From a Wife With a Bisexual Husband

For some of us Mother Nature deals unusual cards when it comes to our genes. We’re born and the day comes we realize we’re attracted to both sexes. Call it an anomaly if you want, but for a surprisingly high percentage of us, it is very real. Bisexuality, no matter how a person chooses to deal with it, is an ever-present phantom in one’s life. If you happen to be a man and have chosen to spend your life with a woman, bisexuality can haunt you for your entire life, not that you don’t love and cherish her.  No matter how much you love her, something important is missing. If you’re the woman married to this man and love him dearly, you face a unique and difficult challenge, though it’s a challenge that can be overcome.

As a gift to Mr. Rob for this Christmas season, his wife wrote this piece for his blog: The Bi-married Mafia

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My journey has been filled with so many ups and downs, but what journey isn’t. The ups and downs are not just limited to unique relationships like ours. And I have come to realize ours is not the only “unique” relationship out there. You have to do what you need to do to make it work for you. I had to stop comparing things to others’ relationships or to what I had always believed to be “the norm”. “Normal” is such a subjective word anyway. What is “normal” for one isn’t for another. My journey….still an ongoing process. But I believe that any relationship that is growing is an ongoing process. The moment we stop growing is the time we need to worry.

Before we were married, my husband told me about his attractions to men. Both of us felt it was not something that we needed to worry about. We were young and very involved in a church which taught this was something that you could overcome. We were in love.

A few years ago, my husband brought it up again. He had an incredible void in his life which needed to be filled…a void which could not be filled by me. I could see the pain and struggle he was in. Not that I was lacking anything…no one person can fill everything in one person’s life. In my naiveté, I thought this could be filled with a “gay best friend” and I encouraged it. I have always given my husband every freedom to be. I try not to stand in his way of expressing himself and finding out who he was meant to be, knowing that is important to him. But I also had understood that we were in a monogamous relationship and not once did my mind wander to him being with a man physically. This was not something that I worried about. Neither of us was wired to cheat on the other. We had our ups and downs, but this just wasn’t something that would “happen to us”.

He did find this best friend. They hung out and did things together. This man became very important to my husband and even became part of our family. We would vacation together and hang out on holidays. Their relationship was filled with ups and downs, but I assumed it was due to the fact they were both strong personalities. After about 3 years, the relationship ended. It was at that time that my husband confided in me the extent of their relationship.

I was devastated. I felt like my whole world had been torn out from beneath me. How could the man I loved and trusted more than anyone else do this to me? How could I not have known? Where was I to go from here? If my husband is gay, where do I fit into the equation? Do we stay together? Do I leave him? Did I do or not do something to cause this? What else do I not know about? So many things I felt I needed to know but at the same time didn’t want to know. So many questions… I wanted to go to bed and not get up, to hide from the world, thinking that now people would see me differently no matter what I decided from here. Here is the woman who is married to a gay man, here is the woman who was married to a gay man….no option before me was what I wanted.

Through many long talks, many tears, many long walks, many journals written, we made some decisions for our lives. We both realized that we still loved each other deeply. Neither was prepared to throw away the life we had built together. Now we needed to redefine what that would look like for us. There is something to be said about the phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

Eventually I began to realize my husband did not “do this to me”. He did not set out to betray me or hurt me. He was trying to “be”. And the honest reality, means his having a relationship with a man (both emotionally and physically).

I do not have issues with his bisexuality, with who he is attracted to. I don’t think that is something we necessarily have any control over. I know that he loves me deeply, is committed to our relationship, to building our lives together and growing old together. The hard part for me to wrap my head around is his needing a physical relationship with someone else. I come from a very conservative background.

My head knows he is not trying to replace me, but my heart still struggles with feelings of jealousy, insecurity, uncertainty….not about our future together but sometimes what that looks like….with whether or not I can actually do this and come out without losing me.

We have not “arrived”, we are not “there”, I do not wake up every morning thinking joyfully that my husband is bi and is actively looking for a relationship with a man. There are days I can deal with it and talk openly about things and days when I just can’t. I read something that I often throw out to my husband on the days when I just can’t deal with things. “My heart is not always where my head is”.

On those days, I don’t want him worrying that I am going to leave him, or get down on himself that “he did this to me”. This is just a down day and we all have them … period. They are not unique to my situation, in fact I had them before any of this came up. Down days are not even always associated with anything in particular. They can come about for a variety of reasons, how much sleep I have had, what the weather is like, what time of the month it is, … the trick is realizing it is a down day and to do what you need to get through it.

On the down days, my husband has learned that perhaps that isn’t the time for my husband to go out with his friends or to have long discussions trying to define our relationship, or talk about issues he might be having with his “friend”. These are the days that my husband spends extra time with me, sends me to a spa to relax, sends flowers just because, and reassures me of his love and commitment to us, to plan a romantic dinner for just the two of us.

My husband has been accused by others of being selfish. Initially this was something that I struggled with. How can you ask me to stay married to you and allow you to have a relationship with a man? What do I get out of it other than that I now have to share you with someone else in all aspects? I’m not always sure how to answer that. My family stays together, my kids have 2 parents and perhaps a 3rd person who will care for them deeply.

Strangely my husband and I have a relationship that is stronger than it has ever been. More real, honest and open than it ever was. And when I say “open”, I mean that we talk about things like we never did before. We share our thoughts, feelings, fears, expectations, we listen to each other and do what we can to meet each other needs. We are more conscious of things now. Honesty and openness is huge to making a relationship like this work, any relationship truly work. And neither of those things are easy to do. If you are committed to being honest, that means that you must be willing to hear things that maybe you don’t want to hear and working through them. It is often easier to just pretend it isn’t there. But it is there and isn’t going away. We are both very aware of that. The outcome will depend on how we deal with it and respond.

I have decided that nobody else can tell you how to do this. It is not an easy journey for the bi/gay spouse or for the straight spouse. There are sites you can visit where people talk about their experiences. I have yet to find a site that has been helpful for me. Everyone has their interpretation of who my husband is and what we should do. Sometimes I just don’t need their opinions. At the end of the day, what we decide works for us is what will be regardless of what others think or whether they understand.

To the gay/bi spouse out there I would say be patient with your straight spouse. You have had years to understand who you are and where you are at. You need to afford them the same. Give them time to get to know you now. Help them to realize that at core you are not different than who you were before they knew. Realize that you cannot put a time limit on their journey. It may take months or even years. Don’t push too much too fast. The only thing I know of the “gay world” is from my husband. That just has never been part of my life. So it is a learning process as well. There are many stereotypes that have to be let go. Your spouse will need lots of reassurance from you of your love and commitment to the relationship. Let them know this is not an issue with who they are, that they are not lacking something, that you are not trying to replace them.

You will need to be sensitive and allow your spouse to have days when they are angry at you and cannot put into words why. They will have days when they don’t want you around because they need to be able to process things without you. There will be days full of tears and not necessarily any reason behind them. You will find that every issue ends up coming back to the “gay/bi thing”. It is hard to differentiate whether you are angry that your spouse didn’t take out the garbage or because of the “gay/bi thing”. Understanding that ahead of time and taking the time to figure out where the true issue is before discussing things helps.

My husband…a wonderful man, father of my children, love of my life. When we got married, we used the traditional,” for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.” I married this man because I loved him and wanted to build a life with him. That has not changed. I still love him and want to continue building our life together. Our understanding his bisexuality better does not change any of that. Yes, it adds challenges but if it weren’t this, it would be something else. Life is never without challenges. It is what you choose to do with them. Do we let it drag us down or do we choose to let it help us grow? I choose to let it help us grow both as individuals and as a couple. I choose to hold onto the hope that we can make something good of this that fulfills both of us in all aspects of life and allows us to live life to the fullest. At this point, I do not necessarily know what that looks like, but isn’t that the adventure of life?

I have come to realize that love is not a feeling. Sure, the feeling is great, but that fades when life sets in. Love is a commitment. Love is hearing and seeing one another’s needs and doing what we can to meet them. I choose to not let my husband’s bisexuality define who he is. He is so much more than that. He is caring, generous, affectionate, loyal, intelligent, honest, full of integrity, always looking out for others, a good provider, full of life, passionate, creative, adventurous…why wouldn’t I want to grow old with this man?

“Love has no awareness of merit or demerit; it has no scale… Love loves; this is its nature”

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12 thoughts on “From a Wife With a Bisexual Husband

  1. It is reassuring to read stories of couples that survived the coming out. And that stress the amount of love that remains no matter what your ability to share/accept your partners needs.

    However, the way you put it, it sounds as if he was always clear. Or, at least, than once he came out he told you everything that was to be told. And understood what your limits are.

    My husband recently came out as bi. We started on therapy and although at this point I cannot say if I will be able to accept him, I am really willing to try. Obviously, it also depends on what I am to accept — it is porn, chats, or another person ?

    While in therapy, I told him chat and Internet sex were off limits. He claims i is not a real relationship, because they have not met. I feel it IS a relationship (or a one night-stand) because there is a real person on the other side of the webcam. Minus health concerns, the situation is practically the same as meeting in person.

    He accepted my terms, at least while we digged further into therapy. But I then learn not only that we had another Internet encounter, but also that he does not even remember we were ever that clear about Internet sex.

    Shall I assume it is part of the denial process? or the difficulties of the coming out ? Is it a way of just telling me he does not care about our marriage and just wants me to be the one that takes the decision to leave ? or is he more selfish than I though he was?

    For those who have been there and survived, please elaborate on the difficulties of finally telling the truth (evolving as that truth might be).

  2. I needed to read this article today. My husband is bisexual and I’ve known it since day one of meeting him. We met at a gay bar. From the beginning of our relationship, we promised to be monogamous. I never had any trust issues with him until I discovered him seeking out sexual interaction with men behind my back within our first year of dating and attempting to hide it. This was 3 years ago, and I still don’t think I am over it. I am terrified he will do it again or is and I just don’t know about it. Recently, I found some suspicious internet activity that parallels his first time cheating. When I asked him about it, he became defensive and said he’s not doing anything. I can’t stop twisiting my mind around the possible things I imagine him doing; I feel so lost, consumed in these thoughts, and angry. He said that actually partaking in homosexual acts was just a phase that is out of his life; however, he does admit that he is still attracted to men.

    I understand we have trust issues… I’m not sure if I believe that he wasn’t interacting with men again. But what if he really hasn’t done anything? How can I get past this? I love my husband so incredibly much, but don’t know if I can handle him being with a man. It makes me feel so worthless, like I’m not enough for him, like I could never be/have what he needs.

    This article made me cry and consider letting my guard down, allowing my anger to lessen…but what if I can’t be as supportive to my husband’s “needs” as the author of this article? I just don’t want to be made a fool of and have him going behind my back. But I also don’t want to ruin our marriage by convincing myself that he is more into guys and cheating on me when he is not. Could I handle being okay with an open marriage? Probably not. But is this something I even need to worry about–he claims to not want to be with anyone else? I’m just very confused and find myself completely in the following excerpt:

    “You will need to be sensitive and allow your spouse to have days when they are angry at you and cannot put into words why. They will have days when they don’t want you around because they need to be able to process things without you. There will be days full of tears and not necessarily any reason behind them. You will find that every issue ends up coming back to the “gay/bi thing”. It is hard to differentiate whether you are angry that your spouse didn’t take out the garbage or because of the “gay/bi thing”.”

    I don’t want to punish my husband for who he is, but am I punishing myself for staying and (what feels like) compromising myself?

    • Hi
      My husband told me 3 weeks ago that he’s bi. Weve been married for 18 years and have 2 boys. I’ve been through so many emotions over these weeks from sadness grief anger to name just a few.
      He’s only had some male experience as a teen and watches porn and has visited a theatre with glory holes where he put his hand in and touched a male.
      We’re both having individual counselling, my first session is tomorrow. I’m so confused and angry and feel that by not telling me before we were married he hasn’t let me decide. I love him and our relationship has been really good until now buy feel like its all been a lie.
      I’ve done so much reading and I can only see that I’ll have to make so many compromises to keep him. He says he doesn’t know what he wants, how he doesn’t know after all these years I don’t know, or if we stay together how can he be happy if I can’t get my head around his male needs.
      The easiest thing to do is for me to leave but then what if we could live happily ever after!!
      So confused

  3. My husband is definitly @ least bi. I think he gets angry at me abbout it. He wants to watch gay porn and says it’s because I like it. (It actually freaked me out for a long time but now I do get turned on by it) He rubbed his male friend the other night in front of me (over his jeans) and said that was for me too… He is angry with me when I try to talk about it and denies any bi feelings. I am sad that he never seems pleased with me in bed and wish we could have an open and honest discussion about it. I am sad and lonely and don’t know where to turn.

  4. Im a gay man who has a relationship with a bi sexual man at the moment and i would like to speak to the writer of this article, it has really touched me so deeply

  5. this article really got to me in a very positive way, I’m a gay man who has a relationship with a bisexual man, who is engaged. and I would love to talk to the writer of this article, if anyone can help me find who it is and linked me up with her please let me know

  6. From J: (A question she asked in an email)
    A few years ago my boyfriend told me he was bisexual, at the time I freaked, I was really worried that it was one more step to him telling me he was gay and leaving me… I’d had my suspicions, he’s always been slightly ‘camp/effeminate’ I also found porn on his computer which he denied, so at the time I was very upset, its been 2 years now and we are engaged, but this has always been a sort of ‘taboo’ subject in our relationship… I don’t think thats healthy, anyways, after reading your blog, among with other resources, I really want to let him know that its okay, I want to accept him for whoever he is, but, I think he feels he cant talk to me about it due to how I acted last time, I’ve tried bringing it up and he insists it was jut a phase, but I have a feeling he’s still attracted to men and keeping it secret…

    We have a great relationship and can talk about anything to each other, apart from this, he always appears to be hiding something when the subject comes up and gets very defensive, I know its probably my fault, but I can’t persuade him that I’ve had a change of heart and want to accept it, I can’t tell if he’s hiding it or really does think its just a phase…. What should I do?

    My reply to J is:
    Your initial reaction was normal. It was up to him to make room for your feelings at that time. But we’re human. Wires get crossed and sometimes it’s difficult to uncross them. He says it was just a phase…trust me, what’s in your genes is not a phase. In fact, time will only serve to enhance his bisexual feelings. Since the subject has become taboo, you can only tell him that your perspective has changed, that you want who he really is as part of your relationship, that you’ll be receptive if he would ever like to talk about it, and until then you won’t bring it up again. One day it will come up, I assure you. When it does, try your best to show no doubts about your relationship.

    I hope you have established your parameters. Women take a broad spectrum of positions on this issue. Some allow their husbands to experiment. Some allow their husbands to have a boyfriend. Some even participate in his same sex adventures. Most simply love their wives and commit themselves to being faithful. You’ve known him a long time; if you’ve listened to your instincts, you know whether or not you can trust him.

  7. I have to thank you for the honesty, it is fantastic! I am sorry that the road is bumpy at times. I admire your strength and commitment, you are one of life’s heroes, because you walk the road vthat you have chosen and learn so much along the way. The honesty must be the most inspiring aspect of your story, the fact that you can see it for what it is and what it brings to your relationship with your husband. Without that the corners that one creates become bigger and emptier. Thanks for sharing, it’s been a humbling experience reading it.

  8. That is the most honest thing i have read on these websites you sound so much like me you made me cry I hope you and your kids are doing well thank you

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