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July 12, 2018 6:15 pm  #1


My wife and I are struggling and I would love some advice

My wife has been suppressing her desires to be with a woman for a long time.  She had a brief affair with a woman and we are now trying to cope and figure out how, or if, to move forward.  In the back of my head, I had been concerned about this throughout our 16 year marriage.  

I feel like there could be room to work this out if she was bi-sexual, but she does not know.  I have asked all the obvious questions and still it is unclear.  

She is an amazing person who is struggling with her sexuality.  I want to help her find the answers so that we can move forward, either together or apart.  I care for her so much.  I truly want both of us to be happy.

This is only a week old for us, so we are still processing a lot.  Any advice on how to find answers?  Or am I even asking the right questions?
 

 

July 12, 2018 8:25 pm  #2


Re: My wife and I are struggling and I would love some advice

"Or am I even asking the right questions?"

now that's a good question!  one question is how come this is only a week old for you as it has been a lifelong situation for your wife.  I know our sexuality is something which becomes more clearcut as we age but it is what it is - you know how it's been for you - it is the same for your wife, she will have known she is attracted to women since puberty and she is likely to have recognised she is not the same as straight girls from even earlier.

to reframe the question, why didn't she disclose to you before marriage - or to reframe it again, how could she marry you without being open about her feelings?

I know this isn't what you want to hear.  I know you love her.  I know you don't want this to be as bad as it is - i.e. marriage-breaking but it does need to be answered doesn't it.

re bisexuality, personally my opinion is that overwhelmingly bisexuals are same sex attracted and this becomes more clearcut with age not less.  It doesn't mean they have a choice any more than the rest of us it simply means they believe they do.  But even if it did that's not really the issue because you don't have a choice.  You're straight, you need a straight partner, in the long term the fact that she is a woman, that she has a female body is not enough, you need a partner who is attracted to you like you are to her - and that too will continue to become more clearcut with age.  

which leads to another question - does she care about your happiness like you are caring about hers?

wishing you the all best, Lily

 

July 13, 2018 11:17 am  #3


Re: My wife and I are struggling and I would love some advice

Thanks for your response Lily.

to reframe the question, why didn't she disclose to you before marriage - or to reframe it again, how could she marry you without being open about her feelings?

Before we married, she told me about a relationship with a girl when she was younger.  She subsequently only dated men afterwards.  So I, probably wrongfully, assumed that was an experimental phase and she had made her decision.

which leads to another question - does she care about your happiness like you are caring about hers?

That is a good question.  My immediate response is absolutely.  The more I think about it though, I do wonder if that has died down in the last few years.

Thank you again for your thoughts.  If you have any additional ones, I would love to hear them.
 

     Thread Starter
 

July 13, 2018 1:06 pm  #4


Re: My wife and I are struggling and I would love some advice

Was the affair recent? If so, it is possible that she is feeling more attracted to women, that this side of her is more who she really is, if that makes sense. If so, she may be realising that she is gay, not bisexual. It is perfectly possible to be bi-sexual and in a commuted relationship with someone of the opposite sex but I'm not sure thats the case here.
Sorry, dont know if this is making any sense to you. As Lily says, with age things change. People who once felt bi-sexual can feel different. 
I know you care about her but think about your own happiness too. I have been where you are and I spent a lot of time helping my husband figure out what he was/what he wanted and forgot about myself in the process. I have come to realise, now we are separated, that he was so obsessed with himself that he cared very little about the effect it had on me.
Take care.

 

July 13, 2018 2:53 pm  #5


Re: My wife and I are struggling and I would love some advice

I know first hand what the experience is like of being love bombed by a bisexual - meeting that person who just slotted in beside me and almost immediately we are talking like we're best friends.  The oxytocsin is flying and you form such a close bond so quickly.  It seems such a safe place to fall in love, for it to get romantic.

I have listened to a young friend describe it from the bisexual side.  He wanted to get married and have children.  But after a while we could see a pattern - what would happen is that he would become super attracted to a man and get rejected, this would impel him towards a woman but no matter how keen she was on him it would never work out and somewhere along the line he accepted he just didn't deep down actually even really want to have sex with a woman no matter how much he loved her.  And now he just says he's gay.

My ex was having sex with men before he even met me, he was in love with a man and rejected by him.  I found out about this from an old friend after divorcing him, he never told me himself.  He is getting on now and he is still in denial.  He would have buried me quite happily if I hadn't divorced him.  He does love his closet.

So to put your wife in the same scales - she has told you before getting married that she had an affair with a woman.  This is disclosure but it doesn't tell you everything does it.  It doesn't tell you how she feels, that she isn't experiencing the same desire for you as she felt for the woman.  Now she is telling you that, 16 years later and I think that shows some guts.

my instinct says she could still be expecting to keep you on a string tho.  You sound like all of us straights who have failed to get solid answers from our gay spouses no matter how long we try - you say you 'wrongfully assumed', that's taking responsibility for not understanding how she felt when really she hasn't expressed herself fully to you.

you care about her happiness more than your own.  that is romantic love.   it works fine if your partner can feel the same way about you.  otherwise it is you caring about her and her caring about her and who is caring for you, only the dog.

hope that helps, wishing you all the best. it's an emotional rollercoaster, it hurts and it's confusing it takes time and so please do everything you can to look after yourself.

 

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