I ended my happy marriage when I came out as a lesbian

  • My husband and I have built a happy life and a loving, perfect marriage.
  • But we rarely had sex, so we went to couples therapy to try to save our marriage.
  • After a solo trip, I realized I was a lesbian and needed to end my marriage.

In May 2020, I embarked on a 2 week solo camping trip, leaving behind the two things I loved most: my husband and my dog.

I had no map, no plans, and no idea what was going to happen next. The trip was a means of escaping what felt like the world was collapsing. Little did I know that in those two weeks I would come to a realization that would change my life.

When I returned home, I came out as a lesbian and ended my decade-long, happy marriage.

We met in college, but a decade later we ended up in a yoga class together

It was its size that got me first; He was over 6 feet tall. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that he had so much more: he was kind, respectful, smart, funny, and practical. We dated for three years, got engaged, bought a house, and then got a dog. Two years later we got married.

We didn’t have sex on our wedding night, but we were tired. I do not mean all has sex on her wedding night, right?

We spent the next five years immersing ourselves in our careers—he in finance and I in nonprofit organizations. But on girls nights out I would stumble home after drinking too much and climb on top of him like a kid. We lay in bed eating macaroni and cheese while I sloppily related the gossip that was shared throughout the evening. I never had anything tasty to share with the girls because my life and marriage were perfect. I had the house, the dog, the career and the husband.

But the truth is, my husband and I only had sex a few times a year. I kept telling myself it was okay if we didn’t have sex because I had everything else.

We’ve tried restarting our sex life and marriage a few times

A few years later I signed us up for a weekend retreat marketed to couples in need of a little refreshment. We saw it as an opportunity to get away and reconnect. From sunrise to sunset, we sat with our lukewarm coffee in a hotel conference room, listening, holding hands, participating in the cheesy group activities, and taking notes. We left this weekend with a google calendar for planned sex together. Thursday should be our day.

But another year passed with little sex. We decided to get marriage counseling. We told our friends it was for “maintenance”. Our therapist gave us homework: read “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus” and hold hands in each other’s eyes for a minute a day. We did it, but we made fun of it every step of the way.

Then the pandemic struck and our maintenance attempts became miserable. I was drowning in work and was severely depressed. I wanted out – out of my house, out of my career, out of my life.

But my husband was happy. He liked his life, the life we ​​built. He agreed to a mostly sexless marriage because he was happy—really happy. Hearing that hurt more than anything. I had everything I ever dreamed of, so why did it feel like something was missing?

“Maybe I’m gay,” I said one night while changing into pajamas.

“Maybe,” he replied with the same ease behind his words. “Bring it up in therapy this week.”

I nodded, got into bed, kissed him goodnight and rolled over.

I’ve always considered myself a straight woman, but I couldn’t deny that I was attracted to other women

I just ignored all the signs. I’ve been making out with my friends since high school, but I figured everyone did.

When I told our couples therapist that I might be a lesbian, she brushed it off. I needed time to get away and think things through. That’s where I booked my solo camping trip.

That’s when I realized that I wasn’t straight. I was only committed to a specific vision that I had for my life. This vision was so ingrained in heteronormativity that I couldn’t even see straight ahead – or rather, could only see straight ahead. I loved my husband and my life. It was exactly what I wanted and needed until I realized it wasn’t mine at all. It belonged to a dream – a dream I could no longer identify with.

Two weeks later I came back from that camping trip and said the words out loud for the first and last time: “I’m gay.”

My husband knew it and I knew it. We cried, we hugged and we cried some more. This beautiful thing – our life together, our marriage – was over.

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