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December 30, 2017 4:53 pm  #41

Re: Keeping Their Secret

confusedbunny1 wrote:

Dixie I used to call my husband my best friend but after reading Bonnie Kay's newsletters and chatting to people on here I realise I am not crazy... he is still gaslighting me, telling me I'm the crazy one. I trusted him with my life and cared for him. There is community of gays pretending to be straight men in marriages, his friends are some. They have a way of finding each other and connecting. I want to find it and destroy it. I'm pretty sure there is forum that they use its under a pretence name. I've noticed the ones that are his friends are all into 'cars'. It makes me sick that they do this to their wives and how it's happened to me. They protect each other to keep their wives out the way. It's crazy I have strong evidence on all of them feel like spreading the word but I probably wont. Need to stop thinking about it and just get this divorce over and done with!!

When my husband was out of the office I went and looked at the search history and found that he's been on several gay hook-up sites. So...I went "incognito" on the computer and created fake accounts and that is how I found what else he has been doing. There is a forum of married men that set up times to meet at a gay sauna. It's sickening what some of these men do. I've printed out his profile and the messages he's posted and have them hidden away. I keep wondering how am I going to survive this chapter of my life. It's so devastating. 

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain, when you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ~ Haruki Murakami ~

December 30, 2017 6:07 pm  #42

Re: Keeping Their Secret

Thanks so much, Dee.  I don't know whether he would even want a divorce -- he regards himself as very Catholic and on occasion he's remarked that he "doesn't believe" in divorce (yes my eyes are rolling even as I type that).  I don't think he wants out of the marriage at all.  I haven't had a chance to think about what I want.

Relinquere fraudator, vitam lucrari.

December 31, 2017 7:57 am  #43

Re: Keeping Their Secret

Dear walkbymyself:
You may be new here and still in shock, but, boy, are you thinking with a clarity as sharp as a knife!  Your words about the effect and costs of keeping his secret have expressed my experience so exactly.  

I hope you don't mind that I've excerpted from your post: 

[Louganis] said at the time that when you keep a secret, it has the effect of isolating you…When you have to lie to everybody, there can be days where you're just really upset and you just can't keep up appearances, and it's just easier to avoid all of humanity so you don't have to put on a false face...
...keeping a secret and trying to lie to keep a false narrative going comes with a real cost.  Don't impose a secret on me, against my will, and then decide I need to bear the cost of keeping your secret.
[He shouldn't] impose a secret on me and then impose another condition that benefits him but burdens me, because I will forever be cut off from my own support network and my own family and my own friends ... for his sake...


  This describes my situation and my experience so exactly it's uncanny.  For years now I have been struggling with this question of telling, and slowly making the distinction for myself between "telling my story" and "outing my husband."
    My husband dropped his trans bomb on me out of the blue with no preparation and no warning, and expected me to keep his secret.  At first, he was going to "transition" wholesale, hormones and surgery, to live as if he were a woman, but do this slowly. 
    At first, the most compelling reason for me to stay silent was my worry over the effect on my young adult son, who was still finding his way, of hearing that his father, his model for manhood, wanted to become a woman.  I wanted to wait and think, and, I suppose, I hoped this desire of his was a passing madness.  I couldn't believe that my husband, whom I'd known and experienced for over 40 years as an apparently perfectly happy male, was serious.  I hoped my husband would come to his senses.  
   As time went on, my husband decided not to come out publicly and transition but to continue to live publicly as a man and indulge his desire to act out his desires at home; his need for stealth and secrecy, however, upped the pressure on me to stay silent, a silence that, as you, walkbymyself, so clearly see, benefitted him even as it burdened me.  I especially wanted to spare my son the same kind of anguish and questioning I was experiencing, about my past, my future, and my status as a woman, and questioned whether he needed to know, now that his father had decided to stay private.  But the result was exactly what Louganis said: I isolated myself, from my family, from my friends, and from my colleagues at work.  It was so difficult to talk to them, knowing that I couldn't talk to them about what was going on in my life.  I could no longer live authentically.  I was always guarding my eyes, and speaking as if from behind a glass wall.  His (limited) authenticity came at the cost of my authenticity.
    What I didn't realize was the full extent to which this was hurting me while benefitting him.  While I was suffering, bearing the burden of silence in public and the shock and humiliation of his actions in private, and avoiding my own family, I got the reputation of being aloof with his family (I was cast as the "problem" in our marriage), and disengaged (at work), while he carried on showing the same face to the world as always.  
  The pressure on me kept mounting, and the silence took its toll in my physical and emotional health.  And still I believed that I was obligated to keep his secret (the ethics of "outing"); I also wanted to keep it to spare my son. And I loved my husband, and didn't want to hurt him. 
   What changed?  Over time I began to realize that although I was sacrificing, and worrying about our son, and doing so out of the conviction that we were a committed couple, navigating a difficult stretch of our marriage, he was not operating from the same assumptions and the same sense of a shared life.
  I saw that he was making decisions unilaterally; I saw that he didn't, couldn't, and wouldn't consider me, my feeling, and any future we would have together. I realized he was and is fine with expecting me to sacrifice my health and my authenticity in order to preserve his secret and private life.  I realized that a man who loved me wouldn't do to me what he was doing, wouldn't expect of me what he was expecting, or find the cost to me acceptable.  
 Slowly, I began to reach out to those in my life I could trust and who had my best interests at heart.  To do so was transformative, the first step to regaining my self, my health, and a future that didn't fill me with despair when I thought of the compromises I would have to make, the humiliations I would have to endure, the anger I would have to suppress, as the wife of a closeted autogynephile.  
  Slowly, the circle of those I've told has widened: friends, colleagues, family.  I still haven't worked out when and what to tell my son, but as I plan to tell my husband in March that we must divorce, I'll be facing that challenge in a few months.  If anyone has advice on how best to do this or what to expect, I'd appreciate hearing it.  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (December 31, 2017 8:18 am)


December 31, 2017 9:08 am  #44

Re: Keeping Their Secret

"Over time I began to realize that although I was sacrificing, and worrying about our son, and doing so out of the conviction that we were a committed couple, navigating a difficult stretch of our marriage, he was not operating from the same assumptions and the same sense of a shared life.
  I saw that he was making decisions unilaterally; I saw that he didn't, couldn't, and wouldn't consider me, my feeling, and any future we would have together. "

This is also an issue in my marriage.  His career has required us to relocate numerous times, which really prevented me from ever building up the kind of personal business relationships I would have needed in order for me to be successful professionally.  Now, even though we live in a community property state, there are times when I see his subconscious bias: that "our" money is actually "his" money, that he's earned it while I married it, that if there's a difference of opinion about how we spend it, his vote should be the tiebreaker because he earned it.  It's left me feeling like some kind of charity case.

I always assumed that I was giving up my earnings potential because we were a team.  Now I just feel like a possession, here to give him a bit of respectability and getting to tag along while he lives his life.  I always knew he resented me, but sometimes I think he resents me because he knows he's being mean, and he gets mean because he feels guilty and wants to justify it.  It has this snowballing effect, and what started it all was the fact that he knows he's a rotten husband.


Last edited by walkbymyself (December 31, 2017 9:09 am)

Relinquere fraudator, vitam lucrari.

December 31, 2017 9:54 am  #45

Re: Keeping Their Secret

"I think he resents me because he knows he's being mean, and he gets mean because he feels guilty and wants to justify it."

Yes.  Classic case of projection.  But any actual guilt he feels--and I'm sure he feels it, some, occasionally--is matched by his resentment, which fuels that sense of entitlement (the one that comes out as his having the last word on spending money, and your feeling you're a "possession" who gets to "tag along" but not an actual part of his life).  He married you because he wanted the "wife" and the "life," but he resents the fact that in order to get the "life" he had to have a "wife."  So he feels put upon (by whatever it is that makes him feel he can't live authentically as a gay man--his Catholicism?), and resentful (of what he sees as the necessity of marrying a woman, and of you, the sign and symbol of that necessity), and entitled (to his secret life).  It does have a snowballing effect, between the two of you, certainly, but also in him, in warping his personality--all that compartmentalizing produces what I call "the pathology of the closet." 
   I know this: my husband will probably never change because he is is disordered to a degree and in a way that I can only begin to fathom (let alone understand!). (And I don't just mean his autogynephilia; I also mean the psychological warping that has happened to him as a result of confusion, shame, repression, and hiding.)  I also know it isn't my responsibility to accommodate his pathology, and that as long as I impose no consequences for his actions (I want to use the word "trespasses"), I'm letting him get away with abusing me.  So the question really is, what boundaries do I set and what consequences am I willing to impose?  I can't carry the marriage alone; marriage takes two people committed to each other--not just to staying married.


Last edited by OutofHisCloset (December 31, 2017 9:59 am)


December 31, 2017 10:09 am  #46

Re: Keeping Their Secret


  Despite the fact that my husband and I have the exact same job and make the exact same salary, I'm also had the experience of feeling that "things were only okay with him as long as he felt he was doing better than me."  Over the years I began to notice that whenever things were going particularly well for me in my career my husband would manufacture a crisis so I would transfer my attention to him.  

 Thanks, too, for that suggestion on telling my son.  I've thought about handling the telling that way.  I've also thought about saying "Your father revealed to me a marriage changing secret [the autogynephilia/cd'ing/transness] and although at first I tried to accommodate it I found I couldn't."  I wonder if I could combine what you did with that, and tell my son that if he wants to know what it is he can ask his dad--and that if his father won't tell him, I will. And tell my husband I am telling my son that.  Thoughts?



December 31, 2017 10:13 am  #47

Re: Keeping Their Secret

I think if you have a previous history of being actively supportive of gay community members and then suddenly find yourself in a gay/straight marriage yourself, you have a double shock to process.  I would think this type of situation would not only force you to deal with the agony of your marriage situation but would also intuitively cause you to reevaluate your previous beliefs.  I think we all are forced to do this in some form or another when we find out our spouse is gay.  Some of us modify our beliefs, some of us solidify our beliefs.  Some of us radically change our beliefs.  This process is personal and everyone, including you, has the right and the responsibility to stand in their truth. 

When you are silenced, you cannot heal for your pain remains invalidated.  Healing from emotional pain requires humans to connect/share with others for that is how we validate our experiences and our inner self.  When you cannot speak, your silent screams continue and the trauma only increases.  

When you read the posts here, you often find one of the common themes running through the stories is the silence and isolation that many of us endured during our marriages.  How often do you read of someone feeling shame or having fear of being called a homophobe if they speak out?   Silencing and isolating another has ties to narcissism and sociopathic behaviors.  You have no need to feel shame; you are not the one that chose such a vile level of deceit and abuse.  If the gay community wants to achieve a higher level of acceptance in society it must teach its members to take full responsibility for their actions, honestly own who they are, stop tolerating the abuses its members dole out on heterosexuals and not resort to ridiculous name calling in an attempt to silence those with whom they need to have an honest discourse.  

It is a fact that many gay spouses seek to destroy the straight spouse's credibility in order to control the straight spouse once their secret is revealed.  This is their truth and another indicator of their mental state but it is not yours so don't be coerced into their manipulative behaviors.  As you decide to whom and when you will tell your story, know that your healing depends on you sharing your experiences with others (that's why this forum is so fabulous). Take some time to reflect on what will help you the most when you decide to speak, what you need to begin the healing process.  This reflection can be especially difficult because we often have learned that to survive in our marriages, we were not allowed to have needs, let alone have them fulfilled. Toss this thinking out of your neural network!  Grab a pen, paper and some reflection time and think about what you want to say and how saying it moves your life forward!  Scrap what doesn't move you forward, refine what does and stand firm in your truth!  When you are ready, share away!



January 2, 2018 1:00 pm  #48

Re: Keeping Their Secret

Here's the thing - if what they're doing is so "okay", then they should have no issues with it being made public.  Lots of people are very private, and they wish to keep their private business that way.  Let's use something more benign as an example.  I had weight loss surgery recently.  There is an entire forum of people who've done the same.  There was recently talk of whether they should be making this action public.  Some (like me) said yes - I'm excited about it and I'm happy with my decision.  Others said that they prefer to keep their surgery private - they wouldn't go blasting news of an ingrown toenail surgery, and this is their business.  Neither are wrong.  There were still others who said that they didn't want to make the news public (meaning they're telling NO ONE) because they didn't want the pressure of having to show the weight loss.  Or of people feeling that it wasn't truly work, because of the surgery.  Well, okay - but then what you're saying is that even YOU don't believe in your hard work.  Because when you believe in something and you don't feel the need to defend it, you couldn't care less what others think.  You are happy with the results (which you presumably did for yourself), and you don't need outside approval to feel that.  If they think it wasn't really work, then to hell with them and their opinions.  You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

Now let's look at the gay thing.  Whether these spouses are cross-dressing or sleeping with members of the same sex, if what they're doing is just fine, then they shouldn't have any issue whatsoever with letting that information go public.  If, however, they're going to listen to the small voice that says, "This doesn't reflect well on me", then fine - then don't do the thing.  You can't have it both ways.  People who don't know you and have no vested interest in your life have no reason to know details about your intimate life.  But,.... if you can't wear something without shame, you have to think of whether you should let the shame make the decision for you.  It's either that it's okay and there's no shame in it, or you don't want to let this secret out because it's not a good thing for you to do.  You can't have it both ways.  And that's what they want - they want US to accept them, and demand that right.  Then they go into hiding with others.  I'm sorry, but that's cowardly.  And I won't let you put me in the closet because you made poor decisions about putting me in there in the first place.  I don't belong there, I refuse to live there, and you don't get to make that decision.  You gave up rights to make decisions regarding ONLY your OWN life when you tied yourself to others.


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

January 2, 2018 2:32 pm  #49

Re: Keeping Their Secret

 I'm in stealth mode for a couple more months and need to stay that way; I think if I tell my son it will get back to my husband.


January 2, 2018 2:45 pm  #50

Re: Keeping Their Secret

I don't think I'm ready to post my story just yet.  It's so long and complicated, and there are so many painful details I don't think I can handle dwelling on.  Another problem for me: this forum is readable by anybody, and for me to describe my situation would involve my including details that my husband would theoretically recognize, if he were poking around trying to figure out whether I'm on this forum.

I'm not sure whether I'd be better off financially by getting a divorce, or by getting some kind of formalized separation agreement -- without an actual divorce -- that would assure me reliable financial resources of my own, without having to ask his permission for everything and run every last purchase by him for his scrutiny.  This is a bit of a circular problem, because without having money I can spend in private, I can't very well write a big check to a lawyer.

Lynn, I get your point completely.  OutOfHisCloset, I think I'm in a similar position.

I don't want to tell my daughter right now, because she's in her last semester at school.  I don't want her struggling to go through the motions, being distracted and unable to concentrate or focus.  And, she very well may have suspicions of her own.  I wouldn't rule it out.  She has been watching me a lot these past few weeks, and she may be trying to protect me from finding something out she thinks will hurt me.

Last edited by walkbymyself (January 2, 2018 2:46 pm)

Relinquere fraudator, vitam lucrari.

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