I am a very romantic type person and I would take great care of a loved one, but I am so pissed off that I can't do it in a relationship; I think it is dishonorable since I am only attracted to straight people. Please help me sort this out, or else I will die old and alone and still gay. Gay people always have to rub it in your face. I hate them, goddammit!
Sissy in South Africa
I can't tell you how not to be gay because that's not possible, but even if I could I wouldn't. Your problem isn't homosexuality; it's that you've dumped all your anger and disappointment in not having been born something you'd like better into a bitter, pointless, self-defeating, self-referential homophobia. You're using your gayness as your big excuse for not making the best of your life. You see all gay men as mirrors of yourself, and since you hate yourself, you must hate them. There's no rule that you have to admire every gay man you meet, but surely there have been one or two throughout history you wouldn't want to throw rocks at. Da Vinci? Michelangelo? Greg Louganis, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams? Or how about Alexander the Great? It's strongly suspected he was an alpha male. You may be limited by physical size to less macho athletics, but if playing the hero to stranded motorists means so much to you, take a course in auto mechanics--a car doesn't care if you like boys.
If you're so repelled by men in bars, stop going there. You'll find that homosexuals come in all sizes and dispositions, if you stop despising them long enough to look beyond the obvious. Keep in mind, however, that gay pride, even though it irritates you beyond reason, comes from making the decision not to feel shame.
Unless something as yet unknown should happen, you will always be gay. But you don't always have to hate it. South Africa is very liberal about homosexuality, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding a competent therapist to help you deal with this. Do it.
My husband snores. If he falls asleep while we're watching television, I have to use closed captioning just to follow what's going on. He's extremely overweight and has a lot of sleeping problems, but when he falls asleep before I do, I'm up all night, miserable and resentful. Sometimes, even when I do fall asleep first, he's so loud he wakes me up. He's a great guy in the daytime, but I've learned to dread bedtime. He makes more noise than a bulldozer; honestly, it's like trying to sleep in the middle of a construction zone. I really love him, but at times I want to shove a pillow over his face just to shut him up long enough so I can get to sleep. How can I keep from going crazy?
Awake and Afraid
Get your husband checked out by a doctor and on a diet as soon as possible. There are dozens of gadgets on the market to tempt the desperate and gullible: adhesive strips for the nose, chin straps, weird masks and oxygen pumps that look straight out of science fiction, tooth-alignment contraptions, even exercises that promise the user will be snore-free in three days. Some of them might actually work, but you'd be an idiot to spend a dime on any of this stuff without seeing a doctor first. Snoring is more than annoying; it's a serious health issue and can be a symptom of, among other things, sleep apnea, which is when a person stops breathing in his sleep and can die before waking up.
In the meantime, you could try earplugs, but a friend of mine found an even better solution that saved her marriage. Her overweight husband snores so loudly she swore she was going to divorce him or kill him but because she was unwilling to sacrifice the rest of her life to either of those alternatives, she convinced him to move into a separate bedroom, and they hired a contractor to soundproof it. It worked so well that she started missing him at night, so she put a baby monitor in his room, and now she keeps it on--at very low volume--next to her bed. This is also good because she's so attuned to his rhythms that if he were to stop breathing during the night it would wake her up. He is now under a doctor's care and has started an intensive weight-loss program with the expectation that eventually they can sleep together again.
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