In second grade I remember the teachers had to give my hands names so they could keep them off my peers. Apparently, I had a bad habit of not being able to keep my hands to myself.
I had a “girlfriend’ since we were born. Our mothers where friends. But we went to different elementary schools, so when we went to the same middle school. She didn't want to have anything to do with me.
Middle school itself sucked, too. There were four elementary schools going into one middle school. So I only knew a third of the people in class. A lot of my friends changed and some of them even started bullying me and calling me gay. I got in trouble in eighth grade and my parents gave me the opportunity to go to a private school nearby. The private school was so small that there were two grades in one class. There I expressed an interest in a girl and by the end of the year pretty much all the girls thought I was a pervert and all the boys had a chance of making that happen.
After that I was so afraid to express my sexuality that I didn't have a girlfriend until my senior year in high school. Now I'm heterosexually married to my “high school sweetheart” and coming to the realization that I like being physically close to people and that I might be bisexual. Before I've always been afraid to come in physical contact with other people and I was afraid that if I did, even by accident, that they'd think I was trying to be perverted.
I've already talked to my wife about it and she's said that she loves me and doesn't want to split up, but she wants to continue to be monogamous but at the same time she doesn't want to torture me or have me destroy whom I'm becoming. I've worked so hard to be comfortable with who am I and who I want to be that even my wife has noted her jealousy over me being so extroverted recently, that I'm not spending as much time with her.
I know some guys that are willing to help me explore my sexuality, but none of us want to do anything unless everyone involved is in agreement.
I don't know who else I can talk to about this and I don't know what to do.
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The phrase “whom I’m becoming” is misguided and acknowledges merely that you have not come to terms with who you have always been: bisexual. There’s nothing wrong with being bisexual, I must emphasize.
You are also a very affectionate man, obviously. I, personally, find that charming and sweet. The problem is not with you but, rather, with our sexually uptight American society. Cultures vary widely about outward displays of affection, from the very formal and disapproving societies seen in Japan, China, England, and pretty much everywhere in the Middle East, to the more affectionate and gregarious countries of Italy, France, Greece, Iceland, the Netherlands, Brazil, some African nations, and Polynesian and most especially Inuit (Eskimo) peoples (when you’re freezing cold it’s nice to hug someone :-) ).
America lies somewhere in between, and the acceptance of affection in public can vary from region to region. Here where I am in Southern California, people are very laid back about it, but in the Midwest and New England it is pretty much frowned upon, for example.
But I digress. What I’m trying to point out is that you are an affectionate, open person living in a sexually stifled culture, which gives you the false impression that you are wrong to be openly loving and "touchy-feely." It’s really too bad you didn’t come to terms with your bisexuality before you decided to get married. Your wife wants a monogamous relationship with you, which is her right to demand, and, as long as you are in this marriage, you should try to honor that. The problem is that you are never going to be happy living in such a restrictive marriage. I speak from experience on this point.
Judging by your letter, your choice is to either be unhappy and stay in your marriage, which is something many people do, or come to terms with who you really are and, sadly, get a divorce because, frankly, you are not doing your wife any favors at this point.
Before you make such a drastic move, however, I would strongly recommend you find a sexual identity therapist. (Important: note that the term is “sexual identity therapist” not “sex therapist”; a sex therapist helps those who are having problems with their partner having sex, while a sexual identity therapist helps you to discover and come to terms with your sexual orientation and preferences.) You do not want to get a divorce if I am wrong about the above and there is something else going on here emotionally and psychologically that I am not aware of. On such a very vital and core issue dealing with your very being, you need a trained professional to help you, not an advice columnist.
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