trying to figure something out about husband

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-2012
trying to figure something out about husband
11
Mon, 11-19-2012 - 2:26pm

I hope some of you can offer some insight on this… my husband and I married last year and have been together for a total of six years now and are both in our mid-30s. I think we have a very strong relationship—we have similar goals, we have sex several times a week (he has a great sex drive, he initiates a lot and seems to be really into it) and he wants to have kids. He’s very loving, physically affectionate, we spend most of our free time together, have a lot in common, stay in touch throughout the work day, etc. In addition, my friends and family all like him and have been supportive of my relationship with him.

When we started dating several ago, my husband shared with me that he had an ex from grad school who thought he was gay because he had a few female friends, likes to cook and had a friend or two who was gay. Apparently, after one too many accusations, he dumped his girlfriend saying it was her problem if she didn’t like him for who he is (a straight guy who is not a stereotypical male). He also said that he once had a gay guy come on to him while he was at a party (before we met) and he had to tell the guy thanks but no thanks. He didn’t sound offended by the incident it at all—he just told the guy no and he even had a friend of his reiterate it to the guy. At the end of the talk, I asked him flat out if he is and he said no, he’s not gay, and left it at that.

Anyway, I’m starting to worry about these stories he told me long ago because, as silly as it sounds, since we got married, he’s started buying these tight athletic t-shirts. They make him look, well, really gay and I don’t want him wearing these shirts in front of my family because he looks so gay in them and knowing my family, they will ask me what’s with my husband’s outfit. The other day I wanted to tell him he looks like he works at a gay bar. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him this because I don’t want him to relive his former relationship and this time, relive it with his WIFE, who he thought accepted him.  To top it all off, I’ve noticed, when we’ve gone out and he’s wearing the shirts, that he seems to attract the attention of gay men (I’ve seen them looking him up and down). What can I say…. I can’t help but hear the words “It takes one to know one,” playing in my head whenever this happens. I know some of this sounds paranoid but I don’t know what to make of it…. I feel like this is all eating me up inside and like I need to ask him about this stuff again… there are so many stories out there about women who accidentally marry gay men who realize they are gay years into a relationship or marriage and I don’t want to be one of them… is there a way to approach this without upending my marriage and putting my mind at ease already? It isn't even just the shirts. I've noticed him doing the whole gay wrist thing on occasion. Or do I need to take a deep breath and accept that he’s indeed straight with certain traits and that these things were actually what attracted me in the first place (his interest in good food, foreign cultures, visiting museums, etc)? We’ve already been down this road and I think if I bring it up again it’s going to get ugly. I know what he’d say—he’d ask why I’m getting all bent out of shape over this and if he’s character bothered me so much I should have dumped him years ago. 

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Mon, 11-19-2012 - 2:39pm

You can't have your cake and eat it too. Every trait will express itself in ways that we love and in ways that we dislike, depending on the current expression so this could be nothing more than the flip of that coin. if so, keep flipping the coin in your head like you did in your post and remind yourself of the ways that you appreciate said expression and can't have it without the other.

However and unfortunately for your situation, certain gay circles engage in relationship-free sex and with men, it only takes mere minutes to hook up so even though he spends a lot of time with you, well... you get my drift.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 11-19-2012 - 4:39pm

Well both my late brother and son are gay and neither one of them does the limp wristed thing, talks in that lispy tone, etc.  My son is only 17 and just came out to the immediate family & friends--some things are stereotypical.  he hates sports (my DD & I love football--does that mean we're lesbians?), he's very into clothes (works in a clothing store, but doesn't wear tight T shirts--I don't really know what "gay" T shirts look like), likes to bake and has more female friends than male.  On the other hand, I have 2 ex Husbands, both definitely straight, who both liked to go to art museums, musicals and liked food & culture.  so you can't always stereotype.  It's hard to believe that someone who is guy would constantly be interested in sex with a woman and be very into it.  I don't really know what to say--you will definitely insult him if you suggest that he's gay & he  isn't.  If you don't like the T shirts, just say that you don't think they look attractive on him, etc. but if he works out a lot maybe he wants to show off his muscles.  Remember Fran Drescher, who was on The Nanny?  She was married to a guy who turned out to be gay--read her book.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-14-2001
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 12:55am
I too have an atypical husband. He's not gay, but sure can do a gay impression that's very believable. He's sensitive and in touch with his feelings. He enjoys theater, art galleries (as well as sports), he cries when something touches him and women love him, he has lots of women friends. He's not gay. My point is that men don't always fit the stereotypical mold. I know several guys who have been approached by gays in their lives, one of them is my dad, who got hit on frequently while a young man in the Navy. Another was a very macho cowboy type who wasn't remotely gay. Being approached by a gay doesn't mean anything. I think you can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out if he is despite saying he's not but I wonder what you're trying to gain. Suppose he told you that he was, then what? Divorce and your life turned on its ear? Are you looking for a reason to end your marriage? Are you hoping to facilitate a break up? I think the only thing you can do is take him at his word and expect that he wouldn't be with you if he didn't want to be with a woman (YOU in particular) and let it go. If he is perhaps one day he'll tell you, but it's also entirely possible he's simply not a stereotypical guy. Enjoy him for who he is and let it go. If you don't like the shirts, tell him. But tell him you don't like them, they don't look good on him, whatever, but you certainly don't have to tell him they make him look gay.

~ cl-2nd_life

cl-2nd_
Community Leader
Registered: 05-14-2001
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 12:57am
Sorry - accidentally double posted.

~ cl-2nd_life

cl-2nd_
Avatar for ukgirl82
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2005
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 8:22am

Since when does being cultured and worldly make a man homosexual? I don't know what kind of men you normally hang out with but virtually all the straight men in my life enjoy good food, foreign cultures, museums, etc. And though I live in the UK where you might expect this to be more the norm for men, I am American and therefore most of the men in my life are American too (my dad, my brother, cousins, uncles, friends, etc). Although, btw, people are not necessarily more sophisticated in the UK than America anyway!

Tight shirts? If you don't like them, just let him know - you don't have to bring the word "gay" into it. Just say "I prefer your shirts not so tight" and if he asks why, ask him "Don't I have certain types of clothes that you prefer me in to others?" It doesn't have to be "gay" for you to not like it.

I find it hard to believe he is homosexual based purely on tight shirts, culture, and the occasional limp wrist. If he was actually gay and in denial about it, he probably would not be comfortable having gay friends, which you say he does. And he's never given you any reason to believe he's been attracted to any man in pariticular? You say when he wears tight shirts, he gets looks from other men. But is HE looking at other men? Does he flirt with them? Hit on them? Because to me, these are the things that would concern me, not tight shirts. Mannerisms and clothes do not make someone gay, it's who they are attracted to that does. If he has never appeared attracted to men and he has always appeared attractive to you and you have a good marriage with good sex, I see no reason to suspect he might be homosexual.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-2012
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 10:24am

Thank you for your insights. This has been stressing me out for quite some time. I come from a family where most of the men are "typical" men who are into watching sports and could care less about what they wear as long as it fits (somewhat). And, believe it or not, as far as I know, none of the married men in my family have any female friends they communicate with outside of work. I think if my father had any female friends my mother would have had no tolerance for it, at all. She probably wouldn't even have married him and assumed he was either a womanizer or gay. 

My husband comes from a pretty open-minded family and culture. He has a cousin who came out a few years ago and everyone seems pretty accepting and supportive of him. My husband also went to very liberal universities. So, at this point, I'd find it very, very hard to understand why he didn't feel free to come out years ago if he were in fact gay. 

Similar to what cl-2ndlife said, he also does a pretty believable gay impression. I like to think that if he were gay he wouldn't want to go near anything gay and do anything to suggest he were gay. Maybe I just find it suprising how comfortable he seems to be with gay people/culture. Come to think of it, at his last job, he'd talk about his friends there, who I had a chance to meet once. As usual, he got on well with his female colleagues. He also seemed to relate well to the one gay guy on staff, but he never really seemed to be interested in being friends or hanging out with straight single guys or married men. I've never known him to be one of those guys who like to hang out in groups of men. He's even expressed to me that he doesn't like hanging out in guy packs without women. 

I don't know, maybe that's just what it comes down to me- his comfort with himself, as well as with the gay world. As I said, the men I grew up around were nothing like this so maybe that's just what's throwing me off here.  From my standpoint, though, I just want to be careful not to turn into someone abusive, observing and criticizing him all the time, saying things like "why do you have to wear that? why are you standing that way?" sort of stuff.  Not long ago, we were shopping for a dinner party we wanted to throw with friends, and we were thinking of getting some new knives and forks. He picked out a box containing a set that really wasn't something I'd want to get, and declared that he liked the design on the set. I had to stop myself from saying, "Geez, why the heck do you care about the design on your silverware?" 

You are all correct, though. At this point, I need to consider his behavior toward me-- affection, strong interest in sex, in keeping the relationship going, having kids (all things that count!) and take him at his word that he isn't gay. I can drive myself crazy over this which I've been doing for some time. This is who I married and I knew from the start that he is atypical. During college I briefly dated someone who seemed as straight as anything but was a) very religious and b) had no sex drive. Maybe he was the gay one after all.... 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 11:21am

My 2nd DH came into the marriage (of course we were older & both had our own households) with the KitchenAid mixer, cuisinart, a full set of dishes/glasses that matched, etc.  he was a much better cook than I was.  Since he was color blind, he'd go into a store where they would match up the shirts & ties with the suits and tell him what looked good together.  The only thing he was bad at was home decorating--he had terrible furtniture.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2012
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 1:41pm

If it was only the shirts, you could easily just tell him you don't think it's a flattering look. However, your main concern is obviously that you are married to a gay man. Just a thought, but maybe you should also post this on the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual board to see what kind of feedback you get. Some people are bi-sexual, hence the term. Your husband may have homosexual tendencies but decided to live a life based on his equally heterosexual tendencies. You don't offer much information as to the overall state of your marriage. Are you close? Do you communicate well? Do you trust him? Is he a loving, supportive husband? If so, while your suspicions may be valid, you seem to have had them all along, so maybe to you the positive aspects of your relationship outweigh his questionable sexuality. Is your greatest fear that he is going to one day announce that he's a homosexual and walk out leaving you high and dry? You have to ask yourself if that's the kind of person you married. If it is, you have to ask yourself if you want to continue being married to him and carrying around this heavy load of "what if". Not an easy situation to be in. Again, try posting on the other board because there is some truth in "it takes one to know one". Good luck.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 3:58pm

cd778 wrote:
<div style="color:#111111; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, Helvetica, Geneva, sans-serif; font-size:90%; background-color:white"><p>I hope some of you can offer some insight on this… my husband and I married last year and have been together for a total of six years now and are both in our mid-30s. I think we have a very strong relationship—we have similar goals, we have sex several times a week (he has a great sex drive, he initiates a lot and seems to be really into it) and he wants to have kids. He’s very loving, physically affectionate, we spend most of our free time together, have a lot in common, stay in touch throughout the work day, etc. In addition, my friends and family all like him and have been supportive of my relationship with him.</p><p>When we started dating several ago, my husband shared with me that he had an ex from grad school who thought he was gay because he had a few female friends, likes to cook and had a friend or two who was gay. Apparently, after one too many accusations, he dumped his girlfriend saying it was her problem if she didn’t like him for who he is (a straight guy who is not a stereotypical male). He also said that he once had a gay guy come on to him while he was at a party (before we met) and he had to tell the guy thanks but no thanks. He didn’t sound offended by the incident it at all—he just told the guy no and he even had a friend of his reiterate it to the guy. At the end of the talk, I asked him flat out if he is and he said no, he’s not gay, and left it at that.</p><p>Anyway, I’m starting to worry about these stories he told me long ago because, as silly as it sounds, since we got married, he’s started buying these tight athletic t-shirts. They make him look, well, really gay and I don’t want him wearing these shirts in front of my family because he looks so gay in them and knowing my family, they will ask me what’s with my husband’s outfit. The other day I wanted to tell him he looks like he works at a gay bar. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him this because I don’t want him to relive his former relationship and this time, relive it with his WIFE, who he thought accepted him. <span> </span>To top it all off, I’ve noticed, when we’ve gone out and he’s wearing the shirts, that he seems to attract the attention of gay men (I’ve seen them looking him up and down). What can I say…. I can’t help but hear the words “It takes one to know one,” playing in my head whenever this happens. I know some of this sounds paranoid but I don’t know what to make of it…. I feel like this is all eating me up inside and like I need to ask him about this stuff again… there are so many stories out there about women who accidentally marry gay men who realize they are gay years into a relationship or marriage and I don’t want to be one of them… is there a way to approach this without upending my marriage and putting my mind at ease already?<span> It isn't even just the shirts. I've noticed him doing the whole gay wrist thing on occasion. </span>Or do I need to take a deep breath and accept that he’s indeed straight with certain traits and that these things were actually what attracted me in the first place (his interest in good food, foreign cultures, visiting museums, etc)? We’ve already been down this road and I think if I bring it up again it’s going to get ugly. I know what he’d say—he’d ask why I’m getting all bent out of shape over this and if he’s character bothered me so much I should have dumped him years ago. </p></div>

My gay friend told me that a gay man does not have amazing sex with women. Period.  He has amazing sex with men. There is nothing that a woman can do for them.  So, this doesn't appear to be the issue with your husband, if we go by the bolded words above in your post.

Could he be bi? He's saying that he isn't inclined to vew men sexually, so it doesn't sound like he's bi, either.

Your family isn't owed an answer as to why he wears what he wears. "He likes the shirt" is all they need to know. If they press it any further, remind him that that is your husband they're besmirching and that you take offense. He comes first in your consideration in all things, not them.

I don't understand why, when you flat out asked him if he was gay and he said "no", that you now refuse to believe him.  So what if he likes to wear tight t-shirts? 

This isn't his problem to solve--it's your desire to control what other people think that's the problem. They're going to think whatever they want to think and there is nothing you can do about it.  What you can control is putting youself in close proximity to them.  And as I said earlier, your husband comes before anyone one else in your life in all of your considerations.

Yes, you should drop it because pursuing this would mean that you believe him to be a liar when he told you that he's not gay and that you reject who/how he is. He's right--if his character bothers you so much, you should have dumped him years ago.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010
Fri, 11-23-2012 - 2:20am

CD778-

Hi. I'm a straight man and I think you're likely worrying over nothing. I am not the best dresser, but I do like to go to art museums and the theatre.

What makes a person gay is one thing--sexual interest in the same sex. 1)Does he like to see you naked or scantily clad? 2)Does he want to have sex with you with the light on? 3)Does he enjoy looking at other women? 4)Do you ever catch him checking out other men or find gay porn on his computer? If the answer to the first three questions is yes and the answer to the fourth question is no, stop worrying. He is straight.

Pages