Collateral Damage

Posted: February 17, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

“If people knew what those marriages were really like inside…”

“You only need to speak to the wives of gay or ex-gay men to begin to understand the collateral damage.”

Oh…so true.

My wife and I were talking a couple of days ago about this very issue.  She got very serious with me and said, “That collateral damage runs very deep.  I don’t think you realize how painful it has been.”  Ouch.  I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for my wife to be married to me and to deal with the extreme let-down she has had.  For so long she has thought that she was the problem…that she wasn’t good enough for me to long for her.  Imagine the resentment that has built up over the years from having a husband who NEVER longs for his wife.  I can only imagine the pain I have caused her.  I don’t think I’ll ever know the extent of the damage that I caused.

So now that the truth of our situation has set in, my wife is experiencing more emotions than just forgiveness.  She has been dealing with anger and regret lately.  She even used the phrase, “I feel like I just wasted the last 20 years of my life.”  Ouch again.  I know she has regrets and it is the pain of it all that is talking.  There have been good times in the past 20 years and we have three kids together…it hasn’t all been a waste.  It just hurts.  There is collateral damage.

My wife told me this week that she can hang in there during our “transition time” but that she can only do so until the end of this year at the longest.  She needs to move on.  She says it is too difficult to live a lie.  I can see how hard that must be for her.  I’ve lived a lie for so many years that our current status doesn’t even phase me.  For her sanity, though, I need to make sure that things keep moving so she is freed up to move on and find what she is looking for in life.

It’s a bit messy right now.  But I guess that is just the fallout from so much collateral damage over the years!


  1. Buddy Bear says:

    Exactly the same situation here…. I don’t think my wife will ever get over it.

  2. Bill says:

    A kind of shudder went through me as I read your post, as that is the future I often envision but currently can’t bring myself to face. I think my wife has all the same feelings your wife has expressed, but still thinks she is the problem. I really to love her, but I don’t have that longing which is supposed to be part of the package. She totally picks that up, and experiences disappointment time and time again. Whew…and people think we are choosing all of this pain. I also identified with your experience of living two different realities and having done so for long it is the “new normal.” My prayers are with you.

    Does your congregation have any clues? What are possible next steps? No answers or wisdom here, just a fellow pilgrim. Come Lord Jesus!

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