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bing004

Married & struggling with same sex attraction

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Hi everyone. I am new to this and have never posted in a forum before, but I am hoping for some help. My husband and I have been married for 3 years. We have 2 wonderful children(twins) who mean the absolute world to us. I am a stay at home Mom and my husband works and goes to school full time. As you can imagine our lives are very hectic.

 

Just to give a brief history about me, I left the church completely when I was 16 years old. The reason I left was because I came out to parents telling them that I like girls. I began living this lifestyle actively for 3 years, it became a big part of my life. However, during that time I felt something was missing from my life, I wanted something more. When my Grandpa passed away, I began thinking a lot about the deeper meaning of life and what happens when we pass on. After thinking about this for a while, I decided to come back to church. I was very happy with this decision and was very dedicated to the church. I went through the repentance process and really started enjoying life again. I was 19 at the time and it has now been 4 years since I came back to church.

 

My husband and I have always been acquainted with each other since I was 10 because he was my brother's best friend. He also left the church when he was a teenager, but we were not in contact through out those years. We both came back to church around the same time and started talking more and more. We felt we understood each other since we both had a past and we encouraged each other to stay strong in the church. We started dating shortly afterwards and we're engaged a few months later. 

 

I found out I was pregnant 2 months after we were married and found out we were expecting twins. Life was great, I was happy. Then slowly my feelings about women started coming back. I didn't think much of it, but it began getting stronger and stronger. Today it is overpowering. It has been a very difficult struggle. It has began to affect my attractions towards my husband, something I wished would never happen.

 

My husband knew about my past relationships with women before we even started dating so it wasn't news to him when I told him that the feelings had come back. He was very supportive and understanding. However, lately we have been having arguments about it. Often he takes it very personal, which I get because I can only imagine how hard it is for him to understand what I am going through. I have always been a quiet person and often have a hard time talking about my feelings. I am currently seeing my bishop and will be seeing a counselor soon though.

 

My main concern is my husband. More than anything I want him to understand, but he doesn't sometimes and gets upset at me. I love this gospel and I am so happy with where I am at right now in our life. I can't imagine being with anyone other than my husband, but I feel this struggle of mine is making us grow apart. I am afraid he is going to stop trying and give up on me. How can I help him to understand and be positive about this?

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I am gay and Mormon. I am here if you want to talk to someone who has similar experiences. If you want to stay in the relationship with your husband I would suggest couples therapy because this effects you both. I just want to point out no counseling will stop you having these feelings no matter what they say they can do;  they may be able to get you to a point where you repress the feelings and continue to have a healthish relationship with your husband.

 

I am a member of a few facebook groups for gay Mormons if you are interested in joining pm me and I will let you know what they are

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Bing004 I am sorry to hear about this trouble you and your husband are having. I have a firm testimony that the Saviour wants you to be happy and is there to support you.

 

I'd like to shift the focus of the discussion a little and hope you find it helpful. The way I see it there are a few things here for you to deal with. Men like to feel attractive, wanted, and needed just like women do. It is likely that your husband being upset is coming from a place of not feeling as valued as he did before, he is no longer perceiving himself as being needed to complete you. I also want to make it clear that this is not unique to same sex attraction. If I were to let my wife know that I am more attracted to other women than her it would be a devastating blow as would the inverse be on me. Sadly this kind of thing can develop a lot of the time as couples age and physical appearance diminishes and waistlines grow.

 

Of note is the fact that there is more to a lasting relationship than physical attraction. What other qualities does your husband embody that you fell in love with in the first place? Focus on things like that and let him know. Make sure he feels loved and needed and respected. Also be sure to let him know you need the same in return.

 

Do not allow your temptations to define you and your relationship.

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I think Spirit Dragon has a point may be your husband is thinking am I not enough? Am I not attractive to her etc etc . Perhaps some reassurance would help? You clearly have a strong relationship to even be able to discuss these things. May be being more affectionate will help him feel you are attracted to him. 

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bing004,

 

I don't have advice to give.  I wish I had some 'magic words' that would make it all go away.

 

I'm sure you've read this blog posting before.  But if not, here it is.  There might be something in there that could be helpful for both you and your husband.

 

http://www.joshweed.com/2012/06/club-unicorn-in-which-i-come-out-of.html

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From my perspective, married life should be about devoting all energies to the spouse, and not feeding any pulls from outside of the marriage.  This is my perspective regardless of the genders and attractions involved.

 

So you have leanings, urges, tendencies, desires, etc.  So do heterosexual spouses.  Straight spouses sometimes suffer exactly what you're telling us here.

 

Is it the notion of women in general, or do you have a specific one in mind?  Is it idle fantasy, or do you think it could be a reality if only A, B, or C happened?  These lines of thinking wreck relationships, gay or straight. 

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Guest LiterateParakeet

My heart goes out to you.  What a difficult struggle.  I don't have any advice, except to suggest a blog from a friend of mine who is gay, married and mormon.  Sometimes it helps to know you are not alone.  http://www.joshweed.com

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Question, and you may not know the answer, yet: Would you consider this a "bisexual" sort of thing (you found your husband sexually attractive in the past and maybe the present, as well as finding other men "attractive" as well as finding women attractive), or would you say this is homosexual (you find yourself repulsed or disinterested in men sexually, and exclusively prefer women)?

 

It seems to me that a bisexual situation is similar to what most of us experience, even as heterosexuals -- we need to work on "guarding our hearts" against developing "feelings" for others so that we stay faithful to our current spouse. We need to work on, nurture, etc. the sexual relationship with our current spouse so that it doesn't become routine or boring. In these respects, it doesn't seem much different to me than the regular heterosexual situation.

 

If you are more homosexual than bisexual, then there will be certain challenges ahead. Mixed orientation marriages do not have a stellar track record. It will take significant work on your and your husband's part to make this work. With the help of a good counselor, figure out how to make the marriage work.

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Did you know that is it not uncommon for a married partner to feel an attraction to someone not their spouse.    The answer is the same no matter what your gender attraction is...  You go into full on resistance and remember your spouse and kids..

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Bottom line is yout need to make sure he is number one in your life. You need to make sure he feels that way all the time. Don't expect him to understand. Unless he is homosexual he can't

What is your goal? To stay married? If so then get the help you need and don't get mad at your husband for your problems.

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Not to minimize your feelings which may be distressing etc but if any one said to me they went through their whole marriage without finding any one else is attractive I would call them a lair. It is natural I look at people think wow you're hot then I think but would you be there for me like my partner is, are they as funny etc.  I think we need further clarification if you want to stay married etc 

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Thank you so much everyone for your comments, they have been very helpful and comforting. Just for some more clarification, I absolutely still want to stay married to my husband. He is a wonderful man and is a great Father to our kids. He is always making me smile and my most favorite thing, he is always making me laugh. With out a doubt he is the love of my life.

 

I definitely do think it is a bisexual thing. I know I am sexually attracted to men, but a little more to women. It was never a fully homosexual thing for me. Even when I was away from the church and was mainly with girls, I also had some relationships with guys. However, my attractions have always been a little stronger towards women. This is one of the reasons why I plan to see a counselor, so I can better understand these feelings and learn how to not let them affect the way I see my husband.

 

I am someone who gets down kind of easily especially when I am stressed. Having 2 year old twins is definitely stressful, but of course worth it. I think during those times when I feel down I subconsciously turn to those feelings I have for women and it makes me miss it. Again I am not sure why, I am hoping seeing a counselor will help me to dig deeper and find out the reasons. I think I just get confused a lot with these feelings.

 

With how busy we are, my husband and I don't spend a lot of quality time together and that could maybe be factor in this. I am just grateful that my husband and I are able to talk about things like this and we plan to see a counselor together as well. We both feel that we need to do all we can to make this marriage work, especially on my part since this is my struggle. After reading some of your guy's comments I have realized that I need to do more things to make sure he is loved and appreciated. Thank you guys for all your advice.

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With how busy we are, my husband and I don't spend a lot of quality time together and that could maybe be factor in this. I am just grateful that my husband and I are able to talk about things like this and we plan to see a counselor together as well. We both feel that we need to do all we can to make this marriage work, especially on my part since this is my struggle. After reading some of your guy's comments I have realized that I need to do more things to make sure he is loved and appreciated. Thank you guys for all your advice.

 

 

It most certainly is a factor...  Ask your self when was the last time you two when on a date?   Then repent and never ever allow it to go so long again

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I would imagine that someone who is bisexual would easier adjust to life with the opposite sex, than someone who is homosexual and without attraction for the opposite sex. Maybe I missed this somewhere in thread, but OP have you ever been physically attracted to males? If not, you certainly are faced with an overwhelming challenge, but how you choose to address that challenge is up to you. From your post, it's clear that you love your husband and children dearly, and wish to keep your family together. I believe this is doable with the right counsellor and counselling. That doesn't mean that you'll magically become a heterosexual, but it may help you manage your feelings and make for a better quality of life.

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I just want to point out no counseling will stop you having these feelings no matter what they say they can do; 

 

With all due respect, this is simply not true.  It may be true for you and others, but it's not true for everyone.

 

In addition to my comment, if you enter counseling or therapy with that attitude, it will be more difficult.

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I'm sure counseling will help but if you are human you will be attracted to people who are not your spouse. You need to deal with those events because they will happen again and again.

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This must be an extremely difficult trial for you.  Know that God does exists, that He does love you and that if we approach Him in love and faithfulness that He will help us.  Maybe not how we see we should be helped, but He will help us.

 

That said, my suggestion on a counselor is to make sure you find the appropriate counselor, I would probably try to find an LDS counselor.  Not all counselors are created equal, while they have their training, there is no set one way to deal with individuals and it depends a lot on the skill, talents and personality of the actual counselor.  Hopefully the Bishop can provide direction in this area.

 

In a lot of ways IMO a good counselor will provide a forum for discussion and also a way to act.  You'll probably need to see the counselor with your husband.  From a heterosexual position, the best ways to not thing about someone else besides your spouse is to be actively engaged in loving them.  Love is an action verb.  It means acting and serving someone else.  It's a funny thing in life, the more that we actively love someone else, the more they in turn are kind to us and start to actively love us and that then spurs us to love them even more.  It is a virtuous cycle of love.

 

Yes initially we "fall" in love . . . the initial chemical reactions that come without thought.  But for a marriage to work we must stay in love.  That staying in love is accomplished by a commitment to each other and through working things out.  No marriage is perfect, but the more a couple fight together and struggle together to accomplish a goal the more they will fight for each other.  Fighting for your marriage, is hard and its tough.  Every couple has its challenges, some have depression issues, anger issues, pornography issues, work issues, financial issues, etc.  Some have more than one, the challenge is to see marriage as a living breathing entity that requires sacrifice and communication.

 

How to stop the feelings . . . I don't know; but I do know that other individuals that deal with serious issues such as alcoholism, porn, etc. come up with mechanisms or rules for themselves to prohibit them from entering into situations where those thoughts and feelings generally come about.  Sometimes the longer we dwell on those thoughts and thinking "oh I should think about xyz" we end up thinking for about them. Sometimes the most effective means, is by replacing those situations that cause those thoughts with different situations.

 

Each marriage has its issues, but I promise if you're able to work through them, the end result is quite amazing.

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With all due respect, this is simply not true.  It may be true for you and others, but it's not true for everyone.

 

In addition to my comment, if you enter counseling or therapy with that attitude, it will be more difficult.

 

Professionally speaking, I talked with many people struggling with same sex attraction. Of course, they all had different backgrounds and stories to share but in my personal experience, I had three different kind of groups. One, the group where the same sex attraction remained unchanged regardless of therapy/counseling (because it is not a psychologist's job to change sexual orientation), the second group were those who chose to suppress those feelings and careful, it doesn't mean they don't struggle with same sex-attraction anymore, it only means they learned how to cope with it. And third, those who thought they were homosexual, specially young teenagers to discover they weren't in the first place.

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So sorry to hear about the struggles you are both going through. It is an amazingly hard thing, but to feel alone is even more painful for both of you. One book that has really helped me/us is "Hold me Tight" by Dr Sue Johnson. So eye opening in helping me understand others and feeling understood.

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Professionally speaking, I talked with many people struggling with same sex attraction. Of course, they all had different backgrounds and stories to share but in my personal experience, I had three different kind of groups. One, the group where the same sex attraction remained unchanged regardless of therapy/counseling (because it is not a psychologist's job to change sexual orientation), the second group were those who chose to suppress those feelings and careful, it doesn't mean they don't struggle with same sex-attraction anymore, it only means they learned how to cope with it. And third, those who thought they were homosexual, specially young teenagers to discover they weren't in the first place.

 

Very well said, Suzie.

 

I certainly agree that therapy is not to change the person. 

 

I should clarify what I meant in my post and it's probably going to seem petty.  I got a bit riled up (sorry) when Meerkat said that counseling "will" not stop individuals from having same gender feelings because I interpret that as a statement of no hope.  "May" is a much better word because it allows for hope.  For those who deal with same gender attraction, sometimes hope is all they have.  Preserving every little bit helps.

 

Again, it's likely petty.  I aggressively defend hope and do so a bit too much at times.  I just try to preserve it like it's an endangered species because in this day and age, hope is a virtue that fewer and fewer people are possessing, and incredible things happen using hope.  It is a magnificent tool.

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While most people are going to feel attractions to people throughout their lifetimes, even if it's just to recognize the beauty in those around them, there's a pretty consistent danger for bi-folk in thinking that they're "missing something".

Because they are.

Everyone is.

No matter who we marry, there will be someone else who is different or "better" (more to our liking) in certain areas than our spouse. Physically (nicer legs, shorter, taller, stronger, more delicate, etc.), mentally (smarter, wittier, dry humor, kinder, sweeter, sassier, whatever), emotionally, spiritually, morally, occupationlly... Whatever the area... We will run into people on a regular basis who have something that our spouse doesn't. And a handful of times in most of our lives? We'll run into someone we "could" have fallen in love with/married.

And most people, regardless of sexual orientation, still have the ability to appreciate an attractive man/woman.

The special problem with bisexual folk is that half the world has something our spouse will never have....AND the ability to appreciate beauty is still there, along with most people... So it's VERY easy to conflate that into "I made a mistake". Instead of seeing it the same durn way as we do when we look at our all thumbs husband and appreciate Sally's brother's handiness. Yeah. He's handy. So what? My beaux may put a hammer through a window trying to fix the carpet, but I didn't marry him for his construction skills! And Julie the neighbor down the way may have the best pair of legs I've ever seen, but I didn't marry Elaine for her legs!

We're ALL "missing something" in our spouses.

It's the "forsaking all others" part.

Being bisexual just means that there's an extra billion people in the dating pool to forsake. And a few extra traits added to the list of "I didn't marry ______ for their _______. I married them for ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST (everything wonderful about them as individuals).

OF COIRSE your husband is upset & hurt when you tell him you're attracted to other women.

How would you feel if he came to you telling you he was attracted to other women? That it's a struggle? That they have things you don't? That's all true, but we don't hurt our spouses by telling them that. We may tease, or have rules allowing wandering eyes, or even be very open about various matters... But "We need to talk. I'm _______." Is a terrifying conversation in any marriage. Especially when it's ANYWHERE in the sphere of "I don't want you. I want someone else."

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This is one of the main things I learned from Yoda: 

 

The dark side are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will...

 

[is the Dark Side stronger?] “No… no… no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.”

 

Yoda's answer is to recognize that you feel it.  Accept that it is there.  Then let it go.  Don't ruminate on it.  If the thought passes through your mind, recognize it for what it is - a dark side for your marriage.  Accept that is there and it is part of you.  There is no sin in this.  But then don't dwell on it.  Just let it go.  Dwelling on it makes it more seductive and can lead to action and therein lies the sin that will dominate your destiny.

 

Love that little green man, er, humanoid...

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@ bing004,

 

if i would be in your situation, i would ask myself few questions:

 

What did you feel for your husband? Is he your best friend, your roommate, your lover or something else? Did he makes you horny?

 

What did you feel for other women? Friendship? Deep love and understanding? Horny?

 

Make a pro and con list. See, what is more important TO YOU!

Not for your husband, not for your children, not for any fath, but FOR YOU. Be a little selfish. And then make a decission.

My sister Frauke did it the same way. She was married, got three kids (all of threm adorable) and feel, that she is attracted to women (special type of butch women).

That would be my counsel to you as a non-member of your church.

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This isn't a problem that is specific because it is same-sex attraction.  This is a problem with attraction and priorities.  I am attracted to the opposite sex.  Somehow I manage to control myself and not cheat on my wife.  This is something many, many people deal with in their daily lives, being same-sex attracted does not make a difference in this situation.

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Hi @ bing004. First, you should know I struggle with more or less the same problem as you (except I'm a man). I am attracted to women, but I struggled with same-sex attraction before I was married and my wife knew it beforehand. After some time of marriage the feelings have resurfaced in full force.

 

First off, I don't think it is fair for some people to say that this is the exact same thing as a heterosexual and married person being attracted to woman other than his wife (or in your case, men other than your husband). I do still find women attractive and have to mediate my thoughts and desires. However, I have a much more difficult time doing so in the case of men. Is it because I'm not satiating sexual desires for men? Is it because no one ever told me to not look at men that way because they assumed I wouldn't, and now I don't have the same mental fortitude? I don't know. There are a lot of things regarding this that I don't know, and other people  (especially those not in your shoes) are a lot less likely to know than you are. 

 

But what you are asking for is advice on how to deal with what your struggling with, not instruction on what you are struggling with. On that point, I haven't found a perfect solution. Quality time with my spouse, as you stated, helps A LOT. Also finding healthy methods of dealing with stress (I have the exact same struggle with stress making me think about these things that your do, btw). As a person with experience in the field of mental health, I can tell you that your counselor will help you there. 

 

As far as your spouse's feelings are concerned, that is one I've had trials with in my own life. Again, no sure answer. I have found that not dwelling on the issue helps, as they are less likely to stew on thoughts of insecurity. Don't hide from it, but don't make it define your your relationship. Focus on things that you love about them, and then let them know! Affection shouldn't always be physical. Also, find a healthy outlet for your desires. Your bishop is a very safe source of comfort, so long as they are understanding. 

I know how hard it is to feel alienated with this sort of thing. A close family member may also be a safe outlet, and you can always trust that they care about you and will not do anything with your secret against your wishes. Last but not least, God is your closest friend. Do not hesitate to confide in him, and he will strengthen you.

 

God Bless

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