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A difficult question(31 Posts)
Ive been reading mumsnet for absolutely ages but I never thought Id join.
Some of the threads have made me laugh and others made me sad.
Others have been full full of good advice. Thats why I have joined and hope to get some of that myself.
The history bit first: About 2 years ago I became quite unwell and was told I had cardiac failure.
This is something that usually happens to old people so it was quite a nasty surprise.
It hasn't improved and its actually got a lot worst.
I don't have much mobility and cant do most of what I used to do.
My lovely husband has been fantastic.
He does absolutely everything in the house. Looks after our teenage lad, cooks, cleans washes, irons, you name it. He also holds down a full time job and he has never complained once.
The problem I have though is that I am not able to give him an intimate physical relationship. It isn't temporary because I'm not going to get better (Hope to be around for a while yet though!).
I don't think this is at all fair on him, he is 44 years old, and we have had numerous conversations about it.
I really want him to have something in his life to enjoy.
It took me a while to pluck my courage up to say it but I told him I would like him to have relationships with other women so his life isn't wasted.
I cried real tears when he told me he couldn't bear to do it with any other woman.
He had tears in his eyes as well when he said it but there was something in the way he said it which made me feel something was wrong.
I confided this to my sister and she dropped me a bombshell really.
She thinks he may be attracted to other men. Apparently she seen something on our computer when booking a train ticket.
I don't think he has been with men before. He has just looked at porn. But if he is tempted I would like to tell him its ok. I cant give him a physical relationship anymore but I don't want to deny him a full life.
I don't know how to raise the subject with him though. I'm sure he might be insulted if its wrong,
Is there a right or wrong way to deal with this one?
It sounds like you and he are close. If it were me, I think I'd just approach it quite directly and ask him straight out.
But then again, we have abandoned heteronormativity in our house and so conversations about sexuality are quite common.
I wouldn't mention anything about what your sister saw on the computer though. That would be humiliating for him.
If you broach it and he still shuts it down, you're going to have to just respect that.
Can't you make a throwaway comment such as you would be happy for him to find a sexual partner of any gender/type and leave it at that?
He might not want to openly do this. He may well want to respect you as his wife and not openly have other relationships.
Gosh this has been so difficult.
Thanks for the replies.
We had a long talk this morning and another at lunch time.
I told him I didn't think it was fair, because of my health, that he was deprived of a healthy sex life.
I said I wanted him to have something in his life to satisfy him but he told me again that he wouldn't go with another woman no matter what.
It was hard for me but I bit the bullet. I asked did it have to be with a woman.
A long silence.
I then said I understood and was ok with it.
Another long silence.
He gave me a kiss, tears streaming down his face and said thank you but please not to ask him details.
So I think, without him actually saying it, we understand each other now.
I think I will find it difficult when he goes out of the house. I cant pretend I wont be wondering but I hope he can find what he needs.
Hats off to you OP. You have made one of the most amazing decisions ever!
I don't think its amazing. I'm trying to be pragmatic.
Before I was ill we had a very active physical relationship and I certainly would not have entertained the idea of him having encounters with anyone else. Especially not with men I might add.
Things are different now. That man is doing absolutely everything for me and he surely deserves to have at least some physical relief. Men are driven.
I cant really pretend to understand the same sex attraction thing or where it came from. But it makes little or no difference to me now.
You sound lovely op very kind and caring. Wish you both the very best with your decision, you are luck to have each other
Please recognise that - in your different ways - you are both outstanding people
There are no easy answers to this one
Op you sound lovely but you don't have to have your DH cheat on you - your confidence sounds low. He married you for better or worse and you not being able to have physical relationship shouldn't mean he should have to go elsewhere.
Now if he is gay or bi that's another story and sounds like you might need to keep up the conversations. Sounds like u have amazing communication though.
Best of luck to you both
wow. well done to both of you. and sorry your health is so debilitating.
My ex is gay. We get on great, still live together, and coparent. It's weird for a while, but keep talking. You sound like an amazing woman.
Things move on dont they?
Its getting so difficult and I cant help thinking we seem to be taking the first steps towards separating.
He still does so much for me in the house and we take all the domestic decisions together. We have started a kitchen refurb and picked out everything together.
But he has moved into another bedroom and has embarked on a very private social life. Just like a single man.
He has a gay dating app on his phone and I have seen his laptop history showing lots of visits to a site called fabguys.
I now know he has met men, more than a few men, and its hurting me.
I really didnt think it would do but it is.
Not so simple as I thought it would be. What to do?
Wow. What a thread!
have you spoken to him about how you feel?
So before you were ill you had a brilliant relationship including physically but now all this has happened, he's having sex etc with men?
I don't want to pry and you don't need to answer me but why did your condition stop you from having an intimate relationship?
I know you've said you can't be physically intimate but you will still need comfort and affection, can he still offer this to you or has he withdrawn?
I think you are a remarkable human being by the way
Wow, you sound incredibly lucky to have each other. That is what love is I guess. Well done OP.
I can't believe the replies on here, you do sound an amazing person but your husband doesn't. It's great he's looking after you well but surely that's what marriage is , in sickness and in health etc, my husband died in 2008 and there was a period he was too poorly for intimacy , it wouldn't have crossed my mind to sleep with/meet/text anyone else. Saying that if you are ok with it then I guess that's what matters but it does sound like you are finding it difficult and Im not surprised , I don't think many people could cope with their h doing this and I don't think you should have to, I think it's awful what he's doing , I'm so sorry you have such a lot to deal with you sound very brave
Wow, this must be hard! I think maybe it hurts more because even though you agreed for him to do it, you didn't actually expect him to? And in separate bedrooms also takes away any married intimacy or closeness of any form, even cuddles.
And what about you in all this? Where is your love and affection?
Do you have any emotional support in real life kahli. Would you be able to visit a relate counsellor (or similar) to help you work through your feelings and emotions. You sound like a kind understanding person and you deserve love, kindness and understanding back.
Aw I'm sorry to hear about your cardiac issues. I have cardiac issues too and it does make life pretty exhausting. Don't put yourself down though. Just take each step at a time; look after yourself and I hope you can work things out with your relationship in time. Also Have you been offered any counselling??
Cricrichan: "I don't want to pry and you don't need to answer me but why did your condition stop you from having an intimate relationship?"
I have congestive cardiac failure. That means amongst other things that even a modest amount of physical effort results in me fighting for breath.
We all have to get on with things we cant do anything about though
Thanks everyone for all these replies.
I am very lucky in my sister. She is a very caring person and has been so supportive. She has helped me talk to my husband about his and my situation.
He has opened up to us and I now know he hasnt been at all honest with himself or with me since the start of our marriage.
I really cant understand how I never suspected anything wrong especially as my sister used to think he had secrets of some sort.
I honestly believed we had a good physical relationship before I took ill but it seems it wasnt so good for him. I was obviously fooling myself as he wanted more.
He has told us he is bisexual. He says at first he was able to ignore his urges for other men but 2 or 3 years into our marriage he gave in to them. According to him he has been meeting up with other men on and off for most of our marriage. Its so hurtful and its much more than I thought. These meetings have been more and more frequent ever since I became ill. He has obviously struggled with these feelings and I wouldnt try to deny him his sexuality but I am so hurt about all the secrecy over all that time.
He does seem very remorseful but thats no comfort really. My sister did say to him he had put me at risk of infection over a good number of years and he could and should have opened up about this years ago. He could only say he has always insisted the men he meets up with wear protection.
I think we have reached a point where the marriage cannot be saved but do we want to stop living together? My lovely sis has suggested we could carry on living a sort of sister and brother arrangement. I would try this but think we do need to move towards a divorce even if we carry on sharing a house.
Watch this space I suppose.
Kahli I guess it depends on a few factors:
How angry you feel about the history and whether you could fully forgive him and move forward to a mutually acceptable living arrangement
What he sees his future being? Does he want to start relationships with other men, and a life or does he want the family life that you offer?
Is he prepared to care for you everyday as a friend, with a discreet sex life? Could you live with that knowing?
I think the divorce thing is something you need to discuss together after these considerations. I wouldn't see it that you'd have to get divorced if it's what you both wanted, just because the marriage might not be conventional, doesn't mean it's any weaker than others.
I wish you well
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