When Lianna Walden’s husband came out to her as bisexual, she was not expecting that to improve their relationship.
When I married I knew that my partner had partaken in sexual experiences with men. As a teenager he had experimented with other teenagers, and then continued dabbling as a young man. After all, , I thought, his father is gay, his parents divorced when he was three, his mother on her third husband; he must have been sexually confused. All good. We fell in love and we married, had two kids, a dog and two cats. We started off as artists but soon plunged into more stable positions so that we would have steady incomes.
Our sex life was always satisfying. We were very attracted to each other sexually and in the beginning of our relationship we had sex often. After a number of years, to keep things fresh and fun, we dabbled in role play and dominant / submissive games. I would show up at the front door in a short skirt pretending I was the babysitter for the night. For a time, under his persuasion, I tried being the Mistress, giving him spankings when he was a bad boy. We even spoke and fantasized about going to a local sex club.
We tried to keep our relationship new and exciting, but there were patterns that were slowly destroying it. He thought it was me and I thought it was him. “You never initiate”, he would say. “You are not affectionate enough”, I would retort. We would argue, he would become angry and pull away and I would withhold sexually, sometimes for weeks. Eventually one of us would breakdown the barrier by giving in and apologizing. We would have sex and then get on with our day to day, really not diving into any depth about what all the tension was about in the first place. It would slowly begin to build again, the same routine starting with the accusations. This pattern went on for a number of years. At one point, after another rollercoaster of no talking, no sex and no communication, I became increasingly concerned about how long this would continue. It was exhausting and we just couldn’t seem to break free. Something was seriously wrong. Then he broke the news.
He drove me to a secluded place at the top of a local mountain, where he revealed that he had been “exploring” with men behind my back. He said he needed to find out why he had such strong desires for men. For a while, he confessed, he wasn’t sure if he was straight or gay but now it was clear, he was definitely bisexual. “I love you and I want us to be together. I also know that I have sexual desires for men and I can’t hold these feelings back anymore.”
I was devastated. I thought all his m2m experimentation had been exhausted in his younger years. What really disappointed me however was the cheating and lying. I truly thought I knew this man and could completely trust him. How did we get to this?
I had to dig deep in order to make a decision about what to do next. Once I got through the layers of anger, I became jealous that he had had the guts to go out and experiment sexually. I had fantasized about having sex with other men, being with a woman, with a couple or in a group of people, but had never acted upon it. I was married after all and being married meant being monogamous. But now here was my husband, exploring sexually without me.
I lay there on the bed for a number of days, crushed by what had just happened in my life. I thought about leaving and starting my life fresh on my own. What about 14 years of life we had created together and our beautiful children? A few flings were not going to destroy that. I also resolved that I could not wipe out the desires he was feeling. I could see that revealing his indiscretions, his inner turmoil, and his risk of losing me had been terrifying for him. Our relationship had to be worth at least exploring other options, possibly trying something more drastic, something that would also allow me the sexual freedom he had started to give himself.
I realized at that point and was able to admit to myself that I had never been comfortable with the idea of monogamy. His whole coming out to me, as difficult as it was to hear about his secret explorations, I recognized was an opportunity to create something very different for our relationship. With this in mind I concluded two things: one, I wanted to be with this man because I still loved him; and two, in order for the relationship to survive we would have to end it and start anew.
I wanted to dump the “married” concept. We decided that we will be together only because we want to. We will free each other to do whatever we want and we will both explore sexually as we please. This intimate decision in itself shifted how we began to see one another. When the gates opened wide for more freedom to explore, we both felt a deeper desire for each other. For two weeks we were tangled in each other’s embrace, discovering new levels of love and erotic pleasure. We were free to choose and unexpectedly we choose each other.
Once we emerged from the intense connection, we began discussing what our next step would be in opening to sexual freedom. Our explorations started with having a threesome – me and 2 bi-men –something for everyone. I was terrified the first time. I kept putting it off with any excuse I could find. Can I really do this? What kind of a girl am I? Mothers don’t do this kind of thing.
Deep down I wanted to do it. I had to do it. This was the first step and if we were going to make this experiment possible, my participation was absolutely necessary. His support and encouragement managed to carry me through the fear. And after being with two sexy bi men, and really enjoying it, my whole system of beliefs about marriage and monogamy turned upside down.
We could do this! We had broken the monogamous marriage contract and survived. The first encounter once again counter-intuitively brought us closer. For days after the event, we coasted on the erotic energy as we re-visited the details of the experience. Our explorations continued after that to more encounters with men then to couples and on to going out separately. With each step and new experience there were adjustments to make. Confused emotions around jealousy, insecurity, self-esteem and trust, to name a few, would arise. We were forced to examine our inner turmoil as we were well aware that the benefits of freedom and sexual growth far outweighed anything.
We have now been married for 20 years and we have never been so much in love. My husband is my partner in crime. We cherish the freedom we have given each other and I have become a sexy, open woman who feels deeply and passionately. My confidence has blossomed as my self-acceptance has grown.
Our sex life is mind blowing. I have sexual fantasies and my partner helps me make them happen. Together we have the most intense and exciting connection I ever thought possible. I allow myself to go deeper, exploring my body, my desires. I have experienced levels of orgasm I never knew existed and just when I think I have reached the pinnacle of my sexual exploration, something new arises from below and pulls me deeper into erotic explosions.
That day on the top of the mountain, when he revealed to me his bisexuality, changed my life. I would have never been able to predict that by being vulnerable and taking huge risks in our relationship would lead to a deeper love. I go back to revealing moments on the top of the mountain when I am unsure about what to do or where to turn and I remember clearly that the most unfamiliar path can often lead to the greatest rewards.
Photo: Kurt Löwenstein Education Center (International Team)/Flickr
Want the best of The Good Men Project posts sent to you by email? Join our mailing list here.