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It's been one week since I came out to my straight spouse

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Moondancer, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. Moondancer

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    I'm in my mid thirties, married to a straight man and we have a 5 year old. It's been one week since I told him, "I'm a lesbian and no longer want to be in a heterosexual relationship..."

    He's taking it really well.

    He's known my inclination towards women for years, though I've thought for a long time that I'm bi. I've struggled with my lesbian fantasies for years, years. It's come to a point in my life that I know for certain that I want to be with a woman. I want the full package. A deep intimate relationship built on mutual trust, interests, and respect.

    Our marriage has been in a bit of a struggle for almost 3 years. Having a child changed me. I realized I needed to get myself help and have since talked with two different therapists. The therapist I'm talking to now has been amazing. She's really validated me and helped me realize that the frustrations I am having in my marriage weren't all about the things my husband was doing wrong, but about the fact that he was wrong for me. That ultimately I want something, someone, else. That no matter what he did or didn't do he could never be a woman. I would never find fulfillment with him.

    Since telling him I feel this huge relief, but also a lot of guilt and grief. We're talking about divorce, probably after the new year. I feel guilty for everything I'm putting him through and the fact that I'm going to let go of all the privileges a two parent, heterosexual, marriage offers not just me, but my child. YET, when I start to feel guilty about everything I think of how relieved I feel about the fact that I don't have to have sex with a man, with the only man I have ever had sex with in my life. The only person I've ever had sex with. That relief tells me that I'm doing the right thing and that letting him go, no matter how disruptive now, will eventually be better for both of us. He deserves to be with someone who is physically and sexually attracted to him and so do I.

    I'm new here at EC as a member, though I've come to this forum many times over the past few years to read a few posts. Reading stories of others like me has helped me accept who I truly am. There's still a long journey ahead. I hope it brings a better, more authentic me.

    Any tips from other lesbians who divorced straight men with children? Any and all advice, resources, and just overall support as I slowly join the LGBTQ community is welcomed.
     
  2. StillHorny

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    I'm so glad to hear you've made your decision and things are going well. You've shown you are in control of your life. Stay in control. Be true to yourself. It's the only way to live authentically.
     
  3. LostInDaydreams

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    Hi @Moondancer and welcome to EC. :slight_smile:

    Congratulations on coming out to your husband and taking a big step towards living as your true self. I’ve been in a very similar situation and I‘m pleased that you’ve got a therapist, mine was a huge help to me. As you say, it is huge relief to know you no longer need to pretend to be something that you’re not.

    I hope that the next stage of the process goes as smoothly as possible for all of you. I’m glad that your husband has taken it well too. Are you planning to tell any of your friends what’s going on? It might be good to have some real life support.

    I can relate to the guilt you mention feeling about your child. That kept me stuck for a long time, but you will be in a better position to parent without the frustrations of your marriage weighing you down. I feel that I am and my daughter has also adapted very well (she was five when I left my partner).

    As for resources, I mainly used EC. :slight_smile: Hopefully others will be able recommend additional resources. Be kind to yourself and keep posting here.
     
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  4. Caraldo

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    These are definitely important steps. Hopefully the relationship with your current spouse will continue to be a positive one. Not uncommon for things to come to a head after children. My wife and I both considered ourselves bisexual when we got married, but after kids, she became secure in her heterosexuality. I lost any sexual interest that I had in women. And I have heard that from many others.
     
  5. Contented

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    EC is a great resource for you as you continue on your path to the authentic you. As you will find it is not always straight nor is it it easy but it is well worth it. I like you was in a heterosexual relationship when I finally acknowledged my homosexuality. When I told my partner she did not take it well however for me incredibly liberating as I knew I would never have to fake attraction again. The idea that I never had to be with a woman sexually or emotionally again allowed me to relax and truly start to feel release of years of frustration. I think many of us who flee heterosexuality feel this way as we transition. The suggestion of a LGBTQ therapist also is excellent. He helped me look at myself objectively and gave me tools that allowed me to live as an open gay man. Good luck as you move towards your liberation and freedom to be who you are.
     
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  6. Moondancer

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    Thank you everyone.
    I'm only out to my husband and my best friend. I have one other friend who knows I'm bi-leaning, but I haven't told her I'm lesbian yet. Sadly most of my physical friends and family are very conservative. Part of why I've struggled and suppressed my sexuality for so long is because of my rigid religious upbringing. I don't plan to come out to my family any time soon. I'm trying to focus on myself, my child, and get through this upcoming divorce.

    Today my husband mentioned trying to figure out a way to keep our marriage, and while I know many people in these forums have found ways to stay married and pursue their sexuality, I really don't think it will work for us, mostly because he wants sex and I don't. For me sex is wrapped up with the full relationship and I want the freedom to find someone (a woman) to spend the rest of my life with. I want time to figure myself out first. And I don't think it's fair to keep my husband dangling on some hope that I'll change.

    It's so complex yet also simple. Thanks again for all your responses. It helps knowing I'm not alone.
     
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  7. LostInDaydreams

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    Sounds like a good plan. Take care and you know where we are if you need support.
     
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  8. Caraldo

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    @Moondancer I think your instincts are correct. It’s best for you both to be free. I spent some years in an acknowledged mixed orientation marriage. In the end it hurt both of us. My lackluster sexual performances hurt her self esteem, even though logically it had nothing to do with her. I became increasingly physically ill trying to perform for her. There were a lot of issues with her that were problems that had I been heterosexual would likely have ended our marriage, but we lingered and it delayed her treatment and recovery. We have a reasonably good relationship now. Had we been aggressive and proactive 20 years ago when I was hitting a wall with my sexuality, we could have had a great relationship as co parents. Don’t be afraid to share this with him. He needs to realize that this is a opening for both of you to live your authentic selves.
     
  9. sunflower8

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    Wow - you sound so confident. I love that you are being true to yourself. I also recently came out to my husband. He took it very well and still wants to continue our marriage. However, I have not made the jump to leave him. I am still questioning whether we can somehow make our marriage work or if these thoughts will forever leave a wedge between us. I hope to one day come to such a definitive answer as you and be happy with it.
     
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  10. Moondancer

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    Thank you @Caraldo Like your experience, there are other issues in my marriage that were already causing a lot of tension. In some ways I think I would have kept searching for things to pick out, things to complain about, or just feeling like he will never measure up because, he can't, not because of him, but because I want something different. Like you, I think I've been trying to perform too. Not to get too TMI, but we tried watching lesbian porn together, and I kept getting annoyed because I felt like he was intruding on my time, like I didn't want a man in the room. I wanted to just keep watching the ladies, while he was there trying to be all intimate. I realize now that probably should have been my sign, but I went along with trying to make things work physically for months. At the time we weren't really being intimate that often so I could muster up some fantasies or watch a little lady porn ahead of time to prepare. Then the pandemic hit and we were stuck in the same house ALL the TIME. So he started wanting more intimacy and I just couldn't... It took being in the same space for weeks on end for me to finally realize this isn't what I want.

    I'm glad I have a therapist who helped me see that it wasn't anything he did or could do to change my feelings because my feelings were centered on my sexuality. He could change the whole list of issues I have, but I still want to be with a woman. It sucks, it hurts, it's hard, but I feel free in ways I never imagined. I feel like I can breathe. I feel like I can look at women without holding back and just appreciate their beauty without second guessing myself or fearing myself. I feel such relief at not having to have sex with my husband that it is in many ways a shock, but also the biggest sign of all that this can't go on. That we have to let each other go.

    I hope we continue to have a great co-parenting relationship and that we find a path to friendship. I hope he finds someone who will love him the way he deserves to be loved and I find someone too, someday. But more than anything I just want us to both live our best lives and show our son what authenticity looks like. Thank you again for sharing your story. It helps so much.
     
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  11. Moondancer

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    Thank you. It took A. LOT. to get here.

    There have been issues with our marriage for several years. Things that shook me and made me realize I had to focus on myself and stop being codependent. During that time I started to realize my desire for women growing. There was a lot of lonely nights, and when I was alone the image in my mind I was reaching for wasn't my husband, but some invisible imaginary woman. There were sex dreams with women and upon waking I was angry because the person next to me was man, those scared me.

    For a long time it was easier to point at my husband and say all the reasons he's just not a great husband. It was easier to be a victim than to point at myself and say, wow, I just don't want this anymore. What I really want is a woman. It took a great therapist who asked me pointedly if my husband stopped doing all the things that were bothering me and was perfect would that make a difference. And I realized that I just really want to be with a woman, and she said why don't I tell him that? Why don't I stop blaming all the other stuff and focus on my Truth. The inner truth that I'm a lesbian and I don't want to be in a heterosexual relationship anymore. I cried, and I repeated it, and I knew it was my truth, and she pointed out that it's easier to blame outside stuff than to face our deep truths. That our Truths make us vulnerable.

    Maybe it's easier for me to think of divorce as an option because my parents are miserably married. They are in a horrible relationship and refuse to divorce, even though it would make everyone's lives better. Their constant fighting (yelling, breaking things, name calling, just horrible stuff) traumatized me and I vowed to never stay in a miserable relationship, that divorce was an option, and that finding my happiness for myself was more important than keeping up appearances.

    I've cried a lot these past few weeks as I realize and repeat that I want to have a homosexual relationship. It goes against everything I was taught growing up. I know my family will be disgusted when they find out. But I want my son to grow up with a mother who is honest and authentic. He's very gender-nonconforming, and the more I watch him blossom into his own person, the more I want to be true to myself. I can't keep faking it.

    Everyone's journey is different. I've come to this point after years of trying to make things work only to realize that for me, this is the only thing that will work. I don't know how the divorce will go, I don't know how any of this will go, but I know in the end I am being honest to myself and the people who matter most to me.

    I hope you find strength in your truth too, in your own time, however that ends up looking.
     
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  12. Contented

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  13. Caraldo

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    @Moondancer I am not a professional, but I think the fact that you feel he was intruding on your time with the ladies(porn), I think that this is what you have to drive home to him, why ultimately you 2 can’t work as a couple.
     
  14. Caraldo

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    @sunflower8 you have opened the door....keep things open and honest and the 2 of you can see where it goes, where the journey takes you.
     
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  15. Moondancer

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    It's been two weeks and he's outed me to everyone he's talked to, after saying originally that he would keep it to himself until I was ready to live life as an open lesbian. I'm not ready because of my extremely conservative, gay hating, racist Christian family. If anything I've pushed these feelings down because of them, and while I am finally facing my truth and accepting myself and letting go of years of self-hate and denial, I am not ready to face my family. I get that he wants to talk to people and needs to have that safe place, and that's fine, it just feels like the same betrayal of him saying one thing then doing the exact opposite. It's one of the many reasons we were heading for divorce anyways, before I realized I was lesbian and just wanted a woman instead of a man. I also just don't want him, period.

    Anyone have experience with being outed by their straight partners during divorce or similar situations? I'd appreciate any and all advice or just a sense of this happens and it will be better. I'll get past this. This is just a journey and when the divorce is final and he actually moves out (I wish he would move out NOW) things will just be easier. I'll finally be able to breathe and heal.
     
  16. Songful

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    Moondancer, I'm so sorry that your husband went against his word and outed you to people. He shouldn't have done that. It feels like a betrayal because it is a betrayal. That was a really crappy move on your husband's part.

    I have no advice, but hang in there! I hope happier days are in your future.
     
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  17. Caraldo

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    @Moondancer I was outed several times over 2 decades. I didn’t have a bad personal situation. I am sorry that you have family that may be an issue. Ultimately I benefited by her outing me, but that was me. I still resented it because she lied to me about it, and I feel it was fair for me to be mad that she said she wouldn’t, and then denied doing it. What I had to learn to learn is it was my truth was her truth also. So if she hadn’t lied to me, ultimately it was her right. None of this helps much, but I know many people have been in the same situation.