Given a choice, what would you choose: an American-style waffle drizzled with luxurious Belgian chocolate sauce, topped with chocolate brownie chunks or a nice crumbly sweet, chocolate mousse cheesecake pie served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? What if you like both? Don’t you want to try them both? Similarly for bisexual, choosing between men and women is difficult. They like both.
Times are changing; it’s becoming more acceptable to admit that people are attracted to both males and females. But can you accept bisexuality in your close family? Can you accept a bisexual wife/husband? MomJunction gives you insights into bisexuality, the signs that tell you that your partner is bisexual and how you can help yourself and your partner in such situation.
Who Are Bisexual?
Bisexual people are those who recognize and honor their desire for physical, sexual and emotional attraction to multiple genders.
A mere appreciation of the physical appearance of a same or opposite sex person is not bisexuality. But if the feelings go beyond appreciation to the point that you want to get intimate with either a man or a woman, then you are bisexual.
Biologist and sexologist Alfred Kinsey’s Kinsey scale explains that sexuality is not black or white (heterosexual and homosexual) but a continuum between the two, meaning it moves little by little from heterosexuality to homosexuality.
On the Kinsey scale, 0 is someone who is only heterosexual, 6 is homosexual and 3 indicates someone who is both homosexual and heterosexual (bisexual) (1).
Living in a world, which subscribes to the dichotomy of sexual orientation, it can be difficult for people who fall near the gray spectrum that is the center of the Kinsey scale. But why do people have to fall into this category?
Reasons For Bisexuality:
The main causes of bisexuality can be social factors, sex drive, prenatal hormones, brain structure, and chromosomes. Often bisexuals are not sure about their sexual orientation as it is an ongoing process for them (2).
The reasons may vary from person to person because sexuality is highly individualistic. There are many other theories too. Some are:
- Neglectful same sex parenting.
- Peer rejection and sexual abuse.
- Introduction to that kind of behavior and environment.
- Experimenting with both genders.
- Lack of parental guidance or morals to follow.
- Narcissistic tendencies; they want both the gender to find them appealing or physically attractive.
Do Bisexuals Exist?
The bisexuals are part of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, and identify themselves as bisexual, pansexual or fluid. Bisexuals’ identity is believed to be non-existing.
Many (including lesbians and gays) believe that bisexuality does not exist as a unique identity. They presume that they are physically attracted to the opposite sex and experimenting or having fun with the same gender people (3).
Moreover, bisexuals are covered under a relationship with the opposite sex, be it marriage or live-in, which makes it difficult to identify them. The question is why or how does a bisexual person stay in a monogamous relationship? The answer is simple. They, too, want a meaningful relationship and a family with spouse and children.
But would their spouse come to know of it? Can they accept the truth and live with a bisexual partner?
Signs That Your Partner Is Bisexual:
How will you know that your partner is bisexual? You might be confused about the relationship he/she has with their ‘friends’ — is it platonic? Romantic? Sexual?
The following signs may not definitely tell you that your spouse is bisexual but will guide you in understanding them.
- You catch him staring at men or catch her staring at women. Do they enjoy attention they get from the same sex?
- If he likes anal stimulation or likes to have his prostrate massaged. If he wants to have anal sex more than vaginal sex or skips your vagina altogether.
- Notice if your partner likes to touch the same gender person a lot or get close to them like lovers do.
- Observe your partner’s friends. How do they act with each other, are they feminine (or masculine), do they talk on the phone a bit too much for two adult men/women?
- Chart your sex life with your partner. How often are you intimate with each other? Are you always the one to initiate the process? Is your partner always in a hurry to finish?
- Women who love other women can appreciate their finer qualities, and join their partner in admiring them. This is not a definitive clue but if she goes overboard in appreciating the sex appeal of another woman then it may be a hint that she is bisexual.
- Your partner is into girl-on-girl porn or man-on-man porn. If your partner likes or enjoys same sex porn and gets pleasure out of it then chances are high that your partner wouldn’t mind a bit of same sex action too.
- They share their fantasies or desires involving others of same sex.
Trust your instincts. Many times it works. But, back-up your instinct with valid reasons. Don’t just jump to conclusions without proof.
What Happens When You Discover That Your Spouse Is Bisexual?
The sudden discovery comes as a great shock. You can’t think straight, you may want to cry and blame your partner. Your world has turned upside down and you may feel you are barely able to function, sleeping at night might become difficult. It’s understandable if all you want to do is yell and scream at your partner. You may also feel guilty or ashamed about how your children will have to cope up. Future becomes unclear, dreams are shattered. Under the circumstances such feelings are natural but don’t worry you will get through it. Just give yourself time.
How you can get through this:
If you have just discovered the secret of your partner, don’t make any desperate attempts to cope up with it. Just wait for this phase to get over. Be kind to yourself. Do not blame yourself for the situation.
You may feel that the relationship that you had with your spouse has gone forever. Feeling empty or sad is normal. You might not be ready to know this but you have every chance of building a better relationship. Happy bisexual marriages do exist, with two openly bisexual people or a single bisexual partner taking a vow to love, honor and cherish the relationship.
7 Ways To Accept A Bisexual Spouse:
Once you know about your spouse’s sexual orientation, you might want to decide whether to live or part ways with them. But before making a decision, you need to accept the reality. Here is some help you might need:
- Try to understand each other. You will not be able to change each other but you can help each other have a meaningful future.
- Communicate with each other. Share your feelings but hear your partner’s first. Let them talk openly, and do not interrupt them. Listening will help you understand their feelings and thoughts.
- Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes. Explore your sexual preferences. Imagine if you were to have feelings for a same-sex person, how it would be. See if you can justify those feelings.
- Connect with counselors or organizations that offer support to bisexual people and their partners. Talk to marriage / relationship therapists. Visit an LGBT center, where you can get counseling and health information.
- Connect with couples who have managed to wade through similar experiences.
- If your marriage does end, end it on a good note because acceptance also means being able to move on. Allowing each other to start a new life with dignity and respect is also acceptance.
- Above all, do not involve your children in this melee. If you decide to stay with your spouse, it is good for the children. But if you want to separate, deal with it delicately so that your children are not psychologically affected.
But after a thorough thought process, if you have decided to stay back in the relationship, then it is not going to be easy to keep it normal. You need to put in your best efforts.
Dealing with a bisexual husband:
Having a bisexual husband may be difficult for a wife to accept. She might feel responsible for her husband being bisexual. Women need to understand that there is nothing you can or can not do to change your husband’s preferences. Your husband is bisexual and it’s not because of you. His orientation is not the deal but transparency and commitment is what matters in a relationship.
Accepting your husband as he is is the first step towards a secure relationship. Provide your man the trust and understanding he wants from you.
Rather than putting restrictions on each other, have ground rules. Have an open discussion on each other’s feelings and desires. Be honest because lying only brings doubts and insecurities in a relationship. Tell him, he cannot be with any other woman than you. As long as you both are faithful with your set up, you can have a secure married life.
Dealing with a bisexual wife:
We rarely hear about bisexual wife as most women don’t come out in open and accept it. Many women realize that they are bisexual after they are married, some only dream of having a same gender sex. There are bisexual woman who are one man, one woman kinds or one man and many women type.
The sexual desire your wife has for other women need not be changed. That is how she is wired. Accepting her and having ground rules will save your relationship as well as sex life. It all depends on your comfort level. Some husbands are ok with their wife having sex with another woman when they are present. Some feel that the less they know, the better is for them. Either way, be honest and tell your wife she needs to be truthful with you. Ask for details to keep jealousy at bay.
Having a bisexual wife does not mean that you get the right to sleep with other woman or man. If your wife is honest with you about her sexuality, she has all the right to know about your sexual activities too.
How To Support A Bisexual Partner?
Your partner has been on a really difficult journey. He/she might have felt lonely, may have worried about the impact on you and the children. Try to understand their difficulties.
If you have decided to live with your bisexual spouse, then you need to support them. Here is some help for you:
- The first thing you can do to support your partner is to educate yourself about bisexuality, so that you can understand them.
- Appreciate their bravery in coming out with the truth. It is difficult to speak openly about their sexual orientation. If they could come to you and tell you the truth then they trust you, they know you will understand them.
- Help them emotionally. They have a higher rate of depression, anxiety, self-harm and drug abuse. By being there for them, you will help them avoid self-destruction.
- See a mental health professional. He will help your spouse come out of any dilemma or negative psychological feelings.
- Talk with a trustworthy family member or a friend. Your sex life in your marriage is a private matter, but it can help to get a third person’s perspective on things. Choose a person who will not be judgmental about your situation.
- Be a good listener. Hear them out.
- Trust your spouse and don’t keep poking at them or get interrogative.
Honestly, it does not matter if you can understand your partner completely or not. What matters is your acceptance of their thoughts and preferences.
A Few Celebrities Who Are Bisexuals:
It will be heartening to know that your spouse is not alone. There are many famous people across the world who are bisexual and are or have been in a monogamous relationship:
- Angelina Jolie: An actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian, Angelina Jolie is reported to have been romantically connected with both men and women.
- Georgio Armani: The Italian fashion designer has dated both men and women.
- Fergie Duhamel: She is an American singer and a songwriter, and a female vocalist for the group The black eyed peas. Married to Josh Duhamel, she has been open about her preference for women.
- Billie Joe Armstrong: Again an American singer, musician and actor who is interested in both the genders.
- Cynthia Nixon: An American actress best known for her portrayal of Miranda Hobbes in the HBO series Sex and the City. Nixon was partnered with a man with whom she has two children. She later married her girlfriend Christine Marinoni, and in May 2012 identified herself as bisexual.
- Alexander, the great: Alexander III, the king of Macedon in ancient Greece, is considered one of the history’s most successful military commanders. He had several wives and a Persian-style harem, but the central relationship of his life was with his lover and general Hephaestion.
- Marilyn Monroe: One of the most glamorous and iconic stars of Hollywood’s sexual life included high profile men and women, who remain household names to this day.
A bisexual spouse need not be any different from a normal partner, except for their sexual preferences. Their love and affection for you will not change, and they might want a family and children as much as you want them.
Ultimately, it is for you decide if you can accept the new-found identity of your partner and live with them. If you think you can, then go ahead; if you think you can’t, then move on and let your partner move on too.
What do you think about bisexuality in a marriage? Let us know in the comments section.
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