I was married to a lesbian, and my girlfriend didn’t know

In the summer of 2015 I married a woman whom I’d met through work. She was openly gay, [period mark] our marriage was a friendly agreement to expedite her pursuit of citizenship. A few weeks afterwards, I reconnected with an old flame. The circumstances and the timing was awkward, and past grievances made my “marriage” a sensitive topic that I kept putting off. The longer I waited, the more difficult it became to broach the subject. I eventually managed to keep it a secret for the ENTIRE process, her naturalization and our divorce.  [A secret does not require a lie.]

As the development of communications technology accelerates our privacy seems to shrink, social media and the internet in general can make it very difficult to keep secrets. However, the technology and features to censor and mask secrets has also developed. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] Keeping my pseudo-marriage a secret was just a matter of exploiting the perfect settings on facebook and messenger [Capitalize brand names.]. Even if your profile is public, you can selectively publish photos and posts to groups of people. You can exclude a single person from your Timeline, or half the people you know. A few basic apps on the iPhone allow you to render incoming messages and calls to your phone invisible during certain timeframes. This allows you to check on secret messages only when you’re certain it’s safe, and avoids the need for false contact names. Lying with computers is easy, it was the human component to lying that required effort.

Inevitably, suspicions grew. My girlfriend began to notice certain details change in my stories, and I realized the lie would soon become unsustainable. [Do you think the person trying to penetrate the secret had a desire to know, gain control, feel superior, or be intimate?] My compulsion to lie in order to avoid an awkward confrontation had spiraled out of control and required a great deal of energy. [Relate to class: You kept a secret to protect your personal space and name.] [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] A lie, especially a big one, cannot exist in a vacuum. It permeates other subjects and puts a tremble in your voice when you mention certain things. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] I had to come clean before a REAL fight broke out. I confessed immediately after my divorce was finalized (the process is quick when you don’t have to split custody or property). She was so understanding it was almost comic, my frantic hide-and-seek game IRL and online was pointless.

Still, the experience served as an important lesson. Secrecy is a powerful tool, the selective withholding or release of certain information can manipulate the very reality of people who are close to you. It is also an incredibly taxing practice which feels unhealthy in the long term [good insight]. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] My own success with secrecy has made me paranoid of what web of lies we aren’t aware of. When you consider what the concentrated efforts of thousands of people with billions of dollars committed to secrecy could achieve, it can be frightening. The resources for media manipulation are accessible to the government, the impact far greater than anything I could achieve. [good insight]

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