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DH attracted to men, relationship in a mess... sorry long!(34 Posts)
I've been having a really bad few months since my DH of 10 years told me that he was attracted to other men. At the same time I found out that before we met he had had sex with other men. He says he didn't tell me because he was just experimenting and fine yes I know a lot of people do, but I would expect him to mention it. I feel now that this has just been something lying buried and has now surfaced. He said he was telling me because he felt so rubbish about himself that he was considering suicide. A few days later, while talking, he completely lost control and hurt himself - it was shocking and frightening and I felt completely out of my depth.
Our relationship has not been good for a long time (years). We don't communicate well, never have. We have moved around a lot over the years (for his job) and I have been depressed (twice). I never felt that he was behind me when I was depressed. He said that I just had to get on with it because there was no other choice, we were relying on his wage (he can earn far more than me and has a specialised job which means it is hard to go where you want to iyswim). I tried to put my side forward when I was unhappy but he can't see that there is another way of doing things.
Our relationship has been really distant over the past year and he says that was because he was coming to terms with his feelings for men. I decided to take the bull by the horns after him telling me this and said we needed to talk about our relationship. At first he said he had no idea there was anything wrong. Months down the line he now says that he went through a crisis about his sexuality because he didn't feel valued at home. He now says that he over-reacted and made a mountain out of a molehill. That yes he is still attracted to men but only in the way that lots of people (he quoted a % of people who are attracted to someone of the same sex) are.
I just don't know where I am. My head is spinning. I love him as a friend but not as a husband and haven't for some time. Sex has been non existent for years. He says that he has done everything that he can for me over the years, that he has made huge sacrifices to make sure that I am happy and has always loved me. When I was desperately upset about all this a few weeks ago he said he thought I was depressed, had been depressed at a low level for many years and that if I wasn't depressed I would be able to see how much he had done for me and how much he loved me. All this just makes me feel like the finger of blame is firmly at my door. (I don't have a MH problem, by the way, I am just very unhappy at our situation. I went to the doctor and had a very long chat with a very nice and no nonsense female doctor who said that it sounded as though I was being manipulated. )
We have had some long conversations about the past and the future. It all comes down to me not appreciating what he has done (this is implied, not said) and that the problem is with me. A few weeks ago he gave me an ultimatum - that I needed to decide whether we were to split up or stay together and try and get a full relationship back on track.
Over the past couple of years he has experienced physical problems which has meant that he has been seen by several different consultants who have tried to get to the bottom of the problem. He started to experience symptoms after seeing one consultant which he had never mentioned before and said he had had those pains for years but thought it was perfectly normal, so hadn't said anything. Then last week he told me he thought all the appointments were wasted as he thinks it was all stress related and there is no physical long term problem (which is what he and the drs thought).
There just seems to be a pattern of exaggeration that I am so uncomfortable with as I don't know what is real anymore. I suppose deep down I don't really trust what he says now. Not that I think he is purposefully lying, but that he does such a great job of convincing himself.
I am really worried about what will happen if we split up. He has had counselling which has helped the suicidal feelings but is unreachable in terms of a proper conversation because he just reverts to analysing feelings and past actions and cannot accept that we are both responsible for the mess we are in. He is patronising in his language and just reiterates that if I wasn't so negative that things could improve.
I am worried about what he will tell the children (7 & 5) if we split as they will be left in no doubt that it is me making the decision, that he loves me and them very much.
I'm not sure why I am posting all this except maybe just to get it off my chest. I feel stuck and completely ground down by guilt. Guilt that I don't love him. Guilt that I want to end the relationship and will hurt the children. I just don't know what to do for the best.
I agree with your gp that you are being manipulated by a man who is guilt ridden by who he really is and that is a bisexual who is struggling with his own messed up head and laying it all at your door.
He says he has sacrificed his social life for me, that he has turned down opportunities to go out so that I could go out and make friends because he knew that was important to me. But really I have encouraged him over the years to go out socially with people from work (he hasn't wanted to really) to the pub etc or ask friends if they want to go out at the weekends cycling etc. He has always refused and said he didn't have enough time.
Apart from that it is work - he has said that I can now choose whether we move again or not and that is a sacrifice because it means his career is hampered (this isn't true, he is very successful and very ambitious but refuses to believe this and says that everything he has ever done re: work has been for us as a family, to prove money and a stable future.
I think otherwise he means that he has done everything he can to make me happy - looking after kids to give me time off, buying flowers, making cups of tea etc.
hmm, what he REALLY means is that he sacrificed his attraction/opportunities/life as a gay or bi for you, which is completely unfair as nobody asked him fot such sacrifiices and it's all down to him keeping you in the dark! extrenely maniulative. He will always be resentful, not necessarily fully consciously or logically. HOrrible situation, OP, as now he also is making you responsible for the break-up, I'm quite angry at him on your behalf. I think if you don't love him anyway, it's time to split, but tell him that if he tries to blame you in front of dc, you will tell them when they are older that he is bi/gay. He must be reasonable and come up with some neutral explanation for the kids, not blame you - put your foot down, You have to get more assertive with him!
Don't even think you may be guilty - if he is gay, it's nothing to do with what you've done or haven't done, obviously!
This is not a worthwhile marriage. Your husband is gay, you don't fancy him anyway, you don't love him, the pair of you haven't had sex for years and you've both had problems with mental health (no doubt partly because of trying to keep this sorry show on the road).
Don't beat yourself up about any of this. He's done bloody well out of you - two children and a normal 'respectable' family life, neither of which would have been available to him if he'd embraced his gay self. And it sounds like you've put up with an awful lot.
What's so sad is that though you have given him these things, that he no doubt wanted, he is resenting YOU for the choices HE has made. He may not have had the bottle to live as an out gay man, or he may have wanted children too much. Whatever, YOU are not responsible for HIS choices, his 'sacrifices'.
How fucking dare he make any explicit or implicit threat to blame you for the family breaking up, to the children or anyone else?
If he weren't gay, you might have had a happy marriage, and if he'd been honest with you about his previous sexual experiences with men you might not have married him. He didn't give you a choice, did he? This horrible situation you are in is ALL HIS FAULT, not yours!!!
Thank you for your posts. I think the big problem is that he now says pretty much that he is not gay. That he considered it and has realised that he is not but that he is attracted to men in a way that a lot of other people are.
So basically he is saying that he made a lot out of nothing. He also says he is not bisexual. If I try and bring the subject up he just says "oh haven't we gone through this already?". Then he just says the same stock phrases over and over again.
I am so confused. Why would you be suicidal if it was nothing to write home about?
Whether he is gay, bi, or whatever, he's not supporting you, he's keeping you emotionally insecure, and laying all the blame on you.
You need to end this relationship. You cannot stop him hurting himself whatever you do. It's his responsibility, no one can take control of his life and stop him hurting himself if he decides to. In or out of the relationship.
Him hurting himself in front of you sounds like he may have actually wanted to hurt you but sublimated it into self-harm.
You need to leave. You cannot 'fix' him (by which I mean his confusion and anger). He's tormented by his sexuality. It's not for you to even have an opinion on in the sense that only he will know or begin to find out what he really wants; don't waste your energy trying.
He is brutalising you emotionally. Your only way forwards is to remove yourself from the relationship.
Sounds really hard for you. Just keep posting. Do you have any RL support?
Take the gay thing out of the equation for a minute.
You say you don't communicate well, you don't love him as a husband, you haven't had sex for years. What DO you get out of the relationship?
I agree with the other poster who says what he describes as sacrifices are nothing of the sort, just the normal give and take of any marriage.
what is it you think you'll be losing if you take the decision to end the marriage because it's not working for you?
Thanks again for messages and yes I am finding it really really difficult at the moment.
What do I think I'll lose if I end the marriage? Well I suppose if I answer that honestly then nothing much in terms of our relationship as a couple. I will lose a lot of time with the kids though as we will share looking after them. He's been a good Dad over the years and they will be desperately upset if we split up. I will potentially feel even more guilty (if that's possible at the moment!). THey will be so upset and they will be left in no doubt over the years that he absolutely did not want us to split up but that it was my choice. He is very convincing in the way that he talks - good at persuading people (though not me after all this time) and I suppose I am desperately worried that they will come to hate me for the separation.
If I could talk to him sensibly and get him to accept that things are not working and come up with a neutral reason like you say ALLAFLUTTER then I could probably calm down a bit. But I know how it goes after all this time, how he convinces himself of a particular situation (that he has tried his best for me over the years etc) and then tries to convince others. The kids are vulnerable to that because they love him and they are young.
I just don't know how to make myself heard. He is also so full of pity for himself at the moment and the terrible situation that he now finds himself in that it is just getting worse. The other night with his head hanging over the table and a miserable look on his face he said "there really isn't much good going on in my life". And that, he thinks, is all down to me. I just despair.
Oh, custard, what on earth do you have to feel guilty about? He is generating all the difficulty you're both going through!
Maybe you will never be able to make him hear you. He doesn't want to, does he?
I don't think there is anything you can do except end the relationship really . I know that has huge implications and will be horribly hard but I honestly think that it sounds the only thing you can do.
So sorry, it sounds so tough.
Thanks for your message Lemon. I know what would be best for me and that would be to end the relationship. But that isn't necessarily what is best for the kids is it?
He now says he would be prepared to live in a sexless marriage rather than risk losing everything. That he doesn't want to be the one to split it all up. Says all he wants is love and affection and is willing to sacrifice the sex. That word sacrifice again!
Why is it good for the kids to live in an enviroment where their mum is desperately unhappy, their father is at times suicidal and their parents are unable to communicate with each other?
Really, what are you going to lose by leaving him?
Your sex life, NO!
Your emotional stability, NO!
Your mental stability, NO!
A settled home life, NO!
Any aspect if a loving normal relationship, NO!
Do you really want your kids growing up looking at your relationship and modelling theirs on yours?
What would you say to your kids if they were telling you their relationship was like yours? LEAVE!!
As for him saying its your fault, your kids just need stability and love and a happy mummy. I am sure you will be a much happier mummy in a normal loving relationship and that will be the biggest benefit to them.
I bet you he will go in to have relationships with men too. His sacrifices are not being able do what he wants to do but if he had not been bloody deceitful in the first place you wouldn't have married him and he wouldn't have had to make sacrifices!
Your kids would be happier with parents who are happy FFS. Really you think living in the sort of atmosphere is good for your kids.
He wants you to make the decision not him , that us what is going on here!
Funnily enough Fubbsy I think the kids are oblivious to all the problems. We don't argue in front of them (the only benefit of non communication!) and obviously they don't know about his suicidal thoughts. They were in the house when he flipped and it was fairly noisy - I had to make excuses and stand against the door to stop them coming in to the room - then said he had fallen and had an accident. That was about 4 months ago and neither of them ever mentioned it.
Kotinka - yes you are right I do need to stop thinking about the past on his terms. I need to get a grip really but have completely lost my self confidence over the past 10 years. Mostly due to moving around, not having friends and family around and because I didn't feel he was listening to me when I said I was desperately unhappy. I have said all this to him and he says he was upset to see me so down but felt he couldn't do anything about it because we wouldn't have had an income if we had moved.
I have been totally honest recently about the problems I think we face and how I feel - about what has happened recently and in the past. He just says we can work it out if I will think positively and make the effort. I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall at the moment!
Yes Madame that's it in a nutshell - he wants me to make the decision, not him. He wants me to be the "baddie" so he can tell the kids I am selfish. I can't win can I?
Your kids will not be oblivious to the non communication either. Do you want them to model their relationships on your fucked up one.
Sorry but don't for one minute think this will not have an impact on them.
Grow a pair and tell him that you are making the decision to be happy as your kids will benefit from that more than anything and what is he going to tell the kids when they have a happier more confident stable mother.
You can rebut his rankings to them and to be honest I net he won't blame you to the kids. I bet this is going to be one big old relief to him and he will be off making up for lost time.
Your children might be young, but they will feel something is wrong. Being so young and therefore not being able to put a finger on it makes it worse.
I really think he is trying to shift the blame for the relationship breakdown to you, to make himself feel better. I've seen this happening with friends of mine and it was so obvious to everyone else but my friend.
He needs therapy, as he sounds very unstable.
It's not your responsibility to make him happy, you know that, don't you. You're responsible for your own happiness, and (you both) for your children's happiness. I wish you good luck in these tough times.
I don't think the kids are oblivious. I always say that little kids are like emotional sponges, they absorb everything. They may not understand what's going on or be able to talk about it, but they will be taking it all in.
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