Confession: I’m A Lesbian Trapped In A Straight Marriage

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Most people who meet me might think I have the “perfect” life. We are the poster family for the American Dream.  An attractive family; we are homeowners with great jobs and three small, happy, healthy kids. We are quickly heading towards our 5 year wedding anniversary…

But, like so many things in life, it’s not what it seems.

I have a confession.

I’m a lesbian trapped in a straight marriage.

When I was starting high school and all of my best girlfriends were starting to date boys, it was really clear to me that I was different. I needed to start dating girls.

I would get so jealous of their boyfriends and it really disgusted me to watch these guys put their hands all over my friends. I still can’t see what the appeal was in all of it. That set me on a quest to find a girlfriend. The problem was, nobody else was gay, and it was really, really lonely.

I figured if I can’t beat ‘em I would just join ‘em, and so started dating boys.

This was great until it was time for anything physical to happen, at which point I would close my eyes and pretend I was alone. Somehow this evolved into my own version of what it means to be “straight” and I was on my own little winding country road through life. When met a girl who I thought was lesbian, I would veer over to that side of the road. When she left me – inevitably for a man – I would be “straight” again. This went on and on, back and forth until I was so carsick I couldn’t do it any longer.

What does it mean to be straight?

Being “straight” was so easy for me; boys were easy to chew up and spit back out again. I have, without a doubt, been the worst girlfriend in the history of girlfriends simply because I just didn’t really care about the men I was dating. In fact, I spent many years of my life feeling like I was victimized by the guys I dated, probably because I was doing things that, deep down inside, I didn’t want to do. Losing a boyfriend never really seemed to hurt me much more emotionally than losing a friend.

Then, it happened. Right around the time I decided to put the charade aside and go live my life as a lesbian, I found out I was pregnant. For whatever reason, I really didn’t think I could raise my kid with two moms. This life event solidified my “choice” to be “straight”.

I’ll admit: I have given Betty Crocker a run for her money, though! I would like to think in every way possible I made up for the fact that I have no attraction to men by trying to be the ideal “Perfect Wife”.

The stupidest part in all of this is that I struggled to identify why I was so miserable. Being a lesbian in a straight marriage never seemed to be reason enough to feel as dark and depressed as I felt. No matter how much therapy, Xanax or alcohol I went through, I really couldn’t shake this dark, horrible depression. Masking it with enough makeup and nice clothes or a big fake smile only seemed to make it worse.

I thought I was doing right by my kids trying to be happy all the time. On the inside, I would vent in emails to myself like this one:

“Going on 3 days now where I feel like my heart is in my throat and I’m choking, struggling to breathe. I’m not interested in anything but drinking, only the hard stuff seems to take the edge off, and even then it doesn’t do much for me. Once again I can see how it is I drank a bottle of vodka years ago. It’s not that I want to die, I just can’t seem to feel ok with my life. Nothing is wrong with my life aside from how I feel, and there seems to be nothing I can do to change that feeling. I miss cutting. [Because yes, I masked my feelings and guilt with cutting] I won’t do it again but a big part of me just wishes I could cut away some of the pain and feel numb. I’d pay anything to just not feel what I feel for even 10 minutes. I just need to escape the pain. If there were something I could blame this all on that would be so nice. The fact that my life is perfect makes this so much worse. I don’t have a reason to feel this way which makes me feel like more of an idiot than I already do. I hate myself. “

Dealing with the Choice

I managed to shove my lesbian self so far into the closet that even I couldn’t believe that it was the source of my depression. When I look over the list of complaints from my husband, and I look over the times when the depression feels like it’s lifted, the answers should have been crystal clear. However, it’s amazing how much you can ignore when you put your mind to it and just look the other way.

He says:
– I’m not affectionate.
– I almost never make physical contact.
– I don’t seem to enjoy sex.
– I talk about attractive girls and what they wear way too much.
– I am not happy with him; I only look at the kids and smile.
– When I am happy it doesn’t last long.
– I manipulate situations to my advantage.
– I act like I don’t love him.

I’m happy when:
– I’m with friends.
– He’s gone.

I wondered for years: why am I happier when he is gone? We spent more than a month apart over the summer and I was so happy. I didn’t want to go back home to him. Everyone told me I was crazy; that I have a “perfect” life. This made me so much crazier. Several times in my marriage, I would end up cutting myself to numb the pain. I hated myself, and I questioned why I would want to finish my life in this house.

I felt like a robot: just wash the dishes, put the kids in the bath. Grow a baby. Wake up and feed baby, change diapers. Cook dinner. Repeat.

I love my children; I told myself I do this for the kids. But one day I woke up and realized I do nothing for myself, I don’t have any of my own interests, clothes I like, a car I like. My thoughts are always, “What is the best thing for the family? I will do that”.

I had no self-identity, something I am only now starting to work on.

Where do I go from here? Do I divorce my “perfect” life? Ruin my children’s lives for my own sake? Would I really be so selfish that I would put myself before my children and husband? What about the commitment that I made to my husband? Can’t I just keep doing what I have been doing this whole time and make everyone else happy?

Most importantly, what if I’m not happier and then I end up alone? What if I’ve ruined everything I have? Am I really this ungrateful for my perfect life?

Someone, please give me some answers.

 

Photo Credit: Flickr – Chiara Stevani

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  • Wow, this is a hot mess and if there were an easy answer you’d have figured it out by now. Some of your predicament is of your own doing and you need to take ownership of that. Specifically, You figured out you like girls and don’t like boys at an early age yet tried to fit in by sleeping with boys. You’ve been married for 5 years and grew 3 babies in the process.

    You might want to seek out the help of an expert like Dan Savage. What I will tell you is that nobody is 100% happy 100% of the time, even happily married straight couples. The best we can do is maximize our happiness, change what we can and learn to live with what we cannot.

    Your husband already suspects something isn’t right so you could have a chat with him and ask if he would be open to an open relationship until the kids are grown up. That lets you both off the hook where the sex is concerned.

    And while you may not be sexually attracted to your husband, you can still love him as a partner, a fellow parent and another human being. Reframe it as if he were a brother or a platonic guy friend you are very close with….do it for your children.
    good luck.

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