Home > Awareness, LGBT News > EDITORIAL: The Greatest Gift God Gave Me… My Husband :: Release Dorothy!

EDITORIAL: The Greatest Gift God Gave Me… My Husband :: Release Dorothy!

December 21, 2010

Phil & Eric

 

As I sit back in the late evening, when the house is quiet, the dogs are curled up on their respective blankets asleep, the Christmas tree lights ablaze, soft  music playing in the background and a nice cup of home-made hot chocolate warming my hand I began to reflect on the holiday season and what it means to me . 

My life is just as unremarkable as most middle class Americans.  Times are tougher financially, the stress at work has grown, and the commute to work is always more exciting during the winter months.  But I am still very fortunate in this dark economic time.  I have a group of wonderful friends who care about me whether I have 100k or a buck in my bank account.  I have a family that checks in on me whether I respond to their texts or not and most of all I have a husband who loves me and cares about me regardless of my quirky bad habits and indecisiveness. 

My Husbands (Eric) ability to navigate the idiosycrasies of our relationship isn’t what has made him the greatest gift.  It’s his insistance and support for me to be who I am that is truly his greatest gift. To understand why being able to be myself is such a gift, I need to share some of my background.

 Before I met Eric I’d been in a very long marriage to my then wife.   I was relatively happy for about two-thirds of that relationship, though I always knew something was different about me.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely loved my wife.  She’s a wonderful person, and I couldn’t have asked for a better woman to stand beside me.  But even with that kind of support I knew something was different about me.  The more I realized that I was different, the more of a toll it took on our relationship.  I knew deep in my heart I was gay but I couldn’t admit it to myself and definitely not to anyone else.  I buried it deep inside my soul.  The effect was awful.  My soul turned black.  I was bitter, offensive, arrogant, and sometimes down right mean.  I was miserable and I couldn’t explain why.  That darkness permeated my life.  It soiled the friendship with my wife, and shrunk my circle of friends.  I tried to fill that empty void with alcohol, with material things and even went to therapy a few times.  It didn’t work. 

I turned to God and told him that something was wrong with me and I needed his help to fix me.  I prayed allot about it.  I prayed passionately about it, and at times I even begged him to make me better.  It didn’t work. My relationship with my wife fell apart.  I couldn’t talk to her and tell her I was broken, unfixable, and even worse that I was pretty sure that I was gay.  I couldn’t let her down like that.  She depended on me, I depended on her and we’d been friends since I was 17.  I’d have rather cut out my own heart than hurt her.  So I didn’t say anything to her.  Instead I tried to deal with it all alone.  I did a terrible job of dealing with it and made things even worse.  In the end, after years of struggling I told her I was gay and we eventually separated and divorced.

When I met Eric, I was still broken.  I still had all those terrible traits I mentioned and even more.  I was homophobic.  I was convinced I wasn’t gay.  I’d seen gay men on TV and at Pride parades.  I wasn’t like those guys.  I didn’t fit a stereotypical gay man (though at the time I thought the stereotype WAS how all gay men were).  By the time I’d met Eric I’d been around the block a few times with guys.  I knew by then that I was attracted to men (though I still thought I wasn’t gay).  I never met a guy that I was more than just physically attracted to.  That changed with Eric.  Infact, the second time I met him, I fell in love with him.  It scared me.  I wasn’t gay, so how could I fall inlove with another guy. 

Eric took it slow with me.  He helped me understand what it meant to be gay in small doses.  I’d hide in the shadows at the local Lesbian bar where we went to hang out with some of his friends.  I was terrified someone I knew would see me there and tell people I was gay.  I gradually became comfortable with hanging out there, although I kept looking over my shoulder just incase.  We built a network of friends (both gay and straight) who were accepting of me and where I was at.  Slowly but surely I learned that there is no ‘type’ of gay man.  Eric helped me understand and learn that I didn’t have to fit in to a particular mold, or act a certain way.  He helped me understand that being gay is just a part of who I am; it isn’t everything that I am. 

Eric helped me learn allot about myself by giving me the freedom to be myself.   I’d lived a life of who I thought I should be for so long that I honestly didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I liked to do or what I didn’t like to do.  I wasn’t sure what I even believed in.  He challenged my believe structure and convictions and got me thinking again and not just following.  I slowly regained respect for myself and who I was, I regained confidence, and feelings of being ashamed slowly faded away.  As I grew and sometimes stumbled, Eric was there.  He held my hand when I was scared, he let me cry on his shoulder when I was hurt, and he picked me up when I fell.  I have to admit, sometimes I fell pretty hard.  It didn’t matter. He still picked me up dusted me off and sent me on my way. 

Today because of Eric’s love, patience, support and courage (Lord knows I was a ‘project’) I’m a proud vocal and strong out gay man.  The guy who used to hide in the shadows at the Lesbian bar now writes a gay advocacy blog.   More importanly I’m a confident, well adjusted gay man who represents our community in my personal and professional life without shame, guilt or regret.

I honestly have to say that I am who I am today because in those dark days when I prayed to God to fix me, He did.  He sent me Eric.  I believe He sent Eric to show me that I wasn’t really broken; I just didn’t know how to accept who I was.  

So during this holiday season when I look back and give thanks, I give thanks for my wonderful supportive friends, my family, and most of all to God for the greatest gift of all… my Husband Eric.

Merry Christmas Darlin’  

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  1. December 27, 2010 at 3:18 am

    How sweet! I wish both of you and your family the best for all the years to come! Happy holidays!
    Jessica Lucard
    What husbands can’t resist

  2. Eric
    December 21, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Very sweet…though you make me sound better than I am! :0)

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