Bumps on the parallel highway

So the highway of life on this team is pretty much parallel to the highway I’ve been on my whole life.  Bumps, cracks, chasms even, exist along the way.  The only differences are the catalysts that cause them.  I’ll tell you up front I’m begging for feedback from you as you complete your read of the post.

First, I’ll get the good news out of the way.  My kids spent a decent portion of their summer break with me and it was great.  I was worried about feeling like the “Disneyland Dad” but we had a brief family meeting when they got here and expectations were set regarding them helping take care of their home here and all went well.  They remembered how to use the washing machine and dishwasher.  If anyone has suggestions on getting kids to not put empty boxes back into the pantry, I’ll take them.  Nothing like being blamed for not keeping cereal on hand when there were two, yes two, empty boxes staring at me when I looked into the pantry.  Who knew?

They continue to be very comfortable around Steven and he is very comfortable around them.  It made me happy to fix dinner for my entire brood several nights while they were here.

Now for the first set of bumps in the road…the divorce is exponentially worse than I ever expected it could get.  Quite frankly, it never occurred to me that she could create as much hate in her heart as now exists.  If you haven’t been down this path before or have never stood by a good friend who has, I’ve got to set up a little legalese for you.  She filed first and served me with the paperwork that laid out her grounds for wanting the big D.  That was all well and good; simply said the marriage was broken and she saw no ability to repair it.  My return of serve included my “discovery”, a legal term asking for various and sundry items.  In my case, 100% of my discovery was economically related so we can adequately complete the child support worksheets required by the State.  Her attorney did one of two things.  She either failed completely to explain that proof of financial status is required to complete the worksheet or spun her up and told her that we didn’t need near what had been requested.  Don’t know which and it doesn’t really matter.  This flipped the hate switch and it’s been downhill since then.  She then got to serve me with her discovery and included in it a document called “First and Continuing Interrogatories”.  This is where she got to ask whatever came into her head.  And boy did some things come into her head.  For starters, she suggested my affair with Steven went back to 2005!  If all of the machinations that I would have had to create to make that a reality weren’t so outrageous this would have been truly offensive.  She then asked me to list the name, address, and phone number of every person I have had sex with since she and I got married, and it gets better, the names of any persons present who might have watched!  Then there’s the list of acts that constitute the sexual activity in question.  I’ve tried my best to keep this blog PG-13 at worst so I can’t list them but use the most carnal parts of your imagination and I bet she covered it.   Those two questions were at the top of the list of surprises but for brevity I won’t go further.  You get the picture.  So that’s where we are in the divorce process.  I’ve answered all of those questions, provided her with the 10 years of emails she asked for.  18 months of phone records that Ma Bell keeps.  Surprising to her, not to me, there’s nothing in either of those that shows an interaction with Steven before last year.  For those of you already through the D, please tell me this does get better at some point.

But here’s the part of the story where I really need help and feedback.  I’ve said it before and, sadly, I still find it true.  I still usually feel like a stranger in a strange land, no passport, no visa yet issued, barely speak the language.  But one of the things I’ve known for a long time and still struggle with is the disconnect in the gay world between sex and love and intimacy.  And, unfortunately, I’m having to come to terms with that.

For all of my life, once you entered a committed relationship, sex with others was off the table, unless you lived “the lifestyle”.  It’s just one of the things you give up for the “stability” of a relationship.  That doesn’t quite seem to be the norm for this team.  “Sex is just sex”.  I’m having a little trouble getting my head around this one.  Paranoia is taking root just a bit.  But am I the crazy one?  Is it possible to go on a business trip, find some other horny guy to get your rocks off with and not risk the relationship you claim to cherish back home?  I don’t know the answer and I don’t know how I come to deal with one of the accepted norms of the gayborhood.  This is where I’m asking for feedback.  I’ve had plenty of people tell me so far that Sex does not equal Intimacy does not equal Love. Sex is an act, love is state of being.  So what say you friends?

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About Traveling Out

I'm a 46 year old man living in the suburbs of friendly Atlanta. Married, 2 kids, 2 dogs, professional, life is good. Until I realize the crutch I've used all my life to convince myself I'm not gay falls apart. Welcome to the jungle. So far, writing is taking the place of paying $$$ for therapy...but I'm pretty sure that day is coming too.
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4 Responses to Bumps on the parallel highway

  1. Cameron says:

    It’s good to hear from you.

    Perhaps it’s because I have not been through the divorce process, but I don’t understand what exactly pissed her off. As best I can tell, her attorney told her (or implied) that you wanted to screw her financially and that’s what did it? The cause of her anger probably doesn’t matter at this point but I’m curious for myself because I’d like to avoid the same fate.

    As for your question, I can assure you that your confusion about sex, love and intimacy within the gay world is shared by many (perhaps even most) formerly married men. I recently started attending a support group for married and formerly married gay men, and through that group I’ve met more than a dozen different guys and it seems that nearly every single one of them is just as confused as you are. Within the group there is a short-hand moniker for “always” gay guys and that is “gold star.” Apparently it comes from the idea that they get a gold star for coming out early in life. Whatever. The origin isn’t important but the fact that we need a term to make the distinction between us and them is very telling.

    I’m sure there are plenty of formerly married men who have come to appreciate the gold star gay’s separation of love, sex and intimacy, but it seems to me that the happiest gays are the ones who keep them linked.

    You didn’t say – what prompted the question?

  2. Buddy Bear says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about all the divorce difficulties and your wife’s hatred / bitterness. My wife did go through a period of hatred / vindictiveness but she received no support from anyone (from our children, her family and friends) in her attacks on me. She’s basically a good person and eventually, she did the right thing.

    I plan to get legally married one day to Mr. Right, when I find him, I am expecting both sex and intimacy…. which are most certainly linked. I’d have great difficulty if my husband was having sex with other guys during our marriage. But I think I would be okay if my husband and I wanted to have a threesome or foursome with other guys, as long as we were participating together.

    In my slut phase, I’ve met guys in LTRs who are allowed to “fool around” with other men but only if it happens in another town. Others are allowed to have outside hookups involving genitals, but with no kissing allowed. (too intimate!) I know other gay guys who have open relationships but the rule is they are not allowed to discuss the hookups with their husband …… or indeed the reverse, where the hookups ARE discussed with the husband. Other gay couples allow hook ups but not in the marital home.

    The bottom line: it’s a brave new world of gay relationships and the rules of gay bear no similarity to traditional heterosexual marriages. This is something that needs to be discussed openly and agreed upon between husband and husband.

  3. Jim says:

    I guess you don’t live in a ‘no fault’ state. She’d never get away with that crap. Very sorry to hear of it.

  4. Anon says:

    My view is that your wife’s reaction, whilst unreasonable, is hardly unexpected. She was blindsided and now feels hurt and thinks that hurting you will make her feel better. Although it won’t, she is not currently operating with the logical part of her brain. As time goes by, she will hopefully come back to her senses.
    My advice to you is, although this feels intensely personal, not to take it personally. Giving over your phone records etc may seem ridiculous to you, but it is important to her, and since you’ve got nothing to hide, who cares?
    These are the waves which must crash over you to get to the place you want to be. You just need to weather them with good humor. This too will pass.
    Good luck to you and keep us updated.

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