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Married but think I'm gay

(148 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.

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 12:03:50

Saturnine - I feel exactly the same about splitting up a family for such a 'small' reason. I don't mean that our feelings are small, just that, in the grand scheme of things, I'd choose my husbands happiness, and my children's happiness over what is essentially my sex life. Hell, I barely have time for sex with 3 DC, even if I did want it.

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 12:05:33

TheWandering - thank you for the positive story.. At the moment it just seems to impossible and surreal to imagine anything other than my current life though..

Mangostiltskin Tue 13-May-14 12:29:32

A year ago I was considering my marriage after falling for and (very stupidly) embarking on a short affair with a gay woman I met through my sports team. I had no inkling I was not straight prior to meeting her but I have never felt so strongly - physically and emotionally - about anyone, It was my lightbulb moment and awakened me to the issues in my relationship with DH and much about my own sense of who I am kicked in. I realised I am gay. Don't know if I always have been but I no longer feel attracted to the idea of being physically involved with a man and sex life with DH had waned over the years and I hadn't really missed it.

The 'OW' is no longer in my life but I decided I could not go on in my marriage. I opened up to my DH and told him all. We went to see a family counsellor to discuss how to navigate our separation and talk through feelings we had about the marriage. I do regret having had an affair and hurting my DH but we've managed to move past that and the family home is on the market, we're alternating weekends with the DC's, he has a new DP and despite the complications and upheaval my life is mentally much more straightforward and I think DH and I are on the way to both being much happier. The DC's have taken it all in their stride.

I hope one day my DC will be on here posting as WanderingUterus did to say how accepting they are and how they've appreciated having a happy set of parents.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 13-May-14 12:58:12

How are you choosing your husband's happiness by deciding you're not going to have a sex life?

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 13:25:42

Sorry cogito, I meant that myself having sex with women was not as important as their happiness..

I do have a sex life at the moment, just not a very frequent one. On average maybe 1-3 times a month. Don't think we managed at all this monthhmm

I keep trying, I try to relax and get in the mood. I'm mug more able to do this of I've had a drink.. If I'm sober I sometime start then get a kind of mental block and don't always want to continue..

My dh knows my libido is very up and down and he respects that but I really feel I'm failing him in that areasad I know he'd prefer a few times a week although there's never any pressure.

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 13:28:00

Mango - thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like it's worked out real all well smile

I feel like there's no way I can change my situation. Every time I even think about it, it just seems to complicated and painful all round. Not to mention financially impossible.

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 13:28:28

Really well*

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 13-May-14 13:33:13

Do you think your DH is happy that the only way you can sleep with him is if you're a bit pissed? He is clearly a kind man but it can't do anything for his self-esteem.

Elfhame Tue 13-May-14 13:35:26

You don't mention any children, do you have kids OP? If not, it sounds like you are staying in a 'safe' relationship, rather than making yourself happy. He would probably find happiness with someone else after the initial hurt. It's only fair to want a good sex life - for the both of you. I really think you should be honest before you come to resent each other. At least then you could stay friends and maintain the emotional connection you both have.

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 13:40:17

Cognito - no I don't think it does anything for his self esteem although I don't think he's noticed a definite connection between drink and sex iyswim? I reassure him that I love him and find him attractive a lot..

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 13:41:04

Elf, we have 3 DC under 6. I can't change their world, they're so happy sad

struggling100 Tue 13-May-14 13:45:14

I am going to post personally on this one, just to put an idea 'out there', rather than to offer 'advice' (which would kind of assume that I was being more directive about it).

What if sexuality and gender, for a lot of people, aren't one way or another way - but more about place, context, circumstances, people? (I'm absolutely not saying there aren't people who are definitely heterosexual and definitely homosexual, just asking - what if, for some of us, there is a grey area in between). For those people, there may not be a definitive 'right' answer to this question, and the notion that one has to 'be' a certain way for all time is actually a damaging one. I think I probably fall into this camp.

I also think that concerns about sexuality can proxy for other problems with sex (hell, show me a longstanding couple of any sexuality who haven't faced some libido issues/mismatch at some point. Some couples would consider 1-3 times a month quite a bit of sex, for others it would be way too little). It's important to think about this carefully to separate out sexuality and sex. However - and I can't emphasize this enough - the thinking about this has to be done without the pressure of social disapproval, with the ability to explore all possibilities freely. That's really important.

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 13:55:34

Struggling - I get what you're saying. I will consider it.

Obviously all couples have ups and downs in their sex life. You can work on it, discuss it etc, make it better.

I find it hard to separate the two though.. Am I not bothered about sex cause I'm just not that bothered (and haven't been for 10 years). Or, am I not bothered because I'm only bothered if it's with a woman?

It's not really logical at the moment, more like I just know, inside...

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 13-May-14 13:56:02

@struggling100.... I don't think it's so much a question of 'being' a certain way as it is to be kind and honest towards the person that you're supposed to love. A libido mismatch is reasonably common and couples can find solutions. But if the reason for the libido mismatch is as fundamental as a woman who is not aroused by any man, then the partner can't find a solution because he will always be a man. It won't stop him trying or worrying that he's at fault. He may decide it's as good as it gets and not complain. I just don't think that's a kind way to treat someone.

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 14:01:31

You're right cognito. I just feel like such an awful person. If I think about the fact I got married and had 3 DC with this wonderful man and now I have realised this.. It's just too terrible to contemplate. I feel like I have stolen part of his life and selfishly ruined it.

Every time I have that thought I feel panicky and like everyone will hate me. I don't know how I would exist anymore if I told him the truth, knowing the hurt I had causedsad

Elfhame Tue 13-May-14 14:16:31

You are not a bad person. Sexuality is a grey area for a lot of us. It sounds like there is romantic love but not sexual love. Which I guess might be the root of all the confusion.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 13-May-14 14:20:27

He may hate you... no getting away from that. Or he may get a big light bulb go off over his head as he suddenly realises a lot of things that up to now have been baffling him.

coffeetofunction Tue 13-May-14 14:26:49

No advice but thought I'd share it might help,

I'm happily married. I'm completely in love with DH, he's everything I could ever want. When me & DH met I was with a women, this is not a secret from him.

I have spent all my life flipping between men to women & back ect, now I have everything I want. I still look at women, often me & DH joke about it together, many women are in my eyes are far more attractive than men. The though of 2 women 'being together' is much more of a 'turn on' than a heterosexual couple 'being together'....

...am I gay? I don't see I need a label.... Sometimes mine & DH sex life is through the roof, other times it isn't. I also remember back to being with other women &men & it's always been the same!!

What I do know is everything I have is with me in my home.

I hope you find your answers wine

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 14:36:57

I know he might hate me.. I honestly haven't done any of this on purpose though. It is only in hindsight I can see what my thought process was..
At the time I was convinced that I loved dh and would marry him and have kids and would lead a happy life.
I had a few boggling doubts but not do do with liking women. I just put those down to normal 'cold feet'.

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 14:38:00

Coffee - thanks for sharing..
I wish we could be so relaxed about the whole thing.. Our sex life is the sticking point for me though. I don't think it's right that I could happily not bother ever again.

SuddenRealisation Tue 13-May-14 14:38:36

niggling doubts

struggling100 Tue 13-May-14 14:41:33

Suddenrealisation - in this thread I feel like you've moved from 'Am I gay?' to 'I am gay'. The fact that several of us have raised the possibility that it might be some other kind of issue, and you've replied that you 'just know' inside that you're not going to be sexually happy with a man says it all, really. It doesn't sound like you're bi - it sounds more and more like you're closeted.

If that's the case, I don't think you can be 'relaxed' about this. Perhaps you just need to accept the idea of separating and starting a new life with a woman in future.

Mangostiltskin Tue 13-May-14 14:41:50

My soon to be ex H seems so much happier with his new DP. They have a new fresh relationship and someone who wants to have sex with him rather than me avoiding it and feeling half hearted about it. Ending our marriage was not easy, there is still stuff to work out (I have to get my head around his dp being stepmum to my dc, I have not found a new house and may have to rent in the short term, his parents are unimpressed with me and I have lost a few friends over this) but it has I do think it has been worth it all. So much resentment would have built up if I had stayed, he does not think he would have been able to trust me again as hand on heart I could not assure him I would not be looking for another relationship with a woman. Staying would have seemed like a half life for us both and the dc's would not have got the best of us. We both agreed we want to model healthy relationships to them.

I did not think he would get over it. He claimed to be suicidal for a while but he did manage to move on. I'm not so great, there is life for him without me as his dp, a happier one it seems.

Good luck OP.

struggling100 Tue 13-May-14 14:42:26

And of course you haven't done this on purpose! It will cause hurt, but that is one of those things, unfortunately. And sometimes hurt is necessary to get through a situation to a happier state of affairs.

croquet Tue 13-May-14 14:51:22

Hi OP,
I wonder if this is more about missing that ex-girlfriend who you sabotaged the relationship with. It can be incredibly sad when one does that, makes decisions without a clear head, and I'm not surprised you would look back to it.

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