When Your Husband Is Attracted to the Same Sex
By Cathy Hammond
As a woman who is married to a man who is same gender attracted, I am writing this article to help those of you who are also in this position to know that you are not alone and that what you are feeling and the questions you are asking are common to each spouse of a same gender attracted person.
I also want to give you copious amounts of hope. My husband Guy and I have been married for 25 marvelous years, and while we do live with sexual identity issues as a reality in our marriage, it has not been a matter that has prevented us from being incredibly in love with each other and living a very fulfilled and happy life together. Regardless of what society tells you, I want you to know that being married to someone who is attracted to the same sex is no deterrent from having a wonderful, love filled marriage!
If I may, let me briefly explain how Guy and I came to be, and then share how we have handled this part of our lives.
Years ago after first meeting, Guy and I quickly became very good friends and then dated for one year. I eventually broke up with him because I sensed there was something that wasn't right, but didn't know what it was. After a time, Guy had become very withdrawn and wasn't doing well spiritually. I felt like there were major warning signs alerting me to problems that were present, but I just couldn't put my finger on exactly what they were.
3 ½ years later Guy asked if I would go on a date with him. I was nervous and hesitant, but agreed to go out for coffee. We shared very openly about some of the things we had both worked through in our own lives that had brought about growth and maturity. While Guy did not share about his same gender attraction issues, he did let me know that he had been involved in sin years earlier that had brought about a lot of insecurity and confusion, which had contributed to sabotaging our relationship. He also told me that he was now very strong in his repentance, and he was doing great. Our friendship blossomed once again, and we both felt ready to give our relationship another try.
When we decided to date again, Guy said that he had something to share that was very important for me to know before I committed to him. He proceeded to tell me that he had been involved in homosexuality throughout his teen years and even into his early 20's but had been getting help, had repented, and had not been actively involved in this sin since becoming a Christian.
There were several emotions and thoughts that came flooding in. My first reaction was that I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. I actually thought I might be sick. I felt so betrayed that I had been involved in such a trusting relationship with him for a year, and I had even shared so much emotionally, but he had hidden this huge secret about his life. What else hadn't he told me? I also felt so sad that he had gone through all of that, and I felt sorry for him, because I could tell he was deeply ashamed. Mostly though, I was proud of him for sharing this part of his life with me.
I went home that night and felt very conflicted. All the questions that ran through my mind were overwhelming; did he have AIDS? Had he been tested for it? Was he still attracted to other men? And if so , how could he possibly be attracted to me? And what of our physical relationship when we were eventually married? Would we ever be able to enjoy this? Could I ever really trust him, knowing he had hidden something from me for so long? Should I pursue this relationship and possibly end up in a marriage that could be a catastrophe? Could I trust God to lead me and take care of me in this?
After receiving the assurances of the man who had mentored Guy during his time of repentance; I prayed and read scriptures about forgiveness and sin, and finally wrapped my mind and heart around the fact that before God, Guy's failings were no different than my own. He had faced it head on, had been very transparent with the accountability partners in his life, and was on a consistently repentant and faithful path. We began our dating relationship again and were married a year later.
One thing that both Guy and I insisted on in our relationship, (both when we were dating and also throughout our married life) was that we have a trusted spiritual couple who would mentor us and guide us and with whom we could be honest. This has been a huge blessing, as it has helped us avoid making so many mistakes. Let me strongly recommend and encourage you to find a couple like this to help you in your marriage, if you haven't done so already.
Over the last 25 years, we have had our challenging times. For years it was difficult for me to bring up questions or concerns because Guy would immediately get very insecure and withdrawn. He was still very ashamed and embarrassed for being same gender attracted. The questions I had for years were: are you still attracted to other men? Are you attracted to me? Are you attracted to other women? Are you afraid people will find out about your past? In the last few years though, our relationship has deepened in trust and communication, which has really allowed us to discuss these issues in a secure atmosphere while we have faith in our love for each other and for God.
In one sense, Guy's issue with same gender attraction has taught both of us to be incredibly sensitive to one another's needs. I have learned that my husband requires constant communication from me that he is attractive, that I am attracted to him, that I am proud to be his wife, that I am glad we are married, that I love him, that I am proud of him, and that he really does meet my emotional and physical needs. I realize that these are the same things every husband needs to hear from their wife, but Guy really needs to be reminded of this and hear these words of affirmation from me daily. Most men live with a sense of feeling somewhat insecure at times, however same gender attracted men live with a very profound sense of insecurity. I know that those thoughts that he may be less of a man because of his same gender attractions can be countered and even eliminated with my words of love, affection, admiration and trust. I have also seen that as Guy continues to find healing, the overwhelming sense of shame and insecurity that once plagued his life daily is slowly, but surely, being replaced with a strong confidence and healthy self-assurance in who he is as a male, a husband, a father, and as a man of God.
Guy on the other hand has learned that I too, need many of the same words of affirmation and warmth; especially considering his sexual identity issues. I need to hear - often - that he is attracted to me, that I satisfy him as a lover, that he needs me and that he's glad he is married to me. This is the kind of language that we have tried to permeate our marriage with. We are not perfect at it, of course, but we really have spent years striving to constantly build each other up with words of encouragement, support and love.
We also attribute much of the success we have enjoyed to the wisdom and guidance of trusted, authentic Christian friends with whom we can be real. Initially, it was just with one couple but over the years we have gained a larger group of dear friends and counselors who know us in-depth, and with whom we can share anything. Guy also has a circle of close friends with whom he is extremely open and transparent. This gives me great confidence that my husband is not living a secret and hidden life, but rather is striving to be a Godly man of openness and righteousness.
If this issue has hit your home, and you are both committed to following Jesus, then let me offer you this reality that has helped both Guy and I tremendously: whether your husband is attracted to men or women is not the point, for regardless of what his sexual orientation is, your husband needs to be faithful in marriage, wise, self controlled and loving. And whether your husband is attracted to men or women for you is not really the point because you also need to be faithful in marriage, wise, self controlled, respectful and loving.
Regardless of whatever challenges you face in marriage, there is no excuse for either of you to treat each other with anything less than what the scriptures call each of us to: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
I cannot promise you that if you love your same gender attracted husband with that kind of Godly love, that your husband will cherish, treasure and protect you and respond in kind, but I can promise you that you will be pleasing to God and have created an environment for your husband to thrive in if he wants to. In light of that kind of love, Guy and I have found that the sexual identity issues we must work through together (not to mention all of the other challenges that life brings) are actually quite small and even irrelevant.
Cathy Hammond became a disciple of Jesus in 1985 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is the wife of Guy Hammond; founder and Executive Director of Strength in Weakness Ministries and currently works full time in that ministry with him. Guy and Cathy have four children and one grandchild.
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