OMG AmyY you are my posting hero today. THANK YOU! I couldn't articulate what was irking me but you said it perfectly. I, too, have been thinking way too much about this thread and the issues that have come up in it. I even talked about it in therapy yesterday.
Originally Posted by AmyY
It also stands to reason that many (most?) of us who undergo this sort of deep internal core identity shift while married will be both terrified and determinedly picky - about everything. There are many, many, many (etc) more things to consider in shifting one's core identity than who one will seek out as a sexual partner. In fact, for many if not most, who one does the deed with is rather incidental to the overwhelming process of change involved here.
YES. Thank you. I wish more people understood this. It's kind of like the whole "well how do you know if you're gay before having sex? Same way a straight virgin knows they're straight." But there's so much else to deal with. For me, a huge part is working through the shame I have inside from growing up in an incredibly negative and homophobic atmosphere. Reaching out and becoming part of a community is extremely important to me, too. Those are things that I want to work on before I throw myself into a relationship.
If I was still seeing men and broke up with my dh, I wouldn't want to jump right into the dating pool right away. After a 9 year serious relationship, whatever its ups and downs, that's quite a shock. Just because I'm "switching teams" doesn't mean I get to skip the transition period between relationships where I start to find out more about who *I* am outside of a romance.
|And at whatever point in that process of chance a woman seeks a relationship with another woman, it makes more sense to me that the married (or formerly married) woman, bringing children, exes, and much baggage, in tow, would be extremely picky. Outright rejection from someone unwilling to consider the reality of one's life is, in fact, a great gift, no? I would venture, however, that the rejection happens more frequently on the other side.
This has been majorly on my mind lately. I was thinking, ok so "some women" might "have issues" with my situation or my background or whatever. Right. Well, no big loss. Because any woman who is going to be with me will have to understand:
1. My daughter comes first. Always. No exceptions. I'm her mama before I owe anything to anyone else.
2. Her dad will always be her dad. Always. He is a good parent and they adore each other. He has always pulled his weight as a parent and he is loving, giving, supportive, feminist, kind-hearted, and ethical. Regardless of what happens between him and me, he will be her daddy and I will protect and enshrine that relationship because it is as sacred as her relationship to me.
3. He is also my friend and has been one of the few people in my life who has shown me true loyalty and who I can give full trust. I will not abuse his trust or treat him like an annoyance or inconvenience. I will not treat him like a sperm donor because that is not who he is to me or my daughter. I will not treat him like a non-custodial weekend daddy. He has been a 100% daddy from the moment we saw 2 pink lines and I will support him to continue being such forever.
They're not going away and I wouldn't want them to. If I could turn back the clock and make him sign a donor agreement and get lost I would never, ever do it. He is so much more than just an ex or a babydaddy. To me and to his daughter. I will not betray their bond, ever.
If a woman is threatened by that or cannot accept it, well, she wasn't going to be around for long anyhow, was she?
|Like BSD, when I do contemplate a future outside of het-world, I contemplate it primarily as myself. It's about being myself, not about foisting attentions upon an unwilling community.
Yes. And frankly I am really annoyed by the insinuations that we're foisting ourselves, aren't you? I mean really. The Lesbian Membership Approval Committee has been disbanded: rolling open enrollment is now available! Plus I have only really encountered that attitude online. IRL, I've never been to a lesbian or queer gathering where my past or present was an issue. In the flesh it's so different, people aren't as hung up on words. They like you, they accept you. They don't demand to see your ID.
And I am putting THAT out there because I am afraid that women early in the coming out process will see some of the naysaying online (we look into things online because it seems "safer" these days) and be too afraid to go out there and go to the potluck, visit the community center, volunteer for that project. Go out and do it, you won't regret it!
|I would respond here that the enormous shift involved in changing one's insides and outsides can take a long time or a short time. You had already shifted to singlehood before shifting your core identity. For those of us in supportive marriage/family situations, the disentangling of relationships is a huge, huge, separate but linked issue to the orientation issue. It requires delicacy and tact and courage, and the understanding that this is all a process.
Yep. Like I said above, I cannot and will not drop kick him and run simply because he is inconvenient to my identity. I don't have to be romantically involved with him, but I remain his friend by choice. And the involvement we have with each other because we became parents together is not dissolveable, period.
And there's practical considerations too. Should I forego the rest of my education and go get two crappy jobs just to make a point? No. There is no sense to that. This is not an abuse situation or an emergency. Two adults who get along are perfectly able to live platonically without exploding or regressing, it just takes cooperation and self-awareness and communication. Splitting our household up would cause chaos that is totally unnecessary right now. We'd still have to stagger our schedules around each other, or throw DD into care all day while we're in class, which would be another big change for her. If she lived with me, he might see her only a few hours a day at the very most. As it is he is here for her most of the time he's not away at school or work, and he helps put her to bed every night, makes her breakfast, soothes her tears when she trips, plays for hours making stuffed animals talk. It would traumatic to my daughter and incredibly hurtful and wrong to separate them from each other.
Our expenses would double. There would be less toys at Christmas and less relaxation time for everyone. No. Not going to do it.
This is what happened last time. People wanted to bully me into coming out THEIR way. Well I am older, stronger, and more confident now and I KNOW there is not only one way and that doing it a different way doesn't make me "less of a lesbian" than anyone. And again, I RARELY if ever encounter this stuff irl, but because I got dissed so bad in "safe" online anonymity last time I was scared to put myself out there. Not this time! I know myself, I believe in myself, and no one can shake that this time.