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Thu Jun 29 10:57 pm  #681


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Good day forum. Thank you everyone for posting. In reply to your recent posts:

1. Phoenix: You are exactly right OOHC.   My advice to him is absolutely colored by my experience.  But, as you said, that is hopefully what adds some value to it.  We come from the other side of the experience.  I think it's exactly this reason that Sean asked the question to our group.. we can offer some advice from a different perspective.​

​I don't see this as a bad thing my friend and yes your opinions (and posts) have great value so please keep posting.

2. Lily: I think maybe you need to look at your own negative emotions.  your last post - the only way I can express it is it smelt strongly of your feelings for your wife.  It's not the first post, it has come across quite often. If you want to make a proper apology to your wife then look at what she's had to live with - your feelings towards her.  Hidden from view.  Acknowledge them.  You say respect respect respect to your wife, and I'm not knocking it, but you don't feel that. I don't think you should be seeking an independent relationship with your children at this point, I think you should defer to your wife in all things to do with the children.   Take her advice on board if she is good enough to offer it to you.  And let your wife cry.  Learn some respect for her.  She is deserving of it from you - you're the one holding onto the feelings you had towards her as a husband.

You make some very good points Lily. I have to admit that during my last encounter with my ex-wife, I was indeed thinking, "Oh here we go AGAIN!" which is the completely wrong (and narcissistic) approach. It's a bit like me rolling my eyes and complaining she needs stiches after I ripped her heart out. I'm very slowly working to understand and empathize with other's emotions, particularly hers, but this doesn't come naturally to a gay ex-husband with narcissistic personality disorder. With regards to my ex-wife, she must be struggling mightily with just being in the same room with me.     

3. Kel: Your unique input here has been invaluable.  However, have you taken the time to consider the possibility that you might be using this forum as a place to continue to focus attention on yourself?  To continue to be an validation junkie, as you've mentioned?  All that time you were married and denied being gay, you still wanted to keep your wife around.  You craved her being hung-up on you.  So much so that you hung onto her past the point where not only was it making her miserable, but even you weren't happy.  So long as you knew she wasn't going to get over you.  Now that your ex has made a clean-ish break and most of your communication is about logistics with regards to the kids, maybe you're missing feeling like a leader in the relationship?  That you need to be the expert and have the spotlight on you or you're not happy? Could it be that you are still feeding the need to have straight spouses hanging on your every word?

I think you're right Kel. I never thought about it like that so thanks for posting. If I'm reading this correctly, perhaps this forum represents a virtual way for me to have a relationship with my ex-wife, yet while maintaining both control and receiving approval. That would certainly be what a narcissist (or recovering narcissist) would do because both control and approval/adulation are part of our main diet. I'll have to think about that my friend. As I've shared before, I'm currently in a 12-step programme for porn and sex addictions. In all 12-step programmes, they say: "Progress not perfection." In the past, at any whiff of disapproval, I'd run or I'd attack the person who questioned my motives. For example, I felt like running last year when a fellow member questioned why I was here. I've spent so much of my life being on stage, not trying to do the right thing but trying to give the appearance of doing the right thing. Perhaps participating in this forum was another attempt to appear do the right thing in a "Look I can't be a bad guy because I'm helping so many straight spouses." I'll have to think about that one. Maybe it's time for my time and effort to move from the virtual world here to focusing on my real world ex-wife and kids. But I keep coming back here because I needed to. Perhaps it was because I was hooked on the virtual relationship and validation. Hmmm. I'll ask my 12-step sponsor and some others if they think it's healthy for me to keep posting here. I'll update you with what they tell me.

​Here are my takeaways from the most recent posts:

1. I need to truly acknowledge and let go of my negative feelings about my ex-wife.
​2. This means another apology to her is necessary.
​3. I need to make a heartfelt apology to my kids, the sooner the better.
​4. I need to really look at my current relationship and determine if staying with someone I cheated with while still married and a father is the kind of relationship that truly represents the man and father I want to be.
5. I need to consider if I'm posting here to really help others or solely to feed my narcissistic needs for approval and validation. 

​Thanks for your input everyone. I have a lot to think about! Please feel free to post here about anything. After all, this is your forum my friends.

Last edited by Séan (Thu Jun 29 11:03 pm)

 

Thu Jun 29 11:02 pm  #682


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Just remember that what you do here IS helpful.  Regardless of how you interpret your motives, the net result is something positive for a lot of people.


-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

"Horribly, the only way through it..... is through it."
-CajunBelle
 

Thu Jun 29 11:06 pm  #683


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

I appreciate that Phoenix. I guess what I have to do in the next few days is determine whether being here is an extension of my gay-in-denial narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or healing. That's the big question I reckon: whether I'm here to truly help others (healthy) or give the appearance of helping others while feeding my fragile ego (unhealthy). Lots to think about.  

     Thread Starter
 

Fri Jun 30 12:36 am  #684


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Sean,
I agree with Phoenix.  What you do here IS helpful. I will say that reading here &/or posting here can get a bit addictive.  I will speak for only myself:  I spend too much time reading here, sometimes.  Sometimes, I am posting or reading here, when I should be paying attention to my children or looking for a job.  It's been a life line...absolutely invaluable to me, but I need to focus more on my family, now.  I don't think it needs to be an all or nothing relationship with SSN, though.  I just need to be careful with my time management.  Right now, I'm exhausted and should be asleep, but I'm writing here.  Having said all that, I hope you still write, when you do have time, Sean.   You have good intentions, and I believe we are learning from each other:  learning how to navigate this journey of recovery and learning to communicate more clearly, without attacking and without taking personal offense.  Whatever you decide about your participation, going forward, know that you have helped me, and I am most appreciative.

 

Fri Jun 30 3:30 am  #685


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

yes I agree too - you have helped a lot of us, I include myself.  

you could stay because you like the people here.

If you and your boyfriend love each other then that can only be good.

all the best, Lily

 

Fri Jun 30 5:57 am  #686


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

What I realized after my ex left was that close as he was with his mother he actually resented her. After her death he had issues with his sister. It seemed to be because they were women.

I've come to believe that his problems with me were not only because he was attracted to men and was married to me (and me wanting sex) but that he had (has?) an aversion to women in general. He always had more women friends than men prior to coming out but that probably was because he wasn't interested in sports and other male pursuits. Plus men probably would have spotted that he was gay.

What I am trying to say is that he needed women but he had some anger towards them, I don't know if this is common with gay-in-denial men but since we are mostly women here perhaps your feelings about women in general are something to think about



 

 

Fri Jun 30 6:37 am  #687


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you Lily for your kind note. I appreciate you and your fellow members as well! In response to Abby's last post:

1. What I realized after my ex left was that close as he was with his mother he actually resented her. After her death he had issues with his sister. It seemed to be because they were women.

​It's certainly possible Abby. Families and gay men are different. I myself remain very close to my mom, my sister, my aunt, and female cousins.  

2. I've come to believe that his problems with me were not only because he was attracted to men and was married to me (and me wanting sex) but that he had (has?) an aversion to women in general. He always had more women friends than men prior to coming out but that probably was because he wasn't interested in sports and other male pursuits. Plus men probably would have spotted that he was gay.

​I'm not an expert on the subject but I'm happy to share my own experience. I too had mostly female friends in high school. When I did have straight male friends, it was in a very exclusive way...almost as if we were a couple or at least I thought of us as a couple. I played sports but not the kinds of sports like hockey, baseball or football, that would have made me part of a team.  

3. What I am trying to say is that he needed women but he had some anger towards them, I don't know if this is common with gay-in-denial men but since we are mostly women here perhaps your feelings about women in general are something to think about.

Interesting. I think my anger towards my (then) wife was just a projection of my own burning self-hatred. It was kind of, "I hate you for staying with me...but PLEASE STAY." As I shared in a previous post, near the end of our relationship she constantly asked me if I was angry at her. Looking back, I think I was just angry/frustrated in general because I was closeted. Tragically took it out on the person who loved me the most, my wife. I was like a teen lashing out at a patient and loving mom.

​Thanks for sharing Abby. Interesting stuff.

     Thread Starter
 

Fri Jun 30 7:37 am  #688


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

my ex was just oh, pickling in hatred and resentment.  I left without disturbing his closet and he still feels the same.  At this stage I don't take it personally at all as in what is wrong with me but it is personal as in he feels the same towards me if anything it has got worse and I haven't seen him in a while and I don't intend to, he is not my friend.  and he never was.

 

 

Fri Jun 30 1:14 pm  #689


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Re Abby's comment above primarily, I too thought my husband had/has deep seated anger and resentment for women.  In the early years of our relationship/marriage he often expressed anger and resentment toward his mother and sister.  Initially I did not know either of those people well (we were in another state), and I got the impression from him that they had both been very harsh and critical toward him, and that he felt unsupported and encouraged by them.  At first I just blindly believed his complaints and assumed that they had not been particularly nice to him and then felt sympathy and got caught up in some of that  "wounded animal" thing that some women can get into about men who tell you sob stories.  At the time, "gay" was never even a possibility there in my mind.

I was not firmly aware that my husband was gay at the time we divorced.  It was he who wanted the divorce and at that time he was going on about how harsh and "hypercritical" I was; how I always had to have my own way, etc.  Again, "gay" did not enter my mind, although I did hear an echo of those complaints he had made about his mother, sister, grandmother, and aunts throughout our time together.  I came to the conclusion that he just had some sort of deep seated anger toward women and that that was a big part of our problem.  I even told a counselor we were seeing at the time that I thought my husband just really did not like women in general and harbored some sort of exceptional resentment toward them.  Again "gay" never came up with me or the counselor/psychiatrist. (This is one reason I am very wary of people in our situations seeking counseling.)

All of that was many years ago now.  I had been divorced for years before I finally concluded without a doubt that my husband was gay and that that is why he had wanted the divorce so badly.  The thought had come up from time to time during the marriage, and I even brought it up with him a few times, but he always denied it, and I just accepted his answer and assumed our problems stemmed from something else - sometimes thinking it was this general resentment of women that he seemed to have.  (None the less, like Sean said above, he had lots of women "friends" and on the surface seemed to get along better with women than men.  When push came to shove, though, he always stood up for, felt for, and defended men on a much deeper and serious level.)

We had two daughters and after the first one was born, he told me he was glad that we had had a girl, because he felt that he would not have been a good father for a boy.  I always remembered him saying that and filed it away as "odd" or even a red flag of some kind, but never pursued  much, just why he might have said that.  With hindsight, I think he honestly did not think it was as important to be a good father to a girl as it would have been for a boy, because of this general lack of connection and appreciation for women.  He became furious with me when I became pregnant with our second child (it was all MY fault) who also turned out to be a girl (years ago and the sex was not always known ahead of time).  It was after that that I noticed him distancing himself more and more and within just a few years he started suggesting that he might want to have "his own little place" somewhere.

He did not do much in the way of helping at all when his mother became ill and died, leaving most of the work to his sister. He had been more involved with his father's death, but also left a lot of that to his sister.  I also remember a time when we visited his mother at an assisted living facility during her last couple of years, and by that time she was wearing incontinent briefs, using a walker, and not all that chipper.  At one point he actually said something to me about not really wanting to be there, not really feeling any need to continue to visit and maintain a relationship, largely because as he said, his mother "wasn't fun anymore".  Inside I was extremely taken aback and disappointed, but just felt paralyzed in a certain sense.  I was there out of state with just him, and it seemed like all I could do was go with the flow.  Not a time to get into it about how cold and callous he was acting toward his own mother.

Our daughters are well into their 30's now, but rarely if ever speak to me.  They continue to be "possessed" by an unrealistic and desperate sort of "daddy worship" and I believe it is because they struggle internally and perhaps un/subconciously with his attitudes towards women.  I wonder if they have not sensed on some level his feelings that it would have been more important to be a good father to a boy than it is to a girl.  I think his attitude is also part of the reason he has been able to trash me to our daughters and to discourage them from having a relationship with me.  I think that his attitudes towards women in general, along with their own struggles to connect with and feel good about him as a father, are the main contributors to my daughters not wanting to have a relationship with me.  I think they keep trying and trying and trying to connect with him and convince themselves that he is this wonderful fabulous father and that all of the family problems stem from my being so harsh, hypercritical, and uncaring as he tells it.  I can't help but get a "who are you trying to convince" sense about my daughters when it comes to their father worship.  It is over the top and a "methinks thou dost protest too much" sort of thing - Dad can do no wrong, Mom can do no right.  They seem to think that if I was not in the picture and had not been so "awful" they would be fine and good with him.  I do not think they are ready to accept the reality that their father just isn't into women of any sort (mothers, daughters, wives, aunts, grandmothers) as much as he is men.

Whether this is a "gay man" thing or something unique to my former husband I do not know, but I am coming to believe that there is something about gay men in general that is completely disconnected from women collectively and prevents truly deep and caring connections, whether it be romantic, parental, or otherwise.

I have known and enjoyed "friend" relationships with gay men over the years, as have other women that I know.  There is that "thing" about gay men and straight women being able to connect in a certain way with lots of chat and "dishing" about others and life in general.  I know that connection with gay men well and have to say I thoroughly enjoy it.  It can be enjoyed so much that one is tempted to call these gay men "friends" and to even feel that there is some kind of special connection because of this fun and superficial engagement that gay men and straight women can have.

I have a straight female friend who claims  the "boy next door" (literally) whom she grew up with and who is gay, her "best friend", because they go out together from time to time for dinner or a movie or something and to "dish" about all the people they used to know in their neighborhood and school etc.  I have never said anything to her, but I truly question the idea of him being her "best" friend.  I strongly suspect that while he likes her and enjoys their outings together, he would completely bail on her if she ever was in a serious bind and looked to him for serious support - the kind of support you would get from a "best" friend.  

I have come to believe that the gay men I have known in my life, while being lots of fun and providing a lot of laughs and companionship at times, would be gone in a flash if I ever called them to come and get me and help with something like a car break down.  I think that if I called a gay male "friend" at a time like that I would get something like, "Oh honey, that's terrible, I'm so sorry for you and I hope you get everything taken care of" and then if you asked if they could come help out, you'd get a "Can't you call so and so?" or "What about someone in your family?"  It would be the, "Oh so sorry, but gotta go" kind of thing.  That is not a "best" friend, and I'm not even sure it qualifies as "friend" at all.  I am at the point where I truly believe that straight women and gay men can/will only ever have superficial and "fun" relationships.  While that is OK and even nice to have at certain times, I think it is important to never expect anything more, whether these gay men turn out to be actual husbands or just "friends" or even fathers..  It will never be more than fun and fluff, amusing and enjoyable as that can be.  I think this also goes pretty much for gay men's relationships with female relatives.  As long as it is fun and lighthearted they are they for women, but when things get serious, painful, and stressful they take flight or turn on you.  It was my need for help with the more "serious" aspects of life and marriage that really seemed to irritate my former husband, and would set him off about how he just couldn't stand being with me, etc.  Likewise, he was always a "good" father when it was fun and games with our daughters, but when things got serious about college planning, careers, "boyfriend issues", even routine discipline, etc.  he freaked out, did not want to get involved, did not contribute much at all, and would turn on and blame me for any family discord that arose over serious matters.  He was happy to take them on outings, read to them, watch movies with them, but forget the serious stuff - that would have required a deep connection, and he simply does not have that with any females, and I believe it is because he is gay.

For privacy reasons I don't want to say a lot about what I do for work, but part of my job takes me out frequently to small businesses operated by all kinds of people, some gay men.  I have flexibility in when I visit these different places, and I have found that on Friday afternoons when I want to wind down, and have an easy afternoon, I often choose to go to the places run by gay men, because I know they will have me in stitches with their gay humor (sarcastic sass) and general way when we approach our business issues.  I also like to visit the gay male run businesses when I am having a down day and am not up to the more difficult aspects of my work.  Same thing - I know it will be uplifting and that all of the humor, gossip, and dishing will be fun for me and get those natural anti-depressants in my brain flowing.  I will leave those locations in a much better mood, usually smiling to myself about something that was said and enjoyed.  That is all good and I can "almost" consider these men my "friends"; never "best friends" but almost friends.  The thing is, I know now that these relationships whether through business or personal connections, no matter how seemingly enjoyable and fun they can be, will never, ever be more than that.  Just some fun time sharing "girl talk" for lack of a better term - sharing that kind of connection that women have with each other, but it is not even that.  It is simply a few minutes or couple of hours of a pleasant and often humorous banter - time that will never be anything more than that.  If I ever asked any of these men if they could put me up for couple of days, help me move, or listen to a very real and serious "emotional dump" they would turn and run like bats out of hell.  As before, they would try to shove me off on someone else, or turn on me.  It is a myth that gay men are "friends" with straight women".  They are sometimes fun and enjoyable acquaintances and that is all.

Sean's comment about just what personal need he might be filling by being here, since most of us are women, seems interesting to me in this regard.  


"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" - Sir Walter Scott
 

Fri Jun 30 5:49 pm  #690


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Hi Lake Breeze,

Nice to see your post.

My ex was resentful towards his mum in the main, but I can think of two gay men who have close affectionate relationships with their mom - in both cases the mother is a closet gay, this is not acknowledged in the relationship and produces stress.

I do have a gay friend - agreed he is hopeless to turn to for help just as you say - I still count him as my friend tho.  He will come around just when I need cheering up and sometimes he turns up out of the blue and does some job that needs doing and tho I can't lean on him, or call on him in any way, he does care and that counts for a lot.

 

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