Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Married but think I'm gay

(351 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 Wed 15-Mar-17 11:26:24

I think we will tell the dc we are separating next week. Any tips gratefully received, really dreading it, probably because they're just so happy :-/
I don't think I'm going to mention sexuality yet, might be a bit much for them to digest at once.
Was just going to tell them we are separating and essentially will be sharing 2 houses once I get a place. I will explain we will still all see each other a lot and still have days out together.. Also that ExH will spend time at mine for bedtimes and me at his.
I want them to feel that they can still see us both as much as they wish and that it will really just be similar to how we are now but separate places.

SuddenRealisation Fri 10-Mar-17 23:06:13

How are we all doing? Think it's really important to keep this thread going as I needed a thread like this when I was struggling. It will be a great support to some...

SuddenRealisation Fri 10-Mar-17 13:34:39

Thanks one smile

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Wed 08-Mar-17 21:33:15

Just keep believing and heading off in your true direction and you'll be fine

MaryQuant Wed 08-Mar-17 20:51:40


SuddenRealisation Wed 08-Mar-17 16:48:02

Onemore, that's so lovely to hear. The thought we can all have a happy future and I may one day settle with someone else would be a dream come true.
This is the hardest thing I have ever been through. I though cutting contact with my toxic parents was bad but this has been way more stressful...
I feel a sense of happiness for the first time in so long. I had almost forgotten what that feels like smile

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Wed 08-Mar-17 13:25:25

That's great news OP. I'm thrilled for you and can relate. I have been in a relationship with a woman for 10 yrs (we were married last July) after previously having been in a marriage to a man with whom I had two children.
It was the hardest thing I've ever done, to break up the marriage and come out to friends and family who were gobsmacked but supportive. It's been the best thing I ever did, my children worship my wife ( both boys now aged 16 and 18) and we are incredibly happy.
I wish you all the very best and continued happiness.

SuddenRealisation Wed 08-Mar-17 13:09:06

Hi all, long time since I posted but I will keep updating. Major steps forward here, finally.
ExH told pils we are separating and they actually asked if I'm gay. So, that's that out in the open.
Basically, all our family and a lot of our friends know now, just our DC don't know yet.
We are waiting for a good time to sit down and tell them.
I have applied for social housing but there may be a long wait for a place.
So we are still living together whilst I wait.
At first, when his family realised I was gay I felt scared and embarrassed, but slowly a weight is lifting. I feel a sense of peace inside.
I did sort of have a thing going with a woman but she turned out to be quite a toxic person, so have cut all contact.
Onwards and upwards, just feeling quietly happy to be me.
ExH has met someone and although it's early days, things look really good for him!
I don't think I'm going to go in to why we are separating when we tell the Dc, because I don't want to overwhelm them, but also because we have both had a part to play in the break down of the relationship. So my sexuality isn't the only reason..
We plan to parent as best friends 50/50 and I don't think there could be a better outcome than that.
After all the hard times we have been through over the past almost 3 years, we are getting on better than ever.
I never thought I would get to this point, several times I thought about ending things and felt so so down.
I just want to thank you all for your continued support and I hope others find hope in desperate situations when they read this thread.

thinkingofabettername Tue 07-Feb-17 21:12:43

Hi everyone
So glad to see this thread is still active. It gave me support when I needed it most and I didn't feel like I was alone with my struggle.

Sudden, how are things post separation? I think I have caught up. I hope you're doing okay?

I went back to my relationship for another year and ultimately H cheated numerous times. I'm not taking responsibility for that but realistically he was lonely and feeling neglected and not loved by me.

6 months on I am in a new relationship with a woman and things are going well. H very angry and can't forgive my having wasted so many years of his life be I hope this will get better with time. Have to forgive myself regardless of whether or not he forgives.

I really hope everyone else is moving forward in whatever way is best for them and their families.

Just a huge amount of gratitude to sudden for setting this thread up and for all the ladies in here offering eachother support. I has helped me immensely and I'm finally on the other side free 11 years in the ring relationship. Divorce still to come and that won't nice but moving forward being true to myself is so enlightening.

Here for any support or a kind and understanding ear.


Linning Sun 22-Jan-17 21:43:46

@Eastwestbestrest you should come out and live the life you are meant (and deserve) to live. Living your life as an out and proud queer lady doesn't mean having to lose your best friend, it does mean having to stop living a lie though. At the end of the day you are gay and can't possibly be compatible with your husband and I think you both deserve better than being miserable in a relationship where you are both sticking together for fear of the unknown. If he is your best friend then he has to understand that you being gay means that you marriage is over. It's not against him and it's nothing you can change so he is going to have to accept it and work with you toward making the situation as easy on your girls as possible.
Your DDs will only be devastated if you make divorce a massive deal where you end up tearing each other apart instead of pulling it off as something completly normal that naturally happens and is okay.
At the end of the day you want your daughters to see you happy and fulfilled and to learn that when you are unhappy in a relationship you sometimes have to let go of the person you are with.
If one of you DDs was in your situation I have no doubt that you would advice her to leave her husband and come out, the transition will be a bit hard at the beginning but at the end of the day you are teaching them a great lesson on relationships and I am sure they'll get over it quickly as soon as they both see you happy and realize that not much have changed (They still have 2 loving parents who wants the best for them).

If you get along great with your DH, I can't really see the rush to move out. Stay in your house for now, make sure your DH understands that the marriage is over, come up with a way to explain the situation to your DDs with the help of your DH and start doing everything that needs to be done, to regain your independence.

Right now you are scared of the consequences of being yourself but once you take those steps, life will be much easier and those tough moments of doubts and stress will have been more than worth it! smile

Good luck x

Eastwestbestrest Sun 22-Jan-17 21:10:23

struggling so hard with this at the mo. My DH is my best friend and Ilove him to pieces but I am gay. DDs would be devastated if we split an he would too because he loves me so much. he knows I'm gay but doesn't want to lose me but what else can I do? live a lie? we have a lovely life together and financially I can't afford to be in my own but it's killing me living like this

bellabluebottle Sun 22-Jan-17 18:23:05

oh dear, this sounds all very complicated and quite sad to know that you felt so desperate at times in your life. but having said all of that a lot has gone on and you are at least at a place where you have started to be more honest with yourself about this matter.

there is a lot of good things in your letter even though you feel as though you are in a jam. by taking another look at who you are you have just grown a lot, so that's good and proper if you are ever going to find the happiness that you may have denied yourself for such a long time.

I think maybe its time to come clean with your man, whether you tell him another woman or feelings for women are at the heart of things is your personal decision, but it might be wiser to spare his feelings and sense of humiliation further by just saying that you no longer wish to be in this relationship anymore and the love has gone. having a sexuality related moment of freedom may be something you are very comfortable with with him, but from what I am feeling there is a sense of shame and guilt linked to it in some way; and if that is the case you may find your partner out of anger talks to others about something that is essentially very private for you and is no one elses business! things like that are and can be very hard for people in a society where not everyone is open to other peoples sexual preferences and you have to think if you want that on top of everything else you are going through at the moment if other people stick their noses into your business. you already have toxic parents, but the choice is yours. what you say or don't say. but I think you need to start saying something. I think the fact that your body doesn't want to be intimate with this man is a sign that it probably isn't going to get any better!!! you know deep down that this isn't what you want anymore.

it sounds as though you mistook attraction for true love, but I have fallen into that trap years ago, and I am sure many men/women/younger adults have too, the only thing is you married (I suspect partly out of pressure and expectation).

I wouldn't go in for labels just yet or be going down the label /work definition unless you are sure that's what you want and you will feel comfortable with. again, its a matter of how others may treat you,

it might be an idea to do things in small steps, why not write a letter to your partner or just tell him that you would like to have a break for a while to gather your thoughts as you are worried and are questioning where this relationship is going, you just need time on your own to stop and think, it might prepare him for what he probably knows as well as you do but have not talked about!!

can you get away with a trusted or old friend for a break, (not to talk about him, but just to take yourself out of a heavy environment for a while and just enjoy some fun).

do any of your friends know the real you? if so can you talk to them or would you feel afraid they might tell others?

it is not too late, other people are right to say that to you, you have lost a lot of precious time to fear, trying to please others and the one person you havn't found or loved is you. but it is a new year, and I feel that you should use this to start again with addressing who you really are.

I don't think you would have been on here if you weren't seriously looking for an escape route, you have been trapped in something that you felt would just fade away, but the truth always is there (even if it is not communicated!!!).

don't let the fact that he is a good man stop you from finding happiness, he too should have a chance of such happiness, and in a way you are stopping him finding another lover who will give him the honesty you tried but knew you couldn't really give him. if you love him in any way you HAVE to let him go. its only fair.

even if you separate and never divorce, it happens, but you need a real break from this I think, give him time to be without you and know that or consider that you don't want to come back.

yes it will hurt like hell, you have both got used to each others habits of living as a married couple, but even if you do explore other women and find that no you 'd rather another man, It doesn't change the fact that you and this man are not the lovers that so many are prescribed life will find for us.

if it were me in your shoes I would tell him your not happy, take a break from his space and when you are sure write to explain (and tell him you will contact him when you are ready so he isn't worrying or fretting needlessly!!!

then I would want to explore by just being in an appropriate environment to see if I do fancy women.

do you want the lady you spent time with back or has she moved on, it sounds like a long time ago. are you still in contact with her. I'm not suggesting you go running off with her, things change and so do people; but I am just asking.

do you have any gay female friends that are very trusted or do you fear to be outed?

if you need to talk further you can talk to me, I am new here and I don't understand all of the abbreviations here or how contacting others works, but if you are established on this site maybe you know how to contact me privately if you wish to?

I wish you so much luck and love with this. it is not easy I am sure, but one thing is for certain.

IT IS NOT TOO LATE. you need to find your true happiness, that doesn't mean you have to tell the world your private stuff, it just means you don't stay in situations that are not giving you a chance to live your life the way you know you need to right now.

there is nothing to say that you may not remarry a man 30 years from now or find a woman and be with her for 4 years and want another woman the possibilities are endless where love is concerned, the only thing is that RIGHT NOW YOU ARE NOT HAPPY AND ARE NOT HELPING ANYONE BY TRYING TO BE SO LOYAL AND FAITHFUL...move on with grace, dignity and fairness to the man that you no longer cherish! its the only kind thing to do if you know you are not feeling love for him anymore in the way he needs.

don't feel pressure, guilt just feel the new year and start again. YOU CAN DO THIS. smile you just need to communicate with honesty to you and him. I hope you find peace and happiness soon. ps....don't let this drag on to valentines day!!!!!!!!! or you will never get out of this rut!!!!! new year remember...go for it.

Frozen88 Sat 21-Jan-17 13:48:38

It's nice to hear that there is others in the same position. I to have been with my partner for 10 years and have 2 children. I have been with a girl before I met him and even though he is just the loveliest I still feel like I am with him because I'm scared of changing it all, even though I know I prefer women. sad

ems19 Fri 06-Jan-17 09:27:16

Hi everyone,
How is everyone going? How are you Sudden? Not sure if this is still active..

A new year and I'm still struggling..The guilt of ending my marriage to my best friend is eating me up inside..I can't seem to think of anything else.

SuddenRealisation Thu 01-Sep-16 15:02:53

I'm pretty sure I want to be with a woman.
I guess I'm just worried I've gone mad or something or I haven't tried hard enough.
But I also feel I've tried very hard.
Think now we're getting closer to everyone knowing we're separated, I'm panicking and worrying that it's a step in to the Unknown..

Lucylloyd13 Thu 01-Sep-16 13:06:31

Simply follow your heart, if it is women who satisfy you sexually and emotionally, do not deny that.

Nodowntime Thu 01-Sep-16 00:39:24

Sudden, sounds like things can't get much worse for you, you haven't got much to lose by separating.... and nothing you could try would change your basic sexuality, so what is the point of persevering with futile attempts to fix the unfixable? To me you sound like you are trying to do the right thing but actually robbing yourself and your DH of a full fledged existence.
You could still have your 13 year relationship continued as friends and parents, it would not be wiped out through separating, but you'd give each other a chance to live a fulfilled life with a partner you are meant to be with.

SuddenRealisation Wed 31-Aug-16 23:19:47

Nodowntime glad you have got some clarity from reading through..
I guess it has been 2 years because the magnitude of any decision I make weighs greatly on my mind.
Also, I have spent a lot of this time going back and forth in my mind and being confused.
There was also a period of time where I tried to make a go of things with h again, and failed.
I guess I don't want to give up on a 13 year relationship without having tried everything I can possibly try.
And now I feel torn, do I want my own place and my freedom? Or, if I get that, will I feel I've made a big mistake?
I feel like I'm on a frozen lake, and I'm scared to take step in case the ice cracks.

Nodowntime Wed 31-Aug-16 22:48:51

Reading through your topic actually has helped me to more or less get convinced that I am definitely not gay, but bisexual.

I knew I wasn't straight literally from the age of seven or so, female body fascinated and excited me, and male left me indifferent, but I had crushes on boys and not on girls. It's stayed like that throughout my life, I had only a couple of casual sexual experiences with women, but been married long term twice (now in my second marriage). I still can fancy women on first glance, but very very rarely can fancy a man without an emotional connection first, when I meet/see a man I fancy (only happens like once every two years) I get incredibly excited because it's such a rare occasion for me. However still wouldn't consciously imagine having sex with one, but not sure whether because I'm committed to my man in my mind.

In spite of my commitment to him I do regularly have erotic dreams about having sex with girls and for years the only way to come(having sex with a man, even very good) was to imagine having a girl there hmm. That did make me wonder if I was wired physically more gay, I'd also bite my arm off to clone myself and have a day of girl experiences blush I sometimes desperately miss physically being with a woman....However I never wanted to be in a relationship with one, it just always felt wrong and too complicated, and like there would be too much estrogen in a potential relationship like that...

I'm not out as bisexual, I'm not hiding it either, but because I'm in a committed heterosexual relationship I cannot see how it'd be better to declare to the world I was bi (my DH knows!), since it's only a sexual thing for me. However I still feel that I would be happier and free-er if I made it known to everyone as a teenager, that that's what my sexuality was. It's just that many of my family are religious and wouldn't take kindly to it. But any of my children grew up and turned out not to be straight I'd tell them about myself.

Nodowntime Wed 31-Aug-16 22:27:40


I know you are trying to avoid the pain for your family, but imagine if one of your children turned out to be gay? Would you want a life like yours for them, suffering in not being themselves for the sake of the relationship they were in? And they are likely to think that that is the thing to do if you belatedly realise you are not straight or drastically unconventional in whatever way - conceal and pretend for the sake of others, because it's what Mother did? I think you have good intentions but actually you are not being a good role model for your children in this case sad Also all this pretence must be incredibly draining and taking away from the energy you could spend on your children if you were happy relaxed and comfortable with yourself.

I'm very sad for you that in two years you haven't been able to move on properly, release yourself and your DH. I understand the financial and practical side of it as being very difficult, but have you done anything practically to make the separation happen?

SuddenRealisation Wed 31-Aug-16 17:21:51

I know I don't have to be all the way.. But I feel I am. I can't imagine having sex with a man again. Either way though, my marriage isn't working and after 2 years of trying, doesn't seem fixable

Darcychu Tue 30-Aug-16 23:19:27

could just be Bisexual. dont have to be all the way, in which case your obviously going to think about it as you havent had it in a while.

SuddenRealisation Tue 30-Aug-16 22:47:10

Aww whambam, please keep talking.. Both here and to your oh.
You deserve a happy life, even if it will be hard to achieve.
My situation is moving along very slowly.
But I am determined to make this work, because if I don't, I know I will feel like taking my own life.
And I know that's not helpful to my exh or the dc. So I must stay strong and work through this, no matter how bad I feel xx

whambamthankyoumaam Tue 30-Aug-16 22:15:18

Hugs Suddenrealisation. I know this is an old post but I'm in a similar situation, not married but two kids and a decade of being together. My parents (well, my mum mainly) is so against the idea of people being gay, that I've really struggled to accept that I am at least bisexual. I went out with a girl once who was beautiful etc. but I sabotaged it because deep down, like you mentioned, I knew it couldn't go anywhere because I could never 'come out' to my family.
I don't ever have sex with OH now as the idea repulses me, but that's probably more that he's not a good partner rather than men repulsing me. He knows i'm bisexual and whilst he seemed okay with it at the time, he now throws that in my face because of our lack of sex.

It's horrible to feel this way, you hear about men being like this all the time but I feel a lot more women probably hide their feelings and just plod along with life. I probably always will, I really don't know. sad

SuddenRealisation Tue 30-Aug-16 20:43:43

I just wanted to say, I know this thread is old but I keep it going as its a source of support for me whilst I go through this situation.
Stills at home, still struggling. I need to get some info from citizens advice or something

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now