I can hear the waves breaking a couple of yards from my toes. I can feel the sea breeze passing over my naked body. Since there were no other people on our small island, there was no need for clothing. As I doze I am vaguely aware of the calling of a passing gull. I can feel your breath on my neck. It is heavy, rhythmic, almost snoring. I can tell he has drifted off to sleep.
Half an hour ago we were in the water on our deserted beach. Either waist deep or chest deep in the sea depending the waves. Playing and splashing. Body surfing on the waves. Stopping every so often to embrace and kiss tenderly. Eventually, making love in the surf.
Now , exhausted, we were resting in each others arms.
Not long ago I would have thought this was only a fantasy. Now I am seeing the possibility more clearly. T has decided to hire two people in his office to help out. He thinks once they get up to speed, he will be able to take a vacation. I know we will do something together. I don't know if we will go to the beach, but I know where ever we are it will be special.
I am coming to the end of a long but good week. I said good buy to my parents this morning as they headed back north. K will be home late tomorrow night and things will start returning to normal.
After a week without her, I am having a new respect for single parents. Not that I was all by myself, my mom helped out a lot, but I think I got a taste of when single parents deal with. It confirms the decision for K and I to still remain in the house for the kids, even as we move on with other relationships.
Tonight I was able to see T. He came to my house. I was not able to get a sitter so the kids were all here. I made a home made New England style clam chowder for him (and myself) in addition to a turkey soup I made the night before (with my mothers help). After dinner he offered to take the kids out for ice cream. It was really nice of him.
I had planned ahead and rented 2 movies. One for the older kids and another for the younger ones. The older kids watched in their room and the younger ones in K's room (Well, someone one ought to be hanging out on that bed while she is gone.). With the kids distracted up stairs, T and I got to snuggle on the couch downstairs and watch a little TV just us. He rested his head on my shoulder and I just melted into him.
It was a quiet evening but a really nice one. What a great way to top off my vacations week.
Tomorrow I need to get ready to go back to work (I brought some homework), get the kids ready for school and get the house ready for K's return. We did not make much of a mess so that last thing should not take too long.
I have been so busy for the past week, I think I need a vacation from my vacation.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I had a pretty good one but it was different than usual.
This is the first Thanksgiving in almost 20 years that I have eaten turkey without K. She is on her cruise with AJ (and others). She has called a couple of time when the ship is in port to talk to me and the kids. She seems to be having a good time expect that AJ's daughter is getting on her nerves like a 15 year old girl will do.
When she called yesterday (on Thanksgiving) I talked to her after we passed the phone around to all the kids. I was clear she was crying. From her perspective she was all alone on the holiday. AJ had his daughter. The other couple she is traveling with had their children with them. Her family was home and she was 2000 miles away (in Panama actually)
I did not cry, but I do miss her.
Back in my house having my mother here really saved my bacon, or more accurately, my turkey. I am sure that if I was to be doing the cooking myself it would suck pretty bad. I also got a visit from my mom's brother and his wife. I like this aunt & uncle. I have not seen them in many years. In fact I think the last time I saw them, my daughter was not born yet.
With all the people at the table I had a house full of love and family. I was grateful for that. Especially since many gay men are estranged from their families. But there was one other notable absence that only I noticed...
T was not there. Not that I was expecting him, I knew couldn't come, but for me there was a empty place at my table. It's not like I was sad about it. I mean I was happy to have my family with me and I was happy to have T's love. I just wished he was with me, or I was with him.
For all my moaning and groaning, I am pretty happy and I know that I am blessed. I try not to lose sight of the blessings I have, as I work to achieve the life that I want.
My parents arrived yesterday and today the plan was that T would come to visit at my house. He offered to take my family out to dinner. He did not have to do that, but I knew we wanted to and my parents would think it was nice.
T showed up at the house just before we left for dinner, but before we left he was warm and friendly with my parents. Not that I expected anything else, but it was really nice to see. At dinner, my daughter sat between T and me. My dad sat on T's other side.
T and my dad talked a lot. My mom too. They only met him once before, so while they are really still strangers to each other, everyone seemed to be very comfortable. Part of my dreams came true tonight. I was sitting at the head of the table with my parent, my kids and my boyfriend. If you had told me 3 or 4 years ago would be there today, I NEVER would have believed it, but, here I am.
Watching T playing around with my daughter and talking to my parents, I think I fell in love with him again tonight.
This Thursday is Thanksgiving. I know what I am thankful for.
I think it is easy to lose sight of what you have. I think it is easy to want for more even though you would not trade for it anyway.
It's easy to say this guy is attractive (and he is) and have a fantasy about him. But would I trade what I have for him? No way!!!
My kids mean the world to me. They really do. I would not trade any of them on their worst day. Of my 4 kids, one has a pretty severe neurological disorder and another has seizures. As we deal with doctors, tests and the schools, it is easy to look at the "normal" kids and wish for kids that were more like everyone else. But I don't. My kids are my kids. You cannot change them out and even if I could, I wouldn't
My relationship with T is the same way. I have written before about my long term goals. I want to have a partner, ideally a husband, to share my life with. To be fully meshed into my life and my family. And I fully meshed into his.
I am deeply in love with T and he is in love with me. We are good together on so many levels, but there are challenges. Because of his family situation it will be difficult, maybe impossible for us to live together. We are making a concerted effort to make his family more comfortable with me and with our relationship. (Truth be told, he is working on it harder than I am). While I think we are moving in the right direction, there is no guarantee that I will get the one thing that I want.
There have been those who have told me that T may not be the right guy for me, if he cannot meet my needs. Maybe I need to find another. Look for someone without all these entanglements. One who can invest all, or at least most, of his time into us and our live together.
The truth is I love him. I cannot simply trade him in for a model with a single apartment and an estranged family. Even if someone was there, right in front of me, I would not take the prospect.
I even tried it once, before I fully learned my lesson. Remember my trip out west at the end of last April? I thought I was going to make a love connection with a man who was willing to drop everything to be with me. So what happened? I ended up making a good friend, but I did not make a love connection. But why did I not? It was not because my friend was not a good man, or that we did not have a lot in common. It was not that he was not attractive or that we did not connect. But it was because my heart was not for him. My heart was for T and T alone.
I could not simply swap T's place in my heart for someone else. It just does not work that way.
T is not perfect and I am a LONG way from perfect. But together I think we are really good to each other and for each other. I am not interested in trading him in for Peter Le (the model in the picture above) or anyone else.
In the end, we WILL find our way. We will find it together.
I do not feel as depressed as my post from yesterday made me sound. In general, I'm doing pretty well, but there are times, flashes of things that trigger memories about things that make me think about the past or the future.
There was a time when I would think about the past in a regretful, what if, kind of way. That is over now. Now when memories of the past come up I can allow myself to smile and remember them as good times. Even the bad times K and I had, can be remembered as good times because we got through them together. Now I am sure if something bad happens again, we will be there for each other. In some ways now it might even be better since she will also have AJ to lean on with her problems and I will have T to lean on for mine.
When I get flashes of the future, I still sometime (only sometimes) I still morn the plans I had for my life that are no more. I think it is more a matter of my future not being clear. While in the closet, my path in life was clear. I could see all the way to the end. It was a fairly typical path. You know the one from the Norman Rockwell painting.
It's not so much that I am morning the loss of the vision itself. After all, I do know that even though unconventional my family will continue and I will be a larger part of the than most divorced dads.
I think it is more the clarity that I used to have is gone. I like stability and I like knowing where I am going. I don't like uncertainty and I have more of than I like.
I spent so many years building my old dreams and because my new dreams are not fully formed, it sometimes causes me a measure of sadness.
All that said, I have many blessings that add much of the stability I crave.
I have great kids, who I hope will still love me as much when they find out I'm gay.
I have the best, best friend (and the mother of my kids) and she loves me while she is falling in love with her new man.
I have a family that supports me even though they are far away
and mostly, I have a man who I have fallen deeply in love with and he is in love with me. Our relationship continues to grow and I am, pleased with the direction it is moving.
Early this morning K left fer her cruise. I wish I was going on a cruise, but, oh well. On the one hand I am happy for her. She has been working really hard and deserves the break. On another hand I am sad. It is yet another reminder that I can never go back my old life.
My Blogger friend Cameron (http://ifidotherightthing.blogspot.com) is having a hard time right now because he is realizing that his marriage may be beyond repair. Of course, I have know that about my own for a long time, but sometimes it's easy to forget. After all, while K and I no longer share a bed, we still live together. We do things with the kids as a family. We LIKE each other. So it is easy to sometimes pretend that that I still have a "normal" life.
Another thing is, K and I are sill near constant companions. Because we share the same house we are often here are the same time. We are not always together, she spends a lot of time in her room working on school work, but the fact that there is someone else in the house is comforting. Her leaving on the cruise without me means that I am alone in the house and I don't really like it.
One day the day will come when I will have to move out of the house, or she will. Either way, I will be home alone and I do not think I will like it much. I realize this is something I will have to eventually get used to, but not today.
This is the Carnival Freedom. It is 110,000 tons of diesel powered fun that is currently plying the Western Caribbean Sea. (Carnival Splendor is the one that broke down last week.) Next Saturday at 6pm when she sets sail again, K will be on board (yes, the week of Thanksgiving). She will be with AJ, his daughter, another couple and their 2 teen-aged kids. K, AJ and his daughter will all be sharing a cabin, so that will surly take the "love" out of the love boat trip. Today and this week she is stressing out about all the things she had to do before she leaves on her trip. I am working hard to ignore it, but it is starting to stress me out too. I am just getting anxious for her to be gone.
Some might think that I should be jealous of her going. She is talking an 8 day cruise and I got a bunch of crap when I wanted to take a weekend over Labor day. But I am not. I am glad for her. She has been working hard and she deserves to have some time for herself. Really, this is the first time she had had on her own since we decided the marriage was over.
Would I like to go on a cruise? Of course. T and I have talked about taking a gay cruise. They tend to be expensive which might be a problem for me, but I think T would probably help me pay for it. The real hurdle is time. T's business depends on his personal attention and at the moment he does not have the staff to take care of things for even a couple of days, never mind a week. And he is scared to close for a week for fear of losing customers. He is trying to hire, but because he needs a specialized skill, it is not as easy as you might expect in today economy.
Y'all remember my mom and dad, right? They will be coming for Thanksgiving. When K asked the kids if it was OK for her to be gone for Thanksgiving, the only questions they asked was, "Is dad going to make Thanksgiving dinner?" Apparently, my cooking is not up to their snooty standards.
We fixed that problem but inviting my parents to come for a visit. I am not expecting my mother to cook while she is here, but I think she will at least guide me. If I totally screw up, the people in the house next door own one of the Chinese take out places in town. I know they will be open.
Anyway, me and the kids are very happy about my parents being here for the week. We have not seen them since the week of July 4th when we drove up to their house. And even that week we did not see them as much as they would have liked since we spent so much time at the beach. I have taken most of the week off from work so I will have lots of time to spend with them and the kids. I am really looking forward to it.
It will make it almost impossible for me to go out and see T during this time, but T has promised to come here to visit with me at least once, probably twice. He has offered to take my family out to lunch or dinner too, which I thought was nice.
I won't get any alone time with him this weekend or next week but I can think about it and dream.
T and I have been together for the past two nights. While the flavor of the two evenings was
different, the feelings in my heart were the same.
On Friday night we hung out at his house. He works on Saturday and typically brings home a couple of boxes of files to work on. It is difficult for him to go out on Fridays because the
paperwork needs to get done before he can go to bed. When I go to his house on Fridays, the
evening usually is me and him on the couch with the TV on. He works and I sit
next to him flipping channels. I know that probably sounds boring to some people, but I love
it. I am happy doing things with T. I am
equally happy doing nothing with T. What
matters is, I am with T.
Saturday I picked him up at his house and we went out to
dinner. After dinner we did some other stuff. I'd tell you about it, but this
is not that kind of blog.
As we talked, I took note of the good place we are in. My family is OK. K is OK, and for the most part I am OK. T and I get to see each other more than ever before. His, very traditional family, is growing more and more comfortable with me and our relationship.
As good a place as we are in, I see it as a transitional state. At some point I still want the one thing that I want. I want a partner, a husband. Of course this is more than T can commit to at this point. It's not like I can leave K and the kids and move in with him today either. But I can see the time when I can. I know that I will get there. There is a clear path to where I want to go.
While I want my partner, I don't want just anyone. T is the one I want. The more we are together, the more sure I am.
"You are greedy" is what he told me last night. I pretended to ignore the comment, because I didn't really know what to say. I filed it away for further reflection. Now almost 24 hours later I have had a chance to think about it some more. Am I greedy? Do I want everything? Why can't I enjoy today without worrying about tomorrow? I have a boyfriend that loves me. There are so many gay men who don't even have that.
I think that he brings up a good point and I think I need to explore it more. I think that sometimes my anticipation of what is to come will sometimes limit the enjoyment I get from whatever I am doing now. As for my future, I think that I am not completely comfortable with where I am headed. There is still the possibility that I will end up alone, even if T and I are still together.
I will poke around this topic a little more and let you know if I have any epiphanies.
Near where I live there is a large lake. It is really large. It is just over 50 square miles. There is a group of gay people that get together once a month at bars or restaurants near the lake. That call these events "Take the Lake" and they are open to the public. There was one tonight.
I know there are lot of gay people who work at my company, who go, including my direct supervisor. So far this year I have not had the opportunity to go. Mostly because of K's schedule and my need to be home with the kids.
Tonight I had it all lined up. K was going to be home and I was free to go. As you might expect I was a little nervous about it. If I show up there I would be all but coming out at work.
I talked about it with T and he encouraged me to go. I was thinking that it would be nice if he would have come with me, but he had work to do and I really did not give him enough notice. Besides it was probably something that I needed to do on my own, at least the first time.
Yesterday and today had something in common at my job. I was in back to back meetings virtually all day, both days. At the end of they day today, I was spent and not feeling particularly social. Originally my plan was to hit the gym right after work and then head to the bar after a shower. But I got out of work just about an hour and a half later than I expected. By this time I was cranky as hell and really did not want to see anyone I work with in a bar. Add drinking to that I can see a scenario where I might say something that might get me fired the next day.
So I didn't go. I did however put my time to good use. I walked 70 min on the treadmill (about 4.3 miles). I think working out helped with some of my stress. I will try again next month.
I am so fucking angry I can barely see straight to type this.
K works for a church. A United Methodist church. The pastor knows we are getting a divorce and he (and only he) knows that I am gay. On both counts he is supportive. K has told a hand full of others in the church that we are separating, but not that I am gay. They know that we are still best friends and we will continue to raise the kids together.
Today K found out there are rumors going around the church about her and our family situation. Who of these good Christians is spreading these rumors. The piano player. Not one of the people K has told anything.
Now if she was spreading rumors that K and I are separating, we could live with that because it is the truth. But the shit she is saying is just that, SHIT. K found out today that:
We are separating because she cheated on me. (Depending on who is telling the story, I caught her in bed with another man).
She is sleeping around with several other men.
She is neglecting the kids, constantly leaving them with sitters so she can have her sexual encounters
She is so distracted by her "situation" that she cannot focus on her work at the church.
She is taking a romantic vacation and abandoning her family for the holiday (this is partially true)
The only part this that is true is the vacation over Thanksgiving week. It won't exactly be romantic, because she will be going with 7 other people (including 3 teenagers). She will also be sharing a cabin with AJ and his daughter, so I think that will put a damper on any romance. And she is not abandoning me or the kids. Hell, I even paid for half her ticket.
Now it seems people are believing this. It's really screwed up because I attend church with her most every week. I help her with the activities that she is responsible for. If I was the spurned husband that was cheated on, why would I do that?
I can understand that if someone gets a hold of a juicy bit of gossip there is a need to share it. I don't like it, but I understand why people do that. I don't understand why someone would make up crazy lies and spread them. I just don't get it.
I am not this fat, but I used to be. Well, not really, but I was pretty fat.
Back in the spring of 2007, my grandfather passed away. He was 96. I drove about 1200 miles for his funeral and during that time I made a very unsettling discovery. I was the fattest guy in my family. And there was a LOT of family there that day.
When I for home from that trip I started a serious diet plan. I also was at the YMCA every morning before work. Over the course of the next 8 months I lost 50 pounds. I was doing great. My goal was be around 180 pounds. The closest I got was 195.
I liked being thiner. I thought it was cool that I could look down in the shower and see my... er... you know... my parts... Any who.... I loved the way people, who were used to seeing me fat, reacted to the thinner new me. Just like on the Biggest Loser!!
So I got myself to a place where I was working out about 5 or 6 days a week before work. Sometimes, if I could swing it, I would also go back in the afternoon with K and kids.
I wanted to look like this, but once I got below 200 pounds I started to think I was "Joe Weightloss" and it would be OK if I would indulge and overeat sometimes. I would figure I would make it up the next day. Before I knew it I would be over eating my work out and I would start putting on the weight again.
The my older son started a new school, 2 years ago and I had to drive him to school every day. This put an end to my before work work outs. That only lasted on year and he is back in a school where he gets a bus so while I can't use that as an excuse anymore, it is what got me off track to begin with.
Now I am at a point where it is hard for me to walk up more than one flight of stairs without feeling winded. So I have the double whammy of having put on the weight back on and I have lost all the endurance gains I made with all that working out.
When I was seeing a therapist, she suggested that my over eating and lack of exercise has it's root in how I felt about myself. She mentioned that she thought since I was so deep in the closet that I was taking comfort in food and did not really care what it was doing to my body. I did not love myself enough to care care of my body.
I am, mostly, out of the closet now. I have a boyfriend that I am in love with. K is happy and my kids are pretty well adjusted. I expect when they find out I am gay, they will continue to be well adjusted. I still get lonely and I wish that I could be with T more, but on balance, I am pretty happy. My life is pretty good. So why have I continued to put on the weight. Well for one I really like to eat. It is one of the things that gives me joy all the time, except after I eat it when I feel guilty. (yes, I know, classic addiction behavior)
That started to change yesterday. With K's high school sports season over, I went to the YMCA yesterday after work. I mean it this time. I have had enough of being tired all the time. I had a really hard work out that 3 years I would have done in my sleep. I did not like the way I looked in the mirrors. I am really going to do something about this. I am going to fix it.
I did not get to the Y today but after I post this, I will put the kids to bed and then walk outside for an hour listening the podcast of Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
I have been swamped all week, I have not had anytime to update the blog. Some of that is good news. I have been to see T three times this week. I am not exactly sure, but that might be the most number of times in a week in the two and a half years we have been seeing each other.
K has finished her High School coaching season. She finished 4th in the state tournament. The best record the school has ever had. I'm glad for her, but I am also glad that season is over. She does start another season next week that will run to April, but it is only 2 days a week and some Saturdays. That's not so bad. I can still have some time for me.
This week I had more time for me than I've had in a long time.
I called T at the spur of the moment on Wednesday and Friday this week, when I turned out I had some extra time. Both times he was happy to have me come down. Both times I had dinner with the family. On Friday, I picked him up at his office and we met his family at a restaurant. While were were there I decided that they had all been so nice and generous to me, I would pay for the meal. Not that it was a big deal, but it was a way of saying thank you.
After dinner I went back to his house and we watched TV while sitting together on the couch. It was nice. Better than nice, really. More like a dream come true. I mean, if you had told me 3 years ago that K would be OK and I could be snuggling in front of the TV with a man I am in love with, I would have laughed at you. As crazy as it seemed at the time, it is the situation I find myself.
But there are times when I think about my old life, I get a little sad. This is where my apparent brain damage comes in.
Last night I was back at T's house. We moved a bunch of his plants inside because it was going to be cold last night. Then they fed me (I always seem to show up there at meal time.) and T and I were to snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie from his sister's vast collection. A perfect evening right? I was feeling a little sad. It was stupid and irrational but I was.
While I was gone, K was having AJ and another couple over at our house. The 2 couples were going to play cards. That was when I felt a twinge of sadness. It was not a lot, and it did not last long, but it was enough that I stopped and thought about it
Growing up, my parent would sometimes get together with other couples (friends or relatives) and play cards. For hours it seemed. Once K and I got married we would sometimes play with my parents. When we moved away from home we would play with other friends we met here. I really liked those games. In those moments I felt connected. I did not think about being gay. Things were normal then.
Now, I don't want anyone to think I was not happy being with T last night, I was. I did not want to be anywhere other than where I was, holding the man I love. I think it was more a reminder of the transition from my old life to my new life. And since my old life was not so bad, there are still some elements of loss. I am grateful that I was able to sooth that sense of loss by holding T tightly and basking in his love.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
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