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To worry I’m wrong about being gay?
128

Barbiehouseandpool · 05/08/2022 18:31

I’m really too old for this realisation.
I was 40 this year, I’ve been married nearly two decades, I have three children, two primary aged and one secondary aged.
I love my husband but I’m not sure I’ve ever been attracted to him. I thought I was… and all my friends moaned about having to have sex with their partners / husbands so I thought my lack of sex drive was normal. Now I’m not so sure.
I thought a long time ago that I might be gay but I was able to ignore it and it’s only been the last couple of years that it’s become more difficult to ignore. I’ve spoken to my husband about it but he says I am just depressed and when I’m not depressed I will want to have sex. He says if I were gay I’d not have got married and have had three children.
I am worried that I am depressed because I am gay and having to act straight. It’s definitely been a gradual realisation. When I look at how I felt about famous people - I’d just pick a random man out of a boyband etc and pretend to be interested like everyone else but I wasn’t actually interested. The difficulty is that I love my husband and my children but that since this has become evident having sex has become more and more difficult. I have to really make myself or get drunk first. It can’t be nice for him to feel I don’t want him either.
He is angry - understandably - but I swear I didn’t seek to lie or mislead him. My family is religious and I knew on some level that it would be impossible for me to be gay when I was younger. He comments that now I give off a ‘lesbian vibe’ and other women look at me. I find that hard, I’m not sure it’s true. I look the same as I always did.

I worry that I am wrong though. What if this isn’t what’s missing? What if I’m just having a mid-life crisis? I’ve read stuff that says people who are straight are just straight and don’t question it, is that true? I would prefer to be straight and yet this is keeping me awake at night, worrying.
It sounds dramatic but I feel I can either sacrifice myself or my husband and children. And even if I am gay, how much does it matter? Does it matter at all?
My children probably wouldn’t be thrilled with a gay mother, especially my oldest. The easiest thing is to try and ignore it again but I’m selfishly finding that really hard.
it feels so unfair, for all of us.

I feel 90% certain I’m gay but how can I know for sure?

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42isthemeaning · 05/08/2022 18:33

OP, do you fancy women?

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BMW6 · 05/08/2022 18:34

I don't know, but I'm really sorry you're in such a difficult situation.

Perhaps a temporary separation to see if you can make sense of who you are sexually, and whether you want to continue in your marriage?

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Barbiehouseandpool · 05/08/2022 18:37

I don’t exactly fancy women when I’m just out and about.
It’s more that I’ve had intense friendships that I’ve been very invested in. When I’ve got to know a woman I’ve started to feel attracted to them. I don’t just fancy women without knowing them.
This makes it more confusing.
But I don’t find men attractive at all, in any capacity.

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x2boys · 05/08/2022 18:38

Are you sexually attracted to women?

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TitoMojito · 05/08/2022 18:38

You could be bisexual. You don't have to be one or the other.

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Barbiehouseandpool · 05/08/2022 18:39

I can say with some confidence that if I left DH I’d never want to date men.
What does that mean?

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crumpet · 05/08/2022 18:39

The thing is, you might be gay, or you might be straight or you might be bisexual. All of these things are irrelevant to whether or not you are happy in your marriage.

Deal with that first, then if you do divorce and are single, you can work out the next steps. Which may or may not mean you have a new relationship.

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Josette77 · 05/08/2022 18:40

When you are attracted to a woman do youwqnt to touch her? Do you fantasize about women? Masturbate thinking about or watching women? Does the thought of touching vaginas turn you on? The idea of going down on a woman turn you on?

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superram · 05/08/2022 18:42

My closest lesbian friend, I have many. Was never gay until she met her wife, she fell in love with the person who was a woman, rather than seeking a woman. Are you happy in your marriage? I’d have some counselling about your current relationship, you can’t cheat just because you are a lesbian, you need to end your marriage first and then find a new relationship, whether that’s with a man or a woman.

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germsandcoffee · 05/08/2022 18:43

I've got children and I'm bisexual.
I had relationships with women before I had a relationship with my partner and had children.
A lot of women question their sexuality as they age apparently.
But you don't have to decide what you are you need help if you are depressed.

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helpfulperson · 05/08/2022 18:44

It doesn't have to be one or the other. Are you happy with your husband? Are you sexually attracted to him? It doesn't mean that if you hadn't met him you wouldn't have ended up with a woman. I would focus on making the relationship you are in work. Unless you don't think you can in which case leave. I wouldn't worry about who you might end up with next.

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Elsiebear90 · 05/08/2022 18:46

Do you ever fantasise about women? When you’ve found yourself attracted to women you know have you wanted to kiss them? Do sexual things with them?

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SarahAndQuack · 05/08/2022 18:50

FWIW, though I didn't have children, what you're describing sounds very similar to me.

I just sort of knew deep down, while knowing that it wouldn't be acceptable to some of my family. And I would keep second-guessing myself, thinking, oh, but if I were really gay, I'd be absolutely certain, or I'd feel powerfully attracted to random women, or whatever. Or the things @Josette77 describes. And, on the whole, I didn't feel those things.

It sounds to me as if what you are most sure about is not the presence of attraction to women, but the absence of attraction to men? If so, TBH I don't think the answer is that you're bisexual. It could be, as your DP says, that you're depressed and miserable and the absence of attraction/sex drive is a result of that. But it sounds as if it's not that, if you've always been semi-aware of it.

I don't really see how you can know for sure. All I know is (in my situation, which was much less high stakes as I had a briefer marriage and no children), I did leave, and met my (female) DP, and I am much happier about it all now. For me, looking back, yes it was entirely obvious I was gay, but I can only see it with hindsight.

I'm absolutely not saying that because that's my experience, therefore it must be yours. But if you're looking for someone to say that you could plausibly have the thoughts you're having and be gay, then yes, I know you can.

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cookiecreammmpie · 05/08/2022 18:52

I think you can find women attractive but what it comes down to is how does the thought of sex with a woman make you feel? Do you masturbate to naked women? Do you like boobs and vaginas? If not then is there a chance you're on the asexual spectrum? Sorry to be crude but I do think that's what it comes down to. I am bisexual. I fancy men and women and I've had sex with both. I prefer men though, I'm married to a man and I've got no desire to be with a woman in the same way as I'd not cheat with a guy. You don't need to label yourself but I think the only way to know for sure is to explore further.

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WorkshyHorsefly · 05/08/2022 18:52

If you have to get drunk before you can have sex, something is very wrong. You shouldn't be having sex you don't want, ever. Regardless of sexuality.

It might not be time to worry about coming out. It might just be time to decide whether to stay in a relationship where you feel such revulsion around sex. There's time to think about the rest later.

Fwiw, many women come out after a lifetime of compulsory heterosexuality. It's a common experience.

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ShinyMe · 05/08/2022 18:55

OP, an awful lot of what you're describing matches what I've felt over the years, and what I've realised over the last 2-3 years. I'd recommend having a google for the lesbian masterdoc and having a read - that'll give you a good idea whether there are a lot of things that resonate with you and match your experience.

I think if you've lived all your life as straight, then it's very hard to answer questions about whether you fantasise about women, whether you actually fancy women etc, because 30+ years of assuming you must be straight because everyone else is, makes people dampen that part of themselves down dramatically because they think somehow that it's not 'normal' or 'right'. I know that when I first started realising I wasn't straight, I was really confused because I was sure I didn't fancy women either, and the idea of lesbian sex was a bit gross and offputting. It took quite a lot of time to get clarity and give myself permission to have those sorts of thoughts.

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SuperPets · 05/08/2022 18:56

Barbiehouseandpool · 05/08/2022 18:37

I don’t exactly fancy women when I’m just out and about.
It’s more that I’ve had intense friendships that I’ve been very invested in. When I’ve got to know a woman I’ve started to feel attracted to them. I don’t just fancy women without knowing them.
This makes it more confusing.
But I don’t find men attractive at all, in any capacity.

Yes, but do you want to have sex with them?

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BMW6 · 05/08/2022 18:56

Do you ever dream about sex with a woman?

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TheBatwoman · 05/08/2022 18:59

For what it’s worth, I’m not sure many heterosexual women are 90% sure they are gay, would never want to date men again or don’t find men attractive at all in any capacity. It sounds like you already know really deep down, but understandably are questioning this out of concern for your husband and children’s feelings.

It is also not surprising that your husband may not want to come to terms with that reality and may find it difficult to understand. However, many LGBT people get married and have kids before coming out later in life - it’s not exactly unusual.

Ultimately, whether you are gay, bisexual or otherwise, it really doesn’t seem like you are very happy on your current marriage and as you rightly say that continuing as you are does not seem very fair to anyone - most of all yourself.

Finally, on a personal note, I really did not want to be gay either and found it difficult to come to come to terms with, but things really go get better.

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SarahAndQuack · 05/08/2022 19:02

cookiecreammmpie · 05/08/2022 18:52

I think you can find women attractive but what it comes down to is how does the thought of sex with a woman make you feel? Do you masturbate to naked women? Do you like boobs and vaginas? If not then is there a chance you're on the asexual spectrum? Sorry to be crude but I do think that's what it comes down to. I am bisexual. I fancy men and women and I've had sex with both. I prefer men though, I'm married to a man and I've got no desire to be with a woman in the same way as I'd not cheat with a guy. You don't need to label yourself but I think the only way to know for sure is to explore further.

See, I really disagree that this is what it comes down to.

We are all hugely socially conditioned. For some women (and some men, I'm sure), it is hard to imagine - or perhaps, to give yourself mental permission to imagine - what same-sex sex would be like. And not everyone does fantasise about disembodied body parts, porn-style. I mean, porn presumes that people (or usually, men) are massively turned on by seeing a pair of context-free tits. But actually, not everyone is like that, and I think maybe most of us aren't.

I think perhaps for women it is especially difficult to figure out sexuality when it's expressed in terms of abstracts ('a naked woman' rather than a specific, naked woman). Because we're pushed to internalise a certain amount of dislike of female bodies, aren't we? And some of us more than others. So there's an extend to which saying 'oh yes, female bodies are intrinsically sexy' can feel almost taboo. I'm not saying anyone should feel like this - I'm actually furious about it - but I know a whole load of clever people who've made the point (and more eloquently than I've just made it).

When I met my DP I thought she was absolutely gorgeous and after we got together it was entirely crystal clear to me that I was sexually attracted to women not men ... but I don't think it was at all clear all of those times when someone asked me to imagine whether I was turned on by naked women.

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SarahAndQuack · 05/08/2022 19:05

I cross posted with @ShinyMe and absolutely agree with her.

(Incidentally, and I don't mean this in a snippy way but am genuinely curious - I would like to know if the posters asking if the OP fantasises/dreams about sex with women, or naked women's bodies, are lesbians who've come out later in life?)

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BillHadersLeftEye · 05/08/2022 19:11

@Barbiehouseandpool read Glennon Doyles books maybe? Just a good guide on listening to yourself and sitting with your own knowing.

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Elsiebear90 · 05/08/2022 19:14

SarahAndQuack · 05/08/2022 19:05

I cross posted with @ShinyMe and absolutely agree with her.

(Incidentally, and I don't mean this in a snippy way but am genuinely curious - I would like to know if the posters asking if the OP fantasises/dreams about sex with women, or naked women's bodies, are lesbians who've come out later in life?)

I’m a lesbian, I came out in my twenties, so not late in life really, but later than a lot of lesbians I know. I was in denial for a very long time, but had fantasised exclusively about women for as long as I can remember. Convinced myself it was normal for straight women to do that though!

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SarahAndQuack · 05/08/2022 19:17

Elsiebear90 · 05/08/2022 19:14

I’m a lesbian, I came out in my twenties, so not late in life really, but later than a lot of lesbians I know. I was in denial for a very long time, but had fantasised exclusively about women for as long as I can remember. Convinced myself it was normal for straight women to do that though!

Isn't it amazing how we tie ourselves in knots?! Not the same as you telling yourself it was normal to fantasise about women, but I know someone who, when her (adult) daughter came out, snapped back with crisp certainty 'don't be ridiculous! Everyone is attracted to women, but you don't do anything about it!'

Hmm Grin

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Devotedcatslave · 05/08/2022 19:20

I think you have two separate issues to sort out. Firstly are you happy in your marriage and do you want it to continue. It doesn't sound like it to be honest, given you don't fancy your DH. Once you have sorted that out, then is the time to explore who, if anyone, you want to have a relationship with next.

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