Husband Of 27 Years Is Gay

QUESTION

My husband and I have been married for 27 years and have two grown children. He recently told me he wants a divorce; he also revealed that he has been having an affair with another man! I feel angry and betrayed as though our life together was a lie. What should I do?

ANSWER

JILL:

1. Take a deep breath and accept that you have a right to feel those emotions and more. You are dealing with a number of difficult issues here. Not the least of which is that the end of the day you and your husband of 27 years are getting a divorce.

2. Don’t assume that he didn’t or doesn’t still love you. Being gay doesn’t preclude his ability to having feelings of love for you.

3. The foundation of the marriage itself I cannot speculate on. One day I hope that you will let him tell you why he got married and what the union meant to him. That conversation may bring you some peace and lessen the feelings of betrayal.

4. Remember that what your husband is doing isn’t about you. Don’t question your desirability, femininity or the type of a wife that your were.

5. When I work with a client who is undergoing a major life transition they tend to feel empty and off-balance so I recommend that they take a lot of quiet time for themselves. It gives you an opportunity to assess who you are, loving mother, good friend, supportive daughter, strong and vibrant woman, successful entrepreneur or career woman.

6. Don’t hesitate to turn to spiritual or professional guidance during this time.

Finally, self-care helps with the healing process. Practice the things that are important for your mental and physical well being. Avoid friends or relatives who may judge or discuss the issues continually. Seek the company of those who strengthen and respect you. In other words take care of you!

VICKI:
Jill is absolutely correct when she told you that your husband’s actions are not about you and not to speculate about his love for you. Know that when your husband chose to marry you it was not with the intention to cause you pain.

There is no doubt that you are filled with questions at the moment and some extremely intense emotions. Where I believe that it is very important that you ask your husband for the answers you need it should not be done until you are in a calm and collected state of mind.

Firstly it’s impossible to be in emotional turmoil and have clarity at the same time. You need to be clear headed in order to decide what the really relevant questions for you are and in order to be able to listen to your husband’s answers with an open mind, which you will need. Take all the alone or quiet time you need in order to get to that frame of mind; it may be weeks or it may be months and you may need help getting there.

Secondly when you and your husband do talk, especially about his motivations, you need to recognize that this isn’t a black and white area. It is not a matter of right or wrong. This is the gray area where he has made past decisions based on his fears and insecurities; something that every single one of us has done at one time or another.

I hope the two of you will sit down and talk with compassion and good will for each other in both your hearts and truly listen to each other.

Being True To Yourself – The Ultimate Life Change

QUESTION

My husband of 11 years is in counseling and recently revealed that he has been doing what everyone (mother, father, me, etc.) had wanted him to and it was time for him to start being himself. I said this is great but I’m left feeling betrayed (numb is more like it), like I don’t know who I married – I’m a work in progress but I’ve always been true to myself. What do I do now, things hadn’t been going that well between us for a number of reasons but I feel like he’s just finished us off.

ANSWER

VICKI:
Stop and take a deep breath. I understand that you feel betrayed and that is because you perceive your husband as having lied to you through your marriage. This is not the case. I doubt his intentions were to deceive; he was doing what he thought, at the time, to be the right thing. I believe he was acting in a way he felt was morally and ethically right; working at being the best husband and son that he could be.

It’s not uncommon for people to follow the belief system and teachings they were raised with and then in their 30’s, 40’s or 50’s discover that it isn’t working for them and they’re not happy. Believe it or not he’s in the majority of the population. As a psychotherapist I hear it all the time.

You need to consider that the reasons things haven’t been going well between your husband and yourself may have been due to his unhappiness with his life. It’s difficult to be supportive to the one you love when you have no clue as to how to be supportive to yourself. It’s also not uncommon for someone in this situation to become paralyzed and not function productively, therefore letting things slide. The good news is that the changes he makes may make all the difference in your relationship.

You are an articulate and intelligent woman and you need to realize that your husband’s past actions were born out of love not malice. The person that you married is still the same in his heart and soul; he is only looking to find the congruency with his actions. He is presently being very honest with you and most importantly himself.

If you have completely given up due to his past lack of support then there may be nothing left for you to salvage on your end. That is for you to acknowledge and claim responsibility for if it is true. Yet you must understand that if that is the case then this time it is your negativity of the situation that is finishing you off and not his.

To make this decision stop listening to the story you are telling yourself in your head and listen to your heart; the truth lies there.

JILL:
When we are in a relationship, somewhere along the way we tend to forget that we are not our roles/titles but are in fact an individual that is living, sharing & loving with another individual. I must therefore echo Vicki’s words, it was not your ‘husbands’ intention to deceive, he probably sincerely believed that he was being himself. But he is human, so time and life’s experiences have come together in such a way that he now realizes that he is not the person that he wants to be.

Let him take his journey and I would encourage you to give a lot of thought to your own, not as a wife but also as a woman. What do you want at this point in your life and where do you want to be as the years progress?

As you both discover the persons that you are now, you will be able to see if those two individuals can re-connect in your marriage or if you need to go in different directions.