Is my boyfriend gay? Should I stay with him?

Question: “My boyfriend and I have been ‘together’ for about 2 years now. We’re both sophomores in college and at the start of last semester he broke up with me and became a totally different person. One thing he struggled with was his sexuality and he participated in gay sex while we were separated. Recently we decided to try and work things out between us and and after dropping the bomb about his having sex with a man he insists that the sex was just to fill a curiosity. However, he also says that on a physical level he finds men more attractive than women, but that he is much more interested in an emotional connection and he says that he will be attracted sexually to anyone he falls ! in love with (he says he’s in love with me and finds me sexually attractive). I love him very much, but I am just torn about continuing a relationship with him. I don’t know if I can get over the fact that he slept with a man. It especially hurts because all along during our separation he repeatedly told me he wanted to work things out, but then I find out he slept with someone else. When he broke up with me he also promised not to sleep with or become intimate with a woman until he was married. I thought at the time it was dumb of him to make a promise like that since he didn’t know what the future held, but since he did promise it I now find myself upset with him for not only breaking the promise, but making it in the first place. The thing I think hurts the most about the whole situation is that when we were together we decided not to have sex; he wanted to wait until marriage. So now I am also feeling kind of cheated, betrayed and not good enough because not only! did he go out and break his vow with someone else, it was with a man. I can’t look at him without thinking about him and the guy together and I find myself obsessing about the whole situation all the time. Is there hope for me to get over this so we can move on with our relationship?”

Answer: I appreciate your writing in and for the details of the situation as this will help me be able to speak to your situation much more clearly. You mentioned in your post that “he struggled with was his sexuality and he participated in gay sex”. I am sure that was not only a betrayal but a shock to you as well. On the former though, you did say he struggles with his sexuality, and I am not entirely sure what this means but I’ll try and put the pieces together here. You are dating this man who has told you or indirectly communicated that he struggles with his sexual orientation. Then during your separation, he ended up in a sexual encounter with another man, right? So, if I have it correct, you are asking if their is hope for your relationship? It is interesting that he claims he wants no intimacy with you and wants to ‘save’ it till marriage then after the breakup has sex with another man and claims it was out of curiosity. I might then ask you, why are you wanting to stay with a guy that claims he wants to save intimacy and sexual behavior till after marriage and ends up with another man? You mentioned, “I am also feeling kind of cheated, betrayed and not good enough because not only! did he go out and break his vow with someone else, it was with a man.” and I completely understand. I have worked with many types of individuals, both gay and straight. What I find is that ones sexual orientation is not merely a choice something they turn and off. Their behavior is a choice but inclinations and the like often are complex.  So, I would not recommend laying hold to the idea that just because he was experimenting with gay sex that he can simply change that, and now want to be involved with you. I have worked with many gay men, both LDS and not and find that their sexuality is a complex interaction between several things: how they were socialized as kids, their own temperament, inner inclinations, etc that are not always simply a choice. So, with that stated, I have serious reservations in your lining up with a man that is following his homosexual inclinations if you plan on living a heterosexual relationship with him. Bottom line is that he misled you already, saying he wanted intimacy and sex after marriage and now has been with another man. I would suggest your digging deeper into what it is you want. Here are a few questions: Do you want to be with a guy that is unsure if he is gay or straight or just experimenting? What is keeping you with him despite his misleading you then after the gay sex telling you that he was just curious? If you would like to try and work it out what do you think it will take for you to move beyond what he did? If you do stay with him and get married, how and what will you do if after a month or two of marriage he has sex with another man? Lots of questions, large questions that raise some serious doubt. I know it is not easy, I am sure you care about him, likely a lot, if not you’d of left him by now after the incident. I’d suggest your evaluating less of his behavior and analysis of his sexuality and more about what it is that you want and what you can and cannot tolerate.

Take some time, write down the questions I posed above and look over your answers to my questions, then decide. Doing so will help clear the smoke of doubt and confusion once you do some journaling about it.