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#515360 - 09/16/17 10:26 PM Struggling and Married
Dean-GMoT Offline


Registered: 08/25/17
Posts: 1
I've struggled with my orientation most of my life. I had a rough childhood. It's always made me question "Who am I?".

Was I born this way? Or was I made to be this way by others?
I've always felt an attraction to other men, and even had a relationship with one when I was younger.

In the end though, I ended up with a woman, who I love very much. But because of my past and things that happened to me as a child. I've always been reserved and closed off from her and others. Somehow, we've been together for almost two decades, and I still struggle with this attraction to men. I tried to fix it, overcome it, pray it away. But no matter what I do, it has always been there. I always hoped and believed that if I loved my wife enough, that would be enough. But it never has been, and now I feel like I've stolen all these years from her, because of this struggle. I fear if I resolve the conflict and admit who I "think" I am. I am going to ruin my life, and ruin the life of my wife. I doubt who I really am and it is getting exhausting, holding up this "front". Has anyone else ever dealt with this or is dealing with it now?

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#515366 - 09/17/17 12:21 AM Re: Struggling and Married [Re: Dean-GMoT]
Ceremony Offline
Greeter

Registered: 09/14/16
Posts: 2978
Loc: Minnesota
Welcome Dean, I have read many shares about same sex attraction SSA on this Forum. You can do a search using the tool in that ribbon above. Just type in your topic and learn some of the ways to search too. Like the plus sign in front of a word to ensure it's in the results.

I've found some things to review that way. I don't often restart those threads, I find working on my thread can help me. I may be writing a lot in a single thread sometimes, just pouring out my thoughts, and it may be a long list of my posts, and then... someone has something to share. It's part of how this all worked for me. I need to write, to express, to find words for where I am, and hope to go. This is such a complex thing we deal with. Many have had it far worse than I. I find time to listen, time to care.

Give this place as much time as you're able... it has plenty of triggers, but a lot of caring among all of it. Distractions too, so find what you like, leave the rest. Chat if you like that... oh, I know chat doesn't always have anyone in it. Many don't have a lot of time, and some do. Take it easy, go with the flow as you try things. There's a lot to learn here. I've found it is building strength I need. Helping me find me.

I hope that happens for you.

I am having a different problem with my 33 year marriage. I can't make it work, and my wife isn't caring that is the case. So, we're doing poorly. It's a difficulty that interrupts my recovery in healing. I need to have this work, this is something I've needed to have help with for far too long. I have about a year and a half in now. I see a lot of work on my horizon. I want it, I've two kids, one still at home.

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#515386 - 09/17/17 10:22 PM Re: Struggling and Married [Re: Dean-GMoT]
manipulated Offline
Greeter

Registered: 09/25/14
Posts: 818
Loc: Great Lakes Wine Country
I was faithfully monogamous for 32 years. Then the past, coupled with a bunch of health problems for both of us killing what little sex life my wife and I had off, reared its ugly head. All the teen angst of ssa and am I homo, queer, all the ugly old terms raised up.

After the marriage broke up I concluded I must be gay. Hooked up several times and never found it fulfilling in the least. Finally I am in a committed hetero relationship with a lady who knows the past, distant and more recent and accepts me the way I am. After giving myself the freedom to explore and cycle through the gay, bi hetero scale as I should have done as a teen I am for the first time comfortable in my skin, comfortable in my relationship and happy the walls I erected to preserve self and hide are long gone. May you give yourself the freedom to find yourself. Unconditional love can only be found with freedom and lack of judgement by self and others. I hope you find that freedom and find yourself in the process.
_________________________
.Be who you are and say what you feel
...............Because those who mind don't matter
............And those who matter don't mind.
.......................-- Dr. Seuss

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#515395 - 09/18/17 08:34 AM Re: Struggling and Married [Re: Dean-GMoT]
Older1 Offline


Registered: 12/19/11
Posts: 139
Hi Dean; You are here; a great start; good luck. This place has helped many of us to prepare a better road ahead.

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#515470 - 09/20/17 04:44 PM Re: Struggling and Married [Re: Dean-GMoT]
Banjo596 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/20/13
Posts: 107
Loc: Ohio
I believe you are not alone in this thinking Dean. I can relate to what you wrote.

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#515574 - 09/24/17 08:42 AM Re: Struggling and Married [Re: Dean-GMoT]
Dan99 Offline


Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 195
Loc: Washington DC
The simple test I found helpful in sorting this out was suggested by a therapist. He put the question to me: You've just gotten out of the ocean and you are laying on the beach day dreaming. Attractive men and women are passing you by in their bathing suits. Which are you attracted to look at sexually?

This simple exercise clarified everything for me. Without any pressure or fear of criticism, with the freedom to look with a little lust in my heart but with no judgment, I know who I was looking at. That helped me see what my dominant sexual orientation is.

You are far from alone in this.
_________________________
Work like you don't need the money;
dance like no one is watching;
sing like no one is listening;
love like you've never been hurt;
and live life every day as if it were your last.

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#515576 - 09/24/17 08:53 AM Re: Struggling and Married [Re: Dan99]
Ceremony Offline
Greeter

Registered: 09/14/16
Posts: 2978
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks Dan99, I like that. It can be revisited too.

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#515641 - 09/26/17 06:25 AM Re: Struggling and Married [Re: Dean-GMoT]
George Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 417
Loc: NY metro **PM's are welcomed
Hi Dean-GMot,

"Has anyone else ever dealt with this or is dealing with it now?"

For a good chunk of my life I battled with an uncontrollable drive in my head to act out, first with other boys, then with other men. Not once or a few times, but hundreds of times starting at age 11.

My sexual abuse was from an uncle, from 8-12, in that time he probibly did it 50 times at least. From 8-11 I hated it & him, when puberty hit at 11 I started going there on my own looking for it. I was then turned "on", I was a highly sexualized child. At 11 I briefly acted out with my younger brother, at 12 another boy my age asked if I wanted to go naked while playing in an abandoned house. It went on with him daily all through high school & even after I was married, he wasn't even a friend, it was solely about sex. I'd call him, he'd show up and then he'd leave when I was done. All this time I hated everything about myself, I was consumed by this drive to do this, even though the very second it was over I'd be hit with a truck load of shame & guilt.

I knew the abuse somehow had a lot to do with what I was doing, although I was able to form a denial in my head, that it didn't mean anything in order to preserve my sanity, just barely. But I couldn't figure it out on my own while I was a child suffering in silence, and by the time I was an adult, it was such a deep rooted pattern in my life. After my mind (again for it's own self preservation) compartmentalized this uncontrollable drive, I still had the same instant shame & guilt, but I was able to shelve it (seemingly) away. It never went away though, it was driving me further and further behind my protective walls into an ever darkening place.

The few times I heard about males getting sexually abused in movies or even on the news back then it didn't register with me too much, because I had formed that denial that it didn't mean anything, even if I gave it a little thought, I quickly reminded myself that it didn't mean anything, because I wasn't ready to deal with it at those times.

Flash forward to 1999, I'm trolling for internet porn & erotic stories and I stumbled onto a male survivor's story. As I started to read it with the hopes of getting off on it, it quickly turned on me, it was like I was reading my own screwed up life story. Up until that point I never saw myself as a victim or an abused child, etc. That denial of mine protected me from doing that when I wasn't ready. This stony hearted bastard cried like a baby for both myself & that poor guy. That was my start on this healing journey. I started spending hours every evening online looking into this. I soon learned why & how the abuse shaped all this stuff in me.

What took much longer to realize was all the earlier (pre-abuse) failed father/son bonding, my no sense of self confidence, no sense of my own masculinity beginning in kindergarten. Even at 5 I felt that I didn't fit in, that I was different and not like the other boys. I envied & was jealous of them, especially the self confident ones who mirrored back to me everything that I wasn't. It took me a long time to let myself tare down the denial of that very early pain in my life, maybe because it was (seemingly) eclipsed by the abuse & all the other chaos in my early life (my mother died when I was five, my father not around other than drunk, a parade of "mothers" in and out of my life). Even though it seemingly went away, it was always still there festering like a huge pustule. As I later figured out, this was the bases of my acting out, the abuse only compounded the early unmet needs of healthy attention, affection & affirmation that I never got from my father that I/we desperately need as young boys. This is what I was seeking through sex with other males, I needed to feel wanted & affirmed that *I* was masculine, that I was the dominant male and in *control* as I kept reenacting my abuse over and over again.

This sex was NEVER about love, honoring & cherishing. It was solely about me very selfishly taking what I needed from other males. It became an addiction, I needed my fix especially anytime I felt like I was less than a man & emasculated (which was pretty often). A huge trigger for me was my constantly comparing my very broken self to other males. Any other guy who seemingly had more or better looks, assets, masculinity, self confidence, better job or business, etc would trigger that drive in me to need that fix.

So much goes into why we do the things we do, sex & love are two different things entirely. For me and a lot of us we were/are "attracted" to males not for love or marriage, but because our young minds faultily cobbled together a coping mechanism to deal with all that it wasn't able to handle back then, even though it was unwanted & controlled us the same as any other addiction, it wasn't our orientation.

I had married the one girl I trusted at 22 (I generally trusted no one) only because I got to know her because she was a neighbor and we used to play together as young kids. I knew from the start that I wanted to be married and have the *Family* that I never had as a kid, so I knew that I wasn't gay and certainly didn't want to be. In getting married I (like a lot of us) had the hopes that it would cure me from all this stuff and was crushed when it didn't. I loved my Wife and risked her love and put her through a hell she never deserved in the early part of our marriage, and even through all that she remained a saint and stood by me. Even with all my walls, coldness & never letting her in she loved me. The sex/ acting out she never knew about till I confessed it to her and again she didn't run away. After opening up to her we have had a great marriage, I thank God that our kids came after all this was worked most of the way through, because I would've been just as cold and distant from them as well and would've caused issues for them.

I could've very easily have thrown my marriage away, convinced myself that I was gay and ran off somewhere and tried to live that lifestyle, but I know that, that wasn't what I was looking for now in hind sight. I would've been miserable and probibly would've killed myself one way or another.

What I had to finally realize was that I was indeed a real Man, that I have been through a world of shit that all those other "perfect guys" that I idealized in my then broken mind would've crumbled under. That I was strong enough to survive and even thrive despite all that. I now look for & receive that much needed affirmation of my masculinity in healthy friendships & acquaintances with other men, as apposed to exiling myself from the into my hiding place like I used to.

I don't know your story, maybe you see a lot of yourself in what I felt & went through, maybe not? But let me tell you there is hope and peace after dealing with all this muck. You're in the right place to help figure it all out.
_________________________
My Updated (2017) Story, it focuses on the abuse, the aftermath & poor coping mechanisms & breakthrough...Healing ; https://youtu.be/z4JAIE82NpU

https://bristleconeproject.org/men/gino-werner/

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#515651 - 09/26/17 11:12 AM Re: Struggling and Married [Re: George]
Jay1946 Offline


Registered: 08/08/13
Posts: 252
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
Originally Posted By George

sex & love are two different things entirely. For me and a lot of us we were/are "attracted" to males not for love or marriage, but because our young minds faultily cobbled together a coping mechanism to deal with all that it wasn't able to handle back then, even though it was unwanted & controlled us the same as any other addiction, it wasn't our orientation.

I could've very easily have thrown my marriage away, convinced myself that I was gay and ran off somewhere and tried to live that lifestyle, but I know that, that wasn't what I was looking for now in hindsight. I would've been miserable.



George:

Excellent analysis.

Because of the childhood sexual abuse, sex and love are not aligned. I wish they were, but I've accepted it as a fact of life. I love my wife, and wouldn't want to be with anyone else. I would've been miserable had I done otherwise.

_________________________
Jay

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#515693 - 09/27/17 04:33 AM Re: Struggling and Married [Re: Dean-GMoT]
CelloL Offline


Registered: 07/20/17
Posts: 197
Loc: Missouri
What if on the beach mental exercise, one is not sexually attracted to anyone? Supposedly men think a lot about sex, but I don't as much and I don't always associate things sexually that other people do. CSA issues have messed with my imagination at times--I'll fantasize about skin contact but usually no sex act.

What I have figured out is that I could never kiss a man: major gross out. I'm slightly grossed out by kissing anyway. As a musician and having to play for a few gay weddings, I can't look when they kiss.

Sometimes I'm also grossed out shaking hands. My wife calls me a germophobe. Hugs can be difficult for me, although my son suddenly hugged me today and that was fine. My family was not demonstrative and touching my mother could cause bruising. It doesn't seem to be an issue these days but she is prescribed a very high dosage of iron.

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