Monday, April 16, 2012

Candid Thoughts To Our Wives

Over the almost three years I have been writing this blog, I have written about bisexuality and marriage 18 times. It's a very important topic, and like many important topics it is one I think about often, and it is one about which my thoughts continue to evolve.

I've been out to my own wife for just about six years. When I told her, it was a very big deal. There were tears, anger, surprise, dismay, fear, concern on her part for my well being and eventually acceptance and reconciliation. Now, six years later, it is no longer a big deal in our lives. On the scale of big deals in our lives, it has become quite small in comparison to other things such as my cancer which was diagnosed four years ago and which has slowly but steadily advanced to the life threatening stage, to the point where only cutting edge medicine is keeping it under control.

I'm not sure my wife really even thinks much about my bisexuality much anymore. I know she worries about my cancer and what her life will be if the day comes when she has to live her life alone. It's something she has never done. We've been together and very much in love since we were 16 years old and married since I was 18 years old. She left her parents home directly to our home and she has never been alone. It must be a daunting prospect for her. It is for me. I'm not afraid of dying. I am very much afraid of leaving her alone to face the world on her own though we are blessed in that she will have everything she needs to make it on her own.

As for me, I have to admit I do think about my bisexuality and how it relates to our marriage and our relationship a great deal. It's not that I think about it because it is a problem in our lives. It isn't. I think about it and analyze our relationship because I have chosen to write this blog, and I feel compelled to gain as much insight into the things that have kept our mixed orientation marriage working as I possibly can so that I can possibly be of help to those who are just beginning that effort.

I wonder still, after all these years, if I did the right thing in telling her. In a very real way, it was an extremely selfish thing for me to do. To take something I had lived with for 58 years and throw it onto her shoulders without warning. How could such a thing be described as anything but cruel? Some would say it was the honest thing to do. Honesty is sometimes over rated I think. It certainly is not always the best policy; and even though we all say it is, none of us really believe it. There are all kinds of things we as individuals don't handle honestly. We just put more weight on honesty as far as this particular matter goes.

My wife and I are fine, our relationship, our marriage, the level of our intimacy with each other is great, just as it has always been. True, the cancer issue plays a part. We know that we are, no matter what may be, living the last best years of our lives together. There is no time for fussing and fighting or succumbing to petty ill will with each other. There is only time for enjoying these last  years together however long God may see fit to stretch them out.

Things are truly good for us; but I often think, wouldn't they be even better if I had spared her the knowing? Spared her the burden? Spared her the hurt?

I don't know the answer to those questions. I truly don't. All that is left for me regarding such questions is to address them in this blog for the consideration of other guys who are coming along and will find they too have to, in their own turn and in their own lives, deal with the same issues.

But it's become obvious to me of late that it is not just guys who will be dealing with the issues. As my blog has gained more and more readers over the last couple of years, I have begun to receive more and more letters from women who are, for one reason or the other, dealing with the issues connected to being married to a bisexual or homosexual man. In some instances their husbands have confessed. In some they have either found out or suspect.

Which ever the case may have been as to how these women found out, the thing that has surprised me is that every woman I've heard from so far as asked for advise on how to save her marriage, not end it. Perhaps I only hear from the women who want to save their marriages and the ones who want to end their marriages contact their lawyers instead. I'm not sure. I just know I have been greatly surprised at the number of women who are ready and willing to go to great lengths and great personal sacrifice to save their marriages.

There once was a time, even in spite of my own success in telling my wife, that I would have urged any man considering confessing not to do it. I felt that for the huge majority of such men there was no chance whatsoever of success. Now, because of the women with whom I've come into contact, I'm not sure what the chances of success are, but it's not zero. On the other hand, though there obviously are women who want to make their mixed orientation marriage work, the statistics still present a grim picture. Most such marriages fail within two years of the husbands confession of his orientation.

I have learned a great deal from these women to add to what I learned from my own wife. Some of the lessons learned have been quite surprising. "Hell hath no furry as a woman scorned," goes the old saying; and pound for pound and inch for inch, there is no doubt an angry woman can be a force to reckon with. However, women can and do act with compassion, understanding and love, even in the face of their greatest fears. They can in fact be quite magnanimous in going more than half way to meet the needs of the man they love including a husband who is bisexual or homosexual. Many of the women I've heard from are even ready to share or consider sharing their husbands with a male friend if that is what they must do to save their own relationship with him.

Honesty Is A Double Edged Knife
For me, corresponding with these women has been an eye opening experience. I have always been sympathetic to the women who love those of us who are bisexual or homosexual men. Though there are exceptions, for the most part they didn't ask to play the role which they find themselves playing as the wife to a bisexual or homosexual man. Yet, the ones who write to me seem to genuinely being trying to make every attempt to make it work. Keep in mind though that just because they want it to work does not mean it always does. Sometimes what a woman wants in her mind and even in her heart is not something she can live with emotionally. Sometimes women try valiantly to tell themselves that there is nothing their love cannot overcome; but to their dismay they find that in spite of their will to work it out, they simply cannot reconcile everything within their emotional response.

Even so, the willingness of the number of women I have come to know personally to try to deal with their husbands bisexuality inside their marriage  has, frankly, been surprising to me. At the time I told my own wife about my bisexuality I thought of her as the exception to the norm, the woman who could be told without our marriage falling apart. I still think she is an exception to the norm but my recent experiences in the last couple of years has certainly pointed out that there are more exceptional women than I expected there to be when considering this matter.

I think it is a good thing because I honestly believe that bisexuality is the biological norm for men. And I believe we are entering an era in which it will see more and more expression among men. Thus more and more women will have to deal with it in one way or the other.

Through this blog and through the group I moderate on line, I have had contacts with hundreds and hundreds of guys. I am confident I know pretty well what makes men tick. I also know what inhibits them from ticking as they should. Through living my own life and talking with so many other men about their lives, I feel that I have garnered a great deal of expertise concerning the married bisexual and the married homosexual male. Unfortunately, though I am  hearing from more and more women, I have not heard from enough of them yet to feel comfortable that I know them and their reactions to bisexuality or homosexuality as well as I know the reactions of men. I hope by writing this particular blog piece, I will encourage more women to contact me about their situations.

One of the important things I have learned in talking to women is that the individual stories of a couples struggle with bisexuality or homosexuality of the husband, more often than not, do not quite match up. I have been able to observe this by talking individually to both partners in the marriage. When I talk to both partners, I never discuss what one partner tells me with the other partner. I tell them up front that anything they want their partner to know they will have to tell them because I won't. It is not my intention to serve as a messenger and one can not be expected to talk openly unless they know they are speaking to someone who will respect their confidentiality.

In general terms, what I most often find is that women who want to work out their relationships with their husband and save their marriages have the greatest trouble with two aspects of the situation. First, they are usually curious and want to be informed about too many details. Second, they come quickly to resent the time their husbands spend with his male friend, or the time they think he is spending with his male friend. In my own case I found that my wife grossly over estimated the time I spent with my buddy. After I told her about my bisexuality and that I had a buddy, the time I actually spent with that buddy did not change. Neither did the amount of time my wife and I spent apart change. However in her perception any time we spent apart became time I was spending with him in her mind. It finally got to the point that this perception on her part had to be addressed directly with some candid discussion between us. To my wife's credit, she quickly got better at not assuming things which she did not know to be factual.

Also to my wife's credit, from the very first, she told me that she never wanted to know details. In fact she made me promise never to share details with her even if she asked. It wasn't that she wasn't curious, she was. She just was wise enough to know that the details were not something she needed to know or to deal with. We handled the details she needed to be assured of in my promise to her not to be promiscuous and to limit my relationships to long term relationships with men who did the same. On several occasions, my wife has asked for details. I have simply reminded her of the promise she required of me, and she has dropped the questions.

The first question I'm usually asked when a wife who wants to save her marriage contacts me is, "Can I make my marriage work?" There is no easy answer to that fundamental question. It depends on her, on him and on them as a couple. I've already mentioned above that, for her, there is sometimes a disconnect between what she wants and what she can handle emotionally. When such a disconnect occurs, her emotional state will always eventually win and the marriage will fail. For the two as a couple, whether or not the marriage can survive depends on whether or not they can continue to each see the marriage as valuable, stable and satisfying. The important word in the preceding sentence is "continue." If the marriage was not valuable, stable and satisfying to both partners before, it will quickly fail under the weight of the new burden. Their are, of course, exceptions.

One of the most common exceptions centers around status and finances. The fact is that normally a woman will not willingly leave her marriage until and unless she has something better to go to and something to go to that is financially secure. For the wives of men who are financially well off, this is not a problem. Even after dividing assets, there is enough for each to live comfortably without adversely affecting either's customary life style. For middle class families or lower income families, this is not often the case. A division of assets will leave both the husband and the wife financially strapped and with a decidedly lower standard of living. In such cases, the wife will often choose to stay in the marriage but live a separate life from her husband. I have seen this happen many times. Sometimes both the husband and the wife can actually be truly happy with this arrangement. She has her own interests and he has his. The two of them essentially agree to remain publicly committed to each other but privately live and enjoy their own individual lives under the same roof.

But the women who contact me most often seem truly to love their husbands and truly want to come to a working arrangement that will make both of them happy. In these cases, more often than not, it will depend on him as much as on her as to whether or not it works. And essentially what it depends on regarding him is whether or not he is truly a bisexual guy or whether he is in fact a homosexual guy.

Though many people do not yet realize it, neither homosexuality nor bisexuality is a point on a well defined line. Instead both  homosexuality and bisexuality are a range of behaviors and desires along a rather ill defined but lengthy line between absolute heterosexuality and absolute homosexuality and no one is actually at either absolute end of the line. Everyone falls in somewhere in the wide middle. The guys who are closest to absolute homosexual are homosexual men. They identify as homosexual men, at least to themselves, and they function sexually only with other men. The men who are closest to the absolute heterosexual end of the continuum are heterosexual men. They identify to themselves and to the world as heterosexual men and they function sexually primarily with women. The men who are closest to the middle of the continuum are the bisexual men. These men are harder to pin down. They may self identify as straight, gay or bisexual depending on how much real thought they have given to understanding their own sexuality. They may present to the world as straight, gay or bisexual though by far the greatest number of them present to the world as heterosexual men.

Men who are very close to the absolute homosexual end of the continuum simply cannot physically carry out the sexual role of a heterosexual man. These men seldom marry. They are men who know from a young age that they are homosexual and they function as homosexual men.

The men who marry are men who are much closer to homosexuality on the continuum but who are close enough to either side of the middle of the continuum that they can physically fill the roll of a heterosexual man. The problem for such men, and their wives, is that the men who are between the middle of the continuum and the absolute homosexual end of it become increasingly unable to fill the roll of a heterosexual man when it comes to emotionally bonding with their wives as a heterosexual man does as they get closer to the homosexual side of the continuum. To compound the problem, as they get older, fulfilling the physical role of a heterosexual man becomes harder and harder to do. Try as hard as she might, the wife of a homosexual man, can rarely elicit the emotional and sexual response she needs from her husband. He simply does not have it to give to her or any other female.

The really sad part of all of this is that often the man does not recognize his fault in this failure. Often the man who has failed, in his need to deny his homosexuality or even his bisexuality, will blame his wife for becoming cold and no longer desiring sex. In such cases, often is not that the woman is cold. Instead she is simply frustrated to no end. It's not that she doesn't desire sex, it's just that he has never been able to provide her with good sex, and so she has given up. Marriages between such people are always on rocky ground. Almost anything can be the straw which breaks the camel's back and ends the marriage.

Humans are complicated beings, and sometimes the thing we fear most is the very thing which redeems us. I have four very good personal friends who were in long term unhappy marriages. All four men are homosexual men. The respective wives of these men never knew of their husband's homosexuality until he chose to tell them. All the wives, however, did know they were in marriages that were badly broken. They just didn't know why. In each case, the husband finally chose to obtain a divorce. In all four cases, the husbands found happy lives with same sex partners. In two cases the wives accepted the divorce and moved on with her own life and found her own sense  of happiness. In the other two cases, the wives resisted even after the divorces and have essentially chosen to let their lives be destroyed rather than face the reality of their situations as the other two wives did and choose to find a measure of happiness for themselves.

True enough, none of these four women signed on for the marriage they actually had. They didn't knowingly marry homosexual men. But in the end nothing is certain in life, and in the end while we are not always responsible for what happens to us we are always responsible for how we handle it. Two wives handled it well. Two did not. It seems clear to me which two made the wiser choice.

I have not, in my personal experience, talked with or known a bisexual man whose marriage has failed against his wishes due to his sexuality. I think this is due to the fact that most bisexual men are able to present themselves to their wives and to the world as heterosexual men. I know this was true in my own marriage for the first three decades of it, and it is still true in the way I present myself to the world. There simply is rarely a compelling reason for a bisexual man to come out to the world other than his simple choice to do so. It is a choice for which I, and I think most bisexual men, feel no compelling urge.

With all this in mind, there is one other thing for the wife who has found that her husband is bisexual or homosexual to consider, and that is: I have never talked to or known even one man who feels he has made a choice about his sexuality. Most men I have talked to, given such a choice, would have chosen to be normal. This apparently assigned preference has not been a welcome thing for the men I have personally talked with. All of them have resisted it, denied it and otherwise tried to live as if they were normal heterosexual men. Unfortunately, for most men living a seemingly normal life is impossible; and even if they can do it for a few years, it becomes increasingly difficult with each passing year. It is important for women to recognize this fact. Their husbands homosexuality or his bisexuality is not some kind of trick he has played off on them. If anything his denial is a trick he has tried to pull off on himself. It almost always fails.

Often women faced with new knowledge of their husband's homosexuality or bisexuality ask, "Why did he marry me?" The reason is illustrated in the paragraph just above. He did not choose to be homosexual or bisexual and he honestly thought he could resist and deny the assignment. He did not set out to hurt her or to hurt himself. He set out just like any other person entering a marriage, to build a good and happy life together with the woman he loved. He had no idea, if he was a homosexual man still in denial, that he simply did not have the ability to carry out the responsibilities a man has to shoulder in a truly happy marriage.

As a practicing psychotherapist who does primarily marriage counseling, my wife is in a position to see the strains on most marriages. We live in trying times and all marriages exist under extreme pressures. We tend to think of marriages that do not fail over the years as happy ones. That, unfortunately, is not always the case. Many are most unhappy. They continue to exist because although the marriage is broken there are multiple ties that remain unbroken. These can be religious ties, family expectations, financial ties or any of hundreds of other ties that bind even severely broken marriages together.

In mixed orientation marriages, the sexual orientation of the bisexual partner adds strain to the marriage whether or not the straight partner knows. The strain is increased exponentially when the straight partner finds out.

Women deserve to live fulfilling and productive lives just as much as do their bisexual husbands. Ultimately, each husband must find the path that will assure him as much happiness and fulfillment as possible. Each wife, must do the same. I guess the most objective advice I can give to a woman who has found that she is married to a bisexual man is to not give in to an emotional knee jerk reaction. Sure it is going to hurt. It is going to tear at your heart and your soul. But give it time. And for god's sake do not run out and tell everyone you can find about your new found predicament. This is a personal matter and should be treated as one. Spreading the word about it will only hurt you more and complicate the matter further.

The most objective advice I can give to a man is to know yourself. You cannot be bisexual simply because you are married and have sexual urges towards other men. To actually be bisexual you must have real sexual desires for both men and women and be capable of performing and enjoying each.

My father spent my youth pounding into me that the world is not fair. He took it as a given and did his best to beat into me the realization that the world would never give me a fair chance, that anything I achieved would have to be achieved in spite of the unfairness of the world. As a young man who saw the world through rose colored glasses as  young people tend to do, I thought my father was beyond cynical. I came to realize how accurate his view of the world was. The world is indeed not fair.

But in spite of all the world has thrown at me and continues to throw at me, I am a happy man. After almost 50 years of marriage, I wouldn't dare try to speak for my wife in all things but I can speak with firm conviction that she too is happy. Our lives together have not been perfect, but they've been damn close. We've always chosen to fight the battles together rather than separately. We've made sure that our friendship never ended. Love as we defined it at age 16 or age 18 when we married never lasts for long. It always passes away rather quickly under the strain of marriage, the burdens of life and the realities of faults. But with a little effort and a little luck, a different definition of love slips in and takes over. It is not a love that make one feel giddy as does young love, but it is a love that is strong and abiding, resistant to the strains of time and the realities of personal faults.

My wife and I, thank god, do not love each other as we did at 16 years of age or 18 years of age. If that love had been all we had, we would have long since gone our separate ways. No, we love each other in a wiser way, a more thankful way, a more objective way; and certainly, a more abiding way. It's not as romantic as young love for sure, but its much more resilient.

If you are a woman in love with a bisexual man, you have a hard task in front of you to make it work, but you can make it work if the two of you are willing to do it. Many couples like my wife and I have made it work before you.

If you are a woman in love with a homosexual man, you have even a harder task in front of you to make it work. Frankly, the odds are against you. You will have to find something in your marriage that means enough to you to stay other than an emotional commitment from him. Can there be real happiness in such a marriage? I think it possible no matter how unlikely. Just don't settle for the devil you know in fear of the devil you don't know. Make sure if you settle, you settle on some kind of arrangement with which you are truly happy.

Best wishes to all of you who struggle with mixed orientation marriages. You are not alone. There is a real hope for happiness for each of you. Remember though that happiness may be on the other side of some very difficult decisions.

Jack Scott


  1. JS,

    Your post addresses a good many issues that I wish I had considered a few years ago before separating from my wife. I did not believe she could want to be with me once I told her I was into men. Since I was more bisexual, reading your post makes me feel kind of bad in a way that I didn't try to explore saving my marriage with my wife.

    Instead, I pushed her away, after just a little joint counseling. Even if I was right in my suspicion that she would never forgive me deep down if we managed to stay together, I feel guilty that I didn't allow for exploring that option. Despite her strong religious beliefs and black & white view of the world, I wonder if she would have been one of those wives who would have tolerated me having a special friend to keep our marriage together.

    Although I have very limited interactions with her, she seems like those 2 ex-wives whose lives were destroyed by not accepting the reality. Plus my adult son has nothing to do with me (he lives with her).

    That said I've got a wonderful male partner and we love each other a lot, so it has turned out fine for me.

    Thanks for your posting and hope that lots of married guys will consider it carefully.

    1. jS, thanks for your letter. Guys such as yourself are exactly why I write this blog. The subject matter is something that cannot easily be discussed among friends, even very good friends, thus leaving guys with no one to turn to.

      My hope is that by covering all the complexities that exist in a mixed orientation marriage in this blog will give men such as yourself a leg to stand on in making the many decisions that must be made.

      I'm sorry you did not find help before you ended your marriage. I hope your son can one day come around to understanding your plight and forgiving you. Chances are he may eventually have his own demons to fight.

      I'm happy you have found a partner with whom you are happy and fulfilled.

      Best wishes for continued happiness.

      Jack Scott

  2. I appreciate what you have written and agree with a lot of it. I recently found out about my husbands infidelity and bisexuality. He did choose to tell me rather than just allow our crumbling marriage continue to disintegrate. His secret was making it nearly impossible to continue. I appreciate the honesty. I knew something was wrong but did not know what. I can trace our marriage troubles directly to his internet interactions. I think men need to give their wives a chance and tell them the truth. Whether or not we make is yet to be determined, but our chance of remaining friends has soared. When he first told me part of my reaction was relief that it wasn't just something that I was doing to make him hate me. We have a closer relationship than we have in years, but still haven't figured out how to arrange things. My fear of contacting something from him may make this unworkable.
    I also agree that you should limit who you tell. However, I needed someone to talk to. I chose someone who is not local. You just cant pull it back once it is out. My friends have been supportive, but their husbands don't see why I would stay. We are almost empty nesters and have been together more than 24 years. I was preparing myself mentally to leave once our youngest left before he told me. For several years he did not treat me well and worst of it is, I am not sure he realized just how much he hurt me. He seems surprised when I tell him. You may think you are doing such a great job at keeping things hidden and everything going, but keeping something like this a secret from your partner is not possible unless you are someone who travels a lot and are a really comfortable liar.
    I am writing since you asked to hear from more women. I don't normally respond to things I read. I just think that although it may be painful to hear, most women would rather hear it from their spouse rather than to hear it some other way. It also may help them to understand things that didn't make sense. I also suggest marital counseling. We only recently went to counseling but that was what finally brought this to light. We kept getting to. a certain point then would get stuck until he opened up. Btw don't spring it on your wife at a counseling session, but do it privately!
    Thanks for trying to understand the wife's view. Thee is little for women that does not say "your marriage will fail, he's really gay". Most are full of vitriol, and I really find that to be less than helpful unless I feel like just being angry and resentful. That doesn't help me or make me feel any better.
    Best to you and to your incredible wife.

    1. Anonymous, thanks for a very helpful letter. The more women I talk to, including my own wife, the more I find that a woman's intuition is a very powerful part of her. It seems most women, for no apparent reason they can point to, often know something is wrong.

      I think the reason for this is the husband's sense of guilt, his anger at himself and his regret that he cannot rid himself of his urges. All these emotions are so powerful and yet bottled up inside him that an intuitive wife picks up on it in spite of his best attempts to hide it.

      I also appreciate your sharing your insight that you had to have someone to talk to and chose someone out of town. I think that was a great way for you to handle that need. Strange as it may seem to you (and the other women reading this) as a male, I guess I never picked up on the fact that a number of women might be using me as the "someone" they could talk to. I guess at some level I knew that, but I just had never thought of it in a clear way. I guess the only thing I would add is that women who choose someone to talk to should make sure it is someone who will not be given information that can end up using it to exacerbate the situation. By choosing someone who was not local, you took care of that. The other thing is, in talking it over, the woman should keep in mind that it is she who must make the decisions. She can discuss it with others but she must ultimately be sure she is making the decisions she wants to make, not the decisions her confidant may want her to make.

      I agree with you that counseling is appropriate. I would only add that counseling can only be effective when a person wants to be counseled. A person who does not want to be counseled is wasting his/her time and money. Some counselors will let you waste these things for quite some time. My wife usually stops seeing clients when she sees that they really do not want to be counseled.

      I also appreciate your comment that most women would rather hear about the problem from their husband than to find it out on their own. This makes sense to me. It won't be pleasant either way, but being guided into knowledge of the problem in a sensitive manner is likely to avoid some of the bitterness of having it dumped on one's wife when she finds out.

      All of your points are worthwhile, but the last one is incredibly important. Though anger will come along with resentment, letting ones self vill with vitriol and then hold onto it with a vengeance is not helpful to the husband, the wife or other family members. In fact, it is ultimately very harmful to everyone, most of all the person who is holding the vitriol.

      Even the woman who decides upon divorce will be better served by forgiving her husband for what he could not change than by holding onto resentment and self pity for the rest of her life.

      Thanks for your letter. I really appreciate it.

      Jack Scott

  3. Jack,
    Thank you for this post, you are showing how brave you are once again! You have been a great help to me and I appreciate your willingness to tackle the wives' issues. In fact, I owe you an email and will get back to you later! I just wrote a way too long reply to a post on New Day New Life's blog that says a lot about how a wife can react after being told. It's not an easy road, but I agree that no knee jerk reactions should be made. I also agree with the lady above that the wife has to have at least one person to tell and together with her husband they can probably figure out a "safe" person. Keeping the new information completely to herself will drive her insane, and since the husband is the only one she can talk to about it, he will end up going insane as well. :-) She needs at least one person who can remind her to think about what she needs from her marriage, and not automatically agree to anything out of fear of separation. Disclosure is a roller coaster ride, and you need someone to be there for the low parts.

    I think you are hearing from more women wanting to save their marriages because 1) More people have become educated that sexual orientation is not a choice and thus see that they may want to try and make some allowances rather than expect the desires to go away; 2) A lot of us are products of divorce which became more commonplace in the 1970's and vowed we would never put our children through the hell we went through - I personally believe my parents' divorce changed the trajectory of my life, it was that disruptive; 3) The idea that people can have alternative relationships and not everyone is a monogamous heterosexual couple seems to be more accepted now as well. TV shows and movies reflect this; and finally 4) The internet - any time we can't figure something out we google it and now women can read about marriages that haven't ended, and understand the continuum of sexual orientation and connect with others in our same situation in yahoo groups like 'alternative paths" and "MMOMW" (making mixed orientation marriages work) - not just the groups that offer the advice "run like your hair is on fire". (Technically speaking, if your hair IS on fire, you should stop, drop and roll - but that's beside the point)

    All the Best! xox

    1. Well Iris, I don't know how brave I am, but as you must surely know, you are one of the women who made this particular piece necessary. My recent contacts with several incredible women such as yourself have left me with little choice but to try to address this matter as it relates to wives in as fair a manner as I can with my being a bisexual male myself.

      I look forward to hearing from you personally.

      You make an excellent point that, as a man, I can appreciate when you say that a woman not choosing to talk to someone she trusts will drive herself crazy and then she will drive her husband crazy. I have to admit I hadn't thought of that particular angle.

      Your four points concerning the reasons I may be hearing from more women are very interesting and insightful. They seem to be right on target to me though I must admit I had never really thought of them until you voiced them. Thanks so much for doing so.

      Your suggestion that women should be careful to consider a variety of advice rather than just take advice from the "groups that offer the advice 'run like your hair is on fire,'" is right on target.

      I could name, but I won't, groups by a couple of wives who have been stung my their own ex husbands who have made a career out of spreading their own hate, hurt and desire for revenge on all men to as many women as possible. These women are not trying to be helpful. They are trying to carry out a personal agenda.

      Perhaps, given your particular business background Iris, you should consider creating a blog that is a bit more even handed for women. It could be a real service though I know time for you is a luxury.

      Thanks for your letter. I'm still wishing you and yours the best.

      Jack Scott

  4. And just to finish....

    Here is part of what I wrote in my reply to the other blog - it is about how my husband was upset about our decreasing sex life and I believe felt this lack of sex was "making" him have stronger attractions for men because in the past, sex with me could keep them at bay:

    "For my part, it was difficult to summon up sexual desire for a man who was increasingly blaming me for everything that went wrong in his life. I could feel the silent resentment a mile away. I was an annoyance to him, and I honestly couldn't figure out why it was starting to feel like he hated me. To desire sex, my brain needs to be stimulated by a feeling of connection - and all I knew was that it wasn't feeling right to have sex with a guy who was not happy with me and that there was this giant invisible wall blocking me from him - no connection. Lies and omissions block intimacy. I needed intimacy to feel the desire for sex. It was a vicious cycle.

    After he told me about his unwanted SSA feelings, his resentment towards me went away for the most part very quickly - I think he was surprised I felt compassion for him and didn't get angry (I didn't have to deal with infidelity issues, so that probably helped). How could I be angry about something he didn't choose and has done everything he can to get rid of?

    As soon as I felt his anger melt away and this wall of secrecy and omissions between us fall down, my sexual desire for him came rushing back literally overnight. That was great at first and we took full advantage, but then it wasn't, as no matter how he tried, the other desires kept coming back. He could have all the sex with me he wanted now, but it didn't matter - the male desires were there as much as ever and straight sex didn't lessen them anymore like it used to. I think he realized then that I wasn't "making" him more gay with our periods of infrequent sex - he just couldn't push the thoughts away any more. They were there to stay.

    As sad as I am to be in this situation that is still evolving, I am grateful that the invisible wall is gone and that I've gotten to know so much more of my husband's soul than many wives will ever know about their husbands'. Our love is real - our friendship is real - but I am all too aware that while that may sustain us for awhile longer, it probably won't be enough forever - the jury is still out and this is a slow process. I love this man too much to hold him back from trying to find the kind of romantic love I've been feeling for 15 years. And naturally, I do have anger sometimes, it is part of the grieving process, but my anger is more at the situation, than the person. I am frustrated about what can't be changed, angry at what our children may have to go through emotionally (separation/divorce possibly) and sad about having to give up certain dreams I had for our future."


    1. Thanks for this addendum Iris. You make a very good point. Men are much different from women when it comes to being turned on.

      Most men, especially the younger they are, can and are turned on by just about anything including the fact that it happens to be Tuesday. For women it is much different. Women have to feel they are desired. They want to be wooed and seduced. They want to feel they are irresistible to their husbands. The fact that it happens to be Tuesday means nothing to a woman.

      You also make a very good point when you talk about the "honeymoon" period after he told you. It is a very common thing. But as you point out it always is short lived. There can be many reasons why it is short lived but one is the fact that, as you point out, no amount of even great heterosexual sex can satisfy the desire for male/male sex, even for a bisexual man. I personally know this to be true. I am blessed with a wife who for over 40 years of marriage kept our sex life not only interesting and inviting but HOT! She could and did regularly rock my world! I needed that. I enjoyed that. It did not, however, mitigate the need for male/male sex.

      And I'll tell you a secret. My wife is by far, the best sexual partner I've ever had. No man could match her or even come close. Yet the desire for male/male sex is strong. And I think, in fact I know, that the desire for male/male sex is not just the desire for sex, it is the desire for a buddy with whom I can share what I want to share and who will understand anything I want to share as only another male can do. With my cancer, sex is less and less an issue in my life; but I do not want to give up my wife and I do not want to give up my buddy simply because my sexual prowess is nothing like it use to be. That is a very very important thing for a woman who is dealing with a bisexual husband to consider.

      Your point about how a woman responds to sex brings out something I need to say to men. There is a seeming phenomenon that causes men to become increasingly interested in other men as they grow older. This is not really a phenomenon at all. It is biological. As I pointed out above, a young man will have sex with almost anyone at anytime. He is perpetually horny. This perpetual horniness often masks the bisexual man's desire for other men. Sometimes it will even mask the desire of a homosexual man for other men for a time. But as a man grows older and his sexual response begins to wane, the desires for other types of sex, the desires that have always been there but which have been masked by his frequent and readily available sex with his wife, begin to take hold within him more and more. It's not that men become bisexual as they age. It is rather that the mask begins to fall away.

      I am very much interested in your personal situation with your husband. I know you love him. I know he loves you. I know there are ties between you that transcend even your love. Yet like you, I have no idea if it will ultimately be enough.

      If I were to make a prediction I would have to honestly say it does not all depend on you. Some of it, of course, depends on him. But to the extent that you can resolve your anger and keep it truly at bay, to the extent that you can cover your grief with hope for the future and to the extent that you can concentrate on the good that is still a part of your marriage rather than the frustration, I believe the odds increase in your favor.

      Best wishes to you Iris.

      Jack scott

  5. Jack...

    I'm a fairly new reader and I have to tell you that your response to Iris's addendum above has moved me to write.

    As background, I'm 64 and was born and raised in a small town in the northeast. Boys were allowed to run wild, while girls were kept close to mom. I don't remember wearing a swimsuit until I was five or six so nudity was common among boys my age. My first sex partners were these same boys. My first "boyfriend" was the brother of my first girlfriend. I never had sex with her but did with him.

    I didn't have sex with a woman until College. At the same time I was in a long term same sex partnership that began in my first weeks at school and lasted almost seven years. I ended our relationship when he became engaged.

    The next nine years were a series of short relationships and one night stands with men (predominately) and women. I met my future wife when I was 34. She was 32 and engaged to a friend. She is the brightest woman I've ever known and my reaction was damn, I finally meet a woman I could love and live with and she's with someone else...

    As fate would have it he died ten days later. I was there for her while she grieved and recovered from her loss and after three years we became lovers.

    She never asked for details, but she knew from the beginning about my past. I was lucky during the start of the HIV-Aids epidemic and never became infected.

    We became engaged in 1986 and will celebrate our 25th Anniversary in June. We have a daughter in College and are coping with empty nest and the challenges of aging.

    A year ago, I wouldn't have bet that we would be together today. I was sick, and scared and shut down. She was angry and scared and finishing the worst year in her teaching career and planning to divorce me. We observed our 24th Anniversary by not talking to each other on June 20th. On the 21st my cousin died. On the 22nd our daughter turned 18. On the 23rd my sister died, on the 26th our daughter graduated from High School. June 30th we were in upstate NY for my cousin's funeral. On July 1st we were in Maine for a short reunion and on July 7th we were on a plane to Florida for my sister's Funeral. After returning home we agreed to a six month trial. She took some time for herself while I packed for a two week camping trip with friends (of mine).

    After I returned home, I saw my MD and wouldn't leave until he arranged a huge barrage of tests to try and solve what was wrong with me physically.

    We took our daughter to College and my wife went off to New England for more separation R and R. The test results came in and the Doc told me I had the worst case of hormone imbalance his practice had seen. He started treatment. My depression lessened. I've lost 37 pounds. My sex drive is coming back.

    Things improved slowly and in January we had a breakthrough while driving home after delivering our daughter to the airport. My wife asked out of the blue about my College girlfriend. I told her that Carol was not really a girlfriend. She said no not her Chris. I looked at her and said Chris was my male partner.

    I thought she's misremembered what I told her for 25 years. I'm dead meat. She looked at me and said do you ever think about getting back together? I think you need a man in your life.

    That's were we are now. Re-inventing and re-defining our relationship. We're happier than we've been in a while. She's experimenting with Eastern religions and philosophy.

    A man I've known for a while, asked for my story when we were camping with a group in March. He said, "... you're interesting and your story must be a page turner". I told him I had to talk to my wife. Her response was "...go for it, he sounds interested". I'll be seeing him next month.


  6. After 20 years of marriage, my wife asked me if I was happy - I am the type that you should NEVER ask a question of that you don't want to hear the answer to. I wasn't 100% happy, but had 2 kids in college; a beautiful house in north Texas; and I was professionally successful. I had no male friends other than spouses of her friends. So my unhappiness turned into sarcasm, bitchiness and, my personal favorite... withholding sex.

    Now, she knew of my bisexual past in high school - after several hours and several bottles of wine, we were being brutally honest with each other. How could she not be happy?! This was about me!

    So with no distractions from kids, work, or family... we started to talk... TO each other, not at each other. We listened and found that she was ok with my bisexuality, but I couldn't do it behind her back. Seems she had a willingness to venture into the world of threesomes and wanted another man to join US.

    We've since met a great guy, professional, funny, and very easy to look at. We share him together weekly - certainly not something we could have done years before, but it's right for us now. I know I'm probably luckier than most - but without that initial conversation, our marriage would have never survived.

    And as a bonus, I now have a workout partner; someone to catch a ball game with; and someone to grab a drink with when I've had one of those days.

    Thank God for women who get it and are willing to discuss it openly and thank you for putting your story out there. I hope you know it is doing a lot of good!

    1. Anonymous, thanks for sharing this great comment about your experience. Even though I am out to my wife and our marriage remains strong and vibrant, I usually counsel other guys not to tell. It's is just so dang dangerous.

      However, your letter does illustrate very well the value that can come from telling the truth and from having a candid discussion with one's spouse.

      Sometimes getting thrown into the briar patch is just exactly what we want to happen. I am personally convinced, that my buddies have all been more about friendship and hanging out than about sex. The sex I've always had at home cannot be surpassed. But having a guy that knows me intimately that I can say anything to and enjoy anything with is one of the spices of life for me.

      Seems like it is for you too. Congratulations on figuring it out and congratulations to your wife for getting it.

      Jack Scott

  7. I married my husband in part BECAUSE he is bisexual. He could admit his SSA. He could deal with it. He could deal with the part of me that wants him as a man wants a man (strap on play mostly, but I'm also a very strong and engineering-minded/tool-using woman). Now we have a second man in our marriage, and I've never been happier no matter whether we're in various twos or a blissful three. Bi men, read up on polyamory/polyrelating. Your life begins when you are honest with the one(s) you love.


I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott