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October 17, 2016 1:42 pm  #1

Feeling overwhelmed

I joined this group today. I am overwhelmed and don't k ow what to do. I have my suspicions that my husband is gay but not sure of course. He is also an alcoholic. I think the root of his problem is that he is in denial and self medicating. I made an appointment to see a counselor for my self to help me deal with the stress of having an alcoholic spouse. I think I'll make the jump to go to an alnon meeting also. We have two small children together, this is no life to live. There is no future for us unless he gets treatment for the substance abuse. I want more than anything for my children to have their father in their life. If it turns out that he is in the closet, I truely love him and hope he goes to therapy to help him to live a happy life. Even if that means we get a divorce. I won't hate  or resent him for coming out. I know his religious upbringing would be enough for him to repress all that. I just want him to get healthy and happy. I would support him through the process. But I don't think there is anything I can say to him. I don't want to make accusations. Maybe if we attended marriage counseling that would come up. I wish I could let him knownthat he's part of the family no matter what and that we wouldn't disown him. The drinking though, that's the kicker. That one is getting to be unbearable. So if he gets help, works through his denial, and hopefully someday finds a healthy relationship he would be a better father and role model for his children than someone who lives a lie and self destructs. I don't know. Thank you for being a safe place to ent these feelings. I have a 2 month waiting list until I can see a therapist and I'm trying to hold it all together until then. Hopefully, the alnon mettings will be the positive change I need to at least get started to holding my family together. What I'm scared of most is my children not having a father. I'd much rather them have a dad who is gay than one who is a drunk. I'm so scared it might just be that their dad is going to self destruct. I known it's beyond my control. But I just wish my husband can know that I deeply love him, even so much that I want him to be happy. Even if it means we won't be lovers anymore. I'll always be his friend. I'm just so scared and feel so alone. I hope I can get help for myself, because this is husband number two. I doubt there would be a number three in my future. I obviously have to work to do on myself before I can have a meaningful and healthy relationship. Thank you for listening. It helps to get that all out.


October 17, 2016 3:41 pm  #2

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

Hi Standing.  Welcome. 

Can you tell us a little more about what makes you question whether he's gay or not?  And if he truly is, would you want to move on or somehow try to make it work? 

Hang in there.  This is a great place for support.


October 17, 2016 6:49 pm  #3

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

An alcohol addiction can be a very serious issue in any family unit and a health issue. It is not out of line to want your partner to get help with it but they must admit the problem. Then you can work on it and see where it takes you. While I can see how a GID situation might make someone turn to alcohol it is not the only reason why some people develop this problem. As Still Wondering asked, what makes you question his orientation?

“The future is unwritten.”
― Joe Strummer

October 18, 2016 6:38 am  #4

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

There are several reasons that I think he might be gay. He could even just be curious and feeling bad about and worried that he might be gay. I'm not really sure, because we have a great sex  life. He is homophobic, even though he's attracted to men. He likes to wear my underwear. Also, his family told me that they figured he was gay until he met me. He had a experience in high school that I think he longs for. By the way he talks about it. When he's drunk is when he talks about things. Sometimes it comes up in conversation about our children, if the grow up what if they happened to be gay. I stand very firm with him on that one, because it doesn't matter to me if my boys end up being gay. What matters is that they are happy. All the more love and support they will need. As far as the drinking, it took a year but he's finally not in denial. Next step is help. He expresses the desire to quit drinking and get help. Last night we were having a heart to heart about his drinking. He was sober still at the time. I told him that I will always love him. He's my best friend and will always be my best friend. No matter what it looks like, I want him to be happy and healthy mentally. At a later conversation he broke down and cried because he wanted to be a good dad. Because dads are hero's to their boys. Even later in conversation he mentioned something about if he is an alcoholic father then one of the boys might grow up to turn out gay. I informed him respectfully that it doesn't work that way. I said if one of or children are gay, a positive father figure would make the difference between  our gay kid growing up to be confident and happy gay man with healthy relationships versus be in the closet and hating himself for it. Then my husband gave me a deer in headlights look. So yeah, those are reasons I think he might be gay. If he get help, quits drinking and goes to counseling, hopefully he can deal with whatever his issue inside is. Whether it is that he's gay or other thing. Most like many different issues together. I am going to work on my own emotional health in the meantime. So that I can deal with the emotions I'm feeling. So far, I'm not resentful towards him if he is in the closet. But that might all change in the future. I feel scared and lonely.  He may never deal with it himself either. I just sincerely want him to get in better mental health. If he is gay, I hope he can deal with that. And stop the drinking. I can't predict the future. Im trying to find the support I need tondeal with the present because I'm falling apart inside. As far as movinon or making it work, I told him if we ever divorced, that we'd still be parents. We would have to be neighbors so that the kids can move freely between houses. If my husband is gay, and gets help, and lives sober, I'm all for us making something work. But I need my own emotional needs met and I don't thinknitnwould be healthy to live together. But it would be best to be nearby. I don't know. I guess I don't want to think that far ahead. I will have to separate if he doesn't get help. Can't bring my children up in a toxic environment. My twin boys are almost 3.

     Thread Starter

October 18, 2016 9:30 am  #5

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

You sound like you have a good plan, a good head on your shoulders, and a very open heart.  You are seeing the entire situation clearly and that will be a tremendous help as you move forward through this.  You are correct to assume that his drinking will cause a toxic environment. 

On the gay thing (TGT), he fits the bill of what we normally hear around here.  Things like parents thinking they are gay or having an encounter previously.  As strange as it may sound, sometimes having a heads up like the gay stuff you already know about him is good.  A lot of us are blindsided with this information and then spend years trying to figure out if it's even true as they change their stories 25 times.  So, at least there's that. 

Come back to bounce ideas off of us or for support any time.  You've found the right place.


October 18, 2016 12:48 pm  #6

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

Hi Standing,

it's not much to base it on but I do wonder if the wanting to wear your underwear doesn't point to him being transgender or transvestite as well as attracted to men.  

sending you an e-hug and wishing you all the best, Lily


October 23, 2016 12:06 am  #7

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

Hello, Standing!

Yes, your husband sounds gay.  Absolutely.  I'm a gay man myself.

Many gay men have problems with alcohol.  My father is in Alcoholics Anonymous, and he has told me that at least half of the men there are gay.  Research also shows that LGBT people have much higher rates of alcohol abuse than straight people do.  It's so true, and it's generally due to being bullied as children, feeling different throughout our formative years, and due to society seeing us as "less than" straight people.

I feel for everyone here who has been used as a "beard" by a member of the LGBT community.  That is absolutely unfair and extremely selfish of those who have used you.  I came here due to a family member, who is a gay male who chose to marry a woman.  She's suffering.

Anyway, Standing, your husband sounds very preoccupied with gayness.  Almost obsessed.  That is a major red flag.  Straight men do NOT do that, I have many straight male friends.  They're much too busy thinking about women to obsess over the topic of gayness.  But, many, many gay men are obsessed with the issue of being gay, as they struggle to repress it or come to terms with it.

As Lily mentioned above, he could also be transgender or a transvesite.  A minority of gay men do enjoy wearing women's underwear -- but most do not like to do that at all.

Your situation is very unhealthy.  Of course you're feeling overwhelmed -- anyone would be in your situation.  Even if he were straight and an alcoholic, you'd probably be overwhelmed.  The fact that he is gay and in denial (I'm basically sure of it) makes it even harder.  You came to the right place.  I'm blown away by everyone's stories here.  I hope it's okay with everyone that I'm on this board.

Last edited by Jeff W (October 23, 2016 1:46 am)


October 23, 2016 1:12 am  #8

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

Jeff, we have a few other regulars here who are gay. Most were in some sort of relationship with a straight partner. They bring a perspective to the discussion that most of us find hard to imagine, in particular the closeting and denial aspects.

“The future is unwritten.”
― Joe Strummer

October 23, 2016 4:08 am  #9

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

Hi, Daryl.

Daryl wrote:

Jeff, we have a few other regulars here who are gay. Most were in some sort of relationship with a straight partner. They bring a perspective to the discussion that most of us find hard to imagine, in particular the closeting and denial aspects.

Thanks, Daryl.  I'm glad that there are other gay people on here, and that our presence brings another perspective to the table.

You bring up an interesting point: That straight people find it hard to imagine how gay people can be closeted and in such denial.  I'll explain -- to the best of my ability -- how and why gay people can do this.

In order for me to fully explain, I'd like you to try to imagine the following situation.  It's an "alternate reality" situation, so bear with me.  This might give insight into what gay people go through and why they turn to denial and the closet. 

Imagine that, when you were growing up as a straight young man, being gay was the norm.  Imagine that being straight was considered abnormal, shameful, and wrong.

In this alternative world you're growing up in, 95% of boys and men are gay, and 95% of girls and women are lesbian.  Straight people like you are considered perverted and abnormal.  Straight people like you have to hide.

Imagine that, throughout your childhood and adolescence, straight boys such as yourself were considered "sissies" because they liked girls.  Imagine that girls, the objects of your affections in junior high and high school -- would beat you up, kick you in the balls, and demean you for simply looking at them with attraction.  They call you a "sissy," and they mock you along with the boys. 

You cry yourself to sleep over this.

Imagine that all of the boys in your high school are gay.  Remember, being gay the norm here.  These gay boys are coming on to you, expecting you to reciprocate, and if you don't -- you're a presumed straight!  Being straight means that you're a "sissy," and a "queer," and the boys beat you up for it.

You cry yourself to sleep over this.
One day, a boy from school asks you to the school dance.  You decline, as you've had your eyes on the girls, but this is abnormal and shameful to have these hetero desires.  Your father discovers that you declined the boy's invitation to the school dance, and he's now extremely concerned that you are a straight "sissy."  

So!  Your good old dad sits you down for a talk -- man to man.  He talks with you about how wonderful it is to love men, and how great it is to have sex with men.  He makes it clear to you that if you don't fulfill this expectation of being with a man, you will be an absolute disappointment to him.  He is very clear that if you like girls, you will fill him with shame that he turned out a straight, sissy son.

You cry yourself to sleep, once again.

Imagine that, as a young person, you watch TV everyday.  Each day, you see the media portraying gay people and their relationships as normal.  Whenever you see straight people -- like you -- on TV, they are portrayed as being perverted and strange.  

Imagine that, whenever you walk down the street, you see gay couples holding hands everywhere.  Seeing these couples is a constant reminder of how you are straight and abnormal.  You know that being a straight man, like you are, is considered to be very wrong.  A straight couple holding hands would be seen as completely abnormal.  Yet still, you so desire to hold a woman's hand.  

But you know that if you walked down the street, hand-in-hand with a woman, you would be subjected to being beaten up and mocked by strangers.  Simply for doing what feels so right to you -- holding a woman's hand.  You also know that if you called the police due to being beaten assaulted for displaying your hetero orientation, the police might fail to protect you and instead mock you mercilessly, due to your abnormal orientation.

You don't cry yourself to sleep anymore.  You're now just numb.

Imagine that, growing up, your entire family was normal -- which again, is gay.  Your gay father says to you one day, "Son, when are you going to settle down with a nice young man and make me proud?"  

Imagine that you've been hearing your dad say demeaning things about straight men like you your entire life: How straight men are sissies, perverted, laughingstocks.  Your uncles say the same.  So does your grandfather.  

You know that your family might even disown you if they ever knew that you were straight.

All of the above will eventually instill in you two very strong emotions: 1. Fear and 2. Shame.  

Over time, you learn to hate who you are.  You hate being straight.  No child should ever endure this reality.  But, due to simply being born outside the norm through no fault of your own, this is the life you live.  Every single day.

Eventually, filled with fear and shame, you develop behaviors of pretending to fit in and "be normal."  Otherwise, people will suspect you to be abnormal... straight, and this terrifies you -- for good reason.  You will never forget being beaten up and called a "sissy" by your peers.  You will never forget hearing your family say awful things about people like you.  You will have read countless news stories of people like you being fired from their jobs and even murdered.  

And, when people like you are murdered, they rarely receive justice.  Your life is literally worth less than other people's, because you have a different sexual orientation.

You eventually come to internalize all of the negative messages that you've heard about people like you.  You now hate yourself, and you SO want to stop hating yourself.  

But, how can you stop the self-hatred?  

Aha!  You find ways to convince yourself that you are NOT a pervert, NOT a sissy, NOT worthless.  You say to yourself, "I'm not like those gross people that everyone hates.  I'm normal.  Just watch.  I'm going to prove it.  I'm going to make my father proud.  I'm going to show the world that I'm a worthy man, as worthy as any other."

By then, the seeds of 1. Denial and 2. The Closet have been sown.

You now take decisive actions to convince yourself that you are not part of that disgusting group of perverted sissies.  You go on to pursue a life that society views as normal.  

Finally, you feel such relief at all the approval from everyone around you!  You forget, at first, that this is all a sham.  You're fitting in, you're doing everything right, you've even made your father proud.  You won't be mocked, you won't be beaten, you won't be murdered.  You're safe.  You're respected.  You've arrived!!!

You tell yourself, everyday, that your days of being a "perverted sissy" are behind you.  

Look at the beautiful, normal life you've built!  Look at how your family, friends, and coworkers view you as normal and not disgusting.  

You tell yourself that you are NOT a sissy or a pervert anymore.  You can't be. You're normal, because you're married.  You deserve respect, because you're married.  

But.  Underneath it all, your true romantic and sexual desires fill you with a gnawing core of shame, humiliation, and self-loathing.  This is always brewing beneath the surface.  You can't make it go away.  

You can't keep having sex with your spouse, because your spouse is a member of the gender that you aren't attracted to.  And so, marriage is so fucking hard.  Your spouse begins to criticize you.  Their criticism brings back every negative message you heard as a child -- you were abnormal, you were a failure at being a man.  

So you double down and try to be normal.  You make promises to your spouse that you will be normal and meet their expectations.  After all, growing up, your friends, family, and society all had those same expectations of you that your spouse is now demanding of you.  Your spouse's expectations are just much more intense, because they are daily reminders of the most intimate sort.

But eventually, you crumble.  You need sex and romance with the gender that you find attractive.  You hate yourself for needing it.  But you're a living, breathing human being.  

So.  You lie to yourself.  When you sneak away for the sex that you need, you tell yourself, "This isn't who I really am.  I'm actually normal.  I'm married!  Not some pervert.  I just need these brief escapes every now and then."

You convince yourself that these "escapes" mean nothing.  After all, you're no "sissy" or "pervert."  You're married!


But, your spouse grows more suspicious over time and confronts you.  Their confrontation, again, reminds you of all the times you were confronted as a child and adolescent about being "abnormal."  

You become immediately defensive.  This defensiveness is an automatic reflex by now.  You learned very well, as a child and teenager and young adult, to be on the defensive.  You learned early on to be an excellent liar.  You had to be a liar and a pretender for all those childhood years, in order to simply survive without being beaten up.  

Your spouse is literally of the gender that you do not find attractive.  Let that sink in and really imagine what that would feel like.  Now imagine, in great detail, being sexual with a person of the gender that you do not find attractive.  Imagine that person expecting regular and passionate sex from you.  Imagine trying to deliver.

And that person is very hurt, and you feel like a failure, when you can't deliver.

You eventually can't discern what's real and what isn't anymore.  Reality is just too painful.  You're lying to yourself, your spouse, and the world.

And so, you use this survival skill -- lying and distorting reality -- with your very own spouse.  The spouse who you so wanted to love from the very beginning, who you promised to cherish, and who was supposed to save you from being abnormal.

So, Daryl -- there you have it. There's where the denial comes from.  And the closet, too.

There is no excuse for an LGBT person to use a straight person as a cover.  

This was all to just explain 1. Denial and 2. The Closet.  

- Jeff

Last edited by Jeff W (October 23, 2016 1:57 pm)


October 23, 2016 6:41 am  #10

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

Wow, thank you Jeff for that. Gut wrenching to read, but very helpful. Mine also destroyed his kids and his relationship with them  in the process trying to keep his secret at all costs. What a horrible waste.


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