Please select an article below:
TEN LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED — Bonnie shares her 10 best lessons learned about straight/gay marriages. This is from her Straight Talk Newsletter of May 2005.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY — On Bonnie’s sixth anniversary, she wrote this emotional letter to her ex-husband, Michael, discussing her hopes and dreams on their wedding day. Those dreams fell apart as their marriage unraveled.
COME OUT TO YOUR WIFE — This article is Bonnie’s plea to gay men to be honest with their wives about their homosexuality, regardless of the consequences after the truth is revealed. When this article was originally printed, hundreds of men called Bonnie for help in telling their wives the truth.
WHY NOT TO GET MARRIED IF YOU’RE GAY — This controversial article was Bonnie’s first "Straight Talk" column. It discusses the various reasons why gay people get married, and talks common sense about why they shouldn’t.
TEN LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED
BY BONNIE KAYE
These are 10 most important lessons I have learned about being in or out of a straight/gay marriage. And by the way, I never dignify them by calling them something chic like “Mixed Orientation” marriages. To me, “Mixed Orientation” means Jewish/Catholic or White/Black, where people know way up front before marriage what the obstacles are. Straight/Gay marriages are more like Alice in Wonderland marriages—distorted through the looking glass at best. Never feel the need to have to “apologize” for these marriages by cleaning up the way they sound because it’s hard on the ear. If anything, call them what I call them—MISMARRIAGES, meaning a mistake in marriage.
Here are my lessons learned:
Some of you have been languishing in a destructive marriage for years. You are throwing away valuable years of your life that can never be regained. Once they are gone, they are gone. Some of you feel compelled to stay in these marriages because you have no proof that your husband is gay. You know you’re unhappy. That’s enough of a reason to the leave the marriage. You don’t have to prove that a husband is gay to get a divorce. Just suffering in a marriage with someone who lacks passion, compassion, intimacy, and respect is grounds for a divorce. When women who are married to straight men decide they want a divorce, they don’t have to spend years figuring out how to justify it. Why do you?
Stop spending your life being a detective. There is nothing more debilitating than to spend your valuable time investigating your husband. I did it for several years—checking his pockets, his notes, his papers, listening to his phone calls from the other side of the wall with a glass—you name it, I tried it. Why did I keep obsessing over this? I needed to know that my suspicions were more than my imagination. So when I thought I had concrete proof and I confronted him, he went into a rage telling me that I was crazy. And guess what? I was relieved because I WANTED TO BELIEVE. And please don’t tell me that I was stupid because I know the majority of you out there want to believe as much as I do that this nightmare is anything but what it is. You don’t have to confront your husband—you just have to know the truth for yourself. That should be enough. And when you do know the truth, then you need to set yourself free, because living with a gay man can never fulfill your expectations of what you want out of life. No way. Ever.
Although it takes two to make a marriage, when you’re married to a gay man, it only takes one to make it fall apart—namely him. Any other natural failures of straight marriages are not applicable here because your life is a distortion when your husband is gay. Whatever he objects to is through the eyes of a gay man. When he is angry with you, it is because he is frustrated being in a marriage with a straight woman and will look to find fault with YOU rather than face up to his responsibility of being honest. This is not to say you are perfect, but it wouldn’t matter if you were. He would still find fault with you because you are a woman. And a lot of you are almost perfect. That’s because the unhappier he is, the more you try to make him happy, internalizing and personalizing that his unhappiness is your fault. Untrue. He can’t be totally happy or fulfilled living with a woman no matter who the woman is. Accept it. It’s his failure, not yours. And this is not to say that he is a failure as a person. He is just a failure as a husband to a straight woman. He can be a great guy, but he belongs being your friend, not your mate.
Love hurts. Loving a gay man really hurts. Even losing a gay husband in many cases hurts. This is why it is so difficult for us to recover from these marriages. Sometimes we have wonderful men who are our best friends. Then one day out of nowhere, a new man appears who is a stranger to us. The man we thought we were tied to for life now tells us that he can’t go on being “untrue” to himself. He tells us that as much as it pains him, he has to tell you that he is gay. By the way, the ones who tell you are really the wonderful ones although it’s hard to believe when you’re hearing the truth. It’s the ones that refuse to tell you and accuse you of being crazy that are contemptible. It is going to take time to get past the pain of this. You need to give yourself the time you need to go through all the stages of mourning just like you need to mourn for someone who died. This is the death of a marriage, and in many cases, it is a very ugly death.
You are not stupid. You start beating yourself up over your stupidity in not recognizing that your husband was gay. You start looking back and examining all of your moments in the marriage wondering how this could have happened. How is it that the person who was supposed to love you and cherish you forever was leading a life or thinking about leading a life that was totally foreign to you? You trace and retrack your years together. You look for the clues or the signs that something was wrong, but you keep missing the clues. This is because you were fooled by someone who was most likely fooling himself. And when he stopped fooling himself, he kept fooling you because he was scared. He was scared that if you knew the truth you wouldn’t want him anymore. These guys can be great deceivers. And we of good hearts want to believe in the love we have for our men.
Some women find it so hard to say that they knew something about their husbands prior to marriage lest they be accused of knowing they were marrying a gay man. UNTRUE. I say we don’t understand homosexuality. We don’t understand how someone who is supposed to be going with someone of the same sex is now marrying someone of the opposite sex. We believe that even if they did try it, they didn’t like it because they are not gay. Even if your husband hinted that he was attracted to men, he has now “outgrown” those feelings because he loves you. And after all, sexuality can be confusing, so maybe he was just confused. But now he knows what he wants and there’s nothing to worry about. Stop kicking yourself for being blindsided by this. There is no way that we can understand such a complex situation when our husband’s can’t understand it.
When I was 25 years old, I reunited with a high school boyfriend after seven years. He had become a doctor and had nurses galore dating him. When we found each other again in a different place and space, he revealed to me that he had tried a relationship with two men on two different occasions. He actually lived with these guys for a period of months. He then told me that he also lived with two women for a period of time. He realized that he was not gay from those two experiences with men. Women were his thing and I believed him. He dated me, made love to me, and wanted to move in with me. Although I knew that something was missing, I didn’t think it was an issue of sexuality. I thought it was because he was a Cancer. Hey, astrology was big back then. People believed in the zodiac signs. I thought that his July birthday accounted for his sometimes-aloof reactions to me and to us. It wasn’t for another 8 years that this man came to terms with his sexuality and found his man mate. Ironically, I left this guy for my future gay husband. Like how stupid was I, you want to know? I don’t think I was stupid. I think I was uninformed. Look, I had sex with both of these men. Maybe they weren’t the best, but they were adequate. And in your 20’s, adequate is good enough. It takes us time to realize that making love is so much more than sex.
You find these good-looking, sensitive, conversational men who want to spend their lives with you. Gay? We may think there are issues, but gay isn’t one of them. Even before I married my gay husband, someone came to me with his suspicions that my soon to be hubby was bisexual. I felt a sick knot in my stomach much like the same knot that occurred years later when my suspicions started to kick in for real. When I told him about my friend’s accusation, he took the table where we were dining and nearly threw it over, yelling, “How dare someone accuse me of that?” I was so relieved. Hallelujah! My heart told me to proceed without caution because I had the confirmation I needed. Was I stupid? I think not. I was just UN-INFORMED. Some people may think that it’s not normal to find yourself involved in two relationships with gay men. Well, I had been involved with dozens of relationships over the years with straight men. It was not something I was seeking out. It was just by chance that it happened--chance and ignorance.
Some of us in our desperation to hang on to something that we should let go of will look to make a million excuses of why we need to stay. One of the common reasons I hear is “THE CHILDERN.” People want to believe that children need two parents living under the same roof no matter how miserable they are or how that roof is always caving in. WRONG. One important lesson I have learned from my own life experience is that children will not be happy unless you are happy. My mother stayed with my father for far too many years. They would both fight and inevitably, fight about the children. This made me feel as if I were to blame for their misery. CHILDREN KNOW WHEN THEIR PARENTS ARE UNHAPPY AND THEY DO PERSONALIZE IT. Trust me on this one. If you or your gay husband is unhappy, your children know it and most likely internalize the blame.
The other problem of staying in this type of marriage is role modeling. Children copy their parents. If they see you staying in a loveless marriage, chances are they will think this is the norm for marriage, which is very sad. Certainly you don’t want your children to be condemned to a life of unhappiness when they get married, but we often repeat the mistakes of our parents. I marvel at how many women who had abusive fathers marry the same type of man. So, if you are staying in your marriage and think you need to do this for the security of your children, STOP.
WAITING FOR YOUR HUSBAND’S TO CONFESS CAN TAKE A LIFETIME. Too many of you are hanging in there waiting for a confession to something that will be the DECISIVE factor in your decision to leave. All you have to do is CATCH HIM, right? Then you’ll get him to confess. Well, let’s forget this one. Some of them will never get caught, and many of them will never confess—EVER. Some gay husbands are in deep denial. If they can’t even admit it to themselves, why do you think they’ll confess it to you? When you do catch them they come up with the world’s best stories on how the porn got on the computer, how the condoms got into their briefcases, how they contracted a sexually transmitted disease (which they usually claim to be your fault), or how your imagination is running away with you. It’s just not happening, so stop looking for it. If you are questioning your husband’s sexuality, YOU HAVE A REASON. Whether it’s a hint, an instinct, or proof positive, go with it. Women don’t suspect their straight husbands of being gay. Trust me on that one. This goes back to a few of the previously mentioned lessons. If you are unhappy in your marriage, no matter what the reason is, get out.
Breaking up is hard to do, even under the worst of circumstances. There is no easy way to leave a marriage. Most women need a readjustment period to filter the information through their heads totally. There’s lots of second-guessing during this time, as well as questioning your sanity or stupidity. “How couldn’t I have seen this coming?” “How come everyone suspected this before me?” And other people start questioning it too. “What did you do to make him gay? He wasn’t gay when he married you, was he?” “Men don’t just TURN gay. You must have screwed up somewhere.” On top of all of the hurt we are going through, we have to deal with other people’s ignorance and stupidity, which compounds our own feelings of inadequacy. And you know what? Not every straight wife finds me in her early days of confusion or even ever for that matter. They sit and suffer because they are unable to find help or a voice of sanity to tell them they are not at fault. That’s the saddest part of all. Lack of support keeps women in a long state of depression and confusion.
Wives of gay men have to contend with so many issues that wives of straight men don’t face. This makes things much more complicated and uncomfortable. You see, I contend that women who have straight husbands don’t have the set of problems that we have. Most women who are wonderful wives LIKE WE ARE with wonderful marriages to straight men don’t have husbands who are sneaking and cheating on them because their husbands are happy. We, on the other hand, are the best of wives but are made to feel like we are worthless. How do great wives feel when their husbands start abandoning them emotionally, physically, and sexually for no apparent reason at all? What does it feel like to think you have to “beg” for sex from the man who is supposed to be you soulmate in life? How do you think it feels when you uncover his little secret only to find that all of those times he was saying no to you he was saying yes to a host of men that he met for casual sex that was so casual that he never even necessarily saw their faces or knew their names while he was making you feel as if you were sexually abnormal for wanting to share intimacy with him? You feel dirty because he makes you feel that way. You are not good enough for him to make love to — that is his message to you.
As women who have been emotionally abused in this way, we have to start rebuilding the long stripping of our sense of worth, self, and sexual esteem. We now have to worry about what to tell our children, and if they will hate us for breaking up their family. We end up protecting our ex-husbands in so many cases, keeping their secret while they are out there living it. You see, it’s okay for them to do it, but they’ll tell you it’s none of your business to discuss it. After all, you’re only the wife, right?
You can be in what you think is the beginning or the middle of your marriage and suddenly, your husband announces that, “I am what I am,” and his own special creation is your worst nightmare. You have two or three children and limited resources as a single parent. This gay husband who comes to terms with his sexuality, unlike the straight/gay kind of husband that stay forever to torture you, is now walking out on you to begin his life as a gay man. All your dreams are up in smoke so to speak, and you’re left to pick up the pieces. It’s not unusual in those early years of gaydom for husbands to be scarce when needed. They are off in their new life and very, very busy. It seems like he’s forgotten you, the children, the house, and the money it takes to run a family. He does seem to have money for his new life and lovers, and there seems to be no balance. You pay, he plays. And you’re also exhausted. Yuck.
It can be any one of those situations mentioned above, but the end result is all the same—misery. That’s why some women who are so pealed down mentally to start with, never can reach the finish line to proclaim themselves the “winner.” It’s hard to run a race if you’re wearing yourself out doggie paddling just trying to keep yourself from drowning. That’s why I never judge how long it takes someone to leave — as long as she knows that she is going to leave someday. Mental freedom is three-fourths of the battle.
Beauty. Hmm, let’s see — it’s in the eyes of the beholder—namely YOU. Self-esteem has to be rebuilt before you can truly love yourself and realize how beautiful you are. I have seen the most physically beautiful of women learn to believe they are ugly and undesirable. When they look in the mirror, it’s like an anorexic reflection showing fat when the person is skinny. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you don’t see yourself objectively anymore. You feel ugly inside, so you see your reflection as ugly outside. It’s such a shame and makes me so angry. The self-damage that is done has to be worked on before you pursue any kind of new relationship because you leave yourself open for other unsavory men to find and grab you. They aren’t gay, but they are losers. They are controlling, angry, abusive, and in other cases, useless. These guys see a “sucker” coming and they lunge after you. They know you are ripe for the picking. Give you a few “I love you’s” or “you’re beautiful” and you belong to them, few questions asked. If they have sex with you, you feel redeemed from the marriage to your gay husband so you settle for the wrong relationship because it seems less wrong than the last one. UGH. More bad years wasted again.
The song The Greatest Love of All has the right line in it — learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all. If you can’t love yourself in a generous healthy way, you’ll never be happy in any future relationship.
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BY BONNIE KAYE
This column was written in September, 1984. Although many years have passed, I think people can still understand the feelings.
This week marked the anniversary of my marriage which took place six years ago. For the past two years, I have been separated from my Gay Husband. In remembrance of the occasion, this is an open letter to him and to all of the other gay husbands in similar situations.
This week is our six-year anniversary. Ironically, it is almost two years to the day since we separated and went our different ways. Although I try not to dwell on the horrors of the past, it is hard not to think about them sometimes, particularly on our special day. Six years ago when I walked down the aisle hand in hand with you to the music of "Sunrise, Sunset," my head was filled with dreams about the little girl we would someday carry and our little boy at play. Of course, while I was conjuring up these images in my mind, you, as their father, were an integral part of that picture. It was never my intention to be a single mother raising our two children.
I am sure that you had more fears than I did on that day because you were about to enter a world that was foreign to you. From your earliest exploits into sexuality, you were quite aware of your sexual preference for men. You had run the gamut in the gay world, living life in the "fast lane" for many years before we met. On that day, I suppose you were worried about how long you would be able to switch sides. And I guess you calmed your fears by figuring out that when you could no longer suppress your gay needs, you could at least juggle all the ends so I wouldn’t find out.
The truth is, you did a good job of it for a while. For a long time I really believed that the increasing problems in our marriage were my fault. As you began to pull away from me in the bedroom, I started to doubt myself as a woman. And you continued to feed into those doubts instead of being honest. Then I started catching you in lies. The secretive phone calls, the unexplained missing hours, and the unexpected business appointments. But when I caught you in a lie, you lied your way out of it causing me to doubt myself even more. You saturated our marriage with outsiders hoping that if our life was complicated enough, there wouldn’t be a chance to focus on our problem — rather, your problem.
You rejoiced at the birth of our daughter a year and a half later because you said it was a partial fulfillment of your lifelong dream — having children. For a few months after her birth, I really believed that we were becoming a cohesive family for the first time and naively put those nagging suspicions in the back of my mind. But it didn’t take long for the big pull to return, and once again, everything other than my feelings were a priority in your life. By this time I was getting closer to the truth no matter how cleverly you kept trying to throw me off the track. And on that monumental night when the truth smacked us both in the face head on, you continued to deny it and claimed that I was making a big deal out of nothing. But by that time, it was too late. You slipped and said five or six words too many that caused my world to come crashing down around me.
I was suffering and felt like I was coming apart piece by piece. You refused to allow me to go for professional help and threatened to divorce me if I did. I knew you were resisting because you didn’t want anyone to know your secret, but it was at my expense. When I begged you to go for help with me, you told me that the solution to your "little" problem was to have another baby. If only you had a son, these feelings would go away. And I, who knew virtually nothing about homosexuality other than the fact it was destroying our marriage, needed to believe you. I loved you more than anything in the world and was desperate for us to become the American dream.
We were blessed with a son the following year whom I counted on to be our own personal messiah. He would save our marriage — he would make your problem go away. After all, your ultimate lifetime dream, a son, your namesake, had become a reality. Of course, having a son didn’t do the trick, just like having a wife could never make you what you were not. Our communication deteriorated even further, and by this time, you were out doing your own thing and leaving little clues around, like a criminal who wanted to get caught. I knew the reason for our declining marriage, but you couldn’t find the strength within yourself to be honest with me. When a couple lives a lie, there is not much to talk about because how do you distinguish the truths from the falsehoods? During our four years together, you continued to shift the failure of our relationship to me — if only I was more supportive, if only I was more attractive, if only I wasn’t so pushy in the bedroom, if only I was more understanding.
Two years have passed since the day we said goodbye, and I have learned much since that time. I now know that I was in no way responsible for your return to homosexuality during our marriage. You are gay, and even if you were able to suppress your needs temporarily, it is normal for you to return to the lifestyle that was yours long before you met me. Only after our separation were you able to be honest with me. You recently claimed that you couldn’t tell me the truth before we were married because chances are I wouldn’t have married you. If you really loved me, I should at least have had that option. But what hurts even more were those hundreds of days after our marriage when you refused to confirm my suspicions causing me to lose faith in myself. I started questioning my judgment about everything, including my ability to be a good wife to you and mother to our children. I never felt worthy enough which drained me of my self-esteem as a human being.
They say that time heals all wounds. Time and distance healed some of mine, but there are scars that will be left for years to come. Today we are closer than when we were living together. You have come to terms with yourself, and I have learned to accept you and your homosexuality. I can’t live with you because no matter how accepting I have become of your world, I can never accept it as part of a marriage. However, there is a bond that strengthens as time moves on — the bond of friendship. So even though our years will be spent apart, at least when we walk our children down the aisle, it will be hand in hand, just as we did six years ago. Happy Anniversary.
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COME OUT TO YOUR WIFE
BY BONNIE KAYE
Over the last fifteen years, I have worked with thousands of straight wives who learned at some point during their marriage that their husbands are gay. Through the years, members of the gay community have criticized me for taking a position that I maintain to be moral, ethical, and necessary. These words of conscience need to be heard by those of you who are gay or bisexual men married to heterosexual women. It is about truth, honesty, and commitment towards the person who should be the primary focus in your life. To put it quite simply - COME OUT TO YOUR WIFE. This plea is not being made out of sheer emotionalism, but rather from common sense, logic, and a sense of fair play.
Marriage is the highest form of commitment a man can make with a woman. It supersedes all prior relationships and goes beyond friendship. The person you marry lives with you on a day-to-day basis and shares your life — the good times and bad, during sickness and health, through your moments of glory and depths of despair. It is a relationship built on trust and honesty towards each other. That is not to say that every move in a marriage must be explained. Sooner or later we all fall into the trap of making up "little white lies;" however, hiding your homosexuality is not exactly keeping a little secret when it plays such a big role in your life. It is living a lie. You are living a double life in two separate worlds, and the twain will never meet. There is another side of you that is totally hidden from the person who has so much trust in you and relies on you for basic honesty.
There is another issue that must be mentioned. If you identify yourself as gay or bisexual, then chances are you are participating in some kind of sexual activity outside your marriage. Justify it as you may, but this is infidelity. I have often heard the standard excuses from Gay Husbands stating that they don’t consider gay sexual encounters as cheating because it is not sex with another woman. But as the saying goes, a rose by any other name is still a rose, and a sex partner, regardless of the gender, is still an act of infidelity.
I am certainly not making a value judgment about the nature of your sexuality. In fact, no one would be more delighted than I, the former wife of a gay man, if people could learn to come to terms with themselves. If you are gay and have the need to be part of the gay world, I am all for it, but not at the expense of your wife who is sitting at home worrying day in and day out about what is wrong with her. From the wives of gay men I have spoken to and counseled, there was one common overriding feeling — the torture of not knowing what the problem in the marriage was. While the gay husband may think he is juggling his life around to please everyone, his wife increasingly senses that there is something dramatically wrong with the marriage, and yet she cannot put her finger on the problem. She feels a pull, often alienation, and keeps asking herself where she is going wrong. She finds herself buying every aid available to be "more of a woman," never realizing that the problem is she is not a man.
And what about the Gay Husband? You are suffering too, but in a different way. You often are feeling guilty. Most times when you have moments of intimacy with your wife, which you find diminishing as time passes, your body is with her, but you mind is with someone else. You are functioning and performing, but starting to resent your wife for putting you in a position to feel pushed to do something that is becoming more and more uncomfortable for you. You have to keep inventing excuses of why you are not in the mood and hoping that she will love you enough to believe them, even when she knows they are lies. You have to live in a state of hiding, hoping that no one you know will bump into you when you’re out being yourself in fear of their revealing this information to your wife. It can't be easy living with this kind of a lie.
I am not insensitive. I know how difficult it is to go to the one person in your life who probably means more to you than anyone else in the world and tell her something this explosive. I know you are taking a big chance and there is a lot at risk here. You are taking a chance of losing your wife, your children, and your security. But let’s be honest. You are losing them anyway. Once your wife feels the pull, she is going to start to drift emotionally and mentally. If she can’t be happy, your children won’t be happy. Somewhere down the line, the family structure will break down, even if no one but you knows the real reason why. And, at that point, it will be your fault because you didn’t have the guts to do the right thing while you had the chance.
No wife likes hearing the kind of news that you are going to tell her, and it is going to be a rough road ahead to bring things back to a natural course, if it can ever be brought back. But there are relationships that are working out once the news is out. A sense of friendship and understanding can develop once honesty is on the table, perhaps not under the same roof, but throughout life. This is the most important factor when you are raising a family.
Coming out is a gamble that can go either way, but almost every major decision in life is a gamble. And when you consider what the stakes are here, hopefully you’ll realize it’s a chance you have to take.
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WHY NOT TO GET MARRIED IF YOU’RE GAY
BY BONNIE KAYE
If you are a gay man reading this and are considering marriage somewhere down the road, let me beg of you — not ask, but beg — DON'T! I am quite aware of the reasons that gay men have for getting married, but trust me...no matter how legitimate and idealistic these reasons may seem, you will in almost all cases be sorry in the end. This may sound like a strong generalization, but it is backed up with solid testimonies by the overwhelming majority of people who find themselves in this situation.
As a woman who found herself quite surprisingly (or shall I say shockingly) married to a gay man, I can attest to the pain and anguish that all of the parties in this kind of marriage suffer — the straight wife, the Gay Husband, the children and relatives. Even couples that may be aware of the husband’s homosexuality prior to marriage end up unhappy because of the lack of understanding on the straight wife’s part about what homosexuality is.
I have come to learn why gay men want to marry and would like to share some of the most common reasons with you. First, we are living in a far more liberal society than 20 years ago, but it is still a basically homophobic one in spite of all the breakthroughs. In most quarters, homosexuality is still viewed as a distortion or perversion, and realistically speaking, this attitude will be around longer than we will be. Because of this, many gay people who feel out of place in the gay world have the need to feel they "belong" in the heterosexual one — and what better way than to marry? They are convinced that marriage will be a miraculous "cure" as if homosexuality is a "disease" that can go away. This is not the case. What does happen in almost every marriage is that the husband goes through years of torture trying to be part of a world in which he can never feel totally comfortable. The frustrations that come about from the suppression of his sexuality or the lies that he needs to keep covering compel him to resent his wife and children. He views his family as a mirror, reflecting his guilt of living this lie.
Another frequent reason stated as a rationale for marriage is the need to have children. I feel this is the most absurd and selfish reason of all. What it essentially means is that the wife is being used as a breeding farm to produce offspring. Eventually, when the marriage falls apart, the wife usually ends up raising the children. Often, she not able to deal with the homosexual world or her anger from the failed marriage and attempts to thwart a relationship between the children and their gay father, leading to more misery on everyone's part, especially the child's. No doubt, there are some gay men who are ideal parents — in some cases better than their wives are. But there has to be another way to bring children into your life that will not be at the expense of an innocent bystander. Adoption is a viable alternative that should be considered.
Often gay men who wed claim that they were not aware of or in denial of their sexuality at the time of their marriages. However, it seems that in almost all of these instances, the person knew that there was something different about his sexuality for a long period of time. The most logical answer for someone in this position is to give yourself time to know who you really are and to come to terms with your true sexual orientation before running off to the alter. And, if you are still insistent on marrying even when there is a "past" or doubt in your mind about the present, then it is of utmost importance to tell your straight partner the truth — regardless of the consequences that may follow. She must be given the option of going into a marriage without blinders on.
If the woman still wants to get married after learning this fact, it is vitally important for both of you to go for some kind of counseling with either professionals or support groups who can explain the realities and drawbacks of the situation.
If all of this sounds discouraging, well, it is meant to be. But better to be disappointed now than devastated for a lifetime.
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