Sexolve 122: ‘I am a Gay Married Man. Should I Divorce My Wife?’
Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on FIT.
If you have any problems, doubts or queries regarding sex, sexuality or your relationship, which you can’t seem to deal with, or need some advice, answers or just someone to hear you out – write in to Harish Iyer, and he’ll try and ‘sexolve’ it for you. Drop in a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s Q&As below:
‘My Husband and I Aren’t Close and I’m Having an Extra-Marital Affair’
I am a 28-year-old woman. I am an Indian, living in London and have been married for six years. Problem with me is that my husband doesn't take interest in me, we don't even get intimate. I have often complained and discussed the matter with him, but all in vain.
He is not ready to accept his physical deficiency. Although he loves me, but we are not couple in the true sense. He lives in a different country, and whenever he visits me, we just live like friends and not like a married couple.
Actually, this problem has worsened in due course of time. Because of his negligence, I have got myself involved with a colleague of mine who is 13 years older than me. He is married, with two children. His wife and his children live in Scotland. We love each other madly and in spite of both of us being married, we care for each other, are cozy in bed. He also wants to make me a complete women, have a child with me, but on his own terms and conditions.
What I want to say is that my colleague does not want to divorce his wife, although his relationship with his wife is very bitter. He doesn't want me to give the legal status of wife, but want to continue the relationship with me secretly, sometimes I feel like, I have become a ' keep' .
I am very disturbed, couldn't even discuss this issue with anyone, but my husband, alas, my legal husband is little concerned about my pain.
Please help me, guide me and tell me what should I do. I want a family complete with husband and kid.
Should I divorce my husband? Should I continue my relationship with my colleague who I love? Or should I maintain distance with my colleague?
Thank you for sharing this intimate part of your life with me. Life and love are sometimes challenging, but the journey is always worth it.
Before I focus on the issues that you have shared with me, let me first congratulate you for finding love.
I know, it would have been best if you both were single, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Well, life is unpredictable that way and full of surprises.
I understand the concern regarding the lack of physical intimacy with your husband. Is that the only reason why you guys drifted apart? Because you also say that he loves you. People who love, are sensitive to our needs, emotional, romantic or sexual. While “physical deficiency” is too strong a word to use for him without any diagnosis, I understand that you say these words from a point of expressing your desires and needs that were not met.
You don’t need to stay together because you are married to each other, you need to stay together because you love each other. But if there is no love, the whole marriage becomes a farce.
Now, also realise one other thing. You do not need to be in another relationship to walk away from this relationship.
Now, coming to your lover. Pardon my judgements, but to me it appears that he doesn’t want to make a choice and is taking a comfortable stand. Do you really want to be with someone who loves you but doesn’t have the spine to stand with you.
You do not love in the closet. You love in gay abandon. There is pride in love. It is not something to be ashamed of or hidden.
Ask yourself, am I willing to be a shadow in someone’s life or am I going to bring my life to the path of love and light.
PS: I trust you will make the right choice.
There’s a girl I seem to love and want to date. We studied at the same university. I realised life kept bringing us together at one point or the other even after school. We both share similar interests. I was finally able to approach her and tell her my intentions. Although she said she wasn't ready for love (because of her past relationships), I could hear her heart beat whenever she was in my arms; the touch, holding of hands... she completely enjoys having me in my romantic avatar. But I'm yet to get a yes. Sometimes it feels like I'm trying to force her to love/date me. She keeps a whole lot to her self and sometimes I'd have to press on to get a word out of her. Could it be we aren't meant for each other? Or do I have to just keep pressing?
It is so nice when life gets us together with people who we love and care about again and again. You are a lucky person that way.
Sometimes in our expectation to get more, we choose to lose much.
Let me speak to you from personal experience. I have had my heart broken. I know it is the worst feeling on planet earth. The feeling of being let down by the ones you love, the feeling of having lost love, the feeling of being emotionally empty yet having a heavy heart is challenging. Give her time. She will grow out of pain in a while. Give her time.
It is your responsibility that you hold her hand when she recounts the pain of her past relationships. Do not rush her in. She will need time. Give her the gift of time.
PS: Keep loving. You are love.
I am 36-years-old got married 5 years ago to a girl with mutual consent. I always knew that I was different but I had no idea that I was a gay. I realised only after 6 months of marriage that I was a gay. Initially I visited so many doctors and hospitals but as you know, it’s not a disease. Then I started feeling guilty of ruining my wife's life. We always had issues in our married life like sexual problems, mismatching of opinions, quarrels, dissatisfaction. But after one year of marriage when family got involved I came out to my family about my sexuality. I don’t know how and why but my wife chose to stay with me but I always knew that it’s going to be very difficult for us. My family left the decision to her but she decided to stay with me. This made me emotional and we got intimate that night. We had some physical intimate nights but all of them were at the cost of my inner pain.
Now, we have a son of 3 years and it’s been 2 years now that we got physical. We both are just living in this marriage but we are not happy because we are not emotionally attached or I should say I am not attached to her. I had a relationship after marriage which was caught by her and then I stopped it. She is a very nice girl and I have done so much damage to her and I don’t want to add more. She loves me a lot but I could never love her back. She always stands by my family. Socially, both families are secured because of her courage only.
I feel she is living with me because of our son but she feels empty in the marriage. I can not satisfy her physically. It feels like getting raped every time she comes close to me. And I feel very guilty about myself. What should I do and what can I do for her? How can I make her happy? I feel like getting separated is the last solution because how can I change myself? I tried to share my point of view with her but she was not able to understand my point exactly. And I can’t blame her for this because she always tries to support me. But I am just concerned about one thing.
Should I stay with her but not make her happy or should we remain legally in marriage but live separately (this is what she wanted just a month ago)? I use social dating apps to satisfy myself but how can she satisfy herself? I had told her that you can have every kind of freedom from my side. You can satisfy yourself in any manner you want, I really don’t have any issue. She always shares some internet articles with me which makes me feel guilty again and again. I sometimes feel that why are we living this life only for the sake of family and society? I am puzzled. Her family is also very supportive. I feel lucky to have such people but at the end it’s about our life. In your opinion what should we do? Please help or suggest something.
Dear Troubled Man,
Thank you for pouring your heart out to me.
I am glad that you found your voice, albeit a little late.
Life is a discovery that simply happens by the way.
Life is funny that way.
Sometimes it shocks you with truths that you would rather not encounter. Sometimes it happens at a time when you would rather not face the truth. But I am glad that you completely are sure about your sexuality and I am also glad that your concern doesn’t emerge from a point of misogyny but from a point of empathy.
Yes, but your truths this time are at the cost of the truths of others who never signed up for it. Your wife chooses to stay with you, you long for freedom. It would be best in your interest to divorce. However, life is not easy peasy for women who take that plunge. Maybe, you need to focus on ensuring that you both receive counselling with an expert to actually helps you navigate through this difficult path, and come out unhurt.
Understand though, that you cannot wash your hands away from your wife or your child. You will have to take complete responsibility of your actions. Even if it happened at a time when you yourself did not realise who you were.
I understand you would want to speak to someone regularly. I have dropped my number to you on the email. I do a decent job in listening. Also, I suggest you visit www.humsafar.org, they have an office in East of Kailash in Delhi. You could look for Gautam Yadav or Yashwinder Singh there. They are an organisation that works hard for the rights of LGBTIQ persons since ages. We have got our rights and the reading down of section 377 has happened because of their relentless efforts.
We will not ever take a stand against your wife or help you get a divorce, but I guess peer-to-peer listening, meeting someone like us, will help you navigate though this part of life and find your own solutions through this challenge.
You would also need the help of a professional counsellor. Eventually, when you are in a better place, I suggest that you request your wife also to take counselling so that she can take a decision to be independent emotionally as well.
PS: Things get better. Keep the faith.
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)