The Recognition Admonition Explanation
Posted on November 15, 2012
Recognition is one of those oddities in life. Some people crave it, some people won’t give it, and some take it when it doesn’t belong to them. I’ve had jobs where my boss has taken credit for everything the staff has done, then not shared it, and I’ve had jobs where the boss has always made sure to give recognition where recognition was due. I’ve learned from them. Then there’s recognition as a person, as an author, and as a lover. That last bit is where my husband and I have a difference of opinion. I’ve always believed that when you’re sharing your life with someone as a partner and then a spouse, people should know. It should be celebrated! It should be recognized! It should… It should… Well, he disagrees.
Ralph believes the two of us knowing we’re together is more than enough information out there in the world. I’ve always craved a little bit more, though. I feel that if you’re going out with someone and you’re enjoying it–hopefully you’re both enjoying it, but if it’s just you, that’s okay, too–why should you have to keep mum about it? When Ralph officially became my boyfriend during the first time we consummated the relationship–which is roughly the first day of the relationship and possibly within the first hour of the relationship–he was adamant we not tell anyone. It was private. That and he didn’t want me bragging about what a stud he was. I may have done that anyway…not that he knew.
Regardless, it took him five or six years before he was comfortable telling his mother and even longer before his brother found out. That we were a couple, not that we had sex. I think he’d rather they not assume we’d had sex. It took me five or six minutes to tell my friends and under a year before I told my parents. And by that, I mean about the sex and the relationship. I was happy, ecstatic, in love, and sexually satisfied in ways I’d never been able to do for myself…or to myself…often. You know what I mean. But we were a couple, we started to live our lives as one, started thinking as one–he didn’t always have to issue orders before I obeyed them–and planning as one.
And through all the discussions, he would arrive at the same conclusion that we should keep our business to ourselves and I should stop craving the recognition. Shouldn’t it be enough that he thought of me as his partner? Did his family and friends have to think of me as his partner? Couldn’t they just continue to think of me as his weird, non-IT, mouthy friend of his who had trouble finding the on/off button on a computer? No. It made much more sense that the reason he was with me is because I was his hot white half German thunder & lightening bed shaking sexcycle machine on three legs! Er…his boyfriend. Yeah, he really didn’t want me saying anything to people. ANY people. Or animals.
Even getting married is something he didn’t want conveyed to too many people. He was a bit looser than about the whole boyfriend thing, but only with my friends, not his. Or, as he told me, he wouldn’t have even mentioned to me that we were getting married if I didn’t have to be there. He can be a bit of a smartass. Why did I now need the recognition as his husband? Because. Because I can’t honestly think of any reason why I shouldn’t have it. Everybody else gets it with their better half. Should I feel so bad because I’d like the recognition, too?
So I remain confused. On one hand, I like the idea of people knowing we’re married and a couple. On the other hand, he thinks it should remain semi-mostly-private. Not that I don’t agree with his work peeps not knowing…or people who are friends with those he works with. I get that. I even get why we’re not telling his father. It’s the other 7 billion people I can’t see a problem with knowing. Is that too much to ask? See, it’s not about popularity or being an author or having two restraining orders against a certain female author whose last name may or not be part of a chain of steak houses. It’s about the recognition of being the man he chose to master, train and lord over. What’s not to like or brag about?
Anybody else ever go through this? What did you do?
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
8 Responses to “The Recognition Admonition Explanation”
November 15, 2012 at 10:15 am
Well, my dear Kris, my primary response to your truly enjoyable tales of having someone with whom you share your life is always the same: sincere, deeply-felt envy. (A mental image, based possibly on a bit of self pity, is of an orphaned waif looking through the window of a rich kid’s house, watching him open his Christmas presents.)
November 15, 2012 at 10:53 am
Ah, but if the rich kid’s boyfriend had his way, the windows would be covered and the staff would have signed non-disclosure agreements.
Kimber Kahn says:
November 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm
Wait, wait, wait… You mean the staff DIDN’T sign non-disclosure agreement??
Vastine Bondurant says:
November 15, 2012 at 10:27 am
That sure is a tough question, Kris. It kind of pains me for you, because you seem to be such a loving, demonstrative person. I’m the same way, so I know how it feels. And for those like us, it’s just natural to want to ‘gush’ to the world that we are in love. Love kind of does that, bubbles up and HAS to manifest outwardly somehow.
I don’t know the answer, as that is an issue only you and Ralph can deal with together. But I at least DO agree with you about the desire to share, and with the feeling itself.
November 15, 2012 at 10:55 am
Gush. I like that. And it does describe me. I love to gush about him. He excites me (and I’m not even talking romantically when I say that). I love his outlook on life, travel, other people and the world itself. I feel special when I’m with him. I just feel the need to gush about it whereas he gives me that look that says “Oh, hush.”
We are, I think, the perfect foil for each other.
Jeff P says:
November 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm
I have some of the same issues. Pumpkin tends to keep quieter than I do about our relationship. For me, it is my job to educate people that being gay is perfectly normal, that we have normal feelings, and are only sometimes sex-crazed hormones on legs fucking anything that moves. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Only recently has Pumpkin put a picture of me on his station. He is a Stylist for piss sake, they expect him to be gay. That is only after I did the company website and was in the shop five times interviewing everyone. I feel your pain.
November 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm
We don’t really have any social issues.
He loves me & I love him.
We are a registered domestic couple.
Either of us need any more than that.
We are just very comfortable on our own skins
Out and proud. A lot of friends, parties, and travel.
Even straight people are quite accepting of us being
together and I will quite often be asked, usually by
the woman, how long have you two been together.
I take it as cute and flattering and most heterosexuals
we meet are quite accepting. I think mostly because
we are so charming and fun to be around.
How is that for a good positive attitude?
Kayelle Allen says:
November 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm
I’m both sorry to hear you’re experiencing this, and glad. Sorry because I know it sucks. Glad because I’m not alone. It was years before hubby would hold hands in public. Not because he was prudish or didn’t love me — but because in his opinion, a public display of affection was crude. It might give young unmarried people the wrong idea about what it was okay to do. Okay, now that I think about it, maybe it was a little prudish. 😉 To this day, you are not likely to find us in a mad crush deep kissing in some corner (unless we’re at home alone and then all bets are off). But we do hold hands and kiss each other goodbye or hello in public. We’ve been married almost 39 years (Dec 23). But it took a looooooong time to get to that point. Hang in there. Keep loving him and express what it is that you need and want in order to feel loved and appreciated.