I’m an artist. Being an artist is my salvation. I decided on that path when I was 7 years old. It allowed me to escape when my sisters were screaming, and pleading “Daddy please stop! Please stop.” When it wasn’t me that time. There was only once when he broke into that secret world and raging he threw a scissors at me. It stuck me in my face. My early marriage was supposed to save me. My young husband was my white knight. Instead he married me to save him – I just never knew what I was supposed to save him from. So I buried myself in my own little world of art and poetry and my children. And I didn’t dare ask myself if I was happy.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How did I get it so wrong?

Someone asked in our straight wives group the other day, “How did I get it so wrong?”

Well I can speak only from my own experience but I have continually been amazed at how many of us had the same experiences and reacted the same way. I don’t
believe that was by coincidence. I think we were all chosen for a reason – because we all fit a certain type. Before we were even married my gay ex told me I was the “perfect woman”. We were still just teenagers so I didn’t understand how he could know what the perfect woman was like. It may have even been unconscious on their part, but I believe they knew early on what they needed or wanted in a wife for their unauthentic deceptive life. They seemed to learn early on what kind of woman would be a good cover. Maybe they even believed it was a certain kind of woman who could “fix” them however they believed that would happen. They seemed to have had a concept of what they would need in a woman to hopefully keep those gay desires at bay. It was all up to her – that perfect woman. And when these secretly gay husbands could not keep those thoughts and desires from their mind, they chose to see that as their wife’s fault for they could never accept any responsibility themselves. They believed their wife could not, or would not, do what was necessary to make them straight and they grew to hate her for that.

So what kind of a woman were they looking for? What qualities did we all possess in kind that they were all looking for in a wife? Maybe we could all write books on that one! Not what was it about us that made it our fault even though that might be how the gay exes would prefer to frame the question? But what good qualities in us were taken advantage of, usurped really, and drained of their potential to create our own happiness?  What was it that they stole from us besides our time and potential for our own lives? Maybe it was our faith in people, belief in our own perceptions or intuition, trust in our own ability to make good choices, or smart choices, belief that we deserved more, or questioning of our own sanity, or goodness. Maybe it was the ability to trust another man or your own ability to know a “good” one when you saw one. Because of that, especially with those who endured long marriages with these deceivers like myself with a 39 year relationship, 34 years married, it may be too late, recovery take too long, to ever experience another potentially happy union with a good and straight man. To never truly know how it feels to be loved by a straight man. Maybe it was all of those things that we lost… that were stolen from us.

Yes because they were cowards, we were allowed to accept all of the blame for the failure of our marriages and for our own unhappiness, and our gay ex’s unhappiness too. Maybe even for the entire family. Even when he continually rejected your sexual advances night after night you were made to believe there must be something wrong with you. I called it looking for the right key. It was my job, that plus carrying the entire emotional life of the marriage.  Because we were brainwashed, we accepted the complete burden of it all as our own, alone. We were made to own it at the same time they were disowning it, time after time. As my gay ex said so many times, he had no problems except for me – I was his only problem. We were all made to accept that as the truth of our lives together all so that our gay husbands wouldn’t have to accept their own authentic selves.

I believe early on that we let ourselves create a myth of the “forever husband.” We filled in the frequent silence with what we were sure they were really thinking, feeling ...making mental excuses for their "inability" to express their deep and true love which we just had to believe they really felt but couldn't express. I went so far as to tell myself he had some sort of disability somehow tangled up with his dyslexia and he couldn't put his love for me into words but I KNEW he felt it. And I went further to convince myself that if he had developed any other disability it would be my duty to accept it if I really loved him, so I must accept this one. But I was wrong, we were all wrong. It was all a myth and unbeknownst to us we all helped to create it. We made the mistake of believing in them. They didn't deserve it. They didn’t deserve us. They certainly didn’t deserve the lifeblood of our true and pure love, or all the other good parts of our selves that they stole one piece at a time over our lifetimes. We deserved more...so much more…but we didn't get it so now we have to give it to ourselves; we have to love ourselves and forgive ourselves for giving so much of ourselves away to men like them. We need to believe in ourselves! After all we are still standing, wounded maybe but still here. We have rescued what remains of our authentic selves and we must flourish. We cannot allow ourselves to give one more drop of our precious true self to such undeserving, narcissistic men.