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August 27, 2022 9:23 am  #21

Re: Desperately need advice...


it's very hard to absorb the fact your wife feels no sexual attraction to you. And discovering this after so many years, while you were in the illusion things were different. I know, it's totally devastating!
But your wife doesn't realise what it means to you, not really to the full extend. That's odd, but it's common at the same time in this situation.
The first year after my wife disclosed, she had no clue what it all did to me. First of all because she was focussed on herself, what she felt and what it all meant to her.
But also because she never had felt for you the same way you had felt for her. She can't really picture what you feel, and so she compares it internally to how she herself experienced things over the years.
These are not the deep feelings you had (certainly not the physical - sexual emotional part of it). Maybe she can make a rational guess, but she has no emotional picture along with it. So she underestimates how it all impacts you, and just doesn't get it.
I don't mean there wasn't any love to you, but love has different variants and depths to it.

How my wife went about things at first was somewhat like a adolesent, very self absorbed, my feelings were in a blindspot to her. It was strange and unsettling to me, for this was not the woman I thought to know.
I set boundaries, which she agreed on (e.g no relations outside marriage), but she'd falllen in love with a woman and those feelings were in her thoughts. Luckily it was one sided, for otherwise it could theoretically have added  physical adultery, with much more dammage to our marriage. I don´t want to speculate whether she would have or not. Anyway, her emotional affair was that strong in her feelings, she couldn´t switch it off.
I objected when I found pictures of the woman, she removed the pictures. Some weeks later I found them again, and again... and many more things like that.

I became so fed up with this, because I've been understanding and empathetic, but... I'm a person that matters too. I finally made it clear that her behaviour was unacceptable to me. Clear as in: "if this doesn't change we're heading for divorce". There was real and stated clearity needed to pinch through the self absorbed bubble she was in. A wake up call that it had to come from both sides, otherwise it's going towards the end of the line. I suppose it was a bit like a parent to a adolecent child. Something I would never consider as attitude towards my spouse, but the situation we found ourselves in demanded it and made it unescapable. If I wouldn't stand up against the way it was going, it would certainly shipwreck our marriage.

Like sending the message: "I understand discovering this new situation means a lot to you, but now you have to deal with this as an adult. For I am part of this situation also, and I'm not just a bystander".

It helped, and it pointed my wife into the direction of dealing with her sexuality in a constructive way (if our marriage was to succeed). Getting to a therapist that really had something to offer to get some grip on it. (most notably: sexual orientation is not something you are, but it is something you have). No flash turn arround and everything was great after that, but at least it was going in the right direction, and evolving towards sustainablity of our relation.

My wife stopped holding pictures of the woman and playing popsongs that reminded her of the woman. Much later she admitted she would sometimes still drive to the woman's house for quite some time afterwards, in hope to get a glimpse of her, and kept holding to a part of her feelings. I didn't know that at the time, but it shows  how entangled it can be for many years. Only when we reached a fundamental change and solution, it gets to a very (actually: total) different relation. When my wife now looks back on all that happened and what she's done it's through a completely different set of lenses. Also With regrets, but we know it had to go this way, we couldn't avoid going through it. Accountable but grateful. Not guilty, because for me it's the same. It was a journey into great and unknown danger, but we came out of it both and so different and better.

You have to journey together. You have to take the lead, but you both do have to want to go in the same direction.
And still, the total acceptance is key in this! Don't hold back on acceptance, she nor you! This has to be the base on which you go forward together. She is who she is, as well as you are who you are. Accept each other fully, no reproach! This is a most practical form of Love. Don't fall in the trap the this means unbound. You're married, that is by voluntary choice. These boundaries are not keeping you in, but keeping you save.


Last edited by Dutchman (August 27, 2022 9:49 am)


August 27, 2022 11:51 am  #22

Re: Desperately need advice...

Thank you for this! I've been thinking about this very sort of thing lately. I have been doing what has been asked of me: reading books, researching personality types, "trying softer," working on listening skills, etc., all with her therapeutic priorities of better communication & emotional connectedness in mind. But, we've not even touched the physicallity/intimacy part of the equation. For me, that's a priority, for I feel starved for even basic affection. I think it's time I confront her respectfully about it, & assert my need for us to start moving toward each other physically if possible, even if very small baby steps. I know she will be resistant, but I have to say my piece. It's hard for me, as the straight spouse, to grasp this whole "second adolescence" thing. Still, I've heard enough about it to know it's a real experience for folks. And you are right, full acceptance by both of us toward each other is absolutely necessary. It's hard for me to formulate the words that "I accept my wife is a lesbian." That doesn't just roll off the tongue!

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