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This Open Forum is funded and administered by the Straight Spouse Network (SSN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides support to straight spouses and partners who have discovered that their spouse/partner isn’t straight. The results from SSN’s Annual Summer Donation Drive are in! Together with your help, SSN raised $16,381 during our annual Summer Donation Drive! That’s 109% of our goal! Learn more about how the funds will be utilized.

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Straight Spouse Network Open Forum

This Open Forum is funded and administered by the Straight Spouse Network (SSN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides support to straight spouses and partners who have discovered that their spouse/partner isn’t straight. Your donations allow us to provide important support and resources that straight spouses can't find anywhere else.


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March 1, 2021 3:55 pm  #1


Therapy Helps (us both)

Hey guys. It’s been awhile since I’ve been here. I find myself focusing on therapy and MOM/MOR groups more so lately. We are both in counseling separately and plan to have a couples session next Wednesday. My therapist is actually a psychotherapist and has helped me stop my mind spiraling and intrusive thoughts. This is helping me get to a calmer, clearer and more patient spot. My husband’s therapist is a sex therapist. She is helping him acknowledge his patterns, including his bisexual pendulum and forcing him to picture life differently. This has been scary for me and I can tell he is scared to do it too but I know it’s necessary.

I can say this much. We are closer, more open, real and even intimate now...sometimes to the point that we have a hard time stopping (mostly on the weekends). At the same time there’s that huge cloud of same sex attraction hanging over us and can we make this work, incorporating it into our relationship or does he think his truth is in a different lifestyle. He still loves me and wants me and wants this family. I still love him and want the same. It is a very long process but things are in the open and we are moving forward with integrity, love and friendship. I’ve learned our stories are all so different. I think it’s hard not to insert your own experience into others here sometimes but at this point we are in a MOM with the intention of finding ourselves separately as well. If some of you are struggling and haven’t sought out therapy then I highly suggest you do ASAP. It keeps things calmer and clearer. Thanks for listening!

- Epiphany

 

March 2, 2021 12:16 pm  #2


Re: Therapy Helps (us both)

Sounds good! You seem much more positive and secure about things. Yes, therapy can be a very helpful tool. We’re still looking. He’s had 2 so far. The first kept pushing for an open marriage even after I attended a session and said NO WAY. She knew he would rather “have his cake & eat it too”. (I think she lived that way- a friend of hers wrote the book, “the New Monogamy”..the ‘new’ part being opening marriages....
His 2nd therapist just seemed to want to chat more than anything. Didn’t ever offer goals or anything.

the one I had wasn’t assertive enough. She kept telling me how she admired how well I was handling things, etc. It was virtual (his 2nd one was, too), which was fine. The sessions tended to be on my ‘good’ days, so she never saw me on days I really needed help...... So, I’m going to try again as I do need someone to help me start living again. When all this happened, I stopped doing things, like playing with my dogs or doing anything outdoors (and we live in the country, where it’s so nice outside). 
We also need couples’ counseling so we can learn to communicate without arguing, and instead be productive. It’s taken 1 1/2 years now just to get him to actually start talking instead of closing up. He wants to, just doesn’t know how. If only we could get a therapist that could help with things we/he/I need help with!

Best to you! See you in the other group(s), too!

 

March 4, 2021 11:04 am  #3


Re: Therapy Helps (us both)

Ugh, I’m struggling a bit today. We really connected over the past 4 days or so then got into it last night again. I started asking questions then he says “your tone has changed” and shuts me out. I’m like, well I get to be pissed some of the time! This is the craziest most complicated mind fuck I’ve ever been on. How is it possible for a man to so wholeheartedly WANT me for so long then suddenly bam, wants guys?! We’ve been reconnecting but it’s not enough for me yet. I know we’ve just begun but these therapists are SLOW, lol. He does say to me that his therapist seems more like a good friend and says things like “yeah, you are in a pickle”, and even cuts his sessions short if he’s not talkative. I told him he needs to at least do his journaling homework this weekend. I’ve set my boundaries now his therapist wants him to create his own based on his needs/desires. Today I’m just mad. Two months ago we both knew we were in this marriage for the long haul. Now we are being asked to ask ourselves if this is REALLY what we want. We love eachother and know that...is love stronger than sexual desires though? Is what we’re doing going to bring us closer or further apart? So many questions and so much confusion. We have come to terms with the fact that he’s sexually fluid. Now he needs to just decide if he can commit to us moving forward knowing he has a constantly shifting pendulum. To me, if he loves me...it’s a no brainer. His response was that his therapist told him not to say anything like that to me until he’s 💯 sure...he said he could be 98% sure but still won’t say he’s ready to commit to my boundaries yet. He’s supposed to set his own. It’s frustrating cause I’m pretty sure we set those boundaries 19 years ago when we got married. Now, because we love eachother so much we have to set new ones and it’s like trudging through mud to get there. I just hope he get get in tuned with himself sooner rather than later because I hate this in between.

Best of luck to you in your counseling as well and yes! I see you on the other groups too.

     Thread Starter
 

March 4, 2021 11:19 am  #4


Re: Therapy Helps (us both)

“We really connected over the past 4 days or so then got into it last night again”

Sure sounds familiar. We’ll have good days, some strung as long as 2 weeks in a row, and then some small thing will set us off on a lonnnng, heated discussion. During those good times, I think to myself “I can’t imagine feeling that badly again”...and, then it happens. I guess it’s that awful roller coaster ride they talk about. It’s getting better, though. We’re having longer good periods in between the not-so-good ones. (For us, it’s been since 6/2019 & 11/2019 on the disclosures...yep, he couldn’t be honest enough the first time...pretty normal). So, we’re really only 15 1/2 months past the 2nd one, so I think we’re doing pretty well considering I have had to get over the 15+ years of cheating with random guys.
Awhile back, I turned over a new leaf. I started to ‘give’ more loving, etc like I did before all of this. So much of the literature talks about the betrayer having to make up for what they did & I got into the habit of waiting for him to be good to me, and not reciprocating as much (not like me at all). I took a good look at myself & didn’t like what I saw. Here I was asking him to show me affection, which isn’t easy for him; but, I wasn’t showing it back as much. Since I started initiating the affection etc he’s been happier, more easy going, and it’s just been all around better here. (I think the positivity on the other sites, FB, Discord are helping).

Hope your day gets better!

((((HUGS))))

 

March 4, 2021 11:22 am  #5


Re: Therapy Helps (us both)

Therapy can be so helpful.  My therapist helped me realize that the boundaries I set at the beginning of my relationship to my ex-wife were critical to me.  When my ex wife and I got married, I thought we had mutually committed to a straight, monogamous, honest and fully invested relationship.  And then, I discovered 14 years after we married and 3 kids later that she was having a secret, same-sex affair.

These boundaries were not arbitrary; these were a reflection of my needs for happiness in my life with my wife. I expected the same in return.  When my ex-wife crossed all of those boundaries, it was a four-pronged deal killer for our relationship.  I wasn’t going to devalue myself and my reasonable, well communicated needs in order to accommodate her dishonesty and lack of respect for me.

And I’m so much happier now.  I am not diverting all of my energy into trying to make something work that was fundamentally unacceptable to me.  Instead, I can give my energy to my three deserving kids, my wonderful girlfriend and even (gasp!) myself. 

Food for thought. 

Last edited by Blue Bear (March 4, 2021 11:23 am)

 

March 4, 2021 11:40 am  #6


Re: Therapy Helps (us both)

Susanne- yup, we’re in the same boat. Not sure how long I’ll last in this boat but time will tell!!

Bluebear- I’m not quite there yet but I see what you’re saying. My husband has committed to full disclosure and trying under my current terms for now. We are in that in between stage of navigating this issue vs our love. He knows my boundaries and I’m pretty adamant about them. So yes, when his therapist tells him to develop his own boundaries it pisses me off a little. Fine, develop your boundaries but just do it already! If he comes back telling me he needs a side relationship then I’m out. I think if he were acting more selfishly currently (he obviously has been in the past), then I’d be ready to walk. Instead, he’s unlocked his phone, downloaded life 360, talks fairly openly, is very into counseling together as well as separately and is careful to not just tell me what I want to hear. He seems ALMOST positive that he can and wants to recommit but recognizes his struggles...which is way more honest than anything he’s done in regards to this previously. I find myself looking at other Mixed Orientation Marriages and how they got through this. I do know my boundaries and worth though. I will not compromise my morals beyond my personal standards. It’s just this in between of reconnecting then thinking it can’t work that’s killing me. I don’t want to rush it but I don’t want it to drag on forever either.

- Epiphany

     Thread Starter
 

March 4, 2021 12:41 pm  #7


Re: Therapy Helps (us both)

One other thing that helped me was to acknowledge my ex-wife’s infidelity for what it really was:  infidelity.  It wasn’t something I could dismiss as “experimentation”.  The fact she cheated on me with a woman didn’t change that.

And finally, it’s really difficult to receive honest answers from LGBT partners during this time.  My ex-wife confessed that she had known about her same-sex attraction before we had even met.  Problem?  She never bothered to tell me about it.  That kind of fundamental dishonesty, which was so deep and lasted for so long, was not something I could accept.  I know some people work through this, but I couldn’t.  And there was nothing wrong with that because I had clearly expressed my needs and boundaries when our relationship began.  She defrauded me.

Consider reading some of The Chump Lady’s stuff, including her excellent book on infidelity.  That book really helped me.

 

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