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February 12, 2020 6:29 pm  #21


Re: Happy MOM for 15 years and going (lesbian & str8 man)

I should also mention that my wife is on her guard, without me asking her to be, about being encouraged to "explore", poison her against my reaction, or somehow threaten the marriage by criticizing me or our relationship. My wife was actually intentionally avoiding therapists that touted too much how "affirming" they were of other lifestyles and sexual transitions. My wife isn't interested in changing her lifestyle.

Still, I will talk to my wife about your suggestion and see what she thinks. I expect her to accept it if I ask, but feel uncomfortable with the idea. She will be too scared to be honest and open in front of me. I think she will find it much less challenging to speak to just the therapist than to speak openly in front of me and the therapist. I know that it scares her to have these therapy discussions in front of me, based on how incredibly seriously I take this all (and unavoidably, I should add). And, because I am there, she may feel compelled to add qualifiers, assurances, and so forth for my sake, which the therapist doesn't necessarily need to hear.

The primary issue I have seen, which is how I recoginized all this, is that her physical arousals, cognitive arousals, sexual behaviors, and statements, well, didn't line up. Her statements and rationalizations all seemed to be for the purpose of fooling herself and reassuring me that she was totally straight - to the point of intentionally avoiding thinking about what it was she was doing, how she felt while doing it, or why she was doing it (really). "Why do images of women get me off?" - A thought she just vanquished, rather than answer. "They just do for some reason that I won't think about."

Further, when she has discussed it, she has a constant tendancy, which she eventually recognized as I pointed it out, to minimize, over simplify, be vague, not fully divulge, etc., the details (exactly what she did, how many times she did it, what her feelings were, how long she has felt this way, etc.). She thinks a behavior or thought means nothing and is so determined to think that, it seems, that she conciously and unconsiously avoids disclosing it fully. This has resulted in a cascade of half-truth admissions and misdirections over the last year, where my current perception of what she did and how she felt are fully different than they were the first few go-arounds about this (to say nothing about how I thought before the revalation was even first "disclosed" awash in vague ways and with, frankly, bullshit justifications.

At any rate, I am both scared to be there (for the reasons mentioned) and highly interested in being there (for the reasons you mentioned, to be sure I am not being deceived about what she said to me, and to be kept up to date (not in the dark) about her progress (and what that progress is encouraging/suggesting).

Thank you. Please, please, respond with your thoughts. I am finding this all really helpful - thank your wife for me.

Last edited by UserNada (February 13, 2020 10:56 am)

 

February 13, 2020 3:50 pm  #22


Re: Happy MOM for 15 years and going (lesbian & str8 man)

It's good for your wife to consciously be aware of her sexuality, first of all to herself and subsequently be able to describe and express it to you. If that process is hindered when you are present during the meetings with her therapist, it's just common sense that you refrain attending for the time being. Pick up on that later. You're both aware of the importance to select the right kind of therapist, so that should be okay.
I'm glad to see how you both get things going and go about it. The impression you give of your wife's dealing with all of this is admirable. For what I read she's a sensible woman, you should be proud of her and find several reasons to have confidence in her intentions (that's your reality!).

Can we talk about "acceptance" some further? For I know from my experience this is a paramount matter. It's all important to your wife to accept herself as she is (sexually), but also feel unconditionally accepted by you just the way she is. I dare to say that if you don't get this on the track in yourself, it can eventually ruin what you actually want to achieve with your relation.

Our story was never about changing or ignoring sexual orientation. 

To my wife it was a relieve to discover she was lesbian, this may seem strange at first sight, but it was. Because by that she could relax about her failing to have sexual feelings towards me she should have had. So she celebrated this discovery, and good for her! Key is, she had no reason to resist acceptance of her sexual orientation. On the contrary, to her it was liberating. 

When she told me, I was in shock, but I accepted this new reality. It was clear what she told. I didn't grasp fully what it would mean to me, but the fact she was lesbian was perfectly clear. That's the way it is, and I accepted that fact. My concern was merely how she (we) would handle it, given this reality that had emerged.
Key is, I didn't want to deny reality, and she was still my wife whom I loved. Combine these two and acceptance who she is, is the only viable option.

Mind you: Acceptance of sexual orientation, so what/who someone is and feels, is not the same as acceptance of any behavior that could possibly stem from that. That would be the kind of nonsense that shipwrecks marriages (not only MOM's but straight marriages also). There is a thin line between genius and madness... 

Acceptance is about the person, and actually it's beautiful to accept another really who she is without conditions. Not only this is wholesome for the person feeling accepted, but it is also very beneficial for the person accepting. By that the true meaning of love comes to light, it lifts you up when you truly step into it. You grow and you develop, and your wife will love you all the more for it. This works both ways and spirals up. 
I hope you allow this line of thinking to sink into you thoughts.

It's no one way street. Love should be reciprocated (and alarm bells should go off when it's not). But in your story I see a loving wife, who tries her very best to be that to you. Count your blessings and work on the issues that confront you both. It will take time, but you can work it out. Really accepting her, just the way she is (whatever that may turn out to be). A real challenge isn't it?

     Thread Starter
 

February 13, 2020 5:51 pm  #23


Re: Happy MOM for 15 years and going (lesbian & str8 man)

Again... an additional post, after discussing with my wife. It's quite a special kind of discussion like this.

My wife would like to add, that in the first place it's about feeling secure.
Feeling secure in the bond with her husband, feeling that that's okay, no matter what. 
That she can count on it, without feeling afraid. Feeling secure to share and be herself, experiencing the conformation of this security.
That's something you provide to each other in marriage, a secure place. A save place to be yourself. For the both of you. 
A marriage relation can grow to great beauty that way. 

Last edited by Dutchman (February 13, 2020 6:10 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

February 13, 2020 9:37 pm  #24


Re: Happy MOM for 15 years and going (lesbian & str8 man)

Thank you both.

My wife asked me if I loved her and I had to admit the truth - I am not feeling love right now. I feel only anxiety, sadness, grief, despair, and anger - almost all the time. My kids barely feel like they are mine and I frequently feel self-loathing. When I look at her, instead of seeing the worthy holder of my love and affection, like I used to, I just see the infidelity and this new orientation (both of which frighten, repel, and sadden me). She brought to my attention this phenomenon, which she read about while reading about how to rebuild trust after infidelity. In these cases, it is common for a person to only associate and think about the infidelity when interacting witht the spouse. It is all they see and all they can think of. When my wife described it, I recognized it and said that I am feeling that. Further, I explained to her that, as she also rightly acknowledged, she had betrayed my trust at several dimensions and now, I am not feeling as trusting (though I want to again). How can I love someone I don't trust with my love? I am scared of what I will do if she betrays me again - I am barely getting through this. For me, it is impossible to love someone you don't lovingly trust. When I have said "I love you" to her lately, it has been said to my memory of her or, even worse and as it NEVER was before, a matter of habit.

So, I have failed to make her feel secure with me. Frankly, she shouldn't feel secure - I am a loose cannon right now! I explained that I never have been emotionally tested in this way and it is unbelievably trying - I feel constantly ill and shaken. I really do not know how much more of this I can bear. I know that I loved her immensely, like at a level of exhalation I cannot describe, just a year ago. But I cannot access those feelings right now - they just seem to be out of my physical reach! It is horrible. I want them back - they were such a huge part of me!

To compound matters, I asked her last night about me going to the therapist with her and she was against it, as I expected. I am feeling more inclined to go, out of concern for my trust in her not being tested about this so soon and in this way. It is confusing to me. I am using the phrase "I don't know what to do" a lot more than I did last year.

How did you manage to see through the betrayals and wrong behaviors to see your wife again? Right now, I cannot see past the bad. It is like I don't remember all the good times as good anymore, when I can remember them at all. Yet, I KNOW I was happy with her before.

Last edited by UserNada (February 13, 2020 9:39 pm)

 

February 14, 2020 3:16 pm  #25


Re: Happy MOM for 15 years and going (lesbian & str8 man)

I sure hope you get out of this internal mesh you're in, and get a grip on yourself. 
I don't understand why you allow yourself to follow your negative feelings like this. You allow yourself to be controlled by fear and anxiety. You're not focusing on reality that would give you ample reasons to loosen up those fears. Why is that? 
Your wife hasn't practiced infidelity. Watching porn isn't the same thing. I wrote in earlier posts about possible reasons she did it. Why blow things up to something bigger than it should be? Why is that?
I get the impression you wind yourself up, and nobody can stop you doing that. No matter what is stated, somehow you derive a threat from it. Seeking out the one thing that would give you reason to fear, while ignoring all other facts. This way you're heading to certain doom. Do you understand and acknowledge this is your line of thinking at the moment? And more important: do you realize it's essential you snap out of it?

You "feeling no love" at the moment, is not strange. It's normal in circumstances when a relation goes though troubles. 
Love is not a feeling but an act of your will. Do you get what I mean by that? 
 
You fear your wife was and could be controlled by her feelings (in the past and in the future). You're afraid she has no rational handle on it. And... where will it lead to?
But you give me the strong impression that you're the one that actually has no control over your own feelings. And maybe you're projecting that on your wife right now.
That's a reaction to shock, but I think you won't find a solution while you think the source of your current problems is in your wife's behavior. You are very possibly projecting.
Whatever I tell you won't do you good, until you address this projection issue first. 

Maybe this article clarifies what I mean:
https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/3833/psychology-projection-8-feelings-transfer-onto-others/

Is this something you recognize for yourself? I really hope you're not offended I suggest this. I'm wishing the best for you, I'm just trying to think with you in your best interest!

     Thread Starter
 

February 14, 2020 8:48 pm  #26


Re: Happy MOM for 15 years and going (lesbian & str8 man)

Thank you for the feedback.

I don't think I am projecting my recent struggle to control my emotional pains onto my wife as an inability to control her sexual impulses. I am projecting other people's stories (thousands of them), statistics, and personal relation stories onto her, along with acknowledge her infidelity and actually documented inability to control her behavior, willingness to hide it, and willful effort to minimize or ignore contemplating her thoughts or actions regarding this specific issue. I understand why you may not consider it infidelity. It isn't quite like cheating with a real person. However, she recognizes it as such now, in retrospect.(so do I, our therapist, advice columnists, and counselors online). It meets a now common definition of infidelity, which revolves around acting in secret, in a way you could reasonably anticipate would threaten the marriage or hurt your spouse, for your own benefit. I have seen hiding spending habits as an example, actually. Now, I wouldn't call it adultery - which has a more legal definition.

I mean, she actually brought the lesbian porn up to our bedroom and got undressed to masturbate to it...in our bed. In a manner of speaking, which she and I both understand the symbolism of, she did secretly bring other women into our bed for sexual purposes - knowing it would hurt me terribly and threaten our marriage - numerous times for a long period.

I will look at your suggested reading. I am not offended. I know that you only know me in this setting, but most everyone who knows me would tell you how calm, collected, hardened, and generally brutally honest I am. I take criticism well, especially when it is right or helpful. I don't call any work "beneath me". I have a uncommon ability to withstand absolutely harsh working environments and people.

This is just something different for me and I am just not myself.

 

February 15, 2020 2:40 am  #27


Re: Happy MOM for 15 years and going (lesbian & str8 man)

Hi Dutchman, just felt I should point out that link to a website with an article about projection is a bit dodgy.  By the time I'd finished reading it I thought goodness it sounds like someone projecting their narcissism onto everyone else.  so I got curious and clicked on the 'about us' button.  it has two options - start up and contact us.  Contact us gives an email address and nothing else, and start is just a start on their articles and again no information about the person or persons putting up the site and up pops an ad for a psychology 'flash reading'.

all the best, Lily

 

February 15, 2020 11:21 am  #28


Re: Happy MOM for 15 years and going (lesbian & str8 man)

Dutchman,
I read the article. I don't think this accurately describes my thoughts or behavior. Projection is described as having a certain psychological trait or emotion and, denying you have it, you project it or something similar onto someone else. I don't think I am doing that. I accept and am fully aware of how insecure I am right now. I also accept and am fully aware of how much of an attraction I have for women.

I am not denying these things in me and projecting them onto my wife.

I am a bit of a hound dog. I enjoy women - seeing them, touching them, etc. I have foregone all other women, forever, to be dedicated to my wife. This current discovery aside, I have never regretted that decision or wished it otherwise. Still, I am having and always have had my attention drawn in by other beautiful, cute, or otherwise visually appealing women (they abound in our media, advertising, and daily life). So, I know how I feel about that. I haven't been denying it for the last few decades. It is something I know and act on (thoughts and glances, not physical contact or flirting). Realizing my wife may feel the same impulses and drives I do for women, I take it as threatening. See, I want a romantic relationship with a competent, intelligent, healthy, and loving woman (who also feels similarly towards me). I was able to achieve this. I also want a sexual relationship with a beautiful and tender woman (who also feels similarly towards me). I thought I was able to achieve this.

These wants were not written out on a legal pad by my therapist, they are what is in my blood. I desire (romantically and sexually) a beautiful, loving, and competent woman.

Being unable to achieve this would be a source of depression, anxiousness to see it fulfilled, and make me even more drawn to look around.

If my wife feels anything like I do toward women (which she seems to, based on her behavior), she is having to constantly "check" her desires, thoughts, glances, etc. Repression, in other words.

To see what I wanted sexually all over and not be able or willing to act/think on it would drive me mad. To constantly have to curtail my glances, thoughts, and desires every time I walked past the signs at Victoria Secret, even alone, would be a struggle. These sorts of impulses to look and imagine come up every day, several times! However, I was able to satisfy my desires, to be with a high quality woman. She never will be able to satisfy her desires, whatever they are or become, with regard to women. Again, this isn't projection. It is just taking my own feelings as the best basis I have for empathizing/understanding with her feelings and how she describes them.

Back to my prior point, from 2/13, what exercises or behaviors worked during those first few years to help you overcome what your wife had done and see her as herself again?

Last edited by UserNada (February 15, 2020 2:50 pm)

 

February 16, 2020 10:36 am  #29


Re: Happy MOM for 15 years and going (lesbian & str8 man)

My thoughts concerning projection is about your fear. Projection not to deny your anxiety, but to justify it. Explaining to yourself 'why' you're so out of control and unlike your usual self.
By that subconsciously fueling it instead of seeking reduction of fear. Choosing affirmation of anxiety in your wife's behavior over perspective and understanding.
I'm no therapist, I don't want to dwell on it. Point is that I really think it's in your best interest to (actively) reduce your fear, so you can handle the situation more rationally.
And possibly I'm too hasty, fear is a powerful emotion and it takes time to diminish.

I thought my fear was gone after we got everything on track in our marriage. But years and years later I noticed a little part of it was still hidden in a dark corner of my mind. Certain triggers could suddenly make it flare up. Only when I identified it for what it was and confronted it in myself, I could clean up those last remnants of the past. 

Back to my prior point, from 2/13, what exercises or behaviors worked during those first few years to help you overcome what your wife had done and see her as herself again?

In my reply below I put a '>' sign to describe our way handling things.
One extra remark about overcoming "what my wife had done".
During the first year she didn't handle things the way she should and by that made it hard to me.
Of course that had to change, and she eventually did. The whole thing was confusing for her, she had to learn to handle it, and made mistakes. I forgave her when it was clear she realized this herself and started on a constructive path. Nobody is perfect and forgiveness is necessary to go forward, it would have been very counter productive if I kept it holding against her.
And obvious it all wasn't intently directed to hurt my feelings. Later I understood the reasons for her holding on to feelings, why she was preoccupied with herself, acted so inconsiderate to me.  

I hope you can start to forgive your wife's mistakes, she is just human and not perfect. And understand why she did what she did and the way she went about doing it. I can hardly believe she did it to hurt you or wanting to be unfaithful. There are much more plausible explanations. 


I have foregone all other women, forever, to be dedicated to my wife. 

She made the same choice to be dedicated to her husband.
Probably you think: "but that was before she knew to be bisexual. So it only applied to forego all other men".
And I think that's a reasonable thought. So she has to state her current choice, given this new circumstance. 
You need this certainty and that's perfectly understandable.
For what I know your wife told you already, and that has to be repeated when she has more clarity of her own feelings. There is nothing wrong with reassurance.

> My wife made a well considered choice for our marriage. When we married, but also after she discovered her lesbian feelings decided this was still her choice. This is an essential step, not just for my reassurance but also to my wife's own handling of her feelings. 
 

Realizing my wife may feel the same impulses and drives I do for women, I take it as threatening. 

If your wife doesn't act on it, why would it be a threat to you?

> It takes some time to get used to it (it's a bit odd to realize), but I don't see any reason why wouldn't accept my wife on this. It makes no difference whatsoever, to me it's a non issue. Straight women look at men, my wife looks at women. So what?
It's not that we let our thoughts/desires run free. When I see an attractive woman she has a short moment of my admiration. I don't allow myself to really want her (I assume you get what I mean). Well, the same goes for my wife. But all of this makes no difference what the sex is of the person admired.

If my wife feels anything like I do toward women (which she seems to, based on her behavior), she is having to constantly "check" her desires, thoughts, glances, etc. Repression, in other words.

Much better: She could just accept the sexual attraction she feels as part of what makes her who she is. Just like you do. And like you wrote, that doesn't force you to jump every attractive woman you see.
And this doesn't drive you mad also, so why would your wife have the problem you fear?

> To my opinion acceptance is key in a MOM. First of all my wife accepts her own sexuality, doesn't see it as something to repress (that's not the same as not acting out). Secondly I accept her like she is, so she doesn't have to fear being checked (rejected) by me. So she is not repressing and I am not repressing. We can both feel relaxed and free about it.
Very possibly this acceptance and relaxed way, takes the sting out. (while when someone says: "don't look behind you!", makes it near impossible not to).  
 

However, I was able to satisfy my desires, to be with a high quality woman. 

As I recall your wife expresses to have no problem in your sexual relation together. 
She said she is bisexual, this should enable her to have a satisfying sexual relation with a man. 

> We continued our intimate relation. A sexless marriage is asking for problems (to most people). It would have been problematic if she would have been the kind of lesbian that was repulsed by it, but this wasn't the case. Since her sexual feelings for me developed, it's totally satisfying to the both of us. We don't have to worry the other suffers sexual shortage.

She never will be able to satisfy her desires, whatever they are or become, with regard to women

Fact! That's the consequence if she chooses to go for your marriage. If it's her well considered choice, this prevents it from becoming a nagging urge. If she accepts herself and feels accepted it isn't repression. If she has a satisfying (sexual) relation with you, it's not a problematic want.

> My wife is aware of this, but she can't say she feels this as a problem. And it's not even something that's on her mind often. Okay, when we talk about it she knows it's something that's not fulfilled. And in this sense could wish for it, but then again it's clear this isn't possible without breaking our marriage. There are many things in life that simply cannot be fulfilled. Our relation is good and happy, so this isn't a burden to her. We both suspect that contemporary culture makes people think they should fulfill all their sexual possibilities... and if they don't, they are missing out something essential. If one is perceptible to these opinions/influences, it wracks havoc on a monogamous marriage. 
But we like to think we have our freedom of choice, and we determine ourselves what we do, not culture or anything else. And we're totally happy with our choices.

Last edited by Dutchman (February 16, 2020 10:44 am)

     Thread Starter
 

February 16, 2020 12:34 pm  #30


Re: Happy MOM for 15 years and going (lesbian & str8 man)

Dutchman,

Again - Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I can't really express how helpful they are and how much I look forward to reading them. While I don't share your perspective on all these questions and issues, I find your incites interesting and instructive.

I feel more sure that I can forgive my wife for having the little affair during the time she had it, which, as I mentioned, mostly took place while she was in a post-grad education degree program and I had to put in heavy hours (50-70 at work each week), carry over half the home duties (cook, clean, then work till 2 AM), and do a great deal alone with our very young girls (2 and 4), like travel to grandparents, take them out to the park, to their friend's birthday parties, put them to bed, watch them at home all the time, and plan their birthday parties, while my wife studied and attended classes (plus worked part time at the hospital). It was a VERY hard two years, during which I just committed myself to her success. I was very proud of her when she graduated and passed her licensing exams. It just killed me that it was during that time that she regularly waded into waters she denied existed. Still, I think I can come to forgive the timing. I also think I can come to forgive the events themselves, since she really seems to have blockaded contemplating what she was doing at a level I just cannot fathom her doing - as she is normally a very considerate, loving, and thoughtful person. She just did something to keep her normal senses from working on this, except to the extent that she needed to consider it long enough to know to hide it from me. She did know her behavior would hurt me. She admits to being aware of that during that period, yet continuing on ahead with it. That is harder to forgive. I will try, though. I am trying. I think I can get there.

Once she works more toward coming to terms with herself and becomes familiar with herself, I will work to understand her better as well. I hope I can become comfortable with her new sexuality and the prospect of it changing more later.

Your comments and suggestions are not lost on me. I am just a little sensitive to this. Had she never done the whole infidelity and just noticed her thoughts on women changing and told me so, it probably all would have gone much better. Still, I would be uncomfortable, curious, and scared. You understand this better than most, I think. I wouldn't feel as betrayed had it happened that way, I feel. Maybe I still would, since she claimed these feelings didn't exist in college (which they did, in retrospect) and she knew that her coming out later, when I had given her several days to contemplate it and come out at the beginning, would seriously jeapordize our marriage.

May I ask - What were the "triggers" you mentioned that allowed your anxiety to creep back into your mind?

Also, thank you for your understanding that fear takes time to diminish on its own. I haven't known for certain my wife was attracted to women but for about 6 weeks. And, even then, what she means by "attracted" is not familiar or really coherent to me yet. So, I think there is more yet to come on that.

Last edited by UserNada (February 16, 2020 8:21 pm)

 

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