In the following stories, straight spouses share their experience of finding out their spouse was gay, lesbian or bisexual.
I was 17 when I met my future husband. He was 18. After a 6 year relationship we got engaged. Shortly after, I found him looking at gay websites. I was alarmed but he said he thought he was bisexual and he reassured me that he definitely loved me. And I believed him. And then things slowly started to unravel. Gradually his attraction to me grew less and sex between us became infrequent. I was in denial. I guess I didn't know what I was dealing with, hoping that he was bisexual. I couldn't talk to anyone about this huge embarrassing secret.
Ten years into our relationship he couldn’t deny his sexuality any longer. I was devastated at the realisation that I had a gay husband. We talked about the possibility of having an "open relationship". But I needed him to not act on his same sex attraction but he was honest enough to say that he couldn't promise that. So the decision was obvious. I felt so alone, then I came across Bonnie Kayes : Gay Husbands website which was a huge life line.
Later my ex finally admitted that he had cheated on me during our marriage. How could he, and then lie to me repeatedly during our marriage? The first place I went was my family doctor, to get a STD check. Fortunately the tests came back clear. I stopped all contact with him, at first to protect myself. Nowadays I don't even think of him. He lied to me, the person I trusted the most in the world. I learned that one never really knows anyone, even their partner of 10 years. How could I get this so wrong?
Now three years later I am engaged to a wonderful new man. So many times now, I’ve realised for the first time "THIS is what REAL relationships are supposed to be like". I also started running, and even ran my very first full 42km marathon. I want this to give you hope. Although it feels like you will never be happy again at the time, you WILL recover. I wish you strength and courage on the difficult journey ahead. I recommend subscribing to Bonnie Kayes' newsletters. The first step in my recovery was realising I was not alone.
My wife came out nearly 4 years ago after 20 years of marriage. It was a complete surprise. She told me that she had always found herself attracted to women but had never acted on it. About a year before coming out, she became depressed and started spending a lot of time online. That was when she made contact with the local lesbian community. She delayed coming out to me because she feared I'd leave her and take the kids but I would never have kept the kids from their mother. I didn't know where to turn to, or who to confide in.
We both wanted to keep our family together so we agreed to stay married. We stayed in the “closet”, telling no-one. My lesbian wife and I had a Mixed Orientation marriage for nearly a year. All this time it felt like she blamed me and implied this wouldn't have happened if I been the perfect husband. I thought we could deal with this but she changed so much. The person I married was no longer there. She could only think of herself and her new life as a lesbian.
In the end I couldn’t handle it and filed for divorce. I was granted custody of the kids who were devastated by the change in their mother. My daughter has not spoken to her mother for three years while my son sees her once a week for maybe two hours. I do not communicate with her unless it's necessary and only about the kids. I will never forgive her for what she has done to me but mostly what she did to two wonderful kids who deserved none of this.
I met my future husband at 20. It never occurred to me that he was gay or even bi-sexual, in part, because he was homophobic. Now I know that homophobia is a big red flag. He also had a couple of close male friends who made me very uncomfortable. I suspect they were both in the closet as well. They also went on to marry and father children also! (It is estimated that 1 in 10 married men has sex with other men). With hindsight, the signs were there that he was engaging in homosexual activity for our entire marriage.
After having children, our sex life become non-existent, performed just enough to keep up the facade of being heterosexual. He became increasingly distant and I suspected him of having an affair, a heterosexual one of course. But then other flags started to appear; he started taking laxatives, and disappearing regularly for about an hour at night. I imagine he was frequenting the “beats" by then. (public places where gay men go for casual sex). I was in denial for a period because it was just too much to take in. I confronted him about being gay, but he denied it repeatedly. We separated but he continued his denial, even accusing ME of being delusional! But his secret became my shame and I told no-one. It didn't even occur to me that I needed to be tested for STDs.
About 18 months later he was "outed". He still refused to tell our children or his family, saying no-one needed to know! Even now, he still can't be honest with himself and has told me that his being gay had nothing to do with why our marriage failed! It has been hard for the kids as his behaviour has changed so dramatically. It’s like straight Jekyll and gay Hyde! Since being out, he sees very little of the children. Instead he lives and associates with much younger males as he tries to have the gay youth he never had. Once someone starts lying about their sexuality, lying about anything and everything else becomes second nature I guess. While I don't believe it’s a choice to be gay, it is a choice as to whether you lie about it or not.