Gay man, straight wife

FreierFallScreenCapsApparently we’re not alone. Perhaps it’s just that I’ve been looking, but I’m seeing more and more stories about gay men married to straight women. Movies like Brokeback Mountain (trailer) and the more recent German film Freier Fall (trailer); essays like Tim Rymel’s I’m a Gay Man Who Married a Straight Woman, or Josh Weed’s Club Unicorn: In which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary.

I find that I relate to many parts of many of these stories, and yet there’s also something missing. Almost without fail, the wives in these stories are flat, boring, lifeless. I feel like the wives in the two movies could have been replaced by any generic woman; They barely qualify as stick figures.

In truth, I’ve known women (and men) who are like this in real life. Dimensionless, monochrome, untouched. I think of a couple of the women in my church growing up: smiling, distant, impervious to the ups and downs of life. But my wife is not one of them! She’s not at all like that. She’s gutsy, earthy, funny, and quirky. Strong, kind, and generous. Independent, but relational and loyal. And she’s hurting. Grieving and anguished by the second-time-around revelation that I’m gay. Still gay.

If they were to make a movie of our story – hers and mine – it wouldn’t be like Brokeback or Freier Fall. Her story, and her character, would would compelling in their own right. Her half of our story would be rich, resonant, raw. We’ve laughed together,  played together, cried together. Glorious days of adventure and travel. Sleepless nights mourning those we’ve lost or worrying about our kids. Ordinary days spent shopping or painting or working in the garden. Trips to the beach; driving cross country; dreaming together of our shared future. And now, traumatized. Wracked with confusion and angst. Questioning why God didn’t come through for us. Don’t forget her half of our story.


  1. Absolutely spot on!

    My wife is the crown jewel of my life! She is a champion!! In spite of her unbelievable pain and sorrow, she still loves me…and wants me to stay.

    She is amazing!!


  2. Reblogged this on LifeInCocoon and commented:
    Absolutely spot on!

    My wife is the crown jewel of my life! She is a champion!! In spite of her unbelievable pain and sorrow, she still loves me…and wants me to stay.

    She is amazing!!

    As the song says…”She’s Unbelievable!”


  3. You are absolutely right that these films and many more do not portray the wife as anything more than an afterthought. “I Love You Phillip Morris”, based on a true story doesn’t do any better in representing the wife or her story. But I guess that’s my point. Those movies are telling the story of the husband who leaves the wife and the chapters of his life thereafter.

    The wife you seek in these films doesn’t exist. The short lived sitcom “Happily Divorced” started telling the wife’s ( Fran Drescher ) story, but only survived two seasons.

    Perhaps you should tell her story.


    1. I’ll have to check out ILY Phillip Morris and Happily Divorced… And you’re right – the films ARE compelling to me because they tell the stories of the husbands, which is obviously something I can relate to. Are there films or TV shows that you especially relate to? That tell stories like yours?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have know happy satisfied couples where the one is gay and the other not. They find ways to find fulfillment in each other, some do not talk sex, some have open relationship rules, some just find the best in each other to love. Believe it for I have seen happy family couples where one of them is gay. Not sure I have the temperament for it my self, but for them it worked because despite the sex issue, they really love each other. My best wishes for you both. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

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