The day my wife told me she found out I was freaking dudes was a raw, cold day in the dead of winter. January I think. Four years ago.
It was morning. The light was bright. Too bright and sharp.
I haven’t been able to write about this day until now. I don’t want to remember the pain on her face. The tears. The despondency. But you have to face yourself or you will never grow. Will God forgive me? Will I ever forgive myself?
“I put a trace on your computer,” she said. “I know the Web sites you visited. I’ve read your emails.”
“I even hired a private investigator to follow you but he didn’t find out anything about you that day he trailed you. He said you were just out shopping — going to Walmart and Target.”
This may sound crazy today but all I could think then was: “Damn, she put out a $1,000 to follow me around. She could have just asked me and I would have confessed. We could have gone on vacation with that money or paid off a bill!”
I asked her to go for a walk with me so we could talk out of earshot of the kids. We took the family dog and walked on a trail near our home. The dog was just happy to be out on crisp, cold, sunny morning. I let him off the leash and let him run.
I remember looking at my dog and thinking how blessed he was to be oblivious to the painful conversation taking place while he lifted his leg and pissed and shit.
“So, is there another man — are you leaving me for another man?,” she asked, a mixture of curiosity and bitterness in her voice. “What kind of man do you like?”
“I like any man who can suck my dick well,” I said laughing, trying to make a joke.
Despite herself, my wife almost laughed. Despite my faults, I always had a sense of humor.
“I want you to stop or I will take the kids and leave — move into my parent’s vacation home,” she said.
“No, don’t move away,” I answered. “I’m the one who did wrong. If anyone has to move out it will be me.”
When I was a little kid my brother and I used to fight and tussle with each other all the time. We were born just a year apart so were always competing for the same resources — be it a toy, a book or a bicycle.
One day we knocked over my mother’s glass lamp. We turned the lamp around so the broken side didn’t show. I don’t think my mother found out about it for years.
After that day my marriage got like that lamp. It looked good on the outside but if you examined it closely — turned it around and looked at it from the back — it was cracked.
In one sense I was glad — relieved— the issue was out in the open. Our stale marriage would either heal or it would dissolve. I would either explore this new sexuality or go back to the old one.
But despite the problems with our marriage — our lack of deep intimacy and communication and the unevenness in our psyches — I regretted hurting her.
She went out and got a battery of sexual disease tests and demanded I do the same. We both came back clean, which was really fortunate considering I let some guys suck my dick without a condom and was susceptible to clap and syphilis.
Then she turned into a freak between the sheets, giving me head (something she rarely did before and did badly) and a good fuck every morning. Then she tried to get pregnant and have another baby to keep me at home. She went to concerts with me to see artists she didn’t even like to keep me happy. But the damage was done.
“Being around you sometimes is like a scab being ripped open again,” she said one day.
I had to go. She would never heal and grow unless I was no longer there. And I had tasted the forbidden fruit and I would never be the innocent, stalwart husband and daddy I had been before. I was turning into a gay man, whatever that meant.