I just finished watching the new series Grace and Frankie. It was a likable enough, but I have to say it barely scratches the surface of what a straight spouse goes through. I believe the series is more about the unlikely friendship that forms between the two women, who are quite different. The grown children are excepting right away of these fathers in their seventies, who have cheated in an ongoing affair for the past twenty years. These men decide they want to divorce their wives and marry each other at this late stage in their lives. They don’t want to hide any longer so they are planning a wedding, with bachelor party and all the trimmings. There was one line in the show were Grace said it would have been easier if you had died. I can understand that as I felt that way when my marriage first ended. Many straight wives may find the show too painful to watch. The twenty year affair these two men had in the show is realistic. These closeted gay husbands do cheat. While my gay ex demanded fidelity in our marriage, he was cheating. These men rob us of our dignity, and self-esteem. They take our years and leave us with nothing.
People just don’t understand when you have been deceived for so many years it’s hardly a laughing matter. These men married us under false pretenses. Many of them were cruel and abusive. When they do decide to come out, they pretty much dispose of the wives they spent so many years with. They move on without an ounce of care. My gay ex did not care about what happened to me when he decided he wanted out. I would have been left homeless if not for my family. In the show Grace and Frankie are living in the couples second home a beach house that these couples co-own together. This is not reality as many straight spouses struggle to make ends meet when their husbands leave.
These men blame everyone but themselves for their choice to marry and deceive. Of course they blame society. I think society has changed and is more excepting. I personally don’t think it’s just society. I believe these men do not want to be gay. They have so much shame about what they are, they try to hide it by using and marrying a woman. I think it’s time these men take personal responsibility for what they do to the women they marry. These closeted gay men need to stop marrying women period.
The series ends the season with Sol and Frankie having to go to their home to move, at this point they end up sleeping together. Sol and Robert have been planning their wedding. Grace finds out about Sol and Frankie, and asks Sol if he is going to start his new marriage to Robert with a lie. Which seems ironic as this is the way he has lived his life thus far.
So the show does bring up some points. The most realistic point is the twenty year affair the two men were having. At least people are talking about it. I don’t know if people will ever really be able to understand the straight wife’s point of view.
By Debra Sutton