Husband: My 40-Year Marriage to a Gay Man

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9781514434208: Husband: My 40-Year Marriage to a Gay Man

In the beginning JoAnne thought her relationship with Steve was exhilarating and fun. Though she knew he had bisexual interests, she trusted their love for each other and felt ready to accept an unconventional marriage in the spirit of the rebellious and sexually charged 1960s. Excitement was in the air as they moved to Brooklyn Heights, wrote screenplays together, met a mobster killer, and were repeatedly robbed and mugged themselves. But gradually problems developed, as Steve drank too much, began cruising in bad neighborhoods, drifted into dangerous liaisons, and lied to her about his secret life, which repeatedly put the family in danger. Meanwhile, JoAnne felt nearly overwhelmed by other crises, including her recurring breast cancer and her parents being critically injured in their house fire. As she became convinced her husband was gay, JoAnne prepared for divorce, but neither she nor Steve really wanted to separate. Still best friends, the two continued living together. They remained close, loving their daughters and feeling rooted in the house that over the years had cost them so much. When Steve died, JoAnne sought to understand their strange and troubled relationship by drawing on her memories and Steve's journals about his gay encounters and fantasies. Her memoir is a brave and brutally honest account of a troubled but enduring love. Recent research suggests that some 4 million women may be married to closeted gay men. Husband is the story of one such relationship that lasted nearly 40 years.

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About the Author:

JoAnne Blackwelder met her husband, Steve, at the University of Wisconsin, where both were employed as Teaching Assistants as they studied for the PhD in English. After they married and moved to New York City, Steve wrote screenplays and was hired as a story editor for Warner Bros. The couple had two daughters, bought a shabby brownstone in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and became jacksofalltrades as they renovated their house, doing most of the work themselves. To allow Steve to stay home to write a novel, JoAnne left their young daughters in his care and worked in Manhattan, first in publishing, later in typesetting and printing. Eventually she acquired her own printing business and ran it for 10 years. In 2007, she and Steve retired to Ocean City, NJ, where he died suddenly. JoAnne continues to live in Ocean City and today is employed as an organist and choir director. Her poetry has appeared in several anthologies and journals, and she was a featured poet in September, 2015, at the Sea Isle City Library.

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