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Married with Kids, Desperate For a Way Out

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by thatORgirl, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. thatORgirl

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    Hey, newbie here. I came to get some help and support with trying to sort out some serious issues and I must say, just a short time browsing and reading brings me so much hope.

    To start things out, I’m a 36 year old married mother of three. I got married straight out of high school to the first guy I ever really dated because, well...that’s what you DO, or so I thought. I didn’t feel like life was going to offer me much better than the relationship I was in: he loved me, he was more than capable of providing, and we enjoyed each others’ company. It didn’t even occur to me then that I might not be into men because the idea just wasn’t something I was subjected to. And after a fairly rough childhood, the thought of a stable relationship really captured me - so I went from living with my mother to being a wife with no transition.

    Flash forward 18 years and I’m starting to feel more and more insecure in my “straightness” and unhappy in my marriage. I still care very much for my husband as a friend and father to my kids, but I can say with certainty I am NOT physically or romantically attracted to him. I long for physical affection but despise the thought of getting so much as a hug or kiss from him. For the longest time I thought it might just be a drop in sex drive due to medications or a personal problem due to my poor body image issues, but I DO still want to be intimate, just not with him or any other men as far as I can tell. I never look at men and find them attractive, but it’s the first thing I think about when seeing a woman. When I’ve had romantic or sexual dreams, it’s always women. When I stop to think about it, it’s really been this way as far back as I can remember. I would talk about boys in school because that’s what all of my friends did, but I was more interested in my girl relationships than any of the boys.

    I’m scared to just drop my life and start new. I am 100% financially dependent on my husband. I’ve barely held a job in my life. I’ve been a stay at home mom to my kids their whole lives. I have no college education or special skill to speak of. And I have no support system. Very little family, no real close friends, nobody to rely on but my husband. It’s just feeling so hopeless. I want to feel loved, but not by him. I want an easy way out yet I know with certainty there isn’t one. I’m scared to make the jump and fail. I’m scared to tell him. I’m scared to disappoint my kids - I don’t want to lose the ability to be there for them constantly as I have been all this time. They are everything to me. I feel like I’m stuck with no option to leave if I want to survive. But I want so bad to be happy and find someone who I can be happy WITH.
     
    JennIsOn, Ferl, sunflower8 and 2 others like this.
  2. Tartanskrt

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    Hi and welcome. I'm also married but with two kids. I've always known I was attracted to women but always buried those feelings. You are not alone here, I promise.
    I too am in a dead marriage. My husband's touch makes me feel physically sick since I've admitted to myself my true feelings, since meeting the most amazing woman (not that she thinks I'm amazing, I'm sure she thinks I'm mad as I'm terrible at talking to women Im attracted to).
    It's ok to long for something more and to question things. Do you feel able to talk to your husband about how you're feeling?
     
  3. thatORgirl

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    I think I could talk to him about it. He probably would take it okay. It’s the afterwards I’m so scared of. I get the feeling he’d want to try and “work through it” and stay together. I’m not interested in that - like I said, haven’t been drawn to him intellectually or physically for quite some time. But after being so dependent on him for so long, the thought of being on my own frightens me.
     
  4. quebec

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    thatORgirl.....Hello and a very big welcome to Empty Closets! I'm so sorry that you find yourself in such a difficult position. I know the feeling of being "trapped"...unable to continue with life as it is and unable to even conceive of a way out. I was there in December of 2014. Instead of making an irreversible decision, I came out here on EC begging for help. Looks like you're doing the same. So first of all...Good For You! You've taken a step forward. Even if it seems to be a small step, it is the beginning. The next thing that made a big difference for me was finding a therapist that could help me with LGBTQ+ problems. Look for a therapist that lists LGBTQ+ issues as part of their practice. The therapist doesn't have to be gay (but it doesn't hurt!). My therapist was gay and he has been a tremendous help as he has gone through the same things that I was fighting with. You have kids, but you don't mention their ages. You will have to take into account how the kids will affect the whole situation. You also mention that you have no job experience...also something that will affect the situation. Neither one of those issues will make working out your problem impossible...they just have to be taken into account as you make plans to move forward. Working through your issues will take time, there is no question about it, but that does not mean that there is no solution. If there is a money problem in working with a therapist, check local LGBTQ+ community groups for help. Often times they have arrangements with local therapists/counselors that would help you for a reduced or no fee. Right now there are small steps that you can take...even small steps can eventually get you to a better situation. As for coming out to your husband, you will have to make the decision on how and when to tell him. Again, that won't be easy, but it can be done. There are some sample coming out letters here on Empty Closets that you might want to look at. They could help you collect your thoughts and write a letter that makes clear how you feel without causing too much confusion. Here is the link:

    COMING OUT LETTERS: http://emptyclosets.com/home/pages/resources/coming-out-letters.php

    Please remember that you are a part of our LGBTQ+ Family...we do care! Keep us updated on how things turn out.
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
  5. LostInDaydreams

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    Hi @thatORgirl and welcome to EC. :slight_smile:

    I’m sorry that you’re in this situation. I have been in a similar position myself and it was very hard, but as @quebec says, not impossible. I would agree with the recommendation to find a therapist. Mine, who is not an LGBT specialist, was a great help to me as I worked towards leaving my now ex.

    I would suggest that you research your options, which might mean seeking legal advice on what you would be entitled to in the event of a divorce. You might also want to research whether any other support might be available to you, as well as training, education and job options that you might be interested in. I joined EC in 2016 and I was so convinced that leaving was nearly impossible, that I never did my research properly. In December 2018 I decided that had to leave and I left my partner in July 2019, so it took approximately six months once I’d worked out what I needed to do and how to do it. Of course this will vary for each individual person depending on their circumstances, but I do wish that I had done something sooner so my point is try not to make the same mistakes as me.

    Whilst the process of leaving my ex was hard, once I started to take action, I did start to feel better and more in control of the situation. Taking steps to leave and finally going through with it, gave me a lot more confidence in myself. If you stay, the feeling of unhappiness only gets worse and harder to live with. It is very hard to keep living a pretence, particularly to the people who you live with because you are around them all the time. As @quebec said above, you only need small steps to start with and they all help.
     
  6. thatORgirl

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    Thank you so much for the suggestions and even more so for the support. I’ve contacted a therapist I’ve seen in the past and will try to get an appointment and make the huge step of talking through this struggle with her. I worry so much about my kids more than myself - two are only 9 and I don’t want them to suffer for my struggle. But I’m trying to remember that they’re not benefiting from having to witness my husband and I always arguing and such. I feel like we could be great parents as friends.
     
  7. LostInDaydreams

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    That sounds like a good idea. I hope they can support you to find a way forward.

    You’re right that negative environments aren’t good for children. My daughter, who was 5 at the time, has adapted really well and it’s much better for her to live between two positive environments, than in one negative one.

    Keep us updated and let us know how therapy goes. :slight_smile:
     
  8. thatORgirl

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    I’ve been writing down how I feel. Maybe a letter for my husband or a roadmap for how to tell him. I’m not sure yet. But I keep coming back to this paralyzing fear that I’ll sever things with him and accept myself for what I know I truly am...only to never find another partner and be alone for the rest of my life. I mean, I don’t have a lot of friends and I’m pretty reclusive. I’m unfulfilled and often times unhappy, but I do have a partner who I’m pretty sure cares an awful lot about me. I’m not an easy person to love and he accepts my shortcomings. What if I never find anyone else willing to love me for me?
     
  9. LostInDaydreams

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    Nobody here can guarantee that you’ll find somebody else. None of us know what the future holds, so all we can do is make the best decision that we can, with the information that we currently have.

    I know it can feel like a scary prospect, but those feelings of unhappiness and being unfulfilled that you have now will probably only get worse with time, rather than better or easier. Is that fair on anyone?

    Fear of being single can be unhealthy because it can cause people to jump into or stay in relationships that aren’t good for them. If you don’t have a therapist, it might be worth considering therapy so that you can work on some of these feelings and your self esteem. I think being in the closest, living a pretence, etc. really damaged my sense of self worth, but in taking the necessary steps to leave my ex, with support from my therapist, things have really improved for me more generally. For instance, I’ve gone from always struggling at work to being promoted.

    Also, your husband isn’t just going to disappear, is he? You have children, so you’ll need to be in contact with each other to coparent and if you have a good relationship, there’s no reason why you can’t remain friends. Do you feel that’s likely or possible?
     
    #9 LostInDaydreams, Oct 10, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
    QuietPeace likes this.
  10. QuietPeace

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    I agree with @LostInDaydreams . I found that it was better to not be in a relationship than to be in one that was not working for me.
     
  11. JennIsOn

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    What a difficult position to be in. I'm sure others will have better advice than I could give.

    But I do know what it's like to realize you're not straight in your 30's. I grew up in a small town, was socialized to be into guys, and married young. It was quite an awakening for me.

    I wish you the very best and hope you'll keep talking about it here.