Dear Dr. Romance:
I have discovered that my new husband has a new listing on a bisexual web site, indicating that he is married and mostly heterosexual but wants to meet and be sexually involved with men. This is particularly troubling for me because we promised that our relationship would remain open to new sexual experiences, but that anything that happened would be something we would do together, out in the open, no lies or secrets. Before this, I was in a long-term relationship with someone I was intensely bonded to, only to gradually discover he was leading two lives.....and the life without me included hundreds of casual sexual encounters and more. I loved that man so much that it took me two years to finally decide, and have the strength, to admit that I would never be happy with him again and that I had to move on. My husband is well aware that the lying and duplicity is a huge issue for me, knows what I experienced before meeting him, and I am heartbroken that it is happening again, and I feel like I'm somehow doing this, setting myself up to find and become involved with men who can't find enough sexual fulfillment with me, that need to lie and sneak around behind my back to find it elsewhere. I'm a very physical, affectionate and sexual person, old enough to not harbor silly sexual hangups and pretty adventurous, kept myself in great shape and take pride in my appearance. Further, I know my husband is really, truly in love with me (former relationship is still in love with me, for that matter); I'm heartbroken and bewildered. I need to speak with someone who is comfortable and non-judgmental with bisexuality and alternative sexual lifestyles, and I need that person to help me understand what I'm dealing with and sort all of this out. We both have children from previous marriages, we have blended our families together, and divorce is not an option, nor is it what I would choose. I'm just devastated and heartbroken, and I don't really understand what I'm dealing with. And, no, I haven't told him that I know about this.
Dr. Romance Replies:
You must be pretty highly sexual, because you are attracted to what Alfred Kinsey designated the "high frequency male." These are men who feel compelled to have an orgasm daily, with a partner or without. You're certainly loveable. Now all you need is to find a man as healthy as you are, which will require judgement on your part. "You Be the Judge" will help you think more clearly about the men you're attracted to.
Your current partner sounds as if he's struggling with his own sexual identity, and he sounds more gay than straight, but no one will really know that until he sorts it out. It's not an easy thing to do. Yes, he had to know how badly this would hurt you, but he's also not entirely in control of his own actions, because he's denying (confused about) his own sexual orientation.
I'm sorry for your loss, but I suggest you let it be a loss, because it's going to take this man a long time to sort himself out. Do your grieving, and then examine the criteria you're using to choose your men. I know you said you didn't want a divorce, but I think it will come to that, eventually.
You can stay if you want, but I think, sooner or later, he'll go. You definitely could use some support -- this is a very tough thing to go through. "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely " will help you get support for yourself. How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free 4th Edition will show you both how to discuss your desires and needs openly and without fighting.
For low-cost counseling, email me at email@example.com