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First Post ... Guts Spilt ... Sorry For The Mess
 
# 1 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 11:44
 
 
Hello Gaire ... Hi all ... this is a first for me. Although, after 8 years of struggle, it's not before it's time. Having been reading Gaire posts here (and the wealth of wisdom therein) for the last while, I've decided to come here for other's perspectives on my situation.

Without blathering on too much, I've been in a relationship for the last 8 years with a most fantastic woman. But it hasn't stopped me from thinking that I might be gay from the first year of my going out with her. This happened all of a slap one night when we were chatting (under the influence) and it hasn't left me since. The last 7 years have had me in turmoil with dreams of visitations, meeting gay people in my dreams (nothing sexual) and me running away, questioning myself and my notion of whether I understood what love is at all (have I been going out with her as a smoke screen for my true sexuality? using her rather than loving her proper?)and ending up with a stint in a mental hospital last year for 10 days.

I'm now suffereing from nightmares that I think may have been brought on from not listenting to my self enough and maybe from repressing my sexuality so much it's came back and bit me on the arse (for want of a better analogy).

I don't want to spew all on here, rather, hope that there may be a little bit of light at the end of this tunnel and am looking to meet other people who have had to deal with these decisions / life challenges and help me see that there is positivity at the end of it all.

It breaks my heart to think that I've failed my fiancee (yes we're engaged), and half the reason I didn't leave was that she's had her fill of agony throughout the years too - from being raped 3 times and other unfortunates, I felt that I couldn't hurt her any further ...

Thanks for reading this and any advice would be welcome. Again ... sorry for the mess
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# 2 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 11:47
 
 
welcome to gaire - great first post

seven years is a hell of a long time to be going around with this stuff in ur head - have u managed to confide ur feelings with anyone, friend, therapist, was it useful, what was their reaction?

maybe u feel obligated to her - u could still love her even if u were gay

what makes u think u could be gay in the first place?
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# 3 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 11:59
 
 
Hi there, Welcome to Gaire.

Have you explored it further? Where are you drawing support from?

Lots of us have gone down the road you have taken, and developed heterosexual relationships, you are not alone in this. I think there is a group in Outhouse who facilitate attached men exploring their sexuality, maybe other posters will know more about this. This link might help you:

http://www.gayswitchboard.ie/

Talking about this is the key.....

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# 4 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 12:17
 
 
Wow, thanks for the prompt reply ... To answer ..

have u managed to confide ur feelings with anyone, friend, therapist, was it useful

.. I didn't confide to any of my friends because I was reading a lot of Indian Spirituality at the time and (in my fooldardiness) thought that it was just a case of my balancing my feminine and masculine energies and that it was a 'test' that had been bestowed on me from on high (God complex I know - but didn't realise it at the time). I did eventually go to a therapist for a few sessions, but didn't really help much ... the ' ..and how do you feel about that?' line of questioning left me a tad disillusioned.

what makes u think u could be gay in the first place?

.. well, as previoulsy mentioned, we had a chat one night and I came back to a memory of me in school when I was 5 or 6 and I bumped into a New Boy in the playground ... I looked at him and an inexplicable feeling of awe and wonderousness came over me that I've never encountered since ... a feeling that made me go home and write his name on every page of one of those huge bumper colouring books you used to get at Christmas when you were small. I became besotted by him for how long I can't remember, I couldn't even muster enough gumshin to talk to him, just look at him from afar every day ... but I must've repressed it so much it took 30 years for it to resurface.

After that, I surmised that my going out with girls (I've always had a girlfriend since I was about 14, never been without one long enough to question otherwise) was me not dealing with this encounter properly. A few other things made sense too ... How I used to jest in my teenage years with me mates that "I'm Gay' ... I'd get a laugh, but maybe I was really just testing the waters for a reaction and never got the reaction I sought. Also, (when I was young again), me and a friend used to 'compare willies' and I used to get a 'childhood high' from this (accompanied by a 'childhood guilt' for having done it in the first place and vowing to never do it again.

And you're probably right LimkCher, I do feel obligated to her in some way ... I don't want to let her down (she's fairly disillusioned with 'Men' already) ...

Thanks for the reply ...
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# 5 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 12:31
 
 
i can see why u are confused - realistically ur only gay experiences or thoughts have been mostly innocent youth stuff - nothing very concrete - i've had crushes on girls growing up, certainly didn't mean i was straight...

i am a big fan of therapy, be it personal, professional or with close friends - i don't want to sound selfish but right now ur priority should be u and not ur fiancee - just for a bit - give urself space, out of respect for both u and ur fiancee.

gay switchboards and groups can be invaluable resource wise, as is the net, i like self help books so maybe try reading a few at ur own pace? i also think having stable gay friends to talk to is priceless - for me it would have been much easier growing up.
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# 6 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 12:53
 
 
Do you feel a strong compulsion to be with a man sexually.
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# 7 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 12:54
 
 
HI occupanther,

firstly Welcome and I'm glad you've had the courage today to post! As the others have said the best option is to speak to someone about how your feeling and look after yourself first. If your good to you then you will be good to your partner. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I'm sure the post you've had so far have will help.( at least to point you in the direction) Don't bottle it up and continue to ask questions.

Best of luck

Sin é
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# 8 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 13:28
 
 
Hi Occupanther . I'm of an opinion that I could happily settle down with a woman, but i'd have to tell her that I felt a bit gay as well .
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# 9 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 13:36
 
 
Hi 44Paul ... on a sexual level not really, I've thouight about it alright, and I must admit, I read a book by Kenzeburo Oe which had a homosexual encounter in it and I did find myself getting aroused somewhat (was freaked out and surprised at that at the time). It's just that I've never really thought about it too much since .. I've been thinking more on the level of how do I know I'm telling the truth to people when I'm unsure myself ..has it hindered me as a person and if so what can I do to rectify this?

I do admire men and am comfortable around them, I just have this fear that I've been using women all this time rather than loving them ... and hence has my concept of love been screwed from an early age? It's as if when I'm saying 'I love you' I'm really saying, "Stay with me so I won't be found out" ... It's upset me somewhat because it's caused me to question whether any of my motives have been made on a sound basis throught my lfe and I won't have any answers until I find out for definite whether I feel better in the company of men than women ...

LimkCher, I've never had the opportunity to talk to any gay friends / people about this so far ... hence my positng here.

Thanks for your replies so far ... much appreciated
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# 10 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 14:10
 
 
Thanks for the info Skyline ... I work not too far from the Outhouse, so might pop down there sometime and see what's on the agenda ... I've been on their website before but courage failed me as to heading along to any of the groups before ..
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# 11 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 14:14
 
 
Hi Occupanther, firstly well done on starting some type of communication on how you're feeling. This might just be a message board, but at least you're offloading some things which are clearly troubling you.

If you had a gay experience it might be easier for you to deal with the situation, but because it's just your emotions and feelings, it can be a bit harder to understand. Obviously the last thing you want is to enter into marriage and have a complete breakdown when the pressure gets too much. You'll hurt you and your girlfriend twice as much then.

There have been many guys in your position, I know of two such men who married and had kids, believing that once married and settled that the confused feelings would pass and everything would be ok. Unfortunately it doesn't work like that and in the case of the two guys I know, they both came clean to their wives and had to get divorced etc.

You might feel quite trapped right now, but it would be a lot worse if you were to marry while this confused. My advice to you would be to talk to a councillor or the gay switch board.

Life is short, you might think 8 years is a long time to just walk away from a relationship, but you are potentially looking at spending the rest of your life with this person. Both you and her deserve to be happy. If you were to leave your fiance tomorrow you would both be hurt for a few months, but you will move on with your life.

Think carefully before you make any decisions and do try talk to someone. You might be gay, you might be straight, you might even be bisexual. Whoever you are, you have the rest of your life ahead of you. Be happy.
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# 12 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 14:56
 
 
Hi CeeDee ... you speak the truth y'know? The last thing I want is to be another divorcee with another life (Hers) ruined in the process ... this is why I feel that this part of me warrants exploration before I go any further ...

How should that exploration manifest? Well, baby steps I suppose, and maybe exploration as in conversing with others in the same position? Sharing and understanding that I'm not alone being in this position and seeing if there's a way to reconcile this within, before I can commit in the future.

As Sin_e said "If your good to you then you will be good to your partner" ... it's happiness that counts in the long run.

It's a somewhat lonely road at present, but thanks for giving me an initial outlet

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# 13 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 16:22
 
 
Occupanther,

Your situation is very difficult, and there is no easy answer.
But I am not known for loosing myself in niceties and compassionate feel good mood enhancers.
So if you are just looking for sympathy, stop reading now and agree with the slapping I am about to take just for giving you my point of view on your situation.
If you are seeking a genuine and experienced point of view, that may be wrong or right, feel free to keep reading.

To me your situation is simple. What is not simple is the actions you have to take.
I know what I would do, but it can take its toll. What is hard is taking the decision to act. You have started by asking for advice.

You have to accept that the best option may lead to a split. In which case the split can only be delayed, not avoided.
But it can also lead to an infinitely stronger relationship, and a happy marriage.

1-
If you are in love with your fiancée, she needs to know.

Simple as.

The question, is “what is it that is to be known”?

2-
If you are in love with a person, it does not matter what your fantasies are: thou shall not cheat.

Cheating = having a sexual or emotional relationship with someone else.
And let no one come and tell me it is different if you are “bi-sexual”. Straights or Gays may argue attraction for another person too for cheating, it does not make it right.

3-
If you are going to marry her, she needs to know about your fantasies.

They exist: do not deny them.
If she cannot accept it, you are better off ending it. Simple as.
It is irrelevant whether or not you will act on it.
It is actually more likely you will actually cheat on her if she does not know.

4-
If she is in love with you, she deserve to know who is the real you
, otherwise she is in love with an illusion. In which case you would indeed be using her.
And if she is in love with the real you, she will be able to marry you, knowing your fantasies.
Or she will prefer to remain good friends. She is better off then. Think about her too.

5-
If after telling her it turns out you cannot remain lovers:
you are better off remaining friends.

6-
If you stay together after all. You will not cheat.

It means she loves you even more than you thought.
But you can discuss your fantasies, and you can agree to experiment with her approval. That is not cheating.
As long as you accept her own fantasies too.

7-
It is irrelevant whether or not you are “actually gay”. That means nothing.

“Acting on it” or not is not the point: she needs to know of the possibilities.
Just like she needs to know if you have a rare genetic disease that may mean it will be near impossible to have a child.
You have no right to trap her because of your doubts.

8-
To summarize:

- You have to discuss it with her.
- You also have to agree whether or not you will act on it, with her approval.
- You can also agree how else you can experiment (e.g., porn, alone or shared)
- She may refuse it: you should have the guts to break it, otherwise you will end up cheating on your wife.
- She may accept it, and agree with you how it will work. That may go as far as an open relationship or swinging and threesomes.
- You own her to tell her.
- You have no valid reason to not tell: it is her business because it is your business. That is what love means. Anything less is not love.
- She owes you nothing.
- Don’t have a child before you are both 100% comfortable with the nature of and arrangements around your sexuality.
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# 14 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 16:30
 
 
Just to add that I agree with what others have said about support groups and all.
But you cannot a) be in love and b) explore your sexuality without her knowing.

True love cannot separate your sexuality and your true love.
She cannot be kept apart, as the enemy, while someone else will know things about her sexuality (by proxy) that she does not know.

Do you value your friends or strangers more than your fiancée?
No! So give her credit.

It also means that you are not the one that gets "to leave", as you have been thinking of doing.
First tell her, and then she is the one who decides what to do.
And then it is your turn to confirm that is what you want to do.
Again, give her credit.

(Note: Therapist do not count)
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# 15 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 16:39
 
 
Hi Blah .. Thanks for the input ... but I forgot to mention in my previous posts that I have told her before about my situation. We've spoken about it and it's more me than her that is at fault for letting the situation get to where it is ...

Granted the conversations we've had created more doubt in my mind than clearing anything up, and it seems that we eventually shirked at bringing up the issue any more due to the hurt and anguish that was occurring whenever we did ... it's a bit of a pickle to say the least.

I'll be heading home now for the day, and I'm thinking of telling her that I've been sought external opinion from Gaire, that I'm beginning to explore this once and for all for the benefit of us both ... wish me luck.

Will report back with updates ... thanks again all.
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