A friend of mine spent her life with boyfriends. She dated, had serious relationships, and experienced a completely heterosexual life. And then, while abroad, she met the love of her life… who happened to be a woman engaged to a man; engaged to be married. Neither of these women ever considered the reality that they might prefer the same sex over the opposite sex. Neither knew that they would find love where they found it, but they realized soon enough that love is love – the package is not determined by each individual.
Oh how often we try to make love look the way we would like it to look. How often we put rules to its form and its package. We try and make rules and contracts and stipulations as to how it will feel, act, and endure, not to mention how long it will last and the forms it will take.
How often are we correct? How often are we mistaken? How often are we taken aback as to where we find love?
My friend and her “wife” realized where they were and how they felt. They eventually went to Canada to marry and then left the US permanently. Rather than attempt to ignore their feelings toward one another and engage in discreet affairs, they came out, shocked their friends, and are living happily ever after.
How often does that happen? I mean, sure, we all want to believe in the happier ever after and that we will marry the person of our dreams. For those who actually find the package and the person they desire in the form that they desire… that is wonderful. For the rest of us, well, it isn’t always so easy. We have to figure out how to open our hearts and our minds. We have to learn how to go against the grain sometimes to follow our passions and our hearts. Sometimes, well, it just isn’t easy.
And what happens when that love occurs after one or the other is married? Sure, it happens between men and women all the time – or they think it does. One of the people in a marriage finds something outside the marriage – for better or for worse. But that is not what I am talking about at all. I am talking about when one party or the other finds someone of the same sex to whom they are attracted? What happens when we find love in a completely different place than that we have always known? Does such a discovery differ from discovering love with the opposite sex?
Dad’s House wrote of a discreet affair experienced by one of his readers (which inspired this post). The questions he posed to his readers regarded whether or not those who had divorced ever considered whether they had fought hard enough to save the marriage? Should they have fought harder? Fought at all? Questions about the ending of the marriage.
What struck me was not necessarily about the ending of the marriage but the situation itself. When another woman or man is involved, a person of the opposite sex, the other spouse is on known territory. As the wife dealing with the mistress or the husband dealing with a lover, we are on known territory. We understand the attraction; we can strive to compete if desired, we can criticize ourselves wondering what we did or didn’t do… There are many paths we can choose to travel as it is the known. The story is one with which we are familiar whether or not we have experienced it ourselves.
When the lover is a member of the same sex… well, the tables are turned. We are completely thrown off balance. In the case at Dad’s House, the man could not offer his wife anything that she wanted really as what she wanted was another woman. In the case of my friend and her wife above, a man wouldn’t fit the bill.
Dishonesty is dishonesty. It doesn’t matter whether it is a man or a woman – it is still being dishonest. But… does the fight change, the challenge alter, the need to work to save the relationship falter if the lover is of the same sex? Does it make it easier to leave? Easier to absolve ourselves of wrong doing for leaving? Are we more okay within ourselves if we realize that our spouse simply played for the other team? Perhaps it would be easier to stay in the marriage and allow the discreet affair?
All questions I found myself asking after reading the post. I have not found any answers, but find that a discussion on this topic is interesting.