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January 11, 2024 6:55 pm  #1

My Story with questions

Completely heartbroken, devastated, and feels like my world has been torn apart describes my current state. On Christmas Eve, I discovered that my husband of 32 years, and a minister, has been having an affair with a man. In the short time that they have been together (since early Oct), my husband quickly fell in the love with the other guy. Due to the nature of his job, I have no one to talk to and am patiently (not so patiently) waiting to start with my therapist - which is still 2 weeks away. Which is why I am turning to this community for support. 
Before we met, my husband had one brief gay relationship while he was in seminary. He was bisexual at the time and made the conscious decision to live a heterosexual life. (I just recently found out about the early gay relationship.) He was committed to that until recently. In his job, he helps churches with the disaffiliation process. For the last two years he listened to Christians spew hate towards the LGBTQ+ community and it broke him. He’s a very sensitive person, but did nothing to take care of himself during this time.  
We had what I thought was a solid, happy relationship with constant dreams and talk of the future, retirement, etc. Although I suspected he might be gay after 18 years of no sex (he said it was body image issues being overweight), (I feel robbed of my sexuality - I turned that part of me off - why can’t he do the same?), I am still shocked that he had an affair. He is truly one of the best humans I know - an absolutely incredible person. So because of that I have tried to be sensitive to his journey of deciding what he wants. I cannot imagine a future without him and our family being together. Family is everything to me. We talk openly about everything including this situation. We are still living together and sleeping in the same bed. I have forgiven him, but he needs to forgive himself. I feel empty and the thought of having to navigate the future alone is overwhelming. 
My husband has continued communicating with the other guy because he feels like he needs “a friend” to talk to. They’ve even gone to dinner twice since all of this has happened, but I have since asked him not to see him any more. My husband did set boundaries of them not being alone together, but they still talk on the phone and text daily. My husband is a rescuer, and has also given the guy a lot of money. Thoughts on my husband continuing to have a relationship with this guy?
My husband is seeing a really great therapist twice a week. What is a reasonable amount of time for him to decide what he wants?
This is still all so new to me, that I am still in denial, cry every day, unable to sleep, (work full time) and my heart is constantly racing. I met with a dr yesterday to get some meds to help with the trauma.

tMy husband is a well-respected member of the community and at this point is not ready to come out of the closet.  He is looking for another job and we will have to move to another town - most likely in June. I had planned on retiring next year, but won’t be able to do that now. I’ve proposed a transition scenario of getting a rental house in the new town and continuing to live together. But we would each be free to meet new people. He has been a devoted father and husband and I don’t anticipate that he will leave us untaken care of. 
I am great at taking care of myself: eat healthy, exercise, etc, but I have no idea as to how to move forward and get through this. I’ve already read Rising Strong and Ten Things to do When Your Life Falls Apart - both really great books. And have ordered several more. And have started listening to the Our Voices podcast. When will my body calm down?

Last edited by Harper (January 11, 2024 7:44 pm)


January 11, 2024 7:21 pm  #2

Re: My Story with questions

Harper wrote:

.....When will my body calm down?[/color]

Welcome to our forum Harper 😄

It's a marathon not a sprint, and the road is long with many potholes and pitfalls.

But you are in the best place, the softest place to fall


KIA KAHA                       

January 11, 2024 8:05 pm  #3

Re: My Story with questions

.." He has been a devoted father and husband and I don’t anticipate that he will leave us untaken care of. "

Sadly don't be so sure.. i noticed once my GX progress with her girlfriend and knew she wanted a divorce it was burn and pillage the years of friendship and marriage.      

I find his deceiving you in-congruent with his religion.  18 years is a long time to neglect ones spouse who was made in Gods image.

Wishing you strength and self care.


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

January 11, 2024 9:15 pm  #4

Re: My Story with questions

Like you, I lived in a celibate marriage for many years and shut down the sexual part of my life. When my husband got involved with a man and announced he wanted a divorce it took me a bit to get past the idea of bargaining to stay married before deciding that it you don't want me, I don't want you.

Yes, I was angry but also I came to see it as a way to re-frame and rebuild my life .I was not going to live in his closet. I was approaching retirement age and I was going to make sure I received a fair property settlement so I could own my own place. I was not relying upon what he thought was fair but got an attorney to represent me.

I reclaimed my sexuality by going to see the Magic Mike movie then playing in theaters and by improving my appearance. I smiled more and people were more friendly in return. As I loved myself I also felt a need for a deeper spiritual connection and I am active in my new faith community. ..

I am sharing this to encourage you not to diminish your self to protect him.. .  

Try Gardening. It'll keep you grounded.

January 15, 2024 11:35 am  #5

Re: My Story with questions

Listen to Rob. We women are too emotional. You are in shock and denial.  Get a good MEAN divorce lawyer and LISTEN to what they recommend you do to PROTECT YOURSELF! You are paying a high per hour rate so let them do your dirty work.  I spent six years trying to protect my still in the closet X for my child's sake all the time believing my "best friend" would take care of his daughter. He chose to not pay one dime of child support and wanted to contribute nothing to her college education, after what he did to our family and we were in business together.  I finally woke up, left him and the business and spent three years trying to divorce the SOB and remain his friend!  IN THE END, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO STAY FRIENDS YOU CAN'T. THEY ARE LIARS. IF YOU ARE RELIGIOUS AND A WOMAN MARRIED TO A PASTOR, YOU HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO BE SUBMISSIVE AND THINK THE MAN IS YOUR LEADER.  He's going to lead you to the poor house by giving his boyfriend money that belongs in YOUR pocket, DO NOT jeopardize your retirement years! You get your half and then some. God help you. Just remember God didn't do this, your EX did.  He can't help who he is, but he CAN help lessen your misery due to hurting you. 


January 19, 2024 1:15 am  #6

Re: My Story with questions

Hello Harper,

Am so sorry this happened to you.  Please put yourself first. God wants it that way. Your husband cheated on you.  Brushing this under the rug serves to perpetuate dishonesty and secrecy.  There is such a thing as righteous anger. This is not the same as hanging on to hurt and bitterness.

In his job, he helps churches with the disaffiliation process. For the last two years he listened to Christians spew hate towards the LGBTQ+ community and it broke him.

I'm not sure which side he's on. Either way, his staying in the closet is a bit hypocritical. You have no control over that, but you do not have to stay there with him. You need support and understanding right now. This is crucial for your mental health. Lean on us for sure but tell someone locally. Am sure you've helped others with problems they've had and would want to support you.

What's crucial as well is to set your own boundaries and goals. He blew things up and he owes you. I think it's the moral thing to do. It's definitely not moral to give an affair partner joint assets or keep his wife dangling while he continues communicating with the affair partner.

We're all human and no one gets a free pass, including a well-respected clergyman with a secret life.

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 

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