Is My Husband Gay? Here’s Are the Signs…

We live in amazing times. Some call it a new age of tolerance, diversity, and acceptance. We don’t just accept people for being unique, we embrace change. We applaud courage. As a progressive society, we encourage all members of the LGBTQ community to come out and be proud of their identity. Our message is, “Don’t live in shame and don’t let other people push you back into the closet.” It’s a very positive message.

And yet, there’s a bit of a dark side to it. In this age of freedom and experimentation, many gay or bisexual men are now reevaluating the choices they’ve made. In many cases, the choices they were PRESSURED to make because of their family, or their friends, or a more conservative society of 20-30 years ago. Maybe they always knew they were gay but got married to a woman anyway. Or maybe they lived in denial for many years and have only recently discovered that they’re gay and that they’re not happy being married to a woman.

In the worst case scenario, a gay husband may even cheat on his straight wife with other men, which is completely unethical and emotionally cruel. But then again, in some cases, it’s easier to do than confess the truth they’ve tried so hard to deny.

On one hand, you feel sorry for the guy. Because no one should be forced to live a life they don’t enjoy. No one should be shamed into staying in a loveless marriage. But on the other hand, you feel bad for the wife. It’s hard to be supportive of someone’s sexuality when their choice to come out uproots your life and destroys all the love and intimacy you thought you had. There are no winners here.

If, however, you suspect your husband is gay, and have the evidence to support this accusation, then you have an obligation to him AND yourself, to bow out gracefully. It’s not loving to keep him trapped or to sacrifice your own dignity and self-esteem by living a lie.

Now the problem is, SUSPECTING that a man is gay is not the same thing as knowing he’s gay. Unfortunately, we still have many stereotypes floating around out there about what gay men look like, or act like. No, not all men who are flamboyant or knowledgeable about Broadway or fashion are gay. Single, thin and neat doesn’t mean gay. I have news for you—even wearing sweater vests and wearing tight yoga pants doesn’t mean a man is gay.

There’s only one sure-thing indicator of gayness—a strong biological attraction to members of the same sex. That’s it. And YES, in case you’re wondering, a man who is born gay but stuck in the closet (even if he’s in complete denial) will show some of the same patterns and habits. Here are four of the most common details to look for:

1. A sharp decline or even total abstinence from sex and intimacy.

The first sign is obviously a decrease or complete stop to all physical intimacy. In many cases of women married to closeted men, there has NEVER been any sexual intimacy. However, this isn’t always the case. At the beginning of a new relationship, gay men may be able to fake sexual interest, especially in hopes of becoming a father. Or he may be gay but still bisexually curious, which would allow him to perform with a woman.

In the long term, unfortunately, he will not be able to keep up the same level of sexual interest. Sexual intimacy will decline. Romantic intimacy will also decline. The more he realizes that he’s gay and doesn’t want close physical and emotional intimacy with a woman, the more he unwittingly punishes you—by holding back. He may be especially allergic to hugs, kisses, cuddling and all the other bonuses of an intimate relationship.

This doesn’t necessarily mean he’s cold-hearted. He may treat you like his best friend. But the pattern is definite—he’s no longer comfortable with romantic affection.

2. He may be intentionally filling his schedule up, in hopes of avoiding you as much as possible.

Not only will he avoid sex, but he will try to distance you for most hours of the day. He may become a workaholic or take up a time-consuming hobby or even avoid the same bed as you. He may actually spend a lot of his time with other men, even if the relationship(s) seem platonic at first. He’s not necessarily cheating on you with them, but it shows he is far more comfortable in the presence of men than with a woman.

Besides that, if he’s sneaking around and hiding messages and phone calls, he may already be cheating or trying to cheat. If he’s deep in the closet, he may simply prefer the company of men to you and not actually perceive anything unusual about this.

3. He looks at gay porn.

This is a hard one to argue. A straight man will never be tempted by something he doesn’t want. Now it is true that some straight or bisexual men may be curious about gay porn, but it usually is not a REPLACEMENT for a sexual and intimate relationship. The closeted gay man will escape his marriage with this habit and will make it his “dirty little secret”, one that he never discusses with you or anyone. On the other hand, he may rationalize that your lack of a sex life together is natural—that most marriages eventually go through a sexual slump. If you become more aggressive or even assertive in your want of intimacy, he may even accuse you of being oversexed or a nymphomaniac—when in fact, all you want is a heterosexual marriage!

4. He’s unusually homophobic.

Now it’s true that many men are not gay-friendly simply because of the way they’ve been raised. But there is also something to be said about men who are vehemently homophobic and judgmental of other gay men, especially the ones who have come out of the closet.

Have you ever heard the expression, “He protesteth too much?” In this case, a man showing bigotry and a complete intolerance for gay men may actually be envious of the freedom the LGBTQ community has to come out and embrace their desires. He struggles to contain himself and deny his natural desires. He sees someone who lives like he wants to live and is reminded of his misery. His gut reaction is to lash out at others, which is in effect, lashing out at himself. Sexual frustration oftentimes leads to the most negative of behaviors.

If you notice these patterns, then respond cautiously. Don’t accuse him of cheating if you have no evidence. If he’s still faithful to you but seems unhappy, it’s best to approach him in a mild spirit and to ask him to communicate honestly.

If he denies being gay (despite all evidence to the contrary) then talk to him about more compromises the two of you can make to have a happier marriage. If he claims to be a straight man and good provider, then hold him to higher standards. Tell him what your needs are and discuss ways to meet those needs.

The truth is you cannot force him to come out of the closet. It must be his decision and it must be according to his own timetable. But increasing communication and honesty is where it all begins and ends.

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Talk soon,

Matthew Coast

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Matthew Coast

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