I’m Alexander Cheves, a writer, author, and sex educator. My nickname is Beastly. I give adult advice on this blog — no question is off-limits. To ask me something, email AskBeastly@gmail.com or send a message via the Ask Beastly contact form.
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Hi, I’m hoping maybe you can help me. My life has been shattered because, other than catching my husband in the act, I have come to the conclusion that my husband is having an affair. For months I was thinking of a female until recently I’ve realized that it’s not with females, it’s with men. I have been consuming my life trying to figure out what I did wrong. He is completely denying liking men. He is homophobic. He is religious. He has a big part in him not coming out and that he won’t make it to heaven. In the meantime, he is gaslighting me.
Hi my friend,
Read this carefully: regardless if your husband is telling you the truth, if you don’t believe him, you should leave him.
If you truly caught him in the act, red-handed, there would be no need to question whether or not he’s sleeping with someone else or “come to the conclusion” that he is, because you would have hard evidence. Since you’ve been agonizing for months over the gender of the person (or persons) you think he’s sleeping with, I don’t think you actually caught him “in the act.”
You may have found porn in his internet search history, but that’s not the same thing as catching him with his tongue down another man’s throat. Again, I don’t know what you saw, and I don’t want to invalidate or discredit what you saw, but your message doesn’t seem to support the claim that you witnessed him having sex with a man. What I take more seriously than what you saw, though, is what you feel. You feel you can’t trust him to be honest with you. How can you continue to be with someone you can’t trust to tell you the truth?
If this other person (or people) exists, why does their gender matter? What difference does it make if he’s lying to you about sleeping with a man or a woman? The bigger issue here is that he’s cheating and lying about it. You should be more concerned about the fact that you don’t trust him to tell you the truth and believe he’s gaslighting you ( I assume you mean he’s saying you’re “crazy” or “seeing things” or blaming you for the problems in your marriage).
You’ve confronted him with these accusations and he has denied them. Now you must choose. You can either believe him or you can’t. He’s either lying or telling the truth (you’ll never really know which). If you don’t trust him, then it doesn’t matter if he’s telling the truth. Relationships are built on trust. If you have no trust, your relationship is over.
If he said, “Yes, I’m having an affair, but I love you and want to make this work with you, and I don’t know how to do both, but I need what he gives me and I need what you give me also,” what would you say? Would you let him have a playmate as long as he came home to you every night? An affair is not always a terminal revelation. Some couples, when confronted with cheating, have built such honest rapport that they are able to share painful secrets and talk about how to move forward. Sometimes — not often, but sometimes — cheating can lead to good things and improve the relationship as a whole.
It doesn’t sound like you have that kind of rapport with your husband. If your suspicions are correct and he’s a religious, homophobic man secretly sleeping with men, there’s nothing you can do to help him come out and live honestly. There’s also nothing you’ve “done wrong.” There are men like him all over the world. You can’t change them or help them.
If your suspicions are wrong and he’s telling you the truth, how would you know? You’ve continued to believe your suspicions despite his assertions that your suspicions are unfounded — so your best course, regardless of the truth, is to leave. You can’t ever know the objective truth. In relationships, the subjective ruth — the one you believe in — is the only one that matters.
The truth is a story we tell ourselves. We tell it over and over, corroborating it with everything we think we know until nothing else can be believed. Like memory, truth is malleable. It fits our fears and biases like a glove.