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November 29, 2022 1:21 pm  #1

Everything is falling apart

This is my first post. I've read a few posts and I've listened to the entire podcast. I'm writing this while going between feeling numb and crying uncontrollably so if I sound detached, that's why.

I need to start with our story. My wife is my best friend. For me it was love at first sight. I moved across the country for college to Minneapolis, MN. I'd never been to MN and I didn't know a single person. I met and talked to several people when I got to campus but then I looked up and saw her through a window and I was stricken. We met each other and talked flirtatiously a few times but never really got to know each other until the spring. Finally I saw her in a hallway late at night while she was talking to a friend. I decided to wait until she was done talking to him. I had to give it a shot. We walked around the city for hours, talking. A few weeks later we went on a date and started spending a lot of time together. Six weeks later I left school for the summer. We held each other and she walked away crying. I knew I was in love with her and 2 weeks later I asked her to marry me over a phone call. She said yes and we got married 6 months later.

We had a rocky relationship for a number of reasons. Lots of childhood trauma for both of us. Religious trauma and indoctrination. A lot of trying to do the things we "should" to be good Christians and have a good life and marriage. We had 6 kids. She was pregnant or nursing for over 16 years without interruption. It was hard. We fought, we were often unhappy, but we stuck with it because we loved each other. Truly, honestly, loved each other. It's been 23 years.

My wife came out to me as not straight about 21 months ago. I had thought she might be bisexual because I knew she had some attraction to women, but we had an active sexual relationship and she expressed enjoyment and desire for me often. As a Christian she was taught her attraction to women was a temptation, some inclination toward a certain sin that she needed to ignore, pray about, and live a holy life and it would go away. She didn't understand who she was. She was disconnected from her body from cultural and religious influences, etc. But 21 months ago she figured it out. 

I asked if she wanted to stay together and she said yes, so I was immediately supportive. I looked at this as her opening up to me, letting me know her in a more in-depth way. I embraced it. I thought maybe she had this additional attraction and I wanted to figure out ways for her to find fulfillment. I never imagined she wasn't attracted to me. I thought we could share in this new adventure for her (not in a creepy or fetishized way, but I thought we were together in it). She made it clear that wasn't going to happen. We had the period of tons of crazy sex right after she disclosed for a couple of weeks. Sex then dwindled from twice a week to once every 3-4 weeks or longer. She told me she was a lesbian, but wasn't completely sure yet.  That changed things for me, but since she wasn't sure I decided to stay positive and optimistic. I've tried to give her space and time to work things out and understand herself. This past summer I resigned myself to us only being friends and that gave her the space she felt she needed. We've had sex maybe 8 times this year. She says she has to turn off part of herself to be with me.

Every few weeks the loneliness and loss gets to be too much for me and I start an argument about it. It's not on purpose. I know I lose perspective and forget about her side of things. I know that's not fair to her and I never want to hurt her feelings. I'm just SO sad. I miss her with all of my being. She's my person, you know? And she's right there, but she's grieving and angry and sad and confused and lonely and her needs aren't being met either. She's right there but I feel like there's this chasm between us and I can't stop thinking about how to bridge it.

Last weekend was our 23rd anniversary. We started having a conversation on Saturday that quickly turned into an awful argument. Partly because of how we both communicate, partly because I'm so angry and lonely and sad. I said it wasn't working for me, trying to change our marriage into a friendship. I couldn't do it anymore. We talked about divorce and kind of settled on that. Then we cried and held each other for an hour. She told me if I found someone before we separated she wanted me to go for it, that i deserved to be happy. I thanked her (it was a kind and authentic gesture) but couldn't reciprocate. I'm not interested in finding someone else and can't think about her being with someone else. I just can't, it's soul-crushing thinking of not being with her.

Then on Sunday we talked more. She wanted to figure out how to make it work. She asked for time for her to figure it out. I agreed. We talked about it again last night and I found that I'd essentially blocked out that we'd talked about divorce the week before. I couldn't remember the conversation besides the early argument, crying and holding each other. 

I've never hurt this badly. I've been depressed much of my adult life, I've lived through trauma and abuse/neglect, I've gone through some awful crap I don't need to share here. This is breaking me. It's not fair that two people can love each other so much and be incompatible. It's like some cruel joke. I love her with all my heart. I love our family, I love our kids and don't want them to be hurt. I don't want her to be judged by family or friends for our marriage failing. I don't want her to have to come out publicly if she doesn't want to. I don't want our kids to be angry at either of us for this. Mostly I want to finally get to be happy with the woman I've shared 23 years with after working through so much together. I want the next 23 years to be full of love and kindness and happiness and peace. 

I've read and heard a lot of stories where people either divorce, stay together in a platonic marriage, open their marriage up to other partners, or stay legally married but live separate lives. I haven't heard of anyone making it work where they stay married in a romantic, intimate, sexually fullfilling marriage for both partners. I haven't heard of people in a MOM staying in love and being happy. Does that happen? Is it possible? Or am I hoping for what everyone else hopes for and doesn't find?


November 29, 2022 2:32 pm  #2

Re: Everything is falling apart

I empathise with your pain, so sorry it is happening to you.  You sound clear and level headed in your appraisal.  

Incompatible is incompatible isn't it.

It is good for me to read your story because it says in black and white what I have been unsure about for a long time - it says that yes it is possible to fall deeply in love, to feel that romantic one and only heart and soul love for someone who doesn't really fit like they were made for you.

Not sure that it is the same for her - she is not looking at the body she wants to be looking at while you are.  She says she has to turn off a part of herself to be with you.  



November 29, 2022 7:14 pm  #3

Re: Everything is falling apart

Hi - I tend to be blunt so I hope this comes across well. Neither of you can know exactly where she is at until she actually tries being with a woman. It could be a sort of fantasy that got out of control and she went down a bit of a rabbit hole. She may go be with a woman, fall in lust with the experience and then a few months later decide that's all it was. The need to feed her bisexual side, and she wants to stay in the marriage after all. But obviously in order to figure that out, she needs to actually do it. Now whether your religious leanings will even allow that if you are still married, well that's your thing. But as for your marriage the way it has been, or you thought it was, for 23 yrs...that's over. If you get through this it will be something new. My personal hell this year started in late January and only now is starting to ease into something new we can both live with but it's not at all a romantic, loving, sexually charged thing.  It's a partnership. Kind of a friends with occasional benefits if the friends were legally married. He has things I need (physical strength, the ability to work) and I have things he needs (keeping house, family stuff, everything computer/tech related). So we decided to rewrite our relationship in the only image it can be in now. We got new rings, the whole thing. More as a public show thing, no vows or anything. Will it work? I don't know. We don't know. But if there is one thing I learned in the past year it's that sometimes you do what has to be done for family and financial security.  But we're in our 60s. You are probably in your 40s. I didn't even marry this time til I was 40. If she is sure she's lesbian and wants a divorce and you can both manage financially while still caring for the kids' needs then honestly, I think you should do it sooner rather than later. Why drag it out. But if she is truly uncertain, just give her time. Put sex aside for a while. It's not everything. Let her figure it out and if it does mean the end of the relationship, never feel like it was a waste, or a lie or any of those negative things. You had 6 kids together.  You had a good 21 of 23 yrs. I think of that poem about people coming into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Well maybe you were each other's family "season" and your lifetime relationship with her will just be as the mother of your kids. Either way this is going to take some letting go. And, some hope for the future which may be very different that you expected. My first husband came out as gay 4 yrs in. We're still friendly. Because he gave my my precious kids and I can't hate him when he did that for me. 
If you can, see a therapist, even online. and take care.


November 29, 2022 9:29 pm  #4

Re: Everything is falling apart


I don't often visit this section as I have no experience with a MOM ..at least not a voluntary one.

That said I read your story and can empathize..you're suffering the horribleness of TGT...the anxiety and doubt now that you know your spouse likes the same sex.    Are they meeting a friend for drinks or is it a date?

These spouses have no idea of the stress and anxiety , the distrust, this causes us..I call it the horribleness.

While I have no answers to regain trust I urge you to seek therapy and medical help if necessary.. the anxiety can cause physical problems and interfere with work or helping with the kids. 

Wishing you strength and fortitude

"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7

November 30, 2022 1:58 pm  #5

Re: Everything is falling apart

People can stay happily married in a MOM. My husband and I have a great life/marriage and we’ve been together for over 30 years. It certainly was challenging when he first confirmed he’s bi, no doubt about it. We’ve overcome so much and we’re well beyond that being a focus of our marriage.

I wish you the best.



November 30, 2022 5:59 pm  #6

Re: Everything is falling apart

HereInMpls2717 wrote:

.....In've read and heard a lot of stories where people either divorce, stay together in a platonic marriage, open their marriage up to other partners, or stay legally married but live separate lives. I haven't heard of anyone making it work where they stay married in a romantic, intimate, sexually fullfilling marriage for both partners. I haven't heard of people in a MOM staying in love and being happy. Does that happen? Is it possible? Or am I hoping for what everyone else hopes for and doesn't find?

Hey there 😊 welcome to our Forum. Although your situation will be somewhat different to mine...in that I'm a woman...I believe the premise of our r'ships is basically the same.
A MOM takes work work work, and my personal opinion, with experience, is that both lose out. You can be all high and mighty and virtuous about it but when you get down to it (and I'm talking about my 38 year r'ship) as long as we stay together he can only "be bisexual" in his head/fantasy, or undercover/in secret. And I'm straight so I have nothing to hide, just my disappointment that my life, while stable in every way but intimately, is actually broken.
Open r'ships suck. They hurt. They wound... the straightspouse, not the SO.

 Do I wish I could go back and change...
... something? You bet. But I can't. I believe you can because you must have time on your side

Again welcome.


KIA KAHA                       

December 1, 2022 7:56 am  #7

Re: Everything is falling apart

Hi HereInMnpls

I'm married 37 years, we're  now 17 years after my wife disclosed she is lesbian.
To answer your question: We made it work, romantic, intimate, sexually, all what a marriage should be. And we're 100% monogamous.
So yes, it is possible. 
It's not guarenteed, whether you succeed depends on both spouses involved. 

You can read about us and how we went about it, to reach this situation. I bumped the topic up, so it's more easy to find, or follow this link: https://straightspouse.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=1931

My wife SamanthaNL also writes about it, how it was for her, choices she made and why.

Feel free to ask questions!


Last edited by Dutchman (December 1, 2022 8:05 am)


December 11, 2022 2:24 pm  #8

Re: Everything is falling apart

I am going through about the same thing right now. My wife of 13 year has kinda forced me into a MOM. She was just looking for women like her on an app and within 3 week said she "fell in love" with her. Kind of how she did we me. I don't want to leave me wife either and she says she doesn't want to leave me. She now says she is solo poly and has a girlfriend and it kills me. All the emotions you talk about are what I feel too. I feel like maybe if she can have this that we can stay together but I question how long this can work. 1 year? 5 years? 20 years? I question it because of one her feeling could change or I just can't take the heartbreak any longer....like being activity cheated each day and there is nothing you can do about it.
Time will hopefully heal our hearts.


December 11, 2022 11:53 pm  #9

Re: Everything is falling apart

Hello JRW, I don't usually post on this board as I was never in a mutually agreed upon MOM.

I feel bad for you. My late GIDXH would shock me with his brazen behavior and then I felt numb and frightened taking steps to protect myself.  He was abusing me. I was a hostage, not a wife.

You have a right to be in a monogamous marriage if you want. No one has the right to railroad you into accepting a wife who has a mistress.

No - It's not too late. It's not hopeless. Even there, there's something I can do. I just have to find the will. Ikiru (1952), film directed by Akira Kurosawa 

December 12, 2022 1:04 pm  #10

Re: Everything is falling apart


If I understand you correctly, your wife has single sidedly decided she want's an open relation om her side, you are expected to follow along...
Didn't she question the ethics of her conduct or how her actions would impact you?
You ask how long that would work? Well, I would suggest: zero days, for this is not how someone would treat someone they supposedly love.

Are LBG different kind of humans, that are above questioning the morals of their behaviour? There is a trope of this kind of reasoning in western culture.
Totally non-sense of course, but many fall for it (subconsiously). The highest moral standard is "following your feelings and living it out", and that trumps everything else.
Well... that leaves you with nothing, you should wave the rainbow flag while your wife lives out her desires.
Is that part of the reason you are even considering to endure this ordeal?

What if your wife was straight and she went out on tinder, matched with a man there. And the same line of story unfolded. Would you even consider enduring that too? 

The fact in your situation it's about same sex, doesn't change anything at a fundamental level. She's cheating and actively persues an adultery livestyle. Period!
Draw the line!



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