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June 19, 2024 1:35 am  #2451


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Sean01 wrote:

Thank you everyone for writing. Canary2 I've looked back at our first exchanges and, if I remember correctly, you dated a closeted friend/co-worker (described above) who divorced the mother of his child, actively hid his sexuality from you, and appeared to seek out female partners as "beards." Please confirm if this is correct.  

Based on the most recent comments, there appear to be several categories of closeted men, namely: 

Category 1: Young men who identify as straight when they date/marry. They date only women and plan to marry "for life." Pre-marriage most have never done anything sexual with another man...other than secretly watch gay porn perhaps. They generally want to be good husbands and fathers, but deep down feel an attraction to men. But they convince themselves they'd never "act on it." These men most often have sex with other men after years of marital monogamy; normally around mid-life crisis time (age 40). 
Category 2: Young men who have pre-marital gay sex and/or date men, but hide it from themselves or downplay it as a "college thing." Some also claim they were "sexually assaulted" to their future wives because they can't accept they actively sought out sex with men. They marry women hoping this will "cure" them; often because their families or church communities have convinced them marriage to a woman is the solution to their "same-sex attraction." These men have sporadic sex with men before and during their marriages. They essentially "split" their lives: living by day as a straight husband/father but then cheating on frequent business trips. Once caught, many of these men identify as bisexual.  
Category 3: Openly gay men demonstrating personality disorders who actively seek out women as "beards." Many are divorced (from women) or already have long-term boyfriends. When challenged about their sexual orientation, some emotionally abuse future female partners. They actively pursue kind and unsuspecting women. They marry solely with the intent of hiding their homosexuality from themselves and others.   

Let me know your thoughts friends. Be well! 

In my more wild days I saw all three types but one last one an real odd ball.  I knew one who was open, out doing guys but he was from a culture of arranged marriages and couldn't get out of it. So he got married. However it didn't  last long. The women likely discovered something and got divorced. 

The other one I have ran into from chatting with guys was the kind that married knowing they were gay but decided they would divorce when the kids where old enough(like teenagers). Of course, they didn't bother to include the wife in the plan. Some guys can be real jerks. 
 

 

June 19, 2024 4:21 pm  #2452


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Sean01 wrote:

Category 2: Young men who have pre-marital gay sex and/or date men, but hide it from themselves or downplay it as a "college thing." Some also claim they were "sexually assaulted" to their future wives because they can't accept they actively sought out sex with men. They marry women hoping this will "cure" them; often because their families or church communities have convinced them marriage to a woman is the solution to their "same-sex attraction." These men have sporadic sex with men before and during their marriages. They essentially "split" their lives: living by day as a straight husband/father but then cheating on frequent business trips. Once caught, many of these men identify as bisexual.  

This was exactly my situation. There was religion involved, and prayers for "healing". I think he truly *intended* to be straight and would probably have stayed married and "bi" if I had not chosen to leave because of my own mental health. When a person is forced to compartmentalize themselves in this way, you never, ever know the true person. Though there was not (as far as I can tell) deliberate intent to harm, you just can't live with a person who is not whole.

Shortly after he moved out he had a complete mental breakdown requiring a few months in the hospital. I've had to distance myself for my own emotional protection. I think his sense of self just broke apart because of all the compartmentalizing and being "forced" out of the closet. I didn't out him (that goes against my values) but I did insist that he join an LGBT support group and tell the kids before we separated. Throughout our marriage, he consistently (and probably subconsciously) put himself and his self preservation first. I understand that it was necessary to his survival. But the collateral damage is great. 

He has just announced his engagement to the first man he met almost minutes after our separation. We'll see how that ends up...  I am glad to be free of all of the confusion, but deeply scarred from a 30+ year marriage that was never a healthy relationship. I thought that maybe we could be friends after a bit of time to adjust to our new lives, but I now see that this would do me a lot more harm than good.



 

 

June 19, 2024 6:38 pm  #2453


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

I don't see my ex fitting into any of the categories.  It seems to me there is an innocent little gay child at the heart of the categories and that does not fit my ex.  He wasn't trying to avoid or cure his gayness.  I think the deception was the best part for him.  

I do think religion plays into it a lot, if only because we are taught to let down our guard and trust the people in the congregation we are part of.   Putting things together with hindsight it appears to me that when I met my ex he had a boyfriend who was part of an acting troupe and I remember him telling me he had been invited to join them but no he kept the boyfriend on the side until the time came he returned to Australia with me at which point he must have dumped him.  It wasn't so much that in picking me he was picking life in the closet, it was more like he'd found the right wallpaper.

He pretended to want sex with me, but really, he didn't - that if you like is the inevitable hurt - but on top of that by the time I was in my 40's, emotionally speaking it was like death by a thousand cuts.  Somewhere in the grittiness of my soul I started to regroup.  I was still in a complete state of confusion but the point where I recognised I couldn't rely on him to protect me from others and stopped looking to him to look after my feelings and started to look after myself and my friendships independently of him is the point I started to feel better.

When it came to divorcing his two priorities were his closet (keep me quiet) and money (more for him) and much as he was emotionally invested in the money and tireless in his efforts to get more it was his closet that mattered the most.

Last edited by lily (June 19, 2024 7:09 pm)

 

June 20, 2024 12:31 am  #2454


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Doesn't this describe your ex-husband Lily? 

Category 3: Openly gay men demonstrating personality disorders who actively seek out women as "beards." Many are divorced (from women) or already have long-term boyfriends. When challenged about their sexual orientation, some emotionally abuse future female partners. They actively pursue kind and unsuspecting women. They marry solely with the intent of hiding their homosexuality from themselves and others.

lily wrote:

I don't see my ex fitting into any of the categories.  It seems to me there is an innocent little gay child at the heart of the categories and that does not fit my ex.  He wasn't trying to avoid or cure his gayness.  I think the deception was the best part for him.  

I do think religion plays into it a lot, if only because we are taught to let down our guard and trust the people in the congregation we are part of.   Putting things together with hindsight it appears to me that when I met my ex he had a boyfriend who was part of an acting troupe and I remember him telling me he had been invited to join them but no he kept the boyfriend on the side until the time came he returned to Australia with me at which point he must have dumped him.  It wasn't so much that in picking me he was picking life in the closet, it was more like he'd found the right wallpaper.

He pretended to want sex with me, but really, he didn't - that if you like is the inevitable hurt - but on top of that by the time I was in my 40's, emotionally speaking it was like death by a thousand cuts.  Somewhere in the grittiness of my soul I started to regroup.  I was still in a complete state of confusion but the point where I recognised I couldn't rely on him to protect me from others and stopped looking to him to look after my feelings and started to look after myself and my friendships independently of him is the point I started to feel better.

When it came to divorcing his two priorities were his closet (keep me quiet) and money (more for him) and much as he was emotionally invested in the money and tireless in his efforts to get more it was his closet that mattered the most.

 

 

June 20, 2024 12:13 pm  #2455


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Hi Sean, you know I read that and thought why am I saying it doesn't fit my ex.  I had thought category 2 would be the closest but reading category 3 it ticks a lot of the boxes.  Particularly the bit about actively pursuing kind and unsuspecting women.

It still doesn't seal the deal.  

I'm not sure what you mean by personality disorders.  He is known by all as a very nice man.  Everybody thinks that.  I mean everybody.  One day I sat down and went through all my memories and could not find one time where he had put himself out to help another person.  So you know I think that's just his charm.  I never feared him being physically abusive or even yelling at me.  I think though he could be described as the passive aggressive type,  certainly he was towards me.

I like what I said in my previous post - he picked me like I was the right wallpaper.  The closet's no longer about homosexuality it's about deception.  It's his cloak of invisibility, his warmth and safety.  The closet is his home.  I was external colouring but oh he got so much more than that - I provided him with entertainment - not just the pleasure of getting away with deceiving me but playing games on me, moving my car keys being the least of it.

I was such an innocent it didn't occur to me that he was playing games on me, no I'd go looking for my car keys thinking I must have mislaid them every time.  

I guess what I'm trying to say is there's another whole set of categories of how wedded their way of life is to the closet.  are they just waiting for the right man to kiss them, are they wanting to have a family first or has living in the closet become entrenched into their being.   And from reading here it is a common story that the gay/lesbian spouse is very attached to their closet.  Like a hermit crab with it's shell, it could not live without the shell even though it is external to their being.


 

 

June 20, 2024 1:59 pm  #2456


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Hi, I was in a marriage for 20 years. I was married young and very naive, very sheltered evangelical.

During the end of our marriage and after our divorce, I know there was an enormous amount of gaslighting and looking back, I can see that there was some there the whole time, and I had no idea at the time. I'm still in counseling going on 4 years for C-PTSD, and I often entertain an idea that my ex-husband was deeply closeted gay. I think partly I entertain this because it makes everything make sense, and partly because I can hold a tremendous amount of compassion for it when otherwise I'm tempted to feel anger toward him. Here are the "clues" that I have, if one could shed some light and maybe that I may not be crazy?? 

- While we dated, ex talked about gay men a lot. He would say his heart went out to them, and how they must be marginalized, and how he feels sometimes they were molested as children. He would go back and forth between this, and making homophobic remarks. He would be mortified because was hit on by gay men a lot, flirted with. He would often comment that he didn't want people to think he was gay by a gay man talking to him.
-During dating if we were ever making out, he would tell me I needed to keep my hands to myself. However once we got married, he forcefully took me after I asked if we could wait a while as I was scared. It was just a few brutally painful thrusts and then he turned and went to sleep.
- Sex was always PIV, and he was always in the mood and often initiated, but never really asked. But it was so difficult for me. He wasn't interested in my body. I learned to hate my body even though he never directly said anything hateful. He didn't want to touch it, didn't admire it verbally, and never wanted to put his mouth anywhere. I think my breasts kinda grossed him out and he certainly never went down. Sex was minutes long and foreplay was just a bit of dry labia rubbing (sorry for the TMI). I was so young and naive I couldn't figure out why I would still be so horny all the time, yet didn't enjoy sex. I didn't have anything to compare it to.
-I remember as a newlywed thinking it felt like I was having sex with a woman. I know this seems odd, and I felt horribly guilty for it, as I had never had sex with anyone of either gender. All I know is I often had to close my eyes and black out his face to try to imagine it was different.
- He only commented on my body through other men. "Bob says you have nice legs," "Ben says he would like to be in bed with you," "Mike says he would like to wear your thighs like earmuffs." I felt he was not-jealous beyond a healthy extent, I felt as though he would happily hand me over on a silver platter. I had a coworker touching me inappropriately on a regular basis and when I told my ex, he scolded me and warned me not to say anything to the man as to make him upset: "I have to work with him, and I don't want things to be awkward," he said. He once urged me to send a racy picture to a male friend of his "as a joke."
-He seemed to really lose interest in me as a person but adored hanging out with his male friends. He was a firefighter so  was with them a lot of long hours and days at a time, but would still go on campouts and hunting trips with them. One friend in particular, he spent an inordinate amount of time with. 
-After about 3 years of marriage, I began to suffer from depression, and asked for counseling/therapy to help. I asked for it multiple times over the years, as I began to feel hopeless and severely depressed. He would discourage me from getting therapy via guilt. "I guess I must just be a terrible husband if you need therapy," he would say. I would end up reassuring him and apologizing to him for making him think that. He also would become furious if he thought I was talking about our relationship to my sister or family.
-At least 3 of his business partners, he told me everyone talked about how they were gay and he would like to befriend them. 
-Just before the divorce (lots of reasons including financial abuse), ex began spending a lot of time with one of said business partners. He would be gone overnight quite a bit, but would always make a point to tell me he wasn't with another woman and he had never been with another woman. He talked about wanting a divorce, how I was getting in the way of the lifestyle he wanted, how he wanted a motorcycle, and how I should be with someone else.
-Yet when I finally filed, he freaked out. When he moved out, he immediately began seeing someone else, who he is about to marry (divorce finalized 6 months ago). 
-He began doing strength training and body building and having lots of pills around the house for "male endurance."
-He told me he had dabbled in porn because I didn't like the jewelry he bought me when we were dating (????). He told me he had been frequenting massage parlors for hand jobs, strip clubs for lap dances. 


The thing is, I just want to move on. But I have almost lost my grip on reality feeling as though I'm insane. I feel like I'm going crazy or have already gone crazy. I am working on healing and holding it together for my two sons, but my mind won't let go of all of the confusion, so badly that I sometimes get dizzy. Everything wrong in our marriage he blamed me for and God knows I was responsible for a LOT of the crap in our marriage, I have been working so hard to heal toxic patterns and fix all of the places I caused damage. And at the same time I know I was not the only one who caused damage, but part of my mind still believes it was all me. 

Any light to shed would be much appreciated.

-Confused and Hurting

 

June 21, 2024 12:01 am  #2457


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you for writing k_926. In reply: 

1. Hi, I was in a marriage for 20 years. I was married young and very naive, very sheltered evangelical. During the end of our marriage and after our divorce, I know there was an enormous amount of gaslighting and looking back, I can see that there was some there the whole time, and I had no idea at the time. I'm still in counseling going on 4 years for C-PTSD, and I often entertain an idea that my ex-husband was deeply closeted gay. 

I'm so very sorry you're suffering my friend. Question: was he raised Evangelical Christian as well? 

2. While we dated, ex talked about gay men a lot. He would say his heart went out to them, and how they must be marginalized, and how he feels sometimes they were molested as children. He would go back and forth between this, and making homophobic remarks. He would be mortified because was hit on by gay men a lot, flirted with. He would often comment that he didn't want people to think he was gay by a gay man talking to him.

This is a common sign of being gay in denial. 

3. During dating if we were ever making out, he would tell me I needed to keep my hands to myself. However once we got married, he forcefully took me after I asked if we could wait a while as I was scared. It was just a few brutally painful thrusts and then he turned and went to sleep. Sex was always PIV, and he was always in the mood and often initiated, but never really asked. But it was so difficult for me. He wasn't interested in my body. I learned to hate my body even though he never directly said anything hateful. He didn't want to touch it, didn't admire it verbally, and never wanted to put his mouth anywhere. I think my breasts kinda grossed him out and he certainly never went down. Sex was minutes long and foreplay was just a bit of dry labia rubbing (sorry for the TMI). I was so young and naive I couldn't figure out why I would still be so horny all the time, yet didn't enjoy sex. I didn't have anything to compare it to. I remember as a newlywed thinking it felt like I was having sex with a woman. I know this seems odd, and I felt horribly guilty for it, as I had never had sex with anyone of either gender. All I know is I often had to close my eyes and black out his face to try to imagine it was different.

While I don't know if this suggests he's a closeted homosexual, it certain sounds very emotionally damaging my friend. 

4. He seemed to really lose interest in me as a person but adored hanging out with his male friends. He was a firefighter so  was with them a lot of long hours and days at a time, but would still go on campouts and hunting trips with them. One friend in particular, he spent an inordinate amount of time with...At least 3 of his business partners, he told me everyone talked about how they were gay and he would like to befriend them. Just before the divorce (lots of reasons including financial abuse), ex began spending a lot of time with one of said business partners. He would be gone overnight quite a bit, but would always make a point to tell me he wasn't with another woman and he had never been with another woman. He talked about wanting a divorce, how I was getting in the way of the lifestyle he wanted, how he wanted a motorcycle, and how I should be with someone else.

Surrounding himself with gay men and having a boyfriend-like relationship with one particular man are classic signs of being closeted. I call it "Brokeback Mountain" syndrome after the movie. 

5. After about 3 years of marriage, I began to suffer from depression, and asked for counseling/therapy to help. I asked for it multiple times over the years, as I began to feel hopeless and severely depressed. He would discourage me from getting therapy via guilt. "I guess I must just be a terrible husband if you need therapy," he would say. I would end up reassuring him and apologizing to him for making him think that. He also would become furious if he thought I was talking about our relationship to my sister or family.

He sounds like a complete *sshole. 

6. Yet when I finally filed, he freaked out. When he moved out, he immediately began seeing someone else, who he is about to marry (divorce finalized 6 months ago). He began doing strength training and body building and having lots of pills around the house for "male endurance." He told me he had dabbled in porn because I didn't like the jewelry he bought me when we were dating (????). He told me he had been frequenting massage parlors for hand jobs, strip clubs for lap dances. 

An obsessive interest in physical fitness and change of appearance are signs of cheating. I'm assuming he met and is about to marry another woman but please feel free to comment. As for the porn, was he watching mostly gay porn? 

7. The thing is, I just want to move on. But I have almost lost my grip on reality feeling as though I'm insane. I feel like I'm going crazy or have already gone crazy. I am working on healing and holding it together for my two sons, but my mind won't let go of all of the confusion, so badly that I sometimes get dizzy. Everything wrong in our marriage he blamed me for and God knows I was responsible for a LOT of the crap in our marriage, I have been working so hard to heal toxic patterns and fix all of the places I caused damage. And at the same time I know I was not the only one who caused damage, but part of my mind still believes it was all me. Any light to shed would be much appreciated.

While I don't know if he is gay, based on the information provided your future ex-husband sexually assaulted and emotionally abused you. I will message you some other questions to help determine if he's gay in denial, but his close relationship and time away with another man strongly suggest he is gay-in-denial (or "GID"). I hope that helps. Be well! 

 

June 21, 2024 8:45 am  #2458


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you for your response! To answer some questions and expound on some comments: Yes, he was raised in a similarly evangelical Christian background. From reading through the forum and your observations, advices, etc, what would make the most sense in this theory is that he was not living a gay lifestyle or had never acted on his desires until possibly the end of our marriage, the last couple of years. This is when he took sex off the table completely, blamed it on me, and seemed to be having a lot of sexually-based experiences, including some sort of pills he was having shipped right to the house in plain view when both of us knew we were not being physical at all. In that theory, I imagine him living vicariously through me before this - making comments about what other men were saying they wanted to do to me, letting his male friends touch me (fondling once, grabbing a$$ several times for another, when I told him it was making me uncomfortable, he would say I was making a scene, causing drama.) 
I know I'm indulging far too much into these theories when I should be making peace with not knowing. Something in me just feels like I would feel less crazy if I knew the answer; on the other hand, I have an over-active guilt drive that always worked in his favor. Maybe I would feel guilty if I dug until I found out the answer. 

As for your comment that he sounds like an *sshole - yes, I agree when you read this that's how he sounds! The problem is and part of the confusion, he wasn't - at least not on paper. He was SO nice. Everyone always told me he was the nicest person they had ever met. He was charming and polite and sociable. I was awkward and shy and nerdy and introverted. Of the two of us, I was much more likely to be emotional, lose my temper, or have moody days. He would buy me things, buy flowers, help me around the house some when he was home, etc. Any change in my mood really bothered him, I worked and worked to become less emotional and more steady and stable. (TW next sentence) I finally got myself into therapy despite his protests, at the point when I knew my depression had become life-threatening and didn't want to leave my boys without a mother. This was around year 16. Our relationship got progressively worse the better I got. I think it was good for him in some way, that I was always focused on how horrible of a person I was. I think me staying depressed and withdrawn was somehow useful to him. Why didn't he want me to go to therapy? At year three when I began asking (I know this sounds strange, me asking - but I didn't do anything that was a financial commitment without him agreeing), sometimes I imagine I could have saved us if I had been able to go.

The person he is engaged to now is another woman. And as for the porn, I had no idea about any porn whatsoever all of those years, much less if it was gay or not. I completely trusted him, my opinion of him over the years went up, and my opinion of myself went lower and lower over the years until I was convinced I no longer "needed to exist". (trying to keep from going to dark here) I picked up so many toxic patterns in the relationship over the years, that this just snowballed. I am working with two therapists to try and undo all of my toxic coping mechanisms - I really want to get better.

I will end with this:
He often told this story to our friends, about us being at a wedding while we were dating. And when I had gone to the bathroom, a gay man who he knew from Starbucks (this man just liked him, gave him free coffee sometimes, always friendly to him) and his partner walked in and recognized my ex, and walked over to carry on a conversation. He says that he was so anxious for me to return to stand by him, so that people wouldn't think he was "with" them.

Sometimes I think that story is a metaphor of our entire marriage. 

And I grieve myself as a young woman, and that young woman's precious body that was treated like something to be used, discarded, played with, neglected, ignored.
At the same time, if any of my theory holds true, my heart just tears in half for him as well. It just hurts all the way around.

Last edited by k_926 (June 21, 2024 8:48 am)

 

June 21, 2024 11:07 am  #2459


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you for writing k_926. I'd suggest listening to a member's podcast: 

https://open.spotify.com/show/1re7pzU40eSz5g9wuFJx5I?si=f4dcb7aa4bbf44f1
as your stories sound similar. With regards to your future ex-husband being charming, outgoing, and fun, many abusive and/or closeted men are great "on stage." What you described here struck me:

"However once we got married, he forcefully took me after I asked if we could wait a while as I was scared. It was just a few brutally painful thrusts and then he turned and went to sleep."

This wasn't "nice" - as you described him - it was sexual assault. While I'm not a mental health professional, it sounds like your body was reacting to your toxic husband long before your mind caught up. I'm glad you're getting professional help with 20+ years of trauma my friend. Feel free to post again. Be well! 

Last edited by Sean01 (June 21, 2024 11:14 am)

 

June 24, 2024 10:17 pm  #2460


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

K_926: I am in your shoes, have been in your shoes for a very long time, and I have a thought for you. Be nicer to yourself. They aren’t “toxic” coping skills. They are coping skills. Adaptive in response to not being treated well by the person who is supposed to be he one you can count on most - now *that* is toxic.

 

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