My Orthodox Jewish grandmother told me that if I married a man who wasn't Jewish that he would eventually beat me. My Jewish mother told me if I married a gentile that she would serve only lima beans at my wedding and no one would come. Needless to say at 26 years of age I was on a quest to marry the most Hebrewist man I could find.
The year was 1996. I was working at major motion picture studio. A six-foot tall, quite good-looking man in his early thirties walked up to my cardboard-like cubicle.
"Hi, I'm Jacob Jewstein (that's not really his name but trust me it was super heeby). I'm the new Mac guy." (It was his job to fix all the Mac computers on the studio lot).
What went through my mind instantly was "Mrs. Jacob Jewstein." You see not only did I have to marry Jewish but I had a timetable. By 26 I will meet the man of my dreams, married by 30 and kids by 33.
I aggressively pursued Jacob Jewstein like a tiger mom pursues an ivy-league education for her children. The signs were there from the beginning of the relationship: The full body waxing kits, the John Mayer concert tickets, the rainbow colored c--k rings. All kidding aside there were signs. He found oral sex repulsive, there were unexplained absences and he would sit in front of his computer with the door closed for hours. I thought he was shy or maybe had a mild case of Asperger's.
Regardless of all these signs, I wanted to be married so badly. Besides, lots of people's marriages look good on paper only, right? One of the real reasons I married my ex-husband (I've never admitted this before) was to prove to my family that I wasn't the loser they thought I was. I was the black sheep and the fuck up. Every family has at least one.
We tied the knot overlooking the Charles River in Boston. He never asked me to marry him. I just bought the ring myself and decided that's what we were doing. I had my big fat Jewish wedding. It was truly spectacular... until the honeymoon. I bought a cute little nighty to wear and sashayed out of the hotel bathroom to find a sleeping husband. That little nighty still has the price tags on it.
I felt like I was dying inside. I found solace in pills, just a few kinds: Vicodin, Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, Tylenol with Codeine, Valium and Oxycotton. I was an over achiever, an opiate Olympian if you will. Don't worry, after winning the gold I retired from those Olympics.
Matters went from worse to horrific. We were like ships passing in the night. He would work long hours and come home in the middle of the night and sleep on the couch. Am not attractive? Not sexy? Not interesting? I had no self worth left and I didn't know what to do. I would indeed be even more of a loser if my family knew the whole situation and I got divorced.
But I had to know the truth, was my husband gay? One night I attempted to hack his computer but it was like Fort Knox with all its passwords so I went rooting around his closet instead (insert gay closet joke here). Under piles of clothes and boxes was a duffle bag. I pulled the bag out and opened it. Inside was a vast array of questionable porn, including some man on man selections. My heart dropped but I was also relieved. It wasn't me, he likes c--k!
"I'm going to need a divorce," I blurted out when he got home. He didn't say anything or admit to being gay. He told me that I was dramatic and "who would want to have sex with someone like me?" I was devastated.
I found research done by University of Chicago sociologist Edward Laumann, Ph.D. He estimated that between 1.5 million and 2.9 million American women who have ever been married had a husband who had had sex with another man.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love gay men. I would say 80 percent of my friends are gay men; I just didn't intend on marrying and subsequently divorcing one. I felt betrayed, angry and extremely sad. I have no idea who I married and we don't have a relationship today. It's a shame too because it would have been really great to be friends and go together to the "Sound of Music Sing Along" at the Hollywood Bowl.
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