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Questioning in a Relationship (Female)

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by BlueOcean, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. BlueOcean

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    Hello,

    I am a 31 years old female and live with my partner (male) of almost 14 years. We have a toddler together.

    Earlier this year I went through an early miscarriage which became very complicated and drawn out. I ended up hemorrhaging which required an emergency trip to hospital, a blood transfusion and an operation. It was a difficult and traumatic experience. A week or so after coming out of hospital I spiralled into depression. My life suddenly felt wrong and I felt trapped. My sexuality suddenly became a huge issue in my mind and I was questioning everything. I told my partner this who was understanding but also thought I had lost the plot as a result of the trauma.

    My background is that I met my partner when I was 17. He’s been my only real relationship and the only person I have slept with. Prior to that I had several sexual experiences with guys and to my knowledge, no interest in girls. When I went to university at 19, I began to notice an attraction to girls. I even developed a bit of a crush on a friend. Since then, I have continued to notice women, particularly in films and tv (orange is the new black for example!). It has always been in the back of my mind and niggled at me a bit. Though, I had never taken it seriously or thought of it as a big deal. I guess I thought I could be Bi. I’m not sure that I’ve ever even labelled myself. I didn’t think of it being an issue for our relationship.

    When I descended into depression a couple of months ago, I had a sudden realisation of what an issue it is. Also the possibility that could even be gay. It was like all the pieces of puzzle flew into my mind and joined together. I started of thinking of all the times I’d noticed women more than men throughout my life. This included times before I met my partner which I didn’t recognise at the time may have been crushes. I started thinking about my childhood too. I grew up a tom-boy, rejecting a lot of feminine things as soon as I was old enough to realise I could. I liked PlayStation, skateboarding, football etc. I didn’t believe stereotypes were important until now. I became more feminine as I grew up but I still only wear dresses and a bit of make up on special occasions. I realised I’ve always felt a bit different to my friends (pretty much all female) and I think this mostly comes down to femininity. I then also started questioning my attraction to men. I love my partner and he is my best friend. I have always thought to myself ‘I know I am with the right person because I could never imagine being with another man’, but what if it’s because I’m not that into men? I have never been that into sex but can enjoy it. I just assumed because I’m female and because we’ve been together a while. I’ve also realised we’ve perhaps developed more of a housemate type relationship more than a romantic one. All of these clues entered my mind at once and caused devastation in my mind.

    Over the past couple of months I’ve tried to fight against it and think of reasons why I couldn’t be gay (eg have had enjoyable sexual experiences with men before). I gave up a week or so ago and decided to tell myself that I’m gay (or female leaning). However I’m still unsure without ‘proof’. I have told my partner who has shown different emotions about it, mostly denial. We have a ‘perfect life’ together in many ways, including a beautiful child which makes it so much more upsetting. I have become self-loathing and homophobic in my own mind. I hate it so much and just desperately want to be ‘normal’.

    I want our relationship to work and to carry on as we are but I don’t know if it’s sustainable.i feel awful every day. The thought of breaking up the family and repercussions are terrifying. I am overwhelmed with guilt and shame. I am only medication and I’m receiving counselling.

    I’ve read quite a lot of posts on here and realise many are in a similar boat. I don’t know what to do.
     
  2. ErinS

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    Oh hun I’m so sorry! 32 here with 3 kids and also a previous miscarriage. I’m very much questioning things myself and have been for years but I can tell you one thing, traumatic experiences won’t make you question your sexuality. If you need to talk feel free to message me!
     
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  3. Mike0322

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    Hey I'm so sorry you are going through this. I'm a bi guy who is married and I sometimes feel like you, I only had a couple of experiences with this guy when I was single but I sometimes feel like I need to be with a man who I like and am attracted to in order for me to truly "know." I would say that I love my wife and find her attractive (as well as other women) but that I go through times when my desires for men are strong...I just think our sexuality is complicated, it's often not black and white, it's more on a scale and we can lean to one side or the other and on varying degrees at different points in our life. You might just be at a point in your life where the scale is tipping mostly to women. I'm also here if you need to talk or chat, just send me a message.
     
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  4. LostInDaydreams

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    Hi and welcome to EC.

    I’m sorry that you’re going through this and also for the miscarriage you suffered. Hopefully therapy is helping you process all of this. I was in a long term relationship with a man, with a young child, when I started questioning my sexuality. After I worked out that I was gay, I was really stuck on what to do next and my therapist helped me through that process. It took me three years to actually separate from my partner (now ex), so there’s no rush or panic and everyone works through it at their own pace.

    It’s really overwhelming, so try not to be hard on yourself. I appreciate that it’s easier to say than to do. I would also keep in mind that if you are gay or would be more fulfilled in a relationship with a woman, then staying with your husband doesn’t necessarily guarantee that there will be no hurt or pain. It’s easy to see the disruption caused by a potential separation, but an unhappy and resentful relationship would also unpleasant for everyone involved, including your toddler.

    It’s not an easy decision and there’s a lot to factor in, such as finances, which was a big issue for me because I was a stay-at-home mum. So, don’t rush and instead take your time to think about what you really want and what you want your life to look like. It might help to take your current relationship out of the picture and separate your feelings about your sexuality from your feelings about your relationship. So, say you’re only ever in relationships with men, how does that future feel? It might help to write it down or mindmap the future you want, then give some thought to the steps you may need to take to get there.

    I can relate to a lot of what you’ve written in your post - I didn’t want to end my relationship, break up my family, give up my “normal” life, etc. It’s a huge change to contemplate and I felt a lot of grief and guilt, as well as paralysing fear of the unknown on the other side. It takes time to come to terms with it establish what the best way forward for you looks like. Be kind to yourself, allow yourself time to process what you’re feeling and keep posting here, it helps.
     
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  5. BlueOcean

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    Thank you so much for your posts. That’s really helpful.

    Can I ask what made you realised you needed to separate in the end? How did your partner take it? How long was it until you realised you made the right decision?

    Thank you.
     
  6. silverhalo

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    Hey sorry you are going through such a tough time. Having a kind of sudden realisation like you did after a stressful or life changing event is not all that uncommon. Sometimes it takes something like that to make your mind think in a different way.
    Take your time to think things through and perhaps see if you can see a therapist to help you figure everything out.
     
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  7. LostInDaydreams

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    I’m happy to answer any questions. My ex was emotionally abusive so my answers may not be fully relevant to your situation. It was the abuse that gave me the final push to actually leave and because of the abuse I didn’t tell him about my sexuality. I didn’t even tell him that I was planning to leave, but once I had left I knew straight away that it was the right decision.

    Before that though, I knew that I was never going to be happy or fulfilled in the relationship. I felt that I was just going through the motions and living a pretence. I think I knew that I had to leave him about nine months after joining EC. I saw my therapist briefly for about two months, with the intention of leaving my then partner. My therapist wanted me to speak to him about my sexuality, but I didn’t want to face his potential reaction and at that point I didn’t recognise his behaviour for what it was, so I couldn’t explain this fully to my therapist. I also ended up unemployed again, so didn’t think leaving was financially possible at that point. I went back to the same therapist about nine months later and it then took me about six months to get everything in place to leave.

    I hope that helps. :slight_smile:
     
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  8. Fuzzy

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    I have two kids and my advice would be to move forward, but don't rush. My divorce went smoother than it would have, had I rushed things.
     
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  9. BlueOcean

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    I have changed my counsellor to one who is specifically trained in sexuality issues (and gay herself). She is very understanding and says she hears my story quite often. I think she will be really helpful in guiding me to the right path. I am so scared though.
     
  10. silverhalo

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    I think its only natural to be a bit scared. It sounds like you are getting yourself in the best position possible to figure things out which can only be a good thing.
     
  11. LostInDaydreams

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    As @silverhalo says, it’s normal to be scared. You’re contemplating a big change and much of what that might mean is currently unknown. At times, I found the fear really overwhelming. I knew roughly what a future with partner would look like, but I did not know what it would look like if I decided to leave or the impact that would have on my daughter too. It took time, and therapy really helped, but the more steps I took, the less scary things became. It took me six months to get everything in place to seperate from my ex, so it won’t all change overnight.
     
  12. Journey616

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    I feel this so much.
     
  13. Mike0322

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    Hey feel free to message me if you need someone to vent to.
     
  14. Journey616

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    Thanks Mike, you’re welcome to message me as well.