‘I’ve been with boyfriend for 9 years – but I found out he’s on gay dating app’

Dear Coleen

I’ve been with my boyfriend for nine years and we have a baby daughter. We got together in our teens and were on and off for ages, but in the last few years we’ve settled down and moved in together.

Just before our daughter was born I found out he’d been using the gay dating app Grindr. I had a feeling something was wrong and checked his phone and found he’d been messaging a man he’d met on there. I confronted him and he told me it wasn’t sexual and they had just been chatting. I was so wrapped up in preparing for our baby, I pushed all my doubts to one side and let it go.

We had our baby and everything seemed perfect again but just recently I’ve discovered he’s been back on Grindr and messaging different men. I’ve confronted him about it again and he swears he’s not gay but I just don’t know what to think. I can’t tell any of my friends because we are a close knit group and I wouldn’t want this to get out until I know what the truth is.

Is he gay? I can’t face the thought of being a single mum but I can’t stay with somebody who is attracted to men either. What should I do? Whenever I try to bring it up he shuts me down and won’t speak about it.

Coleen says

He may only be chatting with these guys, but that’s still cheating.

If he was messaging girls he’d met on a dating app, that wouldn’t be OK either, would it? However, I get that the fact he’s messaging men adds another layer to this. There’s a chance he could be gay, but only he knows and he needs to start being open and honest with you.

I don’t think it’s acceptable for him to shut you down or refuse to speak about it. You’re a couple, you have a baby and you deserve a proper explanation as to what exactly is going on.

So when your baby is asleep, sit him down and without shouting or accusing, ask him whether he is gay. It’s a fair question given that he’s been looking at these apps, so don’t let him fob you off.

Surely neither of you want him to live a lie where he’s got the girlfriend and baby at home, but he’s curious about other men and chatting to them.

So if he thinks he might be gay then he needs to live that life and not string you along. I know you don’t want to be a single parent but it doesn’t mean you can’t both be fantastic parents to your little girl, even if living apart.

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