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Mixed Orientation Marriages

>> Click here to read my latest book Is My Husband Gay, Straight, or Bi?: A Guide for Women Concerned about Their Men

A mixed orientation marriage or relationship has one spouse gay or bisexual and the other heterosexual.  Dr. Kort is a leading expert in this "New Mixed Marriage"  We work with either the couple together or individually depending on the need of each situation.

>> Click here to read my The New Mixed Marriage  on Mixed Orientation Marriages. 

Joe was quoted in the   on Mixed Orientation Marriages:
Katy Butler, "Many Couples Must Negotiate Terms of 'Brokeback' Marriages," The New York Times, March 7, 2006.
'These men genuinely love their wives,' said Joe Kort, a clinical social worker who has counseled hundreds of gay married men, including a minority who stay in their marriages. 'They fall in love with their wives, they have children, they're on a chemical, romantic high. Then after about seven years, the high falls away and their gay identity starts emerging.'

Common Questions

One of my specialties is mixed orientation marriages which I call the "New Mixed Marriage" where one spouse is gay or bisexual and the other is heterosexual. I work with either the couple together or individually depending on the need of each situation.

Here are some questions that are explored most often in therapy for the mixed orientation couples with which I have worked since 1985:

  • Can we stay together?
  • Should we stay together?
  • Why do gay men heterosexually marry in the first place?
  • Do most gay men know they are gay when they heterosexually marry?
  • Is it healthy or not?
  • When and how do they tell their wives, “I’m gay”?
  • How do they determine whether to stay married or leave?
  • And who are the women that marry gay men?
  • What is the straight spouse’s part in heterosexually marrying in terms of why they do so and why they stay even after knowing their spouse is gay.


My position on mixed orientation marriages and relationships:

For every one of these situations, the path is extremely personal and varied. You must do what’s right for you individually, and not what any therapist, friend, relative, or anyone else says you should. But for your mental and physical health and the welfare of your wife and any children involved, go forward with integrity, honesty, and informed consent on everyone’s part. Whether or not they stay together, I think that these gay men and their spouses are very brave individuals exploring how to proceed with their mixed marriage.

Our work together will help you decide individually and together what is right for you.  It is not about what is right for your from other's points of views but instead from your own--individually and relationally.

Recommended Reading

"Is My Husband Gay, Straight, or Bi?: A Guide for Women Concerned about Their Men" by Joe Kort, Ph.D.

"The New Mixed Marriage" by Joe Kort, Ph.D.

10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do To Find Real Love  by Joe Kort, Ph.D. with chapter on mixed orientation marriages entitled, "The New Mixed Marriage: When Three's a Crowd".

The Other Side of the Closet  by Amity Buxton Pierce

When Husbands Come Out Of the Closet  by Jean Schaar Gochros, Ph.D.

My Husband is Gay by Carol Grever

Bisexual and Gay Husbands  by Fritz Klein

Visit Joe's recommended reading page for more suggestions.


Here are some online safe spaces for those in mixed orientation marriages.

Alternate Paths - Alternate Paths provides information, resources and stories that will support mixed orientation couples who have an ongoing commitment to nourishing and strengthening their relationships

Husbands Out to Their Wives

Straight Spouse Network

MOM (Mixed Orientation Marriage) Couples Joined Together

STR8S Mailing List—an Internet mailing list for straight spouses of bisexual, gay, or lesbian partners

MMTL: Men Married to Lesbians. Membership is restricted to men who are married to a lesbian or bisexual woman.

Wives of Gay/Bisexual Husbands

Straight Monogamous Married Spouses (SMMS)

MOM Couples Group

MMOMW · Making Mixed Orientation Marriages Work

Spouses Out To Their Spouse (SOTTS)

ozmarriedgays · Australasian Married Gays

Denise Humphrey, Ph.D.

Alternate Path: Support group for women with Bi/Gay men, where both the husband and wife want to remain married.

Mmomw@yahoogroups.com - Making Mixed Orientation Marriages Work 

HUGS_Couples2@yahoogroups.com - Women, Honesty, Unity, Growth, Support

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