Four Former Wives of Gay Husbands Speak Out

Here at this blog I have featured the stories of women married to men who tried to live straight lives, but ultimately could not. The stories and the comments left by others, some just trying to come to grips with their husbands’ sexuality, sadden me and move me.

The most common key words in search engines that bring people to this sight have to do with questions like, How do I know if my husband is gay? In the post My Gay Husband–A Spouse Speaks Out, Susanne tells some of her story. Just today a women left the following comment.

I’ve been married for 15 yrs. to a caring man. However, he’s always had a low sex drive, not ED but more like avoiding sex. He watches movies late at night and goes to bed after me. I’ve tried many times to approach him on this, but always comes up with an excuse, like we just had sex last week, in reality it could be a couple of months ago, or he says well you fell asleep before me. He vowes that he loves me and does alot of kind things for me. However, I starting to feel resentment towards him that sometimes I wish I could just jump off a bridge. I have not found any proof that he is cheating with a man or a woman.

I do know that when he was a kid he was molested by a man once. I do not want to be insensitive to what he maybe going through. Whether he is gay or I don’t know what. However, life is short and I feel like I deserve to be loved physically. I don’t see cheating as an option, for I know that is not the answer. I would rather find out the truth even it hurts. I do not how to begin.

Over at my Spanish blog, I received a similar comment from a woman who does not know how to respond to the fact that her husband looks at gay porn. When asked about it, he denies being gay and won’t talk any more about it.

Many of these women feel trapped in a world where they dare not talk to friends and family. They can feel isolated and often hopeless.

Truth Wins Out
has issued a video of four women, all formerly married to men who turned out to be gay. Some of their husbands even tried ex-gay therapy. These women tell their stories simply and raise a red flag about ex-gay conversion therapy.

At BeyondExGay.com (bXg) we also feature the story of Barbara Leavitt, a Mormon woman who married a man who turned out to be gay even after getting “help”. I saw in my 17 years in the ex-gay movement, that the vast majority of mixed marriages–ex-gay with straight a straight spouse, ended in divorce leaving a wake of pain and confusion and loss. And sadly there are often few people willing to help pick up the pieces and support these spouses who suddenly face very difficult choices.

This year for National Coming Out Day, let’s remember the spouses–they too are ex-gay survivors and their stories deserve to be heard as a witness and a warning.

This post has 8 Comments

  1. Anonymous on October 11, 2007 at 3:18 am Reply

    Peterson, Although all of those women have valid points, I feel somewhat invalidated every time Wayne uses the phrase, “sham marriages.” I know that although my husband was always gay, he lived committed to me and to our family for the duration of the marriage. There are those gay people who do truly try to exhibit the love that it takes to make marriage work, even when it causes their own pain, depression and near-demise. In our case, as in others, this is true. It adds hurt when Wayne uses the term “sham,” to describe all mixed orientation marriages.
    Carol B.

  2. Peterson Toscano on October 11, 2007 at 3:35 am Reply

    yes, Carol, I agree, and I think that is what makes it all so tragic.

    Almost always we entered these marriages in good faith with hope buoyed up by the people we looked to for guidance. Many of us men left the marriages broken hearted in our own ways, crushed by promises and hopes that we never realized no matter how often we were told to believe the impossible.

    Thanks for commenting Carol.

  3. Elliot on October 11, 2007 at 12:11 pm Reply

    I’m blown away, honestly, by this video. I agree that “sham” was a bad word — I think that sometimes people choose certain wordings or tones to make or emphasize their points, and I believe that’s what Wayne was doing with this video — trying to make his point that marriages between ex-gays and straight women (or men, if the ex-gays are women) really can never work.

    I do think, however, that this was a great effort to spread the word about National Coming Out Day. It was definitely moving. And it sounded like it was genuinely important to the ex-wives of these victims of ex-gay programs to give their message.

  4. Anonymous on October 11, 2007 at 2:09 pm Reply

    I was watching that thinking, “I wish he wouldn’t say ‘sham marriages,’ and I’m bet that Mom would feel the same way.”

    I thought I’d post something on her behalf, but then I saw that she’d already spoken up! (Hi, Mom.)

    I do think that’s a trivializing of a phrase.

    -Liz (Carol’s daughter)

  5. Peterson Toscano on October 11, 2007 at 4:02 pm Reply

    elliot, thanks for those comments. Yeah, I think it is especially important to highlight the diversity of ex-gay survivors. I know Wayne well and know he has a good heart, very passionate and a fighter. He also knows how to use words in a way that grabs the attention of the press.

    Liz, thanks for stopping by and adding your words. Ultimately it is most powerful when we get to tell our own stories. Once someone does the telling, the story changes, even slightly.

    A big part of National Coming Out Day is about telling our own stories in our own words, and that includes the stories of daughters of gay parents as well as trans bois, bisexuals and so many others.

  6. Anonymous on October 11, 2007 at 8:23 pm Reply

    I’m happy to have added something to the conversation, but I wish I hadn’t written, “I’m bet that. . .”

    Oops!

    -Liz

  7. Peterson Toscano on October 11, 2007 at 8:33 pm Reply

    Oh, Liz, this is the Internet, typos are a way a life here. 🙂

  8. Anonymous on April 6, 2008 at 1:34 pm Reply

    I have been married to a gay man for 25 years now I am leaving him becase my child is 21 and I have done my dty with both of them I have given him the best years of my life and I am 50 next year I do not want to waste any more time in this sham marriaage or my life My mother died last year knowing allthis I hope she can see what I am doing now from Heaven God will give me the strength to move on and my partner to come ot and live his life Lesley in Hull England

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