Friday, March 30, 2007

Spousal Support

I’ve just finished writing Lovey’s spousal support check for April. This is check #2.

What a waste of money….my only consolation is that I have a tax write-off. This is a good thing. Every cloud does have a silver lining!

My next little ray of sunshine is the fact that I get about $70,000 from her retirement funds to rollover into mine. At least I get some compensation from her to equalize our retirement accounts. At one of her several jobs, she had a rather generous employer who sweetened her retirement accounts. On the date of separation, (2 years ago), she had more money in her retirement accounts than I had in mine. Thus, the $70,000 dollar switch to me.

It really has bothered her to part with this sum of money… the interest over the past two years.

The good news is that the $70,000 will grow over the next few years and add significantly to my retirement living!

Another silver lining.

So, as my finances settle over the next few months, I can hold onto these rays of sunshine!

Still, I can’t understand why it took Lovey so long to settle. At the end of the process, she didn’t like were the fact that: 1) I was entitled to reserve my right for alimony in the event my financial picture changes and that I had to have that language incorporated into our agreement, and 2) that I was legally entitled to interest on the $70,000 from June 9, 2005.

I also don’t understand why she felt it necessary to “out” me to her attorney near the end of this process….given the fact that she has been adamant that my gayness is not the reason for the divorce.

Perhaps this is all about her anger/resentment about my gayness?

Lovey reminds me of the author Terry McMillan.. She’s the writer of “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and “Waiting to Exhale.” McMillan and her former husband have been waging a hateful divorce and other legal actions stemming from his disclosure to her that he is gay. She has been hurling hateful insults his way ever since….even so far as to refer to him as her “little fag.” She’s angry and it shows. (see

So, this would explain a lot of the change I’ve seen in Lovey – her personality….her behavior ….her pettiness.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


This whole divorce business is quite expensive not only in pecuniary terms, but also emotionally and physically. I’m beginning to see all this manifested.

For the two years I waited for Lovey to finally come around to agreeing to the settlement agreement, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I would land on my feet financially. The legal fees were astronomical. I had to replace my furniture and sound equipment that Lovey had taken with her. On top of all this, I had to figure out how to build a new fence and deck in the back of my home….it was on the verge of collapse from sheer neglect. I had to have some brick work done around my house. The house needed painting. As a result of the great flood of ’06 the week of Lovey’s departure, I had to buy new sump pumps and new carpet for the downstairs. While doing it, I had new carpet installed in my bedroom too.

In the midst of everything, my wife upped her request for spousal support significantly.

But I had everything figured out. I would use some of the proceeds from the retirement equalization, and pay off a loan from my Thrift Savings Plan which would free up $600 per month toward alimony. That would mean that I would only see a net increase of $200 to monthly expenditures.


The Internal Revenue Service has ruled that I can’t use my equalization proceeds to do this. So, I’m kind of stuck now with the financial situation I am currently in.

While it won’t be easy….and I won’t be making the strides I had initially planned on making my debt lessen, it’s just gonna take a little longer. However, every spare penny is going to go to pay off that loan I have from my Thrift Savings Plan. When that is paid, it will greatly help my financial situation.

I suppose this is a small price to pay for the peace of mind I now have….or at least I’m in the process of getting.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Facing Those Demons Down...One At A Time!

I have that feeling that I have just reached yet another milestone in my journey from married man to single gay man. It’s an odd sort of feeling, but it’s a good feeling too. Perhaps it’s best described as the first time you taste a sour green apple. The shock is unpleasant. However, after a brief time, the unpleasantness gives way to wonderful flavor.

I’m over the shock, hurt, and sadness of the finality of the separation agreement. I think it probably was more about my pride more than anything else. I never thought I would be anything other than married – at least until Lovey’s death. Yet, here I am at the age of 48 looking at a life of solitude in my future. Who knew?

As the days get warmer, and spring is finally here, my spirits seem to improve daily. I feel more and more like my old self – happy that I am well – happy that I’m alive.

My blessings are many.

I see them…tangibly…..and I thank God every day for them.

But I occasionally have to face down a demon or two.

This past Sunday I had to face one of my demons head-on….and I soared! I had dinner with Lovey, as I reported in my last post. BUT….one of the unexpected guests I mentioned in my other post was another man seated at the table to Lovey’s right. I’m not sure of his purpose there…but I found the seating arrangement interesting.

The demon I faced down was the prospect of Lovey having a new man in her life. At first, it hurt…and I felt very sad….but I hid those feelings and only speak of them now. After 25 years of marriage to the same woman it would only be natural to have “funny” feelings when you see that woman seated by another man. I wasn’t jealous. It was just a feeling of mild surprise and a touch of sadness.

Now, since I don’t know what the relationship with him really is….or if there is a relationship with him. While this man, a dentist, may not even be interested in Lovey….or Lovey in him……I was able to process my feelings for when that moment happens or if/when Lovey remarries.

It will be okay.

Another demon I’ve had to deal with is that I learned that Mom O’Lovey hesitated about whether to invite me or not to this “family” gathering. My dear daughter, #2, handled it beautifully…and I guess it demonstrates the love she has for me, her daddy. I didn’t learn of this until after the fact.

Here’s the conversation as it was described to me:

#2: “Is Dad invited to this dinner too?”

Grandma: “Well, he makes your mother uncomfortable when he is around.”

#2: “Well, Grandma, I came to spend the weekend with him. If he’s not invited, then I won’t be coming. I want to spend as much time as I can with him!”

Well, needless to say, I was invited and we both went. But if I had known that my presence caused such discomfort, I could have bowed out and made #2 go alone. I don’t like making people uncomfortable.

I went to the gastroenterologist yesterday. He’s not sure what my problem is and gave me some medicine to take four times per day. If I am not totally cured by April 25 (my next appointment with him), he says that he will have to do another “procedure” to see what is going on inside me.

I hope the meds make me feel better.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Weekend Update

My weekend was great. It just went by way too fast!

My daughter from Nashville came and spent the weekend with me. She wanted to see the Gay Men’s Chorus of DC’s production of the Wizard of Oz. We did that and it was amazing. Lots of funny touches from the gay angle. The double entendre’s flew! (A lot over my daughter’s head thankfully.) Plus, can you picture Ms. Gulch being black (think Oprah), and instead of traveling on a bike, she’s riding a segue(sp?)? Or, Toto being a stuffed black toy dog, who did his moving with the assistance of people throwing him from place to place on the stage? Or how about the flying monkees being leather daddies with muscular chests? Or, instead of a hunted forest…..the forest of twinks?

I think you can pretty well picture just how truly entertaining this was.

Afterwards, she wanted to go to one of the gay restaurants in town. So there we sat, in the heart of gay DC, in a fine restaurant, surrounded by many, many, beautiful gay men….and my daughter sat and enjoyed it all. What support I have! I am indeed blessed.

On Sunday morning we arose early and went to visit her grandmother at church. We then went to a diner close by and breakfast. Following this we went to the church I’ve been attending. It’s MCC and primarily gay. My daughter kept telling me how taken she was with the friendliness that everyone showed.

After the service, we went with the “Lunch Bunch” to eat at a nearby restaurant. Once again #2 made herself right at home and she made folks feel that they have known her forever.

Then, it was time.

Time for us to go to the O’Lovey’s house and visit with Lovey and her mother. We were a bit shocked by the number of “other” people who came, but we didn’t make a big deal of it and tried to be as warm as possible.

I had a grand time in spite of Lovey being there. However, to be quite honest, this was the first time in well over 2 years that I can actually say that she made me feel warm and welcome. We actually conversed and there was no tension at all.

So, #2 got back to Nashville last night all safe and sound…..and I returned home….and sat with my dog, Davy, and watched some television before going to bed.

I’m having some gastric problems. Not sure what the problem is. I’m going to see the gastroenterologist tomorrow afternoon to see. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Great Day!

Today has been an awesome day!

My daughter (#2) from Nashville arrived last night and we have spent the entire day together.

I needed this.

We have talked about a lot of stuff and we're both looking forward to "The Wizard of Oz" tonight. The gay thing has been such a big part of both of our lives. It's going to be good to just be able to laugh at it as it is presented in the telling of this timeless classic!

#2 visited with Lovey's mother this morning for breakfast.

Afterwards, I found out that Lovey is coming to town tomorrow to visit with her attorney to take the depositions necessary for the processing of the remaining steps of the divorce. So, we must be on our way!

#2 and I have been invited to "grandma's" tomorrow night for dinner....with Lovey....and God alone knows who else. It's gonna be okay. #2 says she doesn't want me to be put into any awkwardness.....and I told her that there isn't going to be.

I'll be just as warm and friendly and as phony as can be. If they can be that way...then why can't I? Especially when my daughter needs me to be there.

I am sure I will have lots to report...

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Great Mystery

I am troubled by a great mystery.

I would have thought that this mystery would have been solved with the signing of the separation agreement. Now, I can only hope that the signing of the final divorce documents and the ultimate divorce will settle this once and for all.

So here it is.

Why do I remain so sad and depressed?

Lovey’s life with me apparently was “hell” as she so well described it.

My life with her was “hell”, but at the time I didn’t realize it.

I don’t want her back and I want nothing to do with her going forward. Minimal contact with her is best. After any dealing with her, I nosedive into a funk.

To me, she has become toxic.


Here I am, a middle-aged gay man. I’ve been set free. I now call the shots in my life. I make all the decisions without any input from her or having to go through her for clearance.

I’m free!

Why can’t I be happy about it and dump the sadness?

It’s a mystery.

The Blessing of Friends

I'm slowly improving in lots of areas of my life.

At times during the separation, pre-agreement, I actually thought I was going crazy. I have felt tired, unmotivated, sad, depressed, and feeling self doubt, hatred and every other possible negative thought. I thnk this is something to remember if you are one of the many who are contemplating the end of a long term marriage because of the gay issue.

I've said several times that during my marriage I lost myself in the process. I lost my hobbies. I lost my identity. I lost my friends and totally focused on the needs of my children. God knows I tried to be a good husband and to make up for my failings as a gay man. I put myself under such stress to compensate for my shortcomings.

But in the end, none of my good intentions counted.

When the sepaation occurred all our friends became her's. She played the role of martyr so well.

This awful experience has forced me to reach out and make friends. This is beyond my normal comfort zone. I'm shy and have tended to be passive when it comes to making friends or having other relationships.

But one word of advice to those of you on my path... You need to be prepared to build a network of support. It's a lonely existence trying to make it through a lifechanging event and still survive.

I've reached out at the the new church I've been attending......and online.

Yesterday, one of my online friends wrote me and said that he felt he needed to talk to me and encourage me. Would I call him on his cellphone?

He lives in the midwest. He, too, is married, and about two years older than me. He's a pastor....and is gay and working through his own issues....but he actually wanted to encourage me.

And we talked......for two and half hours....non-stop. He encouraged me....and I encouraged him.

That's what friends do.

He listened. He advised. I listened. I advised. Neither of us expected anything in return.

We both hung up feeling encouraged...and upbeat.

Yes, that's what friends do.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Blog! The Story Behind The Picture

I got my dates mixed up. Actually I'm almost a week late.

One year ago today, I installed the site meter on my site. I forgot that I had started my blog almost a week earlier. ICK. BUT...this appears to be the lot of my life....a day late and a nickel short as they say.

Man, what a year. 236 posts have been published. Some with pictures. Some without. It certainly is a journal of my troubling year. I just wish I had kept this thing earlier, to mark the grand upheaval and not just the aftermath. (the aftermath was bad enough....but what led up to the aftermath was even more gut wrenching....perhaps I'll write about them in FLASHBACK mode one day.)

The picture of me that defines my blog was taken by daughter #2 in the summer of 2005. 'It was taken approximately three months after Lovey made her grand pronouncement.

I had gone to a family reunion in West Virginia. Shortly before that picture was taken, one of my cousins did the annual "Where's your wife?" routine. As I look back on it, there were many such occasions with my relatives. I always kind of squirmed when asked. But I made excuses for her.

"Oh she's working."

"She's preaching this weekend and couldn't come."

"My son needed someone to be with him."

Oddly, at this particular time, I hadn't seen the pattern and had not yet realized that Lovey just plain old didn't want to get to know my family or have anything to do with any of them. (I'm an only child....and my cousins, aunts, uncles, are all very important to me.) She didn't even do good at building any type of relationships with my mom and dad. Cold and prickly might be a good description of how she was to them.

Normally, when the cousins asked where Lovey was, I would answer and they would shake their heads and walk away. Well, this particular year, the cousin in question responded "She must not really like your family because she never has been here. I've never met her."

I smiled wearily and answered, "It doesn't really matter anymore. She is divorcing me. But I'm here!"

The cousin offered her condolences and gave me a hug.

That's when I went on the walk up the dirt road that resulted in this photograph. You can't see it, but my head is racing and I'm experiencing a ton of new feelings that are on the verge of swamping me in depression. I did not know what was up ahead. Looking around at my new surroundings....alone. Frightened and hurt in the situation I found myself in. Remembering how my life used to be, versus how it was at the time.

That picture becomes very poignant when one knows the point in time it captures. It shows a divorcing gay man, whose world is in total chaos trying to process it all...trying to hold it all together.

It was also during that trip that a few other things dawned on me.

One of the things that Lovey always prided herself on was the fact that she was a "supportive wife." I didn't really think too much of it until I was on the trip that resulted in this picture. I was sitting on my parent's front porch swing after the reunion.....after the picture was snapped...... and I heard those words from Lovey. "I've been a supportive wife."

Just what does that mean?

She never came to a reunion.

When my parent's have been gravely ill, she was very rarely around.

In 24 years of marriage I had 8 signifiant deaths. Not one time did she go with me to the funeral or go through the mourning process with me.

Wow, I thought.

Upon my return from WV and having made this photograph, I had an occasion to chat with Lovey....about the marriage.....and it's death.

"I've been a supportive wife," pronounced Lovey.

"How do you define supportive wife," I asked innocently.

"I cooked." she said.

"Not very often," I responded gently.

"I kept a clean house for you."

"Not really," I responded....eyeing the ministerial clutter in the room we were in.

"I supported you through your being gay."

"How's that?" I asked. "You never really became active in any of the spousal organizations I provided information on. You never talked or fostered good relationships with my friends' wives who were going through the same thing. You never talked to me about what it was like for me to be gay. You said that I was using you as a cover and for only that."

"Well," Lovey said in a huff. "I didn't divorce you!"

"No, you're doing that now. So how have you been supportive of me?"

She stalked out of the room. She had no answers.

This blog has been my salvation. It has helped me to relieve much frustration. It has given me the opportunity to process emotions that I may have not done otherwise. It has given me a world of new cyber friends. People who write me back channel to give me words of encouragement and a kick in the butt.

Thanks to each of you for taking the time for making me a part of your life. Hopefully in it's own little way, it will help you on your path.

That first year, I used this picture in my Christmas letter.

It's a simple reminder of where I was, and where I am now. It's a gentle reminder of just how far I've come.

Happy Birthday Blog.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Some Days Are Diamonds

At times I feel so edgy. I mean, I feel on edge and I have the urge to keep looking over my shoulder. Looking for the next calamity or misfortune. I suppose if you re-read the blog for this past year you can probably understand why I feel this way.

Here's a partial list:

1. The separation agreement in limbo.
2. My wife accusing me of everything except being God's child.
3. June 20, 2006
4. My mother's cancer.
5. The big basement flood.
6. My son's arrest.
7. #1's move to El Salvador
8. My feelings of emptiness and aloneness.
9. Lovey's outting of me to her attorney for no real good reason.
10. My dad's cataract surgery.
11. My dad's mini-strokes and their damage.


And there are more things I could add....lots more. But I don't want to depress you further. Heck, it depresses me....and makes me sad.

So here I am....getting ready to call it a day and crawl into my bed.

I feel like that old John Denver song, "Some days are diamonds.....some days are stone."

I just don't understand me....or why some days are good while others are really bad...or why do I get so depressed.

I guess it's my psyche just trying to sort things out. This is quite an adjustment guys. Not only am I dealing with the empty nest syndrome big time, but I have one child who is best described as being estranged from me, a soon-to-be ex-wife that I want nothing to do with...and a group of inlaws that have nothing to do with me.

As an only child I spent many days alone. But in my marriage, I found that I had an instant family....always calling....or we were always dropping by.......or we had the kids.....and swamped with soccer, baseball, basketball, scouts.....etc. Something was always happening in my house.

Now that has all changed.

It's quiet.

I'm alone with my dog.

Quite an adjustment.


I’m having a hard time trusting people these days.

It’s probably a spillover from the marriage.

I was totally honest and upfront with Lovey, perhaps a bit too honest……but when the boom was lowered, I found that she wasn’t honest and upfront with me. This tends to leave one scarred.

I just don’t know how to get back to the old Frank….the one that used to love and to trust.

I don’t mean to sound paranoid of psychotic, but I do look at all my relationships with a bit of trepidation. Even with people who have been my friends for a long time I find myself looking at them and wondering

“Are you being honest with me? Am I looking at the real you? Are you what you appear? Or are you lying to me for whatever reason? Do you have an ulterior motive or other agenda?”

This also extends to the affairs of the heart.

When someone says they love me I want to say, “Do you really?”

After all, at one time in my life my wife said that.

This is truly a sad state of affairs isn’t it?

At the beginning of this blog adventure, I said that I would be honest and not sugar coat my feelings.

Well, this is where the real Frank is today.


I was chatting with a co-worker this morning about this very thing. She said that I needed to let the wall down and begin trusting again.

I agreed.

But not now.

I’m frightened to do so.

Two years is an awfully long time to hurt and to mourn and to be sad. It’s also sad to spend two years on the defensive with one’s guard up because you’re afraid your wife is going to zing you about some perceived wrong or slight.

The gay thing adds to this by making me feel so isolated and afraid at times to tell people who the real Frank is. This is especially true given the fact that Lovey has outted me to everyone and I appear isolated from those people.

None of them call.

None of them write email.

I must tread very lightly with my current feelings. I could become an isolated and bitter old man.

I am so weary.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Quiet

I'm sitting here trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I've had a very quiet and uneventful day. A friend came by this morning and took me to breakfast. It was fun to get out for a while.

When I returned, I decided to go into #1's room and begin cleaning up the mess she left for me to deal with. It was rather colossal. So, after I finish this and fix myself some dinner, I'm going to go up there and finish what I started.

It's kind of funny how when you're doing stuff like chores, your mind races and you begin living memories of days long past. I suppose I'll never get away from the memories I have...the good and the bad. I try not to put too much thought on things....because I don't want to trigger another one of those very bad and sad depressions I've been known to have.

It wouldn't take much.

I do feel a twinge of melancholy tonight. But, when you've been used to having a house full of activity for so long, it's rather shocking when your life comes down to just you.

I do have something to look forward to. #2 is going to come up for this weekend from Nashville and spend it with me. Gee, it will be good to have someone in the house with me for the two days she will be here. Goodness. I won't know what to do with myself.

The main reason she is coming up is to go with me to see the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington's production of the Wizard of Oz. It's the movie version with a gay twist. For example, can you imagine the flying monkees being flying leather daddies? It promises to be a hoot! That's the cover of the program to the left.

So, that shows the world what support I have with my kids.

I guess of all the things that I am thankful for, the biggest things are my children. If I had to live my life over again, I'd say that the poor excuse that I had as a marriage, would be worth the have my kids again. They are the product of Lovey's and my marriage. From that perspective....while I suffer from huge pangs of regret, my three kids are not part of that.

I spoke to #1 in El Salvador yesterday. She sounds quite happy. She is experiencing lots of new things....and is already planning my Christmas trip there. That should be quite be with her.

I'm looking forward to that.

My life continues. It's quite a change from what I had envisioned for this stage of it.

But, at this moment, I'm okay.

Still grieving...but it's better.

Trying very hard to get it all together....and to keep it all together.

I appreciate all your warm thoughts.

The one remaining sad speed bump left for me is when I sign the final divorce documents....and it's over. It will be the end of an era...and wll finally make everything that I have been on more concrete.

I don't look forward to that.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Things Appear to be Moving

Last Friday I signed the paper work for the separation agreement.

Today I received the paper work in the mail that says that Lovey is now moving toward the divorce.


It's only taken two years.... My only wish is that this had been done a long time ago.

As I read the documents, I noticed a small little foot note.

In the early days following the separation, Lovey made this big deal about keeping my surname. This was because she wanted it to be the same as all our children's names. It didn't bother me one way or the other. But she made such a big deal out of it.

Well, in today's documents, it said that she intends to go back to her maiden name!

So, once again, Lovey has changed her mind about something.

Oh well.

Hopefully now within 10 weeks I will be a free man.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

On Being Normal, Queer, Christian and Male

I returned yesterday afternoon from Philly all safe and sound. I dropped my colleague off at her car and then I made the mad dash across the river to pick up my cocker spaniel, Davy.

He was so happy to see me and to be home.

I felt a profound sense of relief when I got home.

The overall relief I felt was evidenced in the fact that I had to lie down and nap before I could continue the rest of the evening. That one hour nap refreshed me enough so that I could enjoy the Bible study I attended.

Yes, the gay church I am part of had a men’s Bible study last night and we met at one of the members’ homes. We sat and talked. I became acquainted with a number of the guys.

It’s interesting to be in a room filled with gay men….and to not have the sexual tension that accompanies a lot of such gatherings. In last night’s group there were two committed monogamous couples.

Watching them interact and to behave so comfortably with each other was such a blessing to see.

Over the course of the evening, they mentioned that the reason that such couples are not as visible as those who lay fast and loose is that a committed couple tends to be low key. They don’t feel the need to beat their chests and be out partying and playing. They are content with each other and just living their lives quietly and happily.

They asked me about myself and my background. I told them of my religious upbringing and about Lovey. I told the couples that I was really blessed to see them. But that I had a long way to go before I was ready for such a relationship.

They understood.

The discussion then turned to being a normal queer Christian man. So, I asked the question, “What does one look like?”

They explained that normal was a relative term. It depends on who you are and what your drives entail. Being a queer is obvious…if you’re a man, it means you like other men. (DUH.) And, if you’re a Christian, that means you are a follower of Christ.

So, based on that discussion, I suppose I can claim the comment,

“I’m a normal, queer, Christian, man.”

I hope Jerry Fallwell, Pat Robertson and Ted Haggard aren’t reading this.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Greetings From The City of Brotherly Love (Philadelpphia)

Today I return home from having spent three days in Philadelphia, PA.

It has been a good trip and has offered me a welcome change of pace. I've spent some time with some old friends from my agency and I've gotten the opportunity to gain some new friends too!

I guess spending time with 300 of one's colleagues sort of forces you to reach out and talk to strangers!

As I write this, it is still dark outside. The noises of the hotel, as it awakens are increasing. Doors are slamming. Occasional voices fill the hallway outside my room door.

And here I sit, writing to you.

Since my last post, I've been trying to figure out what profound words of wisdom I have to impart in this entry. Sadly, I have none.

I'm still very down about the separation agreement.

I hear through the grapevine that she is elated that Frank, "finally agreed to her separation agreement." She is elated that now she can file for a divorce!

This could have been done so long ago had she not dawdled.

Very frustrating.

I wonder what her dad would have said about all these developments?

During the height of my being "down" on Saturday, I drove to the cemetery to pay my respects to him. He still has no tombstone. I just know where his grave is and the fact that Mom O'Lovey has some plastic poinsettias on it still left over from the holidays.

I stood there remembering him. I remembered his difficult ways and what a tyrant he could be. In an odd sort of way, I understand how Lovey is the way that she is. I also talked to him about all the happenings in my family. I told him how angry I was and how hurt I felt...and yes, what a failure I felt I had been as a husband. Oddly, I felt some degree of comfort while there. I also talked about vindication. I said that I wanted to experience vindication in some small way.

I would like to be able to feel that somewhere along the way, Lovey will not be seen as the victim in long flowing ministerial robes. You know, that poor woman whose life was made hell by that awful queer husband of hers. That lousy, no-good-for-nothing man that had so many affairs he could hardly see straight. Pardon the pun.

Does Lovey really know what a life of hell is really like?

I was and am still quite queer y'all, but I tried to be a better husband because of it. I drove myself to keep her happy. For a very long time, I tried to be celibate....and to be a non practicing gay man. In actuality, her life was not the hell she would like others to believe.

But, wouldn't it be something if she remarries and moves into hell? I mean, what if she were to marry another gay man? How about a gay man that happens to be all the things I am one who doesn't level with her? Or one that is not on the gentle side who tells her of his struggles?

Or what happens if she marries a guy who does not let her focus so much on ministry? One that makes her do other things that she doesn't really want to do?

I'm praying for vindication.

Some would call it revenge.

But I'm praying for a miracle to occur that will let Lovey see once and for all that being married to Frank was not the hell she has portrayed.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Friday Report

Yesterday was a big day.

Lovey and her attorney decided that they would finally accept the terms of the separation agreement. So, my attorney called and asked if I could be at her office at 1:30pm to sign the agreement.

Yes, to actually sign the Separation Agreement. This is the agreement that I have waited to sign for almost two years.

The moment arrived and I signed the original and four copies. I also had to initial each page. So it took a while.

So after all that, I paid the attorney and wrote my first alimony check.

Then I went to my gay married men's support group. I was so sad...and it has been this way the entire day. I guess the fact that I signed one of the main documents makes the whole thing real. It moves from being a concept to something concrete...and it hurts.

Really bad!

I've spent all day just doing errands and trying to change my mood. Tears have fallen all day long......

I'm so tired...

I need to sleep.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


I am scratching my head a lot these days.

No, I don’t have lice! LOL

Being gay sure does make life very interesting. When I think of all the energy and time I wasted fretting about this very fact and worrying about not being “normal,” I get very, very tired. Especially when I think of how bad I beat myself up….and considering myself to be “ugly.”

One of the things that I have been most fearful of is the fear of being alone as I get older. “Who would want me?” I often asked myself.

Several of my gay friends have said that I should just be myself…and to not worry about trying to go out of my way to look for companionship. “It will come when you least expect it,” they say.

Today I had another “special” moment.

I was involved in a nonwork-related meeting at lunch time. A new man that I didn’t know was in attendance and he happened to sit next to me.

He was quite fun to look at.

I mustered as much of my straight persona as I could because I just didn’t want my mind to go “there.” As we began to eat lunch, he turned to me.

“I’m Randy,” he said. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Likewise,” I said. “I’m Frank.”

We shook hands and he gave me one of those strong grips and he held it about a second longer than I was expecting.

As we continued talking and getting acquainted, I began to take notice of his body language. When he talked to me, his eyes looked at me intently – deeply, so much so that I felt naked. My heart raced.

I found out that he was a contractor. I happened to mention that I was thinking of having some work done at my house to remove a wall to free up a little more space for my refrigerator.

He grinned and said that he would like to give me an estimate, if that was okay.

I said that an estimate wouldn’t hurt.

So when the meeting was over, he asked me if I was heading out back to my office. When I said yes, he told me to wait up and he’d walk out with me.

We left the meeting place and when I got to my car, he asked if he could have my phone number and email address in order to make arrangements to look at the potential job. As I handed him the piece of paper, his eyes drilled into mine and he asked, “Are you married?”

Kind of a strange question… I said, “Well, sort of. I’m in the midst of a divorce…after over 25 years.”

He smiled….”I’m married too,” he said. “But I like guys. Wife doesn’t know. One thing though that is different about me is that I want monogamy. One guy…all the time.”

I gulped.

Was this a come on?

I smiled and said, “I totally understand. I’m gay too. I’m all for monogamy, but I’ve found it is rather difficult to find in the gay world.”

His smile grew broader.

“Small world,” he said.

It sure is….especially in Washington, D.C.

It makes me want to scream out like Joan Cusack in the movie, “In & Out”


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Exploding Old Myths

I've spent almost 49 years believing a lot of myths about myself.

They've only served to box me in and have helped to limit my possibilities. However, I am happy to report that I seem to be exploding them one-by-one.

It's funny....and it's scary too!

Today's old myth that I successfully exploded (Well, to be honest, I had some help doing this demolition.) is the one where I have believed for years and years that I am unattractive.

I think the origin of this myth stems from the first grade. I had an elderly lesbian spinster as my teacher. She made it clear that she had no time for men or boys. She was tough as nails.... When I'm discussing her, I always like to say that she held down two jobs...she was a school teacher and she moonlighted as a test pilot at a broom factory in town. That's how bad she was.

As I've explained in earlier posts, I was an only child. I think my parents and other key adults successfully spoiled me during my growing up years and by the time I reached the first grade (Kindergarten was not required at that time.)I was rather traumatized by the concept of going to school.

Having Miss Floding as a teach didn't help my self esteem.

I still remember her taunts: "You're such a baby." "Why don't you know how to tie your shoes?" "Your neck is too big." "You're ugly." "You are a bad little boy."

I think you get the idea.

At any rate...the one thing she said to me that has stayed with me these past 43 years, is the fact that I am ugly. And, in looking at some of my pictures from adolescence, I must say, I was far from being a sex symbol.


However, my kids have flattered me by saying that as I have gotten older, I have gotten much better looking. I've just sort of roll my eyes at such comments and go on about my business.

As a gay man -- a gay middle-aged man -- I have learned that the focus is on youth and buff bodies....and I've watched first hand just how vicious the community can be to those who don't fit into the gym bunny mold.

Since I'm a nearly single gay man, I have to tell you that it has given me pause when I consider that not everyone that I find I'm attracted to is attracted to me. As a matter of fact, I would say so far that 80% of what I'm attracted to runs shrieking in the other direction when I enter the room.

BUT, I had a friend to tell me, "Aw Frank. It's not you! You're just marketing yourself to the wrong audience!"

I've thought about it.....and although I've not been doing any conscious marketing of me to anyone....I've just been too preoccupied with the separation stuff, I have been trying to spruce myself up a bit and let folks know that I am comfortable being me.

Well, today, I had my socks almost knocked all the way off!

A man from one of the online groups I'm a part of has been emailing me religiously. He saw my picture on the group's photo page and started chatting. We chat about everything. Well, he's working in the area for the next six months and had some free time and he decided to take me to lunch. He called me and said, "I'd really like to get to know you better. I want to take you to lunch."

So, I said, "Okay!"

He told me he'd be driving a pickup truck.

The snooty people at my office (and there are quite a number of them) really wrinkled up their noses when they saw Old Frank here crawl into the cab of that truck.

Now, I must confess, when I opened the truck door, the specimen of manhood that sat over on the driver's seat made my heart skip. Chris, had not posted his picture on the Web site. My old insecurities rose and I found myself wondering why he would be so interested in keeping in touch with me and wanting to have lunch with me.

We chit chatted as we headed for the eatery he had in mind. Chris said that he was glad that we finally got to meet. He said that he had read my story....and that he saw my picture. "I liked what I saw," he grinned, "and I like what I'm seeing now."

My heart skipped.

This man is 40 years old....beautiful in every way.......and he says that he likes what he sees.


I stammered and stuttered....and when we finally got to the eatery....we went inside and found a quiet private table.

We chatted.

It seems that Old Chris....the buff and beautiful Chris....really likes me. I mean he wanted me to know that he REALLY likes THAT way.......and he wants to
SEE me......and to be FRIENDS......and God only knows what else.

I thought I was going to lose my breath.

You see, Miss Floding was sitting on one of my shoulders whispering, "You're ugly, Frank and not worthy of this. He's just trying to use you."

I looked at my friend, sitting there....looking all doe eyed...... I said, "Forgive me, but what exactly do you see in an old guy like me?"

He grinned again, "'re a cute one....and I'd be honored to have you in my life."

I gulped.

He certainly would be a nice ornament to have skulking around my house and sunning himself out on my deck in those hot summer days.

My kids would be amazed......that I dragged something like him home.

My poor mother would probably faint dead away.


In my heart, I know that I'm not ready.

I'm not ready for a long term relationship with another man full time. Heck, I'm not even over my last long term relationship yet. Technically I'm still married to Lovey. I'm very much on the rebound. I have way too many other issues to work on before I make any big changes. I need to enjoy full fledged singleness for a while -- a long while.

But, you know something? This was a great affirming experience. There was a beautiful young man...perfect in every way....expressing his admiration of me......his attraction to me.....and wanting desperately to become a very important part of my life.

He was, he said, strongly attracted to me....the soft...middle aged.....fag....Frank.

I still have to catch my breath.

Thanks Chris for blowing that myth to smithereens.

Horoscopes and Such...

I like to think that God has a sense of humor.

I think that’s why we all have varying degrees of it in our lives.

When I was younger, I loved to laugh. I also lived for the moment of making others laugh. Sadly, as I have grown older, I think I forgot how to laugh due to the many dramas I’ve had to face in my adult life.

It’s returning though – slowly. I’m so happy about this.

I see God’s sense of humor in very subtle and gentle ways. Sometimes they are nothing more than slight nudges that happen at the most unexpected times. So slight in fact that they can be easily missed or dismissed.

I’ve always been sensitive to the unknown and the supernatural. Lovey wrote in her journal entry (the one that I found while cleaning her junk out of my house) about my apparent “fixation” on these ungodly pursuits as one of her many reasons for our incompatibility. In her mind, it exemplified my lack of overall spirituality.

I always liked to ask her questions that sometimes challenged her faith. Such questions tended to make her uncomfortable because I often asked questions she couldn’t answer.

Lovey didn’t like to be in situations for which she didn’t have an answer.

Lovey thrived on being the most spiritual being in our household. She was always so pious and serious. She was always so busy living up to this notion that she never noticed that the ONE thing I never lost in my marriage was my spirituality.

I just never wore it on my sleeve or felt the need to beat my chest and scream “I AM SPIRITUAL” at the top of my lungs. Besides, that would have only triggered a contest as to who was more spiritual: me or the good reverend herself!

I just don’t do well at contests.

In my Christian upbringing, I was taught that reading one’s horoscope was akin to communing with the devil himself. But, being the inquisitive person that I am, I have always read that column of the newspaper…not to guide my life by it….not to conduct a séance or to consult a Ouiji board to guide my footsteps or to be turned onto a life devoted to the black arts.

This was for fun…ONLY.

One day in high school, for example, my horoscope said that I would have a good day, but that I should be careful in cross walks. At lunch that day, I wasn’t paying any attention to what I was doing and was nearly run over by a car while I was in – you guessed it – a crosswalk.

While I’m confessing my secret sins to you, dear readers, I think I should also tell you that I have fun reading personalized license plates. Perhaps this is nearly as evil as communing with the devil, although I’ve never read a commandment against this in the Bible.

Sometimes though, these personalized messages touch me at special moments quite profoundly. For instance, one day I was beating myself up internally about being a gay married man.

A sports car veered out of no where and merged in front of me…..the license plate read:


A few days after Lovey lowered the boom on me and announced our separation, I felt unwanted and like damaged goods. Tears had welled up in my eyes.

A mini-van whizzed by with tags that read:

Or, the day that I took #1 to the airport for her year abroad in Spain, I cried all the way from the terminal out to my car in the garage. The convertible parked directly in front of my car had tags which read:


I could go on and on….

I count these moments as my little special moments from God – nuggets that let me know He’s watching…and that I’m not alone.

As you know, I’ve struggled with a host of issues this past year. If you’re new t this blog, you can read about all my fears and insecurities in the past articles in the archive. You will also know that I’ve also wrestled with my gayness and my own internal homophobia and my feelings of being “different” from everyone else.

Well, today I had another one of those special moments from God. Yes, at lunch time I read my horoscope in the Washington Post.

It read:

“As different as you feel from that person standing in line behind you, sitting in the cubicle in front of you or driving next to you in traffic, there is much that we all share.”

So simple, yet profoundly me.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Another Good Day

This has been another good day.

I'm trying to figure out what makes the difference between a good one and a not so good one. I've decided that I have a good day when I feel like I've accomplished something. Or, when I feel good about in enjoying th emany blessings that I have experienced and the fact that each passing day moves me that farther away from the hurt of June 9, 2005 -- my separation.

This week I have the honor of serving as the acting office director. Next week I am headed to Philly for 3 days on business. And, well, things are really happening in my life.

I got to spend some time tonight encouraging a friend from one of my online support groups. It's really good to feel like I've helped someone else on his journey....and perhaps made him smile or outright laugh.

Before I came here to write, I checked my emails. I got a message from one of the heads of the men's group at MCC, the church I attended yesterday. He sent me the release about the next Bible study, and then sent me a personal message about how good it was to have me at church on Sunday. He also said it was very important to his overall wellbeing, to be able to worship God in a safe environment.

I believe this...

It certainly did me a world of good to be able to go and enjoy meeting all the new people.....and to just be me.

This is certainly a new experience....going to church without a mask...just being able to be the man that God created me to be.

What a relief!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My Visit to Church

I went to church this morning.

No, I didn't go to THAT one -- you know the one. That one where I feel like the invisible man. That church that Lovey served on the staff of.

I went to the Metropolitan Community Church -- the gay church.

It felt so good to be there. The sanctuary was crowded with people like me. Gay men, gay women, gay male couples with kids, gay male couples without kids, lesbians with children, lesbians without children, older gay men and women.

It was amazing.

The lesibans were so friendly. When I go to gay churches or gay friendly churches, I seem to always attract the lesbians. I told my mother that I was getting in touch with my inner lesbian...or maybe I was a lesbian. We laughed.

But the message was so good. The spirit was really good. I felt very much at home.

Following the service I was invited to go to lunch with them -- the lesbians and the gay guys. We laughed. It was good to just be myself in this group of strangers. They want me to come to the men's Bible Study next week. So, what the heck. I'm going to go!

So we'll see.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Right Path

My introspection continues...

Last night, I had dinner with a gay military officer. Yes, he is active duty... He and I had a wonderful time. Over the course of the evening we discussed what kind of work we do. I was amazed to find out that my friend is a psychiatrist.

He was so easy to talk to.

We talked....and we laughed.

He was great.

As we talked, he said that he could tell that I have been through a lot....but he wanted me to know that he believed that I was dealing with my issues in a very healthy way. He predicts that by the end of the summer I should be at a new....and very good place in my emotional reconstruction.

I thanked him.....and said that it was a relief to hear that from a mental health professional, because for a few days in the not too distant past, I thought I was beginning to lose it.

I then asked if I could tell him a bit of my story...and if he would tell me his thoughts.

He said that he would be glad to listen and to provide any input he felt necessary.

"Out with it," he said.

So, I gave him the condensed story.....of my separation and my life with Lovey.

Do you know what he had to say about me?

He said, what has been told to me by two other mental health professionals: "You have all the classic symptoms of being an abused spouse."

Confirmation #3.

This, and the fact that I keep analyzing my past....and some of the issues I've discussed in this blog during the past week or so, I'm in agreement with this pronouncement. I also find that the hurts and the feelings of inadequacy I've struggled with are beginning to change.

I'm feeling more confident in myself.

I am not the person I thought I was for so many years.

I'm not dysfunctional.

I'm not damaged goods.

I'm not ugly.

I'm not unable to be happy with myself.

I'm a person of worth.....who has a lot to offer the world.....

and it is not determined and I am not defined by Lovey!

I'm a great guy....and all I need to do is to relax.....breathe......

I'm on the right path....for me.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Musings on Love

It’s Friday!

It’s Friday, March 2, 2007!

STILL there is no signed separation agreement from Lovey!

In one week, I will have been separated for 21 months. So, here I sit…where I have now been for almost 21 months…waiting.

Why is it taking her so long? She says that she needs the alimony. But alimony does not begin until the separation agreement is signed.

It makes no sense.

But then, this whole situation has never made any sense to me. I can’t understand why when these delays occur, I am blamed for the delay. Or that I am accused of taking advantage of her. Or that I have made her life hell. Or that I have made her raw inside.

DANG those wooden spoons, toilet lid seats and rescued cocker spaniels.

I am scum of the earth and remain so…even to this day.

She, of course, is a vision. She, so holy, so spiritual, her ministerial robes blowing in the breeze! Hands raised to minister to the downtrodden….the lowly of heart…..the unfortunate.

But because I’m gay….one of “them”…..a man who has been “unfaithful”….an adulterer…..what I think or what I feel don’t count. I’m not even worthy to be in her presence or to be treated as an equal. I am beneath her.

So here I am.

I remain troubled in that I doubt she ever loved me. In her mind she may have had a form of love….but not the kind of love that I hunger for. The love that I ache for transcends gay/straight.

It doesn’t have to be perfect or defined by body shape or other attributes.

It accepts me where I am and does not require me to change into its image of what it think loves should be.

It comforts when I hurt.

It protects.

It gives me the benefit of the doubt in all situations.

It puts me first and does not treat me as “left overs.”

It’s there when I have had a bad day.

It’s there when I have an excellent day.

It’s there when I fail.

It picks me up and dusts me off and gives me a hug and says, “You’re doing fine.”

It’s there when I succeed and rejoices in my good times.

It’s kind.

It’s longsuffering and is not a scorekeeper.

It’s only a phone call or email away.

It’s a bond that only grows stronger with the passage of time.

In 25 years of marriage I NEVER had any of this. Everything had strings attached. Everything was up for criticism. Never any comfort during my grief over the loss of a loved one. There was never any benefit of the doubt given for my motives. Scores were always kept….if she ever perceived she was behind in the score, then there was always hell to pay.

Yet, me, with my eternal (or is that infernal?) optimism flowing, I always created an excuse for any shortcoming that Lovey exhibited. I loved her. She was my wife. – for better or worse.

But these were the rules I lived by….and I thought about them every day.

I still think about them daily.

Are they too hard?

Are these too Pollyanna-ish?

Do relationships -- gay or straight -- ever have a love like what I want?