Chronicles of A Down Low Brotha

Caught Between Two Worlds

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Makes You Stay?

I'm interested to know what are some of the reasons that many men who are on the down low stay in their heterosexual relationships with their wives?

I am always intrigued by the macho image of men who sleep with men on the low, but are indeed never going to leave their wives or family.  What are some of the reasons you stay?  What do men do to keep themselves happy in their marriage? 

I have been trying to rationalize the pros and cons to the down low lifestyle and now, I'm in a place where I am completely tired of living the facade.

What are your thoughts?


  1. Honestly, I think what makes men stay has alot less to do with rational decision making and much more to do with plain ol FEAR. Fear of 1.) not being seen the same by family, friends and others you've portrayed a lie to for so long, shamed by one of the most heinous transgressions known to the black church 2.) of no longer being protected by the security of marriage and the benefits of having a family and 3.) of trying to figure out "whats next" in this lifestyle you've waited so long (too long for some) to sample. That Fear will make most of us stay closeted...and say 'hey, if no one notices then nothing has changed, and I can have both, everyone's happy"...Until you become rational enough to realize "everyone except me of course"...thats why. Its selfishness being ironically superimposed by the one thing we all think we want from life, that want to be sucks

  2. I think most men want their cake and eat it too.. I am enjoying reading your posts. I think that most people stay out of fear of no longer fitting the life or mold they have carved for themselves.

  3. I think fear makes most men stay...

  4. After hearing the ordeal with Bishop Eddie Long I think Fear is the biggest factor!!

  5. I dont think it's a greed think (wanting to have your cake and eat it too), I think (for me at least). I love my kids...and couldn't imagine not waking up somewhere they are not. Fear of ending up alone, fear of being ostracized by my family and friends.

    I've watched one of my best friends come out and leave his wife/kids to be gay and i watched what he went through. HOw friends turned their back on him and talked about him. How they wondered aloud whether he was fit to be a father because of who he decided to sleep with. How his wife raked him over the coals...

    All of it leaves me afraid to follow what's in my heart, to do what what I know is ME... If I didn't have kids the decision would probably be easier, but hell what can I do about that now?

  6. Its fear plain and simple. As a "downlow" woman i have long came to terms with the fact that i am afraid of being scrutinized by everyone around. Im afraid of my husband leaving me and possibly taking my son's because female/female relationships are something that he is strongly against.

    If i am a woman and people are more accepting of female/female interaction i can only image the pressure that a man has to be under when it comes to how the outside world views his actions.

  7. Married 22 years. Fully discovered myself and on the DL for the last 6 or 7 years. 2 kids now 20 and 17. I staye for 2 main reasons. 1) I didn't want my kids to suffer the impact of splitting their home/family. I've seen it and its not healthy. 2) Through it all I love my wife. We entered into marriage faithfully and I'm the one that has faltered. She doesn't deserve to have to deal with my baggage. However, that said, if we do split it'll be over other issues than my being DL.

    Your Raleigh Brotha from a Different Mother!

  8. The question am asking myself is, if you were given another chance, knowing what you know now, would you still get married? Coz honestly, i think i would still get married. And mind you, we don't have kids, so i can't say it's them that are keeping me in it. But somehow I have loved the married life even though I struggle with my being gay.

  9. First off, thanks for your blog and for posing this question. I really appreciate all the responses. I have an interesting story…I’ll try to be brief. For me, it was definitely fear of the unknown that kept me in my marriage. I didn’t want to be labeled gay, because I’m not. I didn’t think anyone would understand or accept me as bisexual. So I just stayed undercover. Ironically, my wife asked me twice during our engagement, if I ever slept with a man. I lied and said no both times. I regret those lies.

    I’ve been married 10 years. But the last two years have been the best because I’ve disclosed my bisexuality to my wife. I am living in honesty with myself and my life partner. No, I haven’t told all my family and friends…some friends know. My journey to accepting who I am took me through therapy and marriage counseling. I’m a black man and my wife is a black women. I caused her a lot of pain, but she has chosen to forgive me and work with me to get our marriage where it is today.

    My turning point came at a men’s retreat my church had. The speaker was a marriage counselor and he was talking about some the “bad habits” men have brought into their marriages. He said that many people think marriage leads to happiness, but it actually leads to maturity. Wow…that hit me like a sack of bricks. For years, since college, I’ve known that I wasn’t being honest with myself or others. I lied to my wife about my behavior before marriage. Vowed to stop it during marriage, but failed. Realized that I was slowly destroying myself from the inside and still I couldn’t stop. But the thought of me being immature is what snatched my soul and I knew I had to do better. So I talked with the counselor after his session and we set up a time to meet and as they say…the rest is history.

    For me, I gave up my double life. My wife knows that I identify as bisexual, but I committed to be married to her, so I’m going to honor that commitment. She deserves that much. For over two years now I have not had anonymous sex with man, I have not had sex with anyone other than my wife. I also have given up porn, chat rooms, craigslist, and other sites I’m sure a few of you are familiar with. I am living one day at a time.

    I’m fortunate.

  10. Hey Caesar,

    I like your blob, but I'm a bit disappointed that you didn't publish my post last week. I'm not living the down low life anymore and I guess that threatens you or the vibe you are trying to create here. Not all men can go through the journey I've taken, but I had hoped that my story might serve as encouragement. Living a double life takes it toll on you. I wish you well.

    Recovering in Austin

  11. Dear Recovering in Austin,
    I haven't been on this site in months.... I didn't see your post but please feel free to publish it again if you think it will help someone. peace and blessing to u