Posted by Straight Spouse on Jul 21, in Blog 24 comments. When the average man finds his wife is attracted to another man, he might have an urge to go punch that man in the face, or at least show some anger. In fact , many men try to keep the marriage together. They fear the loss of their family, of their home , and a number try hard to make the marriage work. Many want to be supportive of wives who are questioning her sexuality.
Atwood JD, Seifer M. I can't even say I was always attracted to women. It is obviously much easier for women to fake heterosexuality than it is for men. As luck would have it, Finding out wife is a lesbian after, I received Kate kaufmann model unsolicited request from Lisa Ekuswho fell in love with another woman at 51 and wanted iss share her story. Contemporary and emerging ethical issues in family therapy. The physical burdens of secrecy. Fam J. You have zero intimacy now. Yet such support is important for couples in acute distress to aid their processing of the disclosure and reduce feelings of social isolation and depression [ 23 ].
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You've had your suspicions.
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- This is really an opinion thing, but here goes.
- You've had your suspicions.
At an event earlier this year, I met two women who, as it turned out, were not only business partners but also life partners. They left their marriages and grown children in their 50s and have been together ever since.
My curiosity piqued, I'm afraid I monopolized their time with my many questions. As someone who writes about midlife reinventions on my site, Next Act for Women , I am always on the lookout for women who have made major life changes, whether personal or professional, later in life. This certainly qualified. As luck would have it, soon after, I received an unsolicited request from Lisa Ekus , who fell in love with another woman at 51 and wanted to share her story.
It was kismet. They feel this attraction has always been there but had been previously inaccessible, for reasons individual to each situation. Lisa Dordal , who came out after being married to a man for five years, explains, "I finally embraced the fact that I was a lesbian when I came out of the closet at age I believe strongly that I was knit in the womb as a lesbian. In retrospect, the clues had been there all along. In high school and college, I wrote poems about girls and women I had crushes on and can also remember falling in love with my best friend at as much as one can 'fall in love' at that age.
Candace Talmadge agrees: "It's a question of acknowledging that which is already within you and deciding to act on it instead of ignoring or burying it in the closet. I tried to act straight and dated men without any success. I could have continued on that unhappy road but I found a person who loves and respects me and has been my best friend since , and my spouse since last year. She just happens to be female instead of male. I stopped worrying about what anyone thought about my identity and who I loved and had sex with--especially my mother, who made it very clear she did not want me to be a lesbian.
It was very hard on me for a long time because I did not want to disappoint her and I know her inability to love this part of me affected my ability to come out earlier in life. Unfortunately, she never accepted my lesbian identity but I finally moved past needing her approval and started living my life. And it's amazing! I love my life. I love being different and don't want to be like everyone else. Life was way harder when I was trying to be straight.
It's as if straight people are saying we just can't imagine how someone who's been in a heterosexual relationship could possibly prefer a same-sex one. It must be that she has not found the "right" man to "keep" her straight.
Amy Dulaney, whose Catholic upbringing did not allow her to contemplate her attraction to women, left her husband after 10 years. I came out late, but I do believe the people who know me see that I am happy being true to myself. Her discovery simply adds another dimension to who she is.
The women I interviewed ask us not to make assumptions about how they define their sexuality and not to categorize them based on our lack of understanding. My sister, Kat Tragos, came out at age 30 and today, at 50, has been in a committed relationship with a woman for close to six years.
She believes the Kinsey scale is the way to look at sexual attraction. I fall somewhere in between, tipping the scale toward homosexual. This was not always the case but perhaps I have allowed myself to awaken over time. I don't like to say I am bisexual; I'm just sexual. I have come across many lesbians and gay men who say bisexuality is a cop-out and that I am just not owning who I am; well, I've accepted that for some there is a gray area and I wish they would too.
I am happy to be in a loving honest relationship with my girlfriend. Nancy Schimmel left her husband after 17 years, not because she was gay but because the marriage no longer worked for her; she considers herself bisexual but prefers partners who are female and feminist. This may be the case with women who are only sexually attracted to women, but I am attracted to both men and women. Lisa D. She describes her views on sexuality: "Being with someone sexually of the opposite sex does not make that person heterosexual.
It is all about desire and attraction, not simply the act itself. There are, of course, plenty of women and men who are bisexual but I am not one of them. They often underestimate the power of cultural 'norming. I grew up in a fairly traditional though politically liberal family with clearly defined gender roles.
What I learned from my family and from the larger culture this was in the '60s and '70s was that I was expected to marry a man when I grew up. In the face of that insecurity, family and friends may question a woman's motives, her past, and the validity of her journey. Laila Berrios , who divorced her husband after six years and two kids, explains, "Straight folk either assume I 'became' lesbian because something happened to 'turn me' or that I was lying to everybody all my life.
None of this acknowledges the truth of my past, that I was living my life as honestly as I knew how but I only recently began to explore who I am.
I had no sense of identity until three years ago. I feel like a child. I wish people knew that I don't understand my coming out either.
I'm struggling. I cry over this. You don't get it? Well, neither do I. I truly lived my former life as a straight dedicated wife, mother, and friend. All I knew was that at age 40, something was missing. Many of us struggle for years and years and many maintain the relationship with their husband yet still seek a relationship with a woman. I'm sorry for the pain I caused my husband. I thought I could maintain a dual life but it simply wasn't possible.
And sometimes the process of coming out never ends. Andrea Hewitt, who came out at 44 while she was married to her second husband and blogs on A Late Life Lesbian Story , explains, "One thing that I didn't expect was how you have to 'out' yourself continually. So, I continually have to 'come out' in places that I never expected -- at the doctor's office, at my kids' school, in new work settings.
I thought once I came out, that would be it; but it's not the case at all. Andrea describes it this way: "Some lesbians can be judgmental about 'newbies' or 'baby dykes' and, in some cases, rightfully so. When you come out, it's like you have to start over in many ways, and it can feel like you are a teenager all over again. So, other lesbians can sometimes be wary of dating you if you are a newbie since you don't have much dating experience and you are brand new to being out.
Plus, if you are still married to a man, they can be concerned about you getting out of that relationship and severing those ties. And then there are some lesbians who are judgmental about women with kids if they themselves don't want any.
Laila chimes in, "Fellow lesbians have trouble accepting that I'm truly a lesbian, because I hadn't recognized it for 33 years. I can't even say I was always attracted to women. I've got no 'les cred.
Then there are 'gold star lesbians,' lesbians who have never slept with a man; they often pride themselves on this and seem to think it somehow makes them superior. It's really pretty stupid. Later-in-life lesbians may not feel comfortable in the established gay community of their older peers and may have a hard time carving out their space. Laila explains: "I feel like I've been thrown into this whole culture and I don't know any of the customs, language, history.
I feel like I should be a part of it, but I'm not. I'm on the outside looking in. My girlfriends have tried their best to educate me. The queer world is different.
Queer people are different. There are two kinds: those who want to assimilate into hetero-normative culture and those who don't. I can assimilate because I was part of it but I prefer not to. My girlfriends and our other queer friends don't either. Costine adds another dimension to this difficulty fitting in: "It has been hard for me at times to find a cohesive lesbian community. Since I came out after getting sober, I don't go to bars or drinking parties.
It has been harder to create a group of lesbian friends without the initial party opportunity to help me meet other women. The lesbian community can have a hard time creating community when a bar is not involved. My hope is that will continue to change and we find ways to connect to our special community without it involving a bar or a drinking-oriented party.
They are not always out in the workplace, and often need to watch their behavior when they are outside their homes. While Lisa D. Another woman a co-worker told me she didn't understand homosexuality but she was fine with it as long as I didn't 'try anything' with her. Also, there are many places and environments that I would not go to--or situations that I would not put myself in--for fear of something bad happening.
So, there is always a kind of quiet 'editing' that occurs as I live my life. Andrea says, "The saddest thing is how I have to be careful expressing affection for my partner in public in ways that I did not have to worry about when I was with a man. I never thought twice about holding hands or being affectionate appropriately so with a man when I identified as straight.
Now when I'm out anywhere with my partner, I always have to think, is this a safe place to hold hands? Can I call her honey in this store without getting any looks?
I'm hopeful that this will change in my lifetime, but I just don't know.
Finding out wife is a lesbian.
My pregnant wife is having a lesbian fling and wants us all to have a threesome
A searchable database of the laws, people, organizations, and litigation involved in sexual and reproductive health and justice in the United States. Good morning, chickadees! I thought getting married would resolve everything. It only complicated things. And I wish I had the independence of being single. Oh, dear heart, you know what to do. You are way too young to spend the rest of your life locked into a marriage you regret and resent.
You deserve the freedom to go after your joy, and your husband deserves a shot with someone who can reciprocate his affection. He might not see your asking for a divorce as a great favor right now. Ending your marriage gives you a chance to look for love in your future, not your past. Repeat anywhere from two to infinity times. However, I want you to know that you are not alone. This will be hard!
And scary! People are very good at getting used to things, even terrible things, and so it can be tempting to avoid the fear and the struggle for the bleak comfort of familiarity. Am I really brave enough to cut ties with my husband and his family and probably some of our friends and the couch we picked out together? Maybe I should stay. Maybe I can stay. There are no rationalizations here. You are very honest with yourself: You regret the choice to get married. The thing is, you make that same choice again every day you stay.
You make it because the alternative is huge and scary and overwhelming, but you still make it, and you can stop. I kiss a guy and want to freaking puke or punch them. I have crushes on girls, but my parents are extremely homophobic. They literally boycott a store if they see a gay person in it. I used to have a best friend that was gay. She was dating another girl who thankfully went to another school in another state if not I would have punched that girl.
I just want to be me and be with who I want to be with. Can you give me some advice? How can I start there being open about who I am? How long has it been since I extolled the virtues of therapy in this column? Too long, probably. Destigmatize therapy! Shout your mental illness! Take medication if you need to! Anyway, so therapy! You should go to it for your PTSD, but you should also definitely go to seek support in developing healthier conflict resolution and communication skills.
And the details of why your friendship ended are fuzzy, but reading between the lines, it seems like maybe your unspoken attraction and jealousy manifested in hostility or passive-aggressiveness that hurt your friendship. It seems like, whether as a result of your assault and PTSD or your repressive, homophobic upbringing or both, or something else entirely , you feel safer with the idea of lashing out physically than talking about your feelings.
Struggling, unhappy, traumatized, conflicted, and generally screwed-up people can and do find love. As for the coming out itself, the good news is that starting college again after three years off gives you a pretty great opportunity to stealthily come out.
I hope now is your time to thrive. Got a question? Questions may be edited for length and clarity. Legislative Tracker A searchable database of the laws, people, organizations, and litigation involved in sexual and reproductive health and justice in the United States. Get the facts, direct to your inbox.