Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wednesday Afternoon

My attorney sent over a copy of the separation agreement to Lovey's attorney this afternoon. It reflects our changes and what we have agreed to verbally. If Lovey can focus on this, this part of things will be over and means the divorce can be finalized in a matter of weeks -- thank God!

The feelings I have are profound sadness and a bit of uncertainty. A very troubling chapter of my life is closing.

What do I want for the future?

Do I want to stay alone for the rest of my life?

It surely would be a lot easier in some respects.... I can come and go as I please. I don't have to worry about keeping any other people happy.

But then, there is that comfort of having someone to wake up next to in the mornings....or hearing them breath in the middle of the night.

One thing is for certain and I know this for sure: I am good husband material. I have a lot of love to give.

If I do partner with someone, I will put that person first and cherish and honor them(as I did with Lovey), but in return, I expect the same treatment.

I need to have that if I'm going to commit to someone.

The Gathering Storm

It’s getting darker…the clouds are gathering – the wind is picking up speed – the thunder is rumbling, with occasional deep booms – the lightening is flickering – the rain is beginning to sting my eyes.

Why do things like this have to happen in life – especially my life?

I never envisioned being alone at this stage of my life.

Was the empty nest stage of life meant to be experienced ALONE?

I suppose for me it was.

When my twin daughters left for college over four years ago, I thought my heart would rip out of my chest. Who would have known that just over four years later, I would be facing one of my “little girls” leaving for parts unknown, for an extended period of time, and I’d be left ALONE. Well, sort of. After all I still have my cocker spaniel, Davy Dawg.

But, I’ve been used to having a family in the house…making the house an almost living and breathing entity with the constant chatter, laughter, and petty arguments. I was used to having “Lovey” around. She’d float through from time-to-time on her way to a church function, or a ministry function, or a class at school.

All just a memory!

Do I sound a bit depressed today?

Yes, I am.

All this stuff is converging on me at once. Almost like “The Perfect Storm.”

My daughter is leaving…..the separation agreement may be finalized…..

These items get to me….and as I have said, it doesn’t take much to make my tears, (that always seem to be just below the surface) explode volcano-like into my consciousness.

It’s painful….very painful. I know. I know. I feel like Bette Davis. Yeah, I’m a drama queen!

I’m a single gay man….I should be intensely happy about my “freedom”….I should be experiencing all the Mr. Rights until I find Mr. Right-Now.

But, no….I’m hurting...

The waves are just too big right now.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Depression Is Beginning

Tonight the depression has started creeping in. I feel it coming on.

This isn't anything related to the divorce.

It's the fact that my little girl is moving to El Salvador...on Monday.

Yes, that's right. MONDAY. It's the last time I'll see her for approximately 27 months. Goodnes...27 months is a long time. A lot of good.....and a lot of bad can happen during that time.

I'm gonna miss our talks....

I'm gonna miss our meals....

I'm gonna miss our watching television together or going to the movies together.....

I'm gonna miss our hanging out together.

AW...I hate this....

But I don't want the sadness and depression to robi what little remaining time I have left. So, I'll keep all this to myself.....

This is hard.

Keep Your Fingers Crossed

I just got my attorney’s (Patti’s) marked up draft of the separation agreement. It looks great and I am very pleased with all her work. She certainly has been fun to work with!

Can it bet that this could all be settled by the end of this week?

Patti says it can.

She also told me that my wife’s outburst yesterday, painful as it was for me, was fairly typical at this point in the game.

But to out me to her attorney, which in turn forced me to out myself to mine? Patti did say that was low of her.

After I caught my breath from that one and calmed down a bit, I sent Lovey a note saying that for her information, with her telling her attorney that I was gay, forced me to tell Patti, which, in view of the fact that supposedly the gay thing has nothing to do with our divorce, was totally unnecessary.

Two days later, Lovey wrote me an apology saying that it was all a mistake….


If I were a hateful person….I could play dirty ball. It’s not my style…and I choose to fly above it all and soar.

However, these little dramas a long the way have taken their toll.

Keep your fingers crossed that I’m able to make it through these final few hoops and then ONWARD and UPWARD!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Something Goofy

I am a 48 year old man.

I should know better.

Saturday I went with #1 to have her hair cut before she runs off to El Salvador and decided to get my hair cut too. While I was in the chair, the operator ( a Vietnamese native named Mason, with a spiked 'do and blonde highlights he did himself) told me, "You really need to do something about your gray. Makes you look old."

I said, "You know, I've thought about doing something like that, but I don't want it to look artificial. I want it to look natural. Not too dark...a sandy or ash blonde would work best for me."

Mason said. "I fix!"

So he disappeared into his back room and brought back a chart with dyed hair samples. I saw the exact one I wanted. I pointed to it.

"OK," he said as he vanished into his backroom again.

Five minutes later he reappeared with a paint brush and a goopy mixture in a bowl that looked like tapioca.

He began painting my hair, meticulously.

So there I sat, his captive.

About 45 minutes, a hair rinse and trim later, the grand unveiling.

Oh no! Somewhere my ash blond had turned into a deep, dark auburn.

"What happened to the ash blonde?" I asked Mason.

"No worry, sometimes the color does funny things on gray hair. Go home and wash, it will lighten two shades!"

#1 laughed when she saw it.

My esteem plummeted.

"Well, you do look younger," she said.


My new hair color has now made me look like Ed Norton in "The Illusionist." Did I mention that Mason did my beard? It's ash blonde too!

I came to work today. I have literally stopped traffic as I walk passed people I know. As I appear, conversations stop, a few snickers erupt. Everywhere I go I hear glimmers of discussion that feature the words, "dye," "hair," "rinse," "strip," "grow out."

It's a good thing that I'm secure in who I am. Gosh, being gay is a walk in the park compared to this!

So, to all the people watching this, they think my divorce has triggered a mid-life crisis. They wonder if a red convertible is far behind.

If they only knew. I'm the same old Frank the fag--dealing with my life and my issues in the same old boring and dull way. Only this time, I'm doing all this as an ash blonde.

After all, it is said that blondes have more fun!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Power of Words

#1 and I had a fascinating conversation the other day. I was driving her to one of her last days at her office.

We always discussed an array of subjects: things that we had read in the newspaper, items we had heard on TV, discussion of the plots of "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers and Sisters."

We talked about everything.

We stopped at a traffic light and a blind man walked across in front of us. I asked #1, "How would you describe the color blue to a person who had been blind since birth?"

She thought a moment, and said, "I don't know, Dad. If you tried to tell them that blue is the color of the ocean, well they haven't seen the ocean before so they still don't know what it's like."

It stirred a lot of things like that in my would you describe clouds.... "Oh, they're white like snow and puffy." Puffy? How do you describe that?

I then grinned and thought to myself, how do you describe what an erection feels like if she has never had a penis and experienced an erection?

How do you describe love to someone who has never experienced it?

And, there are vrying degrees of love. Those folks in love can nod their heads in agreement, they know what it's all like.

But those who have never experienced love can't.

I tell my kids all the time that they will never know how much I love them, until they have children of their own. "Then we'll have this conversation," I say. They shake their heads in amazement.

There are so many hurting and lonely people in the world during this day and time. I'm amazed.

This week I've met two of them. One of them is a clergyman who struggles for perfection. He wants to be the best he knows how to be and he "drives" himself. He is also gay and everyone at his church and in his family know about it. Based on his beliefs, he's a bit hamstrung.

We gay folks are always living dramatic lives...trying to conform to what society expects. We're told that we are evil, that God didn't make us this way...that it just happened, or was caused by some sort of traumatic event in our lives. Then we establish these little boundaries for ourselves to keep from slipping. This only adds to the overall stress that we find ourselves living under.

Another funy thing is the fact that when we are strugglign with coming to terms with our gay identity, we feel immediately that we have to make life altering choices...immediately.

And this is what my minister pal feel he must do.

At breakfast this morning I looked him in the eye and said, "No one is holding a gun to your head and asking you to make these choices right at this second. Slow down and BREATH."

I walked him to his car...and as we stopped, I looked at him and said...."Did you know that you're a very special man?" He paused. He then said that when I called him this week during a family crisis, the call had meant something to him. For once, a person was not asking him to do something for them. Someone....a friendly voice...was actually interested in how HE was doing for a change.

It made a profound impression on him.

I gave him a big hug....and told him that I would be praying for him.
Later on in the day, I got an e-card from him.... It said in part:

Thank-you so much for letting me share my heart and struggle with you. It meant a lot to me as well as your affirming words about me being special... I guess I still need to hear that!

Sometimes the simplest words make the greatest impact.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Today has been an emotional one for me.

As I have said on several occasions, I have begun to be a crybaby. Everything makes me cry. I have so many emotions that are just below the surface. Then, when somethng "goes there" WHAM...the water starts to flow.

Before I left for my office this morning, I sat and re-read Lovey's last email from last night. I'm not sharing it here because of its highly personal nature. Suffice it to say, it leads me to believe that perhaps all is not well....and this is why she lashed out at me for no really good reason.

For this I am sorry.

I will run yesterday's email.....this is the one that she shared with her attorney.... Here it is:

Frank - I asked that you split the costs of MSM's plane ticket and tax preparation bill - as was only fair. Do you have any idea how difficult it has been to pay $$$ to help #2 with her rent? But I will do it for her - she deserves the help! I have had to pay self-employment taxes, and a lot of my expenses are not reimbursable (although those expenses that are come directly off my salary - they are not extra from the churches). Thank God, I'm not destitute, but the support will certainly help me take better care of myself and be able to do more for our children.

I never, ever said you made my life "hell." Please don't put such words into my mouth. I was miserable for many years, mostly because I didn't know what to do with our situation. I was helpless to change anything, but since you could not change, I came to the conclusion that I needed to change, and that meant leaving the marriage in order to salvage my self, my integrity, and ministry. I was so tired of being in the closet. I felt like a hypocrite in ministry even though I hadn't done anything to try to be so. What hurt most was being left on the sidelines while you took care of your intimate needs elsewhere. Part of that I can understand with your being a gay man (and, believe me, most wives would not even try). But at some point, everything became about you exploring your identity, but I had no one helping me explore my own or even trying to meet my needs, and I just kind of withered up inside and nearly died from the loneliness and grief of my loss as a wife. (The support groups you recommended were not ones I trusted bearing my soul to.) Concerning your lack of marital fidelity, you told me fairly recently "but you never told me not to..." which absolutely floored me. If the shoes had been on the other feet, I'd have been put out the door a long time ago. I just wish you had tried to understand where I was coming from; I spent most of our married life trying hard to understand your world. Frank, I know you tried too, but you didn't have a clue what moved me as a woman, and you stopped trying; finally, I stopped trying too. I was just too discouraged to go on.

We have new opportunities in front of us now. Let's each make the most of them. Lovey

My response:


No explanations are necessary. I fully understand your financial need. I am, as I have always been, willing to provide for your support. This has never been an issue. However, I have been waiting for the signed agreement in order to begin payments. You have not told me of any other needs other than the ones I mentioned in my email to you.

Not to argue with you, did say that your life with me had been "hell"...this was a followup to your feeling "raw inside." These statements were made on June 9, 2005 when you announced that you wanted a divorce. Those two comments will forever be burned into my memory and have haunted me ever since. They actually make me feel like a dung heap.

From the statements in your email, you make it sound as though I willy nilly went to have my needs met and had numerous "affairs" or infidelities. I didn't. Those relatively few times that I did were out of desperation and did not begin until long after your decision to end any physical relations in the late 1980s. On top of this, you knew about my identity since 1982...and you knew how difficult it was for me to accept me for me. It still is. In spite of that you saw fit to out me to all kinds of friends....people I didn't even know.... even when I requested that you let me be the one to make the decision of who I wanted to share with.

Contrary to your comments, many, many spouses do try to understand these issues -- many of whom have long and happy marriages together in spite of it...sometimes because of it. Yes, for some it has been embraced and strengthened some. We've discussed this many times. I'm sorry you couldn't trust your soul to some of the really solid and good support groups out there...they may have been a blessing to you had you given them a try. I hear that Alternate Paths, HUGS, and MOMs are excellent. But I can see how you would feel like a hypocrite...and feel like you were in the closet....I really do. But my gayness was never about was, and sadly still is about ME.

You're right. Two or so years ago I did say that you never told me to stop exploring my identity. You didn't. You even told my mom in an email that you encouraged me to explore my identity. Had the shoes been on the other feet...and you had faced my issues...and had done what I did, my love for you at the time would have transcended any other thing. It wouldn't have been the end of the world. I would have talked to you about it...I would have gotten more involved in trying to understand it....I would have educated myself more on the issue. But, we all choose to do what we feel right doing given our knowledge at the time. I would never have put you out the door. In our case...we discussed the "infidelities" as you call them several years ago. I said how sorry I was and you said you had forgiven me. Now they come back to haunt me.... Will you ever let them honestly go?

Remember when I asked how you had supported me in our marriage? Your response was, "Well, I didn't divorce you!" This was true. While you say that you spent the majority of our marriage trying to understand "my world." How could this be when I had no idea what that world was until really in 1997 when I finally accepted the fact that I could not change. You didn't read any of the books I found like the "Other Side of the Closet," and some of the standard books. You were just too busy with your church work and pursuing your studies. What research did you do? What other wives did you talk to? What online communities did you join?

You say that I gave up trying to understand you as a woman. Well, not really. Had I stopped trying, I would have been the one seeking the divorce...quite a while ago. You see I never really stopped trying...but I think you gave up trying to see it. I think your discouragement blinded you and I got lost in the shuffle.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

An Awful Day

Well, I'm home now. Safe and sound in the solitude of my house. It's quiet and peaceful and snow is gently falling outside.

Today was emotional and gut-wrenching.

My wife responded to my email....and she didn't just respond....but she went into the gay thing...and then cc'd her attorney. So, I am now out to him. He goes to the church I have been attending.

I responded simply by sayng, "You cc'd your attorney?"

She never responded.

I stewed for a while.....and then I decided to respond in kind. I cc'd the attorney.

So,by the time I arrived home.....she had sent me a private email that had abruptly changed tone.....almost gentle

It made me cry.

She said in the email that she had been crying too.

I don't know what's going on....but I suspect that as things get closer and closer to the end.....she may have more outbursts like this. It must be finally hitting her...and maybe she is having regrets?


I've Changed

Something different has happened to me.

It happened as a result of that email exchange from yesterday.

I’m no longer hurt or sad about the divorce….or pining over what might have been. It seems as if any good will that I had for Lovey and her family has evaporated. It’s as if a door has been slammed shut and I am now standing in the silence and enjoying the resulting stillness.

I guess I’m still in shock.

I just can’t believe her email.

I have worked so hard to try and get this all taken care of.

But there it is in plain black and white, I’m “taking advantage of her.” I heard all this when I gave her my edited version of her original separation agreement. I heard it when we settled on the house and I didn’t give her the proceeds of the HELOC that I had taken out in order to make some serious improvements on the house.

I shouldn’t be surprised actually because it’s so typical. She has always seemed to latch onto one part of a story and gone from there – conveniently forgetting the whole story or the part of it that doesn’t involve her in order to make her the victim.

When it has involved her and covers a discussion we have had or something that I have agreed to, it always comes back to haunt me with the phrase “You promised me…” as an opening salvo.

But this last email she sent came across so condescendingly. It made me feel a bit slimed. Some of the things she said almost came across as veiled threats. I wouldn’t have expected this from a minister.

It’s definitely not the type of communication one would send if you wanted to foster cooperation….or to maintain a friendship…..or to have an amicable divorce.

Not at all.

This has pushed me to the tipping point…. Very few people bring me to this place – maybe one or two. When the couple of people in my life have reached this place, they have never come back into my good graces. To be totally honest, I don’t know how to tell them to get back into my good graces this is so total.

This is the place where I have reached a lifetime capacity and want nothing more to do with her or her family.

When I was young, I used to think that the opposite of love is hate. But as I have gotten older, I have learned that the opposite of love really is indifference. And this is where I currently am with Lovey.

I do not wish her any ill will or good will.

I just don’t care.

One way or the other.

This is a big step and a big change.

For me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I Think It's Over

The 26 year friendship I had with Lovey is OVER.

And we haven’t gotten the separation agreement signed or the divorce finalized yet.

I arrived at this conclusion when I got her latest cheery communication in my email box:

You had agreed to start paying spousal support to me once I moved out of the house - or July 1,2006. You also promised me in June 2005 that you would pay off the 401(k) loans by the time I moved out - that never happened either. (If you will recall, I took back those loans from you AFTER we separated because you said you could not pay me alimony with everything else you had to pay for.) I am most disappointed that you haven't kept your word to me and bothered to help with anything substantive. Had I gone ahead and gone to the court for a judgment of temporary spousal support, you would have been paying more than I had asked, which could have caused you to have to sell the house. I didn't want that to happen to you, but you're still painting me as the "bad guy." I have been kind and not "gone after you." I'm not going to try to do anything ugly to you even now - it's not in my nature, as you well know, but I have let you take undue advantage of my good nature. I'm so sorry for you. I wish you well.

My response:

WHOAH....where did all this come from?

The spousal support starts when the separation agreement is signed. I agreed to provide you something when you moved out thinking the separation agreement would be simultaneous with your departure. Remember, you had our draft separation agreement for 9 months and I didn't see it again until July 2006. When I received it, I met with my attorney, who returned our edits very quickly to you. Then on October 5, you called and we agreed that we were down to two items: the final amount of spousal support and the issue surrounding my retirement where I had made a generous offer of the entire contents of one of my 401(k)s that had been doing very well.

In June 2005, I did agree to pay off your 401(k) loans. However, let me remind you that the only reason I did not go ahead with those payments was because you told me later on in the process that you had decided to take care of those loans if I agreed to continue paying into your other account. (Which I did.) You had the automatic withdrawals stopped -- not I. You even said in passing that I shouldn't have to be paying for everything....given the fact that I was paying #2’s school loans in addition to a lot of the other stuff including car insurance, and the fact that alimony would be starting, etc. I said that the alimony, which at that time was set for $$$$, would work out as long as I could have enough of your funds in the QDRO distributed to the outstanding loan of my TSP. The freed up funds from this loan would give me the amount to cover the $$$$. (But with your agreement as written, that QDRO will not happen until the divorce is final....and the amount of your alimony has now risen by $200. I have not made any issue about this.) I have kept paying into your other account, Your Medical, Your Cell Phone and Your Car insurance -- all without complaint. Whenever you have asked me to pay for something I have. (e.g. MSM's plane ticket to Nashville, the tax preparation bill.) You have not asked me to pay for anything else "substantive". So, if I read the below email correctly, because I agreed to your suggestion about the 401(k) loans I broke my promise?

Did you also know I was advised that I should be charging you something for room and board for the time you lived in my house? I was, but I chose not to. Why? Because I didn't want you to have any additional stressers in your life on top of your preparing for passing your interviews with the church conference, and I wanted you to be able to save up whatever funds you could from your jobs at the school and the church. Further, do you remember that I made your first car payment....willingly when you were running a bit tight. Why? To help you! I wasn't hateful.

So, in light of all this, I am very sorry that you think I am somehow taking advantage of you, when in fact I have worked very hard to accommodate you throughout this difficult process.

So what's the issue? Throughout all this, I have worked with you and agreed to your draft of the separation agreement. I have not argued or been difficult or belligerant. I have worked to cooperate in the negotiations to the utmost. Although I initially questioned your need for alimony, I did agree to the $$$$...and then provided no fuss for the additional monies you requested.

Sadly, it now appears that no matter what I try to do in this process or even over the course of our efforts are, and have always been misconstrued, discounted or downplayed. Will this ever change?

On June 9, 2005, you said that over the course of our marriage I had made your life hell. That was never my intention -- EVER!

Your pity is not needed.

This exchange has hurt me terribly.

26 years are gone!

Greetings from a Bad Guy!

My mind is simply awash with emotions and thoughts this morning.

I’m still troubled by the events of last evening and #2’s exchange with her mother about the divorce.

I’m also bothered by the fact that yet again, my wife has successfully played the victim to paint me as the bad guy, i.e. the lack of financial support. I shudder to think what that clan really thinks of me.

Let’s review:

They’ve been told that not only am I a philandering husband, but I philander with other men.

They’ve been told that I was rotten in the financial realm and this is why we were always suffering financially.

They’ve been told that I left all the cooking and cleaning to Lovey and all I did was just come in to the house and sit on my posterior all the time. I never cooked. I never cleaned the house. I never did the wash.

They’ve been told that I spent all the money on fancy electronic equipment and that Lovey had to get her own credit cards in order to purchase shoes for herself and the children.

During this separation, they’ve been told that I have taken advantage of her.

I haven’t taken care of her financially.

So, I must be a louse!

Someone suggested that I sit down with Mom O’Lovey and say, “You’re not hearing the entire story. I’m not the guy that I’m being made out to be. Here’s my side.”

But I’m not inclined to do that. Why? Because I feel that if they really gave a flying fig about good fag Frank, they would know better. Or at least they might have the sense to call me up and ask. As you’ve seen throughout this Blog, the O’Loveys are far from bashful people.

In the early part of this process….you know, the time when Lovey said that she wanted us to be best friends….brother and sister…..she said that her family loved me. I’ve been an in-law longer than any of the others. She wanted me to stay a part of the family…and to help watch out for her mom…who’s getting up in years…and who only lives about 3 blocks from my house.

I agreed.
But now, based on all this, why bother? She’s done very well at portraying me as a real bad guy. I don’t think I could have…nor do I think I want to have…..any future dealings with any of them.

This is so sad.

When I think of the 25 years of history she and I have together, how she could come up with some of this stuff is beyond me. While I have tried to work through this separation and divorce stuff in a calm rational manner….and to work to be fair in all things one would think that from our history she would know better.

But apparently I am so mistaken.

So in the end, the relationship with Lovey is broken and the relationship with her family is broken.

I’m the bad guy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Never Ending Story -- 2

It has been a very long day.

I am tired.

When I got home this evening, #1 was sitting in her car and as I got out mine, she walked over from hers. She was in the midst of a cellphone exchange.

I unlocked the door to my house and went on in. She followed me. As I took off my coat, petted the dog, and then moved on into the den, she stood in the foyer and the phone call sounded a bit tense. As I paid attention to the conversation, it was apparent she was talking to Lovey.

It wasn't a pleasant conversation. #1 was asking why she needed so much alimony? Had she really gone through all the house money as the attorney had said? blah...blah....

I could see that #1 was getting further upset by this conversation, but since I was not involved in it, I did not say anything.

She hung up the phone and then said that if Mom O'Lovey started looking funny at me or treating me differently, it was because Lovey had told her everything about the fact that I'm not giving her any support, although I had promised her that I would when she moved out of the house.

"Yes, you're right. I did promise her financial support when she moved out of the house....but I thought when she left there would be a separation agreement by then."

Clearly Lovey doesn't get it.

Alimony is not payable until there is a separation agreement.

We still have no separation agreement.

So, there is no alimony.

and...I'm the evil fag, Frank.

The Never Ending Story

Just before the holidays I reported that I had heard from my attorney. She had heard from Lovey's attorney and that they had agreed to our points and that the separation agreement was a done deal. All that needed to be done was for the agreement to incorporate those minor changes, and then they would be sent to us for final review and hopefully signature.

Yesterday I heard from my attorney again.

There's a problem.

Lovey's attorney said that the alimony was retroactive to December 1, and he has taken some other liberties that weren't covered in the original discssions. The alimony thing is because Lovey has depleted her house money.

Then, as I went through the agreement, he still has a major/glaring error in it that I have pointed out to lovey 3 times now. It still hasn't been made....and it drives me crazeeeeeeeeeee.

Not to worry. My attorney said.

We are meeting via telephone call on Wednesday to go over the agreement and to make changes.

Yet another delay.

I hate this.

Nothing like being jerked around by the Mrs. This could have been settled a year ago if she had listened to reason....and had not stopped and started so very much.... Now she's saying that I'm not giving her any spousal support and making it sound like I'm the bad guy here and I'm not.

I want to scream it from the housetops.

There are a few other things I'd like to tell the world too...

but, that would only make me look worse than I already look......the queer, philandering, no good, awful, "made my life hell", husband.

She's the minister...the saint.....with the glowing halo....

I'm the sinner.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Snowy Sunday Evening In Virginia

This has been a very good weekend.

Friday Night I hosted 10 gay men in my rec room.

Now, before your mind goes rolling into the gutter, let me explain. I'm a member of a gay married men's support group. I've begun hosting that group in my home once per month to show gay themed motion pictures. These are not pornography, but films that deal with the theme of homosexuality in some manner. The guys have never seen a lot of these films. So, since I have the new 60 inch set, I decided to do this.

We had a blast. We watched THE CELLULOID CLOSET -- the HBO docmentary on gays in the movies.

It was great just getting to be with a group of men like affirming.

Saturday afternoon was the big farewell open house for #1. We had close to 20 people here -- all people she wanted to come and join us. Although her mother was "busy" and couldn't make it, the rest of her family showed up. We also had all kinds of other friends here.

Lovey's family was so typical. Mom O'Lovey came in and she wasn't in my house 5 minutes before she was looking around and criticizing a picture we (#1) had hung in the den. The matte needs to have some green in it. I said, "Well, you should talk to #1 ;about that. She's the one who had the framing done."

So I turned and greeted more of my guests.

Lovey's brothers in law went outside and inspected my deck.....and as I took some more of my friends out to the deck, I noted that they went down into the stair well that led to the basement. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why they were as I had my friends on the deck, I yelled, "Having a good time Boys?" They appeared looking very sheeplishly.

I then walked in to find Mom O'Lovey and one of Lovey's sisters inspecting my china closet, while Lovey's Baby sister was inspecting the basement.

Now, keep in mind, I have nothing to hide. I just found it immensely funny that they were acting so typically....and oddly. Almost to the point of rudeness.

Another three of my friends (all women who have known the sturggles I've been facing with the end of the marriage and the fact that I'm gay) surrounded me to talk about how wonderful the house looked and how beautiful it was. I thanked them, but they continued to gush. They weren't aware of the fact that Lovey's mom was listening to every word. I finally clued them in as to the fact that Mom O'Lovey thought my colors were not right....that my pictures were to large, and the furniture was way TOO big.

My friends cornered me in the kitchen. This time they wanted to say how wondeful the pictures were.....and they kept talking about how perfect the size of them were. I couldn't figure out why they were going on so about all this, until I turned and saw Mom O'Lovey standing right behind me. She turned and walked away and soon left.

It was funny.

At the end of the open house, I went out with some of #1's friends and we bowled.

It was a nice end to a wonderful day. It's great to host again in my home.

Today has been one of those nice, quiet and restful days. It's been so relaxing to just be able to curl up on the sofa and read the paper while drinking coffee.

A wonderful weekend....and I hope only one of many to come.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tears Shed

Okay everyone.

Frank is a fag AND a crybaby.

I just can't help it these days. It seems like the tears are always just below the surface. I cry at movies. In the "We R Marshall" movie, I cried during the openng credits seeing the skyline of my hometown. I cry at church. I cry at my kids' big events. I cry over everything.

Never did any of this until the separation/divorce proceedings.

Perhaps I just realized how fragile life is on a very intimate level. Things aren't as permanent as they can appear.

So here I am.

I opened my email this evening, and there was a comment forwarded from this blog from someone I don't know -- a female in fact. (For those of you who are curious, read the comment from my last post.)

It made me cry.

I don't know why other than the fact that it is from a woman that I know nothing about. It is so refreshing to hear from a lady that appears friendly and not accusatory because of my fagdom.

I've also received some very nice comments from men backchannel that have also made me weep. But since those comments came backchannel, I don't feel the liberty to disclose their contents. They allowed me to shed tears too.

How I appreciate all of the comments I have received from my readers.

They mean more than words can ever say.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Late on Wednesday Night

It's late....and I'm ready for bed.

I've been busy today...even though I've been home. When people know I'm home, the phone jumps off the hook. Couldn't nap....I took #1 to work....took myself to breakfast....and then tried to chill.

I'm still somewhat irritated at Lovey. Although I have looked at it from all angles, there is nothing that I can do to make the situation better for #1. If I call Lovey, it will make me sound controlling or trying to stir up trouble. If I say anything to my daughter, it will be taken as being critical and harsh.

So, I am just going to keep my thoughts to myself and do my best to make the bonvoyage party a happy occasion for my daughter.

Oh, I can tell that she is a little bothered by her mom's unavailability. But, she's a trouper and continues to smile and look forward to all those people that will be here on Saturday evening.

We've got almost 20 who are coming. So there is much to do between now and Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Since before Christmas, I think I have hosted more people in my home that I did in the previous 12 years. This was primarily because beginning in about 1995 our house was a perpetual wreck. Books, paper, sermon outlines, class notes, church paraphenalia...blah...blah.

How exciting it is to be able to entertain and not worry about how "bad" things look.

I guess this is another sign that there is life after divorce. It feels really good.

Speaking of divorce, I've not heard anything further from Lovey's attorney. Since she has exhausted the house money (money she was paid for our house), she wants her alimony to begin. My attorney told her attorney that he would have to incorporate different language into their agreement before we could agree to it.

So we're still waiting for her attorney to provide that to us. Then, when that is done and my attorney reviews it, I will sign it. Then it will be shipped back to the other side for their signature. Then alimony will begin the first of the month following the signature.

Then, only a few more weeks and the deed will be done FINALLY....and I will be free!

Life will officially begin anew for me!

I'm at the point where I am looking forward to it!

Everything Takes Time

I'm writing this early in the morning.

I called in sick both yesterday and today.

My stomach is all messed up. I'm not sure if it was something I ate....or if it's just because of all the stuff I've been dealing with...or all the changes I've had in my life.

I felt like I needed some time for just me. #1 is still working through this Friday at her job. So, that gives me the time to finally do what Frank wants to do.

After all these years of doing what was required of me to take care of the wife....the kids....the's very strange to be doing something for ME!

I have to get used to this. Really.

#2 had a job interview with a video production firm yesterday in Nashville. It specializes in music video production. But, she didn't get it. It was for a trainee position, entry level....and she was afraid that she would get sucked into a career path she really didn't want to follow. She wants to perform.....and write......a la Sheryl Crowe.

She has the talent.

It's all a matter of getting heard by the right folks.

So, we'll see. I'm trusting that all will work out for her benefit. It just takes time.

Everything takes time.

I'm still miffed by the fact that Lovey can't see her way clear to attend #1's bon voyage party. Since the party was #1's idea, I don't think that her unwillingness to attend has anything to do with me.

This is just how it has always been with Lovey. All things church come first. Things like gatherings....and the like are WAAAAAAY down on the list!

One day she'll get it hopefully.....

The importance of her family.

I hope.

Everything takes time.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Departure Plans

Well, the date that #1 finally leaves for El Salvador is now less than 3 weeks away.

I told her that to celebrate her new home, I would help sponsor a farewell open house in her honor. I also told her that she could invite anyone she wanted, but that she would need to get a count for me to be able to have enough food, refreshments, cake, etc.

So, we've been trying to get ready for this.

One of the most important people she invited was her mom, Lovey. I think this only appropriate and right. After all, she is her mom.

Well guess what?

Her mom has other important matters to attend to! She can't come.

In my mind this only adds to the times that Lovey has not been there or taken part in something that was important to the family or the children.

But, I bite my tongue and say nothing because I will come off as "harsh", "bitter" or "difficult."

Familiar adjectives used for me.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Blasts from My Past

As I have said repeatedly throughout this blog, I am a person of faith. I dare say that I probably would not still be here writing in my little section of cyberspace had it not been for my faith and the loving support of special people in my life.

This weekend has had me all over the map emotionally--speaking.

I've felt a little strange emotionally. Not sure what that is all about. But nonetheless, I've been dealing with it.

My daughter #2 went back to Nashville TN on Saturday. She had been here since December 18, and I was spoiled by having her and her sister around. It was a lot like old times. nearly ripped my heart from my chest when I had to take her to the airport and watch her leave.

Then, in three more weeks, #1, (#2's Twin) will be leaving to join the Peace Corps in El Salvador. When I think about that, I tear up....and I just want to die inside. There are so many things that can happen to a single young girl in that land. I'm worried sick.

On top of all this, I've enjoyed having her to banter spend some time talk just have her in the house. But in three more weeks, it will just be me and the family dog. I am soooooo sad. I will not see her for 27 months.

A whole lot of things...good and bad can happen in 27 months.

In my time of utmost sadness and tears.....the strange things began happening:

After I had cried all the way home from the airport on Saturdya, a friend from Atlanta who has just moved into the area invited me to his home. Although it was a good hour trip one way to his house, I decided to go. It was one of those things I had promised myself I would do at the beginning fo the year to get out of my comfort zone and to expand my network of friends. (Besides, 2 was out doing her own thing.) It was fun.

Then, yesterday morning is when I met the gentleman with HIV. Although he has suffered much adversity, his story was one of great courage and resolve. It was an encouragement to hear him speak.

Then, yesterday afternoon, one of my church friends dropped by and spent over 4 hours with me. She talked to me about everything. This is someone who I felt estranged from because through all this emotional upheaval of separation and heading for divorce, I've not heard one word from her.

She knew she hadn't kept in touch when she was needed.

She felt guilty.

She wanted to clear the air and renew the bond.

It was great.

This morning, out of the blue, I received a telephone call from one of Lovey's former ministry buddies....a fellow woman minister. This woman and Lovey were quite close many, many years ago. But Lovey isn't good about maintaining women friends for a long, long time. Especially, if they are credentialed ministers. A competition develops. The friendship flounders and dissolves.

Twenty years ago, I got to know this woman. She has training as a nurse and saved my life in the summer of 1983. (That's a story for another entry.)

What made her call me? She had received my Christmas Card and and that "harsh" and "cold" "infamous" Christmas letter I shared with all of you in an earlier post. She just wanted to call me and to say hi and to say that she still loved me. She felt she had to contact me to say those things and to also say that I was in her and her husband's prayers.

In order to minister to me for a bit, she told me about her own divorce many years ago and what it felt like when her husband divorced her after nearly 25 years of marriage and two children. How it drove her to the depths of dispair and made her question her faith.

She then offered some wonderful spiritual comfort and words of wisdom. She told me that this was my time to discover me and to learn who the real Frank was. It's now time for me to take special time out for me. "It won't always be easy," she said. "But you'll find that you're a better man because of it. You are a kind, gentle and loving man."

"One day," she continued. "When all of this is over, God will bring a special person into your life. You know what I mean?" (Lovey outted me to her a number of years ago...and we've never spoken about it.....but I know what she was saying here.)

Based on her knowledge and history of Lovey, I asked gently about Lovey's behavior when she was younger. Was she always difficult to deal with.....cold....calculating......grating?

I needed to know if all that I have experienced with Lovey is new....or had it been there all along and I had been too stupid to see it.

The woman minister paused.....and spoke from her heart. She told me some things I never knew. They all confirmed one thing: I AM NOT CRAZY. I was dumbstruck.

This lady minister and her husband want me to come visit them in Southwest Virginia and spend a weekend. I believe I will. It will be a great time of retreat, rest and spiritual renewal.

THEN....tonight I received a call from a gay friend who works in the White House. (Yes, we are everywhere.) It has been several weeks since we have spoken....and he wanted me to know that I was being thought about. He wants to catch up...and he has invited me to his beach house to spend a weekend with relax.....and to use it as a retreat.

I'm beginning to see an overall theme here: Frank is going to need some down time. Some time to think. Some time to renew spiritually. Especially when his last child leaves the nest.

Although I'm amazed by everyone's timing, I beieve that the Lord is guiding all this. In my simple mind, it's not coincidence. It came at a moment when I was feeling very sad....and very alone.

But someone is keeping watch over me.

Even when I am not paying attention.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Spectre of AIDS

AIDS has never really been in my thoughts very much.

I've really not done anything really risky. The only AIDS test I have taken came back negative.

So, I've been careful. VERY careful.

You have to be in this day and time.

But today AIDS became a reality in my life.

I've been conversing with a guy online for a while. We decided to meet for breakfast.

He is divorced. Has 4 adult kids and is around my age.

We decided to meet at a nearby McDonalds...very early today. He is a super guy and attractive. He wanted to know about my life...about my past my divorce is I knew I was gay....

I asked him a lot of questions about his marriage....and his past relationships.

Then he told me, "I want to be up front with you. I'm HIV positive."

I caught my breath.

This is the first time I've been confronted with HIV...up close and personal. Oh, I've had a few acquaintances that were HIV positive...but I've not had any of them to look me straight in the eye and tell me. I've always learned it second or third hand and it was kind of a closet sort of thing. They never discussed it...even though we all knew....

But this time we talked about it.

He's had two long term relationships since being diagnosed. Those guys still are negative... We talked for two whole hours and it felt like I had known him forever.

So this opens up a whole new thinking process for me.

What do I do if I am confronted with a partner with HIV? Do I run shrieking in the other direction? If I ever have a partner with HIV, do I take a vow of chastity? If I begin dating I eliminate the HIV population? Do I want to run the risk of getting hurt from their illness and possible death from it?

What do I do if I ever become HIV positive?

Being gay just got even harder.

The Secret Life of a Fag Called Frank

Well, daughter #2 is all safe and sound back in Nashville. I drove her there early this morning.

It has been a very emotional day. It actally began last night....and I felt very blue. I could feel the sadness and depression creeping in, much like a fog rolling in from a body of water in the spring.

As we headed to the airport, my daugher grabbed my hand and held it.


We had a long uninterrupted conversation about things...including the divorce
...and my gayness.

She spoke of my "secret life" -- that one that I kept hidden from my wife.

I asked "what secrets?"

She said, "It's like when I have my computer on and I turn the screen so they can't see what's on it."

I responded, "The reason I turn my screen is for fear that someone has sent me something that will be offensive to you...such as a picture of someone naked....or a pornographic picture......or any number of other things that I'm trying to respect you and keep you from seeing. "

She then went on to discuss how very troubling this was for her....and how it had to trouble their mother.

So based on this, I should have printed out all the pictures that anyone has ever sent and passed them around the supper table for open table discussion. Perhaps I should have discussed my favorite sexual positions or what it is that I really like to do between the sheets!

Ah well...

I'm seeing growth everyone.

It wasn't too long ago that I would have been horribly upset by all this....and responded to her comments in a defensive tone. This time I just left it alone.

All I did this time was say, whatever you think. But you just don't understand....and that's okay.

So, this is growth for me. Serious and honest growth.

I feel really good about myself.

I'm not sure I understand why gay folks are so much more open about sexuality....and they feel free to send pictures of their genitalia to strangers on the internet....when they haven't really been requested. Or why someone thinks that pornographic ads in pop ups to gay people are acceptable. I'm no prude, but, I get so tired of having to defend myself. I'm not the typical gay guy.

This has gotten me into more trouble than I care to discuss. My family thinks I'm some sort of pervert because this invariably happens as they peer over my shoulders.

Lovey accused me of this very thing when I was visitng with her and her shrink one time. It wasn't pleasant because the more you try to explain, the less they try to believe.


Friday, January 12, 2007


I’ve been performing a damage assessment in surveying the rubble of my marriage.

It really has been such a mess. What started out as something that was going to be friendly and compassionate, turned into a bitterly offensive affair. Definitely not something that I would want to happen to anyone I cared about.

But here I am in the midst of the ruins.

One lingering question remains that I just don’t have an answer for. Why did I have so much difficulty with Lovey’s family throughout the marriage? Was it because I was so inept as a husband/father/provider?

Something about them apparently rubbed me the wrong way and it lingered. For 25 years it lingered. Even now, as an ex officio member of that clan, I still have issues with them.

When I joined them in 1981, Dad O’Lovey was the king of the roost. He’d say jump and all of “them” (females) would say “How high?” on the way up. He was gruff. Lovey’s and my wedding were more about him and impressing his cadre of friends than it was about us. We wanted to sing to each other. He didn’t. So we didn’t.

He would nag. He would insert himself into our business and our lives…. I resented it. He always nagged me about my weight. He told me that I was way too big. Mom O’Lovey said they loved me and only wanted me around to enjoy my family a long, long time.

When I went over there at meal times, I would be so upset, I would eat very little. I always felt that my every bite was counted, my portions measured, and if I went over the unwritten allotted amount, there would be hell to pay. On one occasion, Dad O’Lovey gave me one of his diuretics to make me lose some weight.

When I got a new job, he didn’t think it was a good idea for me to leave the old one. When we were expecting twins, his first comment was “I’m sorry.” When we adopted our son, both of the parents O’lovey were deathly against it.

Lovey’s sisters can be as bad. Her eldest sister lives in a palace in Colorado with her 2nd husband. Her sister that is my age, lives in a palace in Herndon, Virginia with her 2nd husband. Her baby sister, lives in a palace in Fairfax Station, Virginia with her 2nd husband. Her eldest sister is the resident child rearing expert who constantly criticized our methods. She’d constantly say we weren’t spending enough time with the kids or that we weren’t taking them rock climbing or doing other “fun” things. The latter two sisters are ferociously fundamentalist Christians. During the presidential election year of 2004, we spent a great deal of bandwidth reading emails about the spirituality of George Bush and Dick Cheney; and the lack thereof of John Kerry, and John Edwards…and how gays were going to ruin the institution of marriage. Well, when I responded differently and asked her to tell me exactly how allow gays to marry would harm marriage, she totally lost it. She wrote me back and said that she was crying through her tears and unable to read her computer screen, etc. Then, she went off totally onto left field accusing me of knowing some deep dark secret about her and her husband that had been told to Lovey in the strictest of confidence and how I wasn’t to be trusted. This apparently stemmed from an innocent comment that I made several weeks earlier when I asked her how she and her husband were doing.


I didn’t have the foggiest idea of what she was talking about.

My family and the few friends I was able to cling to during the marriage also felt rubbed the wrong way in their presence. When they made comments to me, I sort of glossed it over or made excuses.

Was it denial?

My nephew, the son of the sister who cried at her keyboard, came to visit us last night. What a delight! He’s now 22, a senior in college and actively pursuing a career as an artist. He’s single. He spoke last night of wanting to move to San Francisco. (God help him if he turns out to be gay!) He and the girls were talking about his mother. “She’s a little on the dramatic side,” he said. “She’s definitely wanting to keep up with the Jones’.” Later on, the topic turned to the Colorado aunt, “…she likes to show off,” he said.

In rereading what I have written here, I think I know why they rub me and my friends the wrong way.

I’m glad I live alone in my house.

Thoughts on Technology, Being Married and Being Gay

Technology is a wonderful tool.

It is great to be living in the age in which we do. We have iPods, Macs, Digital Cameras, DVRs, and all kinds of toys.

But one thing that is truly the best thing I’ve ever come across is the Blog. Yup…this thing that you’re reading is a marvel.

When I began this thing almost a year ago I was hurting. I was hurting bad. It seemed that the ache would never leave and it appeared that I was powerless to do anything to make the pain stop. I had visited with two counselors, who both announced that I was in “recovery” and it would take time. They said that I exhibited the classic symptoms of a battered spouse – the only difference being that my scars and bruises were all internal.

I was miserable: in my life, in my job, in every aspect of my life.

I was a mess.

Since I enjoy writing and it’s a part of my normal job, I decided to start writing down my feelings – all unvarnished, warts and all. While that was a nice way to capture my feelings for posterity, I wondered if anyone would find it interesting enough to read about in a blog? So I pondered.

I also investigated and found this place to share my blog.

I got up my courage and started posting.

And, here I am, almost a year later with a total of 178 posts, almost 6,000 visits and it looks like I have a small, but loyal following. While I know some of you, because you’ve written to me at, I don’t know all of you. In a strange sort of way, it’s comforting to know you’re out there…reading my every word. I am honored that you’re there. It just makes me feel good to know that of all the millions and billions of spots on the Web you could be going to, here you are! Thank you.

Writing about the administrivia that composes my life is therapy. Being able to vent… sound bitter……to sound sad… feel sorry for myself…..all this is therapy. It has helped so much. I am so much better!

Even your comments, whether they are posted here...or whether they are sent to me offline, mean a lot to me.

Through this process, I’ve also learned that I’m far from being alone on this journey. Some of you are miles ahead….some of you are miles behind……still others of you are just beginning to turn onto the entrance ramp.
Being gay and being married poses a lot of issues. I’ve been accused of everything…of using my wife as a cover…..of “having my cake and eating it to”…..of lying about myself to my wife…. Generically, as a gay man, I’m accused of undermining the sanctity of marriage, I’m told it’s because of my kind that the twin towers fell. I’m told that God hates us….that I’m an abomination…..that I’m going to hell…..that I’m evil…the I’ll bring down western civilization due to my decadence.

I’m left scratching my head and saying to myself, “I did all that?”

Gay people – married or single – if they are struggling with feeling like a pile of dung because of comments like those listed above, or others, or their self esteem is at an all time low, or if they feel unloved or unwanted – they all need support and the knowledge that they aren’t the only ones. They are good people.

Hopefully, my little blog in this tiny corner of cyberspace will help.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Fear of Being Alone

Well, I'm nearing the end of my visit with Daughter #2 who will be returning to Nashville on Saturday Morning. I'm a bit sad at this. It has really spoiled me to have all of my kids around this holiday season. Now the thought of them leaving, one-by-one is bittersweet.

I'm still worried about all of them. My son may be headed to Iraq thanks to President Bush. Daughter #1 is headed for El Salvador for 27 months. Daughter #2 headed "home" to Nashville.

#2 asked me why I was so upset about the kids leaving. I explained that as a dad, it just comes naturally to want to protect and defend your little ones at all times. However, there comes a time, when your little ones aren't so little anymore and you have to let them go. You have to let them soar into the unknown of the big, cold, and cruel world.

You worry.

But then, we humans worry about everything we possibly can.

I was reading accounts of other married men who have been struggling with coming out issues in an online support group that I'm a member of.

Invariably, they struggle with the concept of their sexuality....and also of the fact that they are afraid to leave their wives. I wonder why that is?

I understand that feeling.

That fear.

I experienced it.

But something has occurred that is really interesting in my life.

Here I am, on the other side of the big pronouncement......the other side of the tears....the rage....the hurt......the bitterness.....

For the life of me, I can't remember why I was so afraid of letting go of Lovey.

Was it the security blanket? Was it the fear of failure?

No, in my case, I'm sure it was the fear and worry of being left all alone.

Well, one thing this holiday season has taught me is that I am far from being left all alone. I spent so much time bonding with my kids, I'm a little worn out.

Last night, the girls were visiting with there mother over dinner....OUT....and I stayed in -- all alone -- and I LOVED IT.

It was totally relaxing.

No fights......just peace and quiet....and my snoring dog.

Then, when I think of some of the looks I get when I'm out in public, I wonder, is it obvious that I'm gay? Do I have a glowing "G" in the center of my forehead that blinds like minded men and makes them give me "the look." or makes them say double-entendres. or outright flirt?

Hmmmm.....this gay singleness is an interesting development in my life.

Perhaps I should have started the divorce a lot sooner.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Just a Note From Dad on His Son's 21st Birthday

(My adopted son, "My Son the Marine", turned 21 today. Here's my birthday greeting to him.)


My heart is truly full right now because I’ve spent a good portion of this day thinking about you. Yes, YOU! You see, I can’t believe that my little boy (“Daddy’s Little Man”) has reached the milestone of turning 21. I’m in shock.

It seems like only yesterday that I actually first laid my eyes on you. To clue you in just a little about fatherhood, when one becomes a father, there is something awe inspiring about holding your little ones at birth for the first time. In looking back at the moment I first got to hold you, the feeling was identical. It was something almost magical. Simply put, this is one of those moments that I, as your dad, will never ever forget.

I don’t believe I have ever shared with you the details of our first meeting. So here it is:

I had arrived a bit early for church on Wednesday Night, May 13, 1987 at the. I was in a rush and heading down the hallway to head upstairs to the sanctuary. As I was about half way down the hallway, Lynn Copeland came carrying this beautiful blond baby boy. I had to stop. That little boy absolutely took my breath away!

It was YOU!

Lynn let me hold you. You were 15 months old. I was in heaven. I’m not sure what happened inside me, but I was smitten -- completely. Every time thereafter when the Copelands would show up at church, I had to hold you and cuddle you and make you giggle. Your giggle was infectious and made me laugh too. As time passed, every time you would see me, you’d wave at me or reach for that strange man with the beard. As a matter of fact, just before you and the Copelands left for England, they had you christened at the church. The Copelands asked me to take still photographs. So, in the videotape of the christening, you keep waving at me as I’m running around with the camera.

Son, that love that I felt for you on that Wednesday evening almost 20 years ago continues to shine brightly today. It hasn’t always been easy to be your dad, but I hope at some point you’ll understand that all along I have only wanted the very best for you in all that you do.

I still do.

I love you, son, as much as a father can ever love one of his own. Just remember, no matter where you go in life, you’ll forever be your “Daddy’s Little Man.”



Since going down this horrible journey called Divorce, I've noticed something else new about Lovey that heretofore I haven't written about.

It started a while ago, but appears to be growing....and I want to run out and blame myself.

She's taken up drinking.


Years ago in our married lives, this was a no-no. A BIG no-no. It was something that we shunned. However, when she decided to return to the church of her youth, The United Methodist Church, she started taking sips, here and there.

But now I notice that in social settings she's starting to drink a lot more than "a few sips."

So, I want to run there and believe that had she not had a gay husband, she wouldn't have started this. I'm responsible.

Oh, I know that this is silly...and that I can't do that....but it haunts me a little.

It would do even more damage to me if she started drinking uncontrollably and become and alcoholic.

For now, I'm concerned and watchful.

But just how concerned can an ex-husband be?


I spent some real good quality time with my daughter, #2, from Nashville yesterday. We had a chance to talk about things that were on our minds. It was definitely a time of concentrated bonding and how I enjoyed it.

One of the things that concerned her the most was the fact that her mother came over to my house on Sunday night. Did that bother me she wondered. Did it stress me out?

To be honest, I had really thought about it when it happened….and I had thought about afterwards.

So I paused.

Really it didn’t bother me or stress me out.

As I’ve reflected on this further, it shows again, just how much I have grown in this awful process.

Seeing Lovey was okay….and the visit was pleasant. BUT, there was no reason for it not to be. Actually, the only time I’ve been a bit upset by her is because I have been stressed because I’ve not known how she was going to be on a given day or if I was going to be accused of being Satan, himself. She has a history of doing things like this.

But this visit went fine.

My daughter and I talked further.

When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, the things that really bother me is the fact that:

• Lovey is only interested in me as “Daddy Warbucks,” and the fact that I keep the money tree in full bloom.
• Lovey has shown no concern for me in this process…or even volunteered to help me with any of the expenditures related to OUR children.

I could add one more item….and the fact that she so willfully and without concern, hit me in my main source of retirement – not because she needed it (God knows that she is all set for retirement.) – but rather, because she could get it.

But then, I did make her raw inside….and that I made her life “hell.” After all, I am the fag.

#2 shook her head knowingly.

It’s amazing at the growth I see in me. It’s also exciting to know that someone like me doesn’t have to stay stymied forever and let the gay thing totally get me down and disable me.

I want 2007 to be “my” year of new beginning. I want to meet new people and do fun things.

I never thought I would reach this point….but I can honestly state, “Yes, there IS life after Lovey.”

Monday, January 08, 2007

We Are Marsahll!

I am a native of Huntington, West Virginia.

It's where I was born and raised. It's where my parents still live.

It's also where I went to college at Marshall University.

On November 14, 1970, the town faced a major disaster: The Thundering Herd football team was killed when their chartered jet slammed into the hillside short of the runway at Tri-State Airport. 75 players, coaches and boosters were killed as they were returning from a Saturday game at East Carolina.

I had just begun Junior High School at the time and several of my classmates lost a parent or were orphaned that day. The town was devestated.

When I heard that they were making a movie based on this event and it would star Matthew McConahey (sp?), I was terribly concerned that they wouldn't do the story justice or keep the dignity of the players and the families of all the victims.

But I shouldn't have worried.

The movie is excellent and it was filmed right there on campus and in the surrounding areas. What a trhill it is for me to see my hometown on the big screen and to see places that I have been to a million times now at the local multiplex here in Washington, DC!

The movie also succeeds in bringing back the horror and sadness of the time. I remember all too well all the funrals that took ploace....the tolling of the bells......everything.

If you like good movies then I highly recommend it and in the processs, you'll learn a little bit about the community I grew up gay in.


Neural Receptors....

It's a cold, dark and rainy morning here in Alexandria, VA.

I tried to sleep in as late as possible, because I had that feeling.

The feeling that comes when I know that I'm gonna be "blue."

I've talked a lot about this to my doctor. I can be happy as a clam....and BOOM it hits, almost without warning.

My doctor says that this is a normal "side effect" of my diabetes. The diabetes causes peole to "blow" neural receptors that conduct seratonin across the brain. And when you blow one of these, it brings on the blues. So, I guess I have blown 'em.

It's not Lovey, or the fact that I saw her last night.

It's not the divorce.

It's not the separation.

It's all physiological. I can take antidepressants for it, but that introduces a whole set of other side effects that I would just as soon not deal with.

So, I just try and keep moving...and not give into the depression and feel sorry for myself.

#2 is here and I need to spend some quality time with her. She had breakfast with her mother before Lovey left for a ministerial meeting. Now she wants time with her daddy. So, I'm gonna give it to her.

Time to finish my coffee and go take off my pajamas and put on some real clothes for the day ahead.

Blown neural receptors and all...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

An Interesting Day

The kids and I have had a great weekend.

We've spent our time eating, sleeping, and going to the mall and seeing movies. I didn't get into bed until close to 3am this morning because we were catching up on back episodes of Law@Order Special Victims Unit....which I had DVRd over New Year's Eve.

We had a blast.

Than, my son called at 2:30. He's going through a lot. That will be a good topic for a later post.

This morning we slept in late....and by the time we got up....we realized it was too late to go to the church we had planned. So, the girls went ahead and had lunch with their mom....and I visited with a couple of friends over lunch.

Around 4:00, I got a call from one of the girls. They said that they and their mom wanted to come into my house and have some margaritas, and to play ROOK (a card game). So, I agreed.

It was a very fun time...all in good humor. Lovey was more relaxed than I had ever seen her....but it's clear she is having issues on many different levels. It's refreshing to know that they are not my issues. Thank goodness.

Life certainly throws us a lot of curves....


Friday, January 05, 2007


During my 25 year marriage to Lovey, we spent a lot of time doing church work.

As I have said previously, I immersed myself in those activities in an attempt to keep my inner demons in check. It kept my mind occupied on “holy” pursuits and not on possible activities of the flesh. Sadly, as I did that, the mind and body rebelled a bit and I become sick with a whole array of maladies. Many of which I still have today, but I’m working to make improvements there. So, we’ll see.

In doing that church work, we were involved in a number of congregations in the Church of God denomination which is headquartered in Cleveland, TN.

If you knew me then, you would have thought I had it all together. I was successful in my secular position. I was well-known and respected within the denomination. My wife and I specialized in puppetry and held numerous children’s crusades internationally, and here in the states. We had many bookings and made many, many friends.

I also wrote a number of inspirational pieces for denominational periodicals that were distributed worldwide. I contributed substantive pieces for the denomination to use in its Sunday School literature that ended up being distributed denomination-wide. I felt I really had a bright future and at one time entertained thoughts of either full-time ministry, or denominational administrative work.

Locally, I held about every position one could do at a church:

• Chairman, Board of Deacons
• Sunday School Superintendent
• Youth Director
• Children’s Church Director
• Music Director
• Praise and Worship Leader
• Newsletter Editor
• Telephone Directory Editor
• Director of Publications

Blah! Blah! I think you get the idea.

One of these churches in particular holds special memories for me. It’s the reason I really came to the DC area to begin with in 1978. It’s where I was the most active. It’s where I had the majority of my first friends here in the area. It’s where I met my wife. It’s where I was married. It’s where the children were christened.

A very special place that I have not been back to in 11 years. You see, it was 11 years ago that Lovey decided to leave it in order to pursue her dream of ministry, which ultimately took us to the United Methodist Church.

But I still have some special friends there. My daughters have special friends there.
One of them, an elderly woman, has been wanting to see the girls for a very LONG time. She sends them cards and notes and calls me faithfully.

The girls and I have decided to visit her this Sunday and go back for a church service. It should be really quite fun.

In one of their most recent telephone conversations with the vacationing Lovey in Sunny Florida, #1 casually mentioned that we would be visiting this church on Sunday.

“Please don’t say anything about the divorce,” she directed.

“I won’t lie about anything,” #1 responded.

“I don’t want any big deal made about the divorce to those people,” replied Lovey.

“Why do you care?” #1 said, in that way she gets when she is a bit irritated. “You have no dealings with any of those people now. What does it matter what they think about it?”

I’m totally unsure of the response, but I find it all quite interesting. I mean, she told the world at the Methodist Church. She outed me repeatedly to everyone she thought or “felt led” to tell even though I kindly asked her to allow me to be the one make the decision about the first wave of disclosure.

But she didn’t. Much like the Frank Sinatra song, she did it “her way.”

At this little Church of God I plan to attend on Sunday, I will hold my head up high and speak of my divorce if asked.

Who cares that I’m divorced and that Lovey is off pastoring churches for a competing denomination?

I’m not ashamed of my divorce any more.

I’m not even ashamed of being who I am – a gay middle-aged man.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Look

Tonight I had the privilege of taking my twin daughters out to a mexican restaurant we love.

It had been a long day. I was tired. But eager to spend as much quality time with them as I could.

But something happened that is in keeping with some of my earlier posts this year, and I thought I would share them.

Although the restaurant was crowded, we were led to our seats almost immediately. Then it happened....

As I followed them to our table, there was a table filled with couples who were having a grand time. There was a very attractive man sitting at the opposite end facing us as we approached. He looked up...and locked eyes with me.

It was "that" look. You know the one. The one that strikes your soul and hits you in the gut. The one that strikes at your very core. The one that makes you feel naked...or at least make you wish you were.

In keeping with my resolve to enjoy myself and to be relaxed....I kept staring at him and I slowed my pace.

As we approached closer, I was able to look forward and swivel only my eyes subtly. He did the same and I watched his eyes....they gave me a full body scan.

And we passed by.....

We were seated so that we faced his back.

But as we ate and kept watching him, he actually got up and moved to the other end of the table and kept looking my I was looking at him.....discreetly. He, like me, obviously enjoyed what he saw.

So then something inexplicable happened....

He got up to go to the restroom twice and each time he turned and looked at me when he was out of view from his table!

Yes, I was being hit on!

Had I been there alone, I would have no doubt followed him and given him my business card and said hello. But tonight, with my girls, I didn't move.

Inside, I felt like a million bucks.


Because the handsome stranger, at the table with his wife or girlfriend and others apparently desired me.

Yeah, me, the one guy who has felt very undesireable for a long while!


FLASH!!!!! Justin Timberlake & #2????

My daughter's little video entry has just been posted to Justin Timberlake's Web Site…and she is in the running to sing with him on the Grammy's next month. Here's the link…

She's Musicchick614.

Take a look see.....there's a place on that site to post comments on what you see!

Sticks and Stones...

Thus far, 2007 has been great!

I’m feeling well.

My family is doing well.

I’ve reconnected with a lot of my cyber pals….and I am working to reconnect with my other friends as well. I didn’t lose them overnight. As a result, it’s going to take a while to get those friendships back. It also takes time to nurture and grow new ones.

So, just from that angle, it’s going to be a busy year.

As I proceed on this journey, I’ve spent much time in a quiet solitude of thought. I’ve remembered a host of events – some not so pleasant…and others that are exquisite.

One thing that I am VERY thankful for is that this whole silly separation and divorce didn’t occur when I’m 70…or 60……or even 50. It has happened while I’m in my late 40s – hopefully giving me time to enjoy myself. After all, I am settled and hopefully a little wiser.

Isn’t it funny how we squander our youth trying to “find ourselves” and to learn to just be who we are meant to be? A gay young person, at least in the 60s and 70s when I was dealing with the issue, had it very hard.

I remember all too well the name calling, the taunts, and the finger-pointing and the laughter. The pain of being perceived as a “weirdo” or “queer” or “faggot” hurt more than can be described. For a gay youth, the old nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words will never harm me” didn’t apply.

Back then, in the era when being gay was classified as a mental illness/disorder, one didn’t dare discuss your issue with any of your friends….or your parents. You sat all alone in the deep dark closet – just hoping it would go away, or that you could change.

Over time, it ate at you…it made you begin to think bad thoughts about yourself. It could get you off balance. In extreme instances, it could make you hurt yourself. It could make you feel like damaged goods. Sometimes it became a self-fulfilled prophecy. You WERE damaged goods.

At that time, if you felt that way, you didn’t date. You pulled into your shell. You built impenetrable walls to protect yourself from more hurt. You threw yourself into your school work. You drove yourself. On top of this, depending on your religious upbringing, you may have over involved yourself in church, Bible study, prayer – whatever it took to lessen the pain.

So by the time you are a middle-aged man who has survived separation and divorce, it’s a bit scary to ponder your life as a single person once more. You’re used to someone always being there to talk to. It’s comforting to awaken in the middle of the night and feel that person’s warmth or hearing them breath….and to know your kids are tucked in their beds all safe and warm just down the hall.

But now, here you are….alone. Oh, you still have your kids and your trusted best friend, the family dog. But what about the other part……do you really want to have a person always around to talk to….to sleep beside……a companion to experience life with?

I just don’t know.

A number of my cyber buds have assumed that I would be hitting the street and aggressively looking for a long term relationship (LTR) or at least giving guys test drives right and left. I always respond, “I need to recover a bit from my last LTR.”

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t have much experience at dating. I find myself being shy around men that make my heart leap from my chest….or the ones with the smile that lights up the room……..or the body that I would literally die for.

When someone flirts, I don’t know how to react.

I know. This is all so very sad.

On top of everything else, I’ve had to deal with a boatload of self-esteem issues including my own self image. Just now at age 48 I am seeing little glimmers of confidence to feel that I’m attractive.

After all, gay culture is brutal to us middle age hunks. A lot of us aren’t gym bunnies – and that age thing? Age is just a number. Middle age means you’re not 25 any more.

A number of my buds are still married. They all say, “Man, if I were in your shoes, I’d really be in heaven.” They haven’t really given much thought that there’s a bit of hell to experience first.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


As I continue the journey I am on to recover from 25 years of being in a straight relationship, I am dumbstruck by the fact of how I lost myself.

It was sooooooo subtle.

I am so reminded of the illustration about how, if you’re into eating frog’s legs, one cooks the frogs. Now, I’m no great cook. So I probably would get the live frogs, and throw them into boiling water and simmer. But, if I did this I am told, they would immediately jump out of the water.

If, though, you are a wise chef, you put the little guys in normal water in a pot and set them on the stove. You then turn the burner on and those little critters will be cooked and never know what hit them.

It’s because they don’t notice the change in their surroundings.

Much like me in my marriage.

I spent so much time working at keeping Lovey happy I forgot about what makes ME happy. In those early years, I was so hellbent on changing my sexuality, I would have crawled miles on broken glass through the Sahara in order to accomplish it.

I loathed myself.

I believed that I was mentally ill.

I just knew that I was bent for hell and I didn’t want to go.

People who really know me and know all about the struggles and trials I have been through (not just those I have chosen to share with you via this blog) will tell you that I was consumed with religious activities. I was there for every service and spent many hours late into the night doing something related to the church…or a service…..or a function…..or to prepare for some presentation I had volunteered to do.

This greatly complimented Lovey’s driven nature. She did the same thing. So there we were, the young married couple – Christians and proud of it. Christian and fundamental. Christian AND fundamental AND Pentecostal.

It seemed that the louder I railed against “sin” the easier it was for me to keep my “sins” in check. (Although I never did rail against homosexuality….)

To give you an idea of just how “Taliban-like” I was in those years, I thought it was a sin to go to a movie, to consume alcohol, to dance, to wear jewelry, to wear shorts, to smoke, for women to wear makeup, or for women to wear pants.
Wasn’t I the epitome of “fun”?

Then, as I came to terms with my gayness, had children (and focused on their upbringing) I began shedding that old thinking. This is where the relationship with Lovey began to deteriorate and ultimately be destroyed.

So now, in review, I see where I lost track of myself – of those things that made me happy – and my friends.

MY friends.

I became very introverted as I had been in junior high – afraid of my own shadow….but ever the overachiever.

And now, I am beginning to emerge from that darkness….that aloneness….and I’m making contacts with friends and new people.

I also reaching out to my friends in cyberspace I had been silent from for quite a while. I’ve turned the invisible feature off on my yahoo instant messenger account.

I’m back!

And, you know something?

Apparently I’ve been missed. All kinds of people have been IM-ing me wanting to know where I’ve been. That has brought about telephone calls -- catching up -- reconnecting. One guy from one of my support groups that I have been a member of for quite sometime said it best when he said, “You know Frank, you are loved by so many.”

Who knew?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year Continued

Day 2 of 2007 has been a good day.

Other than a few continued concerns about my kids......I'm okay.

Lovey is still in Sunny Florida. Enjoying herself no doubt.

Although the beach at Christmas and New Year's was about my most favorite vacation of all, I wouldn't trade what I experienced this year for none of that. I got to spend the holidays with my children -- who are the most important part of my life....and my parents....who I love dearly.

This year is gonna be better. It has to be.

I feel like I have been in a cave for the period of 2001-2006 without any light...just blackness that started as gray and got blacker as time went on. During that time, my marriage crumbled, my wife totally changed, my kids left for the marines and to college, I was an empty nester. My nest was totally empty...I was alone....physically from the most important people in my life: my children....and emotionally away from the person I should have been closest to: my wife.

Somewhere in that timeframe, I think I went through a midlife crisis. In late 2003, Lovey announced she wanted a divorce...but due to the ilness and subsequent death of her dad through 2004, she told me that she had made a mistake and that she knew she couldn't live without me.

I felt I couldn't trust her from that point on....a voice inside me said, watch's gonna hapen again. It did.

Many folks have commented through this blog and privately to say that I had my cake and ate it too. I wasn't being true to my wife. I was living a lie. I was using my wife... Using her as a cover. In other words, because I am a gay man, I brought all this drama, pain emotional trauma, etc. onto myself. But what they don't understand is that I truly loved my wife... Probably not in the way that a heterosexual man would love his wife. But, yet, I loved her anyway. I dealt with my gayness as best I could in a situational manner.

When needs arose, I worked to mediate them. Still my focus was on my wife....because she was primary.

In the end, no matter what I did, it was not enough....never enough. The gay issue eclipsed everything in my fiber.

I couldn't stop acting on my urges. I couldn't be the man that Lovey wanted me to be for her.

I couldn't win.

So as 2007 begins I feel like I'm seeing the glimmers of daylight of a crisp new day. The long night is over. I am. I have survived. I'm feeling happy and content to have my children. To have my parents. To have my dog. To have the creature comforts that I need. I'm working to move on. It's a big job and sometimes easier said than done, but I'm working to forge ahead.

Do I have any resolutions?

Yeah....but I haven't really verbalized them to anyone.

Oh, they're nothing elaborate or secretive. I just haven't felt the need to talk to those around me about my resolutions.

But since I've used this blog as an outlet to share my innermost struggles and dreams, I think it only fare to share these private resolutions with you. So here they are:

*Take better care of myself and lose some weight. Perhaps hire a personal trainer to build up my strength and to make my chest look better. It's not bad...but could use a little tweak.

*Expand my network of friends. Meet new people.

*Be good to me.

*Increase the fun factor in my life...go a little beyond my comfort zone. Try new things.

*And, finally, remember that I am a good guy and that one day, I'm gonna make a special guy an excellent partner because I have a lot to give and with my 25 years of prior experience, I know the meaning of the word 'relationship.' I need to keep myself encouraged and be my number one fan. I am okay. I am strong. I have come a long way. I can depend on me.

So -- the drama of 2001-2006 is fading into the background. I'm emerging into the dawn of a new day.

I'm full of hope.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

The new year is here!

I'm excited about the prospect of it all.

Today I'm off, because of Gerald Ford's funeral. So I get to spend the day one-on-one with #2 from Nashville. It's going to be a good day.

This morning I awoke very early. The moonlight was shining like a gigantic spotlight on my face through the window. I laid away quite a while pondering my life.

Then I focused on my kids...the lights of my life.

#1 is headed to El Salvador in just over a month.

#2 is going back to Nashville to pursue her music career in a big way.

The marine was leaving in a few hours to return to Lejeune in North Carolina. Word has it that he will be going to Iraq shortly.

They are no longer babies that daddy can protect. Their lives are in their own hands.

I then thought about my mom and dad....and the fact that I won't have them forever.

As I pondered all felt as if the walls in my bedroom began moving in on me. So much much worry and concern.....

So, I couldn't go back to sleep....

I had only been asleep for about 4 hours.

My heart head began to ache.

Soon the thought came to me...."You'll have the tools and strength to deal with all these issues when they are needed. Take it one thing at a time. You'll be okay."

I calmed down. Turned over. Yawned and drifted back to sleep for another 4 hours.

Now it's morning -- a beautiful, crisp, clear morning. My son has gone. He has dealt with so many issues...and continues to struggle. I worry about him intensely.


I know he isn't ready for that... But who is?

Why should he be treated any differently?

#1 headed to El Salvador. Not an easy task. She'll be gone for 27 months. No visits home. A strange land....with a history of violence....and my little first born...will be there alone.

#2 going "home" to Nashville. Embarking on a career in an industry that can chew her up and spit her out. My baby girl.

I'm a dad.

I worry.

That's my job.

Happy New Year!