Sure, we expect bitterness from a woman whose husband married her in a desperate attempt to quash his
gayness. But we were bewildered by Self’s “I Married a Gay Man” (February). Near the end of the essay, the anonymous author describes the situation now that she and her ex, Chris, have both settled into new relationships.
My relationship with Chris is as good as it can possibly be, given the circumstances. We do birthday parties and some holidays together, and he and his male partner live in—and have redecorated—our former house… [bolding ours]
Redecorated? Really? He redecorated? Did he give her a makeover, too?
For an article that is at least ostensibly about forgiveness and acceptance, we found that to be a strange detail to throw in. But then, we’ve never been married to a gay man, so what do we know? Apparently, we’ve dodged a bullet. Check out this statistic quoted in the article which, conveniently, the author managed to twist to illustrate that, OMG, gay men marrying straight women is an imminent plague upon our society.
…research done by
University of Chicago sociologist Edward Laumann, Ph.D., estimated that
between 1.5 million and 2.9 million American women who have ever been
married had a husband who had had sex with another man. That means
there are a large number of women who have no idea what their husband
does in secret.
Seriously, we’re finding the presentation of this statistic a bit dicey. Women who have ever been married? A husband who had
had sex with another man? That doesn’t necessarily equate to a husband
who’s sneaking around on his wife with other men; it applies equally to
a married man who, say, had an experimental phase at some point, or a divorced woman whose ex was bisexual, or any number of permutations.
And anyway, there probably aren’t any statistics to back this up, but what husbands do in secret is more likely to involve online poker and reading their wives’ back issues of Cosmo than illicit gay sex. (Hi, honey!) Though, to be sure, Anonymous includes a damning admission of that, too, after she confronts him with her newly diagnosed case of chlamydia:
He had been having anonymous sex with men. “I don’t know how this could
have happened,” he stammered. “It’s nobody that I knew…it was mostly
oral sex…it just happened…. At gay bars, there are back rooms with
holes in the walls….”
And when he did have relations with his unsuspecting wife, it was just like that scene in Brokeback Mountain between Ennis and Alma. It made her “very emotional,” watching that movie.
So what’s a girl to do? Is there any way our plucky heroine could have seen this coming? Or is being married to a gay man a fate that could befall most any woman?
Early in our relationship, Chris told me he’d had homosexual experiences as a teenager but assured me it was youthful curiosity.
Two unusual things happened on our first date. After we watched the movie Romancing the Stone, Chris said, “I think I could marry you”…Then, after he kissed me good-night, he shocked me again, saying, “No matter what you hear, I’m not gay.” In fact, I had heard other students say that everyone in his fraternity was gay.
That answers that, at least. If this article is to be believed, foresight is more rare than a man who’ll redecorate the house.