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Ramon Johnson

Gay Husbands, Straight Wives

By July 24, 2007

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If your husband were gay, would you stick by his side? If you discovered that you were gay or bi while you were married, could you come out to your wife? One reader recently asked why men get married when they know they are gay. The answer is not that obvious given the fluid and often cloudy nature of sexuality.

Some men don't know...
Although people are born and not made gay, self-discovery in terms of sexuality and gender identity happens over time. Some come out at 13, others at 40. The process of self-realization and acceptance can happen suddenly or it can take years. In other words, some men don't know they are gay or bisexual until after they are married or involved in relationships with heterosexual partners.
Some men do know...
Another reality is rooted in a conscious decision by some men to stay in the closet. It could be fear, religious and social pressures, family pressures or a multitude of other reasons why some men hide in secrecy. Although these are very real life-changing considerations, they don't warrant the same compassion as a man who after years of thinking he was heterosexual actually discovers he is gay or bi.
About mixed marriages...

A mixed marriage is one where one spouse is gay or lesbian and the other straight. They don't always result in dish-breaking separations. Surprisingly enough, there are more couples than you might think that stay together or at least work out amicable arrangements. However, arrangements are far more likely when there is complete honesty, respect and a level of compassion for each other. (more on mixed marriages)

Honesty and compassion...

I condone honestly from the beginning to the end of any relationship. In mixed marriages, the gay spouse obviously has the greater burden of honesty while the straight spouse carries the burden of compassion. How much honesty and compassion each deserves depends on the circumstances. How can a husband come out to his wife when he himself doesn't know he's gay? To the contrary, how much compassion does a man who knows he's gay deserve from his unsuspecting wife?

Open Mic

Here's one dialog going on right now between two forum members. Agentvixenj is a 26 year old woman that suspects her husband is gay. Tony, a long-time Gay Life forum member offers a few words of wisdom:

I've been married for a little over a month now and I've had concerns that my husband might not be "into" me... Why would he marry me in the first place? Why toy with my emotions or lie to me about who he really is?
No doubt, if he is gay and married you for cover he acted badly... As for why he would do this, while I find such behavior wrong I also understand it. Despite that things have gotten better for gay people in many Western countries the fact is that they are still bad enough that many people feel they have no choice to hide it.
I need to approach the situation with compassion. First and foremost I care about him as a person, husband or not, gay or straight. I just need the honesty!
Comment on your own story below.

Image © Omar Franco.
July 25, 2007 at 2:36 pm
(1) avalon says:

First of all in my opinion gay people become gay at conception probably due to some temporary health problem of one of the parents. I knew all my life that I preferred men to women but I married in 1950 had three fine children and a very successful career. Why, because way back to be gay usually meant prison or mental hospital. I’ve no regrets about marrying but gay thoughts were always with me so I concentrated on qualifications and career to try to compensate. However, after retirement I felt the gay urge again but it was not until after my wifes death that I indulged in gay sex and relationships. I enjoy these immensely but feel very sad at times at what might have been had I been gay from the outset. It is a strange mixture of feelings, one the one hand I am pleased with my family and achievements and on the other regretful of the gay life and friends I have missed.

July 31, 2007 at 2:57 pm
(2) joenill says:

I pass judgement upon no one. You are who you are, and no one can change that. I do believe that you should be honest with yourself and those that you are in a relationship with. I married a man 16 yrs ago. About 2 years ago he tells me that he’s bisexual, but that he is only attracted to Shemales. He is totally absorb in his feeling for Shemales. I feel that I’ve been betrayed,because you know who you are. I just wish he had been up front with me before we got marry.He tells me that there is no sexual feeling for me, and that we can still be friend.I’m still trying to figure this out. Its not easy when you’ve invested all your time in a relationship thats been a lie.

August 14, 2007 at 9:45 am
(3) Nichola says:

My husband of 3 years and partner of 8 years recently came out as Gay. At the time I was pregnant with our 2nd child. It has been 9 months now and he has a partner he lives with, his family are accepting although not happy, he has his friends and open access to his children and even has them stay with him at weekends. I feel broken and lost. I feel like the last 8 years have been a lie. I gave my all to the relationship and even now still love him but cannot help feeling that I have been tricked and betrayed. I can’t see how I will ever understand and the fact that he was seeing the man while I was pregnant has destroyed my trust. I find myself jumping from man to man to try and fill some hole but never managing to.

August 23, 2008 at 6:14 pm
(4) Tom says:

Married men who realize they are gay or decide to excercise their existing gay urges often have a difficult being honest with their wives. Most of it has to do with social & family expectations, or think that it will go away, or think that they can have their cake and eat it too. They usually still love their wives, and don’t want to hurt them. I’m gay and in a relationship with a married man, and I wonder since he is not honest with his wife, why should I think he would be honest with me. I’m relying on the lack of those pressures in our relationship for him to be truthful to me.

October 21, 2008 at 7:01 pm
(5) Agentvixenj says:

It’s been a long time since I had those fearful conversations with Tony. I didn’t know what to expect from confronting my husband but I am happy that I did. Once everything was out in the open he admited to me that he was bi and I am completely ok with that. He was afraid that if he told me the truth, that he had an attraction to both sexes, that I would view him as a monster or something silly like that. This honesty and my reassurance that I love him no matter what has opened many doors in our lives. We’ve become closer than ever and our lives are truely happy and blessed. I urge anyone in this situation to approach it with compassion, love, and understanding. You’ll be happy you did in the end!

November 9, 2008 at 7:33 am
(6) Another Tom says:

I’m in the same situation as Tom (August 2008). He says his wife of 30 years is terminally ill and he wants to stay with her and take care of her. He isn’t honest with her and although I try to trust him with being truthful with me, doubts linger especially since most opinions say that most married men never leave their marriage. Is there any hope for me?

November 16, 2008 at 2:09 pm
(7) Janice says:

I’m sorry but I can’t accept the assertion that some men don’t know that they’re gay until they get married. This doesn’t make sense at all. Teenage boys who fantasise about sex with girls know they’re heterosexual. Surely teenage boys who fantasise about sex with men know they’re gay?

The difference is being able to accept the truth about one’s sexuality, and loving oneself.

December 22, 2009 at 1:49 am
(8) LA says:

I found out 30 days ago my husband of almost 4 years is HOSTING men in my house when I am out of town on business. He also has oral sex at the local gym in the steamroom and also is having sessions with more than 4 men. I had no idea. I am going to tell him what I know after the holiday. I’m going to try and not be crazy but I am going to take him to the cleaners and everyone on the planet is going to know he is a lying cheating evil man that lied to me from day one and put my health at risk. All this talk about understanding and being friends. I have girlfriend and I don’t have sex with them. He is an animal.

April 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm
(9) LANAM says:


July 22, 2010 at 5:57 pm
(10) Ruth says:

My husband of 35 years finally came out 5 years ago. He couldn’t admit even to himself that he was gay until after his parents died (they were so homophobic).

I wasted 35 years of my sex life with a man who did not appreciate me. I wondered why my sex life was so bad and what I was doing wrong that I couldn’t satisfy the man who “loved” me. For 35 years my self-esteem went down and down. Now that I am having sex with straight men, I am told that I am sexy and I am appreciated for the sexual being that I am. Everyone deserves this. It has taken a long time for my self-esteem to come back, and I still bemoan the 35 years of great sex that I lost. It wasn’t MY closet that I was in, and it wasn’t MY choice to be in a closet.

I think Avalon is incredibly selfish. He bemoans all the years he missed having fun gay relationships and not one thought to all the years his dead wife missed having a relationship with a man who truly appreciated her for the sexual being that she was! He is having his fun now, but his wife will never have that. Why not even one regret for what you put her through?

August 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm
(11) Spedie says:

I was married to a gay man for nearly 20 years and we had two daughters. I know lots of open, honest, gay men who were and are gay to the start. I like them. They know who the hell they are and are not ashamed.

I admire them, in a very unique way.

See, it’s not the sex act, itself, that bothers me. What bothers me is the dishonesty and all the lying. And all the stuff that was done to me emotionally, like being put down, told I was stupid..etc.

And then being cut off emotionally and physically, for so very very long.

I got tired of thinking I was getting old (I married my ex at age barely 22 and was in terrific shape – we were both in the Army), and after time, I gained some weight after both kids, but not extreme. I was never a hugely fat chick or nothing.

Because of his dishonesty of who he was…I blamed myself for years and years…because I saw no other solution. Self esteem was gone. In the end, it wasn’t my fault! I didn’t have a p*nis!

Please, guys on the down low….come clean. Please.

Why torture another person like this? Unless you are one sick person!

Spedie, aged 47 and wasted too many years of my life

September 4, 2010 at 7:09 am
(12) IWASANIDIOT says:

I was married to an under-cover gay for 10 years and discovered it only 6 years after the divorce. He would die rather than come out and spent 10 years with me, trying to convince the whole world what was wrong with me, and therefore with the marriage. I found myself criticised and blamed for everything, including his career set-backs and my child’s illnesses… everything… till I came to believe everything he said. While I empathise with the horrors a gay man must go though on account of his own and society’s homophobia, NOTHING, I REPEAT NOTHING justifies, the damage gay men do to women with this kind of deception.

February 11, 2011 at 9:28 am
(13) pixies says:

I’m not so sure anything is that easy… “he knew, he used me,etc.” Or that sexuality is as simple as gay/straight/bi/etc. I know so many people inside of commitments that are unsure about themselves… “I should have had a career, I never should have moved from Cal, I wanted kids, I like younger women, I should have dated other men…” and on and on, that when life unfolds and gets tough, maybe other grass does look greener. I don’t mean to reduce your rage; being decieved sucks. But was it his sexuality, or that he is a lying stinker that uses people for his gain and couldn’t face a truck if it was racing towards him. Lying is lying, no matter the root. I was married 23 years, 5 kids; I never thought my ex was masculine but I liked that. He was worried all of the time ( I know now) about liking men, and took it out on me. But heck, I am attracted to women, and I wouldn’t leave my marriage for it. I hate the black and white…the catagories. Gay, Straight, Bi, blah… it is like a big fraternity one joins when one “discovers” it about onesself. YUCK. I hate naming our sexuality… maybe it’s not a closet after all, maybe people just change in life. Just maybe it is a combination of nature and nurture, and some guys can’t cope with being honest about not being sure who you are attracted to. Don’t we all change? What is written in stone? So make the issue with the guy that he was a rat, not a gay rat. I’m not buying it. And I am pretty upset about being decieved also. Most people who have been, are.

October 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm
(14) mark says:

I am one that discovered that I was bi-curious in my marriage 4 years ago and yes my wife is one who cannot acccept it. Througout the past 4 years our marriage has been slipping further and further down the divorce path. I also just recently found out that my wife had an affair and has had acted with other men infront of me. I know I should not be mad as I was not honest with her.

What gets me is that all through the readings above it seams as though all the men have acted or wanted to act upon. In my case I am curious and am lost. I will be honest though and say that I truly love my wife to this day. I see her as my best friend, confidont, wife, mother of my children and still my lover.

I am still attracted to my wife and still get turned on by her and want to have sex with her. I have no desire to ACT upon my bi sexuality (or curiosity…do not know what it is) with any one…men or women. I am commited to my wife the same as I commited to her on the day of our marriage.

I have not read anywhere yet where men come out but have no desire to act upon. All the reading seems to point that bi means move on with the men. In that case why call it bi?

My wife will say that it is one thing to admire the physic of a male but it is something else in regards to sex. I will honestly say that there is a difference between casual sex and being in love and loving your partner. Yes I may have imagined what sex would be like but in the same time I have no problem with trying to experience pleasure in any way (same as women with oral, anal and vaginal). But I have no desire to necessary experience these with a man…perhaps with toys…could it not spice the experience for both partners and extend the pleasures?

Are there any bi men out there who are in the same position as me…admire the physic of a man but also love the beauty and curves of a woman?

March 1, 2012 at 8:00 am

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? To the male lover’s of the married men you’re having sex with…YOU FEEL SORRY FOR YOURSELF AND PLAY THE PITY CARD? I have been married to a man for 19 years. When I discovered that he was having sex with other men he told me he married me as a cover and to have children: that he never really loved me and that he would destroy me if I divorced him…that he would make sure our children hated me and that I never got a penny of “his” money (I was a stay-at-home mom)…well, we have been separated for 3 years and his plan seems to be working….we are from small-town NC where nearly the whole city is comprised of a network of underground gay/lesbian/bi/trans folks…principals, attorneys, police officers, and even the DA. He gave my kids scabies and I couldn’t even get Social Services to help me…he has connections with the gays everywhere. I’m in hiding now, having to move from city to city,. He became abusive. He is an alcoholic and drug abuser…probably as a result of trying to keep his cover up. He took 20 years of my life…all a lie. He confessed about many of his “friends” he had sex with…most of them are the father’s of my son’s friends. I have to be tested for HIV, etc. every 6 months now and will probably do so the rest of my life. IF YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO OTHER MEN THEN DON’T MARRY A WOMAN.

October 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm
(16) Alison Meyers says:

While growing up my sister has always spread false HIV positive rumors about other females she viewed as “Slutty”. I never agreed with this and always felt that she had deep issues regarding sexuality. Fast forward ten years and my sister married a blazing homosexual. EVERYONE knows except for her and my parents who are in denial. About a month ago she became really sick and was diagnosed with HIV. I believe that karma got my sister for all her malicious rumors she put out there growing up but I also believe that women should NEVER marry gay men if they are going to have sexual relationships with them. GAY MEN WILL CHEAT ON YOU WITH OTHER MEN AND PUT YOU AT RISK FOR HIV.

November 11, 2012 at 10:05 pm
(17) gay man says says:

After reading the messages above, I would like to add my two cents. I grew up in a small town in the South a very religious town. I had a high school sweetheart like most guys my age, went into the army and dated many women, I was engaged four times including my high school sweetheart. I ended the engagement all four times because I felt that there was something missing. At this point in my life, I had not had a sexual encounter with a man but I knew that my encounter with women were not what they should be. My first encounter with a man was when I was setting on the steps of my apartment building and a very handsome guy came up to me and asked if I had a smoke. I told him yes, and walked into my apartment to get him one, he followed me and pushed me against the wall and kissed me, I saw stars, beautiful stars and I then knew what was missing in my life. I am very very happy that I did not marry any of the ladies that I was engaged to for many reasons, the main ones were. I would not have been happen and most likely to cheat on my wife with a man, and it would not have been fair to ask a woman to live my lie.

But I must also say to women, a great deal of you who have married bi/gay men, have some idea that something is not right and ignor it, “DON’T” the first time that I visited a “BATH HOUSE”I saw so many married men there, they were either wearling the wedding bands or took them off but the light color rings around their ring finger told it all.

For you guys who dates married men in hope of a future, get real. You knew the facts from the beginning, so live with it. IYou ladies that are angry, you have every right to be and you will be in my prayers. One other thing, for those women who marries or date a gay man, thinking that a good woman or a good piece of tail will change him, wrong, most gay men have played both sides of the fense. If it looks like a duck, quack like a duck, it is a duck.

January 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm
(18) karen mithell says:

Well I been married for 8 years and i been thinking my husband was bi but i ignored it. but then later i asked him he denied it. we seperated because i know he is. he blamed everythig on me and since i had no proof we got back together and things is very strange now. but this time before i let him go im getting proof im putting a tracking device on his truck and then im going to bust him and show his mom and everyone who thought I was crazy cause men should not lie about other men calling them and the sex was not rite i thought it was me but now i see its him hes not turned on my women.

March 23, 2013 at 12:59 am
(19) Phyllis says:

My husband of nearly 28 years passed away on 2/2/13. We would have been married 28 years this August. He pulled away from me emotionally/sexually five years after we were marrried. This was both second marriages for us. His first wife left him due to lack of communication. He had a vesectomy at 23 and I knew I never wanted children; thus we were perfect for each other. One day after we were married I came home early from work & saw him dressed me my clothes. It took a few months before I could ask him about that and he told me he only did it because of pressures at work. I always told him that he could be whomever he wanted to be around me but that I would expect him to discuss this with me; he never did. After he died, I found out through his medical records the doctor thought he was gay but he would never get tested for it! Strange infections have been showing up on me & began to show up on him, once he retired & we moved to another state; uum? He had a very feminine side; I accepted that & actually enjoyed it. He did his thing, I did mine and we met in the middle. However, I recently lost my jaw bone implants & all of my doctors cannot figure out why. I even saw a TOP specialist in Baltimore, MD and he too was at a loss as to why my jaw bone deteriorated…I am beginning to understand why; too late,he’s gone, I’m here and my life must go on! I am taking an AIDS test as soon as I can; am I scared, hell yes! I have many of the symptoms of aids in a woman…it is very scarey, but not being able to put your finger on why things are happening to you, is much more scarier.

May 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm
(20) andy says:

I don’t know if anyone will read this because it’s an old comment… im going through an situation I have had gay feeling for years on and off I was married and told my wife that I was gay and we split anyway the feels went and in all the time before I met another woman I never perused the feeling. Now I’m with another woman and we have gad 2 children and god on behold the feelings are back…. What I’m trying to say is that emotions change every day were a complicated bred and because someone finds the opposite sex attractive does not mean they planned…… being attracted to men does my head in really I have mixed emotions which is so confusing. I wish it was one or the other want gets me is the feeling fade and then come back I wish I could say I way gay or straight and on half way between the both and back again… don’t persecuted the man who comes out to his wife because it may one day be you

June 5, 2013 at 1:51 am
(21) Elena says:

I am a nervous reck, my life is falling apart. About 2 months ago, I discovered shemale porn on my husband’s computer and I have high suspisions and a strong feeling that he is eigther bi or gay. We have been married for 13 years and have a child. Our marriage has been bad, we pretty much live like roomates. We barely speak and our sex life is dead. He does not know what I know. I don’t know what to do. Please help me…

August 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm
(22) Happy23 says:

These stories are horrible, I came out fully to my wife the other night that I’m bi sexual, yes I still bang the crap out of my wife. Love her to death and she is my best friend. But I have my other side, I’ve never been with a guy I have Bi and gay fantasies like crazy but couldnt date a dude and told her to do me with a strap on etc…and she said she is in to all the same stuff as we fet older we can move into more swinger type things! lifes to short Guys be honest with yourself you might be suprised!

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