Saturday, October 27, 2012

Be Careful What You Ask For

For years now, as I write this blog, I have whined and gone on and on about my strong desire to have a man -- a boyfriend -- a partner -- a husband.  However you want to describe it.   So, back in late September, a man -- very close to my age, contacted me through one of those silly telephone apps on my IPhone.  One thing has led to another and I now find myself on the verge of a new adventure.  

And I am frightened.

Can you believe it?

You might be wondering what it is that has me so fearful.  Well, I guess when I think about it I see the ghosts of my previous relationships.  Namely that pesky longterm one I had with Lovey and you all know how successful that one turned out.

This man is a gentle spirit.  He is a giver.  He is sensitive.  He is so talented.  He travels in circles...and has many friends and I kind of shake my head and think sometimes that he is way out of my league.  He's been married twice.  His second wife was a minister in the United Methodist Church and graduated from the seminary that Lovey had worked at for so long.  

Our lives have tracked very closely on very similar paths...parallel through the years, until they finally intersected on September 26, 2012.

We like the same things.  He has no children.  I am only a few weeks older.  

And here we are.  I just don't want to do something wrong.  I feel such pressure.  

But there is another thing that bothers me.  

All the years I have searched for a special man....I spent a lot of time playing the field.  I know what I like.  I know the types of men I like.  I've been insatiable.  So, I question myself and wonder if I can really be monogamous...or will I suffer from what a lot of other gay men do.  

The desire for an open relationship.  Can I focus now on just one person?  (I think I can.)

Can I be faithful? (I think I can.)

Can I let my defenses down and learn to trust another human being after that terrible time period with Lovey?  When things I told her in private, suddenly became public knowledge for all to know and some of it was even used against me?  (I think I can.)

Can I let myself go and truly love again?  (I think I can.)

But I am afraid.  

Afraid of failure.

Afraid of commitment.

Afraid of being a disappointment.

Afraid of him and his circle being "out of my league."

What if I don't fit in?

What if I am not liked by "them?"

What if my kids don't like him? 

What if he does not like my kids?

What if his extended family do not like me?

I guess I will never know.

Unless I give it my best shot.

Thanks for your thoughts!

I have always loved the paintings of the late artist Steve Walker.  I found this video on YOU TUBE and thought I would share.  It speaks to me on so many levels.

Serious Reflection on My Experience

It has been a totally interesting week.

Last weekend I attended a men's retreat in Washington, DC at a really super hotel -- blocks away from the White House.  These are men who, for the most part, are still married to their wives, but are dealing with the revelation that they have determined they are gay or bisexual.  The majority of these men have told their wives of their desires or experiences and each man is working to navigate the appropriate path that works for them and their wife.

Now, I should caution each of you to remember that just because a group of 40 gay men gather together in a hotel for an official meeting that this is not some mass orgy of writhing flesh.  Cardinal rule #1 in being gay is that just because you know another gay man, it does not mean that automatically you are going to be bumping booties with him.

Sorry to say -- a lot of straight wives automatically "run there" when their husbands decide they want to attend one of these functions.

The Saturday session was emotionally draining for me.  I heard a number of what I consider to be horror stories.  I heard how some guys have been diagnosed with clinical depression.  It takes quite a bit of effort for them to motivate themselves to remain married.  The guys who are nagged to death and not permitted to have any male friends whatsoever because the spouse automatically expects that some sort of screwing around is taking place.

There are the spouses that start up another honeymoon period post disclosure as if sudden interest in straight sex will somehow purge the gay guy's mind of sex with his own gender.  This appears to quickly wane.

I remember back in the day when I was together with Lovey, I was always afraid to have friends.  I was afraid that Lovey would think that the only reason I was friends with someone was because I was trying to get inside his pants.  The best way to describe this is "guilt by association."

And I managed to sit through the stories for many hours on Saturday.  It became my turn soon to share my journey.  Although I must say mine has been painful -- added to that are the terminal illnesses of my parents and their subsequent deaths....and then I was forced to deal with that aftermath, at least now I can say I have seemingly emerged from the other side of that very dark tunnel.  While sharing though, it was as if I was back there again...circa 2005....feeling all the angst....unsurety....and depression all over again.

I was drained...and depressed.  It lasted until Monday or Tuesday.

While it was a good visit with my friends within the group, I must confess that I had an unexpected blessing to occur.  As I spoke to the men I mentioned writing this blog...and how I found it to be quite useful in dealing with the crumbling marriage.

At break, I had a man come up to me and say, "Frank, I heard you say that you write a blog.  Which one?  I told him OUT OF THE ASHES.

The man fell apart and cried....and told me that I would never know how much this blog had helped him in his journey!  I was shocked and blessed to know that my whining and feeling sorry for myself had somehow been a blessing to him...and that he felt it was quite useful.  I told him that I came to a point that I thought I might end it...and that of late there have been man slow periods...but it provided such good documentation on my journey, that I had decided to keep writing...and to leave the almost 900 posts intact.

So, I suppose I still have several new stories to tell.  I guess I will continue writing.

Hopefully you will continue to read this.

Monday, October 22, 2012


It is Monday evening. This weekend I attended a gathering of married men who are married to women but either identify as gay or bisexual. It was a great group meeting. Almost 40 men were there. We got to socialize and become reacquainted. I got to spend time with guys I had not seen in 7 years. I also made a series of new friends. This was an awesome group. At the Saturday main session, each man was given the opportunity to share his story and his current situation. I was very moved by the other men. Some of them had really bad stories to tell. But when it came to me and I began summarizing my story, I suddenly found my mood had sunk to the levels of depression that I had experienced routinely circa 2005 or 2006 -- about the time I started this blog. I made it through my description. But I succeeded in spending the rest of my weekend and the majority of the day today has been in a very deep funk. It has been a long time since I have been to that place of profound sadness and depression. It was so bad hat I was bored at the local strip club I took a group of these men to. They had an exciting time....watching the young guys shaking all their kibbles and bits in their faces. But I was unmoved. It just seemed all so shallow to me. One of the men who came to the club with me was in his early 80s. He had a great time. He took his shirt off. He then touched the strippers in their permissable way....nothing above the knee or below the navel. But when he was running around the place and touching the men and seemingly in an almost religious trance, I could not help but notice that the guys were there to provide entertainment. But there was no special bond or connection that could lead to a relationship or intimacy. I suppose that I am now at the age where this is important to me. I suppose this is where my funk came in. All these men were like kids in a candy store over the weekend. They were gleeful about being away from home to be "gay for the weekend." What I think is that there is so much more to being gay than just looking at men 24/7. There is a whole lot more to me and to living than just being gay.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Is This Love?

Well, Alex and I are officially "dating." This is from his lips to my ears. We both are taking this very slow. But it feels so very good to be in his presence. I feel comforted. I feel safe. The feelings are all there. They are quite strong. I daydream about him. I light up when I see he is calling me. The time flies when I am in his presence. We marvel at how close our lives have tracked. We are the same age. We have been married to women. We were married to female Methodist ministers. We have so much in common it's a bit spooky. It feels like we have known each other forever. Yup...I think this is love.

Columbus Day

Happy Columbus Day you all. As I write this entry, I am sitting in the waiting room at a hospital. This is because I brought my daughter in law to have some really serious nasal surgery done. (She has no they are going to be built.) So, I thought I would use this time to write an update on all things Frank. It has been quite a busy year. My son got married. He was deployed to Afghanistan, where he currently is. My grandson arrived on the first year anniversary of my father's death. The hous in WV was emptied. We had a massive estate sale. The renovations were done. The house got rented. And now, I have met someone who could very well be the ONE. So 2012 has certainly been a very busy and interesting year. From a gay perspective, I have become a lot more settled with things. I am a lot more relaxed. I've come out to a few people...including to my daughter in law. I've experienced nothing negative or any negative response in the least. So far, life is good.