Photographs and Memories by Debra Sutton


As I was leaving Florida I shipped a box to Texas with all of my photographs. The box arrived shortly after I did. As I went through the box I realized over the past 22 years there where no photos of me and my soon to be ex husband. In all of our 22 years we may have taken three pictures together. There were no images that marked our time together. In my picture box were pictures of my family from my first marriage. My children and grandchildren images from visits we shared over the past 22 years.

I brought with me nothing from this marriage, none of my belongings. Everything was left behind. This was all just as well. Finding out he is gay destroyed my image of him and all past memories. The past was rewritten in my mind with the truth shedding new light on everything that was. All his crazy behaviors made perfect sense, as my mind went through the process of the 22 years I spent with him. Although he pretended to love me there was nothing romantic or wanting in his actions toward me. There was never even a romantic kiss as he explained he just did not like to kiss. We once took a Christmas vacation to visit his grandmother in Georgia, when we left her house he decided to take me to the mountains. We rented a beautiful cabin. We went out to eat. We went further up the mountain and stayed in a nice hotel. There was nothing romantic about the trip. He drank the entire Christmas vacation.

With the holidays approaching I am reminded of the years with the gay husband. He hated the holidays. We spent most of them alone. He rarely wanted to spend time with family. He never bought Christmas or Birthday gifts. One thanksgiving his mother asked us to go to her sisters in Atlanta. We went, but he did not socialize with his family and spent most of his time in the basement that had been made into a guest bedroom. The whole trip had a disastrous ending as arguments with his mother broke out on the drive home.

Today I am reminded to count my blessings. I am no longer in all the craziness. I put together a video for my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends. My children’s father is in the video, my first husband. He passed away 10 years ago. We remained friends until the day he died. I have memories with my first husband and family bonds with children and grandchildren. Today I hold on to what is real in my life.

In my second marriage to the gay man nothing was real. I don’t look back with fond memories. There are no ties or family bonds for me to hold on to. I look at it all with clear eyes now. So many women that were unknowingly married to a gay man do have children and struggle to make sense of it all. What was real, what was not real. I just want to say that your children are the only real blessing that came from the marriage. Hold on to what’s real.

So this holiday season will be a happy one for me surrounded by my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. We will be making new memories. Taking more photographs to share with one another. I hope everyone will have a wonderful and blessed holiday season. Wishing love and hope to all my straight wife sisters.


2 thoughts on “Photographs and Memories by Debra Sutton

  1. Debra, I think that gay husbands hate the holidays because it is a reminder of what they don’t want to remember–namely that they have a straight wife. Holidays are triggers for family togetherness and happiness–which isn’t what you are to a gay man. I know it’s no consolation, but they are usually as miserable as they make us feel during this times that should be the happiest. They believe you are their cause of unhappiness so they pay you back by torturing you. It’s just the nature of the beast! oxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Bonnie. I have wondered so many times why the holidays were always so bad. What was really strange is that he did not want me leaving to go visit my family at this time. He wanted me there to share in his misery.


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