Last night I spent a couple of hours with six men from all over the United States and Canada. Such a diversity of age, family, career, faith backgrounds, financial situations and life experiences. The one thing they all shared in common? They are all gay men who, for one reason or another, chose to marry women.
This was my story too, and even though I haven’t “arrived” yet into some perfect life on the other side, I have had three years of finding my way, connecting with literally hundreds of men like us, and helping people to find their way, whatever that “next step” is. I am so grateful to be able to provide safe space for them to process their lives in community with other men who understand like no one else can.
When I was in that same space, one of my friends and mentors – Chris Hyde, a gay, formerly married pastor just like me – gave me some important language. One day he asked how I was doing, and I replied that I was “treading water.” He said that treading water is a good skill to have, that it would save my life if I found myself in over my head. But that I couldn’t tread water forever… and that if I tried, I would eventually become exhausted and drown. He helped me to see that at some point I was going to need to set out toward shore… whether it was the shore of deciding to stay in my marriage and somehow make it work as an authentically gay man, or the shore of moving forward with some kind of a plan to end my marriage.
I knew, deep down, that he was right. That was one of the many moments that gave me the courage and resolve to move beyond the “stuck” place I had been living in for such a long time.
Everyone is different. Everyone has a different path to walk. I pray that these six weeks together will help these men find some clarity, peace and resolve.
Our second group starts a month from now, Thursday night, July 18. We have one spot left. If you know a man in this situation who could use this kind of support, please pass it along. And if you’re a praying person, would you join me in praying for these precious men and their wives and families? I often remind people in this situation that once they reach this place, there is no perfect or pain-free solution. Every choice brings loss and pain while simultaneously bringing the possibility of joy and peace.
And join me in working together toward a world where LGBTQ+ identities and relationships are recognized as normal and healthy, so that these kinds of painful situations become less and less common. ❤️