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.

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Buddies, Beer and the Blue Jays

Here’s a blog written by a thoughtful Bi-married guy in Toronto.  I think he’s on to something.  He’s organized a group for bi-married guys in Toronto to get together and socialize, even develop deep personal friendships.  Every city needs something like this, since bisexual men identify with each other and can form honest open friendships without keeping up that familiar facade. Check the blog out at The Bi Married Mafia.

From Bi Gentleman in Toronto:

Last night I had the occasion to go to a Blue Jays game with a new buddy from out Bi Married Beer Night. We had a great time (and to boot the Blue Jays mopped up on the Minnesota Twins!) We watched the game, made some noise, talked deep between innings, and drank beer. After the game, we went to Nathan Philips Square with what seemed the rest of Toronto and talked late about life, marriage, relationships, exes (which he spent an hour lecturing on why he thinks mine are delusional) and pretty much anything else that was relevant to our lives at this time.

These beer buddies, meet once every couple of weeks at a local pub. We sit around and joke, laugh, and talk. Most are married and deeply in the closet. Most struggle to walk this life with some measure of “clarity and decency. “ For most, this is the only group of people that have some idea of the truths of the lives that we live. Most of us chat a few times a week with each other on the internet and have actually become friends… some are more to themselves.

There is an African Proverb that says, “He who never travels thinks that his mother is the best cook.” The power of perspective and experience cannot be understated.

I am a fortunate man. I have a number of deeply close straight friends that I can talk to about just about anything. They know about me (and I know their stories as well) and we talk. I love these straight friends like my own family and have been fortunate to receive that love and acceptance back. Still there are some things that, though I can surely tell them about… they just are unable to fully “get” simply because of the limitations of their experiences and understandings.

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