Marriage Bells are Ringing: One Man’s Story

INature #1 never thought I’d ever consider marrying – that marriage bells would ring for me.  And at my age of 62 I could not imagine another huge life change.  But then I had left 37 years of life connected to the church, had tried out a couple of administrative jobs, and finally landed as a life and spirit coach.  Embracing change had always been difficult for me, but once I started I knew I had to be open to whatever good thing came next.  So here I am, marrying, moving to Florida, and starting a totally new life.

I had long hoped to meet a man I could settle down with as a companion, friend, and intimate.  And had all but given up.  Most of the men I met had a lot of unresolved emotional baggage, or were focused on their children and grandchildren, or viewed me as a counselor, or simply were emotionally defensive and unavailable.  I also met a lot of gay men who, unlike myself, had the ready cash (or credit limits) to dine out constantly and to take lots of trips.

So in early 2013 I stopped trying so hard.  I became more conscious of the needy “vibe” I was projecting, a kind of enthusiastic desire to make friends.  This often led to my being infatuated with anyone who gave me any positive attention and kept me from simply enjoying my own company.
I began attending senior LGBT luncheons for no-strings-attached camaraderie and conversation.  It was at one of these events that Jay approached me after having moved into my town a few months earlier.  He had a quiet dignity and intelligence and a great sense of humor.  And he was retired, had never married, had no children, didn’t go away on weekends, and lived only five minutes from me!
The fact that Jay and I could visit one another easily was a huge bonus.  We both enjoyed cooking and feeding each other.  We had life-long friends whom we shared with one another.  Soon we were spending a lot of time together and within months discussed marriage and moving away to a warmer climate.  Then he suggested he sell his condo in order to save for our future and move in with me.
This was a huge turning point.  My house is small, only about 850 square feet of living space.  Both Jay and I had a good deal of “stuff” despite the purging we had both been doing over the years.  But we made it happen.  I became the divo of rearranging small spaces and magically finding new storage places.  And after living alone for the previous 40 years I changed my attitudes toward things to make Jay my real priority.
Jay and I have grown to understand each other.  We keep each other grounded in reality, consciously forming a “renewable” partnership of mutual care and discussing how to implement it each day.  We have grown to love each other deeply.   His kindness and lack of judgment helps him stretch to understand my temperament as a sensitive individual who lives intensely.  My intuition and empathy enable me to read Jay’s unspoken moods and to support him in his own personal challenges.
We believe that a commitment to married love will offerNature #3 us the spiritual support we will need for our daily decision to care for one another.  As we share our burdens and the joy of our love we are bound to each other for this the last third of our lives.  We experience a kind of completeness in each other that is neither callow nor codependent, but rather complementary.  And we forgive each when we fail to do so.
On November 15, 2014 we will exchange vows that reflect our values and our love.  We will then move to a new home in Florida where we can escape the harshness of New England winters (and try to enjoy Florida’s steamy summers!).  We’ll keep close to our friends and make new ones and hope that the dynamism that comes from our relationship will burst forth an abundance of life for both of us and for those we touch.
About Michael Parise

Michael Parise is a highly sensitive person who has the emotional “wiring” and insight to promote soulful healing. He does so through his Life & Spirit coaching, spiritual direction, and integrated energy work. His keen intuition, deep empathy, and spiritual consciousness enable him to discover hidden factors in our lives that need attention. Michael’s training and experience in pastoral ministry and spiritual formation gives him access to the mysteries of the soul. He has assisted hundreds of people to cope with being overwhelmed by life, to find stronger connections with themselves, others, and God, and to address the inner critics that can sabotage happiness. Michael works in person as well as on the phone.