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”Pin It