Straight Spouse Network Open Forum

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?



Fri Jan 26 11:11 am  #1


Years of this...

For many years running, I have been one with a clock pendulum.   The constant back and forth was difficult to grasp.  Is H gay?  Was his sexual orientation messed up because of child sexual abuse?  Does he really wish to be with me?  Back and forth, back and forth...all of it connected by the uncertain mechanism surrounding HIM.  I learned some disturbing things many years ago.  My trust in him was shattered.  We immersed ourselves in therapy and I hung in there with the idea that if I were in his shoes I would hope that he would be equally as supportive in turn.

I did my absolute best to keep us all glued together.  We had children to consider....there was a bigger picture and I could not afford to react in a way that would hurt or harm them.  Despite my best efforts, this all did effect them in a huge way.  They grew up with a father who was here in body but not in spirit.  The disconnection to us, to a wife and family has been both frustrating and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Fast forward to present day, I am in therapy...I am working to plan the next leg of my journey.  The pendulum has shifted and the question has become, "is this how I want to live the rest of my life?  Is this what I want for retirement?"

IN hindsight, life is so precious...life with an unhappy person, a real waste of time.  No matter how you try to add the equation up, it never really does...unhappy spouse can only equal unhappiness.  This all goes much deeper than sexual orientation, this all is about living life to the best of our ability...in a way that brings joy in a way that love can grow.  

So now I'm working on my own answers and they are not coming from a place of whether or not "he is or isn't," they will be answered by what is in my heart and what I need from this day forward.  

In the end, we all do what we need to do in order to get through the day.  There are no instruction manuals for this sort of thing because what works for me may not work for you.  The best any of us can do is try....try to figure out what is what, who is who and what we need to do on behalf of ourselves and our life circumstances.  Years of this...yeah...

~Detour

 

Fri Jan 26 12:20 pm  #2


Re: Years of this...

Good for you, Detour. You've got the right mindset. What makes you happy? What do you want out of life? We spend too many years being the glue that binds things together for everyone else, we tend to neglect our own wants, needs, and happiness.

I started down that road. Our two year old son prompted the thoughts of binding, holding it all together, being the glue that made it work (it doesn't work, but we tell ourselves we can make it work). Then I realized I could not provide health and stability for my son in a sick unstable atmosphere. Could not model for him truth, integrity and a life well lived surrounded by lies and manipulation. Could not give him the best of me when that best was being spent on acting and covering misery. Ultimately I decided it was better for him to be from a broken home than forced to live and develop for 18 years within one.

I'm glad you are thinking about what you need for happiness. It's never too late. No matter your age, your placement in life, it's never too late.

Best to you.

 

Fri Jan 26 12:25 pm  #3


Re: Years of this...

Detour,

Great post.  There is a lot of wisdom in your words.

The biggest red flag I have now is to avoid people who don't like themselves. They don't necessarily show up as unhappy people, due to pretense, but it comes through soon enough once you start getting closer to them. From my own experience they tend to compare themselves to others, blame others, are quick to get very angry or very sad, are pessimists, are procrastinators, think they are the only ones that bad things happen to, get mad if you don't take their side, need a lot of positive attention.

It has helped me to be released from the constant propping up of another person and all the jerking around. I am still a work in progress, but my daily life has more moments of peace and happiness in it and I've made some good new memories.



 

 

Fri Jan 26 2:58 pm  #4


Re: Years of this...

detour wrote:

....In the end, we all do what we need to do in order to get through the day.  There are no instruction manuals for this sort of thing....

 

So true
 


*between a rock and a hard place*
 

Sat Jan 27 10:09 pm  #5


Re: Years of this...

Detour:  This is exactly what happened with me:  "They grew up with a father who was here in body, but not in spirit.  The disconnection to us, to a wife and family has been both frustrating and heartbreaking all at the same time."  My ex went to all of our kids' events, but usually wasn't paying much attention.  I remember going on a family hike.  The day was gorgeous, and all the children were in good moods.  My ex just kept checking his watch, as if he really wished he could be anywhere else.

I was married 23 years, before I knew my ex was gay.  However, I DID know that something was wrong.  There was that disconnect of which you write.

Lynne wrote that unhappy people (a GID person is unhappy, at his/her core)
 "tend to compare themselves to others, blame others, are quick to get very angry or very sad, are pessimists, are procrastinators, think they are the only ones that bad things happen to, get mad if you don't take their side, need a lot of positive attention."  This describes my ex.

I spent 23 years trying to figure out what was wrong.  I never could figure out why my ex was so often grumpy; I used to call him "Eeyore".  We had so much for which to be thankful, but he continued to be miserable.  I just thought it was a physiological depression.  He took meds for depression, once.  Then, he stopped taking the meds and said he didn't need them...wasn't depressed.  He stopped taking them because he knew the cause of his depression.  I was the one who didn't know.

For those of you still wondering what to do, I'm one of those whose first posts were all about "I'm sure we can still be friends...family is family".  "There must be a way to work this out."  Now, I wish I had listened to my very first intuition, which was to ask him to leave, the second he told me he was gay.  Of course, it took that about a year to sink in.  That's when I finally ended our marriage.

Lyonene wrote, "Better that children be from a broken home, than remain within one" (paraphrased...without Lyonene's permission.  Correct me, please, Lyonene, if I paraphrased that inaccurately).  I agree.  

As an update:  I am 2 years post-disclosure & 9 months post-divorce.  I am doing well.  I do have financial struggles, and I am a very busy single parent.  More importantly, though, I am happy, healthy, & thankful to have 4 of my children still home with me.  I am thankful to have found a job I Iove, after decades of being out of the work force, as a SAHM.  Just the other day, my daughter said, "I think we are all doing really well, Mom."  2 years ago, I could not have imagined that, but she is right.  I only tell you this, because I never thought we'd be okay.  We are, and you will be, too.  Listen to your intuition, and make choices based in truth.

Last edited by jkpeace (Sun Jan 28 6:46 am)

 

Sun Jan 28 8:30 am  #6


Re: Years of this...

As usual, jk, what you say strikes chords with me.
    A disconnected uninvolved spouse is what I experienced, too.  I, too, believe this lack of involvement and investment was a consequence of what were then his unresolved understandings about himself. If what he tells me is true, he always felt "different," and alienated from masculinity and male pursuits, but only at age 58 learned to name what he felt as "transgendered."  I have since learned that a characteristic of autogynephilia, the mental condition that produces his type of transness, one that pushes him to become sexually excited at the thought of himself as a woman/female, is self-absorbed self-centeredness. 
   This describes almost the entirely of my 35 year marriage to him.  He found ways to opt out, especially with me.  He spent long hours at work.  He pushed the responsibility for home/house/yard care and repair and maintenance onto me.  We almost never took a vacation together at his suggestion.  He didn't involve me in his interests--he didn't really have any, if it comes to that, other than playing the guitar--and declined to become involved in mine (like kayaking or hiking or even going for a walk after dinner or spending an evening around the chimenea on the back patio).  He had no friends, and we cultivated no friendships as a couple.  He excluded me from participating in the life of my in-laws.  He disliked my family and denigrated them.  But I told myself we lived a thousand or more miles away from our families, that he was steady and responsible about his work, that he had came from a damaged childhood and family, and I knew he'd said he didn't ever want to divorce because he came from divorce, so I thought he was committed to the marriage, in his own way.  And that, as it turns out, was true: he was committed to staying married on his terms because they served him well--he got a caretaker and he got a way to manage the discomfort he felt in himself.
    I, too, wish I had listened to my very first intuition after his disclosure, after 32 years of marriage, which was to say "I do not want to be the wife of a transwoman.  We must divorce."  Instead, I trauma bonded and worked hard to accommodate myself to what were ultimatums and conditions ("To the extent you can enjoy me as a woman we have a future together.").  It took three painful years to stop knocking my head against the wall.
    Last weekend, I said it's over.  Last night I raised the question of when we will tell our son and what his father will tell him--I didn't say, by the way, "What are we going to tell him."  I phrased it to him as "what you need to tell him." ( I can't remember who it is on this forum who said she told her husband he needed to tell their son the truth and if he didn't within a certain time she would, but it is the strategy that I found best for me--and I thank you for it.)  About his transness, he said, "I don't plan to tell him anything; I may never need to tell him."  What this revealed to me is that my husband intends to continue to live his closeted life, but that he also continues to hold in reserve the possibility that he will carry out his oft expressed desire for hormones (to try and encourage the growth of breast tissue) and surgery (to remove his testicles).  Just as he was willing to bind me to his closet for the rest of my life--until such time as he might change his mind, a possibility he would never close off in order to provide some stability in our marriage--and saw no problem with my living in a perpetual condition of "waiting for the other shoe to drop," he sees no problem in keeping his son in the dark, possibly for a decade or more, and then revealing the truth.  He has given no thought to what our son's reaction to this deception and dishonesty might be, the degree to which our son might feel betrayed by me and by his father for not telling him the full truth about our breakup.  Not to tell is to begin our new, individual relationships with our son on the basis of a falsehood, a lie by omission, and I told my stbx that I want an honest relationship with my son.  I have lived (mostly) in his closet and therefore dishonestly for three years. I have seen and felt the damage that dishonestly causes.  That he intends to continue living deceptively speaks volumes to me.  But I won't lie to my son.  You are as usual right, jk: make choices based in truth.  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (Sun Jan 28 8:36 am)

 

Sun Jan 28 1:03 pm  #7


Re: Years of this...

OOHC,

That was me who told my ex he needed to tell his son.  The way they respond to that request speaks volumes, doesn't it.  

 

Sun Jan 28 2:24 pm  #8


Re: Years of this...

Lynne, 
 I owe you a big debt for that course of action/solution to the problem.  
And yes, their reaction speaks volumes.  In fact, this morning, I "heard" this for real, not in metaphorical terms.
This morning I was faced with the shouts of the raging, wounded narcissist in fear of losing the protection of his closet. He railed at me for maliciously wanting to "out" him to our son, "even though it will damage him," implying that I don't care for our son and only want to hurt him (my stbx).  
  Because of what I've read here, and elsewhere, and all the time I've spent in processing this mess, I was able to stay reasonable and focused, and was unintimidated.  I told him that he didn't get to dictate to me what I could or couldn't say about my own life.  I told him that if he were worried about damaging our son, than he wouldn't keep our son in the dark, maybe for years, while holding open the possibility for himself of making physical changes.  I said if that were to happen I didn't want our son to feel betrayed by our deception. I reiterated that after three years of dishonesty and dissembling I wanted honest relationships.  He asserted that what he'd meant last night was not that HE would change his mind, but that he would only "have" to speak about it to our son if I revealed it to him.    
  He stomped out of the house, and made it clear the next two days before I move over to a temporary six week stay elsewhere are going to be both hot and frosty.  
  I did write to him this afternoon to say I do not and never had any intentions of maliciously outing him.  I said that my intention was to tell our son that although yes, over the years we've "grown apart," there's an additional factor that is his dad's to tell him about, and that it's up to my stbx whether and what he tells.  This solution, however, satisfies my need to be honest with my son.  
  I guess it's going to be a roller coaster for a while, until the final settlement.  I'll be trying to stay as no contact as possible in the next six weeks, although as we work together that will be a sticky wicket to maneuver.

 

Sun Jan 28 2:42 pm  #9


Re: Years of this...

OOHC:  No need to reason with your ex.  His reasons for not telling your son are completely self-serving...selfish and afraid.  Your reasons are Not malicious.  You are showing respect for your son, in a most unselfish way, knowing that you cannot keep this truth from him.  There is nothing malicious about being truthful, with your own son.

 

Sun Jan 28 4:44 pm  #10


Re: Years of this...

jk,
Thank you for the encouragement.
Yes, I think it's respectful to my son to be honest.  And I like Lynne's solution of asking her son, after a year, if he cares to know.  It's sure a lot more respectful to allow him to make a decision for himself than to have someone else make it for him.  As I said this morning to my stbx, you didn't prepare me, you didn't warn me, you didn't ask me--you just dumped it on me and then expected me to stay in your closet with you.

And here's an update: this afternoon my stbx wrote a conciliatory letter saying that in writing his sister about the events of the past three years, he realized that I'd bent over backwards for him and he'd put me in an untenable position.  Even if this is a different channel of the "I want to stay in the closet" network, I'll take it.
  
 

 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum