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October 30, 2016 11:50 am  #21


I'm no expert but if that memory can bring you to tears that suggests you have empathy or feelings of guilt, which is often lacking in the extreme narcissist. Once the kids get a little older you can probably have a little heart to heart with them, once they know the difference between love and spiritual bonding. Hang in there.

“The future is unwritten.”
― Joe Strummer

October 31, 2016 8:35 am  #22


No hard feelings JK. Yes that was a bit of a kick to the b*lls but ultimately you're helping me understand how my ex-wife feels. So thank you. Given what you shared, I'm happy that we divorced in our early 40s while we both still have time to rebuild. And yes I understand this is much harder for the straight spouse raising children than the now 'free' gay spouse. While society is congratulating me for coming out, no one is thanking my ex-wife for continuing to do laundry, supervise homework, and take sick kids to the doctor. I get that now. Sharing here has also forced me to accept a painful truth: I had to come out and face the consequences. Hiding my sexuality would have meant depression and suicide. Moreover, staying in my marriage would have done nothing but taught our children that marriage was about anger, resentment, and conflict. I too look back to the early carefree first years together but I can't live in the past. Yes this is a no win situation but I'm still here...still alive. My children still have a father and my ex-wife a provider. But I still feel for you JK and the countless other brave men and women left to pick up the shattered disco-ball of life we gay spouses destroyed by 'being ourselves.' I've learned something so no apology necessary.     

     Thread Starter

October 31, 2016 4:19 pm  #23


Sean, I agree with Daryl and JK - good for you.  so sorry to say this but my ex shattered my life when he married me not when we divorced.  But when he didn't think about what he was doing to me just figured I was a good thing for him.

The painful scene with your children is an expression of the pain you'd already created.  So good for you to take the step to end it, and good to hear you are getting hugs now.

I cannot imagine how I would feel if my ex said sorry.  (he is like father like son and set to stay in his closet til he dies)  but I find it touching that you are making things better for your whole family.  Good for you.

wishing you all the best.


November 1, 2016 5:18 pm  #24


No offense taken whatsoever JK. Given what you and other straight spouses have endured, I think you could have been MUCH more direct. Nothing but good feelings from my end so I appreciate your honesty.

     Thread Starter

December 7, 2016 3:08 pm  #25


Séan wrote:

I've never thought of this forum as homophobic

Séan wrote:

Take it from me, gay men are seriously f*cked up.....

How do you square your first statement above with your second one? I don't get it.

Sean, I hope you are being facetious here; are you? Your second statement is as judgmental and homophobic as anything I've read anywhere else - I'm having a hard time imagining what could be more homophobic than what you yourself wrote. I don't know how else to characterize it, and it contradicts your first statement. Could this possibly be an example of how self-loathing and internalized homophobia manifests?

You don't mean to say ALL gay men are f*cked up, do you? That's hyberbole, unless you are personally acquainted with all of them. The ones that I know and work with, who are out, seem to be self-confident and professional, and don't seem to me to be at all f*cked-up. Two of my gay co-workers were my biggest supporters while I was going through my own divorce. After the sympathy, listening ears, room to let me to talk and vent, and patience that they gave me, I will defend them to the last mile. Are you being honest with yourself about your new-found self-acceptance? Unless you are being intentionally self-deprecating and tongue-in-cheek, the dissonance between your two assertions above sounds like a remaining layer of unresolved self-loathing to me.

Séan wrote:

After disclosure, I was in what's called 'gay adolescence' which meant pursuing pleasure, sex, and validation by any means...  Every gay man goes through this stage whether as a teenager or an adult.

That's not so different from what most straight teenagers do... if me and and my brothers are anything to go by, at least. And I question whether "every" gay man goes through it. There are no celibate gay people? There are no gay people with self-discipline? Come on...

Séan wrote:

My point is once you're gay, there is no going back. Nothing can halt the process.

What do you mean when you say "once you're gay" "nothing can halt the process?" Saying "once you're gay" implies there was an earlier time when you were not gay. I thought people don't go through a process to become gay, and they don't turn gay, they either are or aren't. Whether you accept it in yourself or not might be a question for some, is that what you mean by process? You said yourself you were aware of something as early as 5 years old.

If it is a process, can you describe the stages that make up this process? And where is the rubicon so there is no going back?

Last edited by BryonM (December 8, 2016 8:53 pm)

"I have given you my soul, leave me my name!"  - John Proctor, The Crucible
"Question everything you've been told; hold fast to what is true and good." - I Thessalonians 5:21

November 2, 2017 3:38 pm  #26


Hi Sean, 

In my gut I am feeling my ex is gay but am glad you are here as a resource. We dated 5 months (I know, it's not as devastating as the other stories, but let me assure you, one can never be ok with the mental chaos and questions. This man slept next to me and never touched me. He kissed with his lips closed. he kissed me THREE TIMES total. He asked me for face cream on two occasions and would let his yorkie sleep in between us. After I finally broke up with him, he quietly moved on to another female completely different than me within two weeks. He of course denied it. And also made me feel like I was the reason we didnt work."We should be further along" he said. I was in disbelief. He is very good looking, and smart and grew up in the theater and as an actor. Do you think I am right to trust my instincts or am I the only person ever to have a bizarre encounter like this? He is 32 by the way. 


November 2, 2017 3:40 pm  #27


I should add when we met online, he said he was just looking for someone he could trust... bc he had a bit of a dark side. Im so confused. He also does comedy writing and has literally made social media "jokes" about being gay. 


October 13, 2019 5:52 pm  #28


Thank you. After many years of trying to make my marriage work, even though I knew it was futile, I am ready to let it go. I joined this group, plan on attending a local SSN support group, and made an appointment with a therapist. I am suffocating in the back of his closet and I want out.


October 28, 2019 1:50 pm  #29


Sean- thank you for that post.  I think those are some of things I needed to hear after all this time.   
I have a hard time believing he loved me, the way I loved him.  Its a struggle to understand, and he doesn't like to talk about it. 


November 3, 2019 6:28 am  #30


Hi Sean
I am preparing to have a conversation with my husband having discovered gay porn sites on his ipad.

The initial conversation 2 days ago :
- he denied it was him who accessed the sites
- when I insisted it must have been, he froze, standing in the middle of the bedroom staring at nothing. It was as if he was a trapped animal
- he got very cross and clammed up
-  I reminded him I had found paper print outs of gay porn about 10 years ago in our home office (which he also denied all knowledge of, claiming it might have got put into his work papers by mistake. I had the choice to either believe him or to not believe him. At the time, with 3 very young children, it was easier to believe. )
- eventually he acknowledged he had printed those off 10 years ago
- he said he is entitled to some privacy and fantasy
- he then closed the conversation down, refused to continue and left the house for 2 hours with no phone, wallet or house keys until midnight. I believe he walked the streets

I am insisting we have a fuller, proper conversation. I want to clear my head beforehand, so am writing this all down.

We have been married for 24 years and have 3 amazing and well-balanced teenagers.
He says he has never been attracted to anyone except me.
He says he has never been unfaithful - neither have I - and that if we are both committed to being monogamous each other, that is what counts.
He has never questioned me about time I spend with an ex-boyfriend who he knows was my first lover
He did once say he felt jealous when I told him someone at work had invited me to bed at a works do
He has never really commented on my body

He is not a narcissist like others you describe. He is the kindest, gentlest and in all other parts of his life the most honest person I have ever met. He has a strong work ethic, is atheist and liberal in his politics (as am I). He has always been a feminist  since student days and very respectful to both men and women

Sex has always lacked passion and spark from him. I have raised this several times over the years and he is acutely uncomfortable talking about it. There has been a pattern over years of me feeling a lack of physical closeness and affection and feeling he would rather avoid knowing how I am feeling. I know he doesn't want to make me unhappy and he goes out of his way to be helpful and loving in ALL other ways  - just not physically. Once he told me "I don't think I can give you any more emotionally"

Sex has declined to almost nothing in the past year. The reason I have accepted up til now is that he had a nervous breakdown 18 months ago - he was a whistleblower at work and it destroyed him and his career. He was acutely depressed for several months.

I have devoted the past 2 years of my emotional life to helping him recover. In this time, I have come to believe that the breakdown was only partly due to the work issues. I think there are underlying issues.
He has always had workaholic tendencies. This has often been an excuse for long hours, staying up late and not having the same bedtime as me etc.

We have worked through the workaholism as a result of the breakdown and he has had CBT therapy and uses strategies now to avoid previous patterns. In all the details of the CBT therapy he told me about, not once did he mention me or his relationship with me being part of what he discussed with his therapist.

Now the obsession with work seems to have been replaced with an obsession with:

- going to the gym
- fitness, his physical body, which he says is fitter than it has ever been
- shaving his chest (apparently he doesn't like the grey hairs)

(I have read that these things are typical signs - can you explain to me why and how? )

He has never previously bothered about his physique. He says now he is middle aged he must stay in shape

He says going to the gym was what pulled him back from his depression and has done lots of research on the hormonal and physiological aspects of burning calories, fat shredding (he has always been lean but put on a few pounds when he was depressed) and maintains that the strenuous working out is good for his mental health. He has been secretive about some high protein energy drink powder that he drinks.

Plus I have noticed that the children were his absolute priority until around 5 years ago with him hardly giving any time to himself. Now, it has gone to the other extreme - outside work, he prioritises what he wants to do (gym, watching films on his own, gardening, baking) - even doing the supermarket shopping despite the fact that I have ordered groceries online for years before. He says the kids don't need him as much now they are teens - which is true in terms of activities, but they need him just as much if not more,  emotionally.

He has also become more critical, jaded, sarcastic and insensitive to others' feelings. I had attributed this to his depression.

He said last week "Physically I am fitter than I have ever been and at age 48 I am emotionally at the worst I have ever been" He attributes this emotional 'bad place' to the work-related breakdown

Over the summer he grew a ridiculously long and ugly beard (he has now shaved it off after I said I believed it was a way of keeping me at a physical distance, as I hated it)

So it feels to me as if his obsessive need to work all hours has now been replaced with other obsessions.

It feels to me he is having a total identity crisis - work, career and now I suspect sexuality

I have told him my intuition that his fragile mental state and struggle to recover from the breakdown are linked to him questioning his sexuality. He says I am underestimating the harm caused by the whistleblowing. I don't underestimate this; however, almost 2 years on, my instinct tells me there is more to this.

He has told me he in a text message: "I don't want any more amateur psychoanalysis. I want to stick to the facts that I believe I have done nothing wrong to deliberately hurt you or the kids. I believe I am entitled to some privacy. You may not agree."

When we have our conversation, I envisage:
- he will say he isn't willing to discuss his porn use as it is private
- he will deny any homosexual feelings/ attraction in the past
- he will call the gay porn fantasy and not related to anything real
- he will maintain he needs more time to recover from the breakdown
- he will link the growing lack of physical contact and no sex to his low libido linked to depression
- he will say he wants to stick to the facts

I am wondering how I handle this expected response from him?

Reading the forum posts (THANK YOU EVERYONE) I am realising that I can try to be detective / psychotherapist to make sense of all this - but that I am probably wasting my time?

I need to focus on whether this relationship is making me happy and can do so in future.

Can I be happy in a marriage with someone who has been my best friend and understands / accepts me unconditionally  - without sexual pleasure and satisfaction?

If it weren't for the children, I think I would end it. Perhaps this tells me what I need to know. Yet the children are my absolute priority. Maybe that is for a different thread.

I have found writing this out has helped clear my mind - thank you.
If there are any aspects of my story where you would give me your advice or challenge me. please do as i need the perspective of others so I can work out what I am going to do.


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