Long story short, I am now sitting here, left for another woman while he is enjoying his life like I never existed and is not fazed whatsoever. How does someone get away with being caught with their dirty little secret and then cheat and leave their wife and is now living his best life while I’m sitting here sad and grieving? — I Know His Dirty Little Secret
I’m sorry your husband cheated on you and left you; I completely understand why you’d be grieving the end of your relationship with him. What is less understandable is why you point to the email response you found to a Craigslist ad for men seeking men as your ex’s “dirty little secret.” I am assuming that the idea that your husband was bi- or gay-curious is what you consider “dirty,” which is really homophobic and off-putting. Cheating is cheating, and you now know that your husband was likely cheating with this woman he met at the gym and left you for. I mean, I don’t know why that is LESS dirty than an email you found, unless you truly think the idea of being — GASP — bisexual or gay is gross, which is pretty gross in itself.
You have reason enough to be hurt and to feel cheated by your husband’s shitty behavior without pointing to his sexual identity to support your pain. His sexual identity, whatever it may be, has nothing to do with his cheating on you. His sexual identity has nothing to do with his moral character. And while his cheating may have been a “secret” and certainly not one to be proud of, there is nothing “dirty” about a sexual identity that doesn’t fit squarely into the heteronormative narrative, even if it was an identity he wasn’t open about, either to you or himself.
Be angry at the way you were treated (anger is a normal and healthy part of the grieving process and will eventually give way to acceptance and healing and moving on); don’t be angry that at some moment in time your husband showed some curiosity that strayed from an identity you believed him to have. Cheating hurts a finite number of people; the number of casualties of homophobia, however, is a much larger number.
Get off Facebook (or at the VERY LEAST, unfollow all of your boyfriend’s family so you won’t be offended by their social media behavior), take responsibility for whatever wrong-doing may have resulted in your boyfriend’s family not liking you very much (i.e. apologize sincerely, express regret, ask that they forgive you, and tell them how much it would mean if you could start over with them since your boyfriend is so important to you and they are so important to him). You don’t get to dictate what kind of relationship your boyfriend’s family has with anyone else, but you do have some control over what kind of relationship they have with YOU. Be a likable, kind, compassionate, MATURE person they might want to get to know better. And quit fighting with your boyfriend about his family’s relationship with his ex, as if he has control of that, or you will soon be his next ex.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.