I am a straight woman who married a bisexual man who lived most of his life as a gay man, and had a male lover for many years. He does not try to hide this and is in favor of gay rights; we both are. We are both of middle-age, and will soon be senior citizens. I believe that we have a very good, loving relationship, but my husband admitted to me some time ago that he has always been in love with a particular man (not his ex-lover, who dumped him for another man) but accepted long ago that it was not to be. He says he loves me but it is obvious that he still has strong feelings for this man, whom he talks about all the time. I wondered if it might do me some good to appeal to this man -- my husband has not seen him in some years -- to tell my husband that there really is no chance of their getting together. I know it would be presumptuous of me, to say the least. But I feel my husband's feelings for him are getting in the way of our relationship, and I do want this to work. If he knew there really was no possibility, maybe he could concentrate more on our marriage and happiness. Anon.
Okay, where do I begin?
This is not what you want to hear, but your marriage would probably have a greater chance of success if your husband was a heterosexual. Sorry, but that's just the plain truth right there. However, there are other factors that you have to consider.
First of all, I think your husband is well aware that things aren't going to happen between him and this other guy he's supposedly in love with, and I think contacting the man would not only be presumptuous but pointless. Whether your husband is actually in love with this guy or not, I'm sure you can see that it presents a problem. Even if your husband is genuinely bisexual (and not just a lonely homosexual man with issues, such as being "dumped" by his long-time male lover) --and it sounds as if that's a big if in this case -- he may have far more interest, shall we say, in men than in women. In other words, his telling you about his love for this guy (you have to wonder why he did so) may be his way of reminding you that he is, after all, a guy who has a thing for other guys, and you can only expect so much of him. On some level, perhaps sub-consciously, your husband probably realizes that he really wants and needs to be with another man, just as you, in all honesty, probably would have preferred a man who's totally or mostly into women.
Loneliness can make strange bedfellows, and I suspect that you and your husband got together (straight woman, man who was "gay most of his life") for that reason. I understand that some people merely settle when it comes to relationships because they want some sort of companionship -- someone who cares about them and whom they care about to share their life with. I do think, however, that it might be better for people to realize -- in situations like this one, among others -- that sometimes loving friends -- as you and your husband may well be -- should remain friends and not become spouses. Where would we all be without our friends, especially when romantic relationships don't work out for one reason or another?
There are really, to my way of thinking, only two things that a woman in your situation can do. You either accept the fact that for one reason or another you entered into a marriage with someone who may never feel the way about you that you feel about him, and just become reconciled to the fact that you've settled. Or, if your husband's obsession with this guy (or, more to the point, his need to be with a man or men) is too much for you to take, then decide to go for simple friendship instead of marriage.
If that won't work, then just move on. You can find love -- real love -- at any age.
The thing is, no matter how he feels about you, your husband may never stop hoping to find that special Mr. Right. And if he by chance finds him, where do you fit in?
In other words, gay men should be with men. Sorry, but there it is. It's not that I have no sympathy for your situation, but if you knew all about this guy's past you did, after all, walk in with your eyes open.