One of seven children, Paula was raised on the mission field. She witnessed her parents live by faith and sacrifice a normal family life and worldly possessions for the sake of the gospel. She grew up following their example of loving Jesus and committing her life to Him in service. In Bible College she met Steven. He, too, had a fervent and growing faith. The two of them fell in love and embarked on a life-long journey together in ministry.
Paula never saw it coming. At the time, Steven was the beloved senior pastor of a 1,000 member church. They had a 7 year-old daughter. Paula says there were no outward signs that pointed to a homosexual struggle in Steven, just a growing uneasy feeling inside of her. Paula held Steven up before the Lord and prayed fervently that God would reveal what was wrong with her husband. She believes that God told her through prayer that Steven struggled with homosexuality.
Her worst fears were confirmed when Steven was spotted in a gay bar. Paula's world collapsed.
Perhaps you have an uneasy, sick feeling that something is wrong with your marriage. Perhaps communication has broken down between the two of you and you suspect infidelity. And perhaps you have discovered questionable e-mail, or sexually explicit ads pop up when you're surfing the Internet.
Pam Burnett realized something was amiss when her husband began spending more and more time away from home, distancing himself from her and the kids. She says he also took up running and started to pay an inordinate amount of attention to his physical appearance.
But for Pam, Paula and others there could have been red flags all along. In his book When Homosexuality Hits Home, Joe Dallas says that many women are attracted to the sensitivity, astute communication skills, vulnerability and easily expressed emotions that often embody temperament commonly found in homosexual men. And that the lack of sexual aggression first seen as a desirable trait may just be a lack of normal sexual interest.
A homosexual struggle may take years to manifest within a marriage. Dallas casts the final stages as absence, secrecy and final discovery. He says that most often the spouse is exposed in response to the prayers of a confused partner or family member.
Not Just Husbands
At Focus on the Family we regularly hear from women who fall into lesbianism when emotionally unhealthy relationships with other women become sexualized.
Mike knows the pain involved in finding his wife involved with another woman. "Jane still lived in the house with me and the kids, but she became someone I didn't know. The sweet girl I married became a creature of deep, seething, unpredictable rage. We fought loud and often. She worked long hours and often didn't come home. She began a 'ministry' at the gay bar three blocks from the hospital where she was charge nurse." Jane's unrest at home, and unresolved issues from her past, deteriorated into submersion into the gay lifestyle.
Final Discovery: Tangible Signs
In addition to the ominous feeling that something is wrong, there are a number of telltale signs that your partner might be struggling with same-sex attraction or having a homosexual affair:
- Growing emotional distance between you and your spouse
- Decreased sexual interest in you over time
- Behavior that does not add up; inconsistencies in details
- Withdrawn, depressed, moody, outbursts of anger
- Spend late nights or great amounts of time on the Internet
- Internet web browser history lists unusual sites
- Preoccupation with physical appearance that has nothing to do with you
- Eyes meet with those of strangers in public
- Claims of working long hours at work or periods of unaccounted time
- Secretive with the cell phone. Looks for incoming calls at odd hours.
- Becomes defensive when you ask questions about time or whereabouts
- Unexplained payments on bank statements.
- Asks about your schedule more than usual
- Phone records disappear, bank and credit card statements redirected to work address
Now that you've hung a label on your suspicions, you may be feeling a deep sense of betrayal, sorrow, and fear. It's time to confront your spouse and find out the truth.
Do you know of a marriage in crisis? Learn more about the Focus on the Family Hope Restored marriage intensives by visiting HopeRestored.com.