Dear Chump Lady,
I need some serious help. My story is unique in that my husband cheated on me with a man. 15 years ago, he left me because I was “impossible to live with” and went to live with a man from work. It should have been my first sign. He swore he was just a friend (and swears to this day). He said I was controlling and smothering and he needed out. So he left.
I pick me danced, and after some couples therapy, and a promise to be nicer to him, he moved back in. Things were never “great”, but we ended up having a son, but after that point we lived mainly as roommates. Sex was rare if any. Until one day, after getting suspicious and snooping around his emails I found he was on gay sex groups.
I confronted him, he said he thought he may be gay and needed space to figure out who he was and he left. Little did I know, he has already been seeing someone much younger than him for several months before me confronting him. He and his “friend” moved in together and I started the divorce proceedings.
We decided to go to therapy to at least try to get along for our son’s sake. That led to me doing another PICK ME DANCE and him back to denying his sexuality and brushing it off as “experiemental.” I foolishly accepted that lie. ONLY to have a TEXT MESSAGE, yes a text message sent to me last year on our 20th wedding anniversary reiterating once again, “WHO HE WAS”. I filed for the divorce AGAIN, and it should be finalized in 2 months.
My issue is, he still blames me. constantly. Blames me for trying to always control his life, and for smothering him for the last 20 years, and for being a horrible person to him. And then when he’s done blaming me for all that, he tells me that he could have “lived with his secret forever” if i wasnt such a controlling person having to know every little thing about him — like if he was gone from the store too long or late from work. (Yes, things he actually did and later I had found out when he’d meet up with his “friend” for sex in their car).
While, I know I’m not blameless in a sexless marriage and while I know I am a bit of a controlling person, I didn’t cause him to be gay or to cheat or to lie or to be deceived by who he really is. Did I? How can I ever move on to MEH when I’m constantly being blamed for everything that ever went wrong in our marriage?
Please help me. I just want to forgive myself and get to MEH.
You don’t get to meh by listening to what your closet-case ex thinks. Really? You’re going to listen to the person who’s been conducting an “experiment” on his sexuality for 20-plus years? Is there a research grant for that?
Kathy, your situation isn’t unique. It’s just another flavor of cake — the I-fuck-whomever-I-like-and-you-be-my-beard cake. His Schmoopies of choice are men. Different smorgasbord, same shit sandwiches. He extracts value from you, you make your needs invisible, thank him for this atrocious inequality, and it all works for him quite nicely. Welcome to the Chump Club.
I suppose if there is any balm in being the straight spouse is that it’s so very much NOT about you. Well, gee, I don’t have a penis!
Yet he’s trying to flip the script and make it about you anyway? Listen, you could no more make that man gay than a whole world probably tried to make him straight. Controlling people are having no effect here, as is evidenced by how many family values politicians are caught with rent boys.
Fact is, inauthenticity works for your husband. He chooses it. He’s an insult to every out gay man and woman. He’s a cheating creep. Which is the problem with full humanity — some of humanity are assholes. He’s gay AND he’s an asshole. The gay thing doesn’t make him an asshole, using people makes him an asshole. Don’t confuse things, just because he’s confused.
The real question here is why you thought ANY of this was acceptable to YOU? When you find your husband has been “experimenting” with men, why aren’t you making an immediate exit? That’s the skein you need to untangle — why you made yourself so small to be with such a person. No judgement. This is work all chumps need to do.
Now, about that meh — go no contact. Begin at once. (And if your son is still a minor, no contact plus parenting software.)
Let your husband find a new idiot for his laboratory.