[Thanks for your patience with this one. The next few will be more focused on sex. For your amusement, I have included two very embarrassing confessions.]
Gabbie never moved back into the condo with me. She had never liked it in the first place, but now she absolutely loathed it. It held almost nothing but bad memories for her and perhaps worst of all, it was contaminated by "THAT BOY." We immediately put it up for sale.
The real estate market was not especially good in California in early 1993. After three months on the market we had no offers. Gabbie was impatient. Her mother had been a realtor for many years and now managed a large real estate office. The two of them found a three bedroom condo north of San Francisco that Gabbie loved. After some negotiation they worked out an uneven trade for the two condos. We bought the three bedroom for $235,000 and they bought the one bedroom for $80,000. This gave us a net profit on the one bedroom condo of $8,000. We had no money saved so we had to borrow money from a friend of Gabbie's mother for the rest of the down payment. In addition, the loan for the new condo was the worst loan you could get, a negative amortization option arm. Even with all these concessions, in order to get the loan approved the top producing loan officer had to fly to Los Angeles to personally beg a Vice President of the bank to approve the loan. Clearly, buying this place was a stretch. At best, I knew that we could barely afford it. I was against the deal. But Gabbie and her mother only cared about one thing: "moving on." Since I was still very much in the dog house my opinion counted for naught. We bought the condo.
My re-commitment to Gabbie sparked a desire in both of us to take our life together more seriously. I didn't feel like I was getting anywhere at the bank so I started thinking about what else I wanted to do with my life. We also felt more ready than ever to become parents.
Before I had met Jim, Gabbie and I had tried to conceive for four or five months. Not long after we were back together, we started trying again. After two more months without success Gabbie had us both arrange for fertility testing. My swimmers were many and had good mobility. Gabbie checked out just fine as well...with one small problem. God, this is humiliating to admit... Gabbie's hymen was intact. The doctor was kind enough to break it for her. With a surgical instrument. Thanks doc, for proving that I'm a complete homo.
Once the shock and horror of Gabbie's virginity wore off slightly, I got excited. Perhaps part of the reason sex with her didn't do much for me was because we weren't doing it right. Oh the new possibilities...
On that first night Gabbie said she was too sore to try to do it "right." The next night we tried. And the night after that. And a few days later. And another time a few more days later. Each time it was the same problem, Gabbie complained that ANY penetration hurt too much. On two different nights I told her to bear the pain as long as she could. I figured if I could breach her cervix then we both would know how it felt, and, her muscles would be stretched enough to make it easier the next time. Both times we gave up.
Back to the doctor's office she went. The doctor said that physically there was nothing wrong with her. She, the doctor, signed Gabbie up for some psychology appointments to discuss her sexual-psychological issues. Gabbie went two or three times but quit because she said therapy wasn't helping; the sessions just made her feel worse about herself as a woman.
Because there seemed to be no easy sexual solution to the pregnancy problem, I suggested an alternative method to deliver my boys: an eye dropper. So, yes, as if I have not already humiliated myself enough in this blog I am now confessing that my kid was conceived by an eye dropper. It worked the first month.
We moved in to the new condo in March and we knew Gabbie was pregnant by early April. Gabbie was thrilled to have a new home close to her parents and to finally be pregnant. She definitely felt that her life had taken a turn for the better.
I was glad that she was happy; if she was happy I was happy. Although I had plenty of sexual thoughts about men I had no desire to actually do anything. I was pretty content.
Not long after we moved, Jim called me at the new house. We hadn't spoken since I had broken up with him four months previously. Before he called, I was at peace with how things ended between us. I had been honest with him and he appeared to accept what I said without much anger. As we parted, we sincerely wished each other all the best in the future.
When Jim called he was very upbeat on the phone, perhaps unnaturally so. He told me that everything was going VERY well, that he had a new boyfriend, that school was going well, etc. I would have loved to talk with him more but he happened to call when Gabbie was there. She gave me a death stare the entire time.
I felt that I had no choice but to get Jim off the phone as quickly as possible without being rude. The whole conversation lasted less than three minutes but Gabbie didn't like it one bit. The second I put the phone down she launched into an avalanche of questions: Why was he calling? What did he want? Had he called before? Had I called him?
Her interrogation was not worth the pleasure of hearing from Jim. At the time, I hoped he wouldn't call again.
In the years that followed, however, the call from Jim greatly troubled me. At first I couldn't figure out why he called. Then, as I thought about what he said, I realized that he wanted to prove to me that he was ok; that after I had dumped him he found a new boyfriend and a happy life. This made me very, very sad. It meant that I had hurt him.
From the moment I met him until the moment I said goodbye forever he was an awesome, completely supportive guy. The very last thing I wanted was for him to be hurt by what I had done. What had happened had nothing to do with him. He was great.
I don't remember exactly when...perhaps five years later, I had Jim on my brain so I decided to look him up. I didn't want to get back with him, all I wanted was to tell him both how sorry I was that I was such an ass, and, how terrific he was throughout the whole ordeal.
I found his number on the Internet and called him. He wasn't rude but he wasn't exactly happy to hear from me. I asked him how he was and what he had been doing. He told me that he was trading stock options, that he sang in the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, and that he didn't have a boyfriend---he was enjoying dating. Because I had expected a warmer reception, I lost the nerve to clearly tell him how sorry I was about everything. When I hung up the phone I felt horribly unsatisfied. I hadn't said anything that I wanted to say.
A few months later I was thinking about him again. I decided that I should send him an email or write him a letter so I could deliver the quality apology he deserved. After some searching, the only address I could find for him was at work; I sent him a three page letter.
He never replied so I wondered if he received my letter. I checked his securities license again, which is how I found his work address, and it showed that he had left the company. I began to doubt whether he ever got the letter.
A few years after that I was bored at work and I was reading gay personal ads. In one of the ads the guy said that he was a member of the SF Gay Men's Chorus. Hmmm. I replied to the ad and said that I was looking for my former boyfriend Jim. A day later I got the following email from Jim. It was dated June 12, 2001.
"One of my friends in the chorus told me that you were looking to get in contact with me. Obviously, a lot has gone on since the time that we were together; I did get your letter a few years back, but I thought it best not to reply. If you want to catch up, let's get together for a drink or something. There is way too much to discuss over email...
PS. What are you doing cruising Planetout ads????? :) "
I emailed him back and said that I was sorry for stalking him but all I wanted to know was that he received my apology. I promised not to bother him again.
It only took nine years, but I finally felt that I had done the best by Jim that I possibly could have.
Jim's call four months after we broke up brought up another issue: being out to Gabbie.
Right after we got back together Gabbie decided that we should go to therapy to work on our marriage. I agreed to go; I thought it would be good for us. The therapist was a middle aged man, straight...not particularly inspiring.
Going to therapy served one, and only one, useful purpose: by the second appointment we both knew that therapy was a waste of time and money. I was gay, I was content with my sexuality, we loved each other. Other than that, we didn't have much more to say. We stopped going.
With or without therapy, now that I was out to Gabbie I wanted to continue being open and honest. I thought that was what she wanted as well, but after two more weeks passed and she had never once made a comment or asked a question about my sexuality, I decided that she must have been waiting for me to say something first. So I did.
I don't remember what actor we were talking about but I made a comment that the guy was very good looking. Gabbie winced.
Over the next six months there were other times when I made a comment or there something on the TV about being gay. Every time Gabbie got visibly agitated. I knew it wasn't because she had a problem with homosexuality, it was because she had a problem with her husband being a homosexual.
Every time she reacted negatively I felt more and more discouraged from being open. What was the point of being honest if she hated what I had to say? I worried that I was being cruel, like maybe she thought I was threatening to leave her again every time I made a comment about something gay.
It didn't take long for my suspicions to be proven correct.
I don't remember the cause of the fight but I do remember Gabbie throwing her insecurities in my face. In the heat of the argument she said, "Why don't you just leave me again!!!"
She was so irritating that I felt like I wanted to leave her again, but not because I was gay. Apparently I hesitated just a little too long. Gabbie immediately attacked me, "Aha! You ARE planning on leaving me again. Now I have to spend my life waiting for the night that you never come home again."
I told her she was being ridiculous. But she saw that my resolve was weak and from that moment onward, I knew that if I wanted her to have faith in my loyalty to her, I had to stop talking about being gay.
So I did.
I don't remember exactly when it happened but I decided that being honest with Gabbie just wasn't worth the aggravation of her insecurity; I decided to quietly step back in the closet.
She never asked me directly if I still thought I was gay---I think she was afraid of the answer, but every time we had a significant fight she indirectly brought up the issue. Often it was in the context of "when you leave me..."
After the first time, when I made the mistake of hesitating too long to refute her statement, I learned to be quick, confident and slightly condescending when I replied. My goal was to shut out her worry as effectively as possible. In time, I simply became dismissive, "That's not going to happen."
It took about 15 years but eventually Gabbie seemed to believe me. Until that time, her fear that I was going to leave at any moment was a quiet yet destructive influence on our marriage. It has had major long-term repercussions.