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What Happens When You Discover That YOU’VE Had It Wrong All The Time?

Updated on August 5, 2010


I like to think that I’m “with it” (as the kids used to say) or at the very least, that all my kvetching on this blog for the past four years has kept me in touch with what’s going on in the world and my own feelings about what’s going on. And while I have gone on endlessly about gay marriage and the rights we gays lack, the truth of the matter is that growing up, the thought of getting married never crossed my consciousness. If you were gay, you didn’t get married. And if you did find someone to spend your life with, you changed the pronoun when talking about him with older relatives and people who didn’t know you. I know, I know, this seems horribly antediluvian but I admit it, that’s how I’ve lived my life. While I write endlessly about gay marriage and my rights, I never wanted to be impolite or make anyone in the general public (or certain members of my family) uncomfortable. What happens when you discover that YOU’VE had it wrong all the time? – Don’t Get Me Started!

I’ve always had a problem about what to call the man in my life. I’ve tried everything on from boyfriend to husband and everything in between and nothing feels right. When we became Domestic Partners (in accordance with the laws of our state) last year, all of the paperwork stated that my guy was now my “spouse.” And while it’s not the most romantic term in the world, for all intents and purposes that’s what he is, my spouse. It still doesn’t feel right to me.  But let’s leave the semantics of what to call my spouse aside for the moment.

I was picking up a prescription for me and dropping off a prescription for my guy last week when the pharmacy tech asked me when I needed it, without thinking I said, “It’s not my prescription, it’s for my spouse. Could you have it ready for him to pick up tonight?” “Spouse” it just slipped out. And as effortless as it was to say it, the pharmacy tech just as effortlessly said, “Not a problem, he can pick it up tonight.” She didn’t seem uncomfortable, the walls didn’t start to crumble, no one jumped out from around the corner of the candy aisle with a “God Hates Fags” sign (believe me, I looked) nothing happened. Wait, something was happening, I started to feel proud. Proud? Why would I feel proud of calling someone I’ve shared my life with this many years my spouse to a total stranger? It wasn’t some big declaration to the world, it wasn’t some protest, it was just my soul slipping out, speaking for me and it felt good to get it out.

Lest you think I walk around in a worried state that people will find out that my spouse and I are together, I can assure you that we kiss and hug in airports when we are welcoming each other home, we eat off of one another’s plates in restaurants when we feel the need however we don’t make out in public because straight or gay that doesn’t appeal to me to participate in or to watch. I have been a proud gay man for many years now so why did it take so long to figure out how wrong I have been for so long? The simple answer is that I don’t know. The complicated answer is that I’m a people pleaser and I want to be liked so rather than possibly make someone else feel uncomfortable I’ll put on whatever character you want me to be to make you feel comfortable whether I know you or you’re a complete stranger.

I could be bitter that it’s taken me so long to figure out how to be okay with calling a spouse a spouse or I could choose to be glad that it didn’t take me another forty-something years to figure it out. I choose the last one! What happens when you discover that YOU’VE had it wrong all the time? – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      K9, Glad you could relate and enjoyed. It's always good to hear you're not alone in your thoughts or fears. Not so much misery loves company as much as I think it's "thank God, I don't have to be medicated, someone else gets this too!" Thanks again for reading and commenting!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      Scott you are my rock! I can relate to so many of your topics and rants. I am from the same generation as you and even as I honestly think that being a lesbian requires less caution than being a gay man (only because people seem to find the girl/girl thing less threatening for some wierd reason) I have also fought the label thing for many years. About 15 years ago I found my voice and threw caution to wind and started calling my departed wife, my wife. It did feel right to me at the time and remained so until she passed. I guess I am just saying, I am happy you have reached this place, and your spouse, he must be a very lucky hubby!

      I always enjoy your work, thanks for staying pissed!

      ~Always choose love~


    • gqgirl profile image

      Sabrae 7 years ago from Georgia

      Go Scott! I'm just now getting around to checking my email so I'm just now getting to read this! It's all about who you are and what you are comfortable with. And when the time is right you will know. And it will feel more comfortable to call him your "spouse" or "husband" :)

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      EA - You certainly get it. And yes, my spouse has indeed been calling me his spouse for years now. Sometimes we just have to learn things for ourselves.

      And need to ask what all those rings on your fingers are about!

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 7 years ago

      Go Scott!!

      I am raising my cup of joe to both you and your spouse this morning!! How lovely to read your words of triumph!! Big, small, internally and socially!! Go Scott!!

      Much easier to be your authentic self than to be a people pleaser!! I know from experience!!

      That's why I thought your Oprah Show idea of a "Personal Assistant" (although GREAT and I voted for it a zillion times!!) didn't ring nearly as true as being yourself in "Some Like It Scott"!!

      What was Mr. Spouse's reaction?? Don't tell me; he's been referring to you as his spouse for years!!?????

      Do you guys wear wedding rings???

      I do!! Even as a celibate Interfaith Minister, I wear wedding rings on both hands!! (Nope, it's not some 'married to Jesus' thing as I believe in the golden thread that runs through all faiths!! Christianity is but one!!)

      I wear a wedding ring on both hands as a symbol of my commitment to Truth, what/where ever it might be!!

      I used to wear one wedding ring on my left hand, as is the 'socially acceptable thing to do' to tell the world I am unavailable!

      But most men didn't seem to get the left-hand/right-hand convention!! So I began wearing wedding rings on both hands!!

      Surely men would understand, I thought, in the face of concrete evidence, that I am not a member of the desperate 'I need to feel loved please jump my bones women's club!!'

      Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, but social convention be damned, the Neanderthal men thump on their chests!! Seems I am even more attractive now as I, apparently being married, am less likely to be infected with STD's!!

      I know you probably think it odd that I am one of your biggest supporters!! But we really have much more in common!! At least your spouse comes with benefits!!

      Hugs and Kisses and Blessings Always,

      Earth Angel!!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      You and your spouse have a great marriage going, it sounds like to me. And you have had a good marriage for over twenty years. You have the perfect right to be proud. You have the perfect right to refer to him as your spouse, and he to you as his spouse. God loves you both!

    • profile image

      Amber 7 years ago

      I was wrong once...just kidding. Scott, I'm thrilled that you're glad, I'm thrilled at anyone who manages the rollercoaster that is a long-term relationship, and I'm thrilled that Prop 8 got overturned and hope it stays belly up and gets buried.

      Most people just want people to love and be loved. It's a pity that the ones who insist on adding extra rules are so freaking loud about it.