The other man : How to cope after discovering your husband is gay

 Sexual divergence and homosexuality are increasingly observed now more than in the past. While many families face these circumstances, most don't want to come out and admit it. On top of that, many men are still struggling about their existing identity and sexual orientation.

        Sexual Orientation

          Heterosexuality refers to sexual desire stimulated by the opposite sex.

          Homosexuality refers to sexual desire stimulated by the same sex.

          Bisexuality refers to sexual attraction to both males and females.

          Gender Identity Disorder is used to describe those who feel discontent with their sex.

          Since the 1970s, the American Psychological Association has chosen not to classify homosexuality as a mental disorder or abnormality. It believes homosexuality is simply an alternative lifestyle.

          However, most people in society have not completely embraced this adjusted idea and still insist homosexuality is a disorder.

          Currently, a lot of people who are homosexual or bisexual dare not reveal their orientation. They marry a member of the opposite sex because they are afraid the revelation of their true preference may adversely affect their professional progress, social image or social acceptance.

          Of course, no one wants to be regarded as abnormal. Besides, there are some people still confused about whether they are homosexual or bisexual. They think marrying someone of the opposite sex may help alter their sexual orientation.

          But, in most cases, they are not successful. Very few homosexuals really succeed in becoming heterosexual.

          The marriage between a homosexual and a heterosexual can be either a case of a gay man with a straight female or a lesbian with a straight male.

          When a gay man marries a straight woman, he will never be satisfied with the sexual relationship and will find temporary solace with another man.

          That can cause a lot of problems, especially if the married couple have children together.

          It is a nightmare scenario for a woman to discover her husband is gay.

          She will feel upset, frustrated, fooled and embarrassed. And eventually she might not be able to fully accept it and so try to find a way out.

          Many people need time to regain their state of mind and to contemplate exactly what is going on.

          Wives may have to consult someone on how to fix their dilemma. Some who possess less mental strength may lose control of themselves and fall apart.

          In some cases, when they feel so dismayed, depressed and helpless _ seeing no way out _ thoughts of suicide may occur.

          But some wives react differently. They feel angry and frustrated to be fooled by their own husband and so want to hurt him in return. Many end up filing for divorce and compensation and also to humiliate the husband.

          However, some also take a different approach by talking with their husband and settling things peacefully. This depends on maturity and an ability to reason.

          Conclusions or solutions to the problem depend largely on various factors including wives, husbands and children. Many families end up apart.

          If a couple has children, the mother is likely to take care of them afterwards. In some cases the couple may not get a divorce but still live together in the same home. The reasons for this could be financial or social.

          The most important thing is to do what is good for the children. They should not have problems because of the parents' separation.

          However, some couples do not divorce and continue living together because the man is a good husband _ taking excellent care of his family.

          Some wives therefore can overlook their husband's homosexuality. Some even realise their gay husband is actually much better than many straight men who love to drink, gamble, take their money and hurt them, or who have a mistress.

          So, what should a woman do if she finds out her husband is gay? Obviously, there is no definitive answer. It's more complicated than that.

          Besides sex, both the wife and husband have to look at the bigger picture and every aspect of their lives _ weighing up the good and the bad of their married and family life. Is it worth giving up their life?

          For the wife, it's important to know how much she can handle.

          Sitting down and talking to each other with open minds, without anger and prejudice, will help settle things.

          The fact is, the world is changing. The evolution of human rights has been constant. Homosexuals now express themselves more explicitly and at the same time society tolerates them more.

          But it will still take time for society to recognise that homosexuality is not abnormal.

          Eventually, the problems of same sex marriages with a concealed status will decrease or even disappear. Hopefully, the fall out of family problems will eventually decline also.


BangkokPost, myfamily November 25-December 1, 2010   
Dr Kraisit Naruekhatpichai is a psychiatrist at Manarom Hospital