Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Collateral Damage

Ce Ce, a wife who has just been left by a gay husband after 18 years,  commented on my previous post.  She reminded us how painful the coming-out process was for the wife of the gay man.

The newly-minted gay husband  (like me) is excited, energized, empowered, horny as hell and full of visions of hooking up with hot guys.  He feels liberated from years of living a lie, that of  a "straight"  man;  years of carrying a secret that he didn't want to have.

At the same time, his former wife is devastated and sad.  She may be consumed with hatred and bitterness.  Ce Ce wrote,  "But mostly I am left utterly, completely empty.....  missing the man I still love and was planning on spending the entirety of my life with. 

Ce Ce, I also regret causing you more distress by posting, "To make things more difficult, his wife is aging as well and becoming less attractive to him, particularly if she has had a couple of kids."  After our kids were born, there was just no pleasure for me to be had.  I know that sounds harsh, but the whole point of this blog is to be brutally honest and that was my reality.

Here are some of the feelings of the "wife of....."
  1. She is the most angry that the coming-out didn't happen sooner; she could have had a fresh start with another man.
  2. She feels like she has been "living a lie" for her entire marriage.
  3. She feels like she has wasted the best (most attractive) years of her life.
  4. She has been caught by surprise.  "Honey, I'm gay!  Surprise!!!" ....while the gay husband had (perhaps) decades to get used to the idea that he is gay.
  5. She blamed herself for years for the lack of intimacy in the marriage;  she wasn't attractive enough, sexy enough or slim enough and becomes enraged when she discovers it wasn't just her all along.
  6. The love she once felt for her husband has now turned into hatred;  it's hard to fall out of love.
  7. ____________________ Any others?

Fellow blogger Gay Christian Pastor  also discusses all this in his post Collateral Damage;  I borrowed the title...thank you!   

And yet... the gay husband's coming-out opens up the possibility of an exciting new life for the "wife of..."   

The Gay Christian pastor wrote of his wife being  “excited about the future” after his coming-out." His wife said, “If there is a possibility that I can eventually have the kind of love I’ve always wanted, then I’m excited to get out there and find it."   He added, "She desperately wants to be loved by a man who is passionately in love with all of who she is."

Another fellow blogger writing Conflicting Clarity wrote that his wife's new boyfriend is "curling her toes in bed in a way that I never did.   But this time she was talking about more than just sex.  She was talking about the other parts of her life.  Like she suddenly discovered what she was missing." 

In all this, my one deepest regret is the pain that I have caused my wife.   I can't fix it and make it go away;  I can't change history.   Twenty years ago.... even two years ago.... I never in a million years would have believed that I was gay. I'm hoping that in time, she will be able to move on as well.


  1. I've sung this song before, and I'm going to keep singing it. The wife here, or any wife, has no one to blame but the straight society that beat her gay husband into the closet since early childhood. If straight people would just leave gay children alone, they would not grow up to marry women. I feel bad for the wives, but the gay husbands are bigger victims in this mess than they are. And it's all due to intolerance by straight people, IMHO.

  2. a complete aside -
    I can't find your email address; please email me about the shirt- fate has it you are next if you want to be next !
    Urs truly

  3. I only can agree to Cubby. Sorry for the wives though

  4. Thanks for commenting Nick and Cubby! I agree, being gay shouldn't have to be a terrible, shameful secret to be hidden at all costs.

    While I don't feel at all like a "victim", my experience is probably not typical of most gay/bi/married/closeted fathers. I think it is somewhat easier for me, living in a country which is more accepting of gays than any other country in the world. Having all of my family accept and love me unconditionally helps a lot, too!!

  5. Much of what you write hits home. Keep up the good work. I used to think I was alone, being married with these feelings. What a better world for all involved, should we allow it!


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