On mountaintops, valleys, and closets

When I became engaged, it was nothing like the Hallmark movie proposal. My hubby and I were on the telephone. He was in his apartment in Denver, Colorado and I was in my bedroom in my folks’ house in the Chicago suburbs. After the initial realization that we were finally getting married, we began compiling a list of the things we had to make our household one. You know, things like; I have these items for the kitchen, I have these items for the bathroom. We both had twin beds, little to no money in savings, and complete faith that God had brought us together.

Fast forward twenty years. I did not become the 1950’s era housewife and homemaker I had imagined I would become. We have two sons, both of whom have grown into amazing, talented, young men. We have lived in three different states, apartments, townhouses, small houses, the average suburban home, and farmhouses. We have each worked multiple types of jobs over the years and dealt with unemployment during certain seasons.

We have fought loudly at times, broken dishes, left marks on walls, and scarred each other’s hearts in our pain and anger. We have battled against our anxieties and depression. We have seen counselors, we began taking medication, and when that was not enough, one of us has been hospitalized for 24 hours to protect from self harm and eighteen months later, a 72 hour period for the same thing.

Through all of this, there was an unspoken subject that continued to grow like a vine, something we thought we had cut back again and again. Yet it still grew, until it was out of control. It nearly choked us both in the process, until my husband pulled it out by the roots and was honest with himself and with me.

We had talked about his attraction to men when we became engaged, but I didn’t understand the depth and breadth of it. Honestly, I am not sure he did either. My husband officially “came out” in December of 2018. We had a long conversation between each other, he spoke with both of our sons about it as well. Then with my blessing, he went public.

We were unsure how people would respond. We are both professed believers, saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). We knew what churches had taught about homosexuality and we were ready for whatever ripple effect it caused. Many coworkers were supportive, writing him notes and letters to let him know he was loved and accepted. Many in our circle shared their love for us as well.

It sounds like we should be one of those very evolved marriages. We are still married, I am the only woman he has ever loved, I love him with all that am and have, that has not changed. What has changed is that we are honest in ways we never were before. We discuss his attraction to men, what that means to him, how it interplays with his day-to-day life.

We share the difficult, uncomfortable, and complex things that are unique to our marriage. So many of the people who are unfamiliar with our entire story, think that since he is “out” we should get divorced so he can fully embrace his gay life. Divorce has never been on the table in this situation. The vows we spoke two decades ago are still valid. We aren’t any less committed to each other because of this aspect of him.

He still flirts with me, shows affection toward me, physically our marriage is still intact and emotionally, I think we are more healthy than we’ve been, since we began this journey a year ago. Yes, irrational fears try to creep in and manifest themselves into full blown lies about how he will leave me, but I am swift to pray them away. Our faith is crucial to keeping us together and that has become an even bigger part of my life, although it may not always be evident.

So here’s the deal, the nitty-gritty if you will.

I am married to a man who loves me dearly, is devoted to me and to our boys. He is also gay. We do not claim to have answers to everything and in fact, we have more questions than answers. Like, how to develop healthy relationships with other men, gay and straight, without misconstruing the purpose of the friendship. How to answer those who ask questions about what happens next for our marriage. I don’t know the answers. My sweet hubby doesn’t either. We don’t have to know them.

We are where we are. Who we are. Whose we are. That’s all we can be or do. I don’t have a perfect Bible verse to fit this part of my life. I am well aware of all the verses that condemn homosexuality and I will not debate them with anyone. I am certain there are those who think this should never be made public and are shocked and appalled that I would even put this out there on the internet. With respect to those who feel that way, I will take your concerns under advisement.

This is who I am- a woman in her 50’s, a wife of over 20 years, mother to two, daughter, sister, friend, hobby-farmer, and novice writer. Most of all, I am a daughter of the King of kings and I have been bought by the power of the blood of Christ and nothing can separate me from the love of God ( Romans 8:38-39). I have been walking with Christ for nearly thirty years and I pray I will for the next thirty and beyond.

The rest is just a part of the scenery.

Best Beloved, I do not share this for sensationalistic reasons. I am being honest with myself and you because the enemy has been pulling the strings for too long. Any thing I allow to stay in the dark allows him to gain power and a foothold in my life and heart. I don’t have time for that. I long to be a part of the light shining in Matthew 5:16.

Whether I am celebrating on the mountaintop or battling through the valley, I am no longer hiding and neither is my hubby.

Blessings now and always,

oxoxoxox

About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
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1 Response to On mountaintops, valleys, and closets

  1. Pingback: Squares, triangles, and icosahedrons | wildmercies

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