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I’m married...but I’m gay.

(117 Posts)
Runmelikeariver Mon 09-Sep-19 16:40:14

I’m married and have two children. I’m now in my mid 30s and am certain I’m gay, or at least bisexual with a strong preference for women. I’ve always known this really, it’s just my parents would have been (and would be) horrified and so I’ve just squashed it down and ignored it. However I’ve always felt something is missing, often anxious, never really settled. I have never felt any really stength of feeling towards a man and although I can have sex with a man the enthusiasm is fairly low.
As I’ve got older I feel more strongly gay and I’m finding it hard to ignore it. My husband would be extremely angry if he knew, which is fair enough as I’ve wasted his time really. My parents may will disown me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to hurt everyone but I’m dying here. I don’t know if I can carry on living a lie. On the other hand my children and husband are happy, is my happiness really worth theirs? I feel so selfish contemplating coming out but I also feel so trapped and suffocated in my marriage with someone who I know I don’t feel as I should about and never have.
Has anyone else been here?

Runmelikeariver Mon 09-Sep-19 16:47:46

And I’m aware it is unfair to dh as well, although things aren’t perfect even this aside.

GilbertMarkham Mon 09-Sep-19 16:49:21

No, so my advice may be shit but I had nearly think you should end the marriage and come out. Your husband will get past his anger and meet someone else. Your kids will adjust; what matters is that you are a caring parent to them. Your parents will have to adjust too.

Many people have. You are who you are, if people really love you, they should accept that.

I don't think it's fair that you live your life like this.

You haven't intentionally deceived anyone. You've realised over time.

GilbertMarkham Mon 09-Sep-19 16:49:52

* I really think

rumred Mon 09-Sep-19 16:53:04

Just want to say you haven't wasted anyone's time. Relationships end all the time for a variety of reasons. Realising you are gay is a good reason. You sound guilt ridden. Perhaps get counselling before you do anything definite, it could help you sort your thoughts and feelings out.
Can you talk to any friends about your feelings?

zafferana Mon 09-Sep-19 16:57:13

OP you certainly aren't the first person to face in adulthood, after marrying someone and having DC, that you are gay. I agree with the PP that you should tell your DH and probably end your marriage. In the end, you're living a lie and you're forcing him to live a lie in a relationship with someone who'd rather be someone of the same sex. The decent thing to do is to be honest with him and true to yourself. No, he probably won't take it well initially, but the longer you live this lie and the longer you waste his life the more you can expect him to be devastated and angry once he knows the truth. Go and have some counselling so you can make your peace with it - but come clean to him and come out. As for your kids - one day they will understand and they will understand why you had to be true to yourself. They may well not understand that just yet. Regarding your DPs - this is your life, not theirs. Don't waste your life living a lie in order to please other people.

ZenNudist Mon 09-Sep-19 17:02:45

Isn't it more about your relationship with your dh and less about your sexuality? I don't mean to be harsh but really considering you're in your 30s it's not like being gay was such a minority choice when you were younger. You chose your DH and were happy to marry him. But you no longer have the same feelings for him.

Do him the honour of sorting out your relationship first and then move on to your next relationship be it with the man or the woman afterwards. I don't think that if you do break up you need to make the break up all about "realising that you're gay". If you are going to divorce, preserve a good relationship for the sake of the children. So that means separating your lives before you start dating again.

Musti Mon 09-Sep-19 17:08:04

I think you should leave your husband. Whatever life you go on to have and whoever you end up having a relationship with, isn't anyone's business and you can deal with that later and gradually introduce the idea to your family if you need to.

Otterhound Mon 09-Sep-19 17:11:44

Its hardly surprising things aren't perfect and they will only get worse. The least selfish thing you can do is separate. The alternative is everyone is living a lie.

Best thing you can do is separate and make sure you co-parent well.

GreenTulips Mon 09-Sep-19 17:12:46

I also think one step at a time
Go to counselling be honest with your husband and me the marriage and work on being you while you heal and sort out living arrangements and kids etc

Only then can you think about another relationship.

Your parents don’t need to know for the time being if ever

SimonJT Mon 09-Sep-19 17:42:08

It isn’t an ideal situation.

This happened to my friend a few years ago, he had to leave his wife as pretending to be something he wasn’t would have killed him.

His parents seem similar to yours as they no longer have a relationship with him because he is gay, their loss. His relationship with his ex wife is fairly good, his children don’t care that their Dad is gay and have a really good relationship with his boyfriend.

You won’t be the only one OP.

Ginkypig Mon 09-Sep-19 17:57:08

I have never come out, well not in the big official announcement way but really that is because Iv never felt the need to and am in a family where it's perfectly fine to be gay and has gay people in the family. If the topic comes up or if someone asks me I am happy to say I am bi.

but I have been in a long term heterosexual relationship since I was 18 so for all the world to see I live a straight lifestyle and look straight. Also being in a heterosexual relationship I feel it would look odd or be unfair to lesbians to be "part" of the LGBT community in a significant way like I'm stealing the already tiny space they have in the world so I don't.

So I am similar to you in some ways, except I suppose importantly with no fear of some of the things you describe.

Anyway what I mean by all that is you need to take a big step back and have a think about what the problem is.

Are you unhappy because you are in a relationship you don't want to be in because if that is the case then there is absolutely no question that you should find a way to leave because no bad relationship is worth wasting your life on.

Or do you love him and feel like you are in a fulfilling loving relationship? If yes then you should be able to be honest that you are bi but love him and want to be with him without blowing up your life.

Or do you feel like being out is the most important thing no matter the cost because actually you are gay and you can't live a lie anymore? If that is the case then no one and nothing should stand in your way.

Who you are is nothing to do with anyone else except who you want to share it with, but being gay is ok and no one should ever make you feel bad for that.

Whoops75 Mon 09-Sep-19 18:00:58

Do him the honour of sorting out your relationship first and then move on to your next relationship be it with the man or the woman afterwards. I don't think that if you do break up you need to make the break up all about "realising that you're gay". If you are going to divorce, preserve a good relationship for the sake of the children. So that means separating your lives before you start dating

Great advice

chocolatesaltyballs22 Mon 09-Sep-19 18:01:54

The only fair thing to do it to tell your husband and end the marriage. I'm sure he'll be hurt and upset but at least he can then move on and not waste any more time when you're clearly not meant to be together.

NcHere Mon 09-Sep-19 18:07:07

Just a word of warning as someone who's been in this EXACT situation.
The grass isn't always greener.

Lesbian relationships are just as hard as straight ones and after I destroyed my marriage for the same reasons you expressed I realised that what I wanted was excitement and I was bored.
A woman didn't change that.

Please don't think I'm being patronising.
I don't regret my experiences with women, I'm glad I got it off my chest, so to speak, but I do regret the hurt I caused everyone. Including my kids. It wasn't worth that.

NcHere Mon 09-Sep-19 18:08:58

Having said that I wouldn't have listen to my post when I was in your situation either.

I was set on my decision, it's just a shame it wasn't what I expected.

Hopoindown31 Mon 09-Sep-19 18:11:49

Agree with the comments about ending your marriage before moving on.

I've seen a couple of marriages end in my social circle with "coming out" exit affairs and much celebration of finally being "free". This stuff is deeply hurtful to the other spouse and others are put in a very difficult position.

When you do come out you are going to want validation from people, it's only natural. Please remember that your husband will not be one of those people and it is deeply unfair to expect them to be.

Ginkypig Mon 09-Sep-19 18:12:29

I meant to add that that there are only you're husband and children that you need to think about in terms of how you tell people

You're husband because well as far as he is concerned he thinks he is in a happy marriage and so even being honest you need to be fair. That doesn't mean not being honest.

You're children because well they are your children and no matter what happens in the future they are always going to be your constant.

Everyone else including the rest of your family if they treat you badly or the disown you then quite simply they don't fucking deserve you!

Whatisthisfuckery Mon 09-Sep-19 18:21:11

I’ve been here, got married, had Dc while always knowing it wasn’t right. It was complicated by a few factors, my XH being abusive for one, but it was very hard to come to terms with.

I had to leave. I’m really not joking when I say it was either that or be dead. I told XH before I had found somewhere to live because I thought it was the right thing to do. I wouldn’t recommend this, it was an awful environment for all of us to live in. XH who had only been a bit violent got worse, and there was one point where I literally had to flee for my own safety.

My best advice is 1, counselling if you can access it. 2, arm yourself with as much info as you can find, about housing, about divorce, about benefits, all the nuts and bolts stuff you need to live.

Regarding your family, you never know quite how that will go. My family were always hugely homophobic, esp my DM, but she was kind of ok about it. She was a bit off to start with but she had two choices, either come to terms with it or lose a daughter. Fortunately she did the former, although my mother can be somewhat difficult anyway. My dad really didn’t care much. As long as I’m alright he’s not bothered. Obviously you know your own parents but they might not take it as hard as you think, and as a wise woman once said to me, don’t expect your family to immediately come to terms with something it’s taken you years, decades to understand.

The DC will be fine as long as they have a healthy happy mum who cares for them. Kids are resilient, and a new normal doesn’t take long to get used to. My DC’s dad doesn’t see them now, for many reasons, none of which are to do with me being a lesbian. They have their mum and stepmum though so they’re fine.

I’d suggest trying to access lesbian support groups but there’s really nothing out there now, and what there is has been colonized by men who identify as lesbians. I wish I had some useful links and tips but there really isn’t anything. Beware of anything LGBT, because it’s male centric, kink obsessed and generally not a healthy place for a vulnerable women, or indeed any woman to be. Us dykes are out there though, it’s just that finding us takes more time and effort than it used to.

If you want a chat then PM me if you like.

In answer to your question, is your happiness worth your H’s and DCs’? Your happiness may depend on what you choose now. Your DC will be happy if you’re happy and they’ll be unhappy if you’re unhappy, and your H’s happiness really isn’t your responsibility. There are any number of women out there he might meet and be happy with but he can’t be happy with you if you’re not happy with him. It’s a two way street, but the only way you can allow someone else to be happy is if you make the right choice for yourself.

To the PP who said if you’re in your mid 30s then it’s your own fault because being a lesbian was an option, I’m betting my house your straight, right? It’s not something I’ve ever heard out of the mouth of any lesbian I’ve ever known. May I direct you to your lane, which is over there 👉🏼

Forgivable Mon 09-Sep-19 18:28:46

Regardless of the reasons why, you don't love your husband. So the relationship is over. You don't have to come out as gay yet.

You do owe him the truth that you do not love him though and it needs to finish while there is time for you both to move on.

View this as two separate issues for now.

Cheeseandwin5 Wed 11-Sep-19 17:06:39

I disagree with some of the posters in that I dont think these are two separate issues.
If you dont tell your DH the whole truth it will only drag out the misery for you both and give him undue hope. Off course it would be easier if you didnt so you are not seen as the villain of the piece but that will mean causing extra hurt for everyone else.
It will be a shock and and people may react badly but in the end, hopefully it will mean you can all lead the kind of lives you want to.

DementorsKiss Wed 11-Sep-19 17:10:35

I think you need to end it to give your poor husband a chance to be happy.

I'll get slated for this but it's pretty unfair to have got married & had children when you thought this in the first place

Caucho Wed 11-Sep-19 17:43:25

Fully agree Dementor. It’s not as if she’s breaking up because she has suddenly realised she is gay. She says she knew it from the start.

Having said that I do appreciate the pressures plus there’s no way of going back either so now they just have to deal with. I’d be pissed off as the bloke but don’t think a lot of people can regret having their children so should be able to get over it in time

rumred Wed 11-Sep-19 17:59:59

Trust me, it's hard being gay when your family and society disapprove. It's only recently become easier. Please don't make assumptions that she's hoodwinked her husband. Why on earth would she?

SimonJT Wed 11-Sep-19 18:34:25

I agree with @rumred, people have no idea how it feels to lose your whole family when they find out who you really are. I haven’t seen my mum since I was 17, I haven’t seen any other family member (apart from a cousin who is gay and excluded) since I was 23, you have no idea how hard that is unless you have experienced it. I very nearly had an arranged marriage, I still sometimes think it would have been the better option.

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