If you’ve found your way to this article, you likely fall into one of three categories:
- You’re in a serious relationship, considering marriage as the next step, and unsure of how to tell your partner you’re bisexual.
- You’re already married, bisexual, and trying to figure out how to tell your spouse.
- You’re the spouse of someone who has just admitted to you that s/he is bisexual.
Dealing with bisexuality in marriage can be difficult, especially at first, but it isn’t impossible, and it doesn’t necessarily mean your marriage won’t work. If you and your spouse truly love one another and are willing to make it work, you can.
There are, however, a few things you should know about dealing with bisexuality in marriage.
Tip 1: Don’t Hide Your Bisexuality from Your Spouse
Your sexuality is a large part of who you are. If you’re considering getting married, you need to discuss every aspect of it with the person you plan to marry. It’s the only thing that’s fair for your partner, and it’s the only thing that’ll allow you to feel entirely comfortable and entirely yourself in the relationship. How can you take the huge step of marrying someone if you can’t even be honest with that person about your sexual preferences? The easy answer is, of course, that you can’t.
If you’re already married and are thinking about opening up to your spouse about your bisexuality, whether you’ve known this about yourself all along or have recently discovered it, you need to do so. You’re hiding a huge part of who you are from the person with whom you’ve chosen to spend your life. It’s unfair to both you and your spouse. You can’t have a good, happy marriage of equals if one of you is lying about who you truly are. It’s time to be open with your partner.
Tip 2: Understand Things May Get Rough
If you’ve been married a while and you’ve known you were bisexual the whole time, there might be some fallout when you tell your spouse about your sexuality. Knowing you’ve kept this big secret from him/her all this time is going to hurt. You need to be willing to accept the consequences of that pain. Your spouse may feel all kinds of things: hurt, upset, angry, confused, betrayed, unloved, disappointed, etc. S/he has that right.
You can’t react in anger or get defensive. You have to accept that you have been lying and that it was a betrayal of sorts. Your spouse may even begin to feel jealous or like s/he’s not “enough” for you anymore. It’s your job to assure him/her that that’s entirely untrue and that you love him/her entirely. Never negate your spouse’s feelings; any response to this news is valid.
Tip 3: Give Your Partner Time to Understand
Unless you announced your bisexuality to your partner very early on in the dating stage of the relationship, this is likely a revelation you’ve held onto for a while. Recall how long it took you to find the courage to tell your spouse that you’re bisexual. It’s going to take him/her time to adjust to this new reality. You can’t expect your partner to come to terms with the situation, process it and be okay with it in a matter of hours or even days. It’s going to take time. Give your spouse the time s/he needs. Don’t push, and don’t get angry with him/her for not “being okay” as quickly as you think s/he should.
Tip 4: Be Open and Honest with One Another about Both Your Desires and Needs
Bisexuality and marriage are not mutually exclusive. The two things coexist, but both you and your spouse must be willing to be entirely honest with one another about your feelings, desires, needs, and insecurities. Truthfully, this should be true of any marriage whether or not the participants are dealing with bisexuality issues. No marriage can fully work without complete honesty.
There can’t be any of the standard “I’m fine” masking of feelings. Intimacy and honesty are key components to any successful relationship. The two of you must share everything with each other – the good and the bad, the joy and the pain, the wants and the needs. Being honest and having open, mature conversations with one another are the only ways you’ll be able to deal with bisexuality in marriage without the relationship imploding.
Tip 5: Set Clearly Defined Boundaries on Both Sides
Bisexuality and marriage can work; in fact, bisexuality can actually enhance a married couple’s sex life if both parties are open to the idea. However, boundaries have to be set beforehand. The two of you have to set your limits on what you’re comfortable with the other one doing or not doing.
Are threesomes on the table? If so, is there a strict type – FFM, FMM, FFF, MMM – to which the two of you must agree? Is your spouse willing to deal with your bisexuality and accept it as long as s/he doesn’t have to hear about the encounters? These are all boundaries that need to be established upfront.
Tip 6: Bisexual Cheating is Still Cheating
Once your boundaries are set, don’t break them! Remember, bisexual cheating is still cheating, and cheating in a marriage isn’t okay. Dealing with bisexuality is one thing; you’d be surprised how many partners can come to terms with that and be okay. Dealing with infidelity is something else entirely, and that’s sometimes a hurdle that can’t be overcome in a marriage. Don’t cheat. Don’t break the boundaries on which you’ve both agreed.
Tip 7: Understand Your Spouse May Waffle Back and Forth
Dealing with bisexuality is complicated, and just because your partner eventually claims s/he is okay with your bisexual preferences doesn’t mean s/he won’t change his/her mind further down the road. This is true even if the two of you have talked it over and worked out your boundaries. Your spouse may be open to trying a threesome with you, but afterwards, s/he may say s/he didn’t like it/wasn’t comfortable with it.
Don’t become angry. Not everyone can be okay with sharing his/her spouse with another person, even if s/he is there as well. If your spouse says that s/he can’t deal with it, you have to understand. If you refuse to quell that side of your nature and your spouse refuses to allow it, it may be time to see a marriage counselor. It may not be possible for your spouse to deal with your bisexuality. In that case, you may have to make some hard decisions. You just have to decide what’s more important to you.
Tip 8: Your Bisexuality Doesn’t Give Your Spouse the Right to Be Unfaithful
There are so many instances of dealing with bisexuality in marriage that work out just fine. Even if there are a few rocky weeks, the relationships will survive, and the two partners usually grow closer now that there’s not a huge secret between them. In some instances, though, a spouse just can’t deal with the bisexuality of his/her partner.
Sometimes, the spouse vents his/her anger by cheating on his bisexual spouse with the justification of, “You’re bisexual! How is that different than me cheating?!” Unless you and your spouse have agreed that both of you can have open relationships with others, this isn’t okay, and the bisexual partner shouldn’t feel obligated to accept it just because s/he’s been bisexual all along.
Tip 9: Be Safe and Respectful
If your partner is okay with your bisexuality and tells you it’s fine for you to explore that side of your sexuality, that doesn’t give you a green light to put him/her in danger or embarrass him/her. If you choose to have sex outside your marriage, always be safe. Use condoms, birth control or whatever else you need to ensure you won’t bring a disease or someone else’s child back home to your spouse.
Furthermore, don’t do something that would embarrass or disgrace your partner or that would otherwise make his/her life awkward. Don’t explore your sexuality with his/her friends, relatives, co-workers, boss, etc. Be respectful of your spouse’s feelings, and choose your partners wisely.
Tip 10: Realize this Process is a Journey
Perhaps the most important tip we can give you is to remember that this is a process, a journey. It’s a complicated situation fraught with all kinds of potentially messy emotions, just as most relationships are. There will be ups and downs, triumphs and failures, changed minds, hurt feelings and misunderstandings. This is just as true for relationships and life in general as it is for a marriage dealing with a bisexuality issue.
Just remember that you’re navigating uncharted territory and that there might be pitfalls along the way. Be honest and open; keep the things that are important to you in the forefront of your mind, and be respectful of one another’s feelings. If you can do these things, your relationships should be able to survive and even flourish over time
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