(A read for men)
“Did I not see the signs?”, “What did I miss?”, “When did this happen?”, “But we have children! Did I make her a lesbian?” Surely all these questions have come to anyone’s mind when faced with their partner’s “new” sexuality. And sure as hell, the Hell you will be or you are going through can literally kill a more unstable human being.
“Married with children” or not, finding out that the person next to you, the person you trusted with your life is actually someone else, not that sweet girl you married, must be as painful as no other loss because in this situation you lose so much: the family, the way of life you have been used to, you are left out of the important decision-making, even those decisions regarding the kids are no longer you couple’s domain.
There is a third person and that person is a woman on top of everything.
Remember, you are not Ross from “Friends” and you might not have so many devoted and supportive friends. The most striking case I have personally encountered was a family that was quite close to me – married for over 17 years with two teenage boys. He was the one I decided to stick with.
I understood his anger – she had been hiding the truth for so long and openly lying. At that time I didn’t think or want to know why. I understood his frustration – his whole life was shattered and he was caught in a cage. At 40 with and with nowhere to go, no one to tell. It was a shame to tell someone that he had been left in the cold for a 27-year old woman.
In fact, he wasn’t even left, because his wife wanted them to stay together till the kids move out and to keep the relationship with the other woman. So, if he wanted to have a sexual or any other relationship, it was impossible for him because for keeping up appearances and mostly because of their parents they played the happily married couple they had always been.
In this unpleasant situation, you can do one thing – move on. There is the option where you can stay married (or live together if you are in a partnership), but then there comes the problem of you being unable to have a new, healthy relationship. It will be a big, fat lie for the kids’ sake. Separation is the better option. You will get to see the children as much as you want to – if your wife is a caring mother, she cannot deprive them of you.
Stay with your pain as long as you need to. Go through all the phases of denial, anger, resentment, distress. Talk to close friends, talk to a specialist, if you must, and eventually, you will come to terms with the fact that it’s separation like any other, and what you can do is be supportive of your ex-wife. When you start thinking logically and reasonably, you will understand that she had no other choice.
In many cases, people suppress their true sexuality, especially women, and do what society expects of them – get married, have children, be a wife, and a mother. But you can’t fight nature all the time and be miserable. Probably she is scared too, probably she feels the burden of losing you, probably she misses you, too.
I’m not saying you should be friends any time soon after the truth comes out, that your ego will heal quickly, but one day you might be able to talk to her like the close friends you were while you were together. You will still be the father of your children and it’s never too late to start all over. I have seen it so many times and it has been better than before if the truth is told on time.
Besides, didn’t you really see the signs? Weren’t her headaches way too frequent? How regular was your sex life, but truly? There is nothing dramatic if your wife falls for another woman and starts experimenting with sex. Who knows, it might be just a phase and if you want to, you can stick around a bit longer and help her through her confusion. Believe me, she is more terrified than you are.
Set your priorities and work on that list. If it’s too much to take, move away, change your job, but never burn the bridges – you might need to go back one day for one reason or another. If the topic is taboo for your families, don’t tell them the whole truth, inform them politely.
After all, over 41% of first marriages and more than 10% of second marriages end in divorce. You are just one of those couples. Why and who your wife left the marital bed for, is none of other people’s business.