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Ask Ellie: Husband's nurturing side not a sign of secret identity

The question: Could my husband be hiding a side of his sexuality and one day come out as gay or a different gender identity?

Dear Ellie: My husband was an only child. His father worked a late shift for years. My husband spent a lot of time with just his mother.

Early when we started dating, I appreciated his nurturing side, e.g., when he heard that I loved brownies, he started baking them for me.

When we moved together, he did the weekly clean-up of our home. Since we both worked, I said he didn’t have to do it alone, but he insisted on it.

We’ve now been married for nine years. We have a close, loving relationship together and with our two sons, eight and six.

Our sex life is loving and enjoyable but rarely more than once in two weeks, also unvaried. When I try to spice it up, he’ll sweetly respond, but there’s never the passion I’m seeking.

I feel guilty asking a direct question but I’m troubled by dark thoughts: Could my husband be hiding a side of his sexuality and one day come out as gay or a different gender identity? Am I ignoring clues?

Doubts About My Husband

The silent questions troubling your mind do not have defined/overt hints, and certainly no clear answers at this time.

So, do not leap to conclusions that can hurt you both. Your husband’s “nurturing” is a bonus trait, not a strong signal of trouble ahead.

While passionate lovemaking is a natural positive desire on your part, your husband may need some help to loosen up. That’s a path very worth pursuing.

Start by talking about your feelings regarding your sex/love life together. If he says little or changes the subject, explain that this is important to you.

Learn how to spice up your lovemaking. A Google search using those words will reveal at least a dozen book titles to pursue. It’s a far kinder approach to reassuring yourself about your husband’s sexuality, than raising life-changing possibilities to him.

However, if you two can’t discuss your sex life, then suggest that you both visit a sexual therapist.

Be aware that he may feel very hurt by this suggestion. And he may refuse therapy. Consider going on your own.

You’re troubled by the lack of passion and the few hints of background reasons that now worry you, such as his clean-up habit.

Recognize that your marriage is currently at a very busy stage — work hours being productive and home life demanding with two young boys, have both of you very busy and needed through school schedules, food shopping, meal preparation, baths, laundry, etc.

Remember this: What you are now questioning can upend your marriage and affect your family’s lives forever. Still, seeking more information may ease your mind and/or provide stark clarity. Proceed very thoughtfully.

Feedback regarding the woman “stunned,” whose long-time boyfriend now makes horrible comments about her online (Nov. 17):

Reader: “I agree with Ellie’s advice that she block her ex-boyfriend and his followers from access to her email, phone and all social media accounts. Also, call Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 833-456-4566 (in Toronto, call 416-408-4357).

“I’d also add to start logging all such comments. This is harassment, an illegal act. Turn the file over to the police. She knows who he is and where he lives so he’s easy for police to locate.

“This has already gone too far, noting the letter-writer’s mental state. This guy needs a major wake-up call and the police are just the people to do it.

Dear Ellie: My sister’s ex-husband started dating another woman just three weeks after their recent divorce. A cousin of this woman invited them both to dinner. Everyone we know talked about how quickly he started to live with her.

I recently tried to comfort my sister about this situation, and to my surprise, she laughed. She said she was relieved that her ex was happily involved with someone else and that it freed my sister to live as she pleases, without him.

Your comments, please.

Hate the Gossips

Your sister’s a smart woman. She doesn’t care about the gossip. She has a whole new future before her without whatever was negative in her past marriage.

Also, if her ex is happy, then they won’t be arguing over dividing every item the two once shared. Appreciate your sister’s bright outlook … she understands that a positive divorce is far better than a negative marriage.

Ellie’s tip of the day

A couple’s sexual needs should be discussed together, adjustments tried. Exploring doubts about a partner’s sexuality must be handled delicately/thoughtfully.

Send relationship questions to ellie@thestar.ca.