The closeted gay husband transfers all their fear, shame, anger, and rage onto their wives. This deep-seated toxic shame they feel is at the core, and because they don’t feel validated they will strip their wives of any validation. The closeted gay man will seek out artificial validation. It can come in the form of purchasing material possessions for themselves such as a new boat or a car, another example would be having sex with strangers. These things can only bring a temporary hollow validation. This superficial addictive validation is fleeting. It creates a cycle to fill a void that can never be filled.
I often wondered once they leave their marriages to women if they go on to find happiness with a man. I just read the book called The Velvet Rage By Alan Downs. I was surprised to learn that many of their relationships with men end up no better than the marriages they had with their straight wives. Some of the longer lasting relationships end up much like our marriages, the sex ends, they each retreat to their own side of the bed not wanting to touch each other. They bring all their abusive, and destructive behaviors into their relationships with men. A lot of these men end up much like the straight spouse with PTSD from the trauma of the relationship. Many of these men end up seeking counseling. Most of these relationships do not last long, and they move from one relationship to the next. Once they reach a level of acknowledgement about their sexuality, they are entering a new phase of the process, but this is by no means authenticity. When they go on to live with a man many cheat on each other. They don’t like being cheated on even if they were cheating too. I’m quoting Alan Downs here “The first time a man is hurt by another man, they may go running back to a woman”.
Alan Downs writes about three stages a closeted gay man goes through coming to terms with his sexuality. Each stage can be delayed, or foreclosed on. This meaning some never reach the end stage, never truly coming to terms with who they are. He states they have spent most of their lives avoiding toxic shame. He also says because gay men feel invalidated they become hypersensitive to minor infractions they perceive as slights, thus becoming so angry that it leads to rage. He writes about what leads to the closeted gay man’s feelings of invalidation. Starting early in childhood from being different and not feeling accepted by their fathers, or society.
Many of us were not given the validation we needed as children. As human beings we all want to feel validated. We don’t destroy others in our need for validation. If you are married and just finding out your husband is gay. He may not want out of the marriage at this point he is just delaying his process of acceptance. Some stop the process altogether, never completely coming out. If he does want out, he may be starting to accept his homosexuality. He still has a long way to go. He will still carry with him the toxic shame he feels about himself. At this point he is destructive in any relationship.
We as straight wives are witnessing the toxic shame of these men who are struggling with their sexuality. They are either delaying the process of their own acceptance, or stopping it altogether. This creates a limbo like existence for both of you. As these marriages go on in years they can feel like slow-moving death. I’m sure many straight wives have experienced their husband’s anger and rage. Many closeted gay husbands drink or do drugs, because they have a hard time dealing with these feelings. They have split themselves into two parts. One living the straight life with you, and the other watching gay porn and meeting men who are complete strangers for sex. We can let go and heal ourselves. Staying can only lead to more suffering.