HOW is a support group for married gay or bisexual men who have (or intend to) come out to their wives about their sexuality. The membership requirement is that a prospective member understands that being honest with his wife is necessary for his personal well-being and he’s committed to taking that step if he’s not already done so. The basic purpose of the group is to be there to support each other as gay and bi married men as we try to work through issues in marriages between spouses with differing sexual orientations.
We do not give advice, rather relate through personal experiences, the ways in which we have handled our own lives. We advocate neither divorce nor separation, but we never fail to realize the fact that in human emotions, that status may be inevitable for some. Those who have gone through a divorce may remain on the list for the support and understanding they can offer – both the positives and the negatives of their experiences.
Our subjects or “threads” vary from discussions of our sexuality, our relationship with our wives and children, the process of coming out to our children, the sharing of humor (it is needed to break the depression that too often results), spiritual discussions, book or movie reviews or discussions, men’s health and sex issues, and anything that helps us to support one another.
We demand civility and a humanistic approach in all we say. While the group is unmoderated, administrators and a Governing Board of long-standing members monitor the discussions.
The men in HOW represent a wide variety of approaches as far as relating their sexuality to their marriages. Some have no M2M (Man-to-Man) intimate relationships, while others do with the support of their wives. The diversity of ways in which couples handle outside relationships or activity, or monogamy, is wide.
One of the commonalities many of us find among ourselves is a lack of real male friends; guys we have bonded with, guys we share our lives within the same ways as many others do with a few close friends. HOW is a forum where we can bond with others facing similar issues in life, many times in ways we’ve never been able to do before.
In addition to our online support group HOW also has Annual Gatherings around the country where the members can meet in a safe environment for support, friendship and camaraderie. Members also hold regional mini gatherings in locales where there is interest.
HOW is an international online support group for gay and bisexual men who are married to women and are out to (or working toward coming out to) our wives. Our mission is to support each other as we try to find our individual paths to happiness. HOW members help each other as we redefine our relationships with our spouses, family members, friends, and colleagues, even as we may be learning to understand our own real selves.
We seek a brotherhood supportive of diversity, recognizing that we have our individual heritages, values, and cultures while sharing common human needs. HOW members work towards personal pride and acceptance of our sexual and gender identity first for ourselves, and then by the people we love, and then by the world around us. We recognize that the path to self-realization and to happiness is different for each HOW brother. We work towards a world in which people are valued for their individual humanity, talents, and personality, a world where everyone is entitled to seek happiness in their inter-personal relationships, and to enjoy fulfilling social, sexual and loving relationships.
- We respect human dignity.
- We understand that individuals grow and change.
- We believe in diverse paths to individual happiness.
- We recognize the right to everyone’s own worldview, religious beliefs (or non-beliefs), and opinions.
- We accept each other where each is, in coming out, in defining our marriage and in building our own future and sexual and gender identity.
If you’re a gay or bisexual married man who is out to, or committed to coming out to his wife and are interested in joining HOW, contact us for more information or visit our membership page to join.
Download a printable version of this brochure.
Coming out to my wife was the most difficult thing I have done. Once I finally accepted that I was gay I was done with lying and hiding. I felt so alone with little hope and no friends I could turn to. When I found HOW I also found a group of men going through … Continue reading 68, Out to wife 2 years, married