Tag Archives: rejection

Death of a Coping Mechanism

One of the best parts of my life is being surrounded by supportive and loving people who also know how to help me process when I am feeling both good and bad…and like this week, feeling both good/excited/happy and bad/frustrated/sad/upset/hurt at the same damn moment. I managed to spend a good thirty minutes with my therapist co-worker talking about my multitude of feelings.

All of this processing has helped me articulate to Keith last night, that the hurt I felt was not because he had sex on Monday night, the first extra marital sex experience (okay, okay, the first sex outside of me period). It’s that, when we were dating, and I tried to have sex with him on our first date, and he denied me that pleasure, I was understandable hurt inside. I knew that he had these moral convictions around sex, and so I convinced myself that it wasn’t really rejection, that it was because of morals, and that maybe I was the one who was wrong. Over the two years we dated and were engaged, I tried often to get him to have sex with me, all to no avail. We could do what he felt comfortable with, but not what I felt most comfortable with, all blamed on these moral/relgious beliefs.

I had all of these high hopes that once we got married we’d go from 0-60 in a short period of time. Instead we went from 0-30, which left me still feeling quite rejected often. His separation of intimacy and sex didn’t just congeal in one fell swoop, and so there were times I initiated and was denied, or longed to be touched and have him initiate with me, and I got radio silence.

And so here we are, 8 years later, and in one fell swoop my coping mechanism was completely shattered, with nothing to replace it. So my brain begins spinning because I revisit all of those times I asked for sex and was denied and think…well, if it wasn’t religious/moral reasoning, then it must have been me. He didn’t want to have sex with me. He’ll do it was some internet honey, but he wouldn’t do it for me. I didn’t even realize that all of this was bubbling inside of me, and he said, “I had no idea you felt rejected all those times. I thought you understood, and now my beliefs have changed, and I know it was hard to make the transition right when we got married, and I thought it would have been easier, and I’m so sorry you felt rejected all of those times. ”

Being able to articulate this crumbling of my coping mechanism made me feel so much freer. I feel like Keith’s ‘popping the seal,’ of extramarital sex is actually a good thing, because it allows me to really live within my belief that sex doesn’t always have to be this thing that has all these crazy intense meaning attached to it. And yet, now I think the hard work comes in working through and revisiting all the hurt from that night 8 years ago when I asked for sex and felt rejected the first time.

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My Experiences Coming Out (Part 1)

The last few months have been a blur of gradual coming outness. I had written a coming out response to a recent news article, and it made the circulation to some select friends and family that I felt comfortable in sharing. In that blog I wrote that I was NotStraight, which was my catchall description, because I wasn’t yet comfortable saying bisexual (because of all the various meanings associated with that word. And the reaction in my life was AMAZING. I felt like most people had probably sensed my NotStraightness, but had not labelled it as such. Nobody was surprised. Everyone was amazingly supportive. It felt so good to be out, at least in name only, and accepted.

And then, a few weeks later, my world was rocked by meeting this girl who was like WHOA ya’ll. I mean, whoa. Having never dated a woman before, I never imagined meeting someone who fit me so well in terms of personality AND was looking for the same thing. Being a married bisexual woman, with a child, I am not looking to date someone who

wants me to leave my family and ‘run away’ with them Thelma & Louise style. And there she was, this beautiful, intelligent, well-read woman with a husband and kids of her own, and no intention of running away with a woman. In fact, she had ended her previous relationship because that woman had expected her to leave her family, and that was something she just wasn’t going to do.

Whoa.

Suddenly I am thrust into this experience, leading up to our first date, where I was having all the feelings  and wanted nothing more than select friends to be in on this knowledge with me. So I took the plunge. At first I reached out online, to a fellow blogger (from my other anonymous family blog) who I had met off a website geared toward non-traditional families. Knowing she had dated women in college, and has a high sex drive, I was excited to share with her my new found feelings toward this woman, and the fact that Keith and I are exploring open marriage or polyamory (still such a newbie I’m not quite sure what term we fit into?). And her response shocked me.

She said: I would never… I’m pretty bound into those marriage vows. I guess this is one thing we don’t have in common. . . I’m kind of at a loss for words here. . . I just can’t relate to wanting to go outside of my marriage, so I don’t really know how to respond/support. I can listen I guess, but that’s pretty far out of my wheelhouse. It seems like those things are really hard to pull off without someone getting hurt/confused. But I wish you the best!”

Talk about being dismissed. I, in one fell swoop, I felt like I was lumped into slutty cheating sex-fiend who can’t “totally be into my husband” like she had said in another part of her message. Because that is NOT what is happening here. I didn’t seek it out, and while I’m grabbing life by the horns, it is not without the blessing and encouragement of my husband. I was shocked. I figured that my IRL friends might be shocked on my acting on my bisexuality by dating a woman while married to my husband, but I was so shocked that  supposedly such an open minded blogging friend could project so strongly onto my own experience. And I am not so naive to think that all of this is going to be easy  or without it’s challenges (and possible heartaches), because I’m not just starting an office affair and fucking someone in the janitor’s closet risking getting caught. We are on the same page, communicating extensively, and still very much in love.

Based on this experience, where I had mustered up the courage to share, and risked (and got) rejection and judgment. But, I couldn’t live in the closet forever…it felt too important to keep to myself…