I have received numerous, very kind public and private messages related to my perhaps-impending divorce. I cannot adequately express how wonderful it feels to have that support and to not be facing this turmoil completely alone. Truly, if it was not for blogging, I would not be sharing any of this with anyone.
It's always musical to hear others say, "you deserve better" and "you deserve to be happy." I can't emphasize my gratitude enough to those who have said that to me... BUT, I don't understand why everyone is so unanimous in celebrating the potential end to a 20 year marriage and a 24 year relationship.
Am I the only person who expects long relationships to have ups and downs that require the couple to work through them? Am I the only one who feels like when a person makes a commitment to another person that commitment should be honored until there is NO other option but to dishonor it? What's the point of making a commitment if it is honored only so long as it is not too difficult or too inconvenient?
I don't know...maybe I'm so involved in the situation that I only see what I want to see. But just giving up...I don't get it. And I certainly do not find it easy to do.
You'd think most people would applaud, or at least see the value of genuine loyalty, but everyone seems to feel the same way - "maybe it's best in the long run."
When everyone seems to disagree with me I have to seriously wonder if I'm the idiot. How could so many others be wrong?
I can't imagine that it is enjoyable for anyone to listen to me whine about myself for any length of time. I'd prefer to write about issues that affect all of us. Therefore, it is my intention to make the paragraphs below my last personal update for more than a month. In September I will write about gay and bisexual topics that I hope others will find interesting.
Gabbie loves to go on cruises; I'm happy to go anywhere.
Because it was our 20th anniversary this year Gabbie has long had it in her head that we'd take a cruise some where. At the time of our anniversary in April Gabbie made preliminary reservations for a week-long cruise that will be one of the most expensive vacations we've ever taken. She has been expecting me to figure out the flight schedule and to make the payments for both the cruise and the airplane tickets. I've been dragging my feet. Spending so much money unnerves me and there's also that small issue of her wanting to permanently run away from me and the kids...
The cruise is the last week of September. The payment for the cruise was due the first week in July. Last Wednesday Gabbie got after me again, insisting that I "hurry up and buy the tickets." I was kind of hoping we'd lose the reservation because the payment was so late, but, no. We're going.
On August 22, 1992 I told Gabbie I was gay and we separated. Just a week before that day I booked a trip for the two of us to Florida. A friend had offered us a great deal for a week in her timeshare. Even after my coming out and Gabbie's discovery of my young male friend, she and I agreed to take that already-booked-trip together to Florida.
That week alone with Gabbie was so good that I decided I wanted to be with her more than I wanted to be single and gay. A week after we returned, I broke up with my boyfriend and Gabbie and I got back together. A few months later she was pregnant with kid number one.
So here we are eighteen years later: a divorce requested and a romantic vacation together already booked.
I literally feel like anything could happen on this vacation. It could be a crucial week where she discovers that she can't live without me, or it could be an awkward week of walking on eggshells. Or it could just be casual fun. Regardless, until we return from the cruise neither of us is going to be making any permanent decisions about our future.
Gabbie's New Attitude
Apparently Gabbie needed a good drunken cry and some words of support from me.
Ever since the night she asked for a divorce she has morphed into her old self of about 10 years ago. Actually, she's gone further than that and suddenly taken on June Cleaver's enthusiasm for cooking, cleaning and looking after the kids. She's been home every night, she kissed me on the lips(!), she refused to let Charlie join us for dinner when he tried to invite himself (that was a big step for her), she's taken the kids for ice cream and she's baked cookies, all within the last several days. Without a doubt she is making a sincere effort to transition into the wife and mother her critics think she should be.
It's an open question as to whether she can truly find happiness in those roles.
Looking at her recent history, I have my doubts. However, one thing I will say about Gabbie is to never count her out. She can be fiercely determined, focused and motivated when she wants to accomplish something.
While I am on the subject of good things and Gabbie, I should explicitly state that Gabbie has many positive qualities. I've only written about them twice before so that probably makes me a self-righteous ass, but the fact is that anyone who knows Gabbie and I as a couple knows that I adore her. Her mother and sister, who know us best, have regularly chastised me for letting Gabbie do whatever she wants. I don't try to manipulate and control her the way they do simply because I love her. To me, love includes letting a person be free to be themselves. As an essentially closeted gay man, I know what it feels like to be caged all too well.
I should also explicitly state that I am deeply bonded to Gabbie. It really is love, not fear or laziness, that has made our odd marriage last as long as it has.
So that's it for the updates, barring any unexpected events, until early October.
A final note. By all appearances Gabbie is making her best effort in years to enjoy being a traditional wife and mother. If she again becomes resentful of those roles and finds that all she can think about is escaping, I will have no choice but to support her should she want to leave.
At this time, that is the only scenario I can imagine where letting her go will feel like I might actually be doing the right thing.