The Case of “The Betrayal”
A few weeks ago over lunch with a girlfriend, I innocently asked her why wasn’t her husband there, she told me that they were having some kind of a disagreement. To many, “disagreement” might be too casual a term to describe the situation. You see, she has recently found out that he has been surfing gay porn sites as well as having a correspondence with a friend he got to know from Gaydar (a gay personals website). The said correspondence actually stopped at “let’s meet up for coffee and see where this goes.”
If you were the wife in question, how would you feel right now? What should the first thing be done towards handling or even solving the problem?
The most important issue is not a matter of trust in this case. Although theoretically the husband has been doing things behind her back, we should not focus on that. The problem is a multi-layered one and even if you managed to rectify the issue of the lie, you have a much bigger problem in your hands – the problem of your husband’s sexuality.
Most people would take the side of the wife in this domestic conflict but we should see how this is painful for the husband as well. Imagine a man forced by society to hide his sexuality all his life. Living a lie is far worse than telling one. I am not saying that suffering the darkness of being in the closet absolves the crime of lying to someone you love but being the recipient of that love, you should step back and look at the big picture.
The first thing that the couple can do is to start a communication line going and this is dependent on whether or not the husband has accepted his sexuality. If there is no acceptance, there is a lot of work to be done on his part and this can take years. The wife must then ask herself if she is willing to wait for him to come to grips with it. The last thing anyone should do is to try to change his sexual orientation because it is impossible. With or without the resolution of the husband’s sexuality issue, the couple can seek counselling to try to handle that communication that is so important yet so hard to kick-start at this moment.
If the husband turns out to be bisexual (and not gay), there is still room for the wife to continue working on the problem. Many do not believe that bisexuals can be monogamous because they feel that one single gender simply cannot satisfy all the needs of bisexuals and we all know how strong men’s sexual urges can be. If you really love your bisexual husband and don’t want to lose him, the only route I can think of is an open relationship. I know this is unfair to the wife because she is the only strictly faithful one but it is very easy for a man to segregate love from sex (that is if the husband does love his wife). If the wife can be that open, the relationship will work out fine.
As you can see, there are so many layers to work through before this issue can really be resolved. More often than not, we either don’t have the patience or are not so open-minded. Also, there usually is no open line of communication when the issue of infidelity is involved because of all the lies and betrayal that has been thrown to the surface. The underlying make-or-break factor is love and I mean strong love from both parties. If you have it and let it be your motivating force and guide, there is a much higher chance of this working out.
So how can we avoid this problem from happening in the first place? I guess we can never do it, especially in a society that is not progressive and open-minded. When a bisexual or gay person lives in such a society, there is a very high tendency to hide his or her sexual orientation and this (not the gayness itself) poses real societal problems (gays getting into doomed marriages and families breaking up subsequently). Only when society opens up can we be truly honest to one another right from the start and maybe all this pain and frustration can be averted. But our lives go on regardless of how slow or fast the society progresses so I guess we just have to deal with it when it punches us in the face. Fortunately, gay relationships do not suffer this fate because we know for sure we are gay and get together without even realising that this could actually be a problem for many. I pity the straights that are in this predicament, I really do. But I blame the society and all the external factors (eg. government, politics, religion, etc) curbing the evolution of a progressive world.
I gave all the advice I could think of to my girlfriend and right now they are at the stage of sweeping everything under the rug as if nothing has happened as the husband is likely to have not come to terms with his sexual orientation yet. But do you think they don’t know what’s coming to hit them eventually?