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June 29, 2018 4:24 pm  #1

A 15 year journey

Hi All… I’m Steve and around here I’d be called an ‘old timer’.  Not because I’m old (I’m only 54) but because I’m a former contributor to this forum most active from around 2009 to 2014. I’m the Steve from the ‘Forum Jargon’ post.

I saw this thread and thought I would make an update on my story. Not because you guys know me but because I think it’s helpful for people in the midst of this storm to know that they can get through it and that life does in fact go on after TGT. My story is a 15 year story so of course I won’t be re-capping all of it… but here’s the ‘highlights’.

My ex-wife dropped her bombshell in 2003. I was 40 years old. Other than a few hints that I should have picked up on I had NO IDEA she might be gay. We had two sons aged 9 and 8 at the time.  My family meant everything to me so my wife asking for a divorce sent me into a mental, physical and spiritual tailspin that I can barely describe. We stayed under the same roof for 3 months after her ‘announcement’ and it was that 3 months that did the most damage to me psychologically I think. My home had become a pit of sadness, regret, disappointment, anger, resentment and distrust. It was horrible. Even though it was the last thing I wanted the BEST THING I did was move out. I had to.  I was dying there.

I rented a place in the same city we live in and co-parented our sons 50/50 with my ex. Despite being away from her I still slid into a deep depression that included suicidal thoughts. Had it not been for my sons and not wanting to abandon them I doubt I would have survived the experience.

We finally divorced in 2005.  In spite of her asking for the divorce my ex-wife didn’t exactly rush into organising it.  What she actually wanted was the separation I guess... so that I could no longer cramp her new ‘lifestyle’.  When it came to the actual divorce proceedings she did very little. In the end I took control of getting the divorce I never wanted.  It was kind of cathartic to do that to be honest.  I felt like I wrested some control of the situation back from her. I felt I regained a bit of a spine after being so broken. Our divorce (like the co-parenting arrangement) was fair.  To my ex-wife’s credit we never tried to break each other financially. The last thing we wanted was to hand all our money over to lawyers.

I started dating about 18 months after our separation.  There was NO WAY I was ready emotionally to date someone else (I had emotional baggage galore) but I did anyway.  After a couple of ‘flings’ I met a lady who I subsequently dated for 7 years.  She and I became lovers and great friends.  I had my 2 boys and she had 4 kids of her own.  Yeah… 4!!  Logistically a bit of a challenge.  Despite all of that it was very healing to be loved after so much rejection and while I wouldn’t call the relationship a classic ‘rebound’ there were some fundamental differences between us that ultimately broke us up. That was in 2012. I was 48.

After another 18 months of the single life and completely dreading getting back into the dating scene again I was invited to a birthday party for an old friend.  Not just an old friend but a girl I dated when I was a teenager. We were in the same class at school and dated for 4 years from age 17 to 21. She was my first girlfriend and the only girl I dated before meeting my ex-wife. She was turning 51 and was inviting a lot of old friends from our home town to celebrate. I was on the guest list.

It turns out she had got divorced a year or so prior. She was single and so was I.

That was 2014 and I was 50. In spite of being apart for 30 years we slipped back into our relationship like a comfortable old pair of shoes. We bought a house together in April 2017 and got married in March 2019. I am SO happy. 

Her marriage was also tumultuous and sadly included both emotional and sexual abuse.  Our common (although different) wounds and scars have helped us understand each other’s journey back to hope, joy and trust. I have never felt more completely accepted for who and what I am.

So… that’s my story in a nutshell.  I hope what you draw from my tale is that life goes on and that anything can happen. Destiny awaits us all so never give up on your dreams.

Thanks for reading my story. Continue to support and care for each other.  It helps… A LOT.

Love to you all.

Last edited by Steve (June 17, 2019 3:34 am)

You have a future. A good one. It begins as a flicker of hope. Nurture it until it becomes a dream and when you are strong enough you will make it a reality. NEVER give up. 

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