Thursday, February 25, 2010

Follow the Instructions

I remember when my son was born being totally overwhelmed with how life changing having a child was, I was young, a mere 25 years old, when asking our prenatal teacher why she had not warned us how hard it would all be, she responded "nothing I could have told you would have prepared you." I find that with most gay men, the journey and exploration of their sexuality is all to often just as daunting if not more so. Just like having kids, when one goes on the journey of understanding not only their sexuality, but who they are, there is no instruction manual that comes along with it. It becomes very much a path of self discovery, usually dotted with both amazing and painful experiences, but like the saying goes "what does not kill us makes us stronger."

Initially a big part of the exploring of my sexuality was coupled with me looking for affirmation. Affirmation is an unusual desire and I dare anyone to tell that it is something they do not hunger for. I have always realized that it is not affirmation alone that is important, but rather the people from whom that affirmation comes from. I have found though that the gay world seems to find affirmation not in the quality of the connections that they make with people, but rather with the number of people that they feel the can have, even conquer, as if it is some sort of brag book. I think in this lies a huge flaw, because in life all we can really leave behind that is truly meaningful and enduring are those relationships, the paths that we have crossed and most importantly the lives we have been able impact.

For me, I always went into this journey with both my eyes and my heart open. I knew that this would never be a journey in which my answers to who I am would be found merely inside of other's bedrooms, and so for me this was always about my sexuality and not just sex alone. It is only now that I find myself elevating out of the depression, pain and trauma that I have found myself feeling over the past months and in particular last few weeks, that i can properly see how low I actually felt. I found myself becoming the prize in a tug of war competition between my ex boyfriend and my wife. Whilst both of them knew the life that they wanted with me, they seemed to forget about what it is I wanted. I often thought that it was I who was selfish, but I see now that for both of them, my journey diverted from me being able to explore my sexuality, to a situation where their need for me in their lives superseded and diminished my ability to evolve and explore myself, all the while the expectations on me became overly demanding. My energy was being sapped, the need for me to manage their ever vacillating moods meant very little was left for the ebb and flow of my emotions

I allowed myself to become vulnerable, and it is in this vulnerability that i was being directed with subtle plays on my emotions and even my pain. I can't remember when the choice that I was being asked to make stopped from being a choice based on my sexuality or a search for fulfilment, but somewhere along the way it had become a choice between two people and neither of them was making it any easier for me. I thought I would never be able to successfully make a decision, but choose I have, but the irony lies in the fact that I have chosen myself. For the first time I have begun to accept my sexuality, I have come to the realisation that my sexuality does not necessarily define me. No matter how much I try and wish it away, I have come to terms with knowing that such thoughts are futile, because I know my worth and my sexuality alone does not in anyway diminish that.

I do not know what the future holds for me, I resigned myself along time ago to the fact that trying to predict the future is outside of my abilities, all I can do is focus on evolving, moving forward and ensuring that I do so in the most caring and respectful manner, all the while mindful of my family and those sharing my journey with me. As turbulent as this road has been, not once have I regretted being on it. There are things I would have changed or done differently and I do wish I had done it earlier in my life, but I am loving learning that it is never to late. So I am allowing myself to not only grow, but I am enjoying being able to be me, without the lies, repression or weight of denying myself. I have a long road to still travel, but I am resolved, I am motivated and I am confident that ultimately I will emerge wiser, fuller and happier than I ever could have been simply ignoring such a huge part of my construct.

Not only have I come to accept my sexuality, but I am learning how to forgive and to stop judging my mistakes, because I have been able to recognize my errors of the past and I am endeavouring to rectify them and ensuring that I do not continue to make them going forward. In life the only teacher is in the right and the wrong that we do, but it is our responsibility to ensure that we learn from those lessons. So whilst I have come to accept that there is no instruction manual for life, I am beginning to discover that for my children I can no longer worry about what it is that they choose to do in life, but rather encourage who it is that they choose to be as people.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Can See Clearly Now the Tears are Gone..

As a child, it took me a long time to mature emotionally, whilst I enjoyed living in the confounds of the security of a "bubble" that I controlled, I seldom found myself crying other than when I was removed from the safety of that "bubble".
I remember going to watch the movie E.T. and at the end of it my parents asked me why I never cried, to which I responded, "because no one told me when to." I find myself again in a place where I feel like it is difficult for me to cry, at first it bothered me, but now i have come to accept that it might just be best for me right now.

This morning I went for breakfast with my gorgeous little daughter, she enjoys an access to my heart that no one else possesses and I think she knows it as well. We have always shared a unique bond and all to often even in her youth she expresses a maturity and a knowing of what I need and when I need it. To me she is my little Princess and that is probably because she knows how to make me feel like a King. My morning with her seemed to give me perspective and although I have always been what I believe to be a good Dad, somehow this morning with her measuring the size of her fingers against mine, I came to realize that in my hand I was holding her whole world and in that it reminded me of my responsibility.

The other day I met someone who seems to know exactly what it is that they want, but what intrigued me is not that he knew what it is he wants as much as his ability and drive to go and get it. For the first time in a long time, I have been able to let go of the emotion and turmoil that has seemed to paralyse me. In the last few days i have released so much of the external pulls that were making my decisions impossible to resolve. I am freeing my life of complications and I am excluding the drama, so as to enable myself to see clearly and allow myself the ability to not only continue my drive for what it is I am searching for, but to also ensure that i have clarity as to what it is I want out of my life. I was told that in discipline lies freedom, I guess I am creating the freedom in order to allow me discipline within my life.

I am gaining an understanding as to what is definitive in my life, and my role as father will always be on the top of that list. I am resolved in the fact that my role as Dad is non negotiable, but in that it also does not mean that it excludes the ability and even a responsibility to live my life as complete and happy as I can. What ever my sexuality is will never hamper or distract from the fact that I love my children, my role as father is ensuring that they always know it.
I am proud of my kids and I am proud of my wife and I for the manner that we have been able to keep them prioritised, above all of the strain we have managed to protect them from our lives so as to enable them to live theirs. In this I have certainty that no matter what the future brings, my wife and I will remain unified as parents, always considering them above all else and hopefully using our lives as a foundation from which they can build theirs.

I don't think my inability for me to cry at the moment reflects that I am numb emotionally, on the contrary I feel more awake than I have for a long time. I have finally found some of the stillness that i have been searching for and in that I now have the ability to ensure that i not only continue to evolve, but that I do so in a manner that is not only right for me, but is right for those around me as well. I trust in the fact that I am a good person and whilst all to often I try and please those I love, I see now that before I can please anyone, I need to first please myself.
To quote Alex Tan: “Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see life with a clearer view again.” I think I have now cried enough and life certainly does seem clearer to me, I guess it is now that the journey can really begin.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Neither Here nor There!

As I sit here writing this, I should actually have been on a plane on my way to the Holy Land, but sometimes as I have recently learnt all to well, life throws us a "curve ball".
I am usually such an organized and together kinda guy, having all the i's dotted and the t's crossed, but alas in my confusion of my life I seem to struggle to find focus.
This morning as I was preparing my normal travel routine, I came to the sudden shock that I had allowed my passport to expire making it impossible for me to make the trip. Although it was going to be just a short business trip, I was looking forward to getting away from reality for a little while, but sometimes life prevents us from achieving that.

Today it was as if my wife had woken up, alert to the reality of our circumstance, and although our best intentions going forward were to preserve not only our relationship, but to safeguard the sanctity of our family, we have come to ask at what expense.
Our love for each other has never been in question, and we have all the makings of a wonderful marriage together, but in order to achieve and build a successful marriage where one partner is likely gay and actively needing to explore this part of myself, it seems like an impossibility. We are both still young, attractive and I am certain deserving of more than locking ourselves into a relationship that is unable to be fulfilling to either of us.

For me I have been on a relatively short journey in order to try and come to a big understanding of who it is I am, and although I am certain that it will till take a considerable amount of time before I evolve or even remotely come close to figuring out this answer, what I do know is, a relationship in which I need to be honest to my wife, whilst lying to myself is neither fair nor practical. If sexuality is a pendulum like everyone describes with people falling in different levels on the arc of the swing, I do not know where exactly I would fall on this scale, but I am aware that whilst my pendulum might still be swinging the odds are that it will likely fall closer to the gay side than the straight.

One might think that this is allot to give up, that the price we are paying by letting go of a 12 year relationship, and a family built is just to high, but I would argue that the price in not letting go is even higher. I have always felt guilt at what it is that I have not been able to provide my wife over the years, I have felt underlying disappointment for not being true to myself, but most of all I can not live with myself asking my wife to let go of so much of herself when I am not prepared or able to give up this in me. I can only hope that the support and love that my wife and I have will be enough and will endure us through, that we will be able to support each other as we embark on new paths all be them separate ones, but most of all I just pray that we will always be able to remain unified as parents.

So while I have not travelled away, i am neither home, I guess i am in a state of no man's land as we now try and navigate our way forward. I am scared, daunted and feeling tremendously tired, somehow I even feel an extreme sense of loneliness, but I am a father and my family needs me to now focus and help steer us through.
It has been an extremely turbulent ride and I know those around me have had opinions as to what would be right for us in this situation, but I guess all we needed was time so as to enable us to not only discover, but accept the reality...

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Truth Fairy

My 7 year old son has now reached the stage where he is losing his teeth. I can't help but think back to when he was just a baby and all those late nights, moans, groans and cuddles to ease the pain whilst waiting for these same teeth to eventually come out, now seems diminished by watching them falling out. I guess it is a natural progression, it is the way life is, we go through cycles and with growth the pain is inevitable, but seldom futile.
I managed to pull 2 loose teeth out for him this past weekend, one of the teeth was more ready that the other, but I managed to get both out with very little fuss and bother, much to his relief. My son believes that the 2nd tooth was not as ready to come out, and in his feeling that it was prematurely removed, he has told me that "I stole his tooth.

I never got to make it to the end of my curfew deadline with my boyfriend and so much of me feels like I had time with him stolen from me. I know all the rules in situations like this are to let go of the 3rd party, move on, and dedicate ones self to their home, family and wife, but often the reality of being able to let go is just so hard.
I fear I will be reentering the realms of dishonesty, not because I will be further cheating on my wife, but because I worry that I am going to lie to myself. How does one just deny that they care for someone, let them go as if they never meant anything or pretend to stop loving them?

At the moment I feel like one does after that last bite of chocolate, disappointed that it is finished with only the lingering taste dissolving in my mouth, but still hungry for more. I know all to well the road and path ahead is the right one, I remind myself of the reasons for deciding to be with my wife and I try and maintain self beleif.
All I want is to be held gently in hand like one would cradle sand, because squeezing only results in the sand pouring out from between the fingers. I hope that both my wife and boyfriend understand this need for me to relieve the pressure and ever squeezing hand, and that both allow me the due space to evolve so as to enable me to not only choose where it is that I need to be, but that I am able to find who it is that I am as well.

I asked my son when tugging out his teeth to believe in me, which he duly did and I was pleased to see that I did not cause him pain. Unfortunately I am not as lucky in my love life, because in my pull and pursuit for further understanding I not only seem to have lost the belief of those that matter, but the pain i seem to be causing is unavoidable.
I am lucky that my business travels will allow me the opportunity to spend the upcoming weekend in the Holy City Jerusalem, I am looking forward to taking the opportunity to look back at the layers of history and not only reflecting on the growth of humankind, but on my own as well.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Man in the Mirror

The other day in the newspaper there was a little Charlie Brown Cartoon in which Charlie is asked where he is going, his response was "I am going to the dentist to have my teeth criticised".
For me over the last few months being in front of a mirror all to often felt like Charlie Brown's visit to the dentist, whilst I have softened to those around me, on myself I have remained extremely hard, often unable to forgive myself not only for hurting the people that I love so much, but mostly because of feeling that I have not been true and honest to myself for so much of my life.

A curfew and period of time was given to me to resolve this within myself (being the 5 weeks of opening my marriage) but the ticking of the stopwatch created a sense of panic and insecurity, it is not an easy decision to consider leaving a partner of 12 years, my family as I know it, my home and the life that I have put so much energy into building. As I have written before, I do not fear the change itself as much as I fear regretting what I would be leaving behind. In the impending need to decide I have reached a point where i have become overwhelmed and my mind has entered a state of "analysis paralysis" and a feeling that my thoughts are locked in an eternal loop. With the inability to shut of my mind, it has resulted in me reaching the point of sheer exhaustion and throwing me into a state of depression.
Throughout my pressures, pain and confusion I have always remained reluctant to have to resort to any form of medication, I never wanted to loose my ability to feel, but with the stakes being so high and those feelings over consuming me I have had no alternative, but to now take the advice of my shrink and doctor and allow myself some assistance medically in finding the relief and answers I have been searching for.

Although the medication has created a slight feeling of numbness, and a sense of withdrawal from reality, it has also seemed to bring a certain amount of clarity as well. I never truly believed that I would find the answer within my curfew period, however part of me always hoped that the right path would reveal itself. I feel now that with a slightly greater sense of clarity, I have been able to find just such a path, a path along which i hope to ensure that I make a decision to be happy within a construct of living a life that is of my making. So much of my life I have found myself consumed with making those around me proud often to my own detriment, where now I want that I rather live to make myself proud first. It is in this vain that going forward instead of picking the path others have desired for me, I will continue to walk along a path that i am comfortable travelling, and one with which I can set an example to my children as to how to live a fuller and whole life.

As important a part of my life as my children are, I found it was my wife who was restricting me by holding onto my leg so tightly, scared of the prospect of letting me go, somehow despite everything that I have thrown at her, it was me that she remained wanting. Watching her fighting for our marriage distracted me from the fact that as much as I pushed her, I too was not ready to actually ask her to let go of me and what we have built together.
My greatest obstacle through my entire journey whilst pursuing who it is that i really am, was doubt. The fact that I was not truly ready to let my wife go, inhibited me from ever being able to pursue a full life beyond that of my marriage. After the support that my wife has given me, I find myself unable to give up on a marriage that i am now able to be both vulnerable and honest in, but most of all, one that i would doubt leaving.

So in order to allow myself the ability to now move forward I have committed to pursue staying home, and whilst this might not mean "happily ever after", I can but only try. I will not allow that I once again reach a point of denying my true self or ending my pursuit to be happy, but rather try to resolve without any doubt, that the life i have with my wife is not a life that is able to be fulfilling, not only for me, but her as well. I am confident that this is the correct decision for us, however I am cautious to not allow myself to reach a stage where I once again deny myself an honest identity or one in which I find myself preventing my wife from having a deserving relationship. Before I can continue to fully pursue a life as either a single man, a single gay man or a relationship with my boyfriend, it is my role as husband that i need to resolve first, so that should I choose a path that leads me in a direction away from my wife, it is done knowing that we tried and secure in the fact that it is a decision that was made cautiously and conscious of not only ourselves, but our children as well.

To properly achieve this resolution I have had to say goodbye to my boyfriend and whilst i hoped that the medication would make this decision that much easier to bear, I find myself reaching all new lows with my mind constantly consumed with the many memories of the most extraordinary 7 months with him.
The greatest pain and difficulty is having cut off communication with him, such making it unable for me to remind him of how special, loved and missed he is. It is hard to let go of him without creating doubt in his mind as to how much he means to me, but I know now with absolute certainty that in order for me to properly resolve my future with anyone, I have to be given the opportunity to still further evolve, explore within myself and to give my family the chance not only for their sakes, but for my mine as well. I am no longer able to do this living two lives or with the constant echo of a ticking clock constantly haunting me.
Within the agreement to be honest with my wife going forward and the acknowledgement that I will no longer repress my emotions, but rather be true to myself, I am not going to try and hide the pain of having had to let my boyfriend go, he is not a switch that I will easily be able to turn off, but maybe in that will lie an answer within itself.

So my journey now has changed from the imminent need to answer questions within myself, to one of patience and allowing myself time to evolve to a place of certainty and stability so that I can try and live as still and doubt free life as possible, certain that the life that I eventually choose to live is one of my construct and choice and in which everyone can be happy.
If I have achieved anything over the last few months, it is that I can proudly say that for the first time in my life I am honest with the the people that matter most to me. My goal now is to ensure that I am honest with myself so as to enable me the ability to look in the mirror without any critique.

"An example is often a deceptive mirror, and the order of destiny, so troubling to our thoughts, is not always found written in things past." Pierre Corneille

Monday, February 8, 2010

A ride worthwhile?

There was always an underlying awareness of my sexual attraction to men even as a young boy, however I always chose to ignore and repress any such feelings. Although many an opportunity presented itself during which I would have been allowed to explore this part of myself, such as during my numerous traveling expeditions, right up to men actually pursuing me, I always rather chose and decided that mentally this was a dimension to myself that I would prefer not to explore in reality.
I would describe my pursuit of understanding my sexuality as a roller coaster ride, the initial gradual and tedious climb up the slope that seems to take forever, followed by a ride filled with twisting and jerking movements, that deep in your stomach nausea and frightening the willing participants and leaving them with the question as to why they got on in the first place.

For me my ride has been an extremely slow progression of events that has taken me to the place that I am now. As a child I went through the normal exploration of not only my own individual body, but often looking at friends in the change rooms etc followed by a sense of guilt and repulsion. The first time that I fully became aware of my intrigue in the male body was when I was 21, I walked into a porn shop in London and I found that the male covers of the porn magazines were catching my eye, although I was never brave enough to ever go over and actually look through them, but something inside of me stirred.
My progression from that point happened simultaneously with the development of the Internet and technology, right from dialing in to view very basic gay porn sites, to the now sophisticated online camming with people from around the world. I then found my progression bringing me onto a local gay "meet up" website, from which my pursuit and progression changed from one of fantasy to one of reality.

When this all started for me I was already dating my wife, and although I was confused by my sexual emotions, I was convinced that this was a part of myself that did not require exploring beyond the cyber world, I was to be right for the next 12 years. Despite believing that I would be able to remain sexually and emotionally drawn to women I would often would find myself asking her, "but how do you know you love me?", and "what does love really feel like?"
I could see the absolute goodness in my wife, I loved not only how she made me feel, but how she cared and loved me, she spoilt me by tending to my every whim. The then fear and lack of proper understanding of my emotions overcame me and I proceeded to try and break up with her. I recall her looking at me with such torment and pain in her eyes as she grabbed onto my leg unwilling to let go until I reconsidered. Reconsider I did, and as they say in Hollywood the rest is history.

Today my wife and I have what many would describe as a perfect life and i would even tend to agree, but what happens when the perfect life is not the life that you think you want?
Today I am not only aware of what love feels like , but I know with full certainty that I am in love with my wife. In loving her I do have worries and concerns for her, I worry whether in the future I will be able to fulfill her needs, I worry about my ability to not only give her what she wants, but more so that I am deserving of her and I fear that I am holding her back from what could be a more fulfilling life with someone else. Most of all I worry about being a committed husband, not only in the monogamous sense, but in an emotional sense as well, causing her to feel not only caged, but bringing her into the closet with me.
I now wonder if she "kicked me out", gave up hope on us and chose to move on with her life without me, if this would not be easier. There would be no further expectations of me, and I would lose a measure of my ability to hurt her beyond the damage that I have already done.

Unfortunately this is not a situation where I can just close my eyes endure the discomfort and wait for the ride to end, I have to much at stake, I need to be certain that I steer through the sharp turns and bends to ensure that my passengers are looked after, especially the kids.
I often have wondered where our lives would be today had she let go of my leg all that time ago, but that was not meant to be our destiny, the only question now is wether it is fair for us to continue holding onto each other.
Although it feels like I am on a roller coaster ride, I can tell you this is no amusement park.

In the words of Franklin P. Jones "Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Remember Me....

My 5 year old daughter has always had a bit of an eye for the boys, it is with trepidation that I have watch here explore many a love affair with different "boyfriends". There is an amazing beauty in the innocence of young love, and I love seeing how basic love could and maybe should be. The latest little guy in her string of boyfriends seems to have stolen her heart, he seems like a nice enough and gentle chap, and he treats her like the princess I know her to be. The following is a letter that she dictated to my wife to write on her going away card for him:
"Oh Nicholas I know that you are going to China, come back when you are 21. I hope you have a nice time in China. please have a lovely time and don't forget about me. This is a card for you, take it with you and I will miss you. Come fetch me when you are 21. Love From X.

When I was 8 I fell in love for the first time, although we were so young the relationship for the two of us felt real and mature, we often dreamed of marriage and a long future together. Even in my youth I enjoyed the stability of long term relationships, we were able to sustain this relationship for nearly 4 years until the day came that her family had decided to immigrate.
I remember the sheer devastation at the prospect of not only losing my love, but my best friend as well. She had become my safety net and rock in what for me was a very insecure childhood.
We pledged our undying love and promised to wait for each other, a task even more difficult in those days without email, Skype or Facebook, so after the 1st few letters and the time that allowed our fragile hearts to mend, we both found it possible to move on.
Today she still lives abroad, is in a committed and happy lesbian relationship and has recently had children, we still chat and reminisce back to the old days, but despite our desire to be together and in a world where the only constant is change it was inevitable that we would go our separate ways.

When my wife and I were living together, just shortly after the 911 Attacks my Dad bought us a painting of the World Trade Centres and at the back he wrote "only love endures." Love is such a vital foundation to a solid and committed relationship, but all to often love alone is just not enough.
On my last post I was asked the question that if I did not have a wife, boyfriend or children where would I find myself being pulled and what would my sexual orientation be? This is a good question and one that I am giving allot of thought. So much of this journey has been about picking who I want to be with, instead of simplifying it to a simple where is it that I would like to be and who is that I see myself as.

My Wife, Boyfriend and I have taken the decision to take these 5 weeks (of which 2 weeks are left), to figure out what it is we all want, because for both my boyfriend and wife they seem to want me it has left me with the ultimate decision as to who it is that I wanted to be with. I see now that the decision is just going to be to overwhelming and daunting for me, and changing the focus onto where rather than with whom might be a better way forward for me and make the decision all that easier.
Perhaps being alone for awhile might also be the better overall decision, that way I have no expectations on anyone else except myself, it will allow me the time to balance and explore within myself. Making the decision to be alone might seem simple, but considering the trauma that my children went through last time, it is a decision that I know is not free of consequences and one that I will have to carefully contemplate, but one that might ultimately be necessary.

Somewhere in the last hurdle of this emotional journey I seem to be losing my boyfriend, he has his own journey, demons and issues to overcome. I have never doubted his love, dedication or desire to be with me, the last few months with him are dotted with wonderful memories, experiences and he has awoken me in so many ways.
Looking back I think how lucky I am that it is he that was able to catch me, and although perhaps he feels the contray, I think he underestimates the goodness, love and impact that he has given my life for the positive. I fell in love with a guy running barefoot into a night club to buy more cigarettes, our lives started off in the most simple of situations with very few expectations, but I guess in the ever changing world life got complicated for us.
As I feel him slipping from between my fingers, just like my daughter's card I too want to say that I love him and ask him to come fetch me one day, but I know all to well that this is neither fair nor realistic, I guess just like my daughter all I can hope for is that he does not forget me...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You look so Gay in that Box...

Yesterday I was feeling very down, the ever looming deadline and realization of an impending decision seems to be taking it's toll on me. Whilst popping out for my morning ritual, which is a coffee and muesli rusk, I noticed a man walking in wearing a t-shirt with a slogan that read "I am not gay, but my boyfriend is", I had to smile. He wore it with pride and I could not help but think to myself how far we had come, and yet how far we still have to go.

This week I was upset to read how a fellow blogger seemed to struggle labeling himself as gay (which is fair enough I feel the same way), but i disagreed with his reasoning and I quote "It’s just that sometimes I don’t like being lumped in the same category as the fruity fruit loops. That sounds bad but it’s the truth." He was referring to being thrown into the same box as effeminate gay men.
I am definitely not a believer in being labeled either, I have written about this in an earlier post, and to be honest as an extremely masculine straight acting man I often struggle with the concept of classifying myself as bi-sexual let alone gay. I however have learnt that it does not matter whether or not I am labelled or choose to fit into one of the numerous boxes available as it is all irrelevant, however what does matter is that I am happy.

I try not to judge others, I have in the past, but somehow along this journey I would like to think that I have softened, become more gentle, more tolerant and less judgemental. I have come to the realization that everyone has the right to be happy, but often it comes with great hardship, especially when it comes to ones sexual identity. So I have to ask myself, how is it that someone who is battling with his own sexuality, who is unable to be brave enough to live his life openly, and hides the truth not only from his family and friends, but from himself as well (I am not judging him for this), still finds it within himself to criticize effeminate gays? Does he not realize that they represent the very thing he is striving for....a honest and open life, a more accepting world and an understanding of there sexuality.

I wish I was raised not only in a more accepting time, but that I had parents that were more open minded to me being different, I pursued living their expectations of a life that they desired for me as i was not brave enough to live the construct of my own life or challenge and questione what was presented to me as the right path.
I have no regrets, I was blessed to marry a wonderful woman, with whom anyone would be thrilled to have as their life partner, and I have been blessed with two beautiful children, but I remain with the question, would this have been my choice knowing what I now know, having explored my sexuality and knowing that I have the capacity to not only be with a man sexually, but to love him as well?

On Sunday night, my boyfriends emotions and the challenge and frustration of the last few weeks culminated into and emotional outbreak and the desire for him to now have an answer. I got the sense that he was less concerned as to what the answer would be than him actually receiving the answer itself, I think that the desire to get on with his life had become all too consuming. Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt our mutual love, and I certainly don't doubt his desire for a future together, but I think and fairly so, that everyone involved is now exhausted and requiring some sense of stability and normality back in their lives
We have all been on a roller coaster ride over the last few months, but I would like to think that despite the pain, torment and exhaustion we have all endured, we all seem to be allot more aware of ourselves and each one of us would agree maybe even better people.

I can honestly say, I am not sure which life it is I see myself happiest in, I guess I will never fully know. I do know that letting go of either life though is going to be enormously challenging for me. I not only have fears with choosing a life, but I also have fears about the life I choose to leave behind.
Leaving my wife, would mean leaving my home, and allowing her to not only meet new men, but to also allow that man to play the role of father to my children. Yes I would always be their Dad, but it is a hard pill to swallow to imagine another man having more time with my children than even I, not to mention my children's mental states, my wife's emotions and everything else I would be giving up on.
Leaving my boyfriend leaves me with the fear and notion of someone else having the access to him that I have enjoyed, it will be hard to stop worrying and caring for him, i think of him so often and I fear that he would regress back into an empty life with little regard to how wonderful and special he is, but through it all, the fear that worries me the most, its the fear of simply not having either my wife or boyfriend in my life.

I honestly believe that I find myself having to make this decision that I am now faced with because i was not raised knowing that exploring and challenging this part of myself in my youth was ok. I find myself in this situation for fear of being judged, labelled and ridiculed just as my fellow blogger is doing to others even in his own struggle for his identity, but most of all I struggle within myself to undo the fear that exists in my own limitations from leading this life.
I guess if I was brave enough to wear a t-shirt in public it would read "I am not gay, but I love my boyfriend", the question is am I brave enough, or would I rather just ridicule others who are?