Dear Annie: My second husband and I were together for 20 years. I’ll call him “Dominic.” We met at a vulnerable time in my life, and he was the kindest man I ever met. Dominic wanted to get married immediately, but I was reluctant, as I’d just gotten out of a marriage with a cheater, liar and abuser.
Dominic begged me. Eventually, I caved. We got married and had a child, my fifth. (I had four from my ex.) Over the years, we had many ups and downs. One day I was getting ready to take a trip and found condoms and lubricant in his duffel bag. When I confronted him about it, he gave me a story. I tried to believe him.
Not long after that, he started buying new clothes and going to the gym. I suspected he had a girlfriend. When I asked what he was up to, he said he couldn’t stand my nagging anymore. He moved out. Several months later, he filed for divorce, and during the process had to disclose financial records. That’s when I found out he didn’t have a girlfriend. He had a boyfriend. I was devastated. When I tried to confront him in arbitration, he wouldn’t admit it. It’s been four years since then, and I still can’t believe it.
I keep thinking back to years back, when we found out our youngest child was gay. I told Dominic that we needed to show her our support, but he refused to even acknowledge the reality. Why would he lie like this? How did I not see it all those years? – Still Don’t Understand
Dear Still: Don’t feel bad for not seeing it. For one, Dominic’s dating men now doesn’t mean that he was never attracted to you. For another, it sounds as though he was doing everything he could to obfuscate his sexuality even from himself. It saddens me that societal pressures can drive a person so deep into denial. I hope that with time, as we become more accepting, stories like yours will become less common. In supporting your daughter, you’re helping to create that brighter future.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter
Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.