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Midlife crisis, confusion or real

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Bastion, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. Bastion

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    Lately for the past three or four years things haven’t been the same for me. I suddenly find myself that I don’t fit anywhere on a spectrum. Both extreme ends of it are kind of negative and not supportive. They don’t seem to understand how big a change and what kind of difficulty a person might be going through questioning if he was that or this person.
    Is there a way to find out and accept one’s self and others. Or how can one know for sure that it isn’t just a phase?
     
  2. Nickw

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    Hey @Bastion

    Your posts are a little unclear. On this forum, we can really write what it is that is really on our minds and "write it outloud". Are you questioning your sexuality? Why?
     
  3. LostInDaydreams

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    Questioning later in life can be especially hard because you have to rewrite your understanding of who you are and what you may or may not have experienced in the past. For anyone who hasn’t experienced that, it can be hard to understand and I’m sorry that you’ve had negative experiences.

    If you’re going through a difficult time with questioning, then therapy can help with working through confused thoughts and feelings.

    Can you tell us a little more?
     
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  4. Bastion

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    Yes and I want to discover why I am like that. Why do I go through different phases of life wanting different things. I have heard that with some people sexuality can be fluid. Is that a valid thing. Or it is it just made up?
     
  5. Bastion

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    Yes. That is very true and interesting what you have mentioned and it is very difficult for me at times. So let’s say for example to be clearer. That I might be bi. This has not been really accepted by both sides. The straight and the gay community alike. Because when talked to people from both sides they say one has to be either this or that. But also due to my mostly Some what religious and heteronormative upbringing. There has been always a stigma against sexuality if you are not straight. Also in my other reply I have read that for some people sexuality can be fluid so it’s not always black and white and a person doesn’t have to be labeled something or other. Sexuality is just a part of someone not the whole person. Like I have never met a guy or a girl that said to me hi am straight nice to meet you.
     
  6. Nickw

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    Bastion

    Sexuality is a spectrum...at least according to Dr. Kinsey. I'm sure you are aware of the "Kinsey Scale". While not really an accurate measure of how straight or how gay a person is, it is a useful tool to understand that sexuality is a spectrum. There is a significant portion of the population, according to Kinsey, that have at least some attraction for both sexes. If you haven't done any reading about the Kinsey study, I would recommend it.

    As I have mentioned before, I am not really a believer in "sexual fluidity". I'm not sure I have read any studies that this exists. Although I have heard testimonials on this forum that present a pretty good argument that the poster's sexuality has some fluidity. I tend to believe that what we perceive to be fluidity is related to our own self awareness of our sexuality. I would hate to believe that I knew everything about myself 50 years ago. I am constantly learning that there is more to me than I believed. So, the "degree" of my sexuality is really more about discovery and acceptance.

    You are correct that a label may have no real purpose to who you are. But, labels can be a helpful tool as you learn to accept your sexuality and what it means. I use the term bisexual to describe myself to others. But, I think "not straight" is better. But, I don't define myself with any labels.

    A few questions. You say you might be bi. That's OK. The question is...Does this bother you? Are you in a relationship now?
     
  7. Bastion

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    It does only bother to the extent of what other people and my family think of me. Because to them I have always been straight to the people I grew with and my family. I have had encounters with same sex. But I don’t know it never seemed to go anywhere. That was before marriage and a bit recently when me and my wife separated for a while. Now we are back because of some sort of societal and family pressure and because of my kid. Sometimes I feel trapped and sometimes I think maybe it’s meant to be. That’s why I am confused and I came here for support, and I wanted to find a an outlet to express my thoughts and feelings because I don’t really have people to share it with. I tried to talk to a therapist 2 actually. But one made me uncomfortable because i thought she was too judgmental and the other one was so text book and indirect she never really addressed the real issue. She kept going in circles and it was like reading a very dense manual in psychology. Both of them mostly repeated to me what I said in a different way which was weird because it never gave me any insight. Reading these posts of you guys make more sense to me than those therapists. Maybe they weren’t good or didn’t understand me. But here I see so many people who are going through similar things. Which is a relief to be honest cause sometimes i thought I was the only one going through this and alone.
     
  8. Bastion

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    Yes I do have some knowledge of the Kinsey report and research and I do say it did give me hope.
     
  9. Nickw

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    Does your wife know you have attractions to men?
     
  10. Bastion

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    Yes. She has an idea. Some times it comes up cause I have gay friends( not involved with them intimately that is) and straight friends. But she doesn’t like me hanging out with them. A lot of the times we have arguments about them. She can’t accept and handle the fact that am hanging with people who are different. That I maybe different. I tell her that i have always been kind of like that even in college I used to hang with all sorts of people. Because I don’t differentiate and judge people based on anything. To me we are all humans. And whoever we get along then that’s who i choose to socialize with. And my parents and her are nagging me to have more children and that makes even more stressed out.
     
  11. Nickw

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    You had more than one experience with other guys. That means you, probably, aren't completely straight. Do you see yourself wanting to be with a man in a relationship?
     
  12. Bastion

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    Yes we have established that am not completely straight. That’s why am here that’s why most guys are here. But that’s where there is the block. It’s like am stuck between a rock and hard place. Am torn about it. I feel guilt, fear and shame sometimes. And I don’t know if I can take that step yet. You are asking about a committed relationship. From what I hear from friends that is difficult even for them. Even the ones that are out. What do you think? What would you do In my place? What’s your situation? You haven’t told me about you? Or your experience?
     
  13. Bastion

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    Yes and I am writing more. You can read up And chat more or give me your opinion on the matters am discussing.
     
  14. Nickw

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    @Bastion

    I hope I haven't offended you. Sometimes, it is hard to get a feel on these threads if one of us is questioning our sexuality, trying to figure out how to come out, or trying to find ways to deal with a current situation. This is especially the case when we discover that we really are gay and not bisexual and the solution to our situation can be different based on that. That's why I mentioned that you were likely "not straight". Some posters have had same sex experiences but would not, necessarily, be considered gay or bisexual if it was a one time thing.

    I'm bisexual and married 35 years. Out to my wife five years ago...open relationship. I have a FWB who is like part of the family.

    I cannot answer your question about what I would do in your place. Every situation is different. I had never experienced m2m intimacy until a year after I came out to my wife...with her blessing. We worked on including my sexuality within our marriage. It wasn't easy and we still haven't worked it all out. And, people change over time. My wife would have said no way to a FWB when we were 40. At 60, it just doesn't matter that much because we trust each other.

    I do know that, for some of us, we need that special person in our lives to be another person of the same sex. We can't see our authentic life not including that. That's why I asked if you felt a need to have a real relationship with a man. That makes what you do with your current relationship a lot different than if you are trying to figure out how to make a mixed orientation marriage work.

    I get that this can be overwhelming. I'm just tossing out thoughts for you to consider. I do tend to be a bit direct and for that I apologize again.
     
  15. Bastion

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    Hey, no am not offended. Am here to talk through things and also listen to others. Sharing some opinions and experiences and what we go through and how to deal with certain situations. It’s similar in some ways to a support group. We can learn from each other. We may have different points of view depending on several factors and I think experiences. For example for me I don’t think the number of encounters or relationships would really reveal what a person is or isn’t. If it were that simple I would be straight according to that. Because the number of females I have been with very is much higher that the males. Also i never had any relationship with a guy. It was mostly experimenting and attraction phases. I have been married for 13 years now. I can’t say or deny that I wasn’t happy at time of marriage. but I don’t know things change during a marriage am sure you know you have been married longer than I have. Still my wife has been very supportive over the years. She really cares about me and the relationship is solid, but I have the feeling that we are more life partners if that’s a thing. Some people can have an open marriage, or maybe even open orientation marriage. But both couple have to agree and reach and understand with that I guess. For my wife it’s not even remotely a topic I can talk about. So there is a dilemma here and that can’t really get my head around. Also one of the things I think about. The other scenario is what if I am with another woman not a guy. Will that solve things. Would it make me happier. I don’t know. That’s why am confused.
     
  16. Bastion

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    What is a FWB? How old is he if I may ask? Is he a close friend of the family? How does it really work in an open orientation marriage? Am Curious? Does your wife also have another partner? If you don’t want to answer to any of those question feel free not to. As I said am just curious? And I have no idea who these things can work.
     
  17. Nickw

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    I can only offer the advice that was given to me on this forum 5 years ago when I was unsure how my wife would respond to me coming out as bisexual. One of the other posters asked is how I could really have a relationship with someone who didn't know one of the most important things about me...my sexuality. She commented that if I lost my wife through this admission that maybe I had lost nothing because she would be loving someone who was a fabrication. An identity that was created for her to love. Not a love based on who I am.

    When I came out to my wife I wrote her a long letter. I have shared it here before. This is a part of what I wrote:

    I did not hold my end of the bargain. When we became us, I kept a part of me that I could not let you see. I hated that part of me. I did not need it. I thought I could keep it tucked far away and out of reach. But I couldn’t. See, all of these parts are what makes me who I am. I don’t know what I’ll be if I start to remove some of these parts. Which parts help me love? Which give me compassion? Which provide me peace? I need to share all of me. I should have shared all of me. And, I was afraid, so afraid, that you would not want all of me.

    I am so very sorry that I did this to you. I know that you must feel like our love is not complete. That our marriage is a lie. It is not a lie. And I do love you so very much. The part I have kept hidden does not prevent me from loving you completely. But, hiding that part has.

    As I am letting this part out I am learning it is not bad. I sort of like it. I feel like I can be everything I am now. I can dance, and laugh and love...all of me. With you. I so hope you can still love me, this time all of me. I cannot imagine a life without you.

    I promise to never keep anything from you again. I promise to love you...forever

    My wife carries this with her always.
     
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  18. Nickw

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    A FWB is a "friend with benefits". I like the title boyfriend. He hates it because that implies something more than close friends who are intimate. He is 33. I'm 61. I met him on an app for a hookup a couple years ago (my wife was OK with me exploring). After a year of being out to my wife, she suggested I might need to try intimacy with a man. I had never done anything. So, we had rules for awhile. No intercourse basically. But, she is now OK with whatever my friend and I want to do together. I started hanging out more with him. He wanted to learn to ski. My wife was a ski instructor in college. So, she volunteered to teach him and they became friends. Now, they hang out when I am not around. My wife just loves him. He spends most weekends at our house in the mountains. We all bike or ski together. My wife does not have another partner although she could if she wanted. I spend a night a week at his place.
     
  19. Bastion

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    Wow. Very well written and emotional. It’s so eloquent yet very touching and you can feel it’s genuine and comes from the heart.
     
  20. Nickw

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    The process of accepting who you are and coming out to those that are important to you is an individual choice and process. We each have to figure out when it is the time and/or the place to do it. I considered coming out to my wife over a ten year period. It was not until I had just about ruined my marriage that I made the last ditch decision that I was destroying my marriage by keeping this from my wife. I had begun to resent my wife for "holding the keys to my sexuality". That I could never express who I was because my wife wouldn't allow it. But, she didn't even know. I tortured myself for a year while I wrestled with the "what if's"

    I used this forum extensively for six months. I had a lot of coaching on how to come out. But, the bottom line was that I had to do it my way and in my time.

    Some partners cannot tolerate a mixed orientation marriage. Your wife may be one of those. But, your life is important too. And, you may have to decide between what you need to do and what you might lose. Because, at least in my case, I would have lost myself had I waited any longer.