Straight Wives and Gay Husbands – Present or Past
You did not sign up for this. “For better or worse…” did not include finding out that the man you married is emotionally and erotically attracted to men.
Some of you have been more “fortunate” than others. Ideally, your spouse told you of his inner experience straight up. He has owned it. I know it has been difficult to hear, but you deserve the truth.
Others of you have found out by seeing a stray text message or e-mail, of perhaps stumbled over pictures on a computer. He is seeing a man, and it just seems unimaginable to you.
Like the mythic snake in the garden, the truth has both opened your eyes and poisoned everything. But now we must harness the poison to become a medicine that will help you heal and go on. You cannot change what is. You cannot change him. You can only transform in degrees your expectations and affections. It is time to take care of you, to love yourself, to cultivate a new garden within.
Women who reach out to me often have questions such as these:
- How did I miss this?
- Did I make him gay?
- Can we make this work?
- Did he suddenly change?
- Is there something wrong with me?
- Should we stay together for the children?
- Must I maintain his secret?
- What do I tell the children?
- How do I handle the betrayal?
- Can I trust him?
- How do I handle the practicalities of divorce?
- What if he says that he is bisexual?
These questions, and more, are common to women who discover that their husbands are gay.
Many wives still love their husbands after they find out. And many have been the nurturers in the relationship. The shift to focus on care of yourself is not an easy one to make. But it is necessary. Often, it is the wife who must set the boundary so that both parties are set free to live with authenticity and integrity.
As much compassion as I have for the many gay men who seek therapy with me in their own coming out process, I also have compassion for the wives of gay men who seek me out. And I am committed to help you affirm yourself, begin your own healing, examine your options, and make decisions that do not compromise your wellbeing, but keep your best interest and often the interest of children, at heart.