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He Left Me for a MAN! How Can I Get Him Back?

Updated on August 11, 2009

Cheating Husband Cheats With a Man

Perhaps, of all the shocking cheating husband scenarios wives experience the most difficult to accept is the husband who cheats with a man.  I say "shocking" only because the wife is shocked.  It has become more and more common over recent years.  However, the unknowing wife of the gay spouse if often shocked, dismayed, angry and feels a sense of betrayal that goes far beyond the cheating episode.

Interviews with wives of recently "out of the closet" gay husband were often filled with anger and some of the women were so perplexed they were almost speechless for several hours. 

Interviews with the husbands who had strayed with a man were very enlightening, as these husbands often expressed sorrow for their cheating, but a new liberation after "coming out."

From the Wife's Point of View

Some of the questions from wives whose husbands had cheated with a man or left them for a man were:

  • Did I make him "turn" gay?
  • Does he hate me so much he wanted to humiliate me to the point he would go out with a man?
  • How can I compete with a man?
  • Has our entire marriage been a lie?
  • How can he say he still loves me if he is making love with a man?
  • What do I tell the children?
  • Is this a one time thing? Will he come back to me?

These are a few of the questions women married to men who cheated with men asked. Many of the women, especially those who had been married for twenty or more years with grown children, were bitter and expressed that they "feel used." Others wondered how their husbands could have hidden "being gay" from them "for all these years."

The truth is that there are no simple answers. However, the questions seemed to be very similar. Over time I could pretty much anticipate the questions from the wives. Occasionally, I was surprised by the answers from the cheating man.


Men Holding Hands on Beach
Men Holding Hands on Beach

One Man's Story

One man told his story. The man had been married for over 25 years when he divorced his wife. He did not "come out" immediately following the divorce. In fact, he did not come out until he retired from the Army.

According to this particular man, he was happily married with two children for at least half his married life. When he married his wife he had no idea he was "gay." He said his wife always asked his advice on what to wear when they went out. And, he was only too happy to "dress" her. According to him, he had "a much better eye" for fashion.

When it came time to decorate their home, he admitted that he took the lead. "My wife just had no idea of how to put colors together. It came naturally to me."

While these statement may seem sterotypical of what many believe to be a "gay man" I can say that this man gave the impression of being anything but gay. He retired from the Army as a colonel. He was tall, muscular, athletic, and very masculine. But, so many of our stereotypes are wrong. Perhaps, that is what makes sterotyping so unfair to those who are stereotyped and those who do the stereotyping.

His story was interesting. He had begun to "notice" other men but had suppressed or dismissed any feelings for five or six years. Then, he began to "allow" himself to look at other men. He claims that his wife had no idea. She swears she did not have an inkling of a notion that he had gay tendencies.

Finally, one evening following an argument with his wife, he left the house, went to a local bar, had too much to drink with the "boys" and woke up in bed with one of them. He further explained that "it felt good to be held." For reasons that should be obvious, I will not go into the details.

He did not tell his wife of the event and she did not ask where he had been or with whom.  However, he recognized that he was strongly attracted to men, to the point where having sex with his wife became untenable.  They divorced two years later.

Due to his military service, he did not come out.  Instead, he found himself in a role where his responsibility was to handle the discharge of men who had been discovered to be gay.  In his words, "It was like having a list of prospects." 

This man became a "whore" according to him, going from one man to another much like a straight man would enjoy the freedom of having a plethora of women from whom to choose following a divorce.  I mention this only because it is a rare situation for a man who leaves his wife for another woman or a man to create an ongoing, lasting relationship with the first person with whom he has a love affair.

This is one man's story.  While this may or may not be the norm for a man who cheats on his wife with a man, I cannot definitively say.  I did not collect sufficient information during my clinical time to draw a conclusion that would hold up under scrutiny.

What the Wife Needs to Know

First of all, most of the men I interviewed did not go into the man-woman marriage with the recognition that he was gay. There were a couple of men who "thought" they may be gay, but thought getting married to a woman would keep them from acting on their thoughts. These men discovered over time that they were unhappy in the marriage and some divorced and some "lived the lie in hell" so as not to "disappoint friends and family."

The wives did not cause their husbands to "turn gay." I do not believe, based on my educational background and my studies that men or women for that matter, "turn" anything, be it gay or lesbian. For the point of this discussion, I will not get into whether a person is born gay or whether it is some illness. Most open minded people have formed their own conclusions. And, of course, there are some who will never open their minds enough to think.

Telling the children can be a challenge. However, in several cases the teenage children said they knew --- obviously before the wife--- and did not have to be told. Children, in general, expressed their love for both parents and were not as concerned with their parents sexual orientation as much as knowing that they would still be loved by both parents.

As far as the husband "coming back" into the marriage, probably not. Most men I interviewed saw the "coming out" or "coming clean" as the biggest obstacle in their lives. They reported that there was no returning to a heterosexual relationship. Once free from the shackles of societal pressures, the men saw "no reason to go back to living a lie."

That said, on follow-up interviews with couples who had divorced after the husband "came out" or cheated with a man, a number far greater than I would have expected had established good ongoing relationships.

I asked the men I interviewed if given the opportunity to say anything they wanted to say to their wives, what would they say. Surprisingly, at least to me, most of the men said they would tell their wives to be tested for STD. Most admitted that at least on one occasion they had unprotected sex with their male partners.

Can This Marriage Be Saved?

Whether your husband cheated with a man, or your wife cheated with a woman, most marriages cannot survive this type of infidelity as much because there is little incentive for the cheater to return to the marriage.

As with all relationships, it must be suggested the person with the wandering eye leave the established relationship before engaging in extramarital affairs.  Most do not leave the marital relationship because they think they can "get by with it without being caught" or because they do not recognize that their own feelings will change. 

Most people who have been in a marital relationship have a much harder time accepting the spouse cheating with a same sex partner.  However, over time, following the dissolution of the marriage, both members of the marriage have a tendency to attempt to re-establish some sort of working friendship.



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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Its's so much positive energy around me again. I haven't felt like this for months, maybe years. And now when they broke up and she calling me to get back together and all..WOW I am so happy for what has done for me. Carlos

    • profile image

      sally freeman 

      6 years ago

      My husband of 20 years has just left me for another man. My husband is 43 years old and says he is attracted to older white men. So when he left me he left me for a 73 year old white man. I think he is having a mid life crises. He swares that he is not gay but he is bisexual. I am hurt so bad and the children don't know why there dad has left. He says he is in love with this man and happy with him. However he says he is noy sure if he will continue in a gay relaytionship or if he will go back to being straight. I guess my question is will he ever come back to me? I love him and want him back so much. However some of the things he says to me hurts so bad that I am afrade that i am going to start to hate him. I try so hard to not want him back but nothing seems to work. I just keep waiting on him to come homw. Does anyone know what the chances are of him falling back in love with me and come home. Please help me I am so confused and don't know what to do.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      6 years ago from Southern Clime

      This is sad for people who have spouses living this kind of double life. Many of these individuals know that they are gay or bisexual, are in the closet, and marry an opposite sex partner to cover up their secret. They are ashamed to say that they do this because they are afraid to come out. They fear the criticism of family, friends, and society in general. It is dangerous to the spouse and unborn children. Imagine a man giving his wife and unborn fetus an std. How selfish and wrong! Many infected babies are born with HIV, visual impairments, mental retardation, and other abnormalities. What loving father can have sex with a man and risk infecting his pregnant wife and poor, developing baby. Consequences do not mean much until a life is threatened or shortened. Many children die in infancy or are doomed to darkness for the rest of their lives because of a mindless parent.

      Man or woman, if you know that you are gay or bisexual, or even suspect it, please do not destroy another person life by marrying him or her. Tell thae person. If they accept it, then that is a decision that you both make. It may be best not to because of later consequences.

    • profile image

      Billy The Willy 

      6 years ago

      I always thought myself straight and very attracted to women.I have had a lot of relationships and was engaged at 19 but of course she cheated as I was still a virgin so that ended.I have been cheated on by 10 different women and always treated them well but however I found few of them'ladies',or not up to my expectations.

      ALL of them let me see their' period stained underwear' ,talked about discharge and stuff I did NOT wish to know about.They were proud of menstruating etc,I was simply bewildered.I am not a gynocologist and thought this stuff a bit personal.

      Anyway I am stuck with graphic images in my mind and of images when I worked at the airport cleaning washrooms -again being exposed to multi-coloured discharge from women's un-flushed sanitary things.

      My current GF leaves solied panties around too.

      I am seriously repulsed and our sex life is now suffering and I am feeling less attracted to her though she's a kind ,loving partner.

      Is this typical of Canadian women?(who all seemed extremely feminist minded).

      I am wondering if I am becoming A-sexual or maybe gay?

    • JennaJackson profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Moi, there is no need to feel like a fool... easier said than done, I'm sure. I am sure he didn't "use" you. The truth is that most men (and women) who come out after being married didn't understand their own feelings or were in denial.

      You are right that there is a lack of support groups. Maybe you could start one. Someone has to take the first step. But, in any support group, the emphasis should be on moving forward, not dwelling on the situation.

      I have seen the effects that coming out can have on a family. But, there is one thing you must remember... whether you like it or not, he is still the father of your child, no matter how hard it is to deal with.

      Building trust with another mate is hard, whether your ex left you for a man or woman... or just was not honest with you. Take it slow. Be open as the relationship moves forward. Express your concerns, but again, don't make them the emphasis of a new relationship.

      You may not feel as if you are respected right now, but as time goes by, you will feel the respect from your ex and your child. After all, you have held up well and moved on. That demands respect!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My fiance after 15 yrs told me he thought he was bi sexual. We also had a son. Its been 5 years now since we split up and it is only now he has excepted it but would never admit it to me. I feel like a fool, that he used me and have found it the toughest thing in my life to deal with. It has effected my confidence and my trust for others. I am sickened by the whole thing and dont think i am homophobic because my best mate is gay. There is a distinct lack of support groups for women like us, the focus is always on how hard it is for the man to come out. I am not an experiment i am a human being who deserves respect and for those men that have one doubt that they dont know wot their sexual orientation is then they should leave well alone and realise the catrastophic effects it can have on a family!.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      9 years ago from Southern California

      Jenna you did it again, it's another, couldn't put it down until I finished. How sad for the spouse and children in these relationships. Although from what I've seen the children seem to be able to deal with it better than the spouse. Very, very good hub. Keep them coming.

    • Mireille G profile image

      Mireille G 

      9 years ago from Kansas

      Wow Jenna what you say is so true. One of my best friend is gay, but did not accept the fact that he was gay until after several years of marriage and two children. The marriage did not survive, our friendship did. The interesting part is that he and his wife had it rough for a while but for the kids' sake they made the divorce work. And in the process they became good friends. It took a while though.

      Good hub.


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