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Will I need to come out...again?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Lesbee, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. Lesbee

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    I feel like my body is betraying me.

    I'm trying to "know for sure" (if that's even possible) whether my body is just finally awakening to its truth (that I'm actually a lesbian and not just bi)... or am I self-sabotaging a great relationship just to mix things up? Or is it just past trauma coming up to be dealt with at a deeper level?

    I've been with women (romantically and sexually) in the past, but all of my public relationships were with men (I wasn't "out", I was still repressing my own desires from past religious shaming & bullying at work, plus acting out with men in response to social conditioning that led me to believe my body was only for pleasing others). Each of my relationships was unhealthier than the last... until this most recent one.

    We've been together for 5 years and both identify as bi. We're completely open and honest with each other, so I talk to him about this confusion daily. But what happened is that it felt like just all of the sudden, my body stopped responding to his, and I'm looking back now and wondering if it ever really did, or was I just 'going along with it' to keep him happy because I do cherish the crap out of this man.

    It seemed to come up after I did some inner embodiment work - I felt truly connected to my heart and my body in ways I haven't felt maybe all of my life. For this reason and because there's no one else I'm interested in, and because I really love him and want to work it out but my body just genuinely closes up when we get too close to anything non-platonic, I believe my responses are to be trusted, and this might mean we have to break up.

    But we love each other so much. We're such a great team. We've planned out our lives together! If I could work it out without abandoning myself, I would. So I feel eager to get a therapist (have been reaching out but no appointments yet), and to deal with any past traumas that could be triggering this response, and I keep wanting to experiment with him to see if my body continues to reject the experience or if it "all blows over".

    I am SO CONFUSED -- most of the time I feel no desire at all to be affectionate, and get anxious when he gets close or a situation comes up where I would normally respond in some "girlfriendy" way. I have no desire to do any of that. But some mornings I wake up and want to "try it out"... I'll run my fingers along his body and I don't cringe if I get too close to non-platonic parts. I think, maybe we should try having sex tonight and see what happens. Of course, I don't want to torture the poor man either.... but when I try to experiment, I'm sincerely thinking I'm into it...and just as something's about to happen, my brain goes, NOPE!! and my lady parts curl up even further inside me.

    WHAT IS HAPPENING! Do I have to let this amazing relationship go to honor myself? I can't imagine finding a love like this again... so I'll just ruin both of our lives? Couldn't I just fake it forever and "be happy"?? Fake it till you make it?
     
  2. quebec

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    Lesbee.....Well, hello again! :old_smile: I think you are on the right track when you mentioned seeing a therapist. If you truly do "...cherish the crap out of this man." then it's sure worth the effort for you and really for both of you to talk to a therapist. Seeing a therapist was one of the best choices I've ever made. If you haven't talked to him about this...as difficult as it may be, that is also an important step to take. Communication is definitely the glue that will hold a relationship together. Please keep us up dated on how this all works out. Remember, you are a part of our LGBTQ+ Family and we do care!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
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  3. Lesbee

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    Thank you, David! Yes we’ve been talking every day about it! We live together and can’t hide anything from each other, but even if I could’ve hidden it, I knew it’s better to say *something* even if it’s just that I don’t know what to say. So that’s how I started the conversation a couple weeks ago. I’ve been doing research, and writing, and seeking wise counsel, and experimenting... so I think therapy is the next step. So grateful to be here and not have to go through this alone.
     
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  4. quebec

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    Lesbee.....I am so glad that you and he have an open channel to talk about this. You are right...talking to a therapist is the important thing now. I really can't emphasize enough just how important it is. However, take some time to look over the info about a therapist before you make an appointment. Check out what they say about their practice. It's important to find out as much about a therapist as you can before you make an appointment. I hope the both of you can work this out! :old_big_grin:
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
    #4 quebec, Feb 19, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  5. Lesbee

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    Absolutely. I’ve been looking for someone with a specialty in trauma and LGBTQIA2S+ issues. I will definitely keep you posted!
     
  6. AlanL

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    Hey Lesbee, thanks for sharing so openly about your situation....it struck a chord with me so wanted to share a little my experience which I feel overlaps a little. Btw I just joined this site ...

    I am in my 40's and have been questioning for 30 years so most of my life since puberty. I feel there is an inner conflict between what goes on in my head, heart and with my sexual urges. I have experimented with guys, girls and trans (MtoF) , by exploring I wanted and expected to draw some conclusions on who I am and where I want to invest my energy to seek out a partner I could fall in love with and be 100% myself...
    Life has taught me there is no linear path however and I also fell in love with someone of opposite sex many years ago and loved her with all my heart and even after falling out spectacularly a few times and having a few tantrums and spectacular break-ups, we came back together as the bond between us was immense and ran a lot deeper than I thought.

    At the same time, I couldn't ignore sexual urges to be with guys - aroused beyond belief, no way to this level with her or any other women. When I sleep with my ex or other women I am drawn to , it's like my sexuality goes to sleep. I mean I am still able to function, perform, please her and experience feelings of mild pleasure in short moments but then after sex the feelings of feeling lost and disconnected from her and myself return in a big way - this has gotten more bearable but basically it used to tear me up inside so I would just make excuses and leave...
    I have told close friends and some family about being bisexual and still find myself drawn to women as I am seduced by their beauty, but can't deny strong sexual urges for guys.

    This is where I am now - this place of meeting women, there is intrigue then find myself sharing about my situation before we kiss as I used to try and suppress this and women used to get really hurt when I told them down the road - I can understand this
    My concern about abandoning attraction to women and throwing myself into being out and proud and only dating guys, is the worry these sexual urges only remain urges, in other words do not join up with my heart or head and therefore it just exists for me as erotic fantasies I play out now and again.

    I experienced love and deep longing for my ex and have never felt this way (or allowed myself to) with a guy.....this will most likely be a lifetime journey. I have been in therapy and talking about this helped to a degree although in the end it felt I was going round in circles and not getting anywhere. In last few years, I have been working on releasing tension in my body - yoga, dancing and helping to relax my mind - meditation. These tools have definitely helped and at same time I always wonder...….I even looked up HOCD on youtube but not sure that's me, obsessive thoughts questioning my sexuality. I know what these urges are and accepting them is healthy for me

    Thanks again for your post and allowing the way for me to share my story :slight_smile:
     
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  7. silverhalo

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    Hey I am sorry you have been going through such a difficult period.

    Before you had this revelation how would you have described your current relationship?
    Are you largely out now about your bisexuality? I know you are out to your partner but what about more widely?
     
  8. dirtyshirt84

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    Hey Lesbee. Just a thought but what/who do you fantasise about? How does the thought of having sex with other men or women make you feel?

    I agree I think therapy would definitely be helpful, sorry you are going through a difficult time.
     
  9. Lesbee

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    Alan, thank you SO much for sharing your story! I'm so glad my experience helped pull out some of yours as well. I related so much to the experience of "when I sleep with ___ my sexuality goest to sleep..." even while still being able to function, and how the feelings afterward of disconnection from them and myself come back. I also agree that this is likely a lifelong journey.

    I've been scouring the internet for some way to "know" and be done with all the wondering, but most people seem to indicate that it's unique per person and often fluid and may change over time. What's helping me most is just staying curious about the feelings I have instead of trying so hard to analyze them and explain them and even name them. Just following them and seeing where they lead. Maybe you just haven't met the right man to fall in love with, or maybe you're homosexual but heteroromantic. Or maybe something else entirely! At least we can't say life is boring for us. :laughing:
     
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  10. Lesbee

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    Silverhalo, thanks for stopping my and taking the time to read my story. Firstly, I'm pretty out -- I came out "to everyone" on Facebook a couple years ago, though my closest friends have known for a long time, and my partner has always known. But since I was (and am) in a straight relationship, I don't know how seriously anyone took it. I ended up having a face-to-face with my super religious/disapproving dad (well, on Zoom) because I know he loves me but he posts things that hurt, and he had ignored my coming out post(s) even though he enthusiastically posts on everything else I share, so I gave him a talk he couldn't ignore lol. My half-sister recently came out as a lesbian to me too -- she hasn't been shy about hiding it honestly, but she's just never mentioned it to anyone, so I told her about this experience as well and she's (of course) super supportive. (Her dad, my step-dad is also gay - he came out when I was in high school, and my mom and him are still like family even though he's married to another man. I love my eclectic family.) :slight_smile:

    As for how I would have described my current relationship before this revelation, I'd have said it was a perfect, dream situation. The kind of love people don't find in a lifetime. Completely unconditional -- the only "fights" we have are trying to playfully push the other out of the kitchen when we catch the other doing the dishes so we can do them instead. We are completely honest and open always. That said... our sex life has diminished over time (which is super common, I know) but has stayed very consistent until a couple weeks ago. I'd say we had sex a couple times a week (which was our 'slowed down' pace from when we first started dating and couldn't keep our hands off each other), but in hindsight, I think that could be because I was in such an uncomfortable & unhealthy relationship at the time (so was he actually... mine was an open dating relationship and his was a marriage - we both were just doing what we thought we were "supposed" to but were checked out) so finding someone who genuinely cared about me, and took care of his body, and was romantic... I did what I had been trained by society to do, to use my body to keep him happy, and I was happy to do so. It's hard for me to be clear on what was real desire on my part vs that conditioning. When we first met I was indifferent to him until he showed interest, then we became very good friends, and then he was an escape from my ex. He's definitely my best friend... but I'm not sure if there was more and it just needs to be rekindled, or if there was never more and I'm just trying to convince myself.
     
  11. Lesbee

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    Yes! Therapy definitely. Still trying to get an appointment with someone that feels like a good fit. To answer your question though, I 100% fantasize about women, and even still stare or get nervous around a "pretty girl" and catch myself playing with my lips or something. I have known for a long time that I would never have sex with another man nor want to date another man, and though I've had other female relationships and sex with women, (and am also a little more pan... I can see myself happy with an enby or transFem as well as cis woman) if I think about actually doing it again, it's a little scary. I think it's just because I've learned the rules of the game with men so it's more of a comfort zone there, but it's clearly not comfortable enough. Also, my current partner is a cis male but has some quite feminine attributes and is bi. I've found myself admiring physically the parts of him that remind me of women! (Which I have also told him since we talk about everything!)
     
  12. LostInDaydreams

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    Hi @Lesbee,

    I don’t have anything to add to what’s been said above already, but just wanted to say that I hope you’re able to find a therapist soon. I spoke to a therapist at various points whilst I was still in a relationship with my ex, as I went through the process of leaving him and afterwards too, and it was beneficial.

    It’s also good that you’re able to communicate with your partner about all this and from what you’ve written, he seems to be supportive too.

    Keep us updated. :slight_smile:
     
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  13. Ngale

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    It's been a long time since I have been here, but now that my feelings led me here, the first thread I read is this. @Lesbee your feelings resonate me. I have been in a relationship with a man for 14 years now, and from time to time my body has done this "closing from him". I think that it has affected to our sexual life more and more over the years. In the past, after a while I have been able to turn back to him and my body has "awoke" to his touch and affection but I think that every time less and less. Now I find my self not even wanting to turn towards him, which is so scary as we have built a beautiful life together. Two children and everything...
     
    #13 Ngale, Feb 21, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
  14. Lesbee

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    Yes, this is why it’s so hard and I think important for me to not just “burn it all down” right away like I normally would, but since I do really love the man and want to work on it if it can be worked on, I want to determine if it’s just a dip in the sexual tension like often happens in long term relationships (and do we just need therapy or to mix things up somehow) or am I just awakening to some deeper truth.

    I saw that Esther Perel is offering a discounted course on rekindling sexual desire - I don’t know if we’re allowed to post links to things like that, but if you think it might be helpful, maybe look into that to see if it might help you two work things out. Personally I’m still planning to do therapy to address my trauma first and see where that leads things. Welcome back, @Ngale. You are not alone!
     
  15. Ngale

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    It is important to deal with past trauma before making big decisions in life. I have delt mine in therapy for six years already and probably will continue in the future as well.
     
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  16. Lesbee

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    Whelp, I'm still waiting to make an appointment with a therapist - I found one who specializes in trauma and happens to be someone I already know and trust (don't know her well enough for it to be a conflict of interest) - I've reached out and should get an appointment soon. In the MEANTIME...

    Things have been totally platonic with my partner for 2.5 weeks now, and with that space I was starting to believe that I'm just bi, and he and I just need to work on our sex life or something (even though it was "amazing" before and just came to a hard stop. Putting amazing in quotes because if anyone were to look in, it would look like it was frequent and enjoyed fully by both of us, and we kept things plenty spicy. In hindsight I just think I've been sort of "putting up" with it to keep him happy because I love him deeply, and because he's a great catch so it isn't "as bad" as sex with any of my other male exes where I was literally disassociating and trying to get it over with asap).

    The obvious clues in that statement to my sexuality aside, I just had some "me time", and (as usual) was thinking of women, but to test it out, I tried imagining my partner doing the same thing, but it was immediately a total turn off. I was like, 'what about ANY man?' and nope... I may have found my answer you guys.... (or maybe it'll change again in a week once I start therapy, who knows). But it feels pretty clear in this moment.

    I'll still wait to make some progress in therapy before I break up and deal with logistics of getting him back in his own place and telling my kids and parents and all of that stuff. It's a lot if that's the truth, but at the moment, I just feel at peace.
     
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  17. QuietPeace

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    OMG! I wish that I had known earlier that it had been such a short period of time! Seriously 2.5 weeks without sex in a relationship that has gone on for years is NOT I repeat NOT unusual. I think that you really should consider the possibility that this is a normal ebb and flow thing. It might even be possible that this is something physical in your health, diet or many things. Do go ahead with the therapy and maybe check with your doctor.
     
    #17 QuietPeace, Feb 24, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  18. Lesbee

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    Thank you @QuietPeace! To me it's more about the lack of attraction or interest in any kind of sexual behavior than the length of time (esp considering I've had other long-term relationships and was able to just keep the sex happening - because it's always just been my choice to do it, rather than a desire to do it - even in the early stages of the relationship) -- it's like he's become more of a sibling instead of a romantic partner. And I would get that if over time we hadn't been actively keeping that spark alive....but we have! Our "sexy time" isn't always about sex - sometimes he just wants to touch me all over and neither of us have any kind of sex at all. Sometimes we've done other things sex-adjacent and enjoyed the experience just as much. For me it's more of a feeling that I've always just "chosen" to "let" things happen, rather than wanting things to happen -- and that it's been that way my entire life. It's not just that we're not having sex... I don't even want to kiss him on the lips. I've done it a few times anyway just to experiment, and it always feels awkward and I definitely don't want him to open his mouth or anything (even though I LOVE kissing).
     
  19. silverhalo

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    It may be that you are unable to unpick it entirely in this moment but prior to you losing interest altogher who would you say initiated the sexy time or would you say it was equal?
     
  20. Lesbee

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    In every relationship I’ve had sex was initiated by the other partner (unless on the rare occasion I did out of a need to be with someone, and that being the only way I knew to be valued, or out of guilt in knowing my partner “needed” sex at a certain frequency due to past conversations).