In the twenty first century a gay man married to a straight woman is not an uncommon thing. In fact in the US it is estimated that 4 million women have been or are married to gay men. It’s a heart breaking position to be placed in for both parties but even more so for the wife.
After reading different sides of the stories on experience.com it was sad to see how many men felt trapped in their marriage but more so how they left their wives and children in the dark about their sexuality.
A friend of mine explained it so profoundly – he’s never been married but he is gay and says he can imagine what it feels like for some men. “Maybe it’s like being a bird born in captivity. They’re not supposed to be cadged but circumstances have placed them there. If they were to be set free they would die because they can’t fend for themselves. So we make do with what we have but everyone knows it will never be quite enough” What my friend was getting at, was that even though they know they don’t belong in this relationship they still keep up the façade because they’re too afraid of the road that will follow if they out themselves.
Greg (fictional name – real man on experience.com) wrote his side of the story saying that he had become depressed in his marriage. “I couldn’t come to terms with it and with the negative repercussions of exposing my secret” He’s been married for 11 years and has always known that he’s gay but has never revealed his secret to his family.
Then there are women that know about their husband’s sexuality but they’re not sure what to do about it. “One day he came out to me and while it wasn’t surprising, I was still crushed. It was as if he was telling me “we’ll never be together, so please back off me a bit.” (Anonyms) The couple are still together and love each other very much with a little girl now part of the equation. She says that she’ll always love him but feels as if she’s wasting her life trying to support him and neglecting herself.
Bonnie Kaye M.ED and an expert specialising in gay straight marriages has written numerous books and articles on how straight women can cope or deal with finding out that they’ve married a gay man. She too went through the same ordeal and had to face the end of her marriage in 1982.
- In the bedroom
The most common word thrown around is Sex. Almost all of the bloggers, writers and psychologists say that if there’s no more passion then something is wrong (don’t immediately jump the gun and brand your guy as gay)
He’s not interested in anything you do or turned on for that matter
- Strange sexual demands
Fetishism is a sign that a man is seeking a harder thrill beyond normal intimacy of heterosexual relations (RyanSeacres.com)
- He might make homophobic comments.
- Starts to become depressed and can’t tell you why.
- Secret late night use of his cell phone or computer.
- He can come across more witty and playful with other men rather than women. For instance, does he get upset when men don’t return his compliments?
- He’s sensitive and moody to certain comments you make about masculinity and constantly tries to prove something. (remember he doesn’t want to be exposed so he’ll do all he can to convince you that he is “one of the boys”)
Gay married men state that a lot of their behavioural patterns grew over time during their years of marriage. They did not want to be intimate with their wives anymore. Simple things like hugging, holding hands, touching, displaying adoration and even showing interest or care were tell tales that they did not want to be in that relationship anymore.
These men said that they even took over the guest bedroom because they didn’t want to sleep next to their wives anymore. (Now I’m not talking about the whole “his snores keep you up” deal)
50% of the time gay husbands will hide their homosexuality and in many cases it’s the wife that confronts them. If your husband is truly gay it’s important to remember that it might also be an emotional let-down for him too. Tremendous guilt and fear are some of the emotions that he has to deal with.
An honest and genuine discussion is not too much to ask for. “For your man he needs to feel that you’ve given him a way out, while sincerely asking the hard questions” (examiner.com)
It’s a tough act to simply put in a nutshell. Because people are individuals with different characters they will act differently. Be sure to gather all the facts before you jump to conclusions – having a gay friend might be of some help even if he’s there to support you through the whole ordeal.