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Old 03-04-2013, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Holding pattern.

After 23 years of marriage, my husband tells me he is gay, or bi, I don't think he knows for sure. He's had a couple "flings" outside of our marriage. He disclosed this to me about six months ago. I ended up going back to drinking after 4 months of sobriety, (we both drink to excess). December 31, 2012 was my last day of drinking.

I've Googled our issue only to find very angry women that are/were in the same situation as me. I don't think I'm angry at my husband. I feel bad for him, I feel cheated because I didn't sign up for homosexuality or bi-sexality I signed up for hetrosexuality. Now, so many years later and six children (5 still in the nest), I don't know what the next move is.

We talked about it and he doesn't want to leave, he loves our family and his life. I'm not having sex w/him anymore. I'm not attracted to him, but I love him, does that make sense to anyone? So, it feels like I'm in a holding pattern. I go to work, come home, everything goes on as usual except it's all changed.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Akberry,

First and foremost. Both of you need to address addiction head on for your children. Everything else must come second.

Discovering one is gay is not easy. I have friends who have later in life with children. It is a process that requires open minded ness. There is a tone of anger or disapproval in your post.

Being gay for me is defined by who I fall in love with not who I have sex with. He could very well be bi sexual. That's for him to determine.

You and your family have some big things to consider. The fact he told you? Please know how very very very hard that is to speak. He trusts you.

Please stick around SR for yourself. Get help with your drinking. There are a lot of experienced people here who might be able to assist along the way.

K
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Weasel 1966. I quit drinking 12-31-12. My husband still drinks. I re-read my post and didn't see the disapproval. Anger perhaps. I wish he would have told me before I made such a hugh commitment. He deceived me. Unfortunately he has been deceiving himself too and I feel sad for him, not pity just sad that we live in a world so unaccepting that feels he has to hide or be someone he's not, just to be accepted. That's sad.

I am going to continue checking this thread for more information. I am also going to try to find a counselor that works specifically with this issue. He's never been to a counselor. I think it would be helpful for him and me too.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Akberry... Deceive is a strong word. It implies you think he knew all along. I can tell you with certainty that while he may have had attractions he did not understand.... Coming to the point of identifying gay is not instant.

Do you identify with being an alcoholic? It took a while for me to come to that conclusion.

For the longest time I fought being gay. I hide in every word I said. There are those that approve and those that don't. I personally don't require approval but I also don't want to put myself out there in harms way. Yes harm. You cannot tell I am gay by any mannerism I have. Most say wow... I had no idea. So when I am being myself I never know who will have an issue until its an issue.

At this point in my life it's a non issue. I feel no need to converse about it. Simply refer to my partner in a casual way. If they don't like it.... Then To bad.

My point is, deceiving you is to continue the lies as I have seen many men do. He sounds like , now that he has a bit of a handle on things, wants to be open with you and himself.

Your comment about not having sex because you are not attracted to him any more is what I took as disapproval. 23 years of attraction gone?

Great idea to see someone. I go to a counselor that is both an addiction specialist and familiar with gay issues. His son is gay. They are out there.

I feel no shame in being gay. I am 46. I probably started to feel that way around 40. All those years I struggled.

I don't know you obviously. But you should have no shame to have spent 23 years and raised a family with, what seems by your description, to be a good man. Time passes. People change.

I really hope you and he will find your way and be ok.

Ken
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hello akberry and welcome to the GLBTQ section of the forums.

Congrats on your sober time.

I am sorry you are struggling right now. I do see where your situation would be frustrating, confusing, heartbreaking, and painful. Like you said you are not alone as there are others out there who have been in similar situations.

I was married and divorced twice before I finally accepted the fact that I am gay. In the era I grew up in homosexuality was not nearly as accepted as it is today. It was something people hid away in the closet and pretended did not exist. Honestly I did not even know there was such a thing until I was in my teens and then it was presented in such a way that it was a horrible thing and anyone who was homosexual was an abomination and did not deserve to live. Needless to say growing up in this culture made it easy for me to shove my feelings aside and pretend to be someone I am not for many years. The problem with that is that living a lie sooner or later catches up to us.

It was during my first marriage I realized that I might be a lesbian but because of what I had been taught and the way society treated gay people I just shoved those feelings as far away as I could get them and started drinking more heavily. I did not marry my first husband because I loved him in the way one should love someone to marry them. I married him because we had dated in high school and it was what was expected. I did not know what love really was. I thought that the love one has for a good friend was the love that made a marriage because that is the love I went into that marriage with. Needless to say the marriage failed because that could not sustain long term for me especially when I was struggling with my very real feelings for women at the time. I broke his heart when I left as I truly believe he did love me and that I truly regret. It took him nearly 20 years before he remarried.

I continued to date men for several reasons; I was afraid to come out because of the way society treated gay people, I did not know how to meet gay people to date, I did not want to be alone, and it was what I thought was expected of me. Plus I was drinking heavily during this time of my life to try and forget all the lies I had to keep telling myself to try and convince myself that I was "normal" and not gay. I tried marrying again after getting pregnant from sleeping with him once after we had dating for several months. I married him because that is what I thought was expected when one is pregnant, marry the father of the baby. Needless to say I did not stay in this relationship long, it was loveless on both of our parts. But I came out shortly after that and when he found out it really hurt his pride.

I guess what I am trying to share with you is that coming to terms with being gay is hard enough but even more so when growing up in the era that I did and it sounds like your husband did. My partner also came out late in life. She was in her mid 30's and had been married for 10 years. She fought with these same issues of shame, guilt, and self hatred. It is hard when one has built their life on what turns out to be a lie about themselves to come to terms with that especially when others are involved. To come to terms with a part of oneself that we have been told is horrible and we have fought so hard to suppress yet it won't go away is extremely difficult. I know I did everything I could to try and live a "normal" life but inside something always felt off.

Your husband is still the same person you met and the same person you knew prior to him coming out to you. Him coming out is not about anything you have done or not done, it is about him coming to terms with himself and stopping lying to himself and denying that part of who he is. I am sure he did not do it to cause you pain but rather to release some of the pain he has been living with all these years by hiding and denying this part of him. As others have suggested counseling would be a really positive thing you could do for yourself and if he would go for him as well. There is a way to work past the pain, confusion, and anger but it may take outside help. I truly wish you the best. Sorry for being so long winded.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sniff, sniff, I have tears in my eyes. This is so relieving to hear from others. My husband is in his early 50s. I'm fairly sure he has been struggling with this for the past 15 years. He's a cross dresser too. I won't allow him to do that in the house with our kids around. If it were just him and I it might be different. I don't have a problem with him going away for a weekend if he feels like he needs to dress up. I would be happy for him if he found a partner, but he wants to stay in our relationship. Perhaps he is afraid to make that leap, I can't say that I blame him.

And what about me? Am I to live the remaining years of my life this way? So many unknowns. We live in a very rural area, in a small community. Finding a counselor will probably require a trip to the city, which is 175 miles away.

Thank you so very much for your insight and direction. I really appreciate it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akberry View Post
... I would be happy for him if he found a partner, but he wants to stay in our relationship. Perhaps he is afraid to make that leap, I can't say that I blame him.

And what about me? Am I to live the remaining years of my life this way? So many unknowns. We live in a very rural area, in a small community. Finding a counselor will probably require a trip to the city, which is 175 miles away.
...
I wish I had some answers or was able to provide some direction as to what to do. All I can offer is support and encourage you to make sure that you consider your needs in all of this not just his.

I did a little looking to see if I could find anything to help you and here are a few things that I found that you may find interesting or helpful.
This is a good article with some interesting statistics about women who's husbands have come out gay. You might find some comfort and support in it. It is not long. Featured Articles

I also found "Straight Spouse Network" it seems to be a place where spouses with someone who is gay network with each other for support. You may find it useful as well. Straight Spouse Network - Online Support

The "Psychology Today" website (Finding Out Your Spouse Is Gay | Psychology Today) had an article about this an in it they recommended the following books. You may be able to find them on Amazon.com.
The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families, Revised and Expanded Edition, by Amity Pierce Buxton

You're What?! Survival Strategies for Straight Spouses, by Heather Cram

My Husband Is Gay: A Woman's Survival Guide, by Carol Grever

I will leave you with this quote to consider as it is one I have found to be especially true in my life.
"Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good."
~~Elizabeth Edwards (1949-2010)
I wish you resilience to see you through your new reality and help you through the upcoming choices you are faced with. Life can still be made into something good, all is not lost.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Being gay is not going away. I have to disagree with Weasel a bit. He knew. I am sure he knew a long time ago. Struggling with it and not wanting it is another thing. but he's had these desires for years and you have been in the dark.

There was deception involved--and he did cheat--which is deception in and of itself. That's not cool. I'd get a full battery of STD tests.

His orientation is not going to change. You deserve someone who is fully sexually attracted to you. Perhaps it's time he moves out and explores and lives his genuine self, so you can live an authentic life and, maybe one day, find someone who is straight to share your life.

That Straight Support Network is amazing. The spouses on there will help you navigate these confusing times.

Best to you.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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RO. I know all the things you said are accurate. I could have said the painful truth. But I was not focusing on him. I was focusing on helping her. She does not need to hear it all. Just know what's what now and move forward for their children.

I don't disagree.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nearly a year has gone by. My husband and I are still together. I've read a lot about this subject. There is no clear path. Sometimes I think I'm a wimp for not putting my foot down and forcing the issue. Making him come to terms with it. Other times I feel sad for him that he lives in such confusion and terror of what would happen if people found out. Other times I feel sad for me. Then, I look around and see that others have more difficult things to deal with then this.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the update. I often wonder about what happens after people have posted so it is always nice to get an update.
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