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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. The results from SSN’s Annual Summer Donation Drive are in! Together with your help, SSN raised $16,381 during our annual Summer Donation Drive! That’s 109% of our goal! Learn more about how the funds will be utilized.

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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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March 5, 2021 7:13 pm  #1


Learning a lot/ not distraught anymore

Hello everyone,

I had a long talk with my husband.  I now think I understand more and feel more at peace.  I am sadder but more at peace.

He has explained that he hasn't had the "in love" feeling or attraction feeling consistently for years.  He loves me and would like to try to start over and see if those feelings will come back.  This explains why he rarely if ever initiates intimacy.  He isn't interested in having a relationship with a man and isn't seeing anyone.  He says he has been depressed for a long time and I have too.  He has this whole idea that attraction is connected to how interesting our lives are (whether we have purpose, etc.)  

All I know is I am getting off this emotional roller coaster.  I will no longer be pursuing intimacy with him. If he pursues me then I'll see how I feel. I am deciding whether I want to stay living together  or not.  I hate to break apart our family.  I do love him and wish and hope that we can find our way back to each other.  I will have to focus on what makes me happy other than my marriage....hobbies, friends etc.  This is very, very difficult.  

 

March 6, 2021 8:18 am  #2


Re: Learning a lot/ not distraught anymore

Sonata, I don't usually post in the section of the forum. What you are saying above, I think,many of us can relate. There comes a point in many of these marriages where the straight spouse realizes that they are the ones who have to walk away. Especially in scenarios where it is the male who isn't straight, it's not enough our world has been ripped apart, they can;t walk away from us, we have to be the ones to, which just adds another layer of pain/hurt. Be well, look after you.... 

 

March 6, 2021 9:40 am  #3


Re: Learning a lot/ not distraught anymore

I don't recall if your husband has ever discussed his depression with a medical professional. Someone can be LBGTQ+ and have depression which is not related to sexuality but a bio-chemical imbalance. Certain drugs, prescription or otherwise, can also trigger it.

Whatever decisions you make for yourself it may be easier for both of you if he consults a physician to either rule this out or get treatment.  


Try Gardening. It'll keep you grounded.
 

March 7, 2021 11:54 am  #4


Re: Learning a lot/ not distraught anymore

On my whiteboard right now: "If you're always on the fence about something, then you've already made a decision."

Getting off the emotional rollercoaster is a perfect analogy. He made some unkind decisions in secret to cause harm to you and your family. You have every right to sit in a safe spot while you find your legs again. You deserve to explore what makes you happy now, whatever that means to you.

Wishing you happiness and strength ahead.

Last edited by Upside (March 7, 2021 11:56 am)

 

March 8, 2021 10:59 am  #5


Re: Learning a lot/ not distraught anymore

Sonata,
Before my wife knew her sexual orientation, she went through years of depression (about eight years in all). The cause not just sexual orientation (which was unknown to us at the time), but also emotional problems stemming from her youth (due to the upbringing by her narcissist mother)
She felt unable to give what she wished she could, in the love to her children and her husband, and also in sexual response to me. She felt wanting and guilty about it, to the point that others would be better of without her.
She went through periods of deep depression, alcohol abuse. She fought to get out of it, this took several years. She had professional help, anti-depressants, counseling... She slowly climbed out of the pit.

For me those years were hard, we had four young children, my full time job had to provide financially. I felt like I had to keep it all together somehow. But  what the marriage brought me only seemed to deteriorate over the years.
My frustration over the marriage, lots of troubles, not bringing me happiness. Sexually it had been disappointing for a very long time (maybe always had been) and not what it should be (and I longed for so much!), and then these much deeper troubles emerged... It really was a lot to take.
For better and for worse, love is not a feeling it's an act of your will. That is my vow, and love is made of this, kept me going,
All of this was before she knew and realized she was lesbian and disclosed this to me. When she fell in love with a woman, realized what her sexuality was and disclosed it to me, it was a shock, at a time I was already drained and exhausted by the years before.

At the time it seemed to be the darkest unfolding of a nightmare, but in hindsight it became the turning point out of it. (a sort of slow turn, for it took years to complete, but nevertheless).
For my wife, leading up to this was knowing God loves her unconditionally, she had no fear being honest to herself.
When my wife became aware of her sexual feelings, she felt she had to be open about it to herself and also to me. No denial, no closet, but just honest to herself and me. That's being and living authentic. 
It sure turned our world upside down, well... I wrote about our trials and tribulations. And being authentic is more than just a sexual aspect, but is about the person as a whole, which understanding and acknowledging led us to different paths and decisions than often are taken.
But her depression never returned since, nor the need for substance abuse. She knows and feels she loves me and her children. And celebrates this in herself, feeling thankful what she has in this, sharing it with whom she loves. Well... she became the wonderful woman she is (actually: always was).  
Our story is how it can go, not more than that.

Everyone is different, you know your husband and your situation best. What you can stand, when to call it quits and divorce and when not to, you can only decide yourself. 

(One extra thought, try to carry each other, even when it's limited, to both: try to what's possible)

Last edited by Dutchman (March 8, 2021 11:39 am)

 

March 9, 2021 1:39 am  #6


Re: Learning a lot/ not distraught anymore

Thank you for your support everyone!  It means a lot to me.  Dutchman, as usual you have so many wonderful and insightful things to say and it really puts a lot in perspective.  Yes, as a friend pointed out....he is still here...trying to be honest and work things out....

I love your last line...."to carry each other"....this may be the hardest period we have ever been through but I am also growing and changing faster than ever and so is he.  I hope we will grow closer and more connected but we may not.  I am also growing stronger and this is all good.....just very difficult.

I appreciate your words and everyones!!!!  Thank you!

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