I am married to a wonderful woman who has been there for me through thick and thin.
She’s the apple of my eye and my best friend. We go to church every Sunday faithfully. Our pastor is my wife’s uncle through marriage.
Through childhood and my teen years I have battled with my sexuality, unbeknownst to anyone. Living in the world we live in now I just decided not to tell anyone and just live life as a heterosexual male. Now, that I am in my mid twenties I felt it was unfair to my wife and I that I lived this lie. She deserved the truth and I was working on telling her myself, but things turned for the worst.
I would visit gay bars in cities far over and I enjoyed them. I needed help coming clean. So, I went to someone I could trust. One day I stopped by our church and decided to talk to my pastor. I knew he wouldn’t judge me and would give me the advice that best fit my problem. He told me to drop by his place and that we’d discuss it there because he was busy and there were multiple people in the church.
Later that night I stopped over and explained my situation from childhood up until that point. I had never been with a man intimately, but I knew my temptation was at a head and I knew what I desired. The pastor gave great advice about coming out which would set me free, but it would also give my wife a sense of the truth. I agreed. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and I still hadn’t mustered up the courage to come clean.
I was still up to my usual antics, visiting gay bars, when I met a transgender woman named Lola. We talked and exchanged numbers. It had gotten to the point where we would hang out 2-3 times a week. I would lie to my wife telling her I was with my best friend. One night, Lola invited me to her place. One thing led to another and I don’t think I need to go into details about what happened.
The next day I was so ashamed so I called my pastor to talk. Once again he had me go over to his place to sort things out. When I got there he was kissing his wife goodbye as she was on her way to work. I told him how hard it was coming clean. I did not want to hurt my wife. I told him about my first sexual encounter with a male and he had a look of disbelief on his face. While talking to him he began talking sexual to me. He then asked me how did I feel being with a man? My exact words were, “I don’t know how to feel.” He then said, “Well, I’ll show you how to feel.” He took my hand and led the way to his bedroom and I then experienced being with a male for the second time.
When I got home I immediately took a shower because I felt dirty mentally. My wife was suspicious that I took a shower immediately when I got home and begin to question if I was cheating on her. I told her no and asked why would she ask me that. She said that she had called my friend and asked was I with him and he said no. She’d been calling my phone and not getting any answers, which I had seen, but deliberately decided not to answer. I told her no, and that I had a spiritual talk with the pastor and that was the reasoning for me not answer. She called the pastor and he confirmed it.
I felt so bad doing the things I’d done and I have to admit being with guys was not what I thought it was. I actually enjoy my wife more. I decided not to visit gay bars anymore and to live as a straight man. I also decided not to tell my wife of my infidelities because at that point I knew who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and that was her.
Two weeks went by and Lola began to call my phone heavily. I blocked her number and she began to call from other numbers. I was preparing dinner and my phone was charging when my phone rang and I asked my wife to answer it thinking it was my friend. When I asked my wife who was it she said it was my mother and that she wanted to speak with her. About twenty minutes passed and my wife came out the room fuming. She had been talking to Lola the entire time. I tried to explain, but she kicked me out the house. She then went on Facebook and wrote a long rant about how her life was a lie. She outed me as a gay man and said how she was beyond mad that a man she knew for almost 7 years could hurt her so much.
She would not answer my calls, text or anything. After about 3 hours passed and she had deleted the post but the damage was done. It was the talk of the town. My wife and I have a very social life and almost everybody in our city knows us and our families. I was hurt, sad, and depressed about this. I wanted to tell her but I didn’t want her to find out like this.
That Sunday I decided to go to church. I knew I would see my wife there. When I got there the pastor and his wife, and my wife’s aunt were standing outside and in so many words they told me that I was banned from coming inside the church and that a gay guy would never be allowed to step foot in the house of God.
I was taken aback because the pastor and I were once involved. A few days later my best friend, who is also a member of the church and good friend with the pastor, First Lady and my wife, told me about a conversation that went on. He said the pastor, his wife and my wife all talked about how I was a disgrace to humankind, how I was going to hell, and how I should just move out of town and take my sins with me.
I decided to go over to the pastors house and confront him because not only had I confided in him to help me, but he took advantage of my weakness and was now living as this holy hypocrite bashing me for my mistakes. When I got there his wife and him both hurled numerous homosexual slurs towards me and threatened if I didn’t get off their property the police would be called. I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of these “Christians” mouths.
My best friend was the only one there for me. He talked to my wife and finally got her to agree to a sit down with me. I told her everything. I told her I didn’t know what I wanted in life and that I thought I wanted to be with men, but after my encounters I knew that it was just curiosity. She was shocked by the allegations and called the pastor and his wife over. They didn’t know I was there. When they arrived they were startled by my presence. My wife didn’t waste any time as she wanted to get to the bottom of the truth. Faced with the truth the pastor did not fold. He accused me of being a liar until I let out details of his genitals and a piercing that he’d had that only his wife would know about. His wife knew I was telling the truth, I could tell by her facial expression. They told my wife she was no longer allowed in the church and began to spread horrible lies about her.
My wife wants me to blast the pastor and let everyone know his truth. I don’t want to because I know how I felt when it was done to me. He is a well-respected man in our community and tarnishing his reputation is not going to serve me justice in any way. My wife is telling me that in order to work on our marriage that I have to be honest with everyone, even if that means outing the pastor. I really want to work on my marriage, but I don’t think outing my personal life or the pastor’s sexual preference is going to help much. It’s going to cause more hurt than anything. The pastor is a very terrible human being, but I would be just as terrible putting his life and his decisions in the hands of very judgmental people. What should I do? I really love my wife, but I’m not the type of guy to do this to myself or anyone else and she knows this. I’m really lost for words and feel like my back is up against the wall. Please bless me with an answer. – Back Against The Wall
Dear Mr. Back Against The Wall,
I feel for you, and am sorry for what happened. But then I don’t. You wrote this glowing letter about how wonderful your wife is, and she is this amazing woman, and your best friend, yet, you deceived your wife will all of your lies, deception, and even married her to cover up your sexuality. Then, you were sneaking around and going to gay bars, which ultimately led to you having sex with a Transgender person, and then your pastor. Sir, you brought all of this on yourself, when you could have been honest from the beginning. This would have saved yourself and your wife from this nightmare you’re currently in if you had taken the responsibility and admitted your truth.
You try to make yourself out to be this victim, especially stating the pastor took advantage of you when you were weak. You shared that the next day after you had sex with the Transgender woman, you went to your pastor for counsel and he asked you how did it feel being with a man? You replied you didn’t know. So, he said to you he will show you how it feels to be with a man, and took you by the hand and led you to the bedroom. Uhm, sir, no one can take advantage of you unless you want them to. The moment he took your hand you could have resisted, and walked out of his home. But, you didn’t. You went through with the act. You were just as complicit. So, no, I don’t feel sorry for you.
You had ample opportunity to tell your wife about your sexual desires and feelings. Yes, I understand it is hard, and we live in a world that is judgmental toward those who LGBTQ. I understand that as a teen you struggled with your sexuality, and probably felt ashamed, scared, and silenced because of how society treats those who are different, especially for their sexuality. I truly understand how you feel and what you went through. But, you pursued your wife, got into a relationship, and led her to believe something that wasn’t true. You lived this charade of a life, and then brought someone else into it. You never gave her the opportunity to agree to this, or walk away. You took away her choice in this situation. That is unfair. And, I wouldn’t be surprised if she walked away from you completely and decided to get a divorce.
However, since you claim you enjoy being with your wife, and you’re not sure about your feelings for men, then, perhaps you’re bi-sexual. Or, perhaps you are gay. I do know that instead of searching out gay bars, and finding means and ways to meet men, then, why did you not exert your energy to speak with a therapist, or find an LGBT center and speak with a counselor who could have helped you sort this out. Instead, you invested your energy where you wanted, and now it’s a bigger mess than you expected.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree that sometimes you go to your pastor for spiritual guidance, and things you are dealing with in your life. Your pastor was someone you thought you could trust. But, then, you learned another secret about your wife’s uncle, your own pastor. He, too, is a gay or bisexual man, and he has his own secrets. So, you’re in a dilemma, and you have no one to trust. Unfortunately, when you tell your wife everything, and you and she confront him and his wife, well, trust and believe, his wife was shocked, but I suspect she knew, and probably have known for a while, yet, she is not going to leave him. She is going to save face and stay with her husband, and Lord knows why. But, she won’t leave, which is sad and unfortunate.
So, now that your wife knows everything, and she wants you to out the pastor in order to save your marriage, however, I do agree with you that going on this outing witch hunt will only make matters worse. Your wife wants to save herself from the vicious rumors that your pastor and his wife are spreading about her. She is a victim of your infidelity, and her own uncle’s desire to save himself and his reputation. Also, your wife is hurting. She is in pain. She is seeking revenge. But, I don’t think you or she really fully understand the magnitude of her pain. She has been betrayed by two men in her life that she trusted. And, you are two important men in her life, her pastor and her husband. That is heart-wrenching and heartbreaking. Your wife truly needs to seek a professional to speak with.
Also, just know that if you decide to out him, then it will be your word against his. And, I’m sure he will not lose any followers, and the community will rally with him, and against you. And, unless there are other men who are willing to come forward and share he has slept with them, which I doubt, then you will be a lone voice in the wilderness and it will make you look as if you are only outing him because your wife found out about you. Besides, she’s already outed you on Facebook and your small community knows, so it will only make you look desperate and trying to take down their well-respected pastor.
You and wife should seek marriage counseling, and you should also seek therapy to fully come to terms with yourself and your sexuality. You shared that you told your wife that you didn’t know what you wanted, but after being with men you figured it was just out of curiosity, and that you really want you wife. Uhm, sir, there are a lot of contradictions in that one statement. Even earlier in your letter you shared, “Through childhood and my teen years I have battled with my sexuality, unbeknownst to anyone. Living in the world we live in now I just decided not to tell anyone and just live life as a heterosexual male. Now, that I am in my mid twenties I felt it was unfair to my wife and I that I lived this lie. She deserved the truth and I was working on telling her myself, but things turned for the worst.” You see how this is a contradiction. You’ve been dealing with your sexuality since childhood. Or, better yet, you’ve repressed your sexual desires, and identity. You haven’t come to terms with yourself, though, you were going to gay bars, hanging out, and then actually had sexual encounters. But, it wasn’t until you got caught with your back against the wall, and in order to save face, you want to choose your wife because it will make your life easier. But, that’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
You have to come to terms with you. You have to deal with your sexuality which you have been avoiding since childhood. You have to stop being in denial, or else you will do more damage to yourself, your wife, and other people you love. Ask yourself, why do you really want to save your marriage? Is it to save face for the public and your community of which you and your wife are well-known and liked? You say you love your wife, but yet you cheated on her. You lied to her for years, and you’ve deceived her. You led her to believe something that was not your true. Your marriage was an effort for you to hide your sexuality, and you admitted that in your letter when you said you chose to be straight so that you won’t have to deal with your sexuality. You even lied to yourself throughout the years. Sir, unfortunately, none of this is love, and you don’t even love yourself.
You have a lot of work to do. And, again, I recommend marriage counseling for you and your wife, and also personal therapy for yourself. You have to learn how to love you. Love everything about you. You may very well be bi-sexual, or maybe gay. But, only you can determine that. Also, your wife may decide to get a divorce and end this marriage. And, you can’t blame her. You have destroyed her trust. She may never trust you again because who’s to say you won’t get the urge or desire to seek out another man again, or go to gay bars. You can say you won’t now, but what about six months, a year, or two years from now? Please get help, and really ask yourself if you want this marriage because it gives you something to hide, or if this marriage is something you really want because you are a heterosexual man. – Terrance Dean
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