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Beyond monogamy?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by JessNC, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. JessNC

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    Evening, friends. I have recently shared with my wife of many years that I am bi, enjoy cd, and am wrestling with gender identity and expression. She has been taken back but has also been kind and patient. Her main concern is that of monogamy while I am feeling the need to honestly explore who I am at this point in my life. I'm not sure I can do that without engaging in same sex activity but am not ready to give up my relationship with my spouse. We've agreed to continue to talk. Have others been in a similar situation? Chosen and navigated a path to a satisfying non-monogamous relationship after a long marriage?
     
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  2. Journey616

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    Hey there, this is a struggle for me as well. And as it gets further away from my one and only same sex experience the urge to experience it again gets stronger all the time. It tears me apart some days, the battle in my head. But I know what it’s like. This is a great place to find others like us.
     
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  3. Nickw

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    @JessNC

    It is hard to do this in a pandemic. But, I included my wife in some of the other, non sexual, parts of being LGBT. We went to Pride. We entertained some friends I met on line. That sort of thing.

    It was 18 months after coming out that I, actually, had intercourse with a man. It was a process of setting limits and redefining them as time went on. Above all, communication is needed.

    I chatted with an on line group of guys who were out to their wives. We can’t recommend sites like this on this site. But, what I learned was that many wives are OK with the gay part but not acting on it. My situation is pretty rare.

    Whatever you do. Don’t cheat. The guys in this group that did this had a much more difficult time than those of us that didn’t.

    I think you also need to ask yourself this question...because your wife is thinking it. Is your relationship with your wife more important than fulfilling your same sex desires? I knew the answer was yes. If the answer is “I don’t know” you have a more difficult process than I did. Your wife may have to decide it is OK to lose your marriage in the hope you will chose it once you experience the other side. That’s a lot to ask.
     
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  4. olderwiser

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    It all boils down to one word and concept, in my humble opinion. Security. You need to let your wife and partner know that you will be there for her no matter what and that she can depend on you. She also needs to know that all the years you have been together is NOT for nothing. She could be very scared and frightened about the future, you need to stand up and assure her that all will be well, if just a bit different. She needs to know that she still is important to you and matters.
     
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  5. Bastion

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    Hey @JessNC
    It’s a step alright. Many of us have been through something like it. But what comes next is the harder part in my opinion. While our spouses may accept who we might be. They won’t really accept us acting on it.
    That’s the dilemma. I hope things work out for the best for you. And thanks for sharing.
    Keep us updated it might help many people better navigate similar situations.
     
  6. Bastion

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    Hey @olderwiser
    What you said makes a lot of sense. But how can a spouse or a partner accept a non monogamous or open relationship. Or open orientation relationships. It is very difficult to explain that or convince someone of that if they really love you.
     
  7. QuietPeace

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    It depends on their definition of "loving you". If by love they mean possession and control then you are right, they will never accept an open or poly relationship. If by love they mean wanting you to be happy then an open relationship is not threatening.
     
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  8. DecentOne

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    I find when my wife starts trying to control something, it means she is afraid. It isn’t that she is possessive, though it looks that way. She is afraid to lose me. She was afraid our whole marriage was just a lie (took a long time for that one to die down). She was afraid she’d be gossiped about if people knew - so she had to be in control of my coming out. Now she gave me rainbow stickers for the cars this summer - she’s watched me not leave her, she finds I’m still loving her, and yes I still am the same person with the same old annoying flaws she’s known for three decades. She gave back control of the coming out process to me months ago. Lower fear = less trying to control.

    I’ve stayed out of this thread because I’m not looking to modify our marriage vows, and I’m pretty darn good at monogamy. But I think my experience might point to something useful for those who later negotiate ethical non-monogamy: time, trust, openness, communication - lots of that! And then the fears get down to a manageable level. And then the need to control isn’t so strong. It gets better.
     
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  9. JessNC

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    Thanks to each of you for replying to my initial post. The more I engage my spouse the more it is clear that I am engaging a life transition or transitions and things cannot just stay the same. It is defeating to hear that my growth is seen by my spouse as a betrayal to my relationship but I do understand her perspective. I am hopeful that we can grow our relationship in ways that meets both our needs. Still not sure what this will look like but it will need to include room for my developing sexuality and gender identity or expression. We have found a space in our home for me to be free to dress and decorate as I desire--a man cave for exploding the cis manbox. Hah. We continue to talk and express our needs perhaps more than ever. And I am finding ways to begin to be public about being bi/trans that she supports. Small steps that feel huge sometimes.
     
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  10. QuietPeace

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    Good luck. I hope that the two of you find a solution which allows both of you to grow and to find a fulfilling and satisfying life.
     
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  11. Bastion

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    I like the subject and discussion in this thread, and the points, experiences and views brought forward by most of the replies are very insightful and wise. Those issues about possession, fear and control are very relavant and real. And all of these combined and pour into a single big word that I heard often. Betrayal. Although I can understand where it comes from, but some people can’t get past that. Especially the ones who grew up in a sort of and religious background. Like anything other than monogamy can’t be tolerated or accepted. It’s unethical and words about morality and sins get thrown around.
    Is there really a body of reasoning or logic to discuss an ethical non-monogamy like @DecentOne mentioned?
     
  12. bi2me

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    Thanks for posting about this. I came back here quite a few years after my last sexuality crisis to discuss this topic. I’m realizing that it may not be enough for me to be bi... I may need to actually “do something” about it. Husband and I have had a lot of conversations over the last two weeks, as my urgency was likely prompted by a couple-friends of ours becoming ethically non monogamous. I’m not sure where we will land, but he and I have been together since high school - monogamous since 18, and it’s chafing terribly at this point. He is completely satisfied in our relationship and is hurt that I am not/cannot be. I don’t have any desire to date anyone. Dating apps sound awful - especially with my fairly low self esteem - and he admits that this may be more his issue than mine and he wants me to be fully myself. Anyway - I see you, and I look forward to continuing this discussion.
     
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