After my girlfriend, Sarah, ended her relationship with me, I took some time to think through what had just happened.

Obviously my same-sex attraction had impacted her decision not to marry me. She also clearly felt unloved by me.

I was full of questions:

Why had I failed?

Would I ever be able to find a woman who would marry me?

Why couldn’t I make Sarah feel loved?

Are there women out there who would marry me and fight on my side against SSA?

Is there something about SSA that always disqualifies me from marriage?

Should I still try to marry a woman, keep my SSA secret from her, and “fake it until I make it”?

Or should I give up and remain single?

Is remaining single actually “giving up” or is it actually best for me?

What did Sarah mean about “expressing my feelings”?

I had very little time to think about these doubts and questions before another bomb dropped.

My straight friend, Brandon, said he wanted to talk with me about something serious.

“I have some questions about Sarah,” he said. “Do you think she might change her mind and get back with you?”

“Oh, no,” I said. “We’re both sure we can never marry each other. I’m as sure as I can be that that will never happen.”

He paused. “So, I’ve been noticing her more lately, and I really like what I see. How would you feel if I asked her out on a date?”

In that moment I felt all kinds of confusing, good, and bad stuff, and I just couldn’t put it all into words. I instinctively told Brandon to go ahead with pursuing Sarah, out of my desire to be a blessing to my friend.

Then I really thought about what he had just done.

Was this betrayal? What would Sarah think? What will happen to my friendship with Brandon now? Will I lose my closest friend? What will my other friends think? Most importantly, what does God Himself want me to do?

I was a mess, but I tried to conceal my mess from Brandon and everyone else.

Sarah said yes to Brandon, and they started dating; it wasn’t long before they were obviously in love.

How was I supposed to respond?

My former girlfriend — the only one with whom I had ever discussed marriage — dumped me and was now with my best male friend.

Had I been betrayed by BOTH of them?

To be continued . . .

Have you ever felt betrayed by a good friend? How did you move past the betrayal?

* Photo courtesy petertandlund, Creative Commons.

  • Women that marry SSA men in full knowledge of that situation make a difficult decision. They do not know how we will be in the future when there are three kids in the house and a mortgage. We have all have heard or know of stories where SSA’s have snapped and walked away from a marriage leaving their wives in a lurch of pain. We are a gamble in most respects.
    As for your straight friend taking up where you left off, why would you not wish them both happiness, health and a great life together? You love them both. Do you have a right to ask them not to connect simply because it did not work for you and her? I don’t think so. And yes, I know this can be a problem for two straight male friends as well. One breaks up with a girlfriend, the other moves in. Somehow the first comes to believe he still has relationship rights even when there is no relationship. Does that mean it’s not really over for him or does there need to be a refractory period? She will date others. Why not a friend?
    That’s the practical side of it. On the emotional side of it, I would be plenty PO’d. It’s like declared territory has been violated even though you’re not using it and do not intend to.
    I envy the fact that you guys were ever attracted to a woman in the first place. I have had many women friends in my life, but I have never been attracted to or wanted to set up housekeeping with any of them. It always seemed like a hopeless situation to me. I could not put that kind of life on anyone no matter how badly I wanted a family or desired to seem “normal”. It would have been cruel and dishonest FOR ME to do that.

    • Daily, yes you summarized my situation well. Logically I should not stop Brandon and Sarah from getting together, but it was difficult emotionally.
      As you said, it is hard to find a woman who would agree to marrying an SSA guy, but it is dishonest to hide that from her.

  • Hi Marshall,
    Thanks for sharing your journey! I’m sorry that this situation happened, but I can tell that you’ve grown from it! Isn’t that what life’s all about, growing from the good and tough seasons of life? (I feel like I grow during tough seasons and sometimes I’m lulled to sleep during good seasons of life).
    I’m in a mixed orientation marriage and my wife accepts my struggle with SSA. We’ve been together 10 years and married for 5! I’m not exclusively attracted to men, but about 50/50, not sure if that makes it easier for her to accept.
    -Landon

    • Thanks Landon!
      Yes, I definitely grew because of my failed relationship with “Sarah”. It took me years of thinking through everything, but I now understand that I can’t be in a serious relationship with a woman unless my heart is very deeply involved. In her case I built a friendship, but I couldn’t devote my heart the way I needed to. I was trying to force myself, but it didn’t work and she could tell.
      You brought up another serious issue in our relationship. I feel mostly attracted to guys with the occasional feeling for a girl. It is far less than 50/50 and she did not believe it was enough to sustain a marriage.

  • Marshall

    Jesus told us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. I seek to do that with great joy, because He is better than everything we give up! Also I want to love others in an unselfish way as Jesus taught. I currently do my best to live out that kind of love with 15 other friends on a farm near the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. I love talking about what really matters, and seeing a friend's heart turn from pain to joy, from fear to peace, and from despair to hope! My writing tends to focus on the topic of friendships with other guys. I have never married and am currently the oldest author on YOB.

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