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November 28, 2016 4:21 pm  #71

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Hello Vicky & Shaun,
Thank you for insight.  After I posted my question I went searching and done plenty of reading.
He is definitely Gaslighting.  The funny part of it....I am a strong woman that does not internalize the crap he spews, I know who I am and who I am not, to which I have stated to him "I know who I am, and what I am not, I do not need you, my parents, my kids, siblings or anyone to tell me (other than him the others have not, was making a point) and the only person that could tell me something different that I would actually listen to was the Good Lord above!  My faith is what gives me the strength, vision, backbone and fortitude to go forward.  I have a voice and use it quite often as I am not fearful to do so.
Gaslighting was definitely a new term for me, it gave me more insight to what I already new, just didn't have a name for it lol.  I was actually starting to wonder if he was on drugs and point blank asked.  The sad thing is I could say I'm guilty of Gaslighting also in the middle of our heated arguments telling him he's crazy because of the junk he keeps spewing.
I've been trying to get him to open up for a while to no avail, he keeps hiding whatever it is in this dark place he is in.
This woman did not have an exit plan, didn't  need one.  The day after Thanksgiving we we to the city on business, he had been having one of his fits before we left.  When we got to our destination in front of our business associate, he continued his fit, told me I had no place there to get the F out there, go F ing home, I was nothing but a sack of shit.  I tried to get him to calm down, and discuss with him and the business associate about separating the business, I wanted out.  The business associate backed him up and told me I didn't have a F ing thing to do with it, that I didn't sign the contract because I refused to.  Which was a blatant lie, they drew up the contract without me on it.  At the time I figured it was no big deal.  Everything else about the business is in both of our names.  Regardless I seen the handwriting  on the wall and left.  I send text to my guy often because I can actually say what needs to be said and he can read it and can't  cut me off.  I sent him a text and explained a few things, bottom line told him he needed to make living arrangements accordingly.
This is something I have tried to tell him for sometime, that I wanted out of the business.  He said I was only going to hurt myself.
He says that because of the money my mother and I have invested.  The money is pennies to some, but $6000.00 is everything my mother and I had combined.  I tried to stick it out because of my mother, because she has property taxes to pay before the end of December, but after Friday and his public display in front of the business associate I knew that was not possible.  Because I had "my own business" I am jobless.  Because I'm of the older generation it's harder to find employment (been through that before).  Color me crazy for not having an "exit plan", but I haven't seen him or talked to him since Friday.  My concern at this point is employment and getting my mother her money.
My opinion on regrets...do I regret loving him, no.  I've said this is something new with him, I've never seen in 20 years.  I will cherish our years together.  He is a human being that is hurting in this dark hole he is in, No matter what it might be or whether I understand or agree with it, I can't help him.  I have told him the that, that him and the Good Lord above are the only ones who can.
I am worn out with all of it and why I came here.
The things I feel like I was seeing that made me question his sexuality was the biggest thing for me to get insight to.  I am a believer "things aren't always as they seem"  and that goes both ways.  I surely would not want to make an bi/gay accusation or question to a straight man.
Again, sorry I'm so windy

P.S. I no sooner made my post, he showed up unannounced.  Same old stuff, the new:
1. I told him with his rantings keep Gaslighting me its not going to work.  He said I dont know what that means.  I told him I didn't either, but I do now and that has what you have been doing to me.(I'm sure he'll look it up, maybe a chance it will help him...who knows)
2. Post It Note on my desk with Straight Spouse Network & phone number( pretty sure he seen it)
3. Tried about 5 different things for sympathy...he didn't get it.

Last edited by LC (December 8, 2016 12:36 pm)


November 29, 2016 4:31 am  #72

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you for sharing LC. I've just read your post script. He's following the narcissist's playbook: catch, devour, discard, catch again. Now that he's faced with losing you, he'll try everything he can to get you back. But make no mistake, once he has you again, he'll be even more of a monster. You've done the right thing by shutting him down.

You've reminded me of something very important...and that is the need to move on. Try as we might to change our former spouses, the gay in denial spouse is incapable of honesty while he/she lives in the closet. Dishonesty is the gay in denial husband's ("GIDH") first language. Asking a GIDH to speak the truth is like spontaneously demanding that a Chinese grandma in Chinatown speak perfect English. She just can't because SHE DOESN'T SPEAK ENGLISH. Honesty is simply a language gay in denial people don't understand and yet straight spouses continue to hope, plead, and demand this change. As a gay ex-husband, honesty is a language I had to learn and, just like learning any new language, I made lots of mistakes at first. But I had to learn honesty on my own...without my ex-wife. 

​I know this is a hard situation LC and I'm sorry he's treating you like this. But you seem to be on the right track. Please keep posting.   

Last edited by Séan (November 29, 2016 4:32 am)

     Thread Starter

November 30, 2016 1:45 am  #73

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Vicky recently posted something that I'm reposting here. It's an excellent example of a straight spouse working to gain freedom from her manipulative and narcissistic gay husband. Well done Vicky!

1. So I had my counselling appointment yesterday.  I told him I was going as I was heading out the door and he was shocked.  I admit I was a bit chicken shit in waiting until the last minute.  At the counsellor I described to her what was happening and afterwards she pulls out this 'wheel' of abusive behaviours [called the "Power and Control Wheel"] and it was verbatim what I had just said minus any of the physically abusive behaviours and minus the financial control he's never done that either.  It was sort of weird to see it there like that on paper and have it validated by a professional.  When I literally just described to her those behaviours I can't really argue that he's not controlling/manipulative.  So there you have it.

​Vicky was so courageous to get counseling, even while fearing her gay husband's reaction. Not too long ago, she was describing her husband as a "good guy...and not really a narcissist at all."

2. When I got home I told him why I was upset with him minus discussing the gay thing, we do not speak of that, and anyway his behaviour is reason enough to send me to a therapist.  What did he do...defend his actions!  Nothing, didn't take me up on my offer to go with me to the counsellor, nor did he agree to see one when I asked.  He didn't apologize, he barely said anything.  I don't know what I expected really I think he just wants to sweep it under the rug as per usual.  None of this is news to him, we've discussed these behaviours many times I just hadn't connected the dots that is was controlling behaviour and that really pisses me off.

​This is classic "gay in denial narcissist" behaviour. How do I know? Because I did the exact same things. An inability to accept blame, defending inexcusable behaviour, and certain "no go" zones like fear of discussing his homosexuality.

3. He's never happy or satisfied with what is a pretty good life, healthy children, good house, good car, good financial state, so I asked him about that, I asked him to really think about it and don't answer me but do I make him happy.  I am the one thing constantly in his life and he's never been happy, he changes jobs, friends, we moved, whatever it is we do it and is not satisfied.  So is it me he's not happy with? 

Although I'm not a mental health professional, this sounds like a form of depression. The gay in denial spouse is unhappy with himself and there is nothing the straight spouse can do to change that. While no one likes to hear themselves described as either a narcissist or co-dependent, what Vicky has written about is the way co-dependents think...or are trained to think by manipulative partners. The co-dependent is constantly giving more to fix a broken relationship. The narcissist simply takes and demands more. More concessions, more apologies, more money, more attention. But it will never be enough unfortunately.   

4. Funny the gay thing wasn't enough, I thought we could work on THAT?  What was wrong with me?  But this I don't think it's possible.  I really think the outcome would have been different if he had been forthcoming and honest with me.  I tried so hard, he did not.  So that time has passed and I am over feeling sorry for him and driving my self mad from exhaustion, it's not fair to me. 

Well done Vicky! You're doing exactly what you should be doing and by that I mean protecting yourself. This is a huge step and you've made it so far in such a short period of time.

5. We're hardly speaking to one another so it's a bit awkward.  The fact that I have work to do gives me an excuse to be tucked away in the basement working late to avoid speaking to him.  I don't really know what to do next.  Like I said he is actively working on his own business so it will be months before he has any significant income at all.  Likely longer that that before he can support himself.  I cannot kick him out, it was half my idea to come up here to the country to make a go of freeing ourselves from our office jobs.  I might just transition myself to the spare bedroom for now.  What I am afraid of is that he won't care if I do, I think if that happens it will be very hurtful.

The silent treatment is another way narcissists manipulate their partners. It's another form of control because it forces their partners on the defensive. Why? Because they know you'll try to 'talk it out' yet again which gives them the win. You'll always lose arguing with the gay-in-denial narcissist because they've spent their entire lives manipulating people.

6. But basically from the ["Power and Control"] wheel: making her afraid by smashing her things (destroying her property) he only does this occasionally but it's usually out of the blue and unwarranted and overreacting to a silly thing. ​Making her think she's crazy. Making her feel guilty (he's a pro at that and does it regularly). Controlling what she does, who she sees and talks to, where she goes, limiting her outside involvement (he's scared a lot of my friends off usually and this had been a bone of contention for me for a long time, I broke up with him over this but then discovered I was pregnant). Making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns about it seriously, saying it didn't happen. ​There were more things on the wheel but these are what applied to me.  There are things not on the wheel that he does but it's basically a pattern of controlling my emotions and manipulating me by making me feel guilty.  It's shocking how long I've made excuses for this behaviour and normalized it, I'm shaking my head at myself.  It's like now I've realized it I can't believe it, shit like making me feel guilty if I do something nice for someone or go to a movie with them, he'll say 'I would've liked to go with you to that movie' or 'I would have liked if you had bought me that'  I am always balancing what I do with others so for example if I see a movie with someone I make sure to suggest we should have a date night the next day, or else he'll say something about how I enjoy being with other people and not him, and if I do something nice for someone I do something nice for him too so he won't complain to me that I don't think of doing those things for him (not true at all).  I'll need to run errands and he'll want all of us to go, ya me him and 2 small kids should go to the grocery store, the drycleaner, the hardware store, etc.  Oh great idea.  But he wants to 'spend time with me' he says.

This paragraph gave me chills, particularly the "making her afraid by smashing her things (destroying her property) he only does this occasionally but it's usually out of the blue and unwarranted and overreacting to a silly thing." I read Vicky's statement more like this: "He makes me afraid by smashing things. It's out of the blue and unwarranted." This type of violence is never justified, particularly in front of small children, because it's another form of control. Through violence, the GID narcissist spouse transmits the message that he is in control and that there are certain things he won't discuss...like the gay thing. [Vicky described in other posts that he refuses to discuss the gay thing.] The guilt she described is also quite common I believe or at least it was in my relationship. Narcissists don't care about the people in their lives. What they care about is maintaining a steady supply of attention and adoration. So when their partners do things without them, they get extremely jealous, hurt, or possessive. They constantly make their partners feel guilty because they need ever increasing amounts of 'supply.'  

7. This past year I had already been realizing how I am always sacrificing my time, my appearance - no time for a haircut or clothing shopping because I don't want him pissed I was gone too long.  I often tried to squeeze these things in on my lunch break, I literally would dread walking in the house because I didn't know if he was going to be angry with me for being gone.  So this all sort of fell into place.  I had been starting to push back lately and he had been backing down, but how stupid was I that I just never noticed how bad it had gotten.  Maybe the push back I was giving him was the reason he's been over reacting to silly things lately, getting overly mad at the dumbest things.  Sorry for the rant, I am just stunned, it's cathartic to write it down and I'm just so mad at myself.  My blame in this is that I turned a blind eye to how bad it was with family and friends, we would argue about it and I would 'put my foot down' and threaten to leave but then I never did it.  I wonder what I should do about that, apologize to them, say something to them like that I realize it was a mistake that I'm sorry they had to put up with it? I honestly think the counsellor thinks I should leave him, she didn't say that at all but she said 'I won't tell you whether you should stay or go' that it would be up to me to decide that. 

Vicky has come a very long way in a short period of time. Imagine where she'll be six months from now? Not too long ago, she wrote that her husband was, "...a good guy...and not really a narcissist at all​." She's starting to set boundaries, reconnect with friends and family, and is getting professional help. The narcissist spends years grooming a partner and they isolate their partners and families because they don't want any competition. Vicky sounds like a strong-willed woman, but even the most assertive among us would crack under the constant pressure of living with a gay-in-denial narcissist. My ex-wife only started to heal once she'd gotten away from me and my many manipulations. Thank you for sharing Vicky. I always learn a lot from your brave posts.

Last edited by Séan (November 30, 2016 1:48 am)

     Thread Starter

November 30, 2016 8:44 am  #74

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Hi Sean,
​Kind of you to say.  I don't think I'm brave necessarily just that I've realized what exactly has been going on and I've decided to be honest with others about it.  ​I've started telling people we are separating, it seems like if I do that I can't backpedal so easily this time.  I am shocked at the reaction of people when I say I want to separate.  It's overwhelmingly been that the person is not surprised and they say 'you're more relaxed when he's not around'.  I've heard that 3 times in only a few days.  I only spoke to my dad briefly and he's never said anything before but he timidly said he's arrogant, said 'it's like he thought he was too good for us, that we were always trying to entertain him when you guys visited but it wasn't good enough.'  He made my dad feel that way too, not good enough.  If you know my dad he's a big tough guy, not timid and I know he's bitten his tongue around him for my sake.  I think he didn't want to cause problems for me and he knew that if he caused problems I would have more trouble than I already had seeing them.

​As a last ditch effort he's agreed to counselling.  The counsellor wants me to attend the first session for context.  I told him not to get counselling to try to win me back but get it to help himself.  He hasn't even noticed in all his begging that his reasons we shouldn't break up are centred around the kids.  He'll say I love you, I don't want to be separated from the kids.  Or a variation of that.  But he's not saying 'I love you and I can't imagine my future without you'  He said he's afraid that this session is going to be a bashing session against him, then he said I don't want to make you feel guilty about it (well too late). 

​I don't know where I will be in 6 months but I hope it's a happier place.

I think I was duped because my life wasn't overtly miserable, like I said I felt fortunate for the good life we had built, that my kids are healthy, our house wasn't amazing but I often thought I was lucky to own the tiny house we had in a very expensive city, and now we've moved to the country I'm lucky to have this huge one.  We did it by ourselves!  I came from a poor upbringing (so did he) but I'm solidly middle class now.  But it was the millions of small comments, actions, behaviours that had accumulated to make me react the way I did. 

​I'm guilty of still having second thoughts, it's overwhelming, am I really going to tear my family apart with this hunch that he's secretly gay, no matter how much evidence I have I still have doubts.  And it's off the table for discussing at the counsellor, I know this because he refused to see my counsellor because I was honest with him and told him she knew. 

​Inside I feel guilty that I am tearing our family apart and he probably knows this and keeps trying that angle, though I think he's unaware he's doing it.  It's more like what I am doing to him.  He's apologizing profusely but I tell him I can't know that he'll permanently change, that this has happened before I get mad over a particularly arrogant episode and threaten to leave, he's chill for awhile on his best behaviour and then there he goes again.

​Thanks everyone for your continued support.  It's madness I should reread my own posts to remind myself why I am doing this!  At some point I'll need to update my bio, it's out of date now.



November 30, 2016 10:13 am  #75

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Hello Vicky,
HANG IN THERE!  Second thoughts are normal.  I feel for you having small children in the middle of all this.  Mine are grown have no clue what my decisions would be if they were still small.  I encourage you to forget yesterday it's done and gone, and take it a day at a time.  As Sean said it sounds like you have already come a long way.


November 30, 2016 10:44 am  #76

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thanks Vicky and LC for posting. Vicky I think you're incredibly brave and that was before you announced your separation. Now I think you're a stupendous bad*ss! Caution: many couples here have tried joint counselling and I'd invite them to share their thoughts. I believe your counselor has experience dealing with people who have narcissistic personality disorder. Why? Because she's smart to have you attend the first session only, but then to continue seeing you separately. Narcissists often use couples therapy to charm the mental health professional in an attempt to woo another person to their side. And by their side, I mean convincing another person that you are insane, unreasonable, cheating, and perhaps even a closet lesbian. They tend to 'project' their secrets on others, particularly when threatened. I'm sharing all of this because your first session will likely be a sh*t show.  

Ironically, my first boyfriend post separation had narcissistic personality disorder. This was truly karma because he did to me EVERYTHING I did to my ex-wife at the end of our relationship. He too was closeted, didn't think he was 100% gay, split his life, gaslighted me, blew hot/cold...the works. I deserved it and ultimately it was a real learning experience. I finally found a trick that worked so that I was no longer his plaything...or perhaps prey. I thought of him as the biggest, blackest, and hairiest scorpion imaginable. Why a scorpion? Like (gay in denial) narcissists, scorpions only do two things: hunt and sting. By seeing him as a heartless, stinging, hunter, I then got over the illusion that I could change him. He hurt me because this was all he knew how to do. This put all of my efforts into clearer context: share my heart and soul with him = stung; try to be affectionate with him = stung; buy him gifts = stung and so on. Arguably this is harder to imagine with the father of your children. But narcissists like me see children differently than their partners. Children give love and affection freely so narcissists can be good parents. While he can be a cuddly bear with your kids, once he looks at you, it sounds like he's more of a scorpion. 

I hope that helps in some way. Good luck with your joint counselling appointment. Please keep us posted. 


     Thread Starter

November 30, 2016 11:30 am  #77

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Three thoughts:
  Counseling with preconditions forbidding discussion of the very thing that you're going to counseling about? What is the point?
  Your doubts, your insecurity, your guilt all play into his hands.  He needs you to feel these things so that he can hope to hang on to the possibility that things can stay as they are--with you as cover.  
  Hang on to your realization about what he says and doesn't say--that he never considers life without you, only that you come as a package with the kids.  
   I hope the counseling appointment tells you more of what you need to know.  Good luck.


November 30, 2016 5:28 pm  #78

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

I agree with O.O.H.C. - he's gotten buy-in from you on keeping what is arguably the single biggest issue in your relationship in the closet?? How f'd up is THAT? Gee, how convenient for him!  <:-/  Then he gets to put the focus on "joint" problems, which of course puts you on the defensive and makes you do work to prove that you're all in.  If you're done, then don't play this game.  Go to counseling for yourself.  Otherwise couples counseling is for the COUPLE to get better.  If you feel that you can no longer go on as a couple, then why do couples counseling? Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.  I don't recommend it as it only brings more confusion.  If he cares about making this work, he'd have gone out of his way long before now to show you his love, dedication and passion.  The fact that he hasn't is all the counseling I'd need.

By the time my ex wanted to work hard at things, it was too little, too late.  He'd shown me with his actions that he'd only give me what I needed if it affected HIM negatively.  My happiness wasn't on his list of concerns unless I tried to pull away from being his beard.  Then it was Emergency! Emergency! Better tell her she's beautiful and offer to rub her back!  F*ck that static.

Once you get to the point where you realize that whatEVER the problem is, it isn't changing, then reasons no longer matter. Intentions no longer matter.  He either can't or won't change, so you're left with the same problem, whether you can ever put a name to it or not.

Hope I'm not being too harsh.  I'm on your side.  I refuse to be quiet when your heart is what's at stake.  You've been emotionally manipulated for so long that even when you're standing up straighter than normal, you're still bent over backwards.  This is not.his.show anymore.  It's yours now.  Be fierce!!!


Last edited by Kel (November 30, 2016 5:29 pm)

You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

December 1, 2016 4:13 am  #79

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thanks for sharing Kel and OOHC. Yes it's absurd that Vicky's husband refuses to discuss the gay thing in therapy, but gay or straight we've all been there. This is simply the denial phase of the gay spouse's sexuality. I think we should acknowledge that we're all at different points in our journeys. Given what I've read here, we all go through the same stages more or less of depression, denial, anger, acceptance etc. While some of us are living years after disclosure/divorce and have the advantage of hindsight, let's keep in mind that up until a month ago Vicky thought everything was just dandy with her marriage. (She's come a long way from watching in horror as her husband got a lap dance from a male stripper for example.) Vicky is moving much faster and more assertively than I ever did. Do I think they should discuss the gay thing in therapy? Yes, absolutely. But I also acknowledge the inhuman effort it probably took to get her narc-gay-in-denial husband to agree to therapy in the first place. She also seems committed to continuing therapy on her own, separately from her husband, whereas most of us tried couples therapy which was a complete sh*t show. Those of us further along might scream, "Hurry up!" but we should be mindful this is a slow process and it took us a lot of time and effort to work through our broken relationships. I hope I haven't offended anyone. Thanks again for sharing.  

     Thread Starter

December 1, 2016 11:28 am  #80

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

True Sean - my hindsight's 20-20, and I've learned lessons that others are just now wading through.  You're right in that I should be mindful of the patience I need to exhibit with others here.  I guess I wish I had someone when I was going through this who could clearly see the situation (having been there and hearing plenty of similar stories) and just encouraged me to pull the f'ing band-aid off rather than being overly patient as I was.  I'm trying to be that for others, but maybe it's coming off as too forceful.  Thanks for the reminder.


Last edited by Kel (December 1, 2016 11:28 am)

You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

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