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March 29, 2022 10:39 am  #1

An open letter to my LGBT spouse

Hi everyone. I'm new here. I got together with my LGBT spouse in 2000, when we were 18 and 16. We married in 2008 and have two children.  In 2020, we separated when she finally came out as gay and non-binary. Our divorce will be complete in a few weeks.

A Medium blog post by P. L. Sheffield encourages Straight Spouses to ask themselves the following question:

Did YOU feel loved, respected and valued (or whatever qualities you think are important in a relationship) by your partner?

This question helped me confront some very challenging realisations. I wrote them out as a letter to my ex partner (not sure if I will ever send it). I thought I would share them here in case these are reflections that others have struggled with. 


I did not feel respected. Whatever I did, it wasn't good enough for you. It didn't satisfy you. You were always searching for something more. A bigger house, two cats, a camper van, a log burner, a new kitchen, a remodelled garden, a motorhome tour of Europe, a dog. You were never happy or settled. You always got what you wanted, even if didn't like or wasn't convinced by the idea at first. You used to joke about how you would always manage to convince me, talk me round, be proven right in the end. The one thing I wouldn't give you is a third child. Now I see that you'll get that anyway, just not from me. Everything we did, every parenting decision we made, it was always your way or the highway. Co-sleeping, baby led weaning, babywearing, breast feeding til 5, attachment parenting, gentle parenting. All of it was your idea and any time I questioned whether it was practical or queried alternatives, you shut me down by saying you knew better because you'd studied it, you were a teacher, you'd already joined all the Facebook groups and done your research. It was never a discussion. It was suffocating and I quickly learned I would never, ever, change your mind once you'd convinced yourself about something. So I gave up trying because I learned it was easier to let you take the lead.

I did not feel valued. I worked so hard for so long to try to give you the things you wanted, to make you happy. But if never did. Once you got it, you wanted the next thing. We borrowed so much money by re-mortgaging to fund your desires. You guilt tripped me and put me down for working hard to support our family. But I had to. To fund the lifestyle you wanted. To allow you the freedom to start your own business. When I tried to do something for myself and for our future, by studying for a master's, you constantly told me it was too much to take on, made me feel bad for pushing myself, made me feel guilty for asking for time to focus on my studies. Instead of supporting me and encouraging me, you told me I was trying too hard and taking on too much. Told me I should quit. You made me feel I was being selfish for wanting to better myself.  Eventually I gave in. I crumbled under the pressure and got myself signed off work. I convinced myself I was stupid for thinking I could study on top of work.  You convinced me I needed therapy and medication when all I really needed was a supportive partner. You never asked about my work. You were only ever interested in talking about your own business. By contrast, I did everything I could to support your work. The photoshoots, the websites I built for you, the early Saturday morning trips to wedding fayres and forest school sessions. I never complained when your work spilled into our weekends; I understood that was the nature of the partnership we built. But you regularly used the fact that I arrived home late after commuting from London against me. When we argued, you told me I was never there, or I was always away, making out like I was some kind of absent father.

I did not feel loved or wanted for a large part of our marriage. You disliked when I tried to instigate anything intimate and pushed me away. You didn't like me casually affectionately touching you or maybe giving your bum a squeeze. You taught me that I was demeaning you by doing that, like I was wrong for wanting or expecting that kind of human contact. We spent so many nights arguing in bed after an aborted attempt to have sex, because I said something suggestive or 'dirty', because I touched you in the wrong way, because I tried to suggest or guide you towards something sexual that you didn't feel comfortable with. You shut down any attempt I made to communicate my desires - either verbally or through body language - and told me I had to 'go with the flow'. ln other words, you had to be in control. Sex became rare, repetitive, and always had to be on your terms, the way you wanted it to be. It was never about my needs or desires. I had no other sexual experience to compare with besides you, so I didn't know any different. I told myself it was wrong and somehow 'anti-feminist' of me to expect you to show desire towards me, that this is just what sex was like for married couples. I now know that none of this was normal. You were manipulating me to protect yourself, so that you could live the life you wanted. You were gaslighting me so I wouldn't question things, so you could stay hidden in our marriage and enjoy the benefits, without having to confront your own truth. You suppressed and controlled my desire for intimacy because it made you feel uncomfortable. 


March 29, 2022 11:55 am  #2

Re: An open letter to my LGBT spouse

Hi rickbert,

what a good letter, thanks for posting it.  I don't really think there's any point in sending it to your stbx, it's just more good stuff she can trash.

it's horrible isn't it.  waking up to how badly you've been treated by your spouse.  

I found the divorce phase very stressful - much better once it was over.  Nothing can give you your life back but you sound very strong and resilient.  Hope the right woman comes your way - that can bring a lot of happiness.

wishing you all the best, Lily


March 29, 2022 1:42 pm  #3

Re: An open letter to my LGBT spouse

Rickbert....my partner (we're still together....) sent me an email in 2018. It was the the email that eventually led me to this Forum, made me seek counselling, confide in friends & family, see my life for what it was, drove me to make decisions I never thought I'd make.
I still have that email. I had two copies of it printed and attached to my Will that go to 2 of my children. It's strange but I still can't bring myself to let anyone read it, mostly because their reaction may not be as supportive as I would want, but when I'm no longer here it won't matter. 
I don't care if the man who tipped my life upside down never reads it. He already knows what he's done even though he'd never admit it to anybody. 

Those who deserve to know your pain are the ones you love, not those who hurt you


KIA KAHA                       

March 29, 2022 4:59 pm  #4

Re: An open letter to my LGBT spouse

I think the value in this sort of letter is in the writing, not the sending. There likely is no real reason to send it. It may create anger, be ignored or be used against you. By writing this out, you get the opportunity to really think about your journey. You may discover realizations about things that didn't make sense during the maelstrom. For what it's worth, I could also write a similar letter about respect, value and desire. It had a great first act but it all changed in Act Two.

You may find the next few weeks a bit tough. Hold the course. Be well.

“The future is unwritten.”
― Joe Strummer

March 30, 2022 6:47 am  #5

Re: An open letter to my LGBT spouse

Yep could have wrote that word for word.

Nothing was ever enough,  there was no money left but she did all the budgeting.


It sounds like you did all you humanly could to love and support your spouse.  I truly believe now it was God saving me from abuse and stress trying to support her to no avail.  We should not light ourselves on fire to keep someone else warm.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7

March 30, 2022 8:30 am  #6

Re: An open letter to my LGBT spouse

Elle, share that e mail. Your children deserve to know.


March 31, 2022 7:32 am  #7

Re: An open letter to my LGBT spouse

Rickbert - your first paragraph resonated with me.  It's my opinion that many in-closet LGB (and especially Trans) partners are searching for something ...  A bigger house, boat, new career, new love interest may make someone feel satisfied, for awhile, but it won't last if you are unhappy with yourself.  

In our last 5 years together, my ex-husband dragged me along on endless trips and vacations.  We would barely arrive at our destination and he was already talking about where we would go next.  He was trying to escape from himself.  

Thank you for sharing your letter.  I don't think it would be beneficial to send it to your wife.  She sounds self-righteous.  You will move on.  It takes time.  Best wishes to you.  


March 31, 2022 8:10 am  #8

Re: An open letter to my LGBT spouse

It resonates with me as well. Ex-wife was always looking for something new. New curtains. New furniture. New car. When all the time what she wanted was a new life with a new wife. Nothing really made her happy. Don't know if she is now or not. Not me monkeys. Not my circus.


April 24, 2022 6:11 pm  #9

Re: An open letter to my LGBT spouse

Hi Sean, I'm from Argentina so I'll use a translator and I hope you can understand my message well. I was in a relationship for 5 years with the perfect man, everyone said that we were made for each other. he and his family did not support the lgbt community. I taught him that love is love no matter what. We planned a life together and a few months ago we took the step of living together. he began to change, he looked at me ugly and he was always in a bad mood, so much so that two months ago we decided to take some time to think. We met again two weeks ago and he told me that he was no longer in love but that he loved me as a friend, I couldn't understand until he finally confirmed that he has been attracted to men since he was 12 years old. I collapse, I end my future and my life, I don't want to live anymore. It was so perfect that I don't understand. I have the illusion that he is a passenger, we continue to see each other and we had sex but last night he told me that he no longer wants to lie to himself. that today his way is that but he is in the closet and he says that he needs me by his side as a friend but I can't Sean, I can't. and more when he tells me that he still likes women. I don't know what to think, I want to wait for him but I don't believe in bisexuality, I feel that he is totally gay. He is the most incredible person I have met in my life, he helped me to be a better person. I love him but I hate him at the same time, how could he deceive me, betray me like that??? I have to accept being his friend after what he did to me???


April 25, 2022 8:30 am  #10

Re: An open letter to my LGBT spouse

I also do not believe in bisexuality. I was in a relationship for ten years with a man that I thought was straight. In 2019, his behavior began to change towards me. I found several red flags but he would not admit to being gay or even bi. It was a shock. I know how you feel. Please know that I am holding a good thought for you.


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