This is an article from my archives. This article was written in 2002, but it is still as relevant today.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY--NOT
In the past, I have written about the difficulty that straight wives have during the holiday season. It is not uncommon for depression to set in somewhere around Thanksgiving and continue right through the New Year. During that six-week period, there are three holidays that revolve around family happiness and unity, something most of us are missing.
While we get caught up in the preparation for these holidays, we can’t help but to feel an emotional letdown when they actually take place. We know what they represent, and yet, we never feel the wonder and joy of what the holidays represent that others are feeling. We go through the motions waiting for the emotional impact to kick in, but when it doesn’t, that’s when the depression sets in.
And now, just as we start to get back to our “normal” existence state of mind to cope in our relationships, we are once again brought down by the most hurtful holiday of all—Valentine’s Day. This is the day that exemplifies love and romance. It’s hearts and flowers all the way. It’s the day that symbolizes what being in love is all about. It’s a day where two people who love each other take the time to stop and think about that love and to remember how it feels to be “in love” even if some of the passion has faded through the years.
If you are the wife of a gay man, this is a day that really hurts. This day, more so than all of the other holidays, is a slap of reality about your marriage. You see, on the other holidays you can cover yourself with a veil of illusion because they are family holidays. Whatever you are lacking in your marriage can be compensated for through your children and other family members. But Valentine’s Day is different. It’s about the two of you. And no matter how you justify it by thinking it’s a day of love in general, it’s not. Yes, you can buy Valentine’s Day cards for your son or daughter, mother and father, co-workers and friends to try to make it better. But there’s really no escaping what it really is—a holiday for lovers.
The reason why this holiday in so painful is because it is upfront and personal and right in your face. No matter how you try to avoid dealing with the reality of living with a gay husband on a day-to-day basis and lull yourself into a false sense of security, Valentine’s Day reminds you of the lie you are living with the man whom you fell in love with and married in good faith. It’s a reminder of everything that you were supposed to have but were cheated from having. And the man who robbed you of your dreams is still lying in bed next to you. Each morning when you wake up with him next to you, it’s one more day of living a lie.
Now the lie wasn’t your lie to start with—it’s his lie. But it has become your lie because you’re living it with him. You’re going through the motions of what marriage is supposed to be, but it’s falling way short of what your intentions were when you made that commitment at the altar Your husband, who promised to love and cherish you through sickness and health ‘til death do you part, never mentioned that he would never be able to love you the way you needed to be loved. In fairness, maybe he didn’t know that he wouldn’t be able to do it. No doubt, he was hoping that he could pull it off. And I’ll even go so far as to say that maybe he didn’t come to terms with the fact that he was gay on that life-changing day. But in almost all cases he knew he was having conflicting feelings. He knew something was off even if he couldn’t figure out that it was homosexuality.
Even when I speak to gay men who tell me that they honestly didn’t believe that they were gay, or hadn’t acted on those impulses prior to marriage, they still knew looking or thinking about men sexually aroused them. And even if they still couldn’t come to terms with that, they knew when they stopped making love to you early in the marriage that they were not attracted to you because you were a woman. But they kept quiet because they were afraid if they told you their secret, you may blow it for them. You might pull away their security blanket leaving them vulnerable and feeling naked. It wasn’t always an easy choice for them to keep lying to you, but it was easier than telling the truth.
So to those of you who are living in one of the many situations that bring us all together under this umbrella of commonality, let me personally wish you a Happy Future Valentine’s Day. Believe me, it can happen to you just like it happened to me. This is a day I celebrate in a big way. It’s a day that makes me happy because I have a man whom I am in love with. He makes my heart flutter and my knees still get shaky when we touch—and that’s after eight years. I don’t say that to brag, but rather to let you know how life was meant to be. You were meant to have a man who can love you and make love to you. You were meant to meet someone who would cherish you and treat you as if you were the most important part of his life. The fact that you were sidetracked doesn’t mean that you are doomed forever. It is never too late to find the happiness you are seeking as long as you don’t give up hope. And even if you don’t want to think about falling in love, at least think about not living in an abusive situation. Work on loving yourself enough to move away from a man who is not your soulmate but who is destroying your soul instead, one layer at a time.
Go out and buy yourself a giant box of chocolates. Enjoy each one of them as you remember how sweet life is supposed to be and how wonderful it will be once you remove yourself from a disastrous situation.