How do you intentionally go missing for a period of 16 years, letting your wife and five kids think you’re dead, only to reappear and share your story on ABC’s 20-20? It’s simple. You turn up gay with your lover.
Eric Myers had married his high-school sweetheart Anne, and they had two daughters and then adopted three Vietnamese boys. When they went through marital difficulties they chose not to divorce because of their Christian faith.
Then, on a business trip, Eric became discouraged and decided to get away for a few days and unwind, not saying a word to Anne. The days became weeks, then a month, then four months, at which time he met Sean Lung and started a new life with his gay partner, completely abandoning his wife and kids.
It’s hard to imagine the trauma his family lived with. When is Daddy coming home? Where is he? What happened to him? How many nights of agony and torment did Anne experience?
Eventually, he was declared legally dead and the family collected $800,000 in life insurance, meaning that he avoided all detection as he and Sean traveled the world together.
His daughter “
“. . . she retreated to alcohol at age 11 and found that it made her feel better. She only quit drinking to comfort her mother who she describes as ‘one of the most selfless people I've ever met.’”
These were the devastating effects of life without dad.
As for Eric, who recently chose to emerge from his secret life “since living in disguise is a 'horrible prison’,” he now confesses that “I cannot say anything to deny that this is the most selfish thing in the world,” explaining – as if the thought would have crossed anyone’s mind – “I will never be painted as a saint.”
And, perhaps finding the ugliness of his actions too much to own up to, he states, “But no one is all good, and no one is all bad,” an unnecessary caveat if ever there was one.
What about his coming to terms with his homosexuality? Wasn’t that a valid excuse for leaving his wife and children?
After all, wasn’t New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey hailed for his courage when he announced that he was gay, confessed to an affair with another man, and resigned from office, all with his faithful wife at his side?
Within a year, he and his wife were separated and he was living with his partner Mark O'Donnell, only to commemorate his supposed bravery and grace in his book The Confession, billed as being “among the most honest political memoirs ever written.”
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.