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advice for woman with gay husband


clibbyjo

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I read a blog where the woman just announced her husband is attracted to men and cross dressing. He is looking at gay porn etc..She seems to think this is her fault and is really stressed about not being submissive or being too submissive or whatever and thinks its "her fault". She thinks she can fix it and asked for prayers. I told her I am clibby on FJ and would like to send a private message(she didn;t have an e-mail link or I would have done it then). Could any of you add some advice for her? I know she reads here(or has at the old board) and the comments she has gotten so far are all from Christians and are not helping her accept her husband is gay(or at least bi). I would really like our gay FJ's to speak up on this so she see's being gay is ok and he cannot change the way he is and shouldn't have to. I really believe she thinks he can "change" and he says he will not go outside the marriage "unless she gives him permission". That to me is a red flag which means he is going to do it if he hasn't already and she needs to protect herself.She is in denial and needs to prepare herself.Her husband is not Christian and she is and she and her commenters feel its his lack of beliefs that make him hate Christianity.

Please, if you are reading this,let your husband be himself. Being gay is just as normal as being straight. Your husband wants to be with men . He may love you and your child, but you cannot change him with your behavior or prayer.

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Just because he's gay and not a Christian doesn't mean that he hates Christianity (though perhaps there's more to the story that explains why they think he does) Given that he married a woman when he's gay (assuming he's not bi), he could be in denial and have some self-hatred caused by Christianity, which could give him a negative view of it.

I'd tell her that if he's gay, it's not something he can change. Though if he is gay or bi, that doesn't automatically mean he's going to cheat on her, but she should have a serious, mature conversation with him about it so she can guage whether she needs to start using protection.

I'd advise marriage counseling with a non-Christian couselor.

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Guest Anonymous

If he's been having gay sex while also having sex with her, he could have been exposing her to the risk ot STD's and HIV. He owes it to her to admit as much and see to it that she gets a checkup. While he could not choose whether to identify as gay, he could choose whether to risk her life by leaving her in the dark.

She should also be reassured that his change in orientation is NOT her doing. He didn't suddenly identify as gay; chances are he has been suppressing it since before he met and married her. She also needs to know that he can't help his orientation, that he isn't going to wake up as a heterosexual tomorrow and that it's impossibe for him to "change". His new allegiance has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with him finally deciding to accept and live with his true needs.

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People are born gay, made that way by God, just as straight people are. And there's nothing any of us mere mortals can do to change our own, or anyone else's, orientations. Period. It has nothing to do with anything you or he has done right or wrong. It just is.

Being married to a gay man means that he will never fully appreciate you in the way you want him to. I know that you may have religious convictions against divorce, but in my opinion it would be the kind thing to everyone involved to end this marriage. You didn't know this crucial fact about him when you married him, so it's as if you married a different man. Divorce is more than justified in this case. Staying together might seem easier, but it will prove to be the more difficult and destructive path in the long run.Of course, if you have children with him, it would be great if he could still be involved in their lives as much as possible.

I second what the poster above said about getting tested for HIV and other STIs. And I would do it even if your husband says he hasn't been sleeping around. He lied about his orientation, so don't think he wouldn't lie about his behavior. It's your body, take control of it.

I know this must be a devastating time, especially in your community! Don't let anyone make you feel guilty, it's not your fault.

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Everyone I have known who is gay knows that it's something they are born with and could never change.

Don't blame yourself, and don't blame him either. It's something that neither of you has any control over.

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I'm gay and know from experience you can't "pray the gay away"... it just doesn't work like that. Your husband is who he is and you cannot change that fact. He was born who he is, just like you were. Being gay does not mean he doesn't love you, or he doesn't love your child, or respect you. You can still be best friends, co parents, but you have to figure out yourself how to accept him. Please do not push him away from your child together. He is still that child's father and just because he is gay does not mean he will suddenly change in that role.

(as for others who suggest testing, I'd say testing is a good idea for everyone, gay straight or the lies, but seriously, just because he is gay does not mean he will have a GREATER risk of giving you an STD or anything. If you trust this man, then testing may not be in your future. However, please remember that he could have slept around as a straight man, or as a gay one. You do not have to think that just because he is gay he may have had sex with another man and brought something home to you. If he isn't he type to sleep around, that doesn't change because he is gay.)

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As well as marriage counseling, I recommend that she get her own counselor to help her decide what is best for her in this situation. Again, not someone who is going to insist that she stay married if she wants to leave. She cannot change his attractions, he cannot change them, and it's no one's fault. They just need to work from there. The most important thing is to be completely honest about what each person needs.

BTW, I am very sorry that this happened. I am sure that it is a very difficult situation for everyone involved.

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I would advise any Christian woman in this situation to read "Stranger at the Gate" by Rev. Mel White.

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To unnamed woman,

When I was in college I fell in love with a great guy. For five years we planned our life, our marriage, the children we'd have. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world to have found my true love at 17.

Then he came out to my best friend, Craig. Not only came out but tried to seduce him. He admitted to Craig that he had been having sex with men the entire length of our relationship. He still loved me, he told Craig, and he still planned on marrying me, but he knew he was gay.

Why was he going to marry me? Because his family was highly homophobic. Because he wanted desperately to "be normal." Because he was trapped by societal and familial pressures, not because he could really be a full and complete husband to me.

I was lucky. Craig told me everything and I had the strength to break it off. Again, I was lucky. We hadn't gotten married or had a child. I can't even imagine how difficult it would've been if we had gone on with our plans.

It took me a long time to get past it. I realize now that he wasn't horrible, he wasn't trying to hurt me and that to the extent he could he loved me. He just wasn't meant to be with me. It wasn't who he was.

Your husband has to love you to have married you and had children. But being a heterosexual husband, faithful to you, isn't who he is. It's not who he's supposed to do. How you get to that acceptance and be able to move on I can only say that you have to understand that you have nothing to do with what he's going through. He is not gay because of anything you did or did not do. There's nothing you can do to change him. By trying to pray it away or pretend it away will only make things worse and more painful for you both in the end. By staying with him you're risking her physical and emotional health. In the end, you'll both be happier if you accept him for who he is.

I am sorry for what you're going through. It's hard, heartbreaking, and will turn your entire world upside down. I don't pray but I have you in my thoughts and wish you all the best.

Sincerely,

Gizmola

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To unnamed woman,

When I was in college I fell in love with a great guy. For five years we planned our life, our marriage, the children we'd have. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world to have found my true love at 17.

Then he came out to my best friend, Craig. Not only came out but tried to seduce him. He admitted to Craig that he had been having sex with men the entire length of our relationship. He still loved me, he told Craig, and he still planned on marrying me, but he knew he was gay.

Why was he going to marry me? Because his family was highly homophobic. Because he wanted desperately to "be normal." Because he was trapped by societal and familial pressures, not because he could really be a full and complete husband to me.

I was lucky. Craig told me everything and I had the strength to break it off. Again, I was lucky. We hadn't gotten married or had a child. I can't even imagine how difficult it would've been if we had gone on with our plans.

It took me a long time to get past it. I realize now that he wasn't horrible, he wasn't trying to hurt me and that to the extent he could he loved me. He just wasn't meant to be with me. It wasn't who he was.

Your husband has to love you to have married you and had children. But being a heterosexual husband, faithful to you, isn't who he is. It's not who he's supposed to do. How you get to that acceptance and be able to move on I can only say that you have to understand that you have nothing to do with what he's going through. He is not gay because of anything you did or did not do. There's nothing you can do to change him. By trying to pray it away or pretend it away will only make things worse and more painful for you both in the end. By staying with him you're risking her physical and emotional health. In the end, you'll both be happier if you accept him for who he is.

I am sorry for what you're going through. It's hard, heartbreaking, and will turn your entire world upside down. I don't pray but I have you in my thoughts and wish you all the best.

Sincerely,

Gizmola

I also want to add that you are not alone. My sister was married to a gay man for 15 years before he came out of the closet. During that time he mentally abused my sister by saying that she was the fault of why he didn't want to have sex with her. H e cheated on her with men, brought gay porn in where their grade school age children found it and then blamed it on their teen son, tried to get the kids to cover his lies and even tried to destroy the kids relationship with their mother. And that is just the tip of the iceberg of the problems that happened in their marriage. They have been divorced since 03 but he still hasn't told his parents that he is gay but lets them believe the lie he told them that my sister cheated on him with a co-worker of theirs.... who was a woman. My sister is straight.

Even though all the crap he put and still is putting my sister and their children through both my sister and he are able to get along for the sake of the children. yes, he hurt her but they can sit together at school and family functions like grown adults. This is devestating but you can and will survive. You are not alone in this even though it doesn't seem to happen very often. Alrdy you know 2 woman on this board that such a thing has either happened to them of in their family. You are not alone. Come talk to us if you want to cry, grieve, scream in rage or just vent.

(((Hugs)))

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I could give her loads of information on how being gay is not a choice, but sadly being a Christian it is doubtful that she would listen or believe it.

She has a choice; she can continue in the marriage and accept that despite her prayers, her husband will not change 'back'. It is likely that he will feel a desperate need to fulfil that part of him and that will lead to same sex encounters which will put her at risk. The best thing she can do is accept her husband is gay and end the marriage, doing the best they can for any children they have. I hope she realises this.

To the blogger; You cannot change him. Even if he vows never to have another same sex relationship he will still be gay. You can no more make him straight than he can make you gay. I understand your pain; your whole world has come crashing down on you. But you cannot change this man, not through prayer, hope, wishes, therapy or anything else.

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To the unnamed woman,

first and foremost, my heart goes out to you. You're in an incredibly difficult place and I can't imagine the hurt of what you're going through. I hope that you make it through this mess with your head held high, and start healing soon. I don't really have much in the way of concrete advice, but I wanted to add my two pennies of insight. It will be overly general as I don't know the exact situation, and not all of it might apply to you, but I hope you glean something helpful from it.

Being gay is something innate, inborn, unchangeable by will; our sexuality might be somewhat fluid but we cannot choose who we are, or who we are attracted to. This is not what your husband is guilty of. What he is guilty of though, and it was a rotten, stupid thing to do, is date you, marry you, and have a child with you whilst basically deceiving you all along. Whether he was doing it consciously, aware of his sexuality, hoping he could change it, or in complete denial, the fact of the matter is that he hurt you. Nobody deserves to find out that their own spouse prefers the other gender. It is your right to be angry, and to receive a sincere apology - not for him being gay, but for building your relationship and family on false premises.

Presumably your husband has spent his entire adult life hiding and denying a very large and important part of himself. The closet is an awful, stifling place to be. It hurts and twists people. It's self-denial, internalized self-hate, fear. This is not an excuse for his actions, and this is absolutely not a free pass to do whatever he feels like from now on. But it might help you explain some of them when you ask yourself, how could he have done this to you?

THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. None of this is your fault. I can't stress this enough. A horrid thing happened to you. In a way, your husband as you knew him was taken away from you. Instead, there is a man who might well love you and care for you, but isn't who you thought he was. Question, grieve, be angry, but do not blame yourself. Hell, if anyone, blame the society that made him - all the way back in his early teens - choose to consciously or unconsciously suppress the fact that he was just not that into women.

There are several paths to take and I don't know nearly enough to even suggest which one you should. One of them is, actually, staying married. It's absolutely not what I would do in your place but I'm not you, and I'm not your husband, so I feel obligated to point this out: it might be that marriage and parenting your kids turns out to be the most important thing for you. You might even agree to make your marriage non-monogamous to have both your needs met outside and remain partners in your home; I'll assume you love your husband and he cares for you, as well as your child. Being gay does not negate one's love for their children and families, and it does not negate the entirety of your relationship either.

But don't downplay the importance of your own happiness and the importance of having a partner who loves you and appreciates you sexually and romantically, too. Your child deserves a happy, healthy mother, physically and psychically. The most obvious step now is separation and divorce. I hope you remain in each other's lives for the sake of your child, but you should not feel obligated to, if it causes you too much pain; again, having a happy, healthy home is far more important for your kid than having their biological dad in it.

What you need to do right now is allow yourself some time. Take care of yourself, acknowledge your feelings, again, do not blame yourself. Accept that this is the card you've been dealt. Do not hope or cling to the impossible. This is what it is, your husband will never be "straight" again, even if you sleep together, if he's sorry, if he takes his words back temporarily - you can't go back. Look at your husband, your marriage, your options. Is he deliberately hurtful? Is he selfish? Do you need to remove him from your life right now? Do what you need then. At the very least, for crying out loud, tell him to keep his gay porn away from you, that's just uncalled for. Is he sorry and committed to somehow salvaging your marriage and doing the best by you and your kid? Then you have some truly honest and likely painful conversations ahead, and he needs to put in his portion of the work.

Somebody mentioned using protection if he's having gay sex. I am reeling at the suggestion that the operative word is "gay" here - nah, the key point is having sex, of any kind, with other people - if he's done that, or if you have any suspicion he's done that, do get yourself tested as soon as possible and then again in a few months, if only for the peace of mind. If you can, find a therapist, an open pastor, somebody to help you navigate the situation and provide outside perspective. But be careful - anyone who says that your husband can pray it away, that his homosexuality makes him a wretched human being, or that you could have helped this by being a better wife is absolutely useless to you because they don't know what they're talking about.

I think this is about it for now; I might be forgetting something but I think I got the gist of it down. I hope this gigantic pile of text makes any sense /:) Feel free to email me if you'd like - my email is the same as my username here, @gmail.com. Above all, my thoughts are with you and I wish you the best of luck in this awful situation.

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Dear Unnamed Woman,

This happend to my mother.

My dad knew he was attracted to men from a young age, however, he knew his parents and society would not accept him. In particular his dad. He was adopted, and struggled with feelings of not being wanted. All he wanted was to be normal and accepted. He told me, he thought if he lived a normal life those feelings would just go away.

He met my mum, his first girlfriend, and they were married in 1981. I was born in 1984, my brother in 1987.

In 1986, while pregnant with my brother, my mum found gay porn magazines in amy dad's drawer. She cried, and called him, he excused it away as a mistake at the shop, he'd been looking for fitness magazines. My mum doubted, but she wanted to believe him.

When I was a child I remember my dad would leave for work at 4am, and come home at 8pm, he went to the gym, or had drinks with friends, or worked late, or was avoiding traffic he said. Later we found he was spending time with men, gay men he worked with.

These men were his only friends.

When i was 12 he changed jobs to work at a university. There he met a young student named Daniel. When I was 17, the Saturday before the 12th grade started, Dad left our home, and moved in with Daniel (said he went to a hotel). It was another year before he confessed he was gay, and had always known it, and was in love with Daniel.

Neither my mother, my brother or I had any problem with his orientation, the problem was the betrayal. He had married my mother knowing full well he was not attracted to women, he robbed her of the chance to know a mans love for a woman as it should be. He made her question her own attractivenesss, her own sanity at having been so decieved. If he could lie about this, did he also cheat on her?

She had to subject herself to STD tests, though she had been a virgin at marriage (Catholic). She wondered what was wrong with her, that only a gay man could love her.

Then, after a few years, Daniel was diagnosed with HIV. He now lives in Thailand, and my dad visits him yearly.

My mother has since met a wonderful man, heterosexual, who she married in February 2011.

She knows now, after much therapy, that it was not her fault. She did nothing wrong by ignoring the signs, she had trust in her husband, which she should have been able to have. She was not to blame.

She has two loving children, a loving husband and a happy future to look forward to. She and her husband have just bought a new seaside appartment (mum LOVES water) where they spend the weekends now, and plan to retire to. Since my dad left, she has found how capable she is. She'd never been overseas before, but she and I have been to the USA 6 times, and spent October and November last year travelling Europe together.

I found out recently, another girl I went to school with had her dad leave for the same reason.

If you want to contact me, or my mother, please contact us: [redacted]

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Just because he's gay and not a Christian doesn't mean that he hates Christianity (though perhaps there's more to the story that explains why they think he does) Given that he married a woman when he's gay (assuming he's not bi), he could be in denial and have some self-hatred caused by Christianity, which could give him a negative view of it.

I'd tell her that if he's gay, it's not something he can change. Though if he is gay or bi, that doesn't automatically mean he's going to cheat on her, but she should have a serious, mature conversation with him about it so she can guage whether she needs to start using protection.I'd advise marriage counseling with a non-Christian couselor.

Second the part in bold. I think it's a great idea. I've handled a number of family law matters where one party discovered he or she was gay or bi. Sometimes the couple stays together and sometimes they can't. For that reason, she should make sure that she has complete and up to date information on the finances.

Counseling is also a very good idea. The couple should have a chance to interview several counselors before settling on one because they're really going to need someone both parties can feel comfortable with. I've seen people use both christian and secular counselors and have good results with either. I would avoid one of those Nouthetic counselors, though. Yikes!

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Thank you all. She messaged me she is here and reading all these replies. Its more complicated than the nutshell description I gave,but I am hoping she gets some advice from these posts to make a decision on what she wants to do. :greetings-clapyellow:

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To her: It isn't your fault. You didn't make your husband gay but you can't make him straight. Homosexuality isn't his fault either. Sometimes life is very unfair. Your husband was wrong to try to live a lie. He is hurting you and your child. As others have said, the pain is not from being gay but from not being honest. Unfortunately, society puts a lot of pressure on homosexuals to try to be straight and your husband might have foolishly thought he could choose his sexuality.

This must be very painful and confusing to you. Again, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. But your behavior and actions can't fix the problem either.

There are plenty of gay Christians. They might not act on their desires but they are still gay.

Get a good lawyer, not to take your husband to the cleaners, but to make certain that you and your child are taken care of financially. Even if you divorce, your child can still have a close relationship with their father.

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Everybody has already given a lot of good advice, but I just want to echo to this woman: this is really not about you. I know that it feels that way, because you are his wife and all, but he is gay, and that is that.

Evangelical Christian woman are often in no-win situations with this. Recently, when on vacation in a large resort, a woman and her two young children wandered over the ping-pong table where my sons were having a ping-pong tournament and the little boy obviously wanted to play, so our boys suspended the tournament and started playing with him. He is eight years old.

His mom sat down next to me and we started conversation, as mothers will often do. She was very happy that my sons were "being so nice" to her little boy, etc. And then we got into this loooonnnngggg conversation and. . . this poor woman.

She is a member of the New Life church (of Ted Haggard infamy) and nearly nine years ago, when she was pregnant with the little boy, her husband told her that he was gay and wanted out of the marriage. He divorced her. She tried many, many things, including intensive prayer, trying to get him to go to therapy to become an "ex-gay", the church elders prayed and went to talk to him, and on and on. He wasn't having it and he moved in with his boyfriend anyway and as I said, they divorced because she didn't have another choice.

She also told me that at this stage, nine years later, they're trying to co-parent the best way they can, and have committed to get along as divorced people for the children's sakes - which is good. She was actually at the resort with her ex's family so they could all see the kids for a couple of days.

But she says she just tells the children, "Daddy has made a different choice" and "Daddy lives a different lifestyle" and "God still loves daddy even though daddy is not listening to God's Word".

She confessed that she is worried about her son (I guess the gay is hereditary?) and she said she makes a point to say about him all of the time, in his presence, things like "he's all boy" and "he's such a boy". She said she wants to reinforce that he is male and males have certain roles and he must be raised to fulfill them. Uh-huh. Like making those statements about your child will innoculate them against the gay.

So I just listened mostly and she talked on and on. I really felt that she was incredibly burdened with all of this, and was still grasping and seeking a way to "restore" her ex-huband. She told me that she prays about it constantly and she just believes that God will work a good work in his life and that everything will work out. My heart went out to her, and I felt bad for all of the families that have been hurt because people are not encouraged to discover/accept their own sexuality from the beginning and that's how these situations come about. The gay people are trying to fit into society's "norms" and I believe, mostly in good faith, they think they can make a go of hetero marriage. So much unnecessary pain.

And here's what else was so sad about the whole thing: this woman is nine years into this thing. She's known for sure for nine years that her ex-husband is gay. And apparently he had mentioned to her before they were ever married that he had same sex-attraction, so really, she's known for considerably longer than that. And she just inhabits this space of despair and striving and grasping to make someone else into someone that person is not, and has no desire to be.

She is unable and unwilling to accept the truth about homosexuality and what it means and what it doesn't mean. She is 41 years old and is literally wasting her life pining over this man who does not want to be with her or any woman - and it doesn't have a damn thing to do with her. It's WHO he IS. And he's not going to change because he cannot.

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I would just like to say that she should know that being gay doesn't stop a person from having a happy and fulfilling life. I can only imagine how hard it would be to gay and a fundamentalist christian, most likely you feel like you cuold lose your entire world really if your husband comes out as being gay, if he doesn't try to convert himself into being straight. Look at what happened to Haggard! But as others have said, there's no cure, there is no need to cure a person of being gay. You are better off trying to find a way be happy and a peace with his life.

I would encourage her to look up the "it get's better project" on youtube. There are thousand and thousands of videos of people sharing messages of hope to gay people everywhere that their lives will get better even despite ridicule, prejudice and hate from family friends and members of their community. The project even videos made by pastors, ministers and other people of faith who are either gay or who have not stopped believing in God, and have found religious communities who do not shun them for being gay. Or they are not gay themselves but want to share a message of tolerance to lesbian gay, bisexual and transgendered people. I'm Jewish and we had several gay members of our congregation and we treated them with respect and friendship.

here are a few videos:

Gene Robinson, episcopal Bishop

(this is a great one!)

Bishop Mark Hanson, Lutheran

(watch this one too!)

Ray Bagnuolo, Minister Presbyterian Church

Lutheran Pastor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NlLAB80jZs

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Am I the only one who picked up on the "wearing women's clothing?"

There is a good chance your husband isn't gay at all... he's transgendered. I loved a transman for many years, and it's very difficult. There are many gays and lesbians who don't accept transgendered folks. However, like being gay, there isn't anything you did wrong, nor is it anything they can change. Research shows that many transgendered folks have the brain patterns and brain structure of their expressed sex, not their biological sex.

Or he could just be a drag queen.

That being said, if he is not being monogamous, you have every Biblical authority to divorce him.

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery (Matthew 19:9).

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Alecto said:

Am I the only one who picked up on the "wearing women's clothing?"

It's a possibility, but I wouldn't think too much into it. Crossdressing is not, by itself, a good sign of somebody being transgender; it's not a sign of somebody not being straight, even. In my experience, actually, most transvestites are straight men who sexualize the behaviour because they're attracted to women, not because they identify as one or want to assume their role, or guys who just do it for shits and giggles. Presumably that's not the situation here, of course, but my point is that it's a complex behaviour with many potential causes and implications and being transgender is just the most drastic one. Either way, in this situation - the crisis of their marriage - it seemed secondary.

There's already so many preconceived notions that people largely ignorant of gender and sexual politics might jump into in this situation, and I'm wary of introducing anymore... the woman has already way more than enough on her plate to process and deal with. I'm not saying it's not possible that the guy is trans, but it seems like a long stretch. For both their sakes, I hope he's not - you're right that the lack of acceptance and support for transgender people is horrible and disgusting, even with the LGBT (!) community.

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OK, this is going to be a long post (most of it from the original reply I sent to clibbyjo). I'm the one who posted the blog. I actually thought about asking for advice here, because there is more well-rounded group of people and y'all wouldn't be as biased, but I don't want to get trolled by certain fundies in the blogosphere who seem to have it in for anyone who posts on FJ.

It's sort of hard to explain the whole situation and there are some things I didn't go into on the blog because I most most people there won't "get" the whole situation. There is a lot of other sexual stuff, including pornography addiction and spending way too much time on fetish websites (then trying to bring 2/3 of what he sees/reads into our relationship). I'm not even sure if it's mainly a gay thing. He says he's bi, if anything, and still wants sex (with me) several time a week, plus looks at and comments on other women pretty often. The big problem for me is not if he is or is not gay or bi, it's that he is addicted to pron and a certain fetish forum type site and would rather look at either online than interact with me or others in real life, that he has lied about so much in our relationship, and that he is adamant about remaining married (and sleeping together, so he's still attracted to at least one woman) yet wants to sleep with other people as well (without protection, because that's how he is).

Part of my wonders if he hasn't sort of mixed a fetish for crossdressing with being gay or bisexual in his mind. He really doesn't seem transgender even, because he identifies as male and even the clothing is mostly lingerie and stuff and something he's only interested in in a sexual context. It seems like a lot of the focal point for him was dressing in women's clothes, because at first he wanted a dominatrix type relationship with someone who would "force" him into it, then started saying he wanted another man in our relationship who would either make him feel "sissified" or whatever while (the other guy) was sleeping with me, and then it evolved into maybe the same person sleeping with him. Really, I know of people who are totally or mostly straight into those things, so I don't know exactly how to take it. I don't want to be like "oh, he's really straight" because that's what I want, but I still wonder if we might not end up breaking up and them him being like "oh, this really isn't what I was looking for" - and he has even said he thinks that might happen.

I know being gay isn't a choice and isn't something that's either one of our "fault", it's just that there's so much weirdness with the whole situation I don't really know what is going on. The big thing is that some of this started out totally apart from any question of sexual orientation, and I am not sure if he is "really" gay or bi, just questioning, or if it's something that falls in line with fantasies/fetishes of his. He says he is bi-curious if anything, but he wants a relationship with me. He just also wants me to consent to him having a relationship with another man or men on the side. He doesn't want to divorce, but at the same time I am not going to remain married to someone who is sleep with other people of any sex.

Before he ever brought this up, we were into BDSM pretty heavy, and a few years in he switched from being dominant to switching, to always wanting to be submissive. After a while, he brought up the crossdressing and I was OK with that to a point, then he started talking about a threesome, which we did and both enjoyed until he started changing the whole dynamic on me. Next thing, he wanted me to sleep with other guys and not him and got into this whole cuckhold fetish, and I was not into it or wanting to do it, so then he mentioned finding someone for an open relationship that was bi and sleeping with us both or him seeing other men and me doing the same. Most of this came up while I was pregnant (although he recently put up sex ad on craigslist and on fetlife for other men to hook up with me, then told me about it and got pissed when I wouldn't just go meet someone I didn't know), and for a long time he was more interested in chatting on bi/CD/or fetish sites on the internet than talking to me or having sex. This has changed some, but it feels like he'd rather have a fetish relationship than a real one. I'm not even sure how much of being bi is sexual orientation and how much of it may be because that is a tie in with a lot of the porn and fetish stories he reads, and he says he doesn't know either.

I don't have a problem with gay or bi people - one of my best friends from high school was gay and another is bi (she's married to a woman now but was married to a man for several years). What I do have a problem with is someone marrying a person without telling them things like this then expecting them not only to be accepting, but to also give them permission to have extramarital (presumably unprotected, because I know how he is) sex. The reason I even question his orientation is he says he is attracted to me and wants a relationship with me either way, and is pressing for me to have sex outside of our relationship either as well or as a separate thing because that is one of his fetishes. It's hard to tell how much of what is going on is really him and how much has to do with him getting way too caught up on certain websites and boards. (That's where the "permission" thing is - he wants me as some sort of mistress/cuckholdress and I'm just not down with that when there seem to be so many other motives at work).

I do wonder if he has cheated on me or not. He says he hasn't and I believe him, but I do know he has emailed people behind my back and lied about it and repeatedly lied about stuff he was doing and saying online. If he would say he was gay and wants to be with men, that would me one thing, but he wants to stay together and says he would fight a divorce tooth and nail and get custody of our son. That's what I don't get. I can't leave. I quit my job to stay home with our son, have no family nearby, no money, and a lot of debt, and cannot afford to be on my own. He has also written in a journal that he would kill himself if I ever left him, but I don't know if he feels that way or if it is something he wrote knowing I would find it and read it.

There's just so much more to it than just "he's gay and wants to be with men". It's more like he wants to stay married, but wants so many things to happen in accordance with certain things he is into right now and reads about on FetLife, some of which may be related to being gay and others which are not. I'm just not willing to "give him permission" to sleep around to find out, and I don't think it's fair to expect me to set around wait while he makes up his mind. (I will say that he has pressured me into some other really out there things sexually in the past because he discovered them online then grew out of it when the novelty wore off - some of them did enough of a number on me that I ended up in the hospital following panic attacks and a suicide attempt).

The religious thing is one aspect of it, but he was cool with things, going to church with me, and OK with me going even he didn't believe until after he came out to me. Within a couple weeks, he said he wasn't going to church and didn't want me to, then started mocking me and putting me down for believing, cussing and yelling at me when I did go to church, etc and so on. My church community meant a lot to me, and was one of the only places I went outside the home, so it's left me really isolated and I feel like I'm alone in dealing with a lot of this.

I'm not asking people to pray that he'll suddenly wake up straight, just that I know what to do and can deal with things better (I'm going through really bad depression and anxiety again right now, and it's compounding things). I've tried talking to him, but he ignores me (he fell asleep last night when I tried to bring things up, then yelled at me because of it). I've brought up (secular) counseling several times, but he ignores that too or says it costs too much, takes too much time, etc. He really sees everything as my fault alone and just tells me to deal with it because it's not his problem.

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I'm sorry that you're going through all of this, Raine. The situation sounds very complex, and the only thing I can say is that I hope you don't compromise yourself, or settle for any kind of life you don't want. Completely aside from him and what he does or doesn't do, it's so important that you require others to respect your established boundaries, no matter what happens to the relationship as a result of that.

(((Hugs)))

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I'm sorry you're going through this Raine and I know it's got to be really stressful. If there's any way that he would go to counseling with you, that might be helpful. If you want it, I might be able to get you in touch with resources available in your state. Feel free to PM me.

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Okay, firstly, I am so, so sorry.

Secondly, well, ignore pretty much anything I've said up until this point - I was way off base with my assumptions.

I have to say this: what an asshole. I'll say it as a non-religious, kinky, queer woman involved in BDSM and in a serious, long-term non-monogamous relationship: he's being a fucktard and this is most certainly not your problem. It's not about his orientation or fetishes, it's about the fact that he's being a cruel, manipulative, selfish, abusive asshole.

I can't come up with anything else to say than... get the fuck out. The more I look at what you wrote... this man has deliberately cut you off from your community and support, your church; he's pressured into things that have made you so anxious as to even consider suicide - for his sexual gratification and he refuses to see this as his fucking problem - this is not a space for anyone to be. You're a person, not a plaything. It's not about what he's asking of you, is that he's asking - demanding - in the first place when it's clear you're not okay, that you're miserable for it. And unless he turns 180°, apologizes, acknowledges the world of hurt he's putting you through and gets some serious therapy and help and commits to changing his ways, I can't see this as a marriage. I see this as him holding you hostage.

I can't imagine the difficulty of your situation. But there's got to be services and resources available in your area. Or perhaps friends in church that would take you an your kid in for a time, at least? Here's where others have to step in because I have way too little knowledge of the system in place in the US. But there's got to be options, there's got to be hope.

My heart and thoughts go out to you. Best, best, best of luck in this.

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