When a Choice Hurts

I live my life under a strong belief that I have made a choice in respect of how I live my life, and that the choice I have made is in the very best interests of my own current and longer-term happiness.

This is because, the alternative choice, which I have thus far rejected, would be to leave my marriage and live alone, in the vague expectation that I would find a sustainable relationship as a gay man…. eventually.

Both choices are appealing to me and in some respects the opportunity to fulfill my potential as the person I was born to be is a very appealing prospect.

The difficulty for me, is that I profoundly love my wife, I have an established life with her and with that, comes in-numerous comforts and benefits which I am not in a hurry to lose.

The choice I have made causes me pain. I suffer terribly with the frustration of feeling hidden from the world and despite a wide network of family and friends, I am invisible and isolated.

I have convinced myself that the other choice, which I have thus far rejected, despite its appeal, would leave me at risk of even deeper pain and injury and a sense of loss from which I fear I would not recover.

The worst emotional pain which I experience is when my wife and I are out of balance, when we are questioning each others motives and each others love and whether I am trusted to be a good and faithful husband.

These difficult periods make my choice to remain feel even harder to bear, because layered on top of the management of my complicated self, comes a sense that I am not valued and appreciated for the sacrifice I have chosen to make.

There is a stronger temptation in these moments to flip the coin and announce to her that I can no longer sustain my life within the marriage – the weight of it and the suffering have become to much to bear.

I have come to realise however, that these testing moments are an important indicator of the depths of my love for her. They show me the extraordinary lengths I have been prepared to go to, to keep us safe, in the full knowledge that these periods of unhappiness and uncertainty pass as quickly as they have arrived.

A much better approach to a change of choice, would be to arrive at such a moment when I am not in a cycle of pain and doubt, but when my mind is alert and calm and open to what truly is in the long-term interests of us both.

William Defoe


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