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Does it ever work out staying with a straight spouse?

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by Stephanie8, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. Stephanie8

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    I am so torn up inside. Every night all night I dream of being with women, sexually, emotionally, parenting all of it. Yet in my waking life I am married to a wonderful man who adores me, have 3 kids a house the whole deal. Last night we were all snuggled up together and such joy washed over me and I realized this is all I've ever wanted. A beautiful family, a beautiful home, we have amazing friends. Why am I trying to sabotage it? If I get divorced I will be broke, in mountains of debt, no job, no home, alone and on the street. Why the hell would I give all of this up, ruin my children's lives, break his heart, and destroy my life? For the chance? Chance of what? I have not dated in over 10 years. How would I even find love again.

    Sorry for the ranting. I feel so upset. I wish so badly I could turn these feelings off and just enjoy my wonderful life.
     
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  2. mlansing

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    It’s easy when you feel this way to jump to the conclusion that the only way to find true fulfillment is if you exit your current circumstances. This may not always automatically be the case. Instead of jumping ship out of the blue, perhaps you could try aligning yourself with your circumstances and seeing if you can somehow make it work for you. If you do that and you are still unsatisfied, that could be a sign to maybe move towards something that will satisfy you.

    All that to say, no need to make hasty decisions. Sit with it, contemplate it, be grateful for what you have, and let the answer come to you over time.
     
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  3. PatrickUK

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    I think a little bit of 'crystal balling' is taking place here. You assume everything will be totally destroyed if you follow the path you dream of, but is that actually correct? Of course, it will be tough and you will have some difficult conversations and difficult days as you try to work through it, but that doesn't necessarily mean the ruination of everything you have built up over the last 10 or more years. The love for your kids will hold strong and the love for your husband can too, even if it takes on a different quality and becomes more of a tight friendship. Sometimes it can help to seek support from a relationship counsellor who will guide you and your husband through the process of amicable separation. Maybe have a look online at the options for counselling and see if it is a sensible way forward.

    I'm afraid the feelings you are experiencing will not go away. The more we suppress, the more difficult they become and that's when a nice and benign home situation begins to become more tense and fractured. I would urge you to begin taking positive steps to address the issue.
     
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  4. LostInDaydreams

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    I think it’s easy to assume that staying is the easier and less painful option, which is what I did too, and it’s certainly the less scary option. After I worked out that I was gay, I stayed with my then partner for another three years, and it was really, really hard. I felt suffocated and eventually so miserable that I could barely see the point of getting up each morning. For context my ex was emotionally abusive, but our relationship did become progressively strained and distant over those three years. We actually communicate much better now we’re separated, which is much better for our daughter. I’m also happier in myself and personally in much better place to parent my daughter, who has adjusted really well and now has a positive home environment. By and large, children are resilient and adapt well.

    Leaving is not a walk in the park either, but all you need to do is take baby steps and once you’ve done a few then you start to feel more in control of the situation. The practical stuff can feel like major roadblocks, but it’s not impossible to find a way to make it happen. You need to research your housing and employment options, which I what I wish I had done earlier. I was a stay-at-home mum for three years and was again unemployed when I left my ex, but I got a job shortly after leaving and I love it. Without all the emotional turmoil weighing me down, I’m able give more energy to work and it’s going really well. It might help to mindmap what you want your life to look like and then think about all the steps you need to take to get there.

    With regards to what you’d be leaving for...I’m still single and whilst I left so that I’m in a position to form a new relationship, that’s not the only reason I left my relationship. I’m much happier being single, without having to live a pretence and carry the weight of feeling suffocated, than I was when I was together with my ex.

    I also had a therapist, who helped me to identify the steps that I needed to take to leave my ex, which might be something you could consider looking into. It’s a really difficult situation though, so be kind to yourself.
     
    #4 LostInDaydreams, Aug 10, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
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  5. DecentOne

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    The quick answer to your question is yes, it can work out to stay with a straight spouse.

    I’m one. But being bisexual and still intimate with my straight wife is maybe different from where you are. My wife and I are monogamous, but I have my fantasies, and I joined LGBTQ activities to feel authentic.

    Since coming out I’ve met a few guys in real life who are gay and still married to their straight wives. One guy is monogamous, and plans to stay that way, and my wife and I enjoyed talking with them as it reassured us that our similar choice can really work, long-term. The others have agreements with their wives that the gay husband is able to have a guy on the side.

    I’ve read online (and here on EC) about a whole mix of ways that it works for folks to stay married.

    I’ve also met older gay guys who were once married but long ago divorced, allowing their straight spouse to find a mate who wanted them in all ways, including sexually - and the guys seem happier and say they’d never go back, even the ones who loved their wives. We’ve heard some of those stories on EC too.

    It can work. Or it can work to not stay.
     
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  6. Stephanie8

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    Thank you everyone for your responses. I have a lot to sort out in my mind.
     
  7. Nickw

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    Hi @Stephanie8

    As @DecentOne indicated, staying with your spouse might have a lot to do with where you are on the sexuality spectrum. If you are bisexual, it might be easier to integrate your sexuality into a traditional marriage. I'm bisexual and my wife is OK with it and I do have have a male "friend". It took awhile to get here (4 years or so). But, we are making it work.

    But, we are older and don't have children. So, our lives allow this.

    Have you discussed your feelings with your husband? I had a million reasons not to discuss this with my wife and that was a bad idea. I think keeping the secret drove a wedge between myself and my wife. You may find that as you go on you will begin to resent your husband. I won't sugar coat how difficult it is to begin the process of coming out and opening the channels of communication.
     
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  8. Emily999

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    I am where you are although slightly ahead as I’m completely in love with a woman.
    We have been together for 9 months now.
    My husband is wonderful and I am sure I am still in love with him, we have a lovely home and 2 young children.
    When I fell in love with her I told him as I felt so awful to have a secret from my best friend that he didn’t know anything about.
    He was so kind and told me to sort it out in whatever way I needed to and he would be there no matter what.
    The issue I have is that she has now separated and really struggles with the fact I haven’t.
    It’s so hard to yearn for both lives almost as I can honestly say I love them the same amount, just in very very very different ways
     
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  9. LaraB

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    I’ve been researching options too, and there are some between the status quo and living on the street.

    You could agree to have an open marriage if that would work for you both.

    You could cohabit and coparent without being a couple.

    you could do ‘bird-nesting’ which involves the kids staying in the house and getting an apartment and you and your husband rotating. Cheaper than 2 houses and means the kids don’t have to move.

    We haven’t worked out what we’re doing, but it feels better to know there are choices.
     
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  10. LaraB

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    How are you doing Stephanie?
     
  11. Stephanie8

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    Thank you fir thinking of me. I am ok. Feeling very sad and low lately. We are going to try couple's therapy. Maybe that will help us sort it out. I am not sure. When I first realized I was queer and told him and my best friend I felt elated and on a high, now I feel so low and sad. Maybe it's part of the process. I don't know.
     
  12. mlansing

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    I think the high you felt was from the joy of self discovery and affirmation and finally feeling at peace with that. The low may now be a result of realizing that to live as your full authentic self might involve great sacrifice. This is all part of the process, and it’s important to give ourselves grace as we experience the roller coaster of emotions.
     
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  13. Emily999

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    How is everything Stephanie? X
     
  14. JennIsOn

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    Wow, can I feel your pain. I will say, yes, it can work out to stay married. But that requires commitment from both of you to the marriage. Some spouses might be willing to open up the relationship, which would give you space to explore your feelings. Others will not. And if that's the case, you have to decide what's most important to you--your existing family or your potential for dating women.

    I hope you're doing okay. Keep talking about it here and maybe consider finding a therapist of your own.
     
  15. Fuzzy

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    It could work if it was fulfilling but it sounds like it isn't...