So you just found out your husband is gay. What Now?
Finding out your husband is gay can be devastating to say the least. From a gay husband’s point of view let me say that I truly did love my ex-wife and the last thing I wanted to do was cause her pain. I was trapped in an obsessive and compulsive drive for gay sex and at the same time I had a strong desire to stay in a loving relationship with my wife. Regrets? Yes, of course. Could it have been handled better? Absolutely. I have already addressed the issue for men in an earlier blog so here are my suggestions for women.
- Once he discloses, do not respond immediately. This is a deeply emotional moment. Do not let your emotions dictate your present and future course of action. Let your husband know that you appreciate his honesty and that you need time to think.
- Sit down face to face in a non-emotional, non-confrontational conversation. Find out what his true desires are. Does he truly want to stay with you in an improved relationship or does he actually want to leave and enter a gay lifestyle.
- Make a heart decision. Decide what you truly want. Do you value and want to keep the relationship or do you want to start a new life.
- Now make a conscious and rational decision. Weigh all the pros and cons. Divide the page in two, write them out and weigh them out. Is the relationship truly worth keeping? Do not consider him or the children. This is the time to be true to yourself and honest with yourself.You have no responsibility to his emotional, mental or even physical well-being.
- If you decide to leave, openly honestly and lovingly tell him your reasons. Walk away. Do not question your decision.You are not responsible for his feelings; he is. Whether you wish to maintain a friendship is totally up to you. However, be sure that you are clear that the marriage is over. Do not keep him hanging on with false hopes.
If you decide to stay, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
- You may wish to see a counselor to work out a strategy but I would advise that you sit down together and work it out yourselves.
- The first decision is to decide what to do about his gay desires and obsessions. Be sure to decide rationally and from the heart what you are prepared to live with. There are several options:
- Abstinence – he agrees to never have another gay encounter. This will be very difficult and perhaps impossible for him to do, depending on the levels of his desires and obsessions.
- The marriage is for companionship and non-sexual intimacy and he is free to pursue his gay desires. This is essentially giving up on the marriage as a marriage.
- He abstains from gay encounters but exercises his obsessions through pornography and masturbation. This is a suggestion most often offered by marriage counselors.
- He is free to seek gay encounters as the need arises as long as he engages in safe sex.This allows him to be bisexual which is his true gender orientation. The gay side explores his passions while the heterosexual side gives him sexual and soul intimacy. As the wife, you will have to view his gay sexuality as a biological expression that will meet his biological needs while intimacy and soul mating is maintained in the marriage.
- He is free to pursue a gay relationship on the side (or openly) as long as he engages in safe sex. This allows him to engage in friendships and intimacy on his gay side thereby establishing deep emotional and heart to heart relationship with another man, Often bisexual men forego friendship relationships with other men which deprives them of the need for male intimacy. If he is permitted to have this kind of relationship he will usually be fulfilled sexually and emotionally and be able to give his best to both sides of his gender orientation. Because he is free to have the best of both worlds he will no longer feel the need to choose one over the other. This is the one that would best meet his needs but is usually the one the wife is least willing to accept.
- Regardless of your decisions be prepared to work on them and be prepared to accept occasional breakdowns. Old patterns are difficult to break. You will both need to have an open relationship where each person is free to express their deepest feelings and concerns.
- Do not give ultimatums but be sure to establish your own boundaries and be prepared to say ‘enough’ when enough is enough.
- This is just the beginning of the new relationship. The next step is to go beyond the gender issues and enter into a truly intimate and spiritual marriage. We will explore these possibilities in the next post.