Thursday, July 19, 2012

One type of family that gay marriage could harm

In a family where one of the spouses is a closeted gay person, the advent of gay marriage and more lifestyle choices in society could be a threat.

Back in the so called "good old days" lots of gay people stayed in the closet and got married into heterosexual relationships. They often raised families. This is still going on today, but it was very common in the past. In many cases, those families stayed together as people just toughed it out. It wasn't ideal, but in some cases, they stayed together for the sake of the kids. They "grinned and bared it," so to speak.

Now days, expectations are higher. Gay marriage has been legal in Canada and a few other nations for several years. Here in the US, it's making progress in a lot of states. I'm in favor of gay marriage, of course, but I got to thinking that more choices and freedoms in society bring higher expectations. Folks that have been closeted in earlier times are apt to expect more out of life than in the past. Many of these closet cases have been married. Often it's said that these people are living a lie. Living the heterosexual family life when they weren't really all that heterosexual. Folks often marry without fully knowing who they are or where the entire mix of their feelings are at the time. Marriage is never perfect, of course, but in the past, people often forced it together with duct tape and bailing wire, so to speak. They did it for the sake of the kids, because churches and parents expected it, because other choices were just not thought about.

Now days, bailing wire and duct tape might be used as props for a Leatherman fetish party, but that's a different story.

I'm remembering an old TV show called "All In The Family," with the husband Archy Bunker. I'm not thinking he was closeted gay, necessarily, but he didn't seem very happy. Life wasn't always a piece of cake. It was a bit dysfunctional and not often that fulfilling, but they grit their teeth and made it work. The old lunch bucket blue collar days.

These days, people are expecting more. More honesty, more transparency, more choice. "Find your true bliss path," so they say. Don't just do heterosexual marriage because it's the only accepted option. Now there is more freedom in our society so marriages that have never been based on totally ideal reasons are splitting apart. People seeing better options out in society so they are striving for more. People may be getting more restless, in some ways. Marriages where one spouse is gay, but in the closet while the other is be heterosexual have been common and they often don't last the onslaught of other choices portrayed in the media, from neighbors and on the internet.

The cat has been let out of the bag.

Come to think about it, there are societies where marriage isn't about love anyway. It's an arranged affair. Set up by in laws, parents, churches and so forth. Arranged marriage. Not choosing who you want, but fulfilling your assignment to society.

Now that we are getting more honesty and choice in society, I don't think people will want to go back to the past. Expectations are higher, but with higher expectations can also come the reality of more disappointment.

I'm for going forward towards more lifestyle choices and out of the closet honesty, but I also realize that there is a problem when expectations are high. Are we a spoiled bunch? Just look at American society. Yes there is a lot of turmoil, these days in all kind of situations. Marriage's braking apart, gay relationships not being what people have expected, in some cases at least. Folks not keeping up with the "Joneses." The grass is always greener on the other side.

Striving for something better means progress, but it also means stresses and strains in the process.

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