It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Maybe Bi, Possibly a Lesbian” who said that having sex with her husband made her skin scrawl and that she thought she might be bisexual or even a lesbian and didn’t know how to confirm this without damaging her marriage. Keep reading to see what’s happened since she wrote in for advice.
I’ve owed you an update for a while, but I wanted to wait until things were a bit more settled. First of all, I really appreciated the advice I received in response to my original letter – both from you, and from the commenters. I had really braced myself for a backlash – not because I think DWers are a vicious bunch, but because I still in my heart felt like what I was considering was deserving of my being dragged through the coals. In any case, the firm but kind advice from everyone here really did give me a solid place from which to move forward.
While even at the time I thought you were probably right that things didn’t look good for my marriage, I wanted to know that I’d given it every possible shot, so I spent a couple months in counseling by myself to learn to better articulate where I was coming from, and then I spent a couple more months in counseling with my husband. As everyone probably expected, we are divorcing, but at least we know we are doing it after giving the covenant of marriage the respect it deserves.
The thing is, I still don’t know if I’m gay. I think it’s unlikely that I’m on the completely straight end of the Kinsey scale, but I also think it’s probably unlikely that the only problem in my marriage was the fact that my husband is a man. What this whole process has taught me is that my marriage isn’t a good fit regardless of the gender of the person I might eventually end up with. It made sense; it was great on paper and he’s a wonderful person, but what I thought I wanted (a partner, someone to start a family with, a person I could trust and who treats me well) wasn’t all that I wanted. I also want someone whose company I authentically enjoy and someone I want to cuddle with, make out with, etc. – at least some of the time (since I know real life isn’t a romance novel!). The thing that really showed me the writing on the wall was one day in counseling when I asked him if he really wanted to fight to make us work. He said he did, and I asked why. His answer was that “we have so many shared goals.” While that is true, and important in a marriage, that’s not enough for me.
So now we’re figuring out the logistics, letting the people in our lives know, and figuring out where to go from here. I’m lucky that I have several amazing friends who have had my back every step of the way, and I’m learning to be ok taking things one step at a time, instead of planning everything out and feeling locked into some sort of script. It’s scary, and I still have days and moments where I feel like I can barely hold things together (and luckily, a few friends I can call when I’m hyperventilating and crying!), but my good days are more frequent than my bad ones now…and that tells me that I’m on the right path, even if I don’t know where it’s going.
Thanks once again for your advice. While it took me a while to fully embrace it, I’ve looked back on it several times along the way, and in my gut, I think I always knew you were right. I just needed to follow it through at my own pace, so I didn’t feel like I was acting rashly and carelessly throwing a lot of good away. Now I’m finally at a place to know that, while I am giving up a lot of good things, it’s the only way to live my own life, and not just the one I thought I was supposed to live. Now I just need to figure out what my “own life” will look like!
Thank you for the update! Sounds like you are definitely on the right path even though, as you say, you don’t know where it’s headed. Sending you best wishes for continued support and smart choices along the way.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at email@example.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.