Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Could Have Missed the Pain, but Then I'd Have Missed the Dance!


For those of you who have not had the opportunity to read through all the blog pieces I've written, I've had four long term buddies over the last 16 years or so. One of those lasted relationships lasted 10 years and one 5 years. The other lasted a year and my current buddy and I are in the 9th month of our relationship.

So, I'm living proof that long term buddy relationships can take place. The four buddies referred to above have all been younger than I by 6 to 35 years. I didn't set out to find younger guys, in each case we either just sort of found each other or they sort of found me.

Here's the thing, and I don't think I've ever mentioned this in my blog; but it is a very big part of all four relationships - I've never ended a relationship with a buddy. I mean that in two ways. First, I've never ended a sexual relationship with any of my four buddies. All these sexual relationships have ended on my buddies’ initiative. Did I find it upsetting to be dumped by these guys? No, not at all really.

Here is the truth as I've come to know it. Male/male sexual relationships for two married bisexual men or two married homosexual men are complex and difficult to maintain. It takes a lot of work and commitment from each party. It takes each partner being honest about what he can do and what he is willing to do and then sticking to the commitment.
 
I have also found each of my four long therm buddies came to me at the right time in both their lives and in mine. They came to me with an issue or issues. Sometimes they realized they needed help with their issues. Sometimes they didn't recognize that at all. In each relationship we had a lot of fun. But fun was not the only benefit of the relationship. Over the life of our relationship I helped them to resolve their issues. Many times, I guess really every time, they helped me to resolve issues of my own because each contributed greatly to my understanding and acceptance of whom and what I am. The truth is that when I entered into that first relationship, I thought I had solved all my own issues. I found, much to my surprise, that was not the case. Each man and each relationship brought me experiences which made me a better man and which I am able to share with you. With each there inevitably came a time when they chose to move on.

The first to move on was (I'll call him) Mike. His and my relationship had lasted for 10 years. I'd be lying through my teeth if I told you it didn't hurt when Mike decided to move on. It wasn't that it was a surprise. I had been telling Mike ever since I met him that the time would come when he would no longer need me. In the early years he could not believe such a thing and didn't want to hear it. The thought of not having me at his side scared the shit out of him because his struggles with his sexuality were too great for him to handle on his own. His fears were too profound not to have my reassurance regularly helping him to quash his fears.

But around year seven, I began to see the time he would be able to move on was approaching fast. I actually thought it would be over at that time, but like a fledgling afraid of that first solo flight, Mike was reluctant to leave. Our relationship became a little more confrontational. It was sort of like a teen age son rebelling against his father and trying to stand on his own. Several times he walked away, but he would return. Finally, in the 10th year the real break came and our sexual relationship ended.

Though I mourned it, I knew it was time because though Mike was a married man, he had come to accept that he was a homosexual man who wanted to live openly as a homosexual man. As a bisexual man, this meant he was going where I had no desire to go. I loved my wife and did not want to leave her. So the relationship we had for 10 years ended of necessity to give him the opportunity to find the happiness he had been denied all his life.

The good thing was that a new relationship with Mike took the place of our ten-year-old relationship. I was the one person in the world who knew more about him than anyone else in his life, and he and I became best friends. It was no longer a sexual relationship; it had become a relationship in which I helped him to transition to living as a homosexual man. By chance or destiny, I even introduced him to the man who would eventually become his life partner. It's been almost 20 years now since I met Mike. I see him often. We spend great times together, sometimes he and I, sometimes him his partner and I, sometimes in a group of friends. I value him as much or more as the friend he has become as I did as a lover.

Mike kind of set the tone for the relationships to follow. Each lasted for a season in which I could be of help and be helped. Then each ended. The thing which has amazed me is that there has been no real break between the relationships. One has followed the other in quick succession with little effort on my part to find a new relationship. The new relationship just comes when it is time.

The two guys with whom I formed my second and third relationships are also still my friends. We talk often. We continue to share a common bond. I care about them. We just do not have a sexual relationship any longer. In each, I helped them, they helped me. One is a prominent and successful Texas attorney. He helped me a great deal to see that married bisexual and married homosexual men are normal guys both ordinary and extraordinary in their careers, professional lives and family lives. He is a friend and confidant, whose advice I value and who continues to contribute to my well being.

The other guy works for a company in Houston in which he is involved in data processing and inventory control. In the five years we were together, I think I contributed much to his sense of self-confidence and acceptance of himself. My relationship with each of the four guys has been and still is a win/win situation.

My current buddy is youngest. As with the others it is obvious he came to me at the right time in his life and the right time in my life. I look at him as (and I don't mean this to be egotistical on my part or demeaning at all to him) as sort of a lifetime achievement award for me. He doesn't come to me with the worst struggle or the worst set of issues. Mike will forever hold that place. Mike's struggle was actually a life and death struggle in which it was not at first clear which would win. My current buddy is not in a life and death struggle by any means. His struggle is to understand himself and his sexuality and put it in the proper context of his life. Above all else he wants to preserve and protect his marriage and his family. What makes him unique is that he is dealing with his bisexuality in his late 20's unlike most men who deal with it in their 50's.

He's a brilliant young man who has already accomplished great things in his life. He has a personality that is magnetic, a smile that lights up the world and the body of a young god. He is simply a joy to be around and it is an honor to work with him, to know him and to be his friend. Even tough he is more than three decades younger than I, he controls our relationship. Anyone who knows me knows I am a controller. But I don't want control in our relationship. It is vital that he be in complete control. He sets the schedule by which we meet. He calls me. He decides what we talk about. I simply follow his lead and use the time we have together to help him mold himself into the bisexual man he wants to be, the bisexual married man who is what he needs to be to himself and the bisexual man who is everything he needs to be and wants to be to his wife and family.

The old saying goes, "If you would have a friend, be a friend." I truly believe that philosophy is the foundation on which my four long term relationships have been built and on which they have survived from one incarnation to the other. Right now he cannot see it, but I am working myself out of a relationship with him. The time will come as it always has in the past when he no longer needs me. He will fly on his own.

Sometimes the transitions were hard, especially with Mike. In the very depths of my heart and soul, I know I could have avoided any pain at all; however, I would have avoided four of the greatest friendships I've ever known. My experience tells me one can never anticipate the twists and turns any relationship will take. Mike and I could truly write a screenplay about our relationship that would be worth millions of dollars. It would top Brokeback Mountain easily at the box office.

The point of my sharing this very personal experience with all of you is - you have a choice! Exist in fear and die in regret, or step out intentionally and advisedly and live the life you were born for.

The second reason I've never ended a relationship is because I'm still a very close friend with each of my former sexual buddies. Friendships, I have found, can be as rewarding as sexual relationships. Let's face it, no matter who you are, you will never have more than a very few significant sexual relationships in your life. As a bisexual man, if you have one with your wife and one with a buddy, you are a very lucky guy.

But a guy can never have too many friends, and significant friendships are a true blessing. They really can be worth a great deal to each of you! In addition to the four guys I have referred to above who became sexual buddies and then significant friends, there are many others whom I met as one bisexual man to another. We never shared a sexual relationship and never will, but we nevertheless became significant and lasting friends. Why not open yourself to what life has in store for you?

I had no idea when I met Mike what life had in store for me. I had no idea I would save his life and he would change mine completely. I had no idea that helping other gay and bisexual men to accept themselves and learn how to live the only life they have would become an almost full time avocation for me. I certainly had no idea that what I would have given anything to get rid of (my bisexuality) would come to define me in my own eyes and in the eyes of thousands of others. I had no idea it would become so much a part of what makes me, Me!

I hope you'll step out into the only life you're ever going to have and make it count. I don't know the purpose for which you were born bisexual. I do know there is one. You have to step into your bisexuality to find it.

Will there be pain? More than likely. Will there be stress? Almost assuredly. Will there be happiness and satisfaction? It's almost guaranteed if you come to know yourself well and act as ethically as you can in your own best interests while maintaining a measure of responsibility for those you love. You can avoid the pain, but then you will have missed the dance. Will you sit it out or will you dance?

Jack Scott


11 comments:

  1. You're very welcome Steve. I'm glad you found something of value in the post.

    Jack Scott

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  2. Thank you for such a profound and personal sharing. Very enlightening.

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    1. You Sir, are very very welcome. As I get older, I find I am almost fixated on a mission of getting guys to open up a little and explore their bisexuality in a safe and responsible manner.

      The fact is, I am a very lucky guy; but I am not a special guy. I have, with the guidance of others and the support of others, successfully explored my bisexuality and it has been a great journey for which I would trade nothing.

      I tried to point out in the post that nothing evil or bad for me has come to me or my family as a result of my journey. I've been able to keep it on a positive track. If I can do it, others can too. You refer to it in your blog as being "enhanced." I tend to refer to it as just stepping out beyond one's fears and living life to the fullest.

      Come to think of it, that is an enhanced way of thinking isn't it?

      I appreciate your thanks and most of all your support.

      Jack Scott

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    1. You're more than welcome.

      Contact me anytime.

      Jack Scott

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  4. Fascinating, inspirational and heart-warming. You are a fortunate man - but you're probably well aware of that.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Two Lives, thanks for such an encouraging comment. Your input on my posts is among the most valuable I receive because I know you will call it as you see it.

      I'm not the only one that inspires around here. Your very ID, "TwoLives," is an inspiration to me personally; and to my mind, a sign post for all married bisexual guys. Early on, I began to understand that I did, in fact lead two live; and that I had to capitalize on that fact even further to find happiness and fulfillment.

      There are the lucky guys like me who have a wife they can tell. Most guys will never be that lucky. Even in my case, I am unable to share with my wife, to any real extent, my life as a man who loves other men. I in fact, lead two lives.

      The point I feel so emphatic about at this time in my life is that leading two lives has not been a bad thing. It has been a very very good thing. It has been more fulfilling and self-actualizing than I could have ever dreamed.

      Too many married bisexual men (tens of thousands more than likely) live lives of quiet self-imposed desperation. They endure anguish and disheartenment when fulfillment could be theirs simply though the change of a couple of paradigms.

      I am a fortunate man, but I'm not a special man. I just had some great input into my life from others along the way. Now, I try to pay that forward.

      Thanks for your comment TwoLives.

      Jack Scott

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  5. Jack, you are fortunate as others have said, but you must also have been a very magnetic man to have attracted and kept such other intense and soulful men. It is no accident that you seem to have found new relationships with men that have a sexual dimension, soon after the sexual component to your "buddy" relationship winds down. You must radiate strong signals and this comes from your many years of your own struggle for self acceptance, and the empathy you have developed for men, like you, that must fully embrace and value their true nature instead of rejecting it. You have been like a beacon for men seeking wisdom, honesty, and someone who will challenge them in ways that are rare and welcome.

    There is a version of your saying about having to be a friend to make a friend...to find someone extraordinary, be someone extraordinary. You have been a calming, steady, supportive, giving, generous man with your spirit, and that is really what we yearn and ultimately with whom we want to share the pleasures of the flesh.

    So it is not just good fortune, but the rare good heart and good deep man you are that keeps bringing new bisexual male friends your way. And it seems that even in the era in which your body aged, your allure to other men increased. You may have a great looking young man as your latest guy, but I suspect it is the connection of your souls that bridges what could in others be a chasm in an era of obsession with external appearances and youth.

    You are a fine men who has found and deserves other fine men Jack. Don't be too humble about this, but you know it took a huge amount of work on your part to resolve who you are and you have to take some credit for that.

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    1. Jason, I'll admit I find your kind words and thoughts most gratifying.

      I do own some of them as true about myself. I honestly try very hard to be empathetic to every guy and his personal situation, but that's easy for me to do because I was in a similar situation for many years. I remember the pain and self-hate well.

      I also own it as a fact that I have come to fully embrace my bisexuality. Something I once hated and did not understand has become a precious thing to me which has opened many doors in my life that would have otherwise remained closed. I can't imagine what my life would have been like now without the doors which opened because of my bisexuality.

      But to call myself extraordinary, as you suggest, just doesn't compute with me. I'm really a very ordinary guy. My Dad spent the years of my boyhood pounding the concepts of hard work and humility into me. By the time I'd grown to manhood under my father's hand, I certainly owned the value of hard work! How many times did I hear my father say to me? "Son if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well."

      My Mom spent those same years trying to teach me to be secure in myself and my abilities so that I could serve my own interests; but most of all, so that I could serve others.

      I feel very strongly that the lessons from my father along with those from my mother combined to make me what I am today. I have had the advantage, though they have been gone many years, of standing on their shoulders in all I have accomplished. But, I don't think either my Mom or my Dad would approve my thinking of myself as extraordinary.

      You are certainly right on target though when you describe a connection of souls between me and my young buddy that bridges what I myself first saw as a very deep chasm. Had anyone told me I would or could find such a relationship with a 29 year old man, I'd have told them they were crazy.

      I know it is not a common belief in western cultures, but it is very common in eastern cultures (and probably with the majority of the world's people) to believe in the circle of life. I've always, since I was a boy, thought of myself as an old soul. I think my buddy is an old soul too. I feel that is part of the connection between us. Whatever the source, the bond is deep. It is the type of bond I wish for every man with another.

      Thanks Jason for your friendship, your insight into what makes me tick and for your extraordinarily kind intimations concerning my character.

      Jack Scott

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  6. You made me think of so many encounters I've had; many of which were fortunate, wanting, lustful repeats. Each time, I would wonder if THIS was the guy I'd be able to maintain a friendship with; I wanted that so badly. But it never happened because of being married. Either of us were always married and had to devote most of our free time to our spouses and home life. The single guys I met were often totally perplexed as to why I would choose to live this way. Many times, their attitude was, "So? You're married. Just get divorced, and stop fooling yourself…" But as we all know, that's easier said than done.

    I wonder how you were able to achieve such long lasting relationships outside your marriage. [Had you come out to your wife by that time?]

    My other problem was work. My hours were endless and totally unpredictable at the time, and I found that many guys weren't willing to tolerate that. They often seemed leery of me, thinking that I was handing them an excuse. It's also when I realized how much harder and longer I worked compared to the average guy. Along with that, it was a real eye opener as to how bad my marriage was. Most of these guys had wives that they loved and developed a true friendship with. They had extended families that were loving and supportive. I didn't, and as much as I always knew that, I tried to ignore it and work with what I had. {A HUGE MISTAKE! I should have left much sooner than I did.] At best, I would meet up with someone who understood, and was in a similar circumstance. Our meetings would have to be spontaneous, discreet, and free from price tags. Paper trails and gratuitous spending sprees were a constant concern; I had no way of explaining them.

    Thanks to Facebook, I've been able to find some of these people. I don't try to make contact with any of them, they're all still married. I just like to know that they're still around, where they landed, and to see that they're well and happy. They are also involved in much happier marriages than I ever had, or could hope for. I'm in a curious position of being on the outside, looking in when it comes to reuniting.

    I know this: all of those men were the biggest compliments and the best short term friends I could have ever hoped for. They were all attractive, successful, well grounded guys, and to think that they would include and have me as a "love buddy" was the biggest compliment of all. I'm not sure what that indicates about me, nor do I care. But they gave me a true feeling of confidence along with the realization that I wasn't alone. There were, and still are, so many like us.

    Like you, I never ended any of these relationships, such as they were. They always seemed to just fade away, due to uncontrollable circumstances. I used to think of it as "Love with the proper stranger". Or maybe it was only depending on "the kindness of strangers", as needy as that sounds. But then again, aren't we all just a lot of needy guys?

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I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott