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Q: I Can’t Stop Thinking About Her
A couple years ago, I met the most amazing woman who was openly gay. She was fun, funny, smart, stunning, and a great listener (I love to talk), and we just seemed to connect. The only problem was I was already living with my boyfriend of almost two years, and had never found myself attracted to another woman, nor had I ever considered myself gay.
Since she and I were both students, we had a similar schedule, worked together, studied together, and on our days off, we hung out and flirted crazily together. I knew this was wrong, but I did it anyway. Curiosity got the better of me I guess.
I thought of leaving my live-in boyfriend, but this decision was complicated. We had always gotten along great, I thought I was in love with him, and I’d never fallen for a woman before.
A couple months went by, and my boyfriend proposed to me. I was anything but excited, but I said yes anyway.
I spent the following two years of the engagement trying to find a way out, but I feared that I would regret leaving him, and upset my family, so I struggled with the decision. I tried going to counselling, but I was never able to make the decision or admit my true feelings. In my head, I was sure I’d leave him when I found the “right time”. But as my (already postponed) wedding approached, I wondered if I was making a huge mistake.
I still saw my friend frequently, but nothing sexual happened between us, so I thought it was just a silly crush and tried to dismiss it. Push those thoughts to one side.
I’ve been married for two months now, and although she and I live in the same town, we don’t speak or see each other. I couldn’t face inviting her to my wedding,
She is now seeing another woman. But, so many things remind me of her, and I think about her from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep. To say that I miss her immensely is a huge understatement.
I do enjoy the time that I spend with my husband but we don’t connect on the same level as I did with her, and I’ve always known this. I want to move on and build a good life with the man I chose, but my heart aches every second of every day for her. She became my best friend.
So, will I ever be able to forget the love I left behind? How long will it take before it doesn’t hurt so much?
Reader, I’m about to drop an inconvenient answer for you: If you love this woman more than you love your husband (which it seems to me that you do), the pain is probably there to stay. Since the love is also tied into a curiosity, it can take even longer – we remain curious until we actually find the answer. It’s human nature.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good relationship with your husband, but you may always have the underlying feelings of “what might have been”. There are many people who love someone else and still remain true and faithful to their spouses – but we refer to that as a “marriage of convenience”. It’s more convenient for you to stay with your husband, because it’s what’s expected of you.
Believe it or not, that’s not automatically a bad thing. I have a few friends who have MOC’s who have negotiated with their spouse to allow them to pursue their other interests – but in cases where you are in love with the “interest” you’re pursuing, it may be considered unethical. Still, I would recommend that you speak with your husband about this. It’s obviously a big deal to you, and by not telling him, you are being a bit dishonest.
I hope you don’t take this as judgment from my end. There are many factors that tie into marriage, and there are many people who start a marriage without love and learn to love their spouse later on – maybe not everyone, but enough that it should be considered a possibility. If you truly want to be with your husband, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t try.
My next question for you is – do you know if this other woman feels the same way you do? Sometimes, we get involved in a new relationship to try and “push ourselves past” another love that we think is unrequited. It isn’t (usually) the best solution, but we do things that we know we shouldn’t sometimes. It’s not that different from you flirting with her when you were involved with someone else. In fact, the only real difference would be the motives behind it.
No matter what your answer to that previous question is, it’s very important for your own mental health that you discuss your confusion with your husband. Many men are willing to “allow” their wives to experiment with other women, and from your description I think it is possible that your confusion is coming from a need for experimentation. This woman might not be your true love, but she opened the possibility of you being attracted to women. It’s possible that you could explore these less specific feelings and discover that you aren’t actually interested in being with a woman.
It’s important for you to know that there’s nothing wrong with finding out that you’re not actually bisexual, or with finding out that you are. It’s incredibly difficult for anyone to understand their true sexuality without exploring their options. “Don’t knock it ‘till you try it” – the phrase is usually used in reference to other subjects, but it’s just as important to your self-discovery. If you can explore these feelings while still in the “safety” of your heterosexual relationship, without being dishonest to anyone involved, it can help ease a lot of your confusion.
Of course, there is no guarantee that your husband will actually be OK with this exploration – and if you want to make it work with him, you should respect his opinions on the subject. This is why it’s so important that you be honest with him before you pursue someone else. Your vows are important, and if you can’t honor them, it’s best if you say goodbye to that relationship.
I invite you to contact us again after you have had the conversation with your husband, and I can help advise you based on what he says. This is a difficult situation for everyone involved, and it can be helpful to reach out for an outside opinion on the subject. There will likely be no easy answers. It’s important that you understand that this may be one of the most difficult experiences in your life – but if you don’t seek out the answers, you will always wonder.