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Mixed feelings

Our mixed-orientation marriage began with some simple principles that we considered logical and right.

​We are loyal to each other, so monogamous.

We won't continue as siblings, so not sexless.

We accept each other as we are, so that applies to both!

 

These principles were not only good as guidelines on which we could hold each other accountable, but also formed a solid foundation for what developed in the years that followed because it effectively focused on each other.

  • Making choices

  • Acknowledge the choices you have made

  • Follow up on the consequences that arise from a choice.

After all, love is not just a feeling but also a decision of will.

In the beginning, it was certainly not easy, despite the intention and progression of sexuality within the relationship. My husband being confronted with the feeling of being unwanted as a man, while the other experiences a sense of loss. In essence, we both miss 'that' in each other, which we desire and internally seek, wanting to be known, but it cannot be found.

It became a significant inner quest and a learning process simultaneously. For both of us! Emphasizing more and more the choice that the promise of 'marriage' and the desire to stay together (and each step forward) needed to be illuminated from those values and that framework.

It requires that essential conviction. It is the totality of moral values like loyalty, honesty, and love that each of us had and belongs to us as separate individuals.

Without remaining faithful to firm core values, you remain in a swamp of emotional turmoil and longing.
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Because it is right and good. No matter how difficult the circumstances or feelings are, those values do not change. Feeling is not the foundation. But your heart and mind provide the basis for, and as a result, the consequences, which concretely define the meaning of moving forward together.

Especially because over time, feelings can start to nag, perhaps sow doubt, about the correctness of the choice made, or consider the possibility of, despite good intentions and deep connection, letting go of each other and going solo. Again, the sense of loss is not exclusive to the 'gay' partner but equally applies to the partner and is just as emotional and intense.

If that cannot be answered by the desire (= staying true to oneself) and conviction within yourself (which applies to both), sticking to firm core values, you'll find yourself walking on loose sand or in a swamp of emotional turmoil within yourself and your own sense of loss. This is true in any marriage, but in a MOM, these pitfalls become visible earlier. Feelings that eventually become increasingly dominant, with self-interest taking more and more precedence.

It's a serious choice. The goal should never be to hurt the other!

I fell in love with a woman. The feelings were one sided, so it didn't evolve into an actual relation, but it did answer my questions I had for a long time and revealed lesbian feelings as a part of who I am.

But personally for me my priority was being in love for the first time... Childish and thoughtless (as I see it now in hindsight). Searching for confirmation of my sexuality. I wasn't yet aware that sexuality encompasses much more. Searching for information on the internet, like-minded people, and yes, sometimes even exploring adult sites. Pictures, songs that reminded me of her, and so on. I paid more attention to my appearance and such things. I started looking at women differently. It was as if I suddenly could and wanted to give myself that permission.

The fact that, after all these years, I had actually found an answer and could give a name to my aversion to sex and intimacy made my feelings manageable and discussable. It brought clarity to many questions and explained the difficult progress within our sexual relationship.

I even think that if I hadn't developed feelings for a woman, our marriage would have deteriorated anyway.

So, being incredibly happy and relieved to have found the reason for my lack of feelings that should have been there, I could let go of the guilt that stemmed from it.

I just couldn't see what my coming-out meant for our marriage, future, and his trust.
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Initially, it was difficult to end (my first real) infatuation. All these feelings that I had never felt before, the pieces of the puzzle suddenly falling into the right frame.

Ending this infatuation was inherent in the pursuit of continuing our monogamous relationship.

But letting go of the inner experience and excitement that infatuation brought with it was not so easy. I couldn't let go... in my head... in my heart... in my feelings. I realized only half that I was married and that my emotional desire significantly affected my husband. My thoughts, however, were somewhere else.

I didn't notice what my coming-out meant for our marriage, mutual trust, or future. Although I wanted to be honest with Bert, with all good intentions. My husband knew the truth. He knew that I wanted to stay with him and that our connection and relationship were important to me. In my reasoning, that was enough. That was it.

I was terrified of being alone and having to start completely anew for myself. So no, I definitely wasn't waiting for a divorce. I didn't want to lose my marriage.

The word 'divorce' did come up, more than once even, especially because my husband wanted clarity what his place in my feelings for him were. He gave me the choice... "What do you want?" "What are you going for? Either: we continue together within the boundaries we set for ourselves, or: we each go our separate ways."

Personally, I think these were the crucial ingredients in the beginning that shaped the boundaries we had set.

Ending the infatuation = Deliberate decision to choose the role and choice as a wife.

Maintaining order for the heterosexual partner = Preserving the boundaries of the relationship.

It obliges you to think and pull your head out of the clouds while landing with both feet on the ground.

It determines the direction and the will. Unfortunately, you can't always control feelings. But it is important to see and determine what you do with them. This position is of essential importance for both partners.

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Instead he maintained my order while I hobbled on a pink new cloud. That he presented me with a choice: "You can't control feelings; I understand even where they come from and are giving you an answer. However terrible it is all for myself. But if you want to continue with me, you have to choose me, and I don't want to dangle as baggage. I'm either enough, or I'm not. Otherwise, our paths diverge here."

I'm glad that my husband didn't say to me, "Oh, I find it terrible for myself because you reject me as a man, but well... well, I respect your feelings, of course, you can be who you are. Explore further, and I'll wait to see where it all ends for myself." Though that might sound comforting, it actually would have been a passive attitude from the sidelines.

Finding a balance was far from easy. I resisted, by scrutinizing the faults and behavior of my husband to mask my own shortcomings and flaws (especially concerning intimacy); making accusations, like: "How can I get into intimacy, if you don't do what I ask and are not there for me in practical things?"

It actually was a kind of defense mechanism to hide behind and avoid what love and being together really entails. I now call that part of my tunnel vision.

I felt a kind of emptiness that I didn't act upon for I also knew why I couldnn't, knowing that this choice was good and right and had to be made. But well... who was I then... where should I take those feelings? I found myself in a strange "no man's land.", each their own way and living on a seperate island. Trying to search for the best way to shape this.

Still, we chose each other, and that decision became the foundation, regardless of how the journey unfolded. The choice stemmed from our mutual desire to continue together and, above all, our deep love for each other. Over time, I realized that my sexual preference didn't define my entire identity. There was so much more that held significance and value to me. Which enabled a new frame to integrate everything.

The initial infatuation gradually receded into the background.

I also needed those boundaries to be able to take off the rose-colored glasses and realize that my marriage, my husband, our promises, and our being together have deep value. Over time, it shifted the focus from "me" back to "us," and that felt right.

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