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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 25, 2021 9:40 am  #1


Is there hope?

My husband and I have been together 20 years (married 15).   It's a second marriage for both of us, no children together.  Our sex life has always been important to us and it's never been an issue.  Over the years I would see searches for gay porn and similar things.  I either ignored them or if I confronted him received lame excuses....it's amazing the amount of gay material that just "pops up" when you are looking at other stuff.  (insert eye roll).  Last spring he tells me that he's bored sexually with what we do and wanted to try other stuff.  He starts buying lots of toys and male accessories that left me questioning his orientation.  At one point I even asked him how he identified sexually.  His response was "same as I always have."   Of course I pursued it and asked "Which is?"  He said that although he's never had anything physical with a guy, he's open to it (if we weren't together), so he could be bisexual ("If you needed to put a label on it" was his quote).  He also said that since he's never been with a guy he considers himself hetero.  

A couple of weeks ago he told me that if we ever broke up he would pursue a relationship with a guy.  He said that he loves me and has been very happy with our marriage and wouldn’t do anything to cause problems (cheat, I guess?).  We have spiced things up to try and meet his needs (just the two of us) but I fear that it isn’t going to be enough for him.  When I expressed my concern to him he said, “It’s going to have to be, right?”  He said that he isn’t going to do anything that I’m not ok with or that would end our marriage.  I asked him to tell me if he starts to feel like he needs more and he said, “Why, if I can’t do anything what’s the point?”  I said to remain open and communicate.  He then said, “Ok, I’m telling you, I need more, now what?”  I changed it and said, “What if I told you that I wanted to be with a girl, what would you do?”  He said he would ask me a bunch of questions and then take it from there.  He named some questions.  I said, “Ok, you’re happy with the answers I gave, now what?”  He said, he wouldn’t view it as competition, so he might be ok with it once, but he would never be in an on-going three way relationship.   I told him that being in a committed relationship there shouldn’t be anything intimate like that with ANYONE other than your partner and that I would view another man as competition, so to speak.  I told him that my jealousy and nosiness would drive me crazy if he went out for night to go do whatever with some guy.  No way in hell.  I also told him that I was genuinely afraid that if he did do it that he’d want it more (kind of have his cake and eat it too), or decide that he wanted to go that way all together and we’d be done.  He seemed to understand and was sympathetic to what I said.  He repeated that he wouldn’t do anything that I wasn’t ok with or that might damage our marriage, but he added as he was walking away, “But it might be fun to try once before I’m dead.”

I feel that since it's been said it's the elephant in the room.  He's carrying on like our normal old lives, but I can't stop fixating on it.  He hasn't told anyone else but me supposedly.  I told my best friend, who is also bisexual, and she feels that he's going to want to act on it at some point (probably sooner, rather than later).   How do I continue, is there hope?  I can accept him identifying as bisexual, but I refuse to share or be in an open marriage.  
 

 

March 25, 2021 11:21 am  #2


Re: Is there hope?

Hope, absolutely! Hope for you both together...well...

Your husband is directly telling you that he wants sex with men. His ultimatum is that if you don't give in now, he says he wants to try it someday. There is a tinge of resentment in his statements. This is holding your marriage hostage, forcing you to agree to him opening up the marriage "or else". This is a threat.

When he cheats (and most seem to when these threats appear) he will use this conversation as validation that he told you. It will be your fault for making him do it in secret, as he tried. He will make you feel like a villain for wanting what you agreed to at the alter.

This crisis of sexuality doesn't appear from the sky. In most stories here, and in my own life, a potential partner is the object of desire. They must act quickly to get what they want. And this is what leads to hasty threats, escalating lies, and stepping out in secret. Not to alarm you, just to flag that there is a solid chance this "friend" has already become more.

You could try counseling, but you'll hit one of two types of counselors. One will be a free spirit where they recommend that you try opening the marriage. Most of this relationship energy will be spent on ignoring your expressed desire of not having an open marriage in the name of good vibes. It will hurt and you won't like it, but he'll have fun, right? Until you snap or he does and then you're back at admitting "I hate this". The other will be someone trying to discuss how his needs can be met in the marriage. Your husband will go through the motions, but this will push him to explore in secret. You both will be left uncomfortable and unsatisfied. When you find out what he's done you will be even more hurt, as you sacrificed your moral compass in the process.

In my opinion, there is a third option. It sounds like what was once wonderful has now come to a crossroads. One where having sex with men is a requirement. And that's where I'd pack my bags and wish him well on his journey ahead.

Hope is everywhere. It just isn't in the journey ahead with him, if you don't want an open marriage.

Wishing you strength and happiness ahead.

 

March 25, 2021 11:38 am  #3


Re: Is there hope?

Your husband is manipulating you, testing, pushing, and violating your boundaries, and grooming you to accept a threesome (in advance of his going out looking for exclusively male-on-male sex), and he is doing so in an underhanded "topping from the bottom" way (meaning, instead of just making a demand or suggestion he's herding you to go the direction he wants you to, all while engaging in seeming reasonable dialogue). He hasn't out-and-out said he's going to have sex with a man, but he's pushing you in ways that have you negotiating with him about it, and even after you said you want a monogamous marriage he hasn't taken your "no" for an answer.  As he was "walking away," he said "It might be fun to try once before I'm dead."  I know you may think that when you turned the tables you were pushing back and asking how he'd feel about you being with a woman, but in fact he had you engaged with the idea in the context of an ongoing negotiation that he hasn't let go of.  

 This current period of not talking about it is just the next stage before he brings it up again, or lets your discomfort with the silence push you to bring it up again.  He's testing to see what he can get away with.  He knows you know about his viewing gay porn, and that you didn't end the marriage after knowing that.  Then he upped the ante, and gotten you used to (and participating in?) sex with gay-themed sex toys.  Now he's upped the ante again, by suggesting actual sex with another man.

  If you ask yourself whether this state of affairs is acceptable to you, the answer seems to be no.  You know what you want in a marriage, you know that your husband doesn't want the same thing, and that he's not going to stop wanting what he wants (he says his sexuality is "the same as it's always been"), and you also know that he hasn't given up on getting you to accept what he wants but what you don't want.  I'd say that the answer to your question is pretty clear.  One thing is for certain: he wants to have sex with a man and he's going to have sex with a man, either with your permission/participation (however reluctant) or without it.

Also, I'd caution you that your husband may go ahead and act behind your back, and if you discover it he'll then present you with a version of "You knew I what I wanted, and you wouldn't agree, so I acted and hid it from you so as not to hurt you."  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (March 25, 2021 11:39 am)

 

March 25, 2021 12:30 pm  #4


Re: Is there hope?

^This 100 times over is so very accurate of a description of when and how manipulation occurs.

Kitty, deep in your heart you already know the truth of where your marriage is heading. Your sinking right now, I know the feeling, don’t sink, stay strong we all know how hard this is. Here is how I looked at things, we’ve already lost so much, if you have kids, and they know what occurred, well lots of pain to go around and lots of healing needed too.

What you can’t afford to do is loose yourself in this craziness. You might be all you are left with so it’s important to stand by your values, your own integrity. It’s still very hard to live through all of this, but I can’t imagine going through this without ‘me’, who I truly am. Don’t let him steal that too.

Stop sleeping with him or tell him you are into his adventures and watch how clearer, not easier, just clearer, your path forward becomes.

Stay strong, one day at a time.

 

March 25, 2021 2:21 pm  #5


Re: Is there hope?

Kitty150 wrote:

.....................How do I continue, is there hope?  I can accept him identifying as bisexual, but I refuse to share or be in an open marriage 

 

In my opinion if you can accept him being bisexual you're going to have to be sure he's not going to act on those desires. I also think the pull of a bisexual man to experiment is strong. Your husband has been thinking, fantasising about this for way longer than you've been aware. 
Men (my partner) are great at compartmentalising sex with you/me/many of us...and sex with a man. And if he decides to experiment without telling you....well, you won't know you're in an open marriage will you?
The only way to be sure you're not in an open marriage is to stop having sex with him....tell him why, and let him figure himself out. 

If he's anything like my partner he won't know the first step to figuring himself out is communication with us and honesty with himself

Elle


 


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