Accepting myself as gay at age 12 was a seminal moment. The fact that I had ever dated a woman was not my fault. Gabbie tricked me into saying that I liked her.
Actually, she had tricked me through every step of our relationship. When I wanted to break up after we returned from England, she made me come see her every day. When I wanted our long distance relationship in college to fizzle, she kept calling. When I didn't want to get engaged, she gave me an ultimatum.
The lie that my life became and all the wrong things that happened to me were Gabbie's fault. Not mine.
Not only was my fucked-up life her fault, I had every right to be pissed off and resentful. I was TRICKED, MANIPULATED, BADGERED and BLACKMAILED. It wasn't bad luck that had forced me to marry a girl, it was deliberate treachery. And after being so poorly treated it was only natural that I resent the trickster.
And when Gabbie left me alone night after night for weeks in a row and I became desperately lonely, I had every reason to be bitter and to seek companionship.
My loneliness and my years of resentment combined to create a perfect storm where I was ready for almost any man to rescue me. I had so much pent-up frustration that I would have fallen for any guy who said, "You've been wronged! Be with me and I'll stand by you through this horrible mess, you poor victim."
But I didn't find any man. I found Jim. Everything he ever said or did gave me a new reason to fall madly in love with him. Jim was the perfect guy who rescued me from the perfect storm at the perfect moment.
So....when I forced myself to be brutally honest and to choose whether I wanted to be with an absolutely PERFECT guy, or, my treacherous, high maintenance, bossy, pain in the ass, manipulative wife, no one could have been more amazed by my choice than me. Even after acknowledging all her imperfections and the fact that I was GAY and she was a WOMAN, I still honestly wanted to be with her.
And it's not like I made the easy decision---to be with her, just because she was a woman. Although I hadn't done a lot of the hard things, like coming out to friends and family, I was well on my way to establishing an independent gay life for myself. I was out the door! A confessed faggot whose wife had moved out. I was free.
AND YET I chose to dump the best guy I ever met and honestly commit myself to the extremely frustrating woman I married.
What is more unusual, I think, is that I made this unexpected decision without the influence of ANY external pressures. I had no kids to worry about. No threats from family or parents. No fear of Eternal Damnation. Any of those could have been good excuses to use later to explain my decision to get back with Gabbie. But they didn't exist! No one pressured me to do it. I did it all on my own.
So...long story short...I have no one else to blame for my strange marriage except for me. When I chose to recommit to Gabbie I knew EXACTLY what I was doing.
When I realized that I wanted to be married to Gabbie insteading of dating my goodlooking, intelligent, caring and generous 20 year old boyfriend that decision was as much of a watershed as was the decision to accept myself as gay.
The "pure" circumstance of my decision was amazingly cathartic, especially in the long run. Although I knew I was gay, I stopped feeling like my marriage was a lie. And I stopped feeling like I was hiding my true self. Instead, I felt both liberated and committed.
In all my years of reading and talking with bi and gay men who were, or had been married, not one of them ever said they literally walked away from their wife and then returned months later because that was what they most desired to do. It's utterly bizarre. Perhaps even nonsensical. But that's what I did.
Now, just because it worked out that way for me does not mean any other guy on this planet would, or should, make the same decision. I don't think any bi or married guy should stay married just because I did. In fact, my decision was so random that I think it can be discounted; decisions like mine just don't happen very often.
Can I say that I have lived happily ever after? No, I cannot. Coming out to Gabbie has had a deep, long lasting impact on our marriage. And, just because I was 100% committed to being married to her did not mean that I felt fulfilled as a gay man. The next part of my story explains how these problems have played out, and continue to play out, to this day.