How many have wondered/partner gay?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
How many have wondered/partner gay?
12
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 1:24pm
My second husband turned out to be bi-sexual. We didn't have a CL problem but we had lots of other problems, like honesty.

Since then, I do keep an open mind about someone's sexual identity. I don't just assume a partner is straight and when sexual problems come up, that's one thing I look for. It's not an obsession, just something I don't rule out right away.

How many here have wondered, or are afraid to wonder, about it? Considering how many people have affairs and lie about it, it must cross some people's minds that something might be going on outside the marriage when you are continually rejected.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 2:53pm
Hi PC. At one point I got so frustrated with the whole situation and trying to find out what was causing our CL that I asked him if he might be gay. He's in law enforcement, so I figured maybe he didn't want to come out b/c of the stigma it sometimes carries and the effect it would have on his job. He flipped out, said he wasn't gay, and I'm like OK, but if you WERE, you could tell me..."But I'm NOT GAY!!!" he kept saying...thinking back on it now, it was kinda funny:) Hey, when you're desparate, you're willing to look at ALL the possibilities, especially when you have all the thoughts of "What's wrong w/ME that the person who SAYS he loves me can't/won't SHOW me as much?". And you never know...look at your situation, the answer could have easily been yes. Other than not wanting to have sex w/me, though, he really has no gay tendencies, although he DOES have great decorating sense...hmmm...Christopher Lowell, anyone? LOL (BTW, PLEASE take this statement for what it's meant to be, HUMOR, and not as me stereotyping...I have 3 gay cousins, and a gay mother, which is a whole OTHER message board!)

The thing that boggles my mind is that my BF was a big time jock, fraternity guy, the whole bit...everything that would scream "man's man", including his profession, yet he winds up w/NO DRIVE. And just a side note, the whole "just do it" campaign by our therapist...yeah, that's not working. We're not due back til April 14, and I'd put money on the fact that we STILL will not have done anything sexual by then. I SO did NOT sign up for this!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 3:49pm
Count me in on the afraid to wonder. I do not think he thinks he is gay. His upbringing would never allow him to even think it. I think prob that I do not think he is too. Sometimes I think that it would make it all better if he was. Then it would give us something to work with.


Jen

Jen
Avatar for janegael
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 11:30am
There are a lot of married gay men out there. Far too many of them married because they thought they should and then either cheat or deny their sexuality and push everyone including their wives away. There are also some gay men who are happily married to women because this is what they chose and the two of them worked out the situation together.

Most any relationship that lacks sex lacks closeness and, most of all lacks communication. Just do it doesn't work if he won't try. It takes a lot of talking and a lot of tears to get past the man's natural tendency to hide any hint that his libido isn't what he thinks it should be.

After more than 3 years of talking my DH has finally decided that he will lose me and our marriage if he doesn't do more than try (which only lasts a couple of weeks at best) so he is off today for a complete physical and then calling a therapist to set up an appointment. If a man is serious about making it work, he will do what he needs to do. That's really what it means to be a man. You take care of business even if it scares the hell out of you.

Peace,

Jane

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 6:56am
Hi there - I didn't reply to your latest message about the disappointing weekend cos there were lots of replies, but there was something in it that I suddenly remembered when I read THIS post:

"Count me in on the afraid to wonder. I do not think he thinks he is gay. His upbringing would never allow him to even think it. I think prob that I do not think he is too. Sometimes I think that it would make it all better if he was. Then it would give us something to work with."

In your other post recently you also said something like: "its hard to cope with life not going the way you had imagined/planned it would."

So here we have the same like of thinking: "I do not think he thinks he is gay. His upbringing would never allow him to even think it" and then: "it would give us something to work with."

It seems from all this that you have a very strong sense of life being something that is all within one's control. I know where you're coming from because i do have quite a "life is what you make it" approach, but honestly, to think that someone might not be gay "because their upbringing wouldn't allow it" is rather bizarre...I mean, if you're gay, you're gay!You may not ACT on it, but you are still GAY! Equally, it would not"give you something to work with..." you cannot un-gay someone by hard work!

It seems to me that you (like me!) have trouble accepting that certain things are not under your control and that you tend to keep hammering away at things till you get results. To borrow from T-mans behavioural stuff, this behaviour is positively reinforced on a regular basis because there ARE quite a number of things in life that DO respond to hadr work and determination. If you stick at it, you get results. However, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that not ALL things in life are under your control, however much you wish they were. This is particularly true when it comes to things that involve other people, into which category relationships and sex definately fall. You comment on gayness reveals a lot about your beliefs about sex and relationships, namely that these things, too, respond to "hard work and determination." of course this is true in a sense, but not in all senses, and not, i am afraid, in the way that you wish it were true in your marriage.

.

I had a sudden insight today on this: one of the problems when we want our partner to have more (or more varied) sex with us is that we respond to the situation by…trying to get our partner to have more (or more varied) sex with us. But another person's sexuality is not something you can change by hammering away at it, and that includes whatever form of "hammering" you choose to apply.

We focus on tring to bring about the desired change, heedless of the fact that, as we all know, you can’t change other people. Some of us, if more sophisticated, start changing OURSELVES to try to go about it differently – this is the perfume and lingerie and not putting any pressure on him, and all that stuff. We "change", (certain things) but the basic underlying DYNAMIC remains the same – us pushing for sex and them resisting. This is why the no-pressure-and-candlelit dinners has the same (zero) effect as nagging and fighting – because the basic dynamic is the same in both cases. Its just the METHODS that are different.

What is needed, then, is a different conceptualisation of the situation (I deliberately did not say a different "strategy" or "approach")one in which we stop focusing on "solving the problem" "getting our marriage on track" or "getting more sex" but rather focus on ourselves and the situation we find ourselves in. Most of us end up doing this EVENTUALLY in the CL situation, but unfortunately many of us, myself included, spend years and years at the "hammering away"stage before we give up, exhausted, and reassess the situation. What I often hope on this board is that those of us who have been through this pointless chain of events can somehow help others to "cut to the chase" and avoid all the trying and failing (the whipped cream - OMG I'm not even GOING there...if I could save ONE PERSON from going through the "whipped cream" humiliation through all my posts on this board....) and instead start focusing on yourself and how you want to live your life. Have you read "passionate marriage?" I am only just reading this now, now that I am already part way down that road, but if I had read something like this years ago it would very much have challenged and influenced my conceptualisation of all this. LOL what a long post...anyway hope some of these thoughts are of some help.....




















iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:35am
I think one pitfall we get into is thinking we have to stick it out. I have often wondered what would have happened had I stayed, and if I play it out in my head, using reality not fantasies, I know it wasn't ever going to work. I think many times one needs to know when to fold the cards and let it go. Ending a relationship ain't easy, but when something doesn't work, it doesn't WORK!

The only thing more defeating than entering into a known bad relationship, is staying and trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. You aren't happy and the pig sure ain't happy. The fact is, you can't make something if you don't have the ingredients.

I think if you've tried everything, and it doesn't work or it gets worse, you have your answer. The question is, what are you going to do about knowing the facts. When is enough, enough?

We need to treat ourselves the way we want others to treat us, we should be just as important to ourselves as we think others are to us. Sometimes that means we have to end it and move on. If your partner continuelly(sp?) treats you in a way the you would not treat them, why do you put up with it?

I could have stayed with my second husband, we could have worked around the bi-sexuality issue, I could have spent nights bawling my head off wondering who he was with, or if he found me desirable, or if if if. What was the point, it wasn't something I wanted in a relationship, so staying was just making myself unimportant. And if I put myself on that level, he sure wasn't going to treat me any differently than I would have been treating myself.

I find it far better to move on into the unknown, than to stay where I'm miserable. If I stay, I'm saying it's alright to treat me that way. It's not. Some relationships simply will not work out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:41am
Strawberry,

Thanks very much for your insights. You are right, we cannot change them. Hopefully we can change the situation. I think I may have been a little harsh to my DH with the whole "gay" post. My DH has not done anything to make me think he is gay, besides having a low sex drive. And again, I feel as if I do need to point out that by many people's standards his drive is not low, only when you put it next to mine does it become low.

You are very right about the focus of our quest. It should probably be more centralized on ourselves more then what we try to do.

I wonder how many of us HL woman are control freaks. I am assuming you are one too, by your comments of thinking life can be controled, so if I am wrong, I apologize. I have heard so many women complain on this board about their SO using sex as a means of control. I know their are different levels of this control that have been expressed, but I wonder if this is a common theme. I had not thought about the control aspect before I came to this board. I never thought about my DH using it as control, but since I found this board I have given it a lot of thought. I do not think my DH uses it as a control directly. I do think, however, that subliminally, he might. If he does, it is prob the only thing in our marriage that he controls. I have been trying to work on that aspect of me for a while now.

On a side note, DH and I had a long serious talk last night, and for the first time I really feel like we got somewhere. I will put my thoughts about all this in a new post.

Jen

Jen
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 9:24am
Regarding your bi EX...I just wanted to say that in my doings with bi folks and people involved in polyamorous relationships make me believe that your EX's bi-ness wasn't the cause of the end of your marriage, but his apparent (by your comment about wondering who he was with) assumption that his bi-ness entitled him to at least one lover of each gender. I wholly understand if he wasn't aware of his bi-sexuality at the time of your marriage and he needed to get out and go "do" that outside the confines of a traditional heterosexual partnership arrangement. But back to the entitlement thing...Most married people ARE heterosexual, but that doesn't entitle them to continue having various partners of the opposite sex, hence my argument that bi-sexuals aren't automatically entitled to one of each. Especially (and this is crucial) if that's not what the parameters of your relationship were. Open marriages are way different and very difficult (by all accounts I've heard) to maintain.

I just wanted to throw that in there as a way of saying that I think you did well with a very hard situation that was very unfair to you.

Shan

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 2:26am
Hi MSL - no, I'm not a control freak...I'm just Scottish! We seem to have some sort of "tenacity gene" that makes us never want to give anything up for lost and keep hanging on for grim death...must be something to do with centuries of evolution on a godforsaken windswept lump of rock in the middle of the north sea....

Glad to read about your "confessions" night. I'm sure you both feel better and closer.

Hugs

Strawberry

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 10:28am
"trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"....What the....Where the...???? You have me baffled! I have never heard that one before. Where'd you get that??? LOL

This comment actually made me go look at your profile. "live in SW Iowa, in a small rural town" I guess that explains it. We don't have those sort of phrases here in the Pacific Northwest. We can only relate to quips about rain.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 1:17pm
That's an excellent point! It's also one of the several known causes for clashing libido issues that I saw on a list. As most of us are aware we had a poster here who subsequently discovered his mate was, in fact, gay and carrying on a long term affair. It's a sad thing but it does/can happen. I guess sometimes we just get caught up with someone who is so very confused---

Elyse

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