When a married straight man falls in love with another man

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When a married straight man falls in love with another man

When a married ‘straight’ man falls in love with another man

Thanks for your email Anthony and reaching out to me like this. It is wonderful to finally have someone to talk to about these things who understands my situation.
In your email you said ‘I guess the question arises Joe – what happens if you and the guy you occasionally have sex with fall in love and want to share a life together…what happens with your wife then????’
To be honest this is what I really struggle with and it does really scare me at times. Whether you “fall in love” or not maybe depends on your age. The older you are, the less likely you would be so taken with another human being. Now I am older in life I don’t think this will happen or that I would allow to happen.
Joe.
straight man falls in love with another man

These men were not straight

Hi Joe

From my personal experience, and from the many gay men and women in straight marriages I’ve worked with, falling in love is frequently the catalyst that jolts them out of denial about their sexual orientation. Whilst many men will deal with this in midlife, age is not a determining factor it has happened to men I have worked with in their 60’s.

Some though have successfully shut down the emotional part of their life. But putting the lid on something is no guarantee that one day all the planets, chemicals and triggers might align and the persons finds themselves hopelessly in love for the first time in their lives.

For many, up until the point of falling in love, we are happy to live with term bi -assuming that because we have sex with our  wives and sex with men on the side, makes us bisexual. About 90% have sex with one woman many times and have sex with many men once. This in itself should be rather telling.

When you really fall in love with another man everything changes. You not only want to have sex with him, you want to spend time with him, know him, have intimate conversations or just enjoy each other’s company in silence. You may even want to grow old with him. It is at this point we realise that our homosexuality is not about just sex but is far more profound, and is the very essence of who we are. It is at this time many of us will use the term gay to describe ourselves and the shame and guilt previously attached to the term begins to disappear. The identity we chose to reject we are now willing to not only accept but embrace.

If we decide to stay in the heterosexual marriage we need to be aware that our emotions are an area needing constant monitoring or possibly shut down all together. Personally I think this is sad. But I always respect people’s personal choices as its their life to live, not mine, but I think our choices need to be informed ones.

Up until my 40th year I had managed to ensure that I never got emotionally attached to another man. It was too dangerous – too much was at stake. In order to do this successfully I made sure encounters were brief and that I never took the risk by seeing a person a second time.

Just a few weeks before my 40th birthday I was in a place in my life where I let my guard down and the end result was that, for the first time in my life, I didn’t experience sex with a man clouded with shame, regret and guilt – I experienced something amazing, something I never knew was possible. That night was the turning point. Once I became to allow myself to experience what had been awakened within me I didn’t want to shut it down. It was too beautiful and it was as though something inside of me had come to life. The part that I’d tried to deny, control, suppress even destroy.

For a brief while I regretted that encounter because of the long term implications but in the long run I’m grateful it happened as I wouldn’t be where I am at today living openly and authentically.

I’m not saying these things to scare you but just to make people aware of the enormous difference between sexual behaviour/activity and our sexual orientation.

Orientation is about love, affection, intimacy, tenderness and partnering. So if we are same sex oriented……we will only ever experience those things in their fullness in a same sex relationship……not in one night stands…anonymous sex…..or casual encounters with other men who need a sex fix……and rarely with a straight partner.

© Anthony Venn-Brown

See my YouTube playlist on Being Gay in a Straight Marriage here.

By |2018-07-08T00:57:47+00:00April 30th, 2013|Categories: General, LGBTI, Mixed Orientation Marriage|Tags: , |43 Comments

About the Author:

Anthony Venn-Brown
Anthony Venn-Brown is one of Australia’s foremost commentators on faith and sexuality. His best-selling autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith', details his journey from being one of the first in the world to experience religious gay conversion therapy, becoming a married, high profile preacher in Australia's growing mega-churches, such as Hillsong, to living as an openly gay man. Anthony was the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b. He is an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy myth. Anthony is the founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International. Anthony has been recognised on a number of occassions for his contribution and impact including being twice voted one of 'The 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’.

43 Comments

  1. Anonymous May 22, 2015 at 12:55 am - Reply

    I am actually in almost the same situation as stated above. But in my case, I am not the married one, but the one who is in love with a married man. But unfortunately, the complexity of this feeling doubles as he is much older than me (about 40+ years age gap). We were madly in love with each other until the recent unexpected thing happened in our lives, where the wife found out. She took it very hard knowing that she has been living with a man who basically lied to her. All the dramas and unwanted situations began internally in their family, where in the end the wife decided she can't take it any longer, and decided to live separately. I have never ever felt so guilty in my life for being part of the causation. I was so devastated that it had to go this way, and it even come to a point where the person that I love even thought about committing suicide. But a few months after that incident, somehow we managed to reconcile and have been together since. Throughout those period of times, its undeniably hard for both of us, because he made a promise to his kids, that he would never ever tell lies anymore to them. But not telling lies does't mean that he will reveal the truth either. So in a way, though we're together almost every weekend, there are still unsettled feelings in him. Until very recently, when he had the chance to spend some time with his kids, something really unexpected happened to us. Somehow, I have been confronted by his son saying to me that I better stay away from his dad, or else it will be a police matter. I was in deep shocked by the confrontation, and those words said by his son keeps on playing in my head. And up to this point, I still have no idea whatsoever had happened. I really want to hear some answers from him, for the very least why is this happening, and if he genuinely decides to end this relationship. And right now, I have developed a very serious depression in me, because of the fact that I couldn't understand or even know what has happen. I'm not exactly writing this to find an answer from anybody, but I just feel like writing this to help me feeling better I guess.

    • Anthony Venn-Brown May 22, 2015 at 3:22 am - Reply

      hi there…..I'm so glad you posted your comment. It certainly is a very challenging situation that you are in. No doubt your partner is also going through a lot of emotions. I wonder if he is getting some help as well. These situations are not uncommon and there is help out there for all of you but of course it depends where you live. If you want to email me confidentially then I'd be happy to talk some more. anthony@abbi.org.au

  2. DH October 2, 2015 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    These situations are so hard for all involved. Speaking personally, I’m the “other guy” in a situation very similar. Over a year and a half ago, I met a married man with the intentions of having only a friends with benefits situation. Even though we hit it off emotionally right away and connected. No emotions needed….that was easier said than done when “D” said the L word walking out one day. He has 2 children that he loves very much and says he loves his wife very much. As the months progressed, we saw each other more. We would simply spend time together. Then, a few months ago, he said he was torn. Thinking of me while he was brushing his teeth, working out, and every other minute. D said he couldn’t love two people and wanted to be just friends. When he visited after, we would always wind up kissing and smiling at one another. 4 weeks ago, D told me we couldn’t see each other anymore because he couldn’t be just friends; that his commitments to his family had to come first – no more communication. He said it was the hardest thing in his life that he has ever done was leaving me. Our last words were I Love You. Since then I’ve been in a horrible depression-unable to eat or sleep. Until a week ago when I saw him in the grocery store. Our eyes met and we wound up sitting in my car talking and holding hands. He couldn’t even look at me until I asked him to. When I asked him why he couldn’t, he said “you know why.” His stance is that he will try to suppress these urges and continue to be married by only looking at gay porn every few days. Since college, and throughout his marriage, D has had hookup friends that were all male. I was the only one who he fell for like this. While talking, I pointed out that the urges couldn’t be suppressed for long because it’s who he is. He admitted to having thought of coming to me and partnering happily, but called it selfish. I told him that eventually his wife would find out about his secret. Maybe not the affair, but his sexual desires. He agreed. (While still holding hands in the car). I love this man more than life and it’s killing me to see him so torn and in denial. During our conversation, I urged him to come clean to his wife before she found out another way. She deserves to have honesty and not betrayal. He seems to be making this decision for her which I stated was unfair. D stays on my mind constantly and my prayer is that he come clean to her out of the love a husband should have, also to free himself. Is this wrong of me? We agreed to remain friends through email and I know he’ll visit me eventually as a friend. At this point I just want to be there for him in any capacity. My question is how do I help him along and see the truth? This man is my soulmate and worth fighting for until my last breath. I feel horrible about his earlier choices and the price he will have to pay to the piper when it comes due. Whether because of me or the wife finding some kind of porn link or whatnot. I asked D, wouldn’t it be better to have someone strong enough to stand by you than risk being found out and left alone? We’ve all been scared of family rejection and looked at the mountain of consequences as he is now. My soulmate is scared, in denial, and torn. It’s hell for me and I told him this. How can I help him see that the honesty, even through adversity, will free his soul? Please, from one lost sheep to another, I’d like to know what I should/can do? My mind is so scattered now. All of my friends who know of my relationship with D have been so kind. Knowing all details, they have assured me he will come back, but I’m losing hope. At this point all I want to do is help.

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown October 5, 2015 at 4:15 am - Reply

      Your friend my find my autobiography of benefit A Life of Unlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith
      “There comes a time comes when we have to face realities in life. For some, reality slaps them in the face – refusing to be ignored.

      On the surface, everything looked perfect. Anthony Venn-Brown was a popular, high-profile preacher in Australia’s growing mega-churches, such as Hillsong, and happily married father-of-two. Behind the scenes was a different story. Believing homosexuality made him unacceptable to God and others, a secret battle was being fought. After twenty-two years of struggle and torment, a chance meeting forced Anthony to make the toughest decision of his life. Tired of feeling torn and fragmented, he confessed and came out. Abandoned by his church and Christian friends Anthony began his life of unlearning; a lonely journey that made him who he is today.

      This honest account highlights not only the costs of being true to yourself but that the rewards of authenticity and integrity are worth it.

      As Anthony’s story is ultimately about being true to one’s self – whether you’re gay or straight, religious or non believer – you’ll find relevance in this triumphant autobiography.”

  3. Edward April 5, 2016 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    I am in a similar situation, I am a married man in his early 30s and been with my wife since I was 19… Up until about 3 years ago I started experimenting with guys and I had never cheated on my wife until this point.
    I had a few random encounters and reg friends that I would play with while away. 6 months ago I had some business overseas and on my first night I met a guy.

    We were both staying in the same hotel so We met through an app. As soon as He answered the door there was an instant connection and the chemistry was something I had never felt before. I had just arrived so we didn’t have sex that night we fooled around and talked instead…we felt so comfortable with each other.
    The next morning we planned to meet early before I had meetings to attend, again for alittle oral relief – so I happily obliged.
    Again this guy had me mezmorised.

    I was heading away on an overnight trip so we planned to meet up the following night.
    All ready I turned up at his room and it was on. I had never felt so relaxed and carefree like I felt with him. He confessed he was married and that he was in a sexless marriage and told me his real age…. His profile was a few years short… He is in his 40s. Prior to this I had this overwhelming feeling to tell him that I loved him……so I did and he didn’t know what to say.

    the next day he left for home and we continued to message each other
    He finally told me he loved me in December, 2 months after we met I said that on day 3

    It got to January this year and we were still in contact every single day. Every day since then we would request a song to each other for the day ahead….. Remember we live in opposite sides of the world!!!!!

    Now he is in a sexless marriage that has been this way for a decade and we didnt expect to fall this hard and be so emotionally invested.
    Him being a little older I feel he had a little more control of his feelings where I had never felt this way about a guy before so I was hard and heavy. We were face timing daily at this point
    So We planned for me to fly to him while his husband was on work

    It was a week of love fun passion and just hanging out with each other
    I came home from that trip knowing what I had to do.
    I do love my wife with all my heart and I would never want to hurt her but holding this in is, not only hurting her but me as well. If I stay in my marriage it is unfair to my wife if I can’t give her 110% of me. And I would want her to be truely happy with someone who with love her with all of his being. I feel meeting him has forced me to realise who it is I am and want to be.

    So it got to valentines and I noticed a change in his attitude and mood when we would talk
    He was becoming increasingly torn, Between his long term relationship and me. I said to him that I can handle it and he needs to have the conversation with his husband regarding their relationship – and no sex.
    He then came back to me 3 days later and told me he wanted to work on his marriage and give it a go. This meant cutting contact. I tried to stay calm And collected but I went into a spiral of depression. He was away on holiday with his husband so it slapped me in the face abit when I saw pic
    Online . He told me he would check in with me when he got home In a few days. I went crazy over this time and posted a pic that he later confessed he looked at 100 Times on FB. He broke his rule and contacted me while on holiday which was surprising. This man doesn’t express feelings like I do. He keeps a lot
    Bottled up and you have to pry to get it out of him.

    was still under his spell and had to snap out of it so I took the emotion out of the breakup and looked at my life and saw complete clarity in the situation. I told him all my word of wisdom when we spoke for the last time to try and leave thing in a good manner. I told him to take time and let me know

    The next day he messaged saying he is not ready to let me go.

    I need to sort my end out with my wife and getting things in order.’he needs to do the same with his husband and until these matters are sorted it just can’t happen.

    He is my soulmate and I know he feels the same I just hope he doesn’t settle for his marriage if he is not happy and they tried to make it work. He has a lot of money and property etc at stake so I hope this doesn’t scare him as well.

    At the moment we are giving each a few days space but I just don’t know what to make of this???? He is the breadwinner but His husband is a lot more successful than me and I feel like I could never be as good enough to compare. Is this me reading too much it?
    Is this man still in love with me or is he going through a mid life crisis. We are both in therapy to help talk about things but I don’t know where this is going to lead

    He is still having no sex

    I know what I need to do but I wonder if I’m on his mind as much as he is on mine

    Thanks for listening

  4. R June 21, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    I’m a young married man with two kids who I love very much. Recently I’ve developed strong feelings for a male coworker. I am completely torn with my feelings. I feel a strong urge to pursue this man, but I feel terrible guilt for betraying my family. However I can’t get him out of my mind. Another problem is I’m not sure he is interested in men, and I doubt he would even think I am since I’m married. How do explore these feelings without “outing” myself if he happens to be straight or not interested? Also, am I completely selfish for wanting to pursue this man when I’m married? Any advice or guidance would be appreciated.

  5. RGL_chaotic July 2, 2016 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Greetings. I’m a single father with a grown up son. Recently, I started a new job and developed a friendship with a male co-worker who is married with two little kids. I was instantly attracted to him from the first time I saw him, but didn’t really interact with him until a few months later. Once we began talking and getting to know each other, I began to realize that his good looks was an added bonus to his wonderful big heart. I always feel a connection between the two of us every time we chat with each other and I just want those moments to last long. I also feel that he may have some feelings towards me. He’s in a leadership role where he’s always busy and all over the workplace. But he’ll always find a chance to come and say hi and will apologize whenever he doesn’t get a chance to reach out to me, which I think is so sweet. Lately, we’ve been having more intimate talks and I’m always thinking about him. I’ve never had this kind of feeling for anyone and its eating me up inside since I feel like a lost soul due to the situation with him being married and not knowing if he likes men. I’m turning 40 this year and I’ve been in the closet and have only come out to only a few people. I’m at a point in my life where I’m tired of hiding who I really am and depriving myself of the happiness we all deserve in life. Reading your blog has been inspiring as I take the journey to acceptance. Thank you!!

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown July 5, 2016 at 12:12 am - Reply

      Yes love does change everything. I’m glad that you found this helpful. Midlife is a time for many of us to make this readjustment to be ourselves. You might find some more helpful information here as well. http://lgbtiqcoach.blogspot.com.au/

      All the best yous journey to authenticity

  6. D July 13, 2016 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Good afternoon,
    I really needed to see this website as I am also in a strange predicament. I met a guy 9 years ago and we hit it off. He was in town for work (as he lives in another a state). We spent a lot of time together. When he went back home we kept in contact and he was sent back to my area for another assignment. This time though we did not spend any time together although I tried.
    He later on traveled to another state and worked there for 4 years. We kept in contact.

    He got married a few years ago.which broke my heart as I knew based on conversations that I was not the only guy he had been with.

    2 years ago he hit me up (we had not spokenough in a year). He had gotten married a year before. He basically told me that he had made a mistake in getting married. He was unhappy. The reason he had been so distant was because he realized that he had fallen in love with me.
    He told me that he was going to get a divorce because he wanted to be happy in life. He asked me to form.back the relationship that we had. At first I was apprehensive as he was married.
    But I was in love with him and he was so convincing that I agreed to form a new relationship with him.
    It lasted a year all of a sudden he wasn’t getting a divorce but he still wants to be with me. What should I do?

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown August 2, 2016 at 4:16 am - Reply

      I guess the question is what do you want?
      Sounds to me like an unhappy life ahead if you pursue a relationship with a closeted married man. He is not being true to himself or to his wife. Is that really what you want for yourself?

  7. Hope Hill July 9, 2017 at 5:38 am - Reply

    I am the wife. My best friend and the love of my life came clean to me 3 months ago.We started dating at the 18 and had been inseparable for 29 years. He told me he had met someone and 2 months later he moved 5 states away, to be with the man of his dreams, and left me and our 2 daughters behind. When I reached out to his boyfriend, who had not been previously informed my husband was married, he professed himself an “honest a decent man” but stated that my husband’s family was not his concern. In the two month interim between his admission and his departure, my husband eluded to the idea that because he now knows he is gay, and because he suffered in the closet for so many years, he is excused from fidelity. When He left town, he has disappeared from our lives. He has withdrawn from all parental responsibility, leaving me to tend to three broken hearts and stripped finances (due to his affair) on my own.
    Being gay is acceptable. Coming out, even after married, is forgivable. But to disregard those you’ve made a life with, as if they no longer exist, is cruel and selfish. Coming out shouldn’t change everything. It may alter the course but it shouldn’t dump all the passengers overboard. I never had been able to understand hatred for gay people. But now, with the selfishness and blatent attitude of entitlement, I can understand where bigotry may have it’s roots. I hope these two are not the norm. Maybe they are just selfish jerks, regardless of their orientation. But honestly, I hear the same tune in many of these comments. Male chauvinism at its finest.

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown July 11, 2017 at 11:36 am - Reply

      Hi Hope…..my heart goes out to you. This is a terrible situation. Character and sexual orientation of course are two different things. Whilst these times of transition are terribly challenging for all of us…..I can say that in most situations I have come across your situation thankfully is not the norm. Hopefully there will be changes …..and I trust you are getting support.

    • QuestionGirl May 1, 2018 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      I’m really sorry that happened to you.

  8. BenB July 24, 2017 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Reading these comments and felt I needed to add my own situation going on. I’m sure I’d get plenty of negative responses, but here goes. I’ve been married to my wife since I was 19 years old (I’m 46). We started dating in high school. I think I knew at some point during our marriage I was attracted to men, but stuffed that feeling deep down inside somewhere out of love and respect for my wife and our children. In my mid 30’s I had my first sexual experience with a man. That opened up a door where I would occasionally seek the sexual intimacy of men from time to time (many times with other married men), but never thought about, or wanted to change my current life. I absolutely love my wife and our grown children. My wife and I don’t have sex anymore, mostly because of my sexual attraction to men has grown over the years. She doesn’t know this is why. We are still great friends and partners in every other way.

    Fast forward to now. July 2017. I met someone a month ago who has been in a gay partnered relationship for two years. We both agreed we were missing something in our current relationships and wanted to form a longer term relationship on the side. Both emotionally and sexually. However, we didn’t want to impact our current relationships negatively or change them. Sounded good at the time. However, something happened on my end. Something I didn’t expect at all. I’ve fallen in love with him. We’ve only had sex one time since we met. The rest has been taking our time getting to know each other, talking, meeting for lunch or breakfast, and a lot of texting and emailing.

    I find myself with strange feelings I didn’t expect. Love for a man in a relationship with another man, guilt… and the strangest one.. sadness (and almost the feeling of loneliness) when I’m not with him. He doesn’t know I’ve fallen in love with him. I don’t want to scare him off and risk losing him. I’ve never in all my years considered leaving my wife, but for the first time in my life, It crosses my mind.. but only for him.

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown July 25, 2017 at 3:36 am - Reply

      Hey Ben….thanks for dropping by and adding your experience. Seems like this post is intensely relevant. Love does change everything. There will be a lot to work through.

      • BenB July 25, 2017 at 3:52 pm - Reply

        Thanks Anthony … it does feel like there is a lot to work through. For now, I’m not sure even where to start. If this relationship goes the direction of deep love for us both, that could push me to choose to change my current married situation. For the moment, he’s doing a much better job managing the growth of our relationship, or at least practicing restraint. I think that may be in fear of his own feelings and how that could impact his relationship with his current partner. I believe he feels the same way about me as I do him, but doesn’t want to bring himself to admit it so early.

        Thanks for having this site and the blogs….It does help to read them.

        • Anthony Venn-Brown
          Anthony Venn-Brown July 26, 2017 at 12:49 am - Reply

          “Thanks for having this site and the blogs….It does help to read them.” And thanks for your encouragement. It means a lot.

  9. Julie Hinds July 25, 2017 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Hope, your story is common. Many closeted gay men leave their wives and children and find it difficult to maintain healthy relationships with them. They are often not willing to provide for their children financially.
    I am in a support group for straight spouses and I have heard many straight women and men lament the way they have been treated after their gay spouse left them.
    I felt gutted ad betrayed when my husband of thirty years had an emotional affair with his boyfriend.
    He had convinced me when we were in our twenties that although he knew he was gay he wanted a wife and family. When it was safe for him to come out and our children are adults he left me in a cold and callous way.
    I was shattered and our six adult children have been hurt. Our family is fragmented now.
    I think it is rare that the gay spouse is able to navigate coming out with kindness, compassion and generosity.
    It would have been very different of my ex husband could have been able to be generous and caring. I feel like I have been a service provider to him.

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown July 26, 2017 at 1:00 am - Reply

      Hi Julie….thanks for sharing your story and insights. I have been working for many years now with gay and lesbian people in straight marriages. http://lgbtiqcoach.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page_3.html

      The foundation of the work that we do is based on respect, openess and integrity. I’m please to say that the vast majoirity of these situations are not devastating or cruel.

      this is not to say that they are not difficult or traumatic………but most definitely a far better outcome than I or others have created. I wish I had someone to work through those things when I was going through it. I was totally alone and had no one with any experience to help. Hence I made some terrible mistakes. Thankfully my daughters have been wonderful and my relationship with my former wife and her husband in good. We had to work on it of course……but I consider ourselves blessed.

      • Julie Hinds July 27, 2017 at 12:38 am - Reply

        Anthony, I appreciate your work with gay spouses. You paint a picture of gay and straight exes being friends and happy together.
        My experience as a straight spouse was not kind and happy although my ex husband promised me we could have a conscious uncoupling and be friends. He made it quite adversarial. He is a Christian which is one of the reasons he married me knowing he was gay. He convinced us both it would be ok.
        Many of the straight spouses I know in our support group have experienced emotional abuse, domestic violence and have been sexually rejected by their gay spouse. This has been incredibly damaging and it takes years for the straight spouse to recover.
        I would ask that gay people coming out of a marriage be generousfinancially, kind, thoughtful and apologise sincerely. It would make a huge difference to their relationship with their ex and their children.
        Thank you.

  10. Julie Hinds July 26, 2017 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Anthony, my point is that the reality for most straight spouses who are in our straight spouse group is that their gay spouse has lied to them, has had sex with men while they are married and then breaks up the marriage in an adversarial way. You have said often that the gay spouses you work with are kind and pleasant. I have not heard of them.
    My ex husband told me that we were going to be friends, that he would look after our adult children and I financially and we could still be a family together. That changed after a week. Out of our six children two have distant relationships with him, two have distant relationships with me. I am really close to four of my children. My ex was a strong Christian and this has been confusing for our children As he used to tell them sex was between a man and a woman in marriage and he now lives with his boyfriend.
    My ex told me a few months before he left “I am subconsciously angry with you because I can’t be with a man”.
    So many of us suffer emotional abuse because our partner suppressed their true sexuality. Many straight partners have been physically abused too.
    The gay partner often rejects their straight spouse sexually telling them they are too tired or that the straight spouse is unattractive tn them. It is really damaging to be rejected sexually by your spouse for years.
    So if you realise you are gay or you have known for years please don’t have sex with randoms while married. It is still cheating. Tell tlyour spouse kindly and honestly that you are gay. Get counselling to help you both navigate what you do next. Be generous financially as it the least you can do to compensate your partner in the situation. It will help you to maintain a relationship with your children and your partner.
    If you marry some one who is straight and you are gay you have misled them. It is up to you to make it as easy as possible for your partner as you separate. Thanks.

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown July 27, 2017 at 2:02 am - Reply

      I agree Julie……people should get help with this. http://lgbtiqcoach.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/gay-coach_22.html

      I’m glad to hear that you have found a support group. Feel free to put a link below in case someone reading this is looking also for an understanding group.

      I’m so sorry to hear the way things have turned out for you.

      Hindsight is definitely better than foresight. Hopefully with the growing acceptance of LGBT people our situations are less likely to be repeated in the future. A lot of that though is up to the church and religion

      • Julie Hinds July 27, 2017 at 2:53 am - Reply

        Thank you, Anthony. I appreciate that.

  11. John December 27, 2017 at 12:55 am - Reply

    I have just read this article. It is almost exactly like my situation Anthony. I have been married for over 13 years and have just fallen in love with another man. It’s not just about the sex (although that’s great.) It’s about wanting to spend the rest of my life with this man. I’m not even totally sure how he feels about this. However, I DO know how I feel. It’s been a long hard battle for years.

    Every day I wake up, he is the first person I think of. He’s the last person I think of at night. I love his sense of humour as well as his ability to laugh at things. Gradually, I’m finding my heart is becoming more and more open to him. At the same time, though, I am concerned it will end in tears. Despite this, I do know that I have enjoyed being with him. The way we hold each other is amazing. I cannot even describe it.

    At the beginning, I felt the ‘butterflies’ sensation. Now, just 2 months later, I feel an overwhelming sense of love for him. I never thought I would feel like this at this stage in life. Clearly I was wrong. I don’t think he realises just how happy he makes me – or the amount of love I have for him. I am hoping that he will realise this slowly overtime. But even if he doesn’t – just being with him or even texting him – I feel like a teenager all over again!

    At the same time, I too have been a Christian. I find stories like yours rare – especially as another Christian gay man. My churches that I have attended have view Homosexuality as a sin. I would even go as far to say that part of me has been brain washed (even before marriage) into believing it. Now, I am not so sure.

    The laws of probability tell us that finding that ‘one’ is even less likely, simply because there are less of us. When I found him, everything that has been lying dormant (or supressed) suddenly came to life. Strangely, I have also noticed that I have started losing weight. At first, I put it down to stress – but I’m now realising it’s also to do with the chemistry going on inside my body.

    I would, however, love to hear your views as well as advice.

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown December 27, 2017 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Hi John…..I guess the first thing I can say is that your situation is not unusual as my article indicates. You response here is like the blueprint of 100’s of emails I have received from readers of my autobiography and those I have worked with in this area. Once again….hence the article.

      Advice? There are vast array of variables in each persons situation….status of the current relationship, Children, ages, health, finances, friendships, support for your partner…and as you have also mentioned faith and chuch……to name just a few.

      When I work with people in this area our foundation is always respect and integrity……whilst it is not the best of situations …..we can work for the best outcome possible for all concerned…..but there are no quick answers for that. You can get some more questions answered here if you like http://lgbtiqcoach.blogspot.co.id/p/blog-page_3.html

  12. Julie Hinds December 27, 2017 at 1:37 am - Reply

    John, I can understand your excitement at finding some one you love.
    My heart goes out to your wife.she has been married to you for thirteen years and I imagine that she has been faithful to you and you have had sex with a man. Can you imagine how betrayed she will feel by this?
    I would urge you to have counselling with your life and work out a way to tell her you are gay.
    Expect her to be angry, devastated and betrayed. This is not pretty! She has devoted herself to you and you have suppressed your sexuality as you thought it was the right thing to do. She might feel like your marriage was a sham and she has wasted thirteen years with you.
    If you decide to separate be kind and gentle with your wife and be financially generous.
    Support her and your children if you have them. Go to counselling to help you to separate well.
    Straight spouses are shattered when they find out their partner is same sex attracted and has already cheated on them.
    My husband let me after thirty years of marriage and he lives with his partner now. He told me he was gay before we married and convinced me he wanted a wife and children. I now feel like I was a service provider and he gets his gay life now.
    John, I would encourage you to be very careful as you have the potential to leave a path of devastation behind you.

    • John December 27, 2017 at 3:01 am - Reply

      We did have counselling before all this. Yes, she knew I was attracted to men. She also knew I’d had hookups in the past – and was devastated when I told her. However, the marriage wasn’t a sham as you seem to hint. We have two lovely boys and both love them to bits. They have brought immense joy. However, I have explained to her that this marriage cannot work because of my true feelings.

      There have also been other problems that have affected the marriage – not all one sided. In fact, these when combined with this situation have meant that I have decided to end the marriage. This was not an easy decision, however, I dp feel it was the right one. If we got back together, I only see things rearing all over again.

      However, thank you for your comments.

      • Julie Hinds December 27, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

        John, it is really sad and difficult when a marriage ends.
        I am sorry that your family is going through that grief
        I was married for thirty years and we had six children yet I felt like our marriage was a sham because my husband loved me with his will not his whole heart.
        He did not really have me in his head like a straight man does with his partner.
        You attracted to men, John so I wonder if you have fully desired your wife and if she has made your heart sing.
        Many of my friends who are straight spouses have told me that their husbands have not wanted to be intimate with them and told them that it is their fault for not being attractive enough.
        The simple truth is that they are women not men. This has been devastating for those women.
        I wish you well John and I urge you to listen to your wife and treat her kindly

  13. Julie Hinds December 27, 2017 at 1:40 am - Reply

    John, I can understand your excitement at finding some one you love.
    My heart goes out to your wife.she has been married to you for thirteen years and I imagine that she has been faithful to you and you have had sex with a man. Can you imagine how betrayed she will feel by this?
    I would urge you to have counselling with your life and work out a way to tell her you are gay.
    Expect her to be angry, devastated and betrayed. This is not pretty! She has devoted herself to you and you have suppressed your sexuality as you thought it was the right thing to do. She might feel like your marriage was a sham and she has wasted thirteen years with you.
    If you decide to separate be kind and gentle with your wife and be financially generous.
    Support her and your children if you have them. Go to counselling to help you to separate well.
    Straight spouses are shattered when they find out their partner is same sex attracted and has already cheated on them.
    John, I would encourage you to be very careful as you have the potential to leave a path of devastation behind you.

    • ELM March 29, 2018 at 6:04 am - Reply

      Julie,

      I fully empathize with what you went through. I cannot imagine the pain, frustration, and the feelings of betrayal that you felt when your husband came out to you.

      Although the process was inevitably hurtful for all the parties involved, do you think that asking a man, who’s struggling with his sexuality, to commit to the marriage and live “a straight lifestyle” to placate his wife’s needs? I understand that a vow was made, however what if the vow was made during a time when homosexuality was not as socially acceptable as it is today? What if the vow was made out of love, and because it was the societal norm to get married and have kids?

      Should a man live in authenticity to keep the vow?

      • Julie Hinds May 2, 2018 at 12:57 am - Reply

        My husband knew he was gay and told me before we married. He convinced us both that God would help,us. He told me “I have to love you by faith” which I found odd when he said that in 1983.
        I struggled to stay in our marriage for three decades because my husband did not listen to me and he put men in authority before me.
        I wish he had lived authentically from the start and not married me. It was in his power to do so.
        He has caused our family much pain through not being able to accept himself.

        • Anthony Venn-Brown
          Anthony Venn-Brown May 2, 2018 at 11:15 am - Reply

          Too many sad stories and all because of ignorance Julie. None of us deserved this unecessary suffering. This insanity must stop. We have to create a better day.

  14. Alankrit January 2, 2018 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Hello,
    This article has summed up all my emotions and feelings of being trapped and all my desires and needs from a homosexual relationship.

    I am a married man of age 28. I got married last year due to parental pressure. The society in India pressurises a lot to get married. Same sex relationships are a big NO and never acknowledged.

    I got married as after looking for a steady partners for 3 years I could not find anyone. Then I succumbed to pressure and got married with a thought that it will add stability to my life and I will have a companion at least.

    Now I have met a guy with whom I am in love. I feel my emotional desires as a gay men are getting fulfilled with him. I am not in a relationship with him yet as I am married and he knows about me everything.

    I am in dilemma now. Neither I can leave my wife. And if I stop seeing my gay friend, I will get into depression. I feel sad for me. I feel sad for my wife. I feel sad for my gay friend. I feel trapped and feel like killing me.

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown January 3, 2018 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Alankrit…..yes you have multiple intersectionalities. Along with your sexual orientation to resolve you are living in a country which criminalizes gay people, your also have the cultural and familey issues to contend with…..that is a lot.

  15. John February 1, 2018 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    I guess my story is very similar to the rest, why is this so common???

    I still have sex with my wife, and enjoy it very much, and if I’m totally honest the sex with my wife is better than the sex I have had with men, yet my preference is for men, and I can’t understand this. I put it down to the emotional connection I have with my wife, that we are expressing our love through sex, yet with a man I only doing it to satisfy an urge.

    I have been with my wife for 20 years, and have experimented with men for the last 2, and she has recently found out and is devastated. There were other issues in the marriage that lead me to seeking out men, but I had always been curious.

    We are in counselling together, and I have also started seeing a therapist independently. I don’t have major concerns about coming out and living a gay life, I don’t have any family or friends that I have to explain anything to, my major concern is splitting up the family as we have 2 young kids, but I also don’t want to be dealing with this for the next 5-10 years.

    I’m really not sure what I want, and I’m in a really dark place at the moment.

    I’ve joined an online support group and it seems the only ones in successful marriages are the ones that open or in a closed loop arrangement, which my wife will not allow. The ones that are in a monogamous marriage have been in therapy for years, and don’t seem to be happy.

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown February 2, 2018 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      Hi John….thanks for sharing your story. Firstly it is common because it is a generational thing. I was born after the war. Men who were gay before WWll generally got married and never came out. My generation got married because of society standards, negativity about homosexuality and believing that marriage would most likely be an answer for our ‘problem’…..and many of us came out in midlife or later. The generation growing up now won’t get married because of acceptance. ….and mostly will be able to marry the person they fall in love with…..same sex of course.

      You said “it seems the only ones in successful marriages are the ones that open or in a closed loop arrangement, which my wife will not allow. The ones that are in a monogamous marriage have been in therapy for years, and don’t seem to be happy.” ….yep….you nailed it. And the closed loop ones can be tricky.

  16. Maria Alice F. Gonçalves March 4, 2018 at 2:49 am - Reply

    Dear Anthony,, I am the wife who by accident found out that my husband liked men. We were married for 32 years. We have a beautiful daughter, who is intelligent and up to date with this subject.My husband told our daughter that he was homosexual. She told him her love for him would continue, as they are very close together. I told him to leave. I was angry , we were very open about everything, I still dont know why he did not tell me the truth.I was a hard working woman, who supported my family while he continued his studies. We travelled a lot and had a good relationship, although in bed I felt that there was something missing. He refused to let his family know what happened, asked me to tell everyone that we were getting separated because we came to an agreement. I thought that is very coward of him.I am still very hurt, but I know I will recover, and I am happy my daughter is here to give us love and stacks of support. I know he lives alone. No one has moved in with him.He comes now and then to my home to have lunch, sometimes supper with our daughter, as I know that this makes her happy. I speak to him of things that we still share, but what I really want is to be left alone, as what he did to me , I have no words to describe the pain I went through. I want to forget this quickly, but my daughter thinks we will get back together. Impossible as all the love for him as died. I have told him to come out of his shell, but I feel he is too scared, I suspect that his lover is also married, and has not found the courage to tell his wife. Feel very sorry for both of them. MG

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown March 5, 2018 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      what a sad situation Maria. I do feel for you and other wives in this situation. You are the innocent victims in these situations When I work with the gay partner we always work on creating a situation which is open, honest, respectful and demonstrates integrity. There will always be grief and loss……and these things take time to heal. Did you know that there are online support groups for women such as yourself in these situations

  17. Mark June 20, 2018 at 6:56 am - Reply

    Wow, I Google my situation and this came up. It really describes my life. I’ve been married for 20 years.We have 2 children. 18 & 14. Our marriage has been a mess since the beginning. We both have realized our marriage was a mistake. Crowning blow was when I came clean that I was molested at 14 my my best friends father. She told me that she would of never married me if it told her this before we got married. This was like putting a dagger in me. She begged me to tell her. I have always been the husband and dad that was there for my family. However, I had my deep dark secret as well. You see I’m 50 and in my day coming out was not fashionable nor applauded. We were told to suppress our feeling and marriage was the answer. Not to mention a father that would of disown me if I ever told him my true feelings. I had once relationship with a man when I was 32. He was very attracted to me and I was with him. However, he was a Dr and aids was on the forefront and certain acts were not allowed. He mostly ended up being a rounder and we went our separate ways. About a year later my best friend from HS interduced me to my wife. I was attracted to her style and we feel in love and married. Fast forward to today. We have been separated for 2 years. My wife has real control issues. For years I was the yes Man to keep her happy. “Happy wife, happy life” After her coldness to my teenage situation I decided to live for myself. I went to therapy and wasn’t getting much form it. She kicked me out of the house and has turned my children away from me. This father’s day was my first time with my children in 2 years. She has controlled this for that long. Holidays have been a major disappointed not being with my children. I’m filling for divorce this week. I have not told the family my secret. We are so bitter at each other I feel like I can’t at this point. Not having any sexual realtions with my wife in over 4 years. I have become very lonely. I friended a guy on Instagram. He friended me back. We left messages to each others posting. We really had a lot in common. He asked me if he could text me. I gave him my # and we became text buddies. As time passed we became very close and my feelings were becoming very strong for him. On a Saturday he told me that he was gay and hoped this wouldn’t change our relationship. I told him I knew and liked him to much to let this end. I also came clean instantly and told him I have batted for both teams. We started talking on the phone and really have become extremely close. We are the same exact age. And we find each other very attracted to each other. We just recently started sexting and I have never been so excited about a person as I am with him. He has made me feel like I have life again and have feelings I have never experienced before. I feel like I’m falling in love with the guy. I pretty sure the feeling is mutual. However, I’m deathly afraid of telling my family. It will set my wife over the cliff. My son will probably not speak to me again. For my daughter I’m not sure. I live in a very religious Southern Baptist community. All of our friends are Baptist. So all my friends will shun me. I’m prepared for that. It’s my immediate family I am in fear for. Also, myself. I only have about 20 good years left on life and I want this feeling to continue. I see light at the end of the tunnel. I am tried of the lie of a life I live. I’ve been depressed for most my life over this. I want it gone. Im not sure if I’ll fit in the gay community. I really don’t agree with how they seem to be in your face about homosexuality. But I also now my chances of meeting a man like I’ve found at my age is very slim. When we talk on the phone we talk for hours and are so comfortable with each other. He quit a career to move back to Kansas to help his 94 year old mom. That really admire him for that. It’s really comforting for me to read about other men with the same challenges. I’m thankful we live in a country that doesn’t throw gay people off roof tops. However, we are blessed with a choice. It might not be easy but it get easier as time progresses.

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown June 20, 2018 at 5:45 pm - Reply

      Hey Mark…..yes you are far from alone in your experience. There is a whole generation that took the same path for the same reasons. Religion can certainly complicate things. Sounds like you are taking good steps though. Have you read A Life of Unlearning http://www.alifeofunlearning.com

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