A Loss of Trust

Two years ago, after a period of unhappiness in my marriage, I made a decision to socialise my sexuality by visiting bars frequented by gay men.

I had endured many years of suffering the isolation and the guilt and shame which I had previously associated with being married and gay, and I had felt that I needed to connect with people who would understand me for who I am.

At the end of a 6 month period of visiting these bars occasionally, predominantly as an observer and largely ignored, my wife insisted that I stop these visits or she would leave me and our 32 year marriage.

By this time, I had arrived at a conclusion that despite all our difficulties, and all my frustrations and isolation, I loved my wife and I did not want my marriage to end.

My wife, however had lost trust in me and so I volunteered to send her a video message from work each evening to prove to her that I was at work and that I was setting off to come home to her.

At the same time, my wife has tracked my movements (subversively) through monitoring the google maps app on my phone.

At first, these controls on my freedom to move freely about my business felt justified, after the break down in trust and the emotional distress I had caused to her by visiting these bars.

However, in recent months, the control has felt like an assault on my health and well-being. I have no intention of re-visiting those bars, but I need to be trusted now not to do so.

The calls and the tracking give my wife the assurance she requires, but she has no concept that 18 months on, these tools are having the effect on me of something akin to covert abuse.

I want to be able to move on, as she does from the past, but these measures, imposed upon me mean that I am condemned to be the criminal and she the probation officer for the foreseeable future.

My worry has become that this approach to maintaining our safety in the marriage is unsustainable because whereas it gives my wife some assurance of my movements, it signifies an ongoing loss of trust which despite all my efforts to alleviate, are not being recognised and accepted as permanent.

All I can do, is wait for a moment to raise with her my hope that she will drop the surveillance and trust in our love, and for me the greatest signal of our healing would be for us to talk to her about how it feels to be gay whilst loving and respecting her as deeply as I do.

William Defoe

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