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August 17, 2016 3:31 pm  #1

Keeping Their Secret

This is something I am really struggling with right now.  I have always been a strong supporter of LGBT people.   I support their access to all legal and marital rights and their special status under hate crime laws.  I understand the difficulties and outright discrimination they face for merely being born different.  I have always felt this way.  Thus, I respect their caution about coming out and would never out someone intentionally.

HOWEVER, I view my STBX in a completely different light.  He was fully aware of his attraction to men and acted on it in high school before he ever met me in college.  He is involved with that same fellow today some 40 years later.  He was not confused or exploring anything.  He knew he was bi and he made very inte ntional choices to hide this affair from me from the time we were dating, engaged, and then over 30 years of marriage.  Given his high levels of abuse, deceit, endangering my health and just all around shitty behavior, I have told all my family and close friends his truth and I let him know it.  I have not told our 14 year old son as I believe he is too young, but I plan to discuss it with him when he is older.  Once the settlement and divorce process is safely done, I plan to let our mutual friends and a few (gossipy) members of his family know the facts of the divorce without any name calling or editorial comments.

Why?  Because I dont wish to be in that closet with him.  He is out spreading lies that basically blame ME for this divorce and that really steams me.  And I feel a lot of rage for what he did and thus wish to let him suffer the consequences of being such an asshole.  That is really my objection ... not that he is bi, but that he is a lying, cheating narcissist.  A user, manipulator, and a coward.  Yes, I feel extremely resentful and vindictive.  I had 30 years of my life stolen and my present and future hopes and dreams obliterated.

I would really like to hear your views, even if you do not agree, as you all have the same experiences and can truly relate.


August 17, 2016 3:43 pm  #2

Re: Keeping Their Secret

I agree wholeheartedly. For the exact reasons you mentioned, as that was also my life , and now my kids as well. Only a pathetic coward would do what he did to us, that was his choice, day after day. He was willing to do whatever it took to protect his secret, and then tried to turn them against me with even more lies. I'm all for LGBT people as well, to me, this has absolutely nothing to do with that. They have the courage and integrity to be honest with themselves and society and aren't out destroying lies.


August 17, 2016 7:56 pm  #3

Re: Keeping Their Secret

Your plan sounds about right.

I only told my family and friends. If someone asks me i will tell them...it gains me little to spread tgt around but if people really want to know.

I'm sure she is telling people all kinds of bad things about me.  It makes me a bit angry buy also confused;  I was the kindest most loving husband one could possibly have..for her to say I was horrible..well I wonder what good is..a gay girl I guess. 

Not sure how long they can keep it a secret.eventually all will see.
I don't think we can worry or change what other people think of us or our horrible spouses.  I decided that was the least of my problems.  Yeah the rest if the world thinks they're normal but as long as she stays away from me that's all I want.

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

August 18, 2016 5:30 pm  #4

Re: Keeping Their Secret

Dixie,Not that it matters, but I'd be REAL curious to learn your husband's reaction to learning you outed him?  I only ask bc I am going to a counselor next Friday to help me deal with these emotions and help me stay focused on the "daily routine" trying to pretend everything is "ok" even though I'm secretly planning my exit.  I also plan to ask her IF I should go into details if family/friends ask "what happened" after I inform them that he cheated on me and this whole partnership was built on his lies, betrayal, etc.  To my understanding, most people can have more acceptance of a divorce or separation due to cheating but when its TGT, it's pretty difficult for them to swallow, forget about US going through this shit daily!  My first gut reaction would say it sounds like your outing him is revenge with the reason that he's dumped all these lies and betrayal of trust for so many years, so why not?  I'm not totally out of this mess and he's not out of the house or even knows I know so couldn't honestly say how  I'd feel or what I'd do at this point, however, I have fleeting thoughts sometimes that IF someone is bold enough to actually ask, "OMG, who did he cheat with"?  I'd love to end the conversation by saying, "I don't think you know, Steven or some other masculine name"!!!  Just leave it at that and let them gasped with disbelief....hmmmm  I guess it depends on how all my shit falls with him trying to get monies he spent on this house out of me and just how miserable he makes my life as I try to exit! 


August 18, 2016 6:27 pm  #5

Re: Keeping Their Secret

I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and let everyone know that he is a master of deception, but I didn't and think that's best for me. He still has everyone fooled. He is absolutely adored by the community and his friends - he's brilliant, successful, knd, generous, charismatic, and a joy to be around, and is greatly involved in churches and charity work. Even the ones who do know the whole truth still love him and think he's God's gift to the world. They minimalize everything he's done wrong as a small character flaw. And I think they resent me or pity me. THAT makes me SICK. No matter what you say, or the truth, people will only see or believe what they choose too.

However, this is OUR story, too. When someone asks me what happened I make the choice of whether to tell everything based upon how it will affect me. Will these people respect ME less if I tell them? Will they gossip about ME? Would it negatively affect your children? If so, that harms ME and I just say it didn't work out.

As much as you want to get revenge or feel vindicated by telling the truth, just remember people will believe and do what they want with this information and your biggest concern should be how that eill affect YOU.

Last edited by selfrenewal (August 18, 2016 6:31 pm)


August 18, 2016 9:12 pm  #6

Re: Keeping Their Secret

Retired&lost,  he had no outward reaction when I let him know I had already told the full truth to my family and close friends.  I know he hates that I did so but he also knows he will never have to speak to or be in the same room with them ever again, so I doubt it worries him too much.  I told those people because they are my supporters, and people cannot give you full support if you dont let them truly know what you are dealing with.  It was extremely helpful to fully unload my pain, just as it is a relief to post here.  Also, not to sound overly dramatic, but I think some of these closet folks can be very dangerous.  They dont want their secret revealed and a tiny minority might consider violence to prevent disclosure.  Letting him know others already know was a protection ... if anything happened to me, a motive would be known.  I do not fear him in the least ... he is a passive coward ... but I also realize that I dont actually know the true him at all, even after 30 years of marriage.

Selfrenewal, my STBX is also extremely well loved by all.  He is very charming and affable and fun.  The quintessential "great guy" ... this means that some people will not believe the truth and thus will view me as a bitter angry liar if I tell.  They would be correct on those first two adjectives.  The people left to tell are not really my friends or family ... they are his friends and family that became mine only because we were a couple.  So if they view me negatively, it would not matter to me in the least.  I think if I reveal the truth without a lot of vitriol and name calling, they will be more inclined to believe it.  It is total revenge on my part and I fully plan to do it after the settlement is signed and divorce decreed.  It is a final act of taking back my own power and claiming closure.  What he did to me was absolutely despicable and he knows it.  I refuse to protect his secret ... he deserves to have it known that he is a shit.

I fully respect that others might not feel this way at all.

     Thread Starter

August 18, 2016 9:14 pm  #7

Re: Keeping Their Secret

Patti had posted some very good comments on the old forum about "outing" these former spouses.  I wish I had saved the posts.  I remember part of it was to the effect that if these people are on CL or otherwise publicly displaying their orientation, they are already out, and anything we say about their orientation is not "outing" them.  She mentioned a lot more, though.  Patti, are you around?  Do you have anything to contribute here?  I hope so.  Most who have posted on this topic before seemed to feel that talking about it with friends and family, as things come up in conversation is OK, since it is your life, and not your closet, but theirs, i.e. there is no reason for a straight spouse to remain in the gay spouse's closet; we are free to tell our own story about our own life, if and when we choose.  Remembering now that Patti also added that that is not the same thing as "taking out a full page ad in the Sunday paper".  I think I come down on that same side.  I would not tell people that my former husband is gay just out of spite or for revenge or whatever.  I won't call up everyone he works with and tell them.  On the other hand, if I am talking about my life, marriage, divorce, etc. with friends, family, or co-workers, and it gets around to why the divorce happened or why some other aspect of the relationship was the way it was, I will state that he is gay and will also give any appropriate details about things if they relate to and/or clarify the conversation.  He went into a closet when he was young, I did not.  He pulled me into his closet and I am no longer in it.  I do not feel any obligation to remain in his closet, and feel totally ethical in telling my own story (that includes his homosexuality) at appropriate times.  I did not sign up for this, I owe him nothing in this regard.  If he had wanted to remain in the closet, with no one ever knowing, he should have stayed single, not tricked anyone into marriage, and otherwise not involved anyone else in his drama.


August 18, 2016 9:26 pm  #8

Re: Keeping Their Secret

Let me just clarify that there are about 6 people I plan to directly inform.  I will not contact his coworkers who I barely knew nor put something on facebook for anyone to read.  The people I plan to contact are ones who I know he has lied to about why we are getting a divorce.  I prefer to correct the record with these particular people, not the entire world!

     Thread Starter

August 18, 2016 10:52 pm  #9

Re: Keeping Their Secret

Could I just add that it gets even more complicated when there are adult children, grandchildren and siblings involved. In my case, I told my close family members right away because I needed their support. I did not tell his (my grown stepchildren or his siblings and spouses.) He definitely didn't want me to tell anyone, as he is still firmly in his closet.

As a result, my kids want nothing to do with him (for his lies and deceit) and his kids want nothing to do with me (who knows what he told them?)

Basically if I told them now they would think I am an angry, vindictive liar, so I'm keeping my peace, for now. Besides, they have never asked what happened or if I'm ok. Heartbreaking.

All I'm saying is think it all through. I'm not in his closet anymore, I tell who I want, except when it comes to his side of the family, formerly my family for 25 years!


August 18, 2016 11:00 pm  #10

Re: Keeping Their Secret

I think if they ask it's perfectly fine to tell the truth. But if you seek them out just to tell them they'll probably find it insincere or think you're a "bitter angry liar" regardless how nicely you say it. Also, his family and friends will likely take his side no matter what he's done, especially if he's the "perfect man". Or if your situation is like Keepinghope's, you may want to rethink. It depends on your relationship with his side. Just my thoughts.

I don't think it's wrong to tell, you just may not be believed or not be thought of as "taking the high road". But, it is your story, too. You're not "outing" him. He made that choice when he did all those terrible things to you. Had he not married you and then done underhanded stuff, his "secret" wouldn't have been let out. I have no sympathy for them, in that regard.

Last edited by selfrenewal (August 18, 2016 11:03 pm)


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