SL Letter of the Day: Gay Husband Single On Grindr
by Dan Savage
on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM
Me and my husband are both 28—and both gay men—and we've been together for four years. In that time, I've caught him secretly using gay hook up apps while in what is a monogamous relationship. On Valentines Day we each decided to try opening up our relationship. It was my hope that official openness would make our relationship a bit more honest.
I found out recently that he blocked me from Grindr and that doesn't reveal his relationship status on his account. He also doesn't wear his wedding ring in public. I just wanted to know what you think about this arrangement.
In a perfect world we'd both troll Grindr and talk about the hot guys on there, but he seems to prefer creating relationships with people without me in the picture.
Confused And Bewildered
My response after the jump...
Forgive me for this, CAB, but reading your letter made me think of Jesse Green's piece in New York Magazine last month about... um... the coming boom in gay divorce. One paragraph in particular came to mind:
It’s not a subject that marriage-equality groups tend to trumpet on their websites, but gay couples are at the start of a divorce boom.... [While] first-wave gay marriages have proved more durable than straight ones (according to the Williams Institute, about one percent of gay marriages were dissolving each year, compared with 2 percent for different-sex couples), that’s not expected to last. Most lawyers I spoke to assume that the gap will soon vanish, once the backlog of long-term and presumably more stable gay couples have married, leaving the field to the young and impulsive.
According to the Pew Research Center, early marriage correlates strongly with divorce. The younger a couple is when they marry, the likelier they are to divorce. There are often other factors at play, of course, and there are plenty of people out there who got married in their teens or twenties and are still with their first spouses. But I worry for young gays and lesbians who may be rushing into marriage because—first and foremost—they're in love, yes, but also because they wanna be part of the moment and part of the movement. Young love is great, and I was young and in love once or twice myself, but it's generally better to wait until a relationship is "long-term and presumably more stable"—it's better to wait until you're more stable—before you marry.
Forgive me, again, for that very depressing preamble, CAB, but I couldn't help but wonder if you guys—married at 28, together for four years—might not be one of those young and impulsive couples that Green mentions. Moving on...
You wanna know what I think about this arrangement.
I wouldn't call it an arrangement so much as a disconnect. But whatever you wanna call it, CAB, I don't think it's a good sign. You and your husband apparently weren't on the same page about monogamy and now you're not on the same page about openness. This sexual disconnect at the heart of your marriage has me wondering how well you knew each other when you married and/or how well each of you knew yourself when you married. Another worrying sign: typically partnered men who present themselves as single on apps like Grindr are either worried they'll get less attention if they're honest about not being single or they're planning on being single again soon.
I think it's time for a heart-to-heart with the husband. If he's committed to you, he needs to act like it—even on Grindr.