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What Do You Do When Your Spouse Comes Out As Gay?

It happens more often than you think…

Let me start by saying this, you kind of knew in the back of your mind that your spouse acted a little too weird at times which fed your suspicions even more.

Were you accused of having an excessive sexual appetite? Were you accused of something which didn’t make any sense to you at the time? Was your spouse acting repulsively when the subject of sex was bought up? Maybe your partner turned him/herself into someone who can be seen as extremely moody but you notice the excitement in his eyes when he/she is around people of the same sex.

Then all of a sudden you find out the truth and it hits you hard even though you had all your suspicions accompanied by a ton of red flags that were ignored by no other but yourself.

Your world completely flips upside down and you find yourself reeling, on top of that not only you feel scared but also isolated and ashamed as well.

So the question is what do you do? Where do you go from there?

Well, we will answer that after but first take a look at the statistics on “Mixed Orientation Couples” these very interesting statistics by the “Sexual Identity Institute” that we have at hand (link in credits at the bottom of this article).

WHAT DOES MIXED ORIENTATION COUPLE MEAN?

Mixed Orientation Couples involves a couple with one member in a relationship with other who is either gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered.

According to a study conducted by “Sexual Identity Institute,” there are more than 2 million mixed-orientation couples in the world, but we reckon the actual number is quite high.

When the partner who was perceived and was thought of straight by the society comes out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual a “third of couples break up immediately” (that’s 33% out of 100%).

However, “another third stay together” less than one year before finally accepting and splitting up that’s another 33% of couples out of 100%.

And finally, the last 33% of couples do try out other resources such as therapy and counseling in a last-ditch effort to make their marriages work, does that shock you?

The interesting fact is half of these marriages (that’s 16.5%) don’t work for obvious reasons, after exhausting all the efforts and resources like counseling, and marriage therapy they finally go their separate ways, while the other half stay together for 3 or more but less than 5 years (that’s the other 16.5%).

THE ISSUES FACED BY A STRAIGHT SPOUSE

Among other things you may feel:

  • You are sexually rejected.
  • Your confidence in bed is taken away.
  • You are wondering “If this is all your fault” or “it happened just because you are not masculine/feminine enough.”
  • You start to doubt yourself.
  • If you’re a parent then you are worried about the children. How will your children handle the news and how it will affect them to have a gay parent?
  • You feel like your thoughts and beliefs have been shattered after living a lie for the entire time you were living as a couple.
  • You really feel hurt and angry over being lied to.
  • Your feeling of rage, bitterness, fear, shock, despair, devastation, repulsion, hurt and anger takes over your everyday life.
  • You also feel anxiety about whether your partner or spouse has been unfaithful to you while he/she has been sleeping around with same-sex partners behind your back.
  • You feel extremely ashamed while at the same time fearing your exposure to or having contracted sexually transmitted diseases including HIV.
Undeniably, coming to the realisation about your partner being gay or bisexual can be extremely traumatic, there is no doubt about that. However, there are things that you can control and change as opposed to the things that you have no control over and the later one is true in your situation.

THINGS TO DO…

  • The first thing is first, you must not make any decisions as in what to do until you are over the initial shock and that means giving yourself some time to observe the news. 
  • Next thing is to get checked for sexually transmitted diseases, whether or not your partner admits to any sexual infidelity, chances are, that they were sleeping with other people behind your back.
  • Every breakup is unique but they all have a “grieving phase” in common no matter the cause.
  • As hard as it may seem to “absorb” but the reality is that your relationship will never be the same again as it once was. You must accept this reality if you are to move forward, or else you risk of being stuck and hurting a lot in the process.
  • I would recommend for things to have cooled down significantly before breaking the news to your children and be careful when you tell them. Consulting with a professional to deal with this is strongly recommended. It’s important for them to feel loved and secure and to know they’re not to blame for your breakup.
  • Decide what you both can and cannot live with by underlining your priorities while moving forward.
  • And finally, you must come to terms by accepting that it takes two to make a marriage work.

THINGS NOT TO DO!

  • Don’t isolate yourself.
  • Don’t bottle up things inside you, seek out a support group or professional help.
  • Don’t give yourself a sense of false hope by assuming your marriage/relationship will be ok, please understand that although some straight/gay marriages are happy unions for the time being. However, statistics have shown that only 16 percent of couples who try to make it work, only about 8 percent make it over the long term before going their own ways, there are plenty of single people out there and you will deprive yourself of coming across those should you decide to stay in your current relationship.
  • Don’t sabotage yourself for “turning” your partner gay. It’s not possible to turn someone who’s straight gay just by saying or acting a certain way towards them.
  • Don’t let the positive memories of good times you had together be taken over by the sense of betrayal and deception.

CONCLUSION

I watched my own sister go through the same trauma, it wasn’t easy. In May 2015, Ireland became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage on a national level by popular vote.

A few months later she was contacted by a guy she never heard of before claiming that he was in a relationship with her husband for the past 5 years.

What Do You Do When Your Spouse Comes Out As Gay?

Although it was by far the most difficult time in her life, fast forward a few years now she’s in a new relationship for little over a year now but that’s a different story for another day.

The first 8 months to a year will be the toughest (depending on how long were you in that relationship and how much you loved that person).

But as you will sift through the complicated feelings and trauma, moving on won’t only take time but it will heavily rest upon your willingness to forgive, let go and move on

I am writing this to help other people who have or will face this situation in their life, its comforting to find out that they are not alone and there are others who have faced this situation and moved along to live happy healthy lives, if they can do it so can you.

 

CREDITS:

Sexual Identity Institute:  http://sexualidentityinstitute.org/Papers/CharacteristicsofMixedOrientationCouples.pdf

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Written by Saoirse

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