Marriage, is this where I get off?


What was I thinking when I married this man? Was I that desperate for love that I decided to ignore all our differences just so I could paint a perfect life. An image that never stood up to the reality. We are so opposite in so many ways I wonder how it is that we are even amicable at best. We get along rather well for two people who have polar views on almost everything. I sat in disgust as he watched a hunting show. At first it wasn’t too bad, as they were planning on eating the animal but then they proceed to “accidentally” run over a mother sow and then dispatch her with a knife. I could no longer watch. We talk about politics like we are at the pulpit on opposing debate teams. He sits to center right and I center left, rarely meeting in the middle.

I have had a few husbands stop by here and make comments, usually loving and supportive about their wives who have come out to them. I have also come out to my husband and have tiptoed into exploring who I am at a snails pace.  I find thier remarks so comforting and loving. I wish for any woman who is going through this, have a man like that by her side. I know from experience that it makes it harder to figure stuff out but at least you have a best friend to help you hash it out. My husband has been an amazing listener and friend when I’ve really needed him to be. My family is a bit much and he’s very much an anchor for me.

But I have a confession to make, my husband is addicted to sex. (If you’ve read my blog, you probably already figured that out.) I have seen it over the years wax and wane with his proclivity for porn. I no longer buy it for him, so my guess is that he gets online and surfs the assortment of free goodies from time to time. I only confess this as it deeply affects me when he is bingeing on these images. He tries not to do this often but when he does, he will act like each sex act has done nothing more than fan the flames of his desire. Fortunately, one time is enough to satiate him for an evening, but he comes at me each evening acting as if I was withholding his drug and that he hadn’t had it in forever. He doesn’t get mean, he just pouts and turns over after much unsuccessful prodding.

I had never resented having sex with him until he made me feel like it was my duty. Now, I understand the whole “We are married, and you’re my only source for sex, so please hook me up once in a while.” But there has to be some give on each side. I gave in to the fact that I wanted to be with a woman when I married him, but thats on me, not on him. I gave him lots of fun for many years before we had kids and then many after we had them. My libido has wand moderately but my passion has all but fizzled out. His, on the other hand,his is on fire and burning me out. He stays up way too late every night in hopes to get a piece and when I fail to deliver he grumbles into his pillow and falls asleep only to wake up tired and full of resentment. He carries that with him all day and then when he gets home his attitude dips again with the din of children and a frazzled wife attempting to throw together a dinner as he attempts to cop a feel. Dismissed, he waits till she finally retires to bed where he tries yet again. His efforts go into getting her unclothed and not much more. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great lover, but the thing that makes lovemaking beautiful is lost in the his fever to get his fix. He thinks that I too need a fix and not much else.

I have explained to him how objectified I have felt in the past and he has tried to be less grabby and more respectful but the 22 year old that laid the foundation for our sex life (me) unknowingly built it on sex and the objectification of women. I was young and thought my body was something I gave, not shared. I did not understand the implications of giving away so much that it spoiled the man I loved. I did not understand that I ignored so deeply a part of myself that never wanted to be given away or even shared with a man. I hold all of this on my shoulders and do not blame him for a foundation we built together. He didn’t know about his addiction to sex, as most of us call that being a 20 something. My guess is that he traded in his addiction for alcohol for it. He was smack dab in the middle of going down that rabbit hole when we got together. I didn’t mind being his drug either.

Now, years later, I am older, sometimes wiser, and know what I want more than ever. Being someone’s drug is not it. I don’t want to be the only thing in anyones life. That’s not fair to me and currently that is what’s happening. I am his only thing. That is what is so maddening and scary and sad. I want more for him than that. I want more for myself too. I have given up so much of who I am and when I let that part of myself out, it flourishes. It also scares the shit out of my husband. His drug may not be there for him, even though his wife ALWAYS is. My physical body is gone on a trip or at an event ad when I’m done it may be too tired to give him a dose. That is why I rarely paint. That is why I feel torn when I do my own thing. I am very loyal and yet I yearn for women and have staved that part of myself with precision.  I don’t know how much longer till that line is blurred and my words and worries will fall like autumn leaves to be devoured by a cold chill of change. I hope that he would forgive me. I know that eventually spring will come and we warm to each other as changed people. But first I have to write my heart down and hope that he doesn’t tear my thoughts up. I have to. Where can I find this strength? I have been so depressed that I am sapped of it. I shy from my blog as it screams my words back to me that I don’t want to hear.

I don’t know anymore. I am lost.

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Life, mental health, Noteworthy

22 Comments

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  1. Hugs. I don’t really know what to say. I wish you could get out in a way that isn’t completely destructive. Take care of yourself.

  2. You have so much courage for telling yoru story and I reall appreciate hearing it and following you. I can relate on some of the thigns you talk about and it’s really great to connect with others and to know I am not alone.

    A few thigns stood out to me:
    a) Don’t be too hard on yourself about moving at a “snails” pace. This is your process and only you can do what is right for you.
    b) Do you feel safe with your husband to tell him your thoughts/feelings/concerns? You mentioned he did not know you were going to a therapist. Is this still the case?
    c) His needs do not align with yours and it seems you still give to him when you do not want to. This can definitely cause resentment.
    d) Women who have experienced previous sexual trauma and then are in a relationship with a partner who wants/expects it in a way that makes them feel objectified can reawaken the trauma and cause symptoms of depression, anxiety, and create a major conflict in the relationship. Any resentment you have towards him gets in the way of you opening yourself up not only to being loving and giving, but also to being able to receive and be in the moment. So when he starts to make a move towards you, it’s unwelcome. You may feel trapped and threatened that you have to perform or this will lead to a scene. This experience, multiplied over and over, damages the sense of sexual safety in the relationship for you and him.
    e) Your desire to be seen, to feel safe, and to be heard are even more important, particularly when it’s not happening in your relationship. On top of that, you also want to be out and celebrate your love for women. Both of these issues run alongside one another as you cope.

    • Thank you for your insight and encouragement. I faced a few incidents of sexual trauma and it was minor on the scale of “bad shit that happens to people.” I was basically forced into performing oral sex. Two different incidents, years apart but both happened on dates. Haven’t thought about that in years. But it makes sense.
      I have been battling this stuff for a while, all the while still trying to keep him from getting upset. I don’t know any more.
      I have nightmares. My teeth are clenched and I get small anxiety attacks. I stopped going to my therapist cause I didn’t feel it was doing much compared to just talking it out with close friends.
      I get a sense that you are a therapist?

    • The unwanted husband July 10, 2015 — 1:40 pm

      Please take a moment to remember that because you have CHOSEN to live a lie you are fully responsible for the heart break and pain that your husband must feel everyday!

      • oh honey, I do. That’s why I live like this. But he doesn’t feel heartbroken. He has no fear of being left. I haven’t gone that far. I don’t dare give that part of my angst to him unless I plan to leave him. He is not heartbroken. You might. But he has nothing to fear until I actually decide to make a move other than to cook dinner and wonder what the fuck I’m gonna do. So far, Nothing. So when you guys sit on your high and mighty horses know that he is still loved and I’m not frolicking with every girl I meet (and trust me, there aren’t many.) I’m honest in what I’m up to and he has the final say so far. To me that sounds fair and honest. Where I’m slighting him is in depth of my internal desires. I don’t think it’s wrong to have those feelings. I don’t think it’s wrong to be confused over them either. I’d be shitty if I just ditched him to figure it out. But thanks for your opinion.

  3. . honey, it sounds like when you say ” was minor on the scale of “bad shit that happens to people.” That you are diminishing what happened to you. Perhaps this is a way you protect yourself from the grief, violation, and pain.

    What you went through was damaging and difficult.

    One important thing to remember is our pain/suffering/experience of things is subjective. It does not matter whether we perceive our difficult/scary experiences as a severity of 1-10 (based on society’s standards with 1 being verbal harassment and 10 being murder). How we experience it is limited to who we are as people. For some people society’s 5 can feel like a 2 to them and for others society’s 5 can feel like a 10. Each person has their own right to their own subjectivity/emotions/and feelings as it relates to them.

    I sense you are being really hard on yourself. Trust me, I’ve been there and I’ve seen SO MANY people do that to themselves. Why? You didn’t deserve what happened to you. It’s not your fault. You don’t deserve to feel unsafe with your husband either. You both deserve to be seen and heard and that’s not happening for you right now.

    I’m actually not a therapist but I’m studying to be one. One thing I know is the therapeutic relationship is the most important when we are with a therapist who allows us to be ourselves and to feel safe and heard. What you bring to therapy is what you get out of it. At the same time, not every type of therapy is for everyone. Talk therapy is just one basic form that can be quite limiting but creative therapy encompasses every aspect of therapy (visual, art, nature, yoga, dance, media, books) and these modalities can be broken down into drawing, painting, sandplay, scrapbooking, photography, writing, poetry, storytelling, blogging). Seems like the blogging helps.

    Also trying a variety of therapists is important. Not everyone is going to work for you. I myself had to go to about 5 before I finally found the right fit.

    • There are very few “gay friendly” thereapists in this area. I went to the only one recommended. Everyone else here is thumping a bible and praying for you. I’m ok without going to therapy. I have a best friend who is one so if need be she can work her magic. Honestly I think your right. I’m a people pleaser and negate my own feelings because they might make other people uneasy or mad. That’s exactly how I got into those situations earlier. I was too afraid to say no because they would get mad, crying inside the whole time.

  4. I see. Well I’m glad you know what you want. That’s the first step in taking responsibility. I’d suggest reading a book about assertiveness. Also, there are plenty of “virtual” therapists you can try although they can be expensive and don’t take insurance.

  5. I found myself nodding along as I read your words, which almost always happens. You manage to take thoughts out of my head and put them out for the world. This part: “I don’t want to be the only thing in anyone’s life. That’s not fair to me and currently that is what’s happening. I am his only thing.”

    That. Exactly. Sending you love.

    • Thank you. I too, read your blog and it sounds like our lives are mirrored in many ways. You too are not alone. We need to stand up for our needs and make “our men” learn how to depend on themselves for their own happiness. I know, easier said than done.

  6. So much of your story is familiar, from friends mostly. My own experience down this road was rather short-lived and I was only 22 when I left him and moved in with her. The only really basic advice I have is – be yourself, first and foremost. Because at the end of the day, it’s you in the mirror. Don’t stay for your children because trust me they grow up and they live their own lives, no matter what you might want for them, wish for them, etc. And unless the rest of your family is already living their life for you, they’re not going to start now. Live your own life. Stay or go, matters not honestly, but being honest with yourself, with the gal in the mirror, that matters. Don’t be someone you’re ashamed to face, no matter what you do for the rest of your life. And him, well, he needs to read these words above perhaps, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, because he’s kind of in a dream world as well if he thinks your sexual preference is going to change because of relentless prodding in the middle of the night. Good luck, Honey!

  7. It’s probably been a year since I last read your blog. Honey, you sound like you’ve gone from “can” to “can’t”. Your writing is still amazing but the voice you are letting out is not the holding it together quite nicely voice I last heard. I get not wanting to go to Therapy I went to a TG Therapist, and she told me I had to work out “with my husband IF I was a lesbian”, when I went in there saying I was, so I canned her but that’s money and emotional effort that I really need to conserve. What you write about objectifying yourself, I recognise, and though my husband doesn’t pester me for sex (and it’s been a year and now we are splitting up so that’s that), he has been into and at times addicted to porn–in my twenties I rated against it so he hid it away but I knew and I stopped snooping AND being so wild in bed–now I’m leaving I see I accepted too much that I shouldn’t have in all kinds of ways. What you describe with your daily routine sounds very hard and combined with the crimes you were the victim of (yes that’s another way to look at the bad shit, what do you reckon?), I don’t know how you are not flying off the handle. My heart goes out to you.

  8. Our experiences are very similar, but also very different. When I met my husband I had recently ended a relationship with a woman. I had only ever been in relationships with women in my adult life. I fell in love with him easily and really enjoyed having a lot of sex. Sex was a missing piece of most of my lesbian relationships, most didn’t have a high sex drive like mine. He wanted marriage and ,more importantly, he wanted me. Being wanted felt amazing, but then I realized that he was seriously addicted to porn. It was almost immediately after moving in with him that I discovered this. He would even watch it after we had sex. I’d wake up in the night and he would be on the computer getting off to porn. What was worse was being treated like I was those women and I even felt like I needed to “perform” in that way in order to keep his interest. I got pregnant about a month after discovering his addiction to porn and that complicated things more. He preferred porn to being intimate with me and I confessed to him that I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t be with him if porn was in his life. He told me he’d stop. Promised me he was done with it. We got married and then I found out he was lying to me and watching porn while I was at work. Over the last year we have argued so frequently about porn and the lack of sex. It has been exhausting. He even permitted me to talk to other men so I would feel better about myself. His obsession with porn has caused me to feel extremely insecure and undesired. It didn’t work. I’m not attracted to men. Talking to them was more of a chore and I felt even more unsatisfied. I would reach out to lesbians and bisexual women, but I rarely got a response. I’m attracted to only him and women, but being attracted to a man that has lied to me numerous times has caused my attraction to fade. About 2 months ago I told him I wanted a divorce. I told him I couldn’t deal with the porn and I didn’t feel fulfilled when talking to other men. I really couldn’t take it anymore. He promises me often that He’s not watching porn and we are intimate a little more frequently, but I really question his honesty. I question his ability to fight this addiction without getting help and he refuses to seek help. The other day I was in a store and I saw a woman I was instantly attracted to. When I left the store I kept thinking about going back to try and interact with her. I kept fantasizing about our interaction and thinking of reasons to go back (she works at this store). Feeling what I felt/feel towards this woman is terrifying. I keep wondering if it means this is the end of my marriage. I haven’t felt this attraction in a long time and I don’t feel this for my husband at all anymore. My son is 1 and I’m already 5 months pregnant with our second child. This is quite a difficult dilemma. :/

    • I remember when I was pregnant and the ability to cloak that urge was debilitating. I paged through the craigslist women for women ads with abandon. I was a mess and struggling with a very unmotivated husband. I almost left him both times I was pregnant for a myriad of reasons, my attraction to women was on the list but his lackluster job search made my worried heart sick.
      They say that when we are drunk that we speak more freely of the truth, but I also think when we are pregnant, things get a little clearer as we ready ourselves to be mothers. It is a “nesting” of sorts. My hormones were amplified and attractions were much stronger.
      It’s a hard place to be in and I remember it well. My best advice is to go as honestly forward as you can. The good news is that there is no “right” answer, so … Just know that you are not alone.

  9. I would love to chat with you further. I just left my husband and I have told most of my family that I am gay. I hope to hear from you. Maybe we can get strength from each other.

  10. I think it’s ironic that you’ve deceived your husband for most of your relationship, and yet find it necessary to criticize him for failing to meet your needs and understand you. You’ve told him you’re gay. You’ve told him you don’t want him, you want some magical woman to whisk you off to Lesbian Love Land. And it’s somehow his fault?

    Your husband has been more understanding than I could ever have been. When I discovered my ex-wife’s lesbian affair (and all the other straight & lesbian affairs leading up to it), I showed her the door. If that’s what she wanted (and all evidence points to it), then I didn’t want to waste any more of my time trying to fix something I hadn’t broken. 20 years was enough.

    If you ever truly love(d) this man, you’d move on, and allow him to do the same. It’s not his fault you’re too cowardly to own up to who you really are.

    • It’s not ironic, nor have I hid my feelings about much of what I write here. I no more deceived him than I did myself. I am very open about my attraction towards women, I’m honest about many things but when you are a people pleaser (I’m assuming you are not) you tend to go along with what they want because 1. You don’t know how to say no and 2. You love them and want them to be happy. The failure or survival of my marriage isn’t ONLY about my sexuality, it’s about his as well. It’s about compatibility on different levels. Yeah, I can see if your wife left you for a woman you want to just blame it all on her, but a lot of times there are things that BOTH OF YOU did wrong. I’m not perfect. I don’t profess to be but this is my place to bitch. Call me cowardly if you want, but I still love this man and he deserves me to try to give it my all before I give up completely. Oh and by the way, if I do leave, I don’t have some wish to be rescued. I’m not a fucking princess. I just want to be happy.

    • PS He knows about the women I have been with and has no problem with it. It’s not like I have had a myriad of women or slept around behind his back. It sounds like your wife was NEVER honest with you and that’s why your so angry.
      My husband also has an addiction to sex. This is a tough thing for ANY woman to deal with, let alone someone dealing with her identity and past trauma, but whatever. I guess that doesn’t count either. You both are just victims huh?

    • BS (more ways than one). There is more than one way to break a wedding vow. Unless Honey was on a very different page, which I doubt since her post says it was to people-please that she married (which happens a lot more to women than men but which can happen to any young person), both their vows would have been to love, honour and cherish. It sounds to me like he never had the balls to break them in the way society counts so he just let her know she wasn’t a treasure in a thousand tiny ways–a reflection on himself not her?

  11. This post and the next three bring up something … I hope I’m reading it right.

    I think you are idealistic. You want people to be truly kind and caring and know a lot about what to do for their family and friends. It’s almost like you are speaking on behalf of a lot of women who got married hoping it would all work out, hoping there would be a lot of love and caring.

    It sounds like your husband does a lot of unpleasant things that some men do. I don’t know how many men do these things. It looks like he doesn’t strive, that he thinks you are a great wife for misguided reason (he can rely on you to do lots of things he could do himself), and he doesn’t see what is going on with you. It also looks like you married him because you were expected to marry someone, and he was that someone. That’s not just talking about your mom. It seems like women are supposed to fall in love and get married so they can have a husband around to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, etc. It’s fine that they pursue careers and lives, but people think everybody should be paired with somebody to love.

    I am really glad that he is helping you deal with your orientation. I hope things are getting better for you. The posts in 2015 and 2016 seem happier and more optimistic.

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