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Forums / Sexuality and gender identity / Struggling with my sexuality and crushing on a married woman

Topic: Struggling with my sexuality and crushing on a married woman

15 posts, 0 answered
  1. Ghost Girl
    Ghost Girl avatar
    20 posts
    30 April 2021

    Hey there BB forum users,

    I'm having a hard time and I know I really need to talk to someone. I would usually talk to my counsellor or my friends (most of whom are LGBT) about my struggles but these feelings are so unusual for me and so difficult to explain that I felt like this forum might be the best place to start opening up about this. So to begin, I'm almost 21 years old, I work as a trainee aged carer and I've known I'm somewhere in the "bi sphere" since I was about 12 years old. The "struggling with sexuality" part of the title is because I've gone through some periods of confusion because I'm not "half straight/half gay" nowhere close. I'd say my ratio is about 80-85% in favour of men with 15-20% of my attractions being women and to add to that, these attractions are pretty much never sexual attractions, rather they're sensual/romantic ones. Last year, I finally decided to just go with what felt right and call myself "bisensual" because I can be sensually attracted to anyone despite preferring men so why not? Now comes the kicker: About a month ago, I realized the intense desire I have to be close to one of my coworkers (we'll call her "Mari"), isn't just because I admire her... I have a colossal crush on her even though she's about 20 years older than me and married with kids. Initially I was disappointed that I had built such a good age gap friendship with Mari (as well as many other older workmates) and then I had to go and ruin it by catching feelings but then I justified the feelings, "This feels good and if I keep it to myself and don't act on it, I'm not hurting anyone right?" but as I got increasingly worried that I'm not feeling guilty enough for being attracted to someone who has a husband and kids, I decided to start trying to get over her by force: "You should be ashamed of yourself, you freak." But I can't stop thinking about her, I've never felt this way for a woman before and only for very few men. She called me pretty with my new haircut the other day and I got butterflies and I sometimes even imagine myself kissing her. So fast forward to now, my social anxiety is the worst it's been in a long time and I think it's to do with Mari and my fear of the people I work with finding out about my sexuality and my inappropriate attraction to her. I've considered online dating since I've been feeling ready to put myself out there and I definitely need the distraction but I'm worried, I'll still want what I can't have. Sorry for the novel.

  2. socialmoth
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    socialmoth avatar
    79 posts
    1 May 2021 in reply to Ghost Girl

    Hi Ghost Girl,

    It's really cool to hear that you have been going through a journey of self discovery and figuring out how you feel towards people. I see sexuality as a spectrum so I certainly understand what you mean about the percentages!

    As for your feelings towards your co-worker - they're really natural. Being attracted to other people is such a normal thing in life and you're not a freak for feeling this way. It's great that you acknowledge the boundary of your relationship with Mari as she is taken and I think it's totally fine to feel attracted to someone as long as you don't cross any boundaries. You sound like a really smart person so I doubt that you would.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Ghost Girl
    Ghost Girl avatar
    20 posts
    1 May 2021 in reply to socialmoth
    Thank you so much for your comprehensive and thoughtful reply socialmoth, I think it was actually quite helpful and made me feel a sense of ease that I really needed today. You’re right, I definitely wouldn’t ever do anything boundary crossing (and thanks for your compliment!) I think I was just panicking because it’s like I finally have a really intense crush on a woman and it just happened to be *that* woman haha. I reckon from here on out, I’m just going to go with the flow and not relentlessly scrutinise myself and my interactions with others (easier said than done since I have anxiety haha) but I’m feeling better about myself all the time and I highly doubt this crush will last forever. Thanks again socialmoth!
  4. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    250 posts
    1 May 2021 in reply to Ghost Girl

    Hi Ghost Girl,

    Feelings are very intense, aren't they. And there's just something so primal and special about feelings for another person. You are a very kind and thoughtful young woman. But I don't think that you need to worry about your coworker or her family in this case. As she is much older and in what is most likely a secure marriage and probably heterosexual, the worst that would probably happen is that you embarrass yourself somewhat if you ever did something to act on your feelings (or not - she could be flattered but still not interested). I'm not trying to tell you what to do or not do, but rather explore your feelings a little.

    I've thought about this concept quite a lot throughout life (I've always been very introspective and philosophical), and from what I can see sexual orientation must be a spectrum - but one that is heavily influenced both by our biology and our culture. You see it used to be illegal everywhere to have intimate relationships with others of the same sex, and frowned upon by our culture. Fast forward to now and there is a lot more acceptance, although still people that do not like it. My half-informed view of why it must be is that we are formed during pregnancy out of the same blueprint: it's not like there's immediately a male or female foetus - although there is the Y chromosome if the person is to become a male. But all the brain circuits that regulate who we are attracted to probably are the same - where we are intended (in terms of what benefits the survival of the species) to be attracted to the opposite sex. However the human brain is so complex that there isn't like one circuit for heterosexuality and one for homosexuality, but one incredibly complex thing that falls anywhere between. I think it more or less results in this spectrum that social moth talked about above.

    Something I have always wondered is, could anyone in the world fall in love with a member of the same sex? I think possibly it's true. That we will never know, as our parents and our culture etc. affect things such things too. However, I think it is a beautiful little story you told above (sorry to call it beautiful when you are experiencing distress as a result). You are very young and it is a beautiful and terrifying thing to have romantic feelings. Sometimes the romantic/sexual feelings will probably coincide for you. Don't shy away from exploring them - this is what "life" is, go ahead and experience it fully!

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    250 posts
    1 May 2021 in reply to Here2Talk
    P.S. Sorry for the novel in return (I need another message for this last bit). I Hope I've helped rather than hindered. Feel free to talk anytime if needed :)
  6. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    250 posts
    1 May 2021 in reply to Here2Talk

    P.P.S. who knows what would happen if your coworker knew: it could be like I said: she could be flattered, could feel awkward and not want to talk anymore, could be complex considering you've got a professional relationship together, she could even feel the same (although it seems strange those kind of things happen sometimes). So just to reiterate, only you can decide what the best way is through what is essentially a very personal problem causing distress for you (again sorry I called it beautiful because I just sometimes think feelings are beautiful - they're causing a problem for you but that doesn't mean there's not a part of them that is beautiful.

    If I don't hear from you, Best Wishes!

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Ghost Girl
    Ghost Girl avatar
    20 posts
    1 May 2021 in reply to Here2Talk

    Thanks for your super well-written and interesting response Here2Talk, it definitely helped rather than hindered! You seem like a super introspective person and your reflections about attractions and the way they make us feel excited and terrified, really resonated with me and I’ll definitely take your advice about experiencing romances and life in general, fully and without remorse. Thanks for your well wishes, I’m wishing the best for you too.

    Keep giving great advice and philosophising!

  8. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    250 posts
    1 May 2021 in reply to Ghost Girl
    I hope you find love and happiness wherever your life takes you <3>
  9. Ghost Girl
    Ghost Girl avatar
    20 posts
    7 July 2021
    Hey there again BB. It's been a couple of months and I'm still working through some of the things I outlined in this post so I figured it might be helpful for me to post an update and seek further guidance. So I'm still single, still identifying under the bi umbrella, and still head over heels for Mari. I overheard her talking on the phone to her kids not long ago and she laughed so much and said she couldn't wait to get home and see them. Strangely I wasn't jealous at all and felt so happy for her and yet I still can't seem to get over her. I think I've realized that I gravitate towards her in kind of a "kindred spirits" way because of her being witty, creative, introspective, well spoken and caring which are all traits that my previous big crush had and a huge reason I had a hard time getting over him. So I guess this is to say, how do I part ways with the idea of her? And how do I find someone who catches my attention in the way she does? Because at the risk of sounding so unique and different and special, I genuinely believe it's so hard to find people who reflect my interests and values in this small town I'm in and I feel really lonely and stuck.
  10. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    250 posts
    8 July 2021 in reply to Ghost Girl

    Hi again Ghost girl.

    Good to hear from you. How is the social anxiety and fear of your bisexuality being discovered going?

    I wish I knew how to get over the idea of your crush. In a way it’s like a lot of things in life. when something makes us feel alive - as romantic thoughts do - then letting go is a process of grieving. It’s literally painful. Imagine a purely sexual fantasy - people have these all the time, eg when they walk past an attractive person in the street; luckily this doesn’t cause problems usually because they recognise that it’s just a fantasy, which you acknowledge as probably no chance of happening. But your feelings get so strong in romantic attraction because we’re designed to have relationships with people. Did you imagine lots of (I’m not being rude here) interactions with her? Quite often we build up narratives in our mind of what our lives could be like; if this narrative has brought you enough pleasure then it could be hard to let go of. Like I said it’s literally like grief...

    I once heard therapist Leslie Greenberg say that the only way to shift an emotion is with a stronger emotion. I feel for you in a small town.. I guess how like yourself would a partner “have” to be? It’s good to not pick somebody who is nothing like you, but in the same sense maybe you could aim for at least some core qualities... like caring, you mentioned. They are caring men out there. Introspective even. Maybe someone you werent expecting pops into your life some day and provides your life with this rich fabric of personality you never considered desirable.... attraction is a weird thing, it’s not really scientific it’s more like mystical in my experience...

    regarding the small town, could internet dating be an idea? Just a thought... My best friend met his partner of quite a few years that way and they are both very artsy and creative and seem to be very happy

    1 person found this helpful
  11. david'n'goliath
    david'n'goliath avatar
    930 posts
    8 July 2021

    G'day Ghost Girl,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about crushing on a married woman.

    I find discussions of monogamy very interesting. Our Aussie culture is pretty much exclusively orientated away from polygamy so yeh, I suppose the cost/benefit ratio for revealing your feelings to Mari is not viable.

    I met a man recently who stated that his wife thought him hypersexual, I wonder how a hypersexual person maintains monogamy.

    Have you seen the movie "Kinsey"? got some very interesting ideas in it.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Ghost Girl
    Ghost Girl avatar
    20 posts
    8 July 2021 in reply to Here2Talk

    Thanks so much for your reply Here2Talk, nice to hear from you again. What you said was so thoughtful and well-phrased (hardly surprising from you!) My social anxiety has gotten a lot better and I’m not all that afraid of my sexuality being discovered anymore however now I suppose I worry about people thinking my behaviour around Mari is strange, though I don’t think it is. I really worry about if she has suspicions of me (she probably doesn’t) not so much because I think she would respond adversely to different expressions of sexuality but specifically because I am so attracted to her despite her family and her obviously very loyal personality. In response to your second question, I think about her a looottt. Not necessarily in physical ways or sappy imaginary dates and confessions of love but just… Spending time with her, having meaningful conversations, and making her laugh. I also often imagine myself telling her and her letting me down gently, reassuring me she’s not upset with me. I guess it just feels cathartic even though I know telling her will never be a wise thing to do IRL. The part about the feeling of life a crush gives you and the physical pain of knowing that crush can’t come to fruition rings so so true. I’ve thought about online dating as a way to put myself out there and the fact that your friend had a good experience and actually found someone is surprisingly reassuring to me. Thank you! I might have to give it a try once I’m a bit closer to the end of my “grief” (yet another really insightful perspective on love and attraction from you, as well as it being mystical instead of scientific!) Thanks again Here2Talk

  13. Jo8049
    Jo8049 avatar
    660 posts
    9 July 2021 in reply to Ghost Girl

    Hi ghost girl , you are very respectful and thoughtful for Mari . There is some very good thought here ! The human intimacy of hanging out together enjoying each others company is I think the most desirable relationship a human can have . Live your life but be on the lookout for that , it could come from anywhere at anytime . lol and take care xxx

    Jo in the never never . hug if required !

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Ghost Girl
    Ghost Girl avatar
    20 posts
    9 July 2021 in reply to Jo8049

    Thank you so much for your kind words Jo. I really enjoyed seeing your unique approach to my situation and totally agree about what a wonderful pleasure it is to enjoy someone’s company! And I’m sure you’re 100% right about these connections being able to come from anywhere and I will keep my head up.

    The advice and the hug is much appreciated 😊

  15. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    250 posts
    18 July 2021 in reply to Ghost Girl

    Glad to hear that things have gotten a bit better ghost girl. I’m married now but I remember from early school years to pain of realising that crushes had to be let go of.. This grief process too, it’s so much more dynamic than, say, loss over the death of someone, because your mind can always invent scenarios which reignite the passion you thought you were getting over. And being creatures both so in need of intimate social contact and so able to imagine nearly anything our mind can conjure up, that puts us in a tough spot. So the grief can certainly be non-linear, dragging on and resurfacing. But I think short of a Shakespeare novel and certain people with severe attachments, the general trend over a long period of time is toward declining feelings. Like I still remember the feelings of a couple of crushes from grade 6 to grade 8, sometimes vividly. But I’ve integrated them into the story of my past, and thus I no longer get those feelings in response to them as girls, but I just remember that it was part of my past and of what it is to be human. Being human for sure is a tragedy, perhaps why the Shakespeare plays are still relevant to many people today...

    I think your bisexuality is nothing to be ashamed of, or worried if people find out, because I think it’s worse to suppress who you are than to have a couple people think you weird or whatever... people think that about others for a multitude of things anyway... Plus it is much more accepted that people can experiment with what they like than in the past...

    I think that one day - and you seem like a wonderful, smart, and self aware young woman - another attraction will come along and be reciprocated and provide you with all the intimacy that your organism evolutionarily wants, and that in time your fascination with Mari will be integrated into the narratives of your past, like the past crushes I described.

    I actually write music - have done for quite some time, and a song I’ve actually recorded recently ends with a couple of lines:

    “if one day I’m nothing more than a faded memory - a once in a while scene,

    rest assured that you will be nothing less, than the ghost of a forgotten dream”....

    In a way I guess that’s a dedication to all the past struggles with relationships that once consumed me, but like all fantasies, eventually go the way of the dinosaurs..

    1 person found this helpful

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