I met my gay ex while visiting my mother in Pensacola, Florida. While on this visit I decided I could not return to my abusive first husband and the father of my children. I had to pick my mother up from work and she decided she wanted to stop for a drink at the Ship A Hoy. It was just a little local pub not far from her house. When we got ready to leave she lost her car keys. This is how we met, he offered us a ride home. We became inseparable. We spoke of our religious beliefs and wanting a better life. He had problems with alcohol and wanted to change this. He had been through alcohol treatment, but was still drinking. We were married within 4 months of knowing each other. He got his second DUI during the first few years of our marriage and lost his license for five years. I had to drive him everywhere during this time.
The alcohol consumption never stopped. We were married for two years when he was diagnosed with Hep C.
He was being transferred from the base in Pensacola, Florida during a base closure to Cherry Point, NC where he worked as an aircraft sheet metal mechanic. We settled into a small rent house with our dog Sammie. I had some time off from work and decided to fly to Texas for a one week visit with my children and grandchildren. When I arrived back in North Carolina, he was there to pick me up from the airport. He told me while I was away he was charged with a DUI. This will be his third DUI conviction. North Carolina did not find out about his DUI’s in Florida so he got a lenient sentence revocation of license for one year and probation. His drinking did not stop. He hung out with the same guys after work. Drinking is what they did.
All the drinking along with the Hep C took a toll on his liver. He had to go on treatment for Hep C. The treatment was one year of interferon shots 3 times per week. The nurse at the doctor’s office showed me how to give him the interferon shots. He worked during the treatment. After a year the treatment seemed to work, or so the doctors thought. Within a few months the virus was back. The doctors prescribed a more aggressive treatment of interferon and ribavirin. He became very depressed at this point and was put on antidepressants. He was no longer able to function at work. The treatment was too harsh and he had to stop. He had to put in for a disability retirement. I was working for an insurance company as a customer service representative. My pay check and credit cards got us through, while waiting on his disability retirement. I was like a fish out of water in North Carolina. It was too far from my home for me, too far from my children. My children are now grown and I have grandchildren who are growing up without me. Once he went on disability we were able to move back to Pensacola, Florida. In Florida I would still be 10 hours away from my family. We would have to live with his mom for a while until we could buy a place of our own.
We found a house that we could afford to buy. This would be the first home that we ever owned. I was working for an insurance company, and with our money combined we could do this. Within a year of buying our new home, he got another DUI. This is his fourth DUI and again Florida did not find out about his DUI in North Carolina. He was given a one year revocation of his driver’s license and probation. I started seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist. He was also seeing his own psychiatrist and we had some marriage counseling together. We were both put on antidepressant medications, anti anxiety medications and pain medications. I was prescribed the pain medication for a knee injury. He did not drink as much while on these medications. His mood was not as angry and he was much easier to live with. We both became dependent on these medications and it was hard to function any longer if we ran out. Years went on like this. I wanted off the medication and kept trying to taper myself down, but the withdrawals were excruciating. Then one night I was driving to the corner store and had an accident. I was charged with a DUI. The thought that I could have hurt or injured someone made it real enough for me. I quit cold turkey. I still had DUI classes, probation, victims impact meeting to attend. My husband quit cold turkey too. He became unbearable. I no longer had a driver’s license and he did not want to help me get to these classes. When we quit taking the medications this is when he started suffering with breaks from reality. He had psychosis and was hospitalized for 9 days during one of his psychotic episodes.
He kept talking of divorce, but he had always spoke of divorce. This time felt different though. I had problems now that he did not want to deal with. He told his family he was going to have to divorce me because I got a DUI, the fact the he had 4 of them during our marriage did not make any difference. He told his family that he did not want to be responsible for me.
He brings up divorce again and this would be the last time. I went and drew the money out of the bank and said let’s go get it. We went to a place that had legal forms. A lady did the paper work for us and filed the forms at the courthouse. I was still working on completing all of my probation. I talked to my probation officer and was allowed to leave the state since I completed all of the classes, and school. I would have to mail my monthly probation fee’s to Florida. I booked my flight for two weeks away and he complained that was too long. I called the airlines to move my departure date up. He tortured me during the time of my legal trouble. He used this to tear me down in every way possible. He said by the time I left that I would hate him. I left our house and everything I owned including my cloths. I could never bring myself to go back for any of it. He lived in our house for two more years. Then moved to his home state of Georgia.
Yes I think closeted gay men have drug and alcohol problems, and in my case the wife did too. The reason I stayed so long is because I thought he was sick and needed me. I confused him needing me as him loving me. We wives lose ourselves in these marriages. We don’t even know who we are anymore. I would like to encourage any wife who is struggling with substance abuse to know there is help available.