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Lesbian married to a man

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Bellflower, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. Bellflower

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    So glad I found this forum. Thanks for being here.

    Married to my husband for over 20 years. 4 kids, all are just about legal adults.

    I identified as gay when I was younger, before marriage. I was out and proud, and gave not one single f*ck about what anyone thought.

    I started to think maybe I was bisexual, because I just didn't understand sexuality, in general. I didn't understand myself.

    So, I've been living a life of quiet desperation, and not understanding why I felt the way I did.
    I've been to therapy, trying to work through issues of abuse, neglect, and other traumas. I have taken just about every medication there is for the various illness I've been diagnosed with.

    This "issue" has come up and disrupted the marriage, and each time it does, it causes much pain and conflict, confusion, etc.

    We suffered an enormous, tragic loss less than 2 years ago.
    I can't talk about it here, at least for now.

    This was the catalyst for my finally being able to realize, understand, and accept that I am gay.
    Having your life implode and your heart completely torn our of you, has a way of stripping you of everything. While you're laying in the rubble, you see things you weren't able, or willing, to see before.
    It's just you and the truth down there in the pit.
    Things about myself have been revealed to me, the lights came on, and the dots are still being connected.

    Suddenly, I had a context and for the first time in my life, I understood myself, why I felt so isolated, so desperately lonely, so empty.

    Just in time, too. Because I was convinced I was a totally broken, worthless person. My desperation was growing by the minute. Along with my self loathing and guilt.

    The truth is the truth, it stands on it's own, grows wings, and perches in your soul. It makes it's home there. Nothing can change it, nothing can go back to what it was before.

    So I am out to myself, my counselor, and one dear friend.

    More steep drops have been added to this emotional rollercoaster I'm on. I feel like a huge burden has been lifted, I have the audacity to let myself hope a little bit, but there's also tremendous guilt, fear, and shame.

    I don't know what's gonna happen. I know I can't keep being this person. The difference between the person I've been, and who I truly am inside....it's a pretty sharp contrast.

    How will my family ever understand this? There's a ton of how's and why's and what if's, and I am so very afraid of what will happen.
    I never, ever wanted to hurt anyone. I would, and always DO, hurt myself before I hurt anyone else. I can't stand the thought of being the cause of anyone's suffering.
    But I also recognize that this is life or death for me. I can't go back, now. I can't live the rest of my life as that other person. I don't even like her...understatement of the year.

    I've been dying, starving, for over 20 years. 20+ years of struggling, longing, lonliness. Without a real, honest, deep emotional connection to a partner. Feeling like a broken person who was unlovable and unable to connect and love another person. Completely turned inward on myself, non- functioning, profoundly depressed.

    I'm worried about and for my kids, my sweet, gentle, beautiful babies.
    For my husband, the father of my beautiful kids, the pain I have caused him, the pain this is going to cause him.
    Whenever I have asked him if he's happy in this marriage, he says he is. That he loves me, etc.
    Which just confuses me to no end. How, man? There's nothing here. We are roomates, at best. Sometimes I feel like if I put a life sized photo, like a cardboard cut out of myself, on the couch, it would serve the same purpose. It wouldn't change anything.
    I don't ask anything of him and he doesn't ask anything of me. So, when I say there's nothing going on here, I mean nothing.
    I don't understand how he can be content with this marriage. I don't think he's got someone on the side, nut I know it's possible. I wouldn't even blane him or be pissed, truly.

    So for now, I'm holding on to what my therapist said.
    You can't fit a round peg in a square hole.
    You are not trapped.
    There is a way forward, there are people that care about you and want to help you. You have a safe place to come and talk.

    If you have read this whole thing, thank you for taking the time.
     
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  2. LostInDaydreams

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    Welcome to EC. :slight_smile:

    It’s a really tough situation to be in, but it sounds like you have a good therapist and a good understand of your own wants and feelings. I hope getting it all out on here has helped a little bit.

    It’s incredibly hard to keep up the pretence if a life you don’t really want and come to terms with not being true to yourself for so many years. Be kind to yourself. It’s sounds like you’re working through a lot of different emotions at the same time.

    I was with my ex for just under nine years and even six months after leaving him, he’s still asking if we can give it another shot. I don’t understand it either. I genuinely thought he would be happy to see me go. Like you, we were essentially living as roommates.

    Have you spoken to your husband about your sexuality? Does he know you were out before you married?

    Your therapist is totally right. Of course you’re not trapped. Leaving felt impossible to me, but when it started taking steps, it all fell into place.

    Keep posting. :slight_smile:
     
    #2 LostInDaydreams, Mar 8, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
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  3. silverhalo

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    Hey welcome to EC. I agree your therapist sounds like they are going to be invaluable.
    Perhaps your husband is so ingrained and used to being in your relationship he doesnt realise how empty it is. I am sure you have lots of ups and downs ahead but you can move forward through this.
     
  4. Bellflower

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    Thank you for replying, I appreciate you.

    Yes, my husband knew about everything before we were married. We had known each other for several years before we married.

    We almost separated 5 years or so ago, because I was questioning my sexuality.
    I was incredibly confused and scared, and I still wasn't sure about anything.
    I don't even remember how we came to the decision to stay together and leave things as they were. I know I was more concerned about my family than I was about myself.
    I remember feeling really ashamed and embarrassed about the whole thing.
    I wanted to forget.

    This does feel like the worst possible time for an epiphany like this to happen. There are many other things going on, and I was on an emotional rollercoaster, already.

    But, when you know in the very heart of yourself what the truth is, there's no going back. Because in context, everything makes sense. I understand myself now, in a way that I never have before.

    I see my therapist in a few days to keep walking through this and I hope to start prioritizing my next steps.
     
  5. silverhalo

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    These things never come at a good time. It sounds a bit like you know what you need to do to move forward but you just need to make a plan and break it down into small manageable steps so that it doesnt seem so daunting. I am sure there will be some tough times to work through but that actually you could both be much happier on the other side.
     
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  6. LostInDaydreams

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    Looking at next steps with your therapist sounds like a great way to move forward. My therapist was a huge source of support to me when I was working through leaving my ex.

    I’m sorry for the loss you mentioned in your OP. My brother died in a road accident about a month or so before I left my ex. It’s incredibly hard when you have too many big feelings to process at the same time. Remember to take care of yourself.
     
    #6 LostInDaydreams, Mar 8, 2020
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  7. Bellflower

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    I really did think, for a long time, that having depression was the main reason for the lonliness and emptiness I could never seem to shake. That feeling of something missing, no matter what meds, therapy, exercise, hobbies, etc I tried.
    Both my husband and I both believed my many issues were a direct result of a difficult life, depression, childhood traumas, anxiety.

    I'm still connecting the dots, things are still surfacing.
     
  8. Bellflower

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    Thank you. I'm sorry for your loss, as well. It is so easy to feel completely overwhelmed. I have to remind myself, several times a day, that I don't have to have everything all figured out right now.
    The guilt I feel makes that difficult, but I'm trying. I have never been very good at having compassion for myself. It's easy for me to have empathy and compassion for anyone and everyone else, but not myself.
    It is a practice I want to learn. I'm tired of being this person, of living this way, of being so brutal and mean to myself.
    I would never, in a million years, treat anyone the way I have treated myself.

    I have some hope, now. Holding on to it.
     
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  9. Emily999

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    How are you getting on? I seem to be in a similar position and finding it horrendous
     
  10. silverhalo

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    Hey if you need to chat I am always happy to listen.
     
  11. BlueOcean

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    I’m in a similar situation to you. Feel free to read my post.

    Strangely, I also had an epiphany moment a few months ago following a traumatic event (also coinciding with lockdown and life being generally strange). It happened a week or so after coming out of hospital following a miscarriage.

    I had realised I had attraction to women but never thought I may actually be gay until that moment. Suddenly pieces of puzzle joined together in my mind and it threw me into severe depression and anxiety.

    I have a partner of nearly 14 years and a 2.5 year old son. The thought of the pain and destruction it may cause is unbearable.

    I desperately want it to go away. I don’t even have any experience with women so can’t be sure. Though I think gut feeling counts for a lot. I have developed a deep hatred for myself and I’m very unhappy.

    I have told my partner but he is in denial.

    How are you getting on?
     
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  12. silverhalo

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    Be kind to yourself, you didnt intend for this to happen. Take it a step at a time to figure out how to proceed forwards.
     
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  13. LaraB

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    Hi. I'm in a similar position too and identify with a lot of the feelings discussed here. People have told me I need to 'let go' of my husband which is really hard when I still love him so deeply and we have shared so much of our lives together. Just because it's not sexual (or really even romantic) doesn't mean I can't love him. Finding it really difficult to find a way forward.
     
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  14. LostInDaydreams

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    From the outside it’s an easy thing to say. You’re gay, so they are probably thinking that it would be better for both of you to have the opportunity to find new relationships with people that you are each more compatible with. What does your husband think?

    There’s no one single way to do this. I know of a woman who came out later in life and is now separated from her husband, but they still live together to parent their children and have both had new relationships since separating. For me, that wouldn’t have been an option or something that I would have wanted, but everyone goes about it in their own way.

    There’s no rush and it’s a potentially big decision, so don’t worry about those outside your relationship, you’ll work it all out in your own time.
     
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  15. LaraB

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    Thank you. I think that would be my ideal scenario. The whole thing has thrown me into a period of depression so I'm finding it hard to think properly about anything let alone making big life changing decisions! Also very helpful what you said about people outside the relationship. He told his family which we are (I was?) very close to so feeling the outside pressure. Some of it real and some of it probably imagined.
     
  16. LostInDaydreams

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    I see from your other thread that you’re looking into therapy, so hopefully that will help with this. It’s a can feel like a very difficult and scary decision, as well as being a lot to process, so that’s understandable. It’s tough, be kind to yourself.

    Ah. That must be challenging for you. Did he discuss telling them with you beforehand?
     
  17. LaraB

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    No he didn’t so it was a bit of a shock and I was really scared about being rejected and painted as the bad guy (still am). After a rough couple of weeks I am feeling much better though thank you
     
  18. silverhalo

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    Its a shame he didnt at least talk to you about the fact he was going to tell them. I think he probably just needed to talk to someone about it. I think its only natural to worry that you will get painted as th bad guy but hopefully it wont come down to that.
     
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  19. LaraB

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    It's still the thing I am getting most anxiety from. It's a big family and I don't have one so it feels like having an army against me at the moment.
     
  20. LostInDaydreams

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    That’s really tough, particularly with the pandemic as it’s harder to escape and get space. Do you have close friends that you could lean on for support? And is your husband being supportive or understanding otherwise?