We seemed to go from crisis to crisis in communication throughout our marriage. I didn’t know how to fight, so I’d steam and rant and rave and finally we’d hit some sort of crisis and catharsis and bottom out, only to repeat the cycle again in a few weeks.
It was during one of those uglier catharsis episodes that he told me: at the age of 14, he’d been molested, or perhaps seduced, by an older man. “I have always been afraid,” he wept, “that if you hadn’t fallen in love with me and married me, that’s where I would have ended up.”
I couldn’t grasp it – except to realize something was terribly wrong, because he was placing the onus of responsibility on me to save him from his nightmare, and I didn’t have the power to rescue him. But being powerless myself, and not having anyone to turn to, I got sick for three days and then buried the incident deep …
until we were going through our divorce, ten years later, and I met his “best friend.” And when I saw the two of them interacting, it all boiled back up to the surface, and I got sick all over again, and I knew.
I happened to be working, that summer, in a position which gave me contact with several well-respected clinical psychologists in my city. I presumed to ask each one of the half-dozen or so if there were any literature available that might help me to understand what was going on. Each of them said he/she was sorry to tell me, but there was nothing on the subject, but they all asked me what I knew. I related the story, above, that at the age of fourteen he had been molested, or seduced, by the relative of a friend…
And each one of them told me, with great compassion, in nearly the very same words, “The gay community does not want to admit this, and the literature does not cover it, but in my experience, in my practice, every single one of the homosexuals I have counseled has had this in his history.” Between them, I’d dare to suggest at least a couple hundred men were represented in those combined practices.
This is a hard issue to consider, and, in fact, a friend who used to be in the lifestyle, as a lesbian, insisted that there was no such incident in her own history. I think, though, that the dynamic of male and female sexuality being different, those differences would also carry over in same-sex initiations.
Dennis Prager wrote, nearly twenty years ago, in his work, “Judaism, Homosexuality and Civilization,” that imprinting seems to be the common thread in sexual identification. At fourteen, entering fully into puberty, males tend to become particularly susceptible to the impact of a molestation incident – more appropriately called pederasty. I’ll be reviewing this work, and other resources, in future blog posts. But put simply, pederasty is a multi-dimensional relationship with a pubescent boy that has as its ultimate objective sexual exploitation.
Unpopular as it is to say so, the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church in recent years involved pubescent teens who were being mentored by their priest-seducers: a pederastic situation. A homosexual situation.
My husband and I were not Catholic; we were Baptists. And he certainly did not want to be gay – it violated everything he believed and aspired to. So he chose me, one of his best friends for several years, and began to court me, expecting that getting married and living as a “straight” man would fix his problem. But of course it doesn’t, can’t work that way.