In the summer of 2006, after a series of unfortunate events including a miscarriage, losing my job, and a freaking hailstorm, I decided to try out a new coping mechanism, baking. I wasn’t ready emotionally or physically to try to find a new job yet, but I had to get off the couch and be productive. At first, it was making this delicate Italian butter cream icing with egg white meringue and butter. Because I was forever on a quest to lose weight, I decided that perfecting cake icing was not the best use of my time and effort. I then decided to try my hand at low-glycemic index and gluten free muffin recipes. This was before gluten-free was really a trend. I was ahead of my time. The best recipe I had as a gluten-free lemon/blueberry muffin which was surprisingly light, fluffy, and only had 180 calories.
Muffins. Healthy, reasonably nutritious muffins. That is what I wanted to be famous for. Muffins were not to be my destiny.
At Least I’m the Number One Google Search for Something
I am the number one Google search for “Is my husband gay.” If you type that in a Google search, you land on “12 Signs I Ignored My Husband Was Way 5-12.” You know, being top Google search for anything is pretty great, right? It was an article I wrote five years ago. It got featured on the “Huffington Post” a couple of times and “Blogher” actually paid me for a similar article. Great. My most notable literary achievement and I cannot even tell my parents let alone discuss at dinner parties. Its not that I am ashamed, it is just not “polite” because it is about sex, divorce, and heartache. Hardly something you want to bring up right before you ask “please pass the mashed potatoes” to your Great Aunt Edna.
So here I am. I am the patron saints of broken hearts. By the way, I looked it up. There is no specific patron saint of broken hearts in the Catholic cannon. Weird, huh?
What I’ve Learned Through Google Analytics
I read the Google Analytics. I see that most people find life3dblog.com while Googling variations on the theme “How Can I Tell my Husband is Gay.” They read from the “Gay Ex-Husband” theme in little else. Apparently no one cares about my dating or dieting struggles. My site is Googled often in the middle of the night (from 11 pm to 3 am) by mostly women aged 30-45 from across the United States, Canada, Australia, and other English speaking countries. I get emails from my “contact page” almost daily with women telling an all too familiar story:
My husband doesn’t touch me
My husband tells me I’m crazy
My husband criticizes me for my appearance/weight
My husband thinks I’m a nympho for wanting sex “all the time” (which is probably once or twice a month. A woman will only be turned down so often before she stops trying)
My husband tells me I’m crazy/depressed
No one believes me or my friends and family thinks he is gay, but I don’t know what to do.
I found porn, other guys hitting on my husband, he denies it or comes up with an excuse.
The overwhelming theme of these emails are:
I feel used
I feel ashamed
I feel stupid
I don’t know who to trust, not even myself.
My answer is often:
I feel your pain
You’re not alone
You’re not stupid
Are you ready for the truth?
Are you safe?
Do you have a plan if you have to leave?
Are you happy?
The REAL Question
Are you happy? That is the biggest question. The question is not whether or not your husband is gay, its what are you going to do about it if he is? Your happiness, your sanity, your SAFETY is more important than whether or not he admits to being gay. He may never admit to it, but that doesn’t change the fact that you feel lonely and unsafe in a loveless marriage.
I do not have the answers. All I have is my story, and it is a cautionary tale at best.
But let me tell you, if you read the rest of this blog you will see I do have a happy ending. I did leave my husband, I made my own way in the world with little help from friends or family, I found love again. I forgave him… kind of…. I’m still angry with him lying to me and wasting my time. I have forgiven him enough that it doesn’t haunt me. I have forgiven him enough that I don’t hate all gay people, far from it. I admire those who live their truth. I am working on understanding. Forgiveness is like breaking a habit, you have to practice it everyday, often without being asked.
My Fate Might Be Your Salvation, or God Works in Mysterious Ways
So this is my “fate.” I was reading in some of my journals from my early twenties how I wanted to be a writer and I prayed for something “interesting” to happen to me so I would have something to write about. And I thought God doesn’t answer prayers.
Maybe I am an answer to someone else’s prayers. Maybe some of you stumbled upon this blog searching your phone in the dark after another sleepless, sexless night. Maybe you typed in the tale-tale search through blinding tears. You know the truth in your heart and you just have to have your brain confirm it. Maybe you needed to hear it from someone else. Someone who teeters on the edge between courage and stupidity to put her life open to the world. Rest assured, “Charlotte Jay” is not my real name. I would hate for employers to Google my name and find out that I have so much insight into “doggie style.” God forbid my family to find out that I am an authority on such things.
I hope, dear readers, that my story gives you some comfort, some insight, a way out. Feel free to email me at CJ_life3dblog.com if you wish. I do not make phone calls for obvious reasons.
I believe you.
Believe in yourself.