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January 9, 2019 6:40 pm  #1


My Husband says he is Bi, but doesn't have to act on it

My husband, who I have been with for almost seventeen years, told me four weeks ago that he thought he was Bi, maybe gay.  He told me this while we were having sex.  I was devastated, he was turned on.  Every day since then has been hell for both us as we try to find our footing and find a path forward.  I had no clue, although with the benefit of hind sight, I now realize this probably explains why I have always felt disconnected in our sex life.  I had assumed it was because I simply wasn't attractive enough, based solely on things he would say to me in the first six years our relationship.  He always made comments to me when we had sex, stating that he preferred women with smaller breasts or that I should lose five pounds.  It robbed me of my confidence bit by bit.  Eventually, after a confrontation where I told him he was verbally and emotionally abusing me and that I was leaving, he stopped, and he spent the next ten+ years trying to undo the harm he had caused (although he never shared that issues with his own sexuality may have been the root of it all).  I again took responsibility for the disconnect, thinking that it was simply that I couldn't get the things he said to me out of my head, and that I was the one who couldn't fully connect.  He didn't seem to notice that there was an issue for me, so it became the norm.  Prior to our relationship, I had a lot of sexual confidence and enjoyed sex immensely.  He has an incredibly high sex drive and we have always had sex frequently.  Sometimes the sex is great, but most of the time I feel like I am just a warm body that is there to be used, that there isn't much connection beyond that.  Strangely, our relationship outside of sex was quite strong, although that also took years of work to build to a healthy (or so I thought) place.  He has had a tendency in the last five years or so to lock in to certain sexual scenarios, and that is what he would want to do almost all of the time, which I found distressing and unfulfilling.  I don't want sex to be a staged event, with everything said and done predetermined before it begins.  I assumed this was down to his porn watching habits, and while I did express my feelings on the issue to him, it never changed.  Now, I'm viewing it with different eyes, just as I am every aspect of our life together.  He has since declared that he is definitely bi, not gay, and that he can't imagine being in a romantic relationship with another man, although physically he is very turned on by the idea.  I feel like I can't trust him, and that he might not even know for sure whether he is truly bi or gay.  He definitely can perform with a woman and seems to have a genuine interest, but how does that stack up to his attraction to men?  He is just scared and doesn't want to lose me, or is his fear more about anyone else knowing?.  The fact that he feels being gay is something to be ashamed of is also a huge red flag to me.  We have many gay friends, so he isn't a bigot, but for some reason, the idea of HIM being gay is distressing.  He did admit that he has known he was sexually attracted to both men and women since puberty and that he tried to initiate a few sexual encounters with other men in his early twenties, but that he always stopped short and never did so.  He swears up and down that he has not reached out and tried to initiate any encounters with other men.  He says he only wants to be with me, that he wants to continue building the life we have together, and that he would be satisfied in a monogamous relationship with me, but I no longer believe him.  How can I?  If that was true, why are we where we are at?  I feel so betrayed that he would keep this information from me for so long.  It feels like my entire life has been a lie, and I since I didn't see it coming, I don't even know how to trust myself.  More than that, he is sending so many mixed signals, that I can't understand what is happening in my life from one moment to the next.  Last night, he told me in all seriousness, that I should expect that he might flirt with men when we are out in public.  I told him that I expected my partner not to flirt with other people, man or woman, in front of me (or behind my back), as I found that disrespectful and hurtful.  He apologized and said he was sorry, but where the hell did that thought come from - why did he think that would be ok?  I feel like he just doesn't see me as a person, his needs always come first. He still wants to have sex with me constantly.  On occasion, he is asking me to basically talk about having sex with other men or act like I am one.  I'm not a prude, but in light of this new information it feels very damaging to me for myself and again, is a super strong indication that all is not well and never will be between us.  I just read the first aid kit and I see that it suggests stopping all sexual activity while processing this and to avoid trauma bonding.  I feel like that is good advice for me.  It is hard, because he still finds comfort in the physical closeness.  He has expressed suicidal tendencies since revealing this information to me, and I am looking for help for the both of us.  I feel like I am being held hostage, and that yet again, my needs don't matter.  I am terrified in so many ways.  I feel like I have lost or am going to lose everything I have spent my life building.  My home, my husband, my security for the future.  Right now, he still wants me and to stay married, but I don't know what I want.  Am I throwing away a good marriage that can be saved?  Is sticking around only delaying the inevitable hurt that will follow?  I'm not interested in anything but monogamy.  I don't want to hold his hand and be his stepping stone any longer.  I'm tired of being the only one who is living honestly and looking out for my partner in our marriage.  I don't know how to trust or ever feel secure with him again, because I don't feel like he is being honest with me or possibly even himself.  

Last edited by FML (January 10, 2019 2:08 pm)

 

January 9, 2019 7:23 pm  #2


Re: My Husband says he is Bi, but doesn't have to act on it

FML,
I am so sorry you find yourself here. I hope that you have some good friends or family to help you through this difficult time, and am glad you're using resources like this forum as well.

I will take a stab at a couple of your points, from a random third party POV:
"Am I throwing away a good marriage that can be saved? " Sadly, I don't think so. It sounds like your gut is telling you this won't work, and the odds are definitely stacked momentously against this working out in a way that is fair and fulfilling to you. 

"I don't want to hold his hand and be his stepping stone any longer. "
It seems you are making a lot of progress on figuring out what you want and what you will not put up with.

" I don't know how to trust or ever feel secure with him again, because I don't feel like he is being honest with me or possibly even himself. "
I understand your feelings here completely.
 

 

January 9, 2019 7:31 pm  #3


Re: My Husband says he is Bi, but doesn't have to act on it

FML , I wanted to comment on your post so it doesn't get lost in the madness. Speaking of madness, I'm so sorry you are in this. It sounds as if your man is really bisexual.....that is at the moment. 
If you both are young, and if he is in the young stages of this...which doesn't sound to me like he is since he admitted to trying to initiate but failed (lie..he didn't fail), he is coming to terms with who he is.
By warning you that he's going to flirt and if he's already gently coerced you to 'play' out some part in a sexual manner, then he is grooming you for the next stage of 'his' discovery. Which will be trying to introduce a man into the bedroom. 
Can you live with this? Can you accept that he will not change and his obession with this, NOW that he's come OUT to you will only get worse? Are you willing to open up your marriage to his fetish (btw it's not a fetish..it's who he is.) If you read enough here and ANYWHERE that this is the case all your questions will be answered if you follow the typical outcome of each of them. 
I'm sorry sweetie but the future doesn't look bright with him in your life. But think back and in all honesty, was it really that great? These men usually make up for what they are doing or feeling shame for by being Mr wonderful. But when he asked you if you told anyone that is a glimpse of how wonderful he will continue to be if you keep his closet safe and quiet. As soon as he knows you are done Mr Nice guy changes into what you don't want to know.... a big selfish asshole. I hope you are young. You can get through this easier than older and discarded. 
Here's wishing you all the best sweetie.

"Am I throwing away a good marriage that can be saved? =
NO.
 Is sticking around only delaying the inevitable hurt that will follow?=
YES.
  I'm not interested in anything but monogamy.=
HE ISN'T and preparing you for the opposite.
  I don't want to hold his hand and be his stepping stone any longer.=
NOR SHOULD YOU. THIS IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM TO FIX!
 I'm tired of being the only one who is living honestly and looking out for my partner in our marriage.=
IS THAT WHAT YOU"VE BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME? THEN GET OUT NOW.
  I don't know how to trust or ever feel secure with him again, because I don't feel like he is being honest with me or possibly even himself.  "= 
YOUR GUT INSTINCT IS CORRECT.

 


Life is like phases of the moon.... We really only see it when it's beautiful, full and in our face. 
 

January 10, 2019 1:58 pm  #4


Re: My Husband says he is Bi, but doesn't have to act on it

Thank you, ThisSeason and Scrupulous for your kind replies and support.  It really does help to have found this site, although I am still feeling so lost. 

I went home last night and talked to my husband some more after reading through this site most of the day.  It is so hard to see his pain and have to navigate my own as well, when we are both expressing such different needs.  For the first time in almost twenty years, I am having to stop myself from trying to meet his needs first, because I am realizing that we weren't here for each other for the same reasons.  He still insists that he does not need to explore this side of himself, but I don't know that this is true, and I also don't know if that is satisfying for either one of us even if it was true.  More red flags for me:
-Although he isn't expressing this is his highest concern, he is repeatedly stating that he is worried about what others we know will say about him.  I feel like this is actually the hardest part for him. I'm scared of how our friends and family will react as well, but it isn't a factor in how I am making the decision to continue with our relationship or not.  Nobody else has to live our life, we do.  I couldn't care less about appearances.  While I expect any disclosures to be difficult, their responses will tell us more about them than it does about us.
-He stated that while he is very physically excited about the idea of having sex with a man, he said he felt he would get tired of it eventually.  I think that statement is laughable.  Again, he isn't being honest with himself or with me, and it shows me that he really thinks this is just something he can make go away.
-I find that when we speak, a lot of his statements to me start with "I'm sorry you feel like I..." instead of fully acknowledging the impact his decisions and actions have on me.  None of this is my fault, and I do make sure that I challenge him when he does this.  
-While he largely seems to understand that he is the one who has caused harm here, it is clearly me who is destroying this marriage in his mind, because I am making a big deal out of something he told me in confidence, which he repeatedly has expressed he regrets.  I regret that he didn't tell me sooner.  When I tell him this, he says "Can you blame me?"  I resent being made to feel like my response is what is damaging here, not his lies and that he has hidden his true self from me for almost 20 years.  I have never told him that there is anything wrong with his feelings, just that I am hurt that he wasn't honest with me.
-While insisting that he only wants to be with me and that he wants to continue his life with me, he also makes comments like "I don't want to learn how to navigate this lifestyle, I'm too old," "I should have figured this out 20 years ago," and "I don't think I am attracted to men my age and I don't want to be a creep picking up men in their 20s."  All of this tells me he is more afraid of change and appearances than he is sure of "our love."  I shared this observation with him, but he continues to deny it. 
-He says doesn't want an open marriage, that he only wants me, but when pressed admits that ideally we would have another man join us.  I told him it seemed clear to me that he is again just using me to get closer to what he really wants, although he is not yet ready to acknowledge this.

I lost my father to AIDS when I was 16.  He was a single father, and as this was the early nineties, there was no support for us, we had to face it all alone, and he passed away at home in my arms.  Everybody left us when he was sick, and I promised myself that I would always be there for those I loved, through thick and thin, good times and bad.  I don't run away when things get tough, but I don't want to be a martyr either.  I cannot and will not sacrifice myself for someone who is abusing my love.  I'm not young, almost 41, which I realize isn't old, but it isn't young either.  I felt like I knew who I was, and I was proud of that, but now I am completely adrift and don't know how to move forward, either by myself or together.  Right now I don't feel like I will ever recover from this, although I know I will survive.  I feel like I have failed life in every meaningful way, because I was living a lie.  I am scared I won't be able support myself alone.  There is no safety net anymore, no partner to share my joys and burdens with, I don't know what to look forward to.  Everything in my life is changing and none of it feels like it is for the better, but I am trying to convince myself that I can get there again.  I feel like my romantic life is over.  I don't know if I can ever do this again.  I don't mean to sound so full of self pity, please forgive me!  I'm just so very scared.  I know I'm not alone.  I know people make it through harder things in life.  I know I just need to be stronger.  It all just hurts so much.

Last edited by FML (January 17, 2019 5:39 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

January 10, 2019 2:28 pm  #5


Re: My Husband says he is Bi, but doesn't have to act on it

Hi FML, 

Welcome to our group.  I'm so sorry you find yourself here.  I'm 41 as well and had 16 years with my ex before she cheated on me and left me for a woman.  A few months before she did this she admitted to me that she was bisexual after I kept pressing her for answers about our lives and her relationship with this new best friend of hers.  Unlike you though, we didn't have any sort of fulfilling sex life.  So it was easier for me to accept that she was really lesbian because I lacked the confusion of her being interested in me as well.   Anyway.. just wanted to share our similarities before I get to my point. 

This is what I've learned on this forum from our stories.  This is not a 100% truth for all, but rather a "most likely" case based on most of the stories. 
"Bi-Now - Gay-Later".  
Most of the spouses who admitted bisexuality only used that as a way to dip their toe in the water and start the conversation.  Society is MUCH less critical and hard on bisexuals then it is on gay/lesbians.  Being BI means to them that their marriage wasn't a lie because they did have a genuine attraction to you and their love was "real"..   in their eyes.    Being BI is a way to start to open up to their truth, which they have hidden and denied even from themselves for most of their lives.  

My point..  I share your concern that his admittance of bi-sexuality is an early stage of his coming out as being gay.  

But, let's say he is truly bisexual and he truly can be happy with only you for the rest of your life..  Do you still want to be married to him?    
Can you live with the lack of trust and the fear's that you've cultivated?  Or will that gnaw on you for years and years?
Do you believe his stories about not having any physical intimacy with men before or after he met you?


These are difficult questions.  You don't have to answer them.  I just want you to think about this..  I know you already are.. but maybe the way I wrote them will help you think more clearly about it. 


I will tell you that if my ex had been truthful about being BI and if she wanted to stay with me I would have stayed and been grateful to her.  And I would have continued many more years of being unhappy, having poor self-esteem, being co-dependent and worrying about the future.   Instead, I'm 2 years post divorce and 6 more months post discovery.  My life has changed drastically, but it is WAY better than it was before.  I've discovered what it's like to be in love with a real straight woman and it's a million times better that being with a person I thought was bi.  

Don't feel sorry for being sad or thinking you are full of self-pity.  Not for a moment.   All of those feelings are real and normal for what you are going through.  Be kind to yourself.  Don't repress how you feel. 
Allow yourself to be sad or angry or whatever you feel.  

You have no deadline to make any decision, so don't put pressure on yourself.  Give yourself more time to come to terms with this new reality.  

Remember that it is normal to be scared of the future.  All you can see right now is loss and pain.  This is normal.  You can't begin to see the potential for happiness and the things you'll gain after you get through this.. it's too fictional and theoretical right now.   But just know that those good things are out there if you chose to move that direction.  

All my best!   

Stick around and keep sharing and talking with us. 
Have you checked on joining any of our local face-to-face groups?  I strongly recommend it. 
http://www.straightspouse.org/face2face-support-groups/

 


-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

 
 

January 11, 2019 1:15 pm  #6


Re: My Husband says he is Bi, but doesn't have to act on it

Thank you, Phoenix, for your comments.  I do find them very helpful.  I think I keep hoping that there is going to be an illuminating AHA moment where everything will suddenly make sense and a path forward will be clear, but I know that is wishful thinking and that this is not going to happen.  I have reached out to inquire about the face to face support groups, as there are none in my immediate area.  I received a response today from the network and now need to follow up.  It's silly, I'm scared to do so, but I will.  I am sorry that you are also experiencing this pain.  It is indeed helpful to know that it can get better, even if I can't fathom that possibility now.  I know I would rather live alone and struggle than continue to live a lie, I'm just having a hard time figuring out what the truth is within my own relationship, and unfortunately, I can't provide the answers.  I think that is a commonality among all of us here.  I am trying to trust my instinct more, and my instinct tells me my marriage should be over.  What I can't work out is whether it is truth or fear that is driving this belief, or whether or not that even matters.  I appreciate the support and find being able to hear about the experiences of others very helpful.

Last edited by FML (January 11, 2019 1:17 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

January 12, 2019 4:55 am  #7


Re: My Husband says he is Bi, but doesn't have to act on it

Dear FML, 

I'm so sorry that you are here.  I too had a husband with whom sex was very frequent, but it sounds very similar to your situation in that he was very self-obsessed and worried more about other people and himself, than what he was doing to me.  Mine didn't go as far as yours though to plainly say things that openly indicated his preference or desires.  
 All I can advise is that you look out for yourself and keep posting here.  I think I get the award for the self-pity thing around here but[img]http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png[/img] it is super hard when no one else is having any sympathy for the pain you are going through.  So as Phoenix advises this is normal.  I think I delayed my healing soo long because I really at a deep level have only really stopped blaming myself for my divorce very recently.  And fully acknowledged that I really could not stay with the man I so wanted NOT to be that person who had betrayed me so endlessly and so cruelly.  It isn't easy and keep making your own self-care a priority.  






 

 

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