About the group
We interpret our name loosely--Gay and Bisexual Married Men's Support Group. Some of us identify ourselves as gay, bisexual, or even "mostly straight," but most of us are leery of labels altogether.
We have almost all been married. Most of us are currently married; some of us are separated or divorced, some contemplating divorce, some hoping for reconciliation. If prospective new members feel they are in a personal crisis, we try to offer a referral to sources of immediate help, such as the Fenway Community Health Center, Tel 617-927-6202, or the Brighton Allston Mental Health Center, Tel 617-787-1901. We are not equipped ourselves to do crisis intervention.
Considering COVID-19 dangers, we have been meeting on Zoom at 7 PM on the second Thursday of each month. For information on joining our virtual meetings, call Jim at 617-549-4043.
We are a leaderless group. One man volunteers to act as facilitator each evening, but the various leadership roles and functions are shared by everyone (see How a Group Works).
We usually start meetings with a half hour or so going around the circle "checking in" by telling headlines about what's happening currently in our lives. If there are new members, we introduce ourselves with a brief version of our story. If there are important issues that go beyond the time limits of the check-in, we can ask for more time after the break. The facilitator keeps track of time, keeps things moving and on track.
After the check-in and a break, we can do one or more of a variety of things: continue talking about issues raised during check-in or about a topic proposed at the previous meeting.
We all have different ways of managing our lives, and we try to honor the differences. Some people are entirely secret about their sexuality; others are as open as possible. No way is the right way.
Why do we come to the group? We are glad to find that we are not alone. It is a relief to be with other men who are working out their own answers to some shared questions: Am I gay or bisexual? Can I be married and sexually active with others? Do I want to do this, given my wish to be loyal, feelings of guilt, frustration etc.? How can I meet men? Should I come out to my wife? How? How about my children? My friends and business associates? How can I deal with other people's feelings about me?
Above all, we make sure that our meeting is a safe place. We promise confidentiality: no talk outside the meeting about individuals in the group. We do not judge one another or offer advice that hasn't been asked for. We try to learn how to listen to one another more deeply. And we try to talk more honestly, trusting that the person we really are will be truly heard and honored.
We are a support group rather than a therapy group. If we feel better about ourselves at the end of an evening, and we usually do, it's not because of any insights or interpretations that have been offered but because we've been deeply involved in the group process with other men who feel like our friends.
Many friendships formed in the group extend outside the group as well, but we are not a dating group organized principally to meet men.
If you have more questions before you come, call Jim at 617-549-4043. If you decide to come, try the group out for at least three meetings, if possible, before deciding whether you will continue as a group member.
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