Accepting a Bisexual Husband

From Stephanie Chen (CNN): one of the most comprehensive and enlightened articles I’ve read on bisexual husbands. Many gay and bisexual men, uncertain of their sexual orientation early in life, follow the the traditional path of falling in love with a college or high school sweetheart, marry her and go on to lead healthy productive lives. The trick, after they eventually come to terms with their sexuality, is how they deal with it.

(CNN) — Robert Winn met his wife, Christine, in college. He was a fraternity boy. She was a sorority girl. Early in their relationship, he made a confession, a thorny secret he camouflaged from his closest family and friends.

The truth sputtered out awkwardly.

Sensing his nervousness, she speculated he would announce he was sick — or perhaps dying?

He told her he was bisexual.

On the surface, Robert Winn, now 40, and Christine Winn, 41, appear to be like any other blissfully married heterosexual couple. They boast nearly 18 years of monogamous marriage. He’s a well-respected physician, who works with the LGBT community in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She’s a successful hospital administrator.

The couple says they’ve grown closer over time, but like any marriage, two people can have differences — including sexual orientation. Christine Winn is straight, and she has been supportive of her husband, who is openly bisexual.

“I don’t think about it [his bisexuality] as a part I have to accept,” she said. “It’s just a part of him like any other husband who loses their socks on the floor or doesn’t take the trash out.”

Her husband feels a sexual and emotional attraction toward men and women. While he fantasizes about Angelina Jolie just as his straight male friends might do, he is also attracted to Brad Pitt.

This may sound like the best of both worlds, but being openly bisexual can be complicated. He frequently battles the stereotypes of bisexuality: That bisexual men are promiscuous. That his relationships with men were just an adolescent phase. That his bisexuality is imaginary. That he’s really a gay man trying to camouflage his orientation.

“There is a whole list of assumptions of what my life might be like, that somehow she is some sort of front for me because I’m not willing to accept I’m gay,” he said. “People are confused by bisexuality. There’s just not a lot of support for people who fall in the middle like me.”

More than 50 percent of Americans accept the idea of a gay or lesbian relationship, signaling growing support for same-sex couples, according to a Gallup poll in May. The poll, however, doesn’t address the issue of bisexuality, often defined as having a romantic attraction to both men and women. It’s a sexual orientation some advocacy groups and researchers say remains challenging because neither the gay community nor the straight population advocates for men and women who are attracted to both sexes.

“It’s either you’re in the closet or out of the closet, and it’s not that simple,” David Malebranche, a physician and professor of medicine at Emory University, says about the common perception of bisexuals.

Continue reading

Pin It

It’s Complicated, Really Complicated

I came received this from a feed linked to an Internet community for gay and bisexual husbands, a collection of men of all ages and circumstances scattered around the United States.  It’s a series of questions many gay and bisexual married men live with everyday.  Despite your personal convictions, we have to make way for those who grapple in different ways with the genes they were born with .

1. Do we embrace our love of men with acceptance, even joy, instead of feeling bad about it?

2. Do we embrace the love of our wives as central, or is that lessened or weakened by our attractions to men (even if we do not act on those, but certainly if we do)

3. Do we tell our wives this is a part of who we are, or do we find we need to keep that part of ourselves hidden but diminish or eliminate the guilt we have in our pursuits

4. Can we find men for our particular needs of male sexual pleasure without that pursuit itself detracting from our other love and life responsibilities, or does that pursuit itself have a negative impact on us (obsessive use of pornography or search time, lack of positive results and so frustration, stealing time from family or work or friends in searching or acting out sex with men)

5. What is the honest sexual continuum we feel? Lots or little desire for our wives even if we love them? Lots or little need for male sexual action even if we say we love our wives primarily.

6. Are we really gay and if so what does that mean for the marriage? Can we stay in it because of our non-sexual love and history with her is so important for us, or does it cal into question the entire marriage?

7. If we do tell her, what kind of accommodation do we imagine or want? Acceptance but no on-going talk about it (don’t ask, don’t tell), sharing of some particulars in stories, participation by her in some of our sexual forays, permission and encouragement for her to have her own outside sexual liaisons? a wide open marriage that accepts one or both of you may find sexually and emotionally compelling others for stretches of time, yet you are able to stay together?

8. Who are we drawn to and can we attract them and what is that all about? Younger men, men our age, older men? Gay men? Dads? Short hot encounters or longer more casual friends with benefits? And then there is that whole issue of finding what positions and roles you want to be in and having the gumption to go after it.

9. How does sex with men fit into our other life issues? (a bigger issue the older we get) Retirement? Having good men friends of a non-sexual kind? Pursuit of professional or community or personal interests? Having fun? Working on our “spiritual” side or defining the larger meaning of our lives?

10. How widely do we want our real self to be known? Wife? Whole family? Circle of friends? Community?

Subscribe to Enlightened Male2000 by Email

Pin It