When I told my husband I was bisexual after eight years of marriage, he embraced me.
But a few months later, he told me he had an affair and wasn’t coming home.
I think he worried I’d leave him for a woman, so now I’m moving on and embracing my bisexuality.
My bisexuality was always right there in plain sight — I just didn’t know how to see it. I always explained away my lifelong fascination with beautiful women by saying it was my desire to be them, to be like them, or to hover in their orbit, soaking up their confidence and allure.
At first, I came out to my husband and no one else
When I married my first husband, I was just 24 and I had quashed any bisexual thoughts. I still found myself unhappy in that marriage, and eventually, we divorced. About 21 months after our split, I met a man named Mike, and we fell in love. We were together for four years when he proposed, and we got married in 2011. I was 36.
Eight years into that marriage, something flipped the switch for me. I started having unbidden fantasies during recurring appointments with a female practitioner. Suddenly, her touch was sparking illicit thoughts. After wrestling with the implications of this for several weeks, I confided in the one person I trusted above all others: my husband, Mike.
I made it clear that I wanted nothing to change between Mike and me. We were in a solid, happy, monogamous relationship — we had spent almost 12 years together by this point. I had no interest in altering our dynamic.
Nonetheless, he selflessly offered me the opportunity to explore my bisexuality in a physical sense. It was sort of a “Take a Step Outside Our Marriage” free card. I thanked him wholeheartedly for his sacrifice, but I turned it down flat. I knew who and what I wanted, and I had it.
I then came out to our children. Having both been married before, Mike and I had teenage children — one from each of our previous marriages — that we co-parented. Luckily, both took the news with ease.
But my coming out journey was eventually met with a ton of disappointment and heartbreak
At the end of last year, I learned my husband had been having an affair. It had been going on for over a year at that point, and had started just a few months after I came out as bisexual to him.
The news destroyed me. Since we’d met, Mike had been my joy and my motivation. Even worse, he was too discouraged, too ashamed, and too unwilling to address whatever had torn us apart to try to repair things. He told me he wasn’t coming home, and I haven’t been the same since.
I spent the following year analyzing every misspoken word, every critical reaction, and every instant I might have taken Mike’s love for granted, or not shown my love and appreciation enough.
I’ve identified many small factors that may have added to the whole, but more and more I keep thinking back to the day I came out as bi
When he said he would allow me to explore my feelings for women, I believe there was something left unsaid: He worried that my bisexuality would overtake our commitment — that someday, probably sooner rather than later, I would move on from him and be with a woman.
He was still deeply in love with me; he admitted it, and it was obvious in his expression. So, on some level, I think he sabotaged our marriage before it had the chance to fall apart around him. I fought against it, but at the end of the day, I had to accept his choices and I had to find a way to move forward.
I’m now exploring a new version of myself where my bisexuality is front and center
Now I’m facing a new chapter in my life — one I never anticipated, but one that I must make the most of, nonetheless. It’s a chapter where my bisexuality is going to be a known factor for every new romantic interest, but also a chapter where I’ll undoubtedly be slower to expose my heart.
In the 14 months since Mike’s confession, my daughter accompanied me to a neighborhood Pride event. I wore a bi-identifying shirt, and we took part in the festivities. We also proudly display the LGBTQ and bisexual flags in front of our house.
I may be guarded now, but if, one day, I find myself in a serious relationship with a woman, I know I’ll be able to live that truth freely and openly. It’s not the future I was hoping for, but I’m going to embrace every aspect of myself and face it head-on, come what may.
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