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October 25, 2022 10:30 am  #11

Re: Seeking help as I finally face deciding what's next

Hi Grandma to 5 boys,
Wow, I'm so sorry you're dealing with all of this, and I'm so glad your therapist is so helpful. Your comment is definitely thought provoking.  We never know what will happen and we control very little.  I also commiserate about the "no consequences" comment -- there is a part of me that will always fight the idea that people can hurt others and just get away with it.  After everything else you said, for you to say to say that "it turns out it's the best thing he could have done for me" gives me hope.  Thanks so much for your comment.


December 9, 2022 2:51 pm  #12

Re: Seeking help as I finally face deciding what's next

Hi Stoic,

Wow. Your story is very similar to mine. I also just found this forum. I'm 42. I've been married to my wife for 19 years. We have 5 kids (ages 9-18). And it was just over 4 years ago that she told me she was gay.

Since then we've been to counseling - separately and together. After all of that we are still together, but it's just as you have described. Co-parents. Roommates. Friends who live in the same house.

I'm extremely lonely on the inside, but act like everything's fine on the outside. Or at least I think I do, right? I try to be grateful for all that we have. I know that things could be much worse. But I also don't think that's a healthy perspective. Because at the same time I remain devastated that I've never experienced a romantic/sexual relationship that's reciprocal. I realize that I've never been desired and that's a very difficult thing to accept.

I appreciate you sharing your story. I hope to connect with many folks on this forum so we can help each other.


December 10, 2022 4:11 pm  #13

Re: Seeking help as I finally face deciding what's next


yep I do understand what you're saying, how you're feeling. Man it's hard when you realise the reality. The dreams and expectations you had are shattered.
What you feel wasn't the same as she felt. And probably you had some questions why her feelings didn't seem to align with what you felt for her. 
And tried to reason that away, like women aren't that interested in sex like man, she had a negative sexual view because of her youth/parents and things along that way.
But than you get to know the reason, the matter of fact. However hard this is to take in, it's a possitive thing she told you. 
Much better than keeping dragging on in a situation where it's not going okay, while you have no clue what the real reason is.
You could have kept going on for years like that, and that wouldn't also be that great right?
Truth has come out, but nonetheless it's very hard to take in. I totally get it, and all the emotional consequences this has. Your history is not that much different than mine. 

What to do? Well, resist that your relation is becoming a roommate situation. You're married, and among other things, it's a special and intimate bond.
If you want to be and stay married, that is supposed to be part of it. So... find a way to get this going is some form.
Maybe you both do and try? You don't provide info on that aspect.
Anyway, it won't be what you want or hope, but it brings about contact. Opportunity to give love, and alas opportunity for dissapointment.
But at least you engage, you can't avoid. Leaving the other on their own island, and living along side each other is hopeless and not leading anywhere. 

You have to go into each other, talking, opening up, being honest. Accepting each other totally! Accepting yourself and being known to each other.
If you think you had this before, you're wrong. You were not even close to that. But you both will only realize this after.

What I take from your description is you're at the point where things are sort of "sustainable". Theraty got both to some steady level, and now you think this is as good as it gets.
It's lacking though. You're not fulfilled at a deeper level, the dreams you once held and felt are nowhere near reality you wished. And you're right.
You both could get stuck in this. I think staying in this place will not endure in the long run. (years).
It's slowly eroding you down, and probably the same goes for your wife. 
It's unavoidable you get where you are, but staying in this place is not leading to a succesful MOM. You have to move on together!

You've taken steps towards each other, helped by couples therapy, increased the level of talking. Getting the situation and relation sort of sustainable. But you've not reached the next point yet.
You both got to move on, going further towards each other! I would say: Understanding what Love is really about. Both for the straight spouse as the gay spouse alike.
This has nothing to do with sexual orientation, actually that whole "orientation thing" becomes quite meaningless. You've got to go on, don't stop at "sustainable". Go forward, you need to go further, deeper, to the base of things!

It's the value and meaning we decide to give to it. Each as individual, this goes for my wife as well! What priority has sexual preference over loving her spouse? This is a matter of choice!
And once that choice is made from the heart, feelings follow as a natural consequence. For feelings tells us what is right and aligned to our conviction.



December 12, 2022 4:49 pm  #14

Re: Seeking help as I finally face deciding what's next

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I really appreciate it. I think I really need to think about everything you said.

As far as our physical relationship, we haven't had sex for almost 4 years. Not in any way. Right after she told me about her newfound sexual orientation, we still had sex a few times. But this was still while I thought I was the "exception" - that she was attracted to me, but not any other men. That is what she told me at first because she didn't want to hurt me even deeper. However, a few weeks later it came out that she never felt attraction to me, either. I felt traumatized by my past sexual relationship with her after that. I don't know how to explain it, but it upsets me to think (1) of her having sex with me when it must have felt unnatural to her, and (2) of me believing that I was experiencing something mutual when I wasn't.

She also mentioned that because of the way my body was changing (I'm now 42 and we all know that once you cross that 40 milestone - your metabolism really starts to change). Anyways, she alluded to the fact that it was difficult for her because of abuse she had suffered as a child at the hand of a man.

I do not want to pursue any sort of physical relationship with when it triggers those sorts of memories for her. It makes me feel awful. I don't know how to move forward.


December 13, 2022 5:49 pm  #15

Re: Seeking help as I finally face deciding what's next

Sonnet61 wrote:

it upsets me to think (1) of her having sex with me when it must have felt unnatural to her, and (2) of me believing that I was experiencing something mutual when I wasn't.

exactly.  well said.

Let me guess - it's still you walking round her feelings.  

She seems to be minimising the hurt to you.  Saying you were the exception when if that were true what is she doing with the girls.  Oh she doesn't want to hurt you deeper, so she says it's your body ageing that's put her off.  omg.  and now you remind her of an abusive man from her childhood. 

My suggestion in terms of moving forward is to find a confidante, someone, family or friend that you can talk about this with.  One thing I see over and over and experienced myself is that we have a reluctance to talk about it in our real life - like we are keeping their secret for them without realising that is what we have been doing.  And when you do open up and talk about it it makes such a difference to how you feel - ground under your feet sort of thing.



December 24, 2022 4:51 pm  #16

Re: Seeking help as I finally face deciding what's next


your wife is lesbian, in that sense it's to be expected she's not physically attracted to you being a man. Her sexual preference is directed towards the female form.
I get the impression she's beating about the bush, by refering to you as getting older, even the abuse in childhood is (probably) smoke screen. Maybe in an attempt to soften the message, as she also tries not to hurt your feelings. But also making it easier to herself to express that sex isn't the thing for her, and hopes it's off the table.
Well, she succeeded in that. But she's in the dark what you really feel and what consequences this all has for you.
She doesn't understand you really, and knows not what you feel nor what you felt all those years in marriage. Maybe just in a general abstract way that you liked sex and enjoyed it more than she did.
To her, putting intimacy on hold is not that different situation as it was before. Being sometimes physical pleasurable, but emotionally without deeply felt connection.
Chances are she assumes this is about the same for you (with nothing in herself to compare it to). True, you'll have to cope with your male libido, but nothing near what the real emotional consequences for you are.
Like you are missing an essential part of what you want to share and experience in a relation with someone you love. 

Are you talking regulary with each other about the problems? For it's quite something you're going through. 
If so are you clear enough to your wife about what you feel. Or very cautious not to hurt her feelings, empatizing with her so much that you rather take the consequences on your shoulders.
But what about your feelings and expectations of marriage? 
You both went to couples therapy, was the result of these sessions that you simply had to learn to cope with the situation? Nothing about what your wife could do to work towards a solution for the situation? 
When did the "abuse in childhood argument" came into play? It's a bit odd that only after 19 years of marriage and 5 children later, this suddenly comes into focus not to have an intimate relation anymore.

I've not much info on your situation nor your wife's motivations. All kind of things can be playing arround, the situation is complicated. 
However, I hope you get to a stance that you approach it as a team. In spite of the circumstances and seemingly great troubles.
Focus on the importance and worth of the other, and build on what you have together. For that focus should be at the core of any relation.

Acceptance! Oh, this is so important! Accepting each other, letting the other be who he/she is as a whole. That is so liberating to experience as well as to give. 
But do you realise this should go both ways? 
She should accept you, just the same as you accept her.
The liberating and honest intention with which you approach your wife, which is quite good, holds the same potential value for her towards you.
Let her rise to higher grounds, let her discover what love for you can be. This is her path in life.
But it's her choice, she can choose to go on a way that discards you. 

This is not about sexual orientation. This whole "sexual orientation concept" is in a way nonsense. It isn't defining anything, that is: not if someone allows it to be.
One can allow it to be defining, and one can not allow it to be defining. It's a choice.
Sexual preference isn't a choice, it's just what happens and is. But how to deal with it, and how to go about in life certainly is a matter of choice.

There are much more important matters in life than sexual preferences (whatever sexual orientation one has). 
What is really important? What is really the meaning of Love?
This is not some hollow generic question. It demands real answers from you and your wife. What is it about? Feelings, choices, rational?
Do you talk with each other about these things? 

What about you and both as actual persons with feelings? Or is sexual orientation defined by cultural naratives?
When a woman declares to be lesbian... then no sexual relation with a man is possible.
(huh? What nonsense?)
True, if she doesn't want to have sex with her man, that's a thing. But that's a choice of her own! For it's not because of her sexual preference. As if she cannot do anything else, and is obliged to follow that route.
No, she chooses to do so. For whatever reason, and this can be convincing reasons to herself, but whatever it is, it's not "sexual preference" demanding to do so.
It's much more complicated than that. For often an emotional door is closed, and THAT is the real reason.

The core is not about sexual orientation, it's rather about opening up emotionaly. Sometimes falling in love does the trick, but in other circumstances this has to be forged in a difficult situation (or fail).



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