I’m 47, married at 30 and thought I’d made a great choice in my husband. I didn’t go for looks or superficial things like some of my friends. I didn’t need love at first sight. I chose someone who seemed to be a good person: a friend whom I grew to love.
Over the years, however, he started to get very moody and nasty and I had to tread on eggshells, as did our two teenage children. We had no sex for the last two years; it was infrequent before then. But he could be good company and from the outside we seemed the perfect couple.
A month ago, my son went to use his father’s smartphone and found links to a gay website. He then searched and found a second mobile phone. On it were dozens of explicit texts from men my husband had had sex with. It’s been a complete bombshell.
I’ve found out that gay men often marry (an estimated four million in the U.S.), but when their lust for men doesn’t go away, they take their anger out on their wives and children and make our lives unbearable.
My husband is in complete denial, saying he isn’t gay, but it’s a ‘tiny part’ of him — despite it being important enough to risk, and lose, his family. I’ve told him the marriage is over and he’s moved out. I feel I’ve been the victim of a conman, yet we’re still on friendly terms, unable to detach from each other properly because we have our own business.
I’m trying to minimise contact, but we still text and see each other a few times a week.
Although I grieve, I’m also staying positive, keeping busy, exercising, reading about how to deal with break-ups etc. There must be so many women (and men married to lesbians) who are suffering like this. Though devastated, I am pleased my son saved us from even more years of misery.
But it does seem to be the case that when these lying, cheating, abusive gay men finally come out they are lauded as heroes and no one even thinks about what they’ve done to their wives and children —damaging our ability to trust.
Obviously, I’m only talking about gay husbands who trick their wives, not about gay men who live their lives bravely and honestly.
So far I’ve been telling people he cheated on me and they assume with another woman. How much should I tell other people about what he’s done, considering that he intends to stay completely in the closet and could possibly trick another woman in the future?
This letter first appeared in the Daily Mail.
This is an amazing letter. Obviously you feel terribly upset and betrayed, but the rage and aggression here is striking. Your ultimate question is not ‘how do I deal with life now?’ or ‘how did I end up in this situation’ but; ‘How much revenge can I get away with?’ There is barely a hint of feeling in any way responsible for events in your own life or, indeed, of sympathy for the man you once loved. Of course, you are angry and writing to a newspaper is your first step in exposing your husband as the fraud you perceive him to be. Revenge. But where are you in all this? It is as though your long relationship is meaningless simply because of the gender of the people with whom he has slept.
The first paragraph is a deeply odd one. You sound very pleased with yourself for your ‘good choice’, suggesting that it was pragmatic, that it showed you in a good light. Your husband is a passive figure in this ‘choice’ of yours. You announce that you are not shallow or giddy. Then you immediately go on to say that, in fact, your husband was not very nice privately (something you later attribute to his sexuality though you doubtless know some straight people who are not very nice) and that your sex life was always unsatisfactory. Facts you apparently chose to ignore or to brush under the carpet.
Then your husband is ‘found out’ by your son. Again, he is passive (I keep thinking about his ‘tiny part’). He never tried to tell you (if you are always this aggressive it’s hardly surprising) and in having a second phone, he seems to have wanted to keep his encounters with lovers private – perhaps to protect his family? Immediately you lump him with ‘an estimated four million’ other men, stripping him of any personality of his own and ignoring what he actually says himself. Obliterating the real person entirely, you boot him out and see him as little as possible.
Your own shame at his bisexuality (I am going to take his word for it) is paramount, the collapse of your relationship secondary. I wonder why you have lied about the gender of his lovers to your friends? And I wonder why you feel tricked and lied to simply because of the gender of your husband’s lovers? If they had been female would you feel similarly deceived?
You use the word ‘tricked’ many times, as though your husband decided to mock you by marrying you. There is no hint of a suggestion that you understand that someone might be bisexual or gay and also love you and want to build a family. I’m not saying you should stay with someone who has been serially unfaithful – but it is so striking that it is only his gayness that really seems to bother you.
So, what is going on with you?
Your tone is very defensive, aggressive and derisive throughout. You look down on your friends for going for ‘looks or superficial things’ and for ‘needing’ (!) love at first sight. I wonder if this really was the ‘choice’ you make it out to be. You stress your autonomy a bit too much. Perhaps the good looking rich guys weren’t interested in you, perhaps nobody fell in love with you at first sight? Is your ‘choice’ in fact a defence against a (VERY) well-hidden feeling of inadequacy?
You went for a friend with a low sex drive because this was less scary than a great bit hairy lover, a good-looking, wealthy Alpha male who wanted a lot of sex? Perhaps you are actually very frightened of men for reasons that you do not divulge? I suspect you are much less angry and butch than you want to sound. Someone whose rampant sexuality you didn’t need to fear might have seemed to you a safer match. But then he scared you anyway. You say he was ‘moody and nasty’ and you felt anxious around him.
Being ‘the perfect couple’ on the outside was enough to make you stay, perhaps because you feared being alone, or rejected? Or, I suspect, because you had no idea what a real couple might be like, real intimacy. I get the impression you are quite a lonely figure masquerading as a hugely sociable one.
When the ‘bombshell’ hit you were unable to process your feelings about it but simply investigated ‘similar’ betrayals so as to be able to label your husband and push him into a statistic – to strip him of a real personality. It’s fascinating that you say ‘my husband is in complete denial’ because, in fact, you are in complete denial, unable to look at what in you made you choose to be with this man and what made you stay despite very obvious problems.
You describe yourself as a victim, say that you have been conned and tricked. Then you seem embarrassed by this and feel the need to stress you are ‘staying positive’ by, essentially, being manically active. You come across as a rather castrating personality (‘tiny part’) with high expectations of others and very high expectations of yourself. You don’t want to be perceived as a victim or as having failed. You are defending yourself against enormous grief but also of shared responsibility for the end of the marriage, with anger and homophobic hatred. If you can make him the ‘other’ then you feel you can hate him with impunity.
But imagine he’d been unfaithful with women. You’d feel betrayed, yes. Your marriage would likely be over, yes. But would you then be able to share some responsibility for getting into the relationship, for its grave deterioration, for his need to resort to secrecy when he couldn’t talk to you or you to him, for its lack of real intimacy?
It is too hard to see past your rage and try to imagine what early situation you might be reenacting but I have to suppose it must involve feeling ‘tricked’. Wildly going out on a limb, I might imagine that you felt deeply deceived by your father and perhaps even frightened of him (a good looking, highly sexed Alpha male?) and you unconsciously chose a man you felt couldn’t deceive you in this way and yet, at the same time, one who inevitably would.
Your last line is fabulously disingenuous. Are you seriously hoping to expose your husband as gay in order to protect his next female partner? Your need to maintain the moral highground while smearing your husband (fecal matter here?) is again too much of a protest. ie. ‘It isn’t MY fault!’ But until you understand that it is half your fault (and I don’t mean that you weren’t sufficiently pleasing sexually, but that you were half of this empty relationship) then YOUR next relationship will be full of your own trickery.
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