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Is it possible to get to middle age and realise you're gay?

(30 Posts)
Confusedoldlady Mon 22-May-17 12:08:29

I've started a new email and new MN registration for this, I don't want any possibility of this getting back to me.
I'm in my 40s, married with children, and literally no one to talk about this to.
I feel like I've lived most of my life doing the right thing for other people.
At any point in my formative years if I've had any confusion or problems it was made clear that everyone was the same, everyone just had to get on with it. My parents and siblings were/are homophobic, and I've always been very compliant, to the point where I don't feel I've ever been able to be me.
I've never had much interest in sex with dh, although will enjoy it once I'm into it, but most of the time I'd rather not bother. I do love him though, and would never do anything to hurt him.
It feels ridiculous to get to my age and suddenly wonder if I'm gay or bisexual. Surely this should have been obvious to me at least!
I find very few people attractive, but of those I do, they are equally men or women, as I get older it's more women.
I can't work out if I really am gay/bi, or if it's some sort of midlife crisis.
Has his happened to anyone else?

EmotinallyRetired Mon 22-May-17 12:13:28

It must be so confusing. People can realise their sexually at 3, 13 or 83.
If you were single and met an attractive woman who wanted to date you,would you?
I'm bisexual myself but I've always known. I used to fancy boys and girls but j didn't tell anyone about the girls until my teens.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Mon 22-May-17 12:16:03

In her 40's my dm had 2 gf's!
After 2 dh's!
She is currently single in her 60's and likely will stay that way now. . (mad cat woman now instead!)
We are nc but nothing to do with that!!

rumred Mon 22-May-17 12:17:43

I think many people come out in later years for very similar reasons to you- growing up it just wasn't an option and most of us married as per what society expects.
There are help lines around, and forums, maybe have a Google? Seems a terrible shame to not live life as you want. It's damn short.
Good luck op

Smeaton Mon 22-May-17 12:18:06

I'm 37 and I'm only straight because I've never met a man I've been sexually attracted too... Who's to say that won't change?
Let's face it, there's men like Robert Rinder on earth, I just ain't met him... Yet... grin

isthistoonosy Mon 22-May-17 12:21:23

My mum came out / realised in her late 40's. I guess ir was an option her younger years and she suddenly realised lifes to short to live it by someone elses values. But she was divorced already so it was an easier decision.

Confusedoldlady Mon 22-May-17 12:23:59

Emo, yes I think I would.
I have no idea how it would work out though. Like I said, it could just be a middle aged thing where I'm questioning my life (which is quite shit for various reasons), and this is a form of epic escapism!
Would I feel sexually attracted to women though if I were straight?

Mad cat woman sounds very tempting at the moment!

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Mon 22-May-17 12:41:24

I came out in mid forties after only ever having had relationships with men and having had children with a man . I'd never had a relationship with a woman but had this overwhelming desire for one.

I've been with a female partner for 10 years now and our first wedding anniversary is in July.
I know plenty of other women like me too.- it's actually not that unusual.

Confusedoldlady Mon 22-May-17 12:52:46

Onemore, thats lovely, congratulations!

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Mon 22-May-17 13:39:42

Thanks confused - I highly recommend it 😄

HIG70 Mon 22-May-17 13:50:00

I'm not sure you would still find men attractive (sexually) if gay but you don't say if it is sexual attraction or just "he is nice looking" as anyone can do that whether gay, straight or Bi.

It's a tricky one when married though isn't it.

summeryday Mon 22-May-17 14:07:27

I have NC for this OP, I could have written your post as this is happening to me. I'm 45 with 2 teen DCs. Married husband because he was the 'right fit' and we work well as a team, but the passion wore off quite soon after we had DCs and we are in the process of divorcing.

I had an unspoken EA with another school mum. We didn't 'do' anything and to this day I wonder if it wasn't an EA but just close friendship? I beat myself up over it. Lots of coffee dates alone and one time when we hugged and (I think, or did I imagine it?) nearly kissed. After that I went to Relate as I think if I had been properly single, it would have gone further. But the other mum and I don't ever talk about it, so I don't know if it was real.

Utter head mess!

In my past: I've kissed women but mucking around; dares and stuff, and once at uni a girl pinned me to a bed and tried to take my clothes off, but I wasn't attracted to her. I fantasise about being with women and from a very young age I have appreciated the 'look' of women (mostly in underwear catalogues blush).

I have no idea if I am bi, if I imagined it, if I even care. I am happy to leave my marriage and need to sort my head out.

Confusedoldlady Mon 22-May-17 15:48:01

Summery, yes to right fit. I do love him though.

HIG, I'm not sure about sexual or other attraction, I'm so confused right now about it all.
I can't do anything about it though at all, so I might as well make the most of what I've got.

noego Mon 22-May-17 18:23:17

Having gay sex in a fantasy way is very erotic and can be exciting. I have a few GF's who like the idea of gay sex but wouldn't carry it through. I have one GF who is Bi and loves the intimacy of making love with another woman.
It sound to me as though you are Bi. TBH you aint never gonna know unless you have tried it smile

LallanasInPyjamas Mon 22-May-17 19:49:48

It's not ridiculous or a mid life crisis. I have many friends in their 40s, 50s and 60s who have married and had children to then embark on relationships with women later on. Ultimately it doesn't matter when, it only matters that it could potentially make you happy. Do you think it would make you happier?

Confusedoldlady Mon 22-May-17 20:13:28

I don't know.
To be honest it's very likely that my dc will not leave home (SN) and will continue to need team support from dh and me, so anything I feel on the matter is purely academic, plus it would be a bolt from the blue for dh and I couldn't do that to him.
I'd like to be happier, but I can't foresee a time when this would be possible.

LallanasInPyjamas Mon 22-May-17 20:22:02

"I feel like I've spent my life doing the right thing for other people"

Your life needs to have equal value to that of your DC and husband, otherwise your happiness will always be 'purely academic'.

Cricrichan Mon 22-May-17 20:24:56

I'm late 40s and have never been attracted to women. I have no problem with homosexuality and a family member is gay so it wouldn't be a problem if I was gay or bisexual. There's a physical reaction your body does when you're close to someone you're attracted to and for me it's always been men.

TFPsa Mon 22-May-17 20:25:22

Gay people nearly always seem to have their first inkling very young, much younger than forties, but in terms of fully putting it all together and admitting it to yourself, all ages are possible.

Andthentherewerenone Mon 22-May-17 20:34:37

I;m watching this thread with interest as going through this. Can I ask -
noego you said "TBH you aint never gonna know unless you have tried it". But how does one make the leap from married hetero to single bi, ready to experiment? Do you look out for LGBT? It has been so long since uni days - in fact think theres' a Q now in there!

Lifegavemelemons Mon 22-May-17 20:47:53

I'm in my 60's now - and had a number of friends in our 40's suddenly come out and leave marriages. Friends of both sexes too.

I've come to realise, over the years, that I'm Bi, about 3:2 I reckon - for every 3 men I really fancy there will be 2 women. I'm just a bit more attracted to men - or I certainly was in my 20's - 50's. Because I was in a long term marriage to a man this was all hypothetical. I'm now divorced. Increasingly I'm finding women more sexually attractive. Have I changed? Or am I just more open to feelings that have always been there?.

I don't think what you are going through is unusual. You have a complex situation with your dependent dc, balancing their needs with your own. Good luck, I really hope you work out what is the right path for you.

Confusedoldlady Tue 23-May-17 16:49:04

Thank you for all the replies. Good to know it's not just me!

Cri I get the physical reaction very rarely, but when I do it's for men or women, increasingly women over men.

I think this has always been how it is for me, but because it was seen as wrong I've brushed it off, ignored it and seen crushes on women as normal.

The right path for now is carrying on as I am.
I will be putting some thought into how things could be changed in the future though.

Istoletherainbow Tue 23-May-17 17:35:28

Hi OP,

I understand why you're confused and a bit....alarmed maybe, but try to relax. You are certainly not alone with these feelings, as you can see! smile It's very common to be questioning your sexuality later in life.

One piece of advice I would give though is, don't do the whole "free pass" thing, unless you're in an open relationship that is. It never ends well and I think some men underestimate the intensity two women can have when they become intimate, so give the green light and then things can get messy.

I came out at 28 and met and fell in love with my now, gf. I had a 9year relationship with a man before that and a 5 year old dc at the time. It was scary, yes. It was slightly harder knowing that nobody would ever suspect I was bi or gay. I'm very feminine, which some people still can't seem to understand. My parents were homophobic, which was obviously adding to my fear of coming out, because we were\ are very close and I cared about what they thought, even though I wholeheartedly disagreed with their views.

Fast forward nearly 5 years and my parents love my DP to pieces! Things were a bit rocky at first, but things changed very quickly once they saw how lovely my dp is and how happy she makes me. They would be devastated if we were to break up now, as would my dd. Yes, I was also concerned about coming out with a dc, because of the risk of homophobic bullying, but apart from the odd silly comment, there's been nothing. Thankfully.

If someone had said to me as a child, or in my teens, or actually any time before meeting my gf grin that I would be living with and planning to marry a woman, I wouldn't have believed them for a second.

What are you specifically afraid of OP?

Confusedoldlady Tue 23-May-17 23:11:39

What am I afraid of?

Wrecking my family and any stability we have.
Destroying my husband.
Alienating my family.

I don't think my feelings could justify doing anything.
I know there's no free pass, and there's no way I would act on this, I'm just confused that I've managed to keep this tucked away for so long.

Istoletherainbow Wed 24-May-17 07:35:59

there's no way I would act on this

Well if that's the case....

*Wrecking my family and any stability we have.
Destroying my husband.
Alienating my family.*....... Why would any of this happen?

I get if you're confused, but if you've no intention of acting on it, again, why are you afraid?

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