I had discovered the value of honesty and truth in my life, and still value these things.
Friendships, Secrets, and Lies
A Gay Opinion 6/16/00
by R.A. Melos
dedicated to my ex-lover
Several years ago there was a television movie by the same name. The film was about a group of sorority girls, one of whom induces a premature birth and dumps the dead baby's body down an air shaft in their sorority house. Some 20 years later their secret is discovered, and all hell ensures in their personal lives. The most notable feature of this film was it's cast included Tina Louise (Ginger from Gilligan's Island). It was made at a time when all those women-bonding-and- becoming-stronger-for-it type films were popular.
The title, and the general theme of the film, secrets and lies are a bad thing, and real friendships can get beyond them, stuck in my mind. If you've read previous entries about my ex-lover you can understand why this topic would be in my mind.
I've been asked by some why I am so willing to reveal myself on-line like this? Why I would be willing to write about such a personal event?
I suppose the reason I'm so willing to dissect my relationship with my ex-lover is because I am looking for my own answers as to why I still have feelings for this man who, by all accounts, didn't deserve the level of love I did have for him?
I've been looking for these answers since the first time he hurt me emotionally, and have yet to find them.
Another reason I'm willing to make this so public is the hope it may help someone else who is going through something similar, or someone who may know someone who is going through something similar.
The reason for this title is self-explanatory. My ex-lover and I were the closest of friends. Now I've had a lot of transitory friendships in my life, and a lot of people in my life who I refer to as sycophants, and none of those relationships meant as much to me as the relationship I had with my ex-lover.
I wanted to think it was just the sex I missed, or our relationship was centered around sex and losing him from my life didn't matter because he could easily be replaced, but those weren't the case.
My ex-lover used to call me his docile Chihuahua. Okay, not the most flattering of remarks, but in looking at our relationship I did give him the type of loyalty my dog gives me. And had my ex-lover understood that kind of devotion he would've understood any animal who is neglected, or has needs ignored, will eventually turn on you.
The need he ignored in me was my need to be honest, to tell the truth. I never liked lying, even when I started in the sexual portion of our relationship. We had already become friends, not the kind who hang out much, but the kind of friends who can call each other and talk about anything for hours, who know the other one will be there if they are needed, who trusts each other with their lives.
So, when we began a sexual relationship, it kind of grew out of our friendship and love for one another. It was a natural extensions of our love for each other, even if he would tell me "as long as we don't kiss it doesn't make us gay." That was his illusion, a self-lie, which I could live with for the time being. I hoped he would start to accept himself more, especially after he revealed to me his secret sexual relationship with another male friend, a relationship which had been going on for more than 15 years.
As our relationship continued, he pursued me until I agreed to go to work for him, as his personal assistant in his mortgage business. My being in real estate already made the job a natural extension of my knowledge and abilities to assist my own customers. I resisted his offers of employment (all other offers were always accepted readily), because I wanted to know he wanted my assistance in business and not because we were sexually involved.
As it turned out, I gave into him out of need for money. He offered me $200 a week to work for him, and I accepted it, with the condition he were paying me for answering phones, running errands, keeping files, and that he never get it in his mind he owned me sexually or that he was paying me for sex. He promised me he would never look at it any other way than as I wanted it.
I admit we did spend most of our time between phone calls engaged in unbusiness-like conduct (unless you happen to be Bill Clinton, with whom my ex-lover shares a birthday many years apart), but we both managed to be more productive than ever in our business lives for a few months.
It was the point where he started to feel something for me more than he wanted to when things changed. One day he asked me if I knew of any women who wanted a sexual relationship with "no-strings". He said he liked what we were doing, and had been doing for the past two years, but he just couldn't be gay, and his feelings for me were strong. He told me he would always find a way of keeping me in his life, but he wanted to cool our relationship.
The cooling period lasted two days, and we resumed the sex with a new vigor, but he still wanted a woman to prove to himself he wasn't gay. I obliged by introducing him to the woman who is now his second wife, on her way to becoming his second ex-wife. It was the biggest mistake of my life.
I loved him enough to give him everything he asked for, and I do mean everything. Unfortunately for me it included my own ignorance, for, as you know from everything else here, he is an ex-lover. The ironic part of this is, the end of our relationship wasn't entirely the new woman's fault, since he and I continued our sexual relationship for several more months after he began his relationship with her.
The reason our relationship ended was my refusal to continue to keep secrets, and thus to continue to lie for him. The lying I was doing was to his then wife, now ex-wife, by covering for him. The secrets and the lies took a toll on me, and, because he was already lying to himself, having talked himself in to total denial of his homosexuality, the lies were taking a toll on him.
I watched him lose weight, and then lose his marriage and his two children with his first wife, as she threw him out, and I watched the girlfriend begin her process of manipulation, threatening to leave him and fighting with him every time he even suggested he might want to work things out with the first wife.
Now I do understand the girlfriend's point of view. She wanted a husband and didn't care what it took to get one, and this man was going to be her financial salvation. She didn't see, or at least she didn't care if she did see, the pain he was going through. He wanted to be loved, and unfortunately I was the only one who loved him unconditionally, and I was being pushed to my limits.
In a way, he was testing me, seeing how far he could push me, and I finally snapped. The events of the final end to the relationship play out like soap opera. First the girlfriend faked a pregnancy and an abortion (faked), and progressed to the threat to tell everything to his then wife. In a panic he confessed everything about the girlfriend to the wife, who was willing to try to work it out. Her big mistake was not insisting he move back in with her immediately.
At this point I confess, my big mistake was not comforting him sexually. I know how that sounds, but had I done so, he wouldn't have had the time to get back together with the girlfriend. I wanted him to be sure of his own feelings, something, in hindsight, I realize the girlfriend didn't want and has managed to keep him from focusing on since that time.
So, while the not entirely trusting wife allowed him to return to his apartment, the girlfriend literally fought her way back into his life with threats and lies. The wife then approached me with the question of his fidelity to her, and I could no longer be his faithful lap dog. I told her the truth about his girlfriend being back in his life.
Now I suppose I could've continued to lie for him, but I wanted all the lies and secrets out of my life. What I hadn't counted on, or even given thought to was my own secret. I was still closeted, and once I took away his secret, he took it upon himself to out me and take away my only secret. In a way it was fair since our relationship was mutual.
So, the lesson we've learned so far is, lies and secrets--bad.
Now about the friendship. I found myself alone, without my best friend, or a steady job, but than real estate was something I could always go back into full time, if it weren't for the emotional hell I was feeling inside, and I was without a person to talk with about the problems in my life.
I saw my friend, my lover, the person I cared about more than myself (which is a miracle in itself I found even one person on Earth I would put before myself as long as I did), slip away and into the clutches of the manipulative woman who would become his second wife (almost immediately after his divorce was final, in spite of his desires to remain single for at least one full year after his divorce became final).
He and I tried to patch up our differences, but each time it deteriorated into ugliness. Once resulting with him being arrested for attacking me in my office. I dropped the charges out or my love for him, and I had hoped he would've learned from that incident how much I did still care for him, but he had become blinded with rage and anger, which was continuously feed by his girlfriend who decided I was to be out of his life permanently.
I should point out this man has, from all accounts, always allowed others to control him. He actually does control himself, but refuses to take responsibility for his actions. If he attacked me it was because I wouldn't keep his secrets, and that, of course, made him lose control. If he attacked his girlfriend, which he did at one point, it was because she wouldn't stop arguing with him, and that made him lose control. If he attacked his ex-wife it was because she was out to destroy him and hurt him, and that made him lose control.
It was the same with his homosexuality. If he got drunk he wasn't responsible for having sex with men, and when that self-delusion didn't play out any longer he took to drugs as his excuse for homosexual desires. He was never responsible for his own actions, even though he was, and he always blamed society or someone else, and you know what? He was right.
He was right in saying society was to blame for his actions, but not in the way he meant. He was right because society, and the people closest to him never called him on his actions. They, we, allowed him to blame alcohol, and drugs, and then each of us in turn for his short comings, for his inability to look within himself and face his true demons; secrets and lies.
I realize I may never know the reason for his desire to lie, to keep secrets, but I do know several things I learned from this experience.
One of the most important things I've learned is to hate lies and secrets. I have none, and I am grateful to my ex-lover for taking away my secrets and lies, because he freed me to accept myself. However, now I will not tolerate secrets and lies in my life in any fashion. This includes in my work, which in a business like real estate is almost unheard of. Let's face it, the business was built on lies and secrets and deceptions (Can you say Manhattan Island?).
The other thing I've learned is to call people on their cover stories or self-deceptions. I've had many transient friendships end in my life, and none of them bothered me, and since being outed and coming out to many others I've lost a few friends along the way. These dissolved relationships were mostly by my choice, and I accept the blame.
Real friendship is a rare commodity in this world. I've recently been given another lesson in this via an Internet friend who was injured in an auto accident. His roommates, friends, are now helping him. They are doing this rather selflessly, even to the extent of helping him keep up a gay adult oriented web site, even though his roommates are not gay and do not find those sort of pictures and articles the type of things they would want to see.
This may not seen like a sacrifice, and many may say it's porn and shouldn't be on the web, but these friends are making sacrifices of their time and their personal preferences on an emotional level, out of love for a friend. These people are, to me, a rare find in this day and age.
I know what I feel for my ex-lover, and I know how hurt I have been because of his actions, and I understand how hurt he's been because of my actions, but if there had been no lies or secrets, our friendship might've survived. The secrets and lies were mostly his, and if he were the only one who had to live with the fallout from these, it would be fine, but his lies and secrets effected me, his current and ex-wives, his now three children (make it five children as of 2001), his family, my family, just to start naming a few.
My own lies also effected my family, and my life. Between the two of us, he and I, we pretty much managed to destroy any possibility of a normal friendship between us, although I would like his friendship, and even destroyed the possibilities of moving on with our own lives without occasionally stepping on land mines and other debris from the fallout of the revelations in our lives.
Now one might argue these are good reasons to lie or keep secrets, but I beg to differ. Without lies and secrets, truth and honesty, and even love can flourish and create the kind of world in which we should be living.
My advice to all is to remember, the truth always comes out in the end.