On the Other Side of Fear by Debra Sutton


On the Other Side of Fear Lies Freedom. 

I’m Looking forward to a great new year. It was five years ago in January, I got on a plane leaving my gay ex and all of my belongings behind. I had just one suitcase of clothes. I left for my home state of Texas not knowing where I was going live, or which one of my family members would let me stay with them. I moved around for a year and a half staying with different family members before getting my own place. It took me these past five years to climb out of deep dark pit. I’m here to tell you it was not easy, but I made it. That old life in Florida seems so far away from me now, but during my struggle to get back on my feet I missed my house, my bed, I missed my material comforts, and there were times I even missed the gay ex-husband. I can understand why I missed my comforts, but trying to understand why I missed him was baffling. I guess we get comfortable with things and we are willing to accept horrible treatment rather than go out into the unknown. I wish I had taken those steps years ago. My biggest regret is the time I wasted. If I had known then what I know now, sounds cliche but it’s true. 

I’m here to say step out of your comfort zone it’s so worth it. I’m not saying it will be easy. Every single step I took to find my way out of a place I was never meant to be brought me closer to living a life of peace and joy. There is nothing more beautiful than finding yourself after a long and painful journey. That life is far behind me now. I have new material comforts. A new place to live, a new bed, a new car, and I no longer miss the gay ex. I have friends and family In my life who love and appreciate me. I no longer have to walk on eggshells. I am free, free to be me. I’m no longer being criticized for every move I make, afraid to make a move, knowing any move I make will be the wrong one. These men will beat you down, break you down because they are so unhappy. They feel trapped, where they may have admired things about you in the beginning, they come to despise you. Trapped because they don’t want to be openly gay and you provide the cover of a straight life. 

For some the price becomes too much and they want out. After 20 or more years together you may get that confession “Honey I’m Gay” and I’ve met someone. But more of us never get that confession. We confront them with our evidence. “Dear can you please tell me why I found gay porn on the computer.” This is what we hear. “It’s not mine it must be a computer virus.” or “It must be the children going on these sites” yes these guys will even blame their own children. There may also be evidence of him hooking up with men. When we confront him he will say ” Honey it was just a blow job, it did not mean anything , it was not cheating because it was not with a woman” and “No way does this mean I’m gay.” You will hear excuse after ridiculous excuse and often the blame will be put on you. Some will say they were molested as children. If you could just be more understanding. The one that gets me is the I’m bi story because he is giving you false hope. Your thinking you have a chance if he can love a man or a woman equally. Okay Okay there are many that will disagree with me here about bisexuality. I’m not here to argue that point. What I’m saying is these men are giving their wives false hope. Hope their husbands won’t cheat again with a man. When this is rarely the case. I anticipate the argument: Well he could cheat with a woman and it would be just as bad. I beg to differ no woman wants to hear her husband cheated period, but to hear he cheated with a man does something to your soul. Then there is the gay husband you confront with the porn and the dating sites and you hear “I was just curious, I never acted on it.” I’m going to tell you there is no way he never acted on it. I don’t believe he never acted on it. Few may admit they are gay but say they never acted on it. I call this a load of B.S. If they are looking they are acting. You have all this evidence but he won’t admit it and you are staying waiting for a confession because you won’t believe it until you hear it out of his mouth. You may never hear the words “I’m Gay” why do we do this? We know the truth. In a court of law many people think we must have proof without a shadow of a doubt, but the truth is, it is beyond a reasonable doubt. No we did not walk in on him having sex with a man this would be proof beyond a shadow of a doubt, but we did find that gay porn and his internet dating site asking men for sex this would lead a logical person to think no reasonable doubt he’s gay. I admit I wanted a confession and an apology, I got neither. 

I think having them admit the truth would help us moving forward with the healing process, but for those of us who never get the admission or confession we learn to move on without it. We know the truth. We lived it we found the gay porn and the Internet hook up sites. And still there are those who choose not to believe us. They think we are being bitter and vindictive for telling our truth. Do those that choose not to believe us really matter? It makes no difference to me what people believe. We are telling our truth. And telling our story may help someone else. I get a lot of email from women telling me this blog site really helped them. Before they found this blog they thought they were alone with this. 

So many of our closeted gay ex husbands go on to date or remarry women. Should we warn the next woman? Will she believe us or think we are trying to cause problems? I’m okay with warning the next woman and sometimes the next woman comes to us with questions. Definitely tell her the truth if she comes to you with questions. I wish someone would have warned me, even if I did not believe them at first when issues came up, I would have referred back to what I was told. Then maybe it would not have taken me so long to catch on. 

With the New Year approaching I’m saying get out of your comfort zone, take the necessary steps that move you forward. Don’t stay waiting on a confession that’s never going to come. Don’t spend another moment in misery and confusion. If you are already out of the marriage your healing journey has begun. There will be times you miss what you thought was your old life. There may be times you miss who you thought your husband was. The truth is in that old life there where things going on you knew nothing about. Your husband was leading a double life, he is not who you thought he was. Looking back I played an insignificant role in the back drop of his life. Choose you, make yourself a priority. When you are living with someone based on a lie, they lead you down a path of deception and destruction. It’s their deception but it affects you because in order for them to keep the lie going they work on keeping you confused. There is so much abuse that goes along with this betrayal. They are confusing the reality around you by gas-lighting you. In this environment the abuses that take place are likened to a war zone in which many atrocities occur. The mind games that are played out are detrimental to your spirit, mind, body and health. They wreak havoc on you. You are no longer living. You have succumbed to a limbo like existence. You cannot heal while living in the same house with him. Connect to others who have been through the same. I’m not saying you have to tell your story through a book or blog, but you can join a support group and connect with others. Most of all don’t stay stuck somewhere you don’t belong. Fear of the unknown keeps us stuck. You don’t know what is waiting for you on the other side of fear. And you will never know if you let that fear stop you. I had some beautiful things waiting for me on the other side. Wishing everyone healing and happiness in the coming New Year. 

 

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6 thoughts on “On the Other Side of Fear by Debra Sutton

  1. Yes, Debra. I realise now that I was in a living death with my ex. I stayed because we had children, I believed it was wrong to break up a marriage just because I felt down and, as you say, I was also afraid of what life would be like as a single woman.

    But I had no idea what was going on under my nose – I actually think my case is a bit unusual as I had no suspicions at all that he was gay. With hindsight, there were one or two clues but it didn’t occur to me he was gay – the main exception was during our first year together when he went camping and canoeing with a French male friend and they shared a tiny tent – I thought that was odd, but pushed it away, as if he was gay why on earth would he be with me,having sex with me and so on? At the time he used to behave towards me as though he adored me (the ‘idealisation’ period in relationships with narcissists). I had no idea that gay men would even consider tricking straight women and marrying them as I had had several gay friends and they would have thought the idea repugnant.

    During the last few years we were together I would sit near him – me in the armchair and him on the settee – watching telly together (worlds apart, as I now know), and I would sometimes wonder what is he thinking? I had no idea. I was the one with all the thoughts and feelings being expressed; he was closing off. He had also got into the habit of not answering me or even grunting in response to a comment I might make. It made me suspect he didn’t share the same values (in fact, when the truth came out, the first things I said were: ‘I knew you didn’t share the same morality as me’ and ‘you’ve damaged the children’s childhoods!’ – he looked shocked at that second one. Idiot).

    We even watched the whole series of the Sopranos together – and what must he have been thinking when the one guy is engaging in oral sex in a car with another man – I don’t know what I said at the time. I probably said it was gross or something, but because he had set the pattern of not necessarily answering me he probably didn’t react. There are thousands of moments like that – there would have been many each day – 20 years of constant lies and acting and using me in his life against my will.

    Imagine now the feeling of disgust at having had sex with him. I would never in a million years have had sex with a gay man. That idea is repugnant to me. What is it called when a man tricks a woman into bed, tricks her into having sex with him with a whole stack of lies? If he had said ‘I am a gay man and I am now going to have sex with you,’ the only way he could have got that is if he had physically forced me, that is raped me. So is that what he has done? Multiple times over the years? Raped me?

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    1. I understand you staying for the children Ros. I stayed in my first marriage for my children. My second husband to ( the gay one )we did not have children. I don’t know why I stayed in the marriage so long. Yes now it is disgusting that I had sex with him, I feel the same as you, if I knew he was gay I never would have had sex with him. What these men do marrying women having families, with no remorse whatsoever for the damage they cause is reprehensible.

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  2. Could you counsel me and be a mentor?
    I live in so much fear of the unknown and lack of self esteem I want to let go and keep getting reeled back in. This man will never confess after 23 years of marriage:(

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