Bisexuality

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NCHolmes
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Sexual identity and orientation: Gray asexual
Location: Elizabethtown, KY

Bisexuality

Unread post by NCHolmes »

I have identified as a gray asexual for the past several years, because I don't experience sexual attraction very often or to very many people. My husband and I dated for 2 years and got married at the beginning of this year. I have been open with him about my asexuality from the beginning. I am a Christian and chose to wait for sex until marriage due to religious reasons (my husband is a new Christian as well, while Ive been raised in very conservative Christianity my whole life). We also discussed how it would be a learning process after marriage to figure out what I'm comfortable with, and he has been cool with all of that. We also discussed his sexual history, as he has been sexually active in all his past relationships and I had not.
Recently I have been questioning whether I am bi, because I have had crushes on girls before. Being an ace makes it hard to tell if they are friend crushes or romantic ones. I dont want a relationship with anyone but him, I just want to understand myself better. I was nervous this would make my husband insecure, but last night I worked up the nerve to tell him I was questioning.
He responded by telling me he is bi! He said 95% of people he is attracted to are women, but there have been a few guys too. He had a romantic connection with a guy in the past.
On one hand I was relieved, because that means he definitely understands my questioning.
On the other hand, it hurt that we have been together almost 3 years, and had extensive conversations about sexuality and exes, and he never told me this. He has lied to me about it a few times by saying he was straight. I've been open with him from the beginning about being ace.
He said he's known since he was young, but only ever told a handful of people. I understand being nervous to tell me, because with my religious background, he was afraid I would judge him or leave him. I'm glad he finally felt comfortable to do so. It doesnt matter to me who he liked or dated in the past, or what gender they were, as long as I'm the person he wants to be with now.
It just hurts that he lied to me, because marriage is built on trust. I thought we told each other everything, and I thought I knew about all of his exes. It makes me wonder if he has lied about anything else.
This may be due to my limited understanding of bisexuality, but I also wonder if he will be content to be with me for life, or if he will want to be with a man at some point. I wonder if thats what he really wanted, but he suppressed it and went with a woman because he is not out to a lot of people. We will have more discussions about it and we will be fine, but I wondered if you had any insight or encouragement for me. I feel like my trust was broken in a way because I never thought he lied to me about anything. And I have some insecurities popping up, just like I was afraid he would with me! I hope this can bring us together more instead of making me worry.
Heather
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Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by Heather »

Hi there, NCHolmes, and welcome to the boards. I'm glad you found us.

I'm sorry that this sharing has resulted in the hard feelings that you're having. It also sounds like rather than bringing you closer, at the moment, this feels like it's put a wedge in things between you and your husband. I'm sorry about that, too.

I certainly understand having these feelings, including feeling betrayed, and like you were willing to risk a share that your husband wasn't. I can't say for sure why he made that choice, he's obviously the best person to talk about it with for more on that.

I do think that the comparison of shares here might not be so sound, especially in context (the idea of a "lack" of sexuality -- not the best description of being ace, but this tends to be how people see it from the outside -- obviously goes down a lot smoother in religiously conservative circles than the idea of "more" sexuality, which I think bisexuality is often perceived/presented as, and the same certainly goes for being any kind of queer man). But I also think you maybe don't need to go there, period: even if you hadn't shared your ace identity from the front, it would still be valid for you to feel the way you are about your husband not sharing this with you, you know?

How is it between the two of you right now? Does it feel like now (or soon) is a time when you could keep talking about this, using it as a vehicle to grow and expand your honesty with each other and to build and rebuild trust? Or are you feeling like that's not something one or with of you feels ready for or wants just yet?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
NCHolmes
not a newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:18 am
Age: 27
Awesomeness Quotient: Im creative
Primary language: English
Pronouns: She/her
Sexual identity and orientation: Gray asexual
Location: Elizabethtown, KY

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by NCHolmes »

I am having trouble processing my feelings. I tried to be understanding and supportive. I also tried to talk more. I told him it hurt that he lied and asked if there was anything else he needed to tell me. After a few more specific questions, he admitted that he is addicted to porn and has been through our whole relationship.
Back when we were dating, I had told him porn was a deal breaker for me due to religious beliefs and personal trauma. He had said he didn't use porn, he thought it was potentially harmful to actors and gave unrealistic ideas about sex. He also had a history of addiction to substances (which i knew all along and he was in recovery and doing well) and he said porn was bad for people with addictive tendencies. So i thought we were on the same page. Today i learned that he has been lying and hiding it this whole time so I wouldn't leave. I don't know how to feel or what to do. I know some couples are okay with porn and even use it together, but I'm not comfortable with that, and it would not solve the problem of being lied to. I told him even if he thinks something will upset me, I deserve to have true information to base my decisions on. Im not sure how to rebuild trust after this.
Last edited by NCHolmes on Wed Nov 23, 2022 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
NCHolmes
not a newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:18 am
Age: 27
Awesomeness Quotient: Im creative
Primary language: English
Pronouns: She/her
Sexual identity and orientation: Gray asexual
Location: Elizabethtown, KY

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by NCHolmes »

While I was hurt that he hadn't been open with me sooner, his sexuality was something I could accept and enjoy getting to know more about him once I processed it. The porn addiction is a whole other thing that is a lot more concerning to me.
Heather
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Posts: 9050
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
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Location: Chicago

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by Heather »

I’m so sorry to hear this. I have more to say, but am I understanding correctly you got this new information since your initial post here? I just want to be sure I have that right.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
NCHolmes
not a newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:18 am
Age: 27
Awesomeness Quotient: Im creative
Primary language: English
Pronouns: She/her
Sexual identity and orientation: Gray asexual
Location: Elizabethtown, KY

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by NCHolmes »

Yes, we discussed bisexuality last night. I learned about the porn this morning.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 9050
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 52
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by Heather »

Oh man, that sounds like a really rough 24 hours or less. I'm not surprised you're having a hard time processing all of this: it's a whole lot in a small amount of time.

It certainly sounds like whatever his reasons around dishonesty with his sexuality and sexual behaviour, he has been very dishonest with you, including in ways that he knew really mattered to you. He also violated your consent here, by choosing to do something and withholding it from you that you were clear was a dealbreaker. I get him feeling scared you might leave, but that's not an excuse to take your own choices away from you. Again, I am so sorry.

We don't really get on board with the idea of porn addiction here, but we certainly are aware that some people have compulsive behaviours involved with porn. But again, as with his previous dishonesty, whether there is addiction/compulsion or not doesn't really impact the fact that he chose to be dishonest with you. Same goes for whether or not anyone feels your feelings about porn use are valid or not: that's not really for them to say, but regardless, you were clear about your boundary with it with your partner and they chose to refuse to allow you that boundary.

(My radar also went up a little when you said he said he was addicted because that sounds like a way for him to try and evade some responsibility here.)

You know, before anything else, I want to make sure you're cared for right now. Are you home with him? If so, does that feel like a fit for you right now, or would you be better off at a friend's or family members or with him leaving for a night or two so you can have your own space? What are you doing and what can you do to care for yourself right now?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
NCHolmes
not a newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:18 am
Age: 27
Awesomeness Quotient: Im creative
Primary language: English
Pronouns: She/her
Sexual identity and orientation: Gray asexual
Location: Elizabethtown, KY

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by NCHolmes »

I agree that it was basically taking my choice away from me. I feel stupid for trusting him and not knowing this was going on. In hind sight I should have known, because we had multiple arguments about how hard it was to wait for sex until marriage, and what I was and was not comfortable doing. He seemed pushy, but I knew abstinence was new to him and he was sexually frustrated. We talked it out and I thought we had resolved all that a long time ago.
He is at work right now. I called a friend and went for a long walk at the park. I'm home alone for the next few hours. I told him I'm not going to his family Thanksgiving tomorrow and going to take the day to myself. I don't really want to sleep next to him right now, but I don't have anywhere else to go. I start a new job in the next few weeks (once my background check comes back) so until then I can't really afford to go anywhere.
I really love him. Im conflicted on whether to stay together, but I can't decide that until I take some time to process these feelings.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 9050
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 52
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by Heather »

His choices aren't on you. This didn't happen or go on as long as it has because you weren't smart enough. It happened because he actively made these choices. He did these things and is the person responsible, not you, okay?

I'm glad to hear that you have some care and self-care right now. I'm also glad to hear that you're taking that space for yourself tomorrow. Good for you. I do think it's fair to ask to have your bed to yourself tonight and for however long you need while you work this through. Sleeping with someone or not should always be optional.

I agree: I think trying to make big decisions now is asking much too much of you. You need time to start to process this and to also take care of your own feelings of hurt and betrayal. Hopefully, he can step up to the plate now and give you that, including whatever physical space you want or need. That's nothing to ask of someone who has done us harm, let alone someone who is supposed to be very dedicated to your well-being. No one is entitled to be close to our bodies, period, and anyone who cares about us should be someone who cares very much about making sure they are never forcing that in any way. Okay?

I'm technically off shift for the day, but I will be checking in on your thread here tonight in case you need anything we can help with as you start to process this and just feel your feelings. I also don't celebrate the colonial holiday tomorrow, so I'm around.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
NCHolmes
not a newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:18 am
Age: 27
Awesomeness Quotient: Im creative
Primary language: English
Pronouns: She/her
Sexual identity and orientation: Gray asexual
Location: Elizabethtown, KY

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by NCHolmes »

Thank you.
I planned to go out by myself today, but most places are closed because of the holiday. We talked a little more this morning, and now I am trying to figure out where to go in order to take some space today.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 9050
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
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Primary language: english
Pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by Heather »

I have so been there — in a bad interpersonal space on this holiday and with nowhere else to go. A few years back, I recall all too well being out on a three hour walk with my dog in the snow and dark because of it. So sorry you find yourself in this spot!

Is the weather in KY like it is in Chicago today? We look to have a very unseasonably warm day today. If the same is true for you, how about taking a solo hike somewhere rural if you have or can find transit?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
NCHolmes
not a newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:18 am
Age: 27
Awesomeness Quotient: Im creative
Primary language: English
Pronouns: She/her
Sexual identity and orientation: Gray asexual
Location: Elizabethtown, KY

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by NCHolmes »

I did go hiking for several hours today, and the rest of the day we stayed on separate floors. We tried to talk more this evening. He has apologized and said he knows he was wrong, but I do feel like he is also trying to evade responsibility. He said I cant understand addiction, he didnt set out to do this, it was so hard not having sex, etc. I told him none of those things matter or excuse being dishonest. He also tried to turn things around on me because I said "f you" one time this morning. Ive never done that before and I did apologize for saying it. He said he would never do that to me and it was a pattern and it could be considered abusive. I found it ironic that he was turning this around to the one bad reaction I had instead of focusing on what he needed to fix. I asked him to go stay somewhere else for the weekend. He asked if I wanted to stay together and I told him I cant decide that until I process my feelings, out loud if needed, without him being here. I do want to think he can quit and we can rebuild trust because I take marriage very very seriously. But I am afraid of getting lied to or manipulated again.
Elise
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Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by Elise »

Hi there NCHolmes, I have read back on your thread and am sorry to hear that you're having to deal with the impact of the choice your partner has made to be dishonest with you. Taking some time to process your feelings and have some personal space by your husband staying elsewhere sound like a good idea. I feel you are also right that your husband focused on your one behaviour this morning to draw some of the focus off him and be evasive.

In the short term, doing some more self care activities like hiking, etc. sounds like a good idea so you can have some reprieve from the emotional intensity of the experience. Do you have some ideas of things you can do?

In the longer term, if you are both able to agree that you want to try and rebuild trust once the initial strong emotions have passed, is working with a professional mediator, like a couple's therapist, and/or seeing someone yourself?
Mo
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Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by Mo »

I do want to step in and highlight that I think it's pretty lousy of your husband to zero in on you saying something to him in the heat of the moment that you wouldn't normally say, something you've said just that one time in a high-stress moment, and tell you it's a "pattern" that could be considered abusive.
Is it ideal for partners to say "f you" to each other, even when surprised/stressed? No, but I do not at all think doing that once, when you're struggling with difficult news and feelings of betrayal, is an abusive action. I agree with your interpretation of that: it feels to me like an attempt to deflect blame onto you for this situation. I'm really sorry that was his response here; it's not a mature way to handle a conflict like this at all.
NCHolmes
not a newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:18 am
Age: 27
Awesomeness Quotient: Im creative
Primary language: English
Pronouns: She/her
Sexual identity and orientation: Gray asexual
Location: Elizabethtown, KY

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by NCHolmes »

Thank you all for your input and encouragement. He is at a hotel for the weekend. I went out with a friend yesterday. Today I plan to do some more hiking, and tomorrow I'll go to church. I also want to talk to my elder's wife about the situation.
Before any of this happened, I already had an appointment set up with a new therapist for Monday for individual therapy. So Ill add this to the list of things to talk to the therapist about. After he comes back, if we both still agree to work things out, I can ask about adding in some couples sessions. Thank you again!
nicole
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Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by nicole »

Hi NCHolmes,

I hope it's okay that I'm jumping in here! I'm glad that you're keeping your mind busy, I know how much that helps when you're experiencing stress from the people in your life. Based on what I've read here, you have experienced many life-altering things recently and I can understand how this is impacting you. I want to apologize for the reactions that your husband has been giving you, it's entirely uncalled for.

I'm glad that you've reached out to a new therapist and are keeping track of what to discuss. After meeting with your therapist and seeing what they say about this situation, I think that scheduling a couples session could be helpful. I always recommend that seeking a professional's perspective would be ideal before considering ending a relationship. If you feel comfortable, please let us what you've decided on after seeing your therapist.

For the time being, is there anything you are stuck thinking about in this whole situation? We are here to listen and help you out to our fullest capacity.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 9050
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 52
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: Bisexuality

Unread post by Heather »

Hey there. Just passing through to check in on you. No obligation to post unless you want to, I have just been thinking about you and hoping you're hanging in there.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
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