Hello, I have found solace on this website these past few mobths and now I am ready to share.
I have been with my H for for over a decade...we were young and have grown a lot together. When we got together, I was still grappling with my sexuality and began to identify as queer with only one experience with a woman in college. Over the years women have been my main attraction and the desire for more would consume me.
Recently I have been hit by lightning. Something has changed my entire essence. Having access to that part of myself through a recent experience with a woman turned my world upside down. Every light has turned on. I have tried to work on an open marriage but it is devastating my H which is psychologically difficult for me as I attempt to embrace my authentic self. My attraction was never fully there physically for him but we had a good sex life (up until the shift) and are best friends. But I can’t shake the feeling of libertation...feeling the softness and magical atmosphere of being close to a woman, sexually and emotionally. I am beginning to identify as a lesbian deep down within. But how can I leave a loving, caring H? Why do I want us to just be BFFs now? What happened? He loves me and I love him...he’s ok with my sexuality as long as I can be monogamous and sexual towards him, which is getting more difficult. I have cheated to release this tension and I am so ashamed. He deserves better and I deserve to live in my truth. I’m working with a therapist so that helps but my mind is spinning each day.
How have you dealt with the guilt of wanting to leave? How do you not feel insane? How do you describe what is going on within you?
Post by findingself on Nov 15, 2018 20:19:21 GMT -5
Hi Ladyblue. I hear you - so much. I'm struggling with a lot of the same questions and feelings. I have never been with a woman but have always been attracted to women. And yet, I have an inner voice saying that I'm gay. My H is also my best friend and I too was never fully attracted and present physically for him. I felt a very clear shift a few months ago and have cut off our sexual interactions since then. I am STRUGGLING with understanding why this shift? Why now? I love my H and our beautiful family. I don't want to break his heart or my daughters' hearts. But I can't seem to ignore my inner voice any more. My therapist tells me that this is one of the hardest parts of the process. My insides feel completely turned upside down. I'm 45 freakin years old and suddenly feel like I don't know myself. I'm confused and excited and terrified and guilty all at the same time. I think that we don't have a choice but to be our true selves. And the guilt comes from the conflict between wanting to live authentically while not wanting to cause harm to those we love. I wish I had some really solid advice but all I've got is to breathe and be present and move forward with love. You are not alone.
How have you dealt with the guilt of wanting to leave? How do you not feel insane? How do you describe what is going on within you?
I have felt the guilt and am currently feeling it. Now that these feelings have awoken in me, I cannot deny them. I reason that guilt comes from feeling like I’ve done wrong and there is no wrong in this situation. I am who I am and nobody who loves you would want you to be anything else.
I do sometimes feel insane. When I fee a little crazy I focus on the now. Breathing helps. I also go through a checklist in my head of things I k ow to be true.
I’m not sure what is going on with me. I’m not sure if I missed cues in my childhood or if my sexuality is shifting, but I think it matters less to me than it did when I started on this journey some months ago.
I really like what was written here. I do understand it's an evolutionary process with so many revelations about self and relationships and core identity and so many things more that it takes time to unravel and understand what to do with everything. One foot in front of the other.
But I'm just curious as to what everyone here thinks defines a "great" or "good" marriage. I've heard that a lot. I understand that it is probably a safe and comfortable marriage. I understand knowing that you are married to a good person. And that it looks good in hetero society probably. I understand that culturally mom and dad and the kids all together seems right and is easier to take for family and friends and therefore acceptable and less scary than the alternative to those who are in your life. But a great or good marriage? I know there is guilt and questioning of sanity. I've been there. But what you are looking for and have found with another, specifically a woman, signifies to me that the marriages are lacking something that you need and want and deserve to have.
Last Edit: Nov 16, 2018 9:26:28 GMT -5 by hartache
All these responses touched my heart. This is quite a processand I relate to everything you hve all written..
Regardless of my definition of a great marriage, you’re right, something is missing. I shift the attention away from my struggle and needs ...as though they should be inconsequential for the greater good. I’m trying to seek evidence as to why I’m wrong. The reality is yes, I have a beautiful friendship built on creativity and shared beliefs with this person I love aaand it is also true that I am gay and crave something he can’t provide...no matter how sweet and kind he is.
Acceptance of these multiple truths are hard, especially since some truths veer from ‘the plan’. I keep thinking about what would happen to my husband, his family...how they would all feel...the pain. But I forget to ask about my pain...the life I dream of that I keep pushing down. It’s clear that a transformation is taking place, one that does not follow the narrative of the girl who doesn’t rock the boat, so nice and appeasing. This is no longer about pleasing men, which has been a part of my identity most of my life...or anyone else for that matter. This is about seeing, knowing, remembering, reclaiming who I am.
I have never felt such passion...on top of the deep love I have had for women already. Beyond the sensual, there is a spirituality I have found. There is an inner knowledge...an intuitive nature that has been muted but is awakened...and that’s exactly what is enlightening me...that is precisely why all these other thoughts and feelings like guilt shame come up. Because this knowing threatens the structure I created and what has been created for me...it seeks to reinvent it.
Part of this evolution is learning to trust myself, learning to honor my desires, to allow myself to live out loud in contrast to the world of silence I am all too familiar with. I can see that some days all I’ll want to do is shout from the mountain tops, dance til I’m sweaty and lying breathless on the floor...and other days I’ll be stuck in bed eating gummy bears endlessly, riddled with uncertainty and fear.
But we owe it ourselves to know ourselves...to create the lives felt in our souls. One breath at a time.
Last Edit: Nov 17, 2018 11:57:54 GMT -5 by ladyblue
Thank you for this beautiful post. It was powerfully written and buoyed me up on what is kind of a shitty day on so many levels. There’s so many truths written in it that have continued on for me even after coming out.
I learned of two deaths today that affected me greatly. One isn’t my story to tell but is very poignant and revelatory to me and would most likely be to many of you as well. The other is a woman from my hometown that was my high school boyfriend’s mother. She died suddenly last night. My last correspondence with her was painful and harsh. She disapproved of my “lifestyle” choice. Pretty sure she was harsh because she didn’t get to live her authentic self...growing up mormon, married at 19, kids, all of the expectations of that culture and religious society. But I remember her and her best friend while growing up. They did everything together. Camping trips, scouting, sports, card nights. They used to ditch Sunday School and get a Diet Coke at the Circle K every week. I also remember coming home for a visit and someone saying they didn’t hang out as much. When I asked her about it she said she needed to focus on her marriage. Looking back I can see what she sacrificed. Pieces of herself. Passion. Love. I’m sad today for our last interaction. She was important to me coming from kind of a messed up family. And mad that she didn’t get a chance to live her life fully. Own your power and autonomy. Take it from any outside influences and internalize it to make your life true. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look right to anyone else. Life is too short not to.
Hartache - I am so sorry for your losses. And I’m sorry that your last interaction left much to be desired from someone who supported you in the past. It’s so painful that because of how society has been set up, so many are left without being able to live in their truth and can’t accept the truth of others as well. I can see how these unexpected passings are a reminder that all we have is this moment. So how do we honor it? How do we honor each other? Life is for living. And maybe one way to think of this crazy journey is that we do it also for those who couldn’t step forward...whether it was unsafe to do so or not feasible based on other cultural and societal factors. We can take their tragedy and turn it into light. Because I know that though this is heart wrenching work, so many people have fought and bled and died and continue to do so in order for us to be ourselves - safely, vibrantly, expansively.
Take care of yourself today and the days that follow as you work through this grief. We’re here for you:)
Hello, First of all thanks for the website and the blogs. My husband and I have been married for 14 years. We have two boys. They are severely handicapped and they will always rely on our care. There is no one else who knows how to take care of our twins besides us. My h and I make a great coparenting team. It’s a very unique situation but we are happy to take on the challenges, they are loved so much by everyone. My h and I are best friends and financially set and we have so many friends that are loyal to him. I would lose a lot of friendships and if we divorced I would lose my h as a safety net.
My story starts a few years ago when I met a married woman through a mutual friend. We were both straight. Then the situation became unclear for me when we had a threesome with her and her husband. I started to feel devoted to her emotionally, not physically. She didn’t return the same loving devotion towards me. It was impossible to get her out of my mind. I wanted to see her as much as possible. My husband started to see a change in my demeanor. I was happier. She didn’t like where the relationship was headed because she knew that I wanted to be closer in an emotional relationship. It took me two years to get over her.
Today in my marriage my h and I are holding on by a thread. We have filed for divorce twice since My friendship with my friend ended a few years ago. Family is what is holding our marriage together. I am not satisfied totally during sex with my h. I have met a married woman and we click with each other. We both consider ourselves straight but I’m leaning towards at least bisexual. My new friend and I enjoy each other in bed. The time that we get to do this is very minimal and it is taking a toll on me. We have only been friends for two months but it seems like forever. We both see the same therapist separately. I have very strong emotional and sexual feelings for her. She says that I ‘m funny which is sexy as hell to her. I’m beautiful which is confusing her more. Now I know my crush a few years ago on my friend wasn’t a fluke in my sexuality experimentation. My friend has teenagers and she wants them to get to know my sons more. My friend and I talk a lot about the possibility of being lesbian. Like scenarios of how her kids would be accepting of our sexuality. We are both in situations.where our husbands are suspicious of us. We’re both lying to our husbands and it’s exhausting for me. I’m almost ready to at least divorce so I can explore possibilities of my sexuality. I would definitely see my friend more. At least I would have peace. My husband wants me to be happy and I wish the same happiness. Is divorce a good route for my happiness and staying true to myself? It’s something only I can ultimately answer. I just wanted to hear any experience or advice!
Indeed this is something we all have to figure out for ourselves. I keep coming back to how it all feels and truly trusting what is within. I am getting closer to accepting that at some point I plan to move on from my marriage to truly be myself and match what I feel on the inside with my life on the outside. Some days I am sure of this, other days I can’t fathom it. The back and forth may go on for a while. But what was surprisingly helpful and incredibly painful was telling my H recently that I may need to leave him in the future. I have lost myself in having an affair (he doesn’t know) and it’s definitely exhausting and not the road I want to get too familiar with...so even that aspect alone makes me want to set him free from the betrayal. We are trying to open the marriage but I don’t want boundaries and it makes him feel unsafe...but that’s the plan since he wants to be supportive. But even then, is that what I want? Truly? Or is that still a cop out when the reality is I want him as a bestie and to have a wife instead. The truth hurts. And I think it takes time to settle into. When the thoughts and questions are spinning fast, I try to write...and I am going to start running again soon. We’ll all figure this out! But it will take time, self-care, brushed up coping ss. No decisions necessarily need to be made now...I think this is a process and it’s ok. The more I accept the rollercoaster, the better I get at navigating the lows and highs. I think many of us have the answers deep within, but we just gotta get our hands dirty and dig.
Last Edit: Jan 18, 2019 21:33:07 GMT -5 by ladyblue
Wow, thank you for taking the time to read my post. I could tell that you put real time into a thoughtful and sympathetic answer. Very encouraging:)
Like I stated in my initial post, I've had feelings of questioning my sexuality a few years before I met my new friend. I realized though that the first woman I had any sexual experience with, was more of an experimentation. I did realize that an emotional relationship with a woman could be possible for me. I was scared it would not happen again and it was painful to come to that realization of being in an unhealthy marriage that I am stuck in. I should have mentioned that this is not a healthy marriage, it is quite the opposite. He is controlling, jealous and insecure which makes him filled with anger. My h is very good at manipulating me to make me feel guilty about divorce and saying that makes me a "bad mom",(a very broad term), I guess his extensive experience as being a mom and walking in my shoes lol, is the best ammunition he could conjure up lol. All of these feelings and experiences I have had is preparing me for what is happening in my life now.
After 14 years of marriage (or almost half of my lifetime), compared to 60 days since meeting my new friend, I have realized in a very short time of what I want: happiness. Never downplay your definition of happiness. I'm not looking through rose colored glasses, the path to happiness will be filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. To my h, happiness sounds so cliché and selfish for a reason to divorce, but happiness is a feeling and not a thing. It is a definition that means something different to everyone.
With my friend or without her, or with or without any partner for the rest of my life (hopefully with her if I am lucky enough for her to decide to leave her husband and choose to be a lesbian lol), because this woman makes me turn on a dime and my head spin. Moving forward with my new life I know I will ultimately be filled with peace, positivity I desperately need and a loving soul everyday for as long as I live.
Post by jbellabella on Jan 22, 2019 15:09:44 GMT -5
Hi sophiemom and ladyblue -- Just knowing that others on this board have been or are riding the same rollercoaster has been so consoling! I agree with ladyblue when she says that "surprisingly helpful and incredibly painful was telling my H recently that I may need to leave him in the future." It's often the disclosure of truth, to yourself (aka saying in the mirror "I am a lesbian" or whatever your new truth may be) and also to your husband that begins the wheels of action and next steps. But it can take a long time to get there! Months, year, or maybe even just weeks. I hope, sophiemom, that your husband's anger, manipulation, and jealousy doesn't put you or your children at any risk. Please do consider that as you move forward. Pacing the flow of information to him may be best, as in sharing bits at a time that he can more easily digest emotionally. It's not easy when it starts to feel so clear to you!
Update on my decision-making: In short, I've been listening hard to myself, letting feelings be my guide and listening hard to my husband, bearing witness to my own truth, as well as his. After many weeks and months of stumbling through couples therapy sessions -- not arguing, but fumbling as through fog -- and hearing him say more than once, "I don't believe we're talking about preserving our marriage anymore," I realized I have to own my truth and be accountable for the next step in my life, in our life, and that of our family. This past Sunday, I told him that my romantic, emotional, and sexual attractions have shifted towards women more exclusively than ever in my life. Because of this and because I love him and I want genuine possibility for fulfilling lives with or without partners, I don't believe we should stay married. I said that I won't be satisfied with my sexual identity not being integrated into my whole life and so to continue living as a heterosexual woman in a heterosexual marriage feels untrue to me and to him. Dear reader -- WOW! I can't say it was a lightning bolt of knowing what to do, but it did evolve from a perspective of patience and love for us both -- and truly because he is a wonderful human being and because I finally realized that it was my turn. It was a hard, sad, honest, but hopeful conversation. It's only been 48 hours but so far, we are talking about the real emotional and logistical possibility of splitting, though remaining close partners in parenting and lifelong friends and family. It's early, I don't have anything else toshare but to say listen to yourself. It may not be a bright lightning bolt, but it may be possible to at least have enough light to see to the other side. Hang in there ladies!!! Yesterday sucked, but today I feel in sync.
sophiemom - I’m glad you know and accept that you want happiness instead of an unhealthy marriage. What you feel can’t be denied...it is amazing when we allow ourselves to be changed by new (and beautiful) information. It sounds like you’re figuring out your path!
jbellabella - I commend your honesty and listening to your truth completely! I know it isn’t easy but I am glad you are feelinng more in sync.
I think I too have decided that I will leave. I left it at “it is possible in the future” but if I truly listen, I know what I want and what I feel. It’s almost like the guilt, shame, doubt are getting quietter in my soul and the wisdom is settling in. I’m not in a place to make any moves or even to confirm it with H because we also work together and I need to figure it all out but there nevertheless there is a sense of relief in deciding and making a plan.
Yes it’s hard to confess to our h that you’re admitting to beautiful feelings that aren’t directed towards him. My h is under the impression that as my h, I am obligated to give him all of my love. I agree with him on that because I believe that partners should be emotionally and physically connected to each other exclusively. I don’t think that I ever truly had that connection and I made the decision to have an affair. I’m not the first person to have an affair but I realized that for my own good, I have to stop that for myself to stay healthy mentally. It’s so hard to do this for me because I am in a comfortable cycle of lying to my h and myself that my behavior is justified because of the way he treats me poorly. I now know that I have narrowed it down to three options: stop this behavior and live miserably with my h or continue this behavior and live miserably with my h or thirdly leave my h and dive into the unknown. Who wants to live miserably? I definitely don’t. I won’t let the fear of the unknown stop me anymore at the possibility of a path to happiness. It’s a great risk but when I’m prepared to live on my own I am making the leap to divorce. I do agree that I have to give my h a slow let down piece by piece because he needs to absorb things that he doesn’t agree with slowly. I know deep down that my heart isn’t connected exclusively to his. This realization of my heart disconnected from his makes my decision to leave my h easier. He knows it’s over by the way I kiss him and look into his eyes sadly because I know and he knows that we’ve lost each other. It’s not his fault or mine, we just don’t have anymore fake love to give to each other.
Things are moving quickly and my H and I are breaking up. I’m in shock and am grieving but it may be the best thing for us to do. An open marriage doesn’t seem like it could work and staying monogamous isn’t an option right now. It is heartbreaking but I’m just going to take it moment by moment. I can’t deny the truth...the more I accept the inevitable pain of this human experience, the more I can appreciate that this is simply what it means to be alive.
Hi ladyblue, I hope that you are hanging in there. I’m proud of you for staying strong and believing that anything is possible. You have acted on your gut feeling and that takes so much strength and courage. You are in a position now with a lot of unknowns. Don’t be scared to ask for help. Whether it’s with a woman therapist who knows what she is talking about, friends and family or the message board. We’re in this path together. Thanks for giving us an update.