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Married but think I'm gay

(138 Posts)
SuddenRealisation Mon 12-May-14 16:56:56

Happily married for almost 10 years, I have 3 DC. Dh is my best friend and we get along great (most of the time! Same as any married couple)

A bit of history.. I lost my virginity to a female friend in college and we dated for a while. After we broke up I dated a (rather annoying) guy for 2 weeks and had my first sexual experience with a man..
A while later, just before turning 18 I got together with a female friend I had a major crush on and we dated for about 2.5 years, we lived together at uni too..

All this time I hid my lesbian relationships from my parents. They suspected at times and asked questions, I always adamantly denied it as I felt their disapproval and was terrified to tell the truth.

I had thought we would be 'life partners' and be together forever.. In the end I couldn't deal with the guilt of hiding it all and kind of sabotaged my relationship with my girlfriend by cheating with my ex gf. She forgave me but I still had the guilt so called it off anyway.

I went home and cried for a long time. I just couldn't do it.

After that I had a period of self destruction where I had lots of one night stands with men and short relationships.

I couldn't deal with the apparently gay side of me and even rang the Samaritans on one occasion, feeling suicidal.

It was around this time I think I consciously or maybe semi subconsciously made a decision I wasn't going to date women anymore. I was just going to be with men, a lot simpler and I didn't have to worry about what my parents thought of me.

Before dating anyone though, I decided to be by myself for a while to get to know me without any distractions.

About 6 months later I went out for a drink with friends and had a great time with one particular friend of a friend. He is now my husband, we got together that night, I have never felt so safe and at home in a mans arms before.
He was kind, funny, attentive, a lovely guy.

Fast forward to now. I struggle with our sex life, libido is infrequent.. Has been from the start really (apart from the first few months, honeymoon period and all that). I have bouts of depression and wondering whether I belong in this life.

I have barely thought about women at all up until very recently. I seem to have come to a sudden realisation that I do like/miss women and that I've been burying that deep inside and ignoring it all this timeconfused

Incidentally, I have no contact with my (toxic) parents these days.

Sometimes when I get a moment to myself (not very often!) I think of myself back then and have a little cry. I wonder what life would have been like if I had been brave enough to choose that path.

Now I feel as if I just have to carry on as I am. Too many people to get hurt. Helps to say it out loud to someone though.

Please excuse any typos, on my phone.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 12-May-14 17:05:08

It's not too late to be honest. Of course it would hurt others if you did so, but the status quo doesn't sound like it is especially making anyone happy. Doesn't a 'kind, funny, attentive, lovely guy' deserve some respect in the form of the truth and the chance to decide what to do with it?

FWIW I've known three men, all married, all with children, all come out as gay subsequently. In only one of the three cases was it acrimonious. In the other two, although there was short-term upset, they remained very good friends with their ex spouses and their children.

Agree it's not too late

The person you're hurting most is yourself sad

SuddenRealisation Mon 12-May-14 17:10:20

Oh Laurie, you've made me cry.. Must dry tears before he gets home..
Back soon, can't post whilst he's around x

Rebecca2014 Mon 12-May-14 17:56:57

You said in ten years you have only just started thinking about women, could it be your bored maybe and are just fantasying about the old days?

You need to think if you really want to be with just women or there is another reason why you are feeling this way and can it be fixed.

SuddenRealisation Mon 12-May-14 18:54:18

Rebecca - I don't think I'm fantasising as such. I just keep thinking that deep inside, if I'm really honest with myself, I preferred being with women..

I constantly have to try and talk myself in to the idea of sex and it's been like that for most of our relationship. I never felt like that with women, I always felt interested iyswim.

SuddenRealisation Mon 12-May-14 18:58:01

Cogito - yes, my dh does deserve the chance but I honestly am worried if I ever revealed these feelings, it would ruin his life. He has said several times that even if I died in some sort of tragic accident for instance, he would never remarry, I am the only one for him, wants to be with me forever etc sad

In a lot of ways, I want to be with him forever too. We have lots of dreams and plans together and get on great, have a good laugh etc. I just worry about the sex part.. I don't know if I'll ever manage do that as frequently as I think he'd like. He never pressures or pesters. As I say, lovely guy.

Bigredstapler Mon 12-May-14 19:01:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuddenRealisation Mon 12-May-14 19:30:21

Thanks BigRed will do..

saturnine Mon 12-May-14 20:02:51

Do you have any attraction to him at all or men in general? I'm in a similar situation together more than 10 years, 2 children but I'm 90 percent sure in gay physically I'm only attracted to women sadly I didn't realise this until my mid 20s and tbh I'm still coming to terms with it. I believe though if you love your husband as I do mine why end a good relationship? There's so much more to a marriage than sex. If you ever want a chat feel free to pm me

SuddenRealisation Mon 12-May-14 20:28:19

Saturnine - I do find certain qualities about him attractive, yes. Over all he's attractive to me as a person because he's so great iyswim. I was mainly attracted to his sense of humour when we met. I have had crushes on men and women..

I agree that there's more to marriage than sex. Is happily go the rest of my marriage without sex though if I'm honest and I don't feel that's fair on him. So I carry on having sex when I feel in the mood. The mood doesn't strike me very often. I get closeness out of it and enjoy spending the time together if that makes sense. I'm not repulsed cause I love him as a person.

I don't want to end our relationship and blow everyone's life apartsad For what? Sex with a woman isn't the main thing on my agenda.
Hard to explain. I just feel that how I started out was 'me' and that I'm hiding that now.

kittycat5 Mon 12-May-14 20:33:30

I have had relationships with both women (lived with woman for 10 years) and with men (married twice) for me it is the person I am with rather than their gender...I wonder if there is something else missing in your marriage? Something else which is a problem? But in any case I am so sorry that you are struggling.

saturnine Mon 12-May-14 21:01:24

I can relate to that, I find qualities of my dh attractive but not him sexually I'm not attracted to any man although I was in my teens I'm still baffled by that one. For me though I'm still happy to have sex because I love him and well it's him but fantasy has to play a large part of it, there definitely is a connection missing for me. I try to tell myself its the person not the gender but that Just wouldn't be true its like apples and oranges I feel like I'm meant to be with a woman like that's my role. Like you though I can't bear to blow our world's apart we have built a life together, we love each other we have a family a lot to throw away because of a nagging feeling. Anyway Sorry I'm rambling. I'm sure its harder for you as you have had previous relationships with women and I haven't but deep down you just know where your place should be.

Filg Mon 12-May-14 21:44:17

There used to be threads called 'Turning Tavern' on here. I was on one under a different name some time back, women in similar situations. Some who left marriages, some who stayed.

Op: I think the question about what else is missing in your marriage is very valid and worthy of exploration. Have you considered counselling to talk your feelings through.

Saturnine: you say you realised you were attracted to women in your 20's was that before or after you got married? I am genuinely curious as I got married knowing I was bi and having had relationships with men and women. I was married (to a man) mid 20's to mid 30's and since my divorce have identified more as gay/lesbian and dated women. Ex H knew about my sexuality and it was no problem I was happy and monogamous with him. He left me in the end. I think I would prefer a Ltr with a woman now but am not wholly repelled at the idea of a man. Although I have always enjoyed sex with a woman far more!

saturnine Mon 12-May-14 23:28:37

Filg - i was married before I realised, been married almost 5 years. I'm almost 30 now. The realisation was a huge shock tbh sort of a light bulb moment out of the blue although looking back now I can see so many signs were there its not like I was living a lie I generally didn't click I had no inclination at all but when I did I now wonder how I couldn't have know because tbh these days I feel so gay! However because im married I class myself as bi. Dh knows, he struggles with it and I fear he'll leave me over it one day, its difficult for both of us.

SuddenRealisation Mon 12-May-14 23:29:36

Saturnine - I think that's kind of it. Deep down I just know that I feel most comfortable with a woman, that that's what comes more naturally to me.

It is a valid question to ask what's missing in my relationship but I don't think there is anything major missing.

I mean, if it is the case that I'm just gay and have been denying it to myself, even the most perfect man isn't going to be 'enough' for me, is he?

SuddenRealisation Mon 12-May-14 23:36:22

Saturnine - it feels a bit like a light bulb moment for me right now.. I know it sounds silly saying that as I dates women before. The thing is, I genuinely convinced myself that I just wasn't interested in women anymore and then I just 'forgot' about the old me and got on with my 'new' life.
I kept having moments of feeling lost in my relationship and wanting out over the years but I always tried to convince myself it was a problem with dh and that we'd rushed in to marriage. It would then blow over and I would be happy again. It never occurred to me that I was maybe not feeling 'right' because I was in denial and perhaps lying to myself.

The thing that seems to have awoken my brain was that I had to fill in a job application. In the application I was asked for my sexuality. I honestly didn't know what to put which surprised me a bit as I thought I was 'over' my lesbian days. I thought for a while then decided it was silly to ignore a whole section of my life and ticked bisexual.

After that I keep thinking about it and more and more things are coming to the forefront of my mind. Suddenly I can't ignore the thoughts as well as I had been...

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 13-May-14 08:00:21

Sounds to me that you settled for a hetero married life as a safe haven from the disapproval of family (and the resulting stress of acute self-hatred). You're actually not alone. A lot of people, in response to a traumatic time of their lives, do the same thing. An extreme type of rebound, if you like. The trauma doesn't have to be sexual... they may be escaping from domestic violence, bereavement or have experienced MH issues, for example... and they seek safety with someone who, once the trauma has passed, they discover is a good friend or protector but not what they actually want in a partner.

Living in denial - or ongoing cognitive dissonance which may be more accurate - risks increasing dissatisfaction, possibly resentment, mental stress or worse, and your poor partner is going to have no clue what's going on. So your choices are that you either maintain the status quo keep quiet, find a harmless outlet for suppressed gay feelings and commit to your marriage, or you have an honest conversation with your husband and deal with the consequences.

NotNewButNameChanged Tue 13-May-14 08:26:14

Did your DH know that you'd had lesbian relationships before he came along or would this come completely out of the blue to the poor bloke?

saturnine Tue 13-May-14 10:16:19

Suddenrealisation - Its strange how your brain can shut off such a large part of you for so long, I have been with my dh since I was 16 so really there was no time for realising I might have been anything other than straight. I had crushes on boys as a child and even though I found female celebrities attractive I thought that was the norm. The years on from that I actually had an intense hate for women I put that down to low self esteem and jealousy looking back it was obviously fear. My light bulb moment was in my mid 20s another woman I know saying about another 'wow she's really hot' and I suddenly clicked that what I was feeling wasn't jealousy or admiration but attraction after that it was like the flood gates opened for me ever since I've tried to keep a control on it, initially I only seen the attraction in celebrities so that was ok over time that moved onto real women but I could ignore the physical right, then I fell for a friend and it became clear I wasn't straight the more I accepted myself the more obvious it became. I had certainly never meant to deceive dh in anyway I just didn't know.

Looking back lots of signs were there but my brain clearly didn't register, I love my dh and our family to the ends of the earth they are all I know but there's definitely an emptiness a role I feel like im meant to have but my head tells me how can you break up a happy family, a loving marriage on the off chance you might meet someone who fills that gap. I cant imagine life without my dh so its hard to know where to go from here....

Filg Tue 13-May-14 10:44:36

Saturnine when you say you fell for a friend did you have a relationship with her or is she someone you just admired and felt a connection with. I think it can be easy in a long, settled relationship to feel something for someone new and exciting and perceive that as something more significant than it could be. I felt strongly for the friend who supported me through my marriage breakdown, thought I was truly in (in requited) love and became quite obsessed. Only with hindsight can I see she was my emotional crutch after my H left and filled a void - it wasn't really about her, it was about me wanting to feel valued again.

Filg Tue 13-May-14 10:45:12

I meant unrequited love.

saturnine Tue 13-May-14 11:00:43

Filg - no we didn't have a relationship as I am with dh but otherwise I would of wanted one, emotionally we were more than friends, physically I wanted to be more than I ever have In my life the feeling was mutual so the friendship couldn't continue. I thought my feelings for women could be purely physical id only ever felt drawn to the idea of a relationship with a man maybe because society says that's the way it should be I don't know, until her then I knew it could be much more. I understand what you mean about a long relationship its easy to feel drawn elsewhere for something more exciting but I honestly cant imagine wanting to be with another man ever again. I look at attractive men and feel nothing, like looking at a nice painting its nice to look at but it doesn't stir anything up like it seems to for other women, im not repulsed by men either though I can play the part quite easily but I feel like im missing something if that makes sense.

TheWanderingUterus Tue 13-May-14 11:16:01

It's not too late.

My mother left my father for another woman about ten years ago. She fell in love. As children my brother and I knew my parents weren't entirely happy, my mother in particular.

FWIW we have all embraced my mother's partner, she was in the front row of my wedding (she did my wedding makeup too), she was there in the room with my mother when my son was born, she was the third person to hold him. My children consider her a grandmother and her children are like cousins to me. Even my very traditional PIL accepted it quickly. My father remarried to someone who makes him happy.

But the best thing for me is that my mother is happy, she is content in herself.

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 12:02:05

Cognito - I have gmread about co genitive dissonance before. I think you might be right.
I can only see this looking back but I think I was determined to convince myself I was straight and the lesbian thing was just a phase..

NotNew- Yes, as we were at uni together my dh knows all about my ex girlfriends. He has met them as I still lived with the long term on when we got together (we had broken up ages before but shared a student flat with others).

Even though he knows about it I kind of play it down. I never mention having feelings for women and I just refer to my ex's as if that was all in the past and isn't who I necessarily am now iyswim. I think from his point of view, he thinks I'm not really bothered about women anymore so it's not an issue.

He does know I 'have a thing' for Winona Ryder as I told him once years ago. He also knows I put bisexual on my job app last month. I said at the time though that I put that as it was part of my life at one point so technically I am bi.

In my own head I don't know if I'm bi or gay. It's all so confusing. I know that my first experiences were with girls/ women. My friend and I used to act out scenes from films and Eskimo kiss when we were 8.. Seemed natural to me told her big sis told us it was bad and we shouldn't do it and mentioned lesbians. Till then I never knew what a lesbian was or that it was 'wrong'.

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