Defending the Raven

Bisexual. Married. Man. Open. Read On.

"Your Husband" Makes Waves

Last week Jefferson posted a fascinating post called Your Husband. Like many I have been an admirer of Jefferson’s floating at the periphery of his world. I read the blogs of his friends and by sheer geography I feel a closeness to him. Heck, considering the explorations my wife and I have had I’m surprised that our paths have not crossed — then again given the anonymity we both have in blogging we may already have. (I need a real-time editor to stop my passive-aggressive flirting through my blog)

There was a follow-up to the first “Your Husband” posting from the object of Jeffereson’s firts post. However, today there was a third posting and I couldn’t help responding. I started to put a comment on Jefferson’s blog, but I couldn’t help sharing here.

Here is my comment to Jefferson:

When I read the first “Your Husband” post I reacted to it on so many levels. On the surface it was sexually stimulating. It was an exciting fantasy of sorts to read because it was one that I had been a part of in the past.

However, on a deeper level it hit me much harder because I’ve been on both sides of the experience: the bi married guy exploring with another guy and the guy helping a bi married guy explore with another man (this was before my wife found out anything).

As much as I take exception with Edna judging you as an accessory to adultery, there is some validity to it. Though at the same time there is something exciting about being with a married man. I know that from the time before my wife found out I was bi and that I had cheated on her, another bi married guy was safe. There was a shared experience and understanding. On a practical level it was safe. You both know each other’s secret.

At the same time, would her husband or the husband you met have really done anything different if you had given them a lecture on cheating, being bi, being whatever. If it wasn’t you someone else would have done it or the “I’m married” part would have never come up in conversation. You did nothing wrong. I think it’s misplaced anger. Easier to blame you as the predator who tempted her husband, than to focus her anger at the actions of her husband.

I cannot understand the depth of the betrayal that Edna (or my wife) felt. In my case the bi part wasn’t the big shock, it was the cheating.

However, the biggest part of things for me with 18 months of being open and honest with my wife and coming to terms with things is that I’m not sure if my marriage would have survived in the long run if I had continued to suppress my bi-ness. It would have always been something that nagged at me. Something I would have hid and fantasized about.

I found it interesting that in Edna’s original e-mail she talked about calling their couple’s therapist and that her husband had depression. I know that in my case the questions in my head we’re always gonna be there. They became stronger when there were things lacking in my marriage. And once I explored it, it became a much bigger player in how things were in my marriage. It was something that had to come out. Like Edna and her husband I was married young and never had the circumstances to be able to explore these feelings before things with my wife became serious. I had never been able to fully understand what all the things in my head meant and how they fit, especially after getting married:

How could I be so in love with my wife? Be attracted to her emotionally, physically, and sexually? Enjoy sex with her (despite the frustrations that did exist)? And yet, AND YET, still be attracted to men.

It didn’t make sense. It wasn’t supposed to make sense. So I suffered in silence. I didn’t have a firm grasp on who I was. It all scared me. You would think I should be able to share my fears with the one person I was closest to, who I should share everything with — my wife. However, I couldn’t. There was too much to risk. I couldn’t risk losing her and the life we’d created, even if I wasn’t sharing myself 100%. So I compartmentalized. I had my fantasy life that was online porn and self-gratification. However, that wasn’t quite enough. So I took the step to meet with another guy, and then another, and then another. It caused giant upheaval in my marriage, but ultimately it needed to come out in the open. It was something that we had to deal with.

For me as the married bi man, it was something I had to explore to understand myself. I regret the cheating aspect of it and wish that I hadn’t done that. However, I can’t change that and it was what helped me understand myself completely. And until I did that I couldn’t help my wife understand that and share my true self with her. I wish I had been braver and shared it with her before I cheated on her. I truly believe we would be in the same place, and there wouldn’t be residual trust issues.

I have met a number of married men out there who cheat on their wives with men. In one specific case he has a completely double life. He has completely compartmentalized his life in two parts. Husband, father, traditional marriage on one hand and “single” guy who meets men for sex 3-5 times a week. That was something I couldn’t live with and was something that I couldn’t do to my wife.

I’m not sure how I want this post to end or what the point was. I guess I wanted to put my thoughts out there. Offer my perspective. My own feelings. I don’t want any of what I’ve said to be misconstrued as justifications or rationalizations. They are my honest and real feelings on what happened with me in my situation. I hope they provide some insight into other people’s own situations, which has always been my intention of this blog.

I guess what is so great about the exchange between Edna and Jefferson is that they opened up to each other to be able to connect. Hopefully for Edna this will lead to some understanding and choices that will have impact on her own life.





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February 13, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

4 Comments »

  1. Thanks Mark.

    I don’t want to color the discussion among other commenters, so for now, just let me say: thanks for adding your insights.

    And, okay, I’ll pull out “bath crayons” to color a little bit:

    Edna discovers her husband is drawn to gay porn. He confesses his presumed bisexuality. There are difficult ramifications–he moves out, she is covering details to save face with friends–but they are working on the marriage.

    You tried to suppress your bisexuality, for fear of losing the woman you so love. You acted on it, and you were found out. Once it was in the open, you and your wife worked to save the marriage.

    I won’t make generalizations about that coincedence, but my great respect goes to all concerned.

    Comment by Jefferson | February 13, 2006 | Reply

  2. great comments, mark. you said more succinctly what i trid to say….edna’s initial anger at jefferson was misplaced because it was easier for her. and whether jefferson or someone else, it would have happened. lucky for edna she stumbled upon someone who may be able to help her understand.

    congrats to you and your wife for working things out!

    i’m new to your blog…stumbled onto it through jefferson…….

    Comment by rose | February 14, 2006 | Reply

  3. Hello Mark,

    This is Edna. Thank you for your post and sharing your experience. Your comments are very helpful for me…reading about your experience of going through internal turmoil was painful. I suspect that this is the same experience that my husband is going through right now. Your headline quote of “not living life feeling like an outsider looking in” is so alarming. This is the same expression my husband used during our therapy session.

    You mentioned, in your case, the bi part wasn’t the big shock to your wife; it was the cheating. I my case, I find my husband’s gay/bi revelation was shocking, but I think his sexuality is a secondary issue. It is ultimately the cheating/betrayal part that hurts me most. So I completely understand your wife’s feeling.

    I am glad to learn that you and your wife were able to work out this issue. The love you have for each other must be so strong to survive this ordeal. But I’m afraid I am not as open minded as your wife is. If my husband is gay or bisexual person and he wants to pursue his sexual desires, it would be end of our marriage.

    Comment by Edna | February 14, 2006 | Reply

  4. Jefferson:

    The coincidence is not lost on me at all. I have many similar stories. Sure the people and exact circumstances are different, but my situation and the one Edna and her husband are in alike in so many ways.

    I suppose as much as I was being a little hard on Edna, I was also trying to explain a little of the other side to her as well.

    p.s. Feel free to color the discussion whenever you want. I don’t mind being taken to task from time to time as well.

    Edna:

    Thanks for commenting. The internal trumoil I experienced was difficult and often times painful indeed. It took me a long time to come to terms with many things about myself, beyond the sexual as well.

    I do know how lucky I am to have the woman in my life that I do. I understand that much of her acceptance of me is because there was a shared experience in sexual curiousities.

    As much as he has to be true to himself, so do you. I think it is wonderful that you are keeping an open mind for the moment and seeing where things go. I hope that you both are able to work things out in ways that are best for the both of you.

    Comment by Raven in NYC (aka Mark) | February 14, 2006 | Reply


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