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Wed Aug 24 9:18 pm  #21


Re: Lucky or delusional?

Daryl wrote:

Keep this in mind, if you allow your spouse to go 'explore' you do run a risk. If she makes an emotional connection to another woman, and it is reciprocated, even pursued by the other person, you may be facing a competition for your wife's affections that you cannot win. I'm not saying you should or shouldn't, just be kind to yourself and always make sure you have a plan for all possible outcomes.

 
I would go further and say it's not a risk but a certainty. 

If I think back to when I was in your situation I know all the advice you're getting would seem well 'wrong'.  Part of her coming out is also your time of grieving and hopefully awakening to new possibilities that don't include her. It took me a long time to process that a lot of my marriage was a lie and that is still hard to contemplate. start thinking about you and not 'us'. I know I am surprised at how much better it is to be alone than in a relationship with someone who just doesn't want to be with me.

 

Thu Aug 25 9:17 am  #22


Re: Lucky or delusional?

Thank you all, your comments are helpful and makes me think, alot.

I appreciate the skepticism, I really do.  And I’m very aware of possible outcomes here.  I guess the thing is, it doesn’t matter anymore why it took 20 years for her to come out, why she suppressed her feelings for so long, or what caused her gayness to emerge.  The point is, that it did.  So for the first time in 20 years we are being totally open and honest.  And it feels good and in some ways a relief.  The reality is, that the way we were pushing each other back for the last few years, our marriage only had a few years left, gay or straight.  Her gayness was not the cause of our bad marriage, maybe a factor, but not the cause.  And I don’t blame her for not coming out earlier, or “the lie”, I don’t think it was.  I think she has struggled with this for a long time, and probably suppressed her gay feelings for me and our family, to keep us together.  And when it became too much for her to suppress anymore, she didn’t go have an affair or cheat, she came to me, and that means a lot too.

So now I’m really left with two options.  I can feel angry, confused, and resentful, like many understandably are, split up the family and move on.  Or I can accept her, embrace her, and work with her to figure out what she really needs, both sexually and emotionally, and hopefully, we can come to some middle ground with her new sexuality that we can both live with.  Through 20 years there have been some tough times, but there have also been some amazing ones.  Times that would have been incredible whether she was gay or straight.  She got me to do things, and created life experiences that I would have never done on my own. 

So now I am choosing to accept her as she is, which is very “undefined” right now.  I know that if I help her explore her sexuality (through therapy for example), and we find out she needs a lesbian relationship, at least I can move on without being angry, which in the end, will help me move on.

I’ll let you know how it works out.  
 

Last edited by hopeful (Thu Aug 25 9:24 am)

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Thu Aug 25 9:45 am  #23


Re: Lucky or delusional?

My first reaction was also to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.  But I don't think that is helpful either.  How can you repair a relationship and deal with the coming out, AND plan for a separate life.  I'll be in this until I'm not.  I think our history justifies us, and in the end I'll be better for it. 

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Thu Aug 25 11:19 am  #24


Re: Lucky or delusional?

I wish you the best!  I think you have a great attitude and that will help immensely going into this.  But, as I said in a different post to you on another thread...set a time frame.  It's perfectly fine and understandable to set aside a year to try this when you're talking about a 20 year marriage with children as opposed to a fairly new relationship with nothing intertwined.  I'm also a proponent of this only because it sounds like she has been honest and came to you first and that's not usually what we see here.  But don't let the "trying" get out of control.  At some point, if it's not working for you or both of you, don't be afraid to cut the cord.  Don't keep throwing good time after bad.  Waking up five years from now in the same place isn't where you want to be if nothing has changed.  And if she has truly come out, then you will definitely need to prepare mentally for changes to your life. 

 

Thu Aug 25 12:32 pm  #25


Re: Lucky or delusional?

Thank you Still Wondering.  I appreciate the sentiment.  What a journey we are all on.  I feel luckier then most here, there has been unhappiness, but generally there has been contentment.  I appreciate the timeline concerns, but I'm not too worried about it.  Her coming out was the catalyst for change, and I believe it will resolve itself relatively quickly, I don't see us just falling back into the rut.  Things will either get better and keep getting better or they won't.  To be clear, the "trying" is emotional and sexual for us, but not lesbian for her.  I don't think I could accept that.  If she was adamant she needed that, I would move on.  

Rightfully or wrongly I'm a very hopeful and am now content my efforts will be worth it, whether we stay together or not.   For me, the big realization was what a bad husband I have been.  Perfect in so many ways, just not the important ways.  Bad in some very important areas.  So her coming out has changed me, for the better.  I have rejected her attempts to get us to therapy for years, and I now I'm looking forward to it.  Obviously the outcome is unknown.  But I'm "hopeful".

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Sat Sep 3 11:41 pm  #26


Re: Lucky or delusional?

hopeful:

I understand the desire to keep the relationship in some form or fashion. I went through that. In my case it didn't work, but part of it was that I didn't know how much I didn't know. It's too late for do-overs in my case, but if you mean it that you want to learn about and improve yourself, and you immerse yourself 100% in that, even if it doesn't work out for the two of you, at least you get a new-and-improved you at the end of it. 

In the meantime, take a look at this site:

http://mixedorientation.com/

Ultimately it's only going to work if you both are committed, and even then, it's fraught with challenges, primarily how well you both handle jealousy, how well the two of you set rules or boundaries and adhere to them, and how well your communication styles mesh, and how you navigate change. Just be prepared and open to whatever comes. I have no doubt it can be done, I think attitude counts for a lot, like so many things. But recognize that you can only fix or change or control yourself; the rest is out of your hands, really.

What's that saying, "life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it."

If you buy into that idea, you know where most of the work needs to take place.



 

Last edited by BryonM (Sat Sep 3 11:45 pm)


"I have given you my soul, leave me my name!"  - John Proctor, The Crucible
"Question everything you've been told; hold fast to what is true and good." - I Thessalonians 5:21
 
 

Sun Sep 4 12:30 pm  #27


Re: Lucky or delusional?

One last thought, hopeful. Maybe if you can both continue being honest and kind, you will remain close friends even if the marriage ends. I would have loved that outcome instead of ending 25 years so horribly with my GID ex who I thought was my best friend, but wasn't. You've got a better start than most of us, it seems. Best wishes!

 

Sun Sep 4 4:20 pm  #28


Re: Lucky or delusional?

Thanks Bryon and Keepinghope.  

It's been a bizarre couple of weeks.  We have spent many hours talking to the wee hours of the morning, something we haven't done in years.  We've shared past secrets, desires and shames.  And for the first time in a long time, we have both laughed.  The craziest part is, we have had more sex since she came out.  In some ways our relationship has never been better, but now, I've got this nagging feeling that i'm falling back in love with her, but not the other way around.  It's not that she has someone new, or some unfilled desired, she just doesn't "love" me, and I'm not sure she ever did, or ever will.  For now, we've agreed to give it 1 year, but to be honest, I'm not sure what will ever change.

I'm pretty sure I deserve to be loved back the same way I love....and that is going to be the challenge.  

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Sun Sep 4 5:26 pm  #29


Re: Lucky or delusional?

Hi hopeful,

you make me feel a little envious - you are getting more out of your wife than I got out of my husband, that's for sure, but nonetheless particularly in the earlier years there were good times when we shared a laugh.

I think you're exactly right - the challenge is how can you live with a love that isn't reciprocal.  and now I'm not envious any more, it must be tough to recognise you are falling in love and it will not have a good outcome.  but oh you're hoping it will because now you are being open and honest and can be intimate.  but no, it doesn't feel like that's worked.  

you say in a post that the trouble in your marriage isn't down to your wife's sexuality but I would like to suggest thinking it through further - maybe the pushing each other away is because of it.  It seems to me we are generally unable to tolerate an inequality of reciprocity in love, that there's an instinctive urge to redress it on both sides.  

Patti's therapist told her and her husband you have to love each other enough to let each other go and I can understand that.  It's not what happened in my marriage, my ex was not so nice and I had to just take responsibility make a divorce happen and wear the flak.  but, just like you are caring about your wife like a friend, so does your wife need to do the same for you - love you as a friend, care about you.

taking up a hobby, I did that, it was a good thing to look after myself and build a life independent of the relationship.  good luck with it all, wishing you all the best.

 

 

Mon Sep 5 2:18 pm  #30


Re: Lucky or delusional?

Thanks Lily.  I certainly appreciate the sentiment.  Certainly her sexuality is an issue, I've just been in denial about how important it has been.  We woke up together this morning and started to cuddle, a new thing for us.  At first it felt good, and I wanted "more", but then I "felt" her coldness.  The cuddling was okay for her, but nothing more. Getting intimate was the furthest thing from her mind...I just don't know if I can do this and be truly happy.  I'm also starting to blame her for the years of rejecting me sexually and the full impact it has had on me.  Many nights I would wait for her to go to bed and then turn to the familiar comfort of a glass of liquor...to the point where I would prefer a nice buzz and alone time then to be rejected again....

I'm definitely working on me, my health and hopefully a new hobby, but it's so difficult while we are in transition.  The kids are starting to notice to.  We have a pretty close family, and I haven't been able to go to Sunday night dinners at the in laws...she's not out to them yet, and I can't pretend.  Ugh.
 

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