The Scarlet Letter


OK. I've talked about this letter I received. Here it is..and my responses. I think it's important to see how the son or daughter of a married, cheating man would view this...I'm sure it will bring up as many mixed emotions for you as it did for me.

Dear Sir

Please forgive this letter from a complete stranger, but I would like to thank you for the dedication, time and energy that you devote to your blog, and to share my story of another man, married and bi like you. I acted stupidly, but I was and am young and foolish. Please be more careful than this person and hide your secret until you and your family are ready.

I had always loved and admired my father, and accepted his praise with pride and his punishments without rancour, until the day that my curiosity got the better of me twice. I found a phone of his that I had never seen before, and was amazed when he snatched it from me and sent me to my room for the day. Left alone at home as a punishment, and angry at what I perceived to be his unfairness, I went through my father's study and computer in a fit of pique. Thus I became aware of the secret that he had hidden from us; he had elaborately set up ways and means of visiting men and having sex with them for many years. I was appalled and disgusted; consumed with shame and rage. I was unable even to look at him when my family returned and could not touch him without a grimace. When I calmed myself I wanted to make him suffer for his betrayal. Therefore, like a spy, I watched him carefully while shrinking away from any conversation or affection, and collected every detail of his journeys and online browsing to present as a punishment or blackmail tool. This went on for three weeks until, following links from his regular blog visits, I found Bi Like Me.

I hated you because of your premise; but then I thought that I could read your posts as a preparation for the inevitable showdown with my father, to see what justifications he might raise or how he might possibly excuse his vile behaviour. Over three days I read through your entire blog; and as I read I began to understand him a little. When I read about your love for your children I considered the carefully-constructed barriers and lies that my father had used to separate his family and affairs. While I had been repulsed by the precision and eventual ease with which he had avioded inquiry and returned home fresh from encounter after encounter, I realised that he had worked so hard to protect us, and that his balancing act might be a cause for love rather than loathing. Although I was as hurt by your descriptions of your wife as if they were his words about my mother, when I thought carefully I could see that my mother might also be to blame for his lack of sexual interest in her. I compared his and your desires to my own teenaged hungers and realised that I could probably not remain steadfast under such pressures.

Even if my father does not love his wife with the totality of his being, he has still kept our family together and I owe everything to him. I can even bring myself to admire him somewhat for his skill in maintaining this illusion for so long. I would like to thank you for opening my eyes to his side of the story, although you have replaced seething anger with confusion and the sadness I feel for him, you and my oblivious family. I am still hurt by the idea that he could feel love, as you did for Ross and Kevin. for someone other than the woman to whom he made a promise, but I suppose I should be glad that he can feel the arms of a lover around him, even if it is someone of his own gender.
I don't know what I should say to him, he seems concerned by my 'sullen withdrawl' and cannot know the reason why; I seem to have inherited his skill at hiding activities. I just feel glad that there is someone out there who can help people in his or my situation to examine their own lives. I will try my best to be a better son, since you have sacrificed so much for your children, and I will try to encourage my mother to become warmer and more pleasant.

I don't think that I will ever be able to condone either of you, but I hope that you and anyone else in your situation will be able to find happiness without hurting those who love you.

I apologise for taking up so much of your time, and look forward to your next post.

Yours sincerely,
XXXXX response.


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