Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Marriage Advice

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  • #968468 Reply

    It is true that there’s a big risk she’s using you as a safe haven until she’s ready to come out fully or be in a lesbian relationship, even if she doesn’t “intend” to do that. And, as admirable as it is that you love and support her, that is solidly not in your own best interest. If you don’t have an active or fulfilling sex life now, and you think at least part of the reason she’s married is because she’s scared of the consequences of admitting her true orientation, then you need to think about separation. You deserve to be with someone who made the fully informed and enthusiastic decision to be with you, too, and who is genuinely attracted to you. I still think counseling for both of you with LGBTQ affirming therapists is a really good idea- this is painful and you need outside counsel and support. But the others are correct that there needs to be a balance of loving and supporting her with protecting and loving yourself.

    #968513 Reply

    Yes, you need to be thinking more of yourself. It’s great that you are able to have this bomb dropped upon you and your marriage and remain empathetic, loving, and supportive toward your wife…but, what is a great shock to you, has been something gradual she has thought of for a long time. The more appropriate question is that, after dropping this bomb, what is your wife doing to support you and help you cope with what is almost certain to be a great, but also a prolonged, change in your life, ending with the death of your marriage?

    She has put you in a no-win situation, She has a few friends, whom she has confided in, plus you for emotional support. Who do you have. You owe it to yourself not to allow her craving for secrecy to isolate you, leaving you with nobody with whom to discuss your own fears and concerns– likely for an extended period of time, during which you lead a phony life, portraying an ‘all’s good with our marriage’ facade to the outside world. Have you thought about how hard this will be for you?

    She has friends she can talk to. You need to be able to talk to your most trusted friend or family confidantes. You also need your own therapist.

    Is she going to be dating others, as she experiments to pin down her feelings and sexual orientation, and to prepare for the next stage in her life? If she is, then the two of you need to agree on an open marriage, so that you can do the same. Likely sooner (as in probably about a half year) you are going to need a new SO and best friend.

    You and your wife need a long, detailed, open discussion on how you are going to cooperatively negotiate the uncertainty and life changes, which are right on the horizon for both of you. If all of the focus is upon her fears, uncertainty, and need to find a solid, fulfilling future, then you are going to be a badly hurting and lost dude when she walks out the door, or pushes you out. In addition to discussing how each of you will interact with the outside world during this transition period, how you will interact with each other, you also have a lot of financial and logistical issues to address.

    While you are protecting and supporting your wife, also look out for yourself and insist upon her support. Support is not a one-way street. From your letter, you and she are both treating it as a one-way street. this can’t work. You will end up resenting each other.

    #968522 Reply

    Is she asking for to to keep this to yourself, while she explores? Because that would be a very unfair burden to put on you. You’re allowed to talk to your friends or family that you trust.

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