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April 21, 2024 9:40 am  #1

Can a Marriage Work if Romance Has to Be Found Elsewhere?

Hello everyone! 

I want to start by saying this is all a new experience for me, and I want to preemptively apologize if this comes across as rambling! I'm a heterosexual male, and I have been with my wife for 8 years and we have been happily married for 3 years. Ever since we moved in together 5 years ago, we've had sex about once a week on average, and we've communicated our needs and occasional complaints and made adjustments all along the way.

She came out to me as bisexual 4 years ago, and one week ago she disclosed that she was still questioning her sexuality, but she was more than likely a lesbian. She asked if she could explore her sexuality outside of our relationship, and I encouraged her to do so. She had been chatting online with a genderfluid lesbian for about a month, and since I gave my permission they have become romantically involved and sexting. This was wrong of me to do, but I read through their private chat logs and found that my wife is madly in love with her. My wife told her about how she never liked kissing me, how she was no longer attracted to me, and how badly she wanted to fly to her country and spend the rest of her life with her.

I was honest with my wife and admitted I had invaded her privacy, but we needed to have a long discussion about our future. She forgave me for my breach of her privacy, and she reassured me that I was the priority in her life and that her sexting partner was a short-term relationship just for fun that probably won't last longer than a month. I made it clear that, personally, romance needs a physical connection as a foundation, and that I could not imagine keeping a romantic relationship with her alive without a mutual physical attraction. She again reassured me that her loss of attraction for me was just due to my weight gain last year (I had been up to almost 300 pounds compared to the 180 when we first met) but she has found it again for me (I have recently lost 60 pounds) and she has always enjoyed our sex. She encouraged me to seek out other women if it would help the situation feel more fair to me, but she has since changed her mind on this, telling me she is not comfortable with it. We both still love each other so deeply and neither of us want our marriage to end. 

We've reached out to the support staff at OurPath, we've been reading through the resources provided, and we are making an appointment with a marriage counselor. I have reached out to my friends and family, and they have offered their ears to me. My wife has reached out to her friends and her own mother, however her mother did not listen, and just told her that it was a phase and she was a fool for ruining her marriage.

My wife has told me how guilty she feels for changing our relationship dynamic, and how she wishes she could turn back time and never talk to this person. She says she wants nothing more than to go back to how things were a week ago. I've reassured her that it's not her fault, and that I'm happy and excited for her to be true to herself. I am hoping my wife is not lying about her attraction for me to spare our marriage, as I have repeatedly told her if this was the case it would only wound us both more deeply in the long run. I am doing my best to be there for her through this, and keep my mental health up at the same time. I don't want to tell her to block her sexting partner, as I have seen how passionate and happy and in love she is, but at the same time I'm starting to feel really paranoid that this is not a fling, but rather the first time she's ever felt genuine romantic love for somebody. I don't want to take that away from her, but I don't see how we could go back to the way things were for as long as she continues sexting someone she is not married to. I don't think I want to be married to someone who does not feel the same way I do about them, even if we do love each other very much and appreciate the life we've built together.

What do you all think?

What Do You Think My Wife's Sexual Orientation Might Be?


April 28, 2024 7:46 am  #2

Re: Can a Marriage Work if Romance Has to Be Found Elsewhere?

I am a straight woman, so bear that in mind when reading my answer.

Why do people lie? 

Because they don't want to hurt someone they love, is usually the answer. Another way of saying that is, they don't want to end a relationship that fulfils some of their needs. I have a fiancee who came out to me as gay, 3 days ago, but who was just bisexual for 10 years we have been together. Do I believe him when he says, he still loves me? Sure. Do I believe that he is genuine in wanting to "just fuck" other men and not form an emotional connection to one? Of course, it makes sense if it is also true that I am his soulmate, as he claims. 

Then again, I think humans struggle with big changes, indeed they hate them, and so the easiest way for a bisexual or gay / lesbian person married to a straight person, is to try having their cake and eating it, too. Like you, I was told by my loving partner, that I am free to go fuck other men. What I am more inclined to do, however, is DATE other men with a view to finding a sane, straight man to replace him. Not because I don't love him, but because I am seriously devastated and I don't want to end up killing myself!

That's how you really ought to be thinking about it, I believe.

It is entirely possible to maintain warm, loving friendships with people we were once in love with, and to that end, I always make sure to keep any animosity out of my break ups. I also take ages to get around to it, usually, because I want to give it every chance of success. Except this seems to me such a clearcut case, becoming more clear, the more I think on it. You are straight, she is not. You want her, and her alone. She wants someone else, and a little bit of you. How does this work for you two? It doesn't, if you are hurting. If you decided you did not care, and you had someone else in your life to fill the gap your wife leaves when she isn't there, maybe it'd work. That all depends on individual personalities (some people are not monogamous, which changes things) and also, how we feel about what is going on. 

It is extremely hard to be honest with oneself, when you know the consequences can be utterly devastating. I love my fiancee so much, the very thought of being without him sends me into a spin from which I can't pull out, or so it feels. So, I do not feel ready to leave him, because I am scared of what I'll do to myself. I am not lying to myself, I know just how unhappy I am right now, and I also know that I'll be damned if I let this break me. If I must leave him - as I believe I must - I want to do it on my terms and when I am good and ready. You must do what suits you, likewise. Forget about what she wants - she already has that!


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