Friday, August 1, 2014

Straight Wife Needs Help: How did this happen???

I recently received the message below as a comment from an anonymous straight wife.  In it, she tells her story and asks if anyone can help her understand her husband's behavior.  What would you tell her?  Please share your feedback in the comment box below.
I am 45 years old and been married for 25 years to the same man, we have two beautiful daughters. I have been faithful to him in every way. My husband is 46, a tradesman who worked away for much of our relationship. Just over a year ago he came home on his turn around, we were having a wonderful day and all of the sudden he said "I'm leaving, there is nothing to talk about and I am not coming back". He packed his car and left. One month later came back wanting to come home. He had been drinking excessively for the last 3 years and I thought that was the problem for his sudden mood changes. I would not let him come back but told him I was not giving up on our marriage. 10 months after our separation (we were on speaking terms some up and downs but getting along well) he was at our home, I had moved out with our 16 year old daughter, I couldn't financially afford to live there and he was giving me no support. I showed up unannounced which was not unusual but this time he had a man there. I come to find out that he has been living (not just dating, has a home) with this man for the past 4 years, we were only separated for not even a year. He admitted to me that day that he was having a relationship with this man but when I went back the next day he denied everything saying he was just someone to communicate with. He continues to put the blame on me and I can't understand why. So I thought maybe you or another gay husband could fill me in on how he justify what he has done. Was he gay from day one, is every memory and moment of my past just a lie? Was I just a cover so no one would know? Was my life, my happiness not important? Did it repulse him to be with me?
Here's my response:

Anonymous - I'm very sorry to hear about your situation.  You've been blind-sided.  Not once, but twice.

Blind-side betrayals are traumatic events.  The pain can be worse then getting run over by a truck.  At least with a truck you get taken to a hospital.  After a blind-side betrayal, you're often left alone, wondering what the hell just happened.

The most important thing for you to know is that what your husband has done reflects on him, not you.   Sexual orientation is not learned.  Your husband has always been attracted to men, although he may not have been fully aware of it.  The fact that he decided to leave after 25 years does NOT mean you are an undesirable woman.  All it means is that he couldn't hold back his attraction to men any longer.  It's like holding a giant inflatable ball under water.  You can keep it submerged for a very long time...but, inevitably, it pops up to the surface.

Love and sex can be very complicated, especially for men who are not strictly straight or gay.  I can't imagine that your husband doesn't love you.  You spent 25 years together and got along well.  That has to mean something.  People can be fake-nice or fake-loving for short periods of time but not for decades.  This means that every moment of your past was NOT a lie, it just wasn't the full truth.

Were you a cover?

It depends on what you mean by 'cover'.  Some women want to know if their husband had a premeditated plan to use them.  They imagine their husband saying to himself, "I'm gay, but because that's not socially acceptable, I'm going to find a gullible woman to be my beard."

I can only remember one man ever admitting he did that.  Every other man's story has been rooted in wishful thinking or denial.  Wishful thinkers say to themselves, "My attraction to men will go away or won't be important if I marry a woman I love." Deniers don't believe (or don't even comprehend) that they're attracted to men.  In their hearts, their decision to marry a woman is completely sincere.

Based on what you've said, I don't know whether your husband was a wishful thinker or a denier.  I'm not sure that it matters.  You can't fake 25 years of intimacy.  He cares about you...but sexually, he's more attracted to men.

Was your life and happiness unimportant? 

This is a difficult question to answer.  Yes, your life is important, but human nature makes us selfish.  A hungry man may be willing to give his food to his starving wife for a long period time, but when does he start to hold back because he convinces himself he's more hungry than she is?

Long periods of denial often play out like a dam breaking.  Everything is fine and then *wham* it's total chaos and disaster.  From your husband's point of view, that's why he blind-sided you.  He wasn't trying to be cruel, or to intentionally ruin your life.  What happened was that his interior dam of denial finally broke.  Once that happened, he basically said, "Your survival is up to you and mine is up to me."  That's a shitty thing to do to another person, especially to someone you've pledged to care about more than any other person, but breaking dams cause panic.  There's no reasonable excuse for what your husband has done, but, it also wasn't something he did out of malice.  Weakness yes, malice, no.

Did it repulse him to be with you?

Probably not.

Think about this: if you, as a woman, loved another woman, but were not sexually attracted to her, would you be repulsed by her?  Lack of attraction is very different from repulsion.  It seems to me that if your husband was actually repulsed he would've asked for a divorce many years ago.

Anonymous, you might not fully realize it, but you're in a state of shock.  It's going to take time for you to adjust to what's happened.  During this very difficult time you need to take care of yourself.  Don't worry about your husband - worry about you.  Toward that end, please know that you are not alone in this situation.  Sadly, there are many other straight wives out there.  Only they can truly know how it feels to be blind-sided the way you have been.  Don't hesitate to seek their support.  A number of cities have local support groups, and even if yours doesn't, there are several places to go on the Internet to talk to other women in your exact situation.

Again, I'm sorry about what your husband has done.  As painful as this is, you will recover.  In fact, it's very likely that you'll meet a new man who loves you both as a person and as a woman.  Then you'll find true happiness, as Michelle (another blogger) has.


Here's a link to a young video blogger, Ben Hobson, who came out to his wife after a few years of marriage.  He explains his thinking in several different videos.  She even appears in a few of them.

Here's a link to another young blogger who knew he was attracted to men, and had sexual experiences with them, but recently married a woman because he knew he couldn't live without her.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Your ex-wife says you're gay - but you're not

A straight wife says:
My marriage was "odd" from the wedding day forward, and I spent 20 years trying to figure out why. Then my husband got bored with the stuff he'd been doing on his own (which had given me an STD when we were young and I was pregnant) and started pushing HARD for me to have sex with other men for his gratification. He pushed for me to have sex with women, too, even though I have no interest in women. 
He manipulated me and insisted I flirt with, hit on and advertise online for men. Then he'd back off, and say it was just talk on his part and I should have known not to follow through on stuff he swore for weeks on end would make him happy and turn him on. Over and over again, he did this.It was a mindfuck of epic proportions, and it hurt like hell, and it also introduced me to the idea that, and some men are not. Some men actually think women are equal to them, with rights and thoughts of our own that are just as valid as a man's plans for his wife. And some men like sex, and would like to try it with me. 
In the midst of all this, he was secretly recording my phone calls, tracking every keystroke on my computer, building a case against me with all of it that made it look like I was cheating on him, when I was not. I didn't realize that at the time. I thought he was just reading my mind. 
Eventually, I realized he was gay. I realized he was using me. And I realized I had to leave. Not all at once: It was like ripping my own body in in half with my two hands. Slow, agonizing, hard, but I did eventually come to those realizations. 
I also had a terrible self-doubt. What if he WASN'T gay? What if it was, as he insisted, all in my imagination? What if he was right, and I was just obsessed with sex and sexually aggressive toward him, and things would be the same no matter what man I might be with? What if, as he said, i was throwing away "a good man who loved me," because I was turning 40 and had no career because I'd raised our children, and I was just some silly woman regretting her life choices? 
I asked for a divorce. He refused. I asked him for space. I asked him to leave me alone. And he refused. He suspected me, and he imitated me online to get a man with whom I'd been having intimate conversations to send him a transcript of them.
He would call me from work, invite me to lunch, and pull out the transcript. "When you were talking to this guy, how come you said you think I'm gay? When you say here (and he'd point to some phrase he'd highlighted) that I am an abusive asshole, what did you mean by that?" and on and on, for months, going over those transcripts of my conversations line-by-line. He'd insist I get in the car with him and then he'd yell at me, and call me a whore. He'd threaten to leave, and tell me to go get his suitcases so he could pack, and then...the suitcases would sit at the end of the bed where I'd put them, for weeks, until i put them back in the attic. He had no intention of leaving. He was going to make ME leave.
"I don't want to be the kind of man who can't control his wife, so he has to kill her," he said. 
I started to distance myself from him. I stopped hitting on him. That meant we almost never had sex, but by then I didn't want it. I started wearing multiple layers of clothing to bed, hugging the seam on the mattress, and telling my husband i was too tired, too stressed, too whatever for sex---a lot of the same excuses he'd given ME, for the first 20 years of our marriage. And I went to the tamest of the online sites he'd showed me and I found men. I had a few sexual encounters with men, and it was a revelation, a confirmation of all I'd ever suspected. 
At the same time, after long searching (crap economy, BA in English, 17 years out of the job market raising kids, stuck in a small town with only one industry, and that industry is engineering) I finally found my first full-time job in 17 years. And then he started forcing himself on me. 
Being raped by a gay man is very weird. It is painfully, OBVIOUSLY only about control because it was not exciting HIM in any way (even though he managed to get off). It was just him forcing me to do something I used to beg him to do.
The second time he raped me, as I lay there quietly sobbing, he said, "Every time we make love, I feel like I'm raping you. How can you be so cruel?"
He finally accepted that I would not remain married to him, that I no longer wanted him or respected him, that forcing me to have sex with him was not going to make me love him again and that my repeated requests for divorce were not some bluff. He said that he would tell the boys that I was leaving. "You owe me that much, to let me be the one to tell them." 
And so he called all the boys into our dining room and said, "Your mom is leaving us because I used to drink. I don't drink anymore, so I don't know why she is leaving, but it is her choice, and as much as I want to save our marriage, as much as I love her and I always will, she can't forgive me for how I used to drink heavily in the past." 
Of course, he was still a drunk. He was also abusing both illegal and prescription drugs. But the boys hadn't seen much of that, aside from the drinking, which he can control if he wants to. It was all a lie, a farce, but when i started to speak he cut me off. He stepped up his gaslighting, and told the boys repeatedly that I wanted a divorce because I was 40, having a midlife crisis, emotionally unstable due to birth control pills, and that I was cheating on him even though he'd always been utterly faithful to me and treated me well. 
It was all lies, but I couldn't explain it to them. He is extremely articulate and cutting and fast on his feet. He can make anything you say sound like whatever he wants. I shut up. It seemed safer that way. 
I moved into our basement, and lived there for 19 months before I moved out. It took me that long to find a job that would, with my oldest son sharing the bills, enable the two of us to rent a small apartment. 
That was 10 months ago. 
I am moving on. I am dating a terrific (and straight!) guy who treats me with dignity, consideration, respect and love. I am in counseling. I am looking for a better job, so that I can afford this small apartment even when my son moves out. And I am counting down the days until the divorce is final. 
My sons don't know their dad is gay. Only the oldest sees that he is abusing drugs and alcohol. He figured my husband's constant "your mom is cheating on me!" was a lie, because he saw so many other lies and cruelties, big and small. But our attorneys insisted I not say anything negative about my ex-husband where the boys could hear it, so...I have not defended myself. I have mostly shut down, as far as those discussions might go. 
My other three sons, all late teens, live with their dad. The middle one won't speak to me, since I left. It breaks my heart, and it makes me angry that my husband can lie to him and use those lies to destroy my relationship with my son, because he is a fast-talker and I am only articulate in writing. 
A lot of people have said for years that I should tell the boys the whole truth. Others say I definitely should NOT, because it would be burdensome to them. But the way I see it, it is already burdensome. They have already been raised in an environment that looked like a marriage but actually was enslavement, that looked like heterosexual love but actually was me begging my gay husband to pay attention to me once in a while. 
Yesterday, I told my oldest son that if he wants to know the truth, I will tell it, even though it is ugly and complicated and doesn't always make me look perfect.
He's considering whether he wants to know.
Am I wrong to tell my son, and then his brothers (once the divorce is final)? I don't know what to do, and at this point I feel too tired to even think.
Kind of a crazy story...which is one of the reasons I'm sharing it.

Another reason is that I wonder what other people think about it, especially women and men in a similar situation - women who feel victimized by their gay husband - and men who feel unfairly scapegoated by their irrational wife.

There's also the matter of answering the woman's question: should she tell her children that their father, the parent they live with, is gay, especially when he insists he is not?

Her friends say the information would be burdensome.  I wonder if they meant that in the way she describes.  In my opinion it would be burdensome, mostly because I don't think children want to be put in the middle of their parents' divorce.

What about her point that her marriage was not a good example of heterosexual love and that's why she should out her ex?

I've thought about it...and I disagree.  There are plenty of examples of heterosexual love in the average teenager's life.  Yes, their parents' relationship is arguably the most influential, but their parents' bad example won't negate other positive influences, especially those of close family members and friends.

I'm sure there are situations where men in denial take out their frustrations on their straight wives and the women unfairly suffer.  I'm also sure there are situations where straight wives out their ex-husbands as gay and they actually aren't.

If I compare those two injustices, I'd guess that there are many more men in denial than women who falsely out their exes as gay....and yet...I still don't see how outing an in-denial gay spouse does the children any good.  If their dad really is gay, they'll figure it out on their own eventually.  Having the kids figure it out is probably better for the straight spouse in the long-run anyway.  Kids don't want to hear their parents bash each other, even if what's being said is true.  In fact, kids are more likely to resent being dragged into their parents' nastiness than they are to be happy to know the true reason for their parents' divorce.

I've never once said anything bad about my ex to my kids.  Instead I make an effort to be complimentary whenever possible.  That really annoys my 14yo daughter...but I don't think she knows how awful it would be to have her parents constantly insulting each other.

What do you think about this woman's story?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

What makes a bi man a keeper - or not

This comment deserves a post of its own:
As a straight woman, I periodically read these blogs because I've come to the realization a while ago that there are more bi men out there than I thought. I so appreciate the honesty that some men display when they let a prospective love interest know of their sexual orientation. There is a part of me that understands why some hesitate to do so, but honesty will save both parties heartbreak and stress.

I believe straight women should shed myths and innuendos and give a bisexual man a chance. I don't see dismissing a guy who is driven, honest, attractive , funny, and loving just because he's had relationships with men. I would screen him just as I would a straight guy.

I believe it's about the type of relationship. That's the focal point for me. Would he want to have sex with other people? Can he be trusted? etc.... same questions I'd get answers for from a straight guy.

What I would struggle with is him stating that he is with me for the emotional connection. Many people want a strong emotional connection with's valid and it matters...but I would seriously struggle with my guy not feeling passion towards me....he'd only feel that towards his same sex attractions.....for me that would be an enormous hurdle.

I want to see my man look at me with love and passion and fire and I don't think that's selfish...if a bi guy can give that to me, awesome....if he can only offer emotional connection and he loves me and thinks of me fondly, he and I would be in each others lives forever as the best of friends... the last thing i would want to do is impede him from getting what he needs and I need to make room in my life for someone who can be both passionate lover and friend.
I think this woman speaks for her whole gender - or at least for those women who consider being in a relationship with a bisexual man.  She wants (and women want) love, passion and fire.

Men aren't any different.  We want the same things too.

Straight men want love, passion and fire with women.

Gay men want love, passion and fire with other men.

What do bisexual men want?

The many bi married men I know also want the same things...but they don't feel like they can get it from one person.  They want a primary relationship with their wife AND they want safe, sexually passionate connections with men.

Is there "passion and fire" in their marriages?  Emotionally, maybe, but sexually, not so much.  If the sexual passion was there they'd be much more content with monogamy.

Here's my question:

If the woman quoted above is more open-minded about bisexual men than most women are, and if the many bi married men I know are typical of most bisexual men, is there ever a time when a relationship between a straight woman and a bisexual man can work?

Yes there is!  When the bisexual man is essentially straight.

I think this woman's comment explains why so many mixed orientation marriages either don't last or are a constant struggle.  We all want the same things but when a bisexual man is pulled in two directions, love without passion is not enough for his wife.

That's certainly been my experience.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bisexuality: "just a layover on the way to gay town"

From "Sex and the City", Season 3, Episode 4:
Carrie: You know, I'm not even sure bi-sexuality exists. I think it's just a layover on the way to gay town.
Miranda: Isn't that right next to Ricky Martinville?
Many people, both straight and gay, agree with Carrie.  In their eyes, "bi" is a label of convenience, not a label of fact. Bisexuals are gays who can't (or won't) admit the truth.  They're in denial - and that's their biggest problem - not their sexuality.

What's so bad about denial?

The argument is that if you're actually gay, not bi, and can't admit it, you can never be genuinely happy. Instead you live a life of permanent dissatisfaction.  Sometimes you're pissed off for reasons you can't explain.  Other times you're depressed and lonely, even when you're surrounded by the people you love.

Speaking of loved ones... they're the innocent victims of denial.  Unhappiness has a way of spreading, like a disease.  You might not kick the dog or yell at the kids because you're in denial, but everyone instinctively knows you're an unhappy person.  That affects the way they interact with you, and the way you interact with them.

Straight spouses bear the burden of denial more than anyone else.  If you can never be happy, how can she?  Can you express authentic love and desire for her, or, do you unintentionally make her feel like last week's leftovers?  Even during the best of times, many straight spouses know something isn't quite right.

Being forever unfulfilled might be sad...or frustrating...or silently hurtful to others...but what people fear most about denial is that it's a temporary stage.  Inevitably, it's assumed, there will come a day when the truth is revealed...

...and when it is...

the shit will hit the fan.

Shit hitting the fan - that, in a nutshell, is why denial is assumed to be bad.

In my previous post, I wrote about a straight wife who believes her husband's bi polar disorder caused him to have gay fantasies.  Her proof is that the gay fantasies disappeared once the bi-polar condition was treated.

That sounds like wishful thinking to me. While I can believe that being depressed might cause normally repressed gay fantasies to surface, I don't believe same sex attractions are actually caused by being bi polar.

I think this woman is in denial.  I think she wants to believe her husband is entirely straight, even though he obviously is not.

Here's the thing though - does it matter?  If she desperately WANTS to believe her husband is straight, why is that a problem?  Other than herself, who is she at risk of hurting?

I also wonder if those of us "in the know" have a moral responsibility to tell others when we think they're in denial.  For example, if a straight wife says, "My husband used to masturbate to gay porn and he even hooked with a guy in the past, but I *KNOW* he only did those things because he was lonely and depressed," are we helping her if we tell her she's delusional?

I'm asking this because it seems pretty obvious to me that straight men, authentically straight men at least, do not watch gay porn and they certainly don't hook-up with other men, ever.  Therefore, if a straight wife refuses to believe such blatant behaviors aren't good enough proof that her husband is turned on by men, is there anything a stranger could say that would convince her otherwise?  I don't think there is.  And really, I wonder if there's any good that could come from trying.

Do you agree?  Should straight spouses be left to their fantasies until harsh reality bites them in the ass?  Or, is their blind loyalty so well-intentioned that when it happens, others need to step in and make them aware of what they're setting themselves up for? 

Please share your thoughts below.