After 25 years of marriage, Kay was excited to be going away to Las Vegas for five days with her husband and no kids. She thought they were going to celebrate and renew their vows – that’s not how the trip turned out …
I was just thrilled to death to think he wanted to renew our vows and I kept wondering what he had in mind. By the third night, I was very curious and a little puzzled. I couldn’t help myself any longer so as we passed a nice little chapel, I commented on it – hint, hint – but he didn’t say anything. So I asked, ‘when do you want to do this?’ He never really answered me. Then on our last night he said, ‘there’s something I need to tell you.’ I braced myself – I couldn’t really imagine what was coming and then he told me he was gay.
I think for the first time in my life, truthfully, I was speechless. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t do anything. He suggested we go out for dinner. We went but all he could do was to sit there and I still couldn’t speak. I had all these thoughts, questions running through my mind but I just couldn’t say a word. I had no idea. I really felt stupid – other people told me later that they saw it, they weren’t surprised. Me? I didn’t see it. I saw him as my husband, my partner. It never crossed my mind he was gay.
I did not sleep at all that night so I looked terrible and felt terrible when we came back home. His brother picked us up at the airport and we said something about seeing a show – I don’t remember now what show it was – but his brother said something like ‘they’re a couple of fags’ and I put my head down, covered my face with my hand, groaned quietly and thought, ‘this is not going well.’
My husband told me he had been faithful to me but that he had met a priest online and that the priest had told him he had to tell me he was gay. It was the priest who had suggested taking me away. I truly was stunned – I guess I had been very sheltered because I knew hardly anything about gay people or the gay community. In some ways it made the divorce easier to accept – I couldn’t compete – but I had so many questions.
That was 10 years ago now and what Kay is most proud of now is that she is standing on her own two feet. Come back and visit again to hear what helped Kay to be her own person. Did your divorce come as a surprise, as a shot out of the blue? Do you look back now and recognize signs you didn’t see at the time?
Kay says when this happened she didn’t know where to turn. Now there are resources – Carol Grever, who shared her story here (When Your Spouse Comes Out, Getting Published), hosts a website, Straight Spouse Connection and has also written two educational books on the topics.