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July 7, 2018 6:50 am  #1


Would like him to admit ... but moving forward with or without it

I guess in part I am questioning ‘Is he gay’, while another part of me has always known – do I know? Sometimes I feel sure and at other moments I feel like I might just be crazy. We have been married for 14 years and separated for 40 days.
I have asked him for years if he was or ever has been attracted to men and his answer was always a vehement denial. In recent years, this is something he hurls back at me when we fight – how could I have such delusional ideas and say such cruel things to him.
I even asked him the first week we were together. The sex was always difficult and he has suffered from a lot of impotence over the years. Initially I thought it was because he was shy and raised in an authoritarian home where sex was taboo and that since I was very comfortable with sexuality, in time, those problems would disappear. He had only dated 2 girls before me (he was 39 and I was 32 when we started dating). He never shared his sex history with me (as I had done in most all of my other relationships … you know, those things you talk about in bed like, what’s your strangest fantasy? What is your favorite position…). Again I told myself that it was probably just shyness and that in time he would be able to open up and talk to me freely. I remember once at the beginning I was giving him a massage and I was tickling him with a silk tassle. I thought it was sexy but he got upset about it and told me that I was overboard and those things made him uncomfortable. (though he definitely is comfortable secretly watching porn that is really overboard in my opinion).
We were friends before we got together. We were actually part of the same group of friends (which now thinking back included about 8 guys. They are all currently in their 50s and 5 of them are unmarried and never have been. There really weren’t any women in this group. I have always had lots of guy friends. (and yes, I have been in a number of relationships in my life where the guy turned out to be gay – however they were short-term romances and nothing like the impact of a 14-year marriage). I wonder if I have no gaydar or even if I am somehow drawn to gay men who are not open about their orientation. If so, why? It is true that I am a natural caretaker. I have an overwhelming need to save anything and everything (people and animals) that are hurting or lost or stray.
I decided I wanted to separate from my husband 4 or 5 years ago and realized that I had become too weak to do that. Somehow the strong independent woman in me had been replaced by a weaker much less happy version of myself. So, I went back to the drawing board. I always believed that a shared project or a shared vision would bring us together – truly together. I have tried so many, but the same problems always returned. About 2 years ago we had another major crisis. He was being so unkind to me and so distant. He was secretly watching lots and lots of porn, carrying his smartphone to the bathroom and I could feel his many lies on my skin. He said that the lack of sex in our marriage was my problem. I said that touching my knee and looking at me was not anywhere near my idea of foreplay. The first time we got together it was after a night out and lots of alcohol. I made the first move. He told me that the reason we didn’t have sex anymore was that I needed to be the one to initiate. I always thought that should be a shared responsibility.
However, throughout that time I thought his problem was simply a porn addiction. I tried to go to counseling but he refused. I even went once by myself – but trying to fix a broken marriage alone with a marriage counselor is not possible.
Once again I returned to the drawing board and began another huge project. I kept trying to find something he could be passionate about. That is easy for me, I am passionate about everything I do. The huge project involved him going back to College and retraining for a wonderful new life project we would share. I even asked my folks to finance this and they did.
He loved college. However, he only loved going to classes and chatting with his schoolmates (almost all male and in their 20s – he is now in his early 50s). All of the practical aspects of developing our new life project were left to me. He was uninterested. He continued to disconnect from me more and more. His life was all about being at school or texting with his buddies. I swear that all the time when we were at dinner (our shared time), he would text back and forth and was completely absent. We fought a lot about it but it only caused him to be more secretive and more distant. He completely stopped contributing to our shared life in any way. He seemed more like a rebellious adolescent son than a husband.
I teach private English lessons (I am from the U.S. but live out of the country) and one day a couple of years ago a neighbor showed up at the house (I really had never noticed him before) and asked to start lessons with me. I scheduled lessons and we began shortly after. From the very beginning he used our lessons more as a sounding board for his emotions than as lessons. That is not really uncommon in my years of teaching experience it has happened many times. He always talked to me about a relationship he had with a ‘woman’ who was in a totally meaningless marriage but who refused to leave her husband. He talked a lot about the fact that what he was really missing was the ‘shared family life’. I should have noticed, but didn’t, that he became involved in my family life. We would all go out for pizza. He even prepared dinner for my parents once when they were here visiting. My mother told me (recently) that his gayness is written in bold on his forehead, but as I mentioned, my gaydar is broken. I also never noticed that my husband, who is usually more friendly with men than with women, never spoke to him when we were together – though he always spoke highly of him when he wasn’t around.
One night back last November, my parents were visiting and we had scheduled a dinner out all together. My student, my parents, me and my husband. My husband called me late that afternoon and said that there was something going on at school and that he would meet us directly at the restaurant. I said, fine, but remember that we have a reservation for 7:30. We arrived at the restaurant and time passed, but my hubby didn’t arrive. I called him a million times and it would ring, but he never answered. I felt angry, embarrassed and humiliated in front of my family. At 10:30 he arrived with a classmate and they were both sloppy drunk. This was a classmate I had met and did not like and who my husband had wanted to invite here to the house and I had said hell no. I was paralyzed in my anger and humiliation by the way they walked in and sat down at the table (legs wide, slumped down, arm hung over the back of the chair, sloppy drunk). My hubby invited the guy to dinner to thank him for giving him a lift (the dinner my father paid for). Hubby chastised me at the table for not being polite to his friend (I didn’t say hello and couldn’t even look at him) and hubby mentioned to my student as if sending an intended barb, ‘this guy really knows English – he has a degree in English’. Shortly thereafter I called for the check and left – leaving him there with the classmate. When hubby got home we fought. He told me he just hadn’t realized the passage of time, he hadn’t heard his cell phone, that it was normal and it was an academic activity so I shouldn’t harass him about it, that I was paranoid – and then he attacked that I hadn’t  been polite with his friend. Wow….
The next week at our lesson with my student, student sobbed for one hour telling me the story of his ‘married woman’ who had done something horrible to him. It was just something you don’t do, he said. He didn’t ever tell me exactly what ‘she’ had done. But he sobbed for an hour. I still hadn’t made the connection and told him that relationships definitely had rough moments as he had seen the week before when he went to dinner with me and my family.
I think that something inside me broke that night. Not long after I started doing yoga everyday at home. I truly recommend youtube’s Yoga with Adriene for anybody out there struggling. It was a life changer for me. I was working to make myself strong and I gave my marriage a last ditch final effort. I became the perfect wife. I was always loving, I never complained, I was absolutely supportive all the time. I only spoke about things that wouldn’t cause an argument. I didn’t complain that he did nothing around the house and spent way too much time on the computer. I became a beacon of positivity. I think for a time I even believed that if I could vibrate with enough positive energy – I could make him vibrate too. That didn’t happen, he actually became more defensive, more passive aggressive and once even slapped me (I should have realized, it was a totally limp wristed slap – almost a caricature of a little girl slap). I am a foot taller and probably more muscular than him from all the yoga. I had a primal urge to beat him to a bloody pulp. I didn’t, I am not a violent person. Having that feeling made me realize that somehow I was not living my narrative. It was like I had wandered into the wrong movie theater. The life I was leading was not mine.
When I told my student (about 2 months ago) that I was separating from my husband. He cried and seemed to feel very guilty. He also stopped lessons at the same time I asked my husband to move out.
Now it has been 40 days since hubby left and it is interesting how much clearer things seem from a distance. We still have regular contact. There are no children, but there is a farm, lots and lots of rescued animals and certain shared responsibilities. I have asked my husband a million times to please open up to me, but he continues to deny. So, now I casually drop comments and see how he reacts.
The other day I mentioned that my ‘student’ hadn’t had lessons since he (hubby) had left. I mentioned that initially he had cancelled each week by text until finally a week ago he had sent a text saying he had some things going on and didn’t know when he could start lessons again.
The next day my hubby went grocery shopping (student works in a grocery store). Let’s say I live in town A, hubby moved to town B and student works in a grocery store in town C. Hubby drove to town C to go to the grocery store (though there is one in walking distance in town B where he lives) and just happened to run into my student (who works there). He told me that student was a little strange around him. Two days later, student shows up at my house to ask me how things are going between hubby and I. We sat on the deck and he began with his arms crossed over his chest. He looked down a lot and avoided eye contact. He didn’t mention his ‘married woman’. I mentioned that hubby had said he would pay for the dog’s vaccinations, but he hadn’t, despite the fact that he eats out a lot. The next day hubby called and said that he had wanted to go out to eat after he finished his exam, but that he hadn’t because he is short on money and needs to try and save. Coincidences?
From a distance the pieces of the puzzle seem to fall into place. I think that hubby always knew. Maybe at the beginning he tried to be straight (or maybe not, don’t know). Then he began some long-term relationships (like with student, and I have hence realized another ‘friend’). I think that with his return to college, he probably exploded. Surrounded by 20 year olds exploring their sexual identity. I think that my student was going to ‘out’ my hubby the famous night at dinner. I think hubby showed up with the college sleaze to hush student.
There are a million other things I have realized since our separation. Bits and pieces of circumstances, things said, things unsaid – have poured into my mind and slowly they are recreating the whole picture – the one I always felt, but didn’t ever see. I have gone to my gynecologist and had tests for every STD known to man – the results will come back on the 21st. Hubby has always denied cheating on me (but he also always denied the porn – unless I caught him ‘red-handed’ so to speak). There is a tiny part of me that wishes they find something (something curable with a course of antibiotics of course), but just because it would give me some confirmation. I have been utterly faithful for 14 years and it would be that proof I seek (wish I didn’t seek it, but I do). I would like to maintain a positive relationship with hubby. We have agreed to remain married as I need this for my Visa, since I am living in a foreign country. I would like to remain friends, but without him admitting to it, that is very hard for me to do.
I have been doing my damndest to cultivate positive habits. I do a lot of yoga. I always eat a healthy diet. Trying to drink less (yes, I think that over the past couple of years I was going a little heavy on the wine … it had a lovely numbing effect). I have started keeping a journal again. Each time I get angry, I do concrete (the fixer-upper was one of my many attempts at a ‘shared project’) – there is nothing like 4 bags of concrete to take the fire out of anger. I am moving forward one step at a time. I have really appreciated reading all of your stories on this forum and wanted to connect with you by sharing my own.
Thank any and all of you who take the time to read this!

 

July 9, 2018 12:57 pm  #2


Re: Would like him to admit ... but moving forward with or without it

Welcome B-Strong.  Thank you for signing up and thank you so much for sharing your story.  

I'm so glad you are moving forward from that horrible experience.   Best of luck in your health exams.. You say you want a curable issue to serve as proof, but I hope you don't have anything at all. Best to be safe.  You can trust your instincts on this.  All of those pieces you've puzzled together match up and you know the truth.  You'll probably never get an admission from him, but that's ok. 

Stick around and join our group as we all move forward together. 


-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

 
 

July 9, 2018 6:39 pm  #3


Re: Would like him to admit ... but moving forward with or without it

yes, I hope you don't have that 'proof' too!  good luck in the health tests.

I am wondering if he might be a bit of a 'fortune-hunter' from your story.  you might want to make sure you are divorced sooner rather than later.

you don't need any further proof he is gay.  but if you want some confirmation you could try talking openly with the student and see if he will spill the beans - it sounds to me like he wanted to.

you've been living with a pretzel twirler - he has been leading you round and round avoiding his lies.  don't try to be superwoman, just let your mind relax back into nature.  it's much better once you've had a bit of time apart and you have every right to feel angry and good luck with the cement too, I used my anger to start a new life I just didn't want my whole life to have been about him.  and now it really isn't and it's much better.
 

 

July 10, 2018 1:33 pm  #4


Re: Would like him to admit ... but moving forward with or without it

Thank you so much phoenix and lily for your input. Receiving itt felt like a really great big hug - and I was needing one. I am happy to be 'moving forward together' - one foot in front of the other on the way to a new life. 

     Thread Starter
 

July 10, 2018 1:39 pm  #5


Re: Would like him to admit ... but moving forward with or without it



It sounds like you've developed some very healthy ways of dealing with the emotions that come from this experience.  Congrats to you for that.  Many of us get stuck in depression, bitterness and sadness that keeps us stuck where we are.  I think your choice of yoga, healthy eating and exercise are great.  I wish i had gone that direction rather than the opposite to bring me temporary happiness.  

Since you are planning to stay married for a while, please check out the section of our forum reserved for those trying to make it work.  It's an area set aside for positive methods and strategies for those who chose to remain married for various reasons.    http://straightspouse.boardhost.com/viewforum.php?id=5

Again.  welcome!  Definitely sending you a big e-hug.   You've got this!


-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

 
 

July 20, 2018 4:26 pm  #6


Re: Would like him to admit ... but moving forward with or without it

Dear Phoenix,
I wrote to you the day after I received your response. Somehow, my letter didn't appear and drifted off into cyber-space. I am not particularly tech-savvy. Hubby was ... way too much and I always resented it and avoided the cyber world.
However, I have wanted to tell you that your posts are amazing. I have read them all and. I think you are just a fantastic person! Your posts inspire me and make me feel a part of this community.
Just wanted to say, 'thank you for being here, you really totally rock'...
Today I got the results of my medical exams back ... I don't have anything. .... hurray!!!!!
Lots of e-love and e-hugs to you and all of us! Let us all move forward together!!!!!!
B-strong

     Thread Starter
 

July 23, 2018 8:16 am  #7


Re: Would like him to admit ... but moving forward with or without it

I'm happy to help my friend.  I was given the help I needed from many amazing people here on this forum so I am pleased to be able to give back a little. 

I'm so glad you have a clean bill of health!  
How are you doing?  What are you doing to move forward?   What questions and issues do you have that we might be able to help with?
 


-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

 
 

July 23, 2018 10:46 am  #8


Re: Would like him to admit ... but moving forward with or without it

Dear Phoenix,
Thanks for your reply and your question. I have been having a rough couple of days. I guess yesterday the dam finally broke and the tears flowed without end.
This is a section of the post I left on the MOM forum yesterday …
Yesterday was a bad day and today the dam broke and today I cried like a braying donkey. This morning I had to have one of my sweet rescue animals put to sleep. I had to dig a big hole and plant her in the vineyard, all alone. I cried .... a lot ....
Yesterday I went to the dentist with hubby. Hubby is their IT guy. I have always had some reservations about dentist. He is a great dentist, but there is just something not quite right, and an odd relationship there. My hygenist seems totally gay, he is getting married (to a very nice woman) next month. dentist is married with 5 kids (but there is a strange relationship there too).
Yesterday I arrived with hubby and the receptionist looked at me and said, "Oh ... we weren't expecting you ... there was a big "x" (or maybe "ex") over your name. The gay hygenist almost refused to clean my teeth ... eventually they fit me in. Hubby was very evasive the whole time and today called and asked if I wanted to talk. He noted that I was very 'sad' yesterday after the dentist and he hoped to 'distract' me (damn, that is what he has been doing the past 14 years!!!). My teeth ache today (they never ache after a cleaning) and the hygenist acted like a spurned lover during the whole thing. Initially he sent the receptionist to clean my teeth (the receptionist???), Then he finally arrived and started going off about how 'if it ever happens to him, then receptionist is going to have to stand by him and be his witness to xxxxx ' (xxxxx is the woman he is marrying next month)....
As for what I am doing …. I continue to do yoga, love my animals, write in a journal and eat healthy. I have told 4 close friends to serve as my support system.
The thing I struggle with is his denial. Hubby has ‘almost’ been outed by my student (twice) and our hygienist. But, he doesn’t talk about those things with me. Hubby can only talk to me about commonplace things. What he ate for dinner, the weather, the wind, the rain, the traffic …. I really need to talk about those things we never talked about. But I am starting to understand that he will never talk. So today I started a new journal called ‘conversations with myself’. I have decided that I will write the conversations I would like to have. It is either a sign that I am completely crazy – or maybe I will be able to exorcize the toxic thoughts that eat away at me.
This is today’s entry in my new journal
This is the conversation I would have liked to have. I have given up ever having it with you, so now I am going to have it with myself.
I wish that you would say, with tears in your eyes, “yes, I am gay. I’ve known it my whole life. But, I felt rejected by my parents and by society. I couldn’t live that life.” Then you would wipe your eyes and say, “but you were so open and accepting of me. You made me feel loved. I thought I could love you back. And I did for a while. I never opened up and showed you that other side of me. I denied it every time you asked, even when you asked lovingly and with acceptance.” At this point, a silent tear would drip down my face. You would look down and then look back up and wipe away the tear. Then you would say “… but all those times when it felt real, it really was. Those good times we had together really were real, they did exist. It was like I was living two lives. In the beginning the one with you took over – it made the other one disappear, for awhile. But secrets fester over time. They go from a quiet forgotten corner to an infectious toxic stewpot that boils over in continuation. I tried to run from it, but that required running from you too. I am so sorry I did that. I treated you badly, I ignored you, once, I even slapped you and I am so sorry for doing those things to you. I destroyed your self-image. I took away that confidence you had when we met. I made you become a lesser person than you are.”
The one thing you actually did say to me, and I appreciate it, was that when you were looking over our old pictures, you saw how in the beginning of our relationship my smile was real. You have said for years that I never have a convincing smile in pictures. You have said for years that it is always feigned, a trying-to-smile sort of smile. So I guess you did admit to taking away my smile.

     Thread Starter
 

July 23, 2018 11:39 am  #9


Re: Would like him to admit ... but moving forward with or without it

Your journal entry is beautiful!

I wanted an authentic heartfelt apology for a long time.  I even asked her to do that for me.  She never did.  The only apology I ever got was a single sentence after I offered her my forgiveness (unbidden) first.  
I don't need that apology anymore.  Here's why..    My feeling of self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence is no longer tied to her feelings about me.  She holds no sway over my life.. she just isn't important.  So i no longer care how she feels.  I no longer need her compliments about whether or not I was a good husband.  I don't need her apology to make me feel better.  
You will get to this point eventually..  It's impossible now, so don't stress over it.  Love is the strongest emotion and it doesn't go away quickly.  It takes a long time.  You are so used to be joined with this man that your self-esteem is still tied to him.  For this reason you feel that having him come clean and compliment you and apologize to you is the most important thing.  It is right now..   But you'll get to a point where you won't care anymore.  

Good for you for continuing to keep up those healthy habits.  I'm so glad you've created a support group of close friends.  I'm thrilled to see you continuing to share what's on your heart.  Keep up the journal privately and keep posting whatever you feel comfortable with here.  It's so good for you to outlet those emotional into words.  

Keep moving forward!


-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

 
 

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