The GLBTQ Encylopedia addresses an interesting set of questions: Why do gay spouses marry in the first place? Why do straight spouses--consciously and unconsciously--marry gay spouses?
From the Encylopedia:
Why Do Gays Heterosexually Marry?
Part of the answer to the first question is that our society does not grant permission for young people to explore alternative sexualities. Moreover, our culture places enormous pressure on individuals to conform, especially sexually. Heterosexuality and heterosexual marriage are privileged in all sorts of ways. It is much easier for young people to marry heterosexually than to discover their authentic selves.
Some of the gay men and lesbians who marry heterosexually hope that their gay urges will go away. More often, especially among lesbians, they are not even fully aware of their urges or at least have not labeled them when they marry.
Gay men and lesbians marry heterosexually for a variety of reasons, ranging from the need to conform to familial and societal expectations to a desire, founded on a genuine love for their partner, to create a shared life with their potential spouse. Some marry in order to have children, or to be taken care of, to bond with a mother or father figure, to establish a cover or "beard" for their gay activities, or in hopes that straight sex will "cure" their desire for homosexual relations or, at least, keep that desire strictly sexual.As I have mentioned previously, I think I felt an enormous amount of societal and religious pressure that made it impossible for me to accept my homosexuality. I was definitely not fully aware of my urges and had not labeled them in any way, so I did not feel at the time that marriage would be able to "cure" my homosexual desires. While church cultural expectations likely contributed to my desire to get married, I genuinely fell in love with Madame Curie and wanted to share life (and eternity) with her and have us care for each other.
As for my wife, I think that she married heterosexually for similar reasons (but correct me if I'm wrong, dear). Despite having a girlfriend in high school, she had not labeled her attractions, and joining the church threw her back in the closet. She also genuinely fell in love with me, but probably also felt some cultural pressure to conform, and above nearly everything, my wife loves to fit in. This is the feminist who convinced herself she wanted to have 6 kids afterall!
Again from the Encylopedia:
Why Straight Spouses Marry Gay Men and Lesbians
Most straight spouses marry gay men or lesbians without knowing that their partners are gay or lesbian. But some suspect it and others know it for a fact. Those who know of their spouse's homosexuality often think that their partners will grow out of their same-sex desires or that a good marriage will cause the desires to dissipate.
Some heterosexual men and women who marry gay spouses are enablers, people who display an approving and supportive attitude toward someone else's self-destructive behavior or make it possible for them to avoid the consequences of such behavior. Some straight spouses allow their gay and lesbian spouses to "act out" their same-sex desires without really acknowledging them, while neither of the spouses accepts the consequences of such behavior.
Some straight spouses may be unconsciously drawn to partners who might betray them. Perhaps while growing up, they experienced lies and witnessed emotional boundary violations that remained unresolved and left them traumatized. This kind of background can make the straight spouse unconsciously seek a "familiar" spouse who will violate trust.
Some women think of men with homosexual tendencies as challenges. They may believe that they are attractive enough to "convert" gay spouses or "rescue" them from a life of misery.
Other women are drawn to men who are not anything like their macho, patriarchal, abusive fathers in the hope that their partners will not sexually or otherwise overpower them.
Still other men and women marry gay or lesbian spouses out of unconscious interest in controlling or micromanaging a "flawed" partner.
Less is known about straight men who consciously or unconsciously marry lesbians, perhaps because these men usually do not talk about the subject and their reactions. They may find it humiliating to admit that their spouse prefers sexual relations with other women.As neither of us were out fully to ourselves, I'm certain we did not marry each other hoping we could "cure" each other. The discussion of enablers and betrayers also does not seem to fit our marriage. Madame Curie has always been attracted to gay men, open or otherwise. I think this has to do with the gay man being more aware of his emotions and not hijacking the relationship for physical pursuits. She could have a serious discussion with me without worrying that all I could think about were her breasts. There is probably also something to the desire to avoid a potentially patriarchal, macho, abusive relationship where she is not in control (this is the woman who wouldn't date tall men because they remind her of her tall father). Madame Curie also likes to avoid "drama" and often finds women to be to "catty", so she often finds dealing emotionally with other women difficult. I have a hard time identifying why I married a lesbian. Certainly I married her because I fell in love with her and we connected on a deep intellectual and emotional level. I had no suspicion that she was physically attracted to women and generally repulsed physically by men. Perhaps I had a subconscious insecurity about being in a heterosexual relationship and Madame Curie put me at ease. I do not find it humiliating that my wife prefers female anatomy, and I am relieved to know a reason for some of her revulsion toward "dangly bits". Whatever the reasons for marrying, our marriage is wonderful and works for us. It is highly likely that our marriage works even better for us than it otherwise would because of our homosexuality.
Why do you think you married your spouse initially? Why do you think your spouse married you?