Then & Now
Many brothers have walked this road less traveled. Here are some of their stories.
Then & Now: Kevin
Idaho, USA. Married. Christian (Latter-day Saint). Born 1986.
Prior to seeking help, I was in agonizing turmoil. I had denied or repressed my sexuality so much that I did not acknowledge it until after I was married. After coming out to her, I began exploring romantic and sexual relationships with other men without her knowledge. I began to identify as gay, and our sex life virtually ended. The inner conflict became so severe that I was often suicidal — and attempted once.
I didn’t want to end the marriage; I loved my wife and wanted to raise children with her. However, I knew that I could not handle the stress of maintaining a double-life, and that our relationship would not survive an “open marriage” arrangement.
My Decision Point
I was committed to maintaining my marriage and living in harmony with my personal values. I wanted to reduce the tension between these goals and my same-sex attractions. I believed that by working to reduce the intensity of my same-sex attractions, I would be able to live my life with less stress and depression.
My Road Less Traveled
I attended individual counseling with a licensed mental health professional who was open to my choices. He was non-judgmental and would have supported me in whatever choice I made. My therapist was a major help with learning to reject messages of shame and inadequacy, although we did not work specifically on reducing my same-sex attractions.
learning to reject messages of shame and inadequacy
I also attended the Brothers Road experiential weekend, Journey Into Manhood. I found it to be a powerful tool in reducing the shame and isolation I felt. The idea that same-sex attractions stem from incongruence with gender-identity and gender-affiliation did not pathologize or stigmatize those attractions. Instead they normalized them and provided a framework for understanding them in a way that facilitated a successful resolution of my inner conflict.
The next most important thing in my “journey” was connection and positive association with other men in situations similar to mine. This was largely accomplished through Brothers Road.
Where I Am Now
Today, I have been out of active “change efforts” for over four years. I continue to be satisfied and fulfilled in my marriage. I no longer experience shame or guilt around my same-sex attractions. I do not experience any conflict between my attractions and my personal value system. I do not feel sexually repressed or incomplete, because I am not actively expressing my same-sex attractions. I believe I am in a situation equal to any individual who is in a committed relationship with one individual and yet still experiences attractions to other individuals.
When I regularly meet my needs for positive, non-sexual male intimacy, the intensity of my SSA is significantly reduced.
I have found that when I regularly meet my needs for positive, non-sexual male intimacy, the intensity of my SSA is significantly reduced. I am much more comfortable in my relationship with my wife, and my desire to remain in my marriage has significantly increased. I have been able to increase my fulfillment and satisfaction in my marriage, including in our sexual intimacy.
— Updated 2020