When Happily Ever After Fails by William Dye 

Someone once said, “The only way to hurt a man is to take away everything he values and degrade it, and remind him of it every day of his life.” Perhaps the greatest measure of a man is the amount of strength required to carry all of his pain.  

Ask every man if, above all else, he’d wish to be someone’s first choice, and they would all probably agree. Marrying a lesbian not only means that a man wasn’t his mate’s first choice, but it means he was chosen as just a means to an end, a fool – A man’s greatest wish becomes his greatest fear.

A boy fashions a cape out of a towel. He may jump off of the roof because, for just a moment, the boy can be Superman. Even if he breaks an ankle, there’s a chance that affirming this belief in himself was worth it. Superpowers are simple, and the bad guys always wear black. The boy knows he is a hero. All he needs is someone willing to let him prove it to them, someone to make him their first choice.  

Then the boy grows up to discover hidden agendas, emotional abuse, and retroactive humiliation. The boy takes off his cape and hangs it in the bathroom where it belongs because the hero game just isn’t fun anymore. If there is a Superman, it certainly isn’t him. He doesn’t have the strength to bare this pain.

Urban dictionary defines unrequited love as drowning but you just won’t fucking die.  

From the moment of his wife’s disclosure that she is gay, the conflict between what a man knows and what he feels results in his slow, recurring death. He feels it each moment of every day. He stops petting puppies not because of germs but because what’s the point? He takes unnecessary chances with no helmet on a motorcycle daring God to just go ahead and do it already, dumbass. He pulls his own tooth, not because he’s afraid of the dentist, but because he doesn’t like being touched any more. By anyone. His heart now fights for each gasp while his mind watches from the soundproof box of over analysis. He smothers the better parts of himself with a pillow in order to survive.

Marriage, love, and sex are supposed to be, for both men and women, happy and safe places. When a women leaves her husband for another woman, all of that is not just simply taken away from her husband. Instead, it becomes an altered state of perpetual, surreal confusion. The pathways in the brain that used to lead to comfort, self-esteem, and masculinity now lead to pain, doubt, and weakness – the very things boys know are distinctly unmanly. He is forced into a closet of someone else’s making.   

A man is left in anguish wondering what it was that he used to believe in. He thought he knew what it was like to be loved, to be desired. He thought that above all else, he knew the one person who would always have his back. Now every time he takes a shower, every time he looks in the mirror, he must grapple with the idea that he and his man parts are and always were repulsive to the person who mattered most. How could he have been so wrong? How could he have been so stupid? He thought he was the hero.  

A man sits alone twenty-seven out of every thirty-one days while his children are raised by a woman he no longer knows and her new girlfriend. He’d spend more time with his kids if he wasn’t working a second job in order to make his child support payments. A man contemplates, if you want the villain, I’ll show you the villain, but instead chooses to do the right thing. Most of the time. The man tries to withhold harsh judgment even though his gay wife used him during her journey of self-discovery along the spectrum of sexual identity.  
A man just has to man-up. After all, she’s just living her truth. Meanwhile, his life has been a fraud.

“You don’t have to be a hero in order to get the girl. The right girl will bring out the hero in you.” – Deadpool

A boy takes off his cape, hangs it in the bathroom where it belongs. Even Superman dies. Then the boy grows up to realize Deadpool, the foul mouthed antihero from the comics, doesn’t wear a cape either. In fact, Deadpool wears red so the blood won’t show.  


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