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Dear Chump Lady, My wife cheated with a woman

Dear Chump Lady,

My wife and I started dating when we were in college. It was an amazing romance, and a few years later we got married. We have been married nearly 15 years and have three wonderful children, ages 11, 9 and 6. We are both successful professionals, have a beautiful home and live in a great neighborhood. Our marriage seemed great — great sex life, friends, supportive families and extended families, pets, and incredible friendship between my wife and me.

Except… about a year ago, my wife started acting weird. More drinking, socializing, reckless behavior. And hanging out entirely too much with the mother of one of our daughter’s friends. At first, I thought that this was just a really good friend my wife had made. But then, they were up late drinking, hanging out on days off from work, took a weekend trip together to a national park. (Could I be any more obvious where this is going?)

During spring break of this year, I had finally had it and searched my wife’s mobile phone, only to discover that my wife and her friend had been using WhatsApp (clever!) to assist in carrying on a sexual affair. I confronted my wife about this, and she claimed (at first) that they were just very close friends. But then I asked about the details in some of the WhatsApp texts that I read, and she had to retreat. At that point, she started reading a laundry list of all of my faults and mistakes that drove her to have a lesbian affair, including that I am a “homebody”, work too hard, don’t throw enough parties at the house, and am too narrowly focused on our nuclear family. Let’s just say that the last three months have sort of sucked.

My wife and I are at a point where we are going to spend some time living apart over the summer. My wife also admitted to me that she has fantasized about women for the last “15 to 20 years”, and has suppressed her thoughts given that she grew up in conservative Texas, had a father who threatened to disown her or her brothers if any of them were gay, and we actually did have a pretty great marriage. But this new person just flipped some sort of magic switch for her.

My wife’s goal over the summer is to figure out how she feels about this woman and to analyze her sexual orientation as either bisexual, lesbian or straight-with-a-sprinkling-of-experimentation. Frankly, I need time to process this independently myself and to focus on our kids.

I’m very supportive of the LGBT rights movement, but it sucks to be a “victim” of it as a straight spouse whose LGBT spouse is coming out a bit later than optimal. What’s your take here?


Dear BeardBoy,

Boy, imagine the answers to What I Did On My Summer Vacation. I just used to have reading assignments. What a project! Does it require posterboard? Glitter glue? Are you a data point for her science fair experiment?

My take is she sucks. (As fully human people sometimes do. You can be gay and still be an asshole.)

I see your dilemma (apart from heartbreak). You’re supposed to contentedly play the role of supportive partner to the nascent lesbian. Because anything less than full you-go-girl would be homophobic, and you’re a progressive man, so be a dear and watch the kids.

Will she emerge from chrysalis a Sapphic butterfly? Or will you continue to yoke her to homebody oppression?

I don’t even know how you’re supposed to perform this pick me dance. Promise you have no dick? Schlepp the kids to summer camp while she explores the Grand Canyon? (Pervy chumps, keep your naughty double entrendre thoughts to yourself.)

The I-Think-I-Might-Be-Gay thing is just another flavor of cake. She’s happy with both her girlfriend and her staid straight mom life and those three accessory kids. She knows you value your family and it would about kill you to hurt the kids. So in that vacuum of indecision, she gets to fuck around.

Note that she is NOT racked with guilt, agony or indecision. She’s alive and forming full sentences about your numerous faults. (I expect the sad sausage channel to begin once you impose consequences like lawyers and separate finances.) This tells us everything we need to know about her character.

Let’s say we’ve concluded the experiment — she’s gay. All she did was take the pain she feared from that discovery and pass it on to you. You get to carry it. You get to invest in her and three kids and a shared life. And you get to suffer that loss, of the partner you thought she was (no mention of the woman attraction in 15 years?) and of your family, because of her cowardice.

Do we live in a homophobic world with real costs for coming out? Absolutely. But you still did not consent to being her beard. She had difficult ethical decisions she could’ve made — beginning with ending her relationship with you respectfully and honestly. Also, she could’ve done what many, many generations of gay women did before her and not marry. Live with your queer roommate and become botanist librarians or something. She didn’t do that. She let you invest deeply.

People break up over orientation, and that could be sad and overcome were it not for her blameshifting and her entitlement at cake. That speaks to her character (shitheel) not her orientation (fluid).

You matter. You deserve a partner who is not conflicted about their attraction to you. She may not be straight — but she should be straight with you.

Lawyer up and all the usual just-found-out advice. Also Straight Spouse Network. ((Hugs))

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Gay cheaters are still cheaters, just as gay predatory harassers and abusers of teenage boys are still predatory harassers and abusers of teenage boys, Kevin Spacey.

  • YOUR goal over the summer should be to get all of your legal, financial and therapeutic ducks in a row (for you AND for your kids) if/when the result of HER goal is to continue to make you the fall guy for her purposeful and deliberate deception.

    • ^ This. And I would do it quietly. No need to fuel the fire / put your kids through a worse situation by demonstrating your anger, so I would try to keep that in (as much as possible…you’re not a robot!). But certainly talk to a lawyer and lay all the groundwork for preparing. Remember: you are the kids’ only responsible parent now. You will need to think ahead for them in terms of resources and investments. I wish you and your wife well, but regardless of what she “finds” when she looks deeper into what she thinks she really wants, you will not serve either of you or the children better by remaining in the wings as her doormat. Be the example of how you’d want your children to demand respectful treatment in their own future relationships. Because you can be sure they’re always watching.

      • Listen to them ^

        Short version: married to college sweetheart for 7 years and kept finding gay poem, dildos, etc.. Finally, I caught him emailing Craigslist M4M ads and we separated to figure things out. He gayed it up for 6 months while I thought we were going to remain best friends and loving coparents when we eventually divorce. When I said I was ready to file he did a complete 180, declaring he was “straight with an attraction to men” and that it was “not marriage ending.” I couldn’t tell anyone why I filed for divorce without him labeling me abusively homophobic. Our divorce was contentious and just as traumatic as finding out he was a “bottom” who’s into “otters”. He’s now remarried to a woman and has had another child.
        Bottom line is focus on yourself and your kids. Try to accept that you don’t know your wife the way you’ve always thought and plan accordingly.

        Side note: We’re your age and had great lives… in a band together, also from Texas (Austin), supportive of LGBT rights… don’t try to make sense of it and don’t internalize her excuses. My ex (and his mother) told me he was pushed to cheat with men because I didn’t have enough sex with him. It’s all nonsense.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Those of us married to people who declare late into a marriage their “alternative” sexuality have the particular added “pleasure” of the fear of being or being thought by others to be homophobic, which comes on top of the pain all of us cheated-on people feel from the RIC and Esther Perel and Co. apologists.

    • I always felt terrible for people in your position. On top of being discarded you’re betrayer is lauded as “brave” and you are expected to swallow your pain and act all supportive.
      It’s intensely unfair to expect someone used as cover to just accept it with no anger. I once stunned someone by pointing out that the “beard” lost the opportunity to have a proper reciprocal relationship with someone who could love them fairly. It’s theft of a life, the person hiding could have just stayed single instead of bringing an unwilling partner into their mess.

        • In the club with you BearBoy and Adelante, and CL thanks so much for nailing this so perfectly.

          By late-night phone call my husband of 22 years (4 kids, one died in accident when 3) let me know that he’d spent the last ten years having sex with hundreds of randoms, male and female. And then the narrative was, I’m a proud bisexual man, judge if you dare … or are a narrow-intolerant bigot.

          The phoned-in revelation was made from a 3-day “self-development” weekend in Sydney, over an hour away (Become Your Authentic Self … he finished the weekend btw). And from then on he would say “Thank God for that course helping me be honest … I was suicidal and I dodged a bullet”.

          Zero insight into the fact that what he did was to carefully place his loving, trusting wife and kids between him and that bullet, and let us take it for him. (And the dramatic suicide thoughts … hmmm.) Zero compassion for us as we writhed around bleeding everywhere.

          And yes, apparently the others in the course applauded his bravery for “coming out” to his wife.

          • I am so so sorry that happened to you. How unfair! I just want to weigh in on how much I agree that it’s about character – not orientation. I am queer. I’m also a conscious monogamist. A few years ago when I was 38 and my husband was 34 we were organizing a huge social justice event and I met a national organizer who took to me immediately. We became fast friends and I found that in our time spent together I was developing feelings for her. I felt seen and heard and adored by her. I was immediately wrecked with guilt and talked to my husband (he was already aware that I’m queer). He was furious and demanded I end the friendship immediately. Sobbing – I confessed my feelings to my friend and let her know we could no longer be friends (she shrugged, gave me the peace sign and was off to her next great adventure). Not two years later I discovered my husband had been having a sexual affair THE WHOLE TIME I was wrecked over ‘feelings’ (which is kind of surprising now that was the only time I ever had any kind of attraction to someone outside the marriage).

            • Ughhh, so infuriating and typical! Good on you for doing the mature thing, and he sucks that much more for actually playing along while knowing full well he was engaging in a much, much deeper thing. You gotta love the way a cheater acts all over-the-top jealous over more minor infractions, probably to cover up what they’re REALLY doing. ????

      • Witness: “Brokeback Mountain” (which I happen to enjoy)

        It’s hard to not empathize with characters who must find a way function in an environment and society that is appalled and disgusted by who they really are. I get it — there is no justice in not being able to be “who you are” openly and without fear of reproachment, or worse.

        But each of the wives (especially Ennis’) were robbed of the opportunity for a proper reciprocal relationship with someone who could love them fairly and raise children without destructive secrets or dysfunction.

        “Everyone is a victim in this tragedy?” Not quite. Ennis and Jack used their victimhood as leverage to create more victims. THAT’S the tragedy.

        • I agree, UXworld. I love that movie.

          Michelle Williams was incredible – the way she portrayed the searing pain of betrayal was spot on.

      • I’m just the typical chump that discovered her spouse cheated for 20 years. But what haunts me is what you so aptly expressed as “lost the opportunity to have a proper reciprocal relationship with someone who could love them fairly. It’s theft of a life.”

        Telling me that I wouldn’t have had my daughter doesn’t help either. I may have found a man that knew how to love and maybe I would have had the two children I really wanted. I may have been able to continue my career.

        Then maybe again, my life would have taken a different trojectory. Who knows? But it would have driven by decisions I made, not lies I was told.

        Everyone says to let it go and move on. I am, but the regret, hindsight and haunting lingers…

        • I feel exactly the same, Giddy Eagle. It has been 7 years since D Day, 6 since the divorce was final, and the thing that still gets to me is the loss of some life dreams that he took from me. I will never be able to have a 50th wedding anniversary now, for example.

          I agree that it is so annoying when people tell you that you should be happy that you came away with the kids out of the relationship, like that must be why you had to go through that.

          Ugh, kids are not a consolation prize. These children we made now have to live their lives knowing that their father was incapable of doing the right thing, over and over. They will know that he chose to tear their family apart because his ego and wants were more important than his word or their needs. I could have had kids with a better partner, that would have chosen to be a better father for them. Sometimes I feel so responsible to them for choosing such an asshole to procreate with.

          I don’t think it is fair for anyone to tell you to get over those losses. You will get over them when you get over them. IF you get “over” them.

      • Totally agree with you, well said!
        You didn’t sign up for a supporting role in someone’s self discovery journey. You signed up for a genuine reciprocal relationship. This has nothing to do with homophobia.

    • Yes. We are homophobic or transphobic or biphobic or whatever when we discover a whole other life the person has been leading without our knowledge. Somehow this is being prejudiced, not being chumped. No one seems to understand the point is truth. If I had known, I could have chosen differently.

      • I have great empathy for all of you who were chumped by queer people. It’s hard to know, without hearing your individual stories, whether your former queer spouses felt safe in admitting the truth to themselves, let alone to you, before you became invested in them and your kids, etc. In a very real sense, both you AND your partners were harmed by societal messages, often reinforced by family members and religious authorities starting at birth, that it’s not okay to be queer. 🙁

        • I waited more than a decade for clarity from him. There was none. To this day I’m not sure whether any of the identities he claimed were authentic. They seemed to change according to whatever porn he was currently watching. He knew porn was a dealbreaker for me and didn’t care, just lied about it until he got caught.

          Prejudice is real, there are people who are genuinely queer, and there are people who just grab what they can get. Several of us had the ones who grab what they can get. My respect for people who have been forced into the closet is real. My respect for deliberate liars is nonexistent.

    • Today’s post is similar to my cheater, BAM (Brokeass Mountain) … he hid behind our marriage for 30 years while continuing to date his secret high school boyfriend. When finally caught, he claimed to have done so out of shame. Bullshit. He wanted cake in all its many rainbow varieties, including other women. Please don’t confuse the genuine confusion and fear with which many gays struggle with our situations … our spouses are not the least bit confused. They are just textbook cheaters who lie to control and get what they want unfairly. You don’t need a full summer to understand your situation. I am so sorry, but get out fast. Hugs.

      • Wow – that’s pretty much all the marbles right there – a Chump is a chump – how/what/why he/she was taken is irrelevant. We’re all ‘cheater phobic ‘ and that’s all there is – all this ‘phobic’ this or that is just..well ‘ Chump change’!

      • Shame because of society’s prejudices doesn’t justify exploiting someone else!

  • Dear BeardBoy, to add to your well articulated faults that were so articulately pointed out to you by your wife – you could imprison , starve and beat me up regularly but you still wouldn’t drive me to become gay. As you, I’m very supportive of LGTB rights but as CL pointed out, I’m only interested in guys who aren’t confused about their attraction to me. Oh, and they don’t lie and fuck around behind my back.

  • “Don’t throw enough parties at the house?” With 3 kids under 12? Are you shitting me?

    Also, you don’t want to be homophobic? Then respect same-sex relationships as being as real as straight relationships – none of this “girls don’t count” horseshit. Your wife cheated on you. She cheated on you and is now telling you to stick your thumb up your ass and spin on it while she decides whether she’d like to continue fucking someone else or go back to good ol’ reliable you. The specific genitals of her affair-partner are pretty damn irrelevant – what’s relevant is that she’s been faceplanting into them while still married to you.

    • Perfect response. She’s basically whining that he’s too responsible, loves his family too much and is and too good of a father. I’ve heard some lame excuses for cheating, but that takes the prize. What a moron. She’s done what my cheater did and has decided to relive her adolescence. Beardboy has become, in her mind, the father she has to rebel against. Clearly she has massive daddy issues from an abusive homophobe father and needs a ton of therapy. He should demand she get it for the sake of the kids and go for full custody. If she thinks it’s a flaw to be focused on the kids, she’s a shit mother, and it sounds like she has a drinking problem to boot. He probably spackled over that. I bet if he thinks back, there’s a ton of neglectful behavior from over the years that he could use in court. She didn’t become an asshole overnight. Who cares if she’s gay, bi, straight or Australian. It doesn’t excuse her appallingly immature conduct and lying to him about her sexual orientation for 20 years. That’s the sort of thing a spouse needs to know. My cheater kept his sexual interests secret from me, too, then banged a dirty, drunken skank to try to live out his fantasies. He said he was into me, but he was just into gross stuff and fantasizing about it when we had sex. Unforgivable. Keeping your actual sexual orientation secret is a whole other level of deception and disrespect. She’s doing standard cheater blameshifting bullshit with an insincere LGBTQ rights twist. “How dare you object to my cheating with a woman, you homophobe!” Give me an effing break.

      • I never thought about it that way. She has told me that she “doesn’t want to become” her parents, and she does appear to be attempting to relive her adolescence. She’s attending concerts for bands she previously had zero interest in, hanging out with a close circle of friends who drinks too much, etc.

        The drinking problem has become epic. She’s using alcohol as a way to anesthetize her guilt (or maybe, just the consequences of) the incredibly poor choices she has made over the better part of her life — deceiving me about her sexual preferences from the beginning of our relationship over 20 years ago, the affair that started a year ago, her continued perpetration of the affair, and diminished focus on the kids.

        • Don’t overanalyze her motives. I’ll suggest this affair partner may just be the first one she has gotten emotionally entangled with. If you try to reconcile, don’t be a doormat to make this work.

          Your children will model their adult relationships based on what they have seen between you and your spouse, and silently putting up with abusive behavior (the cheating and being openly lied to) is not something to have them watch play out.

          Hit Straight Spouse Network and forums as ChumpLady and a few others have mentioned, one of the moderators over there (phoenix something) essentially has your story, which included a long pick-me dance while accommodating his ex and her affair partner while they tried to reconcile.

          • “Your children will model their adult relationships based on what they have seen between you and your spouse..” OMG, I read this over and over I think I understand why both my sons are in terrible relationships. they watched me take shit from “dad” and now both have spouses that treat them like shit, just like I did.

            • None of my 3 adult children are in relationships. My son abandonned his child and neither of my sons will likely ever be a good partner.

          • “Don’t overanalyze her motives.”

            Yup. Maybe she’s bi, maybe she was gay and in denial, maybe she knew the whole time. Maybe these are Daddy issues, maybe a midlife crisis, maybe the pixie moodust short-circuited her brain – you’ll never know. Focus on what she’s done – not the excuses she gives for why she did it.

            You’ll never truly understand the ‘why’ so focus on the ‘what.’ What’s she doing? Lying, cheating, and asking you to hold down the fort at home while she fucks and drinks her way to self-discovery. You don’t have to stand for that.

        • Just don’t make the mistake of attributing normal feelings to cheaters. She may SAY she feels guilty, and she may exhibit behaviors that YOU would exhibit if YOU felt guilty, but all too often chumps will try to untangle that skein to try to make sense of cheaters’ brains, and it’s not always the most effective way of dealing with your pain. Cheaters DO NOT feel the way normal people feel–they do not have the same thought processes and emotions, empathy that normal people do. That’s why you’ll often find yourself banging your head against the wall–it’s because you’re trying to fit a round peg into a square hole–it doesn’t work. You’ll eventually answer “Why the eff does she DO THAT?” with “Because she’s messed up, that’s why.” You’re trying to use your brain, your emotions, your reactions to figure her out. It doesn’t work. You really can only judge her behavior. Past behavior is the best predictor for future behavior. This understanding will result in less mind-fucking.
          I mean, here’s the bottom line: so what if she DID feel guilt toward you and the kids? So what? She’s still being shitty, and she won’t stop. Now what? That’s what you have to work with. Lawyer up. Get the custody. Set boundaries. Stop being her therapist (nobody could pay you enough for that shit, and it’s hurting you and wasting your time). Go as low contact/gray rock as possible. You can do this.

        • She’s definitely acting like a teenager. Going to see bands and partying with other drunks is classic with this overgrown adolescent pattern. My cheater did exactly the same. Beardboy, you should go for custody of those kids to protect them from experiencing them witnessing her in an alcoholic stupor and being neglected so she can party. That’s going to happen, if it hasn’t already. Lawyer up. Do not give any quarter to somebody who puts drunken partying and extramarital sex above her children, then blames you for being “too focused” on the kids. That is sick. She’s disordered, and unless she quits drinking and gets therapy, they are going to be victims of alcoholic abuse.
          I’m so sorry for you being used and mistreated by an pathologically immature substance abuser who puts drinking, sex and socializing with cretins above her family. I’ve been there and it’s awful. The ironic thing is that she is like her parents in that she’s treating her kids terribly. You can tell that to the judge when you ask for supervised visitation only. Drunks can’t be trusted with kids.

          • Yep, I watched the same thing play out too. My STBX and AP reliving their carefree years (never left them, frankly, think arrested development). The drunkenness and irresponsibility, the subsequent neglect of their children respectively (in denial that the children were affected). From where I stood, watching her husband, in effect, becoming her enabler (as did I) by doing all the adulting while they ran amok. And when it ended, straight back to the spouse who never supported her dreams (singing stardom), stifled her as a pedestrian mother of 3 and not the amazing, hipster creative she was. Funny, that. Don’t be that guy. I got away, I always wonder when her Chump is going to wake up. You won’t figure out the why. Trust that they suck!

        • I have the feeling if her affair partner were male you would be enraged but you seem stuck. Its the same thing even if there is no dick involved.
          You need to take charge of this. Get advice from straight spouse network, see a few divorce lawyers, make an exit plan. Don’t passively wait around for her and be her babysitter and door mat while she plays.
          She is waiting to see if this relationship will be long term or not. She knows she isn’t straight. If it doesn’t work out she will probably go back in the closet and say she wants you back and then cheat on you again.

          • The one who should be away for the summer figuring out who he was is actually BeardBoy. What is she going to figure out, if she’s staying in this relationship? So she assumes BB is of course fine with it? I think BB hold be thinking carefully if he’s fine with it. And this whole summer thinking thingy is yet another teenage habit, let’s go to party before the school starts in September? Where’re the children supposed to be while she’s drinking … oopsie, thinking?

      • My cheater did the same, drinking, partying, out til all hours and then took it anther step beyond by prospecting for an actual 1 percenter MC. It’s ridiculous to see him, a 49 year old, suddenly trying to be Jax Teller after a totally middle class, average 9 to 5 ing life.

    • Yes the “don’t throw enough parties” thing caught my attention too. beardboy, what really struck me about your letter is how it read practically word for word like my experience with my cheating ex, minus the gay part. The absurdly trite ways in which I had failed him, the switch that had flipped when he met….”her” (you see, he didn’t know what real love was before he met her), the time he felt entitled to take deciding what he wanted, as though that were the only thing in the world that mattered, resulting in a torturous picke me dance that took place over the summer, the increased drinking/partying like he had graduated from “marriage & family” and was now off to college to party… May I skip ahead for you and tell you how this all turns out? She continues to take advantage of your desparation to protect your family, you allow yourself to suffer profound humiliation because her indecision is giving you the idea that there’s hope, and when she’s good and ready she tells you it’s over anyway. After treating you like shit under her shoe, she is puzzled why you can’t be friends. You know, for the children.

      Beardboy, she is an entitled asshole. It doesn’t matter that she’s gay anymore than it matters what color her hair is. She is treating you like shit. Please, please don’t do what I did, and allow it to continue for months. Gather financial documents, go see a lawyer, and keep being the great father you are to those kids. DON”T MODEL FOR THEM that it’s somehow OK to torture your spouse, or to allow yourself to be tortured by anyone. Trust me, you’ll regret it…

      • I agree with this. Mine said he was tired of the “old people stuff”. And that he wanted to get out and mix it up. He needed space and time to find himself and figure out what he wanted. Flash forward 4 months. Google maps updated their street view, and his truck is now permanently memorialized out front of schmoopie#1 house. So I asked him what the hell am I waiting for. His response “divorce. Sell the house.” So really what I found out is this time and soul searching is just time to figure out how to fuck me over he never intended to be with me. If he wanted to be with me, he would not have needed time to decide if he wanted to be with me. Ya know? He’d have just been with me.

        I say don’t be with someone who has to decide if they want you. How hurtful and how painful. Also how dishonest of her.

    • “…you don’t want to be homophobic? Then respect same-sex relationships as being as real as straight relationships – none of this “girls don’t count” horseshit. Your wife cheated on you.”

      Well put, Traffic_Spiral.

      The gender of the affair partner doesn’t change the fact that vows were broken, you were cheated on, and worst of all, the “devalue” phase that narcissists put us through was full blown cruelty on top of betrayal.

      It can take time to emotionally decouple, but that’s what needs to happen. I get it. I delayed too. It’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that your marriage is dead.

  • BB, let yourself get angry both at your wifes’s behavior, and also the blameshiftung. Why these fuckers need to add insult to injury is beyond me—betray us and then blame us for our own Victimhood.

    • Tempest, you called it! It’s enraging that we are blamed for the abuse we suffer. That’s the hallmark of the disordered and does as much harm or more as the actual discovery, in my experience.

      • The laundry list of “faults” and “mistakes” I received post-disclosure was worse than the disclosure. The disclosure pulverized me, and that’s when she decided to pour acid on top. Awesome.

        • “including that I am a “homebody”, work too hard, don’t throw enough parties at the house, and am too narrowly focused on our nuclear family.”

          What. A. Bitch.

          While I mourn the loss of the relationship you thought you had, you don’t need someone like this (not) in YOUR corner.

          Hold your head high. You love your kids. You work hard. You take pride in your home. You have nice infrequent parties, rather than regular keg fests. You didn’t CHEAT.

          • Thanks. I never thought being a responsible father and husband would backfire so incredibly.

            • “I am a “homebody”, work too hard, don’t throw enough parties at the house, and am too narrowly focused on our nuclear family.” I just read this sentence again. Dude, you are the perfect husband and father. You are the type of man that many of us female chumps mistakenly believed we had married. It sucks profoundly for you that you married someone who doesn’t share your values at all, but that is unfortunately what happened. You being your awesome self didn’t “backfire”. Let’s reframe that sentence. How’s this: “I never thought being a responsible father and husband would mean nothing to the person I loved, trusted, and believed shared my values. I didn’t see her for who she really is…” Someday, this truth will be very clear to you. Give it time

            • It didn’t “backfire” on you. She chose to cheat because she wanted to cheat. If she’d just wanted a few more nights out, that didn’t require banging someone else. If you were less of a homebody she’d be saying that you two grew apart because you weren’t focused enough on the home and family. It’s all just a way to shift blame from her to you.

            • Same here.
              I’m the “boring homebody” that (gasp!) worked full-time, took care of the house, paid all the bills, raised our Autistic daughter, as well as take care of my two older sons with exh1.
              Meanwhile, exh2 would go AWOL for overnights – no texts, no calls, overdraw our checking account and have nothing to show for it the next day, and no real details about what he had done the night before.
              When and if I would *ask* to go out, I was home by 11 and had to account for every minute while I was out.
              Looking back now, I realize he was trying to set me up for cheating — he would offer me a “hall pass” … He would actually tell me that I “should find a guy to come home and bang you so I could watch”
              About three months before D-Day, I called him out on this and said to him, “I think you want me to have sex with someone else so that you could file for divorce, claim adultery and take some custody of DD” he became enraged and said that he “had too much respect for me to cheat on me”
              D-Day was three months later.
              He never gave me any reason except that he “wasn’t happy”, but told his family, his OWs family, OW that he had video and pictures of me cheating ???????? ???????????? ????
              So ridiculous.
              Who knew that being a good wife, good mother, good person could be fault for divorce?

            • Loyalty and responsibility are never valued by assholes, because they don’t value those things. You behaved as any honorable person would. Shame on her for not appreciating it.

        • Yes, the faults are itemized at length as soon as the chump discovers the deception. Because it’s not what she did, it’s your reaction to it. Everything was just fine until you wised up.

          I am so sorry that you are going through this. But you have come to the right place.

        • Beardboy, the list of “faults” was for her sake…so she could have a reason to blame you. A homebody who cares about the kids sounds like the perfect man to me. Cheaters will grab at anything to say there is a reason for their cheating. Heck, my ex-h once told me that I was “too perfect.”

          Like others have said, cheating is cheating. It doesn’t matter what gender your wife is cheating with. Get your ducks in a row and get out of this marriage. Also, start keeping records NOW about who is doing all the childcare and how often she comes home late and/or drunk. You may need them to protect the kids.

        • Same. I got the “Im going to divorce you because you have been a horrible spouse, there isnt anyone else this is between us” followed by 2 solid hours of a laundry list of my failures dating back to 1983. I sat hunched over …broken and weeping and he just kept at it. He was not willing to simply say that he wanted out of the marriage.

          I then untangled the skein for YEARS…if I was so bad that he wanted to leave, then why didnt he pack his bags that night? If I was good enough to stick around with for a while then why did he have to destroy me like that? Answer: he was an asshole.

          Now…years later…and he is dead…what lingers in my soul is not the sex, it is the cruelty.

          • Yes, this. The criticisms for years. “It would be so much better to divorce you than have to deal with how horrible you are.” With the giant laundry list. And then not divorcing me. Just keeping me terrified and feeling I needed to work ever harder.

            In my case, the criticisms were there from early on, but I not recognize what they were. And they got more over time, and so the day of the hour long laundry list was not so much new things but so much all at once, and I could see things together, to see how contradictory and impossible it all was. It kept getting worse, and yet I still did not recognize it as emotional abuse.

            Now I would know to tell a friend to look up Susan Weitzman, “Not to People Like Us,” about hidden abuse in middle and upper class marriages and why it is often not recognized. And Lundy Bancroft, “Why does he do that,” about anger and control and abuse even without it being physical. The conditioning over time to pick me dance more and more and wear you down so you feel you have to endure it.

            Then last spring, during a time of worse and worse hostility and contempt, including more threats of leaving, and more withdrawal and blaming me for it all, I saw phone history that let me know I needed to get tested for STDs, including HIV.

            My husband insists he “has never acted on it,” that he was confused, curious, etc. and that he really did want me and wanted to work on his destructive patterns and dysfunctional FOO issues. Of course I wanted to believe this. Then I learned about 7 mos later that he had been looking at Gay hookup sites for about 25 years of our marriage…which is almost the whole thing. I also learned that within a year of us getting engaged he had tried to initiate sexual contact with another man. So, OK, I can accept that a young adult who grew up in my generation and in a religious environment might actually be confused. But at a certain point, actions over 25 years—that ARE “acting on it” should have shown him his truth. For him to still say he is confused is a horrible lie.

            Of course he criticized me. Of course he never felt I loved him. Of course he felt I was a burden. Because he was not willing to face reality. Since he was looking at gay porn and hookup sites, no women, for 25 years, that proved that I, his wife was to blame. I was to blame not just for everything he had already told me I was horrible for—which was about everything he could think of—but I was ALSO to blame for him doing those gay things that he thinks were not actions? And also: isn’t withholding a kind of action? Withholding affection is a violent action. Withholding information so significant to another is a violent action.

            Moral superiority though—“he never acted on it.” Like morality is all about sex. And like sex became his only definition of morality. I want to shout at him loud enough to knock him off his moral high horse: “sex can be good or bad or inbetween! The real morality is in how you treat people! Sex just represents that! We don’t lie! We don’t use people!”

            Oh wait! If I get angry about this, then I am not moral, while he has been so morally superior by being a liar, and trapping me in his lies, and then punishing me it all.

            • My sister’s husband came out on their 25th annv. They have 5 children and she never guessed he was gay. He brought his lover on a trip with her to meet him. They divorced, he is now married to his gay partner of 34 years and she remarried as well. This all happened almost 25 years ago and they are both in their 70s and it all turned out for the best. Give it time.

  • She still cheated. And she put the blame on you. You did not put a gun to her head and force her to cheat. And she blamed you. You are not fun enough. You work to hard. You are a home body. Yup, you being an adult forced her to cheat. Cheaters all are the same. My Ex blamed me for his affair with my cousin. I did not want to go out to bars. I wasn’t fun enough. I liked to stay home on weekends. While I was being the adult. Paying bills, grocery shopping taking care of our granddaughter. He was playing pool with my cousin. When I asked him what he saw in my cousin. His response was. She liked to have fun. He threw away a 34 year marriage for a women who liked to have fun. I tried to work on the marriage. But, it ate away at my soul. I could not stomach looking at him. Do yourself a favor. Put your children and yourself first. You deserve a cheater free life.

    • “It ate away at my soul” yes I remember that. Even when the pick me dance was seemingly going well, in my favor, I felt like the biggest the pile of shit. Nobody and nothing is worth giving up your self worth for

  • She cheated. That is the part that matters. So find a shark attorney, file for a divorce, cite adultery if it applies, discuss with your attorney the pros and cons for YOU to call her lover onto the stand to discuss her part in the dissolution of the marriage and continue on to Tuesday.

    You can be gay and a cheating asshole. Being gay doesn’t mean you can’t be a jerk. Just like being mentally ill doesn’t mean you can’t be a jerk (but it doesn’t guarantee it either).

    It’s like that fucking Dandelion child/Orchid child book. Too many people are taking away the wrong message – that “dandelion” children aren’t SMART or that you can do ANYTHING to them and it slides right off. No. The Dandelion/Orchid thing has to do with SENSITIVITY not INTELLIGENCE. Pisses me right off. Nor does it state that it’s okay to treat a “dandelion” child like shit but you know there are people who are going to do so.

    I digress.

    She’s a cheater. Continue to be supportive of any and all LGBTTQQIAAP people but hold her accountable for CHEATING.

    Also, don’t feel that you have to keep that a secret. There is no shame in being gay or straight. There is no shame in being a CHUMP. If she wants you to keep it a secret, then that means she is telling you that she FEARS being honest. Not your problem.

    Best wishes.

    Also, it’s best that the kids know sooner than later. A friend of my eldest had his mother come out when he was in high school and it really messed him up. Badly. It would have been much better for all of them if she had left their father when they were younger and not before they were in the midst of teenage angst and hormones. You won’t be helping your kids by sitting on the information. You don’t have to get into the details, any more than you would if she were cheating with a man. Just enough.

    “It’s not acceptable for a married person to have a secret boyfriend or girlfriend. Therefore, we’re getting a divorce.”

    I’m really sorry. I also hope that you’ve archived those text messages. Your attorney will appreciate the written evidence and her husband may be an ally in the future.

    • The first person you should tell is your fellow victim, the other husband.

      The second call I would make would be to her family but I’m a meanie like that.

      • I figure the first call should be to an attorney because he can scorch his case before it’s even made.

        Then her family. The other husband getting notified should be told but let the attorney advise the client on when/how to do that.

      • I have been speaking with the other husband. It has been illuminating to say the least.

        • May I offer you both a nice bottle of Four Roses bourbon? Good beer? My deepest sympathies to be members of a brotherhood NO ONE dreams of?

          I’m really sorry.

          Hey – while she is exploring her options, please find a therapist for your kids. If you opt for family therapy, try and find someone who does individual for the kids too.

          It is a BITCH to find a therapist who takes children under the age of 12 but it can be done. It took me over 25 phone calls to find someone to see one of our kids, a long time ago, but I did and it was good for the kid. It will be good for your three too.

          I’m really sorry she cheated on you.

        • Beard boy,

          I digress. Is that a corgi? If so, adorable. I hope it represents that you have a living pet at home. Pets are great. They sleep with you and provide honest comfort. Cheaters do not. You will find that the further away you get, the better you sleep. I think that even when we don’t consciously know our spouse is cheating, the energy they give off , particularly when we sleep is disruptive to us.

          Cheaters suck. It doesn’t matter gay or straight. You were lied to, duped, played for a fool and then victimized by the old ‘I might be gay’.

          Be honest with your kids. Be appropriate and supportive.

          • Yeah, it’s a corgi. I have a few dogs. The fuckers are loyal and always there for you.

      • I wouldn’t recommend that he be the one to tell her homophobic family. That borders on vindictive. The goal here is to get out of a bad situation in which he is being abused, not to punish the abuser. It may eventually come out to her family anyway, but that one should, perhaps, not come from BB. At most, he might mention that the marriage is breaking up over infidelity on her part so that they understand there is a reason for the breakup that doesn’t involve him just getting bored or being an abuser in some way. But maybe I am just too kind.

        • You know, I thought about this quite a bit with regard to her family and with regard to the OW’s husband. But I decided that it would be far better to hold back and let the OW tell her husband herself — I did not want to make her life easier for her by spilling the can of beans for her.

  • Poor BeardBoy.
    Cheaters are cheaters and blameshifting is also dishonest.

    Divorce this entitled idiot as if she were straight and then take a vacation to see the Grand Canyon (arrgsstthhggghgh LOL).

  • BB , Does it matter if she is gay, bi or straight ?
    What matters is she lied, betrayed and cheated on you and your family.

    I am assuming in the last 15-20 years she has not talked about her desire to leave you and your family in the assumption she may be gay / bisexual ? But as soon as she is caught well i need a whole summer to myself to see what i want to do about you .

    What do you want to do BB ?

    • I’m numb right now. Every friend I tell this story to feels compelled to give me a hug afterward. I’m going to take some time for me to think about this, even though the end result might be the same. I see this as the biggest decision life has handed to me thus far. Just a few months should do it.

      If my kids weren’t in the picture, this would be easy. They have some friends whose parents are divorced, and they desperately want to avoid the shitstorms their friends have endured.

      I also happen to be an attorney, which is helpful. I have a good sense of what my options are under the laws of the state I live in, and they don’t offer much additional benefit given the perversity of this situation. I will take what I’m entitled to, but I don’t want to fight for the sake of fighting (although that could be immensely satisfying at first).

      This is a shitshow wrapped inside a clusterfuck dropped into a dumpster fire.

      • Well, at least you know who the scariest chainsaw divorce lawyer is and hopefully will hire that person.

        Best wishes to you, BB. Have you found a therapist for the kids? Yourself? I hope that the OW’s husband isn’t going to be a problem.

        “This is a shitshow wrapped inside a clusterfuck dropped into a dumpster fire.”

        It is.

        My FUU is mentally ill (diagnosed). He used to make threats about killing himself. Well, the kids and I took him seriously when he would do that so a few 911 calls, several Baker holds and he doesn’t make stupid empty threats like that anymore. We honored him enough to take him seriously. Divorcing your wife so she can be true to herself is akin to us not being emotionally blackmailed (do what I want or I’ll kill myself!) or playing armchair therapist (What can I do to fix you and whatever has upset you?).

        “Mommy having a secret boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t acceptable. That’s why we’re getting divorced.”

        You’re not lying to your kids (don’t lie to the kids!) but you’re not giving them more information than they need to handle.

        I hope you have the support you will need to continue to be the Sane, Stable Parent/Adult in their world.

        All my best.

      • I am so sorry, BB. Adultery is adultery, the type of genitals involved are irrelevant. What is telling is how it seems she would have been willing for you to keep believing all the wonderful things you thought about your marriage, while continuing to lead her double-life. A big ol’ slice of Devil’s food cake for her. The litany of “faults” is just her way of justifying to herself her heinous behavior. You are clearly a great guy for her to have to stoop to “you don’t party enough”. Dear God.

        • You make a good point …if BB Esq is a decent enough fellow that that is her fake-gripe, Im betting he is a stand-up guy.

          I care for dying children for a living and one of Cheater’s complaints was that I was “too holy” (except that he also said I was “too sinful”).

          My new husband was dumped…one of his sins was that their trips to Hawaii and Europe werent exactly as she wanted them. She ran off seeking greener grass. In her new marraige, she hasnt gone farther than his mothers house.

          • I totally forgot! I also received the complaint your husband received! I took my wife to bucket list destinations (which we agreed upon before we booked them), and I was blamed for not fully taking her desires for these trips into consideration. And I do mean that these were true bucket list destinations.

            I was also blamed for charging them on a credit card! How else was I supposed to pay — gold coins or cash?

            Holy fuck! Do these assholes conspire with one another on bullshit excuses?

            • Ahh. My cheating wasband took his new luv on the exact vacation I’d planned and executed. Same hotels, probably the same rooms. I imagine he felt extra special doing the same thing in the same place with two women.

            • They will make up ANY reason to blame you. It’s a defense mechanism to pass the buck and avoid responsibility for their egregious behavior.

              You’ve said so yourself: you’re a loyal, responsible husband and father who took your wife to bucket list destinations, and she still managed to shit on THAT. You think, how is that possible??

              It’s really easy, when dealing with disordered people, to spend time trying to understand their logic. The answer is, they don’t have any. Read that again. They don’t obey logic … because that would require obeying something higher than their own selfish desires.

              Things like logic, decorum, other people’s feelings, God, those are all higher powers. And to a narcissist, thou shalt have no God before them. So they conveniently ignore all those things.

              Their lives are built on lies and delusion. They NEED to take what they want, they NEED to ignore other people’s needs, they NEED to be blameless for their awful behavior.

              It’s insane and awful and doesn’t make sense, and that’s why these people are disordered. There’s nothing you could have done to stop her from cheating, just like there was nothing you did to make her cheat in the first place. You could be a war hero and a doctor who takes care of refugee kids, and she’d still find a way to blame you and smear your character.

              THESE PEOPLE LIE. They lie to us, they lie to others, they lie to themselves. They lie all the time. It’s what they do.

              • These are really insightful comments. Logic and the narcissist are not good bedfellows.

      • As far as being numb right now, that’ll end, and you WILL cycle through the grief repeatedly. Line up a therapist in addition to the friends that are willing to listen.

        Just some hints; get rid of any booze (and firearms god forbid) in the house, you are going to have some dark emotions come stay for a while. It gets better, but these first 3 months are going to really suck. Make sure you can sleep. Start working out again. Go outside. It will get better.

        • I’ve spent some serious time on self-care. Got back into running and already knocked out a 10K and a half marathon.

          No firearms here, mercifully. Thanks so much for the advice.

          • So you are an attorney and like to go on big trips, run marathons, you take care of your kids and don’t party? She has to be a lesbian if she doesn’t want you.
            Seriously. Any time she complains about you just insert “you don’t have a vagina” into it. Or just tell her you are done listening.
            My 2nd husband lied to me about being trans but when it was finally convenient for him to come out, he did. As far as I know he didn’t cheat but there was constant gas lighting in the extreme. There was a lot of covert gay behavior as well.
            We are the collateral damage and it sucks. Three years later it still sucks. It gets better and it helps to talk to other straight spouses so much.

      • BB,
        I’m sorry you’re being forced to go through this shit storm. You didn’t choose to be in this situation. None of us chose this. A tornado destroyed your house. Now you must address it. The sooner the better.

        You also must accept that divorce is inevitable. That realization was key for me. I then was able to begin the necessary work of distancing myself emotionally from my then-wife. This mindset was crucial because she had already done that work and had been secretly viewing me as an adversary for years.

        It’s also the best mindset to have as you embark on the critical work of planning for a future without her. Put your interests and the interests of your children first. Do not allow your spouse to manipulate you during the divorce process. Question every asset going to her. She made some very deliberate choices for her to get where she is. Choices come with consequences. She’s counting on your inaction and paralysis. Act! Deliberately and expediently.

        Godspeed, my friend!

      • It depends way too much on her, but it may still be possible for the two of you to maintain some sense of civility when your kids are present. It is going to be hard on them no matter what, but there are ways to make it less of a “shitstorm” for them if your for now wife actually cares about that as much as you do. Do your best to maintain as much normalcy for them as you can while still getting divorced. If it is possible for one of you to remain in the same neighborhood so they can attend the same schools and keep the same activities, friends, etc. even if they have to shuttle between two houses that will help. Even if you are honest about what is breaking up your marriage, it will help if you can avoid badmouthing your wife or otherwise showing open hostility. If she is capable of doing the same, that will help. Most importantly, make sure they know they are loved and cared for by at least one parent no matter what without implying that the their mother doesn’t love them. It is tough, but you will get through it and you will do everything you can to make it easier on the kids without having to be a doormat.Good luck.

          • There are also some good books to read with kids about Divorce, depending on their age. My son was 8 and the book written by of all people Mr Rogers was a comfort to him. He would ask me to read it to him when he was struggling.

      • I will take what I’m entitled to, but I don’t want to fight for the sake of fighting (although that could be immensely satisfying at first).

        The way you “win” is by getting the heck out of there, the sooner the better.

  • How fun! A summer of fun with the boring spouse taking care of all the adulting and children. #ME #moreparties

    “It’s not acceptable for a married person to have a secret boyfriend or girlfriend. Therefore, we’re getting a divorce.”

    Don’t let the gay lesbian bi thing throw you off of what’s happening here.

  • All I can add is that you are going to be a very desirable potential partner when you get free of this terrible so-called wife person and her bag of lies. A man who is devoted to his family, an adult(!) and a good provider is very attractive and desirable. There’s a lot of action to take and healing to happen and it will take time and a lot of pain but….Just wait for the amazing unexpected and wonderful Life 2.0 you get to have. You’ll never forget what she did and you’ll likely feel very sad for your kids that they will have a lifetime with this mother, but you’ll be free to fall in love with a woman of virtue and someone who cherishes and values you and is thrilled to devote herself to you and only you. This whole nightmare will be in your rear view mirror and will get smaller and smaller as time passes. If you act swiftly now to separate, go no contact, file for divorce, I predict you’ll get to “Meh” in 3-4 years with a lot of better times leading up to it. Come join us here on the other side … Meh is wonderful. We are saving your spot ????????????

      • I have read through a couple of you comments Beard ole’ boy and it sounds to me like you know what to do. You may not like the answer, it sucks in about a thousand different ways but you know. My .02 is that there are questions with YES and NO answers. Sometimes we try to convince ourselves that there are nuances that just aren’t there. For example, “Honey are you going to murder me in my sleep?”.It seems to me that anything other than a hell no is problematic. And if its a, ‘I just can’t commit right now and need space and oh by the way you are a terrible person but would you be a dear and watch the kids’….well, hide the steak knives.

        Sometimes it’s nice just to know you aren’t alone, my wife had a girlfriend back in 2008. I kept quiet to not embarrass her and I even took her on a trip so she could ‘get away’. How’s that for chumptastic. Is she gay or bi? Who knows, but she cheated on me again a few years later with a guy so maybe we just go with selfish.

        End the marriage or stay and work on it but commit because its what you know is right. If you aren’t sure what’s right then do the soul searching, talk it through and trust that you will. I know you are worried about the kids and life changes and no sugar-coating it….it’s a hot mess at times but totally worth it if that’s the direction you choose. Don’t be a hostage to your wife or kids or mortgage, take back the control and you will wake up every day grateful and happy.

        • “she cheated on me again a few years later with a guy so maybe we just go with selfish.” – Yeah, let’s go with that one.

          There you go BB. If you just tough it out a few years she might cheat with a guy next and then you will find out that all of this “identity crisis” nonsense has nothing to do with it. Do you want to wait around for that?

          • I’ve met some bisexual people who seem to go wherever the wind blows. Male ? Female ? They’ll take whoever is handing out ego kibbles.

  • You don’t have a marriage anymore. It disappeared the day she lied to you the first time. There is no ambivalence here. Your wife is a cheater, a liar, a blame shifter and a rotten mother. What’s not to love? I see a lawyer in your near future to move you through the divorce you badly need.
    I have a relative who, in his teens, tried telling his parents he was gay. They told him he was too young to know. In his 20s he sat them down and told them he was gay and to deal with it. They did and now he and his husband have a couple of kids, are successful in their careers and, most of all, happy. Happy because they don’t cheat and lie. That’s my point. Your wife lies, cheats and degrades you with blame. How in the world did she cover up this oh so charming part of her personality for so long?

    • I’ve got a number of gay friends who did very similar things. One was forcing himself to be interested in women but came out to his parents (who weren’t happy about it) two weeks when he met a guy who’s now his husband (of 20+ years). Why? Because he loved him and didn’t want to lie to others about him and hide him. Another friend is Indian and when he came out to his parents, being gay was so illegal in India. Etc. But these people are honorable people.

  • Why is it that chumps – straight or gay, are expected to be the sacrificial lamb to other peoples sins? I’m sorry her dad was an ass and scared her into living a lie, but thats not a problem that should be dumped on an innocent third party.

    I am so goddam tired of our society using compassion as a weapon to demonize the victim. “Oh, you aren’t waving your pom-poms around because your spouse had the courage to come out and blow up your life! You must be (insert negative connotation here)!

    In my experience most chumps worry about being “good people”. Any judgment that they are lacking compassion for someone else’s experience, even at the expense of themselves, creates this sense of guilt that they are the ones that have done something wrong. How in the hell do you think the affair recovery community has survived for so long… because they know how to wield guilt. It usually takes some form of what’s lacking in you

    1) you aren’t compassionate enough
    2) you’re judgmental
    3) you’re controlling
    4) insert natural human response to being abused/used/manipulated/etc. and spin it in a negative light

    The disordered will always use your emotional reactivity to their provocation against you. It’s a catch 22, and the only solution is to exit the game.

    • Well said Gab. Last two sentences are the inescapable truth and should be seared into our minds.

    • Right. I got the “controlling” blameshift, from an asshole who controlled my life and took away my freedom of choice through lies and manipulation.

      “You’re a homophobe for being angry that I cheated with a woman.” is utter nonsense. I bet if they went to an RIC MC, he’d hear the same bullshit from the counseller. He could easily turn it around and call her a heterophobe for the abusive way she’s treating him. She’s a user and a bitch, and I say this as the proud mother of a lesbian who has been out since age 13.

  • As you stay home and run the family home, she will be out discovering herself. Most likely she will riding Pikes Peek and visiting the Grand Canyon. You are just a useful gadget. Stability and a paycheck!

  • If you had a good sex life for 20 years then she isn’t gay, she’s bisexual and she did have a choice. Personally, I think everyone has the right to choose whoever they want regardless of orientation but she chose you. She made a commitment to you. She promised to love, honor and cherish (which includes not comparing negatively to others real or imagined) you for the rest of her life. If she wanted to do more sexual exploring then she should have thought of that before she married you. This is no different than my ex who cheated at least in part because he hadn’t had much experience with other women before we got married and twenty years later he decided he had missed out on something important and needed to go find out what it was by fooling around with other women behind my back. It was so unfair of me to want him to be faithful and deny him the opportunity for whatever all he was missing that other women might provide. Your wife’s need for variety (ie. Lesbian sex) is no different. That’s what it all comes down to. Some people make a commitment to one person and then decide they need and are entitled to experience something more later. Other people get to have those experiences so why shouldn’t they? They don’t really want to give up their marriages. They may even be fond of the person they are married to, but it isn’t enough and their desire for more is stronger than their love of their spouses and quite frankly their families and all of the security that goes along with that. Personally, I think when you get married that means you are making the choice to give up whatever it is you haven’t yet experienced from other people. You agree that from that day forward you will be focused on your spouse and whatever family you create. Your wife failed to do that after promising that she would. She betrayed you. The sex of her accomplice in that is irrelevant.

    What really sucks for you is that people will try and frame this as “repressed sexuality” coming out and she can’t help it and you should be more sympathetic. Bullshit. This is no different than my ex screwing around with other women because his desire for butt sex was “repressed sexuality”. She’s a cheater who put her wants above her commitments and the wellbeing of her family. Of course there are people out there who would also say that my ex’s need for butt sex makes his cheating ok even though he knew he wasn’t going to get that from me when he married me, but those people don’t share my values and I don’t care what they think.

    • Totally agree. My jerk was into gross sex with drunken sluts who have sex with other guys. I wasn’t “sexy” because I’m not a slut and I didn’t cuck him, unbelievable as that sounds. He never told me this, and hypocritically went nuts when another man even payed me a compliment. He tried to spin cheating as “living out a fantasy”. Well, I have fantasies too. Like having a sensitive and inventive sex partner who’s actually turned on by me, not just by the gross stuff in his head, for example. I didn’t cheat to experience the good sex he wasn’t giving me.
      Beardboy’s bitch wife’s blameshifting is just standard abusive cheater horse manure, with an added “you’re a homophobe” mindfuck.
      Selfish, abusive assholes, gay, bi or straight, need to be dumped in the trashbin of life.

    • That last paragraph is spot on. My wife is telling me “You’re not giving me what I wanted sexually (i.e., I’m a bisexual or a lesbian), so I had to cheat.”

      Imagine if I cheated because I felt like I wasn’t getting enough blowjobs or some other sexual favor. I’d be cast as some sort of perverted misogynist.

      • Absolutely right. Don’t let her gender and sexual orientation be a factor at all. If we aren’t satisfied by your partners, we have other options besides cheating. We can explain why we must leave the marriage compassionately and with integrity and have an amicable divorce. We can talk to the spouse about our desires and enlist his or her help in getting greater satisfaction. Or we can give up on ever living out our fantasies because we value our marriage and family more. Why can’t fantasies stay as just fantasies? People who think they have the “right” to live them out are entitled and self-centered. If you’re married, your sex drive should be oriented towards your mate. If it isn’t, you shouldn’t have married that person to begin with. The “But…but my sexual needs!” excuse is bullshit.

        • Chumperella, thanks for this great comment. I want to add some nuance regarding the straight spouse experience in one part of what you said:

          I summarized my own story above, and in the case of my husband, gay or bisexual or however he wants to define himself, he still likes to think of himself as taking the moral high ground because of one of the reasons you gave.

          He would very much say he was doing this:

          “Or we can give up on ever living out our fantasies because we value our marriage and family more. Why can’t fantasies stay as just fantasies?”

          So he feels he has suffered and given up what he most desires because he values marriage and family. At least, he wants to say this. However, in truth, valuing is not about staying married. He has DEVALUED me through the criticisms and his belief that I am a burden, an obstacle, a threat, that I never do enough. He has also DEVALUED me—and our family’s emotional health—by withholding significant foundational information.

          He has lately told me that he was being cruel to me because he figured he had to divorce me, to live a gay lifestyle, but then he decided he did not want to give up HIS CURRENT “lifestyle.” He also has told me a few times that he was never ever going to tell me he wanted men for sex. Meanwhile, he was looking at gay porn, masturbating, and looking at gay ads on Craing’s list for almost our entire marriage. All the while pushing me away and reminding me he hated to be touched and he hated stupid words of love that couldn’t be trusted.

          If your fantasies are just absolutely incompatible with your relationship, you are doing no one a favor to self congratulate yourself for taking the moral high road of family values. When you value your wife and family only because of how they meet your needs—how they protect your lifestyle (and do not require you dividing your retirement funds), that selfishness makes the idea of “valuing marriage and family” totally backward. That is a fantasy.

          Your last sentence: “If you’re married, your sex drive should be oriented towards your mate. If it isn’t, you shouldn’t have married that person to begin with.”

          That is the thing. However, if you shouldn’t have, but still did marry that person, you should own up as soon as possible. Not as soon as you dare, but pretty much immediately. Because every second you do not tell them the truth, you are betraying them to your real mistress—your affair with your fantasy land of denial. The twist here: if your spouse decides to run off with this affair partner—they are actually running back into the closet, and that requires you to stay married to them, but they still do not want you, they still have betrayed you.

  • Further following up. If people give you a hard time and try to accuse you of being a homophobe, tell them you are being respectful of her new found orientation by divorcing her so she isn’t stuck in a heterosexual marriage she doesn’t want and is free to go develop her true self. No, you won’t give her 100% custody of the kids and all of the assets and all of your income because you love your kids too and want to be with them and able to support them as well. Her needs may be important, but so are yours.

    • Emphasize that you are divorcing your children’s mother so she can follow her path and that you are entitled to follow your own separate path and still be a loving engaged father. Your daughters’ needs are more important than a gay mom’s or a heterosexual daddy’s wants or desires.
      Your wife is an entitled ass. Tell her she can make her mind up in 60 seconds instead of spending the summer fucking her friend to “find herself”. Get a lawyer and make the decision for her. It doesn’t matter if she “discovers” that she is gay, hetero or bi because you have discovered that she is a lying cheater. Ain’t anything to salvage there.

      • These are really good perspectives. Why the fuck should I feel guilty about wanting to be a devoted father who’s in 100% while devloping a straight relationship with a faithful woman with whom we share mutual respect? Thank you.

        • BB,
          The answer to the question is that you should not feel guilty. This is what you vowed to do – be a devoted husband and father who is in 100%. You were a devoted husband. Divorcing her does not wipe that away. Her behavior is not a reflection on your devotion. Don’t take that on.
          It doesn’t mean you need go out and start dating tomorrow – working through all this emotional stuff takes time. Take a good hard look at your history with your wife. I bet this is not the first instance of entitled behavior she has exhibited. Read some of the archives. Tracy makes so many good points about spackling – standard chump behavior.

          A devoted father who has worked on his baggage is a catch indeed. Your children will adapt if you are honest in an age appropriate way and continue to be the steady one in their life. I hung on for years because I wanted my two kids to have an “intact family”. I cringe now at how I put that ideal ahead of my basic self-respect. Where did I get such a dumb idea? Well, he left anyway, despite being allowed to treat me like a doormat, and we were “broken”. Turns out it was the best thing that could have happened even though it was so painful – for all of us – at the time. We used to look like the perfect family from the outside, but it was a miserable marriage with a man-child. Now I have a very obvious not-so-perfect family with stepkids but I have a grownup for a partner and I am happier than I ever would have been. The kids enjoy each other and nobody walks on eggshells in my house anymore.
          Check back often BB.

        • Exactly!! And you can have that exact relationship with somebody new and worthy after divorce. The biggest mistake we make is to try to achieve that by reconciling with someone who has already proven s/he does not share our same values.

        • Beardboy,

          I’m so glad we got to the whole bi/lesbian BS thing eventually. It’s a nicely and conveniently packaged cover for I’m a cheater and it just happened to be with a woman. She was literally carrying on a whole relationship with this woman, trips, dinners, late nights, going out partying etc. In fact, she did it right under your nose and you didn’t suspect it because she was with her “bestie omg”. If she was staying up late giggling on your couch with a dude wouldn’t you have suspected it sooner? And, in your minds eye, substitute a dude in place of this woman and tell me how that makes you feel? Livid right? Her affair is being minimized because she’s the best friend, sexual exploration, don’t know what I’m looking for, always have had these thoughts BULLSHIT. She was fucking someone else and lying to you right under your nose. By the way, my cheater said I didn’t drink enough and wasn’t fun enough either. While he was pot drinking I was raising our kids. Get rid of that bitch without a glance backwards. When you look back in a year or two you’ll see how lopsided your relationship has been for years. And then when you’re all better you can come date me lol!

        • Keep in mind too that you don’t owe people explanations. Explanations are a privilege, not a right. Feel free to shut down conversation if people cross boundaries and ditch bad friends if you need to. I highly recommend a therapist during this difficult time.

      • wasjustanotherchump – Great Advice!! Really after being married that long 60 seconds tells the BS all they need to know.

        I wish someone had given me that advice so many years ago. I don’t know if I would have taken it but it sure would have given me something to think about.

  • BB,

    Sorry that you have been subjected to this wretched treatment. My husband had a secret gay life that I discovered at D-Day #2. He wanted another chance as he had ‘come clean’—over a decade and two kids after lying to me when I asked him (before we got married) if he had ever had a gay affair. He had had a gay affair while married to his first wife, who he claimed had a lesbian affair (the purported reason he left her), and he had a multi-year gay affair before he married his first wife. I wasn’t upset that he had gay relationships; I was upset that he lied to me.

    BB, your wife reminds me of my last boyfriend, who shortly before discarding me the last time, told me that he wanted an insultingly short period, the weekend, to decide whether he wanted to stay in our relationship. (I was consistently devoted to him—I had not wronged him, argued with him, abruptly informed him I was permanently moving overseas, etc. We had been acquaintances for 30 years and had dated for 2.5 years.) To him, the only thing that mattered was how he felt as, to him, I was a cheap, disposable object and inanimate objects have no feelings. Your wife does not merit a summer to ‘figure herself out.’ She’s known how she is for decades and is now treating you like a punching bag. You deserve a million times better.


    • Furthermore, I hope that you won’t make the mistake I did. wanted to believe that I could salvage a relationship with somebody who didn’t love me, didn’t like me, and didn’t even respect me. I was the ultimate doormat. Of course, I couldn’t save my awful relationships with my abusive exes, but I could have saved some of my dignity and self-esteem if I had left or at least refrained from begging bad exes to come back. Now, nearly two years after the last discard by last boyfriend plus yet another ride on the legal merry-go-round initiated by my ex-husband, I am dealing with sadness and anger over not only my exes’ treatment of me but also my decades-long tolerance of mistreatment by them. Another reason I stayed married to my husband until he filed for divorce was I didn’t want to lose time with our kids as I correctly assumed that he would get at least some physical custody. As it turned out, my time with kids was not reduced much as my ex-husband works at erratic intervals mainly out of state/country. My last boyfriend, who I originally thought was a stellar example for my kids and a breath of fresh air after the abrupt official departure of my husband, didn’t even consider the effect of his departure on my children, who had known and liked him their whole lives. He was too busy thinking about ways to woo his work subordinate, now second wife.
      I hope that you get to see your kids close to as much as you like.

  • I have a friend who was in this situation, but reversed. He was a closeted gay man married to a woman and they had two daughters. He adored his daughters and stuck by the commitment he made to his wife and family, and made the decision that the gay ship had sailed and he settled into a stable life as a devoted family man. Then he discovered that his wife was cheating and she blew it all up. They divorced, and after that he came out of the closet and met his now long-term partner. He shares custody of the girls and remains a doting dad who would move earth for them. He of course should have been honest with his wife about his orientation so that they could have made a joint decision about how to move forward, but it’s worth noting that *he did not cheat.*

    LGBT folks put themselves in straight relationships for reasons I’m glad I don’t have to contend with. But once there, they have a duty and obligation to come clean with their spouse so that they may make difficult decisions together, which may include divorcing honestly. As CL says, being gay is not a character fault; unilateral decision-making, betrayal, and lying ARE.

    Also, I’d like to point out that your supposed “flaws” are some of the qualities in my current husband that I adore most. Don’t take her blame-shifting to heart. You deserve to be with someone who sees your strengths for what they are.

  • I find it always sad when a couple divorces because one of them comes out as gay. This happened with some of my grad school friends. There’s not a dang thing that either the straight or the gay spouse can do to “fix” that relationship.

    But courage is coming out and realizing that the divorce allows BOTH spouses to live authentic lives. This whole cheating thing? CL has it right: it’s cake eating. She’s got a character defect. She’s not cheating because she’s gay, or because you don’t party enough, or because you’re a homebody.

    She’s cheating because she’s an asshole cheater.

    Lawyer up and file. Oh, and be honest with the kids.

    • The sexuality issue is a smoke-screen. “It isn’t my character in question, YOU are homophobic!!”

      Nope. The issue is that she is a lying sack of shit. THAT character flaw, unfortunately, is one that impacts quite a few humans, regardless of their persecuted minority status. Sorry you married one of them.

  • Adulting is so exhausting… I’d like a summer off with my fuckbuddy to get in touch with my feelings about you, my spouse and those 3 little, needy children appliances. THAT is what she is saying to you, BB.

    Do not fall in to the trap of thinking that her questioning her sexuality is an EXCUSE for shitty character. She is a LIAR. She is a CHEATER. She is a MANIPULATOR. And you and your kids deserve better.

    She thinks having more parties was going to keep her monogamous and engaged in her marriage and family? Is she 16 (wait, I think I know that answer since she used WhatsApp to enable her cheating.)

    PLEASE… I know your heart is breaking (I was married to someone who liked couples and trannies – who knew, except the other people on those kinds of dating sites). You can recover from this double-whammy by taking back your power.

    1. Lawyer up
    2. Document EVERYTHING (I have two binders full of paper, receipts, texts, browser histories, bank statements, childcare schedules)
    3. Get a financial and custodial agreement in place for the summer (my X was so eager to run off with his OW that he signed a notarized agreement that he had to payout above the divorce settlement – win!)
    4. Get a good therapist who has experience in this special area of fuckedupedness
    5. Plan a nice vacation away for you and kids… be the sane parent and keep your family intact
    6. Serve her ass with divorce papers and get on with building an amazing cheater free life.

    Her being gay or not being gay is inconsequential. Don’t let her use her sexuality as an excuse to cheat… I know many monogamous gay couples… gay and cheating are not synonymous.

    You can do this. Shave off that beard 🙂

    • With all respect ICanSeeTheMehComing, I appreciate your great advice and supportive comments but can you please not use the term ‘trannie’? It’s derogative and offensive to those in the transgender, transexual community.

      Tranny (or trannie) is a slang term for a transgender, transsexual, transvestite, or cross-dressing person, and often considered to be derogatory or offensive.
      Tranny – Wikipedia

      • NewBeginnings, thank you SO much for saying that! When I saw this topic, my first thought was “oh dear lord; there’s going to be so much transphobia in to comments!” But just to add to your comment, the respectful current term to use is trans. The other terms you mentioned are now considered hurtful and stigmatizing.

        I have many wonderful and deeply ethical trans loved ones in my life and some of them are also chumps. Please, let’s all just remain respectful here.

      • I, too, support you bringing this up. I try to be tolerant of things that feel vitriolic here when I can because I get that we need to express anger, even rage, to heal. I also think it’s important to be inclusive, and I think we can do both without using language that marginalizes people (which is clearly different from language that derides behaviors, like slut or asshole).

      • Thanks NewBeginnings for bringing this up. I cringe when I see “tranny”. I appreciate your patience in explaining to others here why “tranny” shouldn’t be used.

  • You could tell her she has till the end of August to decide if she is in or out. If she is in then she has to agree to go no contact with her lover. Only you know if you want to keep trying. There is no shame in trying to save your marriage.

    Personally I would feel that I was the booby prize in this scenario. If it were a man she cheated with I imagine you would feel totally different. Try to see it as the same thing. Who she cheated with is not the issue. It’s the fact that she is capable of lying and deceiving. If they are capable of it they are capable of it.

    • Mitz, I disagree. HE needs to decide whether this marriage, the way she has treated him, the decisions she’s made, the lies she’s told, the fact she only told him the truth when cornered and confronted with proof, and her indecisiveness (CAKE EATING) now are acceptable to him.

      THAT is the only decision to be made here.

      I vote no. This is not about her sexual orientation, it’s about dishonesty and selfishness.

      Then HE needs to take the steps to get out of this marriage, with as much time w/his kids as he can get, and on w/his life.

      I agree, don’t lie to the kids.

      • He has a big decision to make. And if that means trying further then that is ok. If not then he has more than enough reason to call it quits.

        If she continues to try to ‘demonize’ him it will be a much easier decision for him.

        • I’ve chosen a date by which my wife has to come clean. It’s not that far away.

          I don’t want to go through divorce, and I really don’t want my kids to go through divorce. But I’ve gotta do what I’ve gotta do. I want to be able to tell my kids years from now when they ask questions whether I gave their mom a chance, I want to be able to emphatically answer “yes”. Maybe it’s just part of that whole damn conscience thing that hobbles me so.

          In the meantime, I’m not gonna tolerate any more bullshit, blameshifting or gaslighting. And if I get more of that horseshit, my conscience will be that much cleaner.

          • Most everyone wants to make the extra try. Just to clear their brain. Don’t expect much. The expectation is that you will go back to business as usual. The cheater will go back to using you, as usual. You are still fucked.

          • Those with kids usually DO want to feel they made the effort to give the cheater a chance to wise up.

            But that doesn’t mean tolerating abuse of any kind. If they won’t acknowledge how deeply they hurt the faithful partner, and they blameshift then it is not workable.

            But if you need to feel at peace that you gave them a chance then that is ok.

          • Hi BB,
            If you really think about it, can you ever have a good sex life with your wife after this? Would you be second guessing yourself, wondering if you can trust her? Not sure she’s being honest?
            We all face these hard questions when this happens. Sure, forgiveness and second chances are okay but is that intimate trust still there?

  • This is not at all about her sexual orientation. She is exploiting the current cultural debate to excuse her betrayal. It’s all a distraction, and a disgrace to real people who struggle. Now she wants to go live as a timid forest creature in the affair fog while her husband foots the bill and holds life together for their kids??? I’d say “no” to that.

  • I do know a guy who was happy for his partner to have a same sex lover. Her ethical choice would have been to ask for that. Or just communicate at all about what was going on.

  • File. Today if possible. A cheater is a cheater is a cheater. She can’t be trusted, period. Her complaints about you are laughable. I guess if you were a checked out irresponsible husband & father that loved to party up a storm you would make the cut? Move on you have nothing to work with here.

  • Ah man, what a crappy situation for you and the kids. I have a lot of empathy for someone who’s felt compelled to suppress their authentic sexuality most of their life. Within that struggle there’s a lot of leeway for mistakes, IMO. But there’re some hard lines. Betrayal crosses those lines. And the gas lighting and blame shifting?!? Just, no. Good people apologize and make shit right. I personally don’t think a marriage is worth trying to save when one person treats the other the way you’ve been treated.

    Agree with other posters…spend the summer lining up a divorce that benefits you and the kids. It is going to be really really heartbreaking and more hard emotional work than any human should have to do. But it will get better.

  • This is homophobic garbage. He should out her as gay rather than a cheater, as if being a lesbian itself is wrong? Sick. Gay people are commonly molesters of children and are being arrested for it “left and right”? That’s a LIE. Most child predators are STRAIGHT. That is a statistical fact. Lesbian child molesters, in fact, are almost unheard of. What you experienced from your creep husband does not excuse you making up this bullshit. He is not respresentative of the gay community.

  • “And keep the children away from her. She could also have deep mential problems you don’t know about or see.”

    Divorce her because she is a cheater. Don’t hide her sexuality. But being gay or bi is NOT a pathological condition.

    If she has anger issues – that isn’t caused by her sexual orientation. It’s separate and apart from that IF she has them. She has entitlement issues and for that reason alone I hope Beard Boy gets the kids and himself into therapy. Now.

    “Most child predators are STRAIGHT. That is a statistical fact.”

    ^^^^^THIS 1000000000 TIMES!^^^^^^^

    • I removed the comment. Homosexuality is not a mental illness or a pretext to keep people from children.

  • BeardBoy,
    I hope that you have found the support of the Straight Spouse Network. There is also a great private group on Facebook called Str8sbook. There are many men in the group now.

    My ex has refused to come out of the closet (he’s 69) but I found out about his long-term cruising at gay spas or wherever. He also blamed me for everything, narc that he is.

    Many cities also have Straight Spouse in-person support groups, which helped me immensely. It takes a long time to get over this type of betrayal but it will get better with time.

    • I have 3 women friends whose husbands had short gay affairs. The husbands claimed it was a one off and wanted to remain in the marriage. All wives agreed. Two women rationalized it was better that their spouse had an affair with a same-sex partner than a partner of the opposite sex. Somehow, for them, it didn’t seem as big a betrayal – that the affairs were ‘light experimentation’ and they didn’t need to compete with the ‘transient’ homosexuality of their partners.

      Bottom line – none of those marriages lasted. All husbands eventually came out as gay men. All later married gay partners. One started a new family. They seem pretty happy to me – in fact, the two gay marriages have lasted longer than the marriages with their wives.

      • Chumpchange9 –

        “Bottom line – none of those marriages lasted. All later married gay partners. One started a new family. They seem pretty happy to me – in fact, the two gay marriages have lasted longer than the marriages with their wives.”

        Do you think their same-sex marriages lasted longer because they weren’t based upon a lie from the beginning?

        Do you happen to know if their ex-wives found themselves as happily recoupled after their divorces (if they wished to do so) as their ex-husbands?

        • Yes, I believe these men are happy they are not living a lie anymore. All are professional men and their gay unions have been wholeheartedly accepted both within their professional and personal communities. To my knowledge, all men have remained monogamous with their partners. (But who really knows?).

          Their ex-wives have not had marital success. None re-married, none even had a live-in relationship. All are in there 60s now, and at this point are content in their single, retired lives surrounded by children and grandchildren. Marriage is completely off the table.

          • I’m glad they’re happier now than they were with their husbands. There is a lot to be said for knowing the only person living in the house is someone who always has your back (yourself).

      • My ex husband claimed the same- “Don’t need it, was just experimenting, I can live without it, I want to stay in the marriage, I love you” Reality- every chance he got he was cruising the M4M ads on Craigslist, placing ads, hooking up, all while being in long term homosexual “loving” relationships with 3 other men in different cities. 2 of which were married and cheating on their partners, one of which was a same sex marriage. Men acting on the Down Low is WAAAYY more common than most people realize. Nearly all my ex husband’s partners were married, some to other men, but most to women. I would like to point out that non monogamy is a component of many male same sex marriages, so my friends in that community tell me. So whether these same sex marriages are more happy because they are no longer having sex outside that relationship is an assumption on our part. Those men might just be happier because both are getting some side action, who knows, who cares… LOL.

    • I’ve already reached out to the Straight Spouse Network. They have an upcoming meeting in my area, and I will attend. Thanks so much.

  • “goal for the summer”. What?!
    I’m with CL on this.
    This is not a 10-12 week situation!
    So, she will be back to her “old self”, just in time for back-to-school shopping? (Wait, we chumps do that stuff.)
    BB- please build your support network of loved ones and professionals. It’s all about the kids and you now.
    Post D-Day First Aid Kit:
    – A solid playlist of your own (music gets fucked up for awhile), the kids may want to make one too;
    – A loyal friend (or two) that you can call anytime and confide/vent with;
    – Journal (kids may also want/need one);
    – The professional people (the brain does weird things post-trauma, but I’m sure you’re already noticing that) this part takes time to build, its not realistic to expect it to be done by the weekend (or the summer). Making lists and working on it incrementally helps;

    This is going to take awhile.

  • Dear BB,

    I don’t have time today to read all of the above comments, but one of the many things that CL has drilled into our brains is this:

    Is this relationship acceptable to you? Not the relationship you thought you had, but relationship as it presents to you today.

    Only you can answer that question for yourself.

    Do you feel like she has all the power in the relationship? I bet she feels this way. She’s in control and she gets to decide if she wants you or her AP. Abusive relationship are all about power and control.

    Well, this is your time to take YOUR POWER BACK! While she’s on summer vacation (f-ing her AP),
    deciding the fate of your life, YOU decide what your life’s going to be like!

    So many of us Chumps did the Pick Me dance, including me. The night I caught my XH on a date with a newly divorced whore, I told him I was done and I put my rings in his hand. But the next day, Chumpy Martha came back. It took a very long time for Mighty Martha to come back. I’m sure my XH took great pleasure watching me dance for him.

    You are a decent MAN, not boy, and your stock will trade high in the dating world. Stick with CL and CN. We will help you get through this. (((Hugs))) 🙂

  • “work too hard, don’t throw enough parties at the house, and am too narrowly focused on our nuclear family” Seriously? If you were a lazy party animal who ignored his family, that too would be thrown in your face. The fact is, the supposed faults are manufactured faults. No matter what you did, it would have been labeled a fault and thrown in your face as a supposed shortcoming. That’s how this works.

    As far as the affair with a woman, when my ex and I first got together, her roommate told me that she and my ex had slept together. Ex told me it was a one time thing, they were drunk, things got too far, that wasn’t her orientation, she regretted it, etc. We were married in the Catholic Church. Shortly after D-day she told me she was bisexual, I stole her away from the roommate who was actually her girlfriend, and she’s resented Catholic teaching on same-sex sexual activity, it has been painful for her for all these years, and I’m a horrible person for believing in it. She lied to me. I was apparently an unwitting affair partner before she and her girlfriend broke up due to me. She picked me because she wanted a bunch of kids. Now, she can’t have any more kids and so I am of no use to her. That’s a shitty thing to do to someone.

  • I’m so sorry. I hope you’re not going to hang around doing the pick me dance. Sure, she can find herself all she wants. Without the comfort of you waiting in the wings. Don’t be Plan B.

    She has blameshifted her affair to you. You realize you are NOT at fault, right? For her cheating?

    I understand it’s so much harder when there are kids involved. But to me, a mere separation is the kiss of death anyway. You can’t unring that bell. And I think it’ll confuse the kids-get their hopes up.

    Move toward divorce. I really don’t believe in separation in cheating cases. What is there to figure out? She cheated. The end.

    Gender has nothing to do with it. She’s a cheater.

    I’m sorry.

    • I have never had a friend or family member go through the horrible cheating spouse situation before. At first, I did think that I was partially at fault. Now, I know the truth. The problem is that when you are beaten down by the discovery of all of this, your world is upside down and cheaters take advantage of that situation by blameshifting and gaslighting a beaten down soul.

      I now know, 100%, that only one person to blame. And it sure as fuck wasn’t me.

      • BB, I can almost guarantee you that the beating down did not begin at discovery. People who cheat show disrespect in other ways as well. In my case (and I expect for most of us), it starts out small, little tests of our boundaries. There may be subtle “suggestions” that their preferences should be paramount. Then perhaps a sprinkling of criticism disguised as humor. Over time our self-esteem is chipped away. Gaslighting adds to self-doubt. The process leaves us disadvantaged when discovery occurs, while the cheater has honed his or her manipulation skills to devastating effect.

        You’ve got to find your anger, and soon. It will clear your mind and power you forward, and forward is where you need to go. To paraphrase Churchill, when you’re going through hell, keep going. Paralysis just leaves us in hell a hell of a lot longer.

        Good luck to you. Come back often for some group therapy.

  • My x enjoyed sex with men throughout our marriage, as I discovered on D-day. I am pretty open-minded but had I known while we were dating, I doubt I would have married him.

    He – and his weird, evangelical, hillbilly FOO – has so many secrets and perversions (pedophilia, incest,
    S & M; prostitutes; blah blah blah) – he’d fit right in with the president’s close circle! He is also a climate change denier and a high school dropout.

    I know I sound judge-y but I have become so much less tolerant!

    Anyway, the lies and secrecy are the problem – not the sexual behavior. Your stbxw may try to paint you as homophobic but that’s a straw man. Both of those cheating women suck.

    • Climate change denier, intellectually and morally challenged AND a gross, cheating pervert with massive FOO issues? Watch out, he might be POTUS some day.

  • BB,

    First off, you’re not a beard, you’re a Harper. In the play Angels in America there is a character, Harper, who has been gaslighted into insane cognitive dissonance by her closeted homosexual spouse. Being called a beard makes it sound cute and innocent, when in reality, cheaters who do this with sexual orientation subject their chumps to an insidious abuse that can ever be encompassed in one phrase, but a whole character does justice to it.

    From a ChumpKid who’s cheater dad came out when I was 6, Camp Sappho’s behavior is not indicative of the LGBT community or any community of healthy people; she’s a selfish bitch and a bad mom. I’m trying to be respectful of her sexual journey, but of all the gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals (even who have stayed with their married partner after ktransitioning genders) I’ve spoken with for the last 26 years about discovering their orientation….I’m covering my mouth while I yell “shenanigans.” She’s a cheater, pure and simple. She knows she’s had homosexual/bisexual inclinations for over a decade ( or since her conservative upbringing, yet she still married a man), she outlines HER fears and concerns, drags you and the kids along for a gaslighting Eat, Prey, Love goes to camp adventure? Kick that bitch’s ass to the curb and protect your kids; you’re the sane parent now. Aside from getting your ducks in a row, I highly recommend calling your child’s pediatrician and explaining the situation to them. From there I would ask for an inclusive psychiatrist referral and get your kids in therapy, yesterday. Not only has their home been broken, but now they’re having to deal with an unhinged mother who will guilt them into sympathy on the grounds of her sexual orientation, and they NEED to except her or they’re homophobes. Ask me how I know. It also does well on the court records to show you have worked with a psychiatrist to help the kids be understanding of her orientation, but not of her actions.

    For you and you lonely blue heart, please remember she is a liar and devalues you. She makes no mention of the guilt for breaking your families home, no mention of apologizing for the gaslighting of your family, no mention of how you ( her husband) may never trust in a relationship again, no mention of any respective work she’s done to be a better mother or partner after lying to all individuals in her life (WhatsApp doesn’t count as a medium for introspection; it’s what terrorist and money launderers utilize). She feels no remorse but clings onto her victimized entitlement. The old adage for this one is true: you are what you eat. And….oh Boy… What a cunt she is.

    • That last bit made me laugh out loud. Thanks for the much needed laugh!

    • To add to the above comment, please be prepared for the blame shift when you do file and serve divorce papers.

      I guarantee there will be wailing, promises, tears and eventually she will rage and tell everyone that you “ran out” on her even though she wanted to “work things out”.

      That happened to me and boy, did that mess with my head for a loooong time.

      Know that there is nothing to work with in a relationship with a character disordered person and if them twisting the situation to where they are the victim is what you are walking away from, then so be it. I’m at the point where I accept that is the bs story he hooks new victims with. And I know my truth.

      Big hugs to you and your kids.
      Wishing you peace.

  • Speaking up as a queer person myself who has the ability to be attracted to all genders, your wife is simply a cheater and she sucks.

    So what if she’s confused or experimenting or living her authentic life. She’s still a cheater and an asshole for putting you through all this. You know what her queer-positive approach should have been? Honesty. Accountability. Not destroying lives.

    She should have been honest with you and, if she needed to pursue relationships with women, she should have divorced you honestly and with integrity BEFORE doing any of this. As a fellow queer person who is in a committed relationship with another woman, I vote you throw her cheating ass to the curb and move on with your life with only honest people who have your back.

  • BeardBoy,

    Sorry you’re mired in this quagmire.

    From where I sit, it looks like your marriage doesn’t stand a chance. Even if your wife decides that she’ll go straight, break off the affair, etc., she still prioritizes partying, having fun, and being impulsive over, let’s just say, being a responsible adult and parent.

    Some things I want to share with you.

    1) This isn’t your fault, it’s not about any failings of yours. She chose to cheat, she chose to party, she chose to put her children and husband in this situation. Your ONLY mistake was marrying someone who turned out to have this critical character flaw. (This mistake is fixable.)

    2) As was said above, your stock trades high right now. Successful lawyer, devoted family man, faithful, caring and respectful to his spouse. There are with certainty at least several million single women around your age that would love to be married to you, kids or not. If you divorce, you will have no trouble replacing your unfaithful deceitful wife – the challenge is to find one that’s faithful and honest. But that’s a problem for down the road.

    3) While it is a difficult thing for your children to endure, they will survive divorce, and they may end up stronger for it. What they need now is not a family that stays intact at all costs, but a father who teaches them the right way to deal with chronic infidelity and dishonesty in a marriage. You be the sane parent. You give them unconditional love and support. You let them know you’d never do anything to hurt them. They can and will get through this. Don’t think of the divorce as something you would do to the kids, it’s something your soon to be ex wife did to them with her behavior, her choices. The problems and the pain to you and your kids are caused by her and her alone; it’s up to you to find the solutions.

    4) If I were in your situation, I’d have a talk with your wife, where you calmly explain to her that you can’t live in a relationship like this, and it would be best if you divorced. She can explore her sexuality, party all night, figure out who she really is without you and the kids putting too many demands on her. Hint that she may be rebelling against you as a father replacement, and that she might be well served to get some therapy. Suggest it would be better if you had primary custody of the kids, allowing her regular visitation, on a schedule that would work for her, and that for the benefit of the kids, it would be better if you kept the house, to give them some stability during this transition.

    If she goes for that, or some flavor of that, I suspect that within a few months, she will be upset at what she has left behind, and try to change things up. (Consequences, you know.) If I were in your position, I wouldn’t tolerate too much of that.

    Sorry you’re here, but glad you’re here given your situation. Keep posting, we have collective centuries of experience in dealing with cheaters and being chumps. Best of luck.

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.

  • Yeah…. I got the same litany of things I was or wasn’t doing and that’s why he needed to go fuck men. “It’s just easier than trying to convince you to have sex” was his reply. ( wait…. I had just spent 3 years trying to convince him our sex life needed a jumpstart… so….). I bought it hook, line and sinker and played the BEST pick me dance for the next three years ( I think I deserve an award for it actually…. (:P) while he gleefully did whatever the hell he wanted behind my back. It was probably the best three years of his life. I know it was the worst three of mine. No one “causes” someone to be gay, bi, or whatever other orientation you might be, your wife is just morally bankrupt and too immature emotionally to have the hard conversation that might have prevented this drama. The result would still be the same though, the relationship would be over, but at least you would still have some respect for her. I wish you the best. I’m headed over to Straight Spouses to see what they are all about. Wish someone had pointed me there 6 years ago!

  • BB,
    Bookmark this page, and come back to it often. The amazing part of being in CN is that the stories are all the same, just swap out details but the core blameshifting, pickme dancing, entitlement, it is always there. Today you didn’t throw enough parties. Tomorrow it will be something else. My story is similar to yours in that suddenly Ex was running around, partying and drinking, and oh, depressed. And it was all my fault. I was told something similar to you– that I wasn’t social enough. That I didn’t reach out enough to friends and invite them over. Uhhh, what? Anyway these are blameshifts, don’t waste time analyzing them because a new heap will come your way (if you allow it). I gave Ex his precious Space to Find His Happiness (his freedom to explore grand canyonesque spaces while drunk with Schmoopie). Anyway shut this pick me dance down tout de suite!

  • So much fucked upness in this skein. Cheating is cheating.

    I caught my ex husband sucking our lawyers dick whilst pregnant. I was invested and didn’t feel I could leave. I was pretty sexually liberal and told him I wouldn’t stop him exploring his homosexuality so long as he kept it transparent honest and safe.

    Nah. It was the cheating and lying he liked. Power. Control. Narc supply.

    Fast forward 7 years and he carried on with all his cheats. Last July in comes a reply on his phone that just happened to be in my hand replying to a girl on girl porn gif he’d just sent. While we were having sexy time! First he said “it’s your fault because you don’t want to have sex with me (I’d initiated sexy time just an hour prior). I laughed. Then he said “ok it’s a guy” and I laughed again. And dumped him. Free at last. I could finally escape the triangle hell.

    Any holes a goal with these cheaters. It’s about the deception control and excitement. Even when they getting excitement at home.

    Porn gif girl is still around but he kept her on the side even after we broke up lining up another main supply 6 months before I dumped him. That main supply talked to me in March this year and showed up at his place where porn gif girl and him were in towels ????????‍♀️

    Needless to say new main supply dumped him (he told her we were already split up when we weren’t a year before). Then a month and a few incidents involving police and my children later I come across a fabswingers account he’d set up for us years prior (I never engaged). He’s changed the name and settings were set to “interested in bicurious and bisexual guys. Deep penetration. Anal. Voyeurism. Public places…” every option was selected.

    As well as a hook up with a guy for him and “Raquel”.

    I’ll add here he’d talked me into swinging when I caught him cheating. I tried with a girl friend then a guy but just wasn’t into it. The guy he said was all about me but it wasn’t. It was all about him leading our friends to believe we had an open relationship so he could run around with his women and our friends wouldn’t talk to me (I might hit on them I guess).

    So the whole gay exploration thing is just another con. He’s an autogynophile with massive woman hating mummy issues. The number of times I’ve been tempted to tell her my version of events. I’ve stopped myself because quite frankly she doesn’t deserve the truth (they’d been fucking for years in my bed while I was at work and he was meant to be) alongside the thousands of dollars I discovered taken from our account to buy her underwear (that matched mine) and god knows what else. About $30k over the last two years alone. And she can have him and his porn addiction. I just wish he’d come out and stop abusing women. But that’s his and their work to do, not mine. Single life even as a solo mum rocks. Big time. No more hangovers either. Healthy wealthy and wise here.

    • Goes without saying really but im no longer sexually liberal now as well. Radical feminism saved me. Realising the role porn played in my husbands and my marriages demise was a game changer #fightthenewdrug #pornkills #theycanhavehim

      • Totally agree and that’s not even a radical stance IMO. It’s just the truth. My ex became a covert misogynist creep because of using degrading porn from a young age. I had no idea. I just knew he wasn’t doing sex that was loving and emotionally connected. Now I know it’s all about objectification, domination and debasement for him. He went to the extent of watching porn where unconscious women are raped by several men, always with “wife” in the title. That it was about wives shows he hated me and wanted me to be raped to punish me for not being willing to be his sex slave and submit to sexual abuse. It’s gross to know that I ever let that misogynist bastard have sex with me. Had I known he was such a creepy, hate-filled sicko, no way! He knew that, so he kept it secret and stole 33 years of my life that I could have spent with a man who didn’t secretly hate me. Almost all porn is now abusive and degrading to women. That is a fact.

  • Your decision isn’t really about what this cruel liar wants, StrongMan (because I don’t want to call you either beard or boy), it’s all about you and your beautiful children and what you all deserve.

    You all deserve to live in a home where you can trust the other people who live there.

    You all deserve to live in a home that doesn’t have adults in it who engage in dangerous behaviors (heavy drinking, guests with questionable integrity, etc.).

    You, personally, deserve to choose your singleness and partneredness based on what you want your one wild and precious life to be.

    She wants a break?!? So the F what? Good riddance. I only care about what YOU want.

    Your kids are scared? That makes sense. Still, are they safer and more able to heal in a stable, loving, shenanigans-free home or in a drama-filled, drunk-filled, bad relationship home?

    My response would be the same.if this cheater was gambling your mortgage away as it is with her sticking her genitals anywhere your agreement says they aren’t intended. She doesn’t keep agreements and she puts your safety and sanctuary at risk, so it’s reasonable to release her back to the pond of shenanigans and stabilize your own life. The gay-ness isn’t even relevant to the conversation.

    Also, the gay-ness doesn’t have a damn thing to do with you. So don’t hook into any beliefs that sneak around picking at your self worth or man-ness. That’s her issue, whether you’re on the cover of People mag or working in a coal mine.

  • Hi, there, BB. I’m a woman who has been married to another woman (Cheater) for 21 years – it wasn’t a legal arrangement until a decade ago, but still, we had the ceremony and everything back in 1998. I agree with everyone who has posted above saying that your situation doesn’t have to do with “perversity,” as I think you suggested, but rather it’s just another flavor of betrayal. The fact that my spouse has cheated on me twice now – with other women – shows that we lesbians are not exempt from emotional abuse, and of course it was not okay for her to do what she did in order to sow her wild oats or whatever – more on that below.

    Stories like yours, BB, are tough for me to hear about, because I do think it’s true that a lot of people in the United States and other places were made to feel so horrible about their sexual orientation as kids that they really got screwed up – to the point that, indeed, they viewed their true feelings as dangerous and tried to live “normal” lives by marrying people they couldn’t fully love. Obviously, their partners would also be harmed in the process, and while it’s not fair that the questioning spouse wasn’t fully honest, this situation ranks up there with not being fully honest about other forms of childhood abuse that are often hard to come to terms with until someone has kids of their own. (See the powerful documentary “Leaving Neverland” for related examples.) There are individual circumstances, too, like sometimes partners sense that something’s up with their spouses and try to ask but are rebuffed. I have a friend now divorcing her spouse who recently came out as transgendered, and my friend feels particularly betrayed that she asked for years about this deep, dark secret her spouse wouldn’t discuss, so it’s not like she didn’t try to communicate about it before they had a son together, etc.

    BUT, of course for *you,* BB, taking your wife’s issues into consideration is just another form of untangling the skein of fuckedupedness. As Hollywood reminds us (“The Fosters,” “Imagine Me & You,” etc.), the best-case scenario when an LGBT person has married an ill-suited partner under societal and family pressure is the following: LGBT person finds themselves attracted to someone else, shares AT MOST maybe a kiss and some emotional intimacy with the other person, does a whole lot of self-reflection and therapy to figure out what they really want, and then comes clean to their spouse, without any blameshifting, and before getting really involved with the other person. Unfortunately, that is not what your wife did. Like all our spouses, she decided she wanted cake more than she wanted to respect you and consider your feelings. As CL rightly says, it’s colossally unfair for her to try to blame you for her stepping out – and indeed, that kind of blameshifting cuts AGAINST any argument that her sexuality is a factor in her affair. If it really is a question of her innate desires, then she should own them as such. YOUR work is to figure out what is acceptable to you, regardless of her baggage. The Al-Anon motto is DETACH: “Don’t Even Think About Changing Him/Her.”

    So while I have sympathy for a lot of LGBT people who can’t come to terms with their true selves before getting entangled with spouses and families, it’s still encumbent on them to act with integrity, just as it would be for all spouses if something fundamental shifts in their understanding of themselves or of their marriages. I’m so very sorry, BB, that you have had to bear the brunt of your wife’s immaturity.

    And immaturity it is. My Cheater was also reliving her adolescence last summer, during her second affair, and though I noticed she was acting strange, I didn’t call her out on it, because her mother had just died. I sometimes wonder whether the LGBT community attracts people who are psychologically immature and just overall confused about adult commitment, though it’s hard to say objectively whether those people make up a greater percentage of our ranks than of the general population. But anecdotally, I know and have heard of a lot of people in queer relationships who have a VERY hard time sticking it out in the longer term. Maybe it’s because we don’t have a lot of role models for monogamy, maybe it’s because we all need therapy after growing up queer in American puritanical society – I don’t know. All I know is that, since I’m pretty sold on the virtues of monogamy myself, it really sucks to be married to someone who is still confused about that whole concept. (Funny, she didn’t seem confused about it when she married me in 1998, nor when we had kids together…)

    One more thing. Some people commenting on this post seem to be suggesting that some fantasies are perverse as well. I just want to push back against that: NO fantasy is inherently bad, as long as it stays in the mind, and doesn’t become enacted against another person in an exploitative way. We have no way of controlling other peoples’ thoughts, though as chumps, it might be attractive for us to want to do so. I understand that some people hate the thought of their partners thinking of somebody else when they’re together, but that’s a boundary you have to work on for yourself and in open communication with your partner. Again, as long as someone isn’t pressuring their spouse to do things they don’t want to do, or stepping out the relationship to get it elsewhere (for real, or by downloading content that might hurt/exploit others), it’s a free country. As a woman who went through menopause due to cancer treatments at the ripe old age of 23, I admit to having some fantasies that might curl other peoples’ toes, because vanilla stuff doesn’t do the trick anymore. But I don’t expect any real or digital people to help me fulfill said fantasies – they’re purely in the mind, and I refuse to feel bad about them.

    Wishing you the best, BB, and the next time the Global Lesbian Archcouncil meets, I will be sure to vote that your (hopefully soon-to-be ex-)wife should NOT be awarded her customary toaster if she joins our ranks permanently. 😉

    • It is good to get the perspective of our queer chumps. You understand the difficulty of growing up queer in today’s world and the pain of being chumped. Thank you for your input.

    • “Wishing you the best, BB, and the next time the Global Lesbian Archcouncil meets, I will be sure to vote that your (hopefully soon-to-be ex-)wife should NOT be awarded her customary toaster if she joins our ranks permanently. 😉 ”

      Bt any chance, do you live in Texas and own or owned a GSS that tried to eat your house before you moved to Texas?

  • I’d like to say that you need to be honest with your children in an age-appropriate fashion. I agree with the advice that you should get your children into therapy and let the therapist know both about the infidelity and that the cheater is coming to terms with her own sexuality but hasn’t come out to the children.

    You’re not divorcing your wife because she’s a lesbian; you’re divorcing her because she’s a cheater. That she happens to be a lesbian is incidental, though it would be hard to see how the marriage should continue given that both of you should be able to live authentic lives.

    Tell your children the truth in an age-appropriate manner. Marriage means promising each other not to have other boyfriends or girlfriends. Their mother broke her promise, so that means that you can’t be married anymore. You know that this is going to be tough for them–and it’ll be tough for you, too–but things will work out and everyone will be okay.

    You shouldn’t hide their mom’s sexual orientation, but you don’t need to out her to them, either. That said, if they ask, you can answer honestly and briefly, repeat that this is not why you’re divorcing her, and suggest they talk to their mother if they want to ask her questions about her sexual identity.

    Good luck!

  • Not sure how you found your way to this website but great for you!!! I recommend you read as many letters, blog posts and responses as you can from this point on. Go to the bottom and type in random thoughts to see if others have them too. What you will most definitely find here is absolute unapologetic consistency. And the more you read the more comfortable you will get with your next move. Whatever that move is. The reality is your wife lied to you, cheated on you, and broke your marital vows. Doesn’t matter if she is gay or lesbian or an orange orangutan. That is what she did and she is using the lesbian excuse to make you eat shit sandwiches. Stay here and surf the articles. You’ll see it for what it is; and look for advice on what to tell the kids. Just don’t lie to them. And don’t let her lie to them. Now that she’s out she needs to own it.

    • One more thing. Even if she decides she is not a lesbian after all she still lied and cheated. People don’t change just because they change their mind after they get caught. Read on. You’re at the right place

      • This.

        If she were committed to her marriage, she’d not be sleeping around. If she truly feels that she needs to be with another woman, then out of respect to you and her marriage, she would have that conversation with you.

        Right now, all she wants is a life free of consequences. That’s not how adulting worrks.

  • FYI, letter writer, repeated encounters to figure out if one is gay or not seems excessive. A fair number of people work it out in the planning stage! Before any test partners are encountered!

    There are stories of women who simply assumed themselves straight and only realized late that they weren’t, because times were different and they didn’t know any gay people. Our culture influences us. Just like there are non-binary people who never questioned their assigned biological sex, but in late adulthood, they realize a new definition better matches their sense of self. But unless you’re a violent partner, which seems unlikely given other details, there was no reason to keep this secret and provide more lies when it came to light.

    I wouldn’t view her as “an LGBT spouse” but a cheater who hasn’t picked a label.

  • Beard boy, while the sex is a distraction, don’t lose focus on the drinking. Your wife is an alcoholic. And she uses it to lower her inhibitions which take her away from her husband and children. She probably doesn’t want to give up drinking because she’d have to deal with herself and her choices. But what this all means is that your children are in danger. From a hungover shrew, a drunk driver and a parent who isn’t present. So I would put together a fair split on assets, offer liberal visitation as long as she doesn’t drink before or during visitation and have her pay some child support. Consider selling and moving for a fresh start. Your kids need not hear the nitty gritty details of the split. I think the drinking is a significant reason. And definitely use her laundry list of whys in your documentation for getting custody. That was a gift. Cheating is devastating. But don’t let it torment you forever. I tried to fight my break up when I should have just let him go with a wave goodbye. Sadly, your STBX is going to crash. Don’t let her take you and the children with her. Good luck, my friend.

  • Chump Lady, thanks for responding to my letter and a forum for your readers’ insightful and humorous comments. This is the most valuable therapy I have received since this situation started.

    In all seriousness, today is the best day that I’ve had since D-day. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you. I love you all.

    • GROUP HUG!!!!!!!!!!!

      PS From lawyer to lawyer, you may want to schedule consultations with at least a few of the very best matrimonial attorneys you know/can find. No harm in eliminating the best opposition by creating conflicts that would prevent them from representing your deceitful wife. If they are friends, telling a story over a beer will do.

        • Then use it. You don’t yet know how harsh a spouse with a narcissistic bent will go to destroy you. My ex deposed my employers asking such nice questions as “How many of the partners has Surviror slept with? The answer was none, but no one had personal knowledge of that.

  • As an aside, the correct slang term for a man who is cover for a lesbian is a merkin. A beard is a woman covering for a gay man.
    I mention this because I’m into the origins of slang. It comes from the proper meaning of merkin, which is a covering for pubic hair. Somewhat gross, but I find it amusing and it’s a great word that’s little used.

    • Who knew ? I thought a merkin was a pubic wig/hair piece. The things I learn on this web site !

  • My husband cheated with a male coworker. My youngest of 3 was an infant when their relationship started. I hired a private investigator after he suddenly told me he wanted a divorce because he wasn’t happy, I was too critical. He is celebrated for finding his truth while I was left destroyed, confused, abused. It’s been a struggle to feel free to talk, once told I should “watch what I say”. My local Straight Spouse Network was a source of immediate support.

    The two sparkly turds are still together, unfortunately moved next to my kids school just a mile from me. It’s a big shit sandwich every fucking day when I pick up my kids. I work hard to be the sane parent, heal, and staying as no contact as possible. He wants to be friends ????, told our mediator he hoped I’d come over for Christmas ???????? He lives on No Consequences Island ???? .

  • I am a member of the LGBTQ community and the fact that she had an affair with another woman instead of a man is just a layer of distraction. Maybe she thought she was gay earlier in life and maybe she didn’t. Some people genuinely love and are attracted to people regardless of their specific genitalia. But I’m pretty sure most chumps would agree that if you commit to monogamy, you forego intimacy with everyone but your partner. And if you realize that you need to be with someone of a different gender to be fulfilled and live an authentic life, then you have that difficult conversation with your partner and you leave the relationship honestly. It will hurt like hell and many people will be sad and there will be difficult life changes ahead. Many cheaters experience an emotional crisis of some sort that they blame their cheating on; for example, someone who was abused by their parent faces the death of that parent and spirals into unhealthy behavior. Maybe they abuse substances, quit their jobs, develop a gambling habit, cheat on their partners. You can feel empathy for them and acknowledge that they’re experiencing the crisis without excusing them for the damage they’ve done, and you can walk away from the relationship with someone like this if their behavior is harming you. This is boundary setting. You aren’t automatically cruel, unsympathetic, or homophobic because you decide this is not acceptable TO YOU, and YOU DIDN’T AGREE TO IT.

  • Three years ago, I caught my husband of 10 years and 4 kids cheating on me with men. He said he decided he prefers men sexually. We were high school sweethearts and he was my only relationship. I never saw it coming. The only thing I ever knew and what I always thought my future would be was shattered in an instant. Our divorce is now nearly final and he is now with a man in a long term relationship. It still kills my heart every time I see them. I feel on ways his cheating and coming out was a double betrayal. There was the cheating, but there was also the fact that he was never the person he portrayed and he never loved me like he should have. Many things make more sense now. I never felt good enough, attractive enough. Some days I feel like I am still reeling from the loss of everything. It has been a horrible thing to process. So hard.

  • My stbx mother left his father for another woman. She said she was taking love wherever she found it. She got to keep the children. It did a number on the whole family.
    My stbx was a teenager. He was repulsed, rebellious and enrageged.
    She rejected him and was just concerned about getting hers.
    When we had our first child that was the first time in years that she had paid him any attention. And from there it started.
    He and she are now thick as thieves. She upheld him in his running around and encouraged him to leave his family.
    When I hear him talking it’s as if he is channneling that same selfish energy. She expected everyone yi go along with her charade. I did not and I never will. If she has no respect for my family then all bets are off. For her son as well.
    Nothing good comes of cheating.
    And a cheater comes in all shapes and sizes.

  • Bi woman here. This is ABSOLUTELY cheating and I encourage you to file. Do it today. You have no idea what other damage your wife is doing behind your back. Get out now before she wrecks your finances and your health.

    Your wife betrayed you and your marriage, deceived you, blamed you for her transgressions, and now claims she needs to “take the summer” to decide between you and the affair partner, because you’re not her priority anymore. This marriage is toast, and she’s the one who killed it. I’m so sorry.

    Look, of course LGBT people face persecution for being what we are. But that doesn’t give her the right to abuse you. And how dare she do so citing oppression, as if homophobia gives her a free pass to behave like a monster. People are still murdered for being gay or trans. Your wife seems to think she’s oppressed because she can’t fuck her girlfriend without being reminded of trivial things like her marriage vows. Her entitlement is incredible.

    I had homophobic relatives, too. It inspired me to be a better, kinder person, not hurt people because the world owed me something. Your wife could have been honest about her desires 15 years ago. She could have gone to therapy to figure out what she wanted and deal with her family’s homophobia … and really, I have doubts about the veracity of her sob story, because you can’t trust anything a liar says. She could have been honest with you about her feelings and gotten a divorce instead of running around behind your back.

    But she didn’t, because she’s selfish and mean and now she’s blaming YOU for her cruelty. Worse, she’s using her LGBT identity to GUILT YOU and try to hold you hostage and “pick me dance” for her.

    Please get out of this marriage. You sound like a good person and your consideration for the LGBT experience is thoughtful, but this isn’t an LGBT issue. The issue is your wife is a cheating asshole.

    If you need validation from a queer person that your wife is fucked up, I’m giving it to you. Get the sharkiest lawyer you can find and file today. Don’t tell your wife, just do it. I guarantee she’ll try to sabotage your escape. That’s what these assholes do.

  • Hi BB,

    I’m sorry this happened to you. So much good advice above. You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s time to do focus on you and your kids. Her actions show she doesn’t give a sh**.

    My situation was a little different. My then husband moved out first. Then started taking estrogen. Then asked me to be in a relationship. I wanted to stay together for my daughter – Love is Love right? But then I realized he was abusive, and manipulative and dishonest.

    We’re divorced now. My recovery is taking a long time. My home has peace and love now. My daughter sees me modeling healthy behaviors and boundaries. No way was I going to have her grow up seeing abuse and absorbing it was okay for her. I desperately wanted her to grow up with two parents in the home. But in this situation that wasn’t best for her. Me being divorced and healthy was the best for her. I’m still traumatized and have tried to date but I’m not that interested nor willing to trust anyway. I’m happy though so it’s not an issue for me.

    I hadn’t heard of the Straight Spouse Network til I read about it here. I wish I had known about it 3 years ago.

    Please share with CN how you’re doing. Best wishes from some one on the other side.

  • Welcome to a very non-elite club, there are more of us guys than you can imagine.
    I see a lot of advice above and just know that you did nothing wrong and this is your journey to take it as you want.
    You can tell your story to anyone, as a matter of fact, I used to have a group that I made meet in a diner and I would purposely get seats near other people, just to show that most people could care less and that if they do listen to our conversations, they get one hell of an education.
    I am older and my kids were out of the house, so it was devastating, but I didn’t have the kids to worry about. It will be 5 years in August and we are still married, I call it a paper marriage, we both figured costs, insurances, spousal support and general expenses and at our ages, paper marriage worked best. Now I do have a house that is split in two living quarters, so that makes a big difference in our day to day lives.
    To your point of the nit pick reasons that turned her,well all of us guys and some women go through that as well, in my case, I just fired back with both barrels, all of the things that she did that should have turned me gay, like coming home from a business trip and getting more of a greeting from the dog than from her.
    Again, this is your journey and your timeline, no one else. Keep a journal especially when you are angry , do not act while angry, then read the journal a day or two later, out loud and listen to what you wrote.
    FYI, there is a YAHOO newsgroup for us, MMTL (Men Married to Lesbians)

  • I have such a tender spot when I hear these stories. I feel for both parties involved.

    After a 15 year marriage, I struggled with my sexuality. I truly didn’t know and one day, I met a woman and it was like pandora’s box flew open. I dove into my toolbox and tried all my tricks of detachment, but I couldn’t let go of the feelings.

    It took nearly two years of fighting the feelings, anxiety attacks (with hospital visits), a newly developed panic disorder and multiple therapists later when I finally went on my first date with a woman and kissed her, technically cheating on my then-husband.

    Long story short, he’s one of my best friends now. It’s been three years, many disagreements and emotional conversations, but I’m his biggest fan and he’s mine. The love isn’t gone, it’s just different now. He’s dating someone new and happy. I’m happy for him. We’ve learned so much together and it wasn’t easy in the beginning, but we both learned that we’d rather be in each other’s lives than have no relationship at all.

    Forgiveness comes in stages on both sides and in parts, it felt like one step forward and two backward- but with each rupture, healing came by solid resolution. We’ve grown so much and I’m living my dream and he’s accomplished something in his career that he’s been trying for twenty years to do.

    I don’t know what will happen when and if he marries his girlfriend, but I do hope to be somewhere in his sphere, even if only to drop off presents for the kids during holiday.

    Humans are weird. You’re not supposed to be friends with your ex, let alone after the tumultuous ending we had, but humans are also very judgmental about situations they haven’t dared to live themselves. I prefer to live in love, not anger or resentment or go according to set of societal rules I didn’t create.

    So, here’s to overcoming those break-ups that involve one partner/spouse coming to terms with their sexuality and perhaps even a transformation in the relationship- from lovers to friends, realizing everything is and was a lesson for everyone involved (and if you can’t find the lesson, you’re not looking hard enough).

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