This post is part of the “Our Stories” project, where readers submit their testimony or coming out story. It’s important to engage in meaningful and life-giving discussions about a topic that is too often silenced. When you tell your truth, you help someone else accept theirs.
I’ve struggled with my sexuality for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been attracted to women, but good southern Christian girls just don’t entertain those thoughts. In my very early twenties I entertained the idea of being a lesbian, but I was extremely conflicted and fell into a depression. I decided that it was just the devil trying to trick me, and set out on my quest to find a husband. It didn’t take me long to find one through online dating. We were married for five years before I realized that I had used marriage as a way to run from my feelings. I began to acknowledge to myself that these feelings weren’t going to go away, and I found places like Coming Out Christian that helped me reconcile them with my faith.
I had been unhappy in my marriage for some time and convinced myself that my husband didn’t love me anymore and would be happy to be rid of me, so I started to talk about getting a divorce. As a Christian I believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity of marriage, but my husband is not a believer and I thought he didn’t want to be married to me anymore, so I figured I had an out. Contrary to what I thought, he said he did still love me and wanted to stay married. I had this grand plan cooked up wherein I would get a quick and painless divorce and be free to explore my new-found sexuality. When that came crashing down I was confused all over again. I had it all planned out! Now what was I supposed to do?
I told my husband that I “thought” I was gay, which was not how I planned to phrase it, but when it came down to it, I wasn’t brave enough to say it more decisively. Naturally, my husband had questions and concerns, but above all wished to remain married, in whatever context we came to define it. I found a few resources regarding lesbians who remained married to their male spouses, and it was a huge relief to find others in the same situation. None of us are as unique as we like to believe! These people have managed to stay in love and stay married and stay happy, and that is what I aim to do. I do love my husband, and I am committed to working out our issues and staying married to him. He has offered to allow me the freedom to explore my sexuality, or “experiment”, as he put it, but I told him that I do not want to “experiment”. In my eyes that is adultery, and I could never forgive myself if I did that. Homosexuality does not have to equal promiscuity, and I do not have to let sex run my life. I have moved to an apartment temporarily as we work out our problems, but I’m happier than I have been in a long time. My husband and I are “dating” and enjoying it very much. I know it seems strange to say that I am a lesbian in love with a man, but I truly feel that as long as we remain honest and act with love instead of selfishness (which is always a struggle for me!), we will be just fine.
There has been a update to this post. Be sure to check it out here!