Q: I’m 38 & just going through separation after 11 mostly miserable years of marriage. After many years of questioning my own sexuality (before & during the marriage) I’ve fallen head over heels for a girlfriend who’s also been through divorce. She’s a great support, we enjoy being together when we can. At a conference earlier in the year we ended up late one night kissing one another – and I’m not talking a peck on the cheek. Next morning she said ‘no, it wasn’t a mistake, I am attracted to you’. Bingo! But we are both in leadership roles in different churches and in a long and painful conversation later that day she said she felt we couldn’t develop the relationship without risking both our careers. We still meet up for long conversations and short hugs at the end of the evening. I’m pining away because I still want more. What do I do?
Diva Says: Ouch. Sorry to say it, Sister – but it seems to me you have a decision to make between two defining characteristics of your life; Your religion (as you know it) and your sexuality. Now, contrary to popular opinion, this isn’t an either/or proposition — there are PLENTY of churches out there that not only welcome, but condone same-sex relationships. Sounds to me, however, that you’re more than a little involved in a church that hasn’t, pardon the pun, seen the light.
So here’s the thing. You’ve got this libido that, after 11 years of chronic disappointment, is highly inflamed — and now your head, after Lord only (and literally) knows how many years in the sand, has been yanked out, dusted off and plopped down on a velvety cushion of girl flesh and you’re thinking — hey, this isn’t so bad, but is it worth my career?
In my opinion, which I’m giving to you because you asked for it, – Yep. Absolutely. It’s worth it.
You spent 11 years trying to be something you’re not, and while – as human beings – we are highly capable of adapting to our environment, and you may not have felt it was all that bad – it’s somewhat obvious by its demise that it wasn’t where you belonged. There are countless reasons for divorce and I’m not saying that your desire for women was the crack in the foundation, but, because now that you’ve broken free, the first thing that hits you is your sexuality, it may very well be that it’s time for you to face it and see where it takes you.
I can’t speak for your friend. Her path may not be yours, and her career and comfortable life may be more of a priority for her than a relationship with you or any woman. But a lifetime spent wishing you were somewhere other than you are is no lifetime at all. My advice to you is to find a life where you can be both and be happy.