Thursday, April 21, 2011

Finding God?

I went to visit my friend Shawn tonight.  Remember him?  I wrote about him a while back (here) and tonight he was a changed man.  In the past my conversations with him had been pretty superficial.  We talked about our kids, his ex, K, my relationship with T, and his exploits.  Tonight, was different.  When I went over there I intended to stay about an hour, but I ended up staying almost 2 and a half.

Here is some back ground you need to know.

  • When I met Shawn, he had been married to his second wife for 10 years.  His first wife died after the birth of his first child.
  • When he was married to his second wife he cheated on her with men.
  • Before his divorce, we (K and I) often invited him over to the house for BBQ and card games.  Our kids play with each other.
  • He is (or claims to be) deeply religious, reading the Bible every day.
  • About 2 years ago he went to a "men's retreat" and came cback from that deciding he was not going to be gay any more.
  • He is 36 years old.
  • His best friends is a gay man, married to a woman (with 2 daughters)
So when I arrived at his house he was watching TV and I sat and watch with him.  He was pretty quiet.  At the next commercial, he turned to me told me he was not gay any more.  He was stopping.  He even acknowledged how silly that sounded.

Over the next 2 hours we talked about how he prayed and he things God told him that he could not be gay.  He told his kids we was going to stop being gay.  He told me how when he met with the all the men he had, he always felt guilty.  In fact, the few relationship he was able to make, he also was unable to square his being with men with his religious beliefs.  he also talked about wanting the recapture what he had (or thought he had) with his first wife.

I talked about my experience, some of which he already knew and a lot he didn't.  Once of the things I shared with him is how when I was meeting men before (with K's permission) I also enjoyed the "act" and the intensity of the release, but as soon at that was over, I felt terrible.  Even though I was not cheating (i.e. lying to K) I was unfulfilled and felt cheap & dirty.  I felt that way every singly time I was hooked up with a man.

That is until I met T.  When I am with him I feel the excitement, intensity and intimacy, in fact is it much stronger than I have ever felt before.  What I do not feel with T is shame or guilt of any kind.  When the "main event" is over with other men, all I wanted to do was leave as quickly as I could.  With T, all I want to do is snuggle in his arms.

I told Shawn that if he located the right man, one whom he really click with and really falls IN LOVE with, he might feel differently.

I sincerely wish him well.  I really want him to be happy.  I knew I was not going to be able to change his mind.  I told him I would be supportive, but in the end, I think that he will not be able to "stop being gay".  I think in the end he will end up back in homo-town, but when he does, I suspect he will be more broken than he is now.


Mack said...

I've not commented on your blog before, that I can recall, but I read from time to time.

This kind of thing really bothers me. I think you're absolutely right. It has to do with a level of fulfillment, not the wrongness. And, since when is God going to cure someone of the way they are born?

You're also right that he will end up struggling with it again and again. Nobody ever was "cured" of being gay. They just learn to suppress what's natural to them until it blows up again in a few years.

Paul said...

I really feel for Shawn. I think it is possible if he really is bisexual to forget the gay side of himself if he finds the right woman. But a lot depends on him and how strong he is. Religious beliefs, family and general society is very motivating, but it really has to come from within, with who he really thinks he is. You are being a very supportive friend, despite your skepticism.

Anonymous said...

Because I have experienced this issue personally, I agree with you about Shawn, in general. He needs to learn to love and accept himself. Since Shawn is a believer, he should also learn that God made him exactly the way God wanted him to be and that God loves him as he is. He has no right to argue with God.

Having gratuitous sex with anyone (male or female) may give him the same reaction. Some people even feel guilty for masturbating because it does not serve a purpose or move you toward your goal of a LTR.

Seems like Shawn needs to skip the shallow sex and find someone worthy of developing a relationship with (and develop that relationship before jumping into bed). Same goes for anyone looking for a LTR. One-night stands go against what he is looking for and makes him feel lessened. It's not that complicated really.

If your goal is six-pack abs, you will always feel bad after eating that chocolate covered, cream-filled eclair....

Jason_M said...

It would be great if Shawn could explore a little among different Christian denominations. Although it is really common certain believers to accept this kind of directly talking to God, I personally feel that it is theologically wrong (but what do I know) and a way of exercising control (but see last parenthetical phrase). How do you distinguish the "voice of God" from the voice of societal norm, superego, etc? I think Paul has it right. Thanks for sharing this poignant story.