(This post comes from Roger Mann.)
I talked to a friend who was in and out of same-sex relationships because of his abuse. We discussed that other victims speak of the emptiness of same-sex relationships, which leave them depressed and feeling miserable. But neither of us felt that way, and it caused us to wonder.
One thing we have in common is that riding off into the sunset with another male has never been a possibility. It’s not that we haven’t met anyone who’d be willing, but it’s because of the way we responded to our abusers.
Because of who they were, we never considered that what we had between us was anything more than a physical action. (For him, it was an older brother; for me, it was my dad.) It was a “thing” that involved connection and fondness, but also an understanding that it would eventually end. While I might have loved my dad, and my friend his older brother—and the closeness we each felt was great—life continued, and we grew up and moved on.
Part of our experience became a fixed pattern that repeated itself in similar types of sexual relationships. Because of preconditioned attitudes cemented in our impressionable years, our ability to commit intimately to anyone else was almost impossible.
We both knew men who wanted a more permanent situation with us, and while we felt genuine affection for them, a commitment was out of the question. Our idea of fidelity still included our wives.
The abuse rerouted our wiring and compartmentalized that area of our brains. I honestly believe my dad ruined any possibility of my having true fidelity with anyone. I can either love someone or have sex with them. For my wife, love and sex are a package deal—no compartmentalization. I struggle with that, and it’s hurt her.
Now that I’m older, it’s easier to be more faithful, but I fear it’s because of age rather than morality. With God’s help, and as revelation and understanding increase, I’m doing better.