Thursday, January 27, 2011

Talking about divorce

Warning:  When I was re-reading this before pressing the "Publish" button, this account reads like a terrible, melodramatic soap opera, but I think it was the biggest breakthrough for us in the past 1-1/2 years.

Things have calmed down considerably around here, so maybe I can be a bit more detailed about what is going on.  Before I begin, I need to explain about our living situation.  Together, we own two houses:  "my" house is about 15 minutes south of our little town, as a realtor would over-optimically describe, sort of an bush-league 'executive-style' house on an 'estate-sized lot.'  Our other house is a large, rambling place with a loft and spectacular views on a large lake about 25 minutes north of town.  A year ago, my wife and I drafted an agreement that in the event of a divorce, she would get the lake house, which she loves, and I would keep "my" house, which I owned before my marriage.

In the past year, my wife has lived at "her" house about 3-4 nights per week as a means of coping.   She has been an emotional wreck for most of the year following her discovery about my sexuality.  Sadly, she was often alone because the kids generally didn't go out there with her (except full time in the summer) preferring to stay closer to town at my house.

My wife came home very unexpectedly to my house two days ago (I was in another part of the house.)  She saw my computer open to some shocking stuff (tongue-in-cheek), some of your blogs.... Midwest Midlife, SoCal guy, GayChristianPastor  etc.   She became extremely angry, drove back to her house and had a bunch of screaming phone tirades at me puctuated by slamming down the phone, then phoning back and screaming some more.  Slam!  Slam!  She regarded my looking at these blogs (which are my attempt to understand the married-gay path I was on) as "cheating on her."

She finally got to the main cause of her distress.  She screamed that she missed her kids and needed to be with them for at least the next two days in "my" house, but with me not there.  (reasonable request)   I said that I would go live at my parents' for two days, telling the kids I was babysitting their dog.   I also said I would tell my parents were getting a divorce and I would tell  them about my sexuality, and repeat all this to the kids on Friday.  Part of the "Next Steps" in the blog title.

Today, she phoned me to apologize for yelling and to ask how it went.  I told her that parents  had long suspected that we were having marital problems, both being highly intuitive.  She agreed they were.  I also related my mother's "cancer" comment in response to my telling them I was gay.  I said that we weren't making light of her anguish, but my family had survived many far more serious crises than this.  She agreed.

She asked me, "Are you really ready to tell the kids about yourself.   They might not react very well."  I said, "Absolutely....I'm telling them about my sexuality and they'll be fine with it. "  I also said, "I don't even know if I'm 50% gay or 80% gay.... you know, I don't even feel gay!!".   She laughed and said that was funny, a rare occurrence.

I said, "They need to understand why you are never home and why you are angry all the time."   She begged me not to tell them about our divorce.  Crying... she said, I can't live without my kids, I can't live alone..... they are never going to want to live with me if we divorce (I strongly disagree with that view)   I started crying as well.... saying, "We have to get divorced... we can never be happy remaining married." She agreed.   She suggested, then I agreed , maybe she could live in my house but in a separate area  (it's a large house) for 2-3 week nights a she could see the kids regularly.  I would be living elsewhere in the house. I said, "Probably."  

Aside:  It might make it awkward if I was bonking some 21-year old hottie upstairs.  (Just kidding!! )   I then suggested that maybe I could eventually sell my house (which I love ....I've lived there for 21 years and built it with my own hands), although the housing market isn't great, and buy a place on the lake near hers, so the kids can go back and forth freely.  That would be an ideal situation..... that might just work.   It was almost the light at the end of the tunnel.

Both of us were crying.... and she said "I care for you deeply."   I said the same back to her.   There's been too much water under the bridge recently to honestly say the "L" word right now. 

So..... one more night at my parents', and tomorrow afternoon, I'm telling the kids.  They will be fine, I know it!


  1. I think good things are happening. Keep going bro!

  2. In my own journey, I am slowing learning that the only way out is to push through. Push through the pain and turmoil to get to a better place. Sounds like you are doing that.

    I feel your pain....and suspect that I will have similar pain to deal with very soon. Yet I also sense you are moving forward. In the end, that is a good thing.

    Sending good thoughts your way....

  3. After reading your blog post I am so glad I came out when I was 21 years old and avoided a complicated life like you're leading. While I never wore a sign around my neck proclaiming "I'm gay!", occasionally I had to come out again at a different work place once the girls started to try and fix me up with an eligible female. I only had to tell one person and the word spread like wildfire and the "fixing up" stopped immediately. Of course some never had anything more to do with me (which was fine because they were never real friends anyway) and others had a new found respect for me.
    I wish you the best during your family crises. I know it can't be easy but I know once you're done informing everyone of your true sexual identity, you will feel a tremendous burden lifted from your shoulders. One thing though, no one is 50% or even 80% gay. You either are or you aren't. It's like being "a little bit pregmant." You either are or you aren't. Anything else, you're just kidding yourself and prolonging the inevitable truth. One thing that is good, you're talking about it on your blog. that can only help.

  4. Good luck tomorrow Alan. I'll be thinking about you.

  5. I just found your blog this week. I don't have children even though I was married twice to a total of about 23 years out of my 49 years of life. My second wife when I told her I was gay ...which was online during IM'ing (which by the way was NOT the plan) got really mad, then for a couple of weeks....I heard nothing from was terrible getting through all that. Now, we talk all the time online/phone/and lately by sending actual letters.....we discuss her new husband and my partner.....we are actually better off than we were when we were married ...our relationships is more honest and open now. Good luck with your talk tomorrow. I'll be sending encouraging thoughts your way. Let us know how it is going. (on a different thought I wonder if the kids will already are very intuitive and smart!)

  6. Sounds as if things will go pretty amicably. Selling "your" house and buying near the lake is a "permanent answer to a temporary problem." But if it's the only satisfactory way to insure her access to the kids, I suppose you sorta owe it to her.

  7. what a story
    well, many of us have 'been there' and one survives, despite the pain.
    I too wish you good luck.

  8. You know my heart goes out to you buddy. Wish i could b there in person to hug and listen as needed.

  9. Thanks for the support, guys! Overwhelming!! And yes, SC Guy, things are moving forward faster than I ever imagined.


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