It’s not just gay men who marry and help raise a family with the notion that somehow marriage will make all the other stuff go away. Lesbian women and bisexual and transgender people do it too.
The Serenity Prayer is crucial to my life because I can’t go back and correct the multiple marriage track I’ve been on (amongst other reasons). I can’t change that history and the beginning of wisdom is knowing the difference between things I can change and things I can’t. Past marriages qualify as things I can’t change. Yet experience has taught me there are things I can change.
Some changes I’ve made already. I no longer look in the mirror and pretend that who I see and how it makes me feel will pass. I can’t bury it, I can’t kill it, and I can’t drink it away. I wish I had come to that conclusion a long time ago; I would have caused a lot less pain for me and the people I’ve loved. The fact is I didn’t. I didn’t dare. I didn’t have the courage. But I have the courage now and that is the key to a future. I don’t have to drag another person through my personal hell because 1. I no longer live in that personal hell and 2. I can tell him or her the unembellished truth from the first.
Divorce is visible on the horizon now. I can see it. I don’t like it. I don’t want it. But I won’t try to stop it. The other person in my life deserves a better chance to recover, a better chance to discover her own serenity.
I admire couples who are able to find a hidden path through the brambles. I stand and stare at the bramble patch and no path mysteriously appears for me. But I can change this: I don’t have to be stymied in my life. I don’t feel compelled to wound myself flailing against the thorns. I can let it go and I can walk around the patch. Life will have other struggles soon enough.