Bisexuality and Marriage: I Disagree With Dr. Romance
Today at work I saw BlogHer post a link to an article with the title "My Husband is Curious About Sex With Men." As a bisexual woman in a committed relationship with a bisexual man, this drew my interest. Being bisexual is often like being in a forgotten class. We get lost among the heterosexual population because a lot of us are in opposite gender relationships. If we're in same sex relationships, its assumed we're gay or mostly gay. Or, better yet, we're told that bisexual doesn't exist, we're just confused. These are stereotypes that I think all bisexual people have experienced.
Image: Peter Salanki via Flickr
I really hoped this article would address the writer's concerns or questions with positivity, tact, and factual information. Instead "Dr. Romance" replied with the following misguidance:
- "You are right to be concerned." Why? I didn't read anything concerning about the husband.
- "The question is, what are the two of you going to do about it?" Do about it? This isn't something you can surgically remove. There's isn't a CTRL+Alt+Dlt for sexual attraction.
- "... but are you sure he's been honest with you? He clearly has some urges..." Yes, but urges DO NOT equal action. Just because I have an urge to quit my job and run away to France doesn't mean I do that every time the urge strikes (I'd be broke in no time).
- "..and it would not be unusual for a man in the military to act on those urges while away from home." WOAH. Did she really just say that? Did she really just suggest that because this man may be bisexual that he may also be a cheater?
- "It's possible he's never had any experience, but my professional expertise tells me it's unlikely." Let's not go ASSuming, please. As a professional you should know that making an assumption based on two paragraphs about a third party is not the most reliable or logical action. It would be more appropriate to caution the reader not to jump to conclusions. There are MANY men who haven't cheated on their spouses while in the military and/or discover they are bisexual after marriage.
It's ironic that she referred the woman to a sex positive therapist since her commentary wasn't at all sex positive.
Here is how I would have answered this question:
Dear Concerned Wife,
It sounds like you have a wonderful marriage with your husband. You've spent nine years together, have a great sex life, and are very open with each other. You mentioned that he had a sexual history before his relationship with you, but has had no one else since. Honesty is very important and appears to be a key part of your communication.
I think your husband is being very honest with you: he has some interest in exploring his sexuality but will not do so without your permission and involvement. Since you are uncomfortable with this idea, nothing has happened and he has respected your wishes.
Here is my question for you: does being bisexual change your trust in his fidelity to you? To put it another way: Did you think being attracted to men will change any way he feels about you and relates to you?
I sense a lot of insecurity in your letter. This isn't about which sexual organs your husband is interested in; its about your fear of losing him to his sexual interests. As a bisexual woman in a relationship with a bisexual man, let me assure you that being bisexual does not make you lose your self-control or ability to stay monogamous. Being bisexual means you are attracted to a wider range of people than someone who is either 100% hetero or 100% gay. According to research, most of humanity is more on a scale between these two extremes. Attraction is rarely a matter of checking the box of "Straight" "Gay" or "Bisexual." Regardless of how you check the box (or even how many boxes apply to you), the box doesn't change who you are in a relationship.<
He is a wonderful husband and father - being attracted to penises or the male body will not and is not changing that. So far he's remained faithful to you during nine years of marriage and appears committed to staying that way. I'll agree with Dr. Romance on one thing - you do need to talk to a sex positive therapist about this... about your ability to accept your husband for who he is.
Your husband is exploring and is in a vulnerable place. It is wonderful that he can be open with you. It's time to be a loving wife and accept him as the loving husband you know - bisexual or straight. Maybe this is a fantasy and a passing phase, or maybe he's more in touch with his sexuality now than he was when you were first married. Whichever it is, you need to figure out why this bothers you so much so you can spend the rest of your lives together in continued happy marital, sexual bliss.
Elizabeth, aka BiLikesSciFi