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Married, kids, bisexual, depressed

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by Jggates, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. Jggates

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    Thank you guys, and yes @IanMkh I will get the counselling before blurting anything out, that's good advice. I know my head isn't exactly rational right now, the highs and lows are giddying, so you are right that I need to get my head in gear before doing anything rash. One step at a time, I guess.

    Thank you for the offer of taking this to DMs, I will take you up on that as I move forward if that's okay. Please don't let me be a burden though. Maybe we can help each other though this even though you are a lot further on than me?

    I will probably post updates on here as this all pans out, hopefully this all has a happy ending and others in the same boat can read this in the future.

    For the first time in ages I am feeling more positive. Not normal by any means, the waves of depression and tears and weird sense of panic are still bubbling, but I feel like I can cope now. That's a huge leap forward compared to where I was even a couple of days ago.
     
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  2. regkmc

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    I wanted to add some of my experience here, as I think I see some similarities. I had a trigger moment that occurred last January, and awakened me to a side that I had repressed for 15+ years. I’m 40 with 2 boys (8 and 10). My wife of 12 years and I had other problems, but this has really been the primary issue since this awakening. We separated in January of this year so that I could explore and figure things out.

    It has been hard. I recognize that since I allowed myself to consider being open to my gay side, it has been my primary fantasy. I could still (and have still) enjoyed sex with my wife and other women during this period of exploration, but it seems clear that I am more sexually attracted to men.

    This can upset me greatly.....I am trying to develop friendships with gay men, I have had a safe hookup with a gay man, I have gone to GAMMA groups, I go to therapy, and I still can feel like shit, and not want to be this person. I feel like I could take forever to be OK with me, and everyone else will move on, and I’ll be a depressed witness to it all.

    I really don’t want my relationships to change with my wife and kids. What I want is to be the Dad and husband I was (minus the cheating with women - another story) and always wanted to be. And deep down, I know I can’t be the husband to my wife she deserves. And then I spend the weekend with them, and get sad at the idea that everything will have to change.

    It doesn’t feel right to be in a marriage with someone when your sexual preference is for someone of the same sex.

    I just don’t know how to live well in the alternative universe ahead of me. This limbo state can’t go on forever though.

    I wish you well on your journey.
     
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  3. Jggates

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    Its an awful journey, and I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. We've been dealt an awful hand and we just have to see how it pans out.

    I wish you well on your journey too. I am hoping that in the not too distant future we all look back on this and think "it has worked out for the best".
     
  4. IanMkh

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    Hey, @Jggates. So it seems really hard to get private messaging going here. I think we both need to be full members. I guess it’s good of this thing would turn into a hookup site.

    Anyhoo. Just wanted to see how you were feeling. You were talking the giddy feeling of wild swings between high and low. I know that we’ll. All your feelings are amplified right now. That should pass, too.
    The panic feeling is the worst because it’s the one that’s urging you to action. But, it isn’t real. It’s you doing it to yourself. Well, your brain doing it, actually.

    Right now, I’m working on identifying the triggers for those feelings and avoiding them as best I can. It’s hard but when it works, I can pull myself back.

    I hate it for you. I really do. But, you’ll get through this.
     
  5. Jggates

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    Hi @IanMkh thanks for checking in. Yes, I'm still swinging between highs and lows, and the panic is always bubbling but I'm trying just to ride it out rather than push it all too far down (if that makes any sense at all).

    It feels like I'm turning into two "me"s - "low me" can't cope, "high me" feels almost disconnected from the whole thing like it's just a story or a film, as if "low me" is someone else. It's really weird.

    I did try to set up some counselling yesterday but didn't have much luck, if you try to do it online through the NHS you can't see which counsellors have LGBT experience so I'm just going to speak to the doctor on Monday.

    You are right that the urge to blurt everything out is connected to the waves of panic. And it's getting really difficult to suppress as I've realised that this is why my brain is where it is now, I've suppressed it too long. I'll not lie, I've come so close to just letting it all out several times, but pulled back from the brink - I know I need the counselling first or I'll just make everything much much worse, so as soon as I get the first appointment sorted I think I'll be able to deal with these urges as I'll know I'm on the path (might not be the one I'm thinking of, but that's why I need this counselling of course).

    And yes it sucks that we can't PM, I've just tried it too and had no luck. I don't mind you having my personal email address but I can't even send you that without sticking it on here for all to see, which obviously doesn't seem like a great idea lol. But I'll keep updating on here.
     
  6. IanMkh

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    Hey, @Jggates. Sounds like a good first step. For my experience, I really wanted to first get those wild swings under control. I still have them occasionally and it can be startling how close the highs and lows can be to each other. How is the counselor search going? You speak of wanting to know you're on the path. You're on it now. You've always been on it. My path recently has been figuring out how to deal with the grief of not realizing I was bi any sooner that I did. My counselor is also helping me to work through accepting my identity which is helping to stabilize things. I still have my moments, but things are certainly a bit better. I think with a little work, you'll get there and it will help you figure out what you want and how best to get there. For me, I want to stay in my marriage. I don't plan to cheat or have any extra-marital action, nor do I really want to. We've discussed whether or not to tell my wife, and for now we agree that now is not the time. It might put our marriage in jeopardy. She may also be okay with it, but might ask me never to talk about it. I don't want that either. It's all small forward steps. I can't predict how far I'll go down the path, but I couldn't predict me being here.
     
  7. Jggates

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    Hi @IanMkh

    I made contact with the counselling service yesterday, explained my situation and how I'm feeling and the guy has gone away to speak to the support teams to work out who is the most appropriate counsellor. So I just need to sit tight for now, but hopefully things are moving now.

    Grief is the right word actually, well a kind of guilty grief. You definitely have a good handle on this. Not grief that I didn't realise, I've always realised, but grief that I bottled it up and suppressed it for so long. What a fool, avoiding difficult truths 25 years ago has caused no end of pain now. But then if I hadn't bottled it up I might not be in the relationship I am now, so I know it's all ridiculous, I just need to somehow move past it and unpack all the buried stuff. What could be easier? :/
     
  8. IanMkh

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    The upside to calling it grief is that there are stages and eventually we can overcome it. Part of my experience with my counselor has been practicing grace. I won't call it forgiveness because that implies something wrong done. But, I'm allowing myself grace. This means the acknowledgment that, at any given time, I did only the best that I could or knew how to do. No one wakes up and says, "I'm going to ruin the rest of my life today." Not to mention, our lives are pretty darn great all things considered. It's easier said than done and some days are harder than others. But on my best days I know that there couldn't have been any other outcome than what happened. And we are making a huge assumption that different actions by our earlier selves would have guaranteed a happier outcome. That's a dangerous game, too. So, for now, I'm going to allow myself grace.
     
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  9. Nickw

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    Hey Jggates

    I just caught up with your posts and just wanted to add that I totally understand how you feel. I'm on the "other side" but I was in your place about two years ago. It happened for me a bit older. I knew about my bisexuality since I was a kid but just let it be an "optional" sexuality. I wasn't out to my wife and I had never been with a man.

    I injured myself at the age of 55 while skiing. I had been a serious athlete and still young looking. All of a sudden I saw my life winding down for the first time ever. I went into panic mode that I had never experienced what it was like to be with a man and I would soon lose my looks. I couldn't sleep. I became withdrawn from everyone. I was afraid of my secret. I know how this can eat you alive and somedays the whole day would go by and I could do nothing but obsess over my sexuality.

    I finally decided I had to tell my wife. But, I risked losing everything too. My profession is tied to her family, my family (several gay siblings) don't believe in bisexuality, and, I am desperately in love with my wife. I did come out to her and things turned out really great. She accepts me and it is our secret although I do have some discreet boyfriends.

    This journey is so different for everyone. The commons denominators, though, seem to be the feelings of loss, fear, guilt and I think the worst...the isolation that we feel.

    Best man.
     
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  10. Jggates

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    @Nickw, I know this sounds terrible but I'm glad in a way that others have been through this. I wouldn't wish this on anyone but it really has been a lift to know that others have been here and made it through. Thanks so much for taking the time to share, I was finding nothing but horror stories before I found this place.

    And thanks again to @IanMkh , you really do help put some perspective on this.

    Latest update - counsellor made contact today, but it was a general counsellor with no experience in LGBT issues. I remembered the advice from this thread and explained that I think I need someone with some specialist knowledge and he agreed so I'm being referred onto someone else. Bit more of a waiting game it seems, but for the best I'm sure.
     
  11. IanMkh

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    Sorry it didn’t work out with that counselor but glad you are keeping at it. And guess what? You came out today. If the counselor you talked to knows anything about you, then you came out. It might be a teeny, tiny bit to someone who doesn’t even matter, but if you did, then that’s a big, huge freaking deal. So, congrats.
     
  12. Jggates

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    Yes, I guess that's true. One step forward then.:thumbsup:
     
    #32 Jggates, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  13. Jggates

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    Today's update - first therapy session complete.

    It was more of an assessment and checking I wasn't about to hurt myself really, but I've now got a stack of things to read and another appointment for next week when we'll start picking at my brain in more detail.

    I'll be honest, it does feel like this therapist is just aiming to help me learn to cope with these feelings, and this feels awfully like putting the defences back up. But then again I think isn't that what I ultimately want to do? Just stop kicking myself and get back on with life?

    I'll keep posting as we go through this, and see where we end up. I'm still not sure what path I am on, but if I'm honest I don't feel like the therapist has really grasped my problem, but I might be being unfair.

    On the plus side, that's now two people I've come out to (although in a confidential setting so that's a bit of a cheat), and two people who know I have actual feelings behind my robot exterior. And the world hasn't ended, so that's good.
     
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  14. IanMkh

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    A good beginning.
    You are learning to cope to some degree. I’d be careful about framing it as putting defenses back up. What you’re searching for is a new normal; one where you can be more authentic to yourself (and maybe others) while honoring and respecting those you care about. Through therapy, I’m actually learning to let my guard down. I can be more myself - the real me - in subtle but important ways. My whole outlook has changed, so has my overall mood (I still have moments). The effect has been a big improvements in my personal relationships at home, with friends, and on the job.

    Keep your expectations realistic, too. You don’t need to do anything you don’t want, no matter what anyone says. It took a while for my therapist to realize that the thought of having to tell my wife I was bi was causing me great anxiety. I was feeling a lot of pressure, some internal and some external (from these forums, for example). Once she could see that I was in distress, almost crisis, our strategy changed. Communication with your therapist is key and remember that you are driving the bus.

    Thanks for the update.
     
    #34 IanMkh, Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  15. Jakebusman

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    Hi Im married and bisexual also
     
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  16. Jggates

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    @Jakebusman, how are you coping with it? Are you dealing with same conflicts / self-destructive thoughts?
     
  17. Jakebusman

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  18. Jggates

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    It's not a great situation, it's true. I don't know if you are confused about your sexuality, confused about what to do, or confused about where to turn, but for me it's the last two and that's what's been making me spiral.

    There are some great nuggets of advice in this thread that have helped me enormously, and I'm getting counselling now so I'm hoping I can come to terms with the nagging "what if" thoughts which really aren't helpful (and pointless, too).

    I'm swinging between crazily depressed and feeling almost "normal", but even when I'm in "normal" mode I feel a panic bubbling under the surface. I still feel like I want to just open up to my wife and get this all out, but I've taken the excellent advice in this thread to let the counselling play out a bit first as this might be the most ridiculous idea in the world.

    Sounds like you are in a similar stage of the process to me, hopefully we can find our ways through it. There are others on this thread who are much further down the road so there is hope!
     
  19. Jggates

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    Update from me...
     
    #39 Jggates, Aug 15, 2018 at 9:17 AM
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018 at 9:17 AM
  20. Jggates

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    Well I messed that up, so I'll try again...

    Update from me - I'm currently back on a downer again, not sure what's triggered it but I'm on a bit of a low. Basically feel like I need a big cry and a hug, if that makes sense.

    Next therapy session is now a couple of weeks away. The reading material and workbooks I've been given are squarely focused on coping strategies and how to manage depression, which to be honest doesn't feel like the right track. I know how to bury things, I've been doing it for 20 odd years. :/

    But I'm hanging my hat on the experts knowing what they are doing, hopefully the next session will nudge things in the right direction.