Learning that your spouse wants a divorce can be a painful experience. But when the marriage is over because your spouse reveals that he or she is gay, there may be many more layers of thoughts and emotions to contend with.
Estimates indicate that there are up to two million mixed orientation couples currently living in the U.S. Surveys reveal that one-third of the couples break up immediately after a gay, lesbian, or bisexual spouse comes out. Surprisingly, another third stay together for up to two years following the revelation.
Key Emotional Factors
Regardless if your spouse is gay, lesbian, or bisexual, you will probably be feeling a plethora of different emotions. The key to getting through these difficult feelings is to understand them so you can face them head on. The following are a few of the emotions you may be dealing with during this difficult time:
- Sexual rejection
- Low self-esteem
- An elevated level of self doubt
- Shattered trust
- Fears of having your family torn apart
- Pain over being lied to
- Feelings of violation
- Questions about infidelity
- Coping with secrets, non-acceptance, and how friends and family may now view you
What to Do
There is no roadmap for navigating the emotions that come with learning that your spouse is gay. However, there are quite a few things that you can do and avoid doing if this happens to you.
- Do not isolate yourself. Your family needs your support just as much as you need theirs. If you are having a hard time coping, seek professional help or a support group.
- Remember that nobody turns another person gay.
- Get checked immediately for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Do take care of yourself as you are going through the grieving process.
- Do understand that your spouse’s sexual identity has nothing to do with you.
Tips on How to Help Your Children
This experience will be as difficult for your children as it is for you. It is important to prepare yourself for the challenges ahead before you explain the situation to your children.
- Work out your own emotions before talking with your children.
- Let your children know that you are there for them as you all process and work through this tough time.
- Use age-appropriate terms when answering questions about the gay, lesbian, or bisexual parent. Understand that your children may be confused or not want to share this information with anybody else.
- Remind your children that the divorce does not change your love or your spouse’s love for them.
- Hire a professional counselor if you need extra guidance.
Woodbridge Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Offer Guidance for Those Going Through a Divorce
Our Woodbridge divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. offer compassionate guidance and exceptional legal support for those struggling with divorce issues. Contact us online or call 908-575-9777 today to schedule a consultation.