10 Gay Men Who Are Married to Women Share Why They Did It

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It’s a fact: a lot of gay men get married to women. I have a feeling that it occurs less these days because attitudes toward homosexuality have changed so much in recent years, but there was a time when men lived secret lives for years because they were ashamed.

Gay men who are married to women went on the record on AskReddit and revealed why they tied the knot.

1. He was in love, but…

“Uncle was in this situation.

He legitimately was in love with his wife the whole time, but was only sexually attracted to men. Much as people sometimes do have sex for reasons other than attraction/love, they did have kids.

The shame he felt sent him down a very destructive path. He’s a lot happier now since splitting from her twenty years ago.”

2. Grindr

“I never knew this until I met my wife’s gay friend, but apparently that Grinder App was a hot spot for him to meet married men. It was pretty weird.”

3. They were living a lie

“I went to a gay friends’ 40th birthday party many years ago. I had never really had anything to do with gay men (born and raised in a mining town, homosexuality wasn’t even spoken about) so was a bit apprehensive as he was very straight-acting whereas I knew his friends to be very camp (back then I just didn’t know how to react around camp people).

His birthday bash was just a simple dinner at a restaurant with about 15 of us, myself and my girlfriend being the only two ”straight” people there. It was a great night, I was very much put at ease by all who attended (even though they were all indeed quite out-there camp) and I found everyone very easy to talk to.

What struck me though was just how many of these men had done the whole ”get girlfriend, get married, have kids” life. They all knew they were gay from a young age, but nonetheless had all lived the stereotypical male life before realizing that they were living a lie. Some waited until the kids had grown up before coming out to their wives, others could contain themselves no longer after a time whilst still in the middle of raising a family.

Some still got on well with their old lives/families, others had been disowned by (ex) wife or children.”

4. Doesn’t know who he is

“This basically describes my dad. At the end of the day we don’t have a great relationship, but it has zero to do with his sexuality, more to do with the choices he’s made and how he went about making those decisions.

Things aren’t going well for him tbh. I truly don’t think he knows who he is or what he wants, which is something I have sympathy for, but it’s also hard to feel bad for someone who destroyed your family immaturely instead of handling it like an adult. He is very much “the grass is greener on the other side” type of dude and it doesn’t ever work out in his favor. He is always looking for someone to take care of him (read: mooch off of), no matter the sexuality. Truly I think all he’s looking for is something he can’t have/doesn’t exist.

End of the day, while I’m glad they were married and had me, it’s hard on my mom even 9 years later, mostly because of the infidelity. In her words, “I didn’t care about his sexuality as long as he looked after his family,” but sometimes that isn’t for everyone :)”

5. Denial

“My mum had a friend who’s husband came out when their kids were 15 and 18. Apparently it was a case of denial before acceptance. It was around 1990 so I guess things were a bit iffy then.

However, I used to work in aged care, I recall one guy not coming out until his wife passed when they were in their 60’s, he said that he felt it was more normal to raise a family and have kids.

Another guy I cared for with home care, I developed a good rapport with, he had a laptop that was playing up, a simple fix, but a window he had open was of gay porn. He got embarrassed but I mentioned being bi myself. He wasnt married, but had girlfriends for show so his friends wouldnt suspect, but couldnt bring himself to get with men. He said it was a huge risk in his day because gay bars were secretive but people knew what they were.

Even these days some gay men only feel safe using Grindr. But it made sense, one of the reasons I was assigned to him was because he preferred male carers – he was NEVER inappropriate to me, but some gay men are only comfortable around men. Anyway his story made me a bit sad, he lived in fear of what others might think, and never got to be with a guy. A shame really, I saw pics of him in his youth and he would have easily pulled in a gay bar.”

6. Trying to force himself to convert

“Back in 1980, I moved to San Francisco back from the East Coast and went to a party with some old college friends. A guy struck up a conversation with me, we didn’t click, but he kinda shocked me by asking me out. Since I was new to the area, I said yes. Cut to the date: he was clearly miserable, so after an hour at an Irish bar, I just asked him why he had even asked me out since we had nothing in common.

He broke down and admitted that he was gay, had been in a long term gay relationship but broke up because he wanted to have children, which was not an option for gay couples back then. He was trying to force himself to convert and it was heartbreaking. Thank God he was honest because it would have been unconscionable for him to try to fake it. It was the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and I hope he survived it.

Today there is no excuse to hide one’s sexuality from a partner. All kinds of relationships can be possible with a loving heart and honesty. Let’s face it, the normative hetero marriage often doesn’t survive a lifetime. It still isn’t easy, but coming out and living life honestly is the best way. Monogamy is overrated, but keeping vows is not.”

7. She always knew

“Ah hell, this deserves at least one decent reply, even if it’s a rush job. I knew I was gay from a pretty young age, it was the major turning point in my faith and a lot of other parts of my life. I feel like this has a way of answering questions about others, but for me it was like having a big stone land right in the middle of me that I had to learn to live around. I didn’t adapt well. I’m not attractive and I’m probably the least fabulous person on earth.

My first attempt at a casual hookup resulted in me washing my sheets and spending the rest of the night in the shower, so I gave up. A friend had been pushing me to go on a blind date with a friend of his wife, and eventually I said yes. I don’t really care what this says about me, I know I was tired of being lonely and feeling like I didn’t deserve to have affection. I’m very glad I said yes, because it turns out I can be happy if I let myself be.

My wife is my best friend and I genuinely can’t imagine life without her. She knew almost from the start that I’m gay, I let her know right off the bat and I’ve never let it come between us. Of course the gay didn’t shut off, I’m “out” to my closest friends and as comfortable in my homosexuality as I guess I ever could be- with the obvious caveat that my wife is the be all, end all of my life and the person I chose above all others.

I don’t know what they- or the world at large- really thinks about my situation, but I know this works for us. So that’s what I got.”

8. A nice relationship

“I have a friend who for as long as I’ve known her, her dad has been out as gay. Her mum and Dad were married from being young, had a good relationship and had two kids, then he came out to his wife and obviously they got divorced. They still go on family holidays together with their partners and have a really nice relationship.”

9. Much happier

“We have a family friend who was like this. Got married to a woman in the 80s I don’t know for sure how long they were married I believe about ten years. My mom has told me he’s much happier being himself than he was back then. He doesn’t have much of a family though and didn’t have any kids with her so he tends to butt into our family a bit.

His mom and and my grandmother were best friends until his mother passed away so were the closest he’s got to family left. He drives my dad up the wall but I think that has to do more with them being in business together for a while than anything. Nice guy kind of like an extra uncle for me and my siblings so i’m just glad he’s happy with his life.”

10. It destroyed her

“My gay father was married to my mother for nearly 25 years. After a heart attack at age 41, he slowly started to realize he couldn’t live the lie anymore. They divorced 6 years later

It destroyed her (she couldn’t get over it).”