When someone’s spouse leaves them for someone else, it is always heart breaking. The abandoned spouse is left feeling angry, betrayed and left questioning their entire marriage. Often their self-esteem takes a huge knock. However, when your spouse leaves to embark on a same sex relationship, there is another whole level of emotions.
If from the start your partner has been open about being bisexual, then the shock of the new relationship may not be as great. But if you have never previously suspected or known about this side of your partner, then shock is likely to be your first reaction.
Prepare for less sympathy
Many people who have gone through this say that the hardest part was the lack of sympathy they were given compared to a heterosexual affair. Rightly so, many people are praised when they “come out.” You may find people heaping praise on your ex for being brave and wishing them luck in their new identity and relationship, without a second thought for how you feel.
When you are left behind, looking onto this and seeing how happy people are for your ex, you will rightly feel bitter, angry and confused. Find some close friends or family to talk through your feelings, who will support you appropriately.
Was it all a lie?
You will be left wondering whether or not your entire marriage was a lie. Was your ex using you to hide who they really are? Have they been having regular same-sex affairs? Have they known that this would happen? Have they never enjoyed the marriage?
You may not ever have satisfactory answers to your questions. It is important to remember that there are many reasons why someone could leave a heterosexual marriage for a same sex relationship. They may always have been bisexual, it may be something that has come in later life, they could have been too scared to admit to their sexuality, due to societal or familial pressures.
Try to remember the good times you had without questioning them.
Don’t blame yourself
With any form of infidelity, the reasons will be complex. Blaming yourself won’t help you to move on. You may never find out exactly what happened and why, but you owe it to yourself to take stock and move forward with your life.
Support your children
If you have children, then they could be in for a rough ride. You need to be honest with them at an age appropriate level from the start, rather than attempting to hide anything. Give them space to ask questions and support if they need it. Although homosexuality is becoming more and more accepted in society, with many same sex parents, your children may struggle with the idea of suddenly having a homosexual parent, no matter how open and accepting they are. Ensure their school knows what is going on and can offer extra support. If you are concerned for your kids’ mental health, speak to your GP and contact local support groups.
You can’t divorce because of “adultery”
As the law currently stands in Wales, you can’t divorce because of adultery if the unfaithful spouse has been unfaithful with a member of the same sex. It has to be a heterosexual affair. With the help of your lawyers, look at the other options for grounds for divorce. “Unreasonable behaviour” is the most common to use in this instance.
It is not unheard of for people to enter into their first homosexual relationship later on in life, but it is not as common as heterosexual affairs. Depending on how you found out, how other people around you reacted and your family situation you may feel the need for extra support from people who have found themselves in similar situations. Look for local support groups or online forums where you can share experiences and talk to people who can offer practical advice.