Do U Know Real People That Were Married but Then Came Out of the Closet

Updated on December 01, 2013
M.L. asks from Conneaut, OH
38 answers

The is my hubs gay/ low libido question reminded me that I have heard of at least 2 friends of friends of friends, that actually did marry and one started a family only to have one spouse leave the realationship for a same sex partner. Has anyone else had a closer view of this kind of situation? I ask myself why didn't the spouse know, but maybe people are good at acting an the other person just doesn't want to see it? Did other people like relatives see it and have an idea??

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C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

My girlfriend from high school. She didn't have a low libido. She just thought her attraction to girls was odd so she kept quiet about it.

She got married at 19. Her husband wanted her to have a 3-some. She did. She liked it. She divorced her husband. She's been with her girlfriend now for 25 years. they just got married in October.

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F.W.

answers from Danville on

I do.

This gentleman was about 10 years older than my ex huspand...so he is now about 64 ish. He was a LTC. in the army, married with 5 kids. He was a BIG drinker, and got a dui while in germany. I believe was sent back to the US to rehab. In any event, I heard some years later that he had divorced, and 'come out'.

I saw them mostly at social events. I would never have guessed.

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M.C.

answers from Chattanooga on

Oh yes, I had a very good friend who had always been "out", who wound up falling for a woman who was married with 3 kids. (She didn't find out about the family until they had been together over a year...)

Also, we recently found out that my husband's grandpa is gay... He and his wife have been together for 32 years and have 4 kids together. Everyone was quite "shocked" with an "I knew it" underlying tone. Lol.

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S.T.

answers from Houston on

My mother. Based on the few relatives I have asked outright, I don't think people knew because she hid it well. I was a kid so I was clueless. I would never ask my dad because that would just be insulting and beyond awkward. I am curious but not that curious to know what he has to say on the matter. I believe spouses see what they want to see and ignore what they don't want to deal with. In general some people lie too well even to themselves.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

When asking "why didn't they know", you have to look at historical context as much as anything. It is just now getting to the point were gay people can be really open and proud of who they are. My father in law married my husbands mother many many years ago, he loved her with all his heart. He never admitted, not even to him self, that he was in fact gay. So, when she died he did what rugged Montana rancher men did, he married another woman to help with his kids. That lead to divorce, but even still it was not until many many years later, when his kids were adults and times had changed, that he could be honest, not just with the world, but with himself, about who he really is. And even though he is gay, he still completely loved his first wife, and mourns her death even to this day. Its not always so black and white, there are many shades of grey.

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

I used to work with a guy that I had a little crush on. Handsome but married with a young (8) daughter. He is funny, kind, a hard worker...and I liked him.
Came into work one day and he says, laughing, "I need to tell you something! I am gay."
"WHAT?!"
laughing, "I am gay! I have been holding onto that truth for a while, hiding, but I just can't anymore. I am gay."
Woah. Wait a minute. How did I not see it?? How could I have a crush on a gay man?? What about his poor wife??
He just told me that he is a good liar. That he lied to her, to everyone else, and especially to himself.
Woah.
My son plays soccer with a kid whose mom left her husband last year for a woman. She has 3 kids. 10, 7, and 2. She says that she has always known something was "different" but was too scared to admit it.
I have friends who have been together for 10 years and they both dated men first.
The friends that I have talked to about this have all had the same thing to say. They were scared. They loved their partner but they were not IN love with them. They didn't want to hurt their partner but just couldn't live a lie anymore.
And each and every one of them that I know is SO much happier now that they are living their authentic selves.
L.

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D.T.

answers from Muncie on

I think our generation is the last and final front for the closet. I think we'll be the last to take on lives simply because we're "supposed to". I think they assume that it has to be one way or nothing.

I also believe that "love" is not as simple as some people assume it to be. In English we only have one word, the ancient Geeks had several to describe the different facets. The way I love my children is no more deep or fierce as the love I have for my husband, but it is most definitely very different. I think these late bloomers finally realize this and while they love and care deeply their families and even their partners, they realize that they do not have that deep passionate "sexy" love and that they crave it.

Even in my own marriage neither my husband or myself is completely "straight". With us we just happen to understand that the human body really doesn't give a flip about the genitalia of the person who's giving it pleasure. Male or female, if the person is kind, honest, and generous, then why should it matter? I always knew I wanted a family, be married and have a love like my parents. I assumed that meant being with a male. Then I met a guy who began to transition to female while we were dating and it opened my mind about myself and my personal needs.

I'm a lucky one, if a female had come into my life at the right time and been the right person, then yes, I would be in a lesbian relationship. It just so happened that a wonderful kind loving male came into my life and I wouldn't change a thing. I do miss certain things about being with a female, but I chose my husband. I promised him my love and my life. I've no plans on going back on my word simply because I have an eye for a fine female figure.

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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Sometimes people who are gay don't acknowledge that until they're older and finally able to deal with their sexuality.

BUT they tried to make a go of it, they had sex with their wives, they had children, they made love often and with vigor...they tried to prove they were straight. They wanted to be straight and not have to admit they were gay and "come out" and live with ridicule, discrimination, and more. No one chooses to be a way that causes others to hate them and look down on them.

Everyone wants to be normal, fulfilled, happy, and accepted. Now that more people are receptive of gays it's easier for those who are attracted to the same gender to admit this and live their lives like they want.

Again, these people work extra hard at their marriage to try and prove they are straight and they are NOT gay. They want to make their marriage work so they won't be gay. They sometimes live their whole lives in a marriage and are content, they may never act on their secret desires.

The few people I've known that ended their marriages to live a gay lifestyle have had normal marriages for the most part. When one of my college friends decided he was gay he finally told his wife. Then once she had accepted it they told their kids. Then he moved out and started living a life he thoroughly enjoys. He's been with his partner for nearly 20 years. He is happy.

Another friend, my college roommate, was so in love with his girl friend. He worked so hard to make every right choice to build a strong healthy relationship with her. They broke up my senior year. He hit rock bottom and it broke him. He struggled with so many things for a couple of years. He finally admitted he was gay several years later. He was a good christian man and wanted with all his heart to not be a sinner. That's how he'd been raised and how he felt for a very long time.

He has not been to church since he came out. He still has a hard time with it all and often says he's glad his mom died before his life changed. He's slowly coming to terms with it all.

Being gay and being in a marriage that isn't working is hard for everyone involved. I truly don't think what you're going through is this situation though.

Having no sex drive has nothing to do with sexuality. It has to do with hormones and how the brain is wired for sexual interest.

I have known one woman who was asexual. She was very upfront about it. She was married to a really nice man and had 4 kids, was expecting #5. They had a good life. She was a very nice person too. She hadn't had a celibate life before marrying this man. She said she'd never needed sex, she'd never really enjoyed the whole aspect of it either. She actually said that was a half hour should could live without...

She had gone to the doc, got tests, and everything was normal inside. She just had no interest in sexual contact.

I asked her why she married, if she could go out, date, have sex if she decided she wanted it, or could live without it completely. She said she wanted to have a family, live with people she cared about, have a normal life. So she submitted to her husband any time he wanted to make love, she got pregnant when they decided to have kids, etc...she did her "duty".

She didn't resent her lack of sexual interests. He didn't make her feel bad either. He accepted it was her issue and that it wasn't him. It was totally her issue.

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H.L.

answers from Houston on

Sexuality is not a concrete thing.

Sometimes the person or a spouse might be lying (to self and each other), but sometimes a person really thinks that the love and intimacy that they share is bigger than sex, and sometimes it is. (Sex is used to express more than lustful urges.) Until it's not, in some cases. We're always on a journey; finding a partner is just part of that, not the end. Our relationships help us to learn who we are and aren't, so sometimes it might take being in a certain type of relationship to know what's doable and what's not.

This is why I try not to judge other people's marriages/intimate connections, because these are sacred pieces of their journeys. This is also why I believe that exes should never go public with certain secrets, no matter how much they hate each other now. The space that they shared should be sacred. It's a safe place to love and learn and figure things out.

Oh, and, yes, I have known of some ambiguous cases.

ETA: In response to what someone else said, I want to clarify that being sexually attracted to a same-sex person is not the same as identifying as the opposite sex. I could be a lesbian; I could identify as a man but still like men; i could identify as a man who likes women. (...And then all the grays.) It wouldn't be automatic for me to want a woman just because I'd feel that I were a man. That is a completely different topic.

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L.A.

answers from Austin on

Yes, yes, yes. Many, many couples. I have always been pretty intuitive about these things, even as a child. I think in the beginning the spouse was in such denial and was brought up with such strong ideas about being gay, that they just pushed it down and held closer to their faith, that told them this was just some sort of weakness in their faith.

One that comes to mind was married 25 years, gorgeous wonderful wife and children. They were pillars in their community. But he said he had fought and fought this and finally realized, there was nothing wrong with him, except that he was ashamed of the lying. He wanted to be his true self to his children and his wife deserved a completely devoted spouse.

Right now I have a dear friend that if have known for years, but had not met her husband until recently.

She met me for a meeting, when she arrived she burst into tears. We spoke and it sounded like typical 20 year marriage stuff. I talked her through it. She is very spiritual. I told her this all sounded like normal relationship stuff.

Then a few weeks later I met her husband and, holy moly...I was thinking, this guy is totally gay. Surely those around him realize this.

They live a beautiful life. Very devoted to their faith. They have a huge community of friends. Have perfect children...but I cannot imagine how their group of friends have not realized what is going on.

I am worried about the fall out. It will be a very shocking event, if he is ever strong enough to come out to this family. They are way too religious for this to be true in their lives. Sad, they all deserve to know the truth, instead of living with this secret.

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

my brother was engaged to a woman before he came out. he tried REALLY hard to 'get over' his orientation, and was sort of successful.
for a while.
of course, when he came out we all went 'DOH! yeah, we've kind of always known, haven't we?'
but we didn't consciously think it beforehand.
khairete
S.

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H.W.

answers from Portland on

I have heard of two individuals-- neither of which I am close to-- who have done this. One was a boyfriend of an old gay roommate of mine, who came out after having kids, divorced. Considering the time (late 80s) I'm not surprised he was hesitant to come out. It was still a big new thing at that time and as they guy had been a kid in the 60s and 70s, my guess is there wouldn't have been much support for him then.

The other was a sister of a friend of mine, who likely came of age in the very late 70s/early 80s.... she and her husband had two bio kids and one adoptive child -- they divorced when the older kids were about 10 or 12, and she then came out. She's been in a fairly consistent relationship with another woman for about 7 years or so. Knowing the sisters' fairly conservative family, I could see why she felt that coming out wasn't an option when she was younger. Their parents softened as they aged, the marriage fell apart, sis came out to her sister first, who really was surprised-- no clue. Their family did quickly accept her as a lesbian.

I do think it might be generational as well as having to do with family support. As a teen, the three guys I know who came out all dealt with some really horrible reactions from their parents. (Late80s). One was beaten up and kicked out of his home by his father. One had his dad temporarily disown him; one had to move far away from his family and didn't really tell his mom for a long, long time. I knew quite a few not-quite-out guys and worked with a lesbian and gay guy who were both doing drag king/drag queen stuff and fully liberated, as it were.

I'm in Portland, which is mostly queer friendly, and so I had some early exposure, for sure. :)

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I have one friend that was married for about 10 years and another friend who was married 16 years when their husbands announced they were gay. Both had children. Both of my girlfriends knew something was not right in the marriage and both thought it was something about themselves! They never thought it had to do with their husbands. Things made a lot more sense to them once their husbands came out however the sense of betrayal they experienced was huge. Here they thought they were to blame for the issues in the marriage when it actually had nothing to do with them and both spouses cheated.

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C.F.

answers from Portland on

.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Yes, I worked with a woman many years ago whose husband left her for a man. She was, of course, devastated, but they managed to eventually become friends again.
And there are not one, but two women in our community who left their husbands for another woman.
In none of these cases did anyone seem "gay" in the stereotypical sense, though in all cases the marriages were clearly not happy ones.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

I have several BGLT friends who married and had kids either because they were afraid to come out or because they were in denial, but eventually had to come out because living a lie was killing them.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Yes.
My husbands uncle's wife's brother (if you can follow that).
He was married and they had 2 kids.
He got a divorce and then married his boyfriend.
George and Andre are very happy together.
Everybody is on friendly terms so I guess the kids and his ex-wife are ok with it.

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A.K.

answers from Bloomington on

Yes , a couple of people. I also know a couple that lived as a couple that stayed in the relationship , knowing her husband was gay & his partner also lived with them.

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O.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I went to a Christian high school. Two friends from there ended up marrying after college. He ended up working at my same company, in a different department in a different building. They had 2 kids, beautiful home, extremely active in their church, the same church I attended. Well, after several years, I started to hear rumors about him being gay. And VERY reliable rumors at that. Well, of course I had known them and their family since high school! We went to the same church and had the same friends! This started to put me in a very bad position obiviously. Long story short, I mentioned to a mutual friend that the husband "was not the same" at work as he was at home. Well, that started a war between her and I and I basically found a new church and friends. Now, 20 years later, I heard thru the grapevine that he is out of the closet, they are divorced, he is paying her a TON of spousal and child support and he's living with his doctor boyfriend in a big house on the beach. AND...apparently before they got married he "confessed" to her that he "experimented" with men in college. And she still married him...I think it happens way more than any of us thinks it does.

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O.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

An old coworker of mine had a SIL that left the coworkers brother after for another woman after about 20 years of marriage and 3 kids.
I'm sure it happens all the time.

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M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

When I was in 6th grade I lived overseas (military family). One girl in my class had a mom and dad one day, and two moms the next day. It was kind of surreal being that young and back in the 90's the taboo it still was...but it's all good. It's the one time I know of it happening.

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P.M.

answers from Portland on

Yep, a woman I'm related to was married and had three kids. I don't know the details, but that marriage ended, and she is now in a long-term relationship with another woman. They are a happy couple, and all the kids are now married to opposite-gender spouses.

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

I do know one couple who had that happen and the scenario was nothing like you were describing.He did have children previously. But was divorced and then married again. They actually made love all the time. He later said he couldn't stand it. They divorced but got back as their friendship was strong. He is now living with her as a woman. But an operation to change him is extremely expensive so he merely dresses as a woman. He really hasn't had any relationships either. She has dated some but finds some comfort having her former spouse there. Their relatives don't like it. But they are happy the way they are for the most part-So it's not really all about sex is it?

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A.J.

answers from Williamsport on

We have a friend who is gay who has an adult daughter from when he was married to a woman back before he came out of the closet. We are in a conservative area and according to some of my gay friends here, lots of married men here are gay and cheating on wives, and actually, I've met several married men who seem way gay to me....I used to live in NYC where it wasn't a "closet" issue so much so it's odd to see these men pretending. And I have no idea how the wives don't know. SOMETIMES gay men seem super straight, but usually not. Actually, there is an enormous church out here and some of the aforementioned closet gays are in families there....I think they were raised Christian and they try their hardest for a while no to be gay. Also, My college roommate was dating girls when we were in college and seemed straight (though very artistic) then, but he's been with his male partner now for 17 years...

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R.X.

answers from Houston on

Yep. Folk have ideas but women can get away with not dating, wearing pants, having close girlfriends much more than guys can. Re-watch Brokeback Mountain.

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K.G.

answers from San Diego on

My best friend decided she was gay after divorcing her hubby. I've heard of men doing this as well but I think women probably do it more.

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

My sister in law's mom did when her kids where little. And I have an old boss that had five kids with 2 different men then decided she didn't like men anymore. I don't think with either that anyone saw it coming.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

Yep, I know several. One of my high school classmates was married young, had children, and still says one of the things he's most proud of was being a good husband and father, and his ex-wife and kids agree that he was/is. When he finally came out and divorced, he stayed on good terms with everyone. A friend's daughter has finally come out, divorced her husband, and now shares custody of her son with her ex. It's tricky and sad, but sometimes people truly do not know what they want or who they are until much later in life. It's such a blessing when these situations end up with a minimum of hurt feelings and extra effort to get along afterwards.

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R.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes two different women in my life I know of, that were married well over ten years dated many men before and had children. Now In their 40s now saying they are lesbians

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A.A.

answers from Tulsa on

One of my good friend's husband left her for another man after 15 years of marriage. After the initial shock, it did seem to make sense. It was absolutely devastating for the kids though (teenager and 10 yo).

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B.1.

answers from Tampa on

I was friends with two sisters in college whose father left them while they were in high school. He came out and started another relationship with a man. In this case, beside the deceit of pretending he was straight all those years, he handled it horribly. The elder is one of the strongest, most independent women I know. The younger (about 18 mos apart) was rail thin with an eating disorder and in an abusive relationship. Apparently daddy's new boy friend and daddy told her repeatedly in jr High and high school how "plain" she was but she could be attractive if she stayed thin and used more makeup.

I also once had a neighbor woman living with another woman in a relationship who left her husband and children to pursue the new lesbian relationship. I believe gay couples have a right to be a couple and find it sad that these two chose to live against what they truly are and destroyed two families in the process. They should have never pretended to be straight.

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E.T.

answers from Rochester on

Yes. I've had two good friends who were married for about 10 years. Both had their spouses come out. Both couples had two children. Both are now divorced. Both have very congenial divorces. Both couple are thankful for the years and the deep friendships that they shared during their marriages.

I knew the one couple in college. I was not surprised at all when he came out. Many people had told her in college that he was gay. He chose to keep it hidden. She chose not to acknowledge the suspicions.

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B.K.

answers from Chicago on

A mom at my daughters (christian) school divorced her husband and came out. She has three kids but left them with her ex. I also know of a man who is gay (told me in college) and he is still married 30 years later to a woman. There are couple others as well that I'm not as close to but know of. I still can't believe the wife of my college friend doesn't know he's gay.

Just recently a friend of mine got a divorce after years of suspecting her husband was gay. He was, but didn't want to leave her and his kids and come out because he felt it would be too much for them to handle. My friend had suspected it for years, and so had her daughter (age 25). They have all accepted it, but he still hasn't told his mom and other relatives. I think he's tired of shocking people.

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A.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, I have a co-worrker that was married, 3 kids, and husband is now living as a gay man. They are now best friends, and she had absolutely no idea during the marriage. Crazy, but true!

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

I only know OF people. I don't know any, personally.
Though I've known gobs of gay people who've tried dating straight

I DO know several people in mixed orientation marriages (1 spouse gay, 1 straight) that are either Catholic or LDS. I know this about them as they're open about it.

& I know TONS of bisexual folk who marry 1 sex/gender, and after divorce start dating the other.

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J.N.

answers from Philadelphia on

i think my married neighbor is gay. he is married to a women. they have 3 kids. to me its super obvious that he is gay and i am not someone that always notices the obvious.

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A.M.

answers from Washington DC on

A friend's mom came out as a lesbian after her divorce and is now married to another woman.
Not exactly the same, but a friend of my older daughter has a dad who came out as transgender last year at Thanksgiving. He and his wife are in the middle of a very amicable divorce. The kids (all college age and older) seem to be adjusting well, but have asked to continue saying "Dad".
In Takoma Park, such things aren't too much of a shocker.

D.B.

answers from Boston on

Many of the people I know who are gay or bisexual went through a period of exploration and questioning. When the majority culture teaches you that it's "normal" for one man/one woman all the time, it can be difficult to imagine, let alone talk about, another type of pairing. Some gays who were raised in a family where these discussions took place had an easier time realizing they were gay, and they only have had gay partners. But I have a few friends who got divorced because one partner finally came to terms with their sexuality and left for a same-sex partner. I have two friends where divorce occurred because one partner was transgender - in both marriages, the husbands have now transitioned, through hormone therapy and ultimate surgery, to become the women they always were inside.

I don't think it's always about "acting" - I think sometimes people act another way because they fear the repercussions of coming out. They worry about their families of origin, and they worry about public perception. But in other cases, I think it's about the process of discovering who we really are and being clear on that and courageous enough to be different and true to ourselves.

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