Lately I’ve been a member of this online group for men that deals in support for men who are in heterosexual marriages, yet they are gay, or bisexual. I joined because I wanted to understand better what was going on with myself, and another man I have been involved with who was married.
At first I went in with great fascination – amazed at how many men were in this situation, or wanted to be in it. They call it a “closed-loop” relationship – where a married guy commits to a relationship with another married guy – or, less preferably, a single gay or bi man.
Whether or not they tell their wives is not important to most. The issue is, in fact, considered taboo in the group because it generates such heated words from people. The strange thing is, it’s always the guys who don’t feel they need to tell their wives that do all the shouting, even at guys that merely talk about how they have told their wives, and the various things that have happened. I think these men must feel a very strong pressure of guilt, and twist the other men’s testimonials about coming out to their wives into an accusation that they are horrible people for not doing the same.
This issue certainly is a very ethically complex one, particularly when children are involved.
Oddly enough, the majority of the men seem to be in their fifties, though there is a large splattering of ages. But they are certainly in the majority. Most have waited until their children have grown up and left the home. Most want to keep their family in tact, though some are very torn on the issue.
Of particular interest is the way they identify themselves sexually. Some men say they are gay, but they are in the minority. Most men say they have been curious, or “having these feelings of attraction”. Most do say that they’ve had those feelings for a very long time.
They are much more likely to identify themselves as bisexual, which would stand to reason, I suppose, considering their predicament.
Yet I wonder, why is it they feel so heavily compelled to act on homosexual desires, and risk so much, if they are bisexual? Almost all of them have a very deep fear of being exposed. Something is just not right in this.
Recently, a man posted that he’s changed his mind – that he just can’t deal with the “homosexual lifestyle” – and that he and his wife just had amazing sex, chandeliers swinging, etc. And that they were moving. And also, was there any man in the group who happened to live near to where they were moving…
Many feel that they need to only be with another married man – that this man would be the only man who could could understand that their families have to come first. But I know this isn’t true, based upon my own experience – I would often remind my “friend” that his family had to come first, not me.
I think, rather, that they need someone who they can remain straight with, even though they have sex together. If they are with a gay man, that means they have to admit they are gay – or at least bisexual. But if they are with another married man, then they can both remain straight. After all, you’re not gay if you’re married.
Some of the men have wonderful stories of how they told their wife everything, and their wives, though not at first, have grown to become supportive, and even allow them to have a male partner. They see little conflict.
But there are also stories of how the wife refused to accept it, and promised that she would leave with the children if he ever acted on it.
And most of the men choose to sneak. They will actually pine on about how wonderful their male counterparts are – the part of their lives that they so look forward to. And the ones that don’t have a male counterpart have no problem pining on about their dream of it, either.
The interesting thing is seeing new people join the group, who are younger – who have just entered into marriage, or who are considering it.
I wish there was some way to help them understand that they must enter into their own lives, fully as who they are, before they enter into the life of another.
I actually feel very sorry for most of these men – the majority are not happy at all. They are trapped, in their ideal dream, and/or in their hiding place. But that’s not to say that the rest of their lives is diminished – but it is to say that sexual intimacy – spiritual intimacy – is very fundamental to the core of our being. And theirs is messed up – for lack of the time to type any more…
I hope that my friend find happiness in his life. But I’m a little more than reasonably sure that he may just find mere satifaction, if he is lucky.
It’s too bad that fear can conquer love in some men.