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Thread: When Love Hurts…

  1. #1
    divine_ms_m's Avatar
    divine_ms_m is offline dream job: Queen
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    Jun 2005
    southern california

    When Love Hurts…

    I’m not sure where I’m going with this, or if I’m posting in the right place, so forgive any faux paux on my part.

    Yesterday I was reading a review of a popular AGR book in which the reviewer poured out her heart about her recently failed AG marriage. Later that evening, I read a news report that said that author Terry McMillan (perhaps best know in our community for her semi-autobiographically novel How Stella Got Her Groove Back) has filed for divorce from her husband of six years. In the report McMillan was quoted as saying:

    “It was devastating to discover that a relationship I had publicized to the world as life-affirming and built on mutual love was actually based on deceit…I was humiliated."

    Both of these marriages ended because of infidelity (the reviewer lost her husband to a YW, while McMillan claims her husband is gay). And while the end of any relationship is painful and devastating, in AGRs it just seems doubly difficult.

    In McMillan’s case for example, she declared to the world that she had found the love of her life in a romantic, attentive man 23 years her junior. In so doing she gave millions of women (especially women of color) the permission they needed to explore new romantic territory. And now, after so many years of investing in this relationship, she must face, not just an ugly court battle (her husband is counter suing to break the pre-nup), but also the snide, insensitive, and very public jibes about how poor Stella’s lost her groove again. I can only imagine how painful this time must be for her.

    I guess what I’m looking for here is to hear from the survivors: those who have suffered the repercussions of failed AGRs (i.e. the “I-told-you-so” accusations from family and friends) and lived to tell the tale. I think that as much as anything else we talk about on this forum, it’s important to remember that not all AGRs work, but that this fact need not invalidate the choices we have made.

    Thanks for listening, and letting me get that out. You guys are great.
    “A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
    —Maya Angelou

  2. #2
    marcy Guest
    I haven't survived the ending of an agr, so maybe I'm not okay to comment here. I hate the idea of qualifying an ended relationship as a failure. Just because a relationship ends doesn't mean that it failed. However, I read that too and it also tugged at my gut. It spoke to my own insecurities and fears in a similar way that ending relationships here on AL speak to my fears. In my time here, I have seen several really strong couples end their relationship. It is hard and always has a strong effect on the active community.

  3. #3
    yellowrose's Avatar
    yellowrose is offline Texas Gal
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    Oct 2002
    And while the end of any relationship is painful and devastating, in AGRs it just seems doubly difficult.
    Well, I have had several serious relationships end. The age-gap one was not the most devastating. There is a lot of divorce here these days and it is with every age group. No one is immune but that is no reason to think that it will happen to you. Actually there is less divorce and happier (sexually satisfied) women in families where religion plays a large part.... Interesting isn't it? (Redbook survey... years back)

  4. #4
    Chatterbox Guest
    Not only have I survived the end of an AGR, but there were disparities in race, nationalities, financial standing, he is beautiful and fit, I am not, and he still lives in my home, so you can only IMAGINE what some people think! But I know what my truth was in the romantic relationship and I know what his truth was; and I know what our true feelings are in the relationship we have now, so I have nothing to be ashamed of.

    Even if he TOTALLY duped me, I would still hold my head high, because my feelings were real, my happiness was real, and if his weren't, then HE'S the one that should be embarrassed, not me.

  5. #5
    Chatterbox Guest
    PS: Yes, I always think of the poor people involved in these extremely public displays of betrayal. I don't know how they stand it, but Nicole Kidman is a great example of taking the high-road and not hanging her head because the guy she married turned out to have the romantic-attention-span of a hummingbird.

    And, honey, Stella sure enough DID get her groove back and ain't nobody can take that away from her unless she LET'S them!

  6. #6
    Anenda Guest
    Any relationship that ends is hurtfull. Whether it is based on mutual separation where you remain friends or it ended ugly. The pain, the self blame (mostly on the womans part) is always present and takes time to heal. The pain of an ended relationship is not exclusivly reserved for age-gap relationships. However the public scrutiny, the 'i told you so' comments, and the feeling of being a fool etc are magnified by the fact that is was an AGR.

    It is unfortunate that Ms. McMillan has to publicly go through something that is so painfull and private. I truly sympathize with her because i can only imagine that at this time she would just want to deal with this in her own way without the whole world being aware of it. But I do not think that she or any one else should see this as a failure of a AGR. Or that they should see this as the barometer for AGR. Stella did get her groove on! and I for one am very happy that Terry McMillan shared this experience with the world. It opened alot of 'doors' for women who had these feelings but were afraid of being ostracized by society for their choices in love

    Quote Originally Posted by Chatterbox
    Even if he TOTALLY duped me, I would still hold my head high, because my feelings were real, my happiness was real, and if his weren't, then HE'S the one that should be embarrassed, not me.
    This statement is so true. Not only for AGR but for all relationships in general. If you feelings are true and you have been true to yourself during the entire relationship then there is no reason to walk with your head down and feel as if you are the victem. YOU gave of yourself in the relationship because YOU believed that it was what you wanted and needed to do at the time in that relationship. Yes it has ended, and yes it is painfull. But what Chatterbox said is similar to my outlook on my ended AGR.

  7. #7
    miss b Guest
    I heard about Teri Mcmilliams divorce this morning on a radio talk show. They spent a good 5 minutes going into detail about how she put herself out there, bragging about her relationship with a younger man. Making money off of the love affair with the movie and book. The talk show person felt she was getting what she deserved. He spoke about the pre-nup and about her being accused of being homo-phobic and even mocked her for being with a brother that was on the ‘down low’. Saying that he thought the y/m really laid on the sex and when he wasn’t she should have known something was wrong; she should have known he was gay. He even joked that she would probably write another book about being married to a gay man and make a mint off it, so she should just pay the husband and get to writing.

    As I listened to this show my heart sank. I can’t imagine how she must feel. Having all of your private life out in the public, not including what her own family and friends may say.

    I began to wonder how much ridicule I would get if my relationship with my y/m ended. Who would say I told you so. Who would say that I deserved it? Who would actually be there for me? I spent a minute taking a survey of my small circle of friends and I don’t know who would be there for me. (besides you guys here )

    I think I too would be able to hold my head high. I went out on a limb so to speak with this relationship. People said dont and I did it. I gave it a chance anyway. My relationship has had ups and down’s like any relationship, but in the end I feel that I am living and I am loved. He just happens to be younger.

  8. #8
    miss b Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Amina315
    I knew Terry's husband was gay..I KNEW IT!!!
    __________________________________________________ ____

    How did you know it ?

    Do you know them personally ?

  9. #9
    miss b Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Amina315, I saw him on several interviews when they FIRST met, like back when she was just writing "Stella" and I said "that man is a homosexual"...
    __________________________________________________ ______

    Oh ok.

    I keep hearing about "brothers on the downlow" , and there seems to be no way to identify these men. Its really sad because women are finding themselves married to these men for years before this comes out of the closet so to speak.

    Its also sad when you're living a double life and for whatever reasons you cant be who you really are.

  10. #10
    miss b Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Amina315
    Yup...but the DL situation is nothing new, it's been going on forever...
    __________________________________________________ __________

    True...Its just now getting some publicity. I think with the continuing spread of disease it will continue to get publicity, but I doubt if it will go away. I find most black men have too many reasons for keeping it on the DL, while other races have felt more comfortable coming out of the closet.

  11. #11
    Chatterbox Guest
    My only knowledge of "brothers on the down low" is from an Oprah show and a tragic and powerful Law & Order. And, yes, that is exactly how they portrayed it: men who are married with children, that get together every week (in this case) to play cards, each week two pair-up and go off to the bedroom to have sex, and they never talk about it, even among themselves. Both shows represented that they "loved" their wives, they had sex with their wives (risking exposing them to AIDS), and they had, what they and the wives thought was a real marriage relationship. The way it was explained is that they did it because they would not admit that they were gay, and they convinced themselves that having sex with another guy once a month didn't mean they were gay. Sounds bizarre, but it's big-time denial and compartmentalization.

    When I was kid, gay men and women were so ostracized that they would get married, some half-hoping they could stop themselves from having homosexual sexual encounters, and some because they couldn't work unless they appeared to be heterosexual. The heartbreak that everyone suffered from these marriages was devastating and it was such a blessing that those times were passing into history, and it so sad that it still exists in this "down low" form.

  12. #12
    satinandlace Guest
    As I listened to this show my heart sank. I can’t imagine how she must feel. Having all of your private life out in the public, not including what her own family and friends may say.

    But it was her choice to bring her private life out in public and make money out of it, so why feel sorry for her now? - just the consequences of her choice in the first place.

  13. #13
    HeatherLynn Guest
    I have to say that I relate on some level as I held off posting here about my recent issues out of a sort of feeling that this might not work out and I might then be some sort of failure.

    But having said that, she has nothing to feel weird about, he is gay (if that is true) and the marriage is over. This happens to same age couples all the time, this is NOTHING to do with age gap.

  14. #14
    Desert Spring is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Yeah. It really doesn't feel wonderful at all, does it? When E and I had the "he kinda wants to move out" crisis last summer, I have to admit that in between all the horrible pain there were definitely flashes of the "this is what everybody told me would happen" stuff. Even here, it was totally horrifying to have to post that we were having problems - (although it turned out to be very helpful).

    The truth is that "everybody told me it would happen", because of course, it might happen. Relationships are risky, relationships across big age gaps are more risky. I knew that when I decided to make this more than the fling it could well have stayed at. I raised the stakes and I raised the price that I might have to pay. Did the same **** thing when I got married to my 11 year older spouse who managed to leave me widowed at 31. Set myself up for the potential of massive pain.

    I guess I could go to every wedding in town as the prophet of doom and make sure that each and every bride and groom fully understands before they cross that threshold that they are opening themselves up for the possibility of incredible pain later on. I might not get invited to the reception, though - lol.

    It's about lightening up. Every darned time you let someone into your heart, you are paving the road for a potentially diasastrous break-up. You're setting yourself up. You're walking into a trap. As a songwriter I like says - "love is the devil's playpen". If we were smart, we'd wall ourselves up and never never do such an incredibly stupid thing as trust another human being to keep a promise like "you only ... forever". That's not a promise. It's a hope.

    It would definitely be a reduction in the richness of life, but at least we'd be immune to the **** I-told-you-so's. It's easy to tell someone that their relationship won't last. Most don't, so the odds are, they're probably right. What takes wisdom is to decide whether the risk is worth taking, and if the joy will balance the pain in the end - and if this, of all possible risks, is one you want to take or not. People frequently won't advise you on that one, because it's harder.

    As it turned out, I let him go and he came back to me and we are celebrating six years together this month. I still dunno if its forever, we take it day by day, and there are great ones and not-so-great ones. There's a lot to learn and a lot to figure out, but it's already been a wonderful ride and I will never forget him whether he's still in my living room twenty years from now or not. Those memories will always be mine, and some are sweet and some will sting, together or not, but it's my life. And I'd rather live it than not get hurt, (whatever I may say to the contrary when I'm weeping). But I would.

  15. #15
    miss b Guest

    Like you said, no matter if its and AGR or not, when love hits us, we make a decision to open ourselves up and let someone else in. Its very much a risk, but I would rather risk it than not. I too have issues in my relationship, I think all of them do, but the experiences and joy that we've shared gives me what I need to keep at it each day. And it can be day-by-day at times, but its ok, because I look at life the same way, day-by-day.

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