Monday, March 24, 2008


Having freed myself from the pressures of shame, I no longer felt trapped. I wasn’t trying endlessly to prove myself worthy of love. However, I wasn’t quite convinced that I had worth that didn’t rely on my actions. Essentially, I needed to test out the assumption that my self worth was not dependent on what I did.

To make a long story short, (and I WILL NOT tell it in its full length) I acted out with another man.

The long part of the story that I am willing to share is the aftermath. The next morning I felt awful about having cheated on my wife. So I told her what I had done. Watching her reaction is something I never want to experience again. To see her pain and anguish over the betrayal and feeling her pain to a small degree was almost more than I could bear. She did assure me that she loved me and still wanted to be with me. Sill, that afternoon and night were long and painful.

I realized something in that time, though. What I had experienced with the other guy simply wasn’t worth the misery it put me through. My wife and I have come up with an analogy that we feel fits the situation pretty well.

She compared my emotional self to my physical body. She said that emotionally I have grown up with out a leg. That leg is feeling the closeness and love of another male. I got to feel what it was like to have that leg for a few hours. But that brought me to a decision. The leg was whole and I knew what that felt like, and honestly, it was amazing. However, I found out in no uncertain terms that I could have the leg only at the expense of everything else important in my life: my relationship with my wife, my hope of a future family, my relationship with my parents, my horses, my relationship with God. I could have one or the rest, but not both.

I didn’t want to cut off the leg that I had waited so long to get, but I wanted to keep everything else. The decision was which did I want to keep more?

If the choice was between everything else and living without the leg, I wasn’t sure. I was almost ready to just give up and not have to make a decision. However, that would have been a decision in itself and an irreversible one at that. Then my wife pointed out that I could have a prosthetic. It couldn’t be put on the stub immediately. I had to give the process some time, but if I was patient, I could have appropriate relationships with other men. Would they ever be quite what the real leg was? Maybe not, but I could still get by pretty well.

With that hope, I made my decision and cut off the leg to save the body. I called my new bishop and started the process of repentance which included being disfellowshipped.

A number of blessings have come into my life since that weekend. One is that my motivation to keep the commandments has been recreated. This time it has nothing to do with shame. This time it is about knowing what will truly bring me happiness in this life and in the life to come. It is in knowing that the Savior has suffered for me and that He and my Heavenly Father still do love me. That love and my worth to them is not at all dependent on my actions. If I want to be truly happy there are some guidelines that they have outlined to bring additional happiness into my life and I can follow them. Following or not following the commandments, however, does not affect the way they love me. I can choose for myself what I want to do, and I choose the path that will bring me the most happiness.

The next blessing came piece by piece as I prayed for the guidance of the spirit and for knowledge of how to obtain forgiveness and happiness in this life.


Parallel Mormon said...


Whoa. That is pretty scary stuff.

I know I have not introduced myself, but I am a faithful (having a testimony, trying to grow spiritually daily, no other pretenses) Latter-day Saint. I am married, I have a little girl, the God, the Lord, my wife and daughter mean everything to me...and I have SSA.

If you read my posts, I went through a huge explosion of "genuine" sexual passion for my wife late last year.

I have not posted for a while, mainly because of work, but also because I came to terms with my deep love of the scriptures and languages, and so I'm studying the scriptures passionately daily. I mean to say, I realized that if I had my way, I'd read those books endlessly until the end of time. So I'm enjoying them like never before. A good thing I hope.

I would agree, though, that there are plateaux, and sexually I'm on one. It would be like I am asexual, able to be aroused by men, but avoiding temptation (trying all the time to, at least), no sexual expression whatsoever (as a guy, I'm sure you get my drift), certainly no sexual passion, a sexual oblivion, but I've decided to be faithful.

In the past I worried that I would lose the ability, and so I came to believe that a SSA arousal was a way of keeping part of me alive. But I have found courage in the scriptures to be faithful no matter what.

So if I am destined to a dry spell, an asexual plateau, I'll accept it as a period to work on tenderness, friendship (with my wife), understanding, patience, etc. When the feelings come back, and I believe they will, then I'll have another October 2007.

You and I face real challenges.

I too must do with a prosthetic. Fortunately, my (and your)testimony is that window to the future that lets us know now that we will rejoice in our decision then--we will someday know that we did the right thing, and it was worth it. We will have it all.

You're not the only guy who struggles. I'm sorry you strayed, because I can imagine how that hurts, but I'm glad you came clean, because I know the Atonement makes real change possible.

Embrace good people (your wife predominantly if not exclusively) and good things (service, scriptures, prayer) to avoid the bad.

I'll be honest, what scares me for you is that you liked the tryst.

Our challenge as men is rising above penile stimulation as the pinnacle of happiness. As guys, we'll through everything away for a boink fest. So you need to embrace a good person and good things to avoid the pitfall again.

I'm rooting for you.


Nathan said...

That's a sobering experience. The analogy makes sense. I wonder, though, if you'd mind if I try tweaking the analogy.

You grew up without a leg (strong connections and relationships with men). Someone comes along and offers you a prosthetic (a same-sex relationship). You tried it on and felt the exhiliration of standing, running, etc., for the first time. But the prosthetic caused problems with everything else you held dear.

So you got rid of the prosthetic, not only because it caused so many problems in other areas, but also because it's not the real thing. You said in another post, "The only picture of happiness I could see was one that Satan had created, that of an intimate and sexual relationship with another man. ... What I need is real connection with other men, and I know how to get that."

That's having real leg---true friendship with other males. Same-sex relationships is the prosthetic---it feels great to run for a few steps, but it falls apart. The answer is to get by with a crutch for now while your real leg regrows---by developing true connections with other men. A crutch isn't as convenient as a prosthetic, but it gives your leg room to heal and grow into the real thing.

Just my two cents---hope you didn't mind.