Being a healer with a psychology background brings all kinds of people flocking to you with their pain, problems and secrets – wanting to be healed and looking for answers. It is a gift that I both accept and fear, for such knowledge can sometimes be too much of a burden. The story of Aman, however, was refreshing despite being complex.
Being the only male child of his extended family, people were looking forward to his marriage. After much resistance, he relented. Ten years later, he confessed to his wife that he was gay. It’s 20 years since their marriage and they are one of the happiest couples around. I was taken aback – how could this happen? Talking to Aman, I understood how love and commitment can help people surmount the most difficult of circumstances.
It took 10 years
For 10 years he didn’t tell his wife. He felt she already had a fair idea but never touched the issue. Nor did she confront Aman about her suspicion. She was happy being his wife and didn’t want to rock the boat – or so Aman felt. He didn’t want to tell her lest it took her dignity away and forced her to move out. The last thing he wanted was to crush her by telling her the truth and taking away her right to denial. It almost seemed like she didn’t want to know; as long as she didn’t know, she would be fine.
In those many years, Aman stayed by her side, refusing every emotion that he had deprived her of.
If he couldn’t give her the companionship of a partner, he too deprived himself of any extramarital relationship.
Twice he was attracted to guys who wanted a relationship with him, but he stepped back. For him, the marriage was for keeps and it was sacrosanct. Yes, it took immense strength not to give in to the desires.
He did his best
Being the kind of person he was, Aman ensured that everything that was close to his wife’s heart, he made his own. Just the way she embraced his family, he made her family his own. There was nothing he would do for his own parents that he would not do for hers. He became a son to them instead of a son-in-law. In 10 years they built a world together that belonged to both of them. That would become the firm foundation of their marriage.
The only thing that gnawed at his heart was the truth that he held back from her. He wanted her to know somehow and accept him the way he was. And he got that chance when he sent his wife for an outstation workshop on personality development. He was aware the workshop helped people to open up within a group of strangers and hoped she would. She did. Two days after her return, she finally asked Aman.
Related reading: When I got married to a gay man
In fact she asked three questions. One, if he was gay (yes but he only realised it on the wedding night); two, if he wanted her to leave (no, there was no question of that) and three, if he was happy in the marriage (yes, he was happy in the marriage but sometimes miserable thinking he was unable to make HER happy). His final words took away all her pain when he said, had it not been for her and the marriage, he would have been lying in a gutter with AIDS.
They rose above their differences
The beauty I saw in their relationship was the lack of ego, the lack of any desire for blame game or wanting to hurt each other and their desire to give priority to the marriage instead of their own individual needs. It isn’t an extraordinary marriage; like any other couple they fight, disagree, refuse to agree when there was a difference of opinion. What IS extraordinary is the way they rose above themselves to accommodate each other in the marriage.
For them, marriage wasn’t about sex, about spark, about children, about rights, about money or importance. It was about companionship, about growing to love each other rather than falling in love. It was about being there for each other; about holding hands tightly through any storm. Perhaps that is what marriage is all about! At least for them it was.