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July 25, 2021 3:09 pm  #1


Late in Life Discovery

I am 67; my husband 71. We have been married for more than 40 years. Several months ago I discovered he was watching sexually explicit movies about gay men on mainstream venues, e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Dekkoo. I don't know if this is considered porn, but possibly soft porn. Also viewing You Tube videos about gay men. This was happening multiple times each week. I also discovered a box of condoms in his bag (none missing). When I challenged him about these things, he said "I deeply sympathize with the difficulties gay men face in their lives. The movies tell their stories." and "I'm not gay, but I am curious." He said he started doubting his sexuality during high school, but knew he wanted to get married and have a family so "never went there." He said he had never acted on those feelings and never had a relationship with another man. He said that if anything he was on the straight side of bisexual (in a later talk, he described himself as being on the gay side of bi). He didn't have an explanation for the condoms except that he bought them on a whim and that this was such a small thing he didn't understand why I was so focused on that.

We have had multiple subsequent discussions. Each time we talk, I learn a little bit more. He has been viewing gay videos for several years--more the past 5 years. He had several hints during his life that he was gay (for example, as a boy the first thing he would look at when the Sear &  Roebuck catalog came was the boys underwear section). He was attracted to one boy during high school, but also dated a couple of girls. He saw a counselor when he was in college to find out if he was gay. The counselor told him he could not be gay because he wanted to get married and have a family. Well, he found me, we married, and had 3 children, now adults. I asked him the beach question: if you were on a beach with women in bikinis and men in their Speedos, who would you be looking at? He said "the men." Our sex life was always difficult, not satisfying for me. My perspective is that it was focused almost entirely on him. He didn't show that much interest in touching or enjoying my body--it was get right to the main event, so to speak. I offered to show him how to help me come to orgasm, but he wasn't interested. It all felt very mechanical. There was little to no touching or affection shown to me in our daily lives. When I wanted to talk to him about this or other issues, he would refuse to talk--just stay silent and ignore me. If I asked again a couple days later, he would sometimes talk about it --he said he had just needed time to think it over. But more often there would just be this tension between us until one of us broke the ice, the issue was never discussed, and we went back to "normal." He has had low self-esteem and depression for our entire married life. When he was around 40, he started having problems with ED, likely related to diabetes. These issues worsened until he/we eventually just gave up, and we haven't had sex for 12 years. He told me recently that he no longer has any erections--from the diabetes and from meds he is on for prostate enlargement. I now wonder if at least a part of this could be from him being gay.

We have been living like friendly roommates. We have barely touched each other. With my discovery of the videos and the condoms, I feel our communication and sex issues have been because he is gay. He does not see it that way. He thinks our marriage has been fine--good, actually. He said he thought my involvement in my work as well as his "workaholic" habits kept us from being closer--nothing to do with his sexual orientation. I shared my anger about not having a choice about being married to a gay or bisexual man. He said he was sorry I felt I didn't have a choice. I  expressed empathy to him for having to suppress his attraction to men for his entire life. He said he wasn't attracted to men--he was curious about sex between men and that curiosity is what he was suppressing. ??????? I don't get that at all. He also said he was "fascinated by the male body." How could he be so fascinated and yet deny an attraction??

He continues to insist he has not acted on his SSA. I don't know whether I should believe him or not. I am not aware of him ever lying to me, but this would be a big and important secret for him to keep. We have talked more since my discovery than we have in years. He seems to be working on figuring out who he is. He is seeing a counselor and so am I. He has watched several of the interviews on the Graying Rainbows podcast, but says he can't really relate because they all made the decision to come out, and he is not at all interested in that. He is planning to attend a LGBT+ support group for men over 50. I am just having trouble making a decision about staying in this marriage, separating, or divorcing. I don't know if he is gay or bi--and does it matter? He is clearly not straight. I guess it feels more justifiable for me to separate if he is gay than if he is bi. Is that crazy? I truly believe being gay (and bi?) is about more than sex, but if he is not capable of having sex, can I justify leaving him? I have been living that for many years now.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, support, or advice you may have.
 

 

July 25, 2021 4:37 pm  #2


Re: Late in Life Discovery

We had been married for 30+ years when my husband told me that he was gay and wanted a divorce. After our separation my son told me he had found gay porn on the family computer when he was in high school and knew that it had to be his dad's. (My husband had admitted to being "bi" early in our marriage when we were in counseling but said he loved me and wanted only me. We were committed to making the marriage work but after the children were born celibacy set in. I know that way of coexisting you describe).

Son left for college and following a serious health issue my husband had begun going to men's retreats where the leaders and participants all seemed to be gay. Back home he was spending a lot of time with them on his cell phone. Some of them had counseling backgrounds and most were in relationships so I was less concerned about sexual activity than my husband's physical and fragile mental health. His parents had major health issues and I did not want to put him into crisis by asking "What the H___is going on??"

Sorry for the rambling but if your husband is watching gay movies and heading off to "a LGBT+ support group for men over 50+" prepare to spend more time alone as he makes new friends and hangs out with them. The question is not is he gay but how do you want to live the rest of your life?

And you don't have to justify your decision to anyone.

 




 

Last edited by Abby (July 25, 2021 4:38 pm)


Try Gardening. It'll keep you grounded.
 

July 25, 2021 5:17 pm  #3


Re: Late in Life Discovery

QuietOne wrote:

I don't know if he is gay or bi--and does it matter? He is clearly not straight. I guess it feels more justifiable for me to separate if he is gay than if he is bi. Is that crazy? I truly believe being gay (and bi?) is about more than sex, but if he is not capable of having sex, can I justify leaving him? I have been living that for many years now.

He is not straight.. sex is clearly not the reason you consider leaving since you have already not had it for 12 years... it is the fact that he is not a straight person and there is lies and betrayal which marriage needs is honesty and commitment.  I also think that now they do not want to admit to being gay and they say they are bi.. if that is the case you would have want to do things with a woman even if it does not require penatration .. my GH was like i think i am bi and i am like you are not.. bi because you dont want to do anything with women and you only want men.  And I can tell you you are scratching the surface, they are very capable of spending a lifetime lying to your face... i had no idea my amazing husband was one ....gay, sexting, watching gay porn, having social media gay friends and even found an emotional boyfriend on social media and all of this i found in 1 month... and i doubt i have even gotten below the surface.

I for one do not want to live a lie and want to live my life in honestly and peace even if that means it is alone.  I know many people can but I will not give this more time than is necessary.  I have been lied enough and given up enough of my life to satisfy a lie for someone else. 

 

July 25, 2021 7:51 pm  #4


Re: Late in Life Discovery

QuietOne, I am so sorry you are going through the 'trickle truth' experience. Its very common during the discovery period.  And ...
Men don't buy condoms on a whim. You found a new pack, pack 1 or pack 101 only your husband knows. And he ain't telling. Like he ain't telling you anything except what you already found out.

He watches gay porn. He won't have sex with you but he carries condoms so is ready for sex with people who aren't you.

He shows you little/no affection. Your marriage is good for him, but not satisfactory for you. His answer to that is for him to say he's not gay and go to an LGBT+ support group.

Call me crazy but I think he's playing you. This will go on as long as he gets away with it. Your unhappiness doesn't really come in to his equations. The cover and the comfortable life you provide for him are what matters.

The big and only question is: is this acceptable to you? If it is not, see a good lawyer pronto and see what divorce looks like for you. Its a lot better use of your time than playing detective while your husband plays around.

 

July 25, 2021 8:02 pm  #5


Re: Late in Life Discovery

Welcome, so sorry this has occurred in your life.

What do you think about all this?  Soft gay porn? Condoms? Never mind what he says. In my opinion you have found two very big red flags.

I think a marriage is a very private thing and I don’t believe you have to provide or justify your reasons for leaving to anyone unless you choose to do so.

The real questions are what to you truly want, need? Seek legal advice, it’s very important moving forward in any and all decisions you might want/need to take.

Another important consideration, what if he becomes ill? Then what?

Consider what you truly want.

Take care


I never cease to wonder at the cruelty of this land, but it seems a time of sadness is a time to understand, is it mine, oh lord is it mine, when everything is dark ….. Roger Hodgson. 
 

July 25, 2021 8:42 pm  #6


Re: Late in Life Discovery

I used to be  on a dating and f'ship site and found a plethora of men aged 60-70 on there looking for men for sexual meetings. I think something happens within them at an older age that 'allows' them to feel they should experience another man before it's too late to the detriment of their marriage. It's such a tacky & entitled thing to do!

Can you take a break from being around him? to give yourself some space, allow yourself to really think about what you want from this man. A family member you can stay with?

I know about the "living as room-mates and the no-touching" I've seen a lawyer, have family who know about my situation, reworded my Will. I'm surrounding myself with support and safeguards.

Definitely you need to see a lawyer.  and you may have to raise your voice at some point too.
We're here for you Quiet_one 

Elle


KIA KAHA                       
 

July 25, 2021 9:46 pm  #7


Re: Late in Life Discovery

Ellexoh_nz wrote:

I used to be  on a dating and f'ship site and found a plethora of men aged 60-70 on there looking for men for sexual meetings. I think something happens within them at an older age that 'allows' them to feel they should experience another man before it's too late to the detriment of their marriage. It's such a tacky & entitled thing to do!
...

Elle

Incredibly, a lot of men seem to think that gay sex isnt cheating because its not with a woman.  Oh the gymnastics of the entitled mind.

I think a good litmus test is - if we are unhappy or bored in our marriage, is our first thought to hop on the net looking for hot sex while our faithful partner does the laundry and cleans the toilet and fixes the car?  Hmm ... Didn't think so.

Cheating is a character problem not a sexuality problem.

Last edited by Soaplife (July 26, 2021 9:50 am)

 

July 27, 2021 12:08 pm  #8


Re: Late in Life Discovery

Hi quietone,

Sorry you find yourself here. If you haven't seen it, take a look at the first post of this thread - First Aid Kit: How to survive finding out your partner is LGBT

https://straightspouse.boardhost.com/viewtopic_mobile.php?id=1217

QuietOne wrote:

I also discovered a box of condoms in his bag (none missing). When I challenged him about these things, he said "I deeply sympathize with the difficulties gay men face in their lives. The movies tell their stories." and "I'm not gay, but I am curious." He said he started doubting his sexuality during high school, but knew he wanted to get married and have a family so "never went there." He said he had never acted on those feelings and never had a relationship with another man. He said that if anything he was on the straight side of bisexual (in a later talk, he described himself as being on the gay side of bi). He didn't have an explanation for the condoms except that he bought them on a whim and that this was such a small thing he didn't understand why I was so focused on that.

There's a lot of mansplaining going on there. He failed to answer your question about the condoms and blamed you because you caught him.  It's not a new flavor of a pack of breath mints. Condoms equal cheating to anyone.

QuietOne wrote:

I asked him the beach question: if you were on a beach with women in bikinis and men in their Speedos, who would you be looking at? He said "the men." Our sex life was always difficult, not satisfying for me. My perspective is that it was focused almost entirely on him. He didn't show that much interest in touching or enjoying my body--it was get right to the main event, so to speak. I offered to show him how to help me come to orgasm, but he wasn't interested. It all felt very mechanical. There was little to no touching or affection shown to me in our daily lives. When I wanted to talk to him about this or other issues, he would refuse to talk--just stay silent and ignore me. If I asked again a couple days later, he would sometimes talk about it --he said he had just needed time to think it over. But more often there would just be this tension between us until one of us broke the ice, the issue was never discussed, and we went back to "normal." He has had low self-esteem and depression for our entire married life. When he was around 40, he started having problems with ED, likely related to diabetes. These issues worsened until he/we eventually just gave up, and we haven't had sex for 12 years. He told me recently that he no longer has any erections--from the diabetes and from meds he is on for prostate enlargement. I now wonder if at least a part of this could be from him being gay.

That would be my best educated guess - he's gay.  He may not be able to have as many erections as he did years ago, but having condoms (are they expired or still good?) shows he's concerned about safe sex.

QuietOne wrote:

I shared my anger about not having a choice about being married to a gay or bisexual man. He said he was sorry I felt I didn't have a choice.

More mansplaining.  He's sorry you've discovered this and are sticking up for yourself.

QuietOne wrote:

He is planning to attend a LGBT+ support group for men over 50. I am just having trouble making a decision about staying in this marriage, separating, or divorcing. I don't know if he is gay or bi--and does it matter? He is clearly not straight. I guess it feels more justifiable for me to separate if he is gay than if he is bi. Is that crazy? I truly believe being gay (and bi?) is about more than sex, but if he is not capable of having sex, can I justify leaving him? I have been living that for many years now.
 

 
What do you want to do? In my opinion, he wants to keep his sexuality private. This is not ok unless he has your permission.

Leaving costs money and assume you guys are retired. Would you take a big financial hit if you split households?  I would visit a family law attorney without him knowing to see what your legal and financial rights are. This will help you make an informed decision.

I divorced my GIDXH after a long term marriage. He specialized in mansplaining and word salad. He displayed zero effort towards being a good husband. It was the best part of my marriage.

Best regards,
Maria


No - It's not too late. It's not hopeless. Even there, there's something I can do. I just have to find the will. Ikiru (1952), film directed by Akira Kurosawa 
 

July 27, 2021 12:51 pm  #9


Re: Late in Life Discovery

"He said he was sorry I felt I didn't have a choice."

Notice he didn't say "I'm sorry I deceived you and married you under false pretenses."  He tried to make it seem as if you felt you didn't have a choice, not that you didn't have a choice (because you didn't know).  

 Whether he's bi or gay he's not straight, he's clearly is looking to act on his sexuality (whatever it is), and he's moving to join that community (via the support group).  

 Your best move right now is to visit a family law lawyer and find out what your rights are under the law, so you have some concrete financial information to inform your thinking about options.  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (July 27, 2021 12:52 pm)

 

July 27, 2021 2:44 pm  #10


Re: Late in Life Discovery

I'm so sorry, QuietOne. There are no words. 

To add to the chorus, condoms are a choice. You don't buy them accidentally. You don't buy a box if you don't want bulk. You don't buy them if you have ED or no interest in sex. You don't buy them if you are in a committed relationship. And you certainly don't carry them around in your bag if you don't believe they are going to be needed, especially when you're 70.

My guess is that his bag was a gym bag or a spa bag? It is highly likely he was meeting men at this space or during this time.

I'm male and had never dated online until 2021. The most shocking finding was how easy it would be to hook up with men. I could literally start an account and have sex in about an hour. Many proactive offers in a day, and I'm clearly marked as straight. This isn't to alarm you, just indicate that his desire for men, searching for male porn, paired with the condoms is more than enough information to indicate where his mind was headed. Whether intent or action, his path towards action is clear.

If I were you I would contact a lawyer. Understanding options available to you might be best.

Wishing you strength and happiness ahead.

 

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