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I'm gay - partner wants life to stay the same

(53 Posts)
redrobin030 Fri 01-Feb-13 22:58:44

hi this is my first ever post so please be gentle with me. The last few months have been very difficult as I have come to terms with the realisation that i am gay. I have a partner whom i have been with for almost 18 years and i have been entirely honest with him over this time but there are lots of reasons why i wish to seperate. I know this is terribly difficult for him to process and although we are still living in the same house i feel we should make some rules to establish this change in our relationship. I don't think it is fair to pretend that nothing has changed or that the issue of my sexuality is going to disappear at some point. I have three DCs and this is why as well as for financial reasons why we have decided to stay in the same house.
The trouble is is i do not know how long i can bear this situation. We do get on but there is often alot of conflict. He can be quite domineering and this leads to problems with our DCs. Although i do an enormous amount in the house and for the children ( i do work part-time but do not earn much), i don't get alot of freedom.
I have to instigate talking about our changing relationship and i really feel he is not going to budge. He doesn't want anything to change and i understand this but it makes me panic because i need my life to develop.

wellhellobeautiful Fri 01-Feb-13 23:01:42

Wow, we'll you've dropped this bombshell on him and you want him to just deal with it and let you get on with your new life right under his nose?

It's all about you isnt it?

If you want to end the relationship and start a new life then I think you should be the one to leave tbh.

Bobbybird40 Fri 01-Feb-13 23:08:45

So the last 18 years of his life have been a lie? Cool, I'm sure he will deal with it.

MajesticWhine Fri 01-Feb-13 23:10:36

What kind of rule changes did you have in mind? For example, do you mean having separate bedrooms? Or something like, he stays home with the DC, whilst you go out with your new girlfriend? The former sounds reasonable, as a temporary measure until you can afford to separate. Whereas the latter sounds a bit cruel.

cheeseandpineapple Fri 01-Feb-13 23:12:03

He's in denial.


AnyFucker Fri 01-Feb-13 23:13:30

What changes are you talking about, bearing in mind you are planning on still sharing the same living space ?

Southeastdweller Fri 01-Feb-13 23:16:38

To be clear, has he only known you were gay since you told him three months ago? Have you been honest with him over the time of the three months or the 18 years?

bringmeroses Fri 01-Feb-13 23:18:43

Redrobin what do you mean 'I don't get a lot of freedom'?

What changes do you want? How do you want your life to develop? Put yourself in his shoes. You have decided to live together for the sake of DCs and money and perhaps the compromise you make for this is having to be a bit subtle about any new relationship which would be appropriate when breaking up but still living together in any situation IMO.

Do you already have a new partner?

Be more specific about what you're asking of him, you can see from his POV it's a crushing thing to deal with.

Mimishimi Sat 02-Feb-13 00:04:55

So he has to support you financially whilst you go out and cheat on him?

You do not need his permission or his agreement to end the relationship. When you say that he is resisting change, is he still demanding to have sex on you? Or does he just want you to carry on doing all the domestic work?

Devora Sat 02-Feb-13 00:28:52

Some really harsh responses here. So far as I can see, the OP hasn't said she wants to be financially dependent, or have affairs while living with her dp, or indeed that she has been living a lie.

OP, you might want to also try posting for advice on a lesbian forum like Gingerbeer. Best of luck to you in navigating a way through this.

redrobin030 Sat 02-Feb-13 00:29:12

My partner has always known about my sexuality, i have never been straight. When we first became friends, i was completely out and gradually we fell in love. We are good friends. I do not have a girlfriend - i had a friendship with someone whom i fell in love with although nothing happened. It was unexpected and i ended up having a breakdown and realising i had been depressed for a long time. I have always been honest about things with my partner, not just in the last few months and i am quite able to support my family myself - he does not earn much. I have always done the best i can for my partner and my family. I am not young - i do not think it would be easy for me to find someone else. Are people suggesting that i stay in this relationship even though it is not healthy? I am trying to make things work for everyone. I feel very judged and wish i had not posted. I don't want to be gay, i wish i wasn't, i wish everything could stay the same as well just like my partner.

Devora Sat 02-Feb-13 00:35:44

redrobin, you deserve better than you got on this thread. Why not leave it for tonight, get some sleep, and try again tomorrow on the lesbian and gay threads?

Yours is a complicated situation and I think you should talk it through with a gay-friendly counsellor. Maybe talk to Lesbian and Gay Switchboard in the first place?

fireandlife Sat 02-Feb-13 00:36:15

I hope you're OK following these responses. This must be difficult for you all. You have clearly wanted to do the best for your family. I wish you the very best.

redrobin030 Sat 02-Feb-13 00:42:06

Thank-you for the last 2 responses. I think i will stick to lesbian and gay threads and gay switchboard is a good idea, thanks .

SirBoobAlot Sat 02-Feb-13 00:50:21

The first posters replying to this thread should be ashamed of themselves, FFS.

Red, you're being perfectly reasonable in wanting - and needing - life to change. And you don't have to stay in the same house, you know. Relationships break down all the time, for all kinds of reasons. If you decide it will be healthier for you mentally to be in a separate home from you ex, then don't let guilty over your sexuality hold you back on that front.

There is a gay parents board on here I think, and there are bound to be others out on the web as well.

Every luck for the future, and much happiness.

Your partner sounds like an abusive cocklodger TBH. He doesn't earn much, he bullies you, he doesn't want you to leave... Did you take up with him because you were surrounded by homophobic people, or did he target you because you were vulnerable and he reckoned he could 'straighten you out'?

FarelyKnuts Sat 02-Feb-13 01:44:09

redrobin, some of the responses on here have been unnecessarily harsh and horrible!

I agree with SirBoobAlot. Please try the lesbian and gay threads and reach out there.

Take care

mum11970 Sat 02-Feb-13 04:52:44

Sorry but your partner must have at least thought you we're bi' don't put all the blame on him. You've had your children and now decided your gay, hardly fair on him. No, I'm not homophobic but if you've hidden your true feelings over the last 18 years then it is all of your own making. If this was reversed most men would be given a hard time for not admitting his true feelings earlier.

Yamyoid Sat 02-Feb-13 05:05:07

Mum11970, did you not read the thread? Her partner has always known.
Op, just wanted to show my support as you seem to be getting so much negativity. I hope you get some good advice on another board.

MidnightMasquerader Sat 02-Feb-13 05:13:44

confused redrobin has already said that her partner has always known about her sexuality.

Why do people come onto a thread to be horrible and then not even read the details?

Honestly - I always thought the rellies board was a nice, sympathetic, understanding place... It might be better to re-post this where people are a bit more empathetic, and get it.

mum11970 Sat 02-Feb-13 05:40:18

Just because the op says she's always known about her sexuality, doesn't mean that's what her partner has always known unless spelt out exactly. Why on earth would her dh go tnrough 18 years of marriage and 3 children if he knew she was gay. It's nothing to do with sexuality, just honesty.

MidnightMasquerader Sat 02-Feb-13 06:10:21

From redrobin's second post:

My partner has always known about my sexuality, i have never been straight.

Mimishimi Sat 02-Feb-13 06:57:06

What sort of rules would you like to see established? When you say that you don't get a lot of freedom, is he actually restricting it or that you feel tied down by other responsibilities at home? It must be awful for him, perhaps he thought your sexuality was teenage experimentation since you did fall in love, marry and have three children with him. Honestly, I think living separately would be your only option. It will be difficult for either of you to meet new partners if you are still living together.

The fact you are gay is here nor there , The advice would be the same if you want your relationship to end then you need to end it with him , without spelling it out to him how can you expect him to react.
I think it's unfair if you expected to carry on another life while living in the same house as him.

Newyearoldmum Sat 02-Feb-13 09:10:07

I agree that you have been treated harshly here OP. however I think it's a bit naive to expect all of you to continue living in the same house and it all to be fine and happy. You need to be you, which means you need your own space. Your partner needs the same so he can move on - this ultimately should mean happier parents for your children.

Honestly hope you get things sorted, good luck

HecateWhoopass Sat 02-Feb-13 09:10:11

I really think that living in the same house is not going to work.

It never does.

How can the two of you share a house? How will you be able to move on? Have another relationship?

I know it's difficult, but you need to live in separate houses, you really do. It really isn't fair to either of you to be in this limbo.

I think some people are confused by the OP "The last few months have been very difficult as I have come to terms with the realisation that i am gay" thinking that realisation means she's just realised - over the last few months.

But since she then goes on to say that she's always been out and he's always known, it must be that she's accepting it as in is ready to make this her life - not be with a male partner. Realising that she can't live like this any more.

It's a big thing! Even if you have always known you were gay - to actually say ok, I realise now that I am gay and can't be in a relationship with a man. Isn't it?

What about seeing what support is out there - helpline, someone to talk everything over with.

cheeseandpineapple Sat 02-Feb-13 09:11:29

OP, it sounded to me initially that you had only just come out and he was in denial about you being gay, hence suggestion for counselling so he could come to terms with it, enabling you to try and separate amicably.

If he's always known you're gay, then he probably thinks it's just business as usual and your feelings about acting on your sexuality might pass as you have obviously surpressed them for years.

Counselling might help you to explain how you no longer feel able to live your life this way and help him and you come to terms with your situation so you can hopefully part amicably.

joblot Sat 02-Feb-13 09:12:37

Perhaps counselling would help you get clarity about moving on. You can start again, as scary as it seems. Lesbians are all ages. It sounds to me as though you need to make the decision to split and then plan how to do it. Can you talk to anyone who won't judge or be threatened by you wanting to end your relationship?

LifeofPo Sat 02-Feb-13 09:14:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mimishimi Sat 02-Feb-13 09:51:18

LifeofPo, what exactly do you think the OP has written that makes him sound so horrible? I am curious to know. If a woman posted on here that her husband of eighteen years and the father of her three children had decided that he wanted out of the relationship, that he had always known it, that he wanted to continue living with them for financial reasons but also felt she was being unreasonable by not being happy with the situation, I can assure you that she would have nothing but the strongest support from Mumsnet. It has nothing to do with being gay ....

I think most of the advice given has nothing to do with being homophobic whether heterosexual or homosexual the situation is the same, most people were just saying its unreasonable to expect her husband to put up with her looking for something else and they should have a clean split.

Because the man 'doesn't allow her much freedom' and doesn't contribute much financially, that's why he sounds horrible. It sounds like he wants to keep her as a domestic servant and isn't interested in her feelings.

AuntieStella Sat 02-Feb-13 10:34:18

Whilst you are in the same house, it is only fair for him to have a say on what the new joint "house rules" are.

If you do not have even that level of consideration towards him, then I think you should be planning a total separation.

AnyFucker Sat 02-Feb-13 10:38:04

I refute any suggestion of "homophobia"

If a bloke looked for a validation of a decision to (unilaterally) tell his partner their relationship is over, want to stay living in the same house but force her to accept the "changes" (OP has been rather vague on what those "changes" might entail) that were coming, he would be lambasted, and rightly so

Mimishimi Sat 02-Feb-13 10:40:45

But she also said that she does not contribute much financially? It sounded like she feels constrained more by domestic responsibilities and life circumstances (ie caring for three children) more than him forbidding her to leave the house and ordering her about. Why should he be interested in her feelings? She's hurt him.

delilahlilah Sat 02-Feb-13 10:45:54

It sounds like you feel trapped OP. The first posters were very harsh, and should have asked more questions before leaping to conclusions.
Regardless of your sexuality, you are not happy with the status quo, so it needs to change. You sound like you are really down.
I would suggest you get legal advice, and head towards living separately as soon as possible. good luck OP.

Yogagirl17 Sat 02-Feb-13 11:50:06

I'm sorry you've had some really harsh responses on here OP. You haven't explicitly said you would like a girlfriend/new partner but you've said you 'want your life to develop' so I'm guessing that's what you mean. If that's the case then I really think the only option is to separate from your DH. Neither one of you can move on or truly accept what's happening if you're still trying to have a life together. That's not to you two can't still have a relationship or friendship of some sort in the future but first you need to end the relationship you have now - your DH probably needs to time to grieve. Ending an 18 year marriage - even if on whatever level he already knew about your sexuality - is still a huge loss.

The other option would be to work together to rebuild your marriage but on new grounds. As mates/life partners who share interests and children and want to support each other but accept that there is no sexual component to the relationship. I DO know a couple who made this work, but ONLY on the understanding that neither one of them was going to seek out other sexual partners. The gay partner came out to all their friends so there was no longer the feeling of hiding but they stayed together. It was a tough choice, and probably not the one I would have made - I still wonder if they only did it because they option of trying to start over in their 50s was just too scary. But they say it works for them.

I think you need to decide what you want and need but also listen to your partner. If what you want is to stay married but seek out new partners and your DH can't live with that then you need to figure out something else. Something that will work for both of you long term.

MajesticWhine Sat 02-Feb-13 12:51:45

It is impossible to speculate who is being unfair to whom - we still don't know - what are the proposed rule changes?

allaflutter Sat 02-Feb-13 13:02:32

I think many posters are confusing being Bi and being Gay.

OP said that she and her dh have always known she was Bi-sexual, and obviously many such people settle in a marriage. But only a few months ago she realised she's gay and can't be with a man at all anymore. Just to clarify for those who missed this.

I don't personally see why can't he leave, OP, are you worried that DH will have the right to be primary parent and stay with them in the house? Normally it's the father who has to leave when 3DC are involved, unless you work long hours. You don't have less rights due to being gay. Or possibly you have to sell and split the house, but this happens to many families and they survive, IMO better the upheaval than a miserable atmosphere for all.

cheeseandpineapple Sat 02-Feb-13 15:44:21

Where does she say bi?

GoingBackToSchool Sat 02-Feb-13 16:11:10

''Neither one of you can move on or truly accept what's happening if you're still trying to have a life together''
I agree with this. It must be very hard for both of you, and very confusing after 18 years. It's going to take more than a few months for your OP to come to terms with this by the sounds of it. After 18 years, I think this is reasonable. That doesn't mean you have to stay in the same house though.

GoingBackToSchool Sat 02-Feb-13 16:12:13

It doesn't make you a horrible person either, it just makes the situation very hard. I hope everything turns out ok for both of you and your DC.

allaflutter Sat 02-Feb-13 18:22:35

When we first became friends, i was completely out and gradually we fell in love. - and they had 3 dc,

so by definition she wasn't purely gay, she could be in love and sleep with a man. But with age her attraction to men must have completely switched off. Sexuality is usually biased towards one sex in bisexuals, and often once past having children that bias becomes complete.

MyelinSheath Sun 03-Feb-13 17:57:44

Redrobin, I am gay and have lived with my husband for the last year while dealing with coming out etc. It's been hard. I am now about to move out, despite the fact that it will bring financial hardship. We have one dc together. If you want to chat feel free to pm me.

darlingbudd Sun 17-Feb-13 17:46:41

Hi All.
Just adding myself to this thread. I'm in a similar position. Came out to my husband last month; we have three children. At the moment things are spookily normal, and I'm in turmoil. We start marital counselling this week.

redrobin030 Mon 18-Feb-13 23:49:19

darlingbudd, thanks for posting. I understand how difficult it is for you. It can be so hard. I don't really want to justify myself on this thread as though going through a certain kind of continual hell is not enough. Coming out at my age is cold and isolating. why would you seek to do it if you could contain it, keep a lid on it. how do we know years before that our life journey should force us to take a different route? It is about being true to yourself, being honest, to accept yourself for who you are and this in turn means being true and honest with the people you love and share your life with. Who would want to hurt the people you love and care for? it is the hardest thing and although i wish i could avoid it and remain the 'perfect' mother, i am not, i am human. There aremany reasons why i could seperate from my partner-the reason that i am gay and that i can no longer physically express love to him because it is too distressing is the main one. Sometimes you cannot goback to how you were, however much you want to, life is about learning and growing. With every life decision and life-change we have to face the responsibility that comes with that. If we didn't feel this and know how it will impact on the lives of those close to us then we wouldn't feel in 'turmoil'. lots of hugs to you darlingbudd.

darlingbudd Tue 19-Feb-13 10:16:41

I can't give him what he needs - a wife who loves him physically. He can't give me what I need. We both love each other but our situation is irreconcilable. I have tried for ten years to be a good wife but everything tells me that I will never be happy until I can live an authentic life. I feel like a liar.

Helltotheno Tue 19-Feb-13 10:43:15

OP I think I've missed a link here somewhere. Did you say that when you met your OH you were gay and out? I just don't get how that status leads you to marrying a heterosexual man and having three kids? Is is that you just wanted kids? Could you not have co-parented? Sorry.. a bit lost as to how the 'gay' thing is news now ...

I think I must have misread something somewhere.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 19-Feb-13 12:40:18

I'd like to hear more about the ways in which he is "domineering", and what you mean when you say that you "don't have much freedom"

redrobin030 Tue 19-Feb-13 19:21:38

I don't think i was very clear in my first post. Technically, i suppose i was bisexual but i had reached a point where i no longer identified as anything.I just wanted to be me and i met someone who i fell in love with-at that point in my life it was the person that mattered not the gender. I always knew that i was never very attracted to men but sometimes you meet someone and what you feel over-rides or challenges what you felt before. We didn't have children until 6 years after we got together. So he was always aware of this and he was not entirely conventional either. i guess you could say we were an odd match or maybe we matched because we were both odd. My sexuality was never a fixed thing and i think that is true for many people. This has caused me great anguish but i have never been secretive about it. This last year has been like an awakening and i don't know if it is my age or why but i now feel that my sexuality has become fixed and i dont know how to live anymore without addressing it. It is very difficult to find a balance between trying not to hurt people and feeling trapped.

crazyhead Tue 19-Feb-13 20:58:25

I think in your situation I'd simply have to leave, for both myself and my husband's sake. I think it is the only honourable thing to do really.

If your husband is used to the idea that you were basically gay before you met but then fell in love with him, he might well be able to convince himself that you might fall back in love with him now and that this is a 'stage' you are going through - it must be horribly confusing. But to be honest, whereas I can imagine it is particularly tough to deal with your sexuality while going through this mess, my advice would be the same if you were straight but no longer in love with him.

It is all very well trying to live under the same roof with him under new terms, but if he still loves you and essentially wants to be your lover and husband it can really only cause him and you unendurable pain.

butterflytweet Wed 10-Jul-13 15:18:34

I haven't read all of this thread, though I know I probably should, though I get incensed by some of the comments. Redrobin030, my advice would be to leave the relationship, or as someone else said, you'll make yourself ill.
I'm in a very similar situation, known I was gay very early on but was in denial. Three kids. came out to my husband about 10 years ago, stayed together for sake of the kids. It's come to a crunch now where I've had a few gay relationships - yes, unknown to my partner, what a cheat! - and we just can't live together any more.
Yes, my husband is very upset in the recent breakdown in our relationship, as am I, but maybe if things had been OK I wouldn't have been looking for a relationship outside, after all we have been together a very long time, and we could have carried on.
He won't sell our house, which is OK, but he also wants me to make a financial contribution when I leave.
To those of you who wonder how this can come about, you fall in love with the person, male or female. As to whether our relationship has been a lie. No, it was based on how I felt at the time and the genuine feelings of affection and love.
There will be a hell of a lot of women, and men, in their 30s and 40s coming out now and over the next few years as when we were growing up the environment was just not conducive, not to say hostile. It will be a phenomena so for any biggots out there I'm afraid that you'll have to get used to the idea. I respect your right not to like it, but it's going to happen. Let's just have a bit of tolerance and undersatnding please? Life is hard enough for everyone without nastiness.

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