- Gender and Relationships
Recovery: Straight Women Who Married Gay Husbands
"I have been in the life but God delivered me," is what he said. "I love you and want to marry you." How is it that someone can say that to you and caress you lovingly and you believe them? Well, my ex-husband did. And I believed him.
A friend of mine started a church and I would often see my ex in passing while at the church. We never talked that much. I remember when he made his move. My sisters and I were in concert. He sat throughout the concert with a blank stare the entire time, still he remained afterwards and said he wanted to pray with us. He told us how God was going to use us mightily and he declared his support of us. My sisters dismissed it, but I didn't want him to feel that we were high-and-mighty and didn't appreciate his support so I called him. The rest is history.
What makes a straight woman marry a gay man? I've heard women lament they didn't know he was gay. From others, I've heard that they sensed something was wrong but never caught him. So how do you know? My dear friend and supporter, Bonnie Kaye who has done extensive research and written books on the matter, compiled a list of signs. I'll share a few that were evident in my marriage.
There is a decline of sexual activity early in your marriage that never picks up again.
I remember our wedding night. I remember putting on my Christian Dior lingerie, looking forward to consummating our marriage. He said, "Baby, I know you're tired. We don't have to have sex tonight. We have a lifetime to do that." I was disappointed and taken aback but decided to laugh and eat wedding cake and hors d'oeuvres from the wedding reception. I wish I could say things got better, but our life together was like a roller coaster ride. At first, having sex with him felt so awkward. He was trying too hard. Stuck on justifying it, I rationalized that it was our first time and things would get better with time. What happened the next morning, however, left me with doubts. I awakened and began to spoon him, kissing him and caressing him tenderly. He slowly began to turn over and I waited with baited breath. The look in his eyes could have frozen the sun. He said through clenched teeth, "I told you this wasn't going to be fairy tale or a soap opera. We ain't gonna be having sex every day." Then he slowly turned back over.
He is turned-off by normal sexual activity and accuses you of being oversexed, aggressive, or a nymphomaniac when you have normal sexual needs.
I'm sure that most of you would have high-tailed it out of the bed, out of the city and out of the marriage. Me? I was deeply hurt. I sat in the parking lot shaken. Did i just make the biggest mistake of my life, I whispered. Contemplating my next move, I returned to the hotel room. He was apologetic as he explained the reasons for his earlier response. He said he thought so highly of me and my behavior just came across a little...well... whorish.
His sexual performance is more mechanical than passionate with a lack of satisfying foreplay.
This was true in beginning. As time went on, things got better. So good in fact that I looked forward to intimacy... and looked and looked and looked but our intimate times became few and far between. This was almost crueller than cruel. Where does that leave you? You don't want to have an extramarital affair. But the object of your desire doesn't want to be with you. Torture! It got to the point that after having sex, I would worry if it was the last time. He was so distant and quiet afterwards. He didn't want to be near me. If I reached out to caress his face or tried to kiss him, he'd either grab my hands and turn his face so I'd kiss his cheek or tell me he was just too tired. As time went on, I realized that the passion I experienced was simply the adrenalin of him feeling forced to do something so unnatural for him. It was hell for him. It was hell for me.
You find pop-ups of gay pornography on the computer while he claims they are not his.
Usually, he would lock his computer; but there was an occasion where he gave me his password to take care of a business matter. I was in shock and awe when I saw on his Favorites one gay porn site after another. He looked surprised and vehemently denied that the sites were his. He claimed that a recent guest must have gone to those sites and that he would reprimand him severely for that.
Another was when I walked up on him unexpectedly. He looked startled at first but told me the reason was he didn't want me to know that he was shopping for hardware to help him keep an erection. He even invited me to look at the different cock rings to help him decide what would be the best fit. It felt so unnatural and weird to scroll through penis after penis with your husband.
His ego appears to be boosted by compliments from gay men or he makes too many gay comments in conversations
He was a walking reference book of all things gay, from gay celebrities to gay church members to all the gay news and gay gossip. Although he seemed most attracted to manly or good-looking men, there always seemed to be someone effeminate always hanging around. The cu-de-gra for me was when I went upstairs to clean up the guest bathroom and saw that a friend of his had been leaving toiletries and other personal belongings as if he was slowly moving in. I just about lost it! I hadn't agreed to a boarder. I saw the way my husband looked at him and was attentive to him in ways that he wasn't with me. Seeing his things made the bad witch take center stage. No um-um way was I gonna allow that.
So what have I learned from this experience? I learned a lot of lessons but nothing more important than the importance of making emotional deposits into our childrens' love tanks. Fatherless sons make angry men and fatherless daughters make desperate women. I've often seen fathers in the home who give orders to their girls but don't give them affection. I don't know what happens between them being doting fathers when their daughters are little girls to them becoming drill sargeants when they become teenagers. I don't know why that is. Why he'll tell her how pretty she is in her frilly dress and patent leather shoes to him telling her she looks like a streetwalker when she wears an outfit he doesn't approve of. Criticism from her father drains a daughter's love tank of self esteem like nothing else. It makes her vulnerable to the first man who pays attention.
The issue wasn't that my husband was gay. I have met some good-hearted gay men whom I hold in high regard. The reason I do however is the courage they have to live authentically. Regardless to whether a man is heterosexual, homosexual, a-sexual b-sexual or whatever-sexual, I cannot knowingly have a deceiver as a friend. Let me tell you what I've seen. I've seen women dismiss their intuition. She'll dismiss the ummmmmm feeling when she observes passing glances between her man and other men in church. Then when they go out to eat--which is what we church folks do--there she is, sitting on the sidelines while he's laughing, touching repeatedly and overly attentive with another man. Though something inside says "that's odd," she tries to play it off, laughing occasionally and looking like it's okay. Despite this, she'll walk down the aisle and marry him. I can talk about it because I was that woman. And I have to be a voice for those women who carry the shame inside. Another lesson learned? Don't ever dismiss your intuition.
I can't speak on behalf of the gay husband because I don't know what that's like. I do know however how it feels to be a straight wife and to survive it. I just want any woman out there who reads this to know you can survive it. You can get yourself back. You can recover.