Until my wife was diagnosed with cancer two months ago, I thought I was in the final stages of ending my married life and beginning a neww life with my partner. I went from planning my divorce to planning my wife’s cancer treatment. My wife’s battle with an aggressive cancer brought me back into her life, after three years and four months of separation. Her tumor was found the week before we were set to begin divorce mediation.
At the end of September, at 5:20 in the morning I got a call from my wife. “I am in the emergency room. They did a CT scan and found a mass in my abdomen.” “Do you want me to come to the hospital?” “Yes.”
In my prior post I described some of my thoughts and feelings as I approached beginning divorce mediation with my wife. Before finalizing and posting my last blog post I made sure that I had a conversation with my partner to share with him what I was feeling and thinking. I did not want him to read intimate thoughts and feelings that touched our relationship for the first time online. Continue reading →
A number of months ago, when my partner of a year and eight months and I first discussed the idea of living together I was very excited. But then I quickly got very scared. Although at that time I had not yet started the divorce process with my wife of 23 years, I had been avoiding doing anything that would rock the boat with her. The early explorations of co-habitation with my partner brought these issues to the forefront.
I spent the past week with my boyfriend and two friends at my parents summer home. Four gay men spending a relaxing week at a New England summer resort town. For much of that week, however, I had a surprising level of anxiety and stress. But last night coming home to my own apartment, with my boyfriend, I felt at ease. I began to think about the question of place and the role it plays in our lives.
I thought divorce mediation was supposed to be less stressful than lawyering up. My wife’s lawyer gave her three names of mediators for us to talk to. I have found the whole process of even having a conversation with these mediators and their assistants ridiculously cumbersome and complicated. All three have office staff that should be fired. Their staff are incapable of providing basic information. They mis-schedule meetings. They promise follow up calls that do not occur. The entire process has been frustrating and very stressful.
As I headed towards my 50th birthday in 2008 a number of things in my life were beginning to converge. I was increasingly dissatisfied in my marriage. As the world around me began to celebrate being LGBT, I was in hiding. I felt that I was going through the motions: holidays with my wife’s family; birthdays with the same birthday cakes year after year. I felt increasingly lonely, isolated and compartmentalized. I played the role of husband, father, bread winner while an internal battle raged about my identity and sexual orientation.