Sunday, November 25, 2012

Why sex with men is very different than sex with women

In my last post I wrote about a bisexual woman who is questioning her bisexual boyfriend's hook-up habit.  He likes to spend hours at a local park giving blow jobs to strangers.

Although she believes it's important to give him the freedom to explore and enjoy his sexuality, she can't help but notice that the intensity and frequency of sex he has with men is much greater than what they have together.  That's left her wondering, "Why is sex with men so much better than sex with me?"

After telling her story, she asked seven questions that she hoped would help her understand why her boyfriend loves hooking-up with men so much.  Those questions were:

How is sex with men different than sex with women?
How is sex with men more exciting than sex with me?
Why can't he cum that many times with me? We have sex a max of 2x a day.
Can anyone explain more about the 'mindset'?
Is he addicted to this behavior?
Will he ever stop?
How should I feel about it? I want to be accepting, but emotionally it hurts.

I thought she'd get some great answers from readers, and she did, but they weren't the kind of answers she was expecting.  Nearly every comment focused on the dangers of her boyfriend's behavior and not on his motivation for taking such big risks.  She knows unprotected sex, even oral sex, is dangerous.  What she can't understand is why he seems to desire hook-up sex with men much more intently than he desires meaningful sex with her.  The dangers make his behavior all the more baffling.  As a couple they have regular, terrific sex.  Why does he need to seek-out anonymous sex in a park??

I'm sure others can provide better answers than I can, but here's my two cents:

How is sex with men different than sex with women?

Sex with men is primal.  It's a very physical experience where getting hot and sweaty bathes both your body and your psyche in a hyper-masculine aura.  As you absorb your partner's male energy from the outside in, it enhances your masculinity in a way that sex with a woman can't.

Connecting with a woman is very different.  It's much more an emotional experience than a primal one.  Great sex with a woman is sensual and, unlike sex with a man, warms from the inside out.  It feels right to be open and vulnerable with a woman whereas sex with a man is about strength and power.

How is sex with men more exciting than sex with me?

For a truly bisexual man, exciting sex is not dictated by gender, but by the partner and the circumstances.

Sex with someone new has the potential to be much more exciting than sex with someone you've been with for a while.  The element of the unknown makes every move, counter-move, reaction and counter-reaction invigorating and exciting.  Sex with someone you've been with for a while tends to follow a more predictable pattern and therefore is less exciting.

Hooking up in a public park adds an adrenaline boost to sex because of the possibility of getting caught.  That danger makes the encounters fast, furious and all the more primal.  Also, there's a predatory thrill that comes from nailing a complete stranger.  You see him, you want him, you seduce him, and you bring him to an earth-shattering orgasm.  It's quick, edgy and very exciting.
Why can't he cum that many times with me? We have sex a max of 2x a day.

A man's ability to cum multiple times is mostly a factor of two things.  One is age.  When we're young, the blood flows quickly and the refractory time (the recovery period after orgasm) is very short.  An 18 year old can easily cum 5 or 6 times in a matter of minutes, if so inspired.  Most 25 year olds might be able to cum 3 or 4 times in less than an hour.   As we age, we generally take longer and have fewer orgasms per session.

The other factor that affects a man's ability to cum multiple times is how excited we are.  Give us a parade of new and different partners to fuck and we can easily cum several more times in an hour than we normally could with one person.  Even someone we really like.

Can anyone explain more about the 'mindset'?

The mindset is a man's primal need to feed his masculinity, strength and power through sex with men.  Sex with women does not satisfy the same primal need.

Is he addicted to this behavior?

It's hard to know without talking to him.  Many men love hook-ups and focus on making them happen their entire lives.  Most men, however, eventually get bored with the same kind of hook-ups.  The length of time it takes for a man to get bored varies.  Some might get bored by the third time, others might not get bored for decades.

Given the intensity with which your boyfriend is pursuing these hook-ups, it doesn't seem likely that he'll change his behavior anytime soon.  However, an arrest or catching a sexually transmitted disease might change his attitude very quickly.

Will he ever stop?

Some day, maybe.  Based on what you've said, it seems unlikely to be soon.

How should I feel about it? I want to be accepting, but emotionally it hurts.

Your boyfriend wants the freedom to hook-up as much as he likes and he wants you to be understanding of that habit.  What you can't forget is that your relationship is one of equals.  His happiness is no more important than yours.

It appears that you haven't been entirely honest with him about your feelings.  While it's relationship-appropriate to be open-minded and supportive, it's also possible to be too accommodating.  There's a fine line between being supportive and being a doormat and it's not always obvious where that line is.  In my opinion, you've crossed it.

My advice is to have a heart-to-heart conversation with him.  Tell him how you feel and see how he reacts.  If he makes little or no effort to address your concerns that's proof that the hook-ups are more important to him than you are.  Alternatively, if he's willing to stop the hook-ups, that's proof that he really does care about you.

There are a lot of great men out there who would love to have a fun, open-minded bisexual girlfriend.  You should be with someone who genuinely values you as a person and not as a doormat.  Both you and your boyfriend need to remember that "actions count more than words."


Those are my answers to the girlfriend's questions.  I think most people would agree with most of what I've said. 

The interesting part, and the part that I've never really discussed with anyone, is what it feels like to have good sex with an anonymous man versus having good sex with the woman you love.  I'd be grateful if ya'll could add your own explanation of the difference in the comment box below.  Maybe I'm way off on the primal-thing or on outside-in vs. inside-out?  Basically, I'd like to know whether I'm a freak or not.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"How is sex with men more exciting than sex with me?"

A few days ago a woman asked for my opinion about her bisexual boyfriend's desire to hook-up with other men.  Because I'm definitely more attracted to men than women, I thought she (and other women) would benefit by hearing responses from a variety of men.  Please read what she said and then take a minute to answer her questions in the comment box below.  Thank you!
I am a very open-minded bisexual woman. Sexually I am very experienced and really enjoy swinging with my boyfriend and couples. 
My boyfriend is also bisexual.  He often goes to a nearby park to have sex with other men. They meet each other in the bushes and play. I encourage him to be himself, because I believe that is the only way to have a true, loving relationship with another person. My boyfriend tells me about it and says that it's just an urge he has sometimes and it has nothing to do with our relationship.

He is usually a bottom with men in these situations and he tells me that he is usually just sucking cock and jerking off. He says is is always safe and can be there for 3 or 4 hours and cum multiple times.

I've done a lot of searching on the web to find some advice on how to handle my feelings about this. On one hand I am so glad that he shares this with me and feels free to talk to me about anything.
On the other hand, I feel like he is going out to get something he can get at home. I also don't understand what is so exciting about going to a park and sucking many guys' cocks. Also, I can't compete with them, I don't have a cock, so I feel like there is some way I can't satisfy him. He tells me that I am the best and most exciting sex partner he's ever had, but still insists on going to the cruising spot.

I understand that men and women think differently about sex. I found something today, written by a bisexual man, that came closer to explaining it better than I've ever heard before: "I still remember what was in my head as I made dates to meet men. I remember what it's like to enjoy raw masculine sex. I know the mindset. I know how to handle the guilt. And most importantly, when the connection was good I felt like a much more complete man."

I would have loved if this guy had said more about this, but he didn't, so now I have unanswered questions for you:

How is sex with men different than sex with women?
How is sex with men more exciting than sex with me?
Why can't he cum that many times with me? We have sex a max of 2x a day.
Can anyone explain more about the 'mindset'?
Is he addicted to this behavior?
Will he ever stop?
How should I feel about it? I want to be accepting, but emotionally it hurts.

I'd appreciate any real advice especially from straight men that do this sort of thing. I don't judge and would love to get your input.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Open Marriage or Divorce: "It's better to be divorced."

Helen and I exchanged a few emails about our lives and circumstances.  She's the young woman I quoted in my last post, the one who wrote about her parents' open marriage.

At the time of our conversation I was thinking about coming out to my kids, so we talked about that.  We also talked about the reasons why many married men "on the down-low" have no desire to come out.  On that subject, Helen realized something new:
You made me realize that my mother and my father's family wanted him in the closet at least as badly as he wanted to be there too.  In fact, he might have felt he was doing the right thing by not living openly.  He probably felt like he was protecting them.  
This is a revelation to me, and I don't know why I didn't see it before.
 On the subject of hiding same-sex attractions from one's children, Helen had this to say:
I glanced at "[Another blog]," and couldn't help but compare the two of you.  
The author of that blog wrote something to the effect that he hopes his kids never find out that he's a liar and a cheat.  
He's kidding himself.  The thing these guys don't understand is that it's better to be divorced and to have an open, genuine relationship with your children than it is to be married but lie to your kids every day for the rest of your life.  
I'm not unsympathetic.  I know how it happens.  People have been brought up to believe that their marriage and family are their real relationships, while their relationships with their lovers are secret and disposable.  They're not real and therefore not important.  That's how you end up with men who believe that "women are for romance and men are for sex."  They've never seen a romantic relationship between two men really work.  But they can and do work, and every gay person today (in most parts of this country) can pursue a genuine, loving, and public relationship with the person they love, if they really want to.  

Also, I think that all parents are guilty of forgetting that they're meant to be raising functional, independent adults.  I only have a toddler, but even I have to remind myself that these days of high dependence won't last forever and that someday she'll be a grown woman.  If I want to have a close relationship with her then, it's important to be as honest and compassionate as I can be now. 
Helen has conflicted feelings about her father.  She loves him but she also feels betrayed by his lies and cheating.  Actually, when you think about it, she feels exactly the same way many straight spouses do, just less vehemently.

She makes the assumption that every kid will eventually learn the truth about his or her cheating parent.  Yet, ironically, no man on the down-low ever expects to be caught.

I suppose that's the nature of the beast.  If you expect to be caught, why bother hiding?

How many cheating spouses are eventually caught?  No one knows.  Many of them, certainly.  Especially these days when it's easy to get tripped up in your own digital handiwork.

I've seen a number of teenagers post stories about how they discovered their father's cheating because they found some form of electronic evidence.  Before the Internet, I remember when guys would talk about finding their dad's porn stash.  Now that porn stashes are kept on computers and phones, I wonder how many teenagers go looking for their dad's porn and are shocked by what they find.  I've never read a story about that happening, at least as far as I can remember, but I'm sure it happens.

Anyway, my point is that electronic secrets are not as secret as we think they are.  Those very popular Apple products, for example, keep track of the apps you download.  If someone in your family innocently syncs a new device to your existing Apple account....whoops, there's Grindr!

My advice to spouses with secrets is to expect that the truth will some day be revealed, and when it is, expect that your spouse won't be the only important person in your life who feels angry and betrayed.  Yes, some secrets do make it to the grave, but mostly, they don't.  For that reason, it's best to prepare for the worst.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"My Parents' Open Marriage"

A few months ago I had a fascinating email exchange with a 30-something woman, Helen, about her parents' mixed orientation open marriage.  It was an amazing conversation; no one writes about this stuff!

Helen is now old enough, and experienced enough, to understand her parents as real and imperfect individuals.  And, as a wife and mother herself, she's sympathetic to the stresses and responsibilities her parents faced.  Yet she's still able to be balanced and critical about her parents.  I've never read a story like hers before.

I feel honored that she shared it with me and I couldn't be more pleased that she has given me permission to share it with you.  Here is that story, in her own words: 
My father was gay or bisexual (depending on who you asked).  He and my mother were very close, best friends even.  And my mother says the sex was good (I suspect though that she doesn't have the highest sex drive).  My dad knew he was gay from an early age, and actually confessed to my mother that he was bisexual prior to their getting married at age 23 in the late 60s.  She was shocked, but he assured her that he'd never cheat on her and that he loved her, and so they went ahead with the wedding.  Fast-forwarding to just before my birth in the late 70s, my dad became very ill while my mother was pregnant with me, and while in the hospital was diagnosed with Hepatitis B (which I still carry in my liver cells, via my mom).  It became clear that he had been cheating on her for some time, but despite a lot of fighting, neither of them wanted a divorce.  My mother instead agreed to have a secretly open relationship, where my father could sleep with other men as long as he was discreet and did not endanger the family in any way.  I know this sounds like a pie-in-the-sky sane solution, so let me add that my mother tears up when talking about her agreeing to my father's extramarital affairs to this day.  She was not really okay with the situation, but with a newborn and a partner who was a good husband and father, she felt that it was a deal with the devil that she had to make.

Throughout my childhood I was surrounded by wonderful gay men, but I had no idea about their sexual orientation.  I was given Disney collectible items, taken to musicals, and was just in general very well treated and loved.  Then just before my brother was born, the HIV test was invented, and my father discovered he was infected.  Miraculously, neither my mother nor brother were infected.  My mother was very upset, since her agreement on extramarital affairs was contingent on safe sex, and while it's possible that my father had become infected long before, it seems unlikely given my mother's negative status.  My father became quite sick, then received a liver transplant when I was 12 (they didn't know whether HIV would re-infect the liver at that time), then slowly became sick again.  While I obviously knew he was ill, I knew nothing of the cause while I was a child.  When I was 15 I studied abroad for a school-year, and prior to my leaving, my dad sat me down and told me he was infected with HIV; he and I were close and he was afraid that he would die while I was gone and would find out from another source.  I was shocked.  When I asked my mother how it could have happened, she yelled at me, telling me that I was being purposefully stupid and that I shouldn't need it spelled out for me that my father was gay.  I had been raised to believe, through church, that being gay was wrong and that was a very difficult year for me, grappling with these issues in a foreign country.  I decided at the end of it that if my beloved dad was gay, it couldn't be so bad and I "forgave" him for his orientation.  But to this day I haven't been able to forgive him for the callous way he treated my mother, his willful ignorance of the pain he caused her.  He died when I was 20.  We attended one queer event together, a documentary on how to approach families with same-sex parents in the school system.  I always wonder how our relationship and my feelings toward my father would have been different had we had time to really be honest about this part if his life.

There are three main points I'd like to convey.  #1 is that a closeted parent puts the whole family in the closet.  To this day I can't speak openly, because my grandparents and father's sisters are deeply hurt and offended if I do.  We are so closed off that my poor brother didn't learn my father was gay until he was 21, seven years after my father's death.  This is not a fair burden to require your children to carry.  #2 is that open-marriages can work, but only in the true absence of any kind of coercion.  If your children are grown and you and your wife are in good health, then yes, perhaps she could give you her honest opinion about what would be acceptable to her.  Otherwise you have to assume that she will feel undue pressure to keep her family together and might agree to something that she's not genuinely okay with.  #3 This one is harder to describe, but I'll try.  I feel that by not having an example in my parents, I was cheated of a model of a healthy sexual love and instead I inherited negative views about sex that I've worked hard to overcome.  I remember as a child watching my uncle affectionately pat my aunt on her bottom and feeling completely confused by it.  I now strongly believe that it is optimal for parents to have a healthy sexual relationship with each other.  It gives the children a sense of security and greatly helps when it's time for the children to navigate their own dating lives.  I'm happily married, but as a teenager I was a mess - I had no clue how men felt about women, or what to do with my feelings for men.  The underlying message of my parents' relationship was that sex isn't important between people who love each other, but is very important to have fun amongst strangers.  I hope my children see sex as something that can bind two loving people together.

Therefore I strongly support same-sex marriage and romantic relationships for gay and lesbian people.  It is healthier for them, and it is healthier for their kids.  I understand how my parents came to the place that they did - my father would have been disowned had he come out as a young man, if not worse - and I think they both did their best in a difficult situation.  But I have much less sympathy for couples embarking on mixed-orientation unions now.  I have yet to see one that was loving, honest, fulfilling for both parties, and instilled a healthy sense of sexual worth in their kids. 
For those of you who are in an open marriage (whether your spouse knows it or not) I wonder how you would respond to Helen if she was your grown daughter?  Specifically, how would your reply to her three main points?

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Win-Win Solution for Struggling Bi-Married Men - Conclusion

There are two parts to the "win-win" solution for struggling bi-married men, one part for each possible win.

Here is a short summary of the steps necessary to obtain the first win, as outlined in this post:
  1. Recognize that your hidden bisexuality, and all the baggage that comes with it, affects your ability to have open, honest and intimate relationships with others, most especially with your wife.  The need to hide the truth causes you to be much more guarded, withdrawn and difficult to connect with than you otherwise would be.
  2. Initiate a conversion with you wife wherein you tell her that you have realized you've been more distant from her than you want to be; tell her that you are want a much more intimate connection.  Work with her to create an intimacy plan that will work for both of you.  That might include coming out to her as bisexual, but not necessarily.  It's an option that would remove a major barrier between you, however staying in the closet is viable too - you just have to work that much harder to foster intimacy without being 100% truthful.
  3. Dedicate yourself to implementing the intimacy plan.  The "win-win" will not work unless you are sincere about seeking emotional and sexual fulfillment with your wife.  Your efforts and attention should be warmly welcomed by her. As such, you should genuinely enjoy spending more time together and you should have more and better sex; intimacy is a huge turn-on for women.
  4. After an initial honeymoon phase, you may fall back into old habits.  The "win-win" is not a flip-the-switch solution.  Whenever you start to feel less connected to your wife, you need to proactively renew your intimacy pledge with her.  You won't find enduring happiness in any relationship unless you're able to easily reconnect, even when other pressures get in the way.
  5. Accept your bisexuality for what it is and enjoy who you are.  Reconnecting with your wife on a deep and intimate level should be so emotionally and sexually rewarding that your interest in men should wane somewhat.  But it will never disappear, nor should you want it to.  Denying or repressing one's bisexuality does not work.  Whenever you have the urge to fantasize about men, do it, unless you're having sex with your wife.  When you're with her do everything you can to be "in the moment" and focused on her.
  6. Give this first part of the "win-win" time to work.  A full year is ideal.  It's crucial that your determination to make this option work be unquestionable, either by you or your wife.  Time, sincere effort and raw determination are what will make this solution successful.
The purpose of the first phase of the "win-win" is to feel happy and fulfilled as a bisexual man.  That means feeling so pleased with yourself and your relationships that your sexuality is no longer an issue.  A natural by-product of being happy is that you no longer feel compelled to cheat.  Blogger Sean explains how that happened for him:
"I'm seeing things so much clearer now. I know the journey is still long, and for guys like me, always difficult. I know, BELIEVE me.  But I believe in what we have. My heart is hers, my mind is hers. I'm no longer tempted to stray."
Sean found fulfillment with his wife.  (Yeah Sean!)  But what if you try (and try and try) and it's just not happening for you?

Then it's probably time to move on to Part Two of the win-win...

The Second Win

The "win-win" solution is for struggling bi-married men.  It's for men who aren't sure whether their marriage will ever be satisfying enough for them; it's for men who often feel consumed by their attraction to other men.

The first phase of the "win-win" is a balls-to-the-wall challenge that pushes you to your limits.  Can your marriage ever be satisfying enough for you?  You must go 'all out' in order to find out.  Can you feel fulfilled without connecting with men?  The only way to be certain is to stop pursuing them and instead focus on your wife.

If you do these things with fierce determination it shouldn't take long before the fog of uncertainty lifts.  Either you'll find that successfully reconnecting with your wife is satisfying, or, you won't.

The focus of the second "win" is on turning a failure to reconnect with your wife into a permanent, positive change in how you feel about yourself and your attraction to men.  It's about moving past uncertainty and finding enduring happiness.

The first step is to acknowledge and accept that your straight monogamous marriage is never going to satisfy you.  Never.  Coming to terms with that fact should be empowering, because, instead of being bogged down by doubt and uncertainty, you will realize that one of two things must be true about you: either you are gay and not bi, OR, you are bi but you MUST have regular, intimate contact with men.

When a man realizes he is gay and not bi that is usually a watershed moment.  After years of denial, anxiety and uncertainty, he's suddenly filled with confidence and purpose.  Men in this situation tend to move quickly and decisively to change their lives because they finally know who they are and what they want.  Their struggle as a bi-married man is over.

The other outcome is just as empowering because it means you no longer wonder IF you can be happy without men in your life, but rather, HOW you can include them.  There are only two ways to satisfy that need, either you're open about it or you're not.

Asking for an Open Marriage

Normally when a marriage has an intimacy problem, there are two different explanations as to why: His Story and Her Story.  Because the couple can't agree on who's at fault, nothing ever gets resolved.  Instead, they declare an unspoken truce and thereafter avoid the subject.  With no communication, the marriage slowly becomes less and less sexual, and the less sex there is, the more distant the partners get from one another.

The first phase of the "win-win" changes this dynamic.  It forces the partners to communicate, to create a plan and to be sure that plan is being implemented.  As a result, if it is not successful, the cause is not a mystery.  There is no His Story and Her Story, there's only The Story - the tale of how one or both of you was never really able to step up to the plate.

When fault is clear and both partners understand that the marriage will never have a satisfying, intimate sexual bond, there is no better time for a struggling bi-married man to ask for an open marriage.  To understand why this is true you have to think about the situation from the wife's perspective.  Just as open communication and repeated failures to connect have convinced the struggling bi-married man that his marriage alone will never be fulfilling, those same factors have convinced his wife of the same thing.  Faced with that fact, her choices are the same as his: either divorce and hope someone better turns up, slog along and find fulfillment in other ways (often through children, work, friends and/or family), or, keep the good aspects of what they have and look for someone on the side.  When the options are presented in this way, most straight wives prefer to slog along.  However, once they witness their husband's extended struggle first-hand, and they see that he cannot find fulfillment within the marriage, an astounding number of straight wives will accept an open relationship.  Their philosophy is: as long as they get to keep the good aspects of their married life, everything else is negotiable.

I have come to this conclusion after spending the last 18 months learning as much as possible about the attitudes of straight wives.  To be clear, straight wives cannot be lumped into a single-minded group.  They have diverse opinions about their marriages, their husbands and their husbands' attraction to men.  But one quality they all seem to have in common is that they're extremely pragmatic.  When faced with a challenging situation, very few of them fall to pieces.  Armed with the facts, most straight wives are quick to see to the heart of the matter and to decide how much they're willing to compromise in order to maintain their marriage.  Money, stability and the fear of having to start a new life are all reasons why an amazing number of them will permit an open marriage. Also, just as bi-married men don't want to start all over and have to explain what's happened to their kids, family and friends, neither do straight wives.  So as crazy as it might seem, looking the other way is often a straight wife's least painful option.  No action on their part is required, and because they know the limitations of their marriage, they don't feel like they're giving anything away that they could have for themselves.  This makes the emotional cost of permitting affairs relatively low.

Other Outcomes

As I said, not all straight wives are the same.  Some of them will never, ever, under any circumstances accept an open marriage.  They don't care if their marriage will never be fulfilling, they intend to slog it out and they will only accept the same from their husband.  Some bi-married men solve this problem by secretly cheating.  Others slog it out.  And a third group slogs it out until they decide that getting a divorce is the lesser evil.

Another possible outcome is unconditional support by the straight wife when her husband comes out as bisexual.  Yes, it's true.  Some wives LOVE their bi-husband and they'll defend them and their sexuality with tremendous passion.  I think they do this because of love, but also because, once they understand that they can't meet all of their husbands needs, they can either view themselves as unworthy or unattractive women, OR, they can chalk up their imperfect marriage to their husband's struggle with bisexuality.  I should also mention that, as a general rule, the women who feel this way have pretty good marriages which is why they fight to keep them.

The "Losing" Outcome That Isn't A Loss
If a man pursues the "win-win" it's possible that his inability to intimately reconnect with his wife will cause her to decide to leave him.  A wife might also decide to leave because she doesn't believe her husband will stay monogamous, or, because she doesn't want to be married to a man who is sexually attracted to other men.

The fear of being rejected by their wives is the primary reason most struggling bi-married men want to stay in the closet.  Having been though the experience of being rejected by my wife, I have to say that it sucks - and not in a good way.  It really hurts to be pushed aside by someone you've been married to for a long time, even when the marriage is far from perfect.

It's taken me more than a year to adjust my new single status and I know I have more growing pains ahead.  The thing is, no matter how much being rejected hurt, the facts are: it happened, it cannot be changed, and I had no choice but to adapt.  I suppose I could remain bitter and angry for the rest of my life, but that wouldn't change anything.  So, as painful as the transition has been, I know I will be happier in the long run.  Although I continue to struggle with starting a new life, I KNOW I don't want to be with a woman who doesn't love me enough to fight to keep me.

The bottom line is, the fear of rejection should not prevent anyone from trying to make the most of their marriage by implementing the "win-win."  If it doesn't work as expected, then your marriage was obviously not what you thought it was.  Once that lesson is learned, it's better to move on sooner rather than later.

What's Special about the Win-Win and Why It Works

On the surface, the "win-win" might seem unoriginal.  Some have said it's no different than trying to pray away the gay.  Although it's true that phase one might seem that way because it's all about trying to find genuine fulfillment with your wife, phase two makes it so much more than that.

The reason some bi-married men struggle is because they're afraid of the unknown.  Some worry whether they might really be gay, and if they are, what that would mean to their families and to their existing life.  Others worry that they can never be honest with their wives because the truth would have a permanent, disastrous impact on them, their wife and their family.

What's special about the "win-win" is that it eliminates uncertainty, and it does so without triggering disaster.  For those men who fear they might be gay, the "win-win" asks them to step up to the challenge, to go all-out to woo their wives.  If they're bisexual they should be able to make a good connection.  If they're gay, they're never going to be satisfied with a woman as a life partner.  Either way, the uncertainty is gone and a happy resolution is found.

For men who fear telling their wife they are bisexual, the "win-win" does the telling for them, but it does so in a non-threatening way.  Usually, struggling bi-married men who want an open marriage fight a long battle within themselves to keep that desire hidden.  When they lose that battle they're often emotionally exhausted and that causes them to blurt out the desire to their wife.  Because they're caught off-guard and because the news feels like a personal rejection of them, straight wives almost always react with anger and hurt.  The confession makes them feel undesired, unworthy, used, lied to, and tricked, among other bad things.  When a man blurts out that he wants an open marriage, the response is almost never positive.

In comparison to the "blurt out," the win-win is a very gradual process.  The initial promise to rekindle the couple's intimate connection and the requirement that the struggling bi-husband constantly communicate provide the straight wife play-by-play coverage of her struggling husband's journey.  This means that when the promised intimate connection fails to materialize, she already has a good understanding of what's going on.  She won't necessarily know that her husband is attracted to men, but she will know that the couple's intimacy problem lies with her husband and not with herself.  That information is fundamental.  As I explain above, once straight wives know the facts, most of them are willing to negotiate just as long as they get to keep the aspects of the marriage that they like.

Two Warnings

Now that I've spent a great deal of time thinking about the win-win and writing it up, I doubt any reader will actually try it.  However, for the sake of any struggling bi-married man who might take the "win-win" seriously, I feel compelled to issue two warnings:

1.  Do not attempt the win-win if your goal is to "get" your wife to accept an open marriage.  Although trickery can sometimes work, I have found that most straight wives know bullshit when they see it.   Being lied to and tricked does not make them happy.  The only way the "win-win" works is if the first phase is pursued with vehemence, persistence, and sincerity.  Women are extremely sympathetic to men who try their hardest and fail.  They are not at all sympathetic to manipulative assholes.

2. Do not attempt the win-win without telling your wife what you're trying to do.  One of the fundamental premises of the win-win is that women will negotiate problem areas of their marriage IF they know all the facts.  If you don't tell your wife that you want a more fulfilling, intimate connection with her, and that you are going to work your ass off to make that happen, she's going be very suspicious of your sudden interest in her.  More importantly, if rekindling the intimate connection fails, she needs to know that you were doing your very best and there is no possibility that "things" will magically improve in the future.  Basically, the win-win works because it makes the husband's struggle visible to the wife without laying the blame at her feet.  In order for that happen, the effort needs to be announced and regularly discussed.


I'm glad to finally get this posted.

Any questions, comments or complaints?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 11, 2012

A "Dirty Trick" Marriage - Part Two

In my last post I shared a straight wife's frustrations with her probably-gay husband and their crumbling marriage. 

Unfortunately, I didn't know any background information about her or her husband so it was difficult to put what she said in context.  The lack of context, I think, was vexing for a number of readers too, at least judging by their comments.  Since many of us seemed to be grasping at straws I decided to contact the woman and ask her more about her situation.

Here's what she originally said:
Seven years ago, and three months after the birth of my third child, my husband told me he cheated on me with a man. Four years before that he had done the same thing, "but not all the way."  Both times, after much crying and begging on his part, I took him back.  After the second time we talked about his attraction to men and how it had been there for years.  We also saw a marriage counselor.  Within two years our sex life dwindled to nothing. By then he had quit therapy, and no matter what I did, our relationship just got worse.

Last Spring my hours at work got cut so I was making a lot less money.   Pretty soon we fell behind on our bills. In the Fall, when he realized how bad our finances were, he said he wanted a divorce. What a slap in the face! After all I had forgiven NOW he was done?!?

His mother was sure he was cheating on me. I asked him if that was true, over and over again, but he kept telling me, no, and I was over-reacting.  He still lives at home but he spends almost no time there, unless he has to watch the kids because I'm working.  Well, last Friday I found a Valentine's Day card from his "lover" along with gay porn and a bunch of condoms. I feel like the last 10 years was a dirty trick. I immediately called him on it but first I made copies of the love letter.

One thing that makes me so mad is that I have defended him to both of our families.  He says that I'm the problem because I'm bad with money.   The reality is that, if I had known what a liar and a cheat he was, we wouldn't have been married last summer anyway.  After I showed him the Valentine's card he finally admitted that he was having an affair and that it started more than 11 months ago.  He also told me that he has gone on vacation with this man and he has had sex with him in our home with our children asleep. I am so angry, I can't sleep. I am sad for my kids because they think we have a great family. The poor things don't even know about the divorce yet.  After all that he has done to me I don't even want to look at him.

C (41 yr old mother of three kids, ages 12, 9 and 8.)
Here's what "C" said in response to my questions.  As with her first post, I've done some minor editing to try to make her stream-of-conscious writing style easier to follow.
I fell in love at 20 and stayed there. He didn't want sex. That was very painful, but before he started having the high blood pressure and medication to excuse no sex, we had it. Until 6 years ago it was 2-3 times a week. I didn't bitch about that!

The first time there was a man issue, he was on a bike ride, came back and said he got a blow job in the park from a total stranger...after a great deal of talk/therapy/advise from clergy we moved on. This was about 8 yrs into our marriage, with no kids at the time. Then the next time he did anything (according to my info) was not for another 6 years.  At that time, we were open and talking about it. I believe there are people who are attracted to both sexes and I was under the impression he was one of them. After the adultery confession 6 years ago, he did probably did manipulate me a little, however, what I worried about were the three very young children we had.  The oldest was only four at the time.

I can remember thinking, "I've got to keep this together until our oldest at least is in school...for my sake as well as our kids."  Now our youngest is in 2nd grade so I guess I met that goal.

I stayed for the kids and for religious reasons.  I believe that we made a forever commitment.  However, I thought he was being more honest with me than he was.  Six years ago I thought he fell off the wagon, so to speak.  I thought it would be another one-time fling and we'd deal with it, just like the first time.  Another thing he said was the reason we didn't have sex was impotence, not because he was gay.

I will say this, I honestly think that he hates himself. I think he down deep is decent and good. In the last three years, however, I have seen changes in him.  I think something had to have happened.  I don't know what it was or think it matters at this point.  I do know that I wouldn't have been attracted to him if this was how he was when we met.

Another thing about me is that I don't make commitments lightly. I never have. I have always been loyal to a fault.  This is one doozy of an example!

Over the first 15 yrs of our marriage, he was my best friend. I would have said it until 2 yrs ago. He would say that I was his best friend until 4 yrs ago. He is the one who walked away from me.  First emotionally, then with his whole person.

I hope my husband pulls his head out of his ass.

Do you know people who don't live up to their potential? That's him. He will run out and help someone with a broken down car anytime, anywhere. I can't tell you how many times we've stopped and he's fixed someone else's flat tire. I'm the oldest of four siblings and each of them have lived with us for more than a year, at different times, to help get them on their feet. He shovels driveways for old ladies. This is why it's been easy to stay. We don't fight. We enjoy the same tv shows and we have kids in common. It has been easy to stay. It will be hard to end this marriage. Our lives have been tied together since we've been kids. I'm scared of the changes. BUT I am also excited. I wonder what kind of a person I will be able to become without the stress and the feelings of failure that have been with me for the last 14+ years.

I am a zombie mom right now...but I see there will be a better me in the future.
"C" originally caught my attention because she said her marriage was a 10 year "dirty trick."  But she also seemed to contradict herself by saying that she'd been aware of her husband's attraction to men for many years.  So which was it? Was her husband a lying, cheating scumbag?  Or, did she really the play trick on herself by making excuses for behavior that her husband was honest about?

Now that I know more about their situation, I'm convinced that this is a typical, messy mixed orientation marriage.  Both spouses know what's going on, but for a variety of reasons (like love, religious beliefs and concern for their children) they choose to ignore their underlying problems.  The marriage works (well enough) until it doesn't work any more.  Marriages like this usually end when the husband gets caught cheating or when he falls in love with another guy.

These situations are a sad, no-win mess for straight wives.  In this case, as in many others, love IS blind, but love does not conquer all.  She takes care of the kids, loves her husband with all her heart, and cherishes her family.  But the fact is, it doesn't matter what she does.  Once he emotionally withdraws from her, the marriage enters the realm of the living dead.

Those are some of my thoughts.  What are yours?  Specifically I'd like to know what closeted gay and bi men, as well as their straight wives, can learn from this situation.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ten years of marriage: A "Dirty Trick"

I lurk on a few on-line forums that discuss mixed orientation marriages, closed loop relationships and challenges that straight spouses face.  Below is a story from one of those forums.

This quote isn't exact;  I cleaned it up to make it easier to read.
Seven years ago, and three months after the birth of my third child, my husband told me he cheated on me with a man. Four years before that he had done the same thing, "but not all the way."  Both times, after much crying and begging on his part, I took him back.  After the second time we talked about his attraction to men and how it had been there for years.  We also saw a marriage counselor.  Within two years our sex life dwindled to nothing. By then he had quit therapy, and no matter what I did, our relationship just got worse.

Last Spring my hours at work got cut so I was making a lot less money.   Pretty soon we fell behind on our bills. In the Fall, when he realized how bad our finances were, he said he wanted a divorce. What a slap in the face! After all I had forgiven NOW he was done?!?

His mother was sure he was cheating on me. I asked him if that was true, over and over again, but he kept telling me, no, and I was over-reacting.  He still lives at home but he spends almost no time there, unless he has to watch the kids because I'm working.  Well, last Friday I found a Valentine's Day card from his "lover" along with gay porn and a bunch of condoms. I feel like the last 10 years was a dirty trick. I immediately called him on it but first I made copies of the love letter.

One thing that makes me so mad is that I have defended him to both of our families.  He says that I'm the problem because I'm bad with money.   The reality is that, if I had known what a liar and a cheat he was, we wouldn't have been married last summer anyway.  After I showed him the Valentine's card he finally admitted that he was having an affair and that it started more than 11 months ago.  He also told me that he has gone on vacation with this man and he has had sex with him in our home with our children asleep. I am so angry, I can't sleep. I am sad for my kids because they think we have a great family. The poor things don't even know about the divorce yet.  After all that he has done to me I don't even want to look at him.

C (41 yr old mother of three kids, ages 12, 9 and 8.)
This woman feels like her 10 years of marriage was nothing more than a dirty trick.  When you read her side of the story, it sure seems like he continually lied to her and strung her along.  Then, once he found a boyfriend, he decided he wanted a divorce.

Stories like this are pretty common but every time I read one I am astounded by the selfishness and cruelty described.  When you 'love' someone, this is how you treat them?

On the other hand, something else that constantly amazes me is how often women will choose to overlook the obvious.  The guy cheated twice, admitted to a life-long attraction to men, and doesn't have sex with his wife.  What was she expecting??

I suppose I'm being cruel for thinking this, but...wasn't she's fooled twice and now it's shame on her?

 For those who are interested, here are a few more details about this woman's situation:
I went with a don't ask, don't tell policy. I had come to terms with no sex and having a gay husband. It wasn't what I wanted but I was working with it.  Slowly, over the last 3 years, he has gotten more and more disconnected. I see now when he started fooling around. I have a gay friend at work who said he had seen him on the gay website adam4adam and knew it was my husband because our kids' pictures are posted there...that was over 2 years ago. My co-worker would not talk about what he saw but said about 1 year ago he stopped posting.  Now I've found out that's when the boyfriend started. So go figure.
I don't know how to react to this.  Now I have many more questions than answers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Struggling Bi-Married Men and their Wives - Part Two

Below are two more stories from bi-married men who decided to improve their lives by going "all out" to re-build a deep and intimate connection with their wives.

As is true for any relationship, these marriages continue to grow and change. No one can say for certain what the future will bring, but for now, these guys are very happy with the results they're seeing.

Story Four - "Giving the relationship my all"

I wrote about this couple in A Bisexual Husband: He Says/She Says, which was a fascinating post. In it the husband and wife each spoke candidly about the problems within their marriage. In some cases their perceptions were so fundamentally different that you had to wonder if they were talking about the same marriage. Clearly, if something didn't change soon they were not going to make it. Sure enough, a short time later the wife moved out. The pain of losing his wife caused the husband to examine himself and his attitudes. He saved his marriage by re-dedicating himself to her.
Lately I've been plugging in more and more into the relationship for many many a reason. I want to be able to understand her, for a while we've not been able to communicate. I want to be able to read her, emotionally and sexually because more often than not she throws herself at me and I'm none the wiser. I'm plugging in because I want to fuck more often and learn to appreciate it, as I often feel lonely afterwards. I'm giving the relationship my all.

I've made a commitment with her to not let things build as they did and behave naturally in real time instead of keeping it bottled. We're slowly allowing the world to turn again, and it's made a world of difference. We're sharing, listening and most importantly laughing again. I don't know if she's physically doing something or if I'm just seeing her again, differently. I start to see her as she is or the girl who I set out to marry.

I have more things to put into the bisexual perspective of my life plan. What does this mean to me, how vulnerable/delusional can I allow myself to be, what about men, what about my sexuality... What if this feeling doesn't last.

Fuck it. Is all that I can surmise for the time being. Feel the love, feel the closeness and deal with the bisexuality stuff when it arises again in the very very near future. Part of me wants to allow myself to find out how real this marriage is and how close I can get to being complete within it. Not warding off men, I don't know if I could ever do that.
Like many bi-married men, this husband vacillated in no-man's-land for an extended period of time. He's not gay, he's not straight, he loves his wife, he's attracted to men. He felt stuck and unsure of how to find true happiness.

He doesn't realize it, but by "giving the relationship [his] all" and by finding out "how close [he] can get to being complete within it" he is engaging in the "win-win" solution. Now, no matter what happens, he will be free to move forward with his life in a positive direction.

Story Five - Redemption

In January I made a new e-friend, Sean, who emailed me to talk about a number of issues including how he was struggling with his sexuality.

Although Sean knew he loved his wife of 11 years and found her attractive, their sex life had dwindled to almost nothing. Even more troubling to him was his relentless attraction to men. More and more he wondered if he was gay, not bi, and whether that meant he had to break up his family.

Here's an early post from Sean's blog The Pastor's Closeted Son wherein he describes his situation:

Karen and I have been married for over 11 years, and together almost 13. Most of that has been happy, except for my increasing attraction to men. Sex is a rarity, although it's not just me. She has issues from previous boyfriends. By and large though, it is me with "the problem". I WANT to be more turned on by her, but I'm just not, even though she's still attractive to me! I mean, if we start making out and get into foreplay, then yes, I'm hard and I want it. But just looking at her or any woman? Usually nothing. However, guys turn my head CONSTANTLY.

I'm so afraid of losing this. I love my wife, she's my best friend. I don't want to tear our home apart. These kids are my LIFE.

I feel like a selfish ass. I should have been more honest with myself years ago. Yet, had I not married Karen, I wouldn't have my kids! How the fuck could I wish they didn't exist? And what about Karen, who I DO love?

The problem is I want to make love to a man. I've had very little sexual experience with men, always a quick random hook up, mostly before I was married. I'm not interested in that anymore.

I want to be with a man.

I want to be with my wife.

What the fuck.
Sean and I exchanged emails for a few weeks and even connected once by telephone. Like other bi-married men, Sean's biggest problem was not his sexuality but rather his bleak view of his options. With so many conflicting desires bouncing around in his head he couldn't imagine that there was any way to choose one and be happy.

I told him that indecision was his greatest enemy and that, in order to know what he truly wanted, he had to dedicate himself to one outcome and see where that lead him. I said, "Pick one option and embrace it as if your life depends on it, because, really, it does."

Determined to find happiness, Sean initiated a bold conversation with his wife wherein he confessed his deepest feelings. At first, she reacted badly and Sean was certain his marriage was over. Then, as they talked more, he explained that he wanted to deepen their relationship, not replace it. That changed the direction of the whole conversation and literally saved their marriage.

In the weeks since their breakthrough Sean has periodically updated his readers with his progress. Here's one recent entry:
Things with Karen continue to be great! Our sex life keeps getting better and better. I don't know wtf happened, but now, I can't get enough. She has actually complained about me wearing her out and needing a break!

I still find it odd, to desire and enjoy straight sex so much. Whatever! It's been really fulfilling for us both. And fun.

All that being said, I'm still very bi, even though the old 80/20 percentage doesn't feel like it applies most days.
The point of these two stories (and the two from the prior post) is to show that some bi-married-men are able to find genuine happiness by earnestly committing themselves to a true, deep and emotionally intimate relationship with their wives. It can be done!!

The critics and cynics will find these stories unconvincing. They'll say, "It's temporary! All they're doing is pretending to be someone they're not!"

I am much more optimistic. I don't think it matters what a man labels himself, provided that BOTH he and his wife are willing to do the necessary work to stay intimately connected. Yes, even an 80/20 gay/bi man and a straight woman can share enough of the right kind of love to sustain a mutually satisfying and sexually active marriage.

But let's say that I'm wrong. Let's say that a genuine commitment to true intimacy is not enough to sustain a fulfilling mixed-orientation marriage. Well that's ok. Because once a couple KNOWS that love is not enough, that opens the door to an entirely new set of options, and at least one of those is certain to work. I'll try to explain how that is possible in my next post, part two of "The Win-Win Solution for Struggling Bi-Married Men."

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Struggling Bi-Married Men and their Wives

Below are two examples of men who have successfully reconnected with their wives in spite of their strong sexual attraction to other men.

These stories show that some struggling men can find happiness by implementing the first part of the "win-win."


Story Two - No Regrets

An email exchange on a listserv for bi-married men:

Man One:
Well it's been about 5 weeks since I revealed my bisexuality to my wife and it seems that she cannot get enough sex. Just wondering if any other guys had similar experiences post disclosure and if their wife's increased sex drive lasted.

Man Two:
I say the same thing happened to me, I think part of it was almost relief that it came out. Its been 4 years and the honeymoon phase still going on

my wife initially had nothing less than a thermo-nuclear meltdown. After about 4 weeks, it became insatiablity at its finest. Our sex life really blossomed, and I think it was for a couple of reasons:

1. she feels closer to me because I have told her my innermost secret and darkest truth. She knows me through and through to a degree that other couples can only aspire

2. while I told her about my days in college when I played with guys, I have done nothing in our 12 years together with another man. [not for lack of fantasy, I will tell you that!!!] However, it has opened a new door to sexual exploration for us. We are still monogamous, but the things we do in bed have taken a turn and we have broken free of the rut that so many couples begin to find themselves after years of monogamy.

there comes a time in every bisexual man's life when he must be true to himself. He cannot just dream it or pretend it away; if he is married, then he owes it to himself AND his wife to be open and forthright about the who and the what he is. Either she will stay, or she will leave, but either way, you will be honest to yourself and therefore ultimately happier.

It's easy for me to say all this in hindsight, but I can also tell you that I was a mental and emotional rollercoaster until I came OUT to my wife. It was hard for awhile; lots of tears, lots of yelling, lots of anxiety. However, once the dust settled, I would never go back to pre-OUT. I'm bi and it makes no difference in my work or my parenting skills. But I will tell you, it makes all the difference in my self-esteem, self-worth, and self-respect.

Story Three - Transformation

Below is a married, closeted man's story, as told in his own words.

This first quote is him ruminating on his options as he struggles with his long-term marriage.

I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this concept of “options”.

I know that an option is to stay married and faithful to my wife. Period. I have tried that option for the past 25 years. Not sure that it is working all that well for me. I am gay. I am finding it increasingly harder to deny this part of who I am. I would change it if I could. I can’t. In some ways, I wish I could just permanently bury this part of me. I just can’t seem to figure out how. Suppose it’s stupid to even try.

There is the option of leaving my wife and leading a life where I can be true and accepting of who I really am. This one I understand. The transition would be painful. Very painful. But on the others side of this transition, I could lead a true and authentic life. This is the path that seems to make the most sense, but also seems to have most intense burst of pain to get there.

It’s the middle ground that I am having a hard time with. In one respect, a solution would be to stay married, but be allowed to experience my gay side. Open marriage if you will. I am not sure how I could be honest with my wife and make this happen. I have heard that there are often “rules” for these types of arrangements. For example, you have to tell your spouse who you are with and what you did. That sounds a lot easier said than done. I think I would still feel guilt over my actions and the telling part would make it worse. At the same time, not telling feels like more of the same old barriers that are tearing my apart right now.

What happens if I fall in love with a guy? Then what? I split my time between my wife and my boyfriend. Guess that’s good for me, but seems totally unfair to both of them. And in the end, it might not be so good for me either.

How about the “closed loop” option? I stay married and have one “special friend”, perhaps another married guy. Maybe this works. He has a wife, I have a wife. We fulfill our needs with each other and have a relationship that is more than a one-time hook-up. Sounds like it could be ok. But where do you find the right guy to get into this type of relationship. It seems that most married guys like me are hanging out pretty deep in the closet.

When I get down to it, the whole thing seems pretty “black and white”. Stay married or don’t. Everything in the middle just muddies the water and causes more pain and confusion. Life is full of “shades of gray”, but I am having a hard time seeing them here.

Two months after writing about his options, the man decided he couldn't live in the closet any longer. When he came out to his wife he didn't know what he wanted. He'd had some tantalizing connections with men but also felt a strong emotional connection to his wife.

About a month after coming out, he shared this update:
Since having the discussion with my wife, the world seems to be spinning faster than ever…but in a good way. Sometimes a day seems like a month. One of my hopes was that my wife and I would be able to cycle through the most difficult parts of this journey quickly. We indeed seem to be making this happen, which is great.

I have tried really hard to give the issue of repairing my marriage the time that it needs. I am glad that my work and travel scheduled has allowed this to happen.

My wife and I have been talking more and at greater depth than at any time in our relationship. The conversations are deep and meaningful. I really feel like she understands me and I am understanding her. The only bad part about all of this is that, perhaps, we should have done all this a long time ago. On the other hand, the things we have experienced make us who we are….and right now I would not want to change that.

My wife’s full acceptance of me makes me love her even more than ever. Our sex life has gone from recently nonexistent, to passionate, sensual and exciting. For a while, I did not want her to really even touch me. Now, we can’t seem to get enough of each other. Incredible!

Having said all this, it has not been all sunshine and roses. We have both had to process a lot of really intense emotions. There have been times when her anger has been intense. She is upset with herself for not being there for me during this dark time. I keep telling her that is something that I didn’t allow her to do. It’s really my fault, not hers.

She has also been very angry that I broke our marriage vows. She fully supports me experiencing who I am; however, the fact that this has occurred without us talking about it in advance is a big issue. I really need to work hard to regain her trust and faith in me.

On my end, I am working hard to be expressive of my feelings and be sure that I am communicating with her at a deep and honest level. There have been times when I have not been sure what I am feeling. It has taken awhile to really figure out what I am feeling and why. It has not been easy and at times we have shed a great deal of tears. They seem to be necessary for both of us to heal.

The next chapters are yet to be written. We have talked some about boundaries. As we make our relationship work, we both know that we need to be totally honest and we need to be on the same page as to what is and is not acceptable. It’s not totally clear what the future looks like, but it does look pretty good. I am definitely committed to being a complete person and sharing all of who I am with my wife. Since the big transition day, she has been consistent in her support.

These words really don’t come close to capturing the highest highs that I have ever experienced in my life. They have definitely happened. At the same time, they also don’t capture the pain, anger and turmoil that we have both felt. The intensity of all of these feelings has, at times, been overwhelming.

Can I have it all? I’m not sure, but I’m looking forward to trying.

Many bisexual men are afraid to come out to their wives because they don't think the news will be well-received. They're afraid of losing their marriages and destroying the lives of everyone around them.

In the above two stories, these men came out to their wives and, indeed, their marriages were severely tested. However, because they broke down old barriers and sought to deepen the bond with their wives, their marriages not only survived but flourished.

Women cherish intimacy. It seriously turns them on. Wouldn't most straight men love to be able to say this after 25 years of marriage?

"Our sex life has gone from recently nonexistent, to passionate, sensual and exciting. For a while, I did not want her to really even touch me. Now, we can’t seem to get enough of each other. Incredible!"

The cynics and skeptics will inevitably ask, "Will these marriages last?"

Or they'll say that these periods of happiness are temporary and the men will return to their struggle later.

My response is, "does it matter?" These couples are far happier than they were before.

Besides, the beauty of the "win-win" is that if the first phase doesn't work, the second phase will.

Either way, the "win-win" is the best possible way a struggling bi-married man can find enduring happiness.


A post-script:

Because the pivot point in both of these stories is the husband coming out to his wife, it might appear that I'm suggesting that struggling bi-married men come out to their wives. This is not the case.

As stated in my post about the first phase of the "win-win" coming out is NOT required.

Unfortunately most struggling bi-married men never consider the possibility of addressing the intimacy problems within their marriage EXCEPT within the context of coming out. Although the two ideas are often tied together, coming out is only ONE WAY of bridging the intimacy gap. There are others, as detailed in the many marital self-books that are available at local libraries.

Just to be clear, I'm going to repeat this statement once again: coming out is not required to successfully implement the "win-win." However, recommitting to true intimacy within the marriage is.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why the Bi-Married Man "Win-Win" isn't bullsh*t

In response to my last post, The "Win-Win" Solution for Struggling Bi-married Men, Nick from Fort Wayne, Indiana said, "This is bullshit! This approach sounds one step removed from pray-the-gay away, I've tried both (your win-win above) - it does NOT stop the inner conflict, it may push it down for a period, again & again, but each & everything it comes back front & center, it returns with even more force than the last time, ultimately something has to give/break. Your win-win then just becomes a delaying tactic for the guy & the wife has been drug father down the proverbial rabbit hole, believing she has an influence over this own scenario."

Nick was not the only critic. Austin said that my advice fails to address the fundamental, underlying problem: a lack of sexual attraction. "I'd posit that many problematic 'bi' marriages seem to be based on the notion of 'I really care about her and love her, so maybe we can pull this off even if I'm not sexually attracted to her' - that's the original problem, and you're just suggesting they go right back to it as the solution."

Actually, I'm suggesting that they go right back to it FIRST. Soon I will be posting a Part Two to the "win-win" solution and that will (hopefully) explain how a struggling bi-married man can find enduring happiness even when the first step is a flop.


Like many straights and gays, Nick and Austin are skeptical about married men who primarily have sex with men and call themselves bisexual. The phrase, "bi now, gay tomorrow" comes to mind.

I'll admit that I can be very skeptical too. I've had plenty of now-gay men tell me that they once believed they were bisexual. The thing is, labels are irrelevant in the context of the "win-win." The twin goals are happiness, or, happiness. Labels don't define happiness, people do. So...with respect to implementing the "win-win" it doesn't matter what a guy thinks his orientation is. All that matters is that he be determined and sincere when doing it.

The most warranted criticism of the "win-win," at least as I've presented it so far, is that I did not offer any evidence that it works. Well, this post and the next several are intended to offer proof that it can work. I'll be sharing six stories, and my own, about men who did (or are) implementing the first phase of the "win-win" solution. Decide for yourself if they seem happy...

"Win-Win" Story One: Regret

What originally caused me to think of the "win-win" was my own situation.

My wife was never very clear about it at the time, but after we split up I learned that she felt very unappreciated and undesired by me. That made her feel empty and dissatisfied.

The only clue she sometimes dropped was to complain that I didn't pay enough attention to her. I never understood what she was talking about - we were always together! Too bad I didn't know then that "time" and "attention" cannot be substituted for true intimacy.

As for my own satisfaction while we were together, I found it.

Getting naked, being affectionately expressive and sharing an orgasmic high with another guy made me think that hooking-up is what made me happy. And it did, for a little while. But what I most wanted, what we all want, is regular, hot sex with someone who makes us feel special - someone who touches our soul in the deepest, most meaningful ways.

For many years, I tried to find that special connection with a man. Then, on one unremarkable Spring day in 2003, I realized I was chasing a fantasy.

Once I accepted that I was never going to get what I wanted, the need to hook-up faded away. Weeks went by and I realized that I was happier NOT hooking-up. It was a huge relief not to have to lie and hide and feel guilty. More than that, it felt good to behave honorably.

One of my biggest regrets in life is that I never tried to pursue the same kind of life-changing, heart-stopping emotional connection that I wanted with a man, with my wife. If I had tried, would she have felt fulfilled by me? Would she have put more effort into our relationship? Would we be happily together for the rest of our lives?

I will never know the answers to those questions and that makes me very, very sad. In spite of her many flaws, it is impossible to imagine that I will ever find a man who I will love more.

My story isn't exactly an example of why the "win-win" works (those stories will follow), but it should serve as a warning to others. If you explore with men, your marriage will suffer, even if there is no obvious conflict. Likewise, if you cheat but never pour your heart and soul back into your marriage, you will forever be at risk of losing the one person you always expected to be by your side.

Sometimes you get a chance to salvage what you had, but not always.

Sometimes there are no second chances.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Win-Win Solution for Struggling Bi-Married Men

In the posts Men are for Sex, Open Marriage, The Divided Bisexual Man, and He Says/She Says I wrote about the struggle many married and bisexual men face as they come to terms with their sexuality.

In another series of posts I said that bi-married men have four options when it comes to reconciling their attraction to men and their marriage. I identified those options as: Don't Act on It, Be Honest, Cheat, and Start a New Life.

Several months after writing about those choices, I began to extensively interact with dozens of straight wives who are married to bisexual, gay and "straight" husbands. Wow, what a fundamentally different and unexpectedly revealing learning experience that has been. After swapping stories with hundreds of other married men for the past 17 years, I really thought I'd heard it all. Instead, I've learned that many men don't know as much about their marriages and their wives as they think they do.

It's my belief that bridging the gap between what a man thinks he knows and the truth has the potential to resolve the moral and emotional conflicts that often plague married men who are sexually attracted to other men. In short, bridging the gap is a "win-win" solution for bisexual married men who seek genuine and enduring happiness in their lives.

The "win-win" is not a cookie-cutter solution that is appropriate for every bisexual married man. Many bi-married men are happy to live a double life, and as such, this solution doesn't apply to them; they are not struggling. On the other hand, for men who are unable to find genuine and enduring happiness - because they only have the "losing" options of secretly cheating on the wife they love, or, coming out as bisexual and risk being rejected by their families - this solution is an authentic way to find inner peace.

A Warning

As simple and appealing as the idea of a "win-win" solution is, the problem it addresses is huge. As such, finding enduring happiness requires WORK. This is not a flip-the-switch or a pop-a-pill solution. You must be motivated.

That said, hopefully what you read here will inspire you to give this solution a serious try. If implemented correctly, it will change your life for the better.

Your Bisexual Journey

In order to understand how to find enduring happiness you have to take a step back and contemplate the bisexual journey you've taken.

If you're like most bi-married men, once upon a time you were happily married and not plagued by guilt, edginess, self-loathing, depression, frustration or an unquenchable desire to hook-up with men. What happened to you??

You became aware of your sexual attraction to other men.

Understanding, accepting and enjoying one's attraction to men is a lot like floating atop a raft on a smooth but deep river. When you first step onto the raft you have no intention of taking a long journey. Later, you realize that it's just something that happened; unseen, but inexorably powerful, the current of desire steadily pushed you forward.

There are two aspects to the bisexual man's journey. One is physical and the other is mental. On the physical side we progress from curiosity to porn to Craigslist ads to aborted meetings to real meetings to jacking off to getting sucked to sucking to fucking, and finally, to getting fucked. Not everyone follows the same path, but progression, rather than stagnation, is the rule.

The typical bisexual man's mental journey, on the other hand, tends to be chaotic. Denial, regret, self-hatred, depression and relentless desire swirl around and around in our heads. Often we are directionless as our thoughts change from one day to the next. Eventually we get tired of beating ourselves up. We realize that we are who we are and that our same-sex desires are not going to change. It's only once we accept ourselves that we gain some measure of peace.

Think about your own journey. When did it start? How did it start? How has your thinking evolved since then? How has your interest in different sexual activities changed? How long has it been since you went from being nervous and afraid to being comfortable with who you are?

Every situation is different, but chances are you began your journey a few years after you were married. And, even if you started earlier or later than that, there is probably no doubt that you married with good intentions and that you enjoyed the early days of sex and intimacy you shared with your wife. I make this assumption with conviction because marriages don't usually last unless they have a strong foundation.

Think about this: during all those years when you were adrift on the river of self-discovery, where has your wife been? By your side on the raft? Or left behind on the shore?

"I'm always straight except for when I'm bisexual."

The overwhelming desire to be "normal" can be astoundingly motivating. It literally makes men delusional. I can't tell you how many stories I've heard about men who obsessively pursue sex with men yet adamantly insist they are straight. Why is "bisexual" such an offensive label?

It's easy to marvel at how out of touch those men are, but the fact is, nearly all closeted bisexual men are delusional. Here's why:

When we think of bisexuality in its most basic form we think of it as "having a sexual attraction to both women and men." This is an incomplete definition and it is the root of Bisexual Delusion. Men in particular tend to think their bisexuality is a switch. When they're having sexual thoughts about men they're bisexual. When they're not thinking about men they're straight. This is not true. Bisexuals are bisexuals 24/7.

Your sexuality affects every important relationship you have. With little conscious thought you alternately express and repress your attraction to men throughout the day, and no matter which you are doing, it affects how you interact with others.

Repression is especially significant. It causes you to be more withdrawn and more secretive than you otherwise would be. It makes your relationships more transactional - even robotic - as your highest priority is to keep your bisexuality hidden. No relationship is more affected by this dynamic than the one with your wife. Because she is simultaneously the person closest to you AND the person who must never know the truth, engaging in a genuinely intimate conversation with her is a dangerous tight-rope walk. Most closeted bisexual men prefer to play it safe.

The thing is, playing it safe slowly causes intimacy to be replaced by distance. And no matter how polite or good-natured you are to each other, there's still a deep river that keeps you apart.

That distance between you on the raft and her on the shore? It's caused by your bisexuality.

"I'm always straight except for when I'm bisexual." - Part Two

Another aspect of Bisexual Delusion is that it causes men to make excuses for their lackluster (or non-existent) marital sex life. For example, it's common knowledge that marriage kills your sex life - right?

We all know that young couples fuck like bunnies and older couples hardly fuck at all.

We all know that women lose interest in sex after they have children.

We all know that women lose interest in sex when they hit menopause.

We all know that our married friends' sex lives are just as bad as ours, if not worse.

Although there is often an element of truth in these statements, it is delusional for a man to think that his bisexuality has no affect on the quantity and quality of sex within his marriage. Over and over, straight women have told me that they knew "something" wasn't right but they didn't know what. Then, once they learn the truth, it clicks.

The fact is, women of all ages LOVE intimate sex.

"I'm always straight except for when I'm bisexual." - Part Three

A third aspect of Bisexual Delusion is when bisexual men attribute their lackluster sex life to their wife's imperfections:

"She doesn't take care of herself."
"She's always tired."
"She never wants to give me a blow job."
"She's fat."
"She's a bitch."
Etc, etc, etc.

Again, there is often some truth behind these excuses, but the fact is, heterosexual men will eagerly fuck a fat, ugly woman who just lies there LONG before they'd ever consider hooking up with a man.

Bisexuality is not a part-time orientation. It's who you are, all the time, and it always affects how you interact with other people, most especially your wife.

The Win-Win: Step One

The first step of the "Win-Win" solution is to take responsibility for who you are.

Although it's very likely that your bisexuality is not the only issue in your marriage, if you want to find enduring happiness, you must work from the assumption that it is.

Focusing on other issues, especially ones that are her fault, will not be productive.

If you want results, you have to man-up. You have to work to bridge the intimacy gap that exists between you and your wife, and, you must believe that the gap is entirely caused by your sexuality.

Step Two

After you have accepted that your bisexuality has created an intimacy gap between you and your wife, and you acknowledge that your marital sex life is not satisfying to you, the next step is to address the problem with your wife.

Does that mean coming out to her?


The beauty of the "win-win" is that you can find enduring happiness without ever coming out of the closet.

In place of coming out, however, you MUST initiate a brutally honest conversation with your wife. This conversation is REQUIRED.

In the conversation you must tell her, without ever once blaming her, that you miss "the good old days" when the two of you couldn't get enough of each other. You must tell her that your first inclination was to make excuses for why that is...getting older, the kids, work, whatever. But then you realized that YOU haven't made as much effort as you once did. Just hearing those words should make your wife tingle down there in a way she hasn't in quite some time.

I've said that in a cheeky way, but actually, it's true. If you initiate an honest, intimate conversation and then take full responsibility for taking her for granted, she should respond in an overwhelmingly positive way. Ideally she will accept a portion of the blame and offer her understanding for the pressures that weigh on you.

Her comfort and support should encourage you to take the conversation to the next level, which is to create a joint plan to rekindle the intimacy in your relationship. Because keeping your bisexuality hidden is a permanent barrier, you have to work doubly hard to compensate. There are hundreds of intimacy-building books out there, read some.

I realize that talking about your relationship and improving the intimacy in it is not something you would normally want to do. Probably the opposite - and that's the point. As I said, the "win-win" requires work and now you can see why. It might seem like it's one sided, and it is, at first. After holding back for many years you have an intimacy deficit to fill. The good news is that if you are persistent, you will definitely enjoy the benefits of your labor: more and better sex.

The initial pay-off should be especially hot; there's good reasons why it's called "The Honeymoon Phase." Your pledge to intimacy and her response should inspire both of you to feel like giddy teenagers in a new relationship who just can't get enough of each other. Improved intimacy will rekindle the flame that has always been there, and once you feel it, you'll be surprised by the intensity. Just like that, you'll go from feeling frustrated and stressed by the confines of your marriage, to feeling happy and optimistic about your future together.

Reaping these benefits is essential because they will keep you motivated - and staying motivated is essential because bringing true intimacy back to your marriage is not a one-shot deal. Nor is it a one-month commitment. It's a permanent change of habit, a new beginning for an old relationship.

Step Three

Step three, mostly, is to repeat step two. Whenever your marital sex life slows down it's up to you to take the initiative to breathe life into it by letting your guard down and seducing your wife with intimacy.

There will be plenty of times when you will be tested. What if you're tired? What if she is being a bitch? What if sex with her is boring? Instead of burying these frustrations as you have in the past, you have to be open about them WITHOUT being negative or confrontational.

For example, don't reject her advances because you're tired. Instead be playfully teasing, "It's been a long day and I haven't been in the mood, BUT, I really want to enjoy this time together. Maybe you can put me in the mood? Or maybe we can cuddle?"

If she's being a bitch don't make it worse by criticizing her or telling her to relax. All she wants is for you to listen to her complain. So say something like, "I don't want to fight. Remember how I said I really to improve our relationship? I mean it. Can we call a truce for a few minutes?" You might surprised by how much better she responds when you're open and honest rather than closed and defensive.

When it comes to sex, what turns most women on is "girlie" stuff. Things like romantic comedies, romance novels, cuddling, kissing and holding hands. If sex with your wife is boring then you have to inspire her by asking how you can better please her. If you try some things that she suggests chances are she'll be that much more exciting in bed.

Whatever hurdles you face, overcoming them comes back to two simple ideas: respectful honesty and genuine intimacy. Step three is to continuously use them.

Step Four

Speaking of hurdles - one of the most difficult ones might be how to handle your attraction to men. Improving intimacy within your marriage will not make you straight.

But... it should make you much less motivated to pursue sex with men.

One of the key assumptions of the "win-win" is that intimate connections make for enduring happiness. There is something fundamentally satisfying about connecting with someone on a deep and intimate level. Yet, for all of the reasons outlined above, closeted bisexual men tend to avoid intimacy with their wives. This leaves them with an interior void that aches to be filled.

Sex with men is a great outlet to fill the void. It's fun! It's also a relaxing way to be close to someone without the risk of emotional entanglement. And, it's a welcome relief to escape the burden of the closet. Of course the inspired orgasms don't hurt either.

With so much to gain from hook-ups, it might seem unrealistic to expect that improved intimacy with your wife will dull your need to pursue them, but it will. It's not every day that love, sex and genuine intimacy all come together in the form of one person, so putting that relationship at risk by hooking up with others just won't seem worth it. Why go outside your marriage if what you have within it is so satisfying?

With that said, and for as much a commitment to intimacy should improve the relationship you have with your wife, you are - and always will be - bisexual. There will be times when you'll have to fight to resist the urge to hook-up. I suggest that you give yourself a break and not fight. Instead, redirect your sexual energy. Challenge yourself to find new ways to put your wife in the mood. Or, if you're not up for that, indulge yourself with some good porn and a lengthy solo session.

Giving yourself an outlet is extremely important. Repression does not work in the long-run, it only makes you miserable. Embrace your sexuality and wallow in it - in your own private and guilt-free ways. Finding enduring happiness means keeping your balance - a happy, fulfilling marriage AND the healthy expression of the full spectrum of your sexuality.

Step Five

We'd all like to find happiness as soon as possible. Yesterday, even. But securing ENDURING happiness takes time. You can't pay attention to your wife for a month, bask in the glow of a honeymoon phase, and think your work is done. Maintaining a good relationship always takes work - you know that. But changing old habits is extremely difficult. The idea of the "win-win" is to slowly and steadily paddle your raft to the shore and reacquaint yourself with the woman you fell in love with years ago. That takes time.

If you're serious about wanting to find enduring happiness, I suggest that you give yourself at least a full year to do it. If you can remain genuinely motivated for a year, you will - unquestionably - secure the first win in the "win-win" scenario.

Conversely, if you make a short-term effort and don't follow through after some initial good results, then your chances of finding enduring happiness will be no better than they are now.

Basically, if you want the "win" you have to go "balls to the wall" for at least a year.

The Second Win

What happens if you do exactly as I suggest, for exactly a year, and you aren't any happier than when you started? What then?

Don't despair.

By making a lengthy and determined effort to rekindle genuine intimacy in your marriage, you will avail yourself to a new set of opportunities - opportunities that will grant you new ways to secure enduring happiness.

I'll explain how that is possible in the next post.

In the meantime, thanks for reading. I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Bisexual Husband: He Says / She Says

I recently had the opportunity to witness a bisexual man and his straight wife speak candidly and independently about their marriage. Although I am quoting them directly, I made some editorial changes to keep their narratives tightly focused and to protect their identities.

The Bisexual Husband

Some days my marriage feels like a game to me, quick delete the emails and hide the gay porn! Other days it feels like I'm walking 500 miles in shit only to be rejected because I need more.

I'm living two lives right now. Physically... I'm a married man. I wear my wedding ring, I kiss my wife, we have sex. I don't physically cheat. I've never had sex with a man. I've hardly ever hugged a man. Mentally though, I struggle. I know that I'm married. I know that my wife has eyes for me. I know that I actually like having sex with her. Still, I'm drawn to men.

There are plenty of times that I wanted a cure for my bisexuality. I can see how it can enrich some peoples lives, but as for mine, please... lets cut it off. Like that leg... amputate it and please make life easier for me. Then I remember that this, this whole thing is a big part of me and it'll never ever just be shut off, cut off or wished away.

I don't know what I’m supposed to do. I love my wife and we have our problems but I know that life comes with problems, marriage isn't easy. If I didn't have my wife I would feel incomplete. I feel incomplete now, too. I'm puzzled and confused. Still it's comforting to know that there are that many people like me: stuck in the gray zone of needing something nearly unattainable. The bottom line is though, I've got the hots for my wife, as well as genuine love for her.

[How's your sex life?]

Sometimes we screw like hormonal teenagers and we'll have sex in the afternoons, before I go to work. I generally would refuse her because I felt that it made me sluggish and lazy at work... but it's actually put a pep in my step and it's increased my productivity. The afternoon sex sessions just keep getting better too.

The other day she jumped into the shower with me. That NEVER happens so it was a welcome surprise. Seeing her got me all hot and bothered so I started feeling her up... and SHE LET ME! Score! I pressed my self up against her and started pressing my cock up against her butt and other places. I was on cloud 9.

Another time I had been horny all day and after watching some old porn well off into the night, I was still in the mood despite having given up all hope to get laid. To my surprise my wife was horny and not at all tired. We started to have sex but something about it felt different, better. I can't put my finger on it, but something was completely different about this time. My excitement level was to the roof top.

Where does this leave me now? I've been pondering that. I'm still very much attracted to men but that night sure shook things up. Now I'm obsessing about my wife. I just want to crawl into bed and see if I can't make my way in between her legs.

The Straight Wife
We were married in September and only a few months later, in the following April I found evidence that he had been looking at profiles of gay men online. He assured me that he was only looking, just curious. I was devastated. We were newlyweds! I was so ashamed that I couldn't tell anyone. I didn't know what to do, so I just pretended like it didn't happen.

A couple of years went by, and our sex life really started declining. He was depressed a lot. He would tell me he didn't feel good, or his head hurt, or he was tired, or his stomach hurt in order to get out of sex with me. A couple times I would find evidence of him chatting online, but he assured me that it was only talking, that it didn't mean anything, and that he loved me so much. He would have sex with me for 2 weeks, then slowly our relationship would drift back to him avoiding intimacy with me. This went on for a couple years.

Eventually I told him that I needed intimacy and I threatened to cheat on him. His answer was to say that he was so sorry, and that he knew that he denied me intimacy. He promised that he would have sex with me regularly.

Of course, the sex was never regular, and he NEVER initiated it. We would have terrible fights about it. He would make me feel so bad for wanting sex. He would blame me for him not wanting it. I felt so conflicted because I wanted my marriage to work. When things were good, they were good, but when they were bad I was miserable. One day I just started praying, and I prayed to God that he would show me what to do. I begged him for a sign. Then, a few days after I prayed so fervently, some apps for gay men appeared on my phone. He didn't know that they'd be downloaded to my phone when I synced it. I confronted him, and of course he lied first then told me he was so sorry and he loves me so much. Again I didn't know what to do, so I told him that I needed time to think.

One night while he was sleeping, I took his phone and found out that he had another email account that I didn't know about, and saw emails dating back many months. I knew at that moment that I had to leave him. He talked to these men about doing the things with them that I wanted him to do with me..kissing, etc. I was so heartbroken.

I'm attempting to figure it all out, hoping that I can move in with my friend. Meanwhile my husband is begging me to stay. He promises to give me what I need, and if he can't then I can sleep with whomever I choose; although he has realized that he will never stop wanting to be with men.

He says he is bisexual and not gay...but I am done with that. I am done waiting on him to be what he says he will be. He says that he really means it this time because he never thought that I would leave him, but now that it is a reality he is willing to do whatever it takes.....what a slap in the face!!!

I am feeling sorry for myself lately. All I ever wanted was family and children and I'm scared that now I will never have that. I was so stupid all those years. I hope that I haven't wasted too much time on him. I think that I am just ashamed of the situation. I am an educated woman, I went to graduate school, how could I have given him so many chances? How could I have believed he would change?

Not all bisexual men are the same and not all bisexual married men can identify with the man quoted above. But many can.

Clearly, he loves his wife. Clearly, he desires his wife. Also, he recognizes that he is far from perfect and that his marriage has some issues. But, wow, isn't his story astoundingly different from hers???

He is not unique. Many bi-married men are stuck in their own mire and cannot see how their actions, or lack there of, directly affect the important people in their lives. This man, for example, believes that the biggest threat to his marriage is his attraction to men. But that's not why his wife wants to leave. She wants to leave because she feels undesired, "I am done waiting on him to be what he says he will be."

Many couples do not communicate about their sexual problems. This couple did. And, they both made a sincere effort to improve their intimacy. But their progress was always short-lived. Within two weeks they always fell back into the same pattern. Why? Because wanting to desire a woman 'enough' is not a substitute for actually doing it.

I believe that this couple's experience powerfully demonstrates four truisms that can often be applied to the marriages of bisexual men:

Attraction doesn't kill marriages, lack of attraction does.
This wife, and many like her, can accept a marriage to a bisexual husband. A surprising number of women are willing look the other way when it comes to infidelity. But even a faithful man's marriage will not endure unless his wife feels desired.

Labels don't matter. Any man who does not (or cannot) make his wife feel genuinely desired is on a slow but steady march to divorce court. This is true even if he is bisexual and even if he is straight. What a man believes about himself is irrelevant. He can be turned off by gay porn, and thereby be certain of his bisexuality, but if his wife does not feel authentically and regularly desired, he is no different to her than a gay man.

Lies matter. The reason this straight wife is angry is not so much that she unknowingly married a bisexual man, it's because he lied so often that he turned their marriage into a sad joke. Also, she's pissed that he wasted years of her life. Or more accurately, she's pissed at herself. The signs were there yet she ignored them.

Love is not enough. Pop culture and an untold number of fairy tales ingrain into us the certainty that love is enough to sustain a relationship. This is true. Love is what sustains many difficult relationships - how would teenagers be permitted to survive to adulthood without it?? As important as love is, most troubled marriages cannot be sustained on love alone. If there is no sexual desire, or not enough of it to be mutually satisfying, then the marriage will slowly unravel, like a ball of yarn. Friendships and families are sustained by love. The difference between those relationships and a marriage is not love, it's desire.

If you're reading this and you see something of yourself or your marriage in this couple's story, you might ask, what are you supposed to do about it? You love your wife, you married her with honest intentions, you have kids, you don't really want to live as an out gay man...what options do you have besides "keep on keeping on?"


One of those options, if handled correctly, should be a "win-win" - and no - it does not require that you tell your wife that you are attracted to men.

I will explain what this option is in a soon-to-come post. In the meantime, I look forward to reading your thoughtful comments.