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icon5.gif Questioning  [message #75868] Tue, 20 August 2019 08:14 Go to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

On fire!

Registered: May 2003
Messages: 1537

I first visited this place half my life ago. At the time I had only recently discovered my attraction towards guys and there was a lot of turbulence associated with that.

Now I'm looking at almost the opposite situation. I'm considering becoming ex-gay. Not really ex-gay, I know that my feelings would never really change. But I guess I'm considering living as you, timmy, and some of the older gentlemen here did in the past (out of necessity), but as a choice. I think I want to live in a traditional marriage and raise a traditional family. I'm not Christian, I'm fairly strongly atheist. I don't hate myself or my sexual attraction, I fully embrace who I am (as complex as it may be at times). It seems a weird thing to be considering but thinking about it more seriously as I am now (I've been dating a lady for 6 months) I feel that before I take the plunge it may be worth hearing from those who have experienced life as men married to women but attracted to guys.

My reasons, in brainstorm form, are as follows:
- I want kids, preferably kids with my own DNA.
- I think kids benefit strongly from being raised in mixed-sex households (I'm from a single parent family and I missed a lot by not having a dad).
- My attraction to guys is almost exclusively to guys that are either only borderline legal or clearly not so.
- If I had to choose between a naked female or male my own age, I'd probably say the woman is more attractive (though I feel no strong desire to either sex).
- Even living in Japan where men are less masculine I still find zero attraction to men over 30.
- If I'm going to marry someone I'm not attracted to, why not at least fulfill my goal of kids?
- I've had relationships with guys that fit within my attraction bracket, one lasted eight years and fell apart. By the end of that relationship it had become a relationship based almost entirely on commitment rather than attraction, itself.
- My flings with hot guys are fun, but just that- flings. I feel my sexual attraction often has me acting like a junkie addict rather than building something for my future.
- I do feel a little bad about marrying someone without strong feelings towards them, but in Japan women who are single in their mid 30s tend to stay that way. I may not be blessing my future wife with a fantastic loving husband, but I will bless her with children that she may otherwise not have and I'll also bless her with a loving father for those children.
- I have a stable job now here in Japan, having a stable relationship to go along with it just seems the next part of the puzzle. I wouldn't feel comfortable in my current job living in an open gay relationship.
- Japan has a lot of marriages that are loveless, sexless or both. I feel I have more to offer as a husband and father than some of the men I know.
- Honesty between partners isn't necessarily required as much as in Western cultures. Privacy, even between man and wife is respected.

I know even suggesting that this might be right for me might raise serious questions. But the more I think about it, the more I think I can make it work. Not perfectly. But I haven't been blessed with a set of options that work perfectly in this world. I'd need to compromise somewhere in my life and I think this might be the compromise that brings me the most joy in the long term.

I guess to you, timmy, and others that have lived similar lives I ask- "would you give up your children if it means you could have been an open gay man from the start?" I know there are ways to make a family work as a gay man, but I'm not sure any of them would really work for me. I can't imagine myself having a successful long-term gay relationship more than the 8 year long one I already had. So at my age, I really do feel the choice is between my attraction and making a family. And I've lived in pursuit of attraction for half of my life- since I was first a member here. Maybe now it's time to make having my own family my top priority.

Advice, thoughts, questions, all welcome....
Re: Questioning  [message #75869 is a reply to message #75868] Tue, 20 August 2019 13:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13694

I think you are asking the wrong question when you ask "Would you give your children up?" It creates an inherent bias. I think the right question is "Would you, could you, have been happy as a gay man?"

The answer to that depends on me, to a great extent. I am a romantic. I require romance in my life to be happy. So I would not be happy with a fuck-buddy. I woudl be happy with a true meeting of minds, with a gay lover, in a monogamous relationship similar to marriage.

I have learned as I have aged to raise my level of attraction to one that is socially acceptable. Rarely I even find a man my age attractive. Had I aged in a gay relationship with the boy I fell for - see the link in my signature and do be my first Japanese customer - my age of attraction woudl have risen organically as we aged together. As it was I fixated on teenagers.

Had this happened I would not be giving anything up. It would be my reality. I would have different happinesses, disappointments, highs, lows, hopes and fears.

Being a gay man in a heteroseuxal marriage sucks for the wife. They can compete with the other woman. The cannot compete with the other man. I happen to love my wife. I think she may still love me. I cannot envisage being in a loveless relationship. 

Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Questioning  [message #75870 is a reply to message #75869] Tue, 20 August 2019 14:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

On fire!

Registered: May 2003
Messages: 1537

I like my girlfriend. I look at her fondly. I love her in a similar to way to how I love the females in my family- my mother and aunts. But passion? I had my chance at a passionate relationship that had my love grow organically with. It didn't last (see my posts from 2013).

Since then I've been trying to recreate it, but not only is my attraction socially unacceptible, but given that I'm now an adult man, it doesn't end up fulfilling me emotionally, either. My experiences over the last half-decade have mostly lead to me being more invested in people than they are in me and leaving me bitterly disappointed.

I look forward to loving my children and I'm sure my love for my currently girlfriend and potential wife will only grow as I see her as the mother of my children.

I have told some of my friends about this situation- saying that it's essentially an arranged marriage where I chose my bride rather than my parents. My girlfriend knows I'm not a romantic guy with women, even if she doesn't know all the details.

For someone that has had, and lost, and had, and lost, and had, and lost love I'm not sure that it's altogether a bad thing to be pursuing a relationship based on logically reasoned factors. My heart has just led me into hurt. But I'm loved as a teacher, and I know I'll be loved as a dad, too.

I know my question was somewhat loaded, but that was kind of intentional because... I can't imagine that many people regret having had children, but I can imagine many that regret having not had them.

In reframing my question the comparison you seem to be making is between your life now and a life where you managed to find a same-sex partner you connected with. But I feel like my real choice is between a stable, albeit slightly passionless family life and chasing a passion unicorn that could get me in all kinds of trouble or in the best case heartbroken again. I don't really want to wake up feeling the need to vomit before I can start the day because the person I have feelings for rejected me, again.

I know marrying me won't be great for my wife. But I have female Japanese single friends and I think things are even worse for them. Japan is still very traditional and a lot of women happily admit that their biggest ambition is to be mothers. I might not be able to give everything to my wife- but I will be able to give that. Something she possibly would otherwise be unable to get.

Perhaps I'm still an asshole for considering it. I don't have the excuse of history. I'm just trying to do what I can when I've been dealt a shitty hand.

I'll look into placing an order, too. I've been trying to read more again rather than focusing so much on SNS and phone games.
Re: Questioning  [message #75871 is a reply to message #75869] Tue, 20 August 2019 15:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13694

I have considered whether leaving my current relationship in search of a greener pasture is attractive. I conclude that it is not. Should my wife die before me I do not know if I would seek any relationship at all. It woudl have to be a serendipitous thing. It is far less probable that ot might be with a woman than with a man.

Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Questioning  [message #75872 is a reply to message #75868] Tue, 20 August 2019 18:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
luvtwinks is currently offline  luvtwinks

Likes it here

Registered: August 2018
Messages: 174

I have a bisexual friend who married a woman and had two children with her. He truly did love her. However, several years into the marriage she discovered his attraction to men and the fact he was having sex with them behind her back. She did not take it well and filed for divorce. She did give him custody of the children though and that seems to have worked out well for all involved.
Re: Questioning  [message #75873 is a reply to message #75868] Wed, 21 August 2019 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1557

I honestly don't think that there's anything wrong with marriage based on companionship. It seems to me,as an outsider,that that's where many marriages tend to end up anyway (I don't mean necessarily totally without sex, just that the sexual element dimishes).

My concern, though, is whether you could come to an understanding with your wife about sex outside the marriage. You might (or might not) find it difficult to resist an appropriate-aged  lad if the situation arose, and if your wife were to discover any such relationship I think it could be catastrophic both for the marriage and for your relationship with the kid(s). Whether that's a serious risk or not only you can answer, and it calls for considerable self-knowledge and honesty ... qualities which you've shown that you have.

best of luck, anyway.

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Questioning  [message #75876 is a reply to message #75873] Tue, 27 August 2019 00:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

On fire!

Registered: May 2003
Messages: 1537

I was expecting a little more of a hostile response than I got, actually. More advice to be "true to myself" or something. I guess you guys have a lot of life experience and can see that things are often a bit more nuanced. I am thinking carefully about it and trying to be true to the person I want to be.

NW you raise a valid concern, but with my experience in Japan that's a topic best left unsaid. Japanese people are much more likely to live with open secrets. Having an affair is seen as a bad thing here, but contra the west, once you have an affair the best thing to do is to take that secret to your grave rather than be honest about it.

I'm not actively pursuing relationships, though something may happen. Even if it does, I'm going to try to keep it as something that doesn't distract me from my main goal of raising a family.

It's not necessarily going to be easy but I didn't luck into the "easy mode" setting for the game of life. My circumstances have always been a little more convoluted than average (though many people have it much worse than me). I'll try to post occassional updates.
Re: Questioning  [message #75886 is a reply to message #75876] Wed, 28 August 2019 10:10 Go to previous message

Toe is in the water

Registered: March 2014
Messages: 93

I would agree with NW's comments. Marriages of companionship can work and I suspect that the relationship in most arranged marriages starts off on that basis. But all relationships require effort to make work and if they do last - well you can't live with someone for thirty years without feeling something for them.

Since it appears this is going to be something of an emotionless arrangement, I will make the following suggestions without trying to be nice about it:
  •  If you have not already done so, try to review why your previous relationships failed as dispassionately as possible, paying particular attention to things in your own attitude/approach/expectations/actions that may have lead to the breakdown. Take whatever lessons you learn to heart.
  • Make sure you actually like the girl/woman use choose to share your life with.
  • Make sure you both understand each others objectives for the relationship and what ground rules each expects the other to abide by.
  • Other than raising a child, what other ambitions (in the broadest sense) will you share. Eg Will you support each others careers? Hobbies?
  • Above all - respect your partner. If that means you eschew all sex outside marriage- that is part of the deal. Remember the marriage vows include 'forsaking all others'!
  • Do not hide behind your (mis)- understanding of relationships in Japanese culture. Remember what happened to Madame Butterfly (read the libretto if you don't know the story).

Good luck

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