But today Blogger actually supplied me with an idea for a blog. Blogger keeps track of various statistics that have to do with the blog. One of the things it keeps up with is the keywords people use when performing a google search that results in a reader accessing my blog at http://JackScottsBisexualBuddies.blogspot.com
Today I noticed that someone had ended up here at my blog after using the keywords, "married to a bisexual guy will it work." Those words caught my eye because I've written a lot over the last few years about marriage and bisexuality; and even though I've tried to be empathetic to the fact that a bisexual guy's marriage might include a straight female, I've always written, more or less, from the bisexual guy's point of view.
It happens, only rarely, that I hear from a wife who is seeking information; but here in the information that Blogger supplies me, was notification that somewhere out there is a woman who knows she's married to a bisexual man and she is wondering if her marriage will work long term. It is a question that very much deserves an honest, thoughtful and sympathetic response.
An honest answer has to begin with these words, "It can work." There are many wives who have chosen to make it work; and not just work grudgingly or for some misguided sense of religious, social or family obligation, but really work. Some women have genuinely made their marriage work and have continued to be happy in their marriages and in love with their husbands.
I guess those last few words in the paragraph above are one of the keys to whether or not marriage to a bisexual man will work. If the marriage has not been happy, if it has been stressful for both partners, if fighting is the hallmark of the marriage, then finding another big source of dissension will more than likely be the last straw for the marriage.
If the marriage has been happy or relatively happy and satisfying to both partners up until the point that bisexuality was introduced into the equation, or if a woman is contemplating marriage to a man who has told her he is bisexual, then certainly the marriage has a chance to work. It may even have a better chance to work than does the average marriage since the average marriage in the United States does not work and does not survive. A woman entering into a marriage with a bisexual man after what surely must be a well thought out and openly discussed situation probably means the couple enter the marriage better prepared for what is to come than do the average couple.
I have actually talked to men whose wives were told about, or whose wives found out about, his bisexuality and the new found knowledge caused not a ripple in their relationship. Such a thing is, to my knowledge, exceedingly rare, but it does happen.
My own marriage had been solid for many years and was a genuinely happy and successful relationship when I told my wife about my bisexuality. Ultimately, the marriage remained genuinely happy and successful. That does in no way mean that she was glad to receive the news. She wasn't. I can't imagine that bisexuality could be introduced into a marriage without complicating the marriage. For most men, their bisexuality has complicated their lives from boyhood. It has never not been a problem for him. Dealing with the problem has always been frustrating and painful. Introducing it into his marriage openly will without doubt bring problems, frustration and pain to the marriage. Bisexual men are not stupid, they're just bisexual; and they know there will be severe repercussions if their bisexuality comes to light.
That is why so many men do everything they can to keep it from coming to light. Honestly, it is not that they want to be deceitful or dishonest. It is not that keeping their bisexuality in the closet lets them avoid pain and frustration. Every closeted guy has to deal with the secret he knows that his wife does not know and every closeted guy has plenty of pain and frustration to deal with too.
So, how does the woman who is married to a bisexual guy figure out if her marriage can work? Part of figuring it out consists of decisions she has to do on her own in the privacy of her own mind and heart. She may even need the help of a qualified psychotherapist or psychologist to help her gather her thoughts and feelings and examine them as dispassionately as she can. The emphasis on the words "qualified, psychotherapist and psychologist" is important. Seeking help from someone who is not knowledgeable and tolerant about human sexuality will not be helpful. That means that a woman who seeks help from her evangelical Christian pastor will rarely find real help.
Such a discussion puts pastors on the radical Christian Right between a rock and a hard place and there is no telling where he might fall out. They may take the tact that divorce is sinful and insist the woman make the best of it. They may take the tact that bisexuality is a choice and can be fixed and thus give the wife false hope about turning her husband to heterosexuality. Either tact will not help with the problem.
Once the wife has thought through her own reaction to the idea of being married to a bisexual man, either on her own or with help from a qualified counselor, she must then take the next step of finding out exactly what she is dealing with if she is considering staying in the marriage. Bisexuality is not a point on a graph. Instead is is a continuum along a rather broad array of needs, desires and actions. She must find out what her husbands needs, desires and actions involve and what, if anything, he is able and willing to give up or modify. She must then make her final decision about staying in the marriage or dissolving it.
Among the first things she should determine to the best extent possible through conversation with her husband and review of their marriage or courtship is whether or not he is actually a bisexual man or if he might actually be a homosexual man. The difference is important.
The truth is that self examination and thoughtful introspection is so painful for some men that they just avoid it. They end up labeling themselves as bisexual men based on nothing more than the fact that they are married and yet they think about sex with and/or have sex with other men. Often, even self applied labels are invalid. Many married men in their fifties and sixties are homosexual men. They married years ago not just to deceive themselves or their wives; but because at the time, it was the only choice open to them that held any promise at all of a happy and successful family life.
An honest look at and an open discussion of the marriage will point to man's real sexuality. If the wife has always been open and willing as a sexual partner, but her husband has often been unenthusiastic about sex or unable to perform sexually, it is a strong indication that he is not bisexual but perhaps homosexual. Homosexuality, like bisexuality is not a point on a graph. It too is a continuum on a wide spectrum of needs and behaviors. There are homosexual men who can convincingly perform sexually with their wives and father children, but often the normal emotional bond that develops between a man and his wife is missing. Because both partners are frustrated constantly with him knowing the reason for the frustration and her having no idea about the real reasons for the frustration, fighting is often a way of life in these marriage. Anger and recriminations abound.
There are two scenarios in which I personally have seen such marriages survive. The first is in a situation where the man provides social status and position to the woman and the woman is more than willing to accept an unsatisfying sex life in trade for the social position and status that is important to her. The second is in a situation where the women don't care for sex anyway and the reality is she is glad to have her husband get it somewhere outside of the marriage bed so long as he does it discreetly so as not to endanger his wife's standing in the community. I have personal friends who have successfully lived these models for years. The husband and wife are good friends, they enjoy each others company and the joy of kids and grandkids. They even enjoy traveling together and actually from all appearances have happy marriages. They just do not have a sexual relationship. She live her life and he lives his.
If a woman determines that her husband is indeed homosexual, the chances of the marriage surviving go down in the long run. As a homosexual man he, more than likely, cannot emotionally relate to her and as he ages the need for an emotional bond becomes stronger. Add to that the fact that coming out is getting easier to do. The burden it brings is easing. I have three personal friends who were married homosexual men. In two of the cases, the men simply finally grew tired of the constant fighting and bickering. They both realized that they were largely responsible for it simply because they were hiding a huge secret from their wives. The wives knew something was wrong, but the fact that they could not figure it out simply added to the wive frustrations, their temper tantrums and their unhappiness.
Both of these men initially intended to stick it out until their children graduated from high school. In the end, both came to see they were not doing their children any favors by subjecting them to witness the constant altercations. In both of these marriages, the altercations became physically violent, not on the part of the men, but on the part of the women. I am convinced that the women became violent simply because they were at their wits end. The marriage was not working and they could not figure out why.
Unfortunately, when each man made the decision to end the marriage and come clean, the atmosphere was so tense and so poisoned that the violence on the part of the wives continued. Both men were, fortunately, smart enough not to be drawn into this violence and simply extricated themselves from it. One walking away from everything he owned with just the clothes on his back.
The woman who finds she is married to a true bisexual man is in a much different situation. By definition bisexual men can and do function well in both the straight world and the homosexual world. My wife knew me intimately for 37 years without a single clue to my bisexuality. For many of those years I was struggling with it mightily but managed to shield her from the struggle. For 11 years I was actively engaging my bisexuality and continued to shield her from it. Bisexual men can and and do often function well in both rolls.
It is important to note that I love and have always loved my wife. It is important to note that I love and have always loved my family. It is important to note that we started out with nothing and worked side by side to build our dreams and we achieved those dreams and more than we had dreamed. It is important to note that I am socially and emotionally a straight man. I have no desire whatsoever to be in love with a man or to live with a man. A man is simply a physical attraction to me; and as I stated before, there is every reason to believe that is an esoterical thing that bisexual men understand and others do not.
One of the things that most women do not understand is that when they discover their husbands to be bisexual, they cannot honestly hope to bargain with him to save the marriage by putting constraints on him which he cannot meet. One woman I personally know of recently told her husband she would stay in the marriage, but he had to complete a class in reparative therapy. He made a valiant effort but was eventually honest with himself and with her that the technique was just snake oil. It had no real value or effectiveness. In the end, he initiated the divorce because he was honest enough with himself and his wife that he knew he could not meet her demands for saving the marriage.
This man was a physician. He was prominent in his community and in his church. It is not that he wasn't faced with a situation where there were no "good" choices. That is exactly where he found himself. But a bad situation was made worse by his wife. Because she was hurt and emotionally traumatized, she let herself give into her emotions. She too was faced with a situation in which there were no "good" choices, but there were choices that were better than the others. In her emotional state, she made the worst choices possible. She was bitter enough and hateful enough that she did everything she could to ruin him including spreading the reasons for the divorce to his children and to all other family members as well as spreading the news to the church members as well as to those who had been who had been their friends. She was so intent on ruining him that she did not stop to consider she was damaging the lives of their children, her own life and the lives of others.
Sometimes women will offer to stay in the marriage if the husband will vow to give up his male/male sexual activities. Honestly hoping to save his marriage and his family which he truly values he will agree to the condition. The problem is he can agree verbally. More often than not, he cannot agree realistically. Bisexuality is a drive just as heterosexuality is a drive. Ask yourself. How many men could willingly give up their heterosexual activity. There are some, but they are far from the norm.
Bisexual men fall into several broad categories. There is the man who simply desires a close male friend. The friendship is the thing. Sex is secondary and usually consists of mutual masturbation and often not much more. More often than not there is only one partner and he is another married man. Such activity is relatively harmless and not apt to be subject to STDs.
Other bisexual men feel compelled to meet multiple men, strangers, and have unprotected sex which involves penetration. Such behavior is dangerous to the man and to anyone having a sexual relationship with him, including his wife.
Still other bisexual men have multiple sexual partners but are conscientious about only having protected sex. Such behavior is not without risk, but the risk is mitigated.
Most married bisexual men, whatever category they fall into, love their wives and families. They simply have struggled to deny their sexual urges and have found that in spite of the struggle they cannot control their compulsions.
Honestly, in the course of my life, I have know a number of men who were promiscuous heterosexual men. I used to work with a couple of these men. We were in a job where we traveled a great deal. These two men never spent the night alone. They were always able to find a woman to share their bed. I have to admit, I have a problem, even as a man, with rampant promiscuity run amuck whether it is homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual.
The woman who has found she is married to a bisexual man has much the same obligation as the woman who is married to a heterosexual man. She has to try to figure out what she is faced with and what she can live with because most men at some point are going to have sexual partners outside their marriages. I'm not implying anything other than that is the reality of things.
In my case my sexual partners have always been relatively inexperienced and have been my monogamous partners for years. The truth is that I have always been scared to death of the possibilities of contracting an STD and that fear has kept me cautious and constrained in my activity. My wife knows me well enough to know that I'm telling her the truth when I tell her that. Its one of the reasons she did not end our marriage.
The other reason she did not end our marriage is that by the time she found out about my bisexuality it had been an active part of my life for many years. She had never known and there had been no ill effects to our marriage. The marriage was strong. She simply decided she was not going to end something that was important to her when really nothing had changed except that she knew.
So, the answer to the woman's question about whether or not her marriage to a bisexual man can work is, "Yes it can." It can work very well. There is not a single marriage anywhere in the world that is perfect, not one. All marriages have to work around issues of conflict. This woman is aware of one conflict in her marriage. There are surely others. Some may be far more troublesome than her husband's bisexuality. Through honest and open discussion and with an honest effort from both partners to safeguard and support the marriage, it can work.