There are probably a great many single people out there dealing with the complexities of being bisexual but I am here today to say that being bi and single is child’s play compared to being bi and married. Maybe your partner knows you’re bi, maybe they don’t; maybe they’re bi and you’re just as much in the dark about that as they are about you. Maybe there’s some suspicion, some question about someone really being straight… but what you suspect is one thing, what you can prove is something else, right?
I know a lot of married bisexuals who are ‘stranded’ and it doesn’t matter if their partner knows or not because their vows to their partner prevents and prohibits them from doing anything related to their sexuality, not even flirting because, in the eyes of some partners, that’s emotional cheating and is taken just as serious as any physical cheating. The married bisexual finds themselves in the dreaded “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation and while I’ve heard a few ‘stranded’ bisexuals say that they don’t even think about being bisexual, I tend to take it with a grain of salt because, true enough, they might not be able to do squat… but they can think. I’ve heard them say that paying attention to the other side of them isn’t important and that it doesn’t matter but I’ve wondered how one could call themselves bisexual but say it doesn’t matter but, well, that’s the way they look at themselves.
I know that some people think that if a man learns his wife is bisexual, that’s grounds for an automatic threesome and, of course, it isn’t and no more than if a wife learns that her husband is bisexual. I’m not saying that the conversation doesn’t ever come up – it almost kinda makes sense in a very weird way – but that’s fantasy and just a little time thinking about such a thing can easily prove that the reality might not be as pleasant. Those folks who are seriously serious about their vows probably wouldn’t allow the word “threesome” to be used in reference to their relationship and, yeah, there’s the whole thing about accepting the now-known fact that you’re married to a bisexual.
Some married bisexuals just fess up; some slip up in some way and, oops, their secret is out; I wouldn’t want anyone to think or believe that the resultant, ah, conversation that’s gonna happen next is going to be smooth, easy, and trouble-free. I’ve seen and/or heard of this situation ending relationships and if it managed to stay alive, the relationship is going to be on the ropes, first when that in-depth – and often painful – conversation about how long they’ve been bi and what they’ve been doing gets discussed and then by the suspicions that will follow: Are they cheating on me, out there on the DL looking for dick/pussy? Can I ever trust them? He/she said they haven’t done anything before we met or before we got hooked up… but can I believe them? Should I believe them?
Now, I should also point out that some spouses learn that their partner is bisexual… and it’s no big deal and in now way would this news affect the relationship… as long as they remember to keep only unto themselves. Some couples do, in fact, take this news and run with it, daring to explore the possibilities but this is more the exception than the rule.
While some married bisexuals can be content to just accept their sexuality and, perhaps, settle for some casual window shopping, many feel the frustration of wanting to do something about being bisexual… and knowing that they cannot, that they should not and even I can tell you that there’s no worse feeling than to want something badly and not being able to have it. Spouses who have negative views on bisexuality and/or homosexuality adds additional pressure and more so if they know they’re married to a bisexual but, as expected, forbid their spouse to do anything about the way they feel and I’ve heard some tell their bisexual partner that they should just forget about this bisexual bullshit altogether and do what’s right. And some are able to do that but for those who ain’t trying to hear it – but are afraid (for lack of a better word) to cross their partner, some shit begins to brew in the background and if left unchecked will cause more problems.
Frustration is joined by resentment and depression because even though we know that when we’re married and we’re supposed to abide by our spouse’s word on things, no one really likes being told what to do, especially having someone telling them what they can feel and what they’re not supposed to feel. These three very powerful emotional states, when combined, will not only work toward making the bisexual’s life miserable but will, ultimately, begin to affect the relationship in all areas, from day-to-day things to the more personal things like the sexual aspects of the relationship and, yeah, the way they interact with their spouse as well. It usually begins subtly and any ‘rebellion’ goes unnoticed by their partner and the longer the bisexual’s thoughts and feelings are ignored, rebuffed, or dismissed out of hand, the more the disharmony grows until it reaches a boiling point and a few bad things can happen.
The bisexual could be in dire need of therapy and medications; they could feel a sense of desperation and think about stepping outside the relationship; they could end the relationship because of this or the relationship can wither and die because the connection they once had with each other is now beyond salvage. It does make some wonder why bisexuals even bother to get married, knowing that if things happened that would drive them to act on their feelings; why would they marry someone who, say, has a known resentment for anyone who isn’t straight? It’s a hard question to answer other than to say that bisexuals marry for the same reason why anyone else gets married: For love; for the security that it offers; for whatever the future may bring as well as the venerable idea of growing old with someone.
It should be noted at this point that the feelings I mentioned aren’t limited to bisexuals; straight couples have issues that cause frustration, resentment, and depression as well as gay couples although some of the reasons might be different… or not when someone in the partnership realizes that they aren’t free to be the person they want and/or need to be and they’re no longer fond of being the person their partner expects or demands that they be.
We are taught that we should learn to resist temptations, those things that could cause drama in our relationship except if you’re bi and unable to act on your feelings, the drama’s already there even if your partner doesn’t know… then increases exponentially if/when they do find out. I’ve seen (and even experienced) emotional infidelity, something that, on the surface, seems harmless and more so if there’s no intent to expand the external emotional connection so it can encompass the physical… until you get caught, that is; now you have a pissed-off partner asking you why you’re having feelings for someone other than him/her and with someone who’s the same sex as you are.
What a clusterfuck that can be. “Forsaking all others,” it seems, means that you cannot feel anything for anyone else, let alone entertain any thoughts of being even more intimate with them and, let’s be real, while there are people who do embrace these words in their vows, there are those who, at some point, realize the futility in trying to do something that they see as humanly impossible and, yup, being told they cannot feel anything for anyone else will just add to the frustration, resentment, and depression that could already exist. Again, it reaches a breaking point and then the bisexual finds that they “have no choice” but to take matters into their own hands and do something about their other feelings and desires, things that they vowed not to have, things that are now the exclusive property of the person they’re married to.
Everyone, regardless of sexuality, deals with the question of why people cheat; they insist that cheating should never happen, that there’s never a reason to cheat or otherwise go outside of the marriage and despite the belief in this, it doesn’t change the fact that when someone gets tempted or feels their back is against the wall or, straight up, feel and believe that all of their needs are not being taken care of by the marriage, cheating can happen. No, it doesn’t always happen and who knows how many married people think about it but never execute their thoughts? And while cheating is never an answer to the problems a married bisexual can face, well, they realize that they don’t have a lot of recourse here unless they could manage to convince their partner to allow them to take care of these other needs, uh-huh, like that’s gonna happen, right?
No one who has ever felt trapped when it comes to this probably can’t fully understand what it feels like, how totally and utterly hopeless one can feel when they’re between that rock and a stupidly hard place; cheating may be more trouble than it’s really worth, the likelihood of creating a tiny opening in the relationship may not be a possibility and ending the relationship is out of the question for a lot of reasons. You ever see what happens to a pressure cooker that’s gone unattended? Ever see what happens to a car tire that’s subjected to overpressure?
A person in this situation will try to suppress their feelings and desires to act on the other side of their sexuality and whether they’re successful in this is hard to determine but there’s plenty of documentation out there that can tell you what could happen when trying to suppress such strong feelings over time; I’ve seen it unravel people, which lends some credence to the thought that bisexuals have a high rate of mental illness but, on the real, sexuality isn’t the only thing that causes mental illness when a good portion of one’s willpower is tasked to suppressing something that their marriage vows won’t allow them to express and, certainly, you don’t have to be married to someone and bound by the vows to be subjected to the effects of suppressed, strong, emotions; it just makes for ‘good press’ in order to further biphobia.
Let’s see… what would I ‘advise’ in this situation? Not a whole lot, actually, other than try to be ‘content’ with the knowledge that you’re bisexual. You’ve heard me say hundreds of times (and maybe more than that) that thinking and doing aren’t the same things, that just because you can do a thing doesn’t mean you have to do it and the real truth is that it’s up to the individual bisexual to fully understand their situation as well as the person they’re married to and then do what they must do in order to preserve not only the relationship but their own emotional health… and that’s just not an easy thing to do unless you get very damned lucky and you have a partner who has no problems with you expressing yourself. Some partners may be ‘cool’ enough to invoke “look but don’t touch;” some partners might have a broader sense of what constitutes happiness and satisfaction in the marriage and wouldn’t be opposed to the relationship escaping the moral bonds that contain it.
But not everyone is so understanding nor can they be expected to be that understanding and it’s one hell of an emotional mess to find one’s self in and one that has a ‘clear’ path or resolution: If you cannot change the rules, then the relationship must end so that one can be free to act on their feelings… but if logic and common sense say that ending the relationship is going to hurt you more than help you, jeez, all I can say is that you’re royally fucked and never in that good way. Sadly, one must find the solution that will work best for them and the relationship and, yeah, some will sacrifice themselves, mind and body, to preserve the relationship by setting aside their urges and desires in this.