Thursday, September 07, 2006

When the beard is too painful to remove

[NYTimes] An interesting piece on the difficulties of gay men in leaving straight marriages. It is somewhat inappropriately linked to the 'fashion' section, as if anything gay is fashionable -- disturbing stereotype for a serious issue.

-- updated Sep 3

It's probably my still piss poor gaydar, but I think I know of at least a few couples in the above situation and perhaps a couple more in the reverse situation (lesbian woman in a straight marriage). One might wonder what my opinion of such arrangements are. It might be obvious, based on my biases in this blog, that I don't think very highly of them. In fact, in general I think they are wrong and should be ended as soon as possible. Now are there situations where such arrangements may still be acceptable for a time.

One consideration is whether there are children. Perhaps, here is a case where if the kids are still living in the house, disrupting an otherwise harmonious situation might make one hesitate. Still, if an amicable parting can be managed and finances can afford a split, the benefits of getting the gay spouse out of hiding and the straight spouse out of the dark should outweigh the short term pain.

Another consideration might be age and finances. This is speculation on my part, but perhaps an long married couple (not sure how to quantify long) in such a relationship might have developed dependencies which when broken will bring such detriment as far as lifespan or health to the couple that it outweighs the benefits? Still, I am inclined to say some elements of this scenario should be getting rarer. Women now have careers and can survive without being dependent on the man. Divorce should ensure that both are not destitute (if the couple wasn't destitute when together). Also, being gay is becoming more mainstream and common and less problematic for careers and acceptance.

Perhaps the couple has developed an intimate bond, despite the sexual desire mismatch. This I don't think should be an excuse. Because upon splitting up the marriage, there should be benefit to both of a potentially much more rewarding bond (to more appropriate partners) based on truth instead of deception.

And this is where my self-interest comes into play. It might be true that all the good guys out there are married or gay. But there's another thought of mine that many good gay guys get snapped up by insistent women who want to get married to a their favorite guy, a high school or college sweetheart, and won't take no for an answer. If these guys survive the marriage night, they may just end up trapped in these Brokeback marriages. (Hopefully not many end up as Jack Twist did.) In any case, I say break those things up. Guys, you only live once...

-- updated Sep 4

Of course, there is the concern brought up by the article, it's tough to leave the relative haven of marriage and re-enter the dating game later in life. This issue is difficult to answer. It is an adjustment, but one which should bring some reward over time -- hopefully a good mate, for those relationship minded, and perhaps different rewards for those who are not. Simply not living a lie should be some reward, too.

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