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September 7, 2018 7:54 am  #1

Disgarded spouse ... disregarded collateral damage

As I slowly start to embrace my new reality, I just took a "sucker punch" from a friend. She didn't know that she sent the blow at me, but indeed she did. Me disclosing to her about what is going on in my life was responded with, "... I have to think that somehow God will provide comfort to you (especially -- since YOU are my dear friend) but also to Jim (for finding himself and having the guts to own it) ...") WTF!

I responded with, "I might be more sympathetic towards J if it weren’t for the lies, infidelity and premeditation of so many things. I was in the closet with him and I didn’t know it. Most recently, like the last 9 months, he has been disregarding me and treating me terribly. So being happy for Jim for “finding himself” is not currently in the my scope of my being. " She has not replied to my statement.

Being considered collateral damage to J's new life was not what I expected from MY friend. Living in MA, I am surrounded by many liberals and overly political correct individuals. Does she really think I'm happy for him? If he had had an affair with a woman would that have been ok for her to be mad at him along with me? I'm still shocked that she would even say that to me.


September 7, 2018 9:33 am  #2

Re: Disgarded spouse ... disregarded collateral damage

Yeah, people say things like this because it's so politically correct to embrace the gay spouse's journey, no matter what they've done.  I can remember a friend of a friend mentioning my divorce, and asking what happened. When I told him that my husband was gay, he said, "Good for him!". I sat there with my mouth open. He quickly tried to cover it up with something like, "I mean,.... I'm sorry for what you've gone through. I was just saying good for him for doing something so..... brave?"  I remember saying, "It wasn't brave. He didn't tell me - I had to find out through a third party because he didn't have the guts to tell me that he'd been lying to me for 16 years about who he was. He stole all my love for something that was never even real - all because he wanted the wife and the house and the kids.  I was used."  He just said, "Yeah, well.....".

It's very difficult for people to see that this is 1) really no different than if our spouse had been cheating on us in the same way (with someone of the opposite sex), and 2) VERY different in that our relationship was never authentic - we were used from the very beginning.  They just.don't.see.this. I try not to blame them for not getting it - I try instead to educate them to the plight of the straight spouse. But yeah, my heart took some heavy punches in the moments before I educated them.  I can't say if it changed their minds or not - these aren't usually people who I have a close relationship with.  I'm sure that had it been close friends, it would have hurt much more to hear those statements.

Kind people make this sort of mistake all the time - where they try to say something comforting that instead invalidates the experience of the person they're trying to comfort.  It's something that people who've lost a child complain about all the time - especially people who lose a child before it's born. They say things like, "Well, it's for the best; maybe God was saving you from something being wrong with the child."  As if there is anything more painful than actually losing the child. A simple "I'm so sorry for what you're going through" would have sufficed.  People suffering through a trial don't need to see the bright side; they need to get through the darkness so they can get to the bright side.  One of the kindest things that has been said to me is, "Wow - that must have been really difficult."  BOOM - covers a multitude and offers to let me express how yes, it must have been hard, and how.

I'm sorry your friend responded in this manner to you.  It sucks.  Her response after you stating your views should tell you everything you need to know.  She may have slipped up in her initial response, but this time she has the opportunity to do it right.  If she doesn't, you have every right to walk away from the relationship.  You don't need that kind of toxic shit at this point in your life.


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

September 7, 2018 9:45 am  #3

Re: Disgarded spouse ... disregarded collateral damage

It's so hard for straight spouses because outsiders have no idea of the depth of betrayal.  People are always better at giving congratulations and worse at giving sympathy.  So when this friend tried to offer both things they naturally didn't give enough sympathy to you and gave WAY too much credit to J.  It's so hard for us to here people say nice things about the other party because only we know how awful their actions were. 

The only advice I can give you is to try to see the best in your friends.  I'm sure she thought her words were being helpful for you and I'm sure she didn't understand that her comments about your ex were hurtful.  I like how you corrected her, but try to remember that her motive was good and she did the best she knew how. 

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


September 7, 2018 12:46 pm  #4

Re: Disgarded spouse ... disregarded collateral damage

TGT is hard .   As your seeing most friends do not know how to respond to it.    Being a closet gay for years on end and being married to a straight person is the opposite of "owning it".   To this day my GX hides it as much as she can..  her and her girlfriend are just two friends comforting each other from their horrible (straight ) ex husbands.   Its a  morally wrong and warped reality for sure.

The discard from your GH is both inhumane and cruel.   Please know  you are worth so much more.. do not believe the criticism, the hurt and the discard.       More than gayness, their poor treatment of us is what tells us everything..we could never treat someone like they treated us.     I thank God for getting me away from such a horrible person.     Now that you know your GH = hurt  you can work on getting away from him without feelings of guilt, remorse or having not tried to salvage things.

Lots of triggers and punches but walk forward.. stoic, head held high.

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

September 7, 2018 4:12 pm  #5

Re: Disgarded spouse ... disregarded collateral damage

Well she had a very nice response stating how very awful it must have been and tah-dah its over. But she also stated, "And now that his torture is over -- I guess it's your turn." I didn't bother correcting her because I just couldn't bother. Being in my husband's closet for 27 years and not even realizing why our relationship was so very hard. It explains why he never wanted to go out and do couple things; why he would never invest in a nice bedroom set; why he ignored and disregarded me on so many occasions. I always had a reason for his moods and responses. But hind sight truly is enlightening!

Hold my head high ... I like that. Thank you.

     Thread Starter

September 14, 2018 5:35 pm  #6

Re: Disgarded spouse ... disregarded collateral damage

They always think that we had these perfect marriages until one day, our gay spouse just told us that they were gay, and then we all were very mature and loving about it and it all worked out in the end.  That's not how it is for most of us at ALL.  Most of us spend years futilely trying to fix something when we don't even understand what's wrong.  The disconnection - both in the bedroom and out.  The lack of passion, desire, and the zest that comes with two "all-in" partners.  The loss of our self-confidence in our sexuality, our personality, our ability to move people. We're up against something invisible, but that we can feel.  It's like moving in clear jello.  And every time we ask what's wrong - for years and years - we're told that nothing is wrong.  It's our imagination.  Or that we're too demanding.  Or that whatever is wrong is OUR fault. And so we go try to change ourselves so we can be happier.  And it's hard, but then doesn't fix anything.  It's like constantly dieting and never losing a damned pound.

It doesn't start when we find out they're gay.  That's when a very defined battle of sorts starts.  One that has no roadmap.  But we're already so fatigued and discombobulated from the prior fighting that we're sometimes too scared to continue on the journey.  And to top it all off, a lot of the time our spouse is lying to us about still wanting us (vs. what we offer them), or lying about them behaving as they've promised they would.  We're fighting in the dark, and we're not even sure where we're going.  Are we trying to save the marriage, or end it? They won't admit what they've done, or what it means.  So we have no clear direction, or a place to put the blame.

It's all shadow boxing.  Except that the shadow can punch.


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

September 15, 2018 9:41 pm  #7

Re: Disgarded spouse ... disregarded collateral damage

Thank you Kel. Shadow boxing with a shadow that actually punches back ... so very true. I am so very caught up with realizing that after 27 years my husband is gay that I haven't even really gotten mad that he has cheated on me! I'm still trying to catch my breath.

How did my messed up world get THIS mess added to it. I'm dumbfounded!

     Thread Starter

September 16, 2018 9:06 pm  #8

Re: Disgarded spouse ... disregarded collateral damage

Mas, I’ve had similar conversations with my “support network.”  One of my friends is actually a couples counselor!  I’ve found myself gently and respectfully schooling them on the reality of life with a partner who has been living a double life.

It has been much harder on my daughter (just turned 23) because her friends really don’t have the ability to see what a complex and multidimensional family tragedy this is. Their reactions really fail to see the damage done.

Two years ago, my daughter came home from college over spring break and found a condom wrapper in her bed. I ended up accusing some workers who had been installing flooring. I now understand they were likely innocent. They in turn insinuated that my daughter was herself responsible. My husband sat there and allowed them to say that about his own daughter, knowing as he did that she was completely blameless. He let his own daughter take the blame for what he knew he had actually done.

So this is not some sweet wonderful coming out story. What kind of father would do a thing like that?  What kind of father would invite a male prostitute into his teenage daughter’s bed?  Doesn’t that say something about the damage done to the father-daughter relationship?


September 17, 2018 9:16 am  #9

Re: Disgarded spouse ... disregarded collateral damage

Yes I have had a few friends beg me to go find a counselor or someone professional to talk to but I keep telling them this forum has been the most help !  It's far more helpful and comforting to me to talk to people who have been through the same things as me.  I am not disregarding that counselling would not be helpful at all but for me just reading other people's stories and reading everyone's questions/answers has been the greatest form of help for me.  I don't believe anyone can truly understand unless they have been through it.


September 17, 2018 9:16 am  #10

Re: Disgarded spouse ... disregarded collateral damage

WalkBy ... I absolutely can not imagine what he did to your daughter! Fear and Shame clearly runs rampid with these spouses of ours.

My DH just went away for a weekend with a Gay Fathers support group to P-Town. (When he told me where they were going I actually burst out laughing.) As he was departing on Saturday morning he ask me if he should go, because our youngest son had been placed in a psych ward the night before. I told him that I was no planning on going to see our son unless he asked me to go or if it was important for me to go. I then told him to do what ever he wants to do. So of course he left. (Fortunately, our son's crisis was resolved and he went back to his placement.)

Once he returned from his "fun" weekend at 1:00 on Sunday afternoon, he went right to bed. I finally texted him about 7:00 pm to ask if he was ok. He finally emerged and told me that his weekend was fine, but the whole time he was there (alone amidst the group) that he kept thinking this would be more fun if I was there. He became tearful and said that he wishes he hadn't told me that he could turn back the clock. I said, I'm glad he finally told me because I am finally free from the guilt of having been such a horrible wife of the last 27 years.

Ironically, I was watching "Grace and Frankie." He said, "I guess its good that you can watch this." I asked him if it made him uncomfortable. He couldn't come right out and say it ... so I actually made him say the words, "This show makes me uncomfortable, could you put on something else to watch please." To which I said, "Okay." and put on a movie.

I guess I was in a good place yesterday afternoon, sadly, because he had a miserable time with his group on his weekend. To see him wear the pain on his face and in his soul ... it made me feel better. I guess I'll need to ask God to forgive me for that (maybe when it stops feeling good ;-)

Last edited by MasONeil (September 17, 2018 9:19 am)

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