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August 19, 2022 3:31 pm  #11

Re: Desperately need advice...

"SameDeepWaterAsPhil" wrote:

did your wife ever claim that she was emotionally disconnected from you during the early stage of your marriage "healing" process? If so, how did you repair that breach?

In our case the emotional disconnect happened before she discovered to be lesbian. (ie. in the years leading up to that). 
Our sexual relation regularly came to a total standstill, it was emotionally not possible to her. But she didn't know why, were it problems stemming from her upbringing or depression? We sought help through therapy (at first  together and later for her individually). Though some of her emotional problems were solved, the sexual problems remained. Therapy sometimes seemed to help, and we tried to restart our sexual intimacy, but it worked only temporary and only to a limited extend. There were several "false starts" like this, spread out over a period of five or six  years. Not knowing what the cause was, was so frustrating for we really tried our best. It also caused my wife to feel guilty towards me, and troubling herself what was wrong with her. 
It made no sense, we loved each other, we tried to make it work, but to no avail. Eventually we felt more and more unhappy and powerless to find a way out, it put much stress on our relation. My wife's emotional connection with me was wearing out, that much that she was doubting if she still loved me. However, she did love me, but the sexual problems were overshadowing it all that much, that it had become hard to see and feel the positive aspects. My only hope left was that my wife would one day find a solution through the therapy sessions she attended.

Then my wife fell in love with a woman, and thus discovered she was lesbian. It was a relief for her to know, finally she had the explanation for the sexual problems we had. 

Though this news came as an enormous shock to me, and the whole roller coaster of emotions and troubles that unavoidable come with it began, still... her discovering being lesbian and coming-out, was the start of a new unwritten chapter in our life. And though it was a challenge to survive the first year(s) in this new situation, it also closed the previous chapter that was bound to shipwreck our marriage some day.

The depressing unknown reason of failing sexual feelings was lifted, but the love for me as a person remained. Our vows had been sincere, she respected me, there was still enough going for us. She was afraid I would reject her when she came out, or would take a negative stance towards her or her sexual orientation. But instead I accepted her and tried to find a way together given the situation we were in.
But I also set boundaries, which my wife agreed on, using common sense and making rational choices. It's easy to get caught in an emotional line of (cultural) thinking, that isn't helpful at all. Narratives like: One has to 'explore' to find the "authentic self". 

but how did you improve that connectedness enough that your wife was not only emotionally drawn to you, but physically as well?

After discovering she was lesbian, her sexual feelings were the same, so she felt no physical attraction to me. But now with the difference that she understood herself, and why it was as it was.
It made it easier to her to deal with sexuality. Our goal was to go for the marriage, we knew that a sexless relation would not last in the long run and an open relation was no option we wanted to choose. So we went for a pragmatic solution: simply try to make the best of it, knowing the limitations. For my wife it was a decision made from her will and a voluntarily choice. She strove to acceptance of me too. This was also out of love, for we wanted to go for each other and our marriage. It was like a placeholder, for something we hoped (not knowing if, when and how it ever would happen).
With some inventiveness, trial and error, it worked out reasonably well. But of course it's not comparable to what later developed. Besides that, I got to deal with increasing troubles coping with feelings of rejection and not really being acknowledged as a man.  

Over time we built up our relation, learning to communicate better, working towards more complete acceptance, better understanding of our sexuality, setting the focus on positive stories, avoiding the doom and gloom, etc.
These things were/are good and positive. It improved our relationship, but it wouldn't go beyond a certain level. For there is a fundamental obstacle in a gay-straight MOM, you can't get over by just giving it time and gradual improvement. When we got to this point, we thought "this is seemingly as good as it gets". But it is wanting (to both spouses, but possibly in varying degree).

The decisive change came about when I unconditionally accepted my wife, which is founded in unconditional love. I cannot describe it otherwise than absolute and total acceptance of who she is, including her sexual orientation, no matter the consequences. Though I accepted my wife before, this was acceptance on another level. For it had no vulnerability in it anymore, it was an absolute descision. This caused my wife to feel totally free to express herself without any restraint, being open and transparant about herself. She felt completely save to be herself. Some time later that was her key to open up to the importance of me, her husband, and what I really am to her. (We described in our stories how this took place). Prioritizing me and our love over orientation. There are pitfalls to misunderstand this. It's not suppressing but rather a choice for inner reconfiguration. It's certainly not a closet, but rather a wide open space where two lovers roam freely. She's not hiding her sexual orientation. Our children, our friends and family know it, several collegues, and most of the members in our church know it. We don't wave rainbow flags or something like that, but nevertheless she feels no reason to be secretive about her sexual orientation.

Not clutching to her sexual orientation as necessity for her identity, unblocked an emotional pathway that allowed me into her heart, she allowed that by her own choice. Not longer: you first have to check in at "the lesbian 
orientation counter", and then I let you pass, but direct and unhindered. Her love and feelings towards me followed that same direct route. With that the fundamental obstacle I mentioned before, was removed.

The change in our sexual relation followed that. We did nothing special for it, it just happened, and we experienced it with amazement. First the emotional content in it that was overwhelming and the physical enjoyment followed not much later. She enjoys me being a man and likes giving her what a man has to give, and she likes what she as woman is and can give to her husband. Thats why: lesbian orientation in general, but with a straight orientation next to it, with the latter exclusively directed at me.

One final note. The acceptance I write about is very absolute. It takes plenty of time to reach that the point/moment to make that decision. That is a good thing, for it allows development of manuy other aspects in the relation. Your wife has to fully accept her sexual orientation, know what living in accordance to her authentic self is about, and is sure she loves you and really wants to go for you and the marriage. This needs time too. 
It's a leap of faith, it takes courage and is not without risk, but it shouldn't be a kamikaze action.


August 19, 2022 5:03 pm  #12

Re: Desperately need advice...

lily wrote:

rule number one of crisis times is to give yourself a hug.  Put your arm round yourself, be your own best friend for a while.  Gives you a chance to find your feet.  Best thing you can do for everybody.

Dear Lily,
Thank you much for your observations. I do definitely have trouble "being my own best friend!" It's just so difficult not to be self-critical. But, I think you're right. For my wife & I to have a shot at a future, I need to take care of myself now. Tough to do, but great advice. Thanks again! 

     Thread Starter

August 19, 2022 5:20 pm  #13

Re: Desperately need advice...

Again, an incredibly thought-provoking response. I'm simply in awe of where you & your wife have been able to arrive from a relationship standpoint. It sounds deeper, richer, more authentic, & closer than the previous "version" of your marriage. I can appreciate the amount of blood, sweat, & tears it took for you both to get there! I guess that's where we are still in our infancy. I've been encouraged our therapist & my wife to "be curious" & "ask questions" to better understand her heart & build connectedness--to really know & see her. I'm all for that--she's my beloved. I just struggle with what questions to ask! What to be curious about? Are there questions you or especially your wife would suggest? I get the sense that a "handbook" for MOMs would be great! If only, right?

     Thread Starter

August 19, 2022 5:38 pm  #14

Re: Desperately need advice...

thanks, glad to help - I found I needed to make a deliberate and specific effort not to be self-critical - I decided to park it at the door for a while and would stop myself as soon as I started - quite quickly I was able to just stop going down that route at all, it helped a lot  - I didn't even let myself call me an idiot for a while! 

just posted this and saw your post above so editing to add sorry, it seems that now it's up to you to ask the questions, when you don't know what you want to ask.  Is this from the counselling sessions?

Last edited by lily (August 19, 2022 5:53 pm)


August 19, 2022 5:43 pm  #15

Re: Desperately need advice...

That's a win in my book! I have felt like an "idiot" sometimes: How did I not see it? Was I blind? Blissfully ignorant? You know the questions as well as I do. The reality is that I have to find ways to do exactly what you suggest--park the self-criticism at the door.

     Thread Starter

August 19, 2022 6:38 pm  #16

Re: Desperately need advice...

Hi Deep,

The thing I found was I had this strong sensation that I was lacking ground to stand on.  And with that the thought that I needed to gain ground.  So I looked for my feet.  I listened to myself first.  

And that means time to yourself to have a bit of a think.  For me it was walking and swimming - they are great because they are rhythmic exercises, your body is coordinating left side, right side left side right side - it literally helps our brain to process smoothly.  Like knitting.

wishing you all the best, it is one foot in front of the other at the moment.  the upside of that is it's all you need - it's enough in and of itself.



August 24, 2022 11:52 am  #17

Re: Desperately need advice...

Hi Deepwaters,

I read your reply to my wife's post (in 'her topic'), about how you're in a problematic situation. Your wife doesn't seem willing to move towards building up the marriage.
As you now doubt have read in our story, to make a MOM happy both spouses need to be committed to reach out to the other. I wonder if your wife understands the inevitable logic of this.
So, that would be the question I would ask her.

It has to come from both sides. Even when feelings aren't an inspirational source, then it's has to be the rational choice to do it out of love.
Maybe you think: "huh, love is a feeling, so how could this be?"
Indeed, the hollywood kind of love, wouldn't. But Real Love is not like that, that kind of Love it not a feeling, it's an act of your will. (and sure, positive feelings will follow someday in the future, but that is not the backbone of Love).

In practise it's not: "if you love you, so... you should do this or that". (commanding it)
But: how can we help each other? Talk things over, in the interest of the relation and what the other needs are.
Understanding the other being compassionate and listening. Accepting that for now it won't be what you ultimatly want, but every step in the good direction is one.
So with patience and common understanding. But going forward, even if it's slow progress, or two steps forward and one back. Not just for you, but for your wife also. You should notice willingness to reach out to you. Maybe with troubles and doubts, and not at all perfect.

But it should NOT be a state where you are kept dangling and nothing changes. Even while it should be clear to your wife, this is not healthy for you. If your wellbeing is not appearing on her priority list, then it's time to evaluate whether it's best that the marriage should come to an end.

Your therapist told you to be curious and ask questions. Thats a good thing!
But did your wife get the same task? So.. being curious and asking questions how you are doing in this situation, and what your troubles and needs are?
You both are equally important!



August 24, 2022 7:06 pm  #18

Re: Desperately need advice...

Unfortunately, this is what happened to me. My husband came out with "I think I may be bisexual" 2.5 years ago. At the time he assured me he was attracted to me and wanted to make the marriage work. Apparently this was all just a lie. As, while I did all the work to keep the marriage going....he slowly restricted me more and more. By the last couple months he would barely kiss me. And I truly believed at the time that it was some how my fault. I asked him several times point blank if he was gay. He said no. I told him my fears that he was he denial, or was going to "surprise" me again. Nothing.

Find out after the fact that he was just using me the whole time (he says at the time he didn't realize it) to figure out what he wanted. And he made all the decisions about his life without sharing any of them with me until he had reached the point where he wanted a divorce. I barely got a chance to register that piece of news before he had applied for a rental and has just been slowly moving out. I'm still working at not desperately clinging to what I thought was the love of my life. He still tells me he loves me regularly, just not as a wife anymore....

Long story short, it doesn't work unless both of you are on board. No matter what I want or how I feel...it doesn't matter. If she isn't actively working towards maintaining the marriage, and genuinely interested in your well-being and asking you how you are doing and what you want.....I would run, not walk, away.


August 25, 2022 10:39 pm  #19

Re: Desperately need advice...

Dear Dutchman & Anon:
Thank you both for the continued support & observations. I'll admit, when I posted the other night, I was very hurt & angry. How can one not be when the person you love most in the world tells you they have no desire for you after 30 years together? I turn 50 in several weeks, & I can feel my "expiration date" approaching, so to speak. I never thought I'd be so unsettled at this age. I believed we were meant to stay together "till death do is part." I'm now not sure that's possible ultimately. My wife is "open" to our marriage being renewed in the future, she's just not committed to that as a certainty. Moreover, apart from very basic affection (kiss good morning or hello, etc), she insists that physical intimacy is too uncomfortable for her to consider at this point. Tragically, my whole being still desires her after 3 decades of life together, so I'm just so confused & unsure what to do. I feel selfish & not trusting enough of God's will for me/us. I appreciate all of those on this forum who've offered their thoughts & support. I'll keep watching & reading. God bless.

     Thread Starter

August 26, 2022 7:14 am  #20

Re: Desperately need advice...

I usually stay out of this forum...but sorry have to reply.

I found the lack of basic physical affection..a kiss, a sincere hug ..humiliating and manevolent.  I would physically shake with the trauma..was I garbage?  A leper?
But my GX was getting her all her affection elsewhere.

Going to my first straight spouse in person meeting I was given a hug by both the men and woman there...and I cried.  Like they knew I did not get any.

All I can say in this forum section is give yourself a hug and know that you are worth more than your spouse can ever comphrehend.    God created us to love and be loved.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7

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