43 and still not sure what I am...

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43 and still not sure what I am...

Postby Pandora's_box » Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:50 pm

I am a wife and mother of 2 in my forties. I have been married for nearly 10 years to a kind and loving man who adores me and his family. We live in a nice house, have a comfortable life and I have everything I've ever wanted. Or have I?

In my teens and twenties I found myself more attracted to women although I always preferred the company of men. I did however develop crushes on female contemporaries at school, college and work, all of which I put down to a passing phase. During this period in my life I never had a boyfriend or girlfriend (despite being reasonably attractive) and didn't lose my virginity until my late 20s (to a man).

From that point on, I had more interest in men sexually and eventually met and married my husband. However lurking in the back of my mind always has been this question-mark over my sexualilty, one that I have always strived to keep firmly in its place and not to ponder over too much.

The problem is that when I dream, my dreams often feature me in flirtatious / sexual situations with other women, in particular one woman, a real woman from the past who I developed a complete passion for in my late teens and early twenties. I dream about this woman and other women frequently, maybe two or three times a week, and have done for many months (if not years). I often wake up from these dreams in a cold sweat, with a feeling of longing and regret that it was only a dream.

It feels as if my sub-conscious is trying to tell me something, that I'm not being true to myself and that I need to do something about it. I would however hate to destroy the family life that I currently have. I'm not passionately in love with my husband but I do love him and could never hurt him. I just feel as though I have been living a lie all my life and wonder if this is a bad thing that I should do something about.

I fantasise about getting in touch with the woman from my past that I dream about often. I know how I could do this but as she too is married with children it would seem like a pointless exercise. I'm fairly certain that when she first knew me (about 25 years ago!) that she did have something of a crush on me too and we did exchange many longing glances - there was a definite frisson of something between us. We were last in touch about 10 years ago and there is nothing to suggest that she has any interest in renewing our acquaintance. But still she haunts me, I feel as though I am on a life-long quest to find her and win her.

As I write these words it does seem ridiculous, mad even to even be contemplating such a thing - perhaps I need the help of a psychiatrist?
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Re: 43 and still not sure what I am...

Postby all_apologies » Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:48 pm

No, it's not ridiculous at all, and I very much doubt you need a psychiatrist!

First thing's first, regardless of whether you're gay/bi/curious, I think you need to really take a step back and assess your relationship with your husband. Forget about the fact that you're thinking of women, just focus on your marriage. As you said: you love him, but it sounds like you're not necessarily in love with him anymore. Are you cheating yourself out of your true identity to save breaking up your family? In the long run, you've got to think of what's best for both of you. If you're truly no longer happy in your marriage, it's not fair on either of you to keep up a false pretence that everything is fine.

With regards to your sexuality, I'd say it sounds like you're probably at least bisexual. Having had such strong feelings for women (and several different women, at that) for so many years rules out the notion of a phase in my mind. I totally relate to what you're saying about your dreams revealing your subconscious thoughts, mine are exactly the same! You need to make a decision about your relationship first, though, before exploring your sexuality any further. If you're so dissatisfied with your life as it is, can you really consider changing things "ruining" them?

Of course I don't mean to trivialise your marriage, and it's not a decision to be taken lightly. I just completely understand where you're coming from in terms of your feelings about your sexuality, so feel quite strongly about seeking a relationship that will truly make you happy.
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Postby x.hunny.x » Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:13 pm

Hi There, I am a bit younger than you (21) but I am a female and in a relationship with another female who has two young children. Yesterday we had been together two years :)

All my life I had always felt something different towards some females, even as young as primary school ages. There were so girls that I felt like I needed to be closer to them than others, I thought that these were just 'my best friends' I carried on feeling like this about some girls but never knew what it was, until when I was 16 something sexual happened between me and a girl. It was planned, we hadn't been drinking, it just happened. It felt so right. (I had never felt quite right with men, I sometimes enjoyed myself with men but there was always something missing, I just never knew what it was) After a little while of feeling very confused and questioning myself, am I bi? Straight? Gay? what am I? I relaised that I was bi but prefered sexually being with women.

No-one knew about my secret for a few years, so I kept my female fancying feelings to myself and carried on going out etc with men but still somehting was missing.

I used to spend hours in chat rooms talking to bi women etc and was loving it.

I did end up with a few girls but not relationships.

Finally I met the woman I'm with now and everything fell into place.

Perhaps for now you should just maybe when you can go into chat rooms and talk to otehr women, many will probably be in your situation.

Why dont you arrange a night out to a local gay pub/club see how you feel? It'll probably make you realise either way.

Anyway keep me posted.

xxxxxxxxxxx
Hope to hear from you soon.
Good luck & take care.
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Re: 43 and still not sure what I am...

Postby retrochav » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:11 pm

You are a very brave woman to admit to yourself something that many just never can - that there are questions to be answered at any age.

Try not to regret the choices you have made. They were the right ones given circumstances at the time and your feelings at the time. You made decisions and had the strength to see them through.

But that is the past, and for good or bad we cant have those years back. Imagine for a momment that you could. Say you went out with this girl. There would have been difficult choices to make, and you would have seen this woman in the round - not just the fantasy bits. She and you would have changed and developed as time went on. You could today be wondering about the guy (your husband) who you fancied but didnt get together with.

So lets focus on the here and now and the future, because that can be changed. I wonder if the dreams are indicating that you need to make those changes. You could decide to stay with your husband, you could consider changing the dynamics to allow a little more freedom within the marriage, or you could decide its time to leave and set up a life on your own.

There is a lot of thinking to do. The dreams have awoken you to feelings that you thought were long gone. They arent, and its for you to decide whether they remain a sexual fantasy, indicate a new way of living, or indicate you need to make wider changes.

I wouldnt suggest chasing your dream with the woman in your past. As said she could have changed beyond belief. If you were single it could be worth exploring friendship to see what occours, but whilst you are in a relationship it is likely to cause more pain and confusion. Decide what you need before involving others.

Its not wrong to leave a relationship that isnt working, its just hard. It is wrong remain where you dont want to be and make two lives difficult, its just easy.
whatever your problem someone else has been there and bears the scars.
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Postby x.hunny.x » Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:50 am

WOW retrochav, that was some very good advice :)
Hope to hear from you soon.
Good luck & take care.
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Thanks To All Of You

Postby Pandora's_box » Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:41 am

Thanks to you all for your kind, considered and sensible advice. Funnily enough after writing my original post the dreams completely stopped - the act of writing down my "problem" and sharing it with the world (potentially!) seemed to have a cathartic effect and I became a lot more clear-headed as a result. But the dreams have started again now - I dreamed last night that I was preparing to leave my husband to run off with another married woman and we were both so anxious about how our children were going to react and to settle at new schools etc - I woke up in another cold sweat and I guess that's why I'm here again.

Anyway, the conclusion that I have come to is that to actively pursue these latent feelings would only bring misery and heartache to my husband, children, family and myself and nothing in the world is that important as to risk causing such hurt and upset. The marriage and the children are much more important than any discontent or unfulfillment on my part and therefore I must do everything I can to get on with life as positively as I can. Perhaps my dreams are a way of letting me live my alternative life without hurting anyone.

I realise that some of you may view this as the easy, coward's choice and perhaps it is, however I think for the sake of this family it is the right one.
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Postby crazy_in_love » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:31 pm

hey, i dont think its the cowards choice at all, i think its a brave choice. You are thinking of your family's happiness and doing the thing that you think is right. There wa sno right or wrong outcome to this situation, and as long as you feel that you have done the right thing, then in my book your no coward.
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