Hello Papa Bear,
I had written you a while back, I was the gay pup in a relationship with a woman. I have an update, after revealing to her things that I had been keeping pent up, we are split up. She unleashed hell on me and I know I fully deserve it for wasting the past 6 years. I can't help but feel utterly heartbroken at this, because I do love her as a friend, but I can't even be that any more.
I am awaiting her decision on if she's going to throw me to the streets or let me get my affairs in order and try to find a place to live.
My question is, is there hope for me? She blamed my mental illnesses for my lies and deceptions. I mean it's true I have a few that make relationships a bit extra work. I'm rather unsure what to do or where to go from here. Like I said I lost a good friend.
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I'm sorry for your upset, but you did what had to be done, so I am proud of you for that. I wouldn't place blame on any "mental illnesses," whatever that may be, but rather on the facts that you told me previously, which were that you really liked this woman and didn't want to hurt her, which is why you delayed telling her. That would make anyone hesitate. I went through the exact same thing in spades. I married a wonderful woman in 1988 (at the time, I thought I was straight). I had been married to her going on 20 years when I figured out I was actually gay (long story for another letter). I held on to that secret for over three years because I didn't want to hurt her and because I cared about her. Finally, in a burst of emotion, I couldn't hold it in anymore and confessed to her. Long story short, we got divorced.
Here's the thing, though.
At one point, she asked aloud if all those years had been a waste of time. No, I answered (and she later agreed). We had some wonderful times together and wonderful memories, and we both grew as people with one another's help. Therefore, they most definitely were not a waste of time, and I am forever grateful for the time we had together. We're friends now; last time I was in her area, we went out to dinner, we visited her mother, and as we parted, she said, "I really did enjoy being married to you." I teared up, I must confess. I enjoyed it, too.
I used to think that people never change, but they do. With luck, it is for the better. After the initial pain of this separation you are both undergoing, try, if you can, to not let it be the end of a friendship. Try to not lay blame on one another. That will only cause hurt; it's not helpful nor is it constructive. Instead, merely acknowledge that things didn't work out but that you are grateful for the time and love that was shared. You may not necessarily have "lost a good friend." Don't give up on her just yet. And don't blame yourself for any mistakes--real or perceived--you may have done. No one is perfect.
Love can take many forms. The love in this case might not be the type for a marital relationship, but it could be one for a beautiful friendship.
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