Any other mamas who were married to fabulous men, had sweet babies and then realized they were gay? I'm at that point in my life. Married for 8+ years to my best friend and we have 2 beautiful kids (who are 8 and almost 6). It's been in my mind for at least 7 years, but not until now has it finally dawned on me that I'm not just bisexual, but actually gay. It's a scary process for me since I've built my life around heterosexuality, and the thing is, I love my husband. He and I have our issues, of course, but we are almost always on the same page and get along really quite well. He is very supportive of me, but feeling the need for an intimate relationship with someone, not just a brother/sister relationship. I completely empathize, but good heavens it's sad to think of giving up my best friend (and many of the dreams we've created together)!
Anyone else been through this process? How did you know absolutely that you were gay and not just "going through a phase"? I don't want to make any permanent decisions until I can face it head on with an unshakeable knowledge that this isn't going to change.
Any advice, experience or stories (etc) any of you can offer? I could really use some different perspectives right now... Especially from openminded, natural-minded mamas!!
I'm not sure yet if I have any help to offer you, but I am curious, what makes you think that you are gay? Is it the way you feel around women, or that you think about them in a certain way? Are you just not physically turned on by your husband, even though you love him?
I will tell you though, that I have known men (not so much women though) who were married for several years had children, saw them grow up and then realized they were gay, Or maybe they did know all along, but wanted to have that kind of a family experience. My uncle had 3 kids with my aunt, they all graduated high school, and then he left her for another man. So I don't think it's really uncommon, as most people may not really know who they are or who they want to be at the time of marriage, and we all change as life goes on.
first, i think you are right to try to get some clarity before making any major decisions. i think i would try to commit to individual therapy for a certain length of time (like six months) to work through it all, to feel certain and to figure out what i wanted to do - but of course, if you reach that point of certainty earlier, then act on it. and please, don't anyone take that to mean, "if you think you're gay, you need therapy." not where i'm coming from at all. more like . . . it sounds like you have conflicting feelings to work through. even if you felt sure of what you wanted to do, there's still the process of your marriage, family and identity changing. it would be unreasonable to expect anyone to go through that unsupported.
second, i'm wondering if your husband has been aware that you've identified as bisexual in the past. if so, i think that at least will be less of a shock to him to hear, "i don't really think i'm bisexual, i think i'm gay." if he doesn't know, then it sort of calls into question how close you two really are. in any case, it would probably be really hard to hear, but imo the sooner the better. it's okay to let him know about your uncertainty and fears and how much you love him but still need to figure this out.
third, you don't have to give up your best friend. if he really is your best friend, while your relationship would dramatically change, it's very possible that you will still have a relationship. if you decide you need to leave your marriage, that's going to be painful for everyone, but ultimately it's not fair to you or him for you to "settle" for a relationship that isn't really meeting your needs and in which you can't be genuinely fulfilled and happy. you could end up being great coparents who still pursue some of the dreams you hold for your family while each also living a life that is true to who you are.
while i would hate to have any aspect of my sexuality written off as a phase, there are periods of time when i have very little interest in women and other times when i have very little interest in men, so i can understand wondering if your feelings are temporary and your desire for your husband will return. it's tough. and i also understand what you mean about your life being built around being hetero, because i am right there with you. it's something i've discussed with very few people (like . . . three?) and i'm a little freaked about posting this, but whatever, people can love me, or can go suck an egg. wishing you a safe and healing journey as you find peace with yourself!
I identified as bisexual beginning at age 17 or so. I told DH that I was bisexual when I met him. It was never an issue, and I dated a few women while DH & I dated. The majority (maybe 85-90%) of our friends for a long time were LBGTQ in some combination.
We moved to a place where the gay scene is, I suppose, much more underground. At least we've never connected with it. About 2 years ago, I started to identity more as a lesbian than as bisexual. I told DH with the thought that he would want us to divorce. (We are sexually open but do not have emotional relationships - "girlfriends," I suppose - outside of our marriage.)
I felt much the same way you do, OP. DH is absolutely my best friend in the world. I love him dearly. We have children together. We complement each other well. And in the end, I didn't want to give that up, and neither did he. We decided that we would remain married. For him, he really wasn't seeking anything outside of sex from someone else, and since we're open, there was no real sense in getting divorced. We've eventually decided that we would be okay with dating people outside of our marriage as well, though we both know that really means me. We dated the same woman for a while and have talked about becoming a triad (not with her, but maybe in the future), but I'm not sure what will happen.
I've struggled tremendously with that decision as it often feels wrong and deceitful because I cannot really, truly be "out" and be married to a man. After about a year, I started to feel that maybe I'm really bisexual after all, just far, far more likely to have a relationship with a woman. Now I don't know. I don't think much about the label. None feel right to me, so I just am.
When we move next year, I want to connect with other LGBTQ parents. There are places where I can meet them, and I know that I'll have to have some identifier by then or else go into a long story every time I meet someone. But...I'll figure that out.
If DH were not open to me seeing other women, then I would get a divorce. I would try very hard to maintain our friendship and to be good parents to DC, but I really love women.
Good luck to you. I hope that you find the right path!
Thanks for all the replies!! It's nice to know that there are more struggling with sexual identity in one way or another. To answer questions...
I've been interested in the idea of being with a woman for 7ish years, when it suddenly dawned on me as an option (I was raised in a very strict, fundamentalist-type religion, so I never had allowed that sort of thought to cross my mind as an actual option). I realize now that I wasn't ready to consider (in a "for real" way) that I could be actually gay instead of bisexual, so I toyed with the idea of being with women, but not seriously. I've always been sexually dysfunctional (or so I thought), very low sex drive, often pain, etc. I am a very emotionally sensitive person who can only be with someone if I am emotionally attached as well, so I never really found a woman that fit all of my criteria (especially being that I live in a very socially conservative area). DH and I had discussed me finding a girlfriend when the time was right, because I needed to explore this and understand it. We married when I was 18, so I never really had a chance for sexual exploration as a young adult. DD was born when I was barely 19, so my whole mentality/identity shifted to "mommy" and sexuality was put on the shelf for many years.
I finally found that girl about 3 months ago. I discovered that I wasn't sexually dysfunctional, just not into guys like I thought I was. The relief was overwhelming to know that there was nothing broken about me. But to fully accept my gayness has been harder than I thought it would be (mostly because I love my husband so much). Being with a woman has been the most beautiful and natural thing I have ever experienced. Intimately, it's everything I have ever craved from a relationship. After analyzing my life, I realize that while most girls were crushing on boys and male celebrities, I was hyper-focused on the beauty of the females around me. I can't remember many males from my childhood, and have never really paid much attention to them. I always loved having boys for friends and found it very frustrating when they wanted to date me. When I became sexually active, I found sexual activities with guys very mentally straining and leaving me with an "icky" feeling that I couldn't describe (I wasn't a prude, I just felt like I was selling my soul in some way). I wanted their attentions and friendship, but not the sexual aspect of it all. Even with my husband, there are often times after being intimate that I roll over and cry, feeling like something is wrong and feeling so empty.
I keep trying to find myself attracted to men. But nothing. I just have never really wanted it, and doubt that I ever will (though never say never, I suppose). I'll be seeing a therapist this next week to discuss all of this, and hopefully find some answers. I just want to do the right thing and be an authentic person. I love, love, love my children and only want the best for them, but I'm willing to face that the best for them might be a happy mommy and daddy (that aren't together).
Thanks for listening! I'd love to hear as many stories as folks are willing to share.
I've always been sexually dysfunctional (or so I thought), very low sex drive, often pain, etc......
I finally found that girl about 3 months ago. I discovered that I wasn't sexually dysfunctional, just not into guys like I thought I was. The relief was overwhelming to know that there was nothing broken about me. But to fully accept my gayness has been harder than I thought it would be (mostly because I love my husband so much). Being with a woman has been the most beautiful and natural thing I have ever experienced. Intimately, it's everything I have ever craved from a relationship.
The thing I wonder about what you are saying is if you are re-writing your history to make yourself gay. If you've been attracted to men in the past, enjoyed sex with men in the past, then I don't believe that you are gay, but bi. It's VERY easy for people to start re-writing the past when they are in a new relationship, esp if they are still in an old relationship.
Putting aside the whole gay/straight/bi thing, new relationships are more and exciting than old ones. The "it's everything I have ever craved from a relationship" thing is very much a new relationship thing. I'm guessing that you really don't even know her that well -- what she is really like when the chips are down. Having amazing sex and having everything you want in a relationship aren't the same thing.
I think it *might* be far easier to tell yourself that you are really gay and that's the whole problem, that to attempt to sort out what being bi really means for you. Being *just* gay is really a lot simpler. It's an out. It's the ultimate, "it's not you, it's me."
I could be totally wrong, I can just see how easy it would be for some one in this situation to re-write their history.
but everything has pros and cons
I've been friends with people who identified as "gay" or "mostly gay" who ended up marrying somebody of the opposite gender. When they "came out" to their gay/lesbian friends as being in a committed heterosexual relationship they were ostracized by the gay community. There's a lot of pressure for those who identify as bisexual to choose sides. I've noticed that oftentimes the GLBT community is less accepting if one of their own goes "straight", especially if the individual identified as "mostly gay". I've seen bisexual individuals giving themselves their own guilt trip over falling for somebody of the opposite gender.
The thing is you did make a commitment to your DH. You might not be sexually attracted to him, but a lot of people lose sexual attraction for their partner. It doesn't mean you have to run off and "find yourself". If you left your husband (that you consider to be your best friend) due to accepting that you are gay, it would basically be going back on a contract to pursue sex. You seem to get along with your husband fine from what you've said. Is the possibility of amazing (or even just better) sex worth ending your partnership?
I'd suggest you end the affair and try to fall in love with your husband.
I identify as queer/pansexual. My husband is fully aware of this. However, most people IRL do not know my sexual orientation because it honestly doesn't matter. I'm in a committed monogamous relationship with a man. I don't need to "come out" to others. I've been selectively "out" since I was at least 15.