One of the many crappy things about the way my wife cheated on me is that I can relate to a large number of experiences, EA? check. Serial cheater? check. random internet hookups? check. etc.
Among those is the one same sex AP which honestly to me really wasn't a big deal other than who it was with and the deception (finding out that it was a part of a larger pattern of infidelity sucks too). It was the first "affair" I discovered and I didn't even count that discovery as a d-day even though it was the incident that put my radar on high alert and led me to the further evidence that blew up all her extramarital activities.
I say that as a preface to establish what credibility I have on this particular subject.
While I don't think that the gender of the AP affects the aspect of betrayal involved I personally wouldn't have been as hurt had my wife limited her activities to women other than the fact that she hid it from me as I'd have happily let her explore any interests in that area. There are things that a woman can offer to another sexually that I simply can't, and had she been up front and honest with me about it I'd have happily let her have that experience as long as she had done so in a safe and responsible manner.
What concerns me in reading this thread is the level of homophobia that's expressed. My wife cheated with multiple men over a period of years, but I'm not triggered by seeing a man and woman show affection or even having sex (assuming infidelity isn't involved). So why would seeing a committed same sex couple doing the same be triggering for someone who's WS had a same sex partner?
While I don't think that anything justifies infidelity, I do have more sympathy for people who have same sex affairs, particularly men. Society is very judgmental towards homosexuality in general and male culture is especially so, There has historically been massive pressure for men to conform to heterosexual norms. So it's not particularly surprising that people who learned to deceive as a literal survival mechanism (Openly gay people are often the targets of physical and emotional violence) would carry that mechanism into every relationship they have.
Hell just the title of this thread alone shows the social biases regarding sexuality. Note that it's support for spouses who's WS had a same gender AP. What about homosexual people who've been cheated on? Do they belong in this thread? Their WS's had same sex APs yet I doubt they'd feel comfortable in this thread given the level of homophobia I've seen expressed.
I'm not saying that you don't deserve to feel betrayed or that your betrayal is any less than those who's spouses had heterosexual affairs. Betrayal is still betrayal, in fact one can make a strong case that hiding their sexuality while getting married is the bigger betrayal than the actual sex.
That said a huge part of my process for dealing with my own WW's cheating is to try and empathize with what was going on in her head, not to excuse but simply to understand.
I also know that doing so is really really hard when in the BS position. All the pain and anger makes it very difficult to feel any empathy for your WS.
I also imagine that you don't get the same sort of support as those with heterosexual affairs, you have a mix of "What's the big deal? it's not like you could have offered them X anyway" and "how didn't you know that they were gay?" amplified and aggravated by societies attitude towards homosexuality. Not to mention those who are sympathetic to your WS because they were forced to suppress their sexuality by those same social attitudes towards homosexuality and attempt to excuse the pain that it's caused you because of it.
Still try to put yourself into your WS's position for a minute. You have desires that the world won't validate. These aren't feelings and urges you can turn off, you are ashamed of them, you know that the people in your life wouldn't understand them. So you suppress them and pretend that they aren't there. You go through the motions of living a life that never feels authentic. Then eventually you reach the point where you can't ignore it anymore, but you still care for those in your life so you think, "well maybe I can scratch this itch and if I'm careful enough they'll never know and everything will be fine."
Yeah I know it's typical wayward thinking, but if homosexual urges combined with social pressures to conform to a hetero-normative lifestyle isn't the ultimate FOO I don't know what is.
I think in many ways unless your partner was openly bi-sexual this is the one form of infidelity that is really as much the fault of society as it is the individuals who cheated. This isn't to excuse the betrayal, it's still selfish and wrong to gain at the expense of others and one shouldn't hold such important secrets from the person you have promised to be faithful to, however it is understandable to some degree. Just as my own wife's infidelity when considered in the entire context of her life is understandable more so really because she wasn't under additional pressure to suppress her sexuality.
Unfortunately understanding doesn't mean that the pain goes away.
One thing that upset me the most about my own WW's infidelity is that she made assumptions about my feelings and thinking without actually talking to me about it, she assumed that I would or wouldn't do things then made decisions based on those assumptions. I can honestly say that had she made those concerns clear I'd have reacted in the opposite way that she assumed that I would.
How would you have reacted had your WS approached you regarding their homosexual urges? Would you have been open to listening to them compassionately with understanding?
I am not trying to invalidate anyone's feeling or dismiss anyone's pain. I just wanted to give people something to mull over and chew on in the hope that perhaps some comfort can be found.