An Exchange of Letters

A few weeks ago, I received a hand written letter from my wife.

In her written words, she tried to convey to me the feelings of her heart, and how my recent actions in absenting myself to visit gay bars was affecting her mental state.

Her appeal, read to me like an accusation and a command, and so I responded by writing a letter of my own to her.

In my response, I articulated that my behaviour in recent weeks in seeking to connect with the gay community was in response to my need to be seen as a gay man and secondly, in response to the poor communication in our marriage which had lead me to take drastic measures to cope with the inner pain and fear, from which I suffer constantly.

It seems to me that the exchange of letters between us was a desperate attempt to connect with each other, because our conversational capacity had become fraught with fierce rhetoric and deafening silence.

After the exchange of letters, nothing outwardly changed, I continued on my chosen path to connect with self, and my wife continued to fear the worse for our marriage.

After a while, I noticed small pockets of change, as if my written words had provoked a response from my wife which indicated in her manner towards me, a willingness to see my need.

A touch here, and a kindness there, unexpected, surprising, made me question my own response to her needs.

Further dialogue and an intense situation, lead me to commit to the marriage once again and to stop my visits to the gay community.

This has given us some much needed space to see if we have what it takes to love and support each other in these truly difficult circumstances.

I suffer badly from the withdrawal effects from curtailing my opportunity to be in the company of men like me, but I have put the marriage first, perhaps for the last time because for both of us, there can be no going back to the recent past, only forward to a better and more sustainable way of living.

My next blog will be: “No, That’s Not the Answer!”

William Defoe



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