I was sitting on the lanai, drinking coffee and reading the paper, when my husband came out of the house in his blue terrycloth robe. He sat down in the chair facing me.
"I'm gay," he said, and started crying.
We had been married, truly happily, for 32 years. He was my college sweetheart; the father of our two grown sons.
"No, you're not," I shot back. And then we were both crying.
Our relationship felt strikingly ordinary
In college, he lived upstairs from me. It was 1978. From the moment I met him, I never once questioned his sexuality.
We got married right after graduation. Our first son came four years later; the second, five years after that. We had a sheepdog, a van, and a 100-year-old Victorian home in a quaint little town. My husband taught at a local school while I worked 10-hour days managing a newspaper.
Things were normal. We had lots of friends. We were absolutely solid -- the kind of couple people aspire to be.
My husband's indiscretions came out of nowhere
After 25 years inseparably together, one night my husband didn't come home. It was totally unlike him. I sat on the couch, alone in the dark, frantically waiting for him. It was still the early days of cellphones -- and he didn't yet have one.