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My husband’s having sex with men

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I received this from a distressed woman who has discovered her husband is having sex with men.  I have edited it to protect her identity.

I found my husband is cheating on me with men, not one, but many. We’ve been married now for more than 18 years with two lovely kids. We live in a society that does not accept gays people;  I can t accept him at all.

I was so surprised that he was cheating on me and still would come and sleep next to me. Although, over the past few years I felt some changes especially when we used to make love. But I would say to myself, “He must be tired, nothing more than this.

I am keeping this to myself.  For the sake of the kids and because of my and his dignity in front of our families, I will not seek divorce or leave him.  and because of my and his dignity in front of our family. But I am living in pain.

My question is I need to talk to someone. Or shall I keep it for myself and live in agony?

Loren’s comment:

I am sorry to hear of your pain.  Although I was in the same position as your husband once, I know the pain that I put my wife through and I can empathize with what you are going through.
 
I would like to refer you to a website called Striaght Spouse Connection.  Carol Grever has lived the life you describe and has written about it. Carol’s book is called When Your Spouse Comes Out.  Another book you may find helpful is called The Other Side of the Closet.  It is written by a woman who founded “Straight Spouse Network,” an on-line support network.    It has a reading list and is a thoughtful site that can give you some answers.

Both women have also reviewed my book, Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, and this is what Carol wrote:  “Dr. Olson’s informative book could become a key turning point to complete your healing as a straight spouse.  I highly recommend it.”

 Unfortunately, what is written for women and by women is often very angry, and not very helpful .  Anger is appropriate, but it is important to try at some point to move beyond the anger and hurt that you are feeling and to try to understand what is happening with your husband.  I don’t know where you are but I assume not in the USA?  My book is available on Amazon UK.
  
There are several comments I would make:

Your husbands attraction to men will not go away.  You can expect that even if he promises never to behave in those ways again, it will be a promise he probably cannot keep.   It will be useless to try to extract from him a commitment to remain only faithful to you.

It is not your fault.  Most believe that these attractions are probably determined by our genetics, not by life experiences.

Most husbands in this situation are very good fathers and are committed to remaining involved with their children.

Have you confronted him with what you know?  You must be certain that if you continue to have a sexual relationship that you protect yourself from any diseases he might acquire.  Some men in this situation do not have protected sex and thus expose themselves (and you) to sexually transmitted diseases.

Your husband may love you very much even though he has other sexual attractions.  Some men remain very conflicted because their spouses are their best friends, but the attraction to other men is extremely powerful.

I would not discuss this with his his family.  If you tell any of your friends or family, everyone will eventually discover it.  I don’t think you should never tell anyone; you need support.  However, people who know both of you will likely share it with others.  Even if his  brother disapproves of his behavior, he is unlikely to be able to convince him to stop.

You must take care of yourself in this situation.  A good support group such as the one I mentioned is important. 

If you wish to remain married and he continues this behavior, you need to modify some of the rules of the relationship.  For example, do you want him to tell you each time he has been unfaithful?  Can you tell him that you will only have sex with him if he uses a condom?  Would it be acceptable for you if his partners are only “casual hook ups” or would you accept him having a regular “buddy” who was the only one he had sex with?  I cannot set the rules for you, but you must have this discussion with him.

I hope that you can continue to see him as a good man who is caught in a bad situation.  Try to learn to accept him as he is, although he is not the man you thought he was.  All the things you loved about him are still there.  Forgiveness can come when you learn to empathize with the conflict that he experiences about this.  He did not choose this.  Even though it hurts you, I do not believe it was ever his intent to hurt you.

You wrote, “But I am living in pain. My question is I need to talk to someone.  You need someone to talk with and I believe the resources on “Straight Spouse Connection” and “Straight Spouse Network” can be helpful to you. 

Although you are in agony now, healing can occur.  Please listen to this interview with my former wife and me.   It was broadcast May 18th, 2011.



2 Responses to “My husband’s having sex with men”

  1. Martha Washington says:

    Dear Distressed:

    Loren’s giving good advice here. One thing he left out is that your feelings may evolve over time. At first it may seem like you’ll be able to stay and just deal with the situation. I think you’ll eventually want to leave.

    In that case, get your act together. Make sure you have all your finances in order. Get a copy of all your important papers and insurance policies. Make sure you would be fully protected in case of a divorce. I would even make a tape recording of your conversation when you confront him about having sex with other men. That tape will ensure that you get full child support and alimony.

    Don’t let your desire to keep this secret prevent you from being smart.

    Signed,
    Been There, Done That.

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