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My name is Bonnie Kaye. have been a counselor/author/leader for women who find themselves married gay/bisexual men. I am also a counselor for gay men who are married to straight women but want to do the right thing by coming out to their wives after years of living in a life that wasn't theirs to live. This has been my mission since 1982 following the demise of my own marriage to a gay man.

Sadly, society has not given the straight wives' community of millions the
same recognition and understanding that other groups have been given
after our lives have been shattered. We are looked upon as self-made victims. There is nothing farther from the truth. We were women who loved men who were in hiding. Some of these men were in deep denial themselves, so there was no way to know this at the time of the marriage. We were loving women who gave everything we could to a marriage that had no hope at all because straight people and gay people by nature are not meant to be married. It is not the natural course in life--a formula for disaster. Our marriages for the most part are filled with emotional and sexual abuse, the robbery of our feminine spirit, and the questioning of our sanity while living with men who won't be honest with us until they are ready--if ever.

They gay community has won the hearts of much of society by telling their stories of heartache and pain. Men who come out later in life after being married for 10, 20, 30, or 40 years are applauded and looked on as "brave" and "heroes." There is very little ever stated about the families they leave behind to fend for themselves after losing their lives, hopes, dreams, children, and often homes. No one is applauding the most loving women in the world who tried harder than anyone to be good wives. People aren't standing up for our rights after a doomed marriage which failed but had NOTHING TO DO WITH US--only with the fact that we were women and our husbands want to be with men. There are no parades and accolades dedicated to OUR struggles because we often feel no one is listening or we fear speaking out.

This is the purpose of this blog. We are here to tell our stories to the world so you can understand what we have to face on a daily basis. Hopefully, this will start to explain to you who we are and why we won't be silent anymore.

RAE'S STORY

My husband confessed before he died. My greatest shock was assimilating (it took me three years) his admission that he'd known for decades he had "a lot of the traits of a sociopath," along with 60 days of confessing the excruciating (for me) details of his double life lived alongside me for 19 years. But I'll save all that for another time.  My eyes have been opened in the four years since he (a) murdered my soul and then (b) died. 


Many of these men were already actively living double lives when they conned their wives into "straight" marriages. How could one human being do that to another?  It's very easy when such a man is a sociopath and/or malignant Narcissist.

Lacking in or devoid of a conscience, empathy, and guilt, they believe they are entitled to exploit a woman as a spouse or life partner to receive the requisite tangible amenities - a second income, child bearing and child care, and numerous domestic services including errand running, cooking, cleaning, and laundry. All of these things have a monetary value. If that's what a woman means to such a man, the provision of financial enrichment and DOMESTIC SERVICES, such a man is, at best, stealing them, and at worst, ENSLAVING another human being without her knowledge and against her will to obtain such services.

It is the ultimate violation of another person's human rights.

A man's excuse could be, of course, that he didn't know he was gay. Really? That means in all his decades of life, from puberty on, he'd NEVER NOTICED he was attracted to another man. Isn't the essential determinant of sexual orientation being attracted to another person?

If a man is acting on that attraction without the knowledge and informed consent of his wife, he is literally playing Russian roulette with her health. He knows what he's doing but he does not care about the effects on his wife.

Or, in the extremely remote circumstance he was unaware he was gay, then his argument could be he was a victim himself, a victim of an intolerant society. Women have been victims of an intolerant society since the days of hunter-gatherers.

The "intolerant society" did not give him the right to coopt a woman's life, a life she could have spent either living alone without fear of being used or infected with debilitating or fatal diseases, or married to a heterosexual man who loved her as an entire human being.

In other words, she could have had the CHOICE to find her own happiness. She was deprived out of that choice because she was not offered informed consent.

Taking all of these things into consideration, in the event a man insists that he "loves his wife," that he has a conscience, and is truly remorseful for her years unknowingly bound to a gay man, there is a way he can prove he means it.

Yes, gentlemen, there is a way you can prove you are sorry. You should feel very relieved.

Such a man can calculate the financial value of all the "services" she provided over the years. (It was not a real marriage, remember, because she did not have informed consent.) He can then prove his sincerity by reimbursing her financially for all those services. If he does not have the resources to pay her hundreds of thousands of dollars all at once, he can amortize the total and pay her in installments.

If it takes 30 years, then he, in his sincere remorse, should do so willingly. After all, she may have spent 30 years of days providing those services. A remorseful person should be willing to make reparations without being asked to do so.  Remorse without reparations is bullshit.

That's preposterous, you say. IT'S TOO MUCH TO ASK a man who wants to move forward and live an unfettered, happy life as a gay man to compromise his own happiness by diminishing his financial resources and security, his own life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.  It's unfair to ask a man to give up his human rights!

Hmm. Notice any irony there? What if you throw into the bargain that he live the desolate celibacy that he enforced on her for decades, manipulating her with lame excuses instead of informed consent? How about decades of emotional isolation and heartbreak? He did that already, you say, while he was in the closet!  THAT WAS A CHOICE HE MADE FOR HIMSELF.  He did not have the right to make that choice for another human being.

If her celibate, loveless life of servitude wasn't so bad, then he should be willing to live that way himself. Right?  Or at least reimburse her financially for it.

Or, in the alternative, he could just dispense with the fake remorse and sniveling about fear of social intolerance and admit that, for years, he could not bear to live alone within the rigid parameters of taking care of his own selfish needs. In other words, doing his own cooking, cleaning, etc., while he personaly financed all the details of his life on one income.

He could admit to his wife and everyone else they know that he never was a victim at all.  He could tell.them over and over until everyone who knew her understood that he had stripped her of all of her human rights because he never offered her informed consent.

He could publicly pass all that sympathy and understanding (i.e., the "atta boys" for having the great courage to live life openly going forward as a gay man) onto his wife.  She could use some reinforcement as she tries to recover from the knowledge that a huge portion of her life was a sham and a scam. And she could use some financial assistance for the years of therapy it will take her recover from having lived in a mirage instead a marriage.

He could admit he was/is a selfish asshole.

DEBBIE'S STORY


Yesterday (Sunday) I received one of my daily quotes and it read.....

"To not have your suffering recognized is an almost unbearable form of violence."
Andrei Lankov 


I read it three times before I could fully grasp the impact of those words. It made me want to grab a pen and write what I h
Iave to say today.

For 2 years and 7 months I have asked you repeatedly to acknowledge the hurt you caused me thru your lies, deceit, and denial. And yet, you have never once acknowledged the hurt you have caused me. Nor do I feel you care or ever will apologize. As I have said many times, our situation was never chosen by me. It was selfishly chosen for me by you. It wasn’t anything I asked for.

Your choices broke my spirit; you left me bewildered, confused, hurt, and with an emptiness which for years I thought I would never heal from. You left emotional scars and an increased insecurity that I may never fully heal from. I try everyday as hard as I can to heal my scars which you created. They are deep, and I have a long road ahead. But, please be assured I am making progress, and I refuse to let your reckless choices defeat me.

You forced me as far into your closet as you were. You made me feel a level of distrust, insecurity, and shame that made my every moment a living hell. You tried to make me believe I was the crazy one. The person I married ceased to exist. When I married you I gave you my heart, my soul and my most precious gifts......my children.

In the last 10 days you have called me bitter, unforgiving and an antagonistic bitch. For the past 20 years, I functioned in your dysfunction and I refuse to be part of that anymore. I learned to lie for you to protect you. I hid from my friends and our friend, in order to mask my misery. My self-worth turned to self-doubt and my self esteem ceased to exist. And you have the nerve to question me about bitterness! I am not bitter, just hurt! Hurt, that the person who claimed to love me, the person who I trusted to love me, protect me, and comfort me could do none of those things!

I have lost friends in this minefield, but I have gained a sister from another mother. I know who my true friends are now. I not once asked for their sympathy or pity and I never asked them to choose sides. I was forced, however, to ask for help, something completely alien to me at any time in my life.

It was humiliating and humbling. Not until you began to discuss our personal situation and tell people that I framed you as gay did I ever say anything. I defended myself from your slander. I have learned a valuable lesson here and that is to be cautious who you trust--and I trust very few. How sad is that? Another repercussion of our situation.

As for my being bitter.....no. Not anymore....just hurt! Let’s tackle "unforgiving" for a second. In my support group, there is much discussion about whether it’s possible to heal without forgiveness. Can we move on without forgiveness? I say yes! Do I forgive you? NEVER. I will never forgive you, and the reason is quite simple. You have solely put the blame on me for our situation and I have repeatedly told you I will never accept the blame, and that will never change. You keep asking me to forgive and forget and start over. You robbed me of 40 years our marriage was based on a lie, I mauled you, and you want to start over. With what? You told me a few weeks ago your mother would be upset with me because I was bitter and unforgiving. In view of the fact you have not once said you are to blame for ANYTHING then what am I to forgive? Again, you try to make me the villain here. And I respectfully decline.

I have spent a lot of time away this summer coming to terms with what I want in my life, and who I allow to be a part of my life. Old friends and new, I am starting fresh. I want to live in the present and forget the misery of the last 10 years and put it in the past. Before I left for New York, I threw all of my journals away. You put them at the curb last week. They are a constant negative reminder of years and years of pent up emotions, frustrations, and wrongs. I picked them up from time to time and read and re-read certain entries over and over. I cried each and every time for that which was lost or never existed in the first place. So by destroying them, I closed the final chapter on the past. Last session, our therapist told me I had to find and create my own happiness and I have spent my summer trying to do that. Am I happy....far from it! But, I am vigorously working hard to find my happiness.


I have rediscovered swimming, walking, exercising and tennis. All the things for years you told me were frivolous and a waste of time. I have discovered new interests and I plan to pursue them too. When I told you what the therapist said about finding my happiness, you made a sarcastic comment, well I guess that doesn’t include me. I made no comment then, and I ignored the comment but it was definitely not forgotten. I will tell you today, right here, right now.... there is one thing I am certain of, more certain than anything in the last 10 years, and that is I will never look to you for my happiness. You robbed me of 40 years. Who knows how much time is left. The therapist was 100% bang on..... I will unapologetically make my own happiness in the future.

PAM'S STORY



The ultimate betrayal happened to me. My heart was shattered after 20 years of marriage with 4 children and 2 grandchildren after the great confession came--the confession that the man I married had an affair with a man. The actual words, “ You know I’m gay,” came three more times over the next few months. 

It was a shock, and denial immediately set in. Finally the Denial started slowing unraveling as his guard was down & I was seeing the red flags I conveniently ignored. I couldn't deny the looks at male waiters, comments about men's appearances, the terrible gay jokes, how he commented about gay couples, and the pride he had for knowing that certain people   (i.e John Travolta ) were truly gay.

I was already walking around in shock before this time. I had found the male porn that he thought he had deleted on his computer and a stash of crazy porn in his closet. Things changed in the bedroom that regretfully soon became evident to satisfy his gay needs. Now, I understood why he had no real friends, steered clear of social media, was disconnected and isolated.

I painfully had to accept it was the covert narcissism that enabled him to live this false life for so long. It then took another year to get through the shock of it all and start the process to be unmarried & start healing from the trauma..

Painfully, I kept his secret to come out on his own terms but instead he went back in the closet and found another beard. After six months of deliberation, I wrote an unemotional email to both of them telling the truth that he was gay with the proof. Of course she’s under his narcissism vortex already and dismissed that this could be possible. This also came with heartbreak of telling my children (15,19,27) and helping them through the pain of discovering an ugly side to their father.

My biggest regret was not immediately speaking the truth. By telling our parents and children that he was gay and  this was the real reason for divorcing him may have prevented another women from being hurt. Healing is nothing short of a roller coaster. I’ve conclude that for me I need to deal with the gay betrayal, narcissistic abuse, and being divorced separately with the hope it will bring the peace and courage in the end to restart.

PATRICIA'S STORY

I married in 1973; I was 23 my husband 28. I had never lived away from home. When we married we moved from the city to the country. At the beginning all seemed fine. I had my first baby a year after marriage. When we came home I got very ill I did not get any support from him at all. When my parents realized I was ill, they arrived and took baby and me home. After that I was very disappointed in him and myself. I was trying to be the perfect wife (whatever that was).

Baby number 2 arrived, and I was much wiser. The marriage at this point wasn't what I thought a marriage should be. We did have sex but quite honestly because I didn't get any support with kids or the household duties, I wasn't very interested. Six years later, I had my third baby. I wanted this baby and hoped it would be a girl and thank God it was. 
He lost his job, and I went back to work and college. At this stage I knew he had been unfaithful. I presumed with a woman (now I wonder). My feeling for him diminished. He was easy to live with, we could go on holidays, and it was fine--not what I expected--but fine.

As the years went on, he got very cranky (always cranky) but more so. In 2010 I finished work. I began I suppose to take more notice, the kids were reared and gone. In 2013 I found gay porn and a second mobile phone with sex messages from men.

To say I was shocked is an understatement. We had stopped sharing a room/bed for a couple of years before, my snoring! The first thing I thought was this is how he gets his kicks, not in a million years did I think he was gay. I didn't think gay men or women married!

I confronted him with the phone etc and he denied all and said he was "just curious". That I didn't believe but I still didn't think he acted on it. I continued to root and found another phone. I kept track of this phone and through the messages, I discovered he was bringing men to the house for sex. No point in confronting him as I knew he would deny and put it back on me. Every time I left the house I recorded everything that went on in the house. I got the recordings, now what was I going to do? 

My daughter was expecting her first baby and my son was getting married, so I wasn't going to say or do anything until all that was over. (I lost 2 stone). He actually took a man to the house when my daughters baby was 5 days old and I was with her. That was Dec 2014. After that I found it very hard to keep my mouth shut, but Christmas was coming.

I confronted him Christmas night 2014. He was all set to deny again except I told him enough for him to realize I knew. The tears started; all he was concerned about was the kids knowing. At this point I really didn't know what to do.

I saw a therapist (who told me he was gay), but I stayed with him. I reckoned he would probably understand more, and he did. He advised me to tell the kids and see my doctor before my next visit to him. I told the kids, and the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I said I had recordings but advised them against listening unless they had any doubt--none listened. They decided he would be told to leave and given 3 weeks to do so. I told him that the kids knew--tears again, but still denied. He said he was "bi"! 

He left at the time given I think up to the very end he thought I would change my mind. He texted me to tell me he had cancer. I said I was sorry to hear that and did he want me to tell the kids, none of them had spoken to him.

He was then terminally ill and my daughter contacted him. The boys went to see him in hospital once. I never saw nor heard from him. My daughter was with him when he died. The therapist warned me about the effects after his death not to let him do more damage in death than he did in life. 

So I had to keep focused where my daughter was concerned and keep quiet. He was her father, she saw him deteriorate, and that was hard for her. My eldest boy(man) was very angry with her, but I think in a family the eldest sees much more than the youngest (I know I did). 

We got through the funeral TG. I had some of his ashes and went to the beach one day and dropped them in the sea, I felt absolutely nothing.
If he had said to my daughter at the end will you tell your mother I'm sorry that would have made a huge difference to me, but I never even got that.

I discovered he had been sexually active with men for years. He also told me before he left that he had one experience before we married. I believe he knew he was gay (homosexuality was illegal in those days) and he needed the cover so he got his house keeper and 3 kids. I also think he got away lightly dying less than 3 years after he left. 

SARAH'S STORY


Before meeting J, I was told he was a guy’s guy, that he won’t “put up with any girl crap, so he’s a hard one to nab.” I was 24 when we started dating, he was 25. He had only had one girlfriend before me and I knew of only one other girl he went on a couple dates with, so I just figured his lack of dating experience was because he was just that picky. At the time I think I looked at it as some sort of challenge. I had more than my share of dating experience. A few serious relationships and lots of forgettable dates. He was in med school. A little nerdy, but really cute, and a lot of fun. I had dated the wild, fun, bad guys. I was excited to date a good guy. He seemed like a real keeper. 

We got very serious, very fast. We didn’t kiss or do anything physical until six weeks into dating. What we lacked in passion, we made up for in conversation. We could talk and talk for hours. We shared the same interests, had the same likes and quirky opinions. I was used to dating guys that rushed to get things physical. As anxious as I was for J to make a move, I thought, “Finally! A true gentleman!” 

Our first kiss and first sex happened at the same time. We were both very drunk. It was New Year's Eve. I was looking forward to this night because of course a kiss would happen on New Year's Eve! It HAD to! I was looking forward to what the night had to offer. It was sloppy and quick. Not something I would call passionate, but we got the job done. Next several times after that, sex was unsuccessful. He could not get an erection. He blamed it on nervousness and stress. After several attempts, we eventually had success. He was so happy he started laughing and was in tears. Going forward, I think we had a pretty normal sexual relationship while dating. Maybe not the passion-filled sex I was used to with prior boyfriends, but this was true love. We were making love, not having sex, so it was supposed to be different, right? 

While dating, he did not have call waiting...and he also could not use the phone if he was on the internet, so I would get a busy signal if I called while he was on-line. I could not reach him for nearly a week because his phone was always busy. Late into the night. He was in med school, so I knew computer time was necessary, but he always made time for calls with me. This was very unusual. Not long after, I was on his computer and the screen was pulled up where history was visible. I had no idea what he was up to when on the internet for hours at a time, but I was curious. I saw something about naked Asian men. He jumped over to the computer and turned it off. When I questioned it he laughed and said I was crazy. He said I must have seen it wrong. I did only get a quick glance. I figured he had to be right. I must’ve seen it wrong. 

Sometime while dating he had gotten sick. He made a comment at one point at being so sick (which he was) that he didn’t get aroused when looking at this website of women in their underwear...and since he didn’t get aroused at that, that shows how sick he must’ve been. Hopping on his computer to check my email, I found he had a website pulled up of men in their underwear. Stopped to think...was it men in their underwear he was “too sick” to get into? Many times while dating, I felt he was way too good for me. I had this awful feeling that as soon as he REALLY got to know me, he would leave, so I would convince myself when finding these things that I really was paranoid and trying to sabotage my own relationship. So I would dismiss the voice in my head that kept saying, “something isn’t right.”

One day at his house, I was playing around on his computer while he was outside mowing and I found an email between him and a guy. I could not see the email he sent, but the response from the other guy spoke of how he was confused as well (about his sexuality). He said he was in to guys, but had a girlfriend he cared about and enjoyed messing around with, so he didn’t know what he was. I confronted J about this and he turned white as a ghost. He said he went through a short period of time in college where he thought he might be attracted to guys, but that it passed. He kept saying that it is normal when living in a frat house when guys are all walking around naked, masturbating in shared dorm rooms...that it’s hard not to get aroused when that’s happening around you and it just got him confused, but he’s absolutely certain he’s straight. He was just an immature college kid with little sexual experience and overwhelmed by the sex-charged frat guys around him. We stopped seeing each other for about two weeks, then got back together. Isn’t it normal to be confused during college? You hear all the time about people experimenting. He didn’t act on any curiosities, so that has to say something. 

At some point while engaged, I answered his phone and a guy asked for Joe. I said he had the wrong number. Worth noting, Joe is the name he used in email above and the name he used later down the line in gay chat rooms. 

While engaged, my mom said a woman at work saw our picture on my mom’s desk. Through conversation his name came up, come to find out this woman had worked with his mom. This woman said, “does he have any brothers because I heard C’s son is gay.” I remember getting really mad at my mom when she told me this. What should have been yet another warning sign for me, I took as my mom trying to stir up drama and label J as she had so many other guys. My mom was often telling me so and so, and so and so is gay. I thought, “of course now she’s saying my fiancĂ© is gay!!” It was easier to get mad at her than think the love of my life might be gay. 

Sex would continue to be an issue throughout our marriage. He almost always “needed help.” He would frequently have difficulties getting an erection and keeping one. He would always blame it on stress...stress knowing that I was worried about it by over thinking what it meant and if it had anything to do with that “gay stuff.”

A few months shy of our second anniversary, I surprised him and came home at lunch. I walked up behind him and he was looking at a picture of a guy and was chatting back and forth in a gay chat room. When confronted, he was visibly shaken. Very embarrassed. We had a heated discussion over it. Me begging him to please tell me if he’s gay or to at the very least admit he’s bisexual. He said he was neither. Insisted when he masturbates that it’s always with thoughts of women. Said he doesn’t know why he chats with gay guys. Said maybe because it’s good for his ego? Said he knows it’s sick, but maybe that’s it. I searched his web history later. It showed hours and hours of gay chat rooms logged. I found a Logitech webcam hidden in the basement closet. He promised to stop. He said it was a stupid game he did by doing it. That it meant nothing. I didn’t find anything again until 6+ months later. Worth noting...I had stopped looking. I was in denial and wanting so bad to believe him. I knew if my fears were confirmed, I would have to leave J, and I couldn’t do that. I loved him so much and leaving him wasn’t an option I was willing to consider. I don’t remember if I accidentally happened upon this evidence or if I went looking for it, but the day before our embryos were to be transferred, I again found hours and hours of gay chat room evidence. We were deep into the IVF process, emotionally and financially, and the next day was go time. That was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Proceed with the children I had been yearning for with the man I love or confront him and end it. I did not mention it and we proceeded with the embryo transfer.

Pregnant with twins, I was on strict bed rest starting around 16-18 weeks. He was home quite a bit during this time because he was studying for his boards. He spent nearly all his time at home downstairs on the computer. I would get hurt and angry and question this because I was stuck in a little room in bed 24 hours a day seven days a week. He would get frustrated at me for questioning him and would say he was taking these practice tests for the boards. The boards were coming up. That is true, but there is no doubt in my mind that much of the time spent down there was in those chat rooms.

Once the kids were born, I would continue to find evidence here and there of him being in the chat rooms, but I brought it up less and less because it only started fights and only made him angry at me for snooping. Desperate to keep our family in tact, I started to try to convince myself that if all he’s doing is messing around online, as long as he’s not meeting anyone, we can make this work. It’s crazy to me the things I tried to convince myself were normal or okay. They were anything but. 

When the kids were maybe three…I got onto our computer to find he had left his email open. Not his regular email, but one with the name “jorunner”. It was filled with names/emails I didn’t recognize. I opened up one and it was to a man. They were trying to figure out a meeting place. J mentioned he had been meeting someone (?) at a gym near his work. J came up and found me on the computer and flipped out. He pushed me away from the computer and quickly logged it out. 

He admitted to meeting a man that was from out of town in a hotel room. When pressed he said he thinks it was a Drury Inn in (nearby town), but said he couldn’t remember. He admitted only to jerking off together. He also said he was in conversation with a man who was married and asked me if I would consider swinging with them. He got very angry at me when I said no, pointing out that I had said at one point that I would be willing to be open to things to keep him happy, and don’t I want him to be happy? He was pouting like a child, angry that I wouldn’t consider it. A few days later he apologized over and over again. He said it was very cavalier of him to ask me to consider that. He downplayed the visit in hotel room with guy since they “only” jerked off. As for the potential meet up with new guy he was emailing...he said there was no intention to meet really. It was normal to have those discussions, but nothing ever happened. Again said he’s not gay, not bisexual, but he gets off on seeing guys get off on him. He said his fantasies always involve me, not just him and another guy. He said he’s never imagined being with a guy while intimate with me and he said he’s very proud to say that. 

Enter Collin about a year later. The kids were four. He initially said he met Collin at one of the casinos. We were at that time planning a family vacation to Branson. Collin lived near Branson. He said they got to talking about Branson and this guy offered to help get our family tickets to Silver Dollar City, Dixie Stampede, etc. I think we got one free ticket to Silver Dollar City. I can’t remember, but he definitely wasn’t much help there. But suddenly I was hearing Collin’s name more and more. 

This was before we had smart phones. They would spend lots of time messaging on Facebook. When it came time for our trip to Branson, J said he would feel really bad if we went to Branson and didn’t see Collin. After all, he was so kind to try to help us out with tickets. I thought it was weird. I didn’t know this guy. This was supposedly some guy that he chatted with at a casino and now we’re having dinner with him? I of course questioned the oddness of it. J said he knew what I was thinking, but not to worry because Collin was married. We would have dinner with Collin and his wife. Dinner was fine, but unfortunately it didn’t end there. 

We got back to our room and J went right to his computer and was messaging Collin. We got in an argument over it. I said this is our family vacation. Why is he spending it messaging this guy...and we just saw him at dinner. J got angry and said it was his vacation too. He insisted I was being ridiculous and he was just going to leave for awhile. If I was going to act like this, then he’s just going to go meet Collin for a drink. They decided they were going to go out another night, since we were in Branson and who knows when we’d be back. J went out for the evening with Collin while I took the kids out on a wagon ride then to dinner. J got back late. J and Collin were together 3-1/2 to 4 years. We would make another visit to Branson during this time. Collin and his wife stayed in our home a couple times and us in their’s. They did fishing weekends together. Collin would always stay in our house when I went on my girls’ weekends. I questioned the timing and J said he knew I wasn’t a fan of Collins, so it just made sense that he timed his visits for when I was gone. 

Their “friendship” caused many fights between us. J would get angry about my suspicions. He would say, “Aren’t I allowed to have guy friends without you accusing me of hooking up with them?!” Collin invited J to go to Paris with him. This was a few months before our own trip to Paris was scheduled to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. J said he told Collin no, because it would be wrong to go to Paris with Collin first, when we’ve had this special trip planned for so long. I was relieved to hear that and made a joke saying Collin and (his wife) won’t be going on ANY vacations with us. This PISSED J off. I said it flippantly, not thinking it would ever even be a thing, but J got very angry. He questioned why it’s not something that would be considered. I told him though (his wife) is very nice, I don’t love Collin. I don’t want him on our family vacations and frankly that’s just weird. We continued to argue about this until we just dropped it. 

Obviously we weren’t going to agree on that. Other than Collin spending part of our Branson trips with us (hung at pool with us, went to Silver Dollar City with us, dinner), a vacation together didn’t come up again. Fast forward to 2012, the kids were 8...we went to a wedding and J came home smashed. He passed out in the bed and started vomiting off the side of the bed. As I was cleaning it up, I noticed his phone. Normally his phone was always on him. Never had I had an opportunity to try and check it, though I had wanted to many times. He was out cold, so this was my chance. It was password protected. I had no idea what it could be, but magically got it right my second try. It was 7535. This was the last four digits of Collin’s phone number. I didn’t know that at the time, but I’m guessing it’s a number I tried because it also happened to be the last four digits of J’s phone number when we were dating. I clicked on Collin’s name and immediately felt faint and like I could throw up. Right there was a link to a site Collin had sent to him. I can’t remember the name or what it was, but it was clearly a gay website. I took his phone to another room and read their texts for hours. I was reading for hours and only got back as far as two weeks. 

There was so much because they texted constantly. A fellow doctor from J’s work made a comment to me at a social gathering that he’s never seen anyone text anyone as much as J texted me. He laughed and told the people around us that J texts me throughout his whole shift (at work). He said we can’t get enough of each other and laughed. I laughed along, but was immediately stung because J didn’t text me from work. I knew it was Collin he was texting. The things I read on his phone broke me. They spoke of their sexual encounters. J had recently been in Branson to visit Collin and he was saying how hot their sex was last time he was there. He spoke of how wild it was and how he was turned on just thinking about it. He then went on in detail of this sexual encounter start to finish. There were pictures exchanged of their penises, their butt holes, pictures of themselves ejaculating. They told each other “I love you.” 

Collin mentioned seeing them as old men together someday. J said he thought of that too but he could never leave me. He told Collin he loved him, but loved me more. I contacted friends and made arrangements for the kids to be picked up first thing in the morning so I could confront him about this. I contacted my lawyer friend and told her I was leaving J and would need her help. We were supposed to host a birthday party for my grandma the next day, so I sent out emails saying I was sick and had to cancel. And I emailed Collin’s wife to fill her in on all I had learned. 

I got J out of bed sometime late morning, though I do believe he was still half drunk. I told him of what I had done, what I had read. He somehow didn’t look surprised. He dryly said, “I f*cked up, didn’t I?” I told him I was done. I told him I wanted a divorce (this wasn’t the first time I had asked for one, but this is the first time he took me serious. In fact when asking for one before, he matter of factually told me, “well you’re not getting one.” We never got further than that.). He pointed out I wasn’t crying. He said I didn’t even look upset. It’s because I always knew. I always knew that this is how things would end. I would walk in on him with someone. Some man would call to tell me they were f*cking my husband. Or he would finally admit he’s gay and leave. I loved him dearly, but I knew not to get too comfortable in our marriage. I always felt I was on borrowed time. He was never wholly mine. He finally saw I wasn’t budging. I meant it. He had lied and lied for years and years, but he couldn’t lie himself out of this one. I read it all in his own words on his phone. He broke down. He was sobbing and shaking and pounding the couch with his fists. He was sobbing and yelling that he hated himself, he’d f*cked everything up, he didn’t deserve me, he deserved to die. He said he needed to kill himself. I was in a panic. I knew the right thing to do was call 911. 

He was threatening to kill himself. I was scared and confused, not knowing what to do. He worked in the ER and had just started as medical director for several ambulatory districts. I knew if I called 911, he would be picked up by and delivered to his peers. The people he worked with everyday. If me leaving him didn’t kill him, that would. It was a big gamble not calling, but I didn’t. I made a desperate call to our friend Paul, hoping he could come, but he was out of town at the time and was unable. I called his mom, but then he flipped out and told me to have her turn around. I stood firm for several days. He continued to beg and plead and promised to be the husband I deserved. He begged me not to break our family apart. He said it would destroy our kids, that his parents divorce destroyed his. He promised no more secrets. He said he’d give me all his passwords....I could check any time. He said I can ask where and what he is doing as many times as I want and he promised to not get angry. He would always understand and spend the rest of his life making it up to me. I agreed to stay. I hated him at that time and for what he had put me through. The anger and guilt he pushed at me for questioning what was happening in my own home. But I stayed. For the kids. I decided at that moment that my happiness didn’t matter, but their’s certainly did. I also told him no more mess ups. I felt completely broken and I could not handle going through this again. I had given him more than his share of do-over’s and I didn’t have any left. One more slip up, and I’m gone. He said he totally understood. He looked filled with love and gratefulness and promised to be everything I needed him to be. Something happened though. I stayed for the kids, but found myself falling in love with him again. Things were really good. They were great...until they weren’t. ***By the way, J met Collin on Craigslist, not at a casino. They came up with the casino story as a way to have Collin enter our lives as a new friend. 

Things were pretty good I would say for a couple years. Not without incident. There was a gay “hook up” app he would frequent over the years called Grynder. I had learned at some point that he and Collin would argue over this app. Their relationship had some issues of trust as well. J was paranoid and worried Collin was cheating on him and they would argue over time spent on this app. Out of curiosity, I familiarized myself with this app. I knew what it looked like (I had even found J on it once while he was sitting in the car with our kids while I had run in the grocery store. This was during the Collin era. I coldly told him to please not look at that while the kids are in the car and didn’t mention it again.) and I knew how it worked. The colors of the app when texting look inverted (black background and yellow and blue text bubbles). Twice our daughter had asked, “Dad, why are your text colors inverted?” I knew immediately what that meant he was doing, but he would get angry at me for even suggesting it and said he was on a work website and it just looked like that to her. I’d ask him to show me (after all, after Collin he said he would be an open book and ease my fears any way I needed without question). Both instances he fumbled, trying to find what he was looking for but said, “he must’ve closed out of it and couldn’t find it.” Another time I saw for myself he was on the app. I looked out the kitchen window and saw him sitting down below texting on it. I called him on it immediately and he said it was a “moment of weakness.” He assured me it was an isolated incident. He hadn’t been on it since “before,” and it wouldn’t happen again. Another time our son was behind J and saw something on his phone he shouldn’t. My memory has failed me on exactly what it was. Something that said something about naked college football studs?? Our son asked why J was looking that up. J laughed and told him he had to of read it wrong. He would never look up anything like that. I immediately pulled J back to our room and questioned him on it. His reply? Again...a “moment of weakness.” 

Though he had these moments of weakness, the first couple years after Collin were pretty good. Then things seemed to go downhill again. J would argue this and say we had more good times than bad, but to me our good moments were just that...moments. We didn’t fight, but we quite frankly interacted very little. Just asking a normal, “what are you doing?” or “where are you going?” would set J off. He would accuse me of being paranoid. Sometimes I was suspicious, but most of the time my questioning was simply conversation. Any question of who he was texting or talking to and he would get really angry. I would get a lecture on how if this was going to work, I was going to have to trust him. His reactions though only made me more suspicious. Times where I might not have thought anything amiss, I was suddenly doubting his stories, solely due to his defensive response. Over the next four years he would get very angry at any questions that might hint at me questioning his fidelity, so I would try really hard to resist asking anything that might upset him. He didn’t seem happy. I would ask him about this and ask how he was doing with his “urges”. I would ask if he wanted to talk to me about any of them. He would assure me he had no urges and everything was “fine.” Now that there was no computer to check and I was just having to trust his phone was free of anything “bad” (because it once again never left his person...and I never did get his pass codes), all I really did have to do was trust. I had no other option. 

His treatment of me continued to worsen. He had always been very critical and could be very condescending. He would correct what I was doing, how I was doing it. I would make a joke, and if he would acknowledge it at all, he would make a confused face and simply tell me that I wasn’t funny. It got to the point that nearly everything I did was followed by a, “Why are you doing that??” It was very frustrating. I would go back and forth from sadness to anger. I would tell myself if I could just try my best to be as perfect as could be, maybe then he would be kinder. He’d have to be, because if I was doing everything right, that would make him happy, and he’d have to be nice. Except that didn’t work. I somehow couldn’t do anything right, no matter how hard I tried. If he lost something, it was my fault. I must’ve lost it. If something broke, he’d ask what I did because I must’ve broken it. 

Not only was our everyday relationship suffering, our sex life was getting even worse. Aside from the few months following the exit of Collin, and our first year of dating, we lacked any sort of regularity for most of our marriage. And somehow it was always my fault. He would say he didn’t initiate because it was always him that initiated, so it was up to me. This always baffled me. I can remember a handful of times he initiated, but the majority of the time...damn near close to all, it was me. Now if he wants to say me putting my hand or mouth on his penis and then him touching me back is him initiating, then sure, he initiated a lot. And it was usually work. 
He would gently remind me he needed “help,” and not to get weird about it. He would assure me it’s normal and it’s usually just because he’s nervous about what’s going on in my head...knowing I’m going to worry if he can’t get or stay hard. These last two years we probably had sex maybe 4-5 times. I can’t say for sure. I do know this past year we only had sex twice, and both times he acted like he was doing me a favor. He certainly was not into it. Sure we went through the motions, but I felt no passion on his end. I would bring it up from time to time, my concern over our lack of intimacy. He would say it’s normal, he’s tired, this is how most marriages are with kids at our age, maybe he’s low on testosterone...and the good ole’, “It’s not just on me you know. You need to show me you want it.” Quite frankly I’m tired of having to “show him I want it.” The last time I went up to him and tried to take him to the bed for sex, he pulled away, rolled his eyes and said, “not today.” He truly looked disgusted. This was the middle of the day. He said he was tired and his belly was “weird.” That’s the last time I tried. 

Trying to make that effort without going as far as putting my hand or mouth on his penis, I tried many times to scoot over and cuddle with him in bed as he watched tv or played on his phone. He always said it bothered him that I read in bed...and he would say “how could I make a move when you’re over there on your phone or reading your book??” So I would scoot close. He never made a move though. I can not remember a time in our married life that he rolled over to me and started kissing me or touching me. I always went to him. 

This year things started coming to a head for me. I was so unhappy. I was quite certain he was doing something. I had no idea what...whether it was hooking up with someone or messing around on that app, but I was certain he was doing something. His little snippets of criticism he would dole out over the years morphed into something else altogether. He was downright mean at times. There was no way this man was happy. In a conversation with his mom earlier this year, she expressed concern. She told me he’s different now. She had found him several times talking down to her and talking down to one of his sisters. She felt horribly guilty for talking to me about him like this. She said she felt like she was talking behind his back, which she didn’t want to do, but said she was really concerned because to her, he just didn’t seem happy. She said he couldn’t be if he’s acting like this. I poured my heart out to her quite a bit. I mentioned nothing of the infidelities, but I did tell her how distant he had been and how condescending he had been to not only me, but the kids as well - one of our sons in particular. He would call him stupid repeatedly. I would get angry and ask him not to use that word with him, but he would say, “he’s acting stupid, so I can call him that if I want.” This son has extreme self esteem issues. He calls himself stupid quite often. The last thing he needs is his father affirming that. 

By this summer, I was getting lower and lower. We went on a large family vacation. J is always the life of the party. He is very funny, very intelligent, and everyone loves him. We were in a group of people and he was laughing and being silly. Suddenly it was just the two of us in the room and his mood shifted. He started talking down to me immediately. I gritted my teeth and told him, “Just once I’d like you to be as nice to me as you are to everyone else.” I turned and went to our room and cried. He was nicer for awhile, as was the pattern. I would tell him how hurtful he was to me and he would be better, but it wouldn’t last. 

Towards the end of this summer I found an empty bottle of Viagra on his closet floor. I questioned him about it and he was furious. He said that it was from seven years ago and I need to stop questioning everything and will I ever learn to let things go...and he stormed out. I stood there pissed and suddenly determined. I stopped and prayed. I prayed so hard. I prayed that God would please help me. Either give me peace with our situation and help my heart and mind be free of doubt or show me. Show me what he’s done. If he’s being unfaithful again, please show me. Show me so I can know once and for all, because in that moment I decided that my happiness did matter. 20 years we’ve been together now. 20 years of heartache and lies and broken promises. There were many good moments in our time together, but sadly the heartache and pain outweighed the good for me. God started showing me in just days. 

J had this coloring shampoo that covers gray. I questioned him about this months ago. I asked why he was using it because it clearly wasn’t working, because his gray on his head was still just as gray. He said it’s because he uses it on his chest hair. He said he doesn’t like gray hairs poking out of his shirt. I pointed out that was weird because he trims those so short...and asked if he used it on his pubic hair...which would be weird since no one sees it (including me). He laughed and said no, of course not. Well within days of my prayer I actually got a nice long peek at that pubic hair of his. Bye bye gray. He most certainly was using it on his pubic hair. May seem minor and meaningless, but in that moment I knew. I knew I needed more than that though. I rifled through all his things. He knows I’ve done this before, so I knew I’d have a hard time finding anything (many years ago I found a bottle of Astroglide in a bag on the top shelf of his closet. He said he had it for lubrication for masturbation.). 

By this time he was glued to his phone. No matter what was happening in the house he was transfixed to his phone. This had been going on for quite some time (and had on and off over the years), but the intensity of it increased quite a bit that month. We would be sitting watching tv and he would spend the entirety of the show scrolling on his phone and typing from time to time. We could go two hours without saying a word to each other. I would be sitting three feet from him and there were times I had to say his name twice to get his attention. Every now and then he would get up and go to the back bathroom and he would be in there for up to 20 minutes or more. I would walk back there and listen. The blower was not on and it didn’t smell after he was in there, so it wasn’t tummy problems he was having. I would question him from time to time on what he was doing for so long on his phone. Sometimes he would get angry at me for me asking and sometimes he would say he was looking at Facebook, checking work emails or paying bills. I had in the past ask, “Are you on that app???” He would of course always say no. I knew the only way to know for sure was to get on it myself. So that’s what I did. I made myself an account and waited. I found what I believed to be his profile, but there was no real way I could tell for sure...just yet. How it works though proved to be very handy. The first profile on your screen is your own. Then the other profiles shown are shown in order of proximity to you. So the profile next to your profile is who is closest to you and so on. The profile that was always next to mine when he was home seemed obvious, but I still needed to be sure. As he would drive away to work, his profile would move further and further away. And the real proof for me was when we went to a tractor pull about 45 minutes away. He went ahead of me and I watched his profile move away. I got there several hours later. I saw him staring at his phone, so I got on the app, and sure enough his profile was suddenly next to mine again. So I knew it was him. I decided right then I was done. I had decided this at many points in our marriage, but somehow I knew this was different. There was anger and sadness as there had been before, but what was different this time was a sense of relief and resolve. I had finally caught him. I had proof. I hadn’t had proof in six years. I knew without proof, he would lie his way out as he always did; and there was no way he would grant me a divorce without it. Because without proof, I was just “crazy, paranoid and delusional.”

Yet I still felt I needed more. He spent many hours away from the house. With his EMS job, it took him away all hours of the day and I rarely knew where he was. I wondered then if he was meeting anyone. I prayed and prayed again for something. Do I follow him? I knew that wasn’t an option. I’m sure most of his travel was legit. I didn’t have the time to follow him everywhere he went, trying to catch him meeting someone on the way home. But then something came to me. They make little tile trackers to put on key rings and stuff so they don’t get lost. Can’t I get some kind of tracker and put it in his car? So that’s what I did. I put in on his car on a Sunday and the very next morning he went somewhere odd. I left very early in the morning to take the kids to practice. I remember seeing him still in bed asleep when I left. He looked to be sleeping anyway. Well he was in his car within 10 minutes of us leaving and he drove to a park about 15 minutes away. It’s a huge park and he drove deep into it and parked in a remote parking lot that was back in the woods of this park. He was there roughly 15-20 minutes, then drove home. He was home before I made it back from practice. Well that didn’t take long. I had the GPS on his car not even 24 hours and he already met someone? Odd thing happened after this “meeting.” He wasn’t on the app as much. He would pop in on it from time to time, but he wouldn’t stay on it all day like he did before. I referred to this as his “moral vacation.” I figured he got his fix...some guilt has probably set in and now he’s going to “be good” for a bit. It would only last a couple days though before he would be back on the app full time again. The next weird outing was a little over a week later. He drove down the road to a nearby parking lot (popular spot for kids to learn how to ride a bike, learn how to drive, etc., because it’s huge and usually vacant), he drove to one far corner, then the next, then back, then back to the other, then pulled out. Was he trying to find a spot to park concealed from others? Obviously he didn’t find a good one and moved on. He continued driving to a parking garage about five minutes from there. He was parked in there for about 20 minutes then drove home. He again took a “moral vacation” from the app for a couple days. 

I was so disgusted by this point. How long had he been meeting people? Thank God we weren’t having sex because Lord only knows what STD I could catch. I knew I was going to ask him for a divorce, but the question was when. It all depended on the children. This was going to be hardest on them and it killed me that leaving him would crush them so hard, which I knew it would. They were just starting high school so I wanted to wait a bit. Let them get settled in. I didn’t think they needed long, but I certainly wanted them to get a few weeks in first. I looked at the calendar. What other things do they have coming up? Two big things in the next month. I figured I could wait one more month. Tough things out to make the transition smoother for them. 

But then he met one more. This time it was at someone’s house. I was sitting on the laundry room floor folding laundry when he breathlessly says, “I need to go sign a 222. I’ll be back.” This wasn’t unusual. It was normal for him to have to run to a fire station to sign a form or whatever. I took notice though how he was dressed. Athletic shorts and a T-shirt. I realize he was just running in to sign a form, but he had always seemed very conscious of what he wore when going on any kind of work call. I checked the GPS tracker and he was at a house and the nearest fire station was about 10 minutes away. I was so done. I knew then I couldn’t wait one more month. I could not keep playing house, acting like I had no idea what he was really up to. It was time to tell him. 

This may sound ridiculous, but I was worried about how and when to tell him. He reacted so strongly last time, threatening suicide, I needed to be careful. I didn’t want to tell him before an ER shift or before an important meeting. I knew he would be very upset and I didn’t want to drop that on him then send him to work. I had another fear hit me. This part of him is something he has hated about himself and worked so hard to hide for so long. Would he hurt me in desperation to keep his secret hidden? He had never physically abused me in all our time together, but people do crazy things when they panic. I knew his reaction six years ago was as dramatic as it was probably because he was still half tanked from the night before. I still had concerns. There was a news story that showed up in my newsfeed. It was the husband in Colorado who’s wife and daughters turned up missing. It had come out that he had killed them. His gay lover came forward and said the wife had discovered he was having a gay affair and it resulted in the husband flipping out and killing them. On the outside they looked like a normal, happy family. This gave me chills. I didn’t really think he would harm me or the kids, but my nerves were shot at this point and I figured I couldn’t be too careful. We had an archaic gun up in his closet and what I thought were two shotguns, but upon closer inspection...probably just BB guns. I hid those. I bought myself a stun gun and some compact pepper spray. I thought maybe I could keep them in my pocket if things seemed to be getting heated. I had confided in one of my friends about what had been going on. I wrote out a list of wishes should anything happen to me. And at that point she had not told anything to her husband, but the night before I asked for the divorce, I had her give her husband a head’s up what was happening the next day and to be “on call” if I felt I needed help (if J was threatening his life again). 

Overall it went pretty smooth. Any fears I had of him losing it and harming me in any way quickly went away. He denied everything initially, as I expected. Until I told him what I knew and how I knew it. I told him I was on the app and could see when he was on it (little green light next to profile). I told him I had never messaged him on there but he did message me. Pretty recently actually. Days prior he messaged me and I panicked. I actually googled “typical chats on Grynder” so I would know how to talk. He sent me some pictures (they were older pictures because the wall color in our bathroom had been painted a different color several years ago). I asked what he was looking for. He responded, “jerk buddy.” I asked if he did oral and he answered, “yes.” He kept asking for more pictures and I got nervous and stopped. I told him I knew of his hookups and mentioned the three. He kept asking how I knew but I never told him of the tracker. I feared it would anger him. I think he thinks I followed him. 

He asked if the park visit was me. I was confused. Apparently the first two parking excursions were just ways to get away from the house to sext on the app and masturbate, but the recent house visit, he said that was to meet someone. I asked what they did and he said, “oral.” I asked if there had been any other meetings. He said there was a married guy he met. He said it was a weird situation where the wife knew. I asked where and he said at their house. I asked what they did and he said oral. I asked how many times and he said “he thinks maybe twice.” I asked when this happened and he said that he thinks a year or two ago, but he can’t remember. He assured me that was it. No more. Do I believe him? No. I absolutely think there’s more, but at this point, it doesn’t really matter. All I know is I can’t do this anymore. This...all THIS CRAP has been breaking me down now for 20 years. We should have never married. I saw the signs then, but I loved him so much. I wanted to believe him. I chose to believe the lies. And lying is something he does very well. He can be incredibly convincing and come off as incredible sincere. And really, I don’t doubt that he believes the things he says. He has found a way to compartmentalize these two parts of his life. His life with me and “that other stuff.” 

He said he’s finally in a place where he can admit he’s bi-sexual. I told him that’s great, but he’s gay. He adamantly denies this. And again, I think he truly believes that. I have a history of difficult and challenging sex that tells me different. Sex shouldn’t be that hard. No pun intended. Gay or bisexual, doesn’t matter. He could be totally straight with some odd habits, doesn’t matter. I’m done. I do not want to be in this marriage any longer. I am 44 years old and have given my entire adult life to this man and I have hurt long enough. Through everything, I do still love him, just not in that way anymore. I would like to be his friend, but I have no interest being his wife anymore. And I will always be grateful for our beautiful children. 

He’s not going to make this easy though. He’s been begging and pleading and making promises to change. He says that he knows he can be a good husband to me for the rest of our lives. He spent days pitching to me how good our lives could be. Even if I had a guarantee that he would be 100% faithful and honest from this point on, I would still want out. The cut is too deep. To stay would cause me more pain. There’s a bitterness there that won’t go away. I want no part of it anymore. I looked him straight in the eyes and told him, “I do not want to married to you anymore,” but he won’t hear me. He says he needs time. He needs 6 months to a year to prove to me he can be good. “Do it for the kids,” he said. That’s why I am still here after the hell he put me through. The kids. 

I will not let him use them as a pawn in his game. I told him that I know once he finally “gets” that I’m not changing my mind, he’s going to get nasty with me. He said he would never do that. I know better though. I’m reminded in little snippets he throws at me between the begging. “You know your life is going to be a lot different. It’s going to change.” “You know you’re going to have to get a job.” “You have to give me more time. When my parents got divorced my dad told us he didn’t want this, that my mom was the one that wanted this, and I don’t want to lie to the kids.” I know he can be manipulative. I know he fights dirty when he gets mad. To move forward I’m going to have to stop worrying about his feelings and stop being nice. I wish he could see that how he handles this, how he treats me throughout this process, is going to determine the relationship we have when this is all over. I’ve given him years upon years of time. I’m not giving him any more. I’ve said that and more over and over again and he won’t hear it. He gets agitated and says, “But it’s not what I want.” But it’s no longer about him. It’s always been about him. I had hopes that we could go through this amicably, but I don’t think that’s how it will go. I see me having to file and have him served. I pray this doesn’t get ugly, but he does not like not getting his way. 




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