And Separation Starts My Marriage

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When I started to realize that I was attracted to Yoko as more than just a friend, I freaked out. Seriously. After hanging out with her, I would get into my car to drive home, and for a good ten minutes I would scream hysterically behind the steering wheel, cry, and beg God to tell me clearly what was going on or to take these feelings away from me.

I didn’t know what I was feeling exactly or how to handle it. I didn’t want to fall in love. I wanted to remain single.

But I did fall in love, and with a woman at that.

I was not attracted to her physically. She was pretty, no doubt, but I had zero desire to pursue her sexually or even to kiss her.

I was not attracted to much of her personality, either. She was super girly, conservative, and careful, with gentle mannerisms, and she never really took initiative or seemed like a leader to me. I had always thought I would be more interested in girls who were stronger, tougher, and bolder. I wanted someone who I felt could handle me without blushing.

So what was it about Yoko that I was so drawn to? I couldn’t figure it out for a long time. But there was nevertheless something in our spirits that connected on some deep, mysterious level, unseen to the naked eye. Eventually, I did realize that she really had a strong heart, and she wasn’t afraid of new challenges, and I definitely found that to be A+ material.

When I finally conceded with the Lord and confessed my true feelings to Yoko, and we started dating, something just felt right. I don’t mean it felt good, exactly, but it was a feeling of faith, a feeling that it was right, that it was what really was good and what God wanted us to do.

She moved back to Japan and I moved to China a couple months after we started dating, but we maintained our relationship online. We were apart from each other for fourteen months before I saw her in person again, just three days before our wedding. I was so happy to see her and to be welcomed by her family in Japan! But I had the tail-end of wedding preparations to wrap up, and those three days flew by in a blur.

I put on my suit, custom-made from Chinese silk, and Yoko put on her four dresses in a sequential order, a Japanese bridal custom. We walked down the aisle, we said our vows, we finally kissed for the first time, and we proceeded with the reception.

It was perfect. The whole event was wonderful from start to finish. We still talk about that day as a time when we both could feel God’s presence and know that he was happy with our tying the knot.

We lived together for about three weeks after the wedding — before I had to return to America. We had sex a lot (that’s how Yoko got pregnant), and I went back to the US thinking that my SSA was in the past. Or at least that the worst of it was over.

My first few months back in America, all I wanted was Yoko. Having sex had awoken inside me a voracious appetite for more sex, and not just sex with anyone but with Yoko specifically. This had solidified within me all the more the idea that I was now “cured” of my SSA.

I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking I didn’t have to worry about this struggle anymore.

The next ten months in America were hard, to say the least. When I found out Yoko was pregnant and couldn’t find a job that paid well enough to support a wife and kid, I went back to China where I knew I could make more money and support my family. Yoko stayed in Japan and went through her first pregnancy without me, with only her mother and some relatives and friends to help her.

I felt terrible. I was lonely and felt like I was disappointing my wife and laying a burden on her family. I tried to shut out my pain and sadness by working more, at one point having four separate jobs, working seven days a week. I tried not to think about Yoko too much. I would fulfill my requirements to her, like talking on Skype whenever we had an appointment together, but that was about it.

I watched porn. I jerked off. I tried to numb myself and not think about the things that depressed me. And in a strange way, it worked. I felt like I was single again, and I began to enjoy it.

Then the fateful day came when Yoko stepped off the airplane, holding our two-month-old daughter, Samantha, in her arms, and I was there to greet them. Samantha’s hair was frizzed up on top, and I started calling her “Fraggle” from that day on. Once again, I had fallen in love.

I really was happy to be with my wife and daughter after being apart for so long. Yoko and I had been together just one month of the previous two years of our relationship. It was good that our family could start being a little more like what a family ought to be — together.

But after that first week, problems started coming up that I had not anticipated.

For one thing, I couldn’t get an erection. When I did, it usually didn’t last very long. We tried to jump-start our sex life since it had taken such a critical hit our first year of marriage, but I couldn’t perform. I had become so dependent on porn and masturbation and generally numbing out that I couldn’t wake up my heart or my libido for my wife when it was time.

She was very gracious. She didn’t know what was going on, what I was really into, and she didn’t understand, but she wasn’t upset with me. She waited patiently and let me work through my problem.

I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know what to tell her. After putting our daughter down to bed, Yoko would take a shower, and during those few, brief minutes she was in the shower, I would rush to the computer, find some porn site, jack off, clean up, and pull my pants back up before Yoko came back in the room. It was the only way I knew to get any sexual satisfaction since I couldn’t find it in my wife. Then I would tell her I was too tired for sex and go to sleep.

I kept this struggle with porn and masturbation a secret from her, of course, which only made the problem of reconnecting my heart to hers even worse.

There was so much my wife didn’t know about me then, and I was terrified to tell her. I was terrified to hurt her. I had always thought I could be totally honest with anyone, but I found that I melted in fear before my wife, even though she only stood there mercifully, lovingly, patiently waiting for me to come back to her.

To tell you the truth, going back to her seemed like an impossibility, as all I wanted by this time was to run away and find some man to hook up with. At least a man would understand me better, I thought. And with a man, I wouldn’t feel so impotent and scared.

And so I was actually tempted to divorce my wife, abandon my daughter, give the finger to God, and run off to live gay and free in China for the rest of my days.

What are your greatest fears about marriage? If you’re already married, did you also have a rough start of separation or have you ever felt weak, afraid, or confused? How have you handled these hard feelings?

* Photo courtesy joffi, Creative Commons.

  • Elijah Herrell

    Kevin, thank you so much for sharing the details of this part of your life. While having a huge desire to be a great husband and father, the possibility of entering a marriage while still feeling and struggling with SSA was and still is pretty terrifying to me. There’s so many factors that create tension that, for the longest time, caused me to believe that it could never occur.

    This is why I’m so thankful for Kevin, some of the other brothers and even a select few to hear first-hand the joys and pitfalls of this relationship. Thankfully, the more I hear, the more I realize that the Lord is so kind to give grace to SSA men if they will continually choose to die to their selfish desires and choose to serve like Christ has done for His (very unlovable-at-times) bride.

    Made me think of a quote by Andrew Comiskey in his open letter to SSA men thinking of ending their marriage: “Your same-sex attraction is the tool God wants to use to teach you to love others because they are worthy of love, not because all your needs are being met. Welcome to ‘the club of men with conflicting desires’; welcome to the Cross whereby we surrender worldly dreams and mobilize for real people, real love.”

    So, on behalf all the younger guys (and girls) scared that marriage isn’t for them because of a predisposition, please continue to share your testimony of messy but honest triumph over selfishness and choosing Christ above all. We need you! 🙂

    Source: http://andrewcomiskey.com/open-letter-every-man-leaves-wifekids-gay/

    • mistaken identity

      “Messy but honest triumph,” I like that. I don’t know that I trust a triumph anymore that is not at least a little messy. I’m not sure who Comiskey is, but I have seen the truth of it since I have become more honest about my own struggle. God is teaching me to love his other kids because they are worthy of it. Thanks for posting that, Elijah!

      • Anon

        I’m in the middle of this struggle. It’s so… Confusing. I’ve ignored my body for 6 years- and recently slipped up. On the one hand, 85% of me is committed to preserving the marriage.

        But that 15 percent- it’s shouting as loud as it can. It says, you experienced a relief- so strong – it was like drinking water in a dessert. It was very different than PMO- it was so satisfying. For the first time in a long time, my mind was quiet – I was just there.

        What do i do with that? I feel like I’m a terrible person to even ask that question. But, I’m torn.

        • mistaken identity

          Hi Anon. I don’t know precisely what is happening, so I want to be careful what I say. You’re torn and you are confused because you have had satisfaction after years of deprivation. You are human. Most of us would react in the same way to your circumstances. God does not see you as terrible; he knows you are dust, as we all are. He knows you can not do anything to fix this. I believe he can. I don’t know what that is. I will pray though, and I know that always helps. I am so sorry you are experiencing this pain and feel compelled to make a terrible choice. I have considered that same choice myself when I was hopeless. Kevin considered it when he couldn’t connect with his young wife. What steps have you taken to invite the Holy Spirit to begin to move in this seemingly hopeless situation? I don’t ask this with any judgement or smirk of superiority. I confess I have given up on God and his ability to liberate and heal when I was faced with far less. He has proven me wrong many times. I know he can correct what is seemingly incorrectable. He doesn’t want you to suffer in deprivation forever, but his fix may not be immediate, easily accomplished, or seemingly rational. He takes no pleasure in keeping any good thing from you. I pray that he will bring satisfaction to you and your marriage.

          • Anon

            Thank you, MI. This is just a really hard situation. I’ve talked with a couple of people I know, but they aren’t SSA. So I feel like they don’t really understand the struggle- they just see the infidelity. Which isn’t a small thing- but it’s only a part of what’s going on. And I feel this pressure to just suck it up and honor my commitments. But at the same time. Being attracted to guys is different than wanting another partner. It’s not the same, because my wife can’t provide what my body needs.

          • mistaken identity

            It sounds desperately hard, Anon. It is honorable to keep our commitments, but I don’t think you can just suck it up. That will likely result in more frustration and failure. You seem to be in the same position Kevin was in at the end of this story. His wife didn’t seem to be adequate for what his body needed. Fear and deception were blocking him from seeing God’s answer to his dilemma. So often we see God as harsh and clueless. “He just doesn’t understand our needs. He just wants us to honor him by being a good boy, and that is all he cares about. He doesn’t care how I suffer in the process.” But he understands my needs better than I do since he purposefully designed them. Is there some false view about yourself that he could change that might free you to meet your needs in a way that you do not see as possible? If you are anything like me, he needs to first deal with my bondage to false ideas about my ineptness and inabilities. He certainly cares about the infidelity because it hurts his kids, but he can’t correct that until we allow him to work on the underlaying web of deceit. Don’t give up. If I were in your situation, I would doubt that I could overcome it honorably without destroying myself. But I don’t doubt that he can fix this. If you need somebody else to talk to, I would be happy to call. I am certainly no guru though.

          • Anon

            Thanks MI. I appreciate all your support.

          • mistaken identity

            Anon, please forgive me if I seemed to trivialize your life like the Christian counselors you mentioned or labeled you like the church members you talked about. That was not my intent, and it is not my belief. The limited scope of this medium makes such weighty and complicated issues difficult to discuss, at least for me. I would just add that the Christian counselors you describe above are the norm, but there are others out there who uphold orthodoxy but still are skilled and sensitive in treating sexual identity issues. It could be helpful to try to filter out the overabundance of unhelpful ones to find that gem. God could direct you in that search. As a clinical social worker for many years and a sometimes therapist, I saw it as one of my most important roles to keep my clients away from harmful therapists. There were far too many. Kevin seemed to benefit from another approach. Have you read his book? It is marvelous and seems to describe personal therapy by the Holy Spirit. Rather than solely pray his attractions away, he was specifically directed to engage in new and uncomfortable behaviors that targeted the faulty thinking and deception underlaying those attractions. I appreciate your openness and more than understand your desire for something simpler and different.

        • mike

          Anon, so good that 85% of Anon is committed to preserving your marriage. I learned and am still learning that the way we grow up is that as adults we make promises. And then, we go through the pain of keeping them. And pain is good. It is counter cultural. Yes. But it is biblical and God helps us with it and it is the journey of the Way home.

          • Anon

            Thanks, Mike. The way home. I feel lost most of the time. I’ve just gone through a lot recently. I appreciate you walking beside me.

          • mike

            “All that is gold does not glitter,
            Not all those who wander are lost;
            The old that is strong does not wither,
            Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
            Like Israel of the Bible we also wander about in circles sometimes Anon, but Jesus knows where He is taking us and He is not lost. Grab hold to his coat and don’t let go and you’ll be okay. And here you’ve found tremendous support and encouragement for the journey :).

        • Alan Gingery

          Dear Anon, whatever you are, you are not a terrible person. God loves you more than you can ever know. He knows all your weaknesses and He knows your sins too. His forgiveness is in Jesus Christ, who died for ALL of your sins–past, present and future. Ask for his forgiveness for your sin if you haven’t already done so, then forgive yourself as well.

          I pray that you will follow that 85% and honor your marriage vows.

          On the other hand, it sounds like there are unresolved problems in your marriage and legitimate needs that are not currently being met in healthy ways. I encourage you to talk to someone (pastor, friend, counselor, mentor or life coach) and get some help. If you don’t find a good healthy way to meet those legitimate needs, then your mind, heart and body will seek to meet them in unhealthy ways. Ask God to guide you to someone who can help you. I am praying that He will show you where to go to find some help you need.

          You are not alone in this, even if you feel that you are. You have other brothers who face the same temptations and walk along the same road, navigating our issues of masculinity, homosexuality and faith. We understand you and we support you.

          • Anon

            Hey Alan, you are right- there are a lot of unresolved needs. My life is way to complex. It seems like there is always something that needs to be worked out. But that at the same time, it’s also pushing in on me on all sides.

            It’s so hard to find someone in the church who I can talk with- I have had a lot of bad experiences after talking to pastors and church members about my struggles. So it’s hard to open up and trust that I won’t be exposed, rejected, expected to fix myself- or worse, labeled “unrepentant” because I continue to struggle.

            I’ve talked to secular counselors a lot before, but they mostly say- Accept yourself. Try to get your needs met. Which is helpful- but only to a point because they don’t really understand or support trying to live as a christian in this situation.

            A friend recently told me I should try to find a christian counselor- and in my experiences with that, they minimize the issues by relying too much on prayer and bible study, and get frustrated when change doesn’t happen.

            I guess I don’t know what I need. I’m not sure what can really help. I’ve been trying to find help for years and years. I’ve just tried to take the helpful things from each path- but in the end- it was like sticking a band-aid on a broken bone. I’ve been trying to fix myself/ find my own solution for 24 or more years. And it just hasn’t worked. I don’t know maybe it’s the drama speaking but I feel so done.

            Thanks for your prayers. I wish things were different, simpler. I appreciate your kind words.

          • Alan Gingery

            Dear Anon,

            Don’t give up. I’m 60 now and it has only been in the past few years that I’ve found peace and healing for many things that I’ve felt all my life. I am glad for my journey and the brothers along the road who walk with me.

            I have Two suggestions For you in the form of two helpful books I’ve read.

            One book is one that Tom Zinga quoted in podcast 7: Tim Timmerman’s book, “A Bigger World Yet-Faith, Brotherhood and Same-sex Needs.” Tim talks about both negative experiences and positive experiences he has with Christian men. Ultimately he found healing and support and got his needs met through the right kind of Christian men, but needed to stay away from the wrong kind of Christian men. The wrong kind fall into one of two camps: those who condemn homosexuals and refuse them fellowship or those who affirm both homosexuals and homosexuality. Your comments put me so much in mind of Tim’s journey with his own SSA.

            The second book is “Battle For Normality–a guide for self therapy for healing homosexuality.” I’m not sure of the second title exactly, but if you look for Battle for Normality you’ll get it. It is by a Psychologist named Dr. Van Aardveg or Aardweg. Sorry, I don’t have the exact spelling. This is a great book to help men struggling with SSA look into many of the same issues that a trained psychologist would in therapy. He wrote it because there are a host of men who want help with unwanted SSA who cannot find a therapist that is not exclusively “gay affirmative therapy” supportive. This also seemed like one of the things you mentioned. He is a Christian, but emphasizes that healing of the emotional wounds that lead to SSA, is not something that you can accomplish through purely “spiritual” means. It takes some real work on the emotional roots.

            While this last book is something you do without a “trained therapist”, you don’t do it alone. I read the chapters, wrote the assignments and sent my responses to 3 different “life coaches” who could ask me further questions or make comments. I picked my own life coaches. That is why I encouraged you to find someone to talk to. I do acknowledge the problem of finding the right someone. That is critical! You have too many examples of painful experiences with a whole bunch of wrong someones. And for that I feel sad for you.

            But you are a worthwhile and valuable person and you should not give up. God is there for you and you are not alone. The community at YOB, is also here for you. God bless you deeply and richly. Alan

    • Karl Jacob

      As another younger SSA guy thinking about marriage, I don’t think describing us as “scared” is entirely accurate. Wrestling with Christian culture’s expectation for marriage is something that straight Christians often don’t have to do. For me, it’s not that I’m scared, but that I genuinely don’t think it’s something it would be right for me to pursue. And if singleness is just as good as marriage (as the Bible strongly suggests), I don’t see a compelling reason to change my mind. In the context of the first paragraph, the second seems to me like it’s saying that staying single would be refusing God’s grace, succumbing to selfish desires and choosing not to serve like Christ. That said, I get the sense that I might be way overthinking this and misinterpreting your comment. Could you clarify, please?

      • Elijah Herrell

        Yeah, definitely! I apologize for being a little unclear.

        When I spoke of believing SSA men fearing marriage, I wasn’t trying to include everyone in that catergory. I’m sure there are many other guys who have found singleness/celibacy as the best choice and I commend that and recognize that that choice has been commended by Jesus himself. I was just speaking for those that I know feel similarly as me who are ministered to by testimonies like Kevin’s.

        My second paragraph was talking about those who have made the choice to marry while SSA and choosing to love/serve by the grace of God without the backing of feelings. If it seemed like I was equating singleness to selfish, I deeply apologize. I know that celebacy can absolutely be God’s will and that there is ample grace needed for that choice as well. Every believer makes choices and certain ones require things of us. I was just trying to reflect on how God wants to help those of us who choose to marry honor our oath of marriage (SSA or not) when it becomes difficult.

        Hope that helps!

        • Karl Jacob

          In light of your response, I’d say I pretty much agree with your original comment. Thanks for replying!

    • Chuck

      Thank you Elijah and Kevin for sharing this. Kevin I agree and I can’t exactly articulate how my love developed for my wife happen but just as Kevin I fell in love and after almost 45 years later and 2 children that love and relation continues to evolve all with in the spirt of Christ. We are best friends and love each other. Yes we had a sexual life but a relationship is not all sex just one expression of intimacy. Yet I do struggle with SSA and if it was not for meeting my wife when I did as I was at a cross road that would have taken me down a road of exclusive SSA relationships and lifestyle but God has a plan for all his children and I was lead to choose a difficult one and do not regret my choice. So many stories of miracles from that point on that I may reveal some time later. And yes my struggle with SSA always present but so is my resolve to pray, surrender all to God and when I fall – which I do often- I get up surrender again, admit my sin and struggle on.

      • Kevin Frye

        Amen, Chuck! Our sin natures don’t go away. That’s why we’re told to die daily, crucify the flesh daily, and live for God. It’s a moment-by-moment fight that won’t end until we’re home with the Lord.

    • Kevin Frye

      Thanks, Elijah! I’m not quitting anytime soon. There’s more to come. I hope you will also continue to share some of your perspectives and story here, even as a single man, so that other people reading will know that our fears and struggles are all very common to man. 🙂

  • mike

    Porn and masturbation addiction is a leading cause of erectile dysfunction in men resulting from decreased dopamine receptor sensitivity in the brain. Many marriages have been shipwrecked over this because like drug addiction this becomes a chronic disease with relapses that eventually leave wives fed up.
    Interesting that YOU considered divorcing your wife when it was YOU who were close to that “hardness of heart” which Jesus considers the threshold for divorce. In truth, it was your wife who had grounds to divorce you! My own relapses with this disease of porn/masturbation produces in me the greatest fear that my wife will eventually divorce me.
    Yet, I’ve realized that God is jealous about marriage with a jealousy and steadfastness to make it work I can hardly understand! I’ve seen not only in my own life but others this faithfulness and commitment by God to reach out to couples with mercy and grace and help to heal marriages. Those fearful about entering marriage because of these chronic maladies of SSA, masturbation/porn addictions can allay their fears and anxieties and take heart that Jesus has overcome all and we can too with His help.i

    • Kevin Frye

      I think running away from my problems, or the people I viewed as the fuel of my problems, seemed to me at the time to be an attempt at making myself feel stronger as a man. I thought I would be happier and stronger in the arms of a man then, and my world would be more peaceful. How backwards is that?! I was so deceived. Anyway, you’ll learn more about what was going on in future posts I’m writing.

      And you’re right; we need not worry, because Jesus has absolutely overcome the brokenness within us, and as long as we abide in Him, so can we.

      • mike

        And there’s the gold in this for all to see. You could not have known that truth Kevin about why you wanted to flee into the arms of a man if Jesus had not taught you that about yourself.
        It is precisely why all of us SSA’d guys do just that. In our moments of manly inadequacy to whom do we run for comfort and strength. To the image of an ideal man that we wish we were. Either we repeat that childish cycle or we learn in time that Jesus is the man who is the God of all comfort, all strength in our weakness, and the healer of our souls.
        You speak of deception. I’ll be interested to learn of that in your future posts. What deceived you or who? Because the side A folk who are watching would say you are presently deceived. But whoho is really the deceived one?

  • mistaken identity

    Hey Kevin! Thank God you resisted that temptation and worked to overcome a very difficult beginning. It did give me pause to think of you being unable to be totally honest, but in those circumstances it is entirely understandable, even for someone with your courage and transparency. Feeling inadequate in the bedroom shakes a man to the core, at least this man. Aging brings new challenges in that arena and despite years of success and great blessing there, I can still resort to absolute panic and toss away the Bible for myths and lies when there is a disruption. God is so patient.
    No, we did not have a rough start of separation. There was a blissful beginning in Yosemite Valley and an excellent first year. A near fatal illness for me and then years of infertility eroded the tranquility though and fully exposed my insecurities. I do not do well with separation, especially sexual separation. Even a single day still challenges me. I’m fine for a few days if I am busy with friends, going to great plays or concerts or doing ministry. Otherwise, that separation still rocks me. So, my greatest fear would have to be the ultimate separation of death. I don’t dwell on it and rarely think of it. I know at my core that God will be with me if I am to lose her, and he will ultimately secure me, but I can see myself panicking again and running off with some guy while confusion and terror deafens me to his reassurances and hope. I hope that is not the case, but I know he will draw me back if I fall that way.
    Please know that Cindy and I continue to pray for your marriage and writing ministry Kevin. You overcame that great temptation, and I am sure you know that other big ones are lining up in your future. As long as we are still on the planet, we will be advocate for you with the Father.

    • Kevin Frye

      Hey MI! Thanks for keeping me in prayer! People think that now that I’m writing about all of this stuff, I must have somehow arrived at the victory line and all of my troubles are in the past. Not so! I still have to fight just like everyone else! We could all use all the prayer we can get.

      • mistaken identity

        Hey Kevin! I must not be a people. I know you have arrived at a good place to this point, but the finish line is a long way off possibly, and there is a lot of junk in between. That’s why we pray. And because we love what you do and who you are.

  • Ashley Lavergne

    For me, since I experience more of a bisexual type of attraction the sexual part of my relationship with my husband has never been that deep of an issue for me except that at times i feel like he desires me more than I desire him , but i also think that that is in part a woman thing. But I also was like you in thinking that the worst part was over because i had gotten married and someone showed up in my life and I quickly realizwd that that was not the case. I was not unfaithful, but it’s a crazy mind space to be in when you love your spouse so much and yet all this other stuff is happening at the same time inside if you and I think it’s scary to try and let ones spouse in on it because you dont fully understand it yourself.
    I think my challenge or what was hard for me was being romantic with my spouse – I can be sexual, but being romantic was actually hard for me and it made me feel terrible because it was something I had to try so hard for but I knew that with a woman it was basically effortless

    • mistaken identity

      I do understand that “crazy mind space.” I am crazy in love with my wife of 32 years but still have separate weird battles going on in my head a good part of any given day. And it is scary to share when you don’t fully grasp it all yourself, but fortunately I will eventually share almost everything with her.

    • Kevin Frye

      Yeah, I really get that dualism you talk about — loving my wife, but being so tempted to do something that would destroy her and our relationship. I believe it’s really something spiritual and not just our feelings leading us astray. Thanks for always keeping up and giving us your comments here. It’s refreshing to hear things from a woman’s perspective and to know that it isn’t just men who deal with some of this stuff.

      • mike

        “I believe it’s really something spiritual and not just our feelings leading us astray.”
        Yes, you must write a post on this Kevin. There are days in my life and in others I mentor when it seems all hell breaks lose and one is tempted to do the craziest things after weeks even months of abating SSAs and porn addiction. Suddenly, one finds an overwhelming urge to surf porn and masturbate etc. Despite doing all the right spiritual disciplines and living right.
        It is Ephesians 6:13 that explains it: “when the day of evil comes”.

  • Anon

    My wife and I had a great wedding day- the evening was a bit of a bust. I was ashamed of my body, where my wife a lot more confident and interested sex initially. I ended up falling asleep when we were supposed to be getting down to business! And my wife cried through the night… So that first night was tough.

    The honeymoon was fun though- we got back on track and enjoyed ourselves. Then, after the honeymoon, sex fell off the rails again.

    It’s been hard to work through these issues of inadequacy, confidence, and feeling desire. Still working through them.

    My greatest fear is that my wife will eventually divorce me- because I’m afraid that I can’t really give her what she needs. And because some of my core needs aren’t being met. I fear losing her heart. But at the same time, I fear being lonely in my relationship, and inauthentic for the rest of my life. So.

    • Alan Gingery

      I totally relate to what you wrote here. I just posted my experience in the comments. Check it out.

      Because of my unresolved SSA feelings, I really felt like I was less than a man, inadequate as a man and especially as a lover…and this really impeded my sex drive. I am glad you are still working through your issues. Don’t give up. Recently, I have with therapy changed the way I feel about myself as a man. Now I want to enjoy love making and the masculine energy that God gave me. I just want sex to be something beautiful and shared. My head is ready for it now. The brain is the largest sexual organ in our body–ha ha!

      So, continue on. Wives don’t divorce husbands because they don’t fulfill them sexually. Marriage is much more than good sex. Good sex helps though! Tell yourself a new story about this fear and seek help (from a sexologist) if you need to. Fear was a big thing that kept me from enjoying sex. I was always uptight. My best advice is to put your brain into a new place, tell yourself some new stories, let go of fear and begin to enjoy this gift from God. May the LORD bless your sex life. Amen

    • Kevin Frye

      Honeymoons are so hard! I never even had a honeymoon, because my wife couldn’t get off from work long enough to go anywhere. But we all hear about how great honeymoons are and that the wedding night is pretty much the best night of our lives, but I think this is all hyperbolic. I’ve heard testimonies from people, OSA and SSA alike, who had terrible honeymoons and who cried on their wedding nights. Thank God those rough starts don’t have to mean the marriage is doomed.

  • Michael

    The first few years of my marriage were good. I was in love, the sex was great… we were happy. My attraction to guys never went away and I began to fantasies, porn and masturbation became an everyday part of my life. Like Kevin, those habits became the only way I could “get off”. I was ashamed of my secret and that shame only pushed me further into sin.

    • Kevin Frye

      Such a common story. I thought there were very few like me, but I’m learning that it’s really widespread.

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  • Alan Gingery

    You got balls, Kevin! You are probably the bravest man I know–to share this story with YOB. Thanks for putting yourself out there for us.

    You ask: If you’re already married, did you also have a rough start of separation or have you ever felt weak, afraid, or confused? How have you handled these hard feelings?

    In one sense, my marriage was the polar opposite of yours. You started out with great sex and feeling strong OSA. Your separation came at a terrible time and lasted for far too long a time. It was really tough for you to be separated from Yoko, and under stress you returned to what was a familiar way to medicate those negative emotions: (PMO–Porn, Masturbation and Orgasm).

    I was on the other hand, romantically and emotionally close to my wife, but sex was greatly fearful for me. So instead of running toward healthy sex in my marriage, I ran away from it. I had guilt from a pre-marital homosexual affair that I brought into my marriage. And more significantly, I had lots of unresolved issues surrounding my SSA. I felt inadequate as a man. I felt insecure about myself being able to “perform” sexually as a man to please my wife. So I brought into marriage this lie: I was a lousy lover and I couldn’t cut it as a sexual partner. Unconsciously, that is what I told myself. And I found sexual release in the familiar way: masturbation. There was no internet porn at that time, so porn wasn’t the issue for me. That dates me, right?

    I enjoyed sex with my wife and the closeness and intimacy of sex. However, I never felt that I did it well. And I was so uptight about being a failure, that I never (well almost never) initiated sex. It was always my wife who initiated love making. After a while, when she realized that I was jerking off in the shower or toilet and not having sex with her, she felt rejected and sexually undesirable. And thus, my wounds that led to my SSA also wounded her self-esteem.

    Anyway, my unresolved SSA feelings and poor self-esteem really mucked up what should have been a great part of our marriage: sex. We have had a good marriage in almost every other way. But sex was never good. We never really made a good sexual adjustment. We should have sought counseling, but we didn’t. Hindsight is so clear. That is painful to write, but it is the truth.

    I have worked on my self-esteem and self confidence and dealt with my painful past in therapy for the past 2+ years. I have, for the first time in my life, begun to truly feel that I am a real man in a man’s world and I feel at peace with my masculinity (most of the time!) With this change, I desire to have a sexual relationship with my wife now. (We haven’t had sex in 20+ years.) My wife is not willing to have a sexual relationship with me at this time. It is a huge disappointment for me. I finally have my head in the right place to enjoy sex and I want the intimacy and emotional closeness, but her past wounds and pain keep her from being my willing partner.

    I recognize that God is healing me from brokenness in my past. And I see that my wife needs healing too. I can’t do that. Only God can. So, I must wait upon the LORD and seek to be the best husband that I can. I hope that one day, I can see Joel 2:25 become a reality in my marriage.

    • mistaken identity

      I am thanking God for the healing you have experienced and so liberally share, Alan, and praying for healing for your wife. God give you the grace to wait well, even though it is painful. May you truly experience his kindness and “cheering you on” in these difficult times. “Let God arise in this marriage, and let all enemies be scattered. Let all who hate him and injure those he loves flee before him. They have had their laughter and fun, let their influence end and let his liberating power be released.”

      • Alan Gingery

        Dear MI,

        Thanks for your kind words and prayers! God is my “home” now. I have grown so much closer to Him as I have sought healing in my life for my brokenness. Sure, I long for and pray for healing for my wife and our marriage, but whatever comes, I can say without hesitation that God is good and his love is enough for me.

        The other things are a blessing, but with Him I’m home and I have all I need. Too long I made my wife an idol and wanted her to meet all my emotional and intimacy needs…and I see that she can’t fix me, nor can I fix her. Only in God will I find all I need. And He is gracious to give me wonderful brothers (gay, straight, unwanted SSA) to walk this road with me. I am a man blessed!

        • mistaken identity

          He is so good. There is no other safe and secure home.

    • Kevin Frye

      Alan! Thank you so much for sharing some of your story here. I already knew most of this, but I’m glad other people are being let in on it now, too. You have a lot of wisdom and experience you can share that could help other people. Blessings, brother!

  • Brad

    Hey Kevin (and other YOB authors) – thanks for your posts. I’ve been silently listening to the conversation over most of 2016. Really appreciate and connect with your stories (each one has ministered to me in significant ways!) and so I wanted to pseudonymously introduce myself. Hey guys, I’m “Brad”!

    In a lot of ways my story is similar to yours, Kevin – though, of course, each of our stories are unique. I’m sure you’ll hear more of my story as time goes on. My wonderful wife, of more than 10 years, is the first woman I found myself significantly attracted to. And when all is well in my heart (spiritually, emotionally) she is the one I yearn for… but when my heart gets into a funk or is unwell (emotionally, spiritually, etc.) then I find myself yearning for men (sexually, emotionally) and (tempted to) begin a dangerous cycle.

    We’ve lived overseas for most of our married-lives (1 year in East Asia and now for the last 8 years in Africa), and in this season I’m feeling pretty lonely. I don’t have any significant (non-virtual) guy friends… I’m longing for healthy friendships and male touch while also trusting God will provide what I need, and waiting on Him – and enjoying Him in prayer and worship. I’m also reminding myself and thanking God for the incredible emotional, spiritual, and sexual provision he has provided me in my wife along with the joy and purpose I find in our 4 kids. Isn’t it interesting that when there’s one thing we feel we need (that we don’t have) we can so quickly forget about all that He has blessed us with and feel that life isn’t fair for us?

    Anyways, just wanted to say “hi”. I’m thankful for you guys, glad for the reminder that I’m not alone, and hope to become more a part of this community (as time allows). Many greetings! 🙂

    • Welcome, Brad! So glad you stepped out of the shadows to introduce yourself. We hope you’ll share more of your story as further posts and comments sections unfurl. Thanks for sharing this introduction!

    • Barry Smith

      Thanks so much Brad for your courage in sharing. I’d love to hear more of your story and how you first became attracted to guys. That’s always such an interesting thing to discover. We all share unique yet similar stories. So awesome to meet others who love the Lord with all of their heart and have similar struggles. There is such awesome support in this network. God bless you!

    • mistaken identity

      Welcome Brad! I’m glad you are here. Yes, it is interesting how quickly we forget about all that He has blessed us with. Whether we are SSA or not, our biggest, most intense, and crucial struggle, whether we recognize it or not, is too affirm His obvious goodness even when everything around us seems to deny it. He loves it when we declare his grace and power when we face what appears to our twisted perceptions to be a cold and indifferent universe. I wish I did it more consistently for Him.

    • Kevin Frye

      Hey Brad! Thanks for sharing this piece of your story! What we’re doing here is not just about us YOB authors. We’re here to help our readers and listeners join us in this movement toward integrity, honesty, purity, and submission and devotion to the Lord. I’m so glad you’ve come in and let yourself be known here! Grace and blessings to you, brother!

    • Brad

      Thanks brothers for the welcome! 🙂