Today is November 3, 2010…an anniversary of sorts. Three years ago today, I found out that my husband is gay.
Statistically speaking, my marriage has reached its end. Of course for those of you who have read any of my previous posts, you know the marriage I’m speaking of is the legal, piece of paper kind. The sexual, intimate, loving one ended November 3, 2007. Truth be told, even before that.
When I first discovered that I was married to a gay man, I hit the internet searching for help, hope, explanation, answers, stories, remedies…anything. Anything at all to help me right my now upside down existence. I was relieved to find that there were others in my same situation. Encouragement came from several sources as countless straight spouses told their tales of homosexual mates that had conquered their demons and had returned to them to live as true husband and wife. I was convinced that this would be my outcome too. Our marriage would beat the odds and ignore the stats of others in our same sad situation. Happily ever after was still possible! But as the lonely months came and went, it became obvious that no fairy tale ending was in my future. Instead, we marched ever closer to the one statistic that has been whispering to me this entire journey:
For those couples who do not divorce immediately after “homo discoveris”, the majority will divorce within 3 years.
So it seems, time’s up.
But as of now, there has been no separation. No recruitment of lawyers. No chats with the children. So, technically, we’ve made it past this pathetic milestone. And although I still have the majority of my comfortable lifestyle intact, I’ve paid a high price.
And when I can’t afford the high cost of this relationship anymore, I will join the percentage of another discouraging statistic. Single mother.
When I started this blog, I had great intentions of writing weekly posts. (A desire I still have.) But a strange thing happened in the midst of all of my pain, anger and humiliation after finding out I was married to a gay man.
Since we didn’t separate or divorce immediately, life started to get back to normal. Well, not the old normal, but a new normal. A new normal that doesn’t include him trying to stomach another sexual encounter with me. A new normal that has us living our lives as roommates, not lovers. A new normal that doesn’t worry when he’s a little late, but secretly wishes that perhaps there’s been an awful accident on the slippery roads.
But, friends, don’t misunderstand me. I absolutely hate this new normal, this fraudulent life I now live. But just when I think I’m ready to end all of this absurdity, I get cold feet. Or he suggests we go on a trip. “What fool would pass up a vacation?” I ask myself. Not me. Not right now. So off we go. Is it completely enjoyable? Of course not. But enjoyable enough that I buy myself a little more time in this crazy game of “Let’s Pretend”. A game we are both good at, but neither of us can ultimately win.
Now that the kids have started another school year and our days are more structured again, I once again start to wonder, “how much longer?”. It’s a question I silently ask over and over. And since I don’t have any idea, I keep myself stuck.
I often wonder, what will happen when I can’t contain the screaming inside my head and heart any longer and give voice to the utter agony that has taken up residence in my soul? And who will be near me when that voice finally finds itself?
Thanks for sticking with me on this journey. I’m so appreciative of the comments some of you have left and I plan to answer some of you directly. It means a great deal to me that I’m not all alone, and I don’t want any of you to be either.
Take care straight spouses, closeted or not.
As I pass the 2-1/2 year mark since discovering that my husband is actually gay, I find my whole perspective gradually shifting. This has surprised me somewhat.
When I first found out about his penchant for men, I desperately wanted to keep him in the home for the sake of preserving my children’s family as well as my own lifestyle. Getting him to agree to that wasn’t too difficult since he wasn’t ready to declare his homosexuality to the world or leave his children. So in those early post-discovery days, I willingly became the closeted straight to his closeted gay. My whole focus at the time was hanging on to what we had for as long as possible, regardless of the personal costs.
Much to my surprise, my feelings have slowly changed and I now find myself with a different set of desires and motivations. Though I am still absolutely terrified of being abandoned and what that will do to our young children, I find myself more and more fantasizing about my post-married-to-a-gay-man life.
He decided months ago, as I have mentioned in a previous post, that our wedding rings were no longer needed. I reluctantly took mine off because I was still playing the part of a married woman and wasn’t ready to let that part of the charade go. But I’ve slowly become accustomed to not wearing them and now prefer to go ringless. At least on my left hand.
Over some time now, I’ve also let myself develop an attraction to another man. A single dad. He’s an acquaintance at best, but that doesn’t matter. And although I have no true delusions that I have any sort of a future with him, this secret “crush” provides me a welcome outlet to my current dismal situation. All was fine until my gay husband and I took the kids to the movies and of all the show times and all the local theaters, “he” was there with his kids as well. Same movie, same theatre, even the same damn row. I could not believe it.
Quite frankly, it was nearly impossible for me to concentrate on the movie because I was so obsessed with him not seeing me there with the gay guy. Though admittedly we don’t know each other that well, I’ve purposely given the illusion that I, too, am a single parent. So seeing him there while being with my “on paper only” husband made me furious. And it made me face the fact that I have gradually gone from a closeted straight spouse to a closeted wife, diligently working to keep my marital status under wraps with the slimmest of hope that he, or someone else, might someday be interested in me as well.
What does the future hold for me and my secret crush? Probably nothing. But this encounter at the movies gave me a big push in the direction of finally extracting myself from this impossible situation.
How big of a push? I’m looking for an attorney right now.
Today is Valentine’s Day.
Since I’m married to a gay guy, I knew what not to expect on this occasion. There would be no candy, no flowers, no declaration of eternal love, no sex. No nothing, really.
I think it is safe to say that I was well prepared for this day to come and go with no whispered, “Happy Valentine’s Day”. At least I thought I was prepared. In my heart and head, I knew that no gift or affection would be granted to me, but yet today I was strangely emotional. I was brought to the verge of tears many times today, but held it together for the sake of my children, who scored a few token items of their own, but seemed oblivious that their parents didn’t even exchange a perfunctory kiss.
Thankfully, their ignorant bliss continues.
As for me, I found myself quite moody and at some points downright angry at him. And at me, for allowing myself to continue in this situation for another minute. It was all I could do not to pull the car over and kick him out. But, of course, I didn’t.
Instead, I went through the motions of the day as if it were any other ordinary day. Which of course for me, it was. An ordinary day. Nothing special.
I spent a great deal of my moody day privately dragging out emotions that I had worked so hard to tuck away. Today, my sacrifices seemed too great as I longed for someone to put their arms around me and tell me that they loved me. But the sun will set again without those utterances.
I can’t go on much longer like this, I’ve decided. But once this day fades into memory, will I once again return to the comfort of my normal routine? Will I soon forget this rekindled resolve to cut my ties to this unavailable man? I guess a little time will tell.
So friends, check back with me next Valentine’s Day, and I guess we’ll all have the answer.
I’ve had a couple of interesting conversations with my gay husband over the past few weeks. Although I thought they might have given me a little more clarity about where his head is at right now, our chats really only gave me more to ponder.
The first of the two conversations regarded our wedding rings. I had been invited to one of those “sell your unwanted gold jewelry” parties. Since he decided months ago that our rings were no longer necessary, I casually mentioned the party. He asked me if I was going to go. I responded that the only “unwanted” gold we have left are our wedding rings.
His expression, quite frankly, stunned me. It was a combination of horror and shock, I guess. With a definite hint of sadness.
When he asked me if I was really going to sell my rings, I reminded him that he had already declared them useless. He then told me that he wasn’t ready to sell them. Curious.
Our next conversation took place several weeks later. We were having coffee together, and I took this opportunity to ask him if, after the holidays, it was time to lawyer up. With a visible show of emotion that I don’t often get a glimpse of, he told me no. He wasn’t ready to leave. Yet.
So this begs the question that I should have asked that morning. What are you waiting for? Me to make the first move? A job change? A boyfriend?
After the holidays, I think I might just ask him out for coffee again.
I answered the phone the other day and an unfamiliar female voice asked for my husband by first name. I told her he wasn’t home and she opted not to leave a message. End of conversation. Some wives may have given the identity of the caller a bit more thought than I did. But since I’m married to a gay guy, females aren’t my enemy.
So what don’t I have to worry about in this marriage? Like the strange female calling for my husband. No suspicions there. Not a second thought about who she was, or why she may be trying to reach him. My only thoughts for those next few moments were about the other things that don’t generate a single worry in this union.
What do I look like in the morning? (Or for that matter any time of the day or night). Do I look fat in this? Do I look attractive today? Does he like my new perfume? Outfit? Dinner I cooked?
In an odd way, it’s kind of freeing not to have to make any effort to catch his attention. But, I’m beginning to realize that I need to be careful and not totally give up on my appearance and self-respect. One day, I will be free of this entanglement and may just want to jump back into the deep end of the dating pool.
But for now, I’ll let the phone ring off the hook with lady callers and not be bothered at all.
Being the closeted straight spouse to my gay husband often leads my thoughts down paths I’d never thought they’d go. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the current state of our relationship. It’s actually pretty good, all things considered. We get along generally well, have a mutual interest in caring for and raising our children, and enjoy similar activities. In fact, the public family life we have today is not that much different than the one pre-discovery.
Of course, there are many things that have changed behind closed doors. There is no longer any attempt at a sex life, where there once was (as dismal as it was). There are no more “I love yous”, hand holding, kissing or physical contact of any kind. I’m pretty lonely, and if I let my mind go too far down this path of despair, I could easily spend the rest of the day sobbing; yearning for the genuine love and affection of a man.
So why do I stay? Despite the fact that we get along, I certainly didn’t plan on being attached, legally and emotionally, to a man who couldn’t truly love me. Lately, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Why stay? Well, if I were honest, it’s because I still get something out of this relationship. It’s my own version of the current trend of “Friends with Benefits”. Of course, my benefits don’t include a great night of sex. But I do still stay at home with my kids, go shopping, volunteer at school and church, go out to eat, get taken on vacations and continue to be listed as beneficiary on a variety of policies, including medical insurance.
While for now everything seems to be settling into this “married friends” phase, I know that like most other phases in life, this will one day pass. The challenge for me is not to let myself become so comfortable in this calm period that I get the rug pulled out from under me when he decides he’s had enough of the fake straight life.
When might that be? I only wish I knew.
In the last two years since the “discovery”, I’ve been forced to face all things gay like never before. And since my sense of self and confidence has been all but destroyed, I find myself as confused as my gay husband.
When I dare let myself think of a life after he leaves me, I’m struck by the overwhelming fear of somehow gravitating to yet another gay guy. Since I’ve been with my husband for over 20 years (half of my life), I have no other adult, healthy relationships to compare this one with. And I’m left to deal with the devastating reality that I have never been loved.
So where does that leave me? A girl with no reliable gaydar, trying to move on.
I’m guessing he could pick one out right away. Obviously, my skills are lacking, or I wouldn’t now be tethered to the guy I am. Just when I think I’ve got this gay thing down, I find out I’m wrong. We both get our hair cut from the same stylist. A guy. Stereotypes being what they are, plus my own observations, I sorta kinda suspect that this guy could be one of “them”. Even though he recently married…a girl.
When I bring this up to my husband, he says no way. For now, I’ll have to concede to his expertise. But a small part of me wonders if somewhere down the road, this new bride will find herself in my shoes. For her sake, I hope I’m wrong.
More and more, I’m learning just how much his deceit has taken from me. And I can’t help but wonder, how much more of myself I’ll lose before this whole thing is over.
Well, sort of anyway.
It was a huge leap for me after two solid years of silence. A long-lost best friend and I recently reunited after finding each other through a social networking site. Gotta love those sites! And, although I’ve carefully revealed to a very few friends that my marriage is in trouble, not once have I ever hinted to what horror I’ve been saddled with. Until a week ago. In fact, a week ago exactly.
Of course, I had never intended to reveal such details to her. It was a simple lunch. Yet there I was, spilling some (but certainly not all) of what had happened to me during these past two years. The discovery of the truth, the brutal pain and agony, the many hours spent on my knees crying out, sometimes begging, to God. My friend was loving and supportive and I was…relieved, even empowered a little.
It’s taken me a few days to fully absorb what I’ve done. How much more am I willing to share? To whom?
As much as I’d like to think myself strong enough to move forward and leave Him behind, I’m not quite there yet. But for the first time since that horrible night of accidental discovery, I’m beginning to visualize what life post-marriage might look like.
For now, I’m not yet willing to destroy the world my children now live in. And to be perfectly honest and totally selfish, I’m not ready to give up my current lifestyle either.
So I guess for the time being, I will continue to live my closeted life, knowing that the door has been cracked open ever so slightly to let in a sliver of light.
So this closeted straight spouse went to the Kylie Minogue concert with my gay husband. It was a homosexual mecca. I knew what to expect, to some degree, having been to another of her concerts with the same husband. This time I was better prepared. Thankfully, I wasn’t treated to anything too outrageous, save for the few drag queens. No big deal.
As you can imagine, I felt completely out of place, although there were a number of straight couples there. And there was finally no line for the ladies room. A rare treat, to be sure.
It was a bit hard for me to fully enjoy the concert. I spent a lot of the time wondering who might be catching his eye. Is he getting turned on by the barely-dressed dancers on the stage? The guys next to us? I didn’t dare look for any physical evidence. For the most part, I just went with the flow until the concert ended, and grieved a little more for the sad state of my life.
All in all, it was actually a fairly pleasant evening, but one that reminded me yet again that this was the world he wished to live in. I am still not sure why he invited me to go, although I’m pretty sure why I accepted. If I hadn’t, I would have spent the whole night at home wondering what he was doing in between sets. At some points, I felt a bit like I was babysitting him.
Just another day married to a gay guy.