Long held as a taboo and shocking subject, today homosexuality is more and more accepted in society. From gay pride and the legalization of gay marriage in some states and countries, for most of us, homosexuality is no longer an issue… except when we find it in our heterosexual relationship!
According to numerous psychologists, the majority of homosexuals suspect that they are gay from childhood, and come out during adolescence or in adulthood. However, many come out much later – these are people living heterosexual lives, married with children, who one day, start to question everything. Why does it take some people so long to be open about their sexuality? How should we react if we discover our husband is gay? Love Intelligence explains.
They lie to themselves without knowing it
Often, those who come out later in life live without being conscious of their desires. They don’t know how to pick up on the signs of their homosexuality and they don’t pay it any attention. They love their partner and feel fulfilled in the heterosexual life they are living according to the norms imposed by society. It is in reality this supposedly satisfying family and professional life that can contain and block homosexual desires. They are lying to themselves. They heterosexual life suits them more or less because they are not aware of their real desires – until the day when their same sex attraction imposes itself.
Why do gay men stay in the closet?
By contrast, there are secretly gay men who know that they are gay but make the choice to repress their desires because of society and family pressures. They choose this path as if it were the absolute best solution for them. They prefer to follow society’s norms and to stop asking themselves questions. Innumerable fears hide behind these depressed desires, such as the loss of identity, the fear of being judged, of uprooting one’s whole life…
Sooner or later, they feel caught up by the desires they’ve tried to bury under their banal life, finishing by putting everything in question and opening, little by little, their eyes to what really attracts them…
Coming out is a scary thing, it is experienced as a real ordeal. The help of a therapist can often be very useful. The individual comes to understand that his self image is going to change and those others have of him also.
Liberation: For those who dare take the risk, coming out can be a really liberating experience. Changes are seen as often physically (their style, sometimes people slim down) as in their personality which starts to ring true and be in accordance with their inner being.
The ordeal of a late coming out for the spouse or partner
The woman is going to experience things very differently from her partner. His coming out is, for her, a painful injury. She is in a situation of great distress, and experiences this moment in her life as a great betrayal. The difficult part for her is that she feels responsible. What did she do or what did she not do that made her husband this way?
Her sense of her own femininity takes a direct hit. She doesn’t feel desirable and begins to question herself on everything, which is very violent psychologically.
However, it is advantageous in one way, because generally, the sexuality in such a couple is in a rather poor condition. Before her husband’s revelation, the woman’s femininity has been more or less denied her. Here at Love Intelligence we have seen women experiencing a feeling of malaise without knowing the truth. They might even go through more serious psychosomatic problems. The truth liberates and saves. But this takes time.
It is a shock that continues to be felt for years afterwards, sometimes for all someone’s life. How can you move forward after such a bombshell?
After the big announcement, the partner and indeed the whole family find themselves in a difficult situation where they have to accept the destiny of the gay spouse or partner.
When a man what’s to live his life as a gay man in parallelel with his life as husband and father, the wives concerned are faced with a terrible choice: accept their partner’s homosexuality and turn a blind eye, or accept that everything has changed and start over. It will often be very difficult to male a decision because in many cases the partner says that he is still in love with his wife and has no intention of leaving her.
In such a tricky situation, it is important to talk to someone close, who can advise on the subject, who can focus on you, but who is also able to talk with the spouse despite all the tension. The assistanc of a therapist could help the woman to accept and overcome what is a really traumatic ordeal. It also ensures that the kids are not overlooked, but that is not the subject of this article.
Another useful source is the Straight Spouse Network which is a support forum of men and women married to gay, lesbian and transgender spouses.
Did you know?
As surprising as it might seem, according to Kinsey’s study on sexual habits, society is made up of 6-8% homosexuals and 12% heterosexuals. He considers the remaining 80% to be “latent”. This means that they have had either homosexual relations or fantasies at least once in their lives.
There are tell-tale signs a man is gay
What did I do wrong for this to happen to me?