Sunday, December 06, 2009

Alone in a Mess - The Quandary of a Gay Spouse Coming Out

Jim at Conflicting Clarity has a post with which I can very much identify. It looks at his quandary of knowing that he must come out, yet not wanting to totally destroy his relationship with his wife. I was once in that same place and, unfortunately, my wish that I remain on decent terms with my former wife was not realized as she decided to turn the split up into something viciousness, encouraged in that quest, I suspect, by her women friends some of whom had gone through divorces and also encouraged by some family members. For Jim, it's a very dark place and in my own case, I knew that I could not continue as I had for years. Yet, it was a terrifying place to be emotionally: the world and life I had known was collapsing and I had no clear image of what would replace it. Just darkness and uncertainly and often despair even though finally admitting that I was gay was unbelievably liberating in so many ways. In my case, that was eight (8) years ago. Jim is still at the center of the vortex and likely feels utterly bewildered. I believe that it WILL get better for him even though it may be darker still before things turn around. Here's how he describes his current state:
I have been told it will worse before it gets better. Maybe that started yesterday. I am trying hard to explain to K about me. She is hung up on the fact that I am the one leaving. I am the one that no longer wants her. I am trying to get her to understand why I have to be who I am.
One of the things I am trying to get K to understand is that I have reached a place where I don't really know who I am. I have pretended for close to 30 years to be someone totally different from who I really am, I no longer know that person. Each day I look in the mirror the face looking back at me look less and less familiar. More like a stranger.
I need her to understand that this is not just be getting tired of her. It is me being honest for the first time in my life with her, with myself and with the world about who I really am. I think she will still be hurt and angry, but I also believe that if she can reason it out and understand this in not about blow jobs and more about shedding the false identity I have created for myself, I think it might be easier.
I think that it's important that she understand, to the extent possible, how I have gotten us to the point in the road. I think if she can clearly understand it will be easier for us to decide together the right course of action. The right time to separate, while still being supportive of each other. Wish me luck.
I sincerely hope that Jim is more successful than I was. Despite what the straight spouse may feel, it really is NOT about them in anyway. Moreover, there is nothing they can do to turn back time. Going back into the closet is not a viable option and if the straight spouse ever loved the gay spouse they would never ask that of them. In my case, I truly believe trying to stay in the closet would have guaranteed my ultimate suicide. Not that I have not made attempts along the way in my journey. I am blessed now with a wonderful man in my life and I am in the best relationship of my entire life because I am completely me and no longer some actor playing a scripted part written by others.


Anonymous said...


You are at your best in offering individuals your experience, and also the pitfalls.

I think each individual needs to take a "global" assessment, evaluate his needs in light of CURRENT facts, and choose appropriately.

One of my concerns -- esp. with married men coming out later in life -- is whether this "evolution" is something one finally accepts, or rather is something one betrayed others into believing.

All of us evolve. That's why I chastised you on "starting a new life." We have only one life, and the objective is to live it well, authentically, and the best we can. For whatever reason(s), some men could not accept their androphilia -- but as they do, it is usually a gradual awareness one grows into, not a religious type of conversion.

Best wishes, always.

carole said...

Trying to get another person to understand you (even when you're married to that other person, and especially during a crisis) may be an exercise in frustration. Better to concentrate on self-understanding and gentleness, if possible. You're gonna need to accept yourself even if/when others don't understand.

Not saying it's easy!