BEST OF BOTH WORLDS (To Tell Or Not To Tell)

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS (To Tell Or Not To Tell)

“I often make the mistake of thinking that something that is obvious to me is just as obvious to everyone else.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

In the past, whenever stories about gay men married to women (best known as MGM) have come up on Kito Diaries, there have been very polarizing reactions to such stories. In fact, the comments sections of such stories were usually so rife with incendiary opinions that it didn’t take long for any KDian to realize that MGM issues were a very controversial topic on this space.

Chief among these opinions that always stirred bad blood in the comments section was the belief (usually by anti-MGM KDians) that gay men – and indeed bisexual men – who wed women should always disclose their sexuality to their intended spouses before marriage. This point was usually argued with such a black-and-white simplicity that used to irk me very much, as though announcing to the woman you intend to marry that you’re also attracted to men is the tried-and-true solution to all our problems.

It was actually because of sentiments like this that I decided to embark on this series. As a bisexual man who, at the time, was in a serious relationship with a woman, I wanted to explore, for the enlightenment of this community, the experiences and struggles of same-sex loving men who find themselves in relationships with women. Granted, the fact that the series has been very infrequent with its episodes defeats this purpose, but I legitimately wanted to use myself as a study on how these decisions and choices the general public expects MGM (or MBM, in my case) to make aren’t so cut and dried.

Now, I cannot definitively speak to the struggle of the MGM who chooses to keep his sexuality a secret from his wife, because I in fact disclosed mine to my wife (then fiancée). It was a rocky situation, but it worked out alright. I was lucky, but that didn’t inoculate me from the understanding that my luck can’t be everyone else’s experience. And every time the sentiment that MGM should be “honest” (I roll my eyes every time I see these anti-MGM KDians use this word) with their spouses, I want to scream: “Do you know that oftentimes, the truth does NOT set you free?!!!”

Just ask Kenny Badmus.

After I got married, I embarked on a journey of a husband with a singular question in my head: Was telling my wife the truth about my sexual orientation a mistake?

I want to tell you two different stories that made me realize that this question couldn’t be easily answered.

After the birth of my first child, a good friend of mine visited. Because he lives in Lagos, he hadn’t been a fixture in my day-to-day life, and so, he was one of those friends of mine who my wife hadn’t met. So when he breezed in that evening, full of smiles and slightly-effeminate energy in spite of his long trip from the West, my wife’s reception of him was initially hesitant, like she couldn’t decide how to feel about this person her husband said is his good friend and yet he wasn’t present at his wedding. Eventually, she warmed up to him, and there were lots of cooing over the baby and general talks about life.

My friend (let’s call him Posh) was going to spend the night, and the guestroom was made up for him. In the middle of the night, I woke up to pee. There was no light, so I used the torch on my phone to make my way to the toilet. After easing myself, without thinking about it, I turned off the torch. My brain had become roused enough to register the path to the toilet and so, I didn’t think I needed the light to find my way back to my bedroom.

I had gotten to the bedroom door when I stopped short, a little startled to see a figure peering through the side of the curtain hanging over the door of the bedroom.

It was my wife.

The moment during which we stood there, staring at each other in the darkness lasted a few seconds. The moonlight spilling into the room through the window illuminated the expression on her face.

That moment was enough to communicate to me what had just happened.

She said nothing, but it was very evident what she had come out of bed to that doorway to do: to see if I had left our matrimonial bed to join Posh in the guestroom. It obviously didn’t help that I’d put off the torch on my phone; darkness always had the habit of aiding and abetting “sinful” things.

Then, those few seconds passed and she turned and went back to bed, leaving me to follow after her.

We never talked about that incident.

But it reminded me of something Pinky once said, about how being out caused his parents to redirect their speculative gazes from his female friends to his male friends. Suddenly, their censure – that strictness that Nigerian parents exhibit when they feel like they have to protect their children from sexual iniquity – was now focused on the boys that Pinky had around him whenever he was in his parents’ house instead of on the girls he had around him.

Female visitors come and go from our house, and at no time had I felt watched by my wife around them. Telling her about my bisexuality however must have made her believe that the greater threat to our marriage was men. And even if there was no way I could know if I’d put a burden on her by telling her the truth about my sexual orientation – that is, short of her telling me – I couldn’t help but feel guilt over the feeling that my wife could maybe never know complete peace of mind whenever she finds me around a certain kind of men.

She loves me and I love her very much. But does the truth really serve any liberating purpose if this is a burden we have to live with? Is ignorance perhaps not bliss in a situation such as this?

I will come back next episode with the second story that makes the question of telling your spouse-to-be the truth even trickier.

Written by Nuel

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23 Comments

  1. Sim
    February 20, 05:50 Reply

    Your wife doesn’t get worried or bothered when ladies come around you, but keeps an eye on you whenever you have male guests? Maybe she is worried you are gay and not ‘BI’ and probably using her as a cover.
    I still think it’s a good judgment you told her cus whatever she chose to do with the information is entirely hers.. without the information she would have been worrying about females as competitors now she is worried of males.. worrying na still worrying.

    • Pink Panther
      February 20, 06:18 Reply

      ‘Maybe she is worried you are gay and not ‘BI’ and probably using her as a cover.”

      Isn’t that like the number 1 go-to place for biphobia? Even queer people themselves have a problem believing that bisexual people are bisexual, let alone the wife of a bisexual man.

    • Pete
      February 20, 08:01 Reply

      To most hetero people, there’s no distinction between gay and bisexual; something I expect you to get but alas!
      BIs can also use women as cover. Unlearn your biphobia

    • Higwe
      February 20, 13:28 Reply

      The way you people jump to conclusions here will always leave me flummoxed 🤦🏼‍♂️

      So eager to counter people that you don’t even settle down to read and comprehend correctly.

      @ no instance did Sim state that this is his belief .

      ” Maybe SHE ( the man’s wife ) thinks …..”

      How did this comment necessitate these replies please ? 🤦🏼‍♂️

      Sim has been open about his attraction to both male and female, even stating at one point (if I recall correctly) that he’s more emotionally connected to men but physically more attracted to women .

      Does such person strike you as someone who wound be prejudiced against bisexuals ?

      What is the correlation between what he thinks the writer’s wife might be thinking and his own opinion?

      Like make it make sense….

      Jezz !

      • Sim
        February 20, 14:30 Reply

        Thanks @ Higwe.

  2. Ken
    February 20, 06:04 Reply

    Obviously when it comes to MGM coming out to your spouse is never the smart thing to do. You can be honest, but 100% honesty is simply overrated. Even in marriage it’s not everything you shld tell ur spouse.
    Truth is most of us have been brainwashed by this Disney fantasy marriage and Hollywood inspired romances (which doesn’t even work for the creators themselves).in reality coming out to anyone can be a total life threatening disaster. It may momentarily give the peace and satisfaction of being the “good guy”, but in the long run u gain nothing but never ending suspicions, distrust and eventually, the thing u are trying to avoid is what will happen: kitoed divorce.just ask Mr Kenny.

    Bottom line: if u are MGM keep ur pants in check and take that secret with u to your grave, for everyone’s sake!

    • Bells
      February 20, 10:43 Reply

      Best comment ever on this topic

    • Sweet toto
      February 20, 10:53 Reply

      Keep it in check? Lock it inside a padlocked pants and throw the key into a lagoon. Shikina.

      It’s still important to tell your spouse the truth at some point sha just incase your past wants to catch up with you!
      My 2 cents though!

      • ken
        February 20, 16:36 Reply

        Lol Lagoon kwa

        Pls just keep d business discreet. Not jumping from pillar to post. Unfortunately reverse is often d case. lol

  3. BRYAN PETERS
    February 20, 06:53 Reply

    Hmmm. So, it really is a dicey topic. Personally, I feel the first question to ask is “what is your motive as an MGM or MBM? Is the wife just a beard or cover up to prevent society and family from dwelling on your matter? Or is the wife someone you truly love and want to build a life with, while staying faithful?

    I ask because if it’s the case of being with her for love, then I still feel full disclosure would be better. I feel it’s a function of how rational, mature and enlightened the woman in question is. How truthful is she to herself? How much does she loves you? If she really loves and trusts you, if she is mature and truly enlightened, then it should not be such an issue. She would be equipped with all she needs to know and she would be able to make an informed decision of whether or not to continue with the relationship. The worst that would happen in this case is not a kito or forced ousting, but an end to the relationship; which in my opinion is not a bad thing. It just means that your truth is not something she can handle; and that is ok.

    The paranoia that you might be getting with other guys being around is normal. If you weren’t out to her and it was a female friend who was “all over you” who came to the house and you suddenly disappeared from the bed in the middle of the night, you could expect the same reaction.

    You gave her a choice and she decided to stay. She thought you were worth it. The only other way forward is to try not to give her reasons to doubt you. That’s you playing your part. If she is still paranoid, it’s not your fault. You did the right thing by telling her and her staying in the relationship was her choice. YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL GUILTY. At least, this way, you are not taking anything to the grave.

    Imagine you had kept it a secret and she eventually did get to find out somehow. No amount of “I did not want to bother you with this burden” will make sense because it is not your burden. It is usually thought that it is only people with ulterior motives who hide the truth.

    If you honestly feel that she would not be able to handle the truth, then, please, it would be unfair to go ahead because last last, one day, when you have kids and have built a home and she has given you all her youth, the truth MAY surface and it won’t be pretty. You would definitely be the villain in that story.

    So, I’m on team “full disclosure”. Don’t make the choice for her. Let her make it herself

    • Frederick
      February 20, 10:49 Reply

      Finding out how? Someone outting your past to her or finding you in bed with another person??? Or at least finding your current profile on badoo?

      • BRYAN PETERS
        February 20, 13:36 Reply

        Lol. Any of the aforementioned scenarios plus a hundred others.

        P.S., finding out doesn’t mean you were cheating. You may be 💯 faithful, but nature could play a fast one on you, and for some reason, your past would come bite you in the ass and SHE SHA FINDS OUT. Your faithfulness at this point would be meaningless because it would look like you were hiding something all along.

        • Frederick
          February 20, 16:00 Reply

          Am liking you too much already! Nature could play a fast one indeed.

  4. Frederick
    February 20, 10:44 Reply

    Please what’s the reason behind marriage? Been a MGM or MBM, does it give you any right or privilege to cheat on your spouse with someone else.

    Quick question, if Nigeria should legalise gay marriage, does it now become okay for the spouses to cheat on each other?

    Commitment is commitment, doesn’t matter who it’s been made to, explaining or not. As a MGM, it’s imperative to tell your spouse but that will not make it okay for you to start cheating on her. Period…
    At least if you’d want to have an open relationship with her, tell her so she can also start seeing other people too.

  5. trystham
    February 20, 11:45 Reply

    So, when u ask urself, is she right to worry more about the guys than the ladies?

    Oh, and what @Frederick says. Be bisexual all u want. Just don’t cheat now u r married…except of course…nvm

  6. Higwe
    February 20, 14:33 Reply

    I’m team do whatever the fuck you want with your life.

    However I just found some interesting quotes and decided to share .😁

    ***********************

    ” The truth always comes out . Sometimes it might be right away or down the road , but hear this,the truth always comes out ”

    ” The truth always comes out no matter how hard we try to hide it.
    Lies merely prolong the inevitable ”

    ” Here is a fundamental fact about life – the truth always comes out .
    It could set you free or destroy every single thing you’ve built with lies ”

    As I said earlier ….I’m team Do whatever the fuck you want .😎

  7. Tristan
    February 20, 17:24 Reply

    Nuel,

    If your wife really understands what it means to be bisexual, she would understand that if you CHOOSE to cheat, you would cheat on her with a man just as much as you would with a lady. Whats with her insecurity when another man is around but not when you have a lady around? Suffice to say that she doesnt trust you.

    It doesnt always end well when you are monitored by your spouse. She may dig deeper and eventually find “exhibits.” She would nuance every move you make to make sure she isnt missing on anything. Think of this happening when you have already come out to her, how much worse when she gets wind of your secret after a very long time. Maybe you should ask Phillip Schofield this time, not Kenny Badmus. However, these comparisons do not suffice cos different situations and personalities are involved here.

    If a coin is tossed, it will come up a head or tail. You are inherently attracted to both sexes and nothing can change that. But, you are married now and choose not to be tossed just like a coin. Make her understand that you have made that CHOICE to be with her. She isnt entitled to know, but out of Love, you made her know. And it’s a good thing. The truth is bare and you are free of any guilt.

    • Francis
      February 21, 13:25 Reply

      Whats with her insecurity when another man is around but not when you have a lady around?

      HOMOPHOBIA. Her husband can’t be collecting penis! 🤷🏽‍♂️

  8. Rudy
    February 20, 21:19 Reply

    It beats me whenever the issue of Gay men marrying women pops up and no one bothers to mention the existence of Bisexual women and Lesbians.
    🤷🏽‍♂️
    It’s as if in the minds of gay men and bisexual men, the only bonafide description that qualifies someone as a woman is “Straight”,smh.

    Well newsflash, Bisexual women and Lesbians exist too.
    These women are exactly in the same boat as we are, they are being pressured by society to conform to it’s standards of normalcy and to deny themselves(sounds familiar right?)

    So why will we as gay men suffer the life -long pain and agony to stay in marriages with that part of the opposite sex who knows nothing of our struggles, wants nothing to do with our kind and even after we tell them who we are, belittle our experiences and make everything about them whiles we completely ignore the other side of the opposite sex who are basically in the same struggle as we do, understand the complexities of being queer and looking for exactly the same things as we do(marriage equality), but for the reality of a non-enabling environment?

    I feel it’s high time the LGBT community lived up to it’s name as a community. We have to engage with each other (YES WE DO) especially those in the community who find themselves in countries where same-sex marriage isn’t legalised. If a gay man in Africa could settle with a complete straight woman for years amidst all the chaos and craziness what prevents him from settling down with a lesbian who in turn totally gets it???
    Likewise a bisexual man settling with a bisexual woman???

    All this intricacies about whether to come out to your spouse or not wouldn’t be necessary because guess what? You both came out to each other the very first day you said “hi” to each other before coming into terms to settle down.
    This winding journey of being LGBT in Africa could be made easy if the communities come together and help each other out with regards to this issue.

    It’s called Contract Marriages and it’s a huge industry in other parts of the world with similar abhorrence to marriage equality just as Africa.
    Because everyone will eventually face this situation of the pressure to marry and it has been tried and tested over and over again that this tired old play book rules we jump unto hasn’t been helping anyone.
    We must be creative and innovative and beat society to its game, outsmart them and still live the lives we were meant to live.
    Queer women exist. So why Straight Women?

    Well that’s just my two cents.
    Peace!

    • Tony
      February 21, 00:43 Reply

      I totally agree with you, Rudy.
      Been thinking along this same line; I mean, wtf, must gay men marry straight women? Fuck it, must they even marry at all? Fuck family, fuck society.
      As far as I am concerned, having my own biological children is the most important thing to me; if I know I can’t do without shagging men, why should I go on ahead and marry an innocent and unsuspecting woman?
      If I must get married, there are lotta queer ladies out there; we come to a consensus, have children together, whether by sex, surrogacy or insemination. But I think I’d prefer not to even get married; having a number of kids together and taking extreme good care of them should be enough.
      I cannot come and go and coman kill myself.

  9. Flexsterous
    February 22, 02:26 Reply

    I understand that we are in a country that pressures young ones for marriage as a basis for fulfillment, but to think its OK for a GAY MAN to lie to someone else, to rob them of that choice, a chance to find someone who would truly love and cherish them is cruel. I mean, the thought oof having sex with a woman for the rest of my life sends horror down my spines, all the mental gymnastics I’d have to do to accomplish that, I don’t know how other truly do it, now imagine after a woman gives herself to this man and later finds out that he was repulsed every time they had sec, that it was a chore fore him, he had to think of men to get an erection, do you know what that does to a woman’s self-esteem. I guess bisexuality is different cause he’s actually attracted to her but, the choice still should be taken away, and as for Nuel, she does have a reason to be paranoid, you did cheat on with an MTN service boy.

  10. Kennie
    February 27, 05:12 Reply

    What baffles me the most about naija gay men. Whenever we want to talk, we talk like textbook professors. Forgetting the society we live in.
    It’s a mans world in Naija. Men cheat with reckless abandon. His wife is still bothered about the cheating. This is what every married woman worries about marrying a naija man.
    I was once an MGM, thank goodness am out of it.
    Whether bisexual, gay or lesbian. Cheating is cheating. That’s number one worry in marriage

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