Straight Spouse Network Open Forum
Your donations allow us to provide important support and resources that straight spouses can't find anywhere else.Learn more >>>


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

October 8, 2019 5:23 pm  #1

Trying to Stay SANE - Please read and chime in

*Apologizing ahead of time, this is a LONG READ...
Me and my BF dated only for about six months before I struggled with a hardship and he took me and my son in out of necessity. He lived in an apt sponsored by his job, so there were two other guys that would stay there during the week sometimes (not always). He’s been on the job for almost 20 years and so his 2-3 co-workers = his ‘friends’. He does NOT have ANY friends outside of that.

One thing I can say (in hindsight) is that he has a fascination with Bigfoot. And when he told me why he liked Bigfoot so much, he described his ‘big beautiful physique’ and I had the passing thought that it seemed like he was actually ‘turned on’ by it. *But I shook it off.

  • When I first moved in with him, I found male body building mags under the bathroom sink with his porn. *I’ve seen other guys have these mags, but usually out on the coffee table, not stashed with the porn…also, my BF is kind of…short…with a beer belly (basically, not into fitness at all).
  • Anyway – Initially, he was always super nice and tried to make us feel at home and comfortable. It was usually just me, him, and one other older guy (sales rep). And it just kind of ‘worked’. Because the guys would have fresh linen, dinner each night, coffee in the morn, clean toilets, etc. This last for a few months.
  • But THEN his other friend (and co-worker) started coming around, and he changed. Big time. His friend is married 18 years and has been down in the dumps with his wife for the past year. He gets drunk and sobs about it. Here’s what changed:
  • [list=a]
  • Started always thinking something was wrong with me and getting angry when I tried to assure him everything was fine.
  • Working late (til midnight sometimes) and/or leaving the house cause he was angry about the attitude he thought I had.
  • Staying in the living room all night, constantly trying to wake his friend up to go get in bed.
  • He stopped sleeping in the bed with me completely. Even to the point of making up reasons to be mad and storm out of the room (back to the living room where his snoring friend would be). *If I didn’t try to wake him to get in bed, he’d come to bed at 5am and say ‘wow, you were just going to leave me on the couch’. But when I’d go out there for him, he’d get angry because ‘he was still watching TV’.
  • Getting mad at me for no reason, constantly walking around angry and ignoring me. *He acted like it was literally painful for him to acknowledge my presence. Just to say hello even.
  • Blatantly disrespecting me and calling me names ALL the time. 
  • Overall…he just acted like I was a burden and a problem.
  • He would even sit out there and talk crap about me to his friend and even go to the point of LYING saying I was holding out on sex, and saying “women want this n that but when it comes to sex, it’s problem”.

  • He came in one night SUPER mad and his friend was trying to explain that he ‘just’ kissed him on the mouth one time and it was no big deal.
  • How he’d look at his friend when he would ‘joke’ about how he was gonna give him oral (licking his tongue out at him laughing and saying ‘you know you like it’). *He would just stay silent and give him this straight stern extended stare.
  • He’d be so…attentive to his friend that I told him it was weird and that he takes care of him like a baby or like he has ‘feelings’ for him. *He would just blow it off.
  • Also, when we’d try to console his friend together, he’d be telling him he needs to stop drinking and treating her poorly. But when I wasn’t in there (I could here them from the bdrm), my BF would be like “MAN SHE’S GONE and she ain’t coming back! Get over it!” Like…no sympathy or support at all. I thought that was weird. And he would tell me when we’d go out to his family…oh ya, he finally moved out. And when I’d say something encouraging like…ok maybe once she sees he is working on getting better, she will take him back….he’d get ANGRY “HE IS NEVER TAKING HER BACK!”

  • All this led to back and forth about things not working out and he couldn’t do this anymore. And he knew it was a mistake from the beginning. So I prepared to leave. But he stopped me! And said he wanted to get another apt in the same complex and told me that I just had to leave that apt because his boss had a prob with a non-employee living there.

    So, I fell for it. And I mean…he immediately got this other apt. Moved me and my son in. And he was soooo happy. He came over and professed his love for me. And he told me that he wanted me there, but ‘I just didn’t understand’. I offered that I did understand and felt that he was a man who was forced into a situation he wasn’t ready for, and that he just needed some space. And he shook his head and said no that’s not it. He said ‘there are things you don’t know’. *But he wouldn’t tell me what those things were.

    Since then, it’s been a roller coaster (it’s been over a year since then). He’s NEVER here. He avoids me at all costs. He ignores me unless I need to go to the store or need toilet paper, etc. He is always sure to make sure we are taken care of in that sense. But when he comes here, most times he won’t even come inside. When he does, he will either find a reason to get angry and leave. Or he will come up with some unrealistic urgency (like…omg…I have to go wash that plate I left in the sink). And then get mad if I tell him I wanted him to stay for dinner (or whatever). And he turns it into me nagging him because I have a problem with him being at that other apt. He doesn't even realize that he does that 'goofy smile' when his friend texts him when he's with me (you know the one I'm talking about ladies...we you like a guy).

    I was going with him to his family on the weekends (a few hours away). And he’d act like we were a happy couple who actually lived together. He speaks very highly of me to them. But as soon as we’d get back, he wouldn’t want anything to do with me. So I stopped going because it felt FAKE. And I LOVE his family, but it just didn’t feel right anymore. Then of course he was mad at me for that (without actually saying the words, but I knew).

    • One day we were driving to the market and he looked stressed and told me his friend was in his car watching porn on his phone telling him how horny he was? *Who does that??? And why would he tell me that? *I didn’t give any negative response.
    • He’d call me (drunk with his friend there) to tell me all the things he didn’t like about me or burst in my apt looking around like I had someone in here, and accuse me of cheating. Saying how much of a fool he was taking care of me and I have the nerve to cheat on him? And the more I’d try to assure him that wasn’t the case, he’d get more angry until he’d just storm out.
    • He’d turn down my food unless his friend was with him, and he’d come here asking if he could take food to him so he could try get him to eat cause he was concerned.
    • One time (while I was still in his apt) he came out in the morning with his towel around his waste and I asked him with concern like…babe what if your towel falls off? He said it was secure. But when he went back down the hallway, he took towel from around his waste as he turned the corner and looked back at his friend. *I didn’t SEE his naked butt, but based on his friend’s reaction and the tail end of the towel I saw fly around corner…I am pretty sure that’s what happened.
    • And went by his apt one evening (spontaneously) and it took forever for him to open the door, I heard it get quiet and I heard him come to the door to look out the peep hole. *And let me tell you…the energy that was at that door! The look on his FACE. It was just…busted. And he wasn’t acting his normal angry mean self either. Very calm, overly calm. And then guess who walks out of the kitchen…yep, the friend. The apt was dark (it was 8pm, no lights on, only what was left of daylight). And I just felt like my answer had been revealed.

    Also, he’d been so mean and hateful toward me (every other week he’d tell me I needed to find somewhere else to go and then he’d stop me and ask me to stay), that when the end of the lease came up, I thought for SURE it was over. But HE RENEWED THE LEASE! He doesn’t have ‘money’, this apt is breaking his pockets. So I don’t see any other justification for why someone would keep taking care of some they dislike so much, other than keeping up a facade for his family.

    We've had sex 3 -4 times since MAY. He will ask for it, and immediately say forget it because he knows I am going to mess it up. Or he will ask for it, and I'll say yes. Then he will ask for something more, and I'll say yes. And he will keep going until it becomes unreasonable, and I have to say no. Then he will get mad and not come over and make it seem like I didn't want it. Then when we DO do it, afterwards he starts acting like we are in a happy relationship (even though he's been treating me like crap all the way up until that moment). It's so confusing! *PS - We've never had unprotected sex. He told me once that he wanted to but didn't have condoms, and I asked if we really needed them at this point...and he flew off the handle on me and said just forget it. I never questioned it again.

    So here’s the deal…I do love this man. And I feel that above all else…I am his friend. I know there is no justification for the way he treats me, but I also understand that there’s an underlying reason. And I want to help (IF I can). But he will not admit what’s going (and I could be wrong…please let me know if you think I’ve come to wrong conclusion). I honestly think something happened to him when he went to jail when he was 17 (for two years in adult jail) and he was left with desires he can’t explain. I don’t think he’s ‘gay’, but I am convinced that he’s attracted to men. I also think that what started probably as just a physical thing with this friend, has now turned into a full-blown emotional attachment as well (or vice-versa). It’s like his friend is his mate, and I am the ‘other woman’. And I think this is something he does not like about himself, and maybe that's why he lashes out at me?

    This man takes care of me and my son completely (financially) and I don’t have the option of just packing up and leaving. My disability keeps me from being able to manage a life on my own (which is why I ended up moving in with him in the first place).

    Last thing, he gets super angry any time I mention his friend’s name…he will get sarcastic and say things like…”yeah, cause I like ‘D’ and yeah cause I’m gay, right?” and I will be saying…WELL?? ARE YOU?? Because you still haven’t told me that you’re NOT! And he will just say ‘you’re stupid AF if that’s what you believe. If you believe that, you can hit the road and don’t come back.” *He has never straight out DENIED it! Second of all, I've never called him GAY.

    I have said some things before that sort of dance around it like...I know you're dealing with something you can't talk about, and I am willing to try and work through this 'thing'. And that seems to make him happy? But then he will do obviously calculated things like he is still trying to 'fool' me? And that's where we can't get it together.

    So…please help me just calm my mind. It’s so stressful because no one really believes that this is possible and people just think I’m crazy and unwilling to accept that he just doesn’t want to be with ‘me’. He swears up and down that he is just grumpy and destined to be alone (according to his family). And I’m just in need of some validation because it’s like...AM I DELUSIONAL??…HE IS NOT ALONE. He is with that guy! And I have been feeling worthless and part of me doesn’t want his family to think that I was just…not good enough for him? Or that it was ‘me’. Do you know what I mean? 

    Trust me, if I was independent, I don't think I would've lasted this long. But since it is what it is, and I am sort of stuck here anyway, its like...I just want you to be real with me about why you want me here. It would be easier to handle that way. An agreement or arrangement. I'm okay with that! But don't leave me confused and in the dark! But I guess in order for him to be real with me, he has to be real with HIMSELF first. And I am not sure how to make him feel safe enough for that. 


    October 8, 2019 6:53 pm  #2

    Re: Trying to Stay SANE - Please read and chime in

    Hi,  I'm going to guess that by the time you have written all that out and posted it you are in emotional shock and well basically you have your answers, don't you.  so sorry.  you are in a tough situation.

    you say you want validation for your sanity.  I agree, that's the way I feel -  I need my sanity and the time came when I needed my answers for it.  one thing I realised was I would never get any answers let alone validation from my exgidh. (ex gay in denial husband), quite to the contrary, he actually liked to make me feel confused.

    denial doesn't mean doesn't know it means not telling - it's deliberate.  

    so yes, tough situation - if I read you correctly the man you are being looked after is gay in denial, and he is the dominant partner, or top ender.  You have offered him the ultimate comfort beard deal, and he is still pushing you - shoving it further and further In your face challenging you to call him gay and then attacking you for it - that's one of the tactics of bullying, isn't it?  

    one thing I learned about my ex is the thing he loves the most is his closet - I had been married to him for all my adult life but what I learnt was as a beard, you are expendable, but the closet itself is not.

    so my advice to you is to take some time while you absorb the reality of your situation, give yourself as much bed rest as you can for a while, really, as much as you can, it's good for you.  Be kind to yourself at all times be grateful to yourself for having the courage to face up to it all and take pride in being who you are.  Good for you.  And you don't really have to do a thing for a while, just look after yourself and you might be surprised at the ways you find to improve your situation in the long run.

    wishing you all the best, Lily 



    October 8, 2019 7:02 pm  #3

    Re: Trying to Stay SANE - Please read and chime in

    I'm sorry torn and confused. It sounds to me like your BF is gay and is using you as his beard. Regardless, he is abusive, and it's not your job to make him feel safe enough to come out. He won't.

    He is well aware of what he is doing. He's keeping you around because you are useful to his image. He's mean to you because he's not actually interested in you in that way and resents you because he's playing a part he feels forced into. So he's taking it out on you. But Heaven forbid you threaten the status quo by leaving after such treatment. He can't have that either. I hate to say it but it's possible he chose you because your vulnerabilities make it harder for you to leave him. And easier to maintain his closet.

    Honestly, though, the only real question you should ask yourself is whether this is acceptable to you or not. It's not going to change. He'll hot and cold you forever until it becomes unbearable. It's a form of emotional torture in my opinion.

    I dated someone (unconfirmed GID too) for years who did some of those same hot and cold behaviors. It did not get better. I was experiencing constant panic attacks and illness when it finally ended. I'm not exaggerating when I say that your health may actually worsen being involved with this person. Please consider getting out. If not, you need to start working on self-care strategies and try detaching emotionally. Your well-being depends on it.


    October 8, 2019 8:36 pm  #4

    Re: Trying to Stay SANE - Please read and chime in

    Thank you Whirligig and lily, so it sounds like this is really real then. At least I know I am not just making a mountain out of a mole hill. Never heard of a 'beard' but I think I understand it, so thanks for that too. I've only been able to talk to people who don't understand and think my ego is just so big that I can't accept that the relationship is just not working out.

    To answer your questions:

    The disrespect is not acceptable, which is why I speak up (but only to be met with more strife for doing so). 
    My health has gone down the drain, lost so much weight just stressed out and not eating.
    I had asked him before he renewed the lease if he could just move us to another apt complex at least, to make it easier for me to stop yearning for him (knowing he is right across the parking lot and seeing his truck everyday), he said no of course.

    But that night walking home after the incident at his front door, I felt know when you ask God to reveal something or send you a sign...I had never felt SO sure about anything in my entire life. And I tried to find peace in that. more being confused, I know for sure now. So I just need to figure out how to deal with it.

    I did block him for about a week recently. And it was amazing how quickly I started to feel my spirit come back.  OMG. He doesn't contact me much, but just not having to wonder if I'd hear that ring tone, or wonder if he was going to be hot or cold on any given day. I started catching Uber to the market, didn't contact him for anything. My energy level came back, I listened to music and danced around my house. Everything was fine. But I unblocked him because it was rent time and I was worried he might get mad and try to put me out 😆. Then all my positive energy went down the drain because of course he had to make me 'pay' for blocking him, because 'how dare me'.

    So you are right. Self care is important and it really does make a difference. All sorts of good things started to happen during that week. I guess what I have been hoping for is...for him to just be honest about it with me since he knows I'm willing to go along with this 🤷‍♀️. And if he can't be honest (say it out loud) then at least stop insulting me with the attempts to convince me this is not happening. don't have to come tell me your friend is now engaged to some new (imaginary) woman he's been seeing for three months. If we could have a 'i know that you know that i know that you know' kinda thing...(i was thinking) that he wouldn't have to resent me and we could cool!

    But from what you are both saying, it doesn't sound likely. I guess they don't realize the psychological damage they are causing to the woman.

    Anyway, thank you so much for responding. I'm sure you know NOBODY wants to hear it (as far as having friends/family) to help figure out how to feel or what to do. I have more questions that I will post separately because they are specific and short.

    Bless you!

       Thread Starter

    October 8, 2019 9:28 pm  #5

    Re: Trying to Stay SANE - Please read and chime in

    Look, it's not that he doesn't understand he's doing psychological damage to you - don't be naive to this, he probably likes that aspect of it too.  My ex did.  People are not normally accidentally abusive.  Yes they might accidentally step on your foot, psychologically or literally, but if it is an accident then they apologise.  What you are describing sounds deliberate.

    You are right there's no point in speaking up, if he's already being disrespectful he will just use your respect towards him as the opening through which to continue.


    October 8, 2019 10:32 pm  #6

    Re: Trying to Stay SANE - Please read and chime in

    You know're right. And he never acknowledges his poor behavior or apologizes. EVER. Won't even try to say he said things out of anger. Ok. I'm going to try to just keep my mind occupied and feel better. Keep exercising and get in a good place mentally where I won't get 'confused' so easily. Where I can welcome him when he comes around and not be derailed again after the visit. Get mentally tough I guess... thank you so much

       Thread Starter

    October 8, 2019 11:06 pm  #7

    Re: Trying to Stay SANE - Please read and chime in

    Soooo...I just remembered something now that I've learned of this 'beard' term. Last week he was here and asked me to rub his back, so I did. But after a few minutes he gestures me to stop and says nooo you don't do it the way you used to, its not the same anymore. So I got up, and he laid there and just randomly said "I think I'm gonna cut off my beard". - Think this was a coincidence, or should I be concerned 🤔? He DOES have a beard and usually keeps it pretty bushy, so it could have been coincidence, but now I am wondering....

       Thread Starter

    October 9, 2019 12:24 am  #8

    Re: Trying to Stay SANE - Please read and chime in

    Well, did he cut off his beard?  If he hasn't he was maybe testing to see how you responded - once he knows you know he's not going to like it much at all if he is like my ex.   idk, he probably senses you are feeling different towards him.  so my advice is look after yourself carefully, just let him discard you if that's what he wants and look suitably woeful while he does it, save the sigh of relief for afterwards.  In general stay friendly but keep your own counsel - if he is like my ex then he is not your friend, that very nice chemistry is only skin deep.

    Last edited by lily (October 9, 2019 12:27 am)


    October 9, 2019 12:39 am  #9

    Re: Trying to Stay SANE - Please read and chime in

    I haven’t seen him since that day. But he already knows that I know. I’ve asked him about it a few times. And if I ‘ask’ and wait for an answer, he gets mad. But when I dance around it and say things allow me to acknowledge without him having to ‘agree’ or admit, then he gets nice. But today he was emailing (because he blocked me) and was telling me to F off again, and I asked him you want me gone then? He usually won’t answer that. But tonight I pressed the issue, and he finally said YES! So I said ok then, by when? And he said it doesn’t matter because he’s gonna pay for the place whether im here or not (which basically means, he’s not telling me to leave). So I did respond and say... “I don’t think you should cut off your beard. But alright. You have a good night.” 👀🤷🏻‍♀️😂. I’m sorry sometimes I just get bold or loose with my words and I wanted to see if his response would tell me if that’s what he was referring to when he said it. But...he did not respond.

       Thread Starter

    October 9, 2019 8:36 am  #10

    Re: Trying to Stay SANE - Please read and chime in

    I've only been able to talk to people who don't understand and think my ego is just so big that I can't accept that the relationship is just not working out.

    Trust your gut on this.  You have been the one living with it, and you are the one with the knowledge.  Your initial post reveals that you have been observant and have waited until you had a preponderance of evidence--circumstantial or not--that reveals the truth.

    I agree that you are being used as a beard; his behavior when with his family speaks volumes.  I also agree that your vulnerability is why he chose you to serve (unknowingly) in that capacity as a beard; your financial and health situation, and your need to provide for a child, make it very difficult for you to leave.  He knew this was the case when he "rescued" you and it enables him to gaslight and abuse you directly now that you have indicated that you know the truth.  



    Board footera


    Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum