Are You a Gay Man and Married to a Woman?

Are You a Gay Man and Married to a Woman?

July 23rd, 2012 @

Are you gay and married? Or perhaps you think you might be? Perhaps you’re not gay, but you find yourself noticing other men? Or perhaps you’re married and you look at gay porn? Or perhaps you’re married and are confused about your sexuality?

If you identify with any or all of the statements above you’re probably struggling at the moment. And while you’re certainly not the first person to find themselves in that situation, knowing that you’re not alone doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.

For various reasons some men have not totally figured out their sexual orientation or identity at earlier stages in their lives. Often the need to conform or the fear of being persecuted in some way creates the situation where a man does whatever they need to do to fit into the expectations of their family, their community, or of society. Often, they actually fit into their own expectations – into the way they have always imagined their life to be.

Some men who are attracted to other men consciously know this before they get married to a woman. Other men know this on a subconscious level – perhaps having small moments of clarity – but aren’t ready, willing or able to address this aspect of themselves. And then there are men who only start to discover this same-sex attraction once they are already married.

While each of these situations is different, and can lead to different feelings (such as regret or guilt), the process of realising that you’re a man who is married to a woman and is attracted to other men is often very similar.

It’s not uncommon for men in these situations to not want to talk about it with their wives. In fact, most men tend to hide it away from their wives – as far away as possible. And, depending on what stage they are in the process, they will often start to compartmentalise (create a separate or isolated aspects of their lives) this part of themselves.

One of the most common challenges facing men in these situations is not knowing what to do about it. For some men, one of the challenges is noticing their attraction to other men, but not being sure about it – therefore it holds an ongoing sense of uncertainty – and therefore an inability to work out where they stand.

Sometimes men notice this sense of attraction and they want to be sure about it – especially if they think it has the potential to destroy their marriage – before even vaguely considering other options. However, they feel the only way to be sure about it is to act out their sexual attraction to men – a step which can also lead to the breakdown of their marriage. And, depending on their situation they may feel extremely guilty about doing this – or may be very decisive about the fact that they won’t stray outside of the marriage for any reason.

At other times men may have actually experimented sexually with other men – usually keeping that an absolute secret from their wife. They then find themselves in a situation where they may be clearer about their sexuality but it then feels too hard to tell their wife so they remain in this compartmentalised state where they live their ‘normal’ life with their wife, and often their families, and live a ‘secret’ life involving sexual encounters with other men.

There are also situations where men have told their wives about their sexual attraction to men – either prior to, or after, getting married. Some marriages are open and the man is given the opportunity to explore this aspect of himself; some involve sexual encounters with both the husband and the wife; some involve the man not acting this part of himself out. All up,there are an infinite number of different scenarios that exist. However, because they often have an element of secrecy or privacy to them, they are usually not common knowledge to those in their lives.

One of the reasons why I’ve taken the time to discuss the range of different scenarios is to help you to realise that there is no ‘one way’ to deal these situations. There is no right way, and there is no best way. Every person’s situation is completely different.

I have had clients tell me that people in their lives who have known about their sexual attraction to men have told them that they should tell everyone they know. Others have been told to keep it an absolute secret. Unfortunately, this kind of advice is usually not very helpful at all. It’s usually based on the friend or acquaintances own view of the world – not that of person in the situation.

If you’re in this situation, you’re the one who has to deal with the consequences of what ever you do. Yes, there are usually other people involved who also have to deal with the consequences, but you are the one who has the ability to make choices about your situation.

Every option that you consider will have some benefits and some risks or costs.

Usually because of the secretive nature of these situations the benefits seem unclear and the risks/costs seem enormous – often to the extent that you may not see a way out of the situation.

One of the first steps that you need to take to find a way out of the situation is to talk to someone. And, for reasons such as those mentioned above, it’s usually more helpful to speak to a professional who has experience working in this area. If they have some personal experience with this kind of situation,that can often allow them to really understand what it’s like – and therefore be able to support you with a greater level of empathy. Although an appropriately qualified and experienced professional should be more than suitable.

When you work with a professional counsellor who deals with clients who are gay and married, or sexually unsure/curious and married, they will offer you a level of confidentiality that you can’t always expect from someone who you know personally.

They should also be able to help you to understand your situation and your options – the benefits and risks/costs of each – in a far more realistic and objective way than you may able to understand on your own. After all you’ve probably had these thoughts and options whizzing around in your head for some time without having obtained a real sense of clarity.

So if you’re gay/curious/bi/unsure and married and you’re feeling either stuck, unclear, need help figuring things out – then take one of the safest and most important steps that you can take in your situation. Talk to someone who can help you.

It’s good to talk.


Category : Coming Out &Gay and Married &Gay Dads &Relationships &Secrets

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