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Sun May 7 1:32 pm  #1


Pillar of the community

I was married for decades to a 'pillar of the community'. He is still in the closet to everyone and a pillar of community and adored by his young adult children. 
For over forty years  now, including the time in which we were attempting to conceive/ and while I was pregnant with his children,  he had anonymous sexual encounters with men.A few years ago, by shear accident [and the grace of God] I stumbled across info leading me to the discovery of my husbands secret double life. My stomach still turns every time I think about it. 
The situation now is that I am sick of the deception. I cannot stand the man and have been forced to be in his presence as big events happen in the lives of our young adult children. I cannot stand to be anywhere near him and generally leave the event no matter how important it is or if there is no avenue of escape, I actually go into bathroom and am ill. 
I am now treated as if Im the 'crazy person with a problem'. My daughters future mother-in-law informed me that I need to 'get a grip' so that my palpable distress doesn't effect the impending wedding. She also told me that maybe therapy would help. This is after she is wined, dined, hosted at ex- husbands house and introduced to the other 'pillars of society'.
At an event this weekend , my daughter basically ignored me and my elderly parents who'd come to the event. Not even a photo of them together, while daughters stayed at her father's side. Then they all went off together to an expensive celebratory dinner that he'd planned. I was not invited of course. 
It makes me livid that he has maintained his lifestyle, his status within the community and the admiration of his kids after what he did and is still doing in his free time. AND IVE BECOME THE CRAZY ONE!
IF they only knew! 
Under these circumstances is it okay to tell my children and the in-laws the truth?
Why should I suffer? 
Ive ut my kids welfare in front of my own for so long...when is it time for the truth? And how do i tell them?  

 

Sun May 7 2:48 pm  #2


Re: Pillar of the community

Under these circumstances is it okay to tell my children and the in-laws the truth?
Why should I suffer? 
Ive ut my kids welfare in front of my own for so long...when is it time for the truth? And how do i tell them?  

Your children are adults able to understand and process the truth. I would definitely tell them. Allowing them to continue on in ignorance drawing conclusions that you are "crazy" is extremely unfair to not only you but them. They are basing their opinions and views on no truth, trying to come up with answers as to what could possibly be going on.

I'm so sorry you find yourself here. My heart aches for you. But allowing this to drive a wedge between you and your children is beyond terrible. Precious time, experiences and connection are being lost with every day that goes by. You won't get those days back. I would stem the tide of loss now before another day with my children escaped from my life.

 

Sun May 7 3:07 pm  #3


Re: Pillar of the community

My heart aches for you also.  My ex is very much still in the closet.  This is the way she chooses to live.  But now all upcoming events such as you describe for the kids will be tainted by her..really ruined.

I do not know why these spouses just can't own what they did...if they are so moral and right why hide it.

I would tell the grown  kids why your angry. Tell them he is morally wrong and hurt you. Then I would say if the pillar is so wonderful he can pay for everything. Let him wine and dine whomever he wants. I would be calm and collected around the kids.

I urge you to channel your righteous anger into yourself. Your away from your pillar and that is worth more than anything.

Last edited by Rob (Sun May 7 3:08 pm)


"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7
 

Sun May 7 3:14 pm  #4


Re: Pillar of the community

Hi Angry, I would agree with Lyonene, I feel your children deserve to know the truth, you deserve them to know the truth. Does your ex husband know you know of his secret life or did the divorce happen without that being spoken of? My blood would boil if I were in your position, only you knowing the truth & every one thinking you're crazy! Why should he get to experience this adoration while you're basically ostracised? Stay strong, I totally get why you call yourself angry!


Sometimes we are just the collateral damage in someone else's war against themselves
 

Sun May 7 4:00 pm  #5


Re: Pillar of the community

Lyonene, Rob and Foolme,
Thank you so much for your responses.
Being in the middle of this without people who understand and who can support you is so hard! I really needed to hear from you and your responses meant a lot to me. 

I did write a letter to my  young adult children which I have put in safety deposit box, as my fear is that something will happen to me and then my kids would think I'm crazy into eternity! 

Rob, it is true that being away from him is the best gift ever. I need to remember that .Now if I could be away from him forever that would be even better . No contact would be perfect! 

I'm away from him, but now I need to work on being free of him. 

Foolme, Yes, my ex husband knows I know of at least a representative sample of his escapades-I know more than I want to know. He was cold toward me for years, but I knew that I was doing my best as a wife and was mother to fine children whom I'd do anything for, so I wrote off his lack of affection. I was getting my affection from my kids and friends and family. Once I figured out/had evidence of his secret life and confronted him on it and then filed for divorce he became a different person. Vicious/greedy/manipulative/narcissistic. Actually I believe that he was that way all along and when the 'gig was up' the real man came out.

The mask was off. I'm afraid that once my kids find out who he is, they will get the same vile treatment. We will all be of no use to him anymore as covers. Has anyone experienced that phenomenon? I was his beard-what is the term for children that fulfilled his need to  look like a straight man? 
It's just so hurtful that my children and the soon to be in laws idolize him and he's made me out to be crazy .
My other question is, should I tell the soon to be in laws? The mother already called me and told me that I should see therapist because she wants the wedding to go off without a hitch. And that was after I made the simple request to be kept away from him at the wedding i.e. don't expect me to sit at the same table during or after the wedding because I want NO CONTACT with him at any point.That was my only comment to her. The truth is,  I literally become sick when I'm in the same area, I need to vomit  [and have] and my whole body shakes uncontrollably. IT's all terribly upsetting! 

     Thread Starter
 

Sun May 7 4:41 pm  #6


Re: Pillar of the community

Angry - There are no pillars of the community involved in my situation but I can relate, although I do not know what the ultimate answers are here.  I have two adult children who do not speak to me, and who did not know about their father's sexual orientation at the time of the divorce - actually I did not even know, as I figured it out later, although there had always been those red flags and wondering.  My children have adored and worshiped their father all their lives and at the time of the divorce I became the crazy, evil, bad one.  He fed that belief and I believe he continues to do so to this day.  The message went out to all the friends and family that I am cold, critical, crazy, etc. and it all seems to have stuck.  One of my adult children does not speak to me at all and considers the divorce and any negative family matter to be my fault.  With the other one, I have extremely minimal contact about once or twice a year, e.g. "Thank you for the Christmas package."  Since I have some contact with the one (email only), I decided to send her a letter about a year and a half ago, explaining the situation in gentle but obvious terms.  She seemed ever so slightly warmer in the next email I received from her, but she never mentioned anything that I had brought up.  Nothing changed after that and it went back to the same old approximately 2 emails a year of , "Thank you for the card" sort of stuff.  Subsequently, I sent her an article related to the straight spouse issue sometime last summer with some more comments about the marriage and what I saw as the ultimate and "hidden" reason for the divorce.  I have never heard a word about it from her one way or the other, and I am sure she has read the things I sent her.  Whether she has shared any of that with her sister or anyone else, I have no idea.

My point is that even if you decide to share, it might not make the situation any better, at least not in the short term.  I have a feeling that somewhere deep down inside, my children have some idea about their father, and probably always have, just like I did, but it is not at "surface level" if you know what I mean, and until it does hit surface level, I don't expect anything to change.

I do agree with all of the others here, though, that they are adults and they should know, and have a right to know.  Whether they accept it or not, can let it in or not, is another matter altogether.  While we can tell them, we cannot determine how or when they will process the information.  I am glad that I put it out there at least to the one daughter that I have any contact with at all.  I am not as worried as you are about something happening to me, but I did have a similar feeling about how I could die and they might never know, or think I deliberately held it from them or something.  I feel good that I at least put it out there and no one can ever say I did not try.  One of the reasons I did it when I did was that I was afraid of losing all contact whatsoever with the one that does email once a year.  Things seemed to be only getting worse with the family situation and I thought that if I did not tell her at that time, I might lose the chance altogether.

I had been hoping that things would get better over time and that when we all saw each other in person and things were good, I would tell them then.  It finally occurred to me that my hopes in that regard were likely delusional and that just the opposite was really happening, i.e. they were becoming more and more distant all the time.  Again, it did not help the situation in the short term, but maybe it will in the long term.

I also agree with you that the children also serve as beards.  He keeps them around him and refers to his "ex" as often as possible, just to keep up the facade.  My kids have been used just as much as I was, but they do not seem to know it.  It would be a very bitter, if not impossible pill to swallow though; to learn that your own father used you to keep his secret, and to hide from others, but mostly himself.

I am very sorry about your situation and wish you the best of luck.


"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" - Sir Walter Scott
 

Sun May 7 5:12 pm  #7


Re: Pillar of the community

My other question is, should I tell the soon to be in laws? The mother already called me and told me that I should see therapist because she wants the wedding to go off without a hitch. And that was after I made the simple request to be kept away from him at the wedding i.e. don't expect me to sit at the same table during or after the wedding because I want NO CONTACT with him at any point.That was my only comment to her. The truth is,  I literally become sick when I'm in the same area, I need to vomit  [and have] and my whole body shakes uncontrollably. IT's all terribly upsetting!

In my humble opinion, your children have the right of first knowledge on this topic. It's their mother, their father. The future in-laws I would leave in the consideration of my daughter. It is going to be her mother in-law. I would pose the question to her after informing her of where you stand and why, if she would like to convey the situation to in-laws, or would she be more comfortable with you doing it.

She's getting married, mom. She's an adult soon to have children of her own. Were I you, I would bring her in and include her as an adult in all ways.

 

Sun May 7 8:23 pm  #8


Re: Pillar of the community

Hello again Angry.  It is really none of my business, I know, and I don't know all of the details, but from what I could ascertain from your comment, your daughter's soon to be mother-in-law is being rude and out of line.  Unless you have opened up to her in some way and asked for some help or advice, I do not understand why she would suggest that you get counseling, etc.  She seems insensitive to the fact that you are going through a difficult time, whether she is aware of the details or not.  To suggest that someone get counseling or take medication just so the wedding goes off smoothly seems awfully selfish and tone deaf to me.  Again, I do not know the actual details of your relationship or any conversations you have had with her, so please excuse and forgive me if I am off base here.

Also, I agree with Lyonene above about telling your daughter first and letting her decide what to do regarding her soon to be in-laws.  This would be a lot for her to hear right before her wedding, but I think it would probably be better than not telling her.

As before, I am just very sorry you find yourself in this impossible situation.  It really is impossible and all we can do is slowly trudge through it.


"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" - Sir Walter Scott
 

Mon May 8 2:44 am  #9


Re: Pillar of the community

Hi again Angry, I've been wondering how close to the wedding is it? Is it too close for your daughter to be told such details or is it a bit away that she'd have time to digest this? I know both my daughters were a little stressed before their weddings, (one wedding happened while we were all in the dark), the other 15 months post TGT and it was a tension filled day for some of us.

If it's too close it may be better to hold off on divulging what you know but you could say you have very strong reasons why you can't and WON'T sit at the same table as your EX and you won't compromise on that. You could also say you've like to have an honest talk with her when things settle after the wedding, honeymoon etc.

I actually think that some of our daughters will not be able to understand the gravity of our situations until they have children of their own, then it may creep into their consciousness and they may start to wonder on their parents relationship and come back to ask questions.

In my situation my three children (age at the time 28, 26 & 22) found out about their father was gay before I knew, my son, the youngest, discovered it, (confided in one of his sisters, she informed the other daughter once it was confirmed) challenged his father 24 hours before I was "informed" of the reality. So I find myself intrigued when I read some of you have known this for years and your children are oblivious of their father's orientation or double life. I guess I'll never know how I would have handled it had I discovered it or been informed prior to my children knowing.

My initial thought on reading how some of you know this and have kept it to yourself for years is I couldn't have done that, he doesn't deserve to have relationships with his children while you suffer and are shunned by your own children. I sincerely hope in the future you regain some level of communication with them. What f*%ked up situations these spouses leave in their wake!


Sometimes we are just the collateral damage in someone else's war against themselves
 

Mon May 8 9:31 am  #10


Re: Pillar of the community

I can understand the feeling of finding out who he really is. My wife for years was loving ,caring, the most non judgmental person I had ever met. Now since coming out she is the complete opposite of what I saw for years. I still can't believe she is the person I feel in love with. Sorry you had to find us. But we are here for you.

 

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