It is estimated that millions of marriages end in divorce when one spouse comes out and admits their true sexual orientation. Millions!
I am fascinated by this scenario and always wonder what were the signs? Did she or he have a clue? When your spouse admits they’re gay after decades of marriage, it must be absolutely devastating for the straight spouse. Doesn’t this mean our whole marriage was a lie? If I could live this lie then what are the other lies or things they hid from me?
I can’t even begin to imagine the betrayal a person would feel. It would seem the only answer is divorce in this situation. Surprisingly though, some choose to stay together and have an open relationship. All I can say is it must be terrific love in these relationships to withstand the river of rejection.
I recently read “Love is Love” by Sarah Liss in Flare magazine. Liss addresses the ambiguity and ‘fluidity’ of sexual orientation and how it is more accepted today. Love is Love whichever way you choose to express it. But as we all know, it hasn’t always been that way.
So, what are the reasons gay or homosexual individuals choose heterosexual marriage to begin with? Obviously, the societal expectations and restrictions including one’s religion all contribute to the sham marriage. They felt they had no other choice. It was easier to give in and get married like everyone else. Maybe they were trying to PLEASE their parents, pastor, boss, culture or ________ fill in the blank.
Unfortunately, what the gay spouse is attempting to hide, the straight spouse is unwittingly mistaking for love. What is shame for one, is love for the other. It sounds like a recipe for disaster. It’s certainly a RECIPE FOR LONELINESS.
3 SYMPTOMS in a Gay/Straight Marriage;
3. Lack of intimacy
ANGER on behalf of the gay spouse is very common. The anger will crop up like a noxious weed where you least expect it. The ANGER is unjustified in its severity. Flying off the handle…worrying about what other people think…feeling trapped…this makes sense. Imagine living a lie? You couldn’t be authentic EVER? It would destroy a soul. Of course it would make a person angry. The straight spouse will sometimes see a very different person at home than in public.
The straight spouse feels REJECTED. Ongoing excuses for NO SEX eventually cause the straight spouse to feel inadequate. The catch is that the rejection isn’t constant, so the memory of occasional intimacy will provide false hope that things will improve. But in the end, sex life rarely does improve and the straight spouse is often full of self blame.
The LACK OF INTIMACY is a huge red flag. If the marital sex was okay in the beginning but now it’s almost nonexistent, this is a typical pattern. The gay spouse will concede to sex on occasion but it is passionless and often done to appease the straight spouse. It is done to keep suspicions and questions at bay. Again, the straight spouse will be satisfied for a short time but the sexless pattern will continue. The gay spouse is often distant. In order to hide part of their true self, they live with deception. How can a couple have intimacy on any level if one keeps his heart in the closet?
How Can I Tell If My Husband is Gay?
According to Bonnie Kaye, author of The Official Gay Husband Checklist-for women who wonder;
He is turned-off by normal sexual activity and accuses you of being oversexed, aggressive, or a nymphomaniac when you have normal sexual needs.
His sexual performance is more mechanical than passionate with a lack of satisfying foreplay.
He claims he is “depressed” and will blame his depression or medication for depression for his lack of sexual desire for you.
He claims that he feels “trapped” in the marriage and won’t explain why.
He travels a lot for business and you can’t track his activities.
He says he is having a “mid-life crisis” and becomes moody and depressed.
He tells you about sexual abuse in his childhood/adolescence.
He admits to having a homosexual encounter in the past. – Bonnie Kaye
Women Who Have Been There
Amity Buxton would like to see a day where gays don’t feel they need to fake their genuine orientation and marry in order to people please and culture please. Amity believes a reduction in gay/straight marriages will also correlate to less divorce. She speaks and has written from her own experience. Her husband came out of the marital closet in the ‘80’s. Her book The Other Side of the Closet chronicles her experience but also provides self help to other victims or straight spouses. Often the straight spouse is the silent victim carrying on without any moral support.
These marriages don’t always end with the gay spouse coming out. Sometimes it ends because the straight spouse can’t take the empty feeling in the marriage. If the straight spouse is unfulfilled, unhappy and dissatisfied they may end up leaving and never even knowing what was truly wrong with their marriage.
On the other hand, a positive pattern that is seen is the relationship between a gay spouse (who came out) and the straight spouse is more likely to succeed as best friends post divorce. This is an interesting pattern that has not been proven statistically but is highly evident in testimonials.
Acceptance and Going Forward
What can we take from all of this? More acceptance to various sexual orientations means less fake hetero marriages. Less gay/straight marriages mean less heartbreak for children and spouses. Knowing the signs of being married to a gay spouse can help people make better decisions. Finding happiness always comes back to authenticity and facing our truths. It’s not done in a day but it is a process. The devastation can be overcome but first, action has to be taken. Also, what a couple does after coming out of the marital closet is a very personal decision. Whether they stay together or get a divorce, they begin the journey of authenticity. Not unlike any other divorce just a different variety.
For a full list of signs you’re married to a gay spouse see Bonnie Kaye’s Official Gay Husband Checklist
Have you had any suspicions or experiences on this topic? Let’s start talking!
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