Your Husband, posted here last week, continues to generate a great many responses.
I’ve asked one respondent to allow me to share her views.
I've started reading your blog last Monday under strange circumstances.
I thought I would continue to quietly read your blog, but I decided to write to you. It was so very painful to read the post “Your Husband,” given my current situation with my husband.
My world came crashing down on me three weeks ago. My life changed in one moment.
I accidentally found out what my husband has been doing on the web while I was researching Paris, where we planned to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary in February.
I found out that my husband spent hours and hours on gay porn sites. He Googled male models and male actors' nude pictures. He visited m4m personals.
I went blank—I thought something hit me so hard that I could not breath.
I called our couple’s therapist (we have been seeing him for five years, on unrelated matters) and tried to tell him what I saw. I was probably not making any sense because he did not understand me at all. I hung up the phone frustrated. I was not able to communicate with him.
Thirty minutes later, I called my husband at work and told him that we would not be going to Paris. I cancelled everything.
I added, "Oh, by the way, I found out you have been looking at gay porn on web sites.” My husband came home right away and denied everything. He said all of the web visit history has been erased, so how do I know what he was really doing (?!). I told him not to insult my intelligence. I know what I saw and disputing the facts is meaningless to me.
The next day at our therapist's office, he admitted what he has been doing (up to a point—I think I still do not know the whole truth). He also admitted attraction toward men since he was a teenager. He always wondered whether he is bisexual or not as he is equally attracted to women. Our therapist said that this explains my husband's depression (which he refuses to recognize to this date). My husband has been keeping this big secret for so long . . . that is probably why he was not actively participating in our marriage.
I have nothing against gay or bisexual people. But I do mind if my husband is gay or bi and had not told me so and has been leading a secret life.
I was angry with him because he hid this secret so long and deceived me. He robbed our marriage. If he were honest with me about his feelings, I would have had a chance to decide whether to continue our marriage or not at a much younger age (I'm forty two). My reproductive years are over. He took away our (or my) chance of happiness. All I wanted was a happy family with children (well, I actually wanted more: I have to be honest).
At my request, my husband moved out few days later after this incident. He is now seeing psychiatrist individually as well as our couple’s therapist. He is trying to come to terms with himself.
Since then, I have been trying to understand my husband. I started reading Straight Spouse Network, Married Gay Men, among other sites (there are many).
I eventually ended up with your blog through various links.
Your blog intrigued me. Yes, it is essentially a sex blog, but you offer something more. Firstly you are a great writer. But more importantly, you posses great qualities as a person. You are a wonderful father. Your love for your children is undeniable. You also deeply care your friends . . . you are also an accomplished professional, a great cook (I think?), etc. I can feel and admire your humanity.
As a single man, you are now focused on pursuing your sexual desires to be fulfilled in every way. But it was very assuring for me to read that while you were married, in spite of the difficulties in your marriage, you were committed to your wife and you stayed monogamous.
I understand that you are now living out your dream that was not fulfilled while you were married. Nothing is wrong with that.
But why do you have to have sex with MARRIED men?
I thought that you respected the institution of marriage. So why do you risk destroying someone's marriage by facilitating his fantasy come true? Do you know what kind of pain his wife has to experience? Am I so thick or naïve that I am not seeing something very obvious to everyone?
While I do not know whether my husband and I will stay married, my husband insists he will do anything to repair our marriage and gain back my trust. I thought, from reading your blog, that my husband might have the fantasy of living like you. But he says he would not act out his fantasy if we decided to stay married . . . just like when you were married you stayed monogamous.
I think I have to open my mind: a bisexual man can be committed to his wife and have a traditional marriage. After all, I loved my husband for over twenty years.
So with this background (sorry – it was very long one), I was confused and hurt when I read your blog. It seemed your action was contradictory to your principle belief in traditional marriage. I know I cannot project my husband on you, but when I read your post I felt that I was betrayed by my husband again.
I was floored.
A writer can never be certain how his words will impact readers. I assumed that some readers might object to my posting about sex with married partners. (Bridget, for example, gave me an earful!)
But a note such as Edna’s was completely unexpected.
My blog opened a window into her own fears about her husband’s activities. And it struck a very raw nerve—four weeks ago, Edna’s life was much as it had been for twenty years. Now, everything is changed.
I was moved by her story, and by her eloquence.
She gave me a lot to think about. I replied quickly.
Thank you so much for your note--and for sharing your situation. That is all so fresh, Edna, and still unfolding so fast for you. My heart goes out to you.
I'm glad that you found insight in my blog, and that you connected to our shared horror at having a marriage damaged by the other partner. It is a devastating feeling, as if the world has been torn out from under you.
But I'm sorry that my post was upsetting.
I don't know if I can, or should, defend my actions in knowingly meeting married men. In some respects, I know that in doing so, I am working out my own frustrations--I feel I was burned by remaining monogamous, and by sacrificing my sex life, only to see my marriage stolen away. I wonder: if I could go back, would I have acted differently? Would I have pursued a secret life?
I'm glad, though, that I can look back knowing I didn't.
I know how difficult it is to remain faithful to one woman when one is also attracted to men. But essentially, it is the same problem of being faithful when one is attracted to other women—that is understood in the marriage contract.
I'm momentarily at a loss for what to say to your very insightful note. I would be happy to continue our correspondence if you feel my insights are useful.
I'm very glad you had an established relationship with a couple's therapist you both trust. I'm not a therapist, obviously, but I've been in couple’s therapy, and I know it can help.
You are in my thoughts.
Edna was quick to reply.
Thank you very much for your note. I was surprised that you actually wrote me back.
I have not been able to speak about our true situation to anybody except with our therapist. Our friends and family know that I asked my husband to move out. But they only know the half (or quarter) truth; my husband told them he is addicted to porn, and that is why I'm upset.
He left out that the porn was gay, and he left out the other related activities.
So, almost everyone thinks that I am overreacting to the situation. They tell me stop acting prudish. They ask me why I am acting like a virgin. I don't even know how to respond to these people so I keep quiet.
I felt sense of relief when I decided to write to you – thank you for letting me speak about what I am going through. I am having a difficult time reconciling my feeling toward my husband. Even after such devastating event, I know I still love him. And that makes me angry with myself. I feel incredibly stupid.
We married very young and virtually all my entire adult memories, either good or bad, involve my husband. If we were to end our marriage, I feel that my past would become a phantom life.
Regarding your post, in my heart, I knew you are not to blame; these married men sought you out. If they had not met you, they would have had such affairs with different men anyway.
But I just did not understand why a decent person like you would participate in poisoning other people's life. From reading your response I think I understand your action. And I am very sorry to learn that even after two years, you are still hurting and going through the suffering. This really is a devastating experience.
My husband possesses the same wonderful qualities that you have. That is why I fell in love with him and I think that is the part of the reason why I find your blog intriguing. I'm afraid that I'm thinking as if your blog was written by my husband; this explains why your post hurt me so much. Of course, you did not have to defend your action. Who am I to ask such questions? But I appreciate you sharing your insight. That was helpful to me.
Please do know that my feeling was lifted when I read your comment about how you lead your married life and you are glad that you did not choose to have a secret life. You don't know how much that meant to me.
And thank you for your kind offer to correspond with me – yes, I would be grateful if we can do so from time to time.
I’m grateful to Edna for allowing me to share her story here. She reads the blog, of course, and will follow your comments. Anyone wishing to correspond with her privately may do so by sending your notes to me; I will forward them on your behalf.
My correspondence with her will continue offblog. If trading notes with me helps her through this, then she just got herself a new best friend.
Edna’s second note reiterates a point in her first: she truly loves her husband. That she says so now, when she is in a world of hurt and betrayal, speaks volumes about her character—and to her capacity to survive this blow.
It makes me think that while this is a devastating moment in their relationship, Edna and her husband are very lucky people.