Written By: Sam from New York
[One of our men who was involved in the journey for about 10 years wrote this piece to encourage his brothers within the journey. A religious man who was able to resolve his conflict between Orthodox religious values and his same-sex attractions, this piece reports how he was successful in his journey and in reaching the goals he set forth for himself.].
I've been meaning to share some exciting news with you all. I recently got married to a wonderful wonderful young lady. I truly feel blessed to have her in my life (and that she said yes to marrying me!) and I am extremely excited about our future together. It has been a long and rewarding journey getting to this point. I look forward to the new adventures and challenges that marriage will bring to us.
I feel well equipped and confident that we will have a beautiful marriage together based on mutual respect, understanding, and love, with, of course, open communication. I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to JONAH, Arthur and Elaine, David Matheson, and all my friends that I met along the way who showed me endless support. There is no way I would be where I am today without your support and encouragement...so thank you. Most importantly, I thank G-d for giving me the strength all along the way.
For those of you that do not know me, I started my journey approximately 10 years ago. I was told that I should just get married and everything would be fine. That advice did not sit well with me. My Rabbi introduced me to JONAH and the rest is history. I read the books, went to JIM and New Warrior weekends, was in therapy, went to groups, had my ups and downs, worked hard, etc.
Over the years I created a healthy distance from the feminine (where I had been enmeshed) and strengthened my connection to the masculine by spending time with my father, making healthy male friends, and building my confidence and self esteem. My SSA (Same-Sex Attraction) has diminished and my OSA (Opposite-Sex Attraction) has increased.
I got to the point where I felt comfortable dating and dated for a few years. I finally found the one for me. My wife was different from the others. I was immediately attracted to her, her sensitivity and insight were unlike any other, and her communication skills were superb. She had all the qualities I was looking for in a spouse.
I always felt strongly about sharing my SSA past with my potential wife...so I did while we were still dating, and it all worked out. I packaged the truth of my SSA as a symptom of bigger issues: my self confidence and masculine identity. I told her about my journey and though I didn't know what to expect, I could not have asked for a better response. She was amazed by what I had accomplished and it only made her feel closer to me. I encouraged her to speak to my friend's wife who was in a similar situation to gain some perspective and ask questions. She spoke to my friend's wife and said it was very helpful.
The wedding night was getting closer and I was nervous about being intimate with my wife for the first time. Would everything work okay? Everything worked out great.
Our first few months together have been fantastic. Married life is amazing. I am very much looking forward to our future together. During my journey there were moments when I wondered if there was any hope for me and my future. My message to those of you that ask this question - there IS hope.
Sam from New York