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August 4, 2022 6:15 pm  #1


My husband came out to me as gay several months ago.  He has not had an affair. We have been married over 20 years This has been a very difficult and emotional several months.  We genuinely love and care about each other.

If we choose to stay married to each other, how do we get past the concerns (from him and society) that he is not living authentically?  What is authenticity?


August 4, 2022 9:07 pm  #2

Re: Understanding

I do have a word of caution. From my own experience, and those on this site, it is less common for a MOM to work out. I've seen a few examples, and if you decide to go that route I wish you all the best but I wish I had been better informed so I knew what I was getting into before embarking down this road.

My husband came out about 2.5 years ago. After a lot of soul searching I committed to the marriage. We both decided we were going to beat the odds and make this work. Did individual and couples counselling. A lot of talking. Kept building towards our future. It was incredibly difficult at times....but, I thought we were doing well. Turns out I was the only one in this thing.

He then up and decided he wanted a divorce. That he wanted to have a true, intimate relationship with a man. And that he had no attraction to me and couldn't make it work. If he stayed he would destroy his "true self"....so instead he chose to destroy me.

Apparently he needed that time from coming out until now to truly figure out what he wanted. So basically, I threw everything into the marriage while he backed out. Married/together just shy of 20 years. I am now living this weird pseudo-marriage while we figure out separating.

Looking back on it, I wish I had been better prepared for what was to come. I was naïve, I truly thought love would conquer all. And we do still love and care about each other...I mourn for what once was, all the dreams and plans we had, and the life that was supposed to be. It would have been easier had I left when he came out, instead I became even more invested in the marriage and it ended up feeling like my soul was ripped out.

You may have an entirely different outcome from this, but I just caution you to think about yourself in this. It's so easy to get caught up in being the "supportive partner" (I know I did) and lose yourself. You love this person so much it hurts and all you want to do is make it work. But, make sure that whatever you do is actually good for you too! And make sure the other person is on board with this as well.

As for MOM, the only one I have seen that was really successful was Dutchman (you can search his postings). Good luck! This is a great community for support. Take all the time you need to figure things out. And make sure you put yourself ahead at this time as well.

Last edited by Anon2222 (August 4, 2022 9:10 pm)


August 5, 2022 11:58 am  #3

Re: Understanding

Thank you Anon,  That must have been devastating for you.  I am so sorry.  I will take your words to heart. Thank you for your encouragement.  I wish you well.

     Thread Starter

August 11, 2022 9:48 pm  #4

Re: Understanding

Living authentically would apply to both of you. If you could both be asexual comfortably, and be ok with a sexless companion relationship then you could both be authentic. If one of you is suffering for lack of affection or sex then that one or both will become resentful eventually.
You could go with an open marriage but you'd have to both understand there is the likelihood one will find a partner and you'd split.
My first marriage stayed together 8 yrs after he came out. We had an open relationship. But long-term? It may depend on your ages and finances more than anything. My current husband is gender fluid. I am working on options to move out but am realistic that in our mid and late 60s we may stay together as companions.
Mostly for you I think it will depend on how open he wants to be with friends and family.
And how much you can handle to keep the status quo.


August 13, 2022 12:12 am  #5

Re: Understanding

My wife and I are making it work, and I am as sure now as I ever have that we will be fine.  We are a little unique I suppose.  Have been together 17 years now and married for what will be 12 soon.  She came out as gay in April.  It is tough to say the least.

We don't really have sex anymore as a result, mostly because though she will take one for the team; I have a hard time knowing she isn't as into it.  That said, there is a lot more to intamacy than sex.  Intamacy us also laying in bed, holding hands, showering, etc.  She is still my best friend and we have built a life together that we love.  So what if she likes tacos more than burritos; I get it, I like tacos too.  She has a regular, errr, hookup if you will, but I oddly do not feel threatened.  I do not have anyone like that and who knows if I will.

I guess what I am saying is do what makes you happy and be with who you love.  For some of us a MOM can work.  At least that's what we keep telling ourselves!

Oh, and do not worry about authenticity.  Who cares.  Ignore society's expectations; you'll find they do not matter at all.

Last edited by Robou812 (August 13, 2022 12:14 am)


August 13, 2022 9:46 am  #6

Re: Understanding

Being authentic is being in line with all aspects that define who you are.
My wife's considers she's more than her sexual preference: Keeping true to her vows, being a mother in a family, responsibility for displaying what faithfulness is about, loving and honoring the man that stood by her through many difficult years. Not any man, but one that truly loves her and whom she respects. So considering what is right is evaluating what is really important to her. A moral choice.

Next to that... Implies "being authentic about sexual orientation" living it out as well???
My wife fully accepts her being lesbian, there is no denial in any sense about that. So she IS authentic to herself. And also to me, it's no secret at all, she is open en honest about it. This goes both ways as I don't deny her sexual orientation, but accept it as it is. It's simply how she is.
So she's feeling totally authentic in every way. She doesn't has to keep up an appearance or anything. She can be and feel like she is, totaly relaxed about it, and no questions asked or eyebrowes raised.

There is a myth, actually it's a script, that states that "being authentic" mandatory means "living it out". But this is utter nonsense!
That would mean that every single person, not being in an active sexual relation, is not "living athentic" and in dire need. 
Sure this line of thought is pumped up in modern culture, but it's reducing humans to some sort of sexual animals that have to get their urges met asap, or else...

How about all those other values that define us then? Can we throw them all overboard because of the all important sexual urge? Why would the latter be in this prominent position?
Are breaking vows, not being faithful, diminish your legacy as moral person, and discarding a loving spouse not much more prominent signs of being inauthentic?

It's all about choice. When someone makes their choices, it displayes what they really authentically are. And that is NOT just the sexual orientation thing that matters. 
I reject the notion that gay people are not capable of making moral choices. As if they are slaves to their sexual orientation and cannot do anything about it.
Gays are no lesser persons than straights, they are totally able to make moral choices. Everybody (straight and gay) has to make choices and should take responsibility for making them. 
If I, being straight, choose to visit a prostitute or have a relation outside marriage, that is my choice. I shouldn't excuse myself being "straight male" as if that excuses me of ownership of my decisions.
so if I deviate to those wrong paths, it simply says that my "authentic self" isn't that honourable as I would like it to appear. Being an adulterer: I lack commitment to my marriage, I lack understanding of real Love. In short: I value my pleasures and lust more important than other moral aspects I might (or not) have.

Okay...Suppose we understand this, and try hold on to eachother and the marriage. (with perserverance, and lots of talks, support and understanding and maybe failing sometimes)
But how about the lack, the missing part in the MOM relation? In a straight and gay relation, there is "something missing". That is what is possibly felt for years, but now (coming out) has an explicit explanation, and is the reason marriage got into a crisis. 
The thing that usually brings a man and a woman together, "the Eros", is not really there. There is love and appreciation, there might be moral awareness of choices, but the connection is not open. A connection that could potentially be open... if the gender of the other person was different.
This is not just physical, the block is emotional as well. Real intimacy is not happening.
Sex is happening (or... could be if both are willing), but it's sort of supperficial and falling short. If you're sensible and interested enought about eachother, both can get orgasms but it doesn't really reach the emotional depth.

At that point both (!) have to cross a boundary, a threshold. 
Where the man decides to go for unconditional love for his wife, whatever the costs to himself. And the wife opens up the door, because she respects her husband that much she can actually do so.

This is when real intimacy starts. Speaking for myself at that moment: I felt total change. I felt my wife's emotional contents in making love. This was so very different than I ever experienced, it was overwhelming.
In no way comparable to what was before. Some time after, the experience of making love changed for my wife as well. To her supprise she noticed she enjoyed it all. It all became very, very different.
Intimacy has become so real, so tangible, it overflows. Sex is like a physical framework that supports this intimacy. And we both enjoy it.

So... what about "authenticity" in this context?
My wife doesn't experience having sex with women. She knows and accepts that fact, but in practise she has, and experiences intimacy with me, that is fullfilling to her. It encompasses emotional and physcal connection, and so this missing out doesn't feel like a very hard thing to be bare. Nowadays this  is hardly a point of thought to her.

Last edited by Dutchman (August 13, 2022 9:56 am)


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