My Predicament

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by teabagme69, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. teabagme69

    teabagme69 New Member

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    First, a word of warning: this is a very long post. It would definitely help me out if people would read it and respond, but I wanted to let people know it is long-winded ahead of time, in case they are not interested. Thanks!

    Hi everyone,

    I am in an interesting (read: absolutely gut wrenching) situation, and I wanted to get some input.

    My wife and I have been married for four years, and together for almost 11. We are only 26--we were high school sweethearts, and as you can do the math you will know we have been together since we were 15 years old. I know for a fact that I am very strongly attracted to men, and I have been for as long as I can remember.

    She and I have never really had the most stable relationship. While we have not actually been "broken up" for more than a few weeks throughout the whole 11 years we have been together, there were multiple instances in high school and college where I cheated on her--almost exclusively with other men (I think the cheating with women was not because I was attracted to them but for other reasons... not quite figured that out yet...). I have been faithful (at least in the literal sense of not having any kind of sexual or emotional interaction with another person) since we've been married.

    In addition to the cheating, our sex life has never been good. She was abused when she was younger, and I have my own issues with sex, so it has always been really hard for us to separate and determine if our sexual hang-ups were do to our respective histories, or due to my sexuality. I think it is probably a mixture of the two, although we always wrote it off to our histories to avoid having to think about my sexuality. We started having sex about a year after we started dating, but it never got comfortable. I was never able to open up and really give myself to her sexually--I was always in my own head, not able to enjoy the experience and only able to think about how I had to please her and show her that she was pleasing me. She also has never been able to fully open up to me sexually, I think because deep down she was protecting her heart, afraid to open pandora's box only to find that I was gay.

    This last part was probably not helped very much by the experience we had our sophomore year of college. She was studying abroad in London, and I was planning a trip to visit her over spring break. Before I went, I got really freaked out and decided that I was definitely gay and that I needed to end the relationship... and this is what I did when I went to London. She has never been one to take no for an answer, so when I tried to break up with her and she wouldn't let me, I really let her have it. Not in an intentionally spiteful way, but it hit home nonetheless. I told her that I was absolutely gay and that I was not attracted to her. Now is this true? I am not completely sure... If I'm not 100% gay I am close. My profile says 90% but it is probably closer to 95%--I didn't choose 99% because I thought that was a bit too extreme. But am I attracted to her?

    Well, I think that depends on how you look at it. When I look at her, I definitely feel that she is attractive! She is beautiful, gorgeous, sexy! When I look at her body I love her curves. But I have not had a real desire to be with her sexually in a long time.

    So we broke up in London and I went home. This was in March. We got engaged that August and married just under two years later in July.

    We got married, as I said, four years ago. I think we both subconsciously thought that marriage would make us both feel more stable and secure in our relationship. Of course, that is the dumbest rationale I can imagine--if your relationship is unstable and uncertain, just get married! But we thought that maybe one of the reasons our sex life was not good was that we didn't see each other often, and so we didn't have sex very often, and so when we did have sex it was kind of awkward (we were each others' firsts)... so I think maybe I thought that when we were married we would see each other all the time and we would have sex more often and by extension we would get through the awkwardness, and I think she felt like if she had the promise, commitment, and vow of marriage from me, then she would finally feel secure and be able to open up.

    That didn't happen. We got married and still didn't have sex. She was upset with me for not making advances, and she didn't feel comfortable making a move on me for fear that I would turn her down. When she would ask why I never made a move, I would answer that I never thought about sex. This was partially true--I never thought about having sex with her, but I did look at gay porn on a regular basis--at least once a week.

    About two years ago, she finally hit her breaking point. It sounds kind of strange, but it all started because of David Cook. My wife had never really been a fan of American Idol. She had watched it some off and on, but never really got into it. I, on the other hand, had watched it religiously for at least the previous two seasons. I convinced her that we needed to watch it 7th season, and we did. David Cook came on the screen and she immediately felt a connection to him. Through the TV screen, he had made her feel more wanted than her husband had ever been able to make her feel, and that triggered something in her brain. She started distancing herself from me, found a David Cook fan forum and posted and read obsessively. We watched the show every week and she made her parents and me call and text votes for him until our fingers practically bled. After the season, she went to all kinds of his concerts, starting with the American Idol tour, and continuing when he went on tour solo. She wrote fan-fiction about him--she and her forum friends actually wrote and bound a collection of erotic short stories involving him. I saw in her a sexuality that I had never seen, because I had never been able to bring it out in her, and I was incredibly jealous! I loathed David Cook with a passion--while at the same time admiring him for his musical abilities and his apparent voodoo charm over the ladies, and I must admit a little over myself as well.

    The David Cook thing sort of fizzled out, after the tour for his first album was over. In the year of the Cook, my wife and I had sex maybe once a month, probably less often.

    Last July, my wife had a friend of hers visiting from out of town--a girl she had met through the David Cook forum, actually--and they went skydiving. She automatically fell in love with it and has been doing it ever since. She now has her second level license (B License), and 80+ jumps.

    We are both very obviously aware, and have been for at least the past two years, that we have problems. Throughout the whole David Cook thing, I was not at all understanding. I think my wife had a hard time verbalizing exactly what was going on in her mind--she may not have even come to terms with what it was yet--and I definitely had a hard time hearing what she was trying to say. All I could see was that she was sexually interested in this other man... more than I had ever seen her be interested in me... interested enough to actually write erotic stories about him... and that I was hurt by this. And by golly I let her know it. We fought or argued or gave each other the cold shoulder more throughout that year than any time before.

    And then came the skydiving. I immediately didn't like it. She was driving three hours out of town, every other weekend, to spend the night at the drop zone where she jumped. There were men there. Men who had the laid back, laissez faire, confident personality that I so totally lack. Men who were completely comfortable with themselves and their sexuality. And there was an actual threat as opposed to the psychologically perceived threat David Cook had posed. In the beginning I handled the situation very poorly. I called and texted all the time when she was down there and if she didn’t respond immediately I freaked out and assumed she was fucking some other guy. In short, I turned into a jealous asshole. She let me know how much this behavior upset her and through time I learned to tone it down.

    About the same time she started skydiving, she also let me know that until we figured our shit out she did not feel comfortable putting her heart on the line and so she didn’t feel comfortable having sex. And so we literally have not had sex in a year, since late July 2009.

    And within the past few months, we both started going to therapy (both she and I had been afraid for me to see a therapist, as we were trying to avoid hearing what a therapist might find—that I was gay and needed to end the relationship) and I think she finally got to the root of what her problem had been all along. She felt like I was not interested in sex—that coupled with our history and with my lack of initiative in planning things for us to do, etc, led her to the conclusion that I was probably gay.

    Now to put that in context… I told her that I was bisexual on our second date. In high school I actually used to talk on the phone with her about a guy I found attractive. She knew that I had cheated on her with other guys. Then there was the London incident. So her thought process was that we both knew the truth—it had been there all along staring us in the face and we had always just chosen to ignore it. And she also felt—rightfully so, I can add now in hindsight—that I was never given the opportunity to make the choice for myself. Society puts a lot of pressure on males when it comes to sexuality, masculinity, etc. On top of that, she felt that maybe she had pushed me into marriage. While I think there was definitely an element of that, if I had been thinking for myself I couldn’t have been pushed into something that I thought was wrong for me.

    So we decided we needed to spend this summer apart. I needed to stay home and figure out what I want and need out of my life, while she would spend the summer at the drop zone (she has summers off from work, obviously). So I have been really trying to do a lot of work to figure out what it is that I need and want. What kept me in the relationship this long? Was it love and devotion, and the sex stuff might be fixable? Was it some sort of twisted thought process that “I owed it to her” because of what I had put her through in the past? Was it that I was comfortable being married to a woman and didn’t want to “rock the boat”? On the surface, we have a perfect life. We are 26 and both gainfully employed, we live in an idyllic little country town, and we own our home. We are living the American Dream.

    Therapy has been a huge help to me. It’s funny how the situation has progressed. When I first went to therapy, all I could talk about was what my wife told me she didn’t like, what she wanted from me, what she thought was missing. I think in the first few sessions, there was no mention of what I thought or what I wanted. In my whole life so far, for whatever reason, I have stripped myself of my identity. No preferences, no desires of my own, no knowledge of who I am and what I want. I have just always gone along with what other people say because it is easier than making waves. But throughout the process my therapist has really helped me to learn how to think for myself and think of myself.

    But anyway, all of that to say I still don’t know exactly what is right for me, but at least I am a step farther along than I was before, because I am finally listening to myself, finally interested in knowing what I want, finally doing this for me and not just to appease my wife because she isn’t happy with our sex life or our romance and feels that we are just roommates.

    I am at the point now where I think that I am close enough to gay that I probably could not have a happy, healthy sexual relationship with a woman, or if I could that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what’s best for me or what I will want in the long run. At the same time, I am terrified of the alternative. I have been in a relationship with this woman for 11 years out of my 26 year life. That is a long time, and it’s hard to end something that has been such a huge part of my life. I am afraid of coming out… when I first went to college I decided that I had hidden my sexuality for long enough and that I was going to come out… but I didn’t so much come out as just give head to a bunch of guys. I think at that time I was too afraid to just come out and say, “Yes, I’m gay. What of it? It is just one part of my life and has no bearing on who I am.” I am still absolutely terrified of the prospect, especially in our “idyllic country town” because the problem with an idyllic place is that if you don’t fit the ideal you’re fucked. Are any of those good enough reasons to stay? No. That wouldn’t be fair to me or to her. But I guess I need to determine if those are the only reasons, or if there is actually something else keeping me here… a hope that we could fix what’s wrong with us and actually have a happy, healthy relationship, maybe?

    I don’t know if I need advice so much as just the catharsis of putting this all down in words and sharing it with people. My therapist already knows the whole spiel, but she is the only one that knows everything. Thank you for those of you who took the time to read my memoir, and any comments would be appreciated!
     
  2. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    I don't feel comfortable giving you any advice because your situation is so very complicated, but I wanted to let you know that I read your entire post and wish both you and your wife luck in finding yourselves and figuring out what is best for you. And kudos for seeing a therapist - that was a really good move.
     
  3. teabagme69

    teabagme69 New Member

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    Thank you! Yeah I definitely would not have been able to even get this far without a therapist. I had been lying to myself and everyone else for so long saying that I was completely happy, it's an incredibly hard cycle to break.
     
  4. longverythick

    longverythick New Member

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    You seem to be honest and intelligent so I can definitely imagine your problem being solved. Your wife loves you and sounds like a wonderful beautiful woman and it seems you love her too. You should confront your issues with your confidence. For example until I was 17 I would never take my shirt off I was afraid to show my chest. Its not a problem anymore, things like that can be solved. I am also afraid of height like roller coasters and such and I know there are things that can be done to take away those fears. I don't know if you believe in God or not but prayer always helps and if you prayed with her it could help you express yourself, get to know her better and improve your life.

    I suggest you stop watching gay porn altogether. If you stay away from it and discipline yourself you can change your desires. For example sexually abused people learn to not want sex. You will need more counseling and therapy and also talk about everything with your wife. Be completely open and honest with her and tell her how much you love her and that you are afraid and just share all your feelings. You can release your emotional tension and let go of things. You will realize that some of your fears worries and problems were so silly and just move past them.

    You might want to talk with another guy about it too. It does seem like you have a lot of hope and you are willing to change and want to be a better person for her.
     
  5. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    It's not fair to either of you when you keep pretending you're happy. Have you heard the saying that kids prefer to be from a broken home than living in one? Well, it applies to adults too.

    I'm sure you already played with this idea, and it probably wouldn't work for you as you've mentioned jealousy in your initial post, but have you thought about staying together but having an open relationship? Then you could keep the perfect exterior and continue to support each other, but you could both be happy sexually as well.

    And therapists kick ass! I see one at uni - mostly because it's free :biggrin1:. She tells me I don't need to see her, but I like having a non-judgmental person to talk about stuff with. It's somehow reassuring.
     
  6. B_Hung Jon

    B_Hung Jon New Member

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    I just hope with my whole heart that you both will be ok and eventually will find some peace of mind.
     
  7. helgaleena

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    I think you are finding that you have married a best friend, and that together you have companionship. Despite all traditional ideas of what would make a marriage work, you and she have been together for a long time. Obviously you are doing something right vis a vis one another!

    It just does not seem to include sex. You mention that you were unfaithful, but not whether she has been. It might be time for both of you to consider what fidelity and jealous possessiveness of one another mean to each of you, and whether some ideal of sexual satisfaction is worth sacrificing your friendship arrangement.

    Humans have married for all sorts of reasons -- political alliance, economics, offspring, refuge-- since time immemorial. Happily ever after with your soulmate is not for everyone, and in fact is only an artificial ideal. You look very happy in your photo. Congratulations on how you and she have both grown. Embrace whatever future comes.
     
  8. teabagme69

    teabagme69 New Member

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    Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I don't think an open relationship would work well for either one of us. I think it would be too hurtful to both of us. Additionally, I don't think either one of us wants to sacrifice our integrity just to maintain a facade. If we truly are not sexually compatible, then I think we both feel like we have been living a lie for too long and refuse to continue doing so.

    As far as I know, she has not been unfaithful. Until recently I have had no reason to believe that she would be... and in the situation we're currently in I don't feel like I have the right to ask. Maybe because I have incorrectly accused her of it earlier in the situation?
     
  9. helgaleena

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    That reveals a little more about your personal definitions of faithful and how you think partners should ideally treat one another. But yes, you do have the right to ask, because you are the spouse and your sex lives are necessarily entwined as long as you remain married. And she has the right to refuse to answer, too. How she responds to a query is also informative.

    You just talked about 'if' you are incompatible. It sounds like you are willing to learn how to please each other more, for the sake of remaining together if possible. I hope she feels the same.
     
  10. teabagme69

    teabagme69 New Member

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    I feel like I cannot lose hope completely. But ultimately at this point the decision is mine, because she has indicated that she wants nothing more than to have a happy relationship with me. If one of us can't do that, it must be me. Maybe that's unfair, that she put that onus on me. I'm not sure how I feel about that right now. The truth of the matter is that if she hadn't basically forced me to ask the question of myself about my sexuality, as she felt unwanted and unsatisfied by our sexual relationship, then I would have gone on playing the same game forever.

    I think that I have spent a large portion of my life going along until someone made a decision for me, so that I wouldn't have to actually make any decisions. At this point, I feel like if I were to stay in the relationship, it would just be an avoidance mechanism, an attempt to continue that pattern. But I worry that maybe I am discounting my love for her too much by thinking that way. Bottom line is, I do love her. But what does that mean? How much weight does that carry? Do I only love her as a very dear friend?

    By the way, Helga, your responses seem very wise and open-minded. You don't happen to be a therapist by profession, do you? ;) The fact that you say I always have the right to ask the question, and that she always has the right to refuse to respond, reminds me of my therapist. :)
     
  11. aviators

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    one of my best friends dad was secretly gay for a long time
    her parents had been married for 8-10 years before her dad came out and they got divorced. she is accepting of her dad's choice, and her mom doesn't really support it, but they are still best friends.
    i hope you are able to find what you want to do with the rest of your life, secrets hold relationships back from growing, somethings are better left unsaid, but not if the results are hurting both people.
     
  12. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    If you are going to be unhappy sexually , you won't be a very happy person in general, no matter how much you love her. I don't think you should stay with her unless you can come to terms with your (and her) sex and sexuality issues.
     
  13. Pendlum

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    How much thought have you given to an open relationship? I'm sure it isn't for everyone (I'm fairly certain I could never do it). It sounds you have or had jealously issues, but it can't hurt to mull around the ole noggin'. It may not be an option, but I'm just throwing it out there for you two to talk about. Of course, it is up to you whether you think it is prudent to bring that up for her and have it on the table. If either of you can't separate sex and emotions, it wont work. But if you can accept that you two love each other, and just need sexual satisfaction else where, it could work. It takes a special kind of person for it to work, and of course you both need to be that kind of person. :tongue:
     
  14. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    He's said it wouldn't work for them. A shame really, because it seems like the perfect solution.
     
  15. Pendlum

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    Oh, I read the whole OP, but I didn't see the response where he said that. :tongue: *inserts foot in mouth*
     
  16. silvertriumph2

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    Hey Tea....

    I have read it all and I can understand, because I have been in some of these very same
    situations. I am very sorry to hear that both of you are so unhappy.

    First, but with respect for his beliefs, I disagree strongly with
    longverythick
    about being able to change your desires. I know some will disaggree, but I believe your choice
    of a sexual partner and desires for them are programed from birth and they cannot be changed.

    I agree with
    helgaleena..you have indeed married your
    "best friend"...which is not bad because I did the same thing...and she still is my best friend.
    Your marriage gave comfort to the both of you and made you feel a part of what is considered
    a "normal" life. Due to various reasons at the time, it fit the needs of you both. It may have
    been a way of hiding behind the outward security that a marriage beings with it, which gave you
    a safe haven...that which you desperately wanted others to see and believe....as well as what
    the two of you wanted to believe also.
    But this is not the real truth...and living a false life is never good.

    Your wife said she "wanted nothing more than a happy relationship." What does that mean? A
    married relationship as just a friend...one that is void of sexual love? That is not a marriage, that
    is tax deduction!

    I have always known that I was BI....and was fortunate enough to have a wonderful wife with
    whom I had a very compatable and satifying sex life. But, I always knew I had an equal attraction
    to men. I never cheated once while we were married, but the desire and feelings were always
    there. Today, I am partnered with a man and am very happy...but I still have the desires for
    women....again, however, I have not and will not cheat.

    I hope that you two will find the right solution to your problems, and if it means staying together,
    ....great, but I believe you will always have your desires for men which will not change. If you can
    stay in the marriage, do not cheat on her, and be really happy and satisfied.....then ok...but if you
    find that you have to cheat on her (or her cheat on you), then the marriage is doomed.
    And, NO, an open marriage is not the answer!

    I hope you both have a good therapist and that you will get good advice, and make the correct and best decision. I wish you only happiness...with...a satisfying sex life.
     
    #16 silvertriumph2, Jul 23, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  17. teabagme69

    teabagme69 New Member

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    Thanks for your responses. It really does help to hear multiple opinions on the issue. Silver, I am on the same page with you in terms of being able to change one's desires. I don't think it is possible, nor would I want to do it. As far as my wife "only wanting a happy relationship" with me, I think I misspoke. What she was saying was that she wanted a happy, fulfilling, sexually satisfying relationship with me if that was possible, and if it was possible she wasn't interested in anything else. Does that make more sense? Neither one of us wants a fake relationship, and that is what a sexless marriage would feel like to us.
     
  18. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    Sorry to be blunt, but from what you've said, it doesn't seem possible that you could have a sexually satisfying relationship with each other.
     
  19. the nameless375

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    I read your whole post and I know it would be a very difficult decision to make. I wish I could give you some advice, but I really don't know what I'd be able to tell you. I have a problem that is a little similar to yours. If I was to go into detail, it would take about as much time and space as yours. Good luck making a decision, man.
     
  20. B_RedDude

    B_RedDude New Member

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    Dude, get a divorce, move to a city, and get a boyfriend.
     
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