When couples get divorced, there is the obvious hurt, confusion and anger. What will it be like to live alone? What will you tell the kids? Who is the other woman or man? These feelings become more complicated when your spouse falls for someone of their same sex. Will I Ever Be Good Enough To Love?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 4,000,000 women have been involved with men that have had sex with other men. Not to mention, according to the Family Pride Coalition, 20 percent of all gay men in America are in heterosexual marriages. Women, too, have gay relationships. These numbers are more difficult to attain due to the lack of understanding of women's sexuality.
In 2004, at Northwestern University, researchers found that both gay and straight females became sexually aroused when they viewed both heterosexual and lesbian porn. The straight males in the study only became aroused by women. Dr. Michael Bailey, the lead researcher, reported that, "Women's sexual desire is less rigidly directed toward a particular sex as compared to men and more changeable over time than men's."
While there are couples that deny their sexual preference, stay in heterosexual marriages and raise healthy children, it is not easy. Many times when couples are splitting due to falling in love with a gay lover, the partner left will usually admit there were signs, but they ignored them due to fear or to preserve the unity of the family. As with any type of affair, it is not the actual reality that is most damaging, but the "cover up" and lies that kept it in place.
If you are dating someone or suspicious that your spouse may be in love with a same sex partner, don't act on assumption, but try to explore further. No heterosexual person can understand the depth of shame or feelings of disappointment that may go along with coming out. 5 Reasons Why You'll Never Be The One
It is also important to understand that your partner may love you, but they may not feel desire toward you. Belittling your partner will only make them feel more shameful and remorseful that they told you the truth. Most likely, you aren't guilty of anything other than being the wrong sex.
For couples going through this dilemma, one of the most difficult aspects is how to begin the conversation. Beginning this talk should be done in the privacy of the couple's home and at a time when neither is stressed. For spouses who have suspicion or an awkward feeling in regards to their husband's or wife's same-sex relationship, this script may help you get started.
"I am not sure why, and feel confused, but I am uncomfortable with the way you act when you are around _____." This "I statement" is respectful, direct and non-accusatory. It reminds your partner that it is not them who makes you uncomfortable, but their behavior around a specific person.
If you are married to someone you feel no desire for, due to your sexual preference, then I advise you to once again talk to them in private when neither of you are stressed. Tell them the truth of your feelings. Make sure they understand it is not their fault, and you cannot change how you feel. It will hurt both of you badly, but nothing can compare to the hurt they would feel if you never told them and they self discovered you had lived a lie for years.
To be able to live an authentic life is important for all of us. Quality of life scales include this measurement to determine one's overall satisfaction with life. Denying your sexuality preference chips away at your ability to be authentic in all areas of your life and, depending on your actions, it can put your spouse or significant other at risk for disease. Is It Love Or Emotional Dependency?
If you haven't been honest with your spouse, then opening that conversation could be the very best thing you could do to deepen your relationship. Leaving your partner is always devastating. Leaving your partner because you have never been the person they believed you were, and you can no longer live with the lie, is the first step when walking towards an authentic life.
–Mary Jo Rapini
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Tags: Marriage, Relationships, Sexuality, Gay, Lesbian