Many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people form intimate heterosexual relationships and start families, have children and go about their lives for years. Then, one day, they can no longer live with their secret or their spouses discover it and their world turns upside down as one partner "comes out." Couples who find themselves in these circumstances bear a heavy emotional burden that can tear their families apart.
Although you may feel alone, isolated and shamed, you are none of these. Although the trauma of being a straight spouse or having kept a secret about your sexuality can be overwhelming, it is important to realize that the situation you find yourself in is not your fault. The first year will probably be the toughest. This is a life-changing experience, however you decide to proceed. You and your spouse can make life-giving and healthy decisions for you marriage, for one another, and for your children. These decisions may mean the end of your marriage. Some couples stay married and some don't. Moving past the disclosure or discovery and letting go will take time and it will take a willingness to forgive.
We improve the quality of our relationships when we improve our ability to perceive the inner workings of our minds. As we become increasingly intimate with the inner workings of our mind, we also develop our ability to understand others.
I work as a consultant to the relationship as well as the two individuals involved in it. I look for ways to strengthen communication and mutual trust, and especially to have the couple get back in touch with the loving feelings that led them to enter the relationship in the first place. Relationship therapy is a powerful tool that can be used in the service of the love two people have for each other to recover from crisis. Therapy can also be used to soften the hurt of a split when it becomes apparent that a split is what’s necessary. And, therapy is a way to find out whether getting back on track or splitting is indeed the best course for the family. In the final analysis, the quality of a relationship is far more important than the usual measure which is quantitative: longevity. If you are facing the dilemma of a mixed-sexuality relationship, I’m confident that I can be of help.
Dealing with a Gay Spouse
It is extremely painful to discover that you are married to someone who has realized they are gay or lesbian and/or is engaged in a gay/lesbian relationship or affair. There are many issues to deal with, including dealing with the sense of betrayal and loss for something over which you really have no control. Counseling can help as you process these very painful feelings and work through the anger and betrayal.
My goal is to help you understand how this happens and how to make the difficult decisions that will allow you to move ahead and find the quality of life and the happiness that you deserve. Marrying a gay or lesbian spouse was not your choice; however how you do have a choice in how you proceed for the rest of your life. Counseling can help you prepare to talk with the children, friends, family, and loved ones about what has happened and have a meaningful dialog that can be supportive and fruitful in finding a healthy path forward.
Coming Out in a Straight Marriage
Some men and women experience many years of heterosexual relationships that sometimes include marriage and children. If you are a gay spouse who is trying to understand your sexuality and the impact it has on your spouse, children, or extended family, the situation can be extremely painful for everyone. Coming out to yourself and others is complicated when you experience this in the context of a committed heterosexual relationship.
There are many issues to deal with including whether to end your marriage, feeling ashamed, learning how to live authentically, and dealing with the sense of loss. This process can be overwhelming and leave you with a very lonely, scared feeling. Counseling can help to clarify how you feel about your sexuality, define and bring into focus the challenges that you are facing, and provide a safe space to find a path forward that gives you the best chance of achieving your life goals and ambitions.