Hello. So this is me.

Discussion in 'Coming Out' started by Rizzles123, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. Rizzles123

    Rizzles123 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi. So I am a woman in my 30's. I have been together with the same man for 10 years and we have a child together. We are the best of friends, but I have never really had much of a sexual attraction to him. When we first got together I still was in denial of my attraction to women/girls despite the fact that I was in love with a girl when I was a teenager. She kind of reminded me of Shane in L-Word . I even told my mom about it back then and she told me she did not want to hear one more word about it. Well, I am sad to say I chickened out in the end and told her I had just been confused. I tried to forget about my feelings and doubts, and for a while I succeeded, although things had a tendency to reach the surface when I had been drinking and my defences were down. I even told a gay accociate of mine that I liked women. Well, 14 years later I find myself in a very serious relationship and the mother of the most adorable child with special needs. I feel there is something vital missing in my relationship and I feel like I have reached a point were I no longer am able to carry on in the same track. He knows about it, despite everything we are still together. Mostly I keep thinking about my kid that need the stability and does not cope well with changes. I'm not sure if I'm bi or lesbian, but at least I have come to therms with the fact that I am not straight. I have told most of my close friends,and it felt good to be open with them. My family, now that's a different story. I really fear they will hate me, after all , my mom did not take it well the first time. ( despite the fact that her cousin is gay and married to her partner). I don't feel like I can go on like this anymore, living in a heterosexual relationship when I wish to be with a woman, but on the other hand, I don't wont to complicate my childs life. Nor do I wish to hurt my boyfriend.
     
    #1
  2. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    1,009
    What I'm about to say is going to be blunt, but you need to hear it. Being "not straight" or discovering you're "not straight" does not give you a free pass to disrespect your relationship or to be selfish when other people who depend on you are involved in the equation. Go on...feel good by being honest and open with your friends about who you may be. This, however, doesn't change the fact that where you are now at this point in life is a direct result of the choices you made by denying who you are.

    Look -- none of us are perfect. I'm the pot calling the kettle black in one sense because I know what it's like to live a lie. However, I never hurt innocent people in my journey of self-discovery, either. You've got your boyfriend, who knows about your attraction to women, and your special needs child. You made the choice to be with the boyfriend when you've "never really been sexually attracted to him" and then you made the choice to bring a child into this world all while knowing on some level that the relationship wasn't want you wanted or that you were "not straight." That your boyfriend knows about the attraction also doesn't give you the right to act on it or to betray him, either.

    You can't have your cake and eat it too. You say yourself that you don't want to hurt your boyfriend -- well, then your obvious choice is to admit your attraction to women but stay in the relationship and be faithful to him. Even if you do that, though, you're still hurting him and at the very least not being fair to him if you're not into the relationship the way you should be. He deserves better. He deserves to have a partner in a relationship who loves and wants to be with him as much as he loves and wants to be with her. As for your child...well, you lost the right to be selfish to an extent when you became a parent. If your child desperately needs stability, then that's on you to provide it.

    You have to make some tough choices -- be selfish and quit the relationship - and in doing so accept the ramifications of hurting the boyfriend, potentially hurting your family, and potentially depriving your child of the stability the child needs. Can these things be repaired in time? Possibly...but own that you wouldn't be here but for your own actions in the first place. Or your second choice is to stay in the relationship and live a lie and still hurt the boyfriend. Neither option is easy. Though breakups and divorces happen all the time, being "not straight" as the cause of the relationship's demise doesn't quell the emotional carnage.
     
    #2
    Jane Doe likes this.
  3. Rizzles123

    Rizzles123 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi. Thank you for your reply. I totally agree with you. But I think a little more info is in order as it seems like this easily could be misunderstood. First of all, I have no intention of having two pieces of the pai. I have never cheated on anyone, not now, not ever. I have never even as much as kissed a girl. When we got together it was on real premises, I felt in love and I still care deeply about him . When we had a child together my intention was to share the rest of my life with him, and it still is. And when you get a child the child also gets you and is totally dependent on the care you as a parent are providing. I was not aware of the fact that I would later on struggle with my identity. Yes , one time , long ago as a teen I had a crush, and I never acted on it because I am a Christian and believed I could make my feelings go away. My parents clearly stated that such feelings were wrong, and it almost made me want not to live. And so I succeeded in convincing myself that this was just something many teens go through in their early life, and I was totally blind to every signal telling me otherwise. When I got together with my man I felt happy, lucky, understood and included . The very idea of spending a lifetime with him made me happy. I felt connected to him emotionally. The fysical stuff was in my head not the most important thing in a relationship, honesty and trust is. And everything I might have felt that contradicted my beliefs I blamed on bad memories from ealier years. So we proceeded with our relashionship and all was well, he knew every story prior to the time we met. No secrets. I loved my role as a mom , and I still do. I would do anything for my child and I see it as my life job to help him grow up to be an independent individual , happy and kind towards others. The problem startet not so long ago when I became increasingly unhappy to the point were I cryed myself to sleep most nights. I went to a therapist who helped me come to therms with my feelings. I was not able to to see this clearly before. My boyfriend was with me a couple of times too and knows all about it. We worked through it and I wanted to keep the commitments I had oncemade to us as a couple and as a familiy. I did not even realize that I was not fysically atracted to him before I realized I was not straight, but I believe there is much more to a relationship than sex. I will never cheat on him, I would rather leave than put him through that. He also know that if he ever feels he want out of our relationship because of what I uncovered during therapist sessions I would understand, cause I would never dream of holding him back if he thinks there is a better life for him somewhere else. But I love him, as a my best friend, as the father of our child and as the one I can trust. But as I become increasingly unhappy I am wondering if I can overcome this. Again become a happy girlfriend and the best of what I could be for him. If I am bi I should be totally able to leave in a hetero relationship, right? I think one of the reasons why I find it so hard to move past this is because I feel so freaking alone with having such feelings. All my friends are straight. It is like I dont fit in anywhere. I have friends I can discuss all other things with regarding school stuff and such but nobody who knows what it is like to feel torn in a life that is supposed to be a good life. On many accounts I feel so lucky to have my boys, and I really want to make this work, be there for them 100prosent, be the best I can be to them. But how do I move past this awful feeling of hollowness, the feeling of living a life that is mine but still is not?
     
    #3
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
    Frazier likes this.
  4. rainydaze

    rainydaze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2015
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    187
    Rizzles123 - This is really hard stuff. It sounds to me like you have put a lot of thought, time, and effort into figuring this out for yourself, your relationship, and your child.
    (sidenote: you said your "boys"???? - is that your boyfriend and your child...or more than one child?...not relevant in general to what I am saying here, but just wondering if there is another child and/or another father involved too? just in the sense that it could impact time, resources, and cooperation between parents).

    Coming out really can be a lonely, heart-breaking process for some, and it is good that you are seeking support here. If you dig into some of the older posts on AE, you may find some other women who have similar experiences of coming out a little later, when in a loving relationship with a man and with kids. Everything that I have seen written by these women seems like it is an extremely painful journey and one that, generally, is not approached lightly.

    Anyone who has children and loves them, knows that life is different forever once they enter your world. Every decision as a couple, family, and individual has to be balanced with how it impacts the children you are raising. Your life is yours, yes, but not entirely (at least for 18 or more years, right? even longer with a special needs child)....You already know all of this. And clearly you are feeling it deeply.

    I don't get the feeling that you are suggesting experimentation with a woman. Or that this is a thrilling self-discovery for you. It sounds more like you are seriously struggling with whether or not you are and have always been a lesbian, maybe? and that this is rather heart-wrenching, putting together these puzzle pieces of your history for yourself???

    (another side note: "Shane" from the L-word, is a fun and exciting character to watch on screen. I know you said your teenage sweetheart was like her or looked like her...But if you actually meet a real-life adult individual with those character traits, run like hell! Tragic and toxic and not going to change for love. Also, not a great representation of what life with another woman is really like, and certainly not worth wrecking a 10 year relationship and tearing apart a family for. just sayin')

    Forever the realistic optimist or the optimistic realist (take your pick): I do think that there can be a balance to our own happiness and the happiness/stability in life that we need to create for our children. I have seen parents work hard to keep their children healthy and stable even when their marriage/relationship did not work out the way they had planned when it started. It is a TON of work on both parents' part, and it is DIFFICULT....But it can happen. It does take both parents putting that as their priority....above their reactions to their feelings of hurt, resentment, revenge, anger, jealousy, disappointment, etc - all normal feelings when a relationship is ending/changing, by the way. This is painful stuff, for partners and children, make no mistake about that. Often times, one parent can get to that healthier place before the other does. This can make for an ugly, messy uncoupling and the biggest casualty is always the child, who is solely dependent upon the parents making the choices for him.

    Look, separations/divorces happen all the time for all different reasons (isn't the current statistic still between 40-50%?). Humans try hard and fail at this love and coupling stuff all the time, and sometimes, it works for a long time and then doesn't anymore for one reason or another. And many times, there are children involved. You are Not a villain for looking at your relationship 10 years into it and seeing that the reality of this life is not what you wanted and needed for yourself. The question for you becomes, so how do I get what I need, while making sure my child is truly ok and preserving the co-parent relationship that I have with my partner/bestfriend?

    So, my hope for you is, since you have included your boyfriend in your journey thus far and he continues to be your best friend, that the two of you can commit to figuring this out together, in a way that respects what you have had together and places your child as the top concern going forward. This will be tricky to navigate and it looks different for different couples. Don't worry so much about what your extended family will think, it is your child, your partner, and yourself who have to be the focus here. You and your boyfriend need to be honest with yourselves and each other about whether or not you can make this work between the two of you, knowing fully that you are forever linked together as co-parents of your child, no matter if you choose to stay together or to separate as intimate partners.

    It takes two to make the relationship work, but if one of you really cannot do it, then you need to be honest about that. I know 100%, I would not want my life partner to stay with me if she did not want me sexually (or never has). We could be great co-parents (absolutely!) and best friends (maybe?), but non-sexual spouses (not due to medical issues, but due to no interest/desire ever)...that I could not do. It would hurt too much, and I deserve more than that. Frankly, so does she. There are all kinds of interesting alternative families around. People can figure out how to make it work, keep the children safe and stable, and make a happy life for themselves. It takes LOTS and LOTS of cooperation, compassion, compromise, and communication...(hey! how about all those "C"s!! LOL!)

    It sounds like more soul-searching for both of you and honest conversations between the two of you. And, perhaps, more therapy for both of you as you figure out what to do next and how to do it, holding your child as your greatest concern. Once you and your partner figure this out, you can deal with the fall out from your family. Which has the potential to be quite harsh, it sounds. If you and your partner stay together, under whatever terms you decide, it is really none of your family's business what your agreement is.

    Guilt and shame have never and will never make for a successful, fulfilling, and happy marriage OR life. Those are therapy issues to work out, not factors to base your life decisions upon.

    Best wishes to you on this difficult journey. Come back when you need to.
     
    #4
    greylin and Frazier like this.
  5. Rizzles123

    Rizzles123 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi. Thank you for your very kind reply. Your interpretation of what I wrote was spot on. Regarding your sidenotes: When I say my boys, I refer to my son and my boyfriend, there has not been any other serious relationship prior to this one if we don't count a brief relationship lasting only a couple of months with a guy who constantly told me he knew everything best and flirted with my friends. Needless to say, that did not last. Regarding Shane: My teen crush might have reminded me of her( or the other way around), but that was in looks and the confidence more than her actions, luckily. My crush had this air around her, charisma and confidence, but was never that flirty or into drugs like Shane were. And that would in any case had made me loose totally interests in her. Growing up with familimembers abusing alcohol I keep a far distance from people abusing any kind of substances. No, you are quite right . A relationship to someone like that tv-characher would likely proove to be toxic. With that said I will also point out that my first real crush was a long time ago and that the charachteristics that intrigued me then would not neccesarly do so today. Women I might find attractive now would be very different to an early crush when I too was different. On a side note: Is that a golden retriever on your avatar? I was thinking about getting one for my son. We all love animals and I am sad to say he is rather lonely at school. I have heard they make the best companionship for children with special needs. Have a great saturday.
     
    #5
    rainydaze likes this.
  6. rainydaze

    rainydaze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2015
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    187
    On a side note: Is that a golden retriever on your avatar? I was thinking about getting one for my son. We all love animals and I am sad to say he is rather lonely at school. I have heard they make the best companionship for children with special needs. Have a great saturday.[/QUOTE]

    ^^^He is a Golden Retriever! This is the second one I have raised. They are wonderful. A ton of work to train when young because they are big, goofy, high energy, and very mouthy (as in EVERYTHING goes in their mouth, because they are retrievers!). But they are also loving, smart, playful, and great with children and really anyone. They do make fabulous companion animals :)
     
    #6
    Rizzles123 likes this.
  7. Rizzles123

    Rizzles123 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    4
    .
    I have been told that golden retrievers and labradors are the ones most friendly to children, but their size has me worried a bit. My kid has trouble with balance and motor skills and it might be challenging for him to walk the dog. But on the other hand, we would have to accompany him on theese walks anyway. Besides, children wish for pets all the time, but in the end the adults are the ones that will commit to the task. I had a dog with the same size of a Shetland sheepdog( it might be a different name in the US) ,and he could still drag you on his leach to the point were you tripped and falled. In the end it all comes down to what you teach the dog. But on the other hand, we were talking about relationships. Anyone familiar with the old hallmark movie "An unexpected love". ? You can find it on youtube. It is about this mother of two who after years of marriage gets divorced and falls in love with her ( female) boss. A big part of the movie is about the prosess of "coming out".[/QUOTE]
     
    #7
    rainydaze likes this.
  8. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,010
    Likes Received:
    887
    I hear a lot of these types of stories about people coming out late in life after a lifetime of denying their attractions to someone else. I have also written on here a lot about how I felt about my mom. She was not happy and had made a lot of decisions and even more mistakes because she was trying to keep my life the same. As a result, I witnessed and remember more of her fits of unhappiness and long days off spent in bed thinking over her choices. I wished so much she had told my dad off and picked someone else. Granted, my dad was not a good husband and she had every right to. I think if she had done it and explained to me, I would have kicked up a fuss, self pitied and given her a hard time but learned valuable lessons of living life with courage and what to and not take so seriously. And the younger I would have gone through it the better I would adjust.

    In your case, don't regret anything, you made the steps you've made perhaps even though there were no physical fire blocking the other choices, there were strong emotional ones. You have picked a good man, and I am sure you love him. Is your love enough for him? Let him tell you that. What kind of parenting arrangements could you build if you were to stay or go or open up your relationship (I'd only pick the last one if you are both into open relationships)? You are already out with him, just talk and plan. Some parents divorce and they keep the child in one place and the parents switch off living there. Some parents live close by to each other or even in the same property with a tiny house in the yard. I think getting a proper service dog for your child is a great idea and a good anchor for him for whatever the next 10 odd years are to come. Children may not like it, but changes can happen very quickly and suddenly and whatever difficulty they have adjusting, they just need good backup from their parents.
     
    #8
    rainydaze likes this.

Share This Page