I stayed with a gay man for the sake of the children

I wasn’t in love with him. At least, not long after we married. I stayed because I didn’t want to hurt our children.

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

When it became obvious to me that my soon to be ex husband couldn’t have a normal sexual relationship with me, I began to suspect that he was gay. I’m not homophobic, but I wanted to be with a heterosexual man. This wasn’t what I signed up for.

Even though I suffered loneliness, sexual frustration, depression, and anger at this situation, I didn’t even consider leaving my husband. We were married for nearly 13 years when he came out to me as gay.

At that point I decided to leave him. I had been lied to. His sin of omission was too much to bear. I had been gaslit. When I gently suggested that he might be gay, he would become frighteningly angry with me. He would withdraw affection and become distant (stonewalling).

So he trained me not to ask questions, not to express my sadness at the lack of sexual intimacy.

He would sometimes express jealousy because he knew that I’d experienced sexual fulfillment with my first husband. (The most confusing part of all this was that my ex was verbally and emotionally abusive, but good in bed. My gay husband was kind to me, but had no skills in the sack.)

He would make statements that led me to believe the situation would get better. He would accuse me of “giving up” when I was doing nothing of the sort. Obviously, he projected his guilt onto me. He didn’t take action to try to improve the situation or get answers as to why he couldn’t get or sustain an erection. He didn’t go to a doctor or sex therapist.

My suspicion is that he knew that the doctor would find nothing physically wrong with him. Therefore, he would be forced to confront the truth: that the reason he struggled to have a normal sexual relationship with both his first wife and me was because he wasn’t heterosexual.

I have since learned that some gay men are romantically and emotionally attracted to women, but physically to men. They just can’t get turned on in bed by a woman. My ex is trying to convince me that he’s actually bisexual, but I don’t believe him. I believe that he’s in denial. The crazy thing is, he doesn’t want to come out. He trusted me to divulge his sexuality to me, but doesn’t want to face the repercussions of that.

But that’s not my problem anymore.

For 13 years I prioritized his pride, his feelings, over my happiness.

No longer.

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