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home : columns : dear harriette February 25, 2021

12/10/2020 3:03:00 PM
Newlywed suspects her man is gay

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been married to my husband for about three years now. We are still in our 20s. My husband has some questionable habits I have noticed now that we have begun living together. He's saying things differently and acting differently. I feel like he's letting his guard down, and I'm seeing the real him. I think the real him is gay. I never got that feeling before we got married, but everything just seems different now. I'm not sure what to do with this feeling.

I'm convinced he wants to be with a man, but he is with me, and it makes me feel like I don't want to be with him anymore. If I bring it up and it's true, I lose him. If he's not, he will probably never feel the same about me. Either way, I'm not sure I can feel the same about him after having these thoughts. The idea makes me lose either way. Should I ask him? How do I deal with this mentally? -- Wrong Team Player

DEAR WRONG TEAM PLAYER: Being suspicious of your husband without saying anything will not lead to a positive end. Especially, early in your marriage, it is important for you to be open with each other as you get to know each other better.

You haven't said exactly what your husband is doing that is questionable. Whatever it is, make a list. Then look at it to determine whether you are being overly sensitive or your concerns are potentially justified.

Talk to your husband. Tell him that you have noticed that he is behaving differently, and it is making you uncomfortable. Point out whatever those actions are. Then ask him. Yes, you actually should ask him directly whether he is gay -- if that remains your suspicion. If you ask without being confrontational, you have a better chance of getting an honest answer. Tell him why you are suspicious. You can add that you love him and that you want him to be happy. If it is in his soul to be with another man, it is important for him to figure that out now. You may need counseling to help you work through this.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a cousin who is single and older. She led an isolated life before COVID-19, and it has only gotten worse now. She calls me at all different times to talk and then goes on and on without really listening. I usually take her calls, but I find her to be a drain on my energy.

I feel bad during this season of giving that I am not feeling so generous toward her. How can I step out of my selfishness and be more attentive? What I really want to do is not pick up. -- Not Feeling Generous

DEAR NOT FEELING GENEROUS: Thank you for your honesty. It can be hard to feel welcoming to needy people. That doesn't make you a bad person. It means you are honest with yourself. Going one step further, you can open your heart a bit more to this cousin. Engage empathy. Remind yourself that she is alone. Studies have proven that isolation can lead to all kinds of actual illnesses. People do need to be connected to each other in meaningful ways. This includes your cousin.

So, while you may not be available to talk to her whenever she calls, be conscious about making time for her. Let her know you love her and that you think about her often. When she reaches out, do not ignore her, even if you can't talk at that moment. Be sure to follow up when you are available. That thoughtfulness can go a long way. But know that you do not always have to pick up for her or anyone else. You can engage when it works best for you.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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