Hi! My Name Is Curtis.
Tomorrow I turn 30 years old and I am now beginning to live my life as who I am. So let me re-introduce myself.
I’m Curtis Ware. White. Middle Class. 6 feet tall. 29 years old. Over-weight. Gay. Soon to be divorced.
Some people may be surprised by those last two statements. It’s a bit of a shock.
My story is not my own. In 2011 I made a promise to my best friend, to be her husband till death. She is truly an amazing person and I hurt her in a way she nor I was expecting. On July 22, 2016 I turned her world upside-down and told her I was gay. She is one of the strongest women I have ever met and I felt that strength when she accepted me and loved me even still. The story appears to be so cliche that you would expect it to be a Lifetime Original Movie. Our story is anything but normal.
We had planned a life 5 years ago when we said “I do”. There would be a house in our favorite small town with kids. I slapped an eviction notice on those dreams. I can admit, those dreams were what I thought I wanted, but I was only lying to myself and to everyone who cared about me.
Struggling with the notion of divorce has been extremely eye opening. Most everyone in my family had been through it. Not one person has been through divorce in Laurie’s family. We grew up completely different in our relationship with the term of divorce. We both see it in a negative light. Deep down, I think I might see it as a normal event in someone’s life. Our divorce is not because we stopped loving each other. In fact, I think we have found new love towards one another. That’s such an odd concept to wrap your head around.
I look to the future and am absolutely terrified. I haven’t been single in 10 years. I’m devastated that I am losing the person I am most comfortable with. Mourning this marriage together has been a constant switch between being drained and filled. The conversations have been exhausting and comforting. It’s tragic that we have to remake our relationship into something lesser.
I have struggled most of my life with anxiety. Most of that is stemmed from me not wanting to accept and love who I am. Being openly gay is a whole new world for me. Letting go of the worry that people might find out what I am has given me the ability to break down the walls that I built between the relationships in my life.
I am celebrating. I no longer have to use deception as a shield. I am loved.
I am so lucky to have surrounded myself with people who care about me and care so deeply for my wife. At our wedding, my mother spoke about how she prayed for my wife since the day I was born. Someone who would love me, push me to do my best, comfort me, and accept me for who I am. I still believe my wife was that woman who my mom prayed for. I don’t think anyone knew that would be the woman who would be so supportive in me leaving her so I could be happy.
I have seen strength beyond all measure. I have seen love go further than I knew was possible. She will always be my Wonder Woman.
Laurie has also written down her thoughts from the past few months and wanted to share. I have added it below.
Prior to July 22, 2016 I thought the biggest struggles in our marriage were figuring out when/if we would have kids and Curtis shutting down when I tried having an honest, difficult conversation with him. When Curtis told me the night of July 22 that he wanted to explain why he shuts down in difficult situations I was thrilled. I thought we could finally get to the root of the issue and start working through it to make our relationship even stronger. I was wrong.
If I had a million guesses as to what Curtis was going to tell me that night I never would have figured it out. I was confused, devastated, and totally blindsided. All I could do that night was be supportive of him for doing what has to be the hardest thing that Curtis has ever done. Little did I know that that night was going to be the easiest of them all.
In the 3 months since Curtis told me he is gay, life has been testing my strength and patience every day. I went to a baby shower in August and realized while I was there that I am now the furthest away from having a child than I’ve been in the last 10 years. I left that baby shower in tears and cried the entire way home. We also went on vacation for a week and attended a gay wedding together in September. I cried very little on our vacation and didn’t cry at all during the wedding.
When sharing information with family and friends about our life choices, you never know what their reaction will be. One of the hardest things to hear when telling people is the amount of support they give to Curtis initially. I’m grateful that people are accepting of his decision but it makes me feel like an afterthought. Another reaction that hurts more than anything is when people say “I knew he was gay.” This response always makes me angry and upset. How could you possibly know when I didn’t? Should I have questioned our relationship when Curtis first pursued me 10 years ago? It’s frustrating.
Something that hasn’t changed is the love and concern I have for Curtis. I want him to succeed in this new life he is setting out on. I want him to find a group of people that he relates to and feels comfortable with. It’s important to me that while this situation is difficult for both of us that he doesn’t give up. I’m worried that this change will be much more difficult than he is expecting.
It hasn’t been easy making decisions during this transition. What we think is the best option sometimes turns out to make everything harder but we don’t typically know that until it’s too late. There’s no handbook for this situation. We just continue doing the best that we can.
Moving forward I’m trying to keep a positive attitude. I know Curtis didn’t do this on purpose. I know he still cares and loves me deeply. I know we both want to remain best friends and still be around for family birthdays and holidays but understand that this might not go as smoothly as we planned. We both have great support systems with family, friends, and close coworkers so neither of us are ever really alone.
Curtis…It is going to take me a long time to accept the end of our marriage. I hate to think about how much more crying I will be doing in the next year or longer (I’m crying as I write this). I love you. I’m proud of you. And I’m always here for you.
Thank you for taking the time to read through our thoughts. This is just the beginning of this new journey for us.