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June 7, 2019 7:10 pm  #1

Stumbled upon the unexpected

My husband and I have been married for 3 years now. 2 kids and an overall great marriage. I recently was on my husbands phone looking at his email to figure out what kind of brushes he recently bought for his hair so that I wouldn’t buy the same ones for Fathers Day. He is African American so he buys the wave brushes and such so I wasn’t sure of the number brush he recently purchased. In his email I stumbled upon an email regarding registration for a gay dating, hookup and cursing site. I was SHOCKED! In the past I have seen him looking up gay porn and he stated that it was curiosity so I brushed it off. Also I have found a makeup stash in our home... he admitted to wearing the makeup late at night when I was away for work. We briefly spoke about it because he related it to a childhood trauma he experienced and that it made him feel like someone he wasn’t.
I need advice on how to start the conversation regarding the gay dating profile he has created. I feel as though he may be confused on his sexuality which is completely fine but I need to know how he feels and what to do next. I feel as though registering on a gay dating site is cheating and curiosity is not an excuse for this...

Thank you.


June 7, 2019 7:18 pm  #2

Re: Stumbled upon the unexpected

Hi, I think you're right it's cheating.  And cheating on a profound level seeing as you didn't know he was interested in hooking up with men.  So rather than thinking about how can I initiate a conversation with him I suggest you wait a while watch and observe and think about it all privately.

He's always known he likes men, you have just found out and it is happening behind your back.  This is a massive red flag in terms of trust.  Take time to yourself first before letting him know you know if that's possible.

wishing you all the best, Lily


June 7, 2019 7:26 pm  #3

Re: Stumbled upon the unexpected

Thank you Lily. I feel as though I do need reassurance that this isn’t okay and is considered cheating. It has been 4 days and has been weighing on my mind very heavy. Thank you for your reply!

     Thread Starter

June 7, 2019 7:40 pm  #4

Re: Stumbled upon the unexpected

no worries!  (that's Australian)

Yes awful bad cheating.  You're in shock right now.  It's bad.  The main things to do are keep breathing, keep eating and drink lots of water.  Rest whenever you can.  Be kind to yourself at all times in the way you talk to yourself.  Self criticism is great but not right now you don't have the place for it - be your own best friend now.

and trust yourself.  Visit to the doctor, a talk with a friend you can trust, post here.  Try to hang back from talking with him, give yourself a bit of space and time to absorb the news.



June 7, 2019 7:49 pm  #5

Re: Stumbled upon the unexpected

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Such kind words that I really needed to hear. I really appreciate it!

     Thread Starter

June 8, 2019 7:36 am  #6

Re: Stumbled upon the unexpected

I agree that this is cheating.  I also agree that it is a good idea to wait and watch for a while.  It is hard, I know from my own experience.

I suggest you immediately find a friend or family member to confide in, someone you trust to be private and totally supportive.  Someone who will listen without judgement toward your  changing feelings on any given day, as you work through all the feelings.  Being isolated is really really hard, and these discoveries tend to isolate us right when we need the clarity that other people can offer us, as our sense of reality and our trust in our own intuition are taking a big hit.

A therapist too.

When I had a similar experience, but after 28 years together, I seemed to know the truth pretty fast within myself, at a kind of gut level, but I also was reeling and could not take it all in.  I got confused really quickly because it was so overwhelming.  There has been so much to work through. 

The confusion became really terrible after I discussed with my husband, because he then insisted he wanted me, and poured on the charm, and has said all kinds of head spinning things.  He also insisted he never acted on his same sex attractions. So it became this weird experience of “what is true?” And “what is acting on it” and “he says I am unreasonable—am I?” And “he says he was driven to this because he felt alienated from me because he says I never care about him.. I had to defend myself for feeling betrayed.

He may have actually done something you did not see a record of. I would guess good chances of him already having acted.  Get tested for STDs— he was definitely on that path with intention  if not there already.  He is actively looking at the very least.

I doubt he is confused, although he may say this if he believes it will confuse YOU.  I think he knows his sexual attractions.  He does not want to tell you about them, and he may even want to deny this to himself—but for him to sign up for a gay hookup site is an action that he took—with multiple steps required—reality was staring him in the face and leaping our of his fingers as they typed. 

Hiding this kind of secret, about your sexual attractions, is a kind of abuse in an intimate relationship—to withhold something so obviously important to the other person, and for a long period of time.  He has withheld from you significant knowledge about your own life, so that you are living in a false reality where you cannot make informed decisions about your own life.  Meanwhile, he knows what is going on.  Reminds me of the play/movie, “Wait Until Dark.”  It is a horror story because the criminals are manipulating the unsuspecting blind woman.

if he can keep a secret like this, you cannot trust him. He is betraying you by loving  his secret more than showing you basic human decency. 

My therapist told me to take photos of the phone history I discovered.  I am very very glad I did this, because sometimes looking st those photos reminded me of reality.  I took photos using my phone.  I was very careful to make sure all photo sharing was off in the cloud and Dropbox and any possible way.  I saved the photos to a password protected file, and then deleted them from my photo album.  I also found the “garbage” or “recently deleted” file and deleted everything there.

I think porn itself is betrayal, although others do not feel that way.

I think the makeup is a red flag.  That also is a specific behavior.  It is not an internal longing.  It is an action that he took with his own body.  What the makeup means?  At the very least, taking him at face value, he wants to dress up as someone he is not.  Is he dressing up for cruising?  For gay bars? Is this cross dressing? Is this some kind of gender dysphoria?  That he was keeping this secret suggests he thinks there is something he needs to hide,  When a person makes an excuse for something, it is actually them saying “there is something here that I know is a problem.”  If not, then why hide it?  If not, then why excuse it?

If you are going to wait to discuss it with him, think about how to handle sex safely.  If he is hooking up, you are at risk of picking up STDs any time you have unprotected sex.  Also, for me, having sex with my husband after realizing he was likely hooking up—even if he just wanted to hookup—even if he was just fantasizing—that made sex for me feel like a kind of assault—it was so emotionally painful to always be thinking that he wanted someone else—who I could never  be.  So I remembered the images I had seen in his phone history every time, and wondered if he was just using me as a kind of tool to aid his fantasies.

When you do talk with him about this, choose a safe place.  Since he has been lying to you for years, you have no idea how he will react. 

I finally decided to just start a conversation.  “hey, I saw this, tell me about it.”   Anytime he deflected, I would say something like, “sure that is important for us to talk about sometime, but now we are talking about this.”

Last edited by OnMyOwnTwoFeet (June 8, 2019 7:46 am)


June 8, 2019 7:53 am  #7

Re: Stumbled upon the unexpected

I know you want to believe your husband "is confused about his sexuality," but gIven that
1) you work late at night while your husband is home, and that he uses make up during that time;
2) he's on a gay dating/cruising/hook-up site;
3) you've caught him before watching gay porn;
it's more likely he's not confused at all, but acting on the down low while using you and your children as beards (cover).  He's living an outwardly straight life while secretly having sex with men.  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (June 8, 2019 10:49 am)


June 21, 2019 12:55 pm  #8

Re: Stumbled upon the unexpected

Hi Afraid,

I want to add my experience in support of what the others here have said: please think about what you want to ask for, and carefully choose the time and place ... if possible, find a way to speak that's non-confrontational.  But while you're doing this, you need to find out for yourself how far he's gone, or how involved he is.

I was never, ever the kind of wife who would read her husband's private e-mails or texts.  That was then, this is now.  I know the only way I can protect my own self-interest is if I know the absolute and unvarnished truth, and my husband is not honest enough to tell it to me.  So I need to find it for myself, even if it involves doing something really distasteful or upsetting, like snooping.

We all started with one discovery, that led to the next one, that led to the next one.  If I'd confronted my husband the day I made the first discovery -- I found a viagra that had fallen out of his pocket when he'd been sitting on the sofa waiting to go out with friends -- my husband would have confessed only to the stuff he knew he'd already been busted for.  So when the day finally came that I spoke up, he said "This would be a lot easier if you just told me what you've found out."  I replied that I wasn't going to do that, because he had a longstanding history of only confessing to stuff he knew he'd already been caught at.

That's the kind of mind game a lot of these guys play.  What you need to know is the truth, and it's possible you won't hear it from him.  I agree with everyone else here: keep looking.  We all started with one little discovery, and ultimately over the course of months we all discovered that things were much, much worse than we'd initially believed.


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