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Help, My Husband Came Out As Gay | CrunchyTales

Help, My Husband Came Out As Gay!

4 min read

Discovering that your husband is gay or queer can be a life-altering experience. It can trigger a tidal wave of emotions—shock, confusion, grief, betrayal, and even anger. The emotional impact can be even more profound for women who find themselves in this position in midlife. Years invested in a marriage, intertwined finances, and potentially grown children add another layer of complexity to an already devastating situation.

Ultimately, how you choose to move forward is a deeply personal decision that requires careful consideration and self-reflection. While the journey may be difficult at times, approaching the situation with empathy, compassion, and a commitment to open communication can help pave the way for a positive outcome, whatever that may look like for you and your husband.

Here are some steps to consider when your husband comes out as gay or queer.

What To Do When Your Husband Comes Out As Gay

Perhaps you had a feeling that your partner was not entirely straight, as many individuals in heterosexual relationships may still have attractions elsewhere, or you simply thought he was facing a midlife crisis. However, it’s when your partner openly shares that they are gay, indicating a stronger preference for the same gender, that things can become challenging. You’ll naturally have concerns about what lies ahead, the status of your marriage, and how your relationship dynamics will shift. 

According to research by the School of Psychology, National University of Ireland Galway and The University of Warwick, in the UK, “The loss of a happy marriage in later life may be experienced akin to a spousal bereavement, with associated rates of depressive symptoms, especially for those who value their marital identity. However, some studies suggest that required support may be perceived as unavailable, due to family or religious homophobic beliefs. Yet such support is important for couples in acute distress to aid their processing of the disclosure and reduce feelings of social isolation and depression“.

Regardless of the intensity of your initial reaction, facing this situation requires a focus on both your own emotional well-being and how to navigate the complicated path ahead. The key is to prioritize understanding and embracing your partner’s true self, while working together to find a path that leads to happiness for both of you.

Allow space for your emotions

The news can hit with the force of an emotional cyclone. So, permit yourself time and space to process the vast range of feelings that will inevitably surface. Denial, anger, hurt, and sadness are all normal reactions but there’s no one to blame. 

When my husband told me he was gay, I felt crushed. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t enough – says Sarah J., 52, from Manchester to CrunchyTales – But eventually, I realized it wasn’t about me; it was about him finding his true self.” 

Seek honest communication with your husband

Express your feelings and concerns, and listen to his perspective with an open mind. Respectful dialogue is important, even if it’s difficult.

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You also must realise you are not the one to blame. No one “turns” another person gay. Sexuality is a core aspect of a person, often not fully understood even by the individuals themselves. Above all, there are no one-size-fits-all answers. Some mixed-orientation marriages thrive after a spouse comes out. In other cases, separation or divorce might be the healthiest route. Be open to exploring all possibilities. 

A therapist may offer a safe space to unpack your emotions, develop coping mechanisms, and strategize about the future of your relationship. 

Coming out as gay is a courageous act of self-acceptance for your husband. It doesn’t lessen the pain you’re feeling, but recognizing what he’s gone through is important,” says Dr Samantha Green, a relationship therapist specializing in LGBTQ+ issues.

Prioritize your well-being

Caring for yourself is essential in any difficult time. Don’t isolate yourself! Reach out to trusted friends or family for support and understanding. Eat healthy foods, try to get enough sleep, and make time for some gentle exercise. If possible, prioritize quiet moments for reflection and relaxation. 

You don’t have all the answers right now, and that’s okay. Focus on what you need moment by moment, and allow yourself time to heal,” advises therapist Laura Maxwell.

Consider future scenarios

You need to consider what kind of relationship, if any, you want going forward. Some couples successfully transition into a different form of partnership. Others may find separation a healthier path. There’s no right or wrong answer.

It took years to rebuild my trust after my husband’s revelation. We eventually separated, but it was the best decision for both of us. There was no blame – we simply wanted different things.” says Louise Hale, 50, from New York to CrunchyTales.

While your world might feel turned upside down, know you’re not alone. There are resources and experts to help you through this challenging period. Focus on your emotional needs, seek support, and grant yourself time to decide what’s best for your own life and make sure to address practical matters such as financial arrangements, living situations, and co-parenting responsibilities if applicable.

Navigating this change takes great strength and resilience as healing won’t happen overnight, especially with something this complex, but healing is possible, and you will find your way through this storm. 

Helpful Resources

The Trevor ProjectOffers support and crisis intervention for LGBTQ individuals.

PFLAG: Organization with resources and support for families, friends, and allies of LGBTQ people.

National Center for Lesbian Rights:  Legal organization advocating for LGBTQ rights.

Our PathSupport resource for people in heterosexual relationships who have discovered their partner is LGBT+. They offer many support options, from one-on-one and group support to online support spaces, podcasts, blogs and video content.
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