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Losing the plot

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by razorsharp, Jan 2, 2022.

  1. razorsharp

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    @Unsure77 I get your point, but in our culture we do not label people with SSA as gay, bi etc as you do. I am a man suffering and struggling with unwanted SSA. That's all it is. It is not an identity. So when you state things such as 'if you're gay then your wife has to know etc..' well that is not how we look at things.

    I do not feel it would help anyone if I disclosed this part of me, it would only hurt them and make things difficult. I also do not plan on leaving my wife in 10 years because I 'can't deal with a straight marriage.' I am trying to work on myself, albeit failing miserably at times. Everything else about are marriage is great apart from this issue. I think it would be really self centred of me to leave my wife because I have SSA and I think men who do this to their wives are abhorrent, thinking more with their dick than their heart.
     
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  2. Rayland

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    The fear of hurting the people you love and care about and the fear of how your family, society and religion sees homosexuality can get irrational to the point, where you forget about yourself and try everything to suppress it. And you talk here about not wanting to hurt others, but what about you hurting yourself?

    Like others have said then suppressing it don't work, it can only get more worse, the more time goes forward. That just means more mental health issues and that too can't do any good, for any marriage. You don't have to leave your wife, because you are attracted to same sex. Everything is down to how you two communicate with each other. Marriage counseling can help you two to communicate, if needed. Aren't trust, compromises and communication part of a healthy marriage?

    When you are attracted to same sex, then it's not only about sex. It's the same with, when a man and woman are attracted to each other and I think you know this, because I don't think you are together with your wife, just because of sex. There is just this something you are drawn to and you can't help it and there are other factors too. There are times, where it's also better to leave the marriage, than to be in an unhappy marriage, where everybody suffers, so both can move on and actually be happy. It's nothing selfish.

    I tried denying being someone I'm not since I was a kid and it failed miserably. I also live in a very conservative country. There are also homophobes within my family and that is big part of why I haven't come out. I do have that irrational fear of being not accepted and that is my biggest fear. But there are times, when you have to act in the sake of your own well being too. Just need to get a bit prepared for anything that can happen and a good psychologist can help you to understand your own feelings better and advice you how to move on.
     
  3. Unsure77

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    You're "Struggling and failing with SSA" in the same sense that you're struggling and failing to grow 6 more inches in height as an adult. It's not a personal failing. It's how you were made and it's not something you can control. You might as well be mad at yourself for feeling compelled to eat every day.

    So, there's something called the Kinsey scale. (and this is not cultural or an opinion....this is a fact...this is the science). The Kinsey scale runs from 0 to a 6. 0 meaning you are only sexually attracted to the opposite sex and 6 meaning you are only sexually attracted to people of your own sex. Someone who is attracted to both equally would be a 3. You get the idea.

    If you're a 6 (which it kind of sounds like from what you're saying)...nobody's saying you need to get a divorce or anything. Nobody's saying you need to find a boyfriend. But, it would be advisable to work with an LGBT affirming therapist to help you make peace with this and figure out a sustainable way to proceed with your marriage. A therapist who's trying to change your sexuality is just going to waste your time and money. You need a therapist who can answer the question "I'm SSA, so now what?". Keeping this a secret the rest of your life is not going to be sustainable. It's going to impair your mental and physical health, and there will always be the risk of her finding out somehow. It sucks, but it's just reality. And this isn't going away. A professional (who's working with reality) can help you figure it all out.
     
  4. Nickw

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    @razorsharp

    Your statement

    "I get your point, but in our culture we do not label people with SSA as gay, bi etc as you do. I am a man suffering and struggling with unwanted SSA. That's all it is. It is not an identity. So when you state things such as 'if you're gay then your wife has to know etc..' well that is not how we look at things"

    I could have written something similar to this when I was 20 as a Catholic (40 some years ago) I was taught that homosexuality was a choice. I was taught that SSA was a grave sin and unless forgiven, or absolved, by a Catholic Priest, would jeopardize my mortal soul. So, I get where you are coming from right now. It's just that no matter how hard I prayed I could not eliminate my SSA. And, at the age I was 20, I was the sort of person who could accomplish anything and do anything...I thought. But, I couldn't make myself straight. I was engaged to be married in the Catholic Church to a college sweetheart and just couldn't resolve this...so, I left everything about my life because it just made no sense (I'm also an applied scientist).

    In my case, I am bisexual, so I was able, also, to live a pretty "straight" life. I could love my wife intimately in the ways she needed to be fulfilled. So, my SSA and sexuality could be hidden away and I figured was optional. But, the thing is, that even though, after thirty years of marriage, my sexuality never changed and my SSA never diminished even when I had never acted on them. Now, I am out to my wife and some close friends and the ability to be honest about who I am cannot be understated. And, my wife now knows why there was always this hidden part of me that she was never allowed access to. My marriage almost crumbled because I was lying to my wife and she knew it. She just didn't know what I was lying about. I also felt the same way you do that a man does NOT leave his wife because of his dick. That didn't even matter that I never acted on my SSA because I was lying to my wife about a fundamental part of who I am. That made my marriage a fraud.

    My wife now knows and I am honest with her and our marriage is real. It is based on a knowledge of who we each are.

    With me, I made a decision some 40 years ago that my sexuality was OK and I was OK with those SSA. I thought this was good enough...and I think it mostly was...I made peace with myself and I don't remember trying to NOT have SSA for a very long time. This acceptance was key to my survival even if the dishonesty was bad for my marriage. It is important that you, at the least, accept that you are not straight and that is OK even if you cannot, or will not, act on it.

    I know this comes across as lecturing. I apologize for that. And, it is presumptuous to say that if anyone could rid himself of SSA it was me and no one else stands a chance. But, it is true. None of us become straight because we want to or figure there is some hidden method we have yet not found. It just does not work that way.

    FWIW, at this point in my life, I pity straight guys because they never will understand what it feels like to be attracted to another man. To love another man. If someone offered me the choice to eliminate my SSA from my psyche I would decline. Because, I have no idea what other parts of me are linked to my sexuality and I would not risk what might be left if I start eliminating parts of who I am.
     
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  5. Unsure77

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    I know I keep harping on this, but I will point (if you do decide to talk to her), I would still talk to a good therapist before you do it. A good therapist can help you walk through the advantages and disadvantages and help you game out how best to talk to her and help you deal with any aftermath. (and to be clear, no therapist who tries to tell you "You're SSA because....<insert theory here>" is a good therapist). And, again, they can help you figure out how to make peace with yourself.

    I came out to my super homophobic, ultra-conservative parents this summer. I was terrified of losing them or hurting them. The idea of hurting my mother is torture and has been my entire life. I was basically intentionally making my worst fears come true (as far as unleashing that secret). My therapist spent months helping me figure out what to say and think through what questions they might have and figure out how to make sure I had an adequate support system to deal with any aftermath. She let me spend time explaining who my parents are and what my relationship is to kind of have a feel for how best to approach it. So, I was prepared. I can't recommend doing that enough. Making sure you have support and someone to bounce ideas off of and have someone to vent to who's not going to judge you.

    I would not just haul off and tell her cold turkey tomorrow with no plan and no support system in place to deal with any aftermath (or to celebrate positive outcomes if that's how it goes). But, I also wouldn't refuse to consider the possibility of telling her soon-ish without gaming it all out with a therapist. But, that's just me.
     
    #25 Unsure77, Jan 6, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
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  6. old tacoma

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    @razorsharp
    I “like” your post above. There are in fact significant cultural aspects involved in human sexuality that impact the way (or ways) in which an individual experiences and expresses himself or herself. I understand.
     
  7. justaguyinsf

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    I can relate to pretty much everything you've said although I'm not Muslim and I'm divorced. But I still don't relate to gay culture. I'm not Mormon either, but there are gay Mormon men who marry straight women; they call them "mixed orientation marriages." And the greater Mormon community seems to support them, or at least accept them to the point where the couples are open about their situation. I doesn't sound like this model would work for you culturally, but I wonder if there are online, anonymous support groups for gay Muslim men who are married. Or maybe you could start something like that. It might be a place to connect with other similarly situated men for support and ways of dealing with the dilemma you're facing.
     
  8. razorsharp

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    @justaguyinsf there used to be online support groups for muslims but they have vanished. We cannot be open about this at all because Islam is a religion that is far less tolerant to homosexuality than Christianity or Mormonism. I know that I probably have to live with this for the rest of my life. I am just trying to get to the point where I can function as a normal married man who hopes to raise a family one day, with minimal collateral damage in the process. Life sucks! lol.
     
  9. SevnButton

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    Dear @razorsharp, yes, life can be incredibly challenging, particularly when you feel us stuck and it seems like there's no solution. But I disagree, life does not suck. Because when you do finally find the solution it is wonderful. And the more difficult the challenge is, the more satisfying it is to find the answer. It probably does not feel it to you like there is any answer, but I sincerely believe there is. It's just not any of the answers you've gotten so far. The answer, when you find it, will be uniquely yours.

    I think you should request full membership on Empty Closets. That will open additional resources for you that may be helpful.

    I send you best wishes, man! I'm cheering for you. You can do it.
     
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  10. Unsure77

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    @razorsharp Is it safe to assume you're not in the United States? Or no? (as far as looking for resources...). I know of LGBT therapists in the US who can do online stuff who try to help people work out mixed orientation marriages without attempting to change your sexuality. But, if you're not in the US, that might not work. I can see if maybe they at least have some resources or have a way to try to help you find a therapist or support group.
     
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  11. Unsure77

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    @razorsharp So, if you google "The Christian Closet", it leads you to a counseling service that has licensed therapists who are Christian, but LGBT affirming. I know you're not Christian, BUT they work with people in mixed orientation marriages and are sometimes in similar catch-22 situations because of their religion (Christians are not uniform. Some denominations are gay affirming, but some of them very much so are rigidly anti-lgbt and aren't changing any time soon...so, I'm optimistic they'd get your situation even if it's not exactly the same). And I've listened to interviews with the founder and she explicitly said she doesn't want or push for the mixed orientation marriages to break up (even if they sometimes do). I know that they do some remote/online stuff. What I don't know is if they can do international stuff (or if you even are international). But, if nothing else, maybe they can point you to some resources or help you find someone in your area who can give you what you need. It might be worth checking out.

    I DM'd the founder on Instagram and she said your situation is very much so in line with what they work with.

    Edit: Looking closer at what she said, she says they see people all over the world and do work with people off all sorts of religions.
     
    #31 Unsure77, Jan 9, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
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  12. razorsharp

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    @Unsure77 thanks for taking the time to advise me. I have looked at this website. I’m sorry but this is totally not me! I’m not LGBT affirming, I’m not Christian and I do not want to come out! Islam is very different to even the most conservative Christian denomination with regards to homosexuality, trust me on that one. Thanks again.
     
    #32 razorsharp, Jan 9, 2022
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  13. Unsure77

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    I'm aware you're not Christian. The owner of the place indicated to me that they work with people of other religions. And "LGBT affirming", that doesn't mean they're going to try to get you to run out and get a boyfriend. It means they're not going to spend time trying to change your sexuality. They would help you try to work within the bounds of what you have to work with. Trying to change the fact that you're SSA is pointless (as you've seen), so then how do you figure out how to live with yourself. THAT's what an LGBT affirming place would help you do. They're not going to waste your time and money (and trash your mental health) trying to change things you can't change.

    Again, as I said, Candace (the owner) has said in interviews that she PREFERS to see marriages stay together. So, they might could help you figure out how to navigate what you have going on. OR they might could help you find a Muslim therapist group that does similar work.

    The biggest thing is they have experience with marriages like yours. Where one partner is gay and one is straight. They know how to help people make that work, which you expressed a desire to learn how to do.
     
    #33 Unsure77, Jan 9, 2022
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  14. Peterpangirl

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    I hear your pain and anguish and that you do not want to be gay. It does not fit with who you want to be. That is really hard, but sadly, I would echo the other people's comments that it will never go away. But I also agree that to withhold something so vital about yourself from your wife could result in more damage and destruction than finding an honest way forwards that you can both accept.
     
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  15. razorsharp

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    @Peterpangirl - I know my situation and telling my wife (or any of my family for that matter) would be disastrous. I was very unhappy about this situation even before I got married, before I even met my wife. Sadly I am now even more unhappy because I cannot function the way I want to in my marriage because of this. It breaks my heart because I am indirectly hurting my wife and the marriage. It’s a sad situation, no way out of it.
     
  16. Nickw

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    @razorsharp

    I have been doing a bit of reading on Islam and homosexuality since I am curious about it having met a gay Muslim man. Somehow, he had reconciled his faith with his sexuality. I'm guessing Islam is like many other religions where the acceptance of homosexuality varies depending on region and local custom. I am also aware that in some Muslim countries homosexuality is illegal and it is, actually, dangerous to practice. So, perhaps being a homosexual carries other risks to you that I have not considered. I've known other Catholic men (a brother of mine) who have managed to remain, mostly, active in practicing their religion "around" their sexuality.

    So. I'm going out on a limb when I write this and consider this as a question designed to help you and not to be dismissive of your situation since I don't really know your situation....

    Is it possible that you are hiding behind your religion when you contemplate acceptance of your sexuality? The reason I ask this is because I did exactly that when I was a young man. The same sex attractions were quite simply a sin...nothing more. This, probably, cost me years, maybe decades of denial. Even though I had intellectualized my sexuality and felt I had accepted it, I am quite sure that I hadn't. Because I had a life partner (my wife) who I hid this from. One hides a sin. One doesn't hide who they are.

    So. How does one live with SSA within a hetero marriage? For me, this involved, actually, embracing my same sex attractions. Instead of treating my sexuality as an enemy I learned it was just a part of me and it was OK. Eventually, I also engaged my wife in my sexuality and made it a part of our daily lives. This may not be something that culturally you can do. But, maybe there are ways to do this? Of course, every marriage is, essentially, a contract and I have no idea what the terms of your marriage are. Mixed orientation marriages can work if it is beneficial to both partners. If there is, simply, no way to engage your wife and you, absolutely, must keep this under wraps because you risk physical harm, then there might not be options available to you to be open about your sexuality with your wife. Is this your situation?
     
  17. razorsharp

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    I absolutely cannot share this with my wife. I don’t want to either. It is totally inappropriate in our culture so this is not an option. ‘Gay’ Muslim men are a rarity and anyone who embraces this lifestyle is actually not considered Muslim.
     
  18. Unsure77

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    I don't know how to break this to you, but it's not that there aren't gay Muslim men. It's that the other gay Muslim men are hiding it like you are. You're just not aware of each other because you don't feel safe (and, to my understanding, not wrongly so).

    As you're painfully aware, nobody "chooses" to be gay (or SSA, or whatever term you want to use...it's the same group of people regardless of what word you want to use). They just are. So, the number of gays isn't going to go up or down. What changes is how many gays feel safe being public.

    The thing, again, that I would point out to you is that (I don't know what you've been taught), but being gay in conservative areas of the US has only been remotely accepted in very recent years. As in, when I was a child men were regularly arrested and had their names printed in the newspaper for having gay sex. When I was in high school, a girl was beaten up for being a lesbian. The girl who beat her up got a standing ovation by the other students when she was being walked to detention. I grew up being told that gay people were an abomination and that you couldn't be a Christian and be gay. Up until I came out last summer, I had a very real fear my parents were going to shun me once I told them. Largely because their next door neighbors haven't spoken to their son (who is my age) in 17 years since he came out. I was also taught in my churches that my job was to be a wife and have babies. And my church (and the town's) social structure made it difficult to integrate socially if you didn't do that. And also, in case you're wondering, gay people weren't treated well even in the American media until recent decades. For most of my childhood, they were almost always spoken of or showed as a punchline or with disgust in most TV or movies. After 9/11 we have popular pastors go on national TV and blame gay people for what happened.

    Granted, I will concede I wasn't in as much physical danger. My parents murdering me wasn't likely.

    Am I missing something here? Because what I'm describing is what Christian culture was like 20-30 years ago in conservative areas. It's how a lot of the older folks around here grew up.

    I still question if your experience is as different as you think it is (as far as any Christian possibly being able to remotely understand).
     
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  19. Nickw

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    @razorsharp

    You continue to make statements that somehow accepting that you are homosexual is "embracing a lifestyle". This isn't what being gay means....not at all. Being a homosexual only means that your biology directs you to have attraction to the same sex. It's as simple as that. A gay man can still be a good husband and father. He can still practice a moral code of servitude, respect and piety. Those are not the ownership of the straight man. If you, simply, cannot disclose this to your wife then you need to provide her what she does need in the marriage. In her culture, what does that encompass?
     
  20. justaguyinsf

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    I don't get the sense that OP doesn't acknowledge that he is homosexual, but instead the difficulty is how to make that a good or at least less negative fact given his situation. His struggle is shared by men in many different cultures, even here in the USA, although OP's situation is uniquely difficult. I'm not sure that applying American or Western European norms helps here.
     
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