Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

UBT: How Do I Get My Gay Cheating Husband to Reconcile?

Dear Chump Lady,

Thank you for saving my life. I was suicidal when I read your posts and they knocked me back into reality. I will be eternally grateful. I am severely codependent and I’m trying to work on myself, but still struggling. I would appreciate it if you put his reasons through the Universal Bullshit Translator if it has time from eating cookies.

A little background: My husband and I were together for 7 years from 18-25. We have two kids. We got pregnant within a year of dating. I found out he’s been cheating on me with multiple men last month and I threw him out, but not before having threesomes and buying strap-ons for him. He was raped by 3 men 4 years ago and I thought he was recreating his trauma. But he still cheated and that’s why I threw him out.

He said he’s sorry and remorseful, but hasn’t tried to come back and hasn’t expressed any type of real remorse and I feel worse than garbage. He found out I went on Tinder after we were separated and acted like I betrayed him even though he said he didn’t want a relationship. I’m extremely concerned for his well-being even still as the father of my children.

Later, after two weeks of no contact, I made the mistake of saying he wasn’t the type of person I could be with after talking to him about our kids. I regret engaging, I messed up. Anyway we had a bit of an argument where he explained why he did it.

He said 90% of our relationship was him feeling bad for one reason or another. He said the only reason he got with me was because he felt bad for me. Then he said later he felt bad I got pregnant and stayed for the kids. As time went on, he felt even more bad that I loved him romantically and he didn’t. He was worried I would act crazy if he tried to leave or I would “do something”, which I may have. He was with me because I wanted him to be, not because he chose to be.

This was likely exacerbated by the fact we had kids so young. I think all that is an excuse, he could have left whenever he wanted. He does not have an interest in reconciliation and does not seem remorseful except in words. The only thing he apologized for is never standing up for what he truly wanted.

How could you string someone along for 7 years? We had bad moments, but to say it was 90% bad is a blatant lie. Honestly, it was closer to 90% good and 10% extremely bad. He also said he’s not going to grovel and keep living for me on the premise of feeling bad for everything. He’s been living for everyone else for years, and he’s tired of living his life in the back seat. He already apologized, and he isn’t going to keep living on the premise that he feels bad for everything.

I asked him why he cheated instead of left. He said he was worried I would do something and felt bad for me. And he said the cheating wasn’t to get back at me for stealing his life or anything, it wasn’t about me at all. It was just a dirty little secret he had, like gambling or shooting up and he wouldn’t expect me to understand.

All of this is a shock to me. I thought we loved each other and thought I would die with this man. I don’t know who this is.

He always said he loved me. He did try to leave several times. but I always begged and pleaded for him to come back and work through it. He chose to come back! He’s full of it. A part of me knows he really felt bad and severely guilty for everything I’ve done for him. Remember the codependence? I showered him in my love. I was the main provider, I put him through nursing school, always was the one who wanted to have sex, etc. Maybe that should have told me he was gay. I know I’m sick. How could I love someone so deeply who clearly didn’t love me? I need a whack upside the head, or a bullet to the brain preferably!

I’ve read Robin Norwood’s Women Who Love Too Much and signed up for therapy. I’m also joining a support network called the Straight Spouse Network. It all feels like putting a bandaid on a bullet wound though.

I still really hope he’s just in a fog and we did have something. Please tell me how we can reconcile. If that’s not possible, please wake me up and remove this parasite from my heart! I can’t believe I still love him! He so clearly doesn’t love me! Something is very wrong with me.

As far as I can tell he’s not in any type of therapy or trying to help himself at all.

Thank you,


Dear Miranda,

His trying to help himself is not your job. He doesn’t think he has a problem. He’s totally okay with what he’s done. That’s what his words say. That’s what his actions say.

Codependency lesson 101.

Not. Your. Job.

This man has fired you from the job of caring about him. By gambling with your health and sanity. By letting you invest in him deeply when he had no intention of investing deeply in you. By being a fraud.

He was absolutely okay letting you put him through school and raise children and indulge his sexual fantasies (strap-ons, three-ways, etc.). You were of use. And the only thing that stopped this toxic charade was you finding out who he really is.

I don’t mean gay.

I mean asshole.

What actual tragedies have befallen him (rape), doesn’t give him the right to abuse you. You’re so deep into his “reasons” and his excuses, that you’ve lost sight of yourself. We call that “Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness” here. Take that big heart of yours and direct its focus to yourself. Is any of this crap acceptable to you?

I still really hope he’s just in a fog and we did have something.

You had something. It’s not a healthy something.

Put down the Reconciliation Industrial Complex hopium and wise up. There’s no such thing as affair “fog.” There’s just agency. He knew exactly what he was doing.

Please tell me how we can reconcile.

Oh sweetheart, you know I don’t do that here.

Asking me for reconciliation advice is like asking rabbits to solve quadratic equations.

If that’s not possible, please wake me up and remove this parasite from my heart!

Now THAT I can do. Consider me your mental flea bomb.

The UBT is feasting on springerles. Let me kick it into gear.

He said 90% of our relationship was him feeling bad for one reason or another.

Poor sausage. This is the mindfuck set to self-pity.

I do terrible things and feel bad. If only I could stop doing terrible things. Will anyone save me from the torment of my free will?

He said the only reason he got with me was because he felt bad for me.

Moi? A user? I am a noble pity-fucker of lost souls.

Then he said later he felt bad I got pregnant and stayed for the kids.

You really need to stop these immaculate conceptions at once.

Moi? A fraud? I am a noble Saver of the Traditional Intact Family. That just sort of spontaneously created itself and imprisoned me.

As time went on, he felt even more bad that I loved him romantically and he didn’t.

So bad that you can pay for my nursing school. If I feel any worse, you might consider a graduate degree or a trip to the Bahamas.

He was worried I would act crazy if he tried to leave or I would “do something”, which I may have.

I’m so worried about your sanity that I’m going to gaslight you for seven straight years and then blame you for my abuse.


He was with me because I wanted him to be, not because he chose to be.

How powerful Miranda is with her mind rays! She can force my will and yet her superpowers fall short when it comes to cocksucking.

He also said he’s not going to grovel and keep living for me on the premise of feeling bad for everything. He’s been living for everyone else for years, and he’s tired of living his life in the back seat. He already apologized, and he isn’t going to keep living on the premise that he feels bad for everything.

Why should I feel rotten about risking your health, profiting from your investment, and lying to your face for seven years? That’s what backseat people do, and I’m the Rosa Parks of fuckwits.


And he said the cheating wasn’t to get back at me for stealing his life or anything,

I stole your life.

it wasn’t about me at all

It wasn’t about you at all. I’m an inauthentic, grifting asshole.

It was just a dirty little secret he had, like gambling or shooting up and he wouldn’t expect me to understand.

I wouldn’t want you to understand my secrets. You might stop paying my bills.

Miranda, are you getting the picture that this guy sucks? The good news is that you’re young, you have your children, and you no longer have to support a fuckwit.

I know I’m sick.

Chumpdom is entirely curable. Ask a few million recovered chumps how they know. You bonded and it’s hard to un-bond. And you’re young and you haven’t experienced a relationship with someone who treats you decently. Stop thinking of yourself as sick. You made a lousy investment in a lousy person. THIS IS REALLY COMMON! And completely reversible!

How could I love someone so deeply who clearly didn’t love me?

Work on that. You accepted a lopsided relationship. Going forward, hold out for reciprocity and good character.

I need a whack upside the head, or a bullet to the brain preferably!

No! Stop the suicide talk. If you’re thinking that way, please get some medical help ASAP or call a suicide hotline. Zero shame in it. You’re a month out from D-Day. It’s a meat grinder. But you won’t always feel this pain. Go no contact and lawyer up. That’s the fastest way to heal. You’re doing the right things with therapy for you and support. I know it feels like a bandaid on a bullet wound. Just take baby steps each day and pretty soon you’ll be on the other side.

Your soon-to-be ex needs to be escorted to the front seat of his own destiny. I predict crabs.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • You are married to a very bad person. Not because he’s gay, because he’s just bad. I have gay relatives who could not be kinder and more gentle with the people they love. I don’t read one single thing in your letter that says he’s that way. In fact it says that he is a selfish son of a bitch. He’s not marriage material. He’s not much of anything positive. Pay attention to Tracy. She’s got great advice. You will move on once you let go. Hence my name.

    • I’m gonna make an addendum here under Letgo’s comment – your husband’s assholery does NOT come from him being a rape survivor. I can sympathize with the young man who was attacked and brutalized, but that gives him no excuse to treat you the way he has, and in fact, it makes it even worse. We have a commenter here, Divorce Minister, who calls infidelity “rape of the soul”, and he’s not wrong. Your husband projected his trauma onto you, both literally and metaphorically -after all, *YOU* did not agree to be part of whatever sexual set-up he was pursuing for himself, and in several jurisdictions, that could constitute rape by fraud. I’m not telling you to press charges, I just want to impress on you that injustice has been committed against you.

      • I hesitate to question a rape victims story, but his proclivity towards lying, cheating and self serving are a red flag. Seems more like a cover story.

        • Bruno, I’m not saying you’re wrong, especially given this guy’s history of sad-sausage behavior, I just mean that trauma does not excuse a person from the consequences of mistreating their partner.

        • Gotta agree with Bruno here.

          This guy takes zero responsibility for any of his behavior.

          Given that pattern, the rape story is likely to be a cover for a hot orgy weekend.

          • My Fuckwit used a cover story of sexual abuse. Didn’t happen. Just a sad sausage story to try to reframe everything towards him bring the victim.
            Funny that I had parallels with me fulfilling Fuckwit’s three way & strap in fantasies too.
            These people are vile.

            • If a rape actually occurred to this man, that is truly awful.

              The question that I have is whether his activities were just kept to homosexual hook-ups or has he really been involved in some dark activities. Meeting up with someone for an affair is a completely different thing than finding yourself in a situation with three people who rape you.

              The issue here isn’t that this man is gay. That’s just a cover for something far more serious and potentially dangerous. I would do some digging to find out something about his real activities in order to determine if this is someone the kids ought to be around alone for long periods of time.

        • I think it’s possible he was raped. People who are out there doing something that’s illegal or even simply taboo are easy targets for predators.

          I know a woman who met a guy on Craigslist for an affair. She got in his car, didn’t like what he looked like in person, and tried to leave. So he raped her. She never reported it because she was afraid her husband would find she was cheating. Her rapist likely knew this.

        • I’m so sorry for what you suffered. And, then to also have been betrayed in an intimate relationship. I hope that you are now living a most excellent life.

      • Chiming in with my two cents on the subject of being a rape survivor.

        It is entirely possible that he was sexually assaulted. I don’t immediately disbelieve someone when they say that. However, I agree with everyone who says this does NOT give him carte blanche to cheat on you, or demand you participate in sex acts you do not enjoy just to keep his attention.

        I know someone who was sexually assaulted in the hospital after he woke up from a month-long coma. He could not move his arms and legs very much, and could not speak English (he had to re-learn.) Someone on the hospital staff took advantage of his inability to fight or speak for himself.

        I believe him. However, he did something similar to your ex husband, which made me lose respect for him completely: He used this trauma as an excuse to be sexually coercive to his female friends. Including me.

        I remember one time I went to his house just to visit. We both had our laptops out at his kitchen table doing stuff for work. He kept grabbing my thighs and trying to touch and grope other parts of me. It was making me really uncomfortable so I invented a reason I needed to go and tried to leave. As I was going out, he picked me up, pressed me against the wall, and tried to kiss me. I turned my face away and told him to put me down.

        Later I told him I had not come there for sex, and to not touch me without permission. He made some excuse about how his assault makes him misunderstand boundaries. But this kind of behavior NEVER STOPPED. He kept groping my butt when I had asked him several times to stop. He kept asking over and over “Hey, when are we gonna bang again?” (We’d had sex once) even though I told him I do not like having sex outside the context of a relationship. He would tell me about situations where he had made his dates uncomfortable, about a time he got in trouble with HR at work for inappropriate behavior, and a time he was staying at a female friend’s house, and he got in bed with her while she was asleep and she woke up to him having sex with her.

        And every time someone had called him out on this creepy behavior, it always came back to his sexual trauma.

        I do not speak to this person anymore. I stopped feeling sorry for him. It is very difficult to have empathy for someone who has been sexually abused when they use it as an excuse for sexual abuse of other people.

        Being raped does not give anyone the right to sexually abuse others. Ever. Period. Bar none. You can believe him, but he CANNOT use that as a free ticket to do whatever he wants to other people, and he CANNOT use that as an excuse for cheating, and making you feel pressured into sex you don’t like. That is a form of sexual assault in and of itself. It isn’t outright rape, but if you feel like you cannot say no to these sex acts (threesomes, pegging) and you feel like you will be punished in some way if you refuse to participate, that is sexual coercion. “No” should ALWAYS be an option. No matter what has happened to him in the past. And there should never be negative consequences for you choosing to say no.

        And the stuff about him feeling bad for you? Bullshit.

        I’m sure you felt plenty bad for him hearing about his rape. Are you cheating on him? No.

        Please get an STD test. Do not reconcile. Do not try to reconcile, go grey rock. Full no contact may not be possible since you have children together, but this is not someone you can reconcile with. And make sure to impart on your children that trauma and sexual assault is not an excuse to harm others. Obviously in age-appropriate ways, but this is an important thing they should internalize. Trauma. Is. Not. An. Excuse. To. Hurt. Others.

    • Btw, I just watched a video of a divorce lawyer, who has written a book. In the interview he said he only knew handful of couples that reconciled. Your marriage got blown up by a bomb of epic proportions. I don’t think r is in your husband’s vocabulary.

    • You can get the same bull after 30 years. “I never loved you, suffered for years for the kids, “so I wouldn’t hurt your feelings”. Who stays with someone and pretends to be happy for 30 years? It’s just bull…don’t give him anymore of your time.
      Truly believe what Tracy says..the pain will not last, it gets better.

      • I agree…after 18 years I got the same crap. WHen I read this it was eerily similar

        “He said 90% of our relationship was him feeling bad for one reason or another. He said the only reason he got with me was because he felt bad for me. Then he said later he felt bad I got pregnant and stayed for the kids.”

        He once told me that I tried to make him feel bad about himself…Hell to the no I didnt do that because he raged when he felt bad about himself. I did point out when he was mean or cruel trying to get him to stop…not just feel bad. I think his self hatred was because he led a double life that he would be deeply ashamed for anyone to know about.

        Yes, he also told me that he married me because he felt sorry for me. In reality, he stayed because I was of use to him. I made everything run well and he knew it. I gave him a wonderful facade that he basked in (especially to his family).

        The writer of the letter is trying to make a silk purse out of a rotted sows ear. I know what this is like since I did it for SO long. Hopium is so strong. Im not humiliated that I stayed with a person who showed me in SO MANY WAYS that he held me in very low regard. He clearly did not love me but I refused to see it.

  • Miss Miranda, this isn’t your fault, and you have worth beyond this jerk. Leaving aside the issue that he may be gay for a moment, he chose to cheat on you. You didn’t cause any of that. And if he really didn’t love you all those years like he says, then that just makes him even worse.
    You said “I don’t know who this is,” and you’re right, you didn’t know who he was. Unfortunately, he wasn’t who you thought he was. It happens to the best of us. You aren’t a horrible person for being a victim to this.
    Please stop trying to “save” this man. When I was learning lifesaving as a kid, I was shocked when the teacher said “if you’re trying to save someone who is drowning, and that person simply refuses to stop panicking is and is dragging you down under the water, let him/her go. Your noble deed is only going to get you both drowned.” The instructor was right.
    This is hard, but you will get through it.

  • I was like you. So sorry you had to go through all of this. I felt suicidal and still occasionally after 2 years just feel like giving up at times. I am happier without him, but it is also not the life I was planning for nearly 15years. He also plays happy couple with the OW and this is bothering me sometimes as well.

    The horrible times become less and less. He good times increase.

    Hang in there. His shitty behavior has nothing to do with you!

    You can read my story here:

    • Hey, I just checked your blog out. Very well said! Nice insight and it truly does affect so much of society now.

      Also, very true on the lack of curiosity in so many conversations. On a very basic level, my number one reason for one and done dates—- no follow up comments or any sort of curiosity from the other person. Just move on to their next comment. So bizarre. It makes me really appreciation nice back and forth conversations now.

    • Inescapable, your blog is great. I would correct, however, that you had a ‘mini-Thanksgiving’. In my opinion, you had a ‘MAXI-Thanksgiving’! Best wishes to you!

    • My life also didn’t turn out like I planned. But guess what?! After some years of suckitude it became a life far beyond anything I had planned.

    • Your blog is absolutely true. Manipulators love to make bad faith arguments. They will state their views as absolute truths, and will refuse anything you have to say. My abuser did that often. Once he decided what the truth was, that was it. And if he was presented with evidence to the contrary, he’d change the goal post.

      Absolute truths are for things like science or medicine. Like if you expose phosphorus to air, it will ignite at 86 degrees F. If a person stays in the same position for too long, they will begin to develop decub ulcers. These are facts. These are absolute truths. You can state these and it will be inarguably true.

      Absolute truths are not for relationship arguments. One person does not get to decide their perspective is the ONLY correct one and lay it down like it’s law. That’s not how communication works and someone who decides their word is law is someone who will never argue in good faith, nor will they ever consider your position.

  • If you want to invest in your future, sit back and read. Read the archives here, see the patterns. You will find yourself and him, like looking in a mirror. You will see how it is possible to have a great life. You will find what he says is not unique, but what they all say. Kind people want to love and be loved. Narcissist do what feels good to them and blame others. Run as fast as you can to a great life, it is right over the next mountain.

    • This speaks to me. I am also a recovering codependent in the sense that it feels like I’m always the one begging and reconciling and emotionally caving. Thinking of you and hoping for your new better life Miranda

  • “He does not have an interest in reconciliation and does not seem remorseful except in words.”

    This. Pay attention to THIS. Cheaters are big on words, very tiny when it comes to actual quantifiable actions regarding remorse, reconciliation, humility. They are really good at explaining how terrible you caused the splendidness that is them to cheat.

    Miranda, you’ve got two precious children that have a shot at leading a fuckwit-free (or at least limited) life. Imagine the damage your cheater could do to THEM….not sexually, but psychologically, emotionally. Consider the damage he has done to you with his lies and gaslighting, and ask yourself if you want your kids raised in a house where that is normal.

    But, but!! Nuclear family!!! Sorry, but that is BS, especially when it comes to people who have no regard for vows and commitment. Would you keep your kids around a violent man just to have the illusion of a “happy” family? Would you truly risk their well-being?

    You can do this. You CAN. I do remember how difficult the first days, months, years were after my X came clean about his 7 years of non-stop cheating. Cheater fog? That, again, is BS. I was in a deep chump fog, with an added mist of depression. I believe this is normal, though not healthy. I give a standing ovation to those chumps who were mighty from day one, who didn’t back down or equivocate in what they believed was unacceptable….and then got the job done (divorce) and moved on. I did an embarrassing dance for two years before I threw in the towel.

    • Yup, I cried daily for 3 years after I decided to end my marriage. But I knew there was no way to respect the man after all the bald faced lies I had been fed. And the lack of any true remorse on his part.

      Easy it is not. But it improves over time.

  • CL is spot on, as usual.

    Also, these made me spit out my coffee:
    “That’s what backseat people do, and I’m the Rosa Parks of fuckwits.”
    “Consider me your mental flea bomb.”????

  • Dear Miranda,

    I read Women Who Love Too Much in 1985. In two days. The entire book is yellow from my highlighter pen.

    I wrote Robin Norwood. She wrote me back. Lavender stationery. I still have her letter. It is the bookmark in my hardcover totally highlighted first edition.

    It launched me into recovery. I never left. The onion layers and growth are ongoing. I am a work in progress and always will be.

    Don’t beat yourself up because you are not at some destination you think you should have been at by now. The most important thing is that you are on the right path!

    Therapy (with a great therapist!), Robin Norwood, and now here you are at Chump Nation?! Wow! That is amazing!

    You finally made it onto the right flight. Welcome to First Class. Put on your seat
    belt and JUST FOR TODAY do the next right thing, one moment at a time. And stay on the plane.

    • Velvet Hammer, the book ‘Women Who Love Too Much’ by Robin Norwood changed my life, too. It started me on a (long) path of recovery, which I am still on, thankfully, all these years later!

  • Miranda,
    I really feel for you. Your husband has shown you who he really is – an asshole, regardless of who he wants to sleep with. As a woman divorcing another woman, I can attest that there are plenty of LGBTQ+ assholes. His trauma might explain some things about him, but it doesn’t give him license to abuse you. HE IS ABUSING YOU. If he were gambling, he would be abusing you in a different way: financial betrayal. Likening one form of abuse to another doesn’t justify any of it.

    I know that seven years feels like a long time when you’re in your 20’s. But just ask CN how many years of fuckwittedness many of us have endured. I experienced D-Day #1 six years after marriage and stayed, because STBX seemed so remorseful. (She didn’t say any of the stuff your husband has been saying!) But, guess what? D-Day #2 came fourteen years later, after there was another big bump in the road of life. And here’s the thing – it’s not just the cheating, but all the other dysfunction in the relationship that will make you crazy if you stay. In my case, STBX engaged in all kinds of “affair lite” behaviors between her two affairs, and tortured me with passive aggression, entitlement, unrealistic expectations, devaluation, etc. I have been tired all the time for 18 years – I thought it was because of my medical history, but now I think it’s just because I was married to an energy vampire. Your husband sounds the same way.

    IF YOU STAY WITH HIM, you may well start to experience actual physical health impacts as well. I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the ripe old age of 47, even though I have healthy habits in general, mainly because my body has been awash in cortisol and other stress hormones so often over time, and especially in the last two years since D-Day #2. PLEASE GET OUT NOW and spare your future mental and physical health. Seven years will feel much better than twenty (in my case), or even longer in the case of many members of CN.

    One more thing: Beware of the “Hoover.” Cheaters hate real consequences, like having to pay child support or fend for themselves. Your husband has already shown that he will lie to your face (“He always said he loved me”) in order to stay comfy at home, with you paying all the bills. So, after they get a sense of what divorce might entail, many cheaters change their tune and try to suck us back in. Please read CL’s post on Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse – while it sounds like your cheater isn’t trying too hard to sound genuinely remorseful, he’s a very sad sausage, and you’re trauma-bonded to him. He might well circle back, so be prepared. NO CONTACT about anything other than kid logistics, and keep that to a minimum.

    Please listen to what your (soon-to-be-ex) husband is saying: he doesn’t think about you when he acts. He doesn’t care about you. He cares primarily for himself, and you and the kids are tiny specks orbiting somewhere in the vast cosmosphere surrounding him. So, you need to care about yourself and your kids first and foremost. NO CONTACT.

    All best to you, and I hope you will let us here at CN know how you’re doing in a few months.

    • So true about the toll all the other dysfunction these disordered idiots inflict on us. The cortisol drip over years is physical killer and so easy to chalk up to age and various conditions.

      Miranda, get out while you are still so blessedly young. Raise your children free of this shit show – can you imagine what modeling this marriage will do to them??

      • Yes, and the kids will be affected, too. My older daughter (18) sadly wasn’t able to begin her college career this fall, and so is mostly over at the other house with my disordered STBX, trying to cope with severe OCD and anxiety. While STBX didn’t cause those things, her disorder almost certainly has made them worse. I have often invited DD18 to stay with me at my apartment, but I understand why she doesn’t – all her stuff is over at the other house, which has been her home for the last decade. Also, I’m at higher risk for severe disease if I am infected, and DD18 was not able to socially distance from her friends, so I had to stop having close contact with her. (STBX got them all infected after Halloween, though thankfully I avoided it. So I hope to start seeing DD18 in person again soon.)

        Anyway, all this is to say that my mental and physical health definitely have been impacted by STBX’s disorder, and it’s the same for DD18. She also has had to work through the trauma of learning that her other mother is a cheater, on top of her other mental health impacts. It’s going to be on ongoing mindfuck for DD18, because STBX’s disorder can be so subtle, and of course STBX thinks of our kids as extensions of herself. I can see that DD18 has become a people-pleaser, and I fear that she will end up in an abusive relationship herself at some point. But, I can’t control other people, can just try to keep the lines of communication open. When I have had general conversations with DD18 about healthy boundaries, she thinks I’m trying to deliver underhanded commentary about STBX. So I will have to keep it to myself until DD18 is older and able to work through things better for herself. I will continue supporting her in whatever way I can!

        DD9 doesn’t know about STBX’s affairs. Of course I have great empathy for the fact that DD9 will be a child of divorce in a way that DD18 will not be, but at least DD9 will see what healthy boundaries look like, even if we don’t share the truth behind our separation/divorce until DD9 is older. My greatest fear for DD9 is that STBX is so desperate for kibbles that she will shack up with the earliest possible contender. If AP#2 is any indication, STBX would pair up with anybody, no matter how disordered. But this is what many of us at CN have to deal with: I can’t control other people, and just need to focus on being the Sane Parent!

        It bears repeating: Sane Parenting requires we get away from the fuckwit, #1.

        As Chumpnomore said above, Sane Parenting is harder to achieve during a pandemic, when I am at high risk, and divorcing, and just lost my job. But I DID get away from the fuckwit, and I’m doing my best, starting EMDR therapy for the trauma and combating the diabetes with diet and exercise. One foot in front of the other!

  • You are so, so very young. You have a wonderful future ahead of you! Go out and grab it! I know it’s
    hard to see that now. And, yes, forging a new path will be hard at first. But trust me . . . one, two, five years
    from now . . . you will be so very grateful that you did! Take it from me . . . someone who hung in there for
    way, way too many years . . . I so wish I had escaped years earlier.

  • “I never really loved you” – words said by everybody breaking up ever and it’s almost never true. He loved you. Now he doesn’t (because he’s a short attention span fwit who can’t appreciate what he’s got or set boundaries). He can’t process the contradiction. He’s been feeling guilt. (But not enough to act on it). These emotions all swirl together in an irrational mess that comes out as ‘oh I never loved you, I was just feeling guilty.’ He doesn’t have enough brain cells to figure out what’s really happening in his brain. And that’s as far as you need to go down the skein.

  • Watch the documentary “Love Fraud” on showtime. It’s about a sad sausage of a man who just had to have 10+ wives and countless girlfriends who he bankrupted.

    Throughout he cries crocodile tears and blames his FOO claims he’s the victim. He has an excuse and someone else to blame for everything.

    I was so blind to this behavior in my own relationships. People spoon-fed me excuses and blame and bullshit and I just ate it up. I believed every word.

    Seeing this behavior so clearly in this documentary really helped illuminate how people like your husband and many others, can justify any behavior they want.

  • Dear Miranda, everything CL and CN is spot on. Please take it on board, this man is a pig, and that’s it.

    I would only add this, in case it’s making you feel compassion where it isn’t deserved.

    He *says* he was raped by four men. I would really, really question this with a litre bag of salt. He has already demonstrated he is a consummate liar, so why would you think this is true? Cheaters have no integrity/character, and they lie as easily as they breathe. This could very well be just another lie, in order for you to feel compassionate towards him.

    Even if it is true, as others have said, it doesn’t give him a license to be abusive towards you. Thank goodness you’ve come here, though I’m so sorry you had to. ((hugs)).

    • Fuckwit’s rat faced whore told fuckwit she’d been raped by a Gambian man we both knew.

      Then she went to Edinburgh, met a man on the street, and went to his flat. This is not the behaviour of someone who has been raped.

      Like fuckwit, she lies like she breathes.

  • “He was raped by 3 men 4 years ago”.

    Miranda, call me highly skeptical. Since he has proven to be a congenital liar, I’m guessing he got caught doing something he shouldn’t and spun a big old lie. Or he made it up to manipulate you into doing something you didn’t want. Sending you strength and belief that better days are ahead.

    • Yes, that one made me wonder too.

      I believed a lot of my ex-husband’s bullshit stories (he told them from the very beginning, as I later learned) so I understand when you love someone you want to believe they only tell you the truth. But people who do a lot of lying get very good at it – they can sound quite convincing. Even stories with lots of detail can be entirely made up. Liars LIE.

  • At the risk of sounding pedantic, CL, I’d like to correct your usage of “immaculate conception.” It is often confused with the virgin birth of Jesus, but the Immaculate Conception of Mary is a dogma of the Catholic Church that declares that Mary was conceived without original sin. As the future mother of Jesus the Church decided that she had to have been born without sin. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated every Dec. 8th.
    That’s what I learned from twelve years of Catholic school. I’m agnostic now but these things linger.

    • Well, that virgin birth seems pretty “immaculate” too. I live in a very Catholic city and we revere…the “Immaculate Reception,” which is a famous football ply.

    • Thanks for posting this correction! Many people (practicing Catholics included) misunderstand this. The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary being born without original sin and not Jesus being conceived by the Holy Spirit. I learned this in a History class many years ago in a secular college after attending primary & secondary Catholic schools. It’s a common misconception.
      Just like people who have never experienced infidelity think that cheaters can be reformed. They can’t. Cheaters cheat & liars lie. Saving your sanity is the only recourse. Sometimes it takes years to realize that you wasted years believing the wrong thing. But there’s always hope that you can improve yourself & your way of thinking. You can never fix a cheater. Took me years to learn that. Thanks to CL & CN where I learn & grow daily!
      Peace be with you all.

  • Is there proof cheater was raped? Were the rapists charged and convicted? I ask because like most cheaters yours is more than likely a big fat liar and they love to play the sympathy card. He may be selling you a load of goods to excuse his actions or manipulate. In any case you need to move on and not count on this person for any support.

    • And crying “rape” might be his cover for rough sex with multiple men. So without evidence, be skeptical.

    • I was thinking the same. I really hate to doubt anybody about being raped, but this guy is a known liar. It sounds like an excuse he is using, almost as if he thinks she will believe being raped turns you gay.
      He may have gotten into BDSM and it went too far, thus he had to explain why he was bruised and hurting. Then when he got caught, he claimed he isn’t gay, but is just “reenacting trauma”.
      If so, we can add insult and trivialization towards real rape victims to his list of offenses.

  • I would like to add something here. My ex is a deeply closeted man, and for years used me and subtley degraded me, until I lost myself. There is something diabolical about the adult gay man who marries an unsuspecting woman. My ex was a coward, came from a family that had money, and his parents were deeply homophobic. There are many gay people in his family, and they are just now beginning to come out since one of the parents has passed, and the elderly mother is less powerful. In his case in was all transactional. I was a cash cow, and he used me for years, as a beard, getting all the benefits of a heterosexual marriage while living with a secret that, had I known, would have allowed me to make an informed decision about marrying him in the first place. It is such a ghastly thing to do to someone, I gave up my fertile years, went through unbearable fertility treatments (you have to have regular sex to get pregnant, that became repulsive to him, and I internalized it as “I am repulsive”), and 18 years later, after I started to rebel, he convinced me to sell my beautiful home and move 1000 miles away, where he dumped me. He wanted me away, so he could move back, tell a story no where near the truth, paint himself as the victim, and get family support for a second failed marriage (ours, he was married before, and blamed his ex-wife, stating financial issues – again, with the money). He would have been accepted most likely had he just been honest with his family, it would have been difficult, he would have run the risk of being disinherited or possibly disowned by his parents, but it was a risk he was unwilling to take, instead taking down an innocent person and blaming them for his “repressed pain”. You are still young. Get a lawyer, and get out now. I wish I had dumped him back in 2011 when he started crossdressing and wanting dildos stuffed up his ass. I instead was so invested I accommodated him until I could no longer stand my disgust with myself and my shame at being made to keep his secrets, stuffed so far into his closet I almost didn’t make it out. They will make you feel like if you tell, you are violating them. WE are the ones who were violated. Today, I am free. I still have to go to court and see this disordered fuckwit, but the balance of power has been restored and I am no longer afraid of him, his family, or of negative consequences to me for telling the truth.

    • Chumplandia, this is a very powerful story. You are very mighty for getting free and for sharing this so Miranda and others see what they need to do.

    • Interesting how so many narcissistic cheaters have their chump up and move thousands of miles away then follow up shortly with a discard. I know a few couples that went through an nasty break up after moving to a different region. One couple, the guy wanted to move to the west coast to be near friends. Meanwhile his girlfriend (a friend of mine) worked two full time waitressing jobs to save money for the big move. He would meet her after work to collect the money for “their” move. Well they moved and 3 weeks later he dumped her and she had to move back. She stayed with me and my roommate for a couple of months to get back up on her feet. We were all young at the time so she bounced back financially but for weeks she wouldn’t discuss him dumping her, she just kept saying she came back for a visit. Talk about denial. Months went by before she divulged the truth. He married (and divorced) some bit player actress from some silly sitcom. Didn’t last. My friend has a high position in a consulate (she started out as an admin and worked her way up) and married a great guy. The former boyfriend’s life did not turn out well. Of course he reached out when he was down and out. I think these cheaters use the chumps to help with the big move and then discard. They don’t have to deal with social blowback or explanations as they are basically strangers in the new area.

      • I think they do it to throw their partners/kids off balance.

        When I was in high school one of my friend’s dads pulled this move. Uprooted the SAHM and 3 kids from their comfortable, adequate, affordable house to move into dream home in another school district. The move upset the kids greatly because they were going to have to switch schools. Moved family into expensive dream home and 6 weeks later left them all for his 22 year old secretary. Mom was so distraught she attempted suicide.

        This all went down in the summer and kids temporarily moved in with a relative who worked for the school, so they ended up being able to stay in their original district with their original teachers and friends. Mom was able to buy a smaller home in the poor part of the district with the divorce proceeds. Dad started a new family with the secretary and never looked back; as adults only 1 child chose to have any relationship with him at all. Knowing her I suspect she stays in touch to spy on them.

        At the time no one understood why he went through all those machinations when he was cheating and probably planning to leave. If he would have left everyone in the original home the wife probably would have gotten it in the divorce and life for the wife & kids would gave gone on only suffering with the trauma of the divorce. Instead, he blew everything up on the way out.

        • This is terrifying. I was (almost completely on my own) preparing our home for sale, in preparation for an overseas move, when I started getting a gut feeling about FW. He denied everything and suddenly started helping get the house ready… until I tricked him into revealing the truth about his cheating with literally zero evidence.

          I had started to think after DDay that he had just been trying to lie long enough to get me and the kids to move where we’d be stuck with him, and he could keep pretending nothing happened. But gut-level, I’ve been feeling like I survived attempted kidnapping. These stories make me think it could have been way worse than that even. I had been thinking he’d be fake nice and passive aggressive as usual, and the worst part would be my loss of agency. But what if I moved and he amped up the devaluaton or even went on to the discard, in a country where only he speaks the language, and I need his commander’s permission to move home? During COVID! Horrifying.

          Definitely feel like I dodged a bullet, either way. Thanks for sharing, all.

          • “I had started to think after DDay that he had just been trying to lie long enough to get me and the kids to move where we’d be stuck with him, and he could keep pretending nothing happened. But gut-level, I’ve been feeling like I survived attempted kidnapping. ”

            Holy shit. This has *just* resonated with me, I’m thinking, fuck, yes.

            Not near as bad a scenario as yours, CallaSpade, I’m talking a move of a few miles, but….

            We lived in a static caravan. (*his* idea to sell our proper house and buy this, not mine, partly to pay off his debts).

            Eventually he decided he hated it. Wanted to move back into a proper house. Then the whole thing with the rat faced whore came up, although chumpy me was still clueless about the physical affair. He moved out, got a flat in town, wouldn’t tell me where.

            Then he wanted me to organise renting out the static, and coming to live in the flat with him and the rat faced whore. Still with the pretext that there was nothing going on, she was the friend of both of us, and it would help with the bills.

            If it had gone as he planned it, I would have been stuck in that flat, under the same roof as him and his rat faced whore, and *nowhere else to go.*

            Holy fuck, *I* dodged a bullet too, how can I have only just realised this!! ????????????????

            This is one of the most amazing benefits of this blog; suddenly another chumps experience resonates, and the penny finally drops. Jesus, am I stupid or what? ????????????

            • He wanted the rental money. I’m betting he knew you wouldn’t put up with Rat faced whore for a minute and would have fled the scene. They don’t care about the plight of their family, all about their needs.

            • Chumpnomore, wouldn’t that just have been great for him. Once that caravan was rented and you were in debt for that AND a house, where would you go… What a nightmare. So very, very glad you dodged that bullet.

              This is why my therapist tells me not to ruminate. Could give a Chump with a good imagination nightmares.

        • Wow. These stories never cease to amaze me. I wonder if it is possible that he also moved them to remove himself from the town/neighborhood gossip that would have happened had they stayed in the old home. Complete mystery why some cheaters care what some people think of them and couldn’t give a rat’s ass for what others think. Cheaters for the most part follow a scripted playbook but the selling of a home, a move and then a discard…haven’t quite figured that one out. It could be multiple reasons.

          • What kind of woman partakes in this abuse? Who would want a lying cheating man who completely ditches his children?

      • This happened to my BFFs mother and her kids back in the early 60s. They sold everything, even the kids’ toys, only to get out to the coast and find FWDaddy had “changed his mind” and wanted them to go back.

        I don’t think my friend or her mother ever fully recovered from that discard.

        • Crying for your friend’s mother. And in the 60’s, what could she even do about it? What kind of person does that to their own children?

          Although I guess we would have had to leave all furniture, including kids’ beds, and I had been lightening the load of toys etc. for the overseas move. So I guess I know exactly “what kind of person.” SMDH.

  • May I lovingly suggest avoiding Tinder until you feel more centered? You need all your energy for yourself, the divorce, and your kids.

    • I hope you take this bit of advice from FYI, Miranda. It is far too early for you to be dating. Take care of yourself right now. Take care of your kids. Spending time without a partner will help you learn what you really want in a partner. Right now, you are too likely to just accept a replacement, but you deserve a lot more.

  • “How could you string someone along for 7 years? We had bad moments, but to say it was 90% bad is a blatant lie. Honestly, it was closer to 90% good and 10% extremely bad.”

    Looking at it this way is not helpful to you, Miranda.

    The problem is that you married a guy you knew as a teenager but you didn’t know the full story. Maybe he didn’t either, to be fair. You got pregnant and you took care of the kids. You were mighty, the breadwinner, the person who put him through nursing school. You did your best. But you were building on a rotten foundation. Your husband is gay. He’s admitted that much of the truth. You can’t put that cat back in the bag. And so the fiction that you are a heterosexual married, monogamous couple has been ended.

    Thinking of how bad or good it was is a matter of perspective. For you, the good parts are about the fiction, the happy family part, the part where you showered him with love. Your feelings were REAL but you showered them on a person who can’t reciprocate. The foundation for the happy life you want isn’t there.

    But you have such a strong foundation to build on! You are the breadwinner! You were mighty enough to put him through nursing school! You have a heart full of love! And you are only 25! Once you get past this codependency problem, you can have a wonderful life ahead.

    So on to practical matters:
    1. Sit down and figure out what you need to build a life for yourself and your kids. That will mean thinking about how to divide assets and how much support your STBX will need to provide.
    2. Did you get an education for yourself, or did you just make sure STBX got an education? This is the time to ask yourself if you want to go back to school or if you NEED to go back to secure your financial future. That will be part of what you ask STBX to do when you divorce.
    3. Is he providing support now? If not, get thee to a good divorce lawyer and file for child support. You don’t need to get the divorce until you are ready. But he needs to be working and paying support.
    4. If he’s left the home, that’s good. If you own that home, and you want to stay there, you’ll need a settlement that gives you the house.
    5. Change the locks. He doesn’t get to come and go any more. He’s moved out. Changing the locks will help you internalize your new situation. And you need to protect your stuff.
    6. Set up bank accounts in your name and have your paycheck deposited into that solo account. This protects your money.
    7. When you talk to the lawyer, talk also about custody. You are in a really good position to ask for full custody with STBX having visitation instead of 50/50. You want to protect your kids as much as you can until you see that your STBX has a stable lifestyle.
    8. Stay off dating sites until you have a divorce. Give yourself 2-3 years to figure out who you are without this guy. You’ve had zero chance to know yourself as a separate adult. You can’t pick a new partner until you know yourself and you get past the codependency. So you have work to do.

    Your heart is still in the fairytale story you wanted. And that’s normal, even for chumps who are a lot older than you are. But it’s not realistic to think that a gay man who isn’t attracted to women is going to make YOU happy. Your attention was fixed on this guy in your teenage years, but now you’re an adult and you can see him with grown up eyes. He’ll always be your first love. It may help to realize that for most of us, those first loves don’t work out. (My own first love never got his career act together. He and I have opposite political views. And he probably would have resented my own badass self because I do have my act together. But I still cherish how pure that love I felt was, and what a great HS crush he was.) Once you get your head straight about this situation, you will be able to reclaim your own half of this because you were the one in the relationship who was honest and real.

    Finally, codependency is not a permanent condition. It’s learned behavior and you can unlearn that. I’m glad you are getting into therapy, but pay attention to whether this therapist can help you learn new ways of relating to the world. (Codependency is a way of relating to everyone, not just to your STBX.) Since you are doing the reading, there are lots of good resources on codependency. The more you know, the better.

    Good luck. I’ll bet my next paycheck that in 5 years, you have a wonderful happy life. You’ve tackled every challenge head on. Get busy building a new life, one step at a time. Your heart will catch up.

    • Excellent advice from LovedaJackass.

      I don’t think that Miranda has such problem with codependency but more with going for unavailable men. Being gay is being unavailable for a heterosexual woman. In any case, she needs to stop thinking and worrying about him and start thinking about herself, what about herself she’s avoiding by thinking about her ex and think about the children Also, she should at least start thinking about going grey rock. The ex is seriously messing up with her.

      I personally don’t believe the ex’s tale about rape – my father liked telling his sob stories so we’d feel sorry for him, wouldn’t question him and there’d be no consequences for him. Also, the husband had been an asshole even before the “rape”. (My apologies to all rape survivors).

  • I’m seeing full on Narcissism here my God girl I’m also going through this fuciedupedness hell and I’m now at nearly “FOUR” years. I was even put through an 8 hour trial here in Canada and had my two kids taken away on child abuse charges he deflected all his cheating onto me! I just completed 12 counseling sessions, full probabtion to find out the abuse charges were false through the Canadian RCMP! Hang in there, pray daily and yes you will make it!????????????????

  • These words of CL’s, which she has said in more or less the same way before, were EXTREMELY helpful to me and I suggest re-reading them and contemplating them:

    “This man has fired you from the job of caring about him. By gambling with your health and sanity. By letting you invest in him deeply when he had no intention of investing deeply in you. By being a fraud.”

    Pearls of wisdom!

  • Oh my gosh, I think I was married to this exact same man. Everything, except the gay part (mine had multiple affairs with younger women and then married his last girlfriend), was 100% spot on as if they were reading from the same script.

  • The Rosa Parks of fuckwits!???? Best UBT line I’ve ever seen.
    If there’s one thing I really despise it’s a completely selfish person who uses the; “It’s time to please myself instead of everybody else!” mindfuck.

    Truth; this guy used a woman as his beard while most likely having sex with dudes the whole time (I’m guessing without a condom, too). He had sex with his wife/beard, also without protection, and that produced mini-beards to cement the fiction that he is heterosexual, AND HE WAS FINE WITH ALL THIS. He was not, as he claims, miserable and trapped, he knew he was using a family as a smoke screen and it worked for him. Until he was caught. Then he starts painting himself as a noble white knight who sacrificed all and whose life was STOLEN?
    The projection these fuckwits engage in is truly bizarre.

    Sweetie, this man is gay. He is gayer than a thousand Pride parade floats. He was not “reenacting trauma” by having sex with men, nor was he in a “fog”. He just likes having sex with men, and doesn’t like having sex with women. Why on earth would you want a husband who isn’t interested in you romantically or sexually, let alone a completely narcissistic husband who treats you so shabbily?

    It’s early days in your chumpdom and you just want the pain to go away ASAP, so you cling to what is familiar. We understand that urge. The feeling of being unmoored in a strange new reality is terrifying. However, the fear and pain will eventually ease, but not with this jerk in your life. Stop talking to him. See a lawyer. I don’t know the law where you are, but it’s possible you could get an annulment based on him marrying you under the false pretense that he is heterosexual. Then perhaps he could even be ordered to pay the money you spent on his education back. He DEFRAUDED you. He did it knowingly, deliberately and without a twinge of conscience. Make him pay for doing that. The bonus is that getting righteously angry helps you to detach.
    Also, get yourself in therapy, since you acknowledge being codependent.

    You’ll probably need to repeat the STD tests a few times. I don’t want to scare you, but you need to know it can take a while for HIV to show up in tests. Ask your doctor.
    Think about it; your so-called husband willfully exposed you to the risk of getting a deadly disease. He’s garbage. Get angry and get your money back from this parasite.

    • That pleasing myself line make me want to puke.

      My ex always got his way, he handled the money; he determined at least 95 percent of the time how it was spent. He wanted a boat he got it, he wanted to rent a campsite to park his boat and the camper he wanted, he got it, he wanted a new TV, he got it etc. He wanted an expensive tool, he usually got it for his birthday or Christmas from me.

      I wanted a new couch and chair, really the only new furniture I ask for. nope can’t afford it. In 21 years of marriage the only new thing that I wanted and got was a piano, that he “gave me” with the money from the buy out of his retirement fund. The piano was so my son could take piano lessons. He promised me that when our son was grown we would start buying some new furniture. Little did I know that I would be discarded; before that happened. My son entered the AF in 88, I was drop kicked in Dec of 89.

      We had no savings except for two thousand dollars I saved in a separate account, that had his name on it as well as mine. I suspect most of any money he had that didn’t go for bills was spent on the whore. I had proof of some of it, thank God.

      I am lucky he didn’t clear out my account to give to the whore. In a way he did, because I had to use my account for Christmas presents, and basic clothing etc; because we just didn’t have the money otherwise. Wonder why.

      When he wanted to “try again” I asked him why he did all the lying and cheating. He said, and I quote “I just wanted something for myself” SOMETHING FOR HIMSELF, like he had been such a giver. She had screwed half the married men that worked for the city in attempts to land a paycheck, he had been my one and only; but she was something for himself.

  • Miranda – There is so much good loving advice here. Please take heed.

    Also, please do not date or seek no-strings sex for at least a few months (I would lean towards a year) because you have SO much you need to unpack, wash and decide what to keep and what to discard in your mind. Therapy is both a gift and a very tough assignment you set for yourself. He used you and for whatever reason, you never expected to receive much from him.

    Him not truly desiring you wasn’t a statement about YOUR worth and your sexuality is fine. So is his EXCEPT he married you under false pretenses and didn’t desire you. That’s on him. Not you! Being gay or bisexual isn’t a bad thing, but lying and abusing people certainly shows deplorable character.

    Rather than risking still more STDs or physical injuries on skeevy random anonymous sexual encounters, get yourself a few really good toys that scratch your physical itches while you work on your mental health.

    For yourself. For your kids.

    Now go find an attorney who won’t let you roll over and continue to be financially abused.

    (No, I don’t believe he was raped because he is a habitual liar. It strikes me as him thinking of a good reason to fool you into sexual role playing without giving you the full picture.)

  • Miranda – dear, dear Miranda… what you have married is your run-of-the-mill whorebag. I know you want him to be your Prince Charming and his being a Queen instead is NOT the issue, so don’t be distracted by that… because let’s face it, this guy doesn’t tell you the truth, EVER. I agree wholeheartedly with CN and CL… your first act of rising up like a phoenix is to stop untangling the skein of fuckedupedness. Your happiness won’t come from sorting him out… your journey is so much more exciting and rewarding (after a lot of hardwork)… it will come from you doing you… discovering why you settled for this fuckwit… why you think a relationship with someone like this is worth holding on to versus letting it sink away in to a vat of hot tar… put on your own lifejacket first and then the kiddos. Go talk to a lawyer… show him all those tuition bills you paid (I’d ask for restitution in the settlement)… you’re here… so you are already on your way to mightiness… keep coming back.

  • It was interesting what you said about how he claimed the cheating had nothing to do with you — just a “dirty little secret — like gambling.” My ex said the same thing — and the therapist we went to also said to me, “Try to think of this like a gambling or shopping addiction!” WTF — he put my life and health in danger as well as breaking my heart. I left. And no contact has been good for me — easier said than done, but something to work towards.

    • Let me just add this public service announcements: ACTIVE ADDICTS OF ANY SORT ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR RELATIONSHIPS. Their “relationship” is to their substance (alcohol, drugs, gambling, hoarding, etc).

      I spent years with alcoholics. If I could change ONE think in my life, I would not ever get romantically or emotionally involved with an alcoholic or an addict. Ever. Their priority is always their addiction, the hangers-on that addicts usually have, and making sure that every event leads to that substance.

      Leave a drunk. Gain a life.

      • Wow, LovedaJackass. Thanks for this reminder. Sex addiction, gambling or alcohol addiction — still an addiction!

  • What your partner is offering you isn’t reconciliation, it’s a lot of projection and victim blaming. Don’t accept his “gift,” which make believe you are sick and codependent. Listen to Chump Lady and Chump Nation–you deserve better.

  • I was unknowingly married to a gay man too, but for 44 years! He’s a very, very covert narcissist and it took me a long time to figure him out. The Straight Spouse Network was extremely helpful, and I was even luckier than most in that there was an in-person meetings in my city. All the strange behaviors my ex exhibited were explained to me by the other women there as being common to gay men on the down low. Like, how do these men hook up without social media? Even my good gay man friend couldn’t explain that, as he had always been open about his sexuality.

    Stay strong, know that he will never change, and that your life will be much better without him. Take some time to be alone and rebuild your self-esteem.

    • thank you so much for posting this comment. 3 months ago, I discovered, thru his secret Adult Friend Finder account, my husband of 36 years is bisexual. He has been having sex with male massage therapists, complete strangers in their homes or hotel rooms and most recently made an appt with a male prostitute. Apparently, this has been going on for at least 10 years. It completely knocked the wind out of me and @ 64 years old, I am struggling with this knowledge and so thankful I somehow stumbled upon CL! I thought we had an amazing life, with 2 grown sons, a 1st grandchild and making retirement plans. Of course those plans are shot to shit, I will be leaving this lying, cheating SOB, but I cannot seem to wrap my head around how and what to tell my adult sons. Thanks again, all of you have helped me maintain a sliver of sanity!

      • Tell them the truth. “Dad has a secret life. I’m not telling you the details but I’m not going to live this way. If you want to know more, ask him.”

        • Respectfully, LAJ, that’s not the truth. It is, however, exactly what I told my adult son when I left his father, who is also closeted. I wanted to tell him the truth, because I want an honest relationship with my son, but my ex browbeat me into this half truth.

          Long closeted men who are taking advantage of their beard wives are masters of manipulation and of image management, because they have been doing it almost all of their lives, and they have rationalized to themselves that they are entitled to do what they are, because….homophobia. Giving such a man a half-truth to work with like “Dad has a secret life” gives them wide latitude for smearing the wife they have been undermining for their entire sham marriage. Their closet is the most important thing in their lives, and they will do just about anything, say just about anything, sacrifice everyone, to protect it.

          The one thing I most regret in the decisions I made when leaving my ex it’s that I didn’t tell the whole truth at the time, because as time passes it gets harder to do so–the “you’ve left so why do you care now?” narrative–and yet the secret continues to affect my relationship with my son. Not telling also keeps from him information that would be useful to him in understanding the dynamics of our family.

      • Kathy, I know what you’re going through. I was 65 when the divorce was final, now I’m 70. My two daughters know that I believe their father is gay (I have proof that is too horrible to show them) but the older one seems to believe her father. He is still in the closet, and the last that I heard was dating a woman. I don’t think he’ll ever come out. It’s not religious, although he was raised Catholic as I was, but he has four brothers and three sisters who might not accept it.

        I think my ex might have had affairs with other women while we were married, but I think he is truly gay. He had a job (now retired) that gave him a lot of power over many people, and I think he might have used it to screw the wives of his subordinates. I have no proof but there is evidence.
        Anyway, it hurts like hell. I took back my maiden name and thought of getting a church annulment but I’m no longer Catholic so I guess it doesn’t matter.

        I dated for a while right after the divorce but now I’m taking care of my older sister. At least my daughters seem to love me. That was the hardest part.

      • “I cannot seem to wrap my head around how and what to tell my adult sons.”

        Kathy, tell them the truth. They can handle it.

        “Your father is bisexual or gay. I had no idea until I found his secret Adult Friend Finder app and found out he has been cheating on me with men for at least the past 10 years. I don’t know if his cheating or his using me as a prop for the past 36 years is the biggest problem. They both stink.”

        • Thank you all for the responses! Everyday, I read CL and am amazed and comforted by the wisdom here. Initially, I felt so alone and unable to cope with what I was going thru, I have not told anyone, friends or family…I slept, cried and drank way too much wine! You have no idea how much this site has helped me deal with this unbelievable situation. No Shit Cupcakes, I think your advice of how to tell my boys is the the way to go, probably much better than bits and pieces of information trickling out thru the years. Thanks again everyone, today, I will become a patron..should have already!!

          • I am so sorry you found yourself here. I know being a prop is a particularly horrible thing to have done to you, but when you discuss it with your sons, it is his character that is shitty. His sexual orientation isn’t the worst part. It’s his lifetime of lies and USING you that is the worst.

            Being bisexual or gay isn’t a character flaw. Being a liar and cheater is!

            I hope the SSN has a chapter near you so you can get some support IRL from people who have gone through it.

    • Thank you for mentioning the straight spouse network. I’ll be looking into this.

      My ex cheated with a female neighbor who was much older than us. After this I discovered he had hired a trans prostitute and there were other questionable PayPal transactions that I’m assuming were with men. It’s very confusing because part of his cheating issue was needing constant validation from other women, mostly through social media but in real life too. It’s hard for me to understand why he pursues women so much but has sex with men. Looking back I can see how he may just be gay and all the attention from women and marrying me was just a cover. He had never had a serious relationship before me. I think others probably have an inkling he may be gay. Very confusing for me.

  • One thing Miranda didn’t raise but I will because it’ll probably come up at some point: A special hell in this situation is that your cheater can present his abuse of you as a noble “finding his true identity.” I live in the UK and a late-middle-aged, married-to-a-woman tv star came out of the closet a while ago and was praised for his “honesty,” nevermind the poor woman he had trapped in a marriage for so many years.

    Miranda, as a gay man myself I give you permission to tell anyone who spins this line to go to hell. Being gay doesn’t absolve a person from being a decent, moral human being. If he was conflicted about his identity, his options were to not get married to a woman and live as a closeted bachelor, or he could have divorced you fair and square before he cheated on you.

    • Yeah, it is rather annoying when people that have used and abused are praised for something that hurt other people. I get a little pissed when celebrities that abused drugs are hailed as “heroes” when they get clean for a bit. How about the people that made the decision I’m not going down that loser path or I’m not going to con innocent people and portray myself as something I’m not…

    • “Being gay doesn’t absolve a person from being a decent, moral human being. If he was conflicted about his identity, his options were to not get married to a woman and live as a closeted bachelor, or he could have divorced you fair and square before he cheated on you.”

      This. As a chump who suspects her husband “strayed” with men as well as women, I’m mostly sad because it didn’t have to end like this. This is not the bad old days where homosexuality was illegal and I am not a homophobic person. If Nitwit had just come to me and said, “I’m sorry NMMNC but I’ve realized I’m gay. I never meant to hurt you, but you deserve a man who’s actually interested in you.” BEFORE he jumped into someone else’s trousers I would have respected him. Held his hand as he navigated his new identity. Remained his friend to this day. He forfeited all that when I found out via a packet of condoms in his car after a one-on-one outing with a male friend and the look in his eyes when I mentioned that a gay man in our area was offering free housing for a sufficiently attractive young man. He is a very good-looking guy with a lousy work ethic, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he was getting paid for sexual favors. My humiliation is complete if that happened.

      Initially I thought I wouldn’t need an STD test because I’d been trapped in a dead bedroom for many months before I discovered his texts with the “official” OW. But after reading a great comment on here likening affairs to cockroaches (for every one you see there’s hundreds more hidden in the walls) and coming to the conclusion that the man I married may have been a glorified sex worker I’m getting tested. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything comes back negative, but because of COVID-related delays I likely won’t know until the New Year.

    • GayChump is spot on. My brother is gay, and he came out while we were in Catholic high school in the early 1990s. He did it when it was extremely difficult. He finds my ex-wife’s decisions to marry me, have three kids with me, cheat on me with a woman, and then come out in the late 2010s when it was “safe” to be abhorrent.

    • Phillip Schofield is a very special asshole. He wasn’t brave, he was a USER.

      I know you know this GayChump – I’m just pissed off at him for lying to his wife for decades.

      BeardBoy – I hope you are doing better than ever since you shed her.

      NoMoreMsNiceChump – may your STD panel come back negative. Don’t overlook HIV and syphilis.

  • Wishing that our spouse will see the light or change character is a waste of time.

    Life with this guy sounds seedy and just plain sad.

    The truth is you can move on, and you can live without him.

  • I am so sorry this happened to you. Just 3 years ago when I was pregnant with our son, my husband of 13 years told me he was having an affair with a man. This is a whole fuckstorm that no one ever expects to happen. Not only was he unfaithful but he was also hiding his true self from you (and most likely himself for that matter).
    You are in the unique situation where you not only are a betrayed spouse, but also a straight spouse of a gay man. TWO major bombs have exploded on your life so be kind to yourself.
    Being 3 years out I can offer some advice: threesomes, strap ons, open relationships etc will only work long term if he is truly bisexual. Most likely he is not. I assume with time he will “come out” when he is ready like my husband did.
    Being gay in a heteronormative relationship is not a reason to cheat. If he was a stand up guy he would have left you THEN got with a man. You will go over this in your head many times and even let him use it as an excuse but don’t fall for it. Don’t put up with the “I needed to explore that side of me” or “I needed to see if I really liked guys” bullshit. Cheating is cheating.
    You will play your whole relationship over and over and look for “signs”. This will only make you sad and prolong the agony. STOP. It doesn’t matter.
    Get a good counsellor that specializes in LGBTQ and their families, this will help a lot.
    Do NOT badmouth your husbands sexuality in front of your kids because this will give them the impression that being gay is bad. When the time comes for your kids to know why the marriage fell apart it is because he is a cheater first. His sexuality is a background noise.
    Straight spouse network is a good resource, reach out to them.
    I thought I wasn’t going to make it until tomorrow when my life blew up, but it does get better. I swear.

    • Supporting the LGBT community is critical to making straight spouses an endangered (and eventually extinct) species.

  • Gosh, I totally understand this woman’s desperation, having been there before, but now being several years out, I wanna scream “GET AWAY! DON’T TRY TO MAKE SOMEONE LOVE AND CARE ABOUT YOU!”

    Your job is to be the best you possible, it is not ever to get someone to love and care about you. Either they do or they don’t. But, you deserve to be loved and cherished, so if this dirtbag can’t do that, move on.

    With that being said, I highly recommend you stay off dating sites and out of any romantic or sexual entanglements until you can stabilize your emotions and life. You’re young so this may feel challenging, but do the work on yourself first, prioritize your kids, figure out your future, make some plans and start working on them, get into therapy and work on your personal issues, and only then think about dating. Realistically, all of this takes at least 2 years. Any shortcutting of this effort will set you back and compromise your future and your kids stability. Be the safe and sane parent they need and deserve.

  • Miranda, don’t buy a word of it, but DO listen to what he says. He’s telling you what kind of person he is and he’s giving you good insight into the narrative he tells himself to avoid accountability. Have you read the narcissist’s prayer?

    That didn’t happen.
    And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
    And if it was, that’s not a big deal.
    And if it is, that’s not my fault.
    And if it was, I didn’t mean it.
    And if I did… you deserved it.

    This man is blaming you for his choices, his feelings and his actions. He hasn’t offered you any accountability or empathy and he’s certainly not remorseful. Please know that this is unacceptable and unhealthy behaviour. Also know that you and your children deserve SO much better.

    I’m a recovering co-dependant too, I get that every fibre of your being is probably dying to feel heard/ accepted/ validated/ loved by him. When the dust settles, notice how willing you were to accept/ overlook his shitty behaviour without him being truly remorseful. Get curious about what made you OK with betraying yourself like that. For me, it’s because of childhood stuff and feeling like my needs weren’t as important as other people’s. Ask yourself- ‘Do I want my kids to think this is acceptable?’ ‘In 70 years time, when I’m remembering this time, how would I like me to act?’. You can feel like death AND act in a meaningful way. I know this is rough, and I’m so, so sorry you’re going through this. Please, from one chumpy co-dependant to another, choose to treat yourself with integrity and respect. You don’t need this loser’s ‘love’ to be ok. Xxxxxxxxx

  • My wife cheated on me with a woman. Tracey responded to my letter a year and a half ago, and she published a follow up several months back. Look up “BeardBoy” and read both posts. Take Tracey’s advice to you and to me. You have to leave.

    I’ll provide some additional insight for you.

    1. Your husband is gay. Would you have knowingly married a gay man? My guess is “no”. That ends the discussion about whether you should reconcile. Your marriage was doomed on the wedding altar.

    2. Your husband is a serial adulterer, and he doesn’t appear too remorseful about it. Once you connect with the Straight Spouse Network, you will meet a lot of straight spouses who have endured this. Most of us break away, and everyone who breaks away finds a better life.

    3. My ex-wife had a lot of childhood trauma that I didn’t fully appreciate until after we were married. Her parents are truly rotten people with a lot of issues that they inflicted on their children, but it was my ex-wife’s job to overcome that nonsense. That’s her work (not mine), and she still doesn’t appear to be working on it. On the other hand, I went through extensive therapy to get through the mess she dumped on me and the kids.

    4. None of this is your fault. NONE of it. I sense you feel like you weren’t the perfect wife. None of us is perfect. And you can’t even be a so-so husband to a gay man. It’s impossible.

    Good luck. You’re in hell now, but I promise much better things await. I promise.

  • Miranda, don’t be me.

    I’m STILL married to my cheating gay husband. I found out seven years ago. I’ve been through every phase of reconciliation, and I did almost all the work. I found an online group for mixed orientation marriages, I read infidelity forums, I found us therapists, etc. I’ve heard it all from my husband. So many excuses. Blameshifting, minimizing, playing the victim card to the point he feels like God owes him anything he wants.

    I’m ready to leave, to move on, but I’m scared. I stayed mostly for the kids…I know how wrong that really is now. I give myself Grace every day for staying.

    The things he has said to me and the way the focus is always on him has slowly eaten away at me. I don’t even understand what a relationship is supposed to be like! We have been married 33 years now. I’m about to turn 55. I feel so stupid being this old and clueless. At least I’m funny in real life. And I’m an artist so I have some talents and humor to mask how pathetic I feel.

    Throughout our marriage my husband constantly complained about how we didn’t have enough sex and how the house was always messy. I really thought there was something wrong with me in that I just didn’t enjoy sex that much. I’ve never had an orgasm. I’m hoping it’s just because he is gay and was never really into me, just how it felt for him and he could pretend to be somewhere else. Which just makes me feel sad for myself! But what a mindfuck for him to complain about the lack of sex. Of course now he says he’s not attracted to me at all, and even when we were trying to reconnect he was just faking.

    But because of his comments I just have little self esteem and I’m just really tired.

    So….don’t be me, Miranda.

  • >