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Sat Aug 27 12:41 pm  #1

Sam's Story

I had some serious misgivings when I married her. Something didn’t seem right but I couldn’t put my finger on it. She assured me everything would be OK once we were married.  She put to rest any worries I could actually verbalize.
However, our marriage started out rocky. It became clear she was not going to address my misgivings, and I was to get used to the way things are. I did. Outwardly we were a happy couple, however she slowly and subtly isolated me, from family, old friends, my church, in short any support system outside of her that I might need. I didn’t notice it, most of the time. Oh I could see my family, friends, go to church anytime I wanted, provided I met conditions that usually made it more trouble than it was worth.
So we went on, had two great kids, and did all the things typical suburban families do together. With the kids I was distracted, and involved with them.
Throughout our marriage I was told that if I just change one little thing, everything would be totally fine. So I would but there was always something else. After about 15 years of this I stopped trying, and she became more unhappy, all my fault of course. I have come to realize that this was all controlling behavior on her part. She was trying to control her own urges and everything else in her life.
Fast forward 5 years, kids are 11 and 14… In August 2000 she told me out of the blue she wanted an open marriage or a divorce. I asked her if I could think it over, she said “fine” and I immediately went out and bought a pack of cigarettes after having been off them for 25 years. I always told myself that if the world was going to end within 5 years I would start again… seemed close enough.
A month later she told me the nature of the open marriage she desired. She had always been a lesbian, wanted to indulge. She had to add that if only I had been a better husband, she would never have had the urge to pursue it. It was somewhat a shock, but somewhat of a relief as well, it explained a lot, and I actually realized that the part about being a better husband was BS. I spent the next couple months in a fog, trying to figure out how to make the marriage work, going between shock, sadness, anger, relief, and worst, fear of the unknown, fear for my kids.
I reached a low point on Christmas day, 2000. I did a Google search and found SSN, and joined an online email group. It was a lifesaver, validating, and a huge relief to be able to talk to others in similar situations. I also joined a local group and met any str8s I could, traveling to gatherings all over the country when I heard of them. At a picnic on a beach in Oxnard CA with other str8s, after talking to all at great length, the fear suddenly left and I knew what I had to do. After returning home, I told my wife that the open marriage wasn’t working for me and that we would have to divorce. Her reaction… well maybe she wasn’t lesbian after all, so again it would be “all my fault”. This was, of course, yet another attempt to manipulate and control. I didn’t buy it and soon she went back to her new life.
We spent about a year planning the breakup and separated in November, 2002, I bought a townhome nearby and in the same school district so I could stay involved with the kids and share custody. (as an aside, while she sucked as a wife I had to admit she was a good mom and I didn’t want to interfere with that either.) Our divorce was final in January 2004.
In the mean time, as I healed, I became increasingly involved with SSN, wanting to give back for the lifesaving help I received in my darkest days. One of the first things I did, in response to a request from Amity Buxton, was to create the old Forum. I became a local face-to-face group leader, and was invited to join the SSN board of directors. I served as president of the board from 2007 to 2009. I remain a local contact, the administrator of this Forum, and have rejoined the board of directors.
I eventually got a religious annulment from my ex. I needed to do that for ME, as I realized that I didn’t have a marriage to her. She passed away in 2012 of cancer. My kids took it hard, and I have tried to be there for them when needed.
I remarried in 2014. There is no comparison between what I had then and what I have now. Life is good, and normal. And… I have finally managed to quit smoking again.


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