Just Below The Surface

It has always been my intention to remain in my marriage despite knowing that I am gay, and telling my wife in 2012, after many years of holding it all to myself for many years.

Recently, I began to sense that my anguish in recent years has been connected to a fear of not being able to sustain my choice to be married, and a determination to really focus on what I risk losing should I walk away from it.

After a period of turmoil and confusion in 2018, when I tried to make social connections with the gay community, I lost my wife’s trust in me which has not been fully restored.

Occasionally, her feelings of anguish, at the consequences on her of my behaviour at that time, push through to the surface so that they are visible and raw. These times make me feel like I will never be able to re-wind the clock to a time when I enjoyed her respect for being gay and loving her, and her trust for being loyal to her.

In these summer weeks, I have experienced a period in which I felt that my efforts to repair the past have being fruitful. I felt a greater element of security and a reduced sense of anxiety around my fears that I risk losing something that I could never regain.

And then, the bubble burst at a rogue remark about me by a friend on a zoom call, during lock-down, opened up the fissure and all the recent good feeling seems to have ebbed away.

My wife has referred twice in recent days to how my actions have hurt her, and when I see that hurt, it seems to make all my attempts to repair and heal seem worthless.

Her commenting on my behaviour, unravels my own attempts to leave the past behind and it causes me intense emotional pain which feels like hopelessness and fatigue dragging me down and away from all my good intentions.

The reality of our situation is exposed for what it actually is, and that is all hovering just below the surface, like a thin crumbling crust on a festering pie.

William Defoe



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