Question: I am still trying to wrap my head around all of this, trying to separate the gay from the jerk. I love gay men. Why’s this particular one such an ass? I am torn between defending homosexuality and hating what he / it did to me. How do you do it?
This is such a great conversation to have. One of the hardest things about being married to a gay man is that everything becomes about his sexuality. All marital problems are attributed to his being gay. All personality conflicts and quirks, even disorders, are slapped with a “Gay” label – even problems that have absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation. Once that closet door is opened and we are bound, gagged and dragged inside, we’re like a lifeless little Jonah – swallowed whole and incapable of seeing anything but the giant gay whale that is consuming us both. This needs to stop.
First of all, peel the “Gay” label off of his behavior. How do you look at straight men? Is a guy good just because he is straight? Is he a jerk because he is straight? No. Straight men are either good guys or assholes because of their personalities – not because they’re straight. That’s a no-brainer. Take the one size fits all label off of gay men. Guess what? There are great gay guys and horrible gay guys and it’s not about their sexual orientation – it’s about the kind of human they are.
We are straight women. If we are having a bad day or being bitchy is it because we’re straight? No – we’re probably just momentarily suffering from Mad Cow Disease (aka: PMS.) You get my point. Behavior may be influenced by one’s sexuality, but is not a product of it.
You went through a divorce. Divorce is gross. I now a lot of straight men that are asses to the women they are divorcing. Historically, divorce is not the friendliest of playgrounds and both parties are seldom full of sunshine and good will. The sad truth is that a gay man that married a woman obviously spent a good chunk of time denying and loathing himself. He wasn’t allowed by himself, his family, religion, society… to develop and mature all his internal parts the way other humans got to. When he finally comes out, he really does have to go back and explore, find out, grow up and re-mature himself all over again. (It is similar for individuals leaving the strict religions they grew up in.) That’s why it’s called a “Gay Adolescence.” Does it completely suck that we find ourselves picking up the pieces and raising kids all alone and being the only grown up in sight? Yep. Welcome to it. But remember, many straight men and women find themselves in a similar position while their former spouses move to Disneyland.
Rare is the couple that isn’t pissed when they get divorced. Our gay husbands took everything they were and put it in an airless jar on the shelf and it caused them enormous pain. As much as they try not to blame us, we wives and our kids become listed among the things that bound them, stifled them and held them prisoner in a place they really didn’t want to be – regardless of how much they loved us.
And we’re pissed at them for being gay, for not touching us, for not seeing us. We blame them for the 30 lbs we put on our dead bodies and the insanity that has whirled around our heads for years. By the time everything explodes he is in crisis and we are in crisis and nothing makes sense to anyone. No one handles that like Gandhi and Mother Theresa. We’re all just lucky to come out alive.
Bottom line: There are wonderful gay men that leave their marriages with integrity and continue to be friends with their ex wives and there are gay men that are the ex-husbands from hell that cause nothing but continued trauma and grief - just as there are straight men that leave their marriages with integrity and continue to be friends with their ex wives and there are straight men that are the ex husbands from hell that cause nothing but continued trauma and grief.
There are kind gay men and kind straight men. There are responsible gay men and responsible straight men. And sometimes, gay or straight, some guys are just assholes.