Several women have recently written to me about the issue of keeping the news of their husbands’ homosexuality a secret once they learn about it. Their husbands are very emphatic that no one should know about this—not family members, friends, co-workers or counselors.
I feel very upset when I receive these letters because not only are these wives expected to deal with their shattered lives, but their husbands also expect them to deal with it alone in isolation. Some women admit that they are much too embarrassed to tell anyone for fear of being ridiculed. Others are convinced that it would be some type of betrayal to their husbands even though they have been betrayed. Why do they feel the need to protect their husbands while they continue to suffer in silence?
I remember when I suspected that my husband, might be “bisexual” and suggested that we talk to a professional counselor. He strongly warned me that if I told anyone about my suspicions, he would leave me and never look back. At that time, I was in a beaten down state of mind, and the thought of his leaving kept me from seeking help and support. Eventually when I couldn’t bear to carry this burden alone, I turned to my family and made them promise me that they would never reveal my suspicions because I couldn’t bear to pay the consequences. I suffered greatly during those days because I felt so isolated and alone.
Gay husbands who demand this from their wives have most likely made sure that they have a support system in place. They have already gone to bars, meetings, and/or counselors to look for affirmation in their decision to come out. They have gotten the support they need, but fear that their secret will hurt their reputation with the family, friends, and business associates.
This to me is the greatest form of selfishness. I strongly encourage all women who learn this news to seek help and support immediately. No woman should have to deal with this devastation alone. The straight wives are the ones who need the support and help. It is their lives that are being pulled apart one strand at a time.