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March 24, 2021 8:00 am  #21


Re: Feeling of Sexual Violation

It is my personal belief that a life lived in the closet warps a person, and one of the ways it does that is that it requires certain mental attitudes to manage the cognitive dissonance the closeted feel about living a lie and suppressing their sexuality.  They excuse their ethical lapse in duping another, they project their unhappiness onto their spouse, and they blame-shift.  Over time, I believe these attitudes become second nature, and their behavior reflects that habituation.  Inside the marriage, anger, resentment of the spouse they treat as a stand-in for the homophobic society they perceive as "keeping them" from an authentic life, blaming and blame-shifting, acting out, lashing out, disparagement of the straight spouse whether subtle or overt--all come into play.  Outside the marriage, they may double down on work or in social settings, creating both an excuse to keep them from home and an image that they hope can withstand their own feelings of shame and guilt, as well as protect them should their real sexual orientation become public.  

Your reaction after the "click" is one that I also experienced.  And only when I left (it's been three years ago this month that I moved out of our marital home and into my own place) could I achieve the distance that allows for perspective, and I could see just how much pressure I'd been under and all the subtle and not-so-subtle ways my now-ex had insinuated or made plain that I was faulty.   I also saw the degree to which I had internalized his view of me over the 40 years of our relationship and marriage, and the ways in which it had harmed me.  Leaving gave me my life and myself back.  

That lifting of pressure, that relaxation you're feeling?  It's real.  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (March 24, 2021 8:14 am)

 

March 24, 2021 10:11 am  #22


Re: Feeling of Sexual Violation

"Can anybody explain to me, from their experience, why on an emotional level, it is so much worse when your husband cheats with other men rather than another woman?"

For me I would say because how over time he devalued me. He considering me over-sexed for wanting sex and never initiated or touched my breasts. He didn't like women's sexuality. I am attracted to men and by the end I had begun to rationalize that of course men would too. After the desired number of children were born of course sex would end. I was what I sardonically termed "a superfluous woman" but other than labeling my condition I did not know how to change it. He did not "beat on me or cheat on me" and "but he doesn't love me" wasn't grounds for divorce as I'd been raised..

After he fell in love with a man, wanted a divorce and moved out I began to reclaim my femininity - no more hand-me-downs from my sons, I got a push-up bra and stood straighter. I became more loving of myself and there was a bounce in my step that had been missing for years. Almost ten years and one lover later I can honestly say that I have never missed him.

 


Try Gardening. It'll keep you grounded.
 

March 24, 2021 10:49 am  #23


Re: Feeling of Sexual Violation

"Can anybody explain to me, from their experience, why on an emotional level, it is so much worse when your husband cheats with other men rather than another woman?" Olivia P
 
It is agonizing and cruel because you never stood a chance. From the get-go, everything that you were hoping to achieve with this marriage is tainted. You were sexually mismatched from the beginning. One sage soul in this forum (sorry, forgot who) once said, "I have unknowingly been a straight spouse in a mixed orientation marriage trying to make a gay man happy." You were defeated and it took that number of years (38?) to find out you had lost the war. The countless, futile battles that could have been avoided. The theft of years just slays me!!!  I wouldn't trade my babies for anything in the world; but I would have given them a father who would have treated me like I was his soulmate, not a roommate.  They would have had a good, strong marriage to emulate in their lives. Had I known the whole truth and nothing but the truth sooner, I could have found someone to provide that healthy example of what marriage should look like for my kiddos, not the inside of a closet. I could have found someone to ride off into the sunset with someone who had worked out his own issues and could be patient as I worked out mine. When I married I KNEW I was never going to divorce. I was robbed of my "death do us part." Robbed!!!!

OOHC, your paragraph about how you believe "a life lived in the closet warps a person" is spot on!! I think on some level he resents me. He's very unhappy and feels trapped by me. He created his own little Kafka trap, didn't he? He doen't want to live with me and doesn't want to live without me (beard).

Ahisma, my moving forward has been the most healing part for me; it is helping me get past so much. I am building my nest where my chicks and I are going to live very soon. Each day I try to take at least one more thing over there from my old nest or find one new piece of second-hand furniture or curb alert piece to restore. Each day this new nest becomes a little bit more my home. I think it helps my kiddos to heal as well. The more I build my new life, away from the narcissism, the more I can see my future as brighter and more hopeful. It is less a 52 year-old woman having to start her life all over again and more awaiting the next big adventure God has in store for me. Yes, I lost my free agency once; but I won't do that again. Yes, I was duped and humiliated and violated.  Yes, I still spend hours a day ruminating over what happened and questioning why me; but I spend more hours focusing on what my new life will look like.  I'm taking over the steering wheel and making my own decisions now. It feels good and empowering! Baby steps. Onward and upward!

 

April 2, 2021 7:37 pm  #24


Re: Feeling of Sexual Violation

Ahisma wrote:

I'm really struggling moving past the feeling of sexual violation. I feel as though my ex put on a costume to be with me and I slept with and had a child with someone that I would not have consented to doing these things with.

Dear Ahisma,

Yes, that’s how it was.  It leaves an icky feeling & is very time-consuming to heal from.

Ahisma wrote:

I've shared a few of these feelings with my therapist but honestly haven't even shared the darkest parts of it and already feel misunderstood. It seems that she and most others (who haven't been through it) think I'm bashing gay people. Like I think gay people are disgusting. Which is so far from the truth. I have gay and bisexual friends that are lovely and I am appreciative of having in my life as friends. I wouldn't sleep with them or any of my female friends because I'm not sexually attracted to them. Let alone for eight years and have a child together. Yet, I'm supposed to just accept that this man violated my agency, took away my ability to consent, and move on?

Don’t know if this term is still used - politically correct or pc. You can’t say someone from a minority does bad things. Their experience of being harassed for being or appearing gay explains and excuses their abuse of you. So not true.

Ahisma wrote:

I have panic attacks over this. I don't know how to heal from this feeling of violation.

I hope you are on your way to finding a therapist who specializes in trauma. Also, one who truly empathizes with you.  I still have panic attacks. I use px anti-anxiety meds and meditation apps. They’ve decreased dramatically.

Best wishes.

Maria

P.S. I posted to this group before, but had to take a break. I’ve been a regular reader of the posts throughout the break.
 


No - It's not too late. It's not hopeless. Even there, there's something I can do. I just have to find the will. Ikiru (1952), film directed by Akira Kurosawa 
 

April 2, 2021 7:54 pm  #25


Re: Feeling of Sexual Violation

OutofHisCloset wrote:

It is my personal belief that a life lived in the closet warps a person, and one of the ways it does that is that it requires certain mental attitudes to manage the cognitive dissonance the closeted feel about living a lie and suppressing their sexuality.  They excuse their ethical lapse in duping another, they project their unhappiness onto their spouse, and they blame-shift.  Over time, I believe these attitudes become second nature, and their behavior reflects that habituation.  Inside the marriage, anger, resentment of the spouse they treat as a stand-in for the homophobic society they perceive as "keeping them" from an authentic life, blaming and blame-shifting, acting out, lashing out, disparagement of the straight spouse whether subtle or overt--all come into play.  Outside the marriage, they may double down on work or in social settings, creating both an excuse to keep them from home and an image that they hope can withstand their own feelings of shame and guilt, as well as protect them should their real sexual orientation become public.  

Your reaction after the "click" is one that I also experienced.  And only when I left (it's been three years ago this month that I moved out of our marital home and into my own place) could I achieve the distance that allows for perspective, and I could see just how much pressure I'd been under and all the subtle and not-so-subtle ways my now-ex had insinuated or made plain that I was faulty.   I also saw the degree to which I had internalized his view of me over the 40 years of our relationship and marriage, and the ways in which it had harmed me.  Leaving gave me my life and myself back.  

That lifting of pressure, that relaxation you're feeling?  It's real.  

Outof HisCloset, exactly - couldn't say it better. 25 years for me.

 

April 5, 2021 12:39 pm  #26


Re: Feeling of Sexual Violation

Abby wrote:

"I am attracted to men and by the end I had begun to rationalize that of course men would too.

 

 
This.

I have been through this exact feeling.

I find women to be attractive.  Not men.  So...  it seemed somewhat logical that my gay-in-denial narcissist ex-wife was attracted to women too.  It seemed to make sense that since I find men to be unattractive, that all people find men unattractive.  Thus, as a man, I felt sexually worthless.   And the fact that my projected inherent worthlessness made sense to me is an example of how fucked up these marriages can be. 

I have been dating lately.  And having some sex again.  My recent girlfriend repeatedly told me how attractive she finds me and I can’t help but feel she is a bit weird for feeling this way.  It made me think: What does she want from me?  Even now, I cannot simply take it at face value. 

Healing from the sexual trauma of being married to a GID spouse is more complex than I had assumed when I realized that this was my path.  I am still discovering old scars and wounds even while finding intimacy with a new hetero partner.  I am still assessing the damage done to me by my marriage to a closeted lesbian.  It has been 2 1/2 years.

 

April 5, 2021 9:17 pm  #27


Re: Feeling of Sexual Violation

This issue of the lack of agency is what I keep coming back to.  I keep telling my stbx who has determined he is now trans- you took away my ability to make choices.  It's not the truth that you finally learned this about yourself, you knew that you had struggled with these issues before we got married, but never said one word to me.  I would not have chosen him as my only sexual partner.  I would not have married him if I had known that he had ever cross-dressed.  I would never have moved several times, I would never have given up my career.  

I have now internalized more than 15 years of wondering what was wrong with me and thinking if I was just thinner or prettier or something, he would want me.  And I can tell myself over and over again that it wasn't me, it was him, but I spent all that time and now I wonder how I can ever be enough for someone.  I have lost all of this time and now I'm old and the only person I've ever had sex with didn't want me.  

 

April 6, 2021 9:02 am  #28


Re: Feeling of Sexual Violation

Victo, I’m still assessing the damage...  After 35 years of marriage, 18 months post discovery, I needed to stop assessing the damage. I found after a while continuing to assess was another form of abuse, but this one I was inflicting on myself. I needed to let it go for my own mental health.

Taken, loosing your agency and not even realizing it - is gaslighting. I found that the way we think often influences how we also view ourselves. I think you need to flip your thinking around, if you will allow me. You were a faithful wife, even under some very difficult experiences. You had personal values and made your life choices accordingly. As a result , you have had no other sexual experience other than with your husband. Your husband was not a straight man and therefore could never love you the way a straight man loves a woman.  There is nothing sexually wrong with you. You are still the inexperienced girl/woman you chose to be, that is all. Nothing wrong with that. One day, you may have a real opportunity to experience good sex, we may be older but love, good sex is still all very real possibilities. Don’t ever loose that hope.

Last edited by longwayhome (April 6, 2021 9:19 am)


I never cease to wonder at the cruelty of this land, but it seems a time of sadness is a time to understand, is it mine, oh lord is it mine, when everything is dark ….. Roger Hodgson. 
 

April 6, 2021 9:15 pm  #29


Re: Feeling of Sexual Violation

Longway - reframing can be helpful but isn't the whole point that we didn't choose our gay partners, at any point if he had been honest with me I would have left him and he knew that, he deliberately hoodwinked me.  I didn't choose to end up old and inexperienced, it was inflicted on me.  and yes there is a hell of a lot wrong with that.

I take some consolation from the recognition that I am not alone in this, it is a common plight.  I know we're not supposed to give up hope, and trying to give up hope knocks my lights out but it's still a bummer hoping for love to come my way at this age and with this level of uncertainty.  it's a crying shame.

One of the things that my ex did very successfully was get me thinking that the problem was in me, it was growing up with a difficult father had caused me problems, but finally I understood something.  Gut instinct is current.  The problem I am sensing is current.  The problem I was trying to solve back then was because the man I was attempting to mate with was GID.  But it was very easy for him to convince me that the problem lay in my childhood until I understood that my gut instinct is not telling me there's a problem about my childhood, that is a memory, it is referencing my immediate and current situation.  that's just the way it works.  Like if I reach out my hand and touch something.  It's shape might remind me of something from the past but it is the thing I am touching that I am feeling.

Victo, great to hear you have been dating and getting some sex.  wishing you all the best,  Lily

 

April 7, 2021 2:27 pm  #30


Re: Feeling of Sexual Violation

OutofHisCloset wrote:

It is my personal belief that a life lived in the closet warps a person, and one of the ways it does that is that it requires certain mental attitudes to manage the cognitive dissonance the closeted feel about living a lie and suppressing their sexuality.  They excuse their ethical lapse in duping another, they project their unhappiness onto their spouse, and they blame-shift.  Over time, I believe these attitudes become second nature, and their behavior reflects that habituation.  Inside the marriage, anger, resentment of the spouse they treat as a stand-in for the homophobic society they perceive as "keeping them" from an authentic life, blaming and blame-shifting, acting out, lashing out, disparagement of the straight spouse whether subtle or overt--all come into play.  Outside the marriage, they may double down on work or in social settings, creating both an excuse to keep them from home and an image that they hope can withstand their own feelings of shame and guilt, as well as protect them should their real sexual orientation become public.  

This is an eloquent and unfortunately relatable observation.  Thank you for sharing it.

 

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