OurPath Open Forum

This Open Forum is funded and administered by OurPath, Inc., (formerly the Straight Spouse Network). OurPath is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides support to Straight Partners and Partners of Trans People who have discovered that their partner is LGBT+. Your contribution, no matter how small, helps us provide our community with this space for discussion and connection.


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

June 15, 2024 8:43 am  #2441

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions


Twice you say that "there wasn't any other option" than to marry a woman.  But that isn't true.  There was an option.  It was not to marry, and live as a bachelor.  You and others who married women made a choice, and it was one that was made for convenience, not because there was "no other option."  You and others chose  to deceive a woman rather than to live as a bachelor.  


June 15, 2024 9:55 am  #2442

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Exactly OOHC, it's not like there wasn't a choice involved.  My ex was most definitely not in the closet because he didn't feel he had an option to live as a gay man - he loves his closet, it's in his DNA - it is a way of life for him, it's a cloak of deception behind which he can play all his tricky shitty little games.

I met him in England which is where I come from, I came to Australia with him so our friends came from people he knew - husband in closet, his best friend in closet his best friends wife in closet and on it goes.  Nobody said anything to me until after I was divorced then I got to hear how much sex/romance with men my ex was having at art college before he even met me.

The only thing that's changed with the closet in recent times is that with the popularity of the term bisexual has come the push to have same sex attraction accepted as a match for a straight and I feel sorry for the young straights these days,  The closet has just got bigger.  And the simple understanding - a straight needs a straight is no longer recognised.

Being married to a gay man caused me so much heartache and was so painful.  Being a straight I believed I had to take it and stay, for what? 

Then I find this forum and oh god, straight after straight expressing the same pain.  Not something that should be walked over any more.  IMO a lot of the time gay people struggle to admit to the pain their straight parent was in and I don't blame them for it, it's tough.


June 15, 2024 12:33 pm  #2443

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

No choice? What about moving to a large urban area with a cloak of anonymity? Even better, the gay meccas across the US such as New York, LA or San Francisco have had  very large number of  LGBT residents. I'm a long time resident of one of those cities as was my late ex-husband. It was very okay to be out at work (I started working in late 80s and I had many out coworkers then - including two gay supervisors) and out on the streets. My late ex chose to deceive me not due to a conservative family or from fear of being attacked.

Sean, many women are trauma bonded to these GID husbands.  Wrongly saying there was no choice can keep a spouse in a lopsided marriage or cause them to be tricked into giving away assets during a divorce or be the unwitting victim of a smear campaign during a divorce.  Many of these spouses, including my ex husband, believe they have a right to get away with what they can as long as they don't get caught and embarrass themselves out of important social connections.

Last edited by MJM017 (June 15, 2024 12:40 pm)

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 

June 15, 2024 11:59 pm  #2444

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you for replying friends. No excuses. I apologize for triggering and/or offending you. I'll try to do better in the future. If there are any straight spouses with questions for a gay ex-husband, please feel free to post them below. Be well! 


June 16, 2024 12:25 am  #2445

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

I was debating answering this question and I am not sure if I can give you a good answer. I can’t answer Sean, but I can tell you that choosing the Bachelor route isn’t as easy as it looks.  Lucky for me the internet was in its early days, and I could connect with the gay community using and find information using it. HIV was still a major concern, but the first treatments were available as well as knowledge about safe sex. 
I had never considered having a relationship with a guy or being single were options for me. My plan in life was to find a woman and marry.  For me it was just some unwanted and scarry same sex attractions that I hoped to grow out of. For me it was mostly physical (i.e. wanting to do something vaguely sexual or at least some heavy cuddling) and frustrating (something I could never tell the other guy or act on despite my unwanted wishes). 

They were emotions that happened that I didn’t want to happen and lonely (I couldn’t tell anyone about it). 

Sure, I had had some homoerotic dreams and really liked movies with half naked men (or guys my age) and beside my really liking this one scene in a heterosexual porn movie with a guy was just about nakedness. Who cares if the lesbian scene bored me, or all the women did nothing for me.  Not to mention the men’s underwear pics in the catalogues and sales papers….

To give you how out of touch my logical side was with the more emotional sides\, I can remember starting High School climbing the stairs think about all the girls I would date turning a conner when I first saw the class stud…… Ugh!

Anyway, later in college still attracted almost exclusively to men came the events that forced me to deal with the fact that those same sex attractions didn’t go away, and they were more than just some very strong unwanted thoughts. I had recently ended a relationship with a wonderful girl as she went away to college. I hoped we might get together later but I also figured that it was not fair to both of us to try to hang on when we were so far away. So, I was kind of free. 

Normally whenever I felt attracted to a guy, I simply stayed away from him if I could. Easy.  Except this time due to arranged seating in a class I had to sit next to a guy who I was attracted to all semester long. Even worse, I couldn’t act straight around him and could barely think around him and this time it was more than just physical.  Some part of my brain wanted to get lost in his eyes! Ugh! That was new.

So here I was older, but the attraction had not gone away.  I thought I might be gay when I was a younger, but I hoped it would just go away. It hadn’t. It was still there and as strong as ever. 

I have always wondered If I could have gotten away from him could I have left my sexuality on the back burner longer? Would something else have cause this ticking time bomb called gay to finally blow? Up to this point the repeated same sex attractions, PG porn viewing, hadn’t prompted me to act on it. Granted I would not have been in a position to act on it at the time but suddenly figuring out if I was gay or this was just some weird fantasy suddenly became important. 

That encounter where no clothes were taken off was enough to push me to act on it. Any way I won’t bore you with the details but after several same sex encounters a guy finally kissed me.  That kiss did more to finally answer my question about what gay was and why I shouldn’t marry a woman than anything else. 

I thought being gay was about having sex with men. I was wrong. 

I thought I would just screw with men to release tension till I found a woman to share my life with.  I was foolish. 

It isn’t about having sex with men. Heck it isn’t about what sex act of the week you do with a guy. It is about wanting to have sex with men.

That kiss made me realize what was missing in my relationship with my girlfriend. Wanting.

That kiss made me realize that a wife deserves a man who wants her.  She needs someone who wants her for more than just her mind or sweet personality. She deserves a guy who naturally wants to be close and cuddle with her. Not someone who has to think about it. Who isn’t trying to act straight and isn’t repeatedly tempted with same sex attractions.

Heck the only reason I lasted that long was because the guys I had been attracted to were straight and not in a place to act on it. I think I would have crumbled like a cookie had I been married and another gay guy hit on me and I was in a position where she wouldn't find out. 

Anyway, I have always wondered how long could I have kept my sexuality on the back burner? What if instead of she going to college we had remained dating? Would something else derail the train before it headed to the wedding? What if I were more religious and somehow resisted longer? So many what ifs.

I also mourn the cost of choosing the bachelor route. I wont have kids of my own. I will never have a socially acceptable wedding. My entire life and choices are the subject of political and religious debate. I don’t mourn too much as I think not bringing a woman into this was the best thing and the unexpected is what makes life fun. It also saddens me that some guys for some reason don’t or can’t make this choice.  It isn’t an easy one, but it is the right one I think.

These guys that you married let their sexuality, which was a time bomb.  Blow up and change forever more than just their lives. Neither I nor Sean can’t entirely fix that damage, but we might be able to do something to hopeful help. 

Last edited by Diff I guess (June 16, 2024 12:32 am)


June 16, 2024 9:55 am  #2446

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Different I guess and Sean,
I appreciate your stories and they do help me to empathize with this situation a little bit better. I do understand how it must have been terrifying to grow up in the 80s, and I can easily see the other side to this. But my story, I still have a hard time relating this much empathy towards.

I was lucky in that I was not married, but became involved with a man. We are both in our early 50s, and so both of us grew up in the 80s, and the same kinds of influence you speak of. But mine has kind of a long and extreme history that I’m having a hard time reconciling as some sort of innocent, “confusion” for most of his life.

He met me, after having had a 15 year marriage to a woman that ended 8 years prior, they had a son. I’ll spare all the convoluted details, but the entire time he lived in cities where it should have been easier to be gay than “straight”. Where I live, I believe “straight” is actually an anomaly. He likely had ongoing affairs with men the entire marriage, and then continued on to try to hook up with me after one of his affairs blew up. He was repeatedly given the option to be friends with me (which I would have gladly done), but even as we were heading towards the rocks, he still tried to convince me that I was insane for even thinking he was gay. This really blew up, when I was eventually contacted by the previous boyfriend (who also has a wife and 3 kids), who both of them seem to not have an ounce of problem with the idea of involving women repeatedly. When it became clear that he could not backpedal, his true colors really showed. He actually had zero intention of being honest about his second life. He referred to it as “compartmentalizing”, and actually told me that he did not want to involve me in “all that”.

By “all that”, I would have gladly stayed out of it, had he not tried his hardest to portray himself as dating me. He then had absolutely zero accountability. He also seemed to refer to his ex wife with a wave of his hand, had zero respect and repeatedly blamed the dissolution of his marriage on his son being difficult to raise.

He lived the whole time in cities where as I mentioned before were predominately NOT “straight”, which I believe was an intentional move so that he could pursue both lives. I fail to see how he did not have any choices. I understand that he was incapable of making choices that did not immensely hurt many people over the years (who doesn’t). But I really resented the constant over empathizing people did by granting him every excuse in the book. I DO understand some of this. But no one in my life has EVER paid this much attention to my sexuality or given me 1000 excuses for my outrageously hurtful behavior. I haven’t been allowed to lie repeatedly for years to people and then had an immense network of support groups available to me to justify why I just hurt so many people. I just view it now as he is very different from most of my other gay friends. He now has a massive personality disorder and is addicted to lying and cheating.

When the truth finally became clear that he could not wiggle out of, he became very angry and he dropped the mask. This happened when I inadvertently got in the way of his Saturday night meetup one weekend, and WOW was he upset. That’s when it became clear that he really didn’t give a shit about who he hurt. He loved the secrecy and the lies. And he seemed to still need to involve women, for what reason I still can’t even fathom. He was for over 30 years involved in relationships with men, so I really don’t understand why we weren’t just left out of it.

I also began to realize that if he ever questioned giving up his “compartmentalization”, it was for a brief second. And only because as he hit his 50s he simply was not able to maintain his bullshit anymore.


June 16, 2024 10:39 pm  #2447

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Thank you everyone for writing. Canary2 I've looked back at our first exchanges and, if I remember correctly, you dated a closeted friend/co-worker (described above) who divorced the mother of his child, actively hid his sexuality from you, and appeared to seek out female partners as "beards." Please confirm if this is correct.  

Based on the most recent comments, there appear to be several categories of closeted men, namely: 

Category 1: Young men who identify as straight when they date/marry. They date only women and plan to marry "for life." Pre-marriage most have never done anything sexual with another man...other than secretly watch gay porn perhaps. They generally want to be good husbands and fathers, but deep down feel an attraction to men. But they convince themselves they'd never "act on it." These men most often have sex with other men after years of marital monogamy; normally around mid-life crisis time (age 40). 
Category 2: Young men who have pre-marital gay sex and/or date men, but hide it from themselves or downplay it as a "college thing." Some also claim they were "sexually assaulted" to their future wives because they can't accept they actively sought out sex with men. They marry women hoping this will "cure" them; often because their families or church communities have convinced them marriage to a woman is the solution to their "same-sex attraction." These men have sporadic sex with men before and during their marriages. They essentially "split" their lives: living by day as a straight husband/father but then cheating on frequent business trips. Once caught, many of these men identify as bisexual.  
Category 3: Openly gay men demonstrating personality disorders who actively seek out women as "beards." Many are divorced (from women) or already have long-term boyfriends. When challenged about their sexual orientation, some emotionally abuse future female partners. They actively pursue kind and unsuspecting women. They marry solely with the intent of hiding their homosexuality from themselves and others.   

Let me know your thoughts friends. Be well! 

Last edited by Sean01 (June 17, 2024 2:21 am)


June 17, 2024 11:02 am  #2448

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

I’m constantly playing games in my head, straight men  do not seek out chatting on line with men just to find friendships.  Do they? That just looks so stupid thinking that he is just looking for friendships.  I’m just in denial but getting there.  And then he tells me he actually misses  his chatting.  The words will come out of my mouth soon “I want a divorce, I do not want to live in this anymore”


June 17, 2024 12:23 pm  #2449

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Hi Sean,

I think an aspect that is different is that your MOM was a level playing field - you were both in the closet, neither of you was more vulnerable than the other on an intimate level.

It's very different you are simply not putting your wife through the same hell a straight spouse experiences, it's just not as abusive and you just have never struck me as being cut from the same cloth as my ex.  I remember you feeling guilty for what you put her through, that is so different to my ex, just so different.

Diff, thanks for describing what it was like for you and for saying you concluded you didn't want to bring a woman into the situation because it wasn't fair on her.  That also is so different to my ex - I'm always being shocked at the way that closeted gays/lesbians act like they have a divine right to a straight spouse.  

I think probably the majority of stories I have read here are like mine - the closeted spouse feels no guilt towards the straight spouse, far from it.  They are more interested in protecting their closet than in what's happening to you.  



June 19, 2024 1:24 am  #2450

Re: A gay ex-husband answers your questions

Canary2 wrote:

Different I guess and Sean,
I appreciate your stories and they do help me to empathize with this situation a little bit better. I do understand how it must have been terrifying to grow up in the 80s, and I can easily see the other side to this. But my story, I still have a hard time relating this much empathy towards.

I also began to realize that if he ever questioned giving up his “compartmentalization”, it was for a brief second. And only because as he hit his 50s he simply was not able to maintain his bullshit anymore.

Oh, he had a choice, but it was a choice he likely wouldn’t have taken. With some guys it does not matter how accepting everything and everyone else is. They just don’t want to have an public relationship with a guy. Basically, he might have wanted you for company (not be lonely) and for social reasons. However, being open, honest, and willing to take a guy out on a date in public is another matter.  Their public persona of not gay is more important than everything else including your sanity and even reality.  I know it sounds strange but in some ways it is easier to arrange a roll in the hay than to talk oneself into being seen in public with a gay person. Sadly, he isn’t the only guy like that. 

Anyway, it isn’t surprising that the other guy would also be married. Another married guy would be less likely to out him than out gay guy so that would be a more “ideal” partner for a likewise closed man. 



Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum