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Husband just admitted having feelings for men

(34 Posts)
Whoknows36 Sat 04-May-13 22:11:00

Omg I am in shock.
Dh and I have been married a long time with two children. He told me he wasn't happy with our relationship and we went for counselling and things improved. A few weeks ago he told me he's suffocating and doesn't know why but is struggling with life/us. He couldn't really explain much more and he decided to move out for a break. Today I saw something that made me think he was attracted to men. I've asked him and he said yes. He didn't know how to tell me.
For the last two yrs he has been attracted to men and women. Nothing has happened but he's so mixed up and can't understand why he feels like this.
I feel so sorry for him because I can see why he's so mixed up ESP as he's said our relationship is good and our problems were the result of him trying to figure his head out, but he couldn't tell me why he's been struggling. But then I'm also feeling so many different things. I don't know what our future could be. What do I tell friends, kids etc. I feel that it's now my secret.

middleeasternpromise Sat 04-May-13 22:38:36

Has he ever acted on these feeling do you think? At least you and he are talking about it and that has to be a good thing. To know what the future holds requires good communication. Can you go back to the counselling now you have this out in the open? Talk to the friends you feel will support you, its all very well you feeling sorry for him but there needs to be someone doing the same thing for you.

It doesnt have to spell the end my friend started a relationship with someone who was bi-sexual, they are still together and it has worked out for them. How old are the kids? Im not sure I would be discussing this with them just yet. Best wishes to you and make sure you get yourself some support

Helltotheno Sat 04-May-13 22:43:54

I think in the first instance, don't worry about telling people right now. You don't have to do that... ever if you don't want, but certainly not now. What's to be gained when the two of you haven't fully discussed how you both feel? Give this some time.

Also, it's not as bad as you think. Nobody can say how things will work out, but if it helps, try to keep in mind the positive things you've always felt about him as a person, rather than as a person who's hetero, gay, bi etc. At the end of the day, these things are labels, and I'm not saying they're not important labels, because obviously many want to publicly identify very specifically as any one of those things but... unless he's met someone... and that leads me on to my next question..

Do you think he's already met a man?

Rulesgirl Sat 04-May-13 22:52:26

O my. That's a tough one. Feelings for other women would be bad enough but feelings for other men. God. That would blow my mind totally. Poor you. Hell of a shock. I don't think I would tell anyone. It needs time to be talked about and thought about before you decide how your going to deal with it. But Im sure there are helplines you could phone or forums on bi sexuality that could help you to get it off your chest with likeminded people in the same boat.

darlingbudd Sat 04-May-13 23:13:19

Poor you. ((Hugs))

I'm your husband in this scenario. Feeling not right and 'suffocated' is exactly it.

I suppose the thing I'd say is that it's really good that he felt he could tell you. It doesn't necessarily mean that your marriage is over. And you don't need to do anything about it now. Take your time.

There's a yahoo group called MMOMW (making mixed orientation marriages work) which I'm finding quite helpful at the moment - it's mostly American though there are a few Brits - but it is mostly straight women/gay or bi husband scenarios. At various stages of 'out'. Some are many years post-revelation. I found it very comforting.

Fwiw my husband and I are still in love and married and although I now consider myself a lesbian, I want to stay married as long as he'll have me. I think that at some point we may have to be a bit more creative about how the marriage works in terms of sex (eg one or both of us seeking sex outside our marriage, with the other's permission) but there's time for that.

There are many ways through this. Don't panic. Get some outside help. I am having counselling and we also had some couples counselling for a bit too.

This won't be easy but keep talking. Xx

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-May-13 07:18:11

He has to be very, very honest with you about where he sees his future. If he's gay and that's where he sees his future then that is not compatible with marriage. Extra-marital affairs, whether gay or straight, will do zero for your self-respect and benefit no-one.

Accepting your sexuality is a difficult process for those people that have gone through it. Personally speaking, I was in denial till 4 years ago. It is a scary place to be, your head is all over the place, then when you finally accept it you carry on burying your head in the sand.
Not everyone who is bi acts on their feelings. But sadly many do.
There is a great site shybiguys.com with a wives/girlfriends corner for women who have just discovered their Dh's sexuality, there are some great people on there with lots of experience in this.
Keep talking to your Dh, what does he want? What do you want? Is there a middle ground?
Take care Op

Here shybi-guys

deliasmithy Sun 05-May-13 08:34:39

Yes I think the main issue is does he want to act on these feelings?

Imo I struggle to see the significance of his accepting that he also finds men attractive. Its more that his behaviour is implying he is prepared to act on it.
He married you. In my old fashioned opinion that means he made a commitment to be faithful to you regardless of who he fancies getting it on with, male or female. Yes there are some people who have agreements about relationships outside the marriage but I feel im just wanting to get to the bottom line. If this was him moving out saying he was confused as he fancied other women i wonder whether you'd be in this quandary?

Whoknows36 Sun 05-May-13 08:35:52

Thank you all. I feel so many things I actually feel numb. I'm relieved in a way because our marriage was fine until this summer and I couldnt get from him what he felt was the issue or how we could sort it out and so blamed myself and was getting so many mixed signals. One minute were buying new windows and the next he's telling me he needs space. So now I can see why all that was going on and that he's confused and hoped he could continue to hide his feelings.

But part of me is annoyed that the life I knew has been ripped from me and the kids. I don't understand his feelings and don't know how to deal with it.

he's been honest and told me it started 2 yrs ago where he noticed he found men attractive but over the past 6 months he has wondered what it would be like to have sex. He said he hasn't approached anyone or been unfaithful but has been watching gay porn and finds it a turn on. He also says he watches female porn and gets turned on by that too. I just don't understand how you suddenly develop these feelings. He said until 2 yrs ago he had never ever had gay thoughts.
where we go from here I don't knowsad part of me thinks liking men is no differmt to liking women and just because you find others attractive doesnt mean you need to act on it. So as long as he wasn't unfaithful could I carry on. Then the other part thinks he isn't the man married and what if he's feelings get stronger and he does decide he wants to be with men.
he doesn't know either, he can't see how I can even want him here or why I would be prepared to consider staying. He doesn't even know if he finds men attractive but having sex would be a turn off.
everything is just so shit!
he's contacting a counsellor today to help talk his feelings through

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-May-13 08:41:07

It's all about him at the moment isn't it? What about you? What help are you getting? You've had the classic 'I don't know what I want' which is usually code for 'I do know what I want but you're not going to like it'. You know he's using porn (which many find an infidelity problem in and of itself). He claims to have never had these feelings before.... which makes me at least question whether he's being honest. All the previously married gay men I know (and I know three...) tell me that they always had those feelings but chose to suppress them for reasons of social expectations, embarrassment etc. until the need got too strong and they could no longer lie about it.

So what help are you getting?

Andcake Sun 05-May-13 08:53:29

Poor you I echo cogito in saying you need support. I was in a v similar situation to you 10 yrs ago v little counselling for me available even in the se. HE struggled after his disclosure for a year then left. I offered emotional support during that time but then when he left had huge problems pulling my life together as he turned quite nasty. i Suffered severe depression etc as it puts a certain lens on your past. The year of being in the closet with him was agony but worse after he left. Get support not necessarily from a friend- professional help- friends tend to think its the best gossip ever. I felt so stupid after 12 yrs together.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-May-13 08:56:22

You're also going to need RL support for the break-up. Friends and family are probably going to be more supportive than you think. Plus there's legal and financial advice available.

toffeelolly Sun 05-May-13 09:15:30

God how do you cope with.this feel for you.

ALittleStranger Sun 05-May-13 09:23:09

I think this is really tough. If your DH had said that he'd started finding other women attractive after only having eyes for you and had started watching a lot of straight porn, then you'd be fully entitled to yell at him to get his act together and focus on the marriage.

But I don't see how people can realise they're gay later in life and not want to act on it. I just think it's too big a thing. Sexuality is an active thing and I don't see how someone can come to the mental conclusion that they find men attractive and not want to put it into practice.

Would you be comfortable coming to an arrangement where you stay together but he's given some space to explore his sexuality outside of the marriage? I think most people would struggle with this.

AnAirOfHope Sun 05-May-13 10:29:55

I think in your position i would want to separate in a friendly way. I would want dh to be free to try sex with men to have space to see if he wanted to be with someone else. He has been honest and faithful and i would respect him for that. I wouldnt want to be with someone who doesnt know 100% that they wanted to be with me.

It doesnt mean what you had was a lie just that people change. He will still help with the kids and be a dad. He will still help if you need it. You would also be free to date, concentrate on yoirself, your hoddies, do things that interest you. I think importantly you can start to emotionally detact from him and the hurt his dessions would have on you.

I think you need space to see what you want out of life and to think about your need for love and a healthy relationship with someone who knows he wants you and can care and love you. This is no longer the man you are married to.

Good luck for the future and take care of yourself xx

Helltotheno Sun 05-May-13 12:28:02

I think in your position i would want to separate in a friendly way.

Yes I agree with this in your case. As people have already said, he doesn't get to play about and start experimenting, all in the name of 'what he wants', while you sit around waiting for him to finally decide. Telling him you want space for an indefinite period will give you both a chance to regroup, especially you. Ultimately it would be nice to think it could be amicable no matter what, but you need to look after yourself.

I know a couple of men this has happened to and have felt very sympathetic towards them, firstly because in both cases, they were from the type of families who would judge, and did. In once case, the woman was and has remained very bitter about it (only bf/gf at that stage) and took it personally as a reflection on her; in the other case, the couple are not together but amicable. These are great guys and behaved honourably. I do think sometimes we underestimate how much influence a very judgemental society or family can have on a person.

But your mention of porn has made me a lot less sympathetic towards your DH. It's a bit too late for him to be treating his sexuality like some sort of a la carte menu when he has gone as far as marrying someone and bringing children into the world with her. It makes me feel as if his reasons are just frivolous and the whole thing has probably even been brought on by porn iyswim. Put it this way, if he wasn't a regular porn user, would this be an issue at all? Maybe I'm wrong but I do think this could be self-indulgent and I don't think you have to indulge it.

Yes, you need to look after your your own needs here and make that clear to him.

darlingbudd Sun 05-May-13 16:36:15

How are you today OP?

Whoknows36 Sun 05-May-13 17:28:16

I feel like its all one big dream. I have a thousand questions that need answering.
dh is moving out today temporary to give us both space.
I don't think he's even thought through what his next move is ie does he try it and see what it's like or of its all just a fantasy.
He accidentally looked at gay porn! and then realised it turned him on and then started to deliberately watch it.Maybe because he likes watching it he thinks he must like men. I have no idea. I think at the moment if he told me its just something that turned him on and he didn't want to take it any further I wouldmake a go of the marriage with counselling. However anything other than that means were through. But until he can understand how far he would take his feelings I can choose either iyswim. He's booked himself in for counselling. I almost wished he had carried on hiding his feelings or had an affair so I could be angry. I've asked if he ever felt this way before and he's said no. He has always wanted sex with women and never thought of men until recently. Unless counselling unearths something that he's forgotten at the moment I believe that. He has no reason to lie to me now.

TotallyBursar Mon 06-May-13 02:50:25

This must be incredibly hard for you Whoknows.

I am bisexual, or maybe more pansexual these days I suspect.

However I am also in a conventional straight marriage. I think the key thing is my sexuality is actually a non-issue or red herring maybe because on the day that we married I took a vow of fidelity to him. Not a vow of forsaking all others, except those with the same genitals.
There are marriages/partnerships that do work with consensual extramarital relationships but many of us don't feel that we can accept that. It's not what was signed up to & so I don't think there is an obligation to accede to this purely on the basis that there would be a same sex partner.

Sexuality and monogamy are 2 different things. If you are monogamous by nature then the gender of an extra partner is of no consequence (for me at least). The thing is, what's to be gained here? If it is a case of feeling he can't give you what you deserve & will only be happy in a same sex relationship then that is vastly different to wanting to see if he prefers sex with men.
I can think of a few encounters with women that are 'better' in a way dh isn't able to provide but that is not the sum total of marriage.

I do wonder where he will find himself - many, many people ime can find homosexual porn arousing & may even include that in fantasy but still are very much hetero in real life and would find physically experiencing same sex acts is not for them.

I think I am torn as to how much I feel for him - I can see his need to find out how he feels about this & stop his turmoil but at the same time - you have a sex life together that has been working & he still finds women attractive also so is not finding himself unable to meet that part of your marriage. So...what? Having sex with other people outwith the confines of your vows is an affair regardless of gender. The marriage was otherwise happy - I wonder how much greener grass syndrome is affecting his rationale here.

I hope you get plenty of support - you are an equal partner and while you may not be in control of where he's going you absolutely have the right to decide if you accept it or not.
I will probably be told I don't understand but I think this can be reduced to fidelity or not - and as with other cases you don't have to wait like the condemned, you get to choose too.
I hope the space apart gives you time to process how you feel & what you want to do.

Whoknows36 Mon 06-May-13 10:04:44

Thank you everyone for the advice. I have confided in a close friend who is helping me through this.

Totally bursar- your message very much helped, thank you.

I know I don't have to wait for him to decide and he is prepared for me to say its over, but at the moment I don't want to throw away a good marriage for what may just be a fantasy and a realisation.
I've asked him why he has chosen to tell me, and he has said it was eating him up and even though he hasn't done anything he felt he was being deceitful. I've also asked if he wants to act on these feelings and try gay sex but for now he said he hasn't thought about it and really doesn't know. He has been honest answering every question and tbh I have asked a lot and also very graphic questions which he has answered
For him I think he has been worrying about feeling this way and now it's out he will explore what he wants from this. Maybe he will decide he needs to try it and then that will leave me with another decision to make ie do I allow him the one try or at that point call it a day.
I suspect at the moment through counselling and finding himself he will need to try this to see if its for him. But who knows! It's just so so mixed up.

Rulesgirl Mon 06-May-13 12:26:55

Your being very brave.

Xales Mon 06-May-13 12:38:50

That's a great post TotallyBursar.

Sexuality & monogamy being different things. Sums it up completely. If you have agreed a monogamous relationship, sex with either male or female outside of it is an affair.

I did have to go and google pansexual incase I had to lock up my saucepans if you ever came around!

Whoknows36 Tue 07-May-13 08:46:36

My worry is whilst I can accept his bisexuality, I'm worried as to what he will decide to do. Only he can decide that, but I really don't want my marriage to be over.

TotallyBursar Wed 08-May-13 21:44:40

How are you doing today Whoknows?

Sorry I have been away for a couple of days.
I hope things are moving in a positive direction for both of you.
I can totally understand where you are coming from, hopefully being able to explore his feelings without censure from you and with the help of a councillor will allow him to find out what he actually does feel. Many people have to face a sudden bout of mid life crisis, separating all the threads will, I'm sure, be beneficial. Not easy for you though.
I hope he can move through this period of self indulgence (that is not meant perjoratively, I did it, many of us do) and see the bigger picture that is inclusive of the happy years you've had together.

Xales - Worry not, your pots and pans are safe from molestation! Well...unless you've got some Le Cruset :drool:

Xales! That bit about locking up your saucepans just made me choke on my coffee grin

IME, admitting and coming to terms with my own sexuality was a long process and the effect it had on my marriage was like a rollercoaster. At first Dh was really happy and excited at the though of me being bisexual, all the typical thoughts went through his stereotypical head about threesomes etc. When he realised that wasn't what it was about, it wasn't about fantasy or sexual gratification for me he started to worry that I wouldn't want him anymore and that i'd leave him for a woman, that wasn't going to happen either.
When I made new married bisexual friends he didn't want me to meet them because he felt threatened by them, I wanted to meet them because they knew what I was going through and we could share our thoughts, fears and feelings with each other.
Realising and accepting my sexuality didn't mean I had to act on it, I don't need to sleep with a woman to prove that I'm bisexual, I know I am!
Our relationship has grown stronger as a result and now we can look at events that have happened over the years and know that my surpressed sexuality had a lot to do with it.
We are more open with each other now and have no secrets. We are both happy with how things are at the moment but that's not to say it won't change in the future.
If you think your marriage is worth saving climb on the rollercoaster but prepare for a long bumpy road.

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