Sometimes the relationship actually gets stronger over time as the partners develop compassion and understanding for one another.If the man is gay, the relationship has less of a chance of survival.
If he has a need that she can’t meet or doesn’t want to meet, then she’s OK with him cheating, as long as he’s not doing it with other women.
What advice do you have for the women in these relationships?
I always advise the women, and I write about this in the book, to not need all the details of what their man has done. I also want them to know that the marriage can survive.
And finally, I try to make sure that the women in these relationships understand that their man’s behavior is not about them, it’s about him and his unmet needs.
This population is the focus of his new and much needed book: .
I am pleased that Joe has written this book, as I have had to deal with these questions in my own practice relatively often, as have many other therapists. Number one is the high incidence of male-female couples entering my office because the woman thinks her man might be gay. He’s actually straight, but for whatever reason he’s been looking at gay porn or he’s been having sex with men. I should probably state up-front that these questions are based on my clinical experience, not on any scientific research, but I’ve been doing this for a very long time and I can assure you that these questions are definitely on-point. I also use what I call the “beach test.” I always joke with clients that for me, as a gay man, when I’m walking on the beach and checking people out, the women are in the way.
Last but not least, a lot of guys are into anal stimulation and they’re afraid their wives won’t do it, or they’re too embarrassed to ask, or they’ve asked and their wives have said no. It’s not gay or straight, it’s just your anus.” In other words, they’re doing this because to them it feels good. Do the men in these relationships usually want to stay together? Usually when the man understands this he can then stop the behavior, even though the desire doesn’t go away.
So they go find a guy who will take care of that for them. Then I tell them that a lot of gay men don’t do anal at all, either giving or receiving. And when the woman understands this she can start to connect with him on that level, supporting him and bonding with him instead of obsessing about what he’s done.
However, more and more of these couples are deciding to stay together, mostly after the age of 60. Sometimes with bisexual men there’s a period of time when it becomes very important for him to express his same-sex attraction.
That might last for two months or two years, and then it may recede, but this typically causes all kinds of problems in the marriage.
These are his issues, not hers, even though they can and usually do affect her and her relationship rather profoundly.