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June 12, 2018 1:30 pm  #1


To tell or not to tell....

Here is a part of my story that I posted in another area here and was directed that this topic might be suitable for me.

I am 57, married 38 years. I am struggling with forgiveness( I don't even think I am questioning this anymore, I am just trying to accept it) for all I longed for/needed and know it will never come to be reality for me. I asked him nicely a couple years back, are you gay, to which he replied, I don't know, I don't think so. First off, I have never ever complained about his performance(though extremely disfunctional) just at times the fact that we rarely had sex. Before marriage the excuse for no sex was, I respect you too much. After marriage, we had sex one time on our wedding night, for like 10 seconds. Then he cried but told me he had no idea why. I felt awful from our wedding night on because I felt undesirable, one time on your wedding night and having your new husband cry then go to sleep will do that. He always has flinched if I happen to touch him in bed but I can hold his hand and kiss him when not in bed. If I bring up the subject of him flinching, jerking and pulling away(very obviously), he denies it and says it never happens even though I cannot possibly count the times it has happened. He asked me why every time he touched me that I thought we had to have sex, he said I was a sex maniac for wanting sex once a week as a newly married woman. We had sex about once a week for the first few years and less than once a month after that. I have never ever looked across the room to find him looking longingly at me, never, not even once has he come up behind me and put his arms around me romantically or even suggested that we have sex when not already in bed. Sexy nightgowns, lingerie etc had zero effects on him, 100% of the time. I was not fat or ugly though he always made me feel hideously unwantable by neglecting me as a sexual being. The only time we ever had sex is after watching a romantic scene in a show(still rare, more like a reminder to him than a turn on), when he wakes in the night with an erection(since he could not get it on by help of me or my body), he lays next to me and tries to get himself going and when he can't he just rolls over and goes to sleep. I have been told by him...its not you, its me...so many times I could not even guess at the count. That only screamed, there IS something wrong with you(me) to me. I guess I am just trying to work through this and find forgiveness for him but I am very hurt and angry because I feel like his lies ruined any chance I had at being a good lover to someone. Saving grace: he is sweet, caring and he does love me, I have no doubt. I do not believe he has ever physically cheated on me, to his own expense, he remains faithful but at the same time, it has been at my expense also. He is the very 'best' friend I have or could ever have had and I love him dearly. I have no plans to leave him but wonder at myself if that might be different if I were in a different manner of physical health. I'd like to think that I would still want to stay with him because I truly love him, it's just that the extreme hurt and disappointment is so strong right now that I cannot get past it. I feel like an admittance from him and an apology would go a LONG way toward making me heal but I don't think I will ever get either so I need to heal on my own and don't know how. I think this is a secret he will take to his grave rather than admit to himself or me. I am not homophobic and he knows I support LGBT rights and equality. 

I guess what I am wondering is this: since I have asked him no less than twice, in calm and understanding conversation and neither time would he say yes I am gay but he didn't really deny it, I wonder if I should try discussing it yet again. We have had many conversations over our lack of sex life over the years but every time I have ever tried to discuss anything of such serious nature, he just does not seem to know or be able to explain anything about his feelings at all. He says very vague things that make zero sense. It is like he has no clue who he is...has he buried himself that deep or is this part of his denial? I have tried talking calmly with him so many times, I always knew there was 'something' not lining up. He absolutely hates when I bring up any intimacy issues and 'listens' but rarely participates or responds with his own feelings even when I try and pry them out as I feel desperate, he just appears to know zilch about his own self. At this point, I feel like I could let him go and encourage him to live authentically but I have become very handicap and cannot live on my own. I have spent 38 years unknowingly being his cover story. I do love him and cannot imagine ever not loving him and I really want for him to be authentic and happy but I have no one else to care for me. I can't decide whether to just let this knowledge ride quietly or speak up and try the conversation again. I fear not only losing my best friend but my caregiver as well. I became handicap when I was still lacking enough credits to qualify for disability so I have no income to survive alone. 

 

June 12, 2018 3:31 pm  #2


Re: To tell or not to tell....

Rosallie wrote:

 

 
Welcome Rosalie
I've come to think of this section almost as the 'Q' part of the LGBTQ acronym because..as the straight partners of 
men and women who exhibit tendencies/proclivities/preferences of another gender...we also are questioning too. Like 
what the fuck is happening? where do *I* fit in all of this? why do I feel like I'm at fault? who am I if the person I thought my partner/husband/wife was is somebody totally at odds with the reality? 

The most difficult part, I think, in all this is this first bombshell part where the realisation that our r'ship, and therefore our future, is now uncertain. But also the fact that for some of us....the sorting out, the thinking, the over-analysing is left to us because our partners, for whatever reason, don't like to focus on the furore/upset they've caused.
My partner of 33 years prefers to sweep it all under the carpet and not talk about it. I caught him out with lies about a secret account & gaslighting (gay porn, wearing my stockings & panties). But he admitted to all this and although he has desires to experiment with men has 'shelved' all this because I refuse to entertain the idea of any of it. Do I believe he'll never UN-shelve his fantasies? I don't know. Nor will I ever trust him 100% ever again. 
Apart from his bi-leanings (he adamantly states he's not gay) we have a good life (I used to call it great) we're at the stage of life where the enjoyment of it is ours.....except for the big questioning elephant in the room. 
You must talk about it. So must he. If you don't it will fester and nag at you. And since you're obviously the strong one as regards wanting to acknowledge the problem..then it will have to start with you.

I've learnt since finding this site that it's me that is the important one, and that ultimately it's me who needs back-up and support so one of the most important things I did was tell my 2 adult children what was happening. Because my partner would have said nothing forever. 
I don't work and because I realise my future now may turn out differently...I've insisted on my own savings account that he can't touch (we've always had a joint account). But our life continues on...we live, we talk, we laugh, we love, we walk, we may move cities soon. Nothing will ever be the same as it was and it's a strange place to be in.....but at this point the status quo is 'comfortable'. 

And yes...my dependency on my partner has become something to be almost afraid of, in that the uncertainty of the honesty of our r'ship can sometimes make me feel in a very precarious position. But I have to weigh that against the man I know him to be, and believe he would never leave me hanging there in that place







 

Last edited by Ellexoh_nz (June 12, 2018 4:29 pm)


*between a rock and a hard place*
 

June 12, 2018 5:50 pm  #3


Re: To tell or not to tell....

Thank-you so much for sharing Ellexoh. I was a little leery that I might be the only long-term marriage on here because I am still at the 'how did I not see it before' stage where I blame myself and feel like I should have known. I guess my attitude is such that I will survive, somehow. I do believe you are right, I need to talk to him and have always been open to him willing to discuss what is wrong and work toward making it...ok, I just hope he will talk and admit it to me. In a way, after feeling like I was so repulsive since I was 19 years old, at least now I know I wasn't. Despite having lost my youthful years to a very sexually dysfunctional life, I can now begin to accept 'it wasn't me'.

     Thread Starter
 

June 12, 2018 9:37 pm  #4


Re: To tell or not to tell....

Rosallie wrote:

Thank-you so much for sharing Ellexoh. I was a little leery that I might be the only long-term marriage on here...

Nah there are many long-term marriages/r'ships....but each person comes to a decision to talk about it, post their story, ask questions in their own time. "I will survive" is the best attitude. So is "I'm not to blame". But now you've said both these things to yourself....you now have to figure out, from that base of personal strength, where to go from here. 
I myself had a year from his initial email telling me his secret til my world stopped spinning and I felt that I had a grasp at last on the situation. 
One of the first things I did was get tested for STIs. I kept up with those for a year...all negative results. 
There were many tears, arguments, walk-outs. Getting tearful & angry got me nowhere, but getting constructively angry and adamant about what I wouldn't tolerate in our r'ship made  him take note. We've both seen a counselor. I loved the process of picking apart what was wrong & talking about it. He hated it.


*between a rock and a hard place*
 

June 13, 2018 7:51 am  #5


Re: To tell or not to tell....

I get so freaked out when I think of confronting him again, this time knowing full well that I can press for the truth. I wonder what the consequences will be. I would get over it with a genuine apology but can he, will he be able to face and handle all the deep pain he has caused me through our entire marriage, that is the variable that scares me. 

I have felt uncomfortable with our relationship for quite awhile because I wonder what will change once the secret is out and when I think of it, it is hard to admit but I believe he has used a bit of what I think is gas lighting on me over the years and I think that bothers me even more than the gay thing because if he had told me about the gay thing, I would have understood so much more and his comments would not have hurt me nearly as bad. 

     Thread Starter
 

June 13, 2018 8:06 pm  #6


Re: To tell or not to tell....

Rosallie wrote:

I get so freaked out when I think of confronting him again, this time knowing full well that I can press for the truth.** You've known him so long that you'll know the right times to bring the subject up though right?** I wonder what the consequences will be. **The consequences will be..anything that happens from this point on you'll be more aware/not in the dark** I would get over it with a genuine apology but can he, will he be able to face and handle all the deep pain he has caused me through our entire marriage, that is the variable that scares me. **I believe that our men don't have it in them to empathise the same way we do.** 

I have felt uncomfortable with our relationship for quite awhile because I wonder what will change once the secret is out **It's not you who should be feeling uncomfortable. YOU did not do this, he did. Once the secret is out things will NEVER be the same..BUT IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT ROSALLIE**..and when I think of it, it is hard to admit but I believe he has used a bit of what I think is gas lighting on me over the years and I think that bothers me even more than the gay thing because if he had told me about the gay thing, I would have understood so much more and his comments would not have hurt me nearly as bad. 

I used to think we had the best communication. We talked about everything. The thing that changed in my partner was the thing that caused our communication to fail. He didn't tell me because deep inside he knew it would change EVERYTHING. Now I know his secrets....we both have to reconfigure who we are...

Last edited by Ellexoh_nz (June 13, 2018 8:09 pm)


*between a rock and a hard place*
 

June 14, 2018 8:23 am  #7


Re: To tell or not to tell....

Sex has always been a subject he refuses to talk about and bringing up the subject causes me such anxiety, it is the only subject that makes him say not so nice things to me, things that would make me question myself. I talked with him last night and asked him to please not gaslight me by telling me I am not recalling right or that I'm crazy or overly sensitive, etc. He did not do that but instead it almost seemed like he was just saying what he thought I needed to hear, not what he really felt/thought, no real empathy or apology. He still denies having any gay tendency at all even after I pointed out all the issues that prove it. He said he was just damaged goods and maybe something happened to him in childhood to make him like this but he can't remember. I even told him that I would want him to live authentically and that I would just bow out, so to speak. Why can't he tell me even after I know the truth? It's not like I'm threatening to out him to the world or anyone for that matter. I was kind and caring. I reminded him of how stubborn he can be to admit anything. He talked but still very evasive and with no more knowledge of himself than 38 years ago. I do not understand how he can be so clueless about his own self. Even now though, I am worried about him, I am sure that no matter how nice I was, it still hurts him to talk/hear about anything sexually related so I act normal so he won't worry about me. I feel like I deserve answers after all these years so that I can have closure. Today is teary, I got nowhere. There is no way that I believe he is not gay. 

     Thread Starter
 

June 14, 2018 2:53 pm  #8


Re: To tell or not to tell....

Rosallie wrote:

Sex has always been a subject he refuses to talk about and bringing up the subject causes me such anxiety, it is thnsivee only subject that makes him say not so nice things to me, things that would make me question myself. Sounds like my partner. Became defensive /angry whenever I would bring it up I talked with him last night and asked him to please not gaslight me by telling me I am not recalling right or that I'm crazy or overly sensitive, etc. He did not do that but instead it almost seemed like he was just saying what he thought I needed to hear, not what he really felt/thought, no real empathy or apology. Yes I know how that feels, almost like there's no emotion/meaning behind the words. He still denies having any gay tendency at all even after I pointed out all the issues that prove it. I still get denial too, he says "we've discussed it, I've moved on" like it was a question about buying a new house or car! He said he was just damaged goods and maybe something happened to him in childhood to make him like this but he can't remember. I've never asked, and he's never said anything about his childhood and I've often wondered but feel I have enough on my plate to worry about any more aspects of *his* life, I'm trying to focus on myself. I even told him that I would want him to live authentically and that I would just bow out, so to speak. If my man wanted to live "authentically" I'd  accept that I think, and let him go. But he doesn't appear to want to...so we're in limbo because I can't let go either.  Why can't he tell me even after I know the truth? It's not like I'm threatening to out him to the world or anyone for that matter. I was kind and caring. I reminded him of how stubborn he can be to admit anything. He talked but still very evasive and with no more knowledge of himself than 38 years ago. I do not understand how he can be so clueless about his own self. Even now though, I am worried about him, I am sure that no matter how nice I was, it still hurts him to talk/hear about anything sexually related so I act normal so he won't worry about me. Hurts him?!...I truly believe you have to start putting yourself first, worry about you, because not talking about this is what is hurting you. I feel like I deserve answers after all these years so that I can have closure. Oh my god! you so deserve answers! Today is teary, I got nowhere. There is no way that I believe he is not gay. 

Rosallie...I found early morning when we are still in bed, or just after we retire for the night are the best times for talking. Even though I know he may not say a word.....I get to talk....sometimes for 20 minutes, my fears, my expectations, suspicions. At first he would get angry, sometimes storm out but I kept doing it because I needed answers and needed them from him


 


*between a rock and a hard place*
 

June 14, 2018 6:03 pm  #9


Re: To tell or not to tell....

Exactly...only he has the answers and I deserve more than 'I don't know'. When we talked it was the end of the day and we talked for over an hour, maybe two. Well, I did most of the talking but in fairness, he talked more than usual.

I totally get what you said...I still get denial too, he says "we've discussed it, I've moved on" like it was a question about buying a new house or car ...exactly.

     Thread Starter
 

June 14, 2018 8:30 pm  #10


Re: To tell or not to tell....

Rosallie wrote:

......only he has the answers and I deserve more than 'I don't know'.....

 

To be frank....our men don't have the answers, because, to my mind, a person who has answers has no problem
talking about....well, anything! 
I don't look to my partner for answers about this heart-wrenching situation anymore because he will always skirt around making a definitive, satisfying-to-me response to anything I ask.
My position is....I don't have to strength or will-power to leave like so many do. So I stay in my safe place, a place that's familiar....yet not. Often I feel like a fool for staying, and worry about how other people see me, what they're thinking of me. But then I realise...this is my life, not theirs.
 


*between a rock and a hard place*
 

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