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July 2, 2019 7:57 pm  #1

Completely Confused

Last night I woke up to my husband crying at 3:30am. When I asked him what was wrong he told me that he is gay. I was completely shocked, and at first I honestly didn’t believe him. I have really not seen any warning signs in our 13 year marriage (with 3 kids) and have always felt that we have a strong connection, and he has never acted uninterested in sex with me.

I asked him what he had been doing (I had noticed him leaving our room around midnight), and he said
watching gay porn and he was aroused. I asked him if he had cheated on me. He said no. I asked him if he had ever had an encounter with another man, and he said he kissed a boy when he was very young (age 7). He was really upset and kept saying “I didn’t know. I had no idea.” I should mention that we both come from strict religious backgrounds and that we left the church together about two years ago. My initial response to all of this was that it sounded to me that he has a sexual attraction to men but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is gay. I told him if he was still attracted to me then we could try to make it work, but that I didn’t want to be in a marriage with someone who was only attracted to men.

Hours later (and with no more sleep of course even though he was then sleeping like a baby) I started to wonder if I was just in denial and if I should have just believed him when he said he was gay. If he has really not acted on his attractions and if he really does love me and want to be with me as he says, then what is going on here?? Is it possible he is bi? Is he confused? Is he gay and trying to be nice or afraid of me leaving him? I know none of you have a crystal ball, but I am just feeling pretty alone and confused. I am really thankful to have found this forum.


July 2, 2019 9:06 pm  #2

Re: Completely Confused

If he kissed someone at that age (7) then he has likely always known and kept this as a secret from you because you are probably understanding, forgiving, and a good cover. If he's decent at all, he might just not have been able to keep the mask on anymore. I'm sorry, I know that's not encouraging but as you read more you are certainly going to start seeing that those secretive behaviors are very common here. It's probably just the tip of the iceberg. It's also not usually a good sign for the relationship. Many tend to profess bisexuality but it's often an excuse. You will have to feel your way through this as you go. Nothing will make sense for a long time.

This happens to liberal and conservative people alike. You will probably find many posts from members who speak to your situation through theirs. Please continue to read and visit when you need support. It's been so valuable for me personally. I'm sorry you find yourself here. It's so hard. Best wishes.


July 2, 2019 9:28 pm  #3

Re: Completely Confused

Hi Whirligig,
Thanks for responding. I agree that the childhood kiss seems like something. I kind of think he was really repressed because of the religious situations and probably hiding it from himself as well as me. Or at least that’s the generous read of the situation. I believe him that he hasn’t cheated on me, but maybe I will be surprised. We are pretty liberal. I have 2 gay sisters, so I am understanding of the situation. I just am struggling with him saying he’s gay but wanting to stay with me, which then makes me the bad guy if I say I don’t want to be in that relationship.

     Thread Starter

July 2, 2019 10:47 pm  #4

Re: Completely Confused

Hey Lex,

It's a real mindbender for sure! It's an incredible struggle to feel compassion for someone who hurts you, to worry about not being supportive, and to want to work things out while still being full of anger for the deception and ready to exit the relationship all at the same time.

It's not your fault if it's not something you can live with. Some people do but only you can make that decision for yourself what you want. What you want may change! Just don't be too hard on yourself. You deserve happiness too. It's not just about him and what he wants. It's a good idea to check in with someone you trust or an individual therapist. Support for 'you' is hugely important as you start working through this.


July 3, 2019 12:46 pm  #5

Re: Completely Confused


Last edited by Duped (August 23, 2019 5:03 am)


July 3, 2019 2:08 pm  #6

Re: Completely Confused

      In the first shock of hearing or finding out that our spouses are not what they seemed to us we don't want what we've been told or seen or found out to be true.  We look for explanations, and we start damage control, seeing what we can salvage of our marriages.  Sometimes we do this by bargaining, and that, Lex, is what you're doing when you say, "I told him that if he was still attracted to me we could make it work."  
  I read a comment on Chump Lady today (from Paula, to today's letter writer), to a pregnant wife whose husband, caught cheating when his cheating partner contacted the wife, said, "It didn't mean anything; it was just sex."   Here is the comment:
"I know you want to cling to the notion that it was just sex. It is a balm as you grapple with the avalanche of emotions."
   When I read that comment, I thought: Wow, that is so applicable to so many women who write in to the SSN and want so much to believe their husbands aren't gay but bi.  
   Lex, here's the comment edited to reflect your situation:
   "I know you want to cling to the notion that he is just bi. It is a balm as you grapple with the avalanche of emotions."  
     I am wondering what you thought he meant when he said, "I didn't know.  I had no idea."  Do you think he was saying that because of his strict religious background and the hetero-normative training we all receive by default in our culture he didn't understand that he was gay until he watched gay porn and was excited by it?  
   Sexologists have in fact measured leanings toward bisexuality; they do by measuring sexual response--increased blood flow to the genitals.  Their conclusion is that very few men are bisexual (yet here on the SSN it's remarkable how many women say, when they discover their husbands' same sex sex, that their husbands tell them they're bisexual).  Here's a description of the research, taken for an article in Psychology Today:
 "...in a 2005 study that made headlines, Northwestern University researchers declared that bisexuality did not exist. They asked 101 young men—30 of who identified as straight, 38 as gay, and 33 as bisexual—to watch erotic videos with their genitals wired to detect arousal. The straight men were aroused only by heterosexual videos and the gays only by homosexual action. Among the men who identified as bisexual, three-quarters were aroused by the gay videos and one-quarter by the straight porn, with none aroused by both. The researchers’ conclusion: Straight, gay, or lying.Bisexual groups savaged the study because the researchers had recruited participants by advertising in gay periodicals, possibly skewing the results. Six years later, the researchers repeated their study, this time recruiting through online sites catering to bisexuals. They found that in fact most self-identified bisexuals became aroused by both straight and gay erotic videos."


Last edited by OutofHisCloset (July 3, 2019 7:16 pm)


July 5, 2019 6:14 pm  #7

Re: Completely Confused

Hey Lex, I'm so sorry for you. I know you must be utterly confused and confounded. If you haven't, read the posts on this site, especially the stories.

I am not sure why he would tell you this at that time. You would never find out. I'm very suspicious after my experience with late GIDXH. Perhaps someone knows and told your H he/she will tell you.

You are the good guy.  He is the not so good guy for keeping this secret from the first time you went on a date.
Leaving makes you the good guy. This is the decent thing to do if you want to go. I wouldn't and finally stopped putting up with it.

There are plenty of straight men who would treasure you.


July 5, 2019 7:07 pm  #8

Re: Completely Confused

Hi Lex,

I think he must have known he is gay from a young age.  He remembers that kiss, doesn't he.

So what's changed, why is he crying in the middle of the night.  "I didn't know, I had no idea" is what he is wailing.  This sounds to me like he has fallen in love.  He's graduated from watching the gay porn to becoming romantic, that's my instinctive guess.

You need to build a support Lex Luther team.  This forum is a good start.  A family member or any friend who has your back would be great to talk to, it will feel a lot better if you can - someone you can talk to who will keep your confidence,

all the best, Lily 


July 5, 2019 7:37 pm  #9

Re: Completely Confused

lily wrote:

You need to build a support Lex Luther team.  This forum is a good start.  A family member or any friend who has your back would be great to talk to, it will feel a lot better if you can - someone you can talk to who will keep your confidence,

all the best, Lily 

Hi Lily,

I was just thinking what my next steps will be. I may be lucky that I left and he passed away, but I'm still deeply sad about this major loss and major lie.

I do feel empathy for the homophobic society and feeling he had to please his fundamentalist religious family. I feel angry he chose to screw up my life to shore up his. He did know from a young age. The first time we slept in the same bed -- no sex mind you -- he shoved me in his sleep. I woke him. He told me he had a dream that he was a boy and some mean boys were chasing him. He started punching to defend himself. Geez...

Have been in limbo. Not sure what's next. Tired of the pain and constant thoughts of the former marriage.

Your response made me think, yes! I have to get support for myself and love myself.  Don't look back -- from the bible and a documentary on Bob Dylan -- makes sense.  Thanks for your wise answer, Lily. I appreciate it. :-)

Last edited by MJM017 (July 5, 2019 7:41 pm)


July 5, 2019 11:16 pm  #10

Re: Completely Confused

Don't be too hard on yourself MJ. This is a situation full of mourning after all and healing takes time. Sounds like you are taking some good steps already.

I hope you are doing well too Lex. I'm sure you are doing a lot of processing. Hope you are doing ok.


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