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would a straight man ever say he is bisexual?

(62 Posts)
tuffinmop Sun 27-Jan-13 22:08:15

My DH has had a big issue with online sex (online woman, chat rooms, camming, porn etc) He has been into counselling and I am now embarking on it myself.
We are still together for now. We may be able to rebuild trust, as yet I don't know. One thing that keeps coming back into my mind is when I found his account left open at cam4 (live porn).
It looks a bit like facebook, you have a profile and "friends" his profile said bisexual and about half of his friends were gay men. I obviously said you must be bisexual then??? He says no, he put that on his profile so he could watch more couples as its more acceptable.
so would a straight man say he was bi? or am I right to be suspicious?

belagh Sun 27-Jan-13 22:21:51

I would say that a straight man wouldn't describe himself as bisexual.
I would also be very suspicious. Sorry I can't disagree with you

No, you're right to be suspicious.

I had an ex like this, his main problem was that stupid Adult Friend Finder site, he kissed my ex bf at one point while we were together hmm and then I found him and another guy kissing and feeling each other up at a nightclub...

I also wouldn't believe it was only sites, I got told it was and it turned out he had cheated on me umpteen times.

The only reason to say you are bi on those sites is so you can watch men wanking/fucking each other.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 28-Jan-13 08:50:32

Aren't you more worried that he spends his leisure time watching live porn than how he defines his sexuality?

tuffinmop Mon 28-Jan-13 12:39:07

Yes Cogito I am worried in general about the whole thing sad
The sexuality thing worries me as I still don't feel I am being told the truth. I would accept his sexuality and am not homophobic in the slightest, but I do not want to be lied to anymore. So the question is, in my op, would a straight man describe himself as bi? If (as I suspect) they would not, then my marriage is on a fast track to finishing. I feel this is why he denies and says its just something you do to watch more stuff. He loves his kids and wants us to stay as a unit, but I feel it will be at my expense...

By the way he says he as stopped and has had 7 months of counselling and says he is very very sorry. I just want to be sure my instinct is on the button and I am not leaping to conclusions. Ending a marriage with 3 small children in tow is not something to be done lightly.
Thanks for your opinions x

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 28-Jan-13 12:44:41

You realise he's a liar either way? He's either lying about his sexuality in order to access particular types of porn... or he's lying to you about his sexuality. He's a man for whom lying is a matter of whatever is most convenient & the truth is just something other people do.

Mumofjz Mon 28-Jan-13 12:47:23

how have things been in the last 7 months of counselling? How has your relationship been? I'm taking it that it's not been too great, hence this post!

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 12:47:27

He loves his kids and wants us to stay as a unit, but I feel it will be at my expense...

Yup, that's about it, really.

tuffinmop Mon 28-Jan-13 12:48:48

but he just keeps denying it. How can I end a marriage on something I saw for a moment and have no proof of? If he is bi, I feel he is being so unfair to me, marrying me and using me as a shield of respectability. Oh its all just so utterly crap. I don't think i'm ever going to be happy with him.
Time to make some plans sad

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 12:50:41

It's ok to decide you cannot forgive him for this. You tried, and his lies have made your respect for him disappear

There is only one person to blame for that...him

OneMoreChap Mon 28-Jan-13 12:52:39

Hmm. Reading the Grauniad occasionally, I've learnt that men can be called gay, bisexual or MSM (men who have sex with men).

Apparently, if you're the active participant you can kid yourself you're straight...
[As far as it goes, ISTR that one reason why some men apparently like lesbian porn is that there are no willies to distract you/compare yourself with]

His story sounds a tad unlikely.

While I prefer my erotica written, I'm sure he may want to look at couples. Can I gently enquire why anyone would need to be a member of a site to find pornography? Surely it's avoiding it that's harder?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 28-Jan-13 12:52:53

You don't end a marriage for something you saw for a moment. You judge the relationship on the things you know for sure.... how you feel about him, whether you can trust him, his attitude, the history between you. Sometimes it helps to think back further. Were there any 'odd' incidents in the past that were explained away? Any time you were suspicious but gave him the benefit of the doubt?

Mumofjz Mon 28-Jan-13 12:54:05

How would you feel if he was bi, would it make a difference? The thing is, he's made the commitment to YOU therefore (under marriage) bi or not he wouldn't be conducting an extra marital affair - regardless of sexual orientation.

Has the counselling helped any?

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 12:56:59

I think the membership aspect is so he can swap footage of himself, contact others for realtime camming and possibly real life meetings. He is lying about how far he explored those opportunities. The WWW is full of free porn of all descriptions and all tastes.

You are not ending your marriage based om something you saw for a moment, but because of who he is and ^what he has been doing behind your back" (goodness knows with whom and how many). Have you been to the GU clinic for tests?

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 28-Jan-13 12:58:11

You would be ending the marriage because he is a liar and addicted to porn, not because he is bi. I'm bi but I manage to refrain from watching other people shagging and wanking off around the clock.

tuffinmop Mon 28-Jan-13 13:10:58

onemorechap yes he says its to watch couples. af got it right, its a site where you have a profile and you can watch live action, like an online orgy! He has erectile dysfunction and yes cogito Ihave been remembering the early days and feel:
a) he has never been really happy.
b) he has avoided sex with me for various reasons (too tired/ too stressed/ can't have any viagra it makes his blood pressure too high and gives him a headache)
mumofjz The counselling has helped him stop watching porn and has helped with his self esteem surrounding his ED. We are due to go couples counselling when I feel I have had enough time with the counsellor.

Could he actually be gay rather than BI?

tuffinmop Mon 28-Jan-13 13:14:58

pureQ That had crossed my mind too. But he eyes up women, he talks about liking jessica ennis and scarlet Johansen, could he really be gay??? When I have brought it up he says "if I were gay I would just tell you, i'm not that repressed..."

Mumofjz Mon 28-Jan-13 13:18:12

I really feel for you. It's devastating to want something and get something else.

Stick with your counselling, either way i think it will make what ever your final decisions are sit easier with you.

Personally think he probably did put Bi just so he could see more, but only he would truly know. Probably all aspects of sexual activity (whether man on man/woman and vice versa) is a turn on for him.

As others have said, i think it's more to do with the deceit and lies and trust.

Take you time, no need to rush, just do what is right for you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 28-Jan-13 13:18:35

In my relatively dull life so far I've known no less than three gay men who were married with children and only came out later on. Two of them were as a camp as a row of tents and only their DWs seemed surprised at the news... hmm. The other one wasn't exactly 'butch' but he was a regular bloke, as appreciative of women as the next man.

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 13:19:09

How would his friends/family react if he was gay ?

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 13:19:49

I mean, came out as gay

Many gay men love looking at women. Find them beautiful and attractive. Will even try to sleep with them, with more or less success....

I once had a "boyfriend" who used me to try work out if he was in fact bi rather than gay. It only lasted a couple of months, he did not marry me! And yes, he was most definitely gay, but trying hard not to be. hmm

Mumofjz Mon 28-Jan-13 13:26:07

Has he always had a problem with ED or is that something that is relativley new?

tuffinmop Mon 28-Jan-13 13:28:37

af I think they would have got their heads round it if he had never married but they would be devastated now he is married. They are such a lovely couple, very traditional, his dad is a complete gentleman. I have given up asking DH to fix things around the house I just ask his dad. That and learning to fix stuff myself smile
TBH I would be quite relieved if he was gay. It would explain everything and mean that he was a misguided idiot rather than some online perv with no integrity.

tuffinmop Mon 28-Jan-13 13:31:08

mumofjz He has always had ED, he can't seem to come inside (sorry TMI) and looses it as soon as it goes anywhere near my fanjo. Not that he has been anywhere near me for a very long time...

Sounds like a gay man trying to be straight....

Honestly, had I not been told my ex bf was gay, I would have thought he had ED or was really very repulsed.

hopingtobewrong Mon 28-Jan-13 13:38:50

Just wanted to say I sometimes wonder if my dh is gay. I know what you mean about relief if he did come out.
Rebuilding trust is going to be tricky when you have doubts about his sexuality. How is your h's attitude to homosexuality in general?

tuffinmop Mon 28-Jan-13 13:47:13

his attitude to homosexuality is pretty non descript except he does have a loathing for drama queens (men or women & probably camp men now that I think about it) and people who draw attention to themselves. hoping what makes you think your dh is gay? Have you ever called him on it?

DuchessFanny Mon 28-Jan-13 13:53:18

If you don't mind me asking how did you manage to conceive ? and i'm with pure i think he is very likely possibly gay trying to be straight.

Mumofjz Mon 28-Jan-13 13:57:03

i would say that all these issues on there own wouldn't amount to much but put them all together....i don't know.

The two main things i could brush away would be the "not being able to come inside" - i had a EXP of over 10yrs who found this really difficult but it was a "friction thing" and had no other trouble (ED) and the bi thing... i like watching porn with DH but when buying, if i wanted to watch girl/girl and had to say i was bi, i would, even though i'm not! (if that makes sense?)

I do believe there are other issues here but what they are, i don't know sad

tuffinmop Mon 28-Jan-13 13:58:46

duchess we conceived with a cup and a syringe blush except my youngest which was a complete fluke as he ahem finished in situ. She was a bloody miracle, but I wouldn't be without her now.

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 14:00:31

What a miserable and grim way to live.

For both of you.

I would be setting him free to find himself with the "help" of sleazy sex sites.

And making my own life without this inadequate man in it.

I agree with AnyFucker.

You are not doing anybody a favour by continuing this marriage. Set him free. Let him find himself.

I am sure you can manage a civil arrangement in terms of contact with the kids, but why press a square peg into a round whole?

So far the poor bloke has been going to councelling to address his porn habit, where really, I am sure his porn habit would disappear the moment he was free to actually have the sex he is looking at.

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 14:19:08

erk, I wasn't being quite so charitable as that PQ smile

I would be more along the lines of getting the sleazy fuck away from me. But I guess the outcome would be the same. He gets what clearly this poor OP cannot give him (through no fault of her own) and she finds someone that appreciates her sexually and emotionally. This fuckwit does neither.

DuchessFanny Mon 28-Jan-13 14:19:35

I see ... well at least you have got something AMAZING out of this union, your wonderful kids !

I agree it may be easier and kinder all round to end it and find happiness of your own, you've really been through it and you deserve to live a life being loved ( in every way !) and he will be a happier man, EXH and father if he can live the way he wants to iyswim ?

good luck x

hopingtobewrong Mon 28-Jan-13 14:22:16

It's hard to explain exactly what makes me wonder, lots of small things really, behaviour around men, something lacking between us. He also prefers to come outside of me, but is turned on by me. Where we live and were brought up, absolutely no-one comes out. The only openly gay people here have moved into the area from elsewhere.

His family are quite homophobic and dh is a very proud man, so I can see how if he was gay or bi it would be so difficult for him to say. I have asked him outright (in a kind way) and he blushed and said not to be silly. I've only seen him blush a few times, all when he has been caught out. But he may have been humiliated that I had to ask.

grin I know AF. I was just for a moment thinking about a lifetime of sexual un-fulfillment (for both) and tried to imagine my self as a sleexeball looking for live sex online and I just well, failed. confused

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 14:27:35


tuffinmop Mon 28-Jan-13 15:52:46

Thanks all for your input, its hard to see the wood for the trees sometimes and ending a marriage is such a long and hard decision, I have to be sure. I have been thinking about how ending it would be for real and am getting closer all the time. The counselling will help too im sure. My counsellor said that to delay is a legitimate coping strategy and to be ready (as you can) for a huge life change is better than being completely unprepared, especially when children are involved.
hoping How do you feel about your suspicions? I am finding it very hard and have ceased all sexual contact partly because of it.

BertieBotts Mon 28-Jan-13 15:59:59


BertieBotts Mon 28-Jan-13 16:03:32

Argh, sorry. Left page open and my (non-reading!) four year old got on.

hopingtobewrong Mon 28-Jan-13 19:41:12

I think bertie botts' son just summed up how I feel about it. Total madness. But I have no evidence, just my feelings to go on. I think your situation gives you something to start a conversation with... but if he just lies then where do you go from there? There was a program on tv a couple of weeks ago about a rugby player, married with kids, who came out. Not sure of his name, but he had an interesting story.

PaulInHolland Tue 29-Jan-13 05:50:01

With what you say about the rather anti-gay area you come from, it would not surprise me if he is gay/Bi but just not able to come-out to himself, let alone anyone else such as you. Are his parents/family quite homophobic as well?

An important question is if he suffers ED with everyone (men and women) or just women - this would be a big pointer as to he was gay or not.

And he may be looking at porn of couples, but again that could be a cover and when he looks at that he may be concentrating only on the men and not on the women. But by looking at porn of couples he could be lying to himself that he is not gay/bi.

There are plenty of Bi people in this world-but it is also something gay men call themselves who cannot fully come out of the closet.

Could he possibly be having sex with men or couples? It is much easier for men to hook-up for sex with other men via the Internet than for a man and a woman. Has he been working late quite ofter or have had other opportunities to have sex with men? I would certainly get your sexual health checked out ASAP.

Even if he is not gay, then he needs to take responsibility for pleasing you sexually. If the viagra gives his headaches, then he needs to go back to the doctor to find a solution that does not give him a headache.

Good luck

mathanxiety Tue 29-Jan-13 06:28:18

I ended a marriage that was never great with 5 children in tow just because I was sick and tired of knowing that I would never get an honest answer. ExH was also on Adultfriend finder and a few other even less coyly named sites, and some out and out gay sites. He never admitted the gay sites to me and it was only after I found the gay stuff that it hit me that he could have chosen any number of options wrt identity on the other sites he was on, and could have looked at men no matter what he presented himself as.

The sexuality thing worries me as I still don't feel I am being told the truth. I would accept his sexuality and am not homophobic in the slightest, but I do not want to be lied to anymore
It's the integrity thing that worries you, not the gay thing or the bi thing. Trust is the foundation of a relationship imo. Without it you will never know peace. If he can't or won't earn your trust back then you are just walking around with a Kick Me sign on your back. It will eat you alive.

I was never sure but for me living with a question like that hanging over me was no way to conduct a relationship. The uncertainty and the lack of integrity on the part of exH was sufficient.

tuffinmop Tue 29-Jan-13 13:17:29

And how did it work out maths may I ask? Are you and your dc settled and happy? Do you have any regrets? Is it a continous struggle or do you cope? Are you able to have a good relationship with him as a co-parent? How old were your dc when you split?
Thanks for all the advice x x x

belagh Tue 29-Jan-13 16:53:14

There is a group for ladies in your position
My h and I are still together (somehow) I hear all sorts of cr@p come out of him trying to justify himself. I know he has had sex with men, but he doesn't fancy men blaa blaa blaa all he wants is me blaa blaa why did he do it... Because he could blaa blaa borrrrrrring

Take as much time as you like, I'm not ready but I will be soon

mathanxiety Tue 29-Jan-13 18:13:50

I have no regrets even though I don't have the household income, and the family home had to be sold, and I can't look forward to a share of exH's pension in my old age -- there are lots of financial downsides but I decided that the emotional toll on me was too high a cost to pay. Above all, the soul destroying effects of trying to be married to someone who basically didn't want to have sex with you was too much of a price for me to pay. At least the problems I had when it all finally screeched to a halt were things I could do something about. To cut a long story short, we are settled, and we are happy, as much as I think we could be.

Long story:

My mind got over the need to find proof after a stretch of horrible doubt and uncertainty. That was a period of real torment because I take marriage seriously, but above all I knew there would be huge repercussions for the children in every way imaginable (but I had to also look at the repercussions for them of us staying together -- see next paragraph).

He was and remains a narcissist and living under the same roof as him was almost impossible most of the time. He was a terrible co-parent while we were married, and a textbook abusive husband. Even without finding any of the gay porn that I came across I frequently considered ending it, and I think my regrets centre around not having done that because it was misery for the children, and then finding the porn knocked me flat, emotionally speaking, for so long I again wasted years before being able to get going again. (I wasn't on MN back then.) I had stayed in hopes of improving the relationship, somehow managing to 'get it right'. I kicked myself so hard when I realised what the real problem probably was. I now consider the discovery a gift to me from whatever god is out there.

We have a very detailed co-parenting agreement that I hoped would be a guarantee of smooth sailing for me, but he has found room in it to find fault with me, to dispute my interpretation (supplemented by notes I took and memories I have of our mediation sessions) of passages. He is a lawyer and he thinks it is no skin off his nose (and it doesn't cost him a penny) to haul me back to post divorce court on contempt of court charges which I have had to defend by myself. It has been very quiet on that front for a while now but I was in court maybe four times since 2010, with no good result for exH.

I think it takes a remarkably selfish personality to use someone else as their front. No matter how difficult it may be to carry a social stigma, nobody owes you a good public image or a domestic arrangement where your meals are served to you, your bathroom is cleaned, and your laundry done, with the odd nod to sex from time to time if you feel like it with no thought given to what your partner's hopes for marriage might have been. Asking someone to marry you without telling them that one important detail about yourself takes away the fiancee's right to make an informed decision about the rest of her life, and that is selfish and cruel -- and the theft of options you might otherwise have chosen.

Imo bringing children into it, effectively saddling them with the job of helping you look straight, from birth, is cruel above all to the children. My 5 DCs have coped well with the tough changes in their lives. Luckily we had never enjoyed an affluent lifestyle so having less money didn't really hit them. We live quite simply and I shop where I always shopped (Aldi, etc) and we still go looking at the sale or final clearance rack whenever we go out to buy clothes. They have all managed to find babysitting or handyman/gardening jobs for themselves in turn, just as the oldest was already doing pre-split. They had a good supportive school on which I leaned when it became clear that we were going to divorce (exH told the DCs in the car on the way to school one morning and I went as soon as he told me this, cried on the Head's shoulder, and brought them home). I asked one particular teacher, the art lady whom they had all known since they were tiny, if she would be there for them if they wanted to talk to a third party about it all and she agreed. Oldest DD had moved on to secondary and when I broke the news to her she told me she had come across gay stuff on the computer herself shock. She had carried that around with her for quite a while sad.

Apart from my one DS, their academic life didn't suffer. DS was already having difficulties though, even before we separated. What made a difference to him was getting away from it all to university where he has really come into his own. I think DS may have guessed what was up with exH, or maybe there were whispers among his football team -- exH used to participate in 5Ks and trained around town in a pair of extremely white and tight running shorts that behaved like a wet white t-shirt once he had sweated a bit. You could see people's heads turn as he ran past. Then there were his everyday clothes and shoes, which tended to be on the 'dandy' side. Plus there was exH's controlling personality and tendency to fixate on the glass half empty -- he always needed something or someone to criticise to death, which DS hated. The girls have all continued along a high achieving trajectory. All the DCs have been blessed with lovely friends, something I really appreciate especially for DS, who has seen how healthy families and healthy relationships operate thanks to the parents of his friends. I have no brothers and we live a long way from any of my family anyway. In turn, the DCs have all stopped having anything to do with him as they have turned 18 and are no longer obliged to. His loss.

<Tuffinmop, I don't mean to alarm you, but you need to be tested regularly for stds if there is any sexual contact between you and your H. Married men who have sex with other men are high stakes risk takers and that extends to condom habits.>

TDada Tue 29-Jan-13 23:23:53

Bi-sexuals can be in love/married to women, can't they?

GoSuckEggs Tue 29-Jan-13 23:36:51

DH and I are on a 'swingers' site. DH is very slightly BI, he has no experience but does find some men attractive. He puts himself as 'straight' on these sites, even though he is slightly BI.

I don't think it is more acceptable to be 'BI' instead of straight, it certainly isn't on the 'sex sites' that we are on.

saying that I am not a gay man, but I LOVE gay porn. I don't know why, but it really turns me on! blush

mathanxiety Wed 30-Jan-13 00:00:45

Anyone can be married to a woman. Except another woman in a lot of places.

People who are bisexual can also be faithful longterm monogamous partners. They are just aware that they could have fallen in love with a partner of the other sex and should their current relationship end, the possibility of a partner of the same/opposite sex is open to them. Just as heterosexual people can be monogamous - and if a relationship ends, be monogamous with another partner later on.

I think the OP's main problem is that her husband is not monogamous and doesn't want to be.

mathanxiety Wed 30-Jan-13 05:05:07

And is doing her head in by being less than honest about it.

FellatioNels0n Wed 30-Jan-13 05:09:07

OP. I am only up to your post of 13.14 on Monday so far, but everything you have said so far is screaming 'closet gay' to me. I'm sorry.

FellatioNels0n Wed 30-Jan-13 05:10:36

I mean closet gay as opposed to a bisexual man, or a bi-curious man, or a straight man pretending to be bi so he can access live hetero 'couples' sex, which sounds like a very dubious excuse to me.

FellatioNels0n Wed 30-Jan-13 05:39:17

OK, read the whole thread now. I think he is gay. I think he has always been gay. I imagine his counsellor knows he is gay. And even if he is merely bi, his need to explore that side of his sexuality is ruining your marriage. In fact it has never been a normal marriage, has it, in the sexual sense? Some bi people can, I'm sure, be very happy in the partnership they have, without needing to be unfaithful or to access endless porn to satiate that opposite side of their sexuality. Being bi does not give you an automatic entitlement to behaving like a selfish twat in a relationship does it? It's not a reason to make your partner feel wretched and unhappy. Just because you have a sexual yearning of whatever sort, doesn't mean you get to indulge it at the expense of your spouse's emotional wellbeing.

But being gay (unlike being bi) cannot be ignored in the same way, to preserve the relationship you have. It's a whole other ball-game. It's about being true to yourself. If, deep down there is no part of you that has ever really wanted to have sex with your hetero partner, and you fantasise constantly about having gay sex, then you are never going to be sexually fulfilled in the relationship you have - because clearly you are not Bi. You are gay, and living a lie.

He needs to start being honest with himself, and with you - your whole marriage has been a bit of sham by the sounds of things. sad I really do think you would both be so much happier if you could encourage him to acknowledge that he is gay, and work towards an amicable split asap. The truth with set you free. But he might be paralysed with fear, and it might mean that you may just have to leave him before that can happen. He's in a cosy place of denial right now - why would he change a thing when you are so amenable to helping him live his lie?

You obviously have a deep friendship, otherwise this weird sex life and all the other stuff that goes with it would have driven you apart long ago, so there is no reason to think that your break-up could not be a peaceful and civilised one, that is a happy release for all concerned. I'm sure the children can emerge well-balanced and unscathed if you handle it correctly.

But it's time for you both to live the life and have the relationship you deserve.

tuffinmop Wed 30-Jan-13 11:38:10

maths firstly thank you so much for sharing your experience. You sound like an amazingly strong person and it sounds like you have had an awful lot to deal with. I think alot about the affect of this on my dc's. They are young though, my eldest is 5 next month, my middle son 3 and a half and my whoops baby girl is 18 months and the most wonderful whoops, so no regrets.

I just keep coming back to the fact that if I know that the trust has gone what is the point on keeping on trying? I am 38 in March so still relatively young and maybe splitting up when they are younger is the best thing for them. I may have to give up work (my inlaws do my childcare - not sure how they will react), and I am sure I will be financially shafted, But this is eating me up.

I saw my counsellor yesterday and told her everything, even she seemed shocked! BTW my counsellor is also his counsellor and the plan is to go couple counselling in time. She told me that she can help me to deal with my anger and learn to let it go, but she also said that anger is a tool to keep you strong if you are going to seperate. "I don't want help you to diminish your anger if you are going to need it" mmmmmm... I think I have not been in tune with my emotions for a long time, since my darling mum died suddenly 6 years ago. Its time to put me first.
tada ofcourse bisexual people can love deeply and be faithful. That is not the issue. I do not wish to be lied to.

tuffinmop Wed 30-Jan-13 11:44:29

felationelson thanks for your outlook and taking the time to read. I am leaning towards the gay scenario too. I doubt very much he has done anything about it in real life, but that is part of a wider conversation that we will need to have. I dread the next few weeks/months and have no idea how he will react to the news that I want to seperate. I fear for his mental health and I also have tremendous guilt that I am the one to be breaking it up sad

mathanxiety Thu 31-Jan-13 17:52:30

I agree with what Fellatio said.

I don't think couples counselling would be productive, especially as the counsellor was surprised by the things you have told her, given that your H also goes to her and should be honest with her. Your H clearly has a good deal invested in his lie and you will not manage to crack him in counselling.

My exH threatened suicide when it became clear that I was not interested in wasting my time with any more counselling. He spent time in a psych ward - long enough to be diagnosed with major depression and to get a prescription for ADs which he stopped taking after a few weeks (he had a notion that mental illness was a weakness that could be overcome by force of will -- maybe he thought being gay was similar). His mother (whom I hate, I will bluntly admit) told me there was nothing amiss medically speaking with her son but a 'bad marriage'. hmm So all my fault then.... In the end I agreed to go to a weekend couples retreat and a course of workshops that ensued, basically so that I could say I had done everything anyone (mainly exMIL, who was pressuring both exH and myself relentlessly) could possibly ask of me to keep the marriage alive. It was about two weeks after exH had written the cheque to pay for the retreat that I found the gay porn.

It may seem heartless, but I found the suicide threat a very alienating experience and was conscious of an element of manipulation to it.

We went through the motions of the retreat and all of the workshop sessions, with me hoping he would reveal it all to me, but he never opened his mouth. It was clear to me that he thought his secret was well hidden, and also clear to me that he only meant to answer questions as I asked them, and even then I was likely to get a shrug or an answer that contradicted a previous question along the same lines -- he wasn't going to volunteer any information. Trust was out the window. I knew what I had found but I didn't know what else there might have been and I knew he wasn't going to tell me anything I didn't already know.

Just telling you all this as an indication of how closely a secret can be guarded even when the issue of trust is known to be a massive one, and one capable of breaking up a marriage just as much or maybe even more than the matter of being gay might.

Investigate what tax and childcare benefits are available to you in case of separation -- go to the CAB. Try to keep working if at all possible. It is hard to get back to work after being away and the late 30s/early 40s are a witching hour of sorts where the workplace is concerned, for both men and women.

Ideal scenario is that you would manage to agree to an amicable split where he could be persuaded that he owed you sufficient support to afford childcare and to stay working (but look at CAB too). Or that he would support you through further education or training that would lead to a better-paying job for you (maybe in lieu of some financial support from him after you get that better job, or in lieu of sharing his pension, or trading off the prospect of you getting 60% of the proceeds of selling your house, getting a 50/50 split instead )...

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