QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

My husband told me last month that he's leaving me because he's in love with a man. He also said he's always known he was gay, but kept hoping it would go away if he kept seeing women, especially if he married me.

How could he lie to me all this time? We've been married for 8 years and lived together for two years before that, and the sex was good. How do I make sense of this? He's said he still loves me like a sister, but that's not much consolation.

Answer

This sounds very hard for you. I hope you have a good support system with lots of friends to help you through this difficult time.

Your story is, I'm sad to say, all too common. It's one of the many painful results of the prejudice against gay and lesbian people. It happens because children learn so early that it's not ok to be lesbian or gay. Those who are sometimes do exactly what your husband did and try to pretend they're heterosexual. They don't mean to hurt anyone else, but that's the inevitable result of deciding later that the pretending didn't work.

If you live in a city you may be able to find a support group for spouses and former spouses of gays and lesbians. Also, help is often available from PFLAG(Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). You can reach their main office at PFLAGNTL@aol.com.

Do take care.

3/14/98


Author and psychologist Gail S. Bernstein, Ph.D. has a psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bernstein speaks and writes about gay, lesbian and bisexual people for both general and professional audiences, and is the author of the new audiotape, NOT HETEROSEXUAL: An Educational Program About Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.

 

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