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.

Advertisements

Should You Lend Family And Friends Money?

QUESTION

I’ve been dating a man for 3 months; he’s polite, considerate and generally very supportive. He was let go from his job a month ago and has no savings to fall back on. He has been looking hard for work, but in his field there’s not much just before the holidays.

He recently asked me if he could borrow $1,000 from me. I told him that I needed to think about it. I have savings and can spare the money right now. However, I’ve had bad experiences when it comes to lending money to men that I have dated. I swore I’d never to do it again. He is not at all like the men I have dated in the past and I do want to help him. Are there boundaries I can set or a way to protect myself in order to get the money back if I loan it to him?

ANSWER

VICKI:
When loaning or giving money, items, time or anything else of value, the rule is never loan what you cannot afford to lose. Keep in mind that you need to think for the future and not the present. If you lost this $1,000 would you still have enough in your savings for an emergency; for example would it make a difference if you lost your employment and couldn’t find work again for six months?

With that said, I stumbled upon a great article called, The Best Ways To Loan Money To Friends And Family from Geri Detweiler for credit.com. It covers all the important issues of setting a fair interest rate, getting an agreement in writing and setting up a formal payment arrangement.

If you do not choose to lend your boyfriend money you may think of employing him to do some odd jobs that you need done such as renovations including house painting. This way he has earned the money and there is nothing to be paid back.

No matter which you choose, remember that you must be true to yourself and make sure that you are taken care of. Your boyfriend’s present predicament is a great example of this.

JILL:
Even though you asked about boundaries and ways to protect yourself, I would like to address whether or not you should lend the money. So here are a few things to think about.

1. Why have you been able to accumulate savings but he hasn’t?
2. Would you ask a boyfriend of 3 months for $1,000-?
3. Pretend for a minute that he didn’t ask for any money, would you be perturbed by the other facts; that he is out of work, has no money to fall back on and cannot find work at this time of year?
4. What will you do if he doesn’t find work, cannot pay you back or asks for more?

I understand that everyone falls on difficult times and sometimes all they need is a helping hand. I just want to make sure that you have looked at the situation from all the angles. Things are currently unstable economically; you must make sure that you protect yourself first.

Dealing With Adultery & The Loss Of A Mother

QUESTION

I was reading your site about adultery. My husband has had personal ads on sex websites for a couple of years now. I keep forgiving him, and he keeps doing it. He even carries condoms in his work bag. He knows I know they are there, but won’t get rid of them. I even confronted him about them; at first, there were six and now there are three. Did he use three? I confronted him again, and he says he masturbates with them. At work? I feel he is cheating on me, and doesn’t care what I think. Also, I think he wants me around financially and to help take care of his 14 yr son. I am so hurt and tired of trying. Emotionally I’m exhausted.

On top of all this, I just lost my mom to cancer a few months ago and I’m trying to heal from this. I know you can’t tell me what to do, but can you tell me what you think? Thank you for listening.

ANSWER

VICKI:
My condolences on your loss.

So much has taken place in your life that it’s no wonder you are exhausted. You have a lot on your mind.

You are a a place where you need to make many decisions about what is good for you at this time.

You need to be the priority in your own life presently – you must take care of you. Please do find a therapist to work this out with. After the loss of your mother and all the emotions that go with that, you need someone to help you sort through your thoughts and emotions, so you can make the right decisions for yourself, including when it comes to your marriage. It’s too big to do alone.

If you’re not ready for that step yet then please do some journaling to get your thoughts and feelings out. Holding all that in your body can only lead to a compromised immune system and illness.

Make your first step a commitment to your health and well-being.

JILL:
As a life coach, I would first like to address your emotional exhaustion that has been exacerbated by the death of your mother. You should not try to work through your marital situation while you are in that condition.

Here are some suggestions that are just for you & for your well being.

Try to get away for awhile, to give yourself some time to start both the process of healing and renewal. There are wonderful women’s retreats being offered, do you or a friend own a cabin that you can go to or is there someone that you can visit? Maybe there is a friend or family member with whom you feel safe and relaxed enough to stay with for a few days? If none of these suggestions are feasible, seek out a grief support group or counselor or if there is a spiritual or religious connection that strengthens you now is the time to reach out.

At life’s most difficult times our instincts usually tell us the truth before our hearts are willing to accept what is happening. As hard as it is, try to look at the facts objectively. A personal ad on a sex site is placed because someone is looking for a response. It has been two years & he continues to ignore your feelings. He takes condoms to work and (or) he masturbates at work. Neither is within the scope of what a married man should be doing.

You write ‘I keep forgiving him’, ‘I confronted him, again’ and ‘I am so tired of trying’. You deserve to be treated with love and respect. Marriage is not based on the money that you bring in or roles such as being a step mom. It is about how you are treated as a women and a wife and how you feel about yourself within the relationship. It is about your feelings for your partner. Do you still feel love, respect and trust for him?

I believe that you already have the truth inside yourself and what is needed is the enormous strength that it takes to do what is right for you. I hope that you find it, as well as the time & peace that you require to grieve the mother you have lost.