Why I Stay Married to a Gay Man is a personal, intimate story from an anonymous author.
I married young, at 19, bright-eyed and hopeful, and in a few months, we will celebrate our 29th anniversary. Like all marriages, we have had our share of happy and sad, growing together as the years passed us by. My husband is my best friend, a wonderful father, a hard worker, a great provider, treats me like a queen, and loves me unconditionally. He is my soul mate in many ways.
My husband is also gay. I had no idea when I married him.
I was a virgin on our wedding night and had never had any type of physical relationship prior to my husband. Having nothing to compare it to, I thought our sexual intimacy was normal. It was fun, sexy, enjoyable.
My husband was a giving partner, and I almost always experienced orgasm. But as the years went by, the frequency of our sexual activity became less. It was not unusual to go months without sex — not for lack of trying on my part. We rarely fought, but we would fight about the growing lack of intimacy.
I often wondered what it was about me that made my husband not want to have sex with me. And then one day, shortly after our 25th anniversary, I found gay porn on his computer. At first he denied everything, but finally, through tears, he confessed that he’d had these same-sex attractions as long as he could remember. In his teens, a church counsellor had told him marriage would “cure” him.
Feeling as though I had just been punched in the gut, I was heartbroken. I felt betrayed, confused, angry, sad, and yet, miraculously relieved. There was nothing wrong with me — I was just not his type. The emotions flew through me leaving my head and heart confused.
What now? I loved this man with every fibre of my being. We had a good life together, sex aside, and had built a family. We were happy. I did not want a divorce and neither did he.
The complicated journey we took together to reach where we are today is not a path many would choose. After weeks of soul-searching, reading, hours of therapy, and many late night conversations, we decided the good far outweighed the bad. We both chose to stay. Coming to this decision was not easy, and yet imagining a life without my husband was just not an option for me.
As a woman in her sexual prime, I am not willing to live a celibate life. I love sex and have a very high sex drive. We discussed many options as we sought to find a way to stay together while still enjoying a healthy, active sex life. We have negotiated our marriage to allow us each the opportunity to have outside partners.
An open relationship is not something I ever imagined in my wildest dreams, and yet here I am, three years in, having the time of my life. I’m exploring my sexual desires and fantasies with a lover and coming home to the man I’ve loved and built a life with for the last 30 years. My boyfriend knows all about my husband, and my husband fully supports my relationship with my boyfriend. We are practising ethical non-monogamy. My lover has awakened passion in me I thought was long gone, and I’m embracing this new sexual awakening with the joy and hunger of a kid in a candy store.
This is not the life I signed up for, and it is certainly not the marriage that naïve 19-year-old virgin thought she would have, but it is a great life. My husband and I have decided to grow old together as friends and partners while allowing each other the freedom to experience our sexuality in ways we never thought possible. Today, I am happier, more content, and enjoying my life more than I ever have. We have created what we call Marriage 2.0 and I would not want it any other way.
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