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The victim mentality

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by nerdbrain, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. nerdbrain

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    I have always regarded people who play the victim with a mixture of pity and contempt. Take responsibility for your own life, I say. Do whatever it takes to master your circumstances instead of being controlled by them, I say.

    However, I am a hypocrite.

    Since I became aware of my gay feelings, my posture towards them has been that of a victim to his aggressor. I feel as though I am being "forced" to leave my wife and begin an attempt at a new life. I "must" have therapy, masturbate a certain way, try to meet men online, etc. I don't want to, but I feel like I have to -- the alternative being an intolerable state of anxiety or madness.

    And I'm angry as hell. But angry at who? Nobody is to blame except some part of my mind that I can't control. So all my rage and frustration is turned inwards into self-loathing.

    It's becoming clear that this victim perspective is the root of my paralysis and depression. And I read about other men with a totally different perspective, who experience coming out as a kind of liberation. But to me, it is a terrible obligation that I have delayed and delayed and now can simply no longer avoid.

    I'm not sure how to say "I want to go live as a gay man" because I don't. It's the opposite of what I want. All I can honestly say is "I have gay sexual feelings that I have to satisfy, or I will suffer very unpleasant psychological symptoms. Although I love my wife, I can't do this in the context of my marriage, therefore I must leave and attempt to find a way to live in peace."

    I understand that I am playing the victim and I don't like it. But on the other hand, I don't see how to take a positive attitude towards being gay.

    Simply put, how can I want something I don't want?
     
  2. Bunny45

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    Well when I first realized I liked girls I wasn't excited at all, then when I figured out I was bi I felt like I was even more broken. Overtime my mind and emotions adjusted until I could finally accept it. Supportive friends who I could talk about the girls I liked were probably the biggest help through that time. Don't give up.
     
  3. Tomás1

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    It sounds like you have some conflicted feelings... like "wanting something you don't want". That is a contradiction, on the surface. There must be things in each alternative that you want.

    Look deeper: what are the parameters, what's behind, and underneath, wanting to be married & wanting to live as a gay man?

    One alternative would be to prioritize what you want: is your marriage more important than living as a gay man? Could you be bi, if you're married and gay? I don't know your history, or anything about your relationship, but in you in rapport and honesty with your wife? If you want to stay married, have you identified ways to satisfy your gay side, like a men's group, getting to know guys at a gym, a spiritual practice?

    You left me full of questions... can you say more?
     
    #3 Tomás1, Jun 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  4. Nickw

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    Hey Nerdbrain

    In all our conversations, I do not recall you mentioning what your wife wants here. Is there some sort of middle ground available to you? It saddens me to see someone so devoted to his wife that he is grieving the loss of her due to his sexuality. This is what it appears to me. How could you have a positive outlook on your sexuality given that?
     
  5. nerdbrain

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    Thanks for your response Nick. To answer your question, my wife has indicated that she loves me and seems to want some way to continue our relationship. When we separated, I told her she should see other people, and she has. But it seems like there hasn't been the emotional connection that we have, and she misses it, as do I.

    ---------- Post added 7th Jun 2016 at 11:26 PM ----------

    Hey Dude,

    Conflicted is right. It's total deadlock over here, like Israel and Palestine.

    In terms of satisfying my gay feelings, the main thing I crave is bottoming (being penetrated). I've thought about talking to my wife about pegging, but I think it would just be weird and I'm not sure I'd be satisfied with that.

    There are also lots of things I like about gay culture, and I have lots of identification with the internal struggles of folks here on EC and in other coming out stories.

    However, most of my sexual experience has been with women, and my earliest fantasies that I can recall are about women. This is a big reason it's been hard for me to accept that I am gay despite what seems to be overwhelming evidence.
     
  6. SiennaFire

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    Are you familiar with the movement that we don't have free will? While initially I had a hard time accepting this, the central idea is that humans are very sophisticated computers, our behavior is determined by the inputs from our surroundings and our programming from earlier in life (learned scripts and genetics). Thus being gay or in the closet is not your fault, for you are reacting to the programming in your body. The last sentence is a salient point and you'll want to revisit this and explore it to do it justice.

    This paradigm might help you understand some of your reactions, namely, that you are behaving in accordance with scripts and programming from earlier in life.

    While there are a number of TED talks on this subject, this one helped me the most in getting the central ideas.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca7i-D4ddaw
     
    #6 SiennaFire, Jun 8, 2016
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  7. Justasking100

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    Nerd brain, I can get where you are coming from. You don't want to be gay, it sounds like, but you are. You feel like the only way you will find happiness is living as a gay man but part of you doesn't want it. I totally get the dichotomy with where you are. I'm in that place too - the only thing I can say is that I sympathise with your situation but fundamentally the only thing you can do is do what's right for your mental health - otherwise it'll be a hard life to live.
     
  8. CameOutSwinging

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    I forget, have you and your wife ever discussed the potential of an open sexual relationship? Or threesomes or anything like that? For me, if my wife were open to letting me sleep with guys in any capacity, it would be a no brainier for trying to make things work. But she is completely against it and insists on monogamy as the only way. I'm with you on the pegging thing. Bottoming isn't the only thing I enjoy sexually with a guy but I do get into it, but the idea of a girl doing it to me is a turnoff.
     
  9. Nickw

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    Nerdbrain

    I'm with COS here. It seems like laying it all out in the open with your wife and seeing if there is a way to have it all is worth as shot. Really, what is there to lose? The pegging thing is a non-starter for me too as a way to be intimate. But, my wife and I have a sense of humor and my guess is it would be good for a laugh...once. But, there may be other ways for you to be intimate with your wife while enjoying prostate orgasms.
     
  10. Tomás1

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    Sienna Fire, I have a different point of view. I listened to part of Jerry Coyne's TED talk. My hit is that it's an intellectual argument. While we clearly are affected by our past, & can be like robots programmed by our past … .that idea denies our humanity, ability to reason, change, let go … & shift. I'm not into having a philosophical debate on this, but I think it's healthy to recognize different points of view, & not be absolutist.

    Even looking at my own longing for intimacy, I've given up going to Blow Buddies, phone sex (pretty much), spending a lot of time on hookup apps, & anonymous hookups in general … to connect w real people, where relationships can be more complex, but also more intimate. My point is that we can change our behavior, to go for what we want, rather than reacting as preprogrammed robots.
     
    #10 Tomás1, Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  11. Carpe noctem 16

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    Nerdbrain,

    I feel your pain man. I'm married with a great wife and a beautiful daughter. However, i want to experiment with a guy. Some days i'm ok but somedays i find myself thinking of ways too hook up with a guy. Some days i'm like this is just a phase and others i'm like i really would love to meet a nice guy.

    I don't want to loose my family over this. Im so lost somedays, like today for example, i almost opened up a profile on a dating website to see whats out there.
     
  12. biAnnika

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    And a simple question (and I apologize if you've answered it in earlier threads):

    Do you feel any significant level of sexual attraction to your wife? Or is it just close friendship?
     
  13. rachael1954

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    Not really offering help here, just support because I hear you. If your spouse loves you and would rather be with you as gay than break up, than who are we to say our feelings are more important than our spouse? Especially when we vowed to love them forever in marriage? Everything was so simple before this lgbt stuff came in and took over and ruined everything.

    Some people can just run to divorce court and be free as a butterfly, and some weigh the pros and cons and then move on, and still others see mostly cons to this whole gay thing. I mean, really.. lgbt later in life? What happened to me, to my whole life If I'm here now posting on this?

    So yes, I understand, and have (obviously) my own issues with it. Everything was easier in hetero/denial land. Now I have to go to gay bars and wear rainbows and be yet another cliche divorced person? How can we make ourselves want it?

    This seems to make sense to me.
     
  14. nerdbrain

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    Thanks to everyone for your support and comments.

    I've been dealing with this issue now for around two decades (!) and it occurs to me that very little has actually changed. Sure, I've learned a lot, have more perspective and am better able to manage my anxieties. But the basic feelings that drive me are the same:

    - I regularly have a desire to bottom, around 1-2x month. It becomes a psychological need, where if I don't do it I become anxious, distracted and lose concentration. Physically the sensation is one of enormous relief. But I've never fantasized about a specific guy or had any crushes on guys.

    - I have a lot of identification with gay culture, certain gay men, and a lot of coming out stories. It's a world that has a lot of appeal for me, at least in my imagination. In real life, my various forays into gay life (visits to gay bars/parties, gay cycling, a coming out group, a few hookups/escorts) have ended unremarkably.

    - I have had romantic and sexual fantasies about girls my whole life (since first grade as I recall), although lately I don't really have fantasies about anyone. I always dreamed of meeting that perfect girl who "got me" and living happily together. I did meet her -- my wife -- and I still love her and am still happiest when we spend time together.

    Basically I've oscillated between these two poles my whole life. I've always believed that I had to pick one or the other, and that they are mutually exclusive:

    - I've been afraid to get back with my wife because I fear that I will eventually develop romantic feelings for men. I've read so many gay male coming out stories that begin as anonymous or impersonal sex, but eventually there is a need for a loving relationship with a man. Shouldn't I learn from other people's stories and try to avoid those mistakes?

    - On the other hand, the idea of divorcing my wife fills me with grief, and I have no excitement or interest about meeting guys or living a gay life. In other words, there's no positive incentive to move in that direction -- just the recurring sexual need and the sense that is where I will eventually wind up so I may as well get on with it.

    So I've been stuck for a few years now, unable to move boldly in one direction or the other, and feeling like a victim of circumstance (i.e., my own fucked-up mind).

    Lately I'm wondering if things are as black and white as I've assumed. Perhaps there is a way I can get what I need and create some kind of unique balance. I use toys to simulate bottoming and it generally works OK; I could get just get better toys and keep taking care of my own needs.

    Perhaps the emotional stability of being with my wife will help me out of my depression. Maybe I can learn to manage the fear that I'll inevitably come out of the closet.

    I don't know. There's some part of me that says I must be bold and confront my fears. That I'm still a prisoner of my marriage, and if I complete the divorce I will finally feel liberated enough to enjoy dating guys.

    Anyway, it's time to do something. The current state of affairs is unsustainable.

    Thanks again to all of you for taking the time to read and respond. I'll keep on posting until I run out of shit to complain about :slight_smile:
     
  15. Adray

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    Nerdbrain, I hope you find happiness. Like Bunny said, don't give up. Also, I still wonder if maybe you are bisexual as your true sexual orientation. It is a valid, lifelong orientation for many of us. Just a thought, and you may already have considered that at length, apologies if so and I'm not aware of it. You know yourself better than anyone. For me, identifying as bisexual has been a wonderful, stabilizing part of my life.

    I hope you find progress and happiness.
     
  16. Nickw

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    Adray is correct. Bi is real...
    I fell in love with a boy when I was 13
    I fell in love with a girl when I was 15
    I fell in love with a girl when I was 21
    I almost ran off with a dude to sail to Hawaii when I was 22
    I met my wife when I was 22 and REALLY fell in love
    I have been with her for 30+ years.
    I love to look at hot dudes
    I love to look at hot chicks
    I love prostate orgasms (zero fantasy required)
    I love my gay
    I love my straight

    What's so confusing about that? The only thing I know for sure is that my wife makes me happy.

    Nerdbrain...you are "straighter" than I am. Sexuality is so much deeper than basic physical attraction. There may be no correct answer here for you (or any of us really).
     
    #16 Nickw, Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  17. CameOutSwinging

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    This is really interesting to me. I guess in a way, I'd check off some of those boxes (having lots of hookups with guys where I can't even tell you now what half their names were, and eventually meeting a guy who I had more than a sexual interest in and actually fell for) but I also check some other boxes that I don't think you check off (I've always fantasized about men, specific guys I've had crushes on, and have never fantasized about women or had crushes on women).

    That said, here's my take on this. It sounds like you're ending your relationship with your wife because of a what if. It is along the same lines as deciding not to leave your house because what if I get hit by a car. You've never made an indication that you are seeking a romantic relationship with a guy (in fact, you've kind of said the opposite) and really the only thing you seem to desire is a form of sexual stimulation that does indicate you are at least bi (since you want it from a real penis and aren't just satisfied with toys). That's why I really think in a sense you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater in ending your marriage that you're happy in without seemingly considering the possibilities of how to work your sexuality (which sounds a lot more fluid than simply just gay). If your wife and you would be open to bringing another guy into the bedroom for you both to hook up with or even just you to, that could satiate your desires.

    Now if you or she is not open to the idea of having a third person join in, and you feel like your needs will not be met in the marriage, then yes I think ending things to find what you want is the right call. I don't even know if that means you need to date guys (it does if you're the one who is anti having an even semi-open relationship) but if it is her and you'd still prefer to be with a woman primarily, there are plenty of women in the world who are open about this sort of stuff.

    But ultimately it just sounds like you're afraid that you might one day fall in love with a man and leave your wife, and afraid of hurting her in that process. Your love for her comes through very much. But the truth is we don't know what could happen at any time. You could just as easily fall in love with another woman and leave your wife because of that. It happens all the time as well.

    Just try not to think of the whole thing as black and white. Not everybody fits the "bi now, gay later" stereotype. There's plenty of people on EC who prove that.

    (*hug*)
     
  18. nerdbrain

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    Thanks again to everyone for their input.

    My wife and I talked a bit about trying again the other day. We talked about her moving back to my place, and we could see how things go.

    There are a lot of open questions.

    Is there still a romance there, or have we become buddies? Can we have sex again? Will my gay feelings be so much of a distraction that I won't be able to participate in the relationship? Can we have fun doing stuff together other than just staying in and cuddling?

    I really don't know the answers to these questions. I think this uncertainty has been holding me back from going through with the divorce. The relationship never ended; the love didn't stop. And there wasn't a newfound gay identity to take its place. That's why I haven't been able to end the marriage in good conscience.

    I am anxious that this experiment may end badly, that it'll quickly become apparent that I'm truly gay and don't belong in a relationship with a woman. But I suppose that would actually be a positive outcome as well -- at least I'd have clarity.

    And if it works, so much the better. I'm happy when we're together.

    Anyway, this seems to be my new working plan (until my obsessive indecisiveness kicks in again). My mind is already starting to pick at it and point out all the ways things could go wrong.

    But whatever. Like the Dude says, fuck it.
     
  19. Nickw

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    Just a thought. What about dating her again to answer your questions without the whole moving back in thing? It is sort of fun to re"woo" your lover. If you are bi you may want it to be part of the relationship. So starting over with this rather than just falling into the old relationship may be good for you.
     
  20. rachael1954

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    You seem crystal clear on this point, so yes, there's no harm in pursuing that happiness. See where it takes you.

    You might not be postponing the inevitable, you might be embarking on a whole new journey. Either way it will hopefully alleviate your most acute suffering, you might benefit from a break in thinking so much to regroup and gain perspective. Please let us know how it goes.