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Forums / Sexuality and gender identity / My boyfriend is bisexual- or gay? Unsure

Topic: My boyfriend is bisexual- or gay? Unsure

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. confusedgf
    confusedgf avatar
    6 posts
    4 March 2019

    I am female, and around 6 months ago, my boyfriend of 4 years came out as bisexual to a gay friend of mine when he was really drunk. He never planned to come out but my gay friend confronted him about it when he had his guard down. This is something I always suspected and knew deep down.

    When I found out (through my gay friend) I mostly felt really sorry for my bf having to hide his true self for his whole life (he grew up in a small town and hence never felt comfortable to explore his sexuality). I was upset and confused but I know its not his fault so I'm not angry.

    He says he loves me and definitely wants to be with me. We are best friends and have often discussed our future lives together.

    Since the beginning of our relationship he has had performance issues (this might be a red flag?), so our sex life has never been great but we have spoken about it a lot and we are very open about his anxiety etc and trying ways to address it.

    I guess the biggest thing I am confused about is whether he is gay or bisexual. I don't think he is lying to me at the moment, but I just don't think he knows for sure. We at the stage in our relationship where we need to decide if we want to commit and take the next step (buy a house etc). I just scared if we stay together he will get to a stage in his life where he will realise he is unhappy with me (as a woman) and will want to explore his sexuality (he has only ever kissed another guy when he was 16).

    My friends are worried about me and have alluded to the fact that they think he is probably gay. None of his guy friends know as he is worried about how they would react and treat him differently, so we have kept it a secret.

    I am just really confused about what to do next, I know there aren't any rules for this situation. It breaks my heart when I think about letting go of our relationship and everything we have planned to do together, but my gut feeling says we should probably break up.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Definitely Otherwise
    Definitely Otherwise avatar
    87 posts
    4 March 2019 in reply to confusedgf

    You sound like a sensitive person. We can get ourselves into very complicated situations, common sense & logic can go out the window & we are notorious for carrying other people’s struggles. At the end of the day you are trying to figure out someone’s else’s own internal process, that by its very nature, unfortunately, is a lonely road to go down. It makes sense that you would do that, because you love him. But all this time your partners sexuality.… "is something I always suspected and knew deep down”.

    In my opinion he needs to be free, to figure that out for himself. It won’t be easy. Bisexual people can get a lot of flack from some in the LGBTI community. You probably know all the usual gibes, “their weak cowards”, “they want hetero privileges when it suits them”, they are hyper sexual”. I’ve overheard conversations where it’s been suggested all Bi’s are inherently self-serving and opportunistic by nature. If they want kids it’s a “girl phase”, if they want to be free it’s a “boy phase”, or if they just want the best deal financially they will take who ever fulfils that role. It’s hard being on the LGBTI spectrum, you have to grow tough skin where-ever you fall on it, to put up with all of that.

    I’ll be blunt with you. Yes, the sexual dysfunction would leave me asking questions. That’s only natural. And yes, that is one of the first thought’s I would have, I would question his sexuality if it was as persistent as you have described.

    If that was me, even though I’d hate my mind to have to go there, I would also have thoughts such as “am I willing to risk being a Beard?” Personally, I couldn’t cope figuring out that I was a Beard. I would feel so humiliated and betrayed. But it is incredible how many women bury their heads in the sand to keep their life as it is and they go into denial.

    At the end of the day, if he loves you as much as he says he does, he should want to spare you that humiliation – and end the relationship and go figure himself out, on his own. Surly he can spend some time imagining what it must feel like to be you, and have the sensitivity that you display - reciprocated.

    If he doesn’t, to me, that raises even more questions. Almost like, its just easier to stay together and he’s afraid of what lies underneath. I can’t see any logical reason why you guys need to rush into buying a house, & your own gut instinct is to break up.

    I think you both have to prioritise long term mental health over short term comfort and familiarity.

    Def

    1 person found this helpful
  3. confusedgf
    confusedgf avatar
    6 posts
    4 March 2019 in reply to Definitely Otherwise

    Thanks for taking the time to write a big reply.

    Yeah, I agree. I feel like he needs some space away from me and our relationship to explore his identity more. I worry that he would be too ashamed/scared to actually go through with anything, but I guess that isn't my issue if we decide to separate.

    I've done a lot of research on bisexuality, and yes it definitely seems like they cop a lot of flack from both sides of the spectrum. I find it very hard to empathise as I am very much hetero.

    His sexual dysfunction has always been easily explained away by his anxious tendencies, but you are right, I think it is a major red flag. Even if he hasn't admitted it to himself. We are a very intimate and close couple otherwise which makes it more confusing.

    Yeah, I'm constantly asking myself if I could be happy with a life partner who may not be sexually attracted to me in the future? Even if we get along well and I can imagine him being the father of my kids? I just don't know.

    He keeps saying he doesn't want to lose me and doesn't want to throw away our relationship on the off chance that his feelings for women may change in the future. But part of me does question whether he's happy in our relationship because it means he doesn't have to confront or address who he really is, and his life would be much easier if he just stays with me (for now).

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Definitely Otherwise
    Definitely Otherwise avatar
    87 posts
    4 March 2019 in reply to confusedgf

    Its' Ok to be hetero confusedgf. We call you guys The Breeders.

    Let’s face it. It’s easier to stay.

    Ask yourself more questions confusedgf.

    What I would do, is expand my analytical lens. I would ask myself stuff like. When was the last time he was single? What is the longest time he has ever been on his own? Is he a flexible person, or very rigid and not adaptable? How does he cope with change? Compared to me, and my friends and family, where does he fall on the scale of easily embarrassed and defensive? Is he strong enough to cope with public questioning?

    The reason I would ask myself these, is because when a break up is looming, I would want to know, are they afraid to lose me, the person, or what our relationship gives them, or helps them avoid and not experience.

    If they are someone who’s opinion by others is of profound importance……I’m sorry to break this to ya’ confusedgf, but he may be confusing the peripheral emotions with the core, and using it to his advantage.

    Does that make any sense at all or is that all just a bit wacko?

    Just because he is questioning his sexuality, doesn’t mean he will not experience the normal freak out, anxiety and heart break that comes with a breakup. Some of these are just heart break emotions and not anything to do with sexuality. Gay or straight we all experience them. It sounds to me he has them all muddled, and attributes all hesitancy to being evidence that he is not gay.

    I think both of you guys owe it to yourselves to separate and pursue your own individual counselling. Neither of you has anything to lose.

    Def


    1 person found this helpful
  5. Only I know
    Only I know avatar
    213 posts
    4 March 2019 in reply to confusedgf

    Hey confusedgf. Def has offered you some great suggestions and perspective. Let me offer you some perspective of what I think your BF may be going through (Def knows about me, and my experiences - I started my own post here last year when I was going through some crap!).

    I've just turned 48, and now identify as a gay man. Well, actually, I've always identified as a gay man (since about 12) but lived the life of a hetro man. I was forced (by failing mental health) to "come out" to my wife of 20 years last May. It broke my heart, believe it or not-I do love her with all my heart-which makes it harder. I hid who I was for my entire life, fearing rejection by everyone I knew and loved. It came to a point though that I'd fallen so mentally low that I questioned,daily,on the best way of stopping the pain, and yes that meant what it sounds like.

    My wife knew I was unwell, as did my 2 beautiful kids(17yo son and 10yo dghtr). My sex life was non-existent and had been like that for most of our marriage. My wife just put it down to having low sex drive, but of course I knew better. I didn't want to lose her.

    Your BF probably knows the truth deep down - whether his is Bi or Gay-but may just be too afraid like I was.

    I wish that I had come out years ago, even if it had been after I got married. I've got wonderful kids and I had 20 years of wonderful marriage. But now I live with the guilt that my wife is now also single as she approaches 50, at a time in her life where she should be enjoying seeing our kids turn into fine young adults, and dreaming of the worldly travels as a mature woman with her loving husband. I live with that everyday, and so does she. Fortunately, like you, she is a wonderful caring woman and her first concern was my health. I only moved out in November, so things are still quite fresh, but she is my best friend and my hero.

    All I can say to your BF is to look deep inside himself, and ask what does he want for HIMSELF, and what does he want for YOU? I was selfish and afraid in a time where society made it tough, but nowadays it aint so bad.

    Def last sentence on the last post about counselling is the best advice anyone can give you. For your BF, he should call QLIFE - they are a peer based LGBT phone counselling and can refer him to a LGBT friendly counsellor. They will help him work through his thoughts.

    Make the right choice for you, you both need to. There are consequences to making the wrong ones, as I well know.

    take care

    Daz

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Definitely Otherwise
    Definitely Otherwise avatar
    87 posts
    5 March 2019 in reply to confusedgf

    Hey confusedgf,

    The wonderful Daz hello!

    I just wanted you to know I wasn’t making light of your heartbreak & I’m not judging you. Just because your BF may be gay or Bi it doesn’t mean that the heartbreak feels any less awful. If you truly loved him, and you guys do split permanently, you may never get over it. Especially if you met them at a time when you were broken anyway. It may just be one of those hurts you have to carry for the rest of your life.

    Would you believe I actually fell in love with a straight women. She is the first women that I have ever actually loved. I’m not someone that goes around loving very easily and giving those ‘3 little words’ to just anyone. It’s a long story but she completely used me as an experiment. I was so hurt and devastated when she went running back to her husband who she was separated from when he started dating and she got jealous. She chose to tell me on my birthday. I got so plastered and did not move from my kitchen table all day. I weigh 50 kilos and I had at least 2 bottles of wine…….wasn’t pretty.

    Now this is where it turns into a daytime soap opera. So if you ever feel ridiculous, I just want you to know that I have felt ridiculous falling for someone that isn’t even into women. Would you believe that I’m pretty sure Karma has bitten her on the bott and that her husband is a closeted gay man. Chicks talk about everything, she told me all about their sex life, he had his childhood SA (which I have experienced myself) & his persistent lifelong performance issues to deflect away from what to me – is so obvious. His behaviour while they were separated made no logical sense to me, and thats when I started joining dots in my head. I feel kind of sorry for her. When I 1st met her she kept saying to me their sex life was so bad it made her asexual and it had destroyed her confidence and self esteem. I was shocked she hadn’t questioned his sexuality herself, but she is a very gullible person who has blind Christian faith. She also has a very healthy sized ego and wouldn't have wanted to beleive it may be true, to suffer that sort of embarassment. I saw a picture of him online recently, and he looks terrible. He would have used our romance to say his hook ups with men were no different to me and her hooking up.

    But hey, not my problem!

    I understand how silly you may feel some days. It really stings and hurts. But you will get to a stage where you can laugh about the absurdity in between being so sad.

    Def



    1 person found this helpful
  7. Quercus
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    Quercus avatar
    3502 posts
    5 March 2019 in reply to confusedgf

    Hi Confusedgf and welcome to the forums,

    Reading the replies so far has been facinating and I suppose I am joining in to give another hetero woman's pov (by the way I had never heard the term Breeder and it is equal parts hillarious and unkind but compared to some of the terms the LGTBIQ community get thrown at them I can wear it 😊).

    I keep wondering why is it that you don't seem to expect better for yourself? Yes you love this man... But sex, intimacy and feeling desirable is important too. There's nothing wrong with wanting your partner to want you.

    One thing I have always loathed is feeling like someone stays with me

    • out of obligation,
    • because they love my family or friends,
    • because I make them feel good about themself,
    • because of what I can give them,
    • Because they are scared to be alone or take a risk.

    I want to be wanted for ME.

    And I don't think that is such a bad thing to want. Do you?

    I would be considering seriously whether investing in loving someone who has no idea what they want is helpful for you.

    He is an adult. It's not your job to act as a safe haven while he experiments. It is your responsibility to care for yourself even if that means walking away.

  8. confusedgf
    confusedgf avatar
    6 posts
    6 March 2019 in reply to Only I know

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all taking the time to reply.

    I know that he loves me and cares for me deeply but I think he is with me because it's easy, because it allows him to be safe in the identity of our relationship, because he wants a normal life and he doesn't want to be seen as different. He cares a lot about what other people think, especially his group of guy friends. It's almost when I join all the dots together the answer is so obvious.

    The thing I'm struggling with at the moment- is whether or not I should be truthful about how I think and feel about everything that is happening. I feel like I can't say exactly what I want to say because it will just make him feel shit and guilty about who is he (and what he has put me through) I don't want him to feel down on himself. Do you think that some things are just better left unsaid? Or should I be honest?

    I said to him the other night that I think he needs some space away from our relationship to figure out who he is. And if he finds himself being attracted to other girls then he will probably know that he is bisexual, and I guess if he doesn't, then he will have to go from there.

    Our living situation at the moment is making it hard to decide straight away whether to break up. But I guess we aren't married with kids so I imagine it gets sooo much harder.

    Thanks everyone :)

    3 people found this helpful
  9. Only I know
    Only I know avatar
    213 posts
    6 March 2019 in reply to confusedgf

    hey confusedgf,

    again - he is sounding just like I was as a guy in my 20's. I met my wife, she was kind/loving and it was easy. I did / do love her without a doubt. I wanted "normal" (but nowadays - what is normal?) I didn't want to be different, I wanted to be married and have kids. I cared what others thought.

    If he is gay - and he can live to be a very old man and continue to hide it, then he will have done better than I. I thought I could until it almost claimed me.

    You really should be honest with him about how you feel. It doesn't have to saying that you want to break up, but you need certainty. That you want to know that he is certain about himself. I'd suggest speaking to a counsellor though before you talk to him as they can help offer you some strategies to talk to him so that it is less confronting for both of you.

    Open communication is the best thing for any relationship - no matter what the situation - gay/straight etc etc. I think that If you opt to keep your concerns to yourself, you will be doing yourself an injustice. If you ever then got married, had kids etc, it will forever be in the back of your mind. You may then worry that he is doing something behind your back even when he isn't. It will always create that seed of doubt and then mistrust.

    Go and see a Dr, get a mental health care plan for a psychologist or counsellor, don't struggle on your own. I mentioned in the previous post the organisation called QLIFE - you can even call them too (they aren't just for people who identify as LGBT+), they may be able to offer clarity. It is anonymous and you can just chat to someone without judgement.

    It is incredibly hard to go through what you are, you are a brave & kind person - I can see that you are concerned for him, but you need to think of yourself as well. YOU ARE IMPORTANT TOO. Your opinion and feelings matter.

    Take care,

    Daz

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Definitely Otherwise
    Definitely Otherwise avatar
    87 posts
    6 March 2019 in reply to confusedgf

    Hey confusedgf,

    I'm sorry to be so straight with you (not something I can pull off that easily LOL), but I think your BF is being a little selfish and a little reckless with your heart. He should be considering, what if x amount of years pass, and my GF passess missed opportunities with other people only for me to swing around a few years later, and be like "oh by the way, I have met a guy". Ouch! Resentment here we come. Especially seeing as it could be avoided. It would be different if all of this had been repressed. It hasn't. Its all out in the open and in the conscious. He therefore has a choice to take a break and see what happens not only to honour his own self, but to honour you, and your future. How will you feel if that happens? If an offer comes along that he wants to explore and he dumps you in 12 months time? Don't you think that that could take a toll on your mental health and self confidence.

    He isn't imagining what it would be like to be you, he's only imagining how the failure of his relationship will be interpreted by others publicly. Maybe he feels like his sex life will be exposed.

    I just can't see any logical reason why you can't take a break except for his pride. I would feel kinda disrespected and used if he is clinging to me tightly for his own comfort. Obviously you guys will have to talk about the rules of separation and all that, ie seeing other people etc but...regret and resentment are awful inner states to have to live through long term, and you guys have a choice to chose another option, or trial it out.

    This line is a worry - "The thing I'm struggling with at the moment- is whether or not I should be truthful about how I think and feel about everything that is happening".

    Is this a pattern of poor communication you guys have fallen into regularly. Where you are overly accomodating and placing his needs above yours at the expense of your own needs. Sure, the delivery has to be sensitive but you're not walking on eggshells with this are you? I just think saying nothing and swalloing your feelings could be disasterous if you're not careful. Relationships are based on reciprocation.

    keep the communication open, and express what's on your mind to your BF.

    Quercus - I am sorry for reducing you to your reproduction parts, I tried to come up with a more appropriate term maybe David Attenborough would use to describe y'all and I couldn't. I love the little people you pop. I really do.

    Def

    1 person found this helpful
  11. confusedgf
    confusedgf avatar
    6 posts
    7 March 2019 in reply to Definitely Otherwise

    Hi there,

    Sorry, I should have said that we have been quite open with each other through all of this- he knows that I am considering the break up and he understands my position (but maintains that he is bisexual so he still wants to be together). I more mean the specifics about how I feel about certain things.

    For example, I am not a jealous or insecure person normally (we haven't had any problems with jealously throughout our relationship) however since I found out, I feel uneasy about a close relationship he has with a guy friend. I have a sneaking suspicion that my bf has a crush on his friend (he is really good looking), and I feel jealous about them spending a lot of time together. I've never admitted this and I hate that I am even writing it here, I don't want to be that type of person.

    I haven't told him how I feel about this because I just don't know if it would be worth it? I'm not going to tell him to stop hanging out with his friend -nor should he have to. So it would just cause tension and make him feel crap.. and if we are breaking up anyway there's probably no point.

    What do you guys think?

  12. confusedgf
    confusedgf avatar
    6 posts
    7 March 2019 in reply to confusedgf

    P.s:

    Thanks for all the tips on counselling. We both went to see someone (separately) when it all unfolded.

    I found the lady who I went to wasn't that great- she was a bit cold towards me so I didn't go back. It was just through my university though so maybe thats why.

    His counsellor was good, helped him to normalise his situation, but she told him she didn't think he needed to keep going back as he wasn't showing signs of any depression or anxiety.

  13. Only I know
    Only I know avatar
    213 posts
    7 March 2019 in reply to confusedgf

    whoa! whoa!

    Sorry but his counsellor can't have been all that good! Him going to the counsellor isn't all about whether he was showing any signs of depression or anxiety. I can tell you from experience that I didn't show any signs until last year - at 47.

    I did start to experience depression about 10-15 years ago. I became very good at hiding it because I didn't want to come out, I didn't want to leave my loving married/father situation and I didn't want anything to change. I didn't want to be gay.

    The counsellor should be helping him work through his feelings and thoughts, and I can't see that this would be done in one session. I'm assuming he only went once? was it a professional or someone through university? I'm glad that he at least got the "normalisation" out of it, as that is true and correct. If he is still questioning whether bi or gay then he still needs the help. Being told he is okay and doesn't need to return may not actual help him.

    For me, I never questioned being gay. I've always known, but I chose the path I went on mainly due to society/family pressures, and lack of self confidence to be who I am etc. The psych helped me work through the "normalisation" and guilt and how to get through the other stuff.

    Look, I'm no expert psychologist, I can only tell you what I experienced as a man who hid who he was most of his life. Who kept very important things from his wife, his kids and his family and friends. It almost made me do something that everyone would have regretted. If you look at the statistics, men who identify as gay have the highest rate of suicide.

    Your BF may think he's okay now, but in the future? Much better to have the pain of breakup and being open with himself, you, and everyone around him now - I think. I wish I had done the right thing when I was younger. I will live with that regret forever.

    And for you, I would still seek a proper psychologist/counsellor through your GP or QLIFE.

    And if you are leaning towards breaking up - then no, I don't think you need to raise him hanging with his mate. It doesn't matter if you are not together, but you can still be friends.

    Of course, if you stay together then you should raise it. Otherwise, as I said in previous post, you'll always have that seed of doubt and mistrust, which will only hurt your relationship anyway.

    good luck and take care.

    Daz

    1 person found this helpful
  14. confusedgf
    confusedgf avatar
    6 posts
    8 March 2019 in reply to Only I know

    Yeah I also thought it was really strange that his counsellor said he didn't need to come back as well- perhaps she wasn't trained in this particular area. Bf just went to a random doctor (not his normal GP) to get a referral for the mental health plan. The counsellor I saw sent me some LGBTI services for our city, and I did mention this to him but he wasn't interested (probably because he would be too worried people would find out).

    I have felt a sense of clarity over the past week and I do believe we should break up. I sort of feel like he needs to take the next part of his journey on his own- to really figure himself out. I will of course still be his friend and be there for him (eventually).

    Thanks for the tip about not bringing up his close relationship with his friend. I knew that I probably shouldn't raise the issue. But it has been hard when I've obviously been upset at times and he asks me whats wrong but I can't be completely honest.

    Thanks for all your help, it has been so good to vent about it all. I do have a few friends who know and I can talk to but they worry about me/ my future so I feel as though their advice is biased at times.

    2 people found this helpful

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