Straight Spouse Network Open Forum

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

Sun Jul 16 11:53 pm  #1

another newbie, 1st post

I have been married for almost 37 years, together for 42.  While we had some everyday marital issues we've seen each other through so much. It also felt like a pretty great marriage.  This past Monday he came out to me, out best friend, our adult son and our son's finance.  I was devastated.  I didn't have clue.  He said he'd come to this realization in therapy over the last year and realized it was not fair to me or our son not to come out.  He said he had not acted on any of these feelings.  For that I was very grateful.  We cried and cried together,  I tend to believe that sexual orientation is not a choice.  Also given the time we grew up in (the 1950s/60's it seemed possible that he had taken this long to come out first to himself and then to us.
On Thursday of this week I told him that I didn;t believe that he hadn't cheated with men.  He admitted that he has actively pursued sex with men since at least 1994, protected and unprotected while also being sexually active with me.
I was a devastated. I still am.
Very soon after this disclosure on Thursday he came to me and asked me to take him to the ER, that he had almost taken an overdose of pills and was feeling suicidal.  In my shock I didnt feel safe to take him but dialed 911.  An ambulance took him to the ER that then transferred him to a locked Psych unit. He may be discharged tomorrow or early this coming week to our home.
I'm furious.  He was beloved by all our family friends neighbors, our son and me!
I'm also scared, sad, grieving. having trouble with sleep.  
I can't connect the man I experienced the the repeated philandering.  (I now know details that boggle my mind and I suspect there's more).
When he first came put on Monday with the no cheating version of the story and friends supported both he and I.  Our son told me he felt like he was in a cloud with mixed feelings but was happy for his father that he could pursue his real self and find happiness.
I know that for me this can never be a marriage again.  I visited him once in the hospital.  He was shocked that I came saying that he thought he'd never see me again,, He was full of remorse for cheating and thinks he's evil.  I told him that I thought Hitler was evil.  I told him he  has done some horribly hurtful things.
I'm letting him be discharged to our home at least temporarily,   I need to learn how to run this household without him.  We divide labor, housekeeping and bill paying. And we need to figure out finances which are complicated.
he says he's considered suicide episodically throughout these years and promises he will not cruise or be sexually active while he's living in our home. We've agreed that we will have to come up with plan B if I find I can't live with him even temporarily.  
I'm also am concerned because I take medication that he could steal and use to suicide.
If we had no adult son, daughter-in-law and our 1st beautiful 4 1/2 month grand daughter it would be easier to work less hard on taking care of myself only in regards to how I act towards and speak to him.
What an unexpected painful mess.  
Right now I'm fairly calm but there are many hours when I feel like something heavy is sitting on my chest or and I can't figure out how to begin putting my life back together.
Strengths: some close friends have visited, let me cry with them, gotten really angry at my husband"s long term planned philandering.
I know I've rambled on and on.  I guess I just very glad this support network exists.  I'm wondering if others have advise or experience for healing when the gay temporarily lives at home.  I want to kill him!  No worries I won't.  I feel like I've lost my best friend, lover, life companion,
Meanwhile my dear parents and my youngest sister have life threatening illnesses and our son, his finance and our grandchild are moving across country on Sept 15.
So much loss!


Mon Jul 17 6:25 am  #2

Re: another newbie, 1st post


Yes so much loss.  You certainly sound like the strongest one in the family.  Its baffling and confounding why they wait so long to come out.  It also sounds like with the suicide attempts he is dumping his self hatred on you to solve. 

I found in seperating from my ex that I could no longer solve her problems...that in her destruction of the marriage and gayness I think she secretly reveled in giving me a conundrum that I could not solve.

This is not you kind to yourself.  You still have the grown children and grandkids that will need you. 
Start distancing yourself from.him and taking small steps for yourself..this is not you not loving him this is him rejecting you.    There is a better life without these gay troubled spouses hurting us and it starts with us not solving their problems for them.

A kind e hug.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7

Mon Jul 17 7:11 am  #3

Re: another newbie, 1st post

Hi hope4healing, so sorry you find yourself here, it's not where any of us want to be but we find ourselves in this surreal reality. I'm glad you have confided in some friends, you need these now, you probably need to see a doctor or some alternative help with regards sleep, it's vital you get at least a few night's sleep a week.

I'm 21 months post TGT, divorced last week, after 28 years married, 32 together, three adult children. We lived under the same roof for 6 months after my youngest outed his father (saw him checking out profiles on Grindr). That 6 months wasn't easy, there was little conversation, possibly two 'real' conversations, the rest was just awkward silences. It was he was complaining about the environment being toxic for him. It wasn't until a further 6 months had passed and I started with a second counsellor that I looked at his behaviour. During the 6 months I was torn between being betrayed, hurt, confused, loyalty to him, respect for him, I kept my emotions in check (I always have, always afraid of saying something I may regret later), he had no such filter on him. He turned into a different person completely to the one I thought I shared a home, a life with. It'll be a very confusing time for you, I'd say speak your mind (I would if I could go back, there's lots of things I'd do differently). What I experienced was he was constantly placing blame on me, why did I settle for what we had, why didn't I demand more for myself, now I see it as projecting his failings onto me to deflect from himself. Constantly blaming me for everything, he was the victim. I couldn't comprehend his mindset at all (and he was highly functioning, held a senior managerial role professionally).

I, like you, learned things that boggle the mind, things that turn my stomach. The shock factor doesn't lessen, I still find myself having what I call "shaky head days", where it just doesn't seem to fit at all, but then again it explains so much from the past that I now see with clarity!.

I'd say do not become his keeper, don't be his person, he'll let you if you take on that role. I doubt he'll be your person, very few of them are. You need to put yourself first now. Most are exposed as having severe narcissistic traits. These are career liars, they've lived their lives telling and believing lies to get by. They've put themselves first, regardless of what they say to justify the deceit and infidelities for decades. I would even go so far as to suggest his notion that he thinks he's evil could be a ploy to get you feeling sorry for him, to get you on his side, yet again. Remember he knows how you tick, knows how to push your buttons as you've been an authentic partner all these years, he'll be looking for sympathy and a soft spot to land when he comes out of hospital. Be guarded in what you allow yourself to do and be.

This is a terribly confusing time, it does get easier but it takes a hell of a lot of time. My mantra is "no matter what, it's better than being in a closet I'm unaware of". I was a SAHM while our kids were young and only ever worked while they were at school. He's been fair financially, a promise he made to our children at the start of all this but I hear that when he hears I'm doing such and such it's on HIS money. He was never a mean man financially, we managed to purchase a couple of properties over the course of marriage but since TGT it was HIS money bought them all. HE'S allowing me get half. This is most definitely not the man I thought I was married to. I've realised the man I thought I was married to never existed! You'll more than likely realise something similar, he's not the person you thought you were sharing your life with.

Good luck hope, keep posting and be kind to yourself. I'm sorry you find yourself in this horrible situation.

Sometimes we are just the collateral damage in someone else's war against themselves

Mon Jul 17 7:40 am  #4

Re: another newbie, 1st post

{ was married for move than 30 years when my husband came out to me so let me give you a quick list of suggestions on how to proceed:

Since your husband has told you that he was sexually active with multiple others while maintaining a sexual relationship with you immediately arrange to be tested for all sexually transmitted diseases and address any physical problems you are having now.  You will need to be well-rested, organized and hard-nosed to get through the weeks and months ahead and if medication is needed to get there so be it.

While he is out of your home gather up all your financial records - assets as well as debts - and review them, make copies and schedule an appointment with an attorney to learn your rights and how divorce is handled where you live. Moving out-of-state before divorcing will complicate getting a divorce and you want to get a good financial settlement when you divorce so that you have the ability to build a new life. You get one shot at this so you need to get it right.

At our ages there are more single people out there through death of a spouse as well as divorce than for people in their 30's and 40's. Getting involved in activities you enjoy - including volunteering - is a great way to make new friends. Start now to take care of yourself and if he is living in the house try to get out of it as much as possible for your mental health.

Try not to get pulled into taking on too much responsibility for your relatives. Family members may take advantage of you for care for parents or babysitting. They may rationalize that they are helping you by giving you something to keep you busy but you will NEED time alone to process your feelings and decide what is right for you going forward. If you are religious this probably will involve prayer. Get outside and walk, hike bike or just sit under a tree and watch the birds. There will be a time to get busy after you've formed your plan.

This is a death without insurance or casseroles but you can not only survive it but thrive. . 


Mon Jul 17 8:45 am  #5

Re: another newbie, 1st post

Thank you so very much for your replies. I'm very grateful.  
You each gave me several thoughts I hadn't considered.  As a young woman I worked as an orderly in a mental hospital.  Occasionally they would put me on suicide watch with one patient.  It was frightening because they gave us no training in emotional self care. (It was set up so that we were physically safe.), Later a patient on my unit committed suicide on the 1st day the hospital had deemed her clinically ready to live in the hospital but go back to college part time. it was horrific.  I continue to work  in mental health, now at a clinical level but in an outpatient setting.
Your right, I can't play that role with my husband!  He and I agreed we'd have Plan B if I can't handle him living here, But I do have to be careful about being at risk for manipulation. He conned me and himself for years.  Even if he works at it he can't change that habit overnight,
I'm I'm more at peace with him out of the house that will need to happen.  I wonder financially how will make it,  While I was not a full time SAHM I did cut my hours way back to be a home and thus made a lot less money.
I do know that my state is a 50/50% divorce state with a marriage of endurance (10 years) means alimony for live for the spouse who has lesser assets.
I do love nature and have been making it a priority to keep our bird feeders full as best I can,  I have oxxasionally sat in the sun before it gets too hot and just let them sun soothe me.
I have no idea what to expect when he comes home,  If he becomes suicidal again I call 911.
it remains very hard,  I didn't go to visiting hours last night because a beloved friend was at the house.  I told him  I wasn;t coming,  I was curt and he less warm in return, I told him he could still come home but that I was in angry mode.
Again this is such a headspinner!  Last weekend we were swimming together and were good friends!  I have no idea how he has kept his life so compartmentalized.  It boggles my mind,
Again thank you so much!

     Thread Starter

Mon Jul 17 8:52 am  #6

Re: another newbie, 1st post

PS I love the statement " This is death without insurance or casseroles!"  That's true I'm mourning the death of a marriage, of reality as I knew it, of the loss of trust and the experience of betrayal.  Thanks to all for reach out to me.

     Thread Starter

Mon Jul 17 9:25 am  #7

Re: another newbie, 1st post

Hi hope4healing. 

Welcome to our family.  I'm so sorry you find yourself here, but since you are in this situation I'm so glad you found us.  Hopefully this group can help you find some peace and advice and get you on your way to healing. 

I admire you!

I read nearly every post, and certainly every introduction post on this forum (and have for the past year).  Every new member has as voice and character that comes across in their words.  Most are scared and confused and in great pain.  Very few are strong and clear in thought.  You are these things.  You are so incredibly strong.  I see it in your words and descriptions of your situation.  I love how you've taken control of the relationship and your life.  This strength is going to serve you so well.  Don't lose track of that.. don't let him control the narrative or the situation.  Stay the boss!

But, know that it is absolutely ok and normal to hurt, cry, be angry, and feel pain.  I'm so glad you have a already built a support network to depend on.  And you have us!  Keep posting and sharing. you will find a sisterhood with many of the ladies active on this forum who also gave 30+ years to a gay in denial husband.  

I'll leave you with a few quick pieces of advice. 
1.)  If you haven't already, please see a Dr for yourself.  You need to make sure you don't have STD's from him.  Also, discuss your emotional state with your Dr and ask if you think sleep meds or anti-depressants might be helpful.  Life is hard enough right now, but can be exponentially worse if you can't sleep or are having anxiety attacks.  I'm not sure I would have survived my first few months without them. 
2.)  Consult an attorney.  Most offer a low cost or free initial consultation.  This doesn't mean you need to run right out and file for divorce.  But it's very wise to start educating yourself on the divorce process and especially to learn "what not to do" and how to start strategizing for divorce if that winds up being the decision you make. 
3.)  As you alluded to already..  guard yourself against mental manipulation.  Physical distance is the best way to do this if possible.  If he has to live in the home temporarily, then make him sleep on the opposite side of the house (or a tent in the yard). 
4.)  Consider seeing a therapist for your own mental health.  As strong as you seem.. this is still a much bigger betrayal and shock than anyone is equipped to deal with.  Having a professional to help support your mental health is always a big help. 
5.)  Keep posting here..  Post as much as you want, share anything you are comfortable with.  Just writing and symbolically expressing and letting go of these thoughts and emotions is great therapy.  (I have a year long thread of 25+ pages that I have kept as a type of journal.. it's been so incredibly helpful to me to share here).  

We are here for you..  let us know what we can do to help!

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


Mon Jul 17 2:00 pm  #8

Re: another newbie, 1st post

Wow - you got the whole shit and caboodle, didn't you.  I'm so sorry.  This really is so much for one person to bear.  You have so many huge things that are stressful enough alone.  To add them all together is a LOT, to say the least.

First things first - if you're concerned that your husband might take your pills, invest in a personal medication safe.  They're available online for as little as $12.  That'll wrap at least that one issue up.

What your husband has done is terrible.  He came out, but he made himself to be a hero in doing so.  The line where he says that his therapist helped him to realize this is crap - he's been "knowing" since '94, at least.  That's an entire lifetime - you could have given birth that year and your child would now be 22 and having children of their own.  It's a freaking LIFETIME he's been lying to you.  He's making it sound like he's just found this out, and he's telling you because it wouldn't be fair not to.  He made himself out to be a hero to the small crowd he delivered this news to.  The truth is that he's gay, he has been cheating on you for 22 years, he's been endangering your life, he's been lying to you and deceiving you, and he didn't come out for YOUR sake.  He's somehow gotten to have his cake and eat it too by coming out this way.  I wonder what the group's reaction would have been had he told the entire truth.  Likely no one would feel the slightest bit happy for him.  And now you have to keep that secret for him?  Because how can you tell on him when he's already suicidal?  How..... convenient.

Most of us have at least ONE paddle when we're stuck in shit's creek.  He gave you no paddles, and a boat full of holes.  I'm angry on your behalf.

The only advice I have for you at this point is to do whatever it takes to get away from the situation.  Heck, ask HIM to leave.  Take a loan out from your 401K or something to see you through the lean months of needing to pay for things yourself.  Hire some help around the house.  Do whatever it takes to get out of this toxic situation.  Just get some space from him - where you're not afraid he's going to waltz through the door, or where you don't have to see his sad (or happy) face.  Because I don't believe for one moment that he's capable of going celibate while living with you.  He's had you AND men for all these years.  Now he's going to have neither?  If he's strong enough to do that now, then why didn't he do it all along?  He's either incapable, or he was unwilling.  One's horrible, the other is highly insulting.

 It's not gonna be easy to get away from him - I won't lie.  I'm speaking emotionally and financially.  But you're in between a rock and a hard place here.  Keep in mind that doing nothing / deciding nothing is deciding to stay.  I wouldn't be able to look at him without wanting to tear his eyeballs out with my bare hands - all while shrieking at him like a crazed monkey.  HE'd be safer without me around if this shoe were on my foot.  You have every right to scream like a banshee that he needs to leave.  A lot of people won't.  Until they realize that getting away from your obnoxious mouth is the only way for them to get a bit of peace.  If that's what it takes, then fine.  It's NOTHING compared to what he's done to you.

Keep coming.  We're here.


P.S. - I agree with Phoenix - you are strong.  That might not exactly feel like a compliment at the moment.  But know that you've got this.  You can do this.  You will do this and you will find the light on the other end of this, hon.


Last edited by Kel (Mon Jul 17 2:05 pm)

You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

Mon Jul 17 3:31 pm  #9

Re: another newbie, 1st post

If you live in the US and are at or approaching age 62 go to the official Social Security website at and start figuring out what benefits you will be eligible for on your own earnings record as well as on your spouse's or ex-spouse's. Don't get lured to another site and pay to get information that you can get for free or give someone access to your information.

If you do receive benefits based on your spouse's earnings record it does NOT reduce his benefits and you do NOT need his cooperation apply. Just make sure that you have an official copy of your marriage license.


Fri Jul 21 9:12 pm  #10

Re: another newbie, 1st post

Thank you to all. I'm very grateful for your replies and support!  My husband was discharged from the hospital yesterday. Before the discharge our adult son, my husband and the psychiatrist had a family meeting at the hospital. He'll see the same psychiatrist for meds and return to his psychotherapist (who was these recent events are family psychotherapist, meaning if we needed counseling we went to her, individually or as a couple. She reportedly knew nothing of my husband's sexual activity with men.  She knew he was questioning his sexual orientation in last year but he says he kept the rest secret.  I had my first ever unhelpful therapy sometime ago grieving the gradual disappearance of both of my parents to dementia.  I left because it wasn't helping.  I knew she was helping my husband grieve the unexpected and very sudden death of his brother.  But now I know he was discussing his sexual orientation with her too.  We overlapped somewhat in our work and I was befuddled as to why this therapist, who had gotten me through some really hard times in my 30s , was not clicking for me.  Now I know why.
I don't feel she was unethical because he conned her saying he hadn't acted on his feelings.  It's another loss , albeit minor compared to my husband because I've known her as her patient and as a colleague at conferences etc. for such a very long time.
He says he told her the truth today. I don't know if that's true.  Emotionally I don't care but I'll be mad as hell if he didn't tell her because she isn't on any managed care plans, and is very expensive. (Can you tell that some of my anger at my husband is displaced onto her? [img][/img]!

I haven't yet been tested but it's in the plan.  My husband was tested for HIV in the hospital.  He's negative. I was told by the Dr, not my husband, so i believe it,  His STD results except one that hasn't come in yet were also reported to be negative.  I will get tested but it's only been about a week since disclosure and hospital.  I need to pace myself.
He is staying at a friends house across the street for 2 weeks while there away on vacation.  I realized yesterday that I need him to get a part time job. He is retired for 5 years now although he's been my medical billing person, very very part time office assistant.  I had cut my schedule way back due to the new grand baby who is an hour+ away that includes traveling some of the most congested parts of the country. Also wanted to see my parents more often and I'm 65.  I wanted to slow down and smell the roses.
I do know about how much I'd get in Social Security. My husband was a Federal employee,  The old time Feds don't get Social Security.  The new Federal hires get only social security like many of the rest of us.
So we're lucky that he was an old timer and has the pension.
I also got sleep meds from my doc but good all of the worst possible side effects; palpitations,and much more.  Luckily on average I've began to sleep better.
The thing things I feel must upset about is that I feel numb when I'm around him.  I can only tolerate talking a little to him.  Sometimes I feel like I'm at a funeral in my own home.  It doesn't feel good, but I think it makes sense. 11 days ago I was clueless and enjoying our relationship.  There were stressors and some mild arguments but we were also swimming together, buying a minicrib for our grand, enjoying the dog etc.
I also learned about another sexual encounter via guessing, and started to sob when he confirmed my suspicions.  I put all of his dresser, night stand and closet contacts in the hall, texted him to put them all in our son's old closet and leave immediately after for our friends home.  I was so sad and I was furious.  I now think I can't handle him stay in our house. It's too small, I told him I wanted him to get a partiime job, rent a room in in a nice nearby place so he can continue to do my billing.  I found some places nearby that only require a 3 month lease commitment.  Of course the people could be wackos but he made his bed...he can sleep in it .  On the one hand he said he was shocked (?).  On the other hand he later said he had expected and deserved to live in a homeless shelter.  The are so many decisions to make, so many moving pieces and people I talk to have so many different opinions.  My closest friends are best at listening and making suggestions but backing off if I tell them why it doesn't feel right for me or it feels too soon.  
Oye! We've actually became a very much in love couple in Feb of 1975. That;s a lot of memories, a lot of history and dare I say it here, a lot of fun and love.  Thank goodness he knows he's gay and also that we both knows there no way for us to be comfortable doing  the straight spouse/gay spouse marriage model.  Thanks for providing the forum of getting this put into words!

     Thread Starter

Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum