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March 10, 2021 2:11 pm  #1681


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

I AM enjoying my new-found freedom. I'm still sad a lot of the time and still have much healing to do. But there are also wonderful things in my life that I'm grateful for. I have a career, a therapist who's been an immense help, and family who love and support me. I lived alone for the first few months post-separation but recently moved in with a single girlfriend I've known since junior high, and that's been great for my mental health. I wanted to hide/isolate, but ultimately knew that probably wasn't the best choice.
The future ex and I spent the majority of our marriage living thousands of miles away from family but moved back to our home state in 2018 and I'm so glad we did. I imagine this would've been an even harder journey if we still lived on the other side of the country.

I agree that it's not healthy to remain in contact with him and my therapist has said much the same. I think I'm playing nice and staying in contact because I'm afraid if I cut him off or I out him he'll retaliate, either in the divorce or in some other way. Our relationship absolutely fit the narcissist/co-dependent mold and we all know narcissists don't fight fair. In our final years together there were plenty of instances where I'd confront him about something he did that hurt my feelings and instead of apologizing he'd launch an attack on my character and bad mouth me to friends and family, even make up outrageous lies about me. I mentioned this fear to my roommate recently and she laughed and assured me that nobody would take him seriously, but I still worry.

I think you're spot on that he's worried about what people will think if/when they learn what a jerk he's been. I WANT to believe that he's not a terminal narcissist, that he only developed those tendencies as a coping mechanism, as a result of hiding and lying for most of his life. I want to believe that he'll eventually accept the damage he's done and apologize and make an effort to grow and really change, but maybe that's naïve of me. I don't think he's ever given me a genuine apology. It's always been "I'm sorry BUT" or "I'm sorry YOU feel that way."

So yes, despite all of the sh*t he's put he through, all of the lies and the hurt, I DO still feel that need to protect and heal him! UGH!

Thanks again for your time and your reply Sean! Writing this all out was a useful exercise and has helped me see where I should and shouldn't be spending my emotional energy.

 

March 10, 2021 4:30 pm  #1682


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you for posting. In reply: 

1. I AM enjoying my new-found freedom. I'm still sad a lot of the time and still have much healing to do. But there are also wonderful things in my life that I'm grateful for. I have a career, a therapist who's been an immense help, and family who love and support me. I lived alone for the first few months post-separation but recently moved in with a single girlfriend I've known since junior high, and that's been great for my mental health. I wanted to hide/isolate, but ultimately knew that probably wasn't the best choice.

New beginnings! Well done my friend. 

2. The future ex and I spent the majority of our marriage living thousands of miles away from family but moved back to our home state in 2018 and I'm so glad we did. I imagine this would've been an even harder journey if we still lived on the other side of the country.

Agreed.

3. I agree that it's not healthy to remain in contact with him and my therapist has said much the same. I think I'm playing nice and staying in contact because I'm afraid if I cut him off or I out him he'll retaliate, either in the divorce or in some other way.

Fair point. 

4. Our relationship absolutely fit the narcissist/co-dependent mold and we all know narcissists don't fight fair. In our final years together there were plenty of instances where I'd confront him about something he did that hurt my feelings and instead of apologizing he'd launch an attack on my character and bad mouth me to friends and family, even make up outrageous lies about me. I mentioned this fear to my roommate recently and she laughed and assured me that nobody would take him seriously, but I still worry.

He sounds like a monster. 

4. I think you're spot on that he's worried about what people will think if/when they learn what a jerk he's been. I WANT to believe that he's not a terminal narcissist, that he only developed those tendencies as a coping mechanism, as a result of hiding and lying for most of his life. I want to believe that he'll eventually accept the damage he's done and apologize and make an effort to grow and really change, but maybe that's naïve of me. I don't think he's ever given me a genuine apology. It's always been "I'm sorry BUT" or "I'm sorry YOU feel that way."

Again he sounds like a complete pr*ck. As for the narcissism, I reckon I'm living proof that toxic, lying, manipulative narcissists can indeed change. But change was only possible once I'd come out of my closet. If he desperately wants to remain closeted, please keep in mind that you'll have a huge bargaining chip during your divorce negotiations. Just sayin!  

5. So yes, despite all of the sh*t he's put he through, all of the lies and the hurt, I DO still feel that need to protect and heal him! UGH!

I'd suggest checking out CODA - co-dependent's anonymous. And it's free!  

6. Thanks again for your time and your reply Sean! Writing this all out was a useful exercise and has helped me see where I should and shouldn't be spending my emotional energy.

Come back and share as much as you like; either here or on your own thread. Be well! 

 

March 30, 2021 12:15 am  #1683


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Original Post: Author, Upside, Link: Straight Spouse Network Open Forum » The Big List of Red Flags (boardhost.com)

"Disclaimer – This list was compiled from experiences within this forum and the resources below:
[i]Am I A Lesbian? Masterdoc
Secret Sexual Basement found by Longwayhome[/i]

Is My Spouse Gay, Lesbian, Bi, or Questioning?

Only your spouse can truly answer that question.

That said, many spouses are hesitant to openly disclose their hidden desires to their partners out of shame, fear, or selfishness. The first phase of this Secret Sexual Basement is when a spouse hides these sexual activities, deceives their partner, and creates an alternate sexual life that is compartmentalized from their daily existence.

For a straight spouse, this process can be very disorienting. Your once-loving relationship now feels different, but you're unable to identify exactly what has changed. You repeatedly ask your spouse but their answers feel inauthentic. There is a looming dread that has you on edge.

As a straight spouse begins to look beyond the surface, the questioning partner may disclose partial truths about their sexuality to gauge a reaction. Or the questioning partner may choose to dig deeper, tunneling further to protect this compartmentalized sexual life, lying, gaslighting, and manipulating to make sure their world is never found.

Who Is This Guide For?

If you feel your spouse hasn't been fully truthful, then this guide is for you.

Proving your spouse is LBGT is nearly impossible. Proving that they have a pattern of deception in regards to their sexuality is very possible.

The list below is a list of external signs that you can utilize to help ground your suspicions. While they aren't certainties of an LBGT spouse, each clarifies the existence of a secret sexual basement.

Do Words Match Actions?

With each of the checklist items, it can be helpful to think: do my spouse's words match their actions?

If your partner is saying one thing but finds themselves consistently doing the items below, then they aren't being truthful with you. You can then prove that a secret sexual basement exists and then decide how best to move forward.

Sex and Intimacy
☐ Having sex with the same sex in secret.
☐ Minimizing sex with the same sex as "no big deal", "just a blowjob", or a "one-time thing".
☐ Giving ultimatums that involve them having sex with a same-sex partner.
☐ Using gay/lesbian dating apps or websites.
☐ Minimizing meeting the same sex in dating apps as "no big deal".
☐ Using dating apps or websites with a gay/lesbian profile.
☐ Minimizing sending or receiving pictures in a dating app.
☐ Minimizing messaging men/women in dating apps as "just curiosity" or "I would never do that".
☐ Taking prep medications.
☐ Hiding condoms or dental dams when you're in an exclusive relationship.
☐ Wants to open the marriage "for you" but you have never expressed any desire to do so.
☐ Visiting hookup locations, like bathhouses, often in secret.
☐ Accidentally saying the name of someone of the same sex while having sex.
☐ Sudden interest in threesomes that include the same sex, without your desire.
☐ Purchasing sexual toys, clothing, or drugs in secret.
☐ Sudden interest in new sex toys or moves which emulate gay/lesbian sex acts.
☐ Sudden interest in using condoms during the middle of a monogamous relationship without valid explanation.
☐ Learning new, surprising sexual moves after a long period.
☐ A sudden unfamiliarity with your sexual preferences. 
☐ Inability to engage in sexual acts with you because "they're not in the mood" for many months or greater.
☐ No lust or emotional attraction when intimate. Simply disgust.
☐ Panic attacks when you are about to be intimate.
☐ Making up physical ailments to avoid having sex.
☐ An inability to look in your eyes during sex.
☐ Time-limited or sexual act limited intimacy. "I will do X for 5 minutes then we're done" or "We can only do X".
☐ Drifting emotional intimacy, with sex treated like a chore.
☐ Sex is done "for you".
☐ Your partner openly communicates their dislike of sex with you.
☐ Sex only occurs under the influence of substances.
☐ Continued pressure to engage in sex acts that make you highly uncomfortable, often used in gay/lesbian sex.
☐ Sexting with the same sex in secret.
☐ Minimizing sexual conversations with the same sex as "just fun".
​☐ Shaving intimate areas in new ways, especially if attempting to hide it from you.

Pornography
☐ Visiting Gay/Lesbian Porn Sites.
☐ Collecting Gay/Lesbian Porn.
☐ Masturbating to the same sex.
☐ Hiding any of the above.
☐ Minimizing Gay/Lesbian Porn as "Everyone does it" or "It just popped up".

Secrecy
☐ Your partner will not discuss their sexual past or preferences.
☐ Past sexual acts with the same sex which were only recently disclosed.
☐ Your partner is vague in their sexuality, not willing to openly commit.
☐ Quickly leaving phone conversations when you enter a room.
☐ Hiding their screen when you enter a room or sit with each other.
☐ Having passwords on devices and not sharing.
☐ Having secret folders on their phone.
☐ Receiving many text messages, but you have no idea whom.
☐ Turning off phone tracking features so you can't locate them.
☐ Not showing up when they were expected and crafting unbelievable tales about where they were or what they did.
☐ Having gaps in their story that don't add up. Unable to address them on further pressing.
☐ Inability to explain when the spouse is caught in a lie.
☐ Having hidden email accounts with fake names.
☐ Having hidden social accounts with fake names.
☐ Receiving emails from the same gender soliciting sex and referencing an account online.
☐ Receiving emails for gay/lesbian dating apps or websites.
☐ Deleting email accounts without logical reason.
☐ Liking or following social accounts that contain gay/lesbian porn.
☐ Deleting social accounts without logical reason.
☐ When confronted with any of the above, blames you as "untrusting" or paranoid.

Attraction
☐ Your partner shares their sexual, emotional, or romantic attraction to the same sex.
☐ Your partner prefers effeminate men or masculine women. They push you towards these roles to maintain their attraction.
☐ Your partner finds it difficult to name members of the opposite sex they find attractive. They are only attracted to people on TV, in books, or in the movies. In reality, their attraction to the opposite sex dissolves.
☐ Your partner expresses gender confusion, changing from hetero to asexual to bisexual.
☐ Noticing your partner lusting after the same sex in public or private.
☐ Minimizing sexual, emotional, or romantic attraction to the same sex as "everyone has a girl crush", "I'd never act on it", or "maybe in the future".
☐ Attraction to the opposite gender sounds like a logical choice, versus a feeling.
☐ Past relationships of your spouse were based on the opposite gender's partner's attraction to them.
☐ Your relationship with your spouse was because you went after them.
☐ Uncontrollably flirting with the same sex in front of you.
☐ Referring to your relationship as a contract they are resigned to fulfill.
☐ The emotional intimacy within the relationship is a chore or burden, devoid of passion.
☐ Negotiations on how to continue your relationship "without the sex".

Friendships
☐ Having gay/lesbian close friends that appear to be more.
☐ Never being invited or considered on activities with their gay/lesbian close friends.
☐ Having friendships that say "I love you".
☐ Having friendships that involve secrets or privacy.
☐ Having friendships that are described in romantic terms.
☐ Prioritizing secret friendships over your relationship.
☐ Having friendships that involve sexual innuendo or flirting.
☐ Having friendships where more is disclosed to the friend than to their partner about large areas of their life.
☐ Having friendships that give romantic gifts, especially in secret.
☐ Having friendships that have hidden get-togethers.
☐ Having friendships that contain large gaps in time without the ability to explain. Explanations seem bombastic.
☐ Minimizing friendships with sexual innuendo as "everyone does it" or "we would never act on it".
☐ Your spouse has a hard time enforcing boundaries and the line between friendships and crushes is murky.


How Did Your Spouse Do?

The more of the red flags above that are seen in your relationship, the greater cause for concern. 

When your spouse's words do not match their actions you can prove they have a secret sexual basement. The discovery of a secret sexual basement is devastating, but it is also the first step towards taking control of your own life.

What Happens Next?

I wish I could answer for you.

There are many possible paths to take ahead. Communication. Snooping. Confrontation. Therapy. MOMs. Decoupling. Whichever path is best, this community is here to help support you. We've been in your shoes, know the pain of discovery, and can share what we've learned firsthand.

Wishing you strength in your journey!

Notes: I've no doubt missed hundreds of red flags. If you have any to add please share below and I will flow these in."

 

March 30, 2021 5:08 am  #1684


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Sean, That you would re post Upside's post on your thread speaks volumes to me, thank you!

I've been helped by many people in this forum, I want you to know, that you are definitely one of those people.  Thank you for helping us! Take care and be well!

 

March 30, 2021 9:10 am  #1685


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

"Sean, That you would re post Upside's post on your thread speaks volumes to me, thank you!

I've been helped by many people in this forum, I want you to know, that you are definitely one of those people.  Thank you for helping us! Take care and be well!" longwayhome

I second that emotion.

 

March 30, 2021 12:05 pm  #1686


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Hi Sean,
So glad you're back!
I'm more than 3 years out from D day and still trying to get my head around things.
Do straight men suspect or know a closeted gay man easily? Especially when discussing women ie; finding them attractive or sexually desirable? How do they, both the closeted gay and straights tend to deal with each other in friendship situations, work relationships or as neighbors? Do closeted gay men realize that they are not fooling a straight man on topics such as their phony marriage? 
Hope this isn't a ridiculous thought. Now that I'm aware of closeted gay men faking straight, it seems like their straight colleagues are playing along too or are they expressing doubts among each other when the gay man is not present?

 

March 30, 2021 1:00 pm  #1687


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thanks for posting longwayhome and MyExodus. If you can, please let me know where you are in your journeys and particularly how your son (longwayhome) and daughter (MyExodus) are coping with your situations. In response to 2naive's questions: 

1. I'm more than 3 years out from D day and still trying to get my head around things.

Gosh...so sorry you're still struggling my friend. Question: are you still married? 

2. Do straight men suspect or know a closeted gay man easily? Especially when discussing women ie; finding them attractive or sexually desirable?

I reckon you'd have to ask a straight man my friend as I am 100% gay, with zero attraction to women. However, I am happy to share my personal experience and opinions so here goes. Most straight men I know, like my brother-in-law, are totally clueless when it comes to gay men and they have zero gaydar. In my experience, straight (and not straight acting) men see homosexuality like they see modern art: they just don't get it. However, if a "straight" man talks about the gays, acts anti-gay, and constantly labels others "gay" or "f*ggot" then I just assume he's closeted. Women, on the other hand, can usually sniff out a gay man in about 10 seconds. 

3. How do they, both the closeted gay and straights tend to deal with each other in friendship situations, work relationships or as neighbors?

Again I can only share my personal experience. Growing up I had a number of straight friends I secretly lusted after. Looking back, my friendships with straight males were totally f*cked up because of the one-sided sexual tension I caused. I was highly possessive, jealous, and exclusive with my straight male friends while they were completely clueless of my burning sexual desire. 

4. Do closeted gay men realize that they are not fooling a straight man on topics such as their phony marriage?

That wasn't my experience. Most of the straight friends I had as a closeted husband/father were so clueless they never even thought I was gay. I reckon straight men just aren't that intuitive. However, most women and bicurious, closeted, or out gay men knew I was gay...immediately. Funny you should bring this up. I was talking to a female co-worker, let's call her Mary. Mary and I were discussing another (male) co-worker. Let's call him Mike. Roughly 30 seconds in to a recent Zoom call, I knew Mike was gay and brought this up in conversation a week later with Mary. I asked if he had a boyfriend. Mary told me Mike was married to a woman and I commented, "Well Mike's wife is in for quite a surprise because he's as gay as a rainbow." There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Mike is gay: the voice; the demeanour; and some rather telling references to loving Broadway and Madonna. So what's my point? If you really want to know if your husband/partner is gay, just ask another gay man.      

5. Hope this isn't a ridiculous thought.

Not at all. 

6. Now that I'm aware of closeted gay men faking straight, it seems like their straight colleagues are playing along too or are they expressing doubts among each other when the gay man is not present?

Again I reckon you don't understand how truly indifferent/clueless straight men are about gay men and homosexuality. Most straight guys I know can't even find the mustard in their fridges, let alone determine a man's sexuality. And if a supposed "straight" guy obsesses about another man's sexuality, he's probably closeted himself.

I hope I've answered your questions 2naive. If not, please feel free to post again. Be well! 

Last edited by Séan (March 30, 2021 1:31 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

March 30, 2021 2:15 pm  #1688


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thanks for your humorous and insightful reply Sean.
Sorry to the thread starter, I meant to start my own thread.
No, we are not still together. I live in the Palm Springs area, so I live around and work with a lot of gay men. The TGT is in my everyday life, co-workers, neighbors and friends.
I notice closted gay men interacting with obvious straight men and wonder if the closeted man attempts to fit in with the straight guy's talk of lusting after women or if they stay silent. How did you deal with 'guy talk' regarding the straight men around you checking out women. It seems like a closeted gay man would try to keep his cover and would have to fake some sort of a reply? These thoughts got me wondering what my ex said about me, his spouse, to straight men.
You are so right!   It never occurred to me that straight men are indifferent/clueless about homosexuality. That gives me the new perspective I was looking for.
Thank you for all your help over the years.

Last edited by 2naive (March 30, 2021 2:21 pm)

 

March 31, 2021 12:31 am  #1689


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

"Women, on the other hand, can usually sniff out a gay man in about 10 seconds. "
I do not agree with Sean on this statement. If women can sniff out a gay man that easily, why do we marry them? Also had this been true, I would not have stayed in a marriage for 38 years whilst knowing my STBX is gay. I did not realize that he is gay until he told me in so many words. He actually told me "and by the way I am gay"(his exact words)  7 months ago in a raher aggresive way. He also appointed about 5 male employees in the past two years who are gay and I was oblivious to the fact that these men were either married to men or have a relationship with a man. I really wish that I had that gay radar! My brother who is 100% straight did tell me that he always thought my husband could be gay, unluckily after the fact. My husband's sister, who is also gay and with whom he has a  close relationship, was very suprised when my husband came out as being gay at the age of nearly 61 years. Like me, she never suspected anything. My point is that contrary to Sean's statement, not all woman have gay radars.

 

March 31, 2021 3:27 am  #1690


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you for posting 2naive and Oliviap. In reply:

2naive:

1. I notice closeted gay men interacting with obvious straight men and wonder if the closeted man attempts to fit in with the straight guy's talk of lusting after women or if they stay silent. How did you deal with 'guy talk' regarding the straight men around you checking out women. It seems like a closeted gay man would try to keep his cover and would have to fake some sort of a reply? These thoughts got me wondering what my ex said about me, his spouse, to straight men.

We older gay men will sometimes lower our voices and "butch it up" when around straight guys. Pre-COVID it was something I joked about with my gay friends..."Ok so everybody put on your straight voice now because we're going out." In response to your questions, I myself was terrible at guy talk because, like a lot of gay men, I had zero interest in organized sports and man hobbies. I was good at pretending I was interested in women because I'd been doing it since age 5 or 6 when I was first asked, "Do you have a girlfriend?" Where I really excelled was in giving Oscar-worthy performances as "the perfect husband" in front of friends and family. Like a lot of gay men, I was super attentive to the needs of others (think of any business-class American Airlines steward or hairdresser). For me personally, I was very attentive and loving towards my wife, particularly in front of others, but it was 100% platonic.  

Oliviap:

2. "Women, on the other hand, can usually sniff out a gay man in about 10 seconds." I do not agree with Sean on this statement. If women can sniff out a gay man that easily, why do we marry them?

Is there a face palm emoji? You are 100% correct! 

2. Also had this been true, I would not have stayed in a marriage for 38 years whilst knowing my STBX is gay. I did not realize that he is gay until he told me in so many words. He actually told me "and by the way I am gay"(his exact words)  7 months ago in a rather aggressive way.

Wow...what a pr*ck! Again fair points although most straight wives I interact with instinctively knew something was wrong at the start of their relationships because he never seemed interested in (hetero) sex. And most women start playing detective because they no longer have sex with their closeted husbands. Question: how was your sex life with this man? 

3. He also appointed about 5 male employees in the past two years who are gay and I was oblivious to the fact that these men were either married to men or have a relationship with a man.

Understood. 

4. I really wish that I had that gay radar! My brother who is 100% straight did tell me that he always thought my husband could be gay, unluckily after the fact.

Interesting. Question: did your brother say it from the beginning or just recently? 

5. My husband's sister, who is also gay and with whom he has a  close relationship, was very surprised when my husband came out as being gay at the age of nearly 61 years.

Age/generation may explain the disconnect with my prior "gaydar" post and your experience. Allow me to explain. In my experience, the older the generation, the darker the closet and deeper the denial. While younger people in their teens and 20s have fewer issues with being LGBTQ, 40-somethings like me are divided between the "out and proud" and "discreet" people who still prefer to pass as straight. With my 50-60 year old friends, many still suffer from a form of PTSD because, for that generation, being gay often meant lost jobs, isolation from friends and family, and sometimes jail for "lewd conduct."  

6. Like me, she never suspected anything. My point is that contrary to Sean's statement, not all woman have gay radars.

Totally agree and my apologies if I offended in any way. Feel free to repost if you like. Be well! 

Last edited by Séan (March 31, 2021 8:22 am)

     Thread Starter
 

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