After a few dismally disappointing attempts at dating, and after watching some other women go through the seek-a-man process, I have a few observations to offer:
1. Women who’ve been married to a gay man are scared to death of having to go through that trauma again. For years, I looked at every man I met as “gay until proven otherwise,” and I’ve discovered I’m not alone in this reaction.
2. Women who’ve been married to a gay man have a hard time figuring out what is “normal” (whatever the heck that means) heterosexual male behavior and character. After all, we completely missed out on our ex-husbands’ homosexuality! Bad “Gaydar” and all that.
3. Women who’ve been married to a gay man agonize over #s 1 and 2. Agonize. As if our lives depended on it.
4. Women who’ve been married to a gay man are sexually vulnerable. Because our husbands were so stingy with affection, we become programmed to equate physical attention with affection. With Love. When a man shows a bit of sexual interest in us, we’re so damned affection-starved it’s really hard to recognize that he’s interested in sexual pleasure and not necessarily in us as human beings, as living souls. Sadly, there are some men who will exploit our vulnerability for their own pleasure, just as our husbands exploited our trusting nature in order to provide some sort of front for their own sense of inadequacy.
5. Women who’ve been married to a gay man have a hard time recognizing “Players” from serious men, in consequence of #4.
6. Women who’ve been married to a gay man appear to fall into one extreme or the other: either we marry quickly to cover up our loneliness and fear of not being good enough (and not always well or wisely), or we get scared of our own inability to recognize “healthy” or “normal” men from the jerks.
7. Related to several of the above observations, women who’ve been married to a gay man tend to be adapters, people-pleasers, accommodaters. A girlfriend and I spent two hours on the phone, one night, talking about a man we both knew, who was making overtures to her, dissecting some of his quirks and trying to figure out whether they were “normal” or danger signals. “Is this something I should just put up with?” she asked. We just do not know the difference.
We also struggle with basic friendships – the topic of my next post.
2 thoughts on “Ah, men – Part Two”
-I’m scared to comment. You may not like me because I’m a bisexual woman who was married to a closeted gay man for seven violent years. Being bisexual puts me squarely in the “HATE ‘EM” column for most straight folk and most gay folk, too. My voice is definitely not usually one anyone wants to hear. So I’m scared to talk to you. But my friend says you’re kind and reasonable. So I’m being brave and going out on a limb.
I completely agree with you about the need for chastity. I’m not good at it for all the reasons you also noted throughout this blog. We get so starved for attention that we equate sex with love and valuation. I agree that those of us who have been abused by men who lied to themselves as well as to us and the rest of the world need a voice.
My ex is married to another woman now. That frightens me for her. I just hope she fails to notice how often he goes to bed with men in their own home. I hope they never have children who will see it and question Daddy. His children with me never saw their birth because I was audacious and asked him why he thought he was sleeping with “Joe” more often than with me. He beat me until they died. Then he said the classic line, “Look what you made me do!”
Maybe I’m inappropriate, but I need healing too. I’d like to join you guys, but I’m not anti-gay. I’m very much a person who loves everybody for who they are, where they are, and I take great joy in knowing the Holy Spirit is not limited by our orientations in His salvific efforts. It’s so important to know that the inclination is not what’s evil, it’s the doing of the action. I want to join you guys in the healing, but I doubt strongly you’ll accept me. Please know that just because a person is gay the key in their abusing others and themselves is how long they’ve been LYING to themselves and others about it and how EVIL they’ve been told they are for having an orientation that is nonstandard.
I’ve been told that I’m bad because I’m attracted to both women and men. People tell me all the time I’m somehow loose and immoral (I don’t ACT on it, for goodness sake! I do TRY to live by Church teaching _- I”m Eastern Orthodox). And my personal favorite, that I’m only partially gay. How is that true when I’m attracted to women all the time? Even when I am with my beloved (a man). I can’t not notice beauty when I see it, in either male or female form. I’ve tried to avoid it, but its inborn. God knows what use it has, but I see that I am intended to show His love to everyone. Not necessarily touching everyone _ OBVIOUSLY_ but demonstrating that encouragement and support everyone needs and so few of us get.
Thank you for listening to me. I hope you don’t hate me. I’m so alone already.
I have so many thoughts on reading your comment, I’m not sure where to begin, but I think my first and most overwhelming thought was, “boy, you are in one tough place!”
I hope I don’t come across as hating gays, because it seems to me to take a whole lot of love to stand up to someone and say, “What you are doing is wrong, and it’s dangerous and destructive,” and especially so when they really resent hearing it.