A woman in the UK has appealed to famed psychotherapist “Dear Kristen” for advice after finding gay adult websites in her husband’s computer browser history. The mother of two suspects her husband might be gay.
“Dear Kirsten,” the anonymous woman writes. “I’ve been with my partner for six years and we have two kids together. We still care about each other but things haven’t been that great between us for a while, I think once the kids came we both got really busy and haven’t had that much time for each other. I know I shouldn’t have but a few weeks ago I was using his computer and I looked at his search history, it had quite a few gay porn videos on there from Youtube.”
“I’ve tried to be open-minded about it but I’m worried that it means something about his sexuality and I can’t get over the thought that he might be gay – and that explains why things have cooled off between us,” she continues. “I do really love him, he’s a great dad and I would be heartbroken if we split. Do I just say nothing?”
Kristen responds with a thoughtful and cautious bit of advice.
“My first thought is whether this is his search history?” Kristen wonders. “I can see you have two children together and that they are too young to be accessing this type of thing – are there any other kids in the house that might be curious? If it is your partner that is searching through the videos – it could mean so many different things. It could just be fantasy – and a fantasy is just that, something that you are not looking to enact in real life.”
“People’s turn-ons don’t always match their sexual orientation,” Kristen further points out. “There is a whole spectrum of sexuality that goes beyond ‘gay’ and ‘straight’.”
“Telling him that you snooped on him might be hard, I’m curious about why you did it, an obvious guess might be that you are either worried about the relationship – and the reasons things have cooled off or you are struggling with trusting him at the moment,” she continues. “Checking up can be tempting but it always runs the risk of finding something you might not like and then having to weigh up what you do about it. I think your best bet is to come clean, find a time that isn’t rushed and explain what you have seen.”
“It might be worth beforehand you thinking through the various answers he could give and how you would feel about them,” she further advises. “There is always the possibility that he has feelings for men and this might be difficult to hear – and difficult for him to have to say.”
Kristen goes on to advise a sensitive and nuanced conversation, one in which the anonymous woman and her husband ask detailed questions and listen accordingly. Kristen also suggests that if the woman’s husband is the one viewing the videos, his interest may be linked more to power dynamics than the gender of the people involved.
“Maybe what’s happening with your husband is a starting point for some honest discussions about how you guys are doing and what might need some work?” Kristen suggests. “I absolutely get why this has really worried you, it could be so many different things and the only way you will know for sure is to talk to him, after all this is the guy you love and it might be that something which on the surface would drive you apart – might actually bring you closer.”
We think that’s pretty sound advice. Here’s hope the couple has a great conversation and affirms their bond–regardless of the husband’s sexuality. On the other hand, if it turns out one of the kids was looking up gay sites, we hope the couple is prepared for a supportive conversation of another kind.