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Straight Spouse Network Open Forum

This Open Forum is funded and administered by the Straight Spouse Network (SSN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides support to straight spouses and partners who have discovered that their spouse/partner isn’t straight. Your donations allow us to provide important support and resources that straight spouses can't find anywhere else.


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February 17, 2021 3:54 pm  #1


What I’ve learned...

Hello to all in this wonderful MOM group, 

I wanted to share some things that I’ve learned in my many decades on earth, as a person with an extensive education and practice in the mental health field, and as a straight spouse to a wonderful bi husband. Also I’ve consulted with a few trusted therapist friends on this. 

First off... no one, let me make it clear... NO ONE, is an expert on YOUR life. There’s not one person out there regardless of your life experience as an individual or a couple who is an expert on your life. EVERYONE comes with baggage. EVERYONE. Anyone, and I do mean ANYONE, who claims to know your situation/relationship better than you do is full of it. Completely full of it. I’m not specifying people on SSN (nor excluding), but I’m talking in general terms. If you seek out some high paid (or low paid) therapist who gives you suggestions about how to proceed in your MOM... find another therapist ASAP. It is not the therapist’s job to advise... it’s not the therapist’s job to offer suggestions on how to run your relationships. It IS the therapists job to help facilitate YOU (or in couples therapy YOU AND YOUR PARTNER) coming to your own conclusions and realizations. Even your therapist ISN’T an expert on you and your life. So certainly you can understand how no random person on the internet is either, even if they share some similarities. Nothing is black and white. There are many shades of gray in between. Anyone claiming to have all (or even most or some of) the answers and know your relationship because they’ve been in a similar situation doesn’t. There’s no way they can. 

Please, do yourself a huge favor and find a therapist that will help you gain the tools to navigate your own personal, individual relationship, either as an individual or a couple. Don’t let any therapist try to tell you how to manage your life and relationship. I’m so frustrated (if you can’t tell) by therapists and others needing to interject their biased opinions (because honestly that’s all they are). 

Sorry (not sorry) for the rambling rant. I’m done. 

Tangled 

Last edited by TangledOil (February 17, 2021 4:23 pm)

 

February 17, 2021 8:57 pm  #2


Re: What I’ve learned...

Thanks for that Tangled. I’m interested to see how my husband reacts to a new therapist tomorrow who deals with infidelity, trauma, affection anorexia empathy etc...
The last therapist suggested Poly right off the bat and I was a bit disturbed at his excitement over that idea. I think he’s itching for a sexual experience with a man and I caught him before it happened. I’m hoping this new counselor can explain that it’s the infidelity/lying that are the problem, not the bisexuality. I can feel the emotional distance and resentment from across the room right now. Wondering if anything will change after tomorrow.

- Epiphany

 

February 17, 2021 9:45 pm  #3


Re: What I’ve learned...

Epiphany, 

I think you made a fantastic decision to ditch the last therapist. The last thing you need is someone trying to make decisions for how you should live your life. That’s scary the therapist would push for you to go poly when I’m doubtful you’ve suggested to him/her that was your goal. Don’t get me wrong, some couples go into therapy specifically looking for guidance on how to open their relationship. My guess is that isn’t your situation. My thinking and experience would be that the therapist will facilitate eliciting your husband’s truth from him... does he or does he not feel that infidelity and lying are problematic in this instance. Some people can make excuses until the cows come how and somehow justify. Some bi guys say it's not cheating if it's with a man. 🙄 You get where I’m going with this I’m sure.

Anyway, I wish you the very best always.

Tangled  

Last edited by TangledOil (February 17, 2021 9:53 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

February 18, 2021 9:57 am  #4


Re: What I’ve learned...

I did talk to him about his distance last night. I commented that I felt he was different since the appointment with our last therapist and wondered if he didn’t know what he wanted. He said “I do know what I want”, which meant for us to work out. I shared with him that his bisexuality isn’t the issue but the lies and infidelity surrounding it. Also, that I needed to get to a place of full trust, healing and love before we could move forward with a threesome or any talk in that realm. I would love for him to get to a point where he can share with me fully his desires and not feel guilt or shame or the need to hide it from me. He seemed hopeful and peaceful during the conversation and explained he was in a mood because of his conversation with his sister (he is her main support person after her son passed away this past August from an accidental Gun shot wound...and her dog died yesterday).

So, I hadn’t realized your situation was similar to mine in that your husband was bisexual as well. Would you mind sharing with me a little bit about your experience with him? Did he tell you on his own or did you find out somehow? Does he go through periods of preference between men and woman as well? If so how do you work through that? I just feel like my husband is starving for an experience with a man and I’m wondering once that’s happened if there will be an intensity for more or if it will help reignite our passion etc... but I guess that’s not to be known till it happens. My fear of course is that his sexual pendulum may just stay swung towards men and how we work that out (I think I’d eventually part ways)...but who knows, could stay married at least till our son graduates school while sexually going our separate ways. Either way, I’ve decided we must heal our hearts first so we can be more amicable. If I don’t see him coming back to me emotionally, physically in any way...then I’m probably not going to do a threesome just to watch him have sex with a man. Time will tell. Just thought I’d ask for any personal insight you have in your own MOM.

- Epiphany

 

February 18, 2021 12:31 pm  #5


Re: What I’ve learned...

Hi Epiphany,

Im so sorry to hear about all that is going on in your husband’s sister’s life. Life can be so stressful. I’m glad the two of you were able to have a productive conversation.  

Yes, my husband is bi. Honestly I’ve always suspected he wasn’t quite straight for all of our nearly 30 years together. He didn’t try to hide anything, yet he didn't have the right words to identity it, if that makes sense. We had talked about it on and off periodically throughout the years. To answer your specific questions I’d prefer to message you if that’s ok. 

Tangled 

Last edited by TangledOil (February 18, 2021 2:17 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

February 18, 2021 4:14 pm  #6


Re: What I’ve learned...

Thank you, Tangled.

TangledOil wrote:

Please, do yourself a huge favor and find a therapist that will help you gain the tools to navigate your own personal, individual relationship, either as an individual or a couple. Don’t let any therapist try to tell you how to manage your life and relationship. I’m so frustrated (if you can’t tell) by therapists and others needing to interject their biased opinions (because honestly that’s all they are). 
 

Do you have any suggestions on how to find a better fit therapist, outside of guess and check?

If we're simply looking for what we deem unbiased and valid, then is this more about attitude alignment than anything else?

Thank you.

 

February 18, 2021 5:05 pm  #7


Re: What I’ve learned...

Upside wrote:

Thank you, Tangled.

TangledOil wrote:

Please, do yourself a huge favor and find a therapist that will help you gain the tools to navigate your own personal, individual relationship, either as an individual or a couple. Don’t let any therapist try to tell you how to manage your life and relationship. I’m so frustrated (if you can’t tell) by therapists and others needing to interject their biased opinions (because honestly that’s all they are). 
 

Do you have any suggestions on how to find a better fit therapist, outside of guess and check?

If we're simply looking for what we deem unbiased and valid, then is this more about attitude alignment than anything else?

Thank you.

I think many people are intimidated with the prospect of finding a therapist and really have no idea how to proceed. You wouldn’t hire someone to remodel your home that you haven’t fully checked out. If you’re looking for a new doctor you probably look at reviews at least. I think many not familiar with the process go in blindly. Some people may be looking for someone to provide guidance or answers. I don’t think that works for most people. I found this article that gives some pretty good guidelines about how to proceed with finding a therapist. Personally, I don’t want a therapist that interject their opinions. Most people wouldn’t want that. I think it would be good to give it some thought about what you expect to gain from therapy, what your goals are in therapy, what constitutes success at different points along your therapeutic journey. You don’t have to have it all figured out in advance, but just some food for thought. You’re giving this person an important job. I think the very least one can do is interview the therapist to see if the therapeutic relationship may be an appropriate fit. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/well/mind/prospective-therapist-interview-questions-online-virus.html
 

Last edited by TangledOil (February 18, 2021 5:28 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

February 19, 2021 1:18 pm  #8


Re: What I’ve learned...

Thank you, Tangled.

 

February 19, 2021 5:10 pm  #9


Re: What I’ve learned...

You’re welcome, Upside. 

     Thread Starter
 

February 20, 2021 7:38 am  #10


Re: What I’ve learned...

Hi I am following this thread because I believe my partner is Bi as well. I am in early stages with this so I don't have much to add, only questions. Epiphany spoke about getting back to full trust. Has anyone accomplished this? How do you go about it? How can you trust someone who has lied repeatedly about the very issue you need to trust them on?

 

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