale for anyone who is married, gay or straight. I only need to observe my close married friends to see that they deal with issues and setbacks that I don't even have to worry about to gain a deep sense of respect. Add to that the task of managing SSA and my level or admiration is only deepened. Good insight on your own experience and thanks for sharing.

    @Neal - I'd be very interested to learn more about your experiences. I am following your blog so I'll watch for updates. I feel like I'm at a mostly comfortable point of being single, faithful, and active in Church. I've been so committed and willing to just kind of deal with the lonely thing for the last 12-13 years. I'm just kind of at a point now where I'm really beginning to question if I can remain alone. How are some men able to be attracted enough to women to get married and make that strong of a commitment when I feel that I could never make that commitment to a woman? Are there degrees of gayness? Perhaps I'll make this the topic of my next post. I want to stay true to the church as I always have in the past. But I also want to be held and kissed and committed to someone, free to give ALL of my love to them without feeling like a big sinner or freak or disobedient loser. I'm just scared as hell that I will never experience that. Would love to hear more about how you've accepted not pursuing a relationship with a man and staying active in your 50's. Thanks for welcoming me. :)