“Aren’t you courageous? What a hero!” – Stolen years of the wife of a closeted gay husband

“I get angry because everyone’s said to him how fantastic, aren’t you courageous, what a hero,” writes Beth. “I wanted to beat the living shit out of him for what he did to our family. There were no repercussions for him. My anger was mind-blowing.”

Beth, an Australian woman whose husband came out

On the occasion of a long-time closeted man coming out, we normally congratulate and celebrate the rebirth of a man, his bravery in self-authenticity. However, this positive reaction towards the man often causes more damage to the woman who has devoted her time and effort to their marriage. From the stories of women seeking help from the Women Partners of Bisexual Men service, we can see the anger, betrayal, disbelief, and among all, helplessness when the partner they have chosen to spend the rest of their lives with reveals that he is not attracted to them. By putting myself in their shoes, it is not difficult to understand Harper’s breakdown.

The book released by the Women Partners of Bisexual Men service, run by the Leichhardt Women’s Centre in Sydney. 
To mark its 25th anniversary, the service is releasing a new book, There’s Something I Have To Tell Youfeaturing 20 stories from the women’s perspective.
Photograph: Leichhardt Women’s Centre

The worst part is, there is no one ultimately to blame except the intrinsically homophobic society that has locked the men-loving men in the closet consciously or unconsciously. Then, they made the wrong choices.

“The way he described the boys: ‘he’s very handsome’, ‘he’s very muscular’He probably didn’t know he was gay at the time,” she writes.
“It broke my heart to read the diary of a sweet young boy on the verge of making the wrong choice.
“And that choice was me.”

Lucy, in her acute distress, read her husband’s teenage diary

Read more of these women stories and how they coexist with reality or leave: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/03/did-i-ever-really-know-him-the-women-who-married-gay-men

1 Comment

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  1. Thanks, Chi-Ting. I had seen a story similar to these that turned out to have Mormon protagonists and mentally filed it away, thinking it might come in handy when we discussed Angels in class. Then, when I was looking for it just now, I found another story, this time from an official LDS Church web page trying to counsel Mormons who experience “same-sex attraction.” I think it offers some insight into the characters in the news story but also, perhaps, Joe and Harper too. I appreciate the fact that you’re showing some empathy for a number of different outcomes or positionalities in these relationships.

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