I recently discussed with my wife that moment when I came out to her. I remember it as awkward, very embarrassing, and still sort of heroically wonderful. It was the first time I ever admitted I was gay to anyone other than a therapist.
But, I have a terrible memory, and for this reason I generally charge my wife with keeping track of life's most important reminders. And my wife's recollection of the event is a little different from my own. She remembers me saying, "I think I might like boys... sometimes." The careful reader will note that this is not identical in declarative solidity or content to "I am gay."
Over the last several months I've read with interest the accounts of other gay married men who either came out to their wives before or after marriage, as well as Oaks' comments on the subject and others' takes who are only spectators to the situation. The general sentiment seems to be, shame on you if you didn't tell your wife exactly what she was getting into before you married her. And, in some few cases, this may apply. But I really feel that the majority of cases (mine included) suffer from a lack of full disclosure not because of some sneaky reluctance to be honest, but because there has been such a lack of self-understanding that one could just as easily say, "Based on my feelings, I'm not sure if my gallbladder is performing at 100%."
I still don't fully understand the nature and depth of my homosexuality. But neither of us quite knew at the time we were dating and engaged that it would be as hard as it has been. I didn't think pornography was going to be the long-term problem that it has been, and she interpreted my "coming out" as a turning point--believing that having finally admitted it I was in a position to just walk away from it.
Back when the SLT article came out about gay married Mormons, many an idle commenter declared us to be naïve in believing our marriage could work. I believe we were naïve in the same way everyone is naïve when starting something as strange and new as marriage--there's no way you can know the odd ins and outs without experiencing them firsthand. And we were ignorant to the depth and breadth of the challenges my homosexuality would create for us. But we were not naive in the largest sense--we knew marriage would send us all sorts of curve balls, and that we would need all our loyalty and commitment to one another and the gospel to make it through regardless of the nature of the challenges.
We still believe (and I don't think it's naïve at all) that our marriage is and will be what we make it. Our marriage has improved and strengthened consistently over the years despite our growing understanding of the sexual challenges. It's not an overstatement to say that our family is thriving. Although my initial admission to my wife was something short of full disclosure, it represented an honest effort to communicate what I knew and understood at the time, and so the real measure of the success of our communication is not in whether I told, but in whether I continue to tell.