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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 18, 2021 8:54 am  #1


What happens now?

I've been married to my wife for 3years. I'm a straight man and she recently stated she's bisexual but prefers women. She says the feeling she gets around women is exciting. She said she wants us to work and will do everything possible. I am supportive and try to incorporate her interests into our sex life. We have a perfect relationship. We love each other, we spend time together and so many laughs. Truly feel this is my soul mate. I don't know what to do. I'm trying to be strong and hold it together while she figures this out but feel anxious and sick like my life is ending and I cannot do anything.  Those who have been here, what happens now?

 

March 18, 2021 9:25 am  #2


Re: What happens now?

Jstevens,

Feeling like your life has been turned upside down is totally normal. I’m sorry you’re having to go through this too. The life you were living & thought you were going to live have changed, and that IS scary. First, take a deep breath 😊. Then, remember nothing has to be settled right away.....in fact you’ll probably find yourselves changing your minds more than once about how things will go. 
My husband is bisexual & we’ve had to get through his cheating first......ouch....then, I could work on accepting his bisexuality. It’s been a roller coaster ride for sure. Even without cheating, it isn’t easy, however if both of you want your marriage to work, it can.....patience & persistence.....love each other, accept each other & respect each other. Oh, and honesty at every level!
I wish you the best. Others will chime in with their experiences and suggestions. Take it a day at a time.....or, a minute at a time.....whatever works.

(((((HUGS)))))

 

 

March 18, 2021 9:37 am  #3


Re: What happens now?

Thank you, with no one else to talk to about this I needed this

SusanneH wrote:

Jstevens,

Feeling like your life has been turned upside down is totally normal. I’m sorry you’re having to go through this too. The life you were living & thought you were going to live have changed, and that IS scary. First, take a deep breath 😊. Then, remember nothing has to be settled right away.....in fact you’ll probably find yourselves changing your minds more than once about how things will go. 
My husband is bisexual & we’ve had to get through his cheating first......ouch....then, I could work on accepting his bisexuality. It’s been a roller coaster ride for sure. Even without cheating, it isn’t easy, however if both of you want your marriage to work, it can.....patience & persistence.....love each other, accept each other & respect each other. Oh, and honesty at every level!
I wish you the best. Others will chime in with their experiences and suggestions. Take it a day at a time.....or, a minute at a time.....whatever works.

(((((HUGS)))))

 

     Thread Starter
 

March 18, 2021 12:38 pm  #4


Re: What happens now?

Welcome, so very sorry you find yourself in this forum. What happens now?

One of the most difficult aspect of this journey is trying to determine exactly what this new revelation means to you and your dreams of your future. Mostly, how does this affect the quality of life for the straight spouse. Because in the vast majority of instances, our quality of life is severely impacted, it usually takes a little bit of time to make the full realization.

You take one day at a time, you start making plans for the worst and hope and maybe pray for the best possible outcome (some find a way forth, most can’t find a way forth, not for lack of trying).

You observe actions more than words.

You might need strong boundaries to protect your heart and self esteem from further damage.

You really need to look after your own mental health too, not just theirs. This experience leaves most of us feeling battle fatigue.

You post here as much as you need, great people in this forum sharing valuable life lessons to help you through this difficult experience.

Take care.

Last edited by longwayhome (March 18, 2021 12:41 pm)

 

March 18, 2021 1:56 pm  #5


Re: What happens now?

Hi JS,

What happens now?  that's a good question.  Well I am hoping for your sake that what happens next is you find a woman who finds men exciting to be around.

That's the blunt overwhelming fact of it.  It's a massive difference.  A straight with another straight is what it is.  Try not to miss out on it.

The other overwhelming fact is she wasn't being honest with you from the start.   Why is she is telling you of her attraction to women now - that's another good question.  To me it does not sound like it's because she's feeling guilty, more like she wants you to pay the price while she can carry on with women without having to hide it.   

so if your question was more about what happens for her well it could go either way, I guess - she might meet a woman she wants to marry or she might meet several women who she can have affairs with in which case she will want to stay married to you I expect. 
 
There is no way to avoid it - your heart is in the crunching line.  so sorry.  look after yourself.  I like to be self critical but I just checked it in at the door for a while - I needed to be there for me.  talk to family if you can.

 

March 18, 2021 2:58 pm  #6


Re: What happens now?

In the beginning, it's so difficult.  Your observation that you have a "perfect relationship" deeply troubles me.

1.  Most people know about their sexual orientation at an early age.  My ex-wife admitted that she knew she was same-sex attracted before we had even met.  Yet she hid this from me for the 20 years we were together.  She only admitted it after I discovered she was having a same-sex affair.  My girlfriend (also a straight spouse) learned that her ex-husband knew he was gay at age 9.  I bet that your wife knew about her same-sex attraction, too.  This is not a eureka moment for her.

2.  Your wife has admitted that she's more into women than men.  They very often try on the "bi" label when they first come out.  They try to soften the blow, or are unwilling to admit that they truly are gay/lesbian.  But at least, she's admitted that she prefers women.  So she's just not that into you.

3.  You are feeling anxious and sick.  This is not how a genuine, trust-based relationship with a loving partner is supposed to work.  People generally do not get into long-term committed relationships with people who make them feel anxious and sick.  Quite the contrary, actually.

Do you think a "perfect relationship" involves profound dishonesty with someone who is not that into your species and makes you feel sick?

You mention that you feel like you cannot do anything, but that's not true.  You have a voice.  You can make decisions.  You matter.  If this new incarnation of your wife (i.e., her "authentic self") is not acceptable to you, you can leave.  You have options, and you don't have to sit there trying to support your wife while you feel yourself disintegrating.



 

 

March 19, 2021 8:47 am  #7


Re: What happens now?

Thank you for all the replies. My wife has recently told me she questioned these feelings before.  She repressed them.  She says she loves me and wants to try things to make it work. I recommended counseling. As we talked I am patient and understanding. I just don't know if she gets how much my world is crumbling.
I try to understanding our commitment to each other. I feel so cheated that this can be an excuse to not be committed. I love our relationship and want to make it work. I hope she does too. I hope she isn't trying out the bi label and she truly can love me still. I feel like I can't do this life without her.

Last edited by Jstevens (March 19, 2021 9:10 am)

     Thread Starter
 

March 19, 2021 10:48 am  #8


Re: What happens now?

Hi Jstevens:  

I went to a couple's therapy session with my ex-wife.  It was my idea because I desperately wanted to salvage our marriage.  We had been married 15 years, together 20 years, and had three kids together.  I was a mess at the therapist's office, crying and upset that I had invested deeply in someone who had known about and concealed her same-sex attraction from me until I blew the cover off her secret, same-sex affair.  I loved her more than she ever could have loved me, and that realization was devastating.  I was staring down the barrel of divorce from a woman who I had loved deeply, losing my home, losing my dogs, impacting my finances, and most importantly, forfeiting 50% of my time with my amazing kids.  And none of this was my fault.  NONE.  My ex-wife had knowingly dragged me into her closet.  My ex-wife's parting words at the end of the session?  "This isn't all about YOU, you know!  What about what I'M going through?  What about ME?!"  That was the moment I realized our marriage was dead.  I was nothing but a cover husband, a sperm donor and utterly and completely used.  I was an essential prop in the theatrical production that was my ex-wife's fake life.

So what about what YOU are going through?  You seem to be trying hard to understand and support your wife.  You understandably have a lot of difficult feelings that you are working through.  However, you aren't saying what your wife (i.e., the person who is supposed to love and support you more than anyone and likes women more than men) is doing anything to support you.  

How is she helping YOU deal with this?  She says she "wants to make it work", but ask why?  Is it because she loves you, or the cover life that you provide?  Does she have a homophobic family that drove her to drag you into the closet with her?

This is really, really hard.  You have to find your own path, but don't neglect yourself.  Indeed, I argue that your needs are much more important than her needs given that she has not really been looking out for you.

PS:  I didn't think I could do my life without my ex-wife.  I'm two years out from D-Day, and I'm happier than I have been in years.  
 

 

March 19, 2021 12:04 pm  #9


Re: What happens now?

So sorry, JS - she says she questioned her sexual attraction to women and that she was repressing it and meanwhile she is not telling you any of this is going on - she married you anyway.

When you say you don't know if she gets how much your world is crumbling that sounds like she must be acting as if she doesn't get it and you are hoping it is ignorance rather than she doesn't care. 

Personally I think it is only natural to think of marriage as requiring commitment honesty and monogamy, to view the intimacy of marriage as a sort of confessional - and this breaks the seal of confession.

Talking with your family is the best, but even talking with a stranger will help. 

 

March 19, 2021 12:51 pm  #10


Re: What happens now?

“I hope she isn't trying out the bi label and she truly can love me still.”

I’m not sure exactly what you mean by this. A man or woman can assume the bisexual identity and love and be committed to and monogamous with their opposite gender spouse.

I hope you can find some comfort. I sent you a message as well.

Tangled

 

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