_As regular BW readers know, I recently told my coming out story ("Coming Out Married") in five parts (links: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V). When my DXH (that's Dear Ex-Husband, for the uninitiated) offered to tell his version of the story, I jumped at the chance. I think this side of the story--that of those to whom we come out, and whose lives are dramatically altered as a result--deserves to be told, and heard.
My DXH's story will be posted in two installments. His story starts during the business trip I describe in Part III. (Oh, and he refers to me here as "B-Dubs," short for "BW.")
BDubs called and asked me if I had time to talk. Very uncharacteristically, I said, “not really” because work was overwhelming. But she persisted and I relented. After a little hedging, she said “I am not sure I am 100% straight.” Laying on our bed, I let those words sink in a little bit. I asked her what she meant and she said that she wasn’t sure, but she needed to tell me. In that moment, I straightened my back, squared my shoulders, and told her that it was going to be all right, that we were going to be all right. She was coming home the next day and we could talk then.
Then I hung up the phone. And cried. For about an hour.
In that moment, I did not take what she said to be fatal to our marriage, but it was profound and I could hear the pain and relief in her voice.
I did not know then that we would be separated within six weeks and divorced within the year (at least we would decide to be divorced. Paperwork was never our strong point).
When BDubs got home the next day we left the airport and grabbed a late meal at a diner. There, we began a relationship talk that would last about a year and continue through separation, dating, holidays, and isolation. The constants were that we loved each other, we would do our best to take care of each other, and that we trusted each other.
What was I thinking at the time? In the early going, I felt very clear that this would be a fairly quick and clear issue. In the beginning I, very logically and cleanly, divided the process onto two steps. First, we had to figure out BDub’s sexuality; then we could figure out the implications for our marriage. I figured it was no use to contemplate the implications until after you knew what the issue was. If she was a “5 percenter” then it may not be a big deal for us. Clear.
Clear and fanciful.
In short order, it became obvious that this was not going to be a clean and quick process. First, BDubs was very reluctant. She did not want us to get divorced and she was facing the prospect of a very scary change for her life. And so I found myself trying to get my wife to kiss a girl (but not in the typical male way).
Second, underlying this neat intellectual, two-part framework was a profound and dark fear that I was going to lose my best friend. I met that fear the first night she stayed over at somebody’s house. That somebody happens to be her current DGF. I think that might have been the worst day, or at least in the top five of worst days. The night before I had practically pushed her out the door with a charge to sleep with somebody else (as long as the somebody was a female). By the time she came home, I was a wreck. Out of my head pacing the apartment. I envisioned BDubs and this woman having morning coffee and contemplating how to break it to me that she was going to be moving out and I would lose everything I had.
And thus emotion eats intellect for lunch.
We had to separate. We had to figure this out, but neither of us could handle living together as it was happening. Our lease was up, and she moved to a place where we had been planning to move together, and I moved to my friend’s couch (the separation day and the initial splitting up of our house was torturous and also in the top five worst days). We settled into what we knew was going to be a longer process...
It's BW talking now: Wow, right? Wow. Even now, years later, I get choked up when I think and read about this. I'll post the second half of his story in a day or two. Meanwhile, how about some comments from readers who have gone through something similar? Any men reading this who are, or were, married to lesbians?