Elbow: Acquiesce/Avoid/Death

Friday, April 06, 2007


I don’t want myself to stop crying. I’ve been crying for two days now. It feels good, and it feels sad, and I still think there’s a lot of anger underneath it. I cry because I’m overwhelmed by what is going on. I cry because I’m sad about bringing up divorce with my wife, I’m devastated that I feel like I’ve failed. But ultimately, crying makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere, crying forces me to talk, and it also releases a lot of negative emotions that I’ve kept bottled up.

Wife: “I don’t believe in the term ‘gay,’ it doesn’t exist.”

Elbow: “Maybe it doesn’t.”

Wife: “Why do people feel like they need to come out of the closet? They’re just lying to themselves.”

Elbow: “Maybe you’re right.”

Wife: “Why are you wasting you time reading gay Mormon blogs when you should be focusing on how much you love me?”

Elbow: “I like reading them.”

Wife: “Well it’s messed up.”

Elbow: “Maybe it is.”

Who am I? I acquiesce to the point of invisibility. Should I try and stick up for myself, for my friends? Am I lying to myself? I can’t believe I’m asking these questions. I know the answers. I’m stronger than this, but I feel so horrible about putting my wife through this.

We’re going to go to counseling together. Maybe there’s a chance that we can end this marriage and still be friends. But the more she calls me a liar, the more she says that I’m fucked up, the more I want to throw my hands up and leave. But part of me is willing to be present for her and to take slow steps toward the end of this marriage.

I’ve said what I needed to say, but I’m still married because she’s not willing to let go. Ultimately, I feel anxious to leave the marriage and just walk away. But I also want to avoid this situation as much as I can. But if there is one thing I’ve learned is that avoidance is the worst possible way to cope.


Blogger Loyalist (with defects) said...

o, my friend what a difficult situation. i wish i had words that could help.

my first instinct is to preserve marriage, but I also know there comes a time when it would be best for everyone to end it.

my prayers for both you and her.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Scot said...

I’m stronger than this, but I feel so horrible about putting my wife through this.

Both this and your wife’s reaction seem wholly understandable. I’d not worry about sticking up for friends here. Also, at this point, an argument about what it means to be gay or why it’s not the same as being attracted to other girls, sounds pointless. It would just enflame, I’d fear. I hope the counseling can lead you to friendship, but I’d expect some harsh things to be said between here and there. I’m willing to bet though she understands what a quick acquiescence likely means.

I hope, Elbow, you will take advantage of counseling yourself, and the people with experience in this trial. You know I’m always willing to talk.

9:11 AM  
Blogger SG said...

I'm so sorry this is happening to both of you. You've had a long time to think about it while it's a whole new idea for her. I hope you both take advantage of the offers to talk to someone - you both need it.

You're both in my prayers.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Craig said...

I'm so incredibly sorry that I have not emailed or written in your blog for a long time! You are amazing and strong. And you are a child of God.
I have gone thru a situation, although not identical, I can without a doubt feel what you are feeling. I am still married, and felt a lot better after discussion with my wife several years ago.
Stay strong and fight for you and for what it is that you truly feel.
Love and prayers always!

1:23 PM  
Blogger lrussian said...

my thoughts and prayers are with you. saying things that have needed to be said is always so hard and in a way it is a death. the death of lies and secrets that make you feel trapped. i'll say a special prayer for you.

breathe and know that god loves you and so do a great many other people.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

Nothing to add, other than to let her say her flaming statements - they are a normal reaction to something that she still needs to understand and process. Fighting her isn't going to do any good at this point. Let her puzzle and think things out. Even if she doesn't understand, the process has started - and that's good.

You know how I feel about you... enough said.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Your wife's reaction may well be understandable, but it also reveals a lack of empathy and understanding about you as a gay man. It also seems to be a manifestation of her fears of being alone and starting over.

This won't be easy, Elbow. But you need to be honest about where you want to go with this. Staying in the marriage because you fear hurting her further is a terrible reason to stay married.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Waterfalls said...

I'm proud of you for saying what you have been feeling for so long. I'm also sorry that her reaction was so negative. You will be in my prayers.

3:55 PM  
Blogger MoHoHawaii said...


Ending a marriage takes buckets of tears. It's going to hurt no matter how you do it, but it's worth it for both sides if this is what needs to be done. Don't lose your resolve.

It's normal that the person on the receiving end of a request to break up will feel a lot of anger. Your wife is powerless in this situation. This is something that just happened to her.

Work through this phase with as much patience and love as you can muster. You may end up friends, but it may take a while. It may not be possible. In any case, have compassion for her situation to the extent that you are able, even if she is not very understanding or supportive.

You'll both get through this.

I've been through something like this myself; I know how it feels. My sincere best wishes to you both.

12:54 AM  
Blogger Distinguishing Preoccupation said...

Hey, it's good to hear that the tears seem to be leading somewhere. To say that you are going through a rough time would be a gross understatement, but in this last post you sound more collected than some of your previous posts. Terribly sad, yes, but collected. I'll keep both of you in my prayers.

1:32 PM  

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