I've been married to a man for 14 years and have been having an affair with a woman for 2. She is married (to a woman) and neither one of us has plans to leave our spouses. What's making this so difficult is that during this time I've come to realize I'm a lesbian and have decided to stay in my marriage because of our child. My husband has no clue that I'm doing this and thinks this other woman is just my close friend. I feel like an a** for cheating and lying, but my desire to be with her and get to be the real authentic person I am is a great pull. It's very hard to live in this lifestyle of denying who I am, especially because I feel I've missed out on so much of my life at this point. (I'm in my 40s). I know you didn't ask for my story exactly, but I feel it gets harder to stay in the marriage when all I want is to be free and be me.
I've thought a lot after reading many posts on here about how we come again to happiness and peace after we have experienced such a major transition and change in life with all of the painful losses. Or perhaps come to it for the first time in our lives, authentic happiness and peace. I think that sometimes we experience so much brutal trauma and loss in going through this that we forget about how to get there. But I think these experiences come to us in the perfect storm, at the right time, so as to lead us to our true selves if we are brave enough to turn and look at it all and face it with truth and integrity. It helps us to cultivate the inner-self which can guide us so much more satisfactorily in our lives than living for all of the outside influences of culture and society. Although there are many people involved that we care and love so deeply for, the main relationship we need to worry about is the one with ourselves. What does it take to be truly at peace?
It's so hard to find answers in the thick of self-discovery that we forget about the partnerships in our lives and that we won't really ever be happy until those are settled in a way that is truthful. I think it takes integrity to get to happiness. In full disclosure, I am sensitive to this subject of spouses not sharing their truth so as to enable the other to make decisions for him/herself in the direction they also want their life to go. I was married to a man who did not share his truth with me for many years. At this point, I pretty much have peace and forgiveness with it because I have no regrets about the direction and culmination of my life. However, this doesn't seem like an intimate marriage or partnership to me or any kind of definition of a relationship I would want. And I don't really think there is a perfectly right way to define a marriage. It's absolutely individual. What I would want doesn't mean that is want anyone else would prescribe to. It can be a marriage of convenience or financial partnership. Or for the kids. It can be open or not. Perhaps it's not physically intimate or whatever. But what I think is important is that there is integrity and honesty between partners so both can decide if it's the life they want.
I like to read the posts written by those who have been through this experience and out for several years. I like to read the happy love endings because I am a romantic at heart. What I see in common with many of those posts is not necessarily a similar story or path, but women who stood up and owned their truths, told the truth and worked to make themselves whole and authentic on the inside. I think the price for this is integrity.
On a personal note, my life circumstances took a turn with an unexpected, precarious living situation that set me back a little into a state of fear and discomfort and mourning with the path of my life. I have major changes (again) that I will face soon and this set me further out of a place of comfort and safety. Both of these weak spots for me, which explains a lot of my earlier choices in life. It's funny that life or the Universe or however you define those circumstances will bring you face to face with those weakness and fears to conquer, which helps you to come more wholly into yourself. A true joy and can't be found anywhere else. Anyway, I was FB stalking my xH while he was away with his lover on vacation, pictures and moments. And his lover expressed to him in a post in such a beautiful way of the love of his soul for him. I was so happy for him. In all truth and integrity, facing myself truly, I knew I would never be able to give him that which he had always craved and which he is now receiving. Even though it's dark sometimes, and hard to see the path, have faith in the value of truth and integrity. It will go along way in healing the losses and sorrows that occur in this journey. It can make it all worthwhile. This is my hope for myself as well and all those I love.