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Wed Oct 4 8:53 am  #11


Re: Advice needed

Joescookie, you ask how we reacted when our partner 'came out'. Firstly, I'd say that we're all different, and all our relationships are different - but of course, there are common strands. We've been married nearly 40 years! No children. I always wanted more sex, and I swore to myself that as we came to retirement, I was going to force the issue: we had to go to therapy together, why was she the way she is? And so finally, she came out to herself and to me, said that she'd been struggling with ssa all her life, but never really accepted that she was a lesbian - she confessed to one very brief lesbian experimentation years ago, but a number of passionate crushes that never went physical.

Honestly, my first reaction was just of immense sadness for us both, but especially for her, the long and lonely years of struggle. I have always loved her, and I still do. Despite the minimal sex (and now none at all), I've never come anywhere close to being unfaithful, never been seriously tempted. So immense sadness and compassion for us both. Anger at society which made it impossible for her, all those years ago, to understand herself and to at least look at the possibility of making her life with another woman, instead of deeply damaging us both.

Also a feeling of relief: at last I could understand. It wasn't that I was a hopeless lover, unskilled, clumsy. I was of the wrong sex! One church minister I'd talked to years before advised me to woo and seduce my wife. How could I seduce a lesbian?

It is amazingly lonely. If we were divorced, we would both be slowly moving away from the trauma. But the dissonance is there with us, me especially, every single day. An open wound. I feel as if I've been amputated of a leg, my sexuality, in a car smash, and no-one else sees it. And I have to try to go on walking normally. I live in Switzerland. I found support from therapists, but we've never met face-to-face with another MOM. Thank God for the Internet: the only real understanding and support that I've found. And as we see here, the vast majority on most of the straight fora are straight women dealing with gay male partners. The straight men are a tiny minority. Are we just fewer? Or less ready to share, to look for help, more readily programmed to carry this trauma alone? There's some statistical evidence that a majority of lesbians married to men are already in a relationship with another woman when they come out to their partners, and they go straight for divorce.

 

Wed Oct 4 7:14 pm  #12


Re: Advice needed

Brassy - you are most certainly fairly unique of the Straight Spouses we have here although there are a fairly sizable number of men here (or on the older board). Are there more of us out there we never hear about? Wouldn't surprise me. So often we are conditioned to 'suck it up', 'deal with it' and so on. I wonder how many men there are like yourself but don't know it yet? I wonder how many who have split up just keep quiet thinking it's the manly way to deal with it? You are also one of the few here who remained in a mixed orientation marriage. I wouldn't be able to do that and your description just reinforces that conclusion in my mind.

 

Thu Oct 5 8:50 am  #13


Re: Advice needed

Brassyhub wrote:
 It is amazingly lonely. If we were divorced, we would both be slowly moving away from the trauma. But the dissonance is there with us, me especially, every single day. An open wound. I feel as if I've been amputated of a leg, my sexuality, in a car smash, and no-one else sees it. And I have to try to go on walking normally.

    
This dissonance is what I, too, feel, although I am a straight woman in a 35 year marriage with a man who two and a half years ago told me he needs to feminize himself and act out a fantasy of himself as a submissive woman in our bed (his wearing of lingerie mandatory).  He's willing enough to have sex, but only on these terms. 
     To know that your life partner cannot engage with you sexually robs you of any chance for real sexual satisfaction and, indeed, intimacy.  Although I could have a sex life if I were willing to abide by these terms (and for some months immediately post-disclosure I did so, wanting to preserve my marriage and thinking what we were doing was a kind of "sex play" with my husband, rather than a validation of his new definition of who he is), that sex life is one that leaves me playing a role in someone else's fantasy. I could have a semblance of a "sex life," if that's defined as having intercourse and even climaxing, but it's unsatisfying at the very deepest level to sleep with a man who sees his own sexuality as "lesbian" while I am straight; he's happy having sex with a woman (as a "woman"), but I want to have sex with my male husband, acting as a hetero man. 
    My husband is still in the closet and apparently content to remain there. We're currently in a stalemate at home: he won't cross dress in front of me, I don't sleep with him under the terms of the new regime. But he seems to be content to continue staying married.  I, however, am no longer content to stay married, precisely because I know nothing will ever change.  We will never be compatible sexually, we will never achieve intimacy as a couple, we can live only parallel lives as companions.  I cannot live for the rest of my life (I'm 64) knowing this is the outlook for the remainder of my life.  I have a lot of life left, and I can't live it half-alive, simply because I've been married for 35 years.
    Moreover, I believe it is selfish of the spouse whose newfound or newly admitted sexuality to continue to bind his or her spouse to a marriage that is unsatisfactory for them both. 

 

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (Thu Oct 5 8:51 am)

 

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