Sunday, February 8, 2009

for Straight wives of gay men: I'm listening

This week has brought home the fact that I have not dedicated enough time and space for the women I especially feel for: Straight wives.

When I tried to contact other women in my situation four years ago, the main contact spot was a yahoo group: Wivesofgaybihusbands I found them by connecting through Straight Spouse Network.
Because I was so deeply in the closet, I couldn't really get the help I needed. Perhaps that was my fault. Whatever the reason, I could see that so many other wives had been treated horribly, and I had little I could do to console them. I was in such trauma myself that I was only walking in a daze, and help for other wives was impossible. I had a lot to figure out myself.

I also found that many of those wives had been put through hell. The gay men in their lives were many times living double lives, and so many had said, "...but it won't happen again..." And then it did. Over and over forgiving and hopeful wives (along with their children/families) suffered untold hurt when their husbands went back to a boyfriend, or when they had hook-ups with other, sometimes anonymous, men.

Many of the couples were Christians, and the counseling (some from pastors and some from Christian professionals) that they received was that the gay ones had sinned, fallen, or were deceived. Both parties were told by religious counselors to hold to their marriages at all cost. Of course this wasn't ALL the couples, but it was a regular course of thinking that the gay party (sorry) wasn't really GAY, and that a faithful wife would be honored in the long run if she would persevere. (I was personally warned by a Christian counselor that my husband should not "come out." But I was not there to discuss what my husband should do, but to talk about help for ME. I never returned to talk with her again, but I had to pay her $120.00 for the bad advice.)

Other wives suffered in silence as they were abandoned for reasons they didn't even know. Even this week I talked with a woman my age, who in her 20s had married the man she loved, and they had a child. When she was 3 months pregnant with her 2nd baby, and the older one just a toddler, her husband left and never even returned to see the baby. He also never paid support, and this woman was a single parent for the next 25 years, dealing with day-to-day life, as well as issues of her own self-esteem. Her husband died over 10 years ago of AIDS, still never having met his youngest daughter. The pain of this woman, her daughters, and so many like them are hard to heal.

It is no wonder that most former wives of gay men hold grudges against men who behave without scruples and hurt those who have loved and trusted, only to have that love shattered in the wake of selfish behavior. I never want to disregard the spouses - my sisters on this earth - or the families who have gone through this.

Although I am beginning to hear from a few wives here and there, it is mostly the gay spouse who is willing to share their stories. And I know that in the pain of heartache, we all turn to what we know and are comfortable with. For many of us, that is the church, and of those churches, the majority are not gay-affirming. For me to speak up for the gay ones, I'm vocal but in the minority overall. To be a straight spouse and to be gay-affirming, it is even more rare, and I recognize that. I in no way want to discredit the wrong done to others like myself, or to minimize their grief, pain, or any other suffering done to them.

It was, for me, a gradual understanding that reconciled the fact that being gay was not a choice, like I'd been told in church. I think it started years before I knew that Ray was gay, when my friend came out. She was talked badly of, misunderstood, and left out of her social network. I knew she would not choose anything that would cause this. No one would. Although I didn't understand, I knew she didn't choose this "being gay stuff."

It may seem like I'm rambling, but today I heard from a young person, one who is the daughter of some of our conservative, fundamentalist friends. She's been reading this blog, and in her friendly e-mail she said this:
...the things you say on your blog make a lot of sense to me. Theologically I may be in a different place, and to be honest I have no idea right now how to live in both of these worlds, but I'm okay with that. I trust that if I need to figure it out, God will help me, and if I don't, I can still be supportive of my gay brothers and sisters without understanding everything.

What a breath of fresh air! I think it is that EFFORT to understand that we all need, and those of us who have had to deal with it have a lot to say. I'd welcome hearing from other straight wives/spouses, or family members, or friends affected by having someone come out. Is there a point where you understood, and made the choice to be accepting?

So what is a solution? Where can we learn more? Can others offer more insight to help the straight spouse? I'm going to post some resources that have helped me. I'm still healing, too.

Straight Spouse Network

What to do when husbands come out of the closet (a book)

Carol Lynn Pearson's, "Goodbye, I love you."

Sally Whitehead Lowe's, "The Truth Shall Set You Free.
" (a book) Sally tells her story: a Christian couple dealing with their faith and the truth that the husband is gay.

"When I knew," by Tractenberg.

...and one of the best documentaries I've seen: For the Bible Tells me so.


Steve said...

Hi Carol -

Christine Bakke shared your site with me. Thanks for speaking out.

Just to throw this out for men in the reverse situation, the online support group I found was also at yahoo called "Men Married to Lesbians". I found them less than 24 hours after my wife walked out - and they were such a hugely important part of my life for some time. Without just a place to rant, I am not sure what I would have done.

I haven't talked publicly about my situation outside of that support group, mainly out of respect of my ex-wife and not wanting to make her feel more guilt than she already does... she's been in a fragile place since leaving and I didn't need to "pile it on". She's still my kids mom and they need her (even though I realized I could survive quite well).

I'm sure I will share more along the way. Thanks for taking your pain public. I am sure it will be quite a blessing and encouragement for so many.

Carol said...

Thanks, Steve. I hope the group on yahoo will be helpful to other men, and it's good, great, to have a place to let it all out. And any support you can get when you go through this awful thing can help IMMENSELY. I'm glad you shared about that group, and people can find it by searching in yahoo groups. One thing I find is that some folks have to come up to speed on how to use the internet resources that exist, and sharing our information can be a tremendous help.

I understand, too, when you said your wife was in a fragile place. There is so much to process for the gay one who is beginning to come to real terms. The straight spouse, in my opinion, can find some measure of "comfort" (??) in the fact that they didn't cause this situation. So no one needs to add to the pain of a break-up with ANYTHING. By keeping your post-marriage life on good terms, it will so help the kids to accept and continue to love their mom.

Thanks so much for your input, Steve. I look forward to hearing more from you.

Anonymous said...

Hello Carol,

I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face and at a complete loss. I found out my now ex-husband was gay well over 3 years ago. I stayed with him because of the children, I didn't want for them to find out. But meanwhile I was dying a little more each day knowing what I knew. We finally got a divorce, and a very nasty one at that. Because I never sought counseling and my children still do not know, I am left in a dark place. My ex-husband is now bringing around his friend Steve. He brings him to family functions, has him make dinner for the kids, ect. My children are left scratching their heads! They cannot figure out what part he plays in their father's life. They are under the misconception that because both Eric and Steve had been married, they must not be gay! Little do they know that is the case for many families. My son is 17 and my daughter is 11. My son doesn't really want much to do with his father, but once he finds out he is gay and he hurt me...well all I can say is there is going to be much pain and heartache. I have begged my ex Eric to please be considerate of the kids. But of course, he can only think of himself. Thank you for listening.

Carol said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks so much for your comment, and I wish we could talk. I'm so sorry for the pain you are still dealing with. I've been there. Please try to get with a counselor that will listen to you. If you can't afford one, it might be that your city has a community mental health service, or very reasonable services at a nearby university. You need to be able to talk with someone you trust and can open up with. It will do you a world of good to find that person.

How your kids accept their dad will be a lot depending on how well you get through this. But the most important thing IS how YOU get through it. You deserve a new life, too, and I hope you find it.

You can e-mail me if you would like to.

all my support,

Michelle said...

My boyfriend of three years recently told me he had experimented with men after his divorce. He also told me he had been sexually abused at 12-16 by his older brother and then his godfather when he was 17.
I tried to reason that he just needed some therapy and that the confusion was the result of the child sexual abuse. I asked if he was gay. He replied "No, I love you and want to be in a monogomous relationship with you." Then I asked about an older married friend of his who I always suspected was gay and also had a big crush on my boyfriend. I thought their relationship was unhealthy, spending so much time together. I asked if anything had happened between them sexually. He answered "yes, some mutual masturbation." When I heard these words I fell to my knees in pain and betrayal. I told him to get out, and leave me alone. He lied and cheated and totally betrayed my trust. I still helped him find a therapist, I still tried to support him. We tried to reconcile but he still disappeared on me. I am left to believe he really is gay. I am so sad, lost, hopeless, anxious and destroyed. We have children who are friends and are so very confused. I am trying to work everyday and function. I pray all the time for relief from this pain. Somedays I don't know how I will ever recover from this. I cannot look at a man and wonder if he is hiding something. Thanks for allowing me my story. I feel very isolated in this pain. My friends and family are glad he's gone but really don't want to talk about it with me.

Anonymous said...

I am the wife of a gay man. We are parents and grandparents. He was in the military when we married and under investigation by NIS for homosexual activities. I didn't know this. I am a daughter of a Christian family and had no clue what "gay" was. I am embarrassed to admit that I was so ignorant. He told me that he loved a guy. I felt that it was okay. I couldn't get my mind around the concept of gay sex. He has had many affairs over the years-we'd fight-we'd threaten and I have been hurt badly for many years. We've been married for 41 years-have three wonderful adult children and he suddenly decided that it's time to totally come out to the world. He's had some hits on Craigslist and he was having strange men come to our home while I worked during the day,for sex- and at 63 thinks he's going to take the gay world by the horns. We are currently in the process of divorcing. I am devastated.

Carol said...

Dear Anonymous (11/21),

I am so sorry you are going through this, and it sounds like you have endured a lot over the years. Many straight spouses remind us that it's not the orientation, but it's the character of the gay spouse that determines how coming out is navigated. To me, (IMHO) it sounds like you have already been though hell, and that finally he is broadcasting it. You are right, it is very devastating.

Do you have a trusted friend, or can you seek a counselor that can support you through this painful time? There are the online support groups, and I've listed some in the body of this post, and there are many of us wives on those sites. You are more than welcome to e-mail me, as I understand a lot of what you are experiencing. I can't do anything to change it, but I'm willing to listen.


Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,

My ex husband and I were both Christians. I knew that my husband had gay experiences well before he met me, but in my naivety and ignorance I assume it was a 'stage' and that God would 'deliver' any baggage remaining. I was terribly wrong.

He is now in a gay relationship, and has been for quite some time.

There is nothing in heaven and earth than can persuade me that a gay person and heterosexual pesron can have any semblance of a marriage. I wish someone had told me to run a mile. For a gay person to marry a heterosexual is downright cruel as only they know the depth of their sexuality.

As the ex-wife of a gay I thought I came out of the relatinoship (after 12 years of marriage) relatively unscathed. After being apart for nearly eight years it is only now that I am experiencing the woundedness of the whole situation.

More importantly, as a Christian, it is Christ that will bring about my healing by pouring forth his masculinity. He is the only answer.

Anonymous said...

HI Carol.

I have been married to my huband for 16 years and have had my suspicions for several years that he may be gay. In the beginning I just thought we a lot more open minded to sexual plesures than I was but when he began to abuse cocain 6 years ago, more and more signs were revieled. I have been consentrating harder on all the rehabs for his drug abuse than what that real probem. I use to think he watched gay porn and had sex with one man that I know about because of the drugs. Now I've come to see by having a heart to heart talk with him recently that he is more likely using the drugs because he is having a hard time accepting who he really is. I have asked for a seperation and told him to figure it out. If being with me is preventing him from following through with gay sex when he's not high, well now he doesn't have to worry about it. I personally don't think he's ever coming back. To many thinks point to the fact he's gay.
I have two children that are very angry over the drug abuse let alone finding this out. I hope they can find the compassion to forgive someday and accept who he is if he ever gets there himself.
I feel so very alone. I feel like I have been beating my head on a cement wall for years and I just cant do it any more. I am talking with a counellor but I know I have a long road ahead of me. I feel very, very alone.

Anonymous said...

Hello Carol,

I am in emotional turmoil. My husband came out just over a year ago after a 30 year marriage. The pain, resentment, shame, betrayal and humiliation are all emotions I deal with on a daily basis.

When does the pain end?


Carol said...

Dear E,
I'm not sure when it lets up, but it does. Can you e-mail me personally?
I will try to be support for you. Meanwhile, please take care of yourself, by trying to get enough rest (benedryl will help). Go about your normal routine - if you can. Find a confidante to talk to - whether it's a trusted friend or a counselor.

Even your doctor may be a help to you. If you think you have been exposed to STDs, then be sure to get tested. It could save your life.

This is a short reply, and it may seem like it took forever to get it. (I was out of town, then just catching up w/job and home) I hope you are safe, and I'll be glad to talk more. I'm so glad you wrote.


Zippy Boi said...

Hello Carol,

I just read your blog, and its heartbreaking. I am one of those men who was married and came out of the closet as gay after 15 yrs of marraige.

I never regret getting married as I honestly loved my wife and I still do, but it kills me everytime I see her, that to think I could have hurt her as much as I did, and to be honest she not dating another guy in the last 8yrs upsets me and also stops me from moving on and starting a relationship for myself. The guilt I still have out weighs any desire to move on.

I know I did the right thing by coming out as living the lie was a bigger deciet.

myheart goes out to everyone who has been effected by this.

well I thought I would just say a few words, you write a great blog.



Carol said...

Thank you, Andrew. There really isn't a good solution - and I know you really loved your wife. The anguish we feel really has relief only in knowing that what you are saying is the truth, and we all do the best we can. Don't lose heart - I appreciate you writing. love,

Miss C said...

I am happy I found your blog. I just found out my fiance of two years is gay. I am still in shock and confused by this situation I've found myself in. I thought I would spend my life with this man and then something I never thought would happen happens. I am trying to think on the bright side at least he told me before we got married and would have to divorce. I a a new follower and am going to check out those resources.

Miss C said...

I am happy I found your blog. I just found out my fiance of two years is gay. I am still in shock and confused by this situation I've found myself in. I thought I would spend my life with this man and then something I never thought would happen happens. I am trying to think on the bright side at least he told me before we got married and would have to divorce. I a a new follower and am going to check out those resources.

Anonymous said...


I came across you blog after going through what seemed like hell with my ex-fiance, not only is he Gay so to speak but he's hiv+ as well. I never thought I would endure this kind of pain and deceit from somebody especially a person I was supposed to spend my life with. I have been following you for awhile but today I had to seems to weigh so heavily on my heart and mind and with noone to talk too I find myself withthese thought son my mind constantly...I pray continually but honestly I get pissed and have to question why would God allow such a situation to happen to any good woman or man who has had this happen as well.Hopefully I will get through this as each day gets harder and harder and im sooooo afraid of becoming jaded and never having a functional relationship as I look at ALL MEN sideways now and wonder what their hiding.

Lisa said...

Hello Carol, I came across your blog and I am so glad for it. The comments that I read helps in a way. it lets me know I am not alone. I recently found out that my ex boyfriend is gay. He was in a gay relationship when we were together. How stupid could I be, Why didn't I know this?? Maybe I did see signs but didn't want to see them. The pain that I harbor in my heart is so intense. There are days I would do anything to get his pain out of my heart. Why couldn't he just be honest? Why string me along when he knew we would never be... He knew all along he was gay!!! Funny thing is as much as the thought of him disgust me.... i still love him!! Now, how sick is that. I really dont no what to do except to keep praying and hold on to one day God will relieve this pain and help me to move on. I don't understand how he can go on in life in a loving relationship and not once acknowledge my feelings or pain.. It's been about a year now since all of this came out (due to my investigating/he still won't verbally admit it to me.. but, I have CONCRETE PROOF)and I also, look at every man different now. Ever man I see I now see gay!!! I don't know if I will ever fully trust a man again.. I posted just to let everyone know that you are not ALONE! I will start to pray for all of US. I will pray that God comforts us and one day gives us peace and enables us all to one day move on in life and some how find TRUE love!!! Remember ladies you are NOT ALONE!! Lisa

Carol said...

Hi Lisa - Thanks for posting, but sorry you need the information that's on my blog. I'm sad when I hear of another and another and another of us.

As far as your question: Why didn't I know this? I have only one answer: Unless they tell you (or there is "proof", like you have found), there is no way to know. Any gay man can hide his true self, and then, you just won't know. Suspect? yes. Know? Not unless you are psychic. :)


Anonymous said...

Hello Carol,
I am still dazed and with a husband of nearly thirty years who is still denying he is gay.
He never wanted sex as often as me and I assumed it was because I was boring and sexless! He often talked of men in an unusual way which led me to ask questions and of course he always denyed everything. We had sex but I felt it was never with me and that he always had something else going on in his mind. We have had three children who know nothing but have experienced me deteriorating over the last years.
I stumbled on some sites he had been looking at on the internet and was more upset to find he had talked with strangers about us rather than come to me, I love my husband and thought we could work this out and as long as it's in his head and in our bedroom I could cope. My health went down hill fast because deep down I was thinking it was far worse although he was constantly telling me he loved me and he was not gay and had he have know how much it would have hurt me he certainly would never have investigated down this pathway. I never thought I could love him again as the pain was so bad but time seemed to heal and I believed we both grew stronger from it as he had talked about things that I found alien to me. Unfortunately six years on from finding out bits but him still denying things and all the nausea feelings that went with it, I have been getting that familiar feeling of rejection again for some time now and I happen to ask if he had been having any thoughts again and he replied he did once, something told me he was lying and I checked his computer again to find six years worth of different site etc: And worse a photo of him in one site with a pair of my knickers on! I don't know now what to feel, the trust the lies, everything, I feel he has robbed me of thirty years and lied to me and my children, he is a fraud of the lowest king and now I am trying to find the power to move on but I don't know where to turn for help. I feel guilty, ugly, sexless, worthless a failure as a wife mum lover.

Carol said...

Dear Anonymous of 7/24, 3:20 a.m.

This is another heartbreaking story of the deception caused by a gay husband. The pain you are describing is common to us all, especially since you have addressed your suspicions, been mollified by your husband, and then deceived again and again. I am so, so sorry.

You are not any of the feelings you described in your last line. This is NOT YOUR FAULT - and you have done your part to make a life with a man that you loved. You even overlooked your doubts and continued to put yourself into the marriage, as you knew to do, but with results made worse by the whole, awful situation.

Please find a good counselor. You need to be set right by the truth, and you sound like a strong woman at heart. A competent counselor will work to help you find yourself again, and I KNOW that your beautiful soul can re-emerge. You are worth the help! You are gold!

(I'm off to work, have to be there by 8, and it's a drive for me. I'm working at a job I never imagined, which is a good thing. I hope you get this message. Have hope, dear one.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol

about a year ago I found my husbands online profile on an adult sex friend finder website, at first I thought he was looking for a woman but when I read on and saw he was looking for a transgender to have sex with, it was 10 times more pain. I also found lots of transgender porn. He told me he is not gay and he loves me. We went to Christian counseling, he promised to never do it again and I forgave him... 2 days ago I found transgender porn on the computer again, he said sorry that he isn't gay but just has a problem with this type of pornography.

I have a 3 year old and 1 year old. I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm walking around in a fog. I feel ugly, useless, betrayed and alone. he won't admit it but I feel that he has been secretly meeting with men. Why did he marry me and have two kids with me. This hurts so bad. I'm only 26 and I feel like I will never recover from this.

I have an appointment to meet with my pastor tomorrow but I am so ashamed and hurt. I don't know what to do.

Carol said...

Hello to Anonymous of 8/13, I am so sad you have had to find me to talk to, but I'm more than willing to help. It's the least I can do...

You have a lot to face, and I can't say for sure, but to ME, I'd say your husband is gay. At the very least, I seriously doubt he is attracted to women. I'm not him, so I can't say for certain.

PLEASE don't blame yourself. You are not to blame, it is NOT your fault. I don't know how to say more clearly, but this is nothing that you did to cause your husband to seek out what he is doing online, and possibly in person.

Also, it's not the devil. A person will seek what they are attracted to. He didn't choose his attractions, but has probably felt like this for males/transmen (or is it transwomen?) all his grown-up days.

You will have to decide what YOU want to do. With you being so young, and with young children, there are several ways to look at it. One, it will be difficult to make a living, raise a family, include the kids' dad, and have a life on your own. Two, you are young enough to develop a new life, and you have every right to do so.

Get tested for any disease you may have been exposed to. Don't be ashamed, but there are clinics where they will protect your personal health information, and you should take advantage of one of these.

If you go to the pastor, he probably has little or no experience in how to counsel you or your husband. Most pastors don't have a clue, and they blame sin/the devil/etc. They are not trained as professional counselors, and you need to find someone GOOD, and in whom you trust. Don't quit until you find someone who helps YOU. (I went to 3 who didn't, then finally found one, the 4th, who was fabulous. I think she was my rescuer.)

Most importantly, take some time for yourself to go slowly, rest your mind/soul/body, and don't make hasty decisions. Try not to lash out, and do give yourself credit for being smart enough to go forward. You can do this - even though it is very, very difficult. Love those little ones, and don't be afraid. You are worth having a good life, and you can make one.

with hugs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,
I am 38 years old and the mother of a 5 and 6 year old little ones. I have been engaged for about 6 years noe, which has had a lot of ups and downs. I has suspicions that he was gay when I found his email account with gay sites on them, I confronted him then and he said that when he was a " dancer " the people he would dance for and with thought he was gay but he just let them think wht they wanted ans he danced for men because there was more money than dancing for women. Being naive I believed him and was already pregnant with our second baby. Now in the past 2 weeks we had decided to make it official and get married, we brought my engagement ring to be fitted and attached tommy wedding band, supposed to puck it up tommorow and as of yesterday his iPad was unlocked so I peeked at his Facebook and went to messages where I read a conversation he had with a former colleague( about a year ago )who is gay as I realized while reading and i read not nice things he said about me and marriage ( everyone thinks we have been married as this is how we relate to each other)to this person and how he loves his kids and it makes it complicated, how he told me to leave and I didn't several years ago during a bad time we were having. but I wanted to make our family work. He said in this conversation that he doesn't like confrontation, etc, how it has been 3 years since he has had "it". I am so confused as I don't know where to go from here, do I confront him again, do I leave. I truly love him, and he is such a great father , just not the best partner. He is not affectionate, never says I love you only responds with me too, when I say it to him, I always have to ask for sex ( which has always been great) and settle for a few times a month with most advances from me being turned down, in the past 2 years our relationship i have thought has been So much better, i feel so dumb for staying and giving up so much of myself for this relationship to succeed, as he Is about himself, i just want him to admit it to me, but with him he will probally turn the table on me and make me the bad one. Please give me some guidance.

Carol said...

Dear Anonymous 8/23,

Hi. I'm thinking, "this young girl (young to me) is my daughter's age." And if you were my daughter, what would I say?

Where do I start? What to address first? And, also, I'm not a counselor, but just another woman who is so, so sorry that you are in this situation.

First, you have every right to assume that this partner of yours is gay. 1) evidence (that you found previously) 2) no affection 3) his own words expressed to his friend. Granted, you "snooped" to find this, but maybe it's good that you found it.

Now, what do you do? Since you are not legally married, you don't need money to divorce him. And you also don't have any legal rights to any property. If it were me, I would definitely not marry him. You have found out too much, and you can only expect more heartache.

The possibility that he's been with other lovers is high, and since you have also been with him, you should get tested for STDs. There are clinics that you can get this done with confidentiality. (All medical providers are supposed to be confidential.) Get this done immediately.

Try to find someone to talk to. A trusted counselor (Community Mental Health providers are free, if you need $ help.) A friend or close, trusted relative can be just the help you need to talk, but you will also need a professional to guide you with what decisions you need to make.

As hard as this is, you can make it. Take a breath, and be assured that you have done nothing to cause this. This is NOT your fault. No matter what he says, it is NOT!

I have so many questions, and wonder how you and other girls/women can make life better after we go through this trauma. As someone who has also changed EVERYTHING about my life, I know you can as well. And it can be a good life, too! Don't fear, and love yourself and those little children. I hope that your family can support you in every way until you land on your feet again. Until I hear from you again, I'll be thinking of you. (And you can send private messages to my e-mail. )

hugs, and hope for things to be better,

Anonymous said...

After suspecting mine of being gay for about 6 yrs and living an absolute devastating nightmare with him convincing me I was crazy he has finally opened up some but still unable to say, "Yes, im gay" Having been raised christian and raising our three children christian it seems to make it even more unbearable since christians tend to believe the judgement of God has hit us if they were to find out. Im so mixed up. Im hot then cold. Angry then weepy. For sure I've lost my laughter. I've spent 21 years raising a family with no education. Now im having to wake up and realize I may lose everything. My husband. Our home. Health Ins. Our 22 yr marriage. I don't know where to even begin picking up pieces. I have started counselimg.

Anonymous said...

I am the partner of a gay man with an ex-wife who divorced from him after more than 20 years of marriage, when she remarried. She has a `good` life (at least on the outside) and just recently found out that her ex is gay. He came out to his grown-up sons who are very supportive, she has a new partner but is bitter at the thought of her ex having me as a partner and refuses to accept me. Mind you, he`s been alone since they divorced, paid everything she wanted him to pay, he`s broke now, and gave up on relationships altogether until we met. Reason for him to come out close to the age of 60. But, what kind of selfish ex is that? Myself, I`m not a practicing Christian but he and many of his older family members are. What strikes me is how straight partners with their closeted (ex) partners seem to forget where a great deal of this pain comes from: the pressure to fit in, lack of self esteem and the fear of asking questions because there is a taboo in society on homosexuality. How many straight partners had thoughts but stayed in their own closet out of fear? Imagine if we could freely ask if your partner ever had fantasies about the same sex, without the idea of `sin`, but then also the peers, and last but not least many churches that condemn same-sex relationships. They have caused so much pain, but I hear very little criticism here even though nearly everyone has suffered because of that...

Anonymous said...

My sister has always had sexual issues. Growing up she would spread false HIV positive rumors about other girls who "pissed her off" or who she viewed as "slutty". I never agreed with this behavior and always found it odd on her part. She met her husband when they were in college and they got married about 7 years later. He is a blatant homosexual --- everyone knows except for her and our parents who are all in denial. I always felt she was attracted to him because they didn't really have a sexual relationship that she could view as "slutty". Two months ago she became very sick and found out her husband was cheating with other men and gave her HIV. I believe karma got my sister from all her bullying and false HIV rumors growing up but ALL STRAIGHT SPOUSES OF GAY MEN NEED TO BE TESTED AND PROTECT THEMSELVES.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I just found out from my husbands mouth that he only has been fantasizing that he wants it to be done to him, and it is real bad. He is just now confessing her knows it is wrong but doesn't know what to do with the desire because he doesn't want to give it up and every time we r together he is thinking of it being done to him. He said he believed it is right if we keep it within our marriage as long as he doesn't do it with anyone else, not exceptable with me as it is defileling our marriage bed!!! Big time, he loves me and says he always will and doesn't blame me if I leave him. I love him too and I always will but feel we cant have a Godly intimate relationship with this in the way. I asked him if he would pray to God for him to take the desire away from him and he didn't say anything so...I don't know what to do at this point, my daughter knows and she thinks I should leave him. He says for me to pray for him and I have been, I have been knowing about this for a long time but it started out him wanting to do it to me, and that is not going to happen. I am without a doubt confused as to what to do.

Carol said...

Dear Anonymous, 11/18...
You dear girl, I don't even know where to start. You are going to have to decide, for YOU, what is best to do. And knowing that you love your husband, and that he says he loves you, will both help and hurt. There's no going back to not knowing how he feels, and even that is so painful. Goodness knows I can't begin to know what you should do, as that is up to the both of you.

Remembering back to when I had just found out that Ray is gay, there were certain parts of the whole thing that I just couldn't think about (like gay sex). I didn't think about it, and I just tried to think about how someone would feel emotionally, if they had never let themselves feel "for real." A friend of mine, Peterson Toscano, explained it by his father's words, "You can't make a fish fly." By that he meant, that if someone is gay, they can't change to being straight - something that they are not. I hope you get the analogy, because it helped me understand that if a guy really wants to be with other guys, then they are gay. Period.

I will be thinking of you today, and I hope you will have some peace.

Anonymous said...

Dear Carol
I have been reading non-stop since last night everything i could get hold of concerning being married to a closet gay husband. he isaway for the weekend and i had to send an email concerning work to a client from his computor. I went into history and found numerous visits to gay porn site as well as him having gay men on his facebook-but under a security setting that was enabled only from that computor!

Married for 31 years with three wonderful,now adut children-i am devastated-had diarrea and sleepless night.

He returns tomorrow evening. I am so grateful for thr advice on your blog as well as some others-i will have to plan one step at a time.

Because of tolerance and love towards gays i accepted him and his gay friends when i was a naive young girl of 23. I knew he had a past with gay men but thought it will disssapear seeing we a solemates and seemingly happy newly weds.

spot on as you have described here often that i was blamed for an unfulfilling sex life. I never watched porn and was a virgin when i met him- i was super straight as
can be. I suspected him being a closet gay right through the 31 years but being conronted with the depraved images i am in reality mode,angry, panicky, my mind swirling with all the tell tale signs that makes sense to me now. He recently joined a spinning gym class and comes home totally in an euphoric state. He talks about the class and some of the young men he has met there. One has invited him to cycling outings, braais etc. Innocent?

Hy grooms himself for hours, shaves his legs and chest(because that is what `cyclists`do) he tans, he dresses extremely fashionable, listens to pop music full blast in his car-BUT he plays guitar in church-is forever counselling someone. I have not seen him so happy-he can be sullen and depressed and cynical.

After reading about the signs and him ticking every box-i am convinced he is gay and presently getting loving attention from someone.

I m just letting off steem. It sounds like an extremely difficult road ahead. All I know is that all the grooming and hairless legs and mannerisms me outfreak and I have no sexual desires towards him-even if the abs are toned and he is in tip top shape. He forever works on the abs and calves and forever comments about bosy shapes of men and women. I cannot grow old with someone i know tolerates me-had enough.

Pearl Keen said...

Hi. I know this is about husbands who are gay, but I'm desperate. i found out my boyfriend is gay. I'm 35, he is too. We've known each other for years, we're best friends, both ur families are close. When both of us became single, we decided to be together much to the delight of all our families and friends. He was amazing, the whole surprise "just because" flowers and daily "I love you's". But We never had sex and at first I wasnt that concered because we decided to wait after marriage. But a year into our new relationship things went awry. The constant lies of where he was, who he was with. At first I thought it was a woman because he's been known to play around during his younger years (lots of beautiful women). Until I found out he has been chatting with random guys on the internet, texting, and even hooked up with some. (Phone texts and phone pics). I was devastated but honestly that time I felt more sad and emphatic towards him coz that may explain why he had bouts of depression and anger which I cant figure out why.

I told him it's ok (him being gay) I just wished he told me sooner, because I already fallen deeply in love with him. And I want to have a family with him. Actually what hurts the most is him cheating on me with another person, whether it is a girl or a guy. But I also know it's very hard for gays to come out the first time, he's still in denial, he can't accept it that he's gay. It's like he's living a double life, and being gay is just a sex fetish. He said he doesnt have any emotional connection with a guy, unlike with a girl, with me. He thought he could change and become attracted to girls again. But He gets turned on by very sexy girls which makes me think he might be bisexual. And here's where my problem lies, he said he loves me and he can't imagine his life without me. He wants to grow old with me, but he's not attracted to girls anymore when it comes to sex. But then again, he is turned on by very sexy celebrities, so of course it's a major blow to my self esteem. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not (that) stupid, I know this is a dead end relationship either way, because even if he is bisexual, and I'm a size zero with double D cups, there's still no excuse for him lying and cheating on me with another person. It's just, may be he thinks he's not really cheating because it's not with another girl.

I'm devastated that a person I loved for a long time could not have a normal relationship with me. Coz I do know the options, whether this will be an open relationship because he has to take care of his 'needs' with another man or he has to curb his appetite altogether which I know would make him miserable too. Do you think this is really possible or I'm just setting myself up for a major heartache? i wouldnt be this desperate if I didnt love him so much. i have other suitors, but I'm really in love with him, even if he hurt me. I want to be there for him and not abandon him because I know that's the common fear of those who are in the closet, to be shunned away, not accepted by their loved ones, their families. i dont want to do that to him. But in the process, I'm losing myself, It hurts that I could not give him what he 'needs' coz I'm the wrong gender.( I'm describing this the way I see it so you have an Idea where I'm coming from) Do you have any advice for me? I'm a very level headed person so you can give it to me straight without worrying about hurting my feelings. As far as i Know I'm the only one who knows. He's further up in the corporate world so i understand it'll be a risk for him to go that "the truth will set you free" route. I'm losing sleep, can't eat much, hit rock bottom specially with the cheating part and his difficulties of realizing he's gay.

Anonymous said...

I went to a similar experience. i just found out my boyfriend is gay. The same story, I had no idea, we've been friends for ages, he had multiple beautiful girlfriends before we became a couple. A year into the relationship I did sense something is wrong until I found out that he's been meeting up, hooking p and texting random guys. Lisa, you're story struck me the most because like you, every guy I see now seems a closet gay. i'm too afraid to even leave the house. Because everytime I see some guy with the same discreet gay profile like my ex, i get this crushing feeling inside my chest. I feel these gay men stole the love of my life from me. I'm in a terrible shape that I comsidered ending my life just to escape the pain.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,

I can't seem to leave my story here. I keep getting error message involving HTML

Carol said...

Hello (anonymous 4:14) - I'm not sure why you are getting the error message. I get all comments via my e-mail, where I can approve or delete them. I haven't received any other of your messages. (Give yourself a number, like the time of day, so I can refer to you if they arrive in my e-mail.)

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you all for sharing your stories. I am a gay man who was married to a woman. What I have done to her kills me. I want to understand the gravity of what she's dealt with; I just went through all of your comments and wrote down all of the things you each felt during your journeys (devastated, alone, guilty, betrayed, etc. etc.) - I hope that someday, in some small way, I can make things right with a woman who I genuinely did love, but deceived. I should not have dragged her into my mess, but at a young age, when society tells you it's the only right thing to do, you try to have a go at it, hoping the desires will just fade away. How wrong I was - I wish so badly I could do things over and spare her from the hurt and pain. Thank you for telling your stories.

Anonymous said...

My husband of 10 years has now revealed to me that he is bisexual. He says he still likes women but he is really wanting men right now. We are Christians and are staying together at this point. Meeting his needs within our marriage as best we can. Do you know of any resources to help us stay together? We live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Carol said...

Hi sister,
I'm so sorry that you are in this position, and I'm glad that you are seeking help. I recommend "Straight Spouse Network," and their link is on the side of my blog, first page. Here is the link:
I hope it will be help for you, and for a good outcome in the long run.

There is also a yahoo group especially for those in mixed-orientation marriages. It's called "Alternate path" in yahoo groups, but I don't have a link. It requires that you write to them and be accepted. There are ways to work things out if both of you are willing.

I know you are probably hurting, and I feel for you. Let me know how it comes along.

Love to you,

Anonymous said...

Hello Carol,

I had suspicions that my live-in boyfriend had been meeting with men for sex. Last week I found proof and confronted him with it. Finally he admitted it to me. He has been meeting with anonymous men from Craigslist postings and other sites since before we lived together, which is seven years ago.

My emotions are rocketing between hurt, shock, betrayal, anger, understanding, love, and the desire to just run away from all of it.

I am a mental health professional, but that does not help much when it is happening to you.

He says that he is not gay. I believe this because he clearly is attracted to women. But I suspect he may be bisexual. He continues to deny this. He claims that when he gets depressed, being with a man is so humiliating to him that it helps him get out of the depression.

We are going to get couples counseling starting week. I have told him that I cannot promise I will stay in this relationship. I love him very much and I understand how difficult it is in our society for gay or bi needs to be met for a man. But I still expect him to be faithful to me.

He wants to get married, but that is not going to happen until I see some changes and feel comfortable that I know what I am getting into. Maybe never.

Just shell shocked by all of this.

Thank you for this site. It has been really helpful to read other's stories and your feedback Carol.

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here at 6am looking through the internet for somethng to ease the pain of a broken heart.

I found conversations on my husbands computer that told me he was gay. I confronted him and he didn't deny his actions. he finally had the courage to tell me he has been watching gay pornography since he was in high school. After questions and open communication, he told me he has had a few casual encounters with other men while we were dating and now that we are married.i had NO idea.

He wants to say married and I love him so much. He is my best friend and I want to be there for him for support. As an educated person I understand addiction and I am continuously trying to understand the nature of being gay. I want to work it out but I will not tolerate infidelity and I will not 'meet his needs' by allowing anymore casual encounters with other men. I gave him time to decide what he wants. He chose our marriage.

Am I stupid/naive to think we can stay together? To hope he will stay faithful? He has expressed his desire to live a more 'chaste' life without the secrecy and pornography. He chose me and my son.

We have.been married 2 years (dated for 3) and I am 26. Part of me tells me I can't dEal with this for the rest of our lives. Part of me is hopeful we can make this work. Part of me is scared that if I end it, he will continue to choose a heterosexual life and find a new spouse. This makes me look a little desperate but its not. I know there are more fish in the sea and I know we will struggle. I also know he is my partner, my lover, my supporter, my best friend, and my eternal companion. I have to try.

I'm here to see if there are any happy stories? That end in staying together, being faithful to each other, forgiving, and moving on?

I want to be the one in a million couple. Then again, I just keep getting hit in the face with challenges in my life.

-A hopeful loving wife................

Sue said...

Hello Carol. I have just found our that my husband of twenty years is bi sexual. He didn't actually volunteer the information. It's only because I had my suspicions and did some looking and found him on the internet on gay sites. I found his profile and pictures which he had posted and quite honestly it felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I confronted him with it and he admitted he is bi sexual. He says he doesn't want us to break up or divorce, he wants us to stay together but for me to understand that he will have sex with random men once a week. I feel disgusted, hurt, betrayed and so so angry. My whole life has been turned upside down. It seems like I am the one that has to make all the compromises when I have done nothing wrong. How can he say he loves me when he has lied and cheated on me for soo long. I feel like I am going mad. Am in so much emotional turmoil and don't even know where to start as to what I do.

Sue said...

Hi husband of 20 years has finally admitted after me confronting him that he is bi sexual. The emotional pain I am I right now cannot be described. I don't know what to say or do. I am so angry and hurt!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol, I was with my 'in denial gay' partner for 8 years. Like everyone else, I had suspicions and then eventually found proof. I walked away one month ago because I couldn't put up with the broken promises, lies and double life my ex was leading. He later admitted in having encounters with men before he met me. This guy had no right in pursuing me and dragging me through years of lying and being decietful. He would always say he does not do (have sex with men) it anymore and that he loves me and I use to be naive and give him another chance. He never ever apologised for what he put me through and just carries on like he's straight in front of his family and friend. The sites I caught my partner on where guys were just out for sex was very explicit and disgusting. How can these guys that hide their sexuality hide behind fake profiles, have sex with men and then come back to their relationships and not even blink an eyelid! That's just callous and malicious.
Thank for everyone's comments and experiences. Its helping me a lot.

Anonymous said...

My biggest challenge was finding out what I often suspected was true, not just because it hurt so much but because the lies and the deception and the manipulation were so very wrong. There is right and there is wrong and theft is theft. Stealing my time is wrong, breaking my heart is wrong, telling me I just didn't understand so much.....and telling my loved ones that I was losing my mind, and that I had all these other issues was so damaging and hurtful. It was emotionally a criminal act from a narcissistic person, not just a confused man worried about his relationship with his children. It was about power and control and not about love at all. Just because someone is gay and cannot own their sexuality for any number of reasons....that person has no right to inflict emotional pain and emotional trauma on another human being. NO EXCUSE!! My marriage lasted for over 20 years but it was over after four. Being involved with a gay spouse can be very cruel and emotionally traumatic. I have spent the past 5 years learning how to recover. Understand? NO EXCUSE!!

Carol said...

You have experienced what no one should have to go through: deception in a marriage. Thank you for sharing it here with us who've experienced it, the straight spouses. I'm glad you've come through it and are stronger, at least it appears that way. The time can't be returned to you, but your self-worth can. I hope you are healing from such painful years. Thanks for commenting.

Julia Kolodziej Grissom said...

Your gracious act of sharing your thoughts is appreciated and offers reassurance to those in need.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for hosting this site. My boyfriend was my best friend and I thought would be my life partner until I saw on his phone he set up a meeting for sex with a transgender man a year ago It's been a slow road to understanding he's truly gay.. or honestly I don't know what since he won't talk to me about it. I let it go the first time because I thought it was like an experiment for him and he lied about whether it even happened or not. I tried to forget about it but I just saw a gay hookup app on his phone today. It's so weird. I know he loves me but I guess he's also gay? He acts like I'm doing something wrong and gets mad when I confront him and then threatens to walk out on me. I just wanted him to admit it and just talk to me about it but he WON'T. And of all of this, the thing that hurts me the most is that he continues to lie to me about it. We can never be friends or have anything if he just denies everything. I don't see why it's more important to him to lie then even keep me in his life. I can't even try to work things out if I don't know what the situation is. Is he bi? I don't know. So it's useless. I don't understand why someone would live this way, why not just be honest? It's very sad. I will move on, and I hope I won't have trust issues forever, I honestly just love him and I want to support him, if he's gay, ok, I won't judge him and I told him but I can't work with lack of information. He can't face the reality of who he is and what he's doing. I feel sad for him and I want him to be ok. I worry about him and I hope he doesn't get AIDS because he already tested positive for clymidia and he didn't get it from me (thank god I didn't get it from him either but we both had to take antibiotics anyway). Well thanks again for hosting this site. It's a crazy thing to find out your love is into the other sex after so many years. I threw him out of my place tonight and all of that could have been avoided if he just came clean. It's just making me sick already. Also I know how "embarrassing" it is when you first find something like this out, but what I found was 100% support from everyone I told, even to my surprise. Everyone was understanding and sympathetic to me and wanted to make sure I didn't blame myself in any way. So I understand that "embarrassment" thing, but don't let it stop you from seeking comfort and support from others.. My two cents to some of the other women writing in about their experiences.

Anonymous said...

Gross. My boyfriend too. The way he acts like nothing's going on and nobody out of his friends or family know about his double life. And I'm respectful enough to not tell them but it's annoying to see him get away with it.