Gay husband jealous of wife’s new boyfriend.

Q:

I am a bisexual married man who came out to my wife after 20 years together. My motivation was simply to be honest, and I have been since. We have three young beautiful kids and we love each other very much. I am in the foreign service and we love to travel, live abroad, and have so much in common that we are totally comfortable with our lives.

Since I came out two years ago — an agonizing process — my wife has been accepting and considerate of my situation. She was was even tolerant of the fact that I had a lover (who has since left).

Now my wife has suddenly found a divorced, sensitive man she thinks she wants to have a relationship with. She is torn because in the time she has allowed herself to think of possibly trying an open marriage, she now thinks she loves both him and me, but is not sure of the potential consequences.

We are seeing a counselor, and I accept, in objective fairness, that she is entitled to her life’s wishes as I have been of mine. But emotionally, I am devastated. I wonder whether our marriage can sustain this situation — me with some man, she with another man, and yet us remaining married, loving one another and trying to maintain the family for ourselves and for the children. What would be your your advice to us?

A:

My advice to you: Keep going to counseling. Keep communicating. Never forget to use latex!

The security, comfort and fun in your marriage has made it worth staying together, but you have sought sexual connections elsewhere. Now your wife is seeking the same.

If you weren’t concerned about how your outside relationships would affect your children, why are you questioning it now? It seems to be an excuse to focus on the kids rather than look at your own feelings.

Right now you feel devastated, but your situation is a common challenge that many couples face when a spouse comes out. A husband comes out as gay or BI but wants to stay married. His wife is reeling from the news, turns inward to focus on the kids and adjusting to having new information. She consents to an open marriage, but has little interest in pursuing anything sexually right away. A year or so into it, she rediscovers her own sexuality which is reaffirmed in a new relationship, and it’s the husband’s turn to test his acceptance of a new situation.

Yes, your wife’s lover will complicate your marriage, but it does not mean your marriage can’t be maintained. She made a big adjustment when you came out and you are still together. It sounds like you are both committed to making it work and making sure that everything is handled honestly and respectfully.

While polyamory continues to be a heated issue — even within LGBT communities, and especially among LGBT parents — non-monogamy is common throughout the world and in all kinds of cultures.

An open marriage might not work for you. Individuals have varying degrees of acceptance and jealousy. Now it’s time for you to decide if you can feel satisfied with a marriage that is truly open for both spouses. (I’ve posted a few resources in the green section of this page, and hope that readers will suggest additions to the list.)

As for your children, start exploring resources that will help you know how, when, and if to talk to your children about it. Depending on their ages, they might already know anyway.

And it’s worth repeating: use latex. Parents owe it to their children to practice safer sex with all outside partners.

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Related Links:

Wives of Bisexual and Gay Husbands (WOBGH) is an online support group for straight women who are married, separated, divorced or dating Bi/Gay men.

Loving More is a national organization and resource for people who who wish to live outside traditional monogamy.

Polyamory Resources: Books, articles, and links compiled by QueerTheory.com

9 thoughts on “Gay husband jealous of wife’s new boyfriend.”

  1. FINALLY, I have found another gay person who has come out and remained married to their opposite sex spouse. I am a lesbian in a similar situation (no girlfriend yet). Thank you for sharing your concerns. And know that polyamory is a viable and legitimate way of life for those who desire it and are willing to work at it. Please, work at accepting your jealosy and maintaining a close relationship with your wife. Checking out some polyamory resources will really help you to understand your new family structure better.

  2. We don’t believe in such a thing a “Open Marriage.” What about those vows, to forsake all others? With the gay community struggling to have gay marriages recognized as holy as well as legal, the idea of open marriages weakens our cause. This is also a BAD example for children. If you choose to have more than one sexual partner, don’t comit yourself to a lifetime with just one person through the institute of marriage. It’s meaning is too sacred. Stay single.

    Chris and Jackie
    Lesbian mothers of 3 year old boy

  3. I completely disagree with the lesbian of the 3 year old boy. My partner and I have chosen to marry when it become legal and until that time happens we will be having our hand fasting. The lesbians I have spoken to,have wanted to marry to the share in the right to have their relationship considered”legal”.

    This has nothing what so ever to do with the religious-ness of the commitment. I think the writer confuses one thing with another. An open marriage or bisexual life is in no way a “Bad” example or a good example to children or the rest of society. What it is, is another way of life in the world and just because I, or the writer, does not wish this for themself, does not mean we should put others down. What’s the differance of what you said and what the religious right have said about lesbians and gay men being married. I think we should check our bigoty before we speak.

  4. Well this is obviously a tough area and perhaps a hard one to give advice on.

    You say that you came out to your wife, in order to be honest. I do have one question, have you been 100% honest? Are your homosexual experiences new to you? Have they only occurred in the last two years? Why did the relationship, you were having with the man, breakdown?

    You say that you want to maintain your marriage and relationship with your wife. From this I assume that you want to maintain your homosexual experiences to a purely sexual level. This may be ok for you but your wife, it would seem, can not live like that. If your wife starts a relationship with this man, it may well develop into something more. If that is the case, then you really can’t complain. You wanted to bring other sexual partners into your marriage. Therefore there was obviously a possibility of this happening. You don’t really have any right to be jealous, although it is only natural for you feel that way. Your wife is only being honest with you, by saying that she has stronger feelings for this man than purely sexual ones. If she falls for him, then you’ll just have to accept it. Maybe she wants someone who will give her 100% of themself. What would happen if you met a man who you felt that you wanted more than a sexual relationship from.

    It seems that she has been an incredibly excepting woman. One who puts her children’s and to a degree your needs first. Maybe now she is thinking about herself. It may well be better for the both of you, to find fulfilment elsewhere. The situation as it is may well be fulfilling for you, but it’s not for your wife. Well not anymore at least. Yes the children are a concern, but I’m sure that they’ll be ok. That is of course as long as they know that they are loved and are brought up in a secure environment. They need to know that they are the most important people in both your lives.

    I think that you should not stand in the way of your wife exploring a relationship with this man. It may not develop into anything more. Having said that it may well do. You owe it to her to at least see if this man can give her all that she needs. Yes she probably still loves you and will always have feelings for you. Afterall you’ve spent a great deal of your lives together.

    I wish you both luck and I hope that all parties will find happiness and fulfilment. More than that I hope that your children will not suffer ant psychological and emotional damage from sexual lifestyles. I do think that it is best that they know the truth as soon as they are old enough to understand. It is better for them to know from you, than for them to work things out or find out from other people. That I know will cause damage. Just ensure that you are honest and put their needs first, not your own.

  5. I think that if two people find that they can no longer keep their vows then maybe their union shouldn’t be called a marriage. I might need to read the bible again but thats not what the idea of being married is all about. But non one is perfect and maybe people should be allowed to define their marriages.

    I really feel your pain though. You built you life with your wife and it is comfortable. But there is a part of you that wasn’t lived out and now is. I have heard of open marriages and I can see there are many situations that actually seem to encourage them.

    Most people are hurt when their spouse cheats and I feel that even when consentual the damage is there no matter how you sugar coat it unless you are’nt honest about it.

    So what do you do? How do you win in this situation? I think the best people to ask are those that have been through it and my opinion might be worthless.

    But I know how you must feel. You want the best of both worlds. You want to be there for your kids wife and satisfy you sexual side. I say keep trying what you guys are doing and what ever you do just think of the kids. If you ever think it might be to hard for them. If they start to pick up on whats going on what will you do? Tell them about it? Maybe it would be better for your kids to know who you really are. And theres nothing wrong with being gay its a part of you.

  6. I am going to come down on you like an earthquake. Can you be more selfish. That woman is a saint and let her maintain the little dignity and self respect she has left in a relationship with a man who truly sees her for the desirable woman woman she is. Clearly you do not.

  7. Ok.

    Let me give you a little insight here: When she married you, if she had no idea that she would ever have to face an open marriage situation with you, then this probably came as a heck of a shock to find out that her life with you…as she thought it would play out…was changed forever.

    Most wives would have thrown in the towel. I agree with the other person: there must have been something that clued you in before you were married that you were bisexual (and I know I’m going to get a lot of hate mail here), and the fact that you married your wife with this knowledge is …pure and simple…deception on a level that is beyond reproach. Ok guys, I know this is not always the case, but come on….

    However, she was brave enough to stay with you, support you, and not neglect your children.

    I’m not sure if you two are still physical with each other, but…let me tell you…it’s hell to lie next to a man who is only in the marriage for companionship and emotional love. After a while, it makes you question yourself on so many different levels. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Trust me, I know. And, for the last seven years…have been supporting my husband. But it is never easy. And while I have chosen to not date other men, he tells me that he’s afraid that I will find someone else and leave him. I would love to reassure him that that will not happen…but there is no guarantee.

    For you to take what your wife has given so freely (an open marriage) and then get your feelings hurt when she has found someone who may be able to offer her what you can’t…is so selfish that I can’t even describe it.

    Yes, it hurts to see her with someone who may actually want her…only her. I am not diminishing your emotions here…but for god’s sake…don’t you think that your wife has already faced the fact that YOU may find someone and leave HER?

    For your sake, your wife’s sake, and for your children’s mental and emotional health….stay in counseling. Be open about your feelings with your wife. And understand that when you started this journey with your wife, there was always the chance that she may find someone else. If she was willing to face that possibility, then so should you.

  8. Vows? I didn’t see any mention of vows in the initial post. Whats more this couple is commited enough to stick together regardless. That’s more than can be said for more than half of all hetero marriages! My suggestion would be to try dating together. It can help with the jealousy and the sense of being left out. Yes that gets very complicated but in the end is very much worth the trouble. Look up polyamory resources. There are many books , web sites , support groups ect.

  9. You have no right to be jealous. You are the one that started the mess. I am speaking from experience! When I confronted my husband he swore on my life and our marriage that he had not cheated! I had printed off all the stuff I had found on our computer that proved otherwise. He looked at what I had and ran to the trash can and vomited!! He claims he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me. He says he will “try” to remain faithful. I will not agree to an open marriage. I don’t believe in it and I wont accept it.

    You have no idea the damage that this does to the straight spouse!! Years of feeling like we are fat, ugly, bad in bed and a major turn off to our spouse and not understanding why! Then the shock of finding out!! Then to have him lie and swear on my life when I sat there holding proof! I am still with my husband. I love him but I hate him. I DO NOT trust him!!! He blames me for his cheating. He claims that since I do not trust him he may as well do what I think he is doing!! He gets mad when I question him about his whereabouts. He feels guilty and is putting it off on me.

    The fact that your wife agreed to an open marriage is amazing!! After what she has went through!! You put her through hell!! If she is to the point where she can actually look at another man and not be afraid then I applaud her! The damage that you closeted gay men (that marry women) do to us is beyond belief!!

    Get over your jealousy and let your wife find a man that can satisfy her in EVERY way!!! YOU put her in that position!! You need to accept the blame for it!!

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