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Married to man and questioning

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by See1989, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. See1989

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    Hi strangers on the internet...

    This is my first time posting on anything like this and it feels a little terrifying, but I imagine strangers on the internet are much easier to talk to about this than people I know.

    I am a 30 year old woman, married to my “high school sweetheart”. We’ve been together almost 15 years, married for 5. He is absolutely my best friend. He is an amazing husband and checks all of the boxes. But for the past few years (probably much longer) I have been realizing that I am attracted to women more than men.

    I am not sure what specifically happened to cause me to start thinking more openly about being interested in women, aside from one very obvious crush on a friend, but for the past few years I have allowed myself to explore that side of me to a degree. I have downloaded and deleted ######/bumble so many times just to explore what talking to women would be like. I have actively flirted/danced with women at bars and clubs. And it all feels so right. In hind sight, I have felt this way my whole life, but it’s never come to the front of my mind until now.

    My husband knows that I am attracted to women, but in his mind it is just me being curious. I feel like I am ignoring a side of me that deserves exploring, but I am in a long term and picture perfect marriage. I’ve done a lot of soul searching this past year and I can say with absolute certainty that this feeling has nothing to do with my husband, aside from he is not a woman. I’m attracted to him, he is my type of man, and we have pretty typical sex. Our marriage isn’t perfect but it is definitely better than most. We communicate really well, we are good partners and we support each other. But there is this big “other” thing I have been feeling and I just don’t know how to handle this.

    I have gone around in circles with pros and cons, and it always boils down to: I would be giving up an ideal marriage for a “feeling”, and that might be a dumb idea because I really don’t know for sure if I’m a lesbian or just bi, or just OCD overthinking. On the other hand...I would be giving up potentially exploring my true self, just because I am comfortable and things are stable.


    I’d love to hear others thoughts and perspectives on this situation. I know I’m not the only person who has gone through this, according to my hours of google research...

    At the very least, it’s freeing to get this out there.

    Thanks, strangers on the internet.

    -S
     
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  2. LostInDaydreams

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    Welcome to EC. :slight_smile:

    You’re definitely not the only one that is/has been in this situation. You should find plenty of similar stories on here, including mine.

    It’s great that you’re communicating with your husband and you don’t appear to be in a hurry or panic, but just in case, remember that’s there’s no rush to find a label or figure every little detail out.

    I would take some time to think about what you want your life to look like. Picture different scenarios and think about how that feels. So, say you and your husband are still together in 10, 20...years time and you haven’t explored your sexuality, how does that feel? And think about different variations of that. It might even be helpful to write down what you want your life to look like in the form if a mindmap or something. It’s hard, but try to think about what YOU want and not everyone else in your life. Once you have that, you can think about the steps you need to take to get there.

    Take care and keep posting.
     
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  3. Lologrl

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    I'm 36 and going through similar situation with high school sweetheart. Some advice that I have heard is to see if your husband is open to letting you express your curiosity to figure out exactly what that means for you. For some that's the only thing they need to find themselves for others sometimes it only adds more complications like ok I am gay now what do I leave or stay. I have kids in the mix and am still unsure of what I want to do. Good luck sorry I couldn't be more helpful just wanted you to know someone going through similar stuff
     
  4. Rhierakin

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    Yeah, this looks familiar. I'm 35, realized I was bi last year. Been with my husband for sixteen years, married for nine, two young kids. I've struggled with some of the same questions.

    What helped me when I was where you are was taking my time. Time to figure out if I actually was bi, time to come out slowly to the ones I trusted and learn that it was okay, and mainly, time to realize who I was and that I didn't have to have all the answers right away.
    I felt something close to a desperation when I first realized I wasn't straight. How hadn't I figured it out before I got "trapped" with a husband and family, what if it was too late for me to ever fully explore my sexuality, what if I had to be unhappy for the rest of my life. (Have to add here that my husband is the kindest, gentlest soul, but our relationship is struggling for different reasons right now.) It felt like I'd wasted so much time already, and now that I knew who I was I wanted to be me fully, right away, and not being able to do so stressed me out.
    But here's the thing, there's no rush. You'll be bi in a month, in six months, in a year. You have time to lean back and figure things out slowly. See what you're comfortable with, what your husband is comfortable with, communicate. And maybe in a year or two or three you'll want to leave, or maybe not. Maybe you'll still be happily married in a decade or two. It's impossible to tell. If you're happy where you are - and take some time to figure out if that's true! - there's no need to go anywhere. If you're not happy, and don't see yourself being happy in your marriage, maybe leaving would be better. But you don't have to decide anything this week, or even this year.

    It's hard, I know. Best of luck ❤️
     
  5. lavalamp

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    I really understand what you’re going through about the dilemma of leaving a stable marriage for an untested feeling. I’m in the same spot and have been for over a year. I have learned that at some point you have to lose something (maybe everything) to gain something that’s incompatible with your former life. And that is incredibly frightening. The hardest part for me is not having a support network. I like the advice about taking your time but know the line between taking your time and just not deciding.
     
  6. lucas78

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    I feel very similar as a middle-aged man with unexplored same-sex feelings who is in process of coming out and exploring them. I was very afraid of "rocking the boat" and asking my wife for "too much" and her possibly turning me away. She was very surprised but is accepting that I have feelings I never told her about and knows I need to figure them out and learn more about myself.

    She at first was very frightened that I was too excited and moving too fast and I might make stupid mistakes or do something I regret publicly; I've agreed to slow down and take my time coming out so I can explore safely, keep her feeling safe and loved too, and figure out how to actually go about exploring these desires in real life and making it a serious part of my life where I can comfortably come out publicly and feel like a whole, honest person.

    Women are usually taught not to accept same-sex attractions in their men, so I was pretty scared about coming out to her. Men tend to fetishize the idea of their women having same-sex attractions but the reality of lesbians and bisexual women is very different from the performative fantasy for straight men, so I know it's still scary for a woman to come out to her man... Take your time but be honest and direct when the time comes. I hope things go well for you and you feel happier in the end!
     
  7. Contented

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    All excellent advice on how to begin to handle your same sex attraction. For me it was a slow process at the start. I too worried about misjudging my attraction and perhaps ruining relationship. The truth however was I felt driven to explore my attraction. It was scary at times and awesome too. I know I did the right thing in coming out as gay. It caused pain to me and my family but in the end I had to live with myself. I could not have imagined living as a straight man for the rest of my life. I would have been miserably unhappy. Take your time but don’t get sidetracked by fear of the unknown. You can handle it, we are much more resilient than we think.
     
  8. LostInDaydreams

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    Sorry if you’ve already mentioned this...have you considered therapy? Would that be an option? If you’re feeling stuck, then it can really help to talk to somebody impartial and non-judgemental. It helps to get some perspective.

    I was stuck for about three years. Don’t beat yourself up, it’s not a race and everyone gets to where they want to be at their own pace. Consider therapy, my therapist did help speed things up.
     
    #8 LostInDaydreams, Jun 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
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