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How I Found a Husband

Maybe I should write a book on this . . .

After I got divorced, my life was unabashedly difficult.  I was raising three special needs sons completely on my own.  I was separated by time and distance from nearly all my friends.  I was working two jobs (including some crushing writing deadlines) and trying desperately to clear up a divorce-created pile of debt.  It was a harsh time.

Eventually, however, things stabilized.  Even the deadlines eased.  I was able to take stock and think about where I wanted my life to go.  A big question was, did I want to be single?

I had already thought about this a number of times, but earlier my life was so dizzyingly chaotic, the thought of adding another person to it made me physically ill.  Now that I had solved a number of pressing problems and settled my life down, I had more room to maneuver, and I came to the conclusion that I didn't want to be single.  Sasha had already moved out.  Aran would follow suit in just a couple more years, with Maksim shortly after that.  I didn't want to be alone for twenty or thirty years after they left.

So I would have to find someone.  The question was, how?  I'm not naturally outgoing.  My job requires it, but that's my job, not me.  I'm don't strike up acquaintances easily, and I find it excruciating to talk to strangers.

Compounded was the fact that I was a man looking for another man.  Straight people have all kinds of venues for romance.  Straight people can make runs at each other without worrying about someone being mortally offended, and their choices are vast and varied.  The gay community, especially where I lived, is rather smaller, and LGBT people don't wear tattoos on their foreheads to tell you who they are.  This was also before same-sex marriage was legal, and I wasn't widely out, for fear of repercussions at my job.

I realized there was another obstacle in my way: my own house.  I looked around my house, my bedroom, my bathroom, and realized there was no space for another person.  My entire room and bathroom were filled with my stuff, and where would another person fit?

This was a mind-set thing, I realized.  Creating space in my physical life would create space in my psychological life, and allow me to find someone more easily.

I cleared out my room.  I rearranged my furniture so that half the room was empty, ready for someone else.  I emptied out a chunk of my closet for the same reason.  I created space in my bathroom.  There!

Then I made a list of characteristics a partner had to have.  There was an ABSOLUTE MUST column and a WOULD BE NICE column and a NO WAY column.  (Basically, the person had to be at the top of Maslow's hierarchy.)  I made a commitment to stick to that list, no matter what.

And then I decided to try on-line dating.  I went to a couple of different sites and danced around with their free versions, then said to myself, "Either you're looking or you arent," so I bought a full membership to one site.

One guy I talked to (by email) was so shy that he wouldn't even tell me what town he lived in until the third email.  I dropped him.

Another guy still lived with his parents and they didn't know he was gay.  I went on one date with him, and had to pick him up three blocks away from his house and drop him off the same distance away.  He kept checking his phone to see if his family was texting or calling.  "I told them I'm going for a walk," he said, "but they might get suspicious, so I have to have an excuse ready."  I dropped him.

And then this guy named Darwin McClary contacted me.  A message led to emails.  Emails led to texts.  Texts led to phone calls.  Phone calls led to a date, then more dates, then Wednesdays and weekends at each other houses, and then a house together, and then a legal wedding.

I credit the commitment.  I had to create space in my life, physically and pschologically.  I had to commit to finding someone.  I had to stick to the list.  I also got very, very lucky.  It still makes me shake just a little to think how lucky I got with Darwin.  I can't imagine life without him now.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 17th, 2017 05:34 pm (UTC)
You should think about submitting this to the New York Times Modern Love column.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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