Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Four Former Wives of Gay Husbands Speak Out

Here at this blog I have featured the stories of women married to men who tried to live straight lives, but ultimately could not. The stories and the comments left by others, some just trying to come to grips with their husbands' sexuality, sadden me and move me.

The most common key words in search engines that bring people to this sight have to do with questions like, How do I know if my husband is gay? In the post My Gay Husband--A Spouse Speaks Out, Susanne tells some of her story. Just today a women left the following comment.
I've been married for 15 yrs. to a caring man. However, he's always had a low sex drive, not ED but more like avoiding sex. He watches movies late at night and goes to bed after me. I've tried many times to approach him on this, but always comes up with an excuse, like we just had sex last week, in reality it could be a couple of months ago, or he says well you fell asleep before me. He vowes that he loves me and does alot of kind things for me. However, I starting to feel resentment towards him that sometimes I wish I could just jump off a bridge. I have not found any proof that he is cheating with a man or a woman.

I do know that when he was a kid he was molested by a man once. I do not want to be insensitive to what he maybe going through. Whether he is gay or I don't know what. However, life is short and I feel like I deserve to be loved physically. I don't see cheating as an option, for I know that is not the answer. I would rather find out the truth even it hurts. I do not how to begin.
Over at my Spanish blog, I received a similar comment from a woman who does not know how to respond to the fact that her husband looks at gay porn. When asked about it, he denies being gay and won't talk any more about it.

Many of these women feel trapped in a world where they dare not talk to friends and family. They can feel isolated and often hopeless.

Truth Wins Out
has issued a video of four women, all formerly married to men who turned out to be gay. Some of their husbands even tried ex-gay therapy. These women tell their stories simply and raise a red flag about ex-gay conversion therapy.



At BeyondExGay.com (bXg) we also feature the story of Barbara Leavitt, a Mormon woman who married a man who turned out to be gay even after getting "help". I saw in my 17 years in the ex-gay movement, that the vast majority of mixed marriages--ex-gay with straight a straight spouse, ended in divorce leaving a wake of pain and confusion and loss. And sadly there are often few people willing to help pick up the pieces and support these spouses who suddenly face very difficult choices.

This year for National Coming Out Day, let's remember the spouses--they too are ex-gay survivors and their stories deserve to be heard as a witness and a warning.

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34 Comments:

At 11:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peterson, Although all of those women have valid points, I feel somewhat invalidated every time Wayne uses the phrase, "sham marriages." I know that although my husband was always gay, he lived committed to me and to our family for the duration of the marriage. There are those gay people who do truly try to exhibit the love that it takes to make marriage work, even when it causes their own pain, depression and near-demise. In our case, as in others, this is true. It adds hurt when Wayne uses the term "sham," to describe all mixed orientation marriages.
Carol B.

 
At 11:35 PM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

yes, Carol, I agree, and I think that is what makes it all so tragic.

Almost always we entered these marriages in good faith with hope buoyed up by the people we looked to for guidance. Many of us men left the marriages broken hearted in our own ways, crushed by promises and hopes that we never realized no matter how often we were told to believe the impossible.

Thanks for commenting Carol.

 
At 8:11 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I'm blown away, honestly, by this video. I agree that "sham" was a bad word -- I think that sometimes people choose certain wordings or tones to make or emphasize their points, and I believe that's what Wayne was doing with this video -- trying to make his point that marriages between ex-gays and straight women (or men, if the ex-gays are women) really can never work.

I do think, however, that this was a great effort to spread the word about National Coming Out Day. It was definitely moving. And it sounded like it was genuinely important to the ex-wives of these victims of ex-gay programs to give their message.

 
At 10:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was watching that thinking, "I wish he wouldn't say 'sham marriages,' and I'm bet that Mom would feel the same way."

I thought I'd post something on her behalf, but then I saw that she'd already spoken up! (Hi, Mom.)

I do think that's a trivializing of a phrase.

-Liz (Carol's daughter)

 
At 12:02 PM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

elliot, thanks for those comments. Yeah, I think it is especially important to highlight the diversity of ex-gay survivors. I know Wayne well and know he has a good heart, very passionate and a fighter. He also knows how to use words in a way that grabs the attention of the press.

Liz, thanks for stopping by and adding your words. Ultimately it is most powerful when we get to tell our own stories. Once someone does the telling, the story changes, even slightly.

A big part of National Coming Out Day is about telling our own stories in our own words, and that includes the stories of daughters of gay parents as well as trans bois, bisexuals and so many others.

 
At 4:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm happy to have added something to the conversation, but I wish I hadn't written, "I'm bet that. . ."

Oops!

-Liz

 
At 4:33 PM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

Oh, Liz, this is the Internet, typos are a way a life here. :-)

 
At 9:34 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been married to a gay man for 25 years now I am leaving him becase my child is 21 and I have done my dty with both of them I have given him the best years of my life and I am 50 next year I do not want to waste any more time in this sham marriaage or my life My mother died last year knowing allthis I hope she can see what I am doing now from Heaven God will give me the strength to move on and my partner to come ot and live his life Lesley in Hull England

 
At 1:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eight years after the end of an 18 year marriage to a straight woman, I reflect on the expectations of a evangelical religious family; I can't emphasize enough what the women in the clip are saying ... be yourself, and be honest about who you are. I regret the pain I caused my ex-wife and my children; at this point there is nothing I can do to take it back, so I (and they must live with it day by day).
Dan

 
At 10:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand how someone can marry someone and not be honest about the sexual orientation. I have absolutely no respect for gays who can't be honest about themselves. How can you be so self-centered to not see the consequences for your spouse and children if you are not honest about who you are. This behavior ruins a lot of lives.

 
At 8:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a fairly young wife with a young child of similar aged man and I can honestly say I never realised what the real problem had been until almost a year ago in our relationship when I stumbled upon some evidence I wish in a way I had not seen. It has taken me until just last saturday & unortunately he is still in denial. I have found the courage today to be totally honest & move on for the sake of our child. I am glad I have found stories so I know there are people in similar situations to me.

 
At 4:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say I'm 90% gay and have been faithful for 46 years. I told my wife all about my previous sex life before we got engaged and she accepted it and took the risk with her eyes open - and it has worked, I think. And though I never told my parents I did tell my daughters and their partners and children and so I'm at least half 'out' now.

But I never believed sexual orientation could be changed and I was spared the burden of religion and the need to throw it off before being able to see the world as it is. I guess I'm lucky that there is enough bi in me. Do you suppose that is the secret?

 
At 5:10 AM , Anonymous JennyT. said...

I am the X-wife of a gay man; and I'm sorry to tell you that I feel these kind of marriages are a sham. I was used for convienence and for a "look". I invested in my marriage 100% and never considered for one moment that my husband might be completely full of shit and not even attracted to women. Why would I? Why would anyone who even thought they might be homosexual enter into a hetrosexual marriage before they figured it out? It doesn't make any sense to me still. It just seems like it was easy and comfortable for my X for awhile. I don't think that the gay people, (male and female) that enter into hetrosexual marriages are even for ONE SECOND thinking about the other person (thier so-called partner) as a human being with desires and feelings, with a right to be loved.

 
At 8:18 PM , Anonymous Mac said...

My EX-brother-in-law decided to let my sister know he was gay after 8 years of marriage & 2 children. I have to agree w/JennyT., & the "I don't get it" comment. This guy could have stayed single and lived any life he wanted to. But instead, (for whatever reason) decided to get married to a hetrosexual woman while knowing he was gay since childhood (his own admission). As for the "Sorry" line from one of the commenters and from my EX BROTHER IN LAW; well you should BE. You have completely Fuck.. over a innocent person, who enetred into a relationship with you in good faith. You had the right to be confused or whatever; but to go into a marriage based on lies, knowing full well you could never truly love this person; and/or give them what they need; I don't understand this, unbelievably self-centered and selfish. FRAUDALENT. If you're truly "Sorry" then before you go do anything for yourself, aid your wife (OR HUSBAND WHATEVER THE CASE) in getting her what she needs. MOVE AWAY. Get out of thier life. Support her & any children finanacially, pay for whatever counseling she will certainly need, and do your best to get her in a condition where she might be able to have the relationship she should of had, and probably would have had, had it not been for you. And just in case that sounds like to much; just as an FYI to everyone as well, your EX can sue you in most states for fraud, in which case you wold be liable for the things I mentioned above, in addition to monetary damages for pain and suffering, anguish, an allotment for every year the fraud continued. There are MANY choices you made before you got married to a hetro, if you knew you were gay, or suspected you were gay, while you were doing this, it is not O.K. "Sorry" doesn't cover it. You commited FRAUD.

 
At 2:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mac, thank you so much for your comment. I have shared your comments on my blog so that closeted gay men will hear the warning getting married to a straight woman. You can read the whole entry here: http://petersontoscano.wordpress.com/2009/08/22/mixed-orientation-marriages-fraud-failures-and-family/

 
At 12:58 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

On Oct 1 I finally found proof that my husband of 27 yrs is gay. I knew something was going on, and starting checking his text msgs. When I confronted him he beat the sh*t out of me and left bruises that took 2 months to heal. Then I found his hotmail acct open on our computer. It sickened me that he was trolling for sex on craigslist. And he'd had a friend with benefits for five yrs. It has left me devastated and my children are crushed. I wholeheartedly believe in the FRAUD comment above. Almost 30 yrs of my life--gone; my selfworth--gone; everything--just gone and crushed by a self-absorbed thing that didn't have the respect for me to tell the truth. I have 6 children--what about them? I'm trying to feel what forgiveness might be like.

 
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At 4:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My STBX gay husband came out to me a few months ago and although his disclosure devastated me I made a conscious decision not to write off our 28 years together as a sham, fraud or mistake. I feel anger and great sadness for what has happened to my life but I still love him and I believe that he has always loved me. We had a good life together, we have 2 beautiful boys and he is still the same person I always loved before disclosure. A new label does not change that. He was faithful and committed to me and our marriage but has come to the difficult realization that he is gay and no longer wanted to lie to himself or me. I have chosen to leave our marriage with respect and dignity. We remain close friends connected by the love and life we shared, our love for our boys and our desire to make it easier for them. Is it easy to get to this point, hell no! but I don't want to be sitting here filled with regret and bitterness for the rest of my life. Unfortunately it is what it is but I have chosen not to to allow this to define who I am or my life, past, present or future. Niamey

 
At 6:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have known my husband since I was 15 years old, and we have been married for 26 years. 11 yaers ago he came out to me. I will never forget the pain that my heart endured that day.How could this be, he was everything I had ever wanted.We decided that we would try and find away to stay together, We meet another guy some times for fun and friendship, this way we remain faithfull to each other, but it doesnt stop me longing to have him to myself, and wishing that in his head I was all he would ever need.Its not an easy option to stay with him but sex is only a small part of our lives, and to give up all the other things that we love doing together seems so sad. I just take each day at a time and when I get down about the situation, we talk and although its painfull it is a nessesery part of making the relationship work. My marrage has never been a sham.

 
At 9:06 PM , Blogger Bi_Gentleman said...

As a bi married man, I host a support group for other bi and gay married men. In my experience by far the vast majority of bi and gay men marry women simply out of love. The idea of sham or deceit is simply not there. I do find comments such as Mac pretty darn uninformed. Frankly the view aint so easy from the cheap seats.

In my years of experience, men marry simply because they met someone that they loved. Yes many of them were confused, many of them were in denial, many of them did not understand and many of them did not know how to understand themselves... but this happens in many, many marriages, in many different situations and with either of the spouses.

I also need to point out that in my experience there are those men that are gay and there are those men that are truly bisexual and in that there still remains great difficulty in living this out. It is also very common for me to hear of men that truly had no understanding of themselves until much later in their lives. When the marriage is new, the children are small and careers are starting, this often doesnt rise to the surface simply because life is busy.

If I could say one thing to a wife in this situation, it would be that, Id be willing to bet the farm that HE DID MARRY YOU FOR THE RIGHT REASONS.... HE LOVED YOU! You may not be feeling it right now, but had he not loved you, you would have known... You know this man.... are you truly convinced that he never loved you? No it was not a sham... it was a mistake (and no shortage of marriages have been there.)

Also I want to point out that I have heard from HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of bi and gay married men and I hear no shortage of stories where the wife DOES know and they still CHOSE to make their lives together work. As for me I informed my beautiful wife before we married 17 years ago that I am bi and I have no problem saying that I love her more today than the day I married her (albeit it has not always been easy!)

This is a very world altering situation all around, and unfortunately one where there are often few winners. My heart goes out to both sides of this coin.... yes BOTH sides. Perhaps this pain will help us work towards a better world where such doesnt have to play out this way for our children.

 
At 9:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

well iam more than confused and more than stressed more mental stress than anything..i dont know if my bf of 3 years is gay but i feel he is nothing makes any senece to me..iam a attractive girl young 33 he is 34 and we can go 2 months with out nothing no kiss no nothing and i dont get it,,and i try to talk to him about cause he is the one with this problem not me and he will not answer me or try he just shuts me out i have asked him if he is gay but he says no of course ..it hurts cause u talk nothing gets better u change your hair color clothes nothing gets better u cry nothing changeds its a on going mental abuse!!!!!

 
At 1:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I have been married for almost 4 years and I am going through a separation. He didn't tell me until after we were married he was bi. I will be honest it took me awhile to cope but I finally did, because I truly loved him. Unfortunately I still do love him, but I am hurt. He just decided to tell me that he is gay, and that he has known. I am mad we had a daughter together. He also acted like a father to my other daughter who only knows him as her dad. My heart is wrecked completely. I am trying to stay strong but I have to build from the ground up. I have been in school so I haven't worked. So now I have to find a job, get a new place, so I can have both my kids together. I sit here in anguish because I know there is nothing I can do to save my marriage. We had slept together the night before he laid out his dirty laundry. I asked well how could you sleep with me? He said, " You know I got off to the porn!". Ouch, those words stung me to the soul. He hasn't even shed a tear and I feel that he never loved me. I sit here and look back and I see steadily how our relationship spiraled out of control. How he slept with me less and less, or when I was pregnant he got so mad he choked and slapped me. All this makes me wonder if he was truly mad with himself. He hardly ever kissed me and when he was home he would just play video games. I try to help him with his sexuality when I knew he was bi. I even offered to let him sleep with another man, even though I knew deep down it would hurt immensely. I could of coped through that, but this? He has even cheated on me with another woman. So it really is hard for me to wrap my mind around him being gay. I had to ask him if someone paid him to do this, or if he found someone else. He hasn't said anything comforting, everything he has told me he had venom in his voice. I asked how can you watch straight porn. He says with a hiss, "Maybe it wasn't the girl I was looking at!". I am in the mist of packing by myself, and I feel alone. I listened to the stories how people still get sick to their stomach thinking about it. I want to be happy, I wonder if I will ever feel better.

 
At 4:06 PM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

Oh your story like so many are awful and unfair. Very very sad. No doubt it will be a difficult time. Some days worse than others. You are taking care of yourself when you tell your story here and with trusted friends or a counselor. You are going through a painful difficult ordeal. I do not know your husband, but I imagine that his coldness is in part strengthened by shame. It may be how he copes right now. Not fair to you or your daughters but does not mean he never loved you. He has a lot of his own. Stuff. To get through. One day the sun will shine again. You sound like a fighter.

 
At 11:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you this really helps. Me and my husband have been married almost three years and together 5. He recently told me the truth after I found stuff on his phone. I can't even imagine all these years were lies. I do t believe it. I believe that he loves me but is to scared. I am the only person he has his family already hates him. I could not in a million years leave him when he is so confused. I will stand by his side and our sex life will change a little for his pleasure but I know everything will be okay. Its us against the world

 
At 12:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we work together and both understand each bothered don't you think it can still work? By the way we ^^ are 21 and 20 we started young.

 
At 9:58 AM , Anonymous Joanne said...

I found out my ex-husband was gay 2 weeks after I gave birth to our 4th child. I was crushed to find him masturbating to men on the computer. I was so confused and I'm trying to find a good counsellor to go to in order to work this all out. :(

Everything fell into place and it all made sense why he did certain things throughout the years. I began to notice him checking out men in the mall and I too googled, "I think my husband is gay" and he exhibited all the signs listed. I was devastated, confused, and I still am. I tried for 6 years to work it out after. We were married for 15 years and we were Mormon. I tried to make things work, however, it got to the point, where I just could not handle it anymore. He constantly lied to me and I am just mentally so messed up. He still denies it despite having confessed to 3 Bishops and a stake president. What angers me is that only one shared that with me, which I will always be grateful that the Bishop made him tell me. I deserved to know. We have been separated for 3 years and I am working on filing the divorce papers. Our little family is torn apart and I am a wreck mentally.

It has been 9 years later since that fateful day when I found out and I am still sad, messed up, and exhausted by everything. He still lies and tries to tell me he doesn't like men which makes everything hard and messes up my head. I begin to think I am crazy. I'm seeking a good support group and other people who have gone through this to try to heal and move past this.

It angers me that society and certain religions look down on gays or people who are bi that they feel the need to lie or hide their true selves. If society and people would just allow them to be with who they want to be with and who they are internally, then maybe they would not feel the need to try to live the straight life or try to marry someone who is straight.

 
At 4:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found out after I was pregnant with our 5th child that my husband trolls for gay UNPROTECTED sex on Craigslist and has been doing it for several years before we even met and while we were dating and still denies it. So I don't give a damn what anyone says, it is a sham marraige. Maybe some of them married out of love at first but most of them don't give a shit who they hurt. If you know your gay or still plan on sleeping with men, DON'T GET MARRIED AND BRING CHILDREN INTO THIS WORLD!!!! Its selfish and destroys lives and I have not one once of respect for anyone who lies and cheats!

 
At 2:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am about to "celebrate" my 37th anniversary. I have suspected my husband is attracted to men from the beginning. Even while we were dating. I was young and foolish and married him. Almost immediately after returning from our honeymoon the sexual intimacy went into a tailspin. He doesn't kiss me. I am a vibrant, fit, active and attractive woman and my husband wants nothing to do with me sexually. I am so depressed and sick of living like this. I have tried to talk to him, I have worked hard at our marriage and communication. He refuses therapy and/or counseling. In fact, he said, when I asked to please talk to me about our "sex life" and sex in general, that he would "NEVER talk about it, ever..." I still try. We have two grown daughters and are nearing retirement. He took a job in China, in spite of the fact that I refused to follow him, for three years.The ongoing "joke" there among the other expats is his "faux" relationship with his "wife", a very nice man he works with. Very attractive and divorced, they grocery shop, cook and spend time together and the gentleman MOVED OUT of his apartment to move into an apartment in my husband's building. Nice that he has a "buddy", but, my husband has always been extremely homophobic. So when I heard him say "----" is my "bitch" and laugh was mind boggling. NEVER would he have joked like that. This isn't the first male friend I have been uncomfortable around, either. I haven't seen him since May. When he left I told him he needed to figure things out once and for all. I asked if he had ever examined or questioned his sexual orientation (he said NO!) and suggested he do so. The rubber is going to meet the road in less that a week. I feel like an awful fire breathing dragon. But I am a human being with wants, and needs, and wishes and dreams. Nothing is more important to me than authenticity. And I don't think I can continue to live a lie for someone else, if that is indeed what I am doing. I am dying inside and don't know what to do anymore. I feel crazy, overreactive, emotional and lost.

 
At 4:44 PM , Anonymous marigold said...

48 years married, 2 sons, 2 grandchildren. Found out in June he'd been with men while I was in chemo. The usual pain, suicidal, hospitalized, seeing counselor. He says he's just a little bit bi. 'Not likely to stray again as he has a big gut and is 74.' But he was exultant when he told me- said I was 'old fashioned'. Marriage has been rough for many years and now I know why.
Separated for 5 weeks presently. I found a friend on Match but when he got romantic I panicked. I'll never trust another man really. I just feel used.
Still when I compare with stories here I know I'm lucky. He says he loves me....

 
At 11:39 AM , Anonymous M. E, Walker said...

Some lonely sad days alone, he's back for Christmas. I flip between wanting to break up and go on my way and sticking in pain. At 73 I know I'll never find a straight mate. So I'll just keep breathing till I die.
I think now almost ALL men are gay or bi. Bitter truth- they may love you BUT they really just want the thrill of promiscuity generally. It tastes better behind your back doesn't it. Oh sure, keep the marriage for the public. Best of both worlds for them. I wish he'd just leave me so I could be honest with the world

 
At 6:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My ex finally said he was gay after 30 years of marriage. I had done my 'snooping' but was totally shocked thinking all the time that he was with other women. What a selfish man. I met him when I was 18 and a virgin. He taught me everything that I know which is totally distorted. I don't want a relationship with anyone else because of my ignorance. He has caused me irreversible damage and yet I always was suspicious of his uncaring attitude. I'm afraid of making love but love to flirt and run away. He says he loves his children but never contacts them. Children and a wife were his 'front' in his supposed normal family life. He is a pillar of society and I still keep his secret because I'm ashamed to say anything. Yet I have a sense of relief and getting stronger but will never want to meet anyone. Solitude is lovely but I'm so damaged.

 
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