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August 4, 2022 11:22 pm  #1


My husband of 20 plus years came out as gay several months ago. I was blindsided.  It's been very difficult.  I am only now starting to feel like I can think clearly.  We are still married but are trying to figure out what to do.  MOM? Divorce? Separate?  All options seem to be filled with pain and loss.  We don't fight.  Our kids are unaware currently.  We don't want to hurt them.  The thought of breaking up our family keeps me up at night.  Losing time with our kids, custody issues, supporting two households on a one household budget, etc,. Plus my own pain and grief.  These thoughts keep me stuck. I hate limbo but don't know what to do.

How do I get unstuck?


August 5, 2022 7:40 am  #2

Re: Limbo

I went through the same thing in May of 2./20. I discovered that my ex boyfriend was gay. There were no children but we did have pet children. I was also  seeing a therapist. She told me to way the pros and cons.I woke up many mornings at four. I was depressed. I finally got up the courage to break up with him and re connected with someone from my past and got married. I am holding a good thought for you and wish that I could advise. What was right for me may not be right for you. Sending you a hug.


August 5, 2022 9:21 am  #3

Re: Limbo

Hi, Limbo.  I am so sorry for your loss.  Such a difficult time.  Some wise words a friend gave me once were "When all else fails, inject a little love."  Sounds like there is still a lot of love in your family unit.  Draw on that love for guidance; the answers will come.  Hope this helps a little.  Hugs.


August 5, 2022 12:09 pm  #4

Re: Limbo

Gloria, I, too, wake up at 4 in the morning often full of sadness. Thank you for your encouragement.

Nita,  Thank you.  We do have a lot of love, which, ironically, makes this so hard at the moment.

     Thread Starter

August 5, 2022 5:08 pm  #5

Re: Limbo

Dear Limbo..... Yes, loving decisions can still entail a lot of grief and sadness.  But when we act from a true place of love, there is no angst, no anger, no resentment.......love abides.  Does not mean we don't shed a lot of tears of sadness.  You will find your answer, I'm sure of it.  Hugs. 


August 5, 2022 5:28 pm  #6

Re: Limbo

If you still like each other (love is a different thing, we can love them but not like them) and the kids aren't really young then honestly I'd just go with separate bedrooms if possible and having a MOM. This is my 2nd time around, 1st husband came out as gay 5 yrs in and we stayed together for 8 more for the kids's sake and finances. We couldn't have our own rooms but managed with twin beds in one room. When the kids were old enough, and he had gotten too careless with his lovers I asked for a divorce and we split amicably. It was still hard on the kids but at least they had him 8 yrs longer in the house. Being divorced without enough income is hard. I mean, hard, as a single parent. So if you can come to an agreement that he will only see people (if you even decide it's ok for him to see people) outside the home and he will be scrupulously private...it can work. It won't be forever, but figure out how long before the kids are grown and start getting yourself whatever experience or education you need to manage on your own later. If you already have that, hey, great! But if not, this is your chance to get to online or night school and look out for your future. 
If you communicate it can work. It will not be easy. It will hurt. You will need to decide if you want to start seeing someone as well. If the kids are teens, they may well understand if you tell them that Dad is gay but you;re staying together for now for finances. Teens these days are so much more sophisticated about this stuff.
Just my .02. You'll make the decision right for you but being in a place where you dont' want to hurt each other gives you at least a chance on an MOM. 


August 6, 2022 6:38 am  #7

Re: Limbo

I agree with Grace that divorce will lower a wife's income in most cases. I hope that you can start sleeping better. Post as much as you need to.


August 6, 2022 8:08 am  #8

Re: Limbo

I am in a similar position....except I wasn't given the option. My gay husband decided unilaterally that he wants a divorce. I have no say in any of this.

I was actually open to the idea of being "roommates". Basically cease the romantic relationship and live as friends with our own lives but remain married and joint everything to keep the same lifestyle. He is not interested in this idea at all, as he thinks that dating (even with my blessing) is cheating. Go figure. I have the apparently super moral gay husband who would rather ruin my entire life than go out on the side. 

It's easy for him to say though as he is basically walking away from everything and leaving with no responsibilities. He doesn't want the house, the dogs, nothing. So I'm getting stuck with everything. We acquired the dogs during our marriage, together. I would not in a million years have 3 dogs alone (especially the high energy one!). But now I am stuck trying to afford the costs of 3 dogs while being stuck in the predicament of not being able to move anywhere cheap because I need a yard and a place that will take 3 dogs. Sometimes I wish I could be just as carefree as he is and dump all my responsibilities too....

He also earns substantially more than I do. I have a chronic medical condition that is expensive (even with benefits), and the list goes on. He's walking away sunshine and roses, and I am trying to calculate how to survive while hopefully not working 2 jobs and 50 hours a week.

So I too am stuck in limbo as we sort the separating part out....and there is sooooo much involved man. I've been married so long I don't even know how to be independent anymore I swear.

How old are your kids? All around, it's a tough decision. Keep asking questions and just take your time with all decisions....don't do anything rash if you can avoid it.


August 6, 2022 8:11 am  #9

Re: Limbo

The reality is that your family is going to be utterly transformed whether you remain married and attempt an MOM or divorce.  Whether you stay or go, you and your husband are going to be going your separate ways in all but household affairs.  Your husband is going to be exploring his new identity, which he cannot do as your partner--you're not, for example, going to be asked to accompany him on a date.  Nor can you counsel him on changes in his wardrobe, or on other changes that accompany a shift in culture, which I doubt he would want your advice on, anyway.   

 Your children are going to confront changes whether you divorce or stay together.  That's simply a given.  The question is what you want to convey to them, and why.  Is it healthier for them to stay in a nuclear family that is, in many ways, a nuclear family in name and form only?  If their father dates and their mother doesn't, is that a healthy model for them?  Is "marriage above the happiness of the two parties in it" what you want to convey to your children?  Or is it important for you to convey that a marriage rent by this unresolvable event  can end peacefully?  And are you sure it can? 

   It's also not uncommon for the newly out to at first express a desire to retain what they have; it's a kind of fail safe option that makes the next step out into the world of gayness possible, so be prepared for a change of perspective over time on both your part and your spouse's. 

 The other reality is that "all the options" that are "filled with pain and loss" are going to be mostly yours, whether you're in an MOM or divorce.  You husband is gaining something: himself, authenticity, new friends, a new mode of being.  You are losing something: a husband, the comfort and solidity of the relationship you thought you were in, etc etc.  

 His adjustments are going to be of the "how do I become this new person in a new and exciting world of possibility" variety, while yours are going to be "how do I process my grief (and anger) over the loss of the life I valued and the husband I love/d."  

I would suggest that one way you get unstuck is by asking yourself what you want: out of a marriage, from your (departing) husband, from the rest of your life.  Is marriage to your husband by any means possible--living in an MOM in which he has a boyfriend or dates or otherwise spends time in a gay milieu--paramount?  Or is a heterosexual marriage in which heterosexual partners are committed fully to intimacy with one another, and to shared care and happiness what you want?  

 Another way to get unstuck is to make a list of the resources that can support you--financial, emotional, education, skills, friends, relatives--so you have a realistic picture you can base a decision on.  Seeing a lawyer is part of this effort, because finding out what your rights to marital property are under the law is part of determining your resources.  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (August 6, 2022 8:12 am)


August 6, 2022 1:36 pm  #10

Re: Limbo

Sage advice from OutofHisCloset.

Give it time. Decisions do not have to be made right away. At first I was desperate to keep the marriage and brought up an open marriage and all different options. After a month and a lot of thought I realized that it wasn't actually what I wanted. Rather, I was desperate for my life not to change and even if we did go down the route of a MOM, nothing would ever be the same.

I still have panic attacks when thinking about what is ahead. I still get this desperate clawing sensation for what the relationship was supposed to be, what my life was supposed to be. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have several dozen break downs along the way. But, if nothing else, I am starting to look at what I actually want in life. And I'm slowly taking steps towards it. For once, I'm not thinking about his feelings, what he wants, and how to cater to it. I'm actually putting myself first once in awhile.

Expect to be in limbo for a very long time. 

My husband came out as bi 2.5 years ago. To come to terms with that took me about 2 years. It was devastating when he dropped the bomb of being gay but too afraid to tell me....and yet, the shock was not nearly as bad. I think it will probably take me many more years to process all of this.

So at a few months in, you're at the beginning. Has he articulated what he wants in all of this?


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