Tuesday, May 3, 2011

For Married Men on the Down Low

Here's a story, told from a straight wife's point of view.

He came out, said he was bisexual but preferred men more. After several months he said he missed his family (I had given birth to his son while we were separated), and that he was going to change and be only devoted to me and to the kids.

I said, come on back...I was very young, living with my parents, and had no idea what to do, having two tiny children to care for. I believed him.

He put up a good foil, appeared to be taking care of his family and changing his ways. But what was really happening was that he just got better at hiding.

For 16 years, I didn't trust him, and rightly so. He would disappear for long periods of time and always have an excuse. He would be distant.

Then the rejection of me physically and absence of any sort of desire for me wore me down. I would ask him point blank if he was seeing some guy, and he would look me in the eyes and tell me he was done with that.

After a lot of years, I didn't trust him OR believe him. Then I found the gay porn on the computer, and he had an excuse for that too. He went to a counselor "to help get over the guilt of what he did to me all those years ago." It didn't help. I don't even know if he actually went.

There was still the rejection, impotence, and disinterest in sex. I started seeing the glances and eyes meeting with other men when we were at the grocery store. He was late coming home from work many, many times and said he missed the train.

I felt trapped in a sham of a marriage, but he said he wasn't seeing anyone and never would.

He said these lies until he couldn't - a life insurance blood test revealed he had HIV. Even after that, he continued lying for another year. He said that he had gotten the virus from a man he had been with 16 years earlier. Even after I confronted him with the emails on craigslist, he laughed it off and said he never really acted on them, it was just talk.

After he disclosed the HIV, I gave him one last chance, and said I would try sex with a condom, but if I was too fearful I would stop. It became evident that night that he had absolutely no care to protect me from being exposed, and I stopped.

The whole truth came out a year after he disclosed the HIV. I found a secret email address, profiles and naked photos on gay websites, countless requests for hookups near his work and orgies on business trips.

Eventually he told me more of the story - that he had been promiscuous for our entire marriage and that he thought the HIV virus came from a stranger he met on the bus once, but he couldn't be sure.

A year after he left, as part of the divorce proceedings, I was given his financial statements during one month. In that one month alone there were several visits to gay bathhouses, massage parlors, and gay adult stores.

I know for a fact he hates condoms. I know he states he is clean on his gay website profiles. I don't believe his intent is to deliberately spread HIV for any specific purpose. It's more that he doesn't think about anyone but himself, and in so doing, has satisfied his own desires while spreading HIV. He thinks that he'll never see that man again, so who would know it was him?

I still don't think I have the whole story, and I don't want any more.

I suppose there are women who are dedicated enough to sacrifice having their own life for someone who isn't happy being with them, but I honestly haven't seen a lasting mixed orientation marriage ever. When the trust and belief are broken in the relationship, it just doesn't come back.

I have questions for women who suspect their husband is secretly meeting men for sex: What do you want out of your marriage, out of your future? Do you want to have to always question him and then wonder if he told you the truth? Do you want to have to continually wonder if he is being faithful? Do you wonder what he is thinking about when you are intimate with him? Do you feel trapped?

That's not what marriage is supposed to be about. It's hard, so hard. But you are the only one in that relationship who is looking out for you.

Sobering, isn't it?


  1. Yes, sobering - because that's pretty much what your wife is doing to you.

    Well, the early part of it, anyway.

  2. While I feel very sorry for the wife in this tale of woe and grief, she knew what was going on, she just didnt want to face it. Its so hard to deal with something like that, tis painful to see the ugly side of someone you love.

    I agree with Austin.

  3. I think what's saddest are the missed opportunities, not only for the wife but the husband too. It's the same for you too, the longer you go on with this sham of a marriage, the more opportunities you'll miss out on life. Pity.

  4. Words can't express how bad I feel for anyone in such a situation like this. I guess from the outside it's easy to say what one should do. Being in the midst of the problem is completely different.


  5. I feel bad for the woman in your story. Her husband was an asshole. He did not care for her at all only himself.

    Gay men marry straight women for many reasons, but they don't have to be assholes.

  6. Yes, sobering. I don't have anything to say except thanks to you for sharing and it also for being someone she could write to about it. You do a mitzvah.

  7. That letter could be written by my wife..if I am found out - thank god I am always safe, and do not have HIV.

  8. I came out & forced a divorce so that my wife would not have to write something like this. Hardest thing I've ever done...& still question it occationally...but it was the Right Thing To Do

  9. That could be my wife's story too. No HIV though, and the lack of desire for sex is entirely hers.


  10. Wait a minute! I can't believe you don't recognize the husband for the sociopath he his. Yes, it would have been nice had the wife had a spine but she had 2 small kids and years of living with someone who was a straight up amoral asshole.

    WTF was his excuse? He did what he wanted when he wanted. The little woman was there to bear the kids, keep the house and cook. He just fucked every guy that came along and then was willing to infect her with HIV.

    My, my..what a legacy to leave your children.Roger, maybe you should leave the marriage. You're not a prisoner..Bi Like Me, No HIV yet but I've never heard of any 100% positive way of not getting it if you are fucking around with gay guys. Hope you're not sleeping with the little woman.

    You guys who keep doing this need to grow up and face up to who and what you are. It is no crime to be bi or gay but it is a horrible shame to lie to women, get them to bear you a bunch of kids and then fuck around on them with men (or women for that matter). I can hear it now: My wife doesn't like sex...Yeah right. Do you think that because you've never really been into her physically, she senses that and isn't responsive any more? Or perhaps you conciously or unconsciously selected a woman with a low sex drive so you wouldn't feel "pressured". Grow up and have heart and let these woman either make a choice or move on with their lives.

    Hats off to the owner of this blog. He sounds like a guy trying to do the right thing.

  11. It is these kinds of stories that are going to continue the stigmatization of gay men; The sense among the straight community that they care for nothing but themselves and their own pleasure and the hell with everyone else.

    Do you think this guy cares about the other men he's going to infect? Or the cost to society for caring for these patients that have contributed greatly to their own illness. And we hate smokers. Last I heard no one ever caught lung cancer.

    The gay community needs to be half as effective raising awaress about and stigmatizing this kind of behavior as they were (rightly) insisting for funding for AIDS research. Did you know that there is over 60,000 dollars spent for every AIDS death in this country per year while only 1400 (yes that's 100) is spent per lung cancer death. That despite the fact that there are only 35-40,000 AIDS deaths and over 160,000 lung cancer deaths.

    But lung cancer is a "lifestyle" disease so funding is not a priority. Shame on the gay community for not speaking out!

  12. So sad. The problem is not that my ex-husband was gay when he married me; the problem is that he lied and cheated me out of an honest mutually satisfying sex life and marriage. He used me to hide that he was gay. Granted, his homophobic macho father and brothers would've have made his life hell, but why make me a part of a lie and my children "proof" to his doubting father and brothers that he was not gay and macho like them. I loved him. I never cheated on him although he starved me sexually. I divorced him only after I had proof of his cheating. He had unprotected sex with men he did not know and then with me. He endangered my life and I will spend the rest of my life hoping I don't suffer for it. I was a prop in the picture he tried to paint for his family and so were our kids. Kids who love him...for real. No the problem is not that he is gay. That is not the problem. That is fine. The problem is that he lied and used our lives. That, is sick and yes sad. Very sad.