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I am married with 3 kids and secretly sleeping with men

Tagged as: Gay relationships, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 December 2014) 8 Answers - (Newest, 30 December 2014)
A male United Kingdom age 36-40, *onfu5ed writes:

Hello. I am a 34 year old married man, i have 3 wonderful children, and a wife who loves me very much, the only problem is that I have been secretly sleeping with other men, I do feel guilty about it, but I feel so free and happy when I am with another man, I do love my wife dearly but I just feel that I want to tell her that I am gay, but i don't want to lose the life that i have built with her, but i am finding it harder and harder to stay away from other men, I really don't know what to do.

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A male reader, no nonsense Aidan United Kingdom +, writes (30 December 2014):

Cheating is, of course, cheating. The trouble is that when some-one is in denial about their sexuality, they compartmentalise their life to such a degree that they completely separate their heterosexual mask, and their gay identity. They see their homosexuality as so distinct that, in some ways, it’s easier to hide it and live with it when you’re cheating in this way. I bet you never pick up men in the kinds of places your wife would go, or with the same crowds your wife might mix in. There is, therefore, a good chance your wife and kids would never know, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Thus men in your position are able to carry on living the double life, with this psychological defence mechanism of separation and distinctiveness of your 2 sides to protect you from being overwhelmed by what you’re doing. I say this because, as much as other posters are right to point out that what you’re doing is wrong and selfish, I don’t think it’s fair to condemn you without at least trying to understand where you’re coming from, or assuming that because you’ve been doing this for a long time, you’re not also hurting yourself because of the guilt and anguish this is causing you. People can do the worst of things, and keep doing them, out of some misguided belief that it’s best to avoid the fallout of the truth coming out for all concerned. This separation is, of course, not sustainable, hence your post. Of course you are putting your wife at risk as much as yourself, and the longer this goes on the more devastating it will be when it comes out, because people do eventually piece things together and figure out all is not well. Unfortunately you really can’t protect your wife from this, or in fact the kids, who are of course going to be affected by this too. When you tell your wife, you need to think about a previous poster’s very wise words here: she mustn’t think everything has been built on lies. Try to explain to her that there is love, caring and affection for her and that you have struggled for so long with this out of a desire to protect the family you love. You need to understand that she’s entitle to be sad, angry, or whatever, and you’ve just got to take whatever she throws at you. Don’t try and hide the details from her: she needs to know not just that you’re gay, but that you’ve been sleeping with other men during the marriage. She needs to understand that this is more than just feelings that have just stirred up, that it can’t be suppressed by working at the marriage, and that there is a strong basis for your considering yourself gay.

Unfortunately, however she reacts, you will need to work together to plan how to tell and support your children through this. You’re going to have to broach this subject with her too. There will never be a good time, and you’re going to be hitting her with a load of massive bombshells in one go, but this is the consequence when you can’t keep up a pretence you’ve got yourself this deep in to. It will be enormously hard on all of you, and you’re going to feel pretty awful as the consequences of all this unfold. The right thing isn’t always the easy thing, and I’d really encourage you to look at what support groups there are out there, for example helplines, or support for gay parents. Any support you can gather around you will be an invaluable resource. Stonewall might be a good place to start and see what you can find from there. I would also suggest making some practical preparations if you need to move out following the conversation with your wife.

I wish you luck. It’s easy to say that you shouldn’t live a lie, and that to do so is selfish, but remember people do misguided things with misguided good intentions. As much as I condemn your cheating, which is always inexcusable, I commend you for writing your question, and I commend you for recognising the need for honesty. Don’t find reasons to put it off: get the kids away for a night, and tell your wife you need a serious talk. Face up to this: that will be the hardest part.

I wish you all the very best.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 December 2014):

Honeypie agony auntMy advice?

GO get tested (not because you are having sex with men, but because you are having SEX with someone BESIDES your wife).

Then FIGURE out what you want. DO you want to BE with men (even if it's only on occasion) or your wife and kids?

Being gay or bisexual doesn't give you the "right" to cheat. It's a pisspoor excuse. You CHOSE to cheat.

I think you are being VERY selfish in wanting the "normalcy" of a marriage and still screwing around with other men, all the WHILE your wife thinks everything is dandy .

I think SHE deserves to MAKE the choice if she wants to LIVE this lie or not, it's not a matter YOU can decide for the whole family.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 December 2014):

Wiseowl gave you a real dose of the truth and I hope you take heed. Your wife is most likely going to be destroyed. There will be no good time to tell her, but you have made your bed so now lie in it. You chose to have sex with other people whilst married and under the promise to devote your life to one person. You haven't, so now you must be honest.

I imagine you are a good person, a good father and someone with a good heart. Have your kids stay with grandparents for the night, sit your wife down and tell her you have something very important you need to tell her and begin from the very start. Be sure to reinforce that you did feel love for her and that you are eternally gratefully for the beautiful family you share. But she needs to know that you don't want to live a lie for your life and that you are attracted to men and have had relations outside of the marriage. You need to reassure her that you haven't, for 8 years, lied to her about everything. She is going to be heartbroken.

I second getting tested, you need to be able to prove to the woman who loves you that you have not infected her with something. You also need to stop seeing any men until you have ended that side of the relationship with your wife. I don't care whether you're male, female, straight, gay, bi whatever - you do not cheat and you do not put the life of someone who loves you at risk all for the sake of some quick pleasure for yourself.

Good luck to you, I believe the sooner you get the truth out the sooner you can begin to really live your life for you. Who knows, after you wife has some time to gather her thoughts and feelings she may very well remain there for you as a friend and help you through this. Request her continued support and how you want to keep her as a dear friend so that you can both still continue to parent your family in co-operation. Confide in her both the truth and your feelings too, enable her to really understand what you're going through.

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A female reader, celtic_tiger United Kingdom +, writes (30 December 2014):

celtic_tiger agony aunt" i don't want to lose the life that i have built with her"

This is incredibly selfish.

HER wants and needs do not feature at all in your life plan. At the moment you have a cosy set up, wife, kids, house, plus the bit on the side.

Look at it from her point of view. She fell in love with a man she was led to believe loved her, and was sexually attracted to her. She married and had three children. Suddenly she finds out actually it was a lie, and her husband, is really attracted to men instead and has been having sexual relationships with men whilst still in a relationship with her. Her mind will race - have you had unprotected sex with a man and then had sex with her? Do you think about men when you have sex with her? You married her knowing you were gay - she didn't have a clue. I suspect your sex life on her part is probably not as fulfilling as it should be...... because your mind lies elsewhere.

Her whole life view will have turned into a big fat lie.

Yet you want to carry on this charade, pretending to still be attracted to your wife? Letting her cook, clean, look after the kids, and suffer a rubbish sexual relationship. All because you don't want to lose your lifestyle? Doesn't she deserve to be in a relationship with someone who DOES find her sexually attractive? Who does want to love her as a woman? Rather than just being kept as a housekeeper?

I have a family member, who was married, came out as gay and then got divorced, so this is a situation I have seen first hand. Lies will always come out in the end, and it is the children who always suffer most.

Give your wife the choice - tell the truth and let her be free to do what makes her happy.

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A male reader, confu5ed United Kingdom +, writes (29 December 2014):

confu5ed is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Wiseowl, many thanks for your honest response, yes i do know that cheating is the worst thing i can do to her, and that i am putting her at risk, and yes thinking about it i probably always knew. To answer your questions i have been with her 8 years, and my eldest is 8, was not raised in a religous household, but the normal stigma around homosexuality was around me, I know i deserve everything that some people will comment on here, even though i am feeling horrible about every mistake I have made, I do need to tell her, and will think on how and when is the best time to do it.. although there will never be a good time, I know that she will hate me, and if i can i will try to help her through it although she probably will never want to speak to me again, all i ever wanted for her was and is for her to be happy, which is obviously not with me.

I thank you for your honest opinions and maybe thats what i was looking for someone to say what i already knew.

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A male reader, confu5ed United Kingdom +, writes (29 December 2014):

confu5ed is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you for your comment, I will always support my children no matter what, and i do not wanna hurt anybody, I do understand that i am cheating, it eats me up everyday, you are right in saying that i need to tell her, but it is just so difficult, the one thing i never wanted to do is to hurt her, but i know if i carry on it will hurt her anyway, and yes have always been safe.. life is never easy

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (29 December 2014):

You are a relatively young man, which means your kids ages may range from infant to toddler. Maybe to tweens. Assuming you married in your early to mid-twenties. You didn't mention how long you've been married. People average two years between kids. So the oldest could still only be around eight.

Dear sir, I don't wish to be harsh or too judgmental toward you; but you are living a lie within a marriage to a woman who has devoted her life to you. She gave you three wonderful children. You made vows to be faithful and to forsake all others. You must do right by them. You're not going to stop. That is because it is your true nature. Guilt compelled you to confess to someone. I know you do not wish to be judged. You have cheated on your marriage, and that is a serious moral violation to your family.

I'm being tough, because you knew exactly who you were before you got married. Did you think a vagina would cure you? This didn't spring itself on you all of a sudden. It wasn't in the water you drank. I'm being direct, because you're cheating on your wife! It's equally as wrong, whether with men or with women!

You have betrayed the trust of your life-partner, and the betrayal extends through your family.

Regardless of the gender of your sex-partners, you risk catching and passing STD's. Condoms may not protect you from some sexually-transmitted diseases; because infections can be spread in different ways. The exchange of bodily fluids being the primary way infections are spread.

You are considered high risk for HIV; because you are having sex with men!!! All you need is a broken condom; or have an open cut or bleeding gums. You're placing your wife at risk! The number of partners you have outside your marriage increases that risk. Now think about that!

The other problem is how it will destroy your family, if she discovers what you're doing by accident. It is time to admit what you've been doing, and who you are. Ultimately; it's time to face the music. She may forgive you. The odds are highly against that. She may want to go to counseling, in order to save her marriage. She will not trust you. She will feel you never really loved her, and that she wasted her feelings. If she has any insecurities, they will only be amplified; because she cannot compete physically with what a man offers you sexually. Nor can she counter the psychological desire you have to be with a man. You have admitted that gay is your sexual-orientation. Meaning your desires lean more toward men.

The truth is, cheating has already ruined your marriage. The complication of your cheating is the fact that it has been with other men. So she gets the double-whammy!

I am a gay man. I've responded many times to posts from gay or bisexual men, who want the same trappings of family-life as a heterosexual male. Most want to live in denial of their gay desires. Some are successful at never crossing the line to have sex with men; although they still "lust in their hearts." Most eventually will cross that line. The odds are more likely they will, than won't!

They fantasize having the wife, kids, dog, and the picket fence. You're under 40, and could have had all of that with another man. I understand that we are forced by religion and moral values to "avoid deviant homosexual behavior." You were probably raised in a Catholic family. Pardon any presumptions on my part about that. I have to piece this together as best I can. A men, we must play by the rules of your gender, follow the demands of society, and what is expected of you as a male. Therefore, you must deny by all means that you could ever have sex with another man. I've walked a mile in your shoes. I used to also have sex with women. It was hard coming to terms with my true sexual-orientation.

I've never went so far as to marry a woman, and live such a lie. It's a lie, because you lead her to believe you are heterosexual. That's who she married. I have to put it bluntly. How delicately can it be said?

You have crossed the line. You are sexually-active with men while married to a woman. That places your being in the closet in a whole different category. It's total deception.

Okay, I've been very rough on you. I haven't told you anything you haven't already felt and don't already know. Now I think I should also be more sympathetic toward your dilemma. You have feelings, and you are a fellow human being. I don't mean to pelt you with judgement; but cheating in so many ways, will draw a lot of mire from people reading your post. I am a gay man, and may understand who you are differently from others.

You may have been confused by your feelings and hoped upon hope, even prayed, they would go away. You probably denied them altogether; until one day the curiosity got the better of you. The problem is, you were born into a more informed and flexible society than it was fifty years ago. There is still ignorance and prejudice; but the homophobia isn't as institutionalized, or as oppressive as it was as when I was growing up. By the time I came out, society was already drastically changing. Europe was far ahead of the curve, as far as the acceptance of gays and lesbians. Less rigid about gay relationships than the United States, Arab, Middle Eastern, African, and Asian countries. Even in the twentieth century! However; I also know Europe's past. Imprisonment, and how gay people were harshly ostracized. It was quite ugly! But not during your generation!

Now what should you do? Get tested!!! Even if you've been careful, and have practiced safe-sex. You can still pass on Hepatitis B or C; if you exchange blood or semen. It's not that easy; but for the sake of your spouse, take every precaution. If you've had oral-sex with men, you should never have oral-sex with your wife the same day! ALWAYS USE CONDOMS! ALWAYS!!!

TELL HER THE TRUTH!!! Better now, than later. Prepare for the consequences. You do not deserve to get away with cheating; then pretending all is well to her face. If you really loved her, you would not have cheated on her. You just don't want to face the consequences. Don't use love as your excuse. You can fight for custody of your children if it should ever come to that; but you owe her the truth. I have to be direct, I will not sugar-coat this; because we both know how serious this is. Sometimes women are a lot more understanding than you may expect; but the cheating and deception lessens your chances of her being very understanding, or forgiving. So you have to be realistic.

Please seek counseling for yourself. Most local LGBT community centers and health-collectives offer hotlines and counseling for men in your situation. They are very discreet. There are even male support-groups. You must be carrying tremendous guilt over this. Sorry for being so tough. At least I can say, I know how you feel.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 December 2014):

Respecting and loving someone is to be honest with them. Whether you were sleeping with other men or women you are cheating. Living this lie any longer will damage all parties. I also hope if you are still sleeping with your wife you are using protection for her sake. My only advice is when (not if) you tell her you have a plan and a decent and honourable one in place to support her and your children through divorce or separation. You owe her that dignity. You also owe yourself to live your truth.

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