Sooner or later, it happens in every straight marriage: A wife is innocently doing some house chores, definitely not snooping, and stumbles upon a squirreled-away postcard of Australia’s Manly Beach. Buff beach bods in Speedos. The message, scribbled in an unknown hand: “Knew you would enjoy the view.”
Okay, maybe not. But that’s exactly what happened to one woman, who tells her campy, true-life story in vivid purple prose to The Telegraph.
After a decade together, and seven years married, a woman realized with a jolt that her husband was leading a double life.
“At that moment, I felt physical shock, ” she writes. “Like the floor had disappeared and I was falling. I struggled to breathe. Coupled with that was a curious sensation — as though I had put glasses on and the world was coming into sharp focus for the first time.”
That’s when all of his strange behavior as of late began to make sense. His chronic tardiness. His general flakiness among friends and family. What she’d written off as merely being “unreliable,” she now saw as her husband’s scurrilous antics with nubile young men, none of whom had the misfortune of being her.
So she waited for Peter, who she describes as not “effeminate,” to come home. She made herself some rejuvenating tea. She talked to a friend who told her to calm down, that she was merely dealing with infidelity, just with members of the same sex. She waited. “Merely infidelity.” She walked the dog. She waited some more. Drinking tea. Waiting, and waiting.
When he came home from work, she confronted him. Calmly. She didn’t smash him in the head with a vase. And he didn’t freak out or deny anything. Except for the part about being gay.
“I don’t think he wanted to come out,” she writes, “because I don’t think he wanted to be gay. Somehow, for him, it was preferable to be bisexual.”
I was happy to believe him. We had a good life, a nice home. I wanted to save our marriage. We went to counselling. We made love.
But every so often I’d have a snoop. And I’d find a ticket to a gay club, or find a receipt for a gay sex toy.
Eventually though, she grew weary of being in a sexless relationship and they agreed to split up.
I do feel he stole my adult life away. He could have told me before we got married that he felt he was bisexual and wanted an open marriage. He could have told me when I found the postcard that he was gay and given me the chance to start again. He could have told me that like many men – gay or straight – he didn’t want to be monogamous.
Still, she doesn’t hate the guy. Not at all. She doesn’t hate Peter even a little bit. They “talk of staying in close touch as friends,” as people who aren’t close friends are wont to do. “There is a lot of sadness for both of us,” she writes. Although Grindr and Scruff can help with that, in Peter’s case.
As for her?
“Next year, we will be divorced and then I will have to decide how to approach dating again. I don’t think I will be as trusting again.”