The Stuttering Universe

Trusting other people has been difficult. I don’t believe what people say. I look for reasons to not believe what people tell me and tend to believe the opposite. In the case of Mr. Serindipity, I didn’t want to believe that he is not interested in me. It was fate that we met. How could he not be interested?

After several weeks of texting for days, I find it odd that Mr. Serindipty hasn’t come up with a reason to spend time with me. After much discussion about his anxiety and other issues with him being injured I think I can use that to my advantage.”Come to Yoga,” with me I say to him. “It will help you rehabilitate your body after all that cross fit.” I think that there is no way he will agree to go to yoga. There are so many preconceived notions, but I did think it could help him. Plus, I wanted an opportunity to spend time with him.

After a couple of days of non stop texting and cute bantering, it is set. He has agreed to go with me.

I start to feel again. the butterflies. the anticipation. I get nervous thinking about being in a hot room next to him; sweating, bending. and trying to stay focused. Plans are arranged and he tells me he actually went without me. To get a ‘lesson’ so he’d know what he was doing ahead of time.

My head starts to spin with questions. Could that mean he likes me? does that mean that he wants to impress me? Is he just feeling like he said – he didn’t want to look like he didn’t now what he was doing? My mind can’t be quiet. It has been months since I have thought this way about any other man, and then this one showed up – right after I ordered one from the universe. Could it be him? Could it be a coincidence?

On my way to the studio, he text me that he’d pick me up. I am an idiot. I didn’t want to presume it a date where he’d pick me up so I say I am on my way and I’ll meet him there. Then i am flustered. what says “I am not interested” any more than “I am not interested in you picking me up so I drove myself.” I have not actually seen him in weeks. But I walk into the studio and set myself up next to him. I can’t speak. I am so nervous. I am thankful for yoga studio ettique. I have a reason to not talk and certainly blunder my words. I am  much better at texting where I can type and backspace. and retype. then send. Speaking – well I am not always so eloquent.

Somehow I make it through the class. We leave, sweaty and I feel as though I look awful. I want to go home and take a shower. We leave the studio and it’s chilly out.  I wish now we drove together because I really want to spend more time with him. He offers to walk me to my car, and I nervously tell him he doesn’t need to that I parked in the deck. Idiot. he offered to spend time with you! He walks me to my car. I chatter, nervously the entire way. My brain tells my mouth to stop taking. But I ramble on. We make it to my car and I want him to forgive my social awkwardness and just kiss me. As gross as I look and feel I find him sweet and funny. If he would just iss me my mouth would stop chattering nonsense!  We say our goodbyes with not so much as any physical contact. I get in my car, shut myself in and feel safe. sad. but safe. He went to Yoga with me. it was an activity we did with out any hint of interest from him. But I am not shocked – the words that fell out of my mouth and the way I acted didn’t exactly scream, “I find you incredibly attractive and I want to get to know you more and kiss you!”

Finally, back behind the comfort of a keyboard, I can text him. I admired his ability to go to a class beforehand. I can tell him I enjoyed his company. I have the ability to ask him to go with me again. He  agrees.

He must like me. what guy goes to yoga on his own to ‘learn it’ before hand. He must really like me. he agreed to go again. Or maybe he just really wants to do yoga and it has nothing to do with me. I don’t exactly make the best first impressions.

This is great. I am thrilled. I think it’s date. I count down the days and this time, we agree to have him pick me up. It feels more like a date.

He comes to my house, he comes in. I am making my kids dinner and feel a little more relaxed but still very nervous. I got this, I think. It is yoga. We went before, the only difference is we are riding together. Yeah, It’s a date. I say to myself. I am smiling on the inside.

The ride to the studio was effortless. We talked. I was not as nervous as I was before. I think the fact that it is dark out and i am staring at the road ahead makes it easier; still I am a little tongue tied. Tonight’s class – Yoga Nidra – is a guided meditation, and will leave me feeling less sweaty and unattractive at the end. As the class progressed, I was very distracted thinking of him lying next to me. When the class ends, we leave the studio. I am not ready to go home. I wish I could spend more time with him. As I am thinking that, he asks, “do you want to get some hot chocolate?” I blurt out, “I don’t like hot chocolate.” Why could I have not said something more flirty. more fun. more witty. Why could I not have just said YES. I am an idiot.

We get back in his truck and he takes me home. I become aware of myself. I am chattering and twirling my hair. I am leaning into him while we talk and nervously touch my throat and collar bone. All of the sudden I am aware that I am exhibiting body language that I didnt know I had in me! I stop immediately. I don’t want to be so obvious. We pull into my driveway and I don’t want the night to end. “Do you want to come in for a bit?” I can’t believe the words came out of my mouth. It is out there. If this is a date, and if he likes me and if he wants to spend more time with me too, I will know.

“I have laundry to do.” it just took five words to let me know he’s not interested. I feel so foolish. For god’s sake, 3 minutes earlier, I was subconsciously twirling my hair and hoping for him to kiss me.  Ok. I reel back. This was not a date. The other day was not a date. What man says he has laundry to do when a woman offers for him to come in. I laugh it off, congratulate him for making it through another night of yoga with me. I hug him good bye and head into my house.

I close the door behind me and replay the past few encounters. he texts me a lot. he went to yoga with me not once but twice with me and once on his own. He hugged me back. He can’t think nothing of me, but he clearly is not on the same wavelength as me.

For someone who is not interested, he’s spending a lot of time with me. Maybe I am just not his type. I want to test this theory so I invite him over to meet a friend. I say, “you should come meet my friend.”  He agrees to come over to meet her.

At this point, I should have taken the clues:

He didn’t make a move on “date” one.

He didn’t come in on “date” two.

I suggest a set up with a friend and he willingly agrees to come over.

These were not subtle, they were overt. obvious and loud indicators of non interest. Now I am screwed; I have to have him over to meet my friend.

When I set this event up, I didn’t consciously think that my motive was to get him alone, but it quickly turned into it. My friend is beautiful. Articulate. Smart. She surfs. she’s cool. she smokes pot. she has a large vocabulary. She went to Ivy Legague school. She eats foi gras, sushi, and other exotic foods. She confidently and charmingly weaves entertaining tales about her life living at the beach.  She is everything I am not. Of course he would prefer her, that is why I invited them to my home to see if they’d hit it off. In the short time I have known him, I do think of him as a good friend and want him to be happy in a relationship. If not with me, then why not with my friend? But I do like him. I become insanely insecure. I am a bit chubby in the middle. Socially awkward. I can’t express myself very well. I want to kiss him. A ‘kiss test’ to see if he responds. I invited him over to meet my friend and now all I can think about is kissing him. I am a terrible friend and feel like I’ve manipulated this situation. Maybe I will be able to kiss him into liking me?

After a couple glasses of wine, i have the courage, I rudely leave my friend in the kitchen and drag Mr. Serindipty to my bedroom, i shut the door and tell him that I feel very attracted to him and all I can think about is kissing him. He doesn’t protest and before I know it we are in each others arms making out like teen agers. It feels amazing to have him against me. Now I am wondering exactly how far this can go. would I sleep with him? He is a great kisser and I apologize for inviting him over to meet my friend then stealing him away. He laughs it off. I want to know, I want to hear him say that he likes me. That he’s into me, but we just kiss, talk. laugh. I really like him and  I am not thinking about GIJoe. I want to know why he hasn’t responded to me before.  I like him. I tease him and jokingly say,  “when a woman invites you in, you don’t say you have laundry to do unless you aren’t interested.” He says, “or it could be that I don’t know what I want.” Maybe he has a girlfriend. I ask, ‘are you seeing someone else?” he responds immediately, ‘yes’ So now I understand, I think.

He DOES like me. but he’s conflicted. He’s dating someone else. I press the issue: “How would she feel if she knew you were kissing me?” I want to figure out how serious is this. Am I (once again) getting involved with someone else’s man? I want more than to be an affair. After all, I am ready to find Prince Charming. And he is Mr. Serindipity, and very well could be Prince Charming. But not if he’s dating someone else!

“She would not be happy.”

“Are you Ok with this?” I ask him, but really I am asking myself. I am not sure if I am okay with kissing someone who is in a relationship with someone else.

“Yes. I am, I do what I want to do.” He says it like he’s trying to convince himself that it is true.  “I don’t know if I just want to date one woman.”

“Ok. I get it. I think monogamy is overrated, as long as everyone is honest and truthful. You should tell her so she can decided if she wants that kind of relationship.” Why I felt the need to tell him that is beyond me. Yes monogamy is overrated. In truth we are all in ‘open relationships’ whether we want to believe it or not. At any given time anyone in a relationship can stray. I clarify, “the issue is not kissing multiple people, it is in not telling the truth.”  That I believe wholewhartedly.

I get the feeling this is going to be a longer conversation, but right now, I just want to keep making out with him. In light of this new information, I am not going to have sex with him. For several hours we kiss, talk, laugh and cuddle. We end up getting naked and I am so hungry for him but hold back. I don’t want him to see me desperate for his affection. I pull away and realize that I am about to cross that line with him; I don’t want to be that girl who is an affair but as I look at him, all I can imagine is him inside of me. I can’t do it. I want him exclusively. I don’t wan to share anyone ever again. At this point in any kind of courtship it’s unreasonable to impose any kind of fidelity rules. Lying there naked, I notice he is fit and toned. Cross fit has worked for him.

I then remember back to when I was getting regular meal plans and work out plans from GIJoe. He helped me build an amazing body. Now I glance at my self, I get self conscious. I am not as toned as I was; as much as I want to deny it, I have let myself go some. Mabye if I were more attractive or more fit he wouldn’t have agreed to meet my friend. I ask him, “what do you think of me? I am not like the cross fit girls you know. and I am not wafer thin either.” He says, ‘ you are average.’

the room gets quiet. He is right. I am average. Average looking. Average height. Average intelligence. Average. As in not repulsive but not drop dead gorgeous. I hear mediocre. Average.

Immediately I want to turn back time. i want to be back at the farm house in Illinois. I want to be alone. I want him out of my bed. Out of my house. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be with him. I don’t want to be Average. I want to be back in the time where I was loved. Adored. I want someone to look at me like I am the most beautiful (not average) woman he has ever seen. I want GIJoe. He would tell me how beautiful I was. He would have to catch his breath when he spoke to me. I literally took his breath away. And now here I was, naked, in my own bed with a man who saw me as average.

Denying the obvious signs of Mr. Serindipity being too weak to leave earlier and reject my kissing him, I made a joke and told him that while he thought I was average there were some who thought I was above average.

I kiss him some more. His hands go to my head and he pulls me close to him. I want so badly for him to be the one. He came when I asked the universe for someone. He is Mr. Serindipity. What went wrong? We continue making out and  caressing each other. I want to get on top of him and show him that i am not average! I know I can’t undo what we did but I am glad we didn’t have sex. Oddly, I think to myself that I want to get to know him more. I think I could really like him and I want to have a friendship too.

He stays in my bed until 430 a.m. I kiss him good bye. Now I am conflicted. He leaves me with an odd feeling that this was not a one time event but not going to be repeated anytime soon.

I feel like a shitty friend to the surfer girl. I feel like a manipulative woman to Mr. Serindipity. Personally, I feel hollow. As fun as it was kissing Mr. Serindipity, he was a reluctant participant. He wants what I am not and all along I knew that I just couldn’t face the reality. After he left and I was alone in my bed, it all seemed so obvious. He said, in words, as well as actions that he’s not interested in me. Why can’t I just accept that.

Something has to be done to right this; I like him and even though I’ve only known him for a couple of weeks, I don’t want that to be the end of our friendship. I send him a quick text letting him off the hook. After all, I invited him over to meet Surfer girl. I apologize for kissing him. I err on the side of honesty, “I am sorry I attacked you I really wanted you to like me. Did you want to meet Surfer girl again?”

“She did seem pretty cool. how about i get through this month…. I may not be my most generous self. I guess the real question is would she like to meet me.”

My heart sank and my eyes welled with the stinging tears of rejection. I am a good person, I tell myself. But i know that isn’t true. I am mortified by my actions. I chased a man who I thought the Universe sent to me. He rejected me now four times. The message from him was coming in loud and clear.

I tel him that I am embarrassed by my behavior. “I thought i was setting you up… I had a few drinks and had that feeling that you were into me too.”

“Don’t apologize.” he says. “we both had fun, I hope. And we are both open with each other. Nothing to be embarrassed about.”

Wonderful, I think to myself. I was a ‘fun time’ I am very glad I didn’t fuck him. that’s all it would have been. My stomach is stariting to clench, I grab myself if holding me tightly will keep the tears from spilling out of my eyes.

“I am sorry. I took advantage” I say again. hoping that my apologies may convince myself that I am a good person, worthy of love some how.

“I didn’t fight all that much,” he responds.

Again, I tell him, “Yes I liked that.” to which he sends an ambiguous  smily. I hate emoticons. They are lazy. So I ask him outright, “Did you?”

He says, “yes I did.”

Needing clarificattion, I press the issue, “Did you really because you seem conflicted or not interested,” knowing full well that the girlfriend might have been the reason.

But he responds, “I don’t want you to feel like I took advantage. I LIKE SEX.”

That clearly says, “I like sex. you were offering. I wasn’t going to say no.” I am an idiot because now I just want the actual words to come from him. Don’t beat around the bush anymore. Reject me. For real. I tease it out of him and hand him the verbal knife: “Right, well you didn’t’ take advantage. I was hoping that I could tip you over into feeling something for me.”

And now it comes, a swift clean cut, “I am a very physical person. I like you and enjoy you but not in a relationship way. you are a good friend.”

Now I can bleed with tears. That was the emotional cut that i needed. An odd feeling of relief and pain simultaneously come over me. It  is the same hurt and pain that i know from GI Joe. From the Gay X husband. Oddly, it is comforting.

He speaks the the truth that I don’t want to be true. The words echo: ‘not in a relationship way.”

“Suck it up!” I command myself. “Don’t beg. Don’t ask. Don’t try and convince him.” I remind myself that someday Prince Charming will come.

“Good. I didn’t get what I needed from you.” and that was the truth. What I need is a man to breath me in. to quiet the noise around me. to hold me. make love to me. adore me. I clearly misread his physical response to me as one that could be emotionally fulfilling.

When I told the universe I was ready and asked to meet my partner, he showed up. Maybe it doesn’t work as quickly? Maybe I thought he was IT but really it was the universe stuttering its reply and the real Prince Charming is still out there? Or maybe, hoping against all hope, Mr. Serendipity meant what he said in that he just doesn’t know what he wants and it could be me after all.

Scheduling Bravery

“Honey, we need to talk. Your dad is a lying son of a bitch and likes to have his penis in other mens’ assholes.” No, that probably isn’t  the way I should break the news to the kids. But, the news is going to have to come out. I want GH to tell the kids. I have wanted him to tell them for months, but he’s a coward. Not just a run of the mill coward, but a delusional, narcissistic coward.  He’s  basically a trifecta of stupid and lives in his own fantasy land.

Unfortunately, the inevitable has happened. Maybe I am paritially to blame, but I wont take full credit. The word is out about GH. The king of Mapdot is gay. People know, partially because I have told some friends. But also because GH has his gay ON. He is out and proud with a few folks and has been to the gay bar just north of Mapdot in the Collegtown. He’s also been entertaining his potential partners and their crew at the business. In Mapdot, when something like this breaks, it’s worthy of discussion around the bars, the ball fields, the kitchen tables, and god forbid, now the playground.

I received a call from a friend of mine whose daughter plays with my daughter. Apparently word is out amongst the 8 year olds that “her dad is gay and that is why they are divorcing.” Dare I even ask if an 8 year old really knows what gay is? With what’s on television and the bluntness in which people talk, I can assume that the kids all have a fairly good idea of what gay is. And now my fear is how those kids will confront my daughter. It may range from the mundane description, “her dad loves men like my dad loves women.” They might kick it up a notch with a description, “her daddy kisses boys. ewww. groosssss!” Or my biggest fear, which is probably more likely to occur, is that there will be full on bullying by a bunch of ignorant children who have bigots for parents and are utter homophobes who can string together articulate descriptions of how gays ‘do it.’

As much as I want to don the cloak of cowardness that GH has worn so well, I can’t just ignore this subject. I can’t leave my children unprepared for the social battles they will face. They need some mental preparation but most important, they need the truth. Well, a version of the truth that is age appropriate and gives them the security and confidence to go forward and not be victims.

In a perfect world, GH would sit down with our children and admit to them that he was a gay. He would tell them that he loves them very much but that he can’t continue to be dishonest with about who he is and that it is time that he live a life that allows him to be who he is. He will explain to them that he was weak and afraid to tell anyone he was gay. That he spent his whole life lying to people because he was afraid about how people would react. He’d tell them gently that not everyone in the world thinks that gay people should live an open life and that he was afraid of people being mean to him and saying hurtful things. He and I would then tell the kids together that they may face some people like the ones their dad was afraid of. They may find that they have friends or their friends parents may say mean things. But we will reassure them that daddy still loves them and that nothing has changed for them except that mommy and daddy are getting divorced but we will still be the best parents ever.

So, back to the drawing board for things to tell the kids. My brutal honesty and bluntness will probably do more damage than good to my kids’ evolving sense of self and security (note to self, double up on their therapist appointments). My out loud voice will probably say something caring and rational along the lines of, “You know how mommy and daddy are getting divorced, right? Well it is time you know the reason and unfortunately your dad has been too scared to talk to you about it. Dad’s had a secret his whole life and has been very, very scared about how people would feel about him if they ever found out the truth. In fact, he was so afraid of being honest that he never told me or your grandparents. He’s kept it to himself and it has been very hard on him.  You know what gay is, right? We have gay friends and they come visit us so you know that there is nothing wrong with them. And you also know how some people make fun of them and say mean, hurtful things. Well, Your dad is just like them. He is gay. There is nothing wrong with your dad and he still loves you very much. He will always be the same dad to you that he has been. So if your friends or your friends parents say mean things to you or about your dad, please know that it has nothing to do with you.”

Perhaps I am a coward, but at least I will be an honest one, which is more than I can say for GH. Now, off to the calendar to schedule my moment of bravery, knowing that this moment will be a demarcation in their lives. It will be the line in their lives separating “before we knew dad was gay” and “after mom told us dad was gay.”

If wishes were fishes, the sea would be full

I feel better if can categorize and distill my thoughts. The throbbing and nagging lessens when I can see in black and white the idea that is causing my heart to race or my mind to churn. There are times too when I feel an overwhelming rush of peace or gratitude and am so thankful for the life I have, my friends, and my good fortune. The lists of things I am grateful for spans many pages but most are too personal and too revealing. Rest assured, the things I am grateful for and truly appreciate far outnumber the items here. One thing that has taken me almost 8 months to realize that I am glad GH left and I actually thankful for being set free to no longer have to live in his closet or be subjected to the lifestyle that being lied to creates. I am sure that anyone who has had a spouse who was unfaithful can relate!

Now that you’re gone…

  1. I can leave the bed unmade
  2. I can eat what I want and when I want
  3. I don’t have to cook your favorite foods that I hated
  4. I can enjoy meals in the company of our children
  5. I can have a discussion with the kids without the TV blaring at dinner
  6. I no longer have to hear you yell out letters at Wheel of Fortune
  7. I don’t have to watch you pick your teeth
  8. I don’t have to hear you fart
  9. I always get a hot shower
  10. I don’t have ask permission to go running or work out
  11. I don’t feel anxiety when the house isn’t picked up
  12. I can stay in bed late or get up early
  13. I can stay up late and read, watch a movie or TV show that I want to watch
  14. I feel good enough and at peace with me
  15. I am happy

Things I think of that make me want to vomit

  1. You sucking another guys dick
  2. You coming home and kissing me hello, I now wonder where that mouth was
  3. You missing out on time with our kids because you wanted to hook up and have gay sex
  4. You having so much pent up anxiety and anger about your double life that you took it out on me
  5. You having men in our home and at our store
  6. You wishing you were somewhere else or with someone else when you were with me
  7. You staying late at work to hook up
  8. You lying to me about the reasons we didn’t have sex
  9. You letting me think that there was something wrong with me
  10. You manufacturing problems and causing fights to avoid intimacy
  11. You making me distrust men and think that they are all gay
  12. Your ability to create and destroy a whole family by your lie
  13. You have a support system and group of people who have embraced you in YOUR difficult time

Things I wonder about

  1. How many men did you really have sex with
  2. Did you take it in the ass or give it up the ass
  3. Did you like the way a guy sucks your dick better than the way I did
  4. Did you ever have some kind of gay sexual encounter and then have sex with me
  5. Where in our house or store did you have sex
  6. Did you have your mom watch our kids so you could hook up with men
  7. When I was traveling, did you look forward to my being gone
  8. Did you lie to me when you said you missed me
  9. Did you ever really love me
  10. When you did errands for the store and stayed over night at a hotel did you hook up
  11. How many people did you meet on the internet that you invited to or told about our business
  12. How many people knew
  13. How many people kept your secret for you

Things I am sad for you about

  1. You had to live a lie
  2. You didn’t feel like you could trust me with your secret
  3. You feared your parents reaction
  4. You had stress about living a double life
  5. You are so narcissist that you can’t think about anyone’s feelings
  6. You are so ungrateful for all that I have done for you
  7. You are resentful towards me about our divorce
  8. You were not able to live an authentic life
  9. You were not able to enjoy your children and wife as a father and husband
  10. You don’t even know what you are missing

I wish you would….

  1. Tell me you are truly sorry for everything
  2. Be honest with your children, parents, and friends about who you really are
  3. Realize that people would have loved you and accepted you for you
  4. Understand that the lie was the worst of it all
  5. Take the blame for our failed marriage
  6. Figure out how to make up for all the damage you have caused
  7. Take responsibility for putting the fork in the road and causing our paths to change
  8. Realized that you can’t have the best of both worlds and that I now deserve to live a true, authentic life
  9. My dreams were wrapped up in you, the family we created, and our business that we create
  10. I can’t ‘just get over it’ and ‘just move on’ while living here
  11. Be charitable enough to figure out to help me right my life and get back to where I belong
  12. Not be gay
  13. Tell me that this is all a terrible, mean joke and that you are not gay and you want to come home and fix it all

But if wishes were fishes, the sea would be full.

Drinking the weather report from a fire hose

“Why are you getting divorced?” he asked. It is such a simple yet intrusive question. I just met Paul and he is a friend of a friend, we have no history and I have nothing to hide or prove for that matter. Most people, when making small talk start out with simple topics. The weather, sports, travel, etc. I always felt like it was good to establish some sort of common base with someone to get to know them a little on the surface before going in for the kill shot. But I feel like playing with this person a bit, so I’ll bite. We’ll have the conversation. Bring it on!

“My husband cheated on me,” I tell him. This is where I feel bad because I know how the next few moments will go. Paul will seem sympathetic and will want to relay a similar story. I will chime in that I had no idea. Paul will appear stunned, shocked, and get defensive for me. The conversations wanders to “You are an attractive woman and you have it all going on! He obviously didn’t know what he was giving up!” Now the road will fork a little as I offer, “Yeah, I know. I was totally blind sided.” Paul then feels bad and continues to talk some about his friend who had a ‘similar’ situation. The conversation is amusing me because it is so familliar. Maybe this is the small talk that he’s used to and from the banality of it, it is kind of like talking about the weather. It’s simple, predictable and since I was not the one at fault it’s an easy conversation to have.

Up until recently this is where the conversation would end. But as of late, I’ve been letting the line out a bit and seeing how far I can go with people. I don’t trust people with my story and feel like it is my cross to bear and that I don’t want to out GH. I’ve been comfortable in his closet, but I am getting ready to move out.

Paul blathers on about his friend who “knew someone” who set up a fake profile on match.com and used to hook up with people and had an affair. “Match.com?” I ask. I guess I asked it in a way that made him think I had never heard of it so he proceeded to explain to me that it is, “just an internet dating site.” “Oh, right. I know all about match. My husband was on dating sites looking for partners.”  Paul missed that I didn’t say “women” so the conversation then goes on for a bit about how those sites operate and how easy it is to be anonymous.

This conversation is starting to tire me. If I met this guy at a cocktail party, I’d find a way to walk away, but my friend left us alone for a bit so I have nowhere to go and neither does he. I am a cat bored with the mouse. Time to pounce. “My husband was on Craig’s List, in the casual encounter section.” Paul’s reaction makes me think like he has not heard of that section.  I am doubtful, but it’s the right response because to be familiar with it puts a whole new spin on the conversation. So, I carry on as if to enlighten him about this unknown area of the internet. “Yeah, you can pretty much post your desire and someone can hit you up with a response. So my husband was out there creating postings that said, ‘looking for a NSA blow job tonight.” I could have swore I thought Paul’s eyes kind of lit up a bit at just the prospect of being able to summon a no strings attached blow job. Then, I offered “He got a lot of responses.” Paul’s voice said, “Oh that is awful… just disgusting!” but his body language could not masquerade the curiosity of it all. Perhaps he really hadn’t seen this area of Craig’s list. I made a mental note to tell my friend that he’s a good catch.

I am ready now. “Yes, it is awful. especially because the responses he was getting were from men.” Crickets. Silence. No reaction. Bet he was sorry he asked why I was getting a divorce. So, he wants to know, I’ll give him the weather report and he can drink it from the fire hose.

“Yup. Men. My husband is gay. He’s been gay his whole life and has been having affairs with men since as far back as he can remember. I found out by accident. I got to see some photos that were hard to ignore. I’ve since learned that he’s met, over the course of our marriage, hundreds of men on the internet. Craig’s List is just one site. There are others that allow you to set up profiles.” I can see that I am loosing Paul and I have to reel it in a bit. “Just like on Match.com.” He nods a little, I’ve brought him back to some familiar territory. Now, back down the rabbit hole, “but unlike Match, you can post pictures of your dick, your balls, your asshole. You can post pictures of anything you think will make you appealing to someone. You can also indicate what you like: are you top or bottom.” I guess I paused like I wanted him to answer so he volunteered, “I don’t know. What is that?” I shake my head. This is actually kind of fun. I say, “do you like to give it up the ass or take it up the ass?” He just shakes his head. No answer, which is good. Again – mental note to tell my friend he may be a keeper.

Then I proceed to tell him how this all works tactically. He’s not had any time to process it all, but that is ok. I open the flood gates. “So you can go to the men seeking men section of Craig’s List and post your desires. Once you decide what you want, you get to decide who you want to give it to you, if your a bottom that is. If you are a top, you look for a bottom. There are some who are ‘vers’ which is short hand for versatile, meaning top or bottom. Then you get to read through ‘stats’ which are statistics. On Match, these would be things like eye color, height, weight, religious preferences, etc.” Poor Paul. He is glazing over but there is no stopping me now.  After all, he did ask why we got divorced. I am going to answer his question. “On these sites height and weight are equally important to dick size, whether it’s cut – Circumcised.”

I barely pause for a breath. I am on a roll!  “So My husband, for example would post something like, ’38 year old 6’1 220 top 6 1/2 cut looking for bottom to play with. Safe DF and DF only. Can host. Send your stats and a picture.” This would translate to 38 year old (which is just one of his many lies, he’s 45 and looks every bit of it), 6 foot 1 220 pounds. with a 6.5 inch circumcised erect penis. He’s a top and wants someone who practices safe sex  and is HIV negative. Drug Free and Disease Free. Hosting means he will entertain at our home or business. He wants to know the statistics of the responder, which typically means, ‘just tell me how big you are and how big your dick is.’ Sending a picture can be what ever the responder wants it to be. The majority of the time, the first round of responses get a dick-pic.” Oh he is so lost, I think. I carry on though, “A dick-pic is a picture of an erect penis. If that is palatable, then they’ll exchange a few more messages coordinating a meeting time then at the end of the conversation, they may exchange face pictures. During this time neither really knows or needs to know the other person’s real name. They arrange a meeting place to decide if there is chemistry. This translates roughly to, ‘lets meet and check each other out. if we like the looks of each other we can go back to the host’s place and fuck’.”

Silence. I have to take a breath and just let him marinate in that for a minute. My friend comes back and Paul reaches out for her hand. “Are you two getting along?” she asked.  Paul smiles uncomfortably. “He asked why I was getting divorced,” I tell my friend.  Paul nods like a trauma patient who can’t speak but know he needs to communicate.

Mission accomplished. I told my story. Clearly I have some work to do on refining it, but Paul was good practice.

Charity work

It’s bad when the 80 year old mother of one of my friends says, “Well, I always kind of thought so.” Really? Why is it that many of the people who find out my husband is gay are not surprised. Not only are they not surprised, some people have even said to me that they thought we had an ‘arrangement’ of sorts because they just assumed that I knew.

Our son was 18 months old when we got married, so realistically, I probably would not have married him if I knew. I wanted to marry the father of my child, who for all intents and purposes lived a straight life, and who, I thought, acted straight. He gave me no reason to believe that he was anything other than who he presented himself to be.

GH liked liked sweaty ‘man’ work. He used power tools and climbed trees with chain saws. He did lots of outdoor chores and was a bit rough handed when it came to an insubordinate power tool. He had a strong build, over 6 ft and 220 lbs. He was a muscular and athletic. We road mountain bikes and hiked. GH liked going to bars and drinking beer.

Stereotypes exist for a reason, and when I think of a gay man, pictures of my gay friends come to mind. Most of them fit the stereotype to some degree. There are some full out and out queens and others who are just a bit feme.  GH flew under my gay-dar.

Now I wonder, what is it that other people saw in him that I missed? Were there mannerisms or behaviors that were so obviously gay that an 80 year old picked up on. What is it that makes gay G-A-Y. I need to know so that I can identify and avoid this character trait in any future.

Being that I am pretty deft, unless he wore a sign that said, “I am gay,” I don’t think I would have recognized it. But there were physical characteristics that when I think of them, they make me pause and wonder if any of them were clear indicators of gayness. Were the hazard lights blinking and I just missed it? Clearly there was something  about him that made other people consider the possibility that he was gay. Was it the way he ran with limp wrists and a tilted head? Was it the fact that he loved to go shopping for antiques and refinish them. With his mom. Could the sign have been that he was impeccably clean and not only knew how all the attachments on the vacuum worked but used them regularly for their intended purpose? Was it the way he was so meticulous with the yard work?  He didn’t have a lisp. He didn’t listen to show tunes. He didn’t have a great sense of fashion. All the “gay things” that he exhibited were counterbalanced by the traits he didn’t possess.

Now that I know he’s gay, I can’t help but see gay. Everything he does is gay. His clothes, his voice, his mannerism. Was it there all along or am I seeing what I know to be there. Last time I saw him he was at work talking to a potential vendor. He wearing a aqua blue shirt that was a little too tight around the chest and biceps. He was being overly animated and using a lot of gestures and tipping his head to punctuate each sentence. His facial reactions were overly animated and as he spoke to the vendor, he kept reaching out to touch his arm or shoulder.  I shook my head and thought, “you are SO FUCKING GAY.” Then I thought, why did I not see that before? How could I have NOT seen it?

Maybe I am a little late to realize what so many have recognized. I do fancy my self quite progressive and possibly would have entertained the idea of marrying my husband had he been out. Reflecting on the comments that were made about us having an understanding or an arrangement, I am flattered. Really. I was flattered that people thought that I would marry a gay man to keep his secret. That is awfully generous. Perhaps that gave me some extra goodwill in the community – people think I am a good, caring, humane charitable person!  Perhaps they saw me like Angelina Jolie and he was my personal charity case. The cat’s out of the closet now and my social charity is limited to organizations that have a tax exemption.

Google me out of Crazytown

I ask google questions like it’s a magic 8 ball.  “Why did my gay husband marry me?” “How much longer will this divorce take?” “Will I be granted sole custody and the right to move back to my hometown?” I thought the answers that would be returned might be simple like the 8 ball: “Ask again later,” “Concentrate and ask again,” and “Outlook good.”

But instead of simple and easy answers I was bombarded with tens of thousands of websites all offering some unique combination of my key words.  I found an interesting article in Phillymag that presented one married man’s struggle with his homosexuality. Sorry – no sympathy from me but it reminded me that my GH was fond of craigs list and the gay hook up site, Adam4Adam. I trolled those sites, and set up a fake profile just to see what really goes on. Apparently being a husband and gay is pretty common and actually in some circles quite desirable. The more I read and researched the more physically ill I became. I found images of GH as well as other men. You can’t un-see these things and unfortunately my mind has images of gay porn (which isn’t my thing) burned into my brain. I’ve come to terms that I have a gay spouse. I know gay people, my brother included with many friends. I am not a homophobe. I know what gay people do, but it is unbelievable to me that my husband was doing ‘gay things’ while married to me. I just wanted to know WHY. WHY did he marry me? ME? WHY ME? Why did he get married? Many people stay single for personal reasons. He had a personal reason that justified him staying single.

The google led me to other places on the internet and I became aware that I was not the only one who had fallen in this rabbit hole, but I had no idea that an entire wonderland existed and that there was a whole community of people who are going through the same waking hallucination.  The google led me to the Straight Spouse Network. I was amazed to find a group of people who could help me with answering questions that a straight spouse has.

I felt like jumping for joy and screaming outloud that I found people to validate my feelings and assure me my story, while unique to me, doesn’t have to define me.

The Straight Spouse Network has been a great resource. Now if only the google could find me the answers to my other questions because I am ready to find the right potion to drink so that I can leave this crazytown and get back to where I belong.

Gay trumps bitch

Always. No matter how much of a mean, evil bitch I was (and I wasn’t always evil). I might have been a bitch at times. I know I was, but not on a daily basis. He however was gay. Gay every single day. He wasn’t just, “I think I may want to explore these feelings I have” kind of gay. No – he was full on gay. He had gay affairs throughout our marriage. He posted and responded to Craig’s list ads and was active on gay internet chat/hook up sites. He wasn’t of the “I found my true love and it’s a man” gay. He was a man whore.

We didn’t have a perfect marriage (in retrospect, that seems like an underwhelming, yet obvious fact) but sexual orientation and his sexual exploits aside, the other aspects were good, even great. We were great friends, great parents, great business partners and great in our community. So I thought.

All the things that make a good marriage were present, well except for one major thing. THE BIGGEST thing. We just didn’t have regular sex and I chalked it up to low sex drive on his part or exhaustion from work. Possibly his lack of desire was due to health issues. Maybe the kids and our business and our general day to day grind was too much for him. I never considered that the reason we were not having sex was because he was gay and having gay sex.

I know gay men. I have a gay brother. I had a gay roommate in college. I have had many gay friends. I thought I had pretty good gaydar and could sense a gay man. What I was not good at sensing was the ‘masc’ gay man. The gay man who looks, acts, dresses and speaks like a straight man. This was a new category of gay that I was unfamiliar with, and perhaps I was being shallow and stereotyping gay men. But I never saw any gay tendencies in my husband. He chopped wood, built things, was sort of athletic, he was a guy’s guy who enjoys redneck things like car-camping and riding four wheelers. He was a terrible dresser and his appearance and fashion choices would leave me wondering if he ever used the mirror. I assumed he was straight.

And why wouldn’t I assume that he was straight? Our courtship seemed like normal courtship: flirting, going to dinners, going to bars, drinking, an having sex. It wasn’t frequent, porn star lusty sex, but it was sexual affair that lasted for about 2 months before  I got pregnant. 2 years later, we got married. Why would I ever think he was gay? He had every chance to dump me when I was pregnant or even after our son was born.

It is still a mystery to me how I could not have seen this.  Gay definitely trumps bitch. I am absolved of the guilt here – I get a pass on this failed marriage because you just can’t fix gay.