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What to Do When Your Husband Comes Out

Woman hugging husband after he has admitted he is gay

Marriage is hard, but it gets much more complicated when your husband tells you that he’s gay. You’ll experience a range of emotions, from shock and anger to depression and guilt. But it’s important to remember that not only is this a very hard time for you, but it’s just as hard (if not harder) for your husband.

First, know that it took a lot of courage for your husband to trust you with this information and that he probably spent a long time mulling over his feelings and considering whether or not to tell you at all. Confiding in you was very noble and a good decision on his part. It’s much better for you, and everyone else involved, to know the truth instead of living a lie.

You shouldn’t accuse your husband of lying about his feelings for you or leading you on. It’s very possible that he truly believed that he was romantically in love with you and sexually attracted to you. He no doubt still holds a very special love for you, it’s just different than the love a straight man feels towards a woman.

If you’re having trouble coping with your husband’s coming out, you should find a support group to join or turn to any friends or family who have experienced something similar. Having someone in your life who knows what you’re going through will prove to be a great outlet for you now and in the future.

Once you’ve digested and accepted your husband’s news, do whatever you can to support him while also doing what it takes to comfort yourself. Let him know that he can talk about his feelings with you and that you have a shoulder for him to lean on if he needs it.

If your husband asks for you to keep his news to yourself, ask his permission to tell at least one person in your life (your mother, best friend, etc.). That way, you’ll at least have someone to discuss your feelings with outside of your relationship.

Next, you and your husband should figure out how you’re going to handle your marriage. More often than not, a divorce is the answer, but you’ll have to figure out the timing that works best for your family.

If you have children, their wellbeing should be your top priority. They may be very confused about the situation, especially if they’re between the ages of eight and 13, when they’re old enough to understand the basis of marriage and how babies are made but are not old enough to comprehend someone coming to terms with or recently discovering their sexual preference.

You and your husband will have to make the decision as to whether you should tell your children the truth or if you should simply say that your relationship isn’t working out. You also have the option of giving them a standard excuse now and then explaining the full situation when they’re older. You’ll need to decide this based on you and your husband’s parenting styles as well as your children’s personalities and tolerance to change.

When it comes time to focus on yourself and dealing with the divorce, you should focus on the good times you shared with your husband and remember the love you once held for each other. You can comfort yourself in the fact that it’s not either you or your husband’s faults that your marriage didn’t work out – your husband is simply accepting feelings he’s likely held all his life.

After your marriage is over, you need to decide if it’s best for you to remain friends with your husband or if you should slowly work to remove him from you life. This decision will greatly depend on whether or not you have children and what role your husband currently plays in your life. No matter the circumstances, your happiness is essential and should be the driving factor behind your decision.

Rose Smith
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