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October 12, 2016 4:42 pm  #11


um, yes what a situation!  please don't feel that you are responsible for it whatever happens.

It sounds to me as if a possible option might be to tell your brother and mum simultaneously what you have found on the computer rather than just your brother.    

Just telling them what you found and not speculating on what it means might help. 

Doing it with your husband present, or at a time when you need to be somewhere else shortly might help - particularly if you feel you might get a 'shoot the messenger' response. 

wishing you all the best.  xox

Last edited by lily (October 12, 2016 4:43 pm)


October 12, 2016 6:02 pm  #12


Hi Bridgette,
I'm not sure how you found us, Burt SO glad you did. Let me start by saying I'm so very sorry you are going through this. Your post hit me right in the heart, because this is exactly what happened to my daughter, although she was much younger than you are, in her teens. I'll give you the abridged version: she discovered similar pics, and had NO idea what to do about it, and was very confused and upset. She told no one. Our family life because a living hell for several years shortly after this, as my now ex husband's behavior and attempts to hide his secret became more and more desperate. She witnessed several other things that she never shared with anyone, UNTIL the day after I asked him to leave. Then it all came pouring out in hysterics. She had walked around carrying this secret for years, because she was afraid to tell me, afraid it would break up our family, on and on. She still talks about it to this day, how she regrets never telling me, and still carries guilt, despite all my attempts at telling her it's not her fault. And it's not your fault either, Bridgette, please believe that. After she finally told me, she felt safe enough to tell him what she had found, and he denied it.  But you should have never been put in this position, and either should your mom. Those images are burning in your brain, I know, and I'm so , so sorry.  You've gotten some great suggestions here already, sounds like you have a wonderful, supportive husband.
Sending you hugs.


October 12, 2016 7:07 pm  #13



I'm so sorry you have reason to be here.  What a horrible situation.

I wonder how you'd feel if you had found hard-core straight porn instead of gay porn.  Would you have shrugged it off?  If you told your father, mother or brother, would they have shrugged it off?  The fact that it's gay porn changes everything.

Because it was gay porn, do not imagine for a second that your father will tell you - or anyone - the truth.  All you will get from him is denial, anger, lies and/or excuses.  That response will leave everyone stuck.  Everyone will know what he did, probably your mom will stay with him, but no one will trust him or your parents' marriage again.  You'll all be stuck in an uncomfortable purgatory.

My suggestion is that you not tell anyone yet and instead do more investigating.  Is he cheating?  What proof do you have?  Your father almost certainly won't validate what you say on his own, and the rest of your family, even if they believe you, isn't likely to act on your word.

Confronting your father isn't likely to provide much satisfaction either.  Even if he admits to something, he'll still minimize the situation AND he'll be certain to cover his tracks in the future.

If you keep your eyes open, continue to access the situation and gather information, eventually you'll know in your gut what you should do, regardless of whether you have proof or not.

Last edited by Cameron (October 12, 2016 7:09 pm)


October 13, 2016 6:29 am  #14


I agree with cameron..   there are a couple of things intertwined here..your mom, your dad, the business.  Will the business go under if you just blurt it out to your mom...do you need the business to feed your kids. 
It's sad how this affects all around them...
I would just sit tight for now and be really aware..  snoop is the word here...yes it will wear on you.  See if there's anything more ..where does he go after work? 
Not saying you can live like this forever but with the family livelihood intertwined in it...
You have knowledge,  time, morals and faith.. use the time for now to gather them all.
So sorry.

Last edited by Rob (October 13, 2016 6:30 am)

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

October 13, 2016 7:56 am  #15


Bridgette I'm so very sorry you had to find yourself here. No daughter should have to deal with such stress and I feel nothing but compassion for you...for all of you really. My message is one of caution and perhaps a bit of calculation. 
As a gay man who spent most of his marriage in the closet, perhaps I can provide some personal insight into this situation. My main point is that you can't count on a closeted gay man to 'do the right thing.' So it's time to fully accept reality that 'dad's gay', make a plan, and then execute it.  

The first thing I want you to do is get therapy...NOW! This doesn't need to be weeks or months of therapy, but perhaps a few sessions to work through your shock. Take care of you first by sharing this secret with a professional. Just saying the words to a human being, "My dad is gay" will help with your burden. Second, please understand that in the days since 'discovery', you now know how it feels to be in the closet. The stress, guilt and a general sense of impending family doom are how I felt for decades before finally finding the courage to come out. This is how your dad feels now although he might be better at hiding it because he's had more practice. It is normal for you to feel anger. After all, this is betrayal and perhaps more. I get that. Yes your father is hiding secrets, but by the way he's acting, such as deftly hiding a browser history, he's very likely hiding this terrible secret from himself as well. This leads me to my third point. It's human nature to want to hear the truth, often via violent confrontation. Don't do it! You're not going to get the truth just yet and if you try, you're probably going to lose. If your father is truly gay, married a woman, and started a family to hide his homosexuality, you're dealing with someone who has a lifetime's experience in lying and manipulation. You'll always lose trying to force the truth out of a black-belt liar.

This may be hard to read but he may even be a narcissist or at least have developed narcissistic tendencies to hide his homosexuality. If you're planning to confront him in any way, I'd read up on narcissism beforehand to ensure you're adequately prepared for his tactics. A good book about this is: "The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists" by Eleanor Payson. The golden rule with narcissists is to accept that you are no match for them, so confrontation is a no win. But you can live with honesty and integrity while helping him in other ways. I know this all may be overwhelming but it's the way these things unfold. This is my story and it's the story of countless others on this website. So be prepared.

​Let me put this another way. Imagine your father as an adorable furry squirrel running around the forest. This is the father you know. He's harmless now because he's free. He has a stable relationship and he's likely found a sexual outlet for his 'other feelings.' But if he's like me and most closeted husbands I know and have read about on this site, once you try to corner that little f*cker, you get a whole other creature. Teeth get bared, the claws come out, and fur flies. He's not ready to deal with this so I'd suggest an incremental approach.

​So what's my advice? I suggest you write your father a letter...not an email but a real printed letter. This unburdens you, puts the truth out there, and leaves nothing open for debate. In this letter, state the facts: "I saw X on your computer. I now know you're gay and I know that you're hiding it. I'm not going to tell mom because that's not my role. But I am willing to listen to you with love and compassion. I am here for you no matter what. You no longer have to keep secrets. I love you." Then get ready for the worst. Yes he may come to you and share everything. But it's unlikely at this early stage. What's more likely is that your father may retaliate. He's spent his whole life in denial so he'll use the tools he's honed over a lifetime. It's what I did when my wife confronted me years ago. I didn't do this because I was a bad person. I did it because I wasn't ready to tell myself the truth. The secrets and lies were more important to me at the time than coming out. If he's like me, he may try to undermine your relationship with your mother, perhaps by painting you as dishonest or mentally unstable. He may also do this with your co-workers. This is just an adult form of throwing a tantrum which means your best defence will be to ignore it. This is called gas-lighting. It's when a person goads you into acting irrationally thereby proving to you and everyone else that you're crazy. ​I disagree with others here who suggest a form of spying or surveillance. You already know the truth so why torture yourself while looking crazy?

​So to re-cap: take care of yourself first; talk to a professional about your feelings; prepare by reading up on late-life coming out and coming-out related narcissism either on this website or through different books; call/email women who've been through similar situations; make a plan; write your father a brief letter stating the facts; and be prepared for some form of scapegoating/retaliation. This may all read a bit clinical but as someone who was the gay dad, this is the roadmap I would have given my own daughter prior to discovery.

​I hope this helped in some way. Good luck to you and your family.



October 13, 2016 8:11 am  #16


I agree Sean, it's not your job to spy.


October 13, 2016 8:14 am  #17


Thanks for that anology Sean, it's spot on.


October 13, 2016 8:37 am  #18


First of all, I really want to thank everyone for the huge support here, and I feel better just in 24 hours. 

Sean, do you think that coming across all of this gay porn means he is gay? I guess I haven't really come to that conclusion, maybe my own denial.  On his computer that day, I did find pictures of naked me from tumblr in his recycle bin, after I had seen the websites.  He was due into the office, and my mom was here so I really didn't have the time to snoop.  Honestly, I don't want to snoop - it's my dad.  Had this been my husband, I would have already hired a PI, but it is my dad.  I think you are right in the fact that if I were to approach him verbally, it would be catastrophic.

* I did reach out to my brother, my husband suggested that I call him, since he could probably see the situation from my perspective regarding our parents - he lives 6 hours away - and flat out told him what I had seen.  I started the conversation with - would you want to know if your fiancé was watching porn....he said of course I would - I told him what I had seen, but made him swear on everything I could think of that he would not tell a soul.  He freaked out, and calmly told me that it wasn't any of our business.  He was silent for a few minutes and said - if it came to light, it would kill our mom, and our dad would be hurt also. He said that if my dad was in fact acting on this, that he would honestly not want my mom to know - because she would be so devastated.

 My brother is 9 years younger than me, he is at his stage of life - where I once was - where everything is peace and love.  I miss those days.  He told me he was going to think about it - but that he was out on even approaching the situation, honestly he just kept saying " this is F***ing bizarre, what the f**k.... 

     Thread Starter

October 13, 2016 9:14 am  #19


I think you did the right thing speaking to your brother. In response to your question: "Sean, do you think that coming across all of this gay porn means he is gay?" Given what you've shared: multiple porn sites; his strange gym story (and perhaps others); actively hiding his browser history; and you coming here for answers all suggest he's closeted. You have a women's intuition so you probably know in your gut whether it's true or not. Please note that I'm far from objective because I see my own story everywhere. There is a fairly well-known phenomenon of men with long-term porn addiction developing HOCD ("homosexual obsessive compulsive disorder"). This simply means that they no longer get aroused from vanilla pornography and have to start looking outside of their own sexuality to get the same stimulation. This includes more graphic or violent pornography and perhaps even straight men watching gay porn.

​I find it amazing that you and your brother are grappling with the same, "Is he gay?" question that I'm sure your father is struggling with as well. Given my own experience and from what I've read here, there are some common signs of a gay man living in denial:

​1. Lots of solo travel for work.
​2. A non-sexual and almost 'best friend' relationship with his wife.
​3. Recently focused on his body, appearance, grooming etc.
​4. Fascinated with gay men, gay friends/relatives, or deflects by joking about the same.
​5. Wife is often co-dependent, sometimes coming from a family with drug or alcohol issues.  
​6. Struggles with anger, depression, or addiction.
7. Questionable internet habits.

​The above list pales in comparison to a woman's intuition. Now that your eyes are open to the possibility your father might be gay, certain strange things like that gym story might start to make sense. I hope I'm helping rather than complicating things!


October 13, 2016 9:39 am  #20


Sean, you are not complicating a thing.  YOU are more help than you will ever know. 2 years ago around this time, this train was rolling, I just didn't have any evidence. 

     Thread Starter

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