Is it possible to date a man for eight years and NOT know he was gay?

We’ve all met these couples. You know, the kind where after your dinner date- you turn to your husband and say… “how is it that Sheila does not realize that her husband Rick is SUPER GAY?”

And of course I want to believe I know all there is to truly know about my husband. That I’ve uncovered every annoying idiosyncrasy and been privy to the dark secrets he’s held deep in the recesses of his heart. I want to believe if there were signs that his behavior was off, that his actions would foreshadow his intentions. I feel like I know this man better than I know myself, and yet there are certain moments when I look at him, and I feel like there’s this layer I have yet to peel away. That even after all these years there are still secrets I have yet to discover.

I bristle at the thought that this man, with whom I’ve shared the most intimate moments of my life and lay in bed with each night and close my eyes without fear, might one day turn around and tell me; I’m no longer in love with you, I’ve met someone else, or …I’m gay. And yet, read the news, watch a handful of Lifetime movies, and this phenomenon is more commonplace than any of us who are living in our protective bubble of ignorance and matrimony care to acknowledge.

And that’s the weird part about entering into a marital union — you think you know someone enough to take vows of monogamy, but ultimately you enter into the union with this sort of blind faith and trust. You put your confidence in another human being that they will not forsake you and that regardless of whatever temptations, fears, or sinister demons they harbor they will be honest enough with you to talk about their feelings rather than committing the ultimate unthinkable act.

And having all these feelings is why hearing the recent news that NBA Player Jason Collins’ girlfriend of EIGHT YEARS had NO CLUE he was gay had me squirming in my seat. I mean… can you not know something so intrinsic and personal about a person you have been intimate with on every level for EIGHT YEARS?? Is it possible to simply NOT see the clues and cues and subtle hints your partner is dropping? Or is it like that incredible soliloquy in Heartburn….

How is it possible to live
With someone
and not knoW something
so fundamental?
It’s possible.
It is possible to… It is possible…
…Well, to love someone so much,
or to think that you
Want to love them so much
that you just don’t even see anything.
You decide to love him.
And you decide to trust him,
and you’re in the marriage.
And you’re in the…
You’re in the day-to-dayness
of the marriage and…
You sort of notice that things are not
the Way they Were, but it’s…
It’s a…
A distant bell.
And then When things do turn out
to have been Wrong,
it’s not that you kneW all along.
It’s just that you Were…
…someWhere else.
– You’d have to be living in a dream.
And then the dream dies
And the dream breaks into
a million tiny little pieces
Which gives you a choice. You
can stick With it, Which is unbearable,
or you can just go off
and dream another dream.

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