Tag Archive | Straight Spouse

“Don’t Deny the Rage” — Part Three

Anger can be a powerful barometer to alert us something is Not Right in our lives, in our relationships.

It can be a powerful impetus for needed change. Anger at being abused, for instance, can motivate us to make changes to stop the abuse or to get away from it.

We have to be careful, though.  Anger, badly or recklessly heeded, can lead to some irresponsible or self-destructive choices.

Anger can be turned inward.  This is self-destructive. It’s been said for years that depression is “anger turned inward.”  It’s my personal opinion (and I’m not a psychologist) that that’s too simplistic an assessment, but there’s enough truth there for it to become an easy platitude. We punish ourselves for others’ wrongs, fault ourselves for not being able to “help” or “fix,” things that aren’t ours to begin with, and we become depressed.

I’ve seen anger lead to irresponsible and dangerous choices.  People who can’t cope turning to alcohol or drugs, for instance. Or flashes of rage and temper that cause us to hurt other people, in turn. Or a seething resentment that builds into a dishonest idea that we have a right to — get even, to get a bit of our own back, to have our needs met however dishonestly or dishonorably we have to do it.  I’ve known men and women who justified adulterous affairs by saying their spouse was “asking for it.” “I have a right to be happy” isn’t necessarily true — certainly no one has a right to be “happy” at the expense of others’ trust or if it means violating sacred principles.

I think more often anger is just a low simmering flame that reveals itself in our restlessness, an inability to find peace, an edginess in our relationships with others, punctuated by occasional yelling bouts and the like. Maybe we can’t stop replaying a conversation we had (or wish we’d had) and what we said or wish we’d said or would like to say. .     Maybe it shows up in an unaccustomed use of profanity, or door-slamming, or some other behavior that isn’t so self-destructive as alcohol abuse or the “I’ll show him!” affair — but still gives us that nagging warning that we aren’t doing so well with everything as we’d like to believe we are.

This is where we have to take ourselves in hand and be adult.  Some of these things, we can handle ourselves, and should. But there comes a time when you might just need some professional help to move beyond the rage to a place where you can start to be productive again, and to find some peace.  There’s no shame in getting help, although it can be hard to get started, especially with a stranger.  It’s worth getting through the discomfort in order to find some peace.

And life is far too short, and opportunities for joy far too infrequent, to have your life sabotaged by unresolved rage.

Still here

I just concluded a conversation with a new friend who, it turned out, knows this blog.  He told me I have more people watching it than I realized —- and that some had assumed that maybe I’d changed my mind about gay marriage, the whole fight, really, because I’ve been inactive so long.

I’ve not.  My opinions are not only unchanged since I began this blog, I find them being more and more strongly confirmed as more men and women come out with their own stories about toxic marriages to gays, or the sufferings of their being raised by gay parents.

The embarrassing truth of it is that having sole responsibility for this blog and being so immersed in this subject matter is oppressive to my spirit.  I live with depression (and, btw, I have yet to meet a former spouse of a homosexual who doesn’t also battle The Black Dog) and sometimes I have to budget my low energy levels as miserly as I can in order to cover the necessities.

But I’m so grateful — no, I’m still sitting here well after midnight shaking my head . . . simply amazed at being known and recognized and  told “Oh, yeah, you’re quite well known among my friends —” —

So let me take a moment to tell you all hello, and to thank you for looking for this blog and for your prayers and whatever positive thoughts you’ve had about what I do, here.

I’ve been collecting things to post here.  I’m looking for a couple other women to post, as well.  I won’t abandon this blog completely — even though sometimes I find I don’t have energy sufficient to post.

The fight really is just beginning.

Isolation

For such a small, neglected, and insignificant little blog, I hear from a surprising number of women fairly regularly.  This always surprises me.  Someone takes time to post a comment, or to send me an email . . .

The recurring theme of the messages I receive from other women is that of feeling isolated.  “No one knows . . .” they say.

They’re right.  No one who hasn’t been through a marriage and divorce with a gay man has any idea what we go through. It’s a subtle and insidious form of abuse, what we live with in the marriage

And, as one woman recently pointed out, when we divorce a gay man, the social reaction is different.  A woman divorces a man who’s been committing adultery, everyone sympathises with her, supports her, sympathises with her in the sense of the betrayal she’s experienced, the humiliation . . .

But when a woman divorces a man for being gay, or he leaves her for another man, the ex-wife is completely overlooked in the general rush to applaud the man for being gay.

That’s all that matters in this society — he’s gay, he’s got to be the hero. Isn’t it wonderful! isn’t it good! He has finally been able to come out and to live honestly.  Now he can be happy – – –

So it’s terribly lonely, even more so than a regular divorce.  And, as this same (very astute) woman pointed out to me, “I know a lot of women who’ve gone through divorces, but none of them have a gay (or transgender) husband.”  So our situation is odd and we go through it very much alone.

 

How could this have happened?

We seemed to go from crisis to crisis in communication throughout our marriage. I didn’t know how to fight, so I’d steam and rant and rave and finally we’d hit some sort of crisis and catharsis and bottom out, only to repeat the cycle again in a few weeks.

It was during one of those uglier catharsis episodes that he told me: at the age of 14, he’d been molested, or perhaps seduced, by an older man. “I have always been afraid,” he wept, “that if you hadn’t fallen in love with me and married me, that’s where I would have ended up.”

I couldn’t grasp it – except to realize something was terribly wrong, because he was placing the onus of responsibility on me to save him from his nightmare, and I didn’t have the power to rescue him. But being powerless myself, and not having anyone to turn to, I got sick for three days and then buried the incident deep …

until we were going through our divorce, ten years later, and I met his “best friend.” And when I saw the two of them interacting, it all boiled back up to the surface, and I got sick all over again, and I knew.

I happened to be working, that summer, in a position which gave me contact with several well-respected clinical psychologists in my city. I presumed to ask each one of the half-dozen or so if there were any literature available that might help me to understand what was going on. Each of them said he/she was sorry to tell me, but there was nothing on the subject, but they all asked me what I knew. I related the story, above, that at the age of fourteen he had been molested, or seduced, by the relative of a friend…

And each one of them told me, with great compassion, in nearly the very same words, “The gay community does not want to admit this, and the literature does not cover it, but in my experience, in my practice, every single one of the homosexuals I have counseled has had this in his history.” Between them, I’d dare to suggest at least a couple hundred men were represented in those combined practices.

This is a hard issue to consider, and, in fact, a friend who used to be in the lifestyle, as a lesbian, insisted that there was no such incident in her own history. I think, though, that the dynamic of male and female sexuality being different, those differences would also carry over in same-sex initiations.

Dennis Prager wrote, nearly twenty years ago, in his work, “Judaism, Homosexuality and Civilization,” that imprinting seems to be the common thread in sexual identification. At fourteen, entering fully into puberty, males tend to become particularly susceptible to the impact of a molestation incident – more appropriately called pederasty. I’ll be reviewing this work, and other resources, in future blog posts. But put simply, pederasty is a multi-dimensional relationship with a pubescent boy that has as its ultimate objective sexual exploitation.

Unpopular as it is to say so, the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church in recent years involved pubescent teens who were being mentored by their priest-seducers: a pederastic situation. A homosexual situation.

My husband and I were not Catholic; we were Baptists. And he certainly did not want to be gay – it violated everything he believed and aspired to. So he chose me, one of his best friends for several years, and began to court me, expecting that getting married and living as a “straight” man would fix his problem. But of course it doesn’t, can’t work that way.

And so I begin,,,

In my dreams, we laugh and talk and work together. In my dreams, he loves me – even after all these years. The reality of our life together was much different: neglect relieved by insults and ridicule and outright contempt.

More than twenty years after the divorce, I’m still recovering from those twelve very difficult, painful, demoralizing years. While it’s entirely possible that he might have been an equally contemptuous misogynist if he were straight, the fact that he is gay cannot be discounted from the toxicity of our marital relationship, even though he continues to insist that his being gay had nothing to do with our divorce.

When I was going through it all, there was no one to talk with, no one I trusted. My support network developed far more recently. I’m determined that no woman within my circle of influence suffer as I did.