Home Meanderings • When your partner comes out

When your partner comes out


Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world who are secretly living with being gay or bisexual are in straight marriages. Their partner may or may not be aware or cogniscent that their spouse is bisexual and accepting of that, be living in denial of the fact and not wanting to face it, or blissfully unaware of the reality of their spouse’s gender crisis.

I was married to someone who I knew had been in a lesbian relationship prior to our living together initially in 2007. I knew she had been living with a woman and had been in a committed relationship with her. But we fell in love the minute we met and I knew she was at that point, my one. I knew the minute I opened my door and saw her that I wanted then to spend the rest of my life with her.

Last year she fell in love with a woman and started a sexual affair that destroyed our marriage and in the process was a hand grenade in the lives of a family and two small children. Love isn’t binary, love isn’t gender specific and love takes no prisoners. Infatuation and feelings of overpowering love and new pastures took over and blew apart our marriage.

I accepted she was bisexual, I wanted her to accept that side of her and I knew as she had met other women on her own at our local garden centre in Wiltshire that she had talked to online, that she had feelings that she was struggling with. Sitting on LGBT forums on Facebook and living in denial and identifying very much as the dominant male force within a lesbian or bisexual relationship.

Our relationship was strong, we had a very popular podcast talking about our marriage, however once she had set her mind on something she wasn’t going to stop, even if that meant destroying the family unit and her marriage.

My ex-wife has always set her mind on things and run at them. She stalked me in 2007/8, would sit at the end of my road in her car and watch my house (I later found out).

On one occassion I woke to find her standing at the head of my bed in my former home having broken in through a back door. Alarm bells should have rung but I was flattered rather than scared by someone obssessive compulsive who had to have her own way no matter the cost or fallout.

Blurring the edges of reality with life as a mum of two was something she was not afraid of experimenting with so maybe this should not have come as a huge shock.

Last year when she started having sex with another woman within our marriage and bringing that woman into our marital home and openly flaunting her in front of the children in the house, at the school gates hand in hand, and sat on the sofa in front of the children as a couple within the marriage and also at my expense led to me serving divorce papers on her.

What is not said, or even intimated at by onlookers is the fallout to the partner or spouse of the wife or husband who comes out as gay. The feelings of huge loss and inadequacy, the knock back in confidence and also the anger and the grief.

I struggled. I still do, it’s only been nine months since we split up and I have already divorced her for her behaviour. In my case we split and within minutes my wife was in bed with another woman in our house. There was no reaction capability, there was no talking, there was no discussion about how we would handle that as parents talking to the children. We have never talked about it. I am not allowed to be part of that discussion as my ex-wife and her new partner, had prior to the end of the marriage already deliberately decided to manipulate me both out the marriage and out of my own home. Through whatever means they could. Maliciously.

The feelings of loss and anger are palpable. The feelings of betrayal and stupidity are real. But I am not alone. Having read a huge amount of articles and two books on the topic, my situation is repeated the world over. I have used the Straight Spouse Network for support and guidance and found it hugely helpful. But having also read two books I can give anyone else hitting this explosive wake up call some advice.

  1. Do not make it out as being important as to whom your partner has had an affair with, straight or gay. The marriage is over, mourn it’s passing and try and find you, rebuilding takes time, two years is the norm it seems for most people to cope with the feelings of betrayal and loss. It’s 2019 homophobia or attitudes to homesexuality are wholly unacceptable. Gay people cheat, Bi people cheat, straight people cheat more than probably the previous two gendertypes put together !
  2. If you, like me, feel cheated, for having accepted your partners sexuality and then were lied to and betrayed it’s harder. These feelings will pass. You are allowed to feel anger and grief. It’s actually normal.
  3. If you have children (we have small children) managing the transition between a heterosexual marriage and a wife or father being gay needs to be handled carefully. My ex-wife chose to take our children to a hotel with a family room and get into bed with her girlfriend in front of two small children on Christmas Eve ignoring a court order. Hardly the most sensitive manner to do it in front of two children traumatised by a divorce and the enforced separation from their father by a spiteful mother who needed to enforce control.
  4. It is normal to feel prejudice. Your partner not only has rejected you, but they have cuckolded you and the feelings of self worth are decimated in a heartbeat. You have been replaced and there is nothing you can do about it. This is going to take time to deal with.
  5. Feeling you were living a lie is a very common emotion. Nothing can help you come to terms with this other than time.
  6. If you love someone set them free, is the biggest crock of shit that has ever been coined. The injured betrayed spouse is the last person able to set anyone free. The nature of a committed relationship or marriage means that whilst your partner moves on immediately, lauded by her friends as coming out, you have been betrayed and lied to and that hurts. The reality is that nobody thinks a responsible parent of two children runs off and has a lesbian affair, however life happens and you have to deal with it.
  7. Remember nobody will ever know the full story. In our case whilst my ex-wife came out in December on Facebook in her new relationship status when I filed for Decree Absolute, she had in fact been having sex behind my back with someone else for nine months, four of them preceding our split and my filing for divorce for her behaviour and adultery.
  8. It’s okay to be sad. Divorce, when one partner doesn’t want to lose their lifepartner is a killer. Expect to be sad. Expect to feel loss. Expect to struggle. This is normal – you aren’t alone.
  9. Accept who your ex partner now is. Running away from it and hiding it in plain sight does not allow recovery. He or she is still the parent of your children and part of recovery and new life is wanting him or her to be stable and happy. In my case I just want her happy and stable, regardless of the lies and the deceit since we split.
  10. The children are your sole focus. Concentrate on them. They need your support and guidance as they come to terms, not just with the hand grenade of divorce, but also the fact that their mother or father is now in a new life order.

Here are some links you might find helpful, especially the second link which has been a lifesaver for me.

BBC News Article on the topic
Straight Spouse Network



Technologist, Journalist, Single Dad, Bass Player, Drummer, Podcaster

Leave a Reply