Finding Harmony as a
Married Gay Man:
A little more than a year ago I asked "Can I be in harmony being gay and
married to a woman?" It was a tough question to answer. In the months that
have passed, I told my ex-wife that I am gay. It hurt us both. I hate to
do things that hurt those I care about. We talked some about what I had
been going through and about a divorce and agreed it was the best thing to
do. There is still a great deal of denial on my ex-wife's part regarding my
being gay. I am sure that is natural.
We both read a book called "The Truth Shall Set You Free" by Sally Lowe
Whitehead. It was about a couple that was married for more than 20 years, had 6 sons
and the husband was gay. It was a very moving story about their lives. Not
just the husband being gay and their breaking up. She tells very intimately
of their search for the Lord, their relationship and how things progressed
past the divorce. I think it helped us both. We read from someone's own
life about their friendship, their marriage and the heartache, and the new
beginning for their family. We found we were not the first ones to
About 6 or 7 months after I came out to my wife, I moved out. I moved in with
an old friend to whom I had also come out. She is a very dear friend and
has been very, very supportive of the moves I am making.
When we told the kids that we were divorcing they were shocked, very
shocked. During the preceding months I struggled with telling the kids.
How would they handle this? Should I tell them now that I am gay or wait a
while? How would they view me? Their mom? How would our church react?
How would the extended family respond? Many things were running wild at
times through my head. And for all the worrying and fretting I did, the
thing was, I could not control any of it! Not one response. Not my kids,
my family nor my church. All I could do was pray. And, that I did. Some
have found it hard to believe I prayed about this divorce and how it would
be handled by the kids and their mom, but I did. A LOT! We decided for the
time being that we would just tell the kids about the divorce. The "gay
thing" would not be mentioned for the time being. We did this to minimize
the shock to the kids. They had commented to us both at times in the past
that their friends thought is was neat that their folks were still married
and had been married for a long time. We knew this would be enough for them
to deal with right now.
They both took it hard. Each expressed it in different ways. My son (who
is 19) grew very distant and would not talk to me. At present, he still
does not communicate with me much. While he was home for the Christmas
holidays, he turned down every offer I made to go out to eat or a movie.
While that bothered me a great deal, we still had a couple of nice visits
while he was home. My daughter cried a lot (she is 17). She has talked
about her feelings with her mom more than she has with me, but she is
talking to us both. And for that I am grateful. She and I do things
together. We share a common hobby and that has given us something that we
enjoy doing together and I think overall it has helped her make the
There have been bad bouts of guilt for me breaking up my family. Coming
from a Pentecostal/Evangelical background, that was unavoidable I guess.
Thoughts like "you should just go back home and try harder to make things
work." "You know, God hates divorce and he ain't too crazy about them that
get one." Things like that ran through my head at times. But when I pulled
back and looked at things realistically, there was and is no going back.
Too many things had transpired that would not allow a "going back to the way
things used to be" or to what seemed to be. The number one thing being, I
have accepted the fact that I am gay.
Most of the extended family has seemed to be compassionate. My parents are
understanding, more so dad than mom. She is not sure she agrees with my
position on homosexuality at this point. Most of the in-laws from what I am
told still consider me "part of the family," only one has made any attempt
to keep in contact.
My church's reaction has been, well, less than stellar. My ex-wife asked if
I cared if she met with the assistant pastor at our church and I said no.
This happened just prior to my moving out. I was glad she was reaching out
for some help and support. When she met with the assistant pastor about the
situation he did not have much to say other than he wanted to meet with me
and if she remarried she would be in adultery. I was not impressed with the
coldness he showed my ex-wife for sure. I consented to meet with him when
he called. I knew it would not be a pleasant meeting. We were both told
the meetings would be confidential, and that our discussions would be shared
with the senior pastor and no one else.
I was given the whole list of scriptures explaining why what I was doing is
wrong, and told that in the end I am going to just turn my back on God and
essentially go to hell if I don't change my ways. I explained my position
and left it at that. There was a very subtle, but heavy use of guilt and
condemnation in the discussion with the assistant pastor. Thankfully, I did
not go there in a combative mind set and I think that helped me to "hold my
ground." It is very difficult for me to not start blasting this man in
detail right now as there were other things said that seemed so
inappropriate and cold, but doing that will not be of benefit to anyone.
He commented to my ex-wife later (and I don't say this to toot my own horn,
but I found it an interesting/almost odd comment about me coming from him).
He told her that I seemed to be spiritually perceptive and in tune with
things. We were both surprised at that comment since I did not agree to
follow his "program for spiritual restoration with God and my family." This
happened in late July/early August. There was never any comments or
communications from the senior pastor. He would not even give the common
courtesy of a handshake when I last saw him. It may seem petty, but I had
been involved in the church for almost 7 years and just having the back
turned to me like that really hurt.
A few days before Christmas I received a letter from the senior pastor
explaining that they were going to start an "investigation into charges
brought against me" (their words) over homosexuality, adultery and divorce,
thus determining my membership status. I had not been back to that church
since my meeting with the assistant pastor and only had one follow-up
contact from him several days after the meeting to see if I was going to be
submissive to God's Word and the elders of the church and be restored. The
letter included the written charges against me that had been submitted to
the elders of the church.
All the confidential conversations had been
revealed to others in the church. It hurt some but honestly I was so very,
very angry over this exposure. I sent them a letter and told them to cancel
their "little investigation" and remove me from membership immediately. In
the initial letter and the follow-up I got from the assistant pastor, they
justified their actions with scriptures. I could see where they were coming
from, but they went way, way too far. They risked exposing this to my
daughter when my ex-wife and I agreed and told them how we were going to
handle telling the kids and that was made plain to the assistant pastor.
Even something true can be turned, through gossip, into something very
hurtful for the hearers.
This has been a time of great heartache for myself and my family; a time of
doubt about many things that I have believed and held dear for much of my
life, especially in my relationship with the Lord. There has been much
confusion and disorientation. A disorientation that has left me drifting
spiritually and emotionally. Many days I just go through the motions. I
long to be with the man I love. He is very dear to me and our relationship
has gone through many strains at the same time I have been dealing with this
divorce (not related to the divorce though).
I hope things will start to clear as time goes by, but until then, I can
only hold to the truths of scripture. God's love, His forgiveness and that
whatever path I have chosen, God's grace is bigger than my sins and
mistakes. He will not let go of me and those that I love and hold dear.
Would I recommend this course of action to others? That is something I
cannot do. No one can! This kind of move in one's life can only be
determined prayerfully between the individual and his/her Lord. The
decision to stay in a marriage or long-term relationship must be prayerfully made and with a trust
that God will provide the grace to handle the situation for all effected by
the decision, because many people will be affected.
Do I have any regrets? I don't think so. This has not been an easy road to
travel. It is a road that one for sure needs the support of friends and
family. That has been minimal for me. I have started over again with my
social life. Most of the friends I had did not approve of what I have
done and that has put a rift between us. Things will change as time goes
by. A new life will emerge and new friendships will grow.
Copyright © 2004 by the author
All Rights Reserved
Back to the Table of Contents