There’s an old saying “Denial ain’t just a river.” How well many of you know this!  For some straight spouses, it can feel like you have been swimming upstream trying to get an admission of truth from your current or former LGBT spouses.  You know what you know, and yet when you ask “are you gay?” You are told an emphatic NO.  For many of you, the deception hurts worse than the truth.

One man said, “When I found out that my wife was involved in secret gay behavior, I was more hurt by the deception than by her gay orientation.” People know how to love and forgive, but it is very difficult to live, and deal with lies. Another hurting straight spouse wonders, “How do I go to church and face all those people, knowing that my husband is in a secret relationship with one of the other deacons. Am I the only one who knows? Everyone acts like I am the one who is doing something wrong. I didn’t know he was gay, why did he marry me when he knows he is gay?”

After inadvertently finding incriminating proof that their spouses are involved in gay behavior, many straight spouses ask their spouse directly, and correctly “are you gay?” and are told no, of course not.  Sometimes a challenge follows the denial.  How could you ask that?  What on earth would make us think that?

“Oh, maybe it’s the gay porn that keeps popping up on the computer every time you use it, or the sexually explicit text messages from other men on your cell phone, the embarrassingly close male/female friendships that exclude your spouse, not to mention those weird phone messages on the voice mail from a complete stranger, a man no less, and pictures of men’s private parts in the socks drawer, do you want to hear about the risque magazines with the male sex toy catalogs, that get delivered every month. Please don’t make me continue.

Perhaps there are now too many ways to evade answering the question “are you gay?” when a straight spouse asks it in frustration.  After all, many counselors will look at a distraught straight spouse in couples counseling who outlines all the reasons they think their husband or wife may be gay and tell them that none of this makes them actually gay, so why do
YOU think so?

The fact that you are there after many months of no intimacy, no sex, you can’t even rub your body against his without him feeling disgusted, should be more than enough. You didn’t say he didn’t love you, he just don’t love you like a man should love his wife. He doesn’t desire you like a man desires a woman.  Oh yeah, you have the wrong equipment.

Infidelity comes in many forms. When your husband or wife participates in gay sex, that is adultery. The Bible say ‘thou shall not commit adultery.’ It also says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, it is an abomination.” Leviticus 18:22 KJV. In Leviticus 20:13: “If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Those men and women in the church with SSA, and are actively engaged in gay behavior, remember what the Bible says. 

Perhaps the best way to question a closeted gay spouse in denial is to ask more specific questions, yucky though it may be.  “Are you having sex with other men/women?  Are you having sex with (name)?  Did you meet those people from Craigslist for sex?  What do you find attractive about gay porn?” Why is a man sending you such explicit text messages? Why did your new friend refer to me and the kids as fish and chips? Oh, you didn’t know I knew what fish and chips meant, did you?

Even with such pointed questioning, some spouses in denial will still continue to evade answering, or accuse you of being delusional, crazy, or making something out of nothing. After all, some have convinced themselves that oral sex isn’t real sex, or having sex with someone of the same sex isn’t cheating on a heterosexual spouse, or that they are not really LGBT, they just fell in love with the person. They will even try to discredit what the Bible says about homosexuality, or try to justify behavior with what was not mentioned in the bible.

Some straight spouses will never hear the truth – and many people around them will never want to hear the truth.  Homosexuality is still a very uncomfortable subject with many people, including those who are actually homosexual and don’t want to be!  Sometimes gay and lesbian spouses in denial resort to proclaiming their straight spouses to be crazy, and often many family members and friends will believe them. It’s easier for some people to believe that the straight spouse is crazy than that they are gay and in denial.

Sadly your church may not even acknowledge that you might even have such problems. But why, when you might both be church members who tithe faithfully? Do you dare seek help from your leaders? Do they understand such matters? How can they help you when they may not even understand such problems themselves? This is not just marital infidelity. This is so much more.

Yes, you feel alone, and have no idea where to turn for help. Maybe you just want to stay in the closet with your spouse, and hope for the best. Secrets usually come out. Are you prepared to handle the aftermath when your spouses same sex orientation is revealed…Publicly? It sometimes happens. What will you do then? Do you know where to get help?

Don’t just wallow in self pity. Protect yourself. Your health is very important. Yes, God will protect you, but remember He also helps those who help themselves. Get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Even if there is very infrequent sexual relations, or none at all, get tested. If you text your zip code to 566948, they will send a reply text with the information for the testing facility nearest to your home. You can also go to and you will be able to find testing sites convenient in proximity to you. Don’t be afraid. Testing is free and everything is confidential.  You may be able to request anonymous testing also. Knowing your HIV status is powerful. Knowledge is always powerful, and you will have peace of mind.

Whatever happens with your test results, remember that you are not alone.  If you are HIV Negative, don’t assume your spouse is, unless he got tested too and you have the results.  Please protect yourself so that you do not become infected at a future date.  If unfortunately you are HIV positive, there is support for you to get through this most difficult period.  You are not alone. You can get peer support right here in South Florida. One of the wonderful things about the peer support at
South Florida Connects is that they are peer to peer and confidential. One of the things they affirm for each other is this: You know what you know. That is your truth, even if your secretly gay spouse is in denial.

They don’t demand “proof”.  They don’t tell you that you aren’t an expert on sexuality so you don’t really know.  You DO know. You are an expert on YOUR life and YOUR situation. And it is safe to share your questions, confidences, and observations with them.  Chances are, someone in their group has had a similar experience.  They won’t tell you that you are going crazy.  Instead, they might have some ideas to help keep you from going crazy!

During times that media focus attention on high profile cases, they often find that they are contacted by more straight spouses who recognize the similarities in their own lives.  If you believe you are the straight spouse or significant other of a gay person in denial, someone who has SSA, they welcome you to
contact them and get free, confidential support for yourself in a safe atmosphere.  You need it – and you deserve it.

Definitions & Gay Jargon:

Straight Spouse: A heterosexual person in a marriage or relationship with a spouse who is secretly or openly gay.
Fish & Chips: Wife and kids
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
SSA: Same sex attraction

More Information: Listen to Rev. Dr. Clarke on the Radio: