Despite my anger over what has happened between me and my ex-husband, and in the gay agenda in general, I have learned that there is a lot of woundedness there which truly warrants compassion.
Gays aren’t born that way — twin studies have always verified that — but they are born with a personality, a disposition which renders them at odds with the traditionally masculine world and sets them up for possible imprinting and identification as same-sex attracted. In a gender that applauds athletic prowess and physical agility, the more sensitive or artistic male may have a sense of alienation from other boys. He identifies more with girls.
Sadly, the sensitive male — and this includes my ex-husband — often possesses great moral insight and a strength of character that deserves to be recognized and respected as manly qualities . . . but are not. DH was a force of nature when it came to personality, strength of opinion, power of persuasion. In our circle of friends, he was universally regarded as a chaplain or sorts, a spiritual mentor. He was loved and looked up to . . . but it wasn’t enough. He couldn’t recognize our esteem. Years later, when I told him how we’d felt about him, he wept. He was still wracked with disbelief in his own worth.
That strength of mind and will and faith are what made me fall in love with him. Of course, my love couldn’t begin to heal his broken spirit; that required the affirmation of a masculine man; I, a woman, couldn’t meet his deepest emotional needs. It takes a man to teach a boy how to be comfortable in his own skin as male. His father, a good man, a brilliant man, was also of a more sensitive nature: quiet, gentle, studious. Introverted. He could teach his sons how to handle the basic mechanical maintenance of their cars (masculine skills set), but he wasn’t in possession of those interests and skills that would have helped his boys fit in more easily with the other boys in the neighborhood. DH preferred music to sports; he built up the self-defense of dismissing ordinary boys, then men, as “idiots.”
I wanted to be his all-in-all. This was an unrealistic expectation, particularly given the circumstances. Men need other men in their lives to push them to be stronger, better — “iron sharpens iron.”
Not only could I not be his all-in-all, the fact is that his misery with himself rendered him too wounded to be able to love me at all. I can pity him for this woundedness now. It does not justify how he treated me after we were married, during our divorce, and after, in his continued insistence that, first of all, he wasn’t gay, but then, yeah, he was gay but that still had nothing to do with the divorce.
But it does allow me to look beyond my own sufferings and loss to find something in him that I can pity. And I’m able after many years to remember that beautiful boy we all loved and looked up to — and to realize I still love him.
And in loving him, interestingly, I’m not tied to him by sentiment, but I’m at long, long last! liberated to get well, myself, and to build a proper life for myself, in which I can be my best self and not be entrapped in the bitterness or the resentments that had been my daily fare for so many years.