Tell me about it: Picking up the pieces after spilling the beans about my gay husband
Not uncommon situation
Yours is “a real and not uncommon situation”, says psychotherapist Christopher Murray. “I have worked with gay men who have lived in heterosexual relationships and, at some point, have come out, usually leading to the ending of the marriage and people going their separate ways. It is a very complex piece to begin to give advice without knowing more about the situation.”
But as your need to find understanding shows, you have had the difficult experience of carrying your suspicions about your partner without support. This “can eat away at self-confidence” as you deal with the pressure of keeping everything together for the sake of children, parents, friends, work and so on, says Murray.
All of us, in various situations, keep things to ourselves in order to maintain the status quo, because the path of least resistance seems easier. But we may reach a point of diminishing returns, especially once the closet door has opened.
“Now that she has talked to her friends, it is becoming harder to contain. It is as if she is wondering whether to ‘come out’ to her husband but doesn’t know if she wants to be shaken out of her complacency,” Murray suggests.
Talking openly with your husband about this is probably the most frightening choice because it could mean upheaval and the prospect of losing the man you love.
Another choice is to do nothing and hope things settle. An inbetween choice, which would require you to do no more than share with someone who can empathise and help, would be short-term counselling, not because there’s something wrong with you psychologically; there isn’t. You just need someone who is there for you and outside the situation.
You can tell your friends to “butt out” more easily if you’re getting support elsewhere. If I were you, I would certainly ask them to keep it to themselves and allow you and your husband to deal with it in your own way.
I understand why you want to stay with him, but remember that, while you feel this way now, you don’t know what process your husband is going through and where it may take him.
You can give yourself a different kind of security by taking control of the situation through addressing it, rather than living with the deep-down insecurity of not knowing.
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