Updated: November 26, 2012 6:22AM
Dana says Scott was never interested in sex. “It’s amazing that we managed to have three children. And he would never talk about it. We stopped having sex five years before we got divorced.”
Scott now has a partner, a man who had been a close family friend. “We socialized with him, his wife and children.”
Scott told Dana that he met Bob at a bowling alley. They quickly became friends. Bob would wait for Scott at his office and then go for drinks.
“They spent an extraordinary amount of time together. Scott would become very defensive whenever I questioned their relationship.”
When Dana learned that Scott was gay, she says she was “shocked, grief-stricken, embarrassed and at times, suicidal. I withdrew from friends and family and felt as if my life had been ruined. Many people told me that it was better that he had cheated on me with a man than with a woman. Those comments made me feel worse than I already did. I felt used, unattractive, unwanted and incapable of having a healthy relationship with another man. In other words, like damaged goods.
“I am, by nature, a very sensitive person, and felt such humiliation and embarrassment and was so acutely depressed that I was often unable to function.
“I was also so angry at myself — a very intelligent, insightful human being — that I was unable to see the signs that were probably right under my nose. I cannot, to this day, forgive myself for marrying this person who obviously had no respect for me.”
Dana was advised to just get on with her life. “The problem was I felt as if I had no life. To this day, 10 years later, I still do not date. I have major trust issues with men and spend much of my free time alone.
“Many of my former friends have dropped me. One former close friend told me I acted weird. I tried to explain to her what depression is and how it could affect a person’s behavior. Believe it or not, I could go to the grocery store and people would act as if they didn’t know me. I also stopped being invited to many social events.”
Dana says she’s lucky to have made new friends. She’s been in therapy since the divorce 10 years ago, and that’s been helpful, too. “But it takes time to heal. Any divorce, especially ones as traumatic as ours, can take an extraordinary time from which to recover.
“I think I need to find some closure to this chapter of my life, somehow find a way to live more joyfully, and let down my guard with people, especially men. I also need to find a way to forgive myself. I currently live a very quiet life and would like to continue doing so without any more significant drama, if that is possible.
“Eventually, I would love to find a man with whom to have a loving relationship. After much soul-searching, I now believe this is something I want and deserve.”
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