Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What My Straight Wife Said

The proof is in the numbers. This blog gets consistently more page views when I write about straight wives and gay husbands.

I have quite a few more interesting experiences and ideas to share on that topic. I hadn't planned on writing about my straight wife and me, but this little anecdote is worth a few sentences.


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Three weeks ago I wrote about Feeling Lost.

In the several months since my wife and I agreed to separate I've had one date. My self-confidence has been so low that I've opted not pursue anyone because I'm afraid that I can't handle being rejected. (Yes I know I'm being ridiculous.)

I've come to suspect that I have a psychological block of some kind. Until a few days ago I hadn't been able to identify the cause, but now I think I've found the problem. Or at least, one of the problems.

The fact that our "separation" is something of a joke has been on my mind. On the one hand, my wife has her boyfriend and she has encouraged me to go on Match.com. On the other hand, we still sleep in the same bed and she still talks about saving for "our" retirement. I've been asking myself, does she understand that we're separated??

I've discovered that my discomfort with my wife's strange attitude is near the target - but still far from the bulls eye.

On Friday, my wife and I again discussed our separation. I told her that I felt like I needed more guilt-free freedom to find a new center for my life since she couldn't be that person.

"What exactly do you want to do?" she asked.

"Well...I don't know..."

"You must have some ideas."

"Not really. I guess I just mean more freedom to date."

"Date who? Do you already have someone in mind?!!"

"No! No, it's not like that."

"Well WHO do you what to date?"

"Who?" I couldn't understand what she was getting at. Then it clicked. "Oh. Men."

"I knew it! I always knew that's what you wanted. You've been gay this whole time! Even when I asked you before we had kids!"

Huh?!!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen...for reasons that completely boggle my mind...my wife thinks I just came out to her.

To say that I am stunned is a huge understatement.

It seems to me that if my wife had not lost her mind she would recall that I first came out to her 18 years ago. It was a rather memorable event...considering that she moved out and we separated for 10 weeks.

And even after we got back together I was upfront about my homo-ness by letting a few lusty comments slip. My lust-honesty didn't last long, that's true. My first few comments made my dear Gabbie bristle so decided to keep my mouth shut in the future. This means that if I was going to vouch for my wife's sanity I would have to admit that shortly after we reunited I went back into the closet for an extended period of time.

But hello!! It was just this past November that we separated and in that conversation she said to me, "I know you're gay," AND "I've always had a feeling that you wanted a different life." ('different' = wink, wink) AND "I guess on some future Christmas we'll be celebrating with the kids and I'll have my boyfriend and you'll have yours."

Yet NOW she thinks I'm coming out to her?????????

I don't think I will ever be able to understand this. I mean I've been confused about how she spoke about our separation but I never, ever would have guessed that she honestly thought I was straight.

I've been trying to figure out what this revelation means.

One thing that's clear is that I must take a half-step backward. I thought we had both made peace with the fact that she's straight and I'm gay. Apparently not.

As part of my move backward, I repeated the same offer I made to her in November: we can live happily ever after together if she dumps her boyfriend and honestly wants to have a "normal" intimate marriage. She's responded by giving me a tentative "No, I can't do that." But I can see the wheels turning in her head. Maybe she never believed that I would find someone else because she thought I was closeted? Maybe now that I've made it clear that I'm willing to replace her, she's reevaluating whether she's willing to let me go?

For now, I'm off the dating market. I can't proceed until I get a clear, definitive statement from her, wherein she releases me. I have no idea how long that might take. Days? Weeks? Months? We have a one week vacation planned for just the two of us at the end of May. I think it would be awkward if I was actively dating and then we spent 170 hours alone together. My guess is that I won't be able to seriously consider trying to date again until June, at the earliest.

I also don't know for certain whether getting through this hurdle with my wife is going to clear my attitude problem. It might. I still have big concerns about dating men. The more I see, learn and experience about gay dating, the less appealing it becomes.

Regardless, I can't worry about that now. First things first.

10 comments:

  1. Maybe she was in denial. I think my wife was in the year prior to us separating several months ago. Don't talk about hubby's gayness, pretend it doesn't exist and it might go away.

    I'll apologize in advance for offering this unsolicited comment: sleeping in the same bed is just plain masochistic. Been there, done that!

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  2. Oh Cameron. Sometimes reading about your drama is exhausting!

    "I can't proceed until I get a clear, definitive statement from her, wherein she releases me."

    Dude! Really? You have the key to your own cage, not your wife. Quit giving responsibility of YOUR happiness to HER (or anyone else for that matter)

    You CAN proceed when you want to. When YOU want to. Your happiness may be affected by others, but is controlled by YOU.

    I'll climb off my soapbox now. Pretend that I have my arm around you to tell you I support your, because I (and most of us here) DO SUPPORT YOU.

    Go get 'em tiger.

    (I'm sure you know who this is.)

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  3. Cameron,
    For once I will be brief - YOU NEED TO RELEASE HER. That means releasing yourself to be who you really are and start dating openly. Take control of making things clear to her about your needs for once.

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  4. "I can't proceed until I get a clear, definitive statement from her, wherein she releases me."

    This statement has so much wrong with it that I don't even know where to start.

    Actually, I take that back - I do know where to start.

    If you're giving total control over the direction of your life to this woman who is obviously abusing you psychologically (even if it's not deliberate, which is debatable), you will never be happy. You will never have balance or any of the answers you want. She'll simply keep playing the game where she does what she wants and makes you do what she wants.

    That isn't a relationship; it's ownership. Ironically, this is the exact reverse of what many women experience in relationships, but it's just as wrong.

    The double-standard needs to stop.

    And one more point on this - how much does is say about the condition of the "marriage" when you feel guilty even thinking about dating someone else while she's telling you flat-out she won't give up her boyfriend?

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  5. Dudes, Cameron is still in love with his wife. He isn't going to be able to move on until he resolves matters with her one way or the other. (And no guy worth dating is going to want him until these matters are resolved.)

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  6. First things first, I think you two need to make the separation physical and sleep in separate beds. Otherwise, separation is an abstraction. A few sessions of couples therapy might be great. Thanks as always for your lucid reports.

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  7. I understand you are still in many ways in love with your wife. Breaking up after years of marriage is so very painful, I get that, really I do. However, how long are you honestly willing to wait for her to get her act together and decide? Forever? At some point in time, you need to move on and begin to live a life for you. I think that no matter what it takes you need to sleep in seperate beds! If at all possible not in the same room. Even if it takes reworking the garage over, move out of the bed, out of the bedroom.

    If nothing else, it will alert her to the fact that things are changing, and must change. Because she is being cruel to you, very very cruel. Why does she get to do what she wishes? Because she knows that when she comes home, you will be there waiting for her.

    Take the reins of your life back from your wife, and control your own destiny. You deserve a life.

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  8. Cameron, I know you know how dysfunctional this is because of the advice you've given me. You're smarter than this. And I'm well aware that this is a "do as I say, not as I do" thing but give yourself permission to live and be the person you truly are. Disclosure was the hard part...Your life can be yours now.

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  9. Anonymous 9:39 is correct. I am still in love with my wife, I can't move on until our situation is resolved, and, I can't imagine that many guys would want to date me until I do. I wouldn't!

    With that said, I understand and appreciate your points. The drama is wearing on my patience and every time one of you says, in essence, "ENOUGH!" I move another millimeter.

    Thank you for patience with me and for your support. It means a lot and it's making a huge difference even if it might not seem that way.

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  10. The psycological principle of Least Vested Interest; The person with the least vested interest controls the relationship. Obviously she has less invested emotionaly and thereby has less to lose than you do, therefore controlling you and the course of your relationship with her.

    Now this may notmake it any easier to adjust your thinking when faced with this situation but may help you with any feelings of guilt.

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