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Bisexual while married...

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
Sometimes I feel repressed. I have "battled" with myself since early childhood about my sexuality. Homosexuality was purely demonized in my family, so I felt "evil" for having feelings for girls. I didn't meet another real-life person who shared bisexual feelings until the 9th grade, when I met my best female friend- she remains my best friend. She helped me to realize that there is indeed nothing wrong and everything right about the way that I feel. That said, I have still been back and forth over the years, going through stretches of time convincing myself that I am "straight." It's just my conditioning as a child choking me in adulthood!
Anyway, since I have been married to my husband, I have come to terms with my sexuality, which is somewhere in between straight and gay. It just doesn't make much of a difference what genitals a person happens to be endowed with- if I am attracted to someone, I just am, be they male or female. I have communicated my sexuality lightly to DH, who thinks it's "hot", which is honestly pretty hilarious to me.
The point of my confession is this: I have never had more than a kiss with a girl, and a part of me feels like I am really missing out on a pivotal part of personal growth by not experiencing a single relationship with a female! I love my husband, but I can't say that I am sexually fulfilled. I don't feel that this is something to end a marriage over by any means- as I said, I love my husband and I intend to raise our son in the same home as him in a legitimate partnership. I suppose I just can't figure out whether this experience (an intimate relationship with a female) is indeed a necessity in my development as a human being.

Does anybody have similar experience or thoughts/opinions? All would be much appreciated.
post #2 of 66
Have you though of a menage a trois?
post #3 of 66
Or polyamory?

I'm in a poly relationship with a married couple -- we're all open to seeing other people, so long as everyone knows what's going on and there's no lying involved. It's given my girlfriend and I a chance to explore in a "safe" environment, since we both came from conservative families. I love them both very much.

My standard disclaimer is that poly isn't for everyone. It requires just as much communication and trust as any other relationship -- if not more so.

There can be a lot of flexibility. If you try an intimate relationship with a woman for a while and decide it's not for you, then you can break it off gently and you'll still have your husband.
post #4 of 66
Thread Starter 
I don't think I would feel comfortable with a threesome... I couldn't say though. I think sexually I would feel more comfortable with just one person in bed with me at once, you know?
But I have thought about polyamory, now that you've given me the technical word for it. How does your husband feel about it? Did you introduce the idea to him? If so, how? How does he interact with your girlfriend? Assuming you have kids, how do you work that out? Do you or your husband's family know about your "other relationship"?
Tell me more!
post #5 of 66
Katie - there is a book you might want to check out called The Ethical Slut, which many in the poly community regard as the poly bible.

Poly requires a huge amount of communication.

While many things can fall under the poly umbrella, i.e. swinging, a relationship that is sexually open, the capacity to have more than one romantic and sexual relationship at a time, having one relationship with more than one partner. . .. they are all very different things. One or more may appeal to you while others do not.

As a for instance. . .I see myself as being capable of having more than one relationship at a time (been there, done that), as being capable of having an open sexual relationship (been there, done that - found out that I prefer to have the possibility of having more than friends with benefits), as having a relationship with more than one partner (been there, done that, would do it again).

My one big piece of advice is count on making a few mistakes, and then a few more, and learning a whole lot about yourself, your partners, and your relationship while you do.
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama.Pajama View Post
Tell me more!
I PMed you.
post #7 of 66
My husband and I both came to our current relationship from previous poly relationships. We'd known each other for many years, had tried dating on occasion before, but there were always things in the way. When we got together for good, I'd already been in a relationship with another woman (who is married herself) for several years.

What works for all four of us-me, my husband, my girlfriend and her husband is to have clear boundaries. My relationship with her is between the two of us-not the four of us, not the three of us. And we both realize that our obligations to our husbands and children are a priority-that means that bedtime routines come before our phone calls, for example. That's not how everyone does poly or wants to do poly-I encourage you to check out the poly families thread for more information.
post #8 of 66
Thread Starter 
I had a big wordy post, but my internet just saved you all from having to read it.

In short, my husband and I have had a marital epiphany- we officially reject the American puritanical model of marriage, i.e. a binding contract between 2 heterosexual, monogamous people with inflexible "rules". We recognize that following this model (and basing our expectations of our partners on it) is the crux of the failure of almost (or more than, depending on the study you cite) half of the marriages in our country. The puritanical ideal does not serve human beings, who are by nature constantly changing and evolving organisms. We must not have inflexibility- we must have flexibility, as in any relationship. We must not place unreasonable expectations on each other. Why is the marriage the only place where otherwise open-minded people suddenly close up? It's the taboo-zone that almost all of us unknowingly subscribe to- we all agree that marriage means one thing, and that we can't interpret it on an individual level, like it rightly should be!

Anyway, we have decided that we are reinventing the wheel in our own marriage by absolving the "rules" of society, and following our own path together, come what may.

In response to PPs, I will definitely check out the poly thread.
I will say that I don't feel comfortable with having an intimate relationship between more than 2 people (one of the 2 being me), but I am open to the possibility of having one with an additional person. But just that fact that I'm open to it doesn't guarantee it'll happen, since the last thing I'll be doing is pursuing a new relationship. I suppose it's more like "if it falls in my lap", you know?

Thank you everyone for the responses.
I'd love to hear from a married woman in an "open" relationship!
post #9 of 66
"Open Marriage" is a pretty broad term. Many different kinds of marriages could be defined as "open"-ones where people make long term commitments to people outside their marriages, ones where people have casual relationships with people outside the marriage, ones where the focus is on incidental hook ups outside the marriage, etc.

Ours is an open marriage, but we're usually more focused on creating a long term relationship outside our marriage rather than hooking up, but it all depends on what works for you.
post #10 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FtMPapa View Post
Katie - there is a book you might want to check out called The Ethical Slut, which many in the poly community regard as the poly bible.

Poly requires a huge amount of communication.

While many things can fall under the poly umbrella, i.e. swinging, a relationship that is sexually open, the capacity to have more than one romantic and sexual relationship at a time, having one relationship with more than one partner. . .. they are all very different things. One or more may appeal to you while others do not.
So my library system doesn't have The Ethical Slut... The only book I found when I did a search is One Big Happy Family- has anybody read it?

I think I am pretty unsure of what appeals to me at this point, since even the concept is new to me. I guess I just need to let it sink in for awhile and if something comes along that does appeal to me, I'll know.

Thanks for the advice!
post #11 of 66
Just bumping because I think this is a really informative thread.
post #12 of 66
i don't have much input but i wanted to say i am in a similure place as the op. except i have kissed a few girls but never had a relationship beyond that. my husband is the first person i ever had a romantic relationship with and i love him he is fabulous and have been with him ten and a half years but at times i feel like i am missing out. my story is a little different from op though in that i was out as a lesbian befor falling in love with a man then i had to come out as bi and it was shocking how many gay people i knew who could be really narrow minded about someone being bi. my dp has always said he would be ok having some sort of open relationship and with me seeing women and stuff but i have never really wanted to. i feel sort of awkward though because the world asumes i am straight which is irritating. there has only ever been one man in my life i have ever felt a sexual attraction to and the rest have always beenn women all my fantasies everything is about women. anyhow i guess i am in a pretty different place but i can relate to op in some ways and wanted to say so.
post #13 of 66
Thread Starter 

Update:

I am really glad PPs have found this post helpful too- I know I have.

DH and I had some major communication last night...
He told me that he is totally okay with me exploring my sexuality. He thinks it would be really good for me! But then I asked him, "Well, what about you?" I guess that was the weird turn in the conversation, simply because it is unheard of to speak openly about such things (at least to us). What kind of a woman would even suggest that her husband have the freedom to explore his own sexuality if he so desires? Well I guess that I am that kind of woman, because after seriously considering it, that's exactly what I told him. I can't express in words how utterly foreign this conversation seemed, simply because it was so (uncomfortably) honest. I realize that as a culture we have been conditioned to keep each other at a "comfortable" distance, even if you are in an intimate relationship, but I don't want to be that way. I want to have a truly respectful relationship with my husband, and I will not try to force him into the Good Husband Box, nor will he force me into the Doting Wife Box- love shouldn't mean you own the other person.
I did tell him that the only thing I was concerned about is the prospect of him fathering another woman's child- I don't want that at all. I want us to be the primary, family core relationship, and he was on the same page with me. He assured me that he did not plan on having any more children... So safety first, DH!

One funny little thing has come about though. I mentioned my best friend in my original post. I have had feelings for her on and off throughout our friendship, but I was always afraid of it- it's that guilt complex I mentioned. But I have been talking to her about this marital breakthrough, and she has mentioned that she wants similar things in her own relationship. She has been with the same guy since HS. I consider him a friend, but they have had a rocky, drawn-out relationship that, according to her, is hanging by a thread. Over the conversations we've had recently about our current committed relationships, I have felt closer to her than ever before (as well as DH), simply because of the likeness we share in so many aspects of ourselves... I find myself thinking about her like I have in the past. I think the main problem I have is that I would have absolutely no idea how to approach her about this! I also don't want to mess up a friendship, just in case she didn't share my feelings. You know?



What are your thoughts on this? I have really appreciated all of the input thus far, and would love to hear some more!
post #14 of 66
To address your question about missing out on a crucial aspect of yourself by not being with women (or a woman) I would just like to say that I am bi woman married to a man who HAS had a few brief relationships with women.

I have experience and I still sometimes feel like I am missing some aspect of myself in a straight marriage - not because I may not know what I'm missing but because I may be denying who I am. I can't really explore that in a traditional marriage in my ethical orientation.

No answers here, just some good advice that was give to me when I couldn't decide how to label myself: "You may just have to live in your indecision."

Good luck with your new arrangement!
post #15 of 66
Quote:
No answers here, just some good advice that was give to me when I couldn't decide how to label myself: "You may just have to live in your indecision."
Along similar lines...

I don't know if this is an issue for you (Mama.Pajama) at all, but what helped for me was rejecting the label "bi-curious" (Rejecting it for myself, that is. If other people want to label themselves that way, whatever floats their boat.) or other implications that experience is needed to know if you're "really" bisexual. I've been having crushes on females on a regular basis for nearly 20 years, including during times in my life when I was very religious and was scared of going to hell for it. I think I know who I'm attracted to at this point, and I don't need the experience to legitimize my feelings.

It'd be nice if it happened, but it helps with the feeling that something is missing.

(Of course, the fact that I'm one of those people who loses most interest in sex while breastfeeding, and having no time or energy for another relationship at the moment helps too)

Which is not to illegitimize your feelings if you're coming from a completely different perspective or just feel differently than I do. It's just something that helped me.

On the subject of experimenting/having an outside relationship when your husband doesn't (which I can't remember if it was this thread or another one)... here's my perspective, as someone on (sort of) the other end of things. My relationship with my husband has been open (for both of us) from the start. He's had several relationships with others, and I haven't. I'm truly fine with that. He's much more extroverted and...uh... less picky than I am (which isn't to say he has no standards. Our needs and goals just aren't the same). Not to imply that it's been a perfect journey, because it hasn't and isn't. But that aspect - totally not a problem.

What does help is not having to feel guilty if I do develop a crush on someone (because I'm definitely better at physical monogamy than mental monogamy!), and knowing that, should something arise, it wouldn't be a problem with him. Which I realize isn't the exact same thing as your situation, since it isn't something you're comfortable with (and honestly, the idea of him fathering an unintended child with someone else is my biggest concern, so I understand why you worry about it).
post #16 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anyalily View Post
I have experience and I still sometimes feel like I am missing some aspect of myself in a straight marriage - not because I may not know what I'm missing but because I may be denying who I am. I can't really explore that in a traditional marriage in my ethical orientation.
So you are saying you had your relationships with women before you were married? Does your husband know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocelotmom View Post
(Of course, the fact that I'm one of those people who loses most interest in sex while breastfeeding, and having no time or energy for another relationship at the moment helps too)
Yeah, this! I have these same thoughts. Even though I am excited about the new potential for having an intimate relationship with a female, I think to myself, "Between nursing a toddler on demand and otherwise being a 24/7 mama, when is that gonna happen?" Realistically, it's likely that my life circumstances, i.e. motherhood, wouldn't allow for any additional energy or time for an additional relationship until LO is in school. So basically there is excitement, but nowhere to put it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocelotmom View Post
Which is not to illegitimize your feelings if you're coming from a completely different perspective or just feel differently than I do. It's just something that helped me.
I don't think I made myself clear in my last "Update" post- DH and I have agreed that we don't own one another, so we are both free to pursue outside relationships if at any point we feel the desire to explore. I am totally okay with this now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ocelotmom View Post
On the subject of experimenting/having an outside relationship when your husband doesn't (which I can't remember if it was this thread or another one)... here's my perspective, as someone on (sort of) the other end of things. My relationship with my husband has been open (for both of us) from the start. He's had several relationships with others, and I haven't. I'm truly fine with that. He's much more extroverted and...uh... less picky than I am (which isn't to say he has no standards. Our needs and goals just aren't the same). Not to imply that it's been a perfect journey, because it hasn't and isn't. But that aspect - totally not a problem.

What does help is not having to feel guilty if I do develop a crush on someone (because I'm definitely better at physical monogamy than mental monogamy!), and knowing that, should something arise, it wouldn't be a problem with him. Which I realize isn't the exact same thing as your situation, since it isn't something you're comfortable with (and honestly, the idea of him fathering an unintended child with someone else is my biggest concern, so I understand why you worry about it).
In reference to the bolded statement, if you don't mind sharing a bit more, what kind of problems have arisen? This is just me seeking insight from someone with experience, so I may be better prepared to deal with the future.

From what I have read, the human male is wired to be "less picky"- his sperm are abounding and he has an evolutionary drive to spread it around. Females, on the other hand, are usually much more cautious about who they share their eggs with: she is born with a limited number of precious eggs, and she is wired to choose her mates carefully so as to select the best variety of sperm...
Perhaps this explains the fact that I have no interest in other men- I have found the best sperm for me!

How have you (and your husband) dealt with your fear of him having another child outside of your marriage? Any rules, like "You must always wrap it" or "If you do knock somebody up, this is what will happen..."?

This conversation has been insightful.
post #17 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama.Pajama View Post
So you are saying you had your relationships with women before you were married? Does your husband know?

Yes he knows and is as fine with it as he is my relationships with men. I am lucky to have chosen someone who is an ally.

I have had brief relationships, as I said, but the only serious one I've had I backed out of when it did get serious. It's funny a bit because I came out to my friends and family (mostly myself for I had already talked with most of them about my bisexuality) and then months later I met my husband.

I love him very much but sometimes I wonder if I was more attracted to the idea and convenience of a conventional marriage as I knew I wanted children.

My concept of queer relationships was narrow despite lots of friends and family who are lgbt... I was afraid that I would not get to negotiate the lifestyle I wanted with her. I knew I wanted to be the one to have the babies and stay home with them but worried that that wouldn't work for her.

Life is a journey!
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama.Pajama View Post
In reference to the bolded statement, if you don't mind sharing a bit more, what kind of problems have arisen? This is just me seeking insight from someone with experience, so I may be better prepared to deal with the future.
Long story short - lack of respect for previously established boundaries during a particularly sensitive time. I don't really want to get further into it than that.

Quote:
How have you (and your husband) dealt with your fear of him having another child outside of your marriage? Any rules, like "You must always wrap it" or "If you do knock somebody up, this is what will happen..."?
Yes, he has to wrap it. That's an STD thing too, especially considering that I'm breastfeeding and have the potential to pass anything blood-borne on to DD. I'd prefer that something be used beyond that, but don't make it a requirement, since I don't like the effects of hormonal birth control myself. If a pregnancy happened... it would really depend on the situation. It's been discussed. To be honest, it's an issue I do struggle with, and don't feel we have a particularly good answer to.
post #19 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anyalily View Post
I love him very much but sometimes I wonder if I was more attracted to the idea and convenience of a conventional marriage as I knew I wanted children.

My concept of queer relationships was narrow despite lots of friends and family who are lgbt... I was afraid that I would not get to negotiate the lifestyle I wanted with her. I knew I wanted to be the one to have the babies and stay home with them but worried that that wouldn't work for her.
I can relate to this. It's difficult! A domestic partnership with your husband can be a really good thing because it enables him to be a daily influence in his children's lives in addition to enabling you to be at home with them. Really, since you don't own one another (as in tradition marriage), your marriage doesn't sound too conventional to me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocelotmom View Post
Long story short - lack of respect for previously established boundaries during a particularly sensitive time. I don't really want to get further into it than that.
Yeah, I didn't intend to pry- that's all the answer I was looking for!

Thanks ladies
post #20 of 66

The Opposite Situation

Funny. I'm in the exact opposite situation. I'm bi leaning towards gay. I chose to go the "gay" route, and have been having a bit of a "mid life crisis". A part of me wishes I had married someone I knew who was one of the few opposite sex partners I was interested in, so I could have kids, and have a part of me live on...

Here is where I 'm probably supposed to give the speach about being true to who you are.

I won't.

You made a choice. You live in one of the most accepting societies in history, where homosexuality is concerned. Gays are no longer thrown in jail or mental hospitals. You can find a gay community in any city. The choice you made led to you getting a child, a husband who (presumeably) helps you raise the child and (apparently) is very understanding. It could have turned out worst.

This is VERY unfair to your husband. If you honestly don't care what kind of genitals your partner has, you should be happy with your husband. A long term relationship means picking one "flavour" anyway.

A husand that married you and had a kid with you expecting a real marriage may not be happy with a "partnership". This is a vry cruel "bait and switch". It would be different if he knew what he was getting going in to this. The idea of sex as a way to further your development as a human being is narcissitic and infantile.

If you want to experiment, I would suggest a "menage a trois" or finding a bi women interested in both you and your husband, and "share" her. You say you are uncomfortable with this? That is precisly why this is a good (or at least marginally less bad) idea. You dating a women WILL make your husband uncomfortable, and at the very least you should "share the pain". From what you say, I suspect if you had a "one on one" relationship with a women, you would become emotionally attached. That would destroy your marriage. A "menage a trois" would at least inhibit that from happening, and make sure your husband gets SOMETHING out of this. You can't expect him to placidly smile and stay with you while you cheat on him. Even those who say they are OK with that are often not.

Please, whatever you do, try to THINK about how others around you feel. Not how you think they should feel or how the "poly community" says they should feel. Try to use what you know about men in general and them in particular. Think about your husband and son, and try to run "scenarios" about how this will turn out. Talk to your husband. I find women who get too lost in introspection loose the ability to see how others feel. (Women complain about men being insensitive...but you talked about your feeling that you aren't that interested in men with your husband? And you didn't think about how this would affect him emotionally? And he was OK with it? And you didn't thank god for your luck, and for that understanding man?
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