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June 29, 2022 5:19 am  #2021


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Sean, I have a question: what goes through their minds when they sit there and lie to your face? Even when I’m making it all “super safe” for  him?  Is that the problem- nothing can feel safe? We have a 30 year marriage, a lot of respect (I can see you rolling your eyes, but yes - in all the other channels of our relationship we do well, are well-matched) and he knows I’ll protect him, because I’ve been keeping his secrets for five years now.) But he still is wedded to preposterous stories (it was an accident he got out of the taxi on 52nd St between 9th and 10th at 1:15am, no idea gay bars around…). And that makes it very hard to manage all this to a healthy place. He just won’t budge,  Whst do you think?

 

June 30, 2022 4:15 pm  #2022


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you for writing Rose. I am responding from a new profile as I've recently upgraded to a new computer, hence the name Sean01. In reply to your message/post: 

1. Sean, I have a question: what goes through their minds when they sit there and lie to your face? Even when I’m making it all “super safe” for  him?  Is that the problem- nothing can feel safe?

If anyone is reading your questions for the first time, I seem to recall that your husband of 30 years recently came out as gay. While I'm not in his head, nor am I a mental health professional, I'm happy to share my experience as a gay ex-husband. If your husband's journey in any way resembles mine, he has likely been hiding and lying about his sexuality from about age 5 or 6. It's not that we're bad people per se it's just that we're often totally incapable of being honest about our homosexuality. 

2. We have a 30 year marriage, a lot of respect (I can see you rolling your eyes, but yes - in all the other channels of our relationship we do well, are well-matched)...

I've read this a lot over the years and it goes something like this: "I love my husband and he's my best friend." Then she provides a grocery list of lying, sexual neglect, emotional abuse, and (often) cheating. 

3. ...and he knows I’ll protect him, because I’ve been keeping his secrets for five years now.) But he still is wedded to preposterous stories (it was an accident he got out of the taxi on 52nd St between 9th and 10th at 1:15am, no idea gay bars around…).

If you listen to my recent podcast interviews with "Our Path", I do my best to debunk the bullsh*t excuses like: 

- Well I just found myself down at the gay sauna. (Truth: after doing 2 hours of internet research then walking by the sauna 15 times before entering.)
- Two men attacked me down at the gay cruising park. (Truth: I hung around the park for 2 hours, trolling for sex.)
- It (sex with another man) just happened. (Truth: I created a Grindr profile, took 15 naked photos, messaged at least 30+ guys, and after 10 days set up a sex date.)

My opinion: your husband can't stop lying to you because he's lied to himself, you, and to others his entire life. Truth and authenticity are two languages he simply doesn't understand and will never understand while still married to you. 

4. And that makes it very hard to manage all this to a healthy place. He just won’t budge,  What do you think?

I think you're currently in a mixed orientation marriage (or "MOM") and, rather than moving to a point of better communication and greater honesty, your husband is redoubling his efforts to hide his gay sexual exploits from you. And why? He probably fears that if you found out to what extent he's leading a parallel gay life, you'll likely leave him. If you read Dr. Alan Downs book "The Velvet Rage" I believe the author refers to this stage of the coming out process as "splitting" meaning your husband is one man at the dinner table and then a completely different person when cruising gay bars downtown at 1:00 a.m. 

I'm very sorry you and your family are going through this. I seem to recall your son was really suffering. How is he? Thinking of you and your family my friend. Be well. 

Last edited by Sean01 (June 30, 2022 11:45 pm)

 

July 2, 2022 6:14 am  #2023


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Sean, thank you for remembering about Charlie. I think he’s in a little bit of a better place, and a lot of what looked like psychosis was likely just too much pot. He still has a ways to go, but I think we found the right therapist - at least Charlie talks to him, maybe willing to trust a tiny bit. I think about your “get the kids out of the burning house” a lot, and I agree that it will help - but it needs to be stategic in this case, have to stabilize the exit route before we can go.
  You are also right about the splitting. I saw my husband once from behind, sitting with some of my friends, next to an attractive, out, gay man. My husband’s entire affect was different. More confident, actually. 
    My daughter seems to be coping with all of this more adaptively - her passion? Acting. 
  I also think about your “shouting at the deaf” comment. Yup. Every morning for years! Trying to treat him “fairly” to get him to “admit” there is a healthier path and help me get everyone on it. Ain’t happening, Have to do it myself. So infuriating but oh well. The word that keeps going through my head is that he’s “corrupt” — not meaning that same sex attraction is wrong in any way — but like a corrupted computer file or disk, he just isn’t going to work right. The lack of integrity will continue until he’s forced to face himself; I guess without me as a buttress. 
   The good news is that I do find that I like myself, and maybe have even greater self awareness from having to cope. The bad news is that it is still going to be hard for a while. I still have to play a part in a tale told by an (idiot?) other. For about two months. Looking at September 1st if my son is in an ok place for a transition - and I’m pretty confident that he will be, and that it will help, not hurt. Fingers crossed.  For the umpteenth time, thank you for being here. It’s a help and this stuff is hard!
   Rose

Last edited by RoseColoredGlasses (July 2, 2022 6:16 am)

 

July 2, 2022 12:45 pm  #2024


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you for writing Rose. In reply: 

1. Sean, thank you for remembering about Charlie. I think he’s in a little bit of a better place, and a lot of what looked like psychosis was likely just too much pot. He still has a ways to go, but I think we found the right therapist - at least Charlie talks to him, maybe willing to trust a tiny bit.

I'm glad he's doing better. 

2. I think about your “get the kids out of the burning house” a lot, and I agree that it will help - but it needs to be strategic in this case, have to stabilize the exit route before we can go.

Understood. But I wouldn't wait years to make a change. Living in dad's closet is a very deep, dark place for innocent kids. 

3. You are also right about the splitting. I saw my husband once from behind, sitting with some of my friends, next to an attractive, out, gay man. My husband’s entire affect was different. More confident, actually. 
   
Perhaps because he was truly himself in that moment. 

4. My daughter seems to be coping with all of this more adaptively - her passion? Acting. 

Tech-savvy kids almost always know dad's gay. Have you discussed all of this with them?  

5. I also think about your “shouting at the deaf” comment. Yup. Every morning for years! Trying to treat him “fairly” to get him to “admit” there is a healthier path and help me get everyone on it. Ain’t happening, Have to do it myself. So infuriating but oh well. 

The majority of mixed orientation marriages (or MOMs) fail. I've been posting here for years and there always comes a point when the straight spouse needs to get off his pink merry-go-round to save her own sanity. 

6. The word that keeps going through my head is that he’s “corrupt” — not meaning that same sex attraction is wrong in any way — but like a corrupted computer file or disk, he just isn’t going to work right. The lack of integrity will continue until he’s forced to face himself; I guess without me as a buttress. 
   
I re-learned honesty and only started to rebuild my integrity after separation/divorce. I'm not sure if I'd call closeted husbands "corrupt" as this has a negative ring to it. I've often described it more along the lines of learning a new language...or perhaps a new emotional language. Emotionally, I reckon you're speaking completely different languages, as if you were speaking English to him and he's responding in French. Yes the two languages are close to each other and share a similar alphabet, however, they are still completely different. You will eventually come to the conclusion that your husband will never speak the same emotional language as you. It's not that he's a bad person or didn't try hard enough. It's just that he can't. He needs to communicate with other gay men who understand him...without you.       

7. The good news is that I do find that I like myself, and maybe have even greater self awareness from having to cope. The bad news is that it is still going to be hard for a while. I still have to play a part in a tale told by an (idiot?) other.

It's hard, I know.

8. For about two months. Looking at September 1st if my son is in an ok place for a transition - and I’m pretty confident that he will be, and that it will help, not hurt. Fingers crossed. 

Interesting. What's going to happen in September? Please keep us posted. 

9. For the umpteenth time, thank you for being here. It’s a help and this stuff is hard!

Thank you for sharing Rose. Please keep coming back. 

 

July 6, 2022 6:05 am  #2025


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Sean, usually when I read your posts I think “he’s being too hard on the husbands” but when we had the exchange above about the “two languages” - backing off of the idea that the inauthenticity and dishonestly that comes with the denial is somehow “corrupt” - I got a little stuck and wondered if you were in this case letting him off the hook too easily. I think where I am landing is that there is no simple characterization that is going to be possible. Yes, he’s a good guy. Yes, he acted very badly, caused a lot of pain. No, it’s not ok just because it is same-sex, wasn’t cheating with a woman (he seems to really believe this at some level? It’s where he’s trying to land right now,)  Poor him - but actually yes, poor him. 
     I had a very dear friend die of an AIDS related leukemia in the late 90s. Somehow that helps me keep all this stuff, my pain, in perspective. It is not as easy as it should be to be gay in this world, still. (I know, I’m describing an experience that isn’t my own.) But, I think my husband (successful, community leader type) could make a difference - he can totally “afford” to give up his “heterosexual privilege” and help make the world a better place. Be an example. But he doesn’t seem to have that courage, at least today.  Anyway, what I’m driving at is that I’m going to have to accept the loose ends - Bad guy/Good guy?  Yes.
   I’m going to move out on 9/1. Found a rental. In ten years we both will be a lot healthier if we split and face the world, and ourselves, on our own for a while. It’s going to be a difficult split after a 30 year marriage. But I am sure that it is the path to health, to light.
    I am a little afraid he’s going to be mean to me. After I’ve protected his reputation, kept his secrets, tried hard to understand (we worked with Joe Kort and two other therapists! Love Joe. But if my husband isn’t telling the truth, it’a a waste of time).  I told him I’ll see it as a double betrayal if he is mean, makes the split hard. Ugh. Still, I do see the light.
    I made another donation here to Our Path, grateful for you and for the forum. A huge help in a hard time.
    Rose

 

July 6, 2022 7:59 am  #2026


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

I am happy that the members of this Forum have helped you. Please come back anytime you want to talk. After my discovery, I felt shock, anger, and sadness. It is so difficult accepting the truth.

 

July 6, 2022 10:19 am  #2027


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you for writing. In reply: 

1. Sean, usually when I read your posts I think “he’s being too hard on the husbands” but when we had the exchange above about the “two languages” - backing off of the idea that the inauthenticity and dishonestly that comes with the denial is somehow “corrupt” - I got a little stuck and wondered if you were in this case letting him off the hook too easily.

It's certainly possible...or perhaps your own perspective is now changing? What I was perhaps maladroitly trying to express was this: when it comes to a closeted husband's sexuality, no matter what his age, he reverts back to being 'child caught with hand in cookie jar' when confronted about his sexuality. So what does this mean? Like a child with cookie crumbs on his face, the closeted husband will continue bald-face lying to his wife about cheating and gay porn. It's not that he's a bad person, per se, it's simply that he's totally incapable of being honest about his homosexuality. 

2. I think where I am landing is that there is no simple characterization that is going to be possible. Yes, he’s a good guy. Yes, he acted very badly, caused a lot of pain. No, it’s not ok just because it is same-sex, wasn’t cheating with a woman (he seems to really believe this at some level? It’s where he’s trying to land right now.)  Poor him - but actually yes, poor him. 
    
If he's using a lot of "it's just sex [with another man]" and/or "I'm not cheating because I don't want a relationship with a man", these are classic excuses closeted husbands use to explain away why he's f*cking men...something I discussed in a recent "Our Path" interview. In the closeted husband's mind, he's desperately clinging to his heterosexual existence by downplaying the fact that he's having sex with men. 

3. I had a very dear friend die of an AIDS related leukemia in the late 90s. Somehow that helps me keep all this stuff, my pain, in perspective.

Your pain and suffering matter. 

4. It is not as easy as it should be to be gay in this world, still...

And even harder being married to a closeted husband I reckon. 

5. (I know, I’m describing an experience that isn’t my own.) But, I think my husband (successful, community leader type) could make a difference - he can totally “afford” to give up his “heterosexual privilege” and help make the world a better place. Be an example. But he doesn’t seem to have that courage, at least today.  Anyway, what I’m driving at is that I’m going to have to accept the loose ends - Bad guy/Good guy?  Yes.
 
And you're making a difference by honestly sharing here. 

6. I’m going to move out on 9/1. Found a rental.

Sad, but also necessary in my opinion. 

7. In ten years we both will be a lot healthier if we split and face the world, and ourselves, on our own for a while. It’s going to be a difficult split after a 30 year marriage. But I am sure that it is the path to health, to light.
   
Well said. 

8. I am a little afraid he’s going to be mean to me. After I’ve protected his reputation, kept his secrets, tried hard to understand (we worked with Joe Kort and two other therapists! Love Joe. But if my husband isn’t telling the truth, it’a a waste of time).  I told him I’ll see it as a double betrayal if he is mean, makes the split hard. Ugh. Still, I do see the light.
   
Whether he is kind or cruel during your separation is totally up to him. Sadly it's more offen the latter (cruel) so I would be prepared to limit contact or only allow contact through a third party. 

9. I made another donation here to Our Path, grateful for you and for the forum. A huge help in a hard time. 

That's very generous Rose. Thank you. Good luck and please continue to share your story, either here or on your own thread. Be well! 

 

July 18, 2022 6:13 am  #2028


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Sean,
Why do you think this sudden weight loss happens? I agree just wondered what your opinion was? My boyfriend used to weight 30 pounds more about 6 months before meeting and started working out and got really skinny

 

July 26, 2022 4:40 am  #2029


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you for writing Shh. In reply: 

1. Why do you think this sudden weight loss happens?

I believe you're referring to the "glow up" period when a gay-in-denial husband/boyfriend starts frantically losing weight, exercising, and changing his appearance to be more attractive to potential gay male partners. This is something I discussed at length in a recent podcast: 

S4 Ep 3: A “Narcissist in Recovery” Gets Real - OurPath

To listen to a closeted man's glow up being part of the coming out process, skip to 01H:15MIN:50SECS.  

2. I agree just wondered what your opinion was? My boyfriend used to weigh 30 pounds more about 6 months before meeting and started working out and got really skinny. 

As I discussed in the above podcast, the closeted male's perception of the gay community often comes from gay porn so he sometimes (wrongly) believes he has to be a tanned, handsome, buff, body shaved 20-something to attract a partner. So rapid weight loss, an obsessive interest in physical fitness, and a total change in appearance are signs that your husband/boyfriend might not be straight. 

I hope I've answered your questions but please feel free to write again. Be well! 

 

July 27, 2022 4:04 am  #2030


Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Abuse by counselor: I know, you said beware but I just did it anyway. Ouch.
   I’ve loved my husband for more thank 30 years, first read every marriage book under the sun, trying to fix it, and then a lot of gay identity books (Isay, just now your Velvet Rage) trying to understand it: why would he stay married if he wanted to cheat? Could it have been a one-time identity crisis which I should forgive, if I were a kind person? Years of his not having orgasms (I asked, for years - was it me or was it the Zoloft?) yup, the dry kisses. And the dog in between us in bed. Not to mention the boyfriend/stalker with his pictures of himself snd my husband having sex. That he sent me over my social media accounts.
    But I do love my husband. So I’ve been trying, still, to see if we could stay married. I think I mentioned, we even flew to Detroit to see Joe Kort.  My husband kept drinking a lot, and traveling a lot, but I thought we had a chance. Then I found a second burner cell - had found a first with that earlier affair. So I started moving to a split then we had to take care of our son, now in a somewhat better place. And turning back to our relationship , I agreed to yet another counselor.
    Who told me it was on me to forgive. That my husband was sitting here now, and that was all that mattered. That I needed to turn my heart from hate. That my life would be full of hate if I didn’t come back to this man who clearly wanted to make it work now.  That I should understand that there is flexibility in our desires, and that we sometime slip. He asked if the situation were reversed, wouldn’t I want to be forgiven?
    Ugh. The situation would never be reversed, not because I can’t mess up royally, but because I could never sustain the lying. I’m actually bad at it - blunt to a fault, maybe.
     I am angry. There’s nothing more that I want right now than to have it all go away, to go crawl up around the dog next to my partner of more than 30 years and be comforted. But. It would be dangerous, Because, there are no magic wands and that’s not all of him, up there. Part of him is somewhere else, and that part is going to hurt me again. Or get drunk and hurt him. But it’s not going away, not this way.
      And somehow, it’s on me?

 

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