What Now? – What to do if you have discovered your spouse is gay and you think you might have to leave.

Let me be very clear. This is not legal advice. If you do feel an impending divorce, get a lawyer, get some cash, and get a friend or family member you can stay with in case you have to leave that day. If it is not an emergency where you or your children are in danger, consider the following as tips from someone who has been there and left that.

Safety

1. Are you safe? Sometimes a person who has latent or repressed homosexuality can have a lot of self hate behind that and can act out violently towards you or others. Sometimes domestic violence can have other triggers such as aggression, anger issues, financial troubles, a mental illness, the list goes on. If there are tendencies towards violence, being confronted about their sexuality could be a big trigger. If you are thinking of leaving, and are ready to leave, get your bags packed and ready to go. There is a strong possibility that you may no longer be welcome in his home, let alone safe there. Call a friend, a family member, or even a shelter if you need to. Tell someone first. They may not believe you, but that is not the priority. Your safety is the first priority.

You can make your own way.

You can make your own way.

 

Money and Finances

2. Get your own bank account in your name only. I suggest getting an individualized bank account in your name at the same bank so you can get your own online login profile to track joint account transactions. Read more about individualized bank accounts here.

 

3. Get your own credit card in your name and authorized users are for suckers
Getting your own credit card in your name is the best way to improve your credit score. If you are planning to get divorced, and if you don’t have your own card yet, do so before you divorce so you can still claim his income. Credit worthiness is based on household income so even if you haven’t gotten your own income yet, you can get a card. They will ask if you want to have an “authorized user” on your card, say “no.” More about getting a credit card and about authorized users here.

 

4. If you don’t already get your own income, get a job. Even if it is just a little part time job at Starbucks or working after school day care at your kids’ school, get any kind of income that is yours.  I will write more about how getting my own job can lead to independence and eventually leaving soon.

Even if you feel like this, its something. Besides, free lattes!

Even if you feel like this, its something. Besides, free lattes will help dealing with all the bullshit you are about to face.

5. Get a lawyer, get a lawyer, get a lawyer. No seriously, get a lawyer. I just got a “mediator” because I was stupid, ashamed, in a hurry, and worst of all, still in love. One tends to make horrible decisions in a divorce when you are still in love. Protect yourself.

 

6. If you have children: I have no idea. We had money, debt (lots of debt, as it turned out) and some property I didn’t mind walking away from but we had no children. Our divorce only took about three months because no one contested anything and when I say “no one”, I mean me. I was scared of the debt and scared of why we were divorcing would get out. I was still so afraid and ashamed.

Its 2016 and the sexual preference of a parent is probably not that big of a factor in custody that it used to be and it would be a sad state if it were. You can be angry at your spouse all you want, but don’t put your kids through that. They will have enough to deal with that they might not need to know the inner workings of your bedroom. Get a lawyer for you and a counselor for them. You should probably see a counselor too. You are going to have a lot to sort out and you will need a professional.

 

7. Get someone who is not in the “inner circle” of your marriage who believes you and will put you up for a night or two if things get dicey. This person may not be your “couple friends” or even your family. Don’t go inviting random coworkers, your boss, or even your friend at church to your drama. You have probably been living in the “Twilight Zone” of lies for so long, you may not know who to trust. Maybe this would be a good time to make sure you have enough credit on that credit card you got to stay in a hotel if you need too. If you are concerned about violence, you might want to familiarize yourself with local shelters just in case.

twilight_zone
8. Get tested. No really, this is a good time to have a full screen of STIs and an AIDS test. You don’t know where he’s been, you just don’t. Especially when they are on the “Down Low” or just hiding it from you, if there are just spur of the moment hookups or well orchestrated affairs, how do you know that he is using protection? You don’t. Besides, finding condoms in his car is a great way to get caught so he may not be being safe. Be safe. Besides, if you are planning to get out there again, you want to know that you are safe for future partners, because, Baby, you deserve a nice clean fuck more than anyone.
These are just a few things you should consider if you think you may be leaving the marriage, or you think your spouse wants to leave you. You don’t have to have a suitcase waiting in the hall closet, but you know when the end is near. When the end is near, you need to be prepared.
Here are a few more resources:

Where you can find a woman’s shelter by your zipcode 

Divorce and 401K

 

About Charlotte Jay

After 12 years of marriage, I could no longer ignore that my husband was gay. I am pretty much over the sexual orientation debacle, so now what? Life3dblog is essentially the coming of age of a thirty-four-year-old woman and the journey to one's self. Life after marriage, redefining love, sex, and that pesky weight issue too.
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