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Wife exploring bisexuality - should I be ok with that ?

(115 Posts)
CanIBlameEricaJong Thu 31-Mar-16 07:13:31

Sorry for the long post, I don't want to drip-feed.

My wife and I have been married for 15 years and have 3 young dcs, we had both always worked, and having turned 40 my wife decided she wanted to act on the feeling of attraction that she'd started feeling towards women. I feel cold.

Over the summer dw fell a little bit in love with a local mother; unrequited but lots of days/nights out - children forgotten at the school gate - and quite desperate one way affection from my dw.
It became apparent to all this was more than a friendship from dw's perspective but insignificant to the object of her affection. My wife went through a very angry time - shouting at the dc's and me, and our sex life darkened with a kind of aggression I don't enjoy. DW looked unwell, and after visiting the GP she was prescribed anti-depresents and sought counselling.

Fast forward to now - my wife's job has gone - and following counselling she has justified finding a special friend with whom to 'explore' sexually. She has been open with me about the process from going online through to meeting up, finding a woman, and having sex, but I still view this as infidelity and a betrayal. To me it doesn't matter that she's being unfaithful with a woman, unfaithful is unfaithful and gender doesn't matter. But to her this is necessary exploration, and without it she will loose her mind. When I tell her this isn't what I want she tells me that I can find a 'special friend' too but she would find this difficult and that this would truly be infidelity, because anything that another woman could provide she will provide for me. If I 'cheat' she says I would lose the moral high ground. But I don't want another woman, or care about 'being right'.

I feel broken. My father was repeatedly unfaithful to my mother when I was young, it led to my mother dying through an alcohol related illness. I can't repeat this pattern or jeopardise my children.

But I don't want to lose the beautiful lady I have had by my side for nearly half my life, nor see her crushed under the weight of unrecognised sexuality. I feel less - for her, and our marriage - each day she does this, and also lesser myself for accepting it. What can I do ?

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Thu 31-Mar-16 07:16:18

She's being awful. Her behaviour (I will cheat, if I don't I will leave you, you may not do the same) is emotional blackmail and abuse. I'm sorry but I think you're losing her anyway.

NeedACleverNN Thu 31-Mar-16 07:18:59

No it's not right.

I myself like women as well as men but I would never cheat on my dh because at the end of the day cheating is cheating.

She's trying to have her cake and eat it too and it's not fair on you.

You have two choices really
Put up and shut up and live a life knowing your the "other woman" so to speak
Confront her and say no and potentially lose your relationship. However this gives you a chance to find your own happiness

wavingnow Thu 31-Mar-16 07:23:26

As has already been said.
She is saying I'm having affair(s) deal with it. How would she treat you if you had been the one to explore? Do what you would have expected her to do in that situation maybe?

PotteringAlong Thu 31-Mar-16 07:25:24

She's having an affair, however she dresses it up. Just leave.

DementedUnicorn Thu 31-Mar-16 07:26:17

Sorry but your wife is a dick. Cheating is cheating.

This makes me so cross - the idea that sleeping with someone of the same sex when in a hetero relationship can be justified. It's shite like this that undermines the validity of MY marriage.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 31-Mar-16 07:27:51

She's having an affair and dressing it up as 'exploring her sexuality'

It's just self centred, narcissistic bollocks. And this much angst and madness instead of just being bi curious or practising fantasising suggests she is deeply uncomfortable being in a straight relationship. She will likely be gay and leave you and you need to be prepared for that.

bittapitta Thu 31-Mar-16 07:29:15

She is cheating on you in plain sight and that is really sad. You seem heartbroken and fairly rational. Can you calmly reason with her that she is cheating, having some kind of breakdown, and you would rather she moved out until/unless she is ready to be faithful to you and her family? I can't believe she has the nerve.. She seems deluded.

CanIBlameEricaJong Thu 31-Mar-16 07:30:29

Thank you everyone, it's as bad from the outside as it is from the inside. She's said she'd support me if I wanted to explore my sexuality but that's not a path I'm interested in taking - I know what I like already.
I really appreciate your comments, in some small way it helps.

lottielou7 Thu 31-Mar-16 07:30:56

If you're sleeping with someone else then that is cheating whether it's a man or a woman. I also think her behaviour sounds abusive.

CanIBlameEricaJong Thu 31-Mar-16 07:34:07

Bittapitta - I asked her to leave just whilst she figures herself out - she lost her mother a couple of years ago and I'd hoped this was some really confused transference thing.
Anyway, she says she will never leave her children as she just couldn't be away from them, and that children need their mother.
She also says she would never leave our house, and that selling it would disrupt the children. I feel that what she is doing is going to hurt the whole family more than bricks and mortar.

DoreenLethal Thu 31-Mar-16 07:37:35

No, you can't blame Erica Jong.

magoria Thu 31-Mar-16 07:45:30

You have already lost her.

She is sleeping around and has told you bluntly that she doesn't actually care if you do.

If you both wanted an open relationship that is fine and dandy. There are however normally ground rules about emotional connections.

You don't.

She has just decided to stomp all over your feelings, any love or care you have and your marriage vows because she is emotionally connected to a woman and having an affair.

I think that she will up and leave you when she wants.

She is a selfish cow.

You deserve better.

Your DC deserve better than an angry mother who forgets them in order to fuck around.

You need legal advise to see where you stand with regards to the DC and housing etc.

CanIBlameEricaJong Thu 31-Mar-16 07:50:45

@Doreenlethal, thanks for clearing that up smile

Getting legal advice seems so grimly final. Pride says I should march out today the moment she's home from her latest escapade but (a) I can't leave my children and (b) I wouldn't want to prejudice my position and (c) - the sad one, and perhaps the strongest - I really love her.

JimmyChoosChimichanga Thu 31-Mar-16 07:57:00

You really need to kind of ignore a lot of what she says from now on OP. You have to protect yourself and the children and try and get some stability back. Unfortunately it sounds like you cannot go on like this and she is being unbelievably selfish. Regardless of her saying she won't leave the house or the kids etc. It's not really up to her is it? I advise you get legal advice. Even if you do not go through with a divorce, you will have a bit more knowledge from where you can make better decisions and you won't feel quite so lost. Realistically you are going to have to separate I imagine. She is treating you terribly and for you own self esteem alone, you need to make plans. It takes some brass neck to come out with the claptrap she has though.

TresDesolee Thu 31-Mar-16 07:59:33

No advice, as I can see you're in a vice re children (tho I do think a free half hour with a solicitor to find out where you stand might be in order). Just wanted to say 'can I blame Erica Jong' made me laugh. Sounds like a shitty situation and I agree from what you've said she's not playing fair.

PhoenixReisling Thu 31-Mar-16 08:00:36

But sometimes love is not enough.

She is trampling all over your feelings and is using guilt/emotional blackmail to keep you in check.

She cannot be allowed to continue to dictate to you...she's allowed to explore her sexuality have an affair, but you can't, she doesn't want to leave her children/the house, but she hasn't said that she wants to stay committed to you.

You have more self worth than this don't you?

titchy Thu 31-Mar-16 08:00:43

Flippant but... Tell her you're interested in polygamy and you'd like to explore that. In the meantime you have to accept that it's likely your marriage will be ending soon and make preparation for that.

magoria Thu 31-Mar-16 08:03:56

If you love her then you need to make a stand. Crazy as it seems until she sees what's she stands to lose she won't care about it.

Nothing will actually make her despise and lose respect for you faster than to put up and shut up.

Legal advice is just that advice. You don't have to do anything with it but it means she cannot threaten this, that and the other.

Make steps despite your love it will help you start the grieving for the loss of your relationship rather than dragging it out painfully and probably starting the pain after another year or so of being treated like shit.

KleineDracheKokosnuss Thu 31-Mar-16 08:05:00

She's a cheating bitch and you need to leave her. Sorry. I'd also make sure to seek 50:50 custody as a minimum if onlydue to her behaviour towards the children (forgetting them. Shouting at them etc)

TheNaze73 Thu 31-Mar-16 08:05:19

This doesn't sound good at all. It sounds like to me your relationship is over. Cheating is cheating regardless of who with. How would she feel if you said you've always had a thing for 50+ Brunettes and was going to explore that part of your sexuality

CanIBlameEricaJong Thu 31-Mar-16 08:21:50

Thank you everybody - I appreciate this. Mumsnet should be a public service, it's doing more for my mental health hearing how ridiculous I've become than you can imagine.

When we talk about it and I say that divorce seems to be the only way out she says she'd never leave me and that I'm the one she wants to grow old with - and the rest is just sex. Funnily enough that doesn't reassure me.

crazyhead Thu 31-Mar-16 08:26:40

Just massive sympathies really. Everyone is right, of course, but they are just saying what you know. I
Where was this ever supposed to lead in your wife's mind? Everything she seems to say involves her 'need' to have the kids, sleep around blah blah. However, in this situation your children have the rights and needs. She doesn't, she has responsibilities which she is failing to fulfill.

For what it is worth I am your wife's age with young kids, I also just lost my mother. The milestone age and bereavement did give me a sense that my life might not be as long as I hope, that I need to fulfill myself. But not forgetting my duty to other people. If your wife is gay, then the marriage will have to end. But she needs to stop confronting this possibility like a silly teenager

Lilmisskittykat Thu 31-Mar-16 08:27:05

I'm so saddened to read this. You come across as a devoted husband and father who is being crushed emotionally and unfairly by the situation.

I agree with all other posters who say it's cheating and I don't think her saying you can go and do it too (providing it's with a man if I've read correctly ?!) Is right.

It is a form of emotional abuse. Exploring is just hiding what's likely to happen in plain sight. If you can take a step back out of it and just think on the level of how this affecting you. Then you'll probably realise that you are getting very little that nurtures you in this situation.

It's hard to leave and it's complicated with children but that shouldn't make you then feel you must endure it. I've no doubt you love her and it will hurt and be a rough ride. But at the moment it sounds like there isn't much joy in staying just hope she'll get over this 'phase' (not convinced it is personally) and things can go back to how they were before (how can they you have a cheating ..at the least bi sexual wife who is likely to always need that part of her life sexually)

As for the children I know it must be hard but just think what they are seeing and feeling.. They realise more then you know I'm afraid from experience ...

Think legal advise is the first non confrontional step.. But sooner or later this has to come to a head in some way by someone.. It's your choice of its you who leaves or if you wait for what may be the inevitable

Tough road ahead but your not the bad guy in all this and very few people who be as tolerant as you have been in the same situation xxx

hellsbellsmelons Thu 31-Mar-16 08:33:06

I'd love to say she's a lying cheating scumbag.
But she's not even trying to lie about it all.
You are just expected to suck it up.
No way.
You need to find your backbone. Hard as that might be.
She will never leave you! Well that's jolly decent of her.
But.... you can leave her. I don't see any other way of showing her that this is totally and utterly unacceptable to you.
Losing you might make her see that she is being a total fucking bitch to you.
Do NOT put up with her shite.
This is absolutely NOT OK!

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