Sunday, November 14, 2010

I lost because I am gay

In my last post I wrote about my wife's decision to move out in a few month's time and how I am not happy about it.

Thank you to everyone who has left a kind comment here or sent a comforting email. Honestly, without e-friends, I'd have no support at all.

One friend said, "Haven't you both known this for years? Is this a surprise? To either of you?"

No, I'm not surprised. But I am stunned.

I don't think I can adequately express the depth of my love for Gabbie. Yes, she's been an anchor around my neck for 24 years and she's been a royal pain-in-the ass for most of 2010, but truly, the reason I have been so patient is because I love her so much. And despite her behavior this year, I know that she loves me just as much as I love her.

My rational brain keeps telling me that splitting up is probably for the best; perhaps it is inevitable.

My rational brain also tells me that the best way to handle the break up is to focus on the future, not the past.

But my emotional brain keeps putting on the brakes. You need time. You cannot look for a new relationship until you've made peace with this one. So, for as much as a part of me would like to move ahead, I find that I can't. Yet. Perhaps in a week or a month or in six months I will be excited about dating men and starting my second life, but for now, I'm just not ready.

The same friend I quoted above asked me, "why all of a sudden now it's over? Was there a straw that broke the camel's back?" Others may have wondered the same thing. Yes, there was a straw.

After a very frustrating two weeks of having Charlie present in my house and in my life way too often, I finally asked Gabbie when he would be permanently gone.

"I don't know," she said.

"But you do know how much I hate him, right? Sure, he's crazy about you and that counts for something, but you must also know that I can't stand seeing him in our house, five and six times a day."

"Fine. I'll tell him he can't come here any more."

"That's not the point. The point is, when are YOU not going to want him here? How long do I have to wait?"

"I, uh...I don't know."

"Then what are we doing?"

She paused for a minute and said, "I love you, we're best friends. But I can't give him up."

That's a change from July and August when Gabbie told me that she wanted Charlie to be deported and I did everything I could to make it happen. I asked her why she changed her mind.

"I didn't. I just...uh...It wouldn't matter. If Charlie wasn't around...there are a lot of other guys who seem to really like me."

"What about me? I LOVE you. You know I love you."

"Yes, I know. But...I think you've always wanted a different life and you were afraid."

"You're wrong." I explained that I didn't choose a life, a chose a person - her. And when I chose her I wasn't running away from something, I was choosing to spend my life with her.

"We're best friends, and we love each other, but that's not enough," she replied.

So, the immediate issue that prompted our conversation was that I was sick of Charlie hanging around. But what was most significant was Gabbie's confession that if Charlie disappeared, she still would not be content to stay with me.

That has been my worst fear and now it's been realized.

Eighteen years ago when I met a great guy and eventually dumped him because I decided I wanted to be with Gabbie more, it never occurred to me that I might be incapable of loving Gabbie the 'right' way. I don't think it occurred to her either.

Perhaps we never would have gotten together if she had had any previous experience with men. Maybe she would have known that I didn't desire her the way other men could.

Regardless of how we got here, the reality is that Gabbie now feels that my love is not the right kind of love.

That realization really kills me. I've always been so good to Gabbie, and she tells me so, but yet I'm still lacking? And worst of all, my love is so unsatisfying that she'd rather be with a complete loser? Can someone stomp on my ego a bit more please? I haven't quite reached the level of Complete Humiliation.

The bottom line is that, in the battle for Gabbie's heart, I lost because I am gay.

It may be wrong to generalize about the implications of losing but I can't help doing it.

There are a lot of 'mixed orientation' marriages out there. If 20 years of doting on a woman is not enough for a gay man to prove that he is a good partner for a straight woman, does any mixed orientation marriage have any hope?

I have a new cynicism on the subject and so my answer is, yes, mixed orientation marriages can work. All you have to do is keep your wife away from other men. As long as no other man ever desires her then she will continue to be happy with you.

It really pains me to be so negative. I'm an optimist and I've always believed that genuine love is enough to conquer all. It really sucks to find out that it doesn't.


I wrote the above entry earlier this week. I've been meaning to post it for days but every single day Gabbie makes a new comment that leaves me confused.

Two days after she decided she was going to move out she told me she couldn't do it. I was elated. Then, the following day she told me that maybe she should get a secret place and not tell the kids. I was depressed again; apparently her decision to stay had nothing to do with me.

For the last two days she's told me that she doesn't know what to do.

Today she asked me what I thought she should do. I told her not to ask me, she needs to decide for herself.

The one good aspect of this emotional roller coaster ride is that I now feel more impatient than I do depressed or rejected. Please woman, make up your mind!

The 'Inevitability Factor' weighs heavily on me. I want to be permanently wanted. If that's not possible, let's endure the ugly stuff now so that we can move ahead that much sooner.

As you can see, I'm still in a bad mood and I still have a bad attitude. Neither are typical and I'm really disappointed that I can no longer imagine a positive outcome.

With no answers of my own and an indecisive Gabbie, I am now looking forward to many more weeks of instability.

One thing this week that made me happy was watching "The A List" on Logo for the first time. I was so horrified by the show that I started thinking that a celibate life with a wife who fucks around seems like a way better option than being out, single and gay.


  1. It is a difficult place you are in, but there is one bit of clarity you have now. You are gay. While there is no doubt you love her in your way, it is not in the way that a straight man will love her. Even now it is hard for me to explain, but I know it is true, or at least it is for me.

    For K it was that she felt about me they way a straight husband does for her husband, but I did not return that kind of love. It is not about what you DO. It is about how your feel.

    There is lots of support out there for you. Lots of guys who are walking the same path as you. Don't hesitate to call on us.

  2. The A-List New York is a HORRIBLE depiction of gay men. I mean if you want to use a queeny, bitchy, self absorbed, dick crazed version to generalize gay men fine, but were just as multi faceted as any other demographic.... My partner is like the guy on desperate housewives (the sports loving attorney, minus the attorney.). Youd never know he was gay....

    Good luck with Gabbie. I hope she finally decides to move on. I can tell you need to. You do deserve to be loved exactly the same as you give out that love.

  3. My heart goes out to you -- it seems you are really on the rack and I can hear the cables tightening.

    You are, however, doing one thing really really well, and that is including other guys in your life.

    The real killer in situations like this is isolation. So don't isolate -- keep talking with us, be inconsistent, whiney, elated, pissed, depressed -- whatever. Just keep including us in your life.

    We may not have answers either, but we will keep you from being isolated if you keep talking with us.

  4. Really interesting perspective.. hope you find some peace and resolution.

    Don't be disturbed by the A-list. I'm out, marched in Pride parades, go clubbing and stuff and even I am get appalled by the A-list. Think of it like a sit-com, not a drama.

  5. Judging from this, we have no reason to question your commitment to your wife. We do, however, have every reason to question Gabby's commitment to you.

    The fact is that she doesn't consider the marriage fulfilling. That isn't *your* problem, nor are you necessarily the cause. It's simply that she has some idea of what she expects - which may have changed over the years or recently - and that you aren't or can't meet those requirements.

    It's also possible that she's just making excuses. If she's vacillating so much on moving out, it sounds like she's got her own internal war going on. Judging from what you've said, though, it sounds more like she's trying to decide *why* the marriage isn't enough, not whether or not it is. She's made up her mind, but she hasn't been able to rationalize it.

    The point is that you shouldn't internalize it. Yes, it's easy (and painful) to ask, "What did I do wrong? What more could I have done? Where did I fail?" But those aren't useful questions. You may have done nothing wrong, had no more to do, and failed nowhere, and yet this still happened.

    Relationships are as much about mutual expectations as they are about mutual attraction. Part of the reason why I hate seeing people get married at a young age is that most of the time they haven't really formed practical expectations, and so there is almost always a disconnect further down the line.

    It's possible - probable, even - that the two of you have grown and, in doing so, changed your expectations. Sometimes, they become impossible to match up any more. It hurts like hell, but no blame applies.

  6. Jim - As always, thanks for your support and your splendid example of how to gently end a long-term mixed orientation marriage.

    Aerospace Guy - I'm so glad you and your partner are living proof that not all gay men are like the ones on the A-List. I knew that already, but I've been in such a foul mood that being sarcastic about the A List brought me a little joy. I may post more about the A list soon. That show really bugs me.

    Wharton - Thanks for all your kind words. You're right, by keeping in contact with others and not isolating myself this whole ordeal has been much more survivable.

    Skok - Thanks for stopping by and commeting! More sitcom you say? Good advice. I definitely need more humor these days.

    Austin - I totally have a soft spot for you and the world through your eyes. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

    I agree with everything you said. Blame does not apply and many questions are not useful.

    What's dumb-founded me, to some degree, is that we dealt with the sexuality issue 18 years ago and now it's proven to be central again - not because I can't stay in the closet any longer but because she experienced love that I could not show her. If I had known at the time that my love might some day be unsatisfying I would have been much more mentally and emotionally prepared to deal with splitting up.

    But it is what it is.

    We'll both be ok, eventually. It's just going to be a bumpy road getting there.

  7. One more hint from a straight wife: keeping your wife away from straight men may seem to be a good strategy, but it is not. My caring, providing gay-or-bi-or-whatever husband did it very well. he kept me away from straight men to the utmost extend, controlling all my time, my telephone, my e-mails, not leaving me alone for a second. It could work if I was an isolated, lonely housewife with no friends. I was not happy. I felt unadequate and unloved but I believed it is my fault or - just as he wanted me to believe - that I deserved it. When I found a job, I got opportunity to look at my colleagues´families. My friend´s husbands. The way women talk about their men. The way husbands look at their wives. I could not deny the facts anymore: my mrriage is not like the others. I´ve got the confirmation that there IS something substantial I have always been missing iny my marriage (and told that I´m crazy if I feel that way).
    For me, it will be much better to live on my own than endlesly trying to fix a marriage which can never be fixed. Better to be alone and struggling than married, desperate and lonely.
    My husband believes there is another man - must be. The reality is that recently I can´t believe someone could love me or desire me: men became scary to me. The only thing I know is that no matter if I can ever have a healthy, loving relationship my friends, clients, colleagues and partners have - I do not want to live in a MOM. No more.(My husband is gonna be "pushed aside after 15 years with a woman", but no "straight man catalysator" needed.)