My husband and I have been married for five years. On our wedding day, a family member asked if we were done yet and I said no. I said I would wait a bit and that I would be with him forever. My question is do I have to wait?
Yes, say marriage and family therapist LaTonya Crockett, ND, FAAD, who operates Freedom Counseling Centers.
After a lot of consideration, Crockett says most folks actually shouldn’t be required to wait, but that sometimes it just is what it is and you shouldn’t have to give up, say, a co-worker whom you’ve grown close to because it’s simply about maintaining your own peace of mind. For some couples, it just doesn’t work.
“A perfect example is a child-care provider with whom we had a 5-year-old client. I went to the therapist’s office and said, ‘I think that he or she of couple has an attraction to the child-care provider.’ The child-care provider then decided to tell the client of this,” Crockett explains.
But just because you can’t control what your spouse feels doesn’t mean you have to take him or her for granted, anyway. You are entitled to seek therapy for whatever you need to feel better about yourself, whether it’s to feel reassured, feel loved, feel guilty, feel validated, or be helped figure out how to grow into your life together as a couple. “People shouldn’t have to wait” Crockett explains. “If you have strong feelings, just talk to your spouse or a therapist about them.”
Crockett also points out that many people with same-sex attraction may not be as deeply concerned about passing it on to their children. “We’re told not to, but my wife and I have children of our own so we’re not really in that category,” Crockett says.
But you might be when it comes to dealing with your spouse being gay, “it can complicate things for you,” Crockett says. Couples with same-sex attraction are very deeply intertwined, and your partner’s attraction to other men or women could have a profound effect on you. “It may impact your perception of him or her and maybe make you question if you should give your spouse a second chance or if your feelings will change after a period of time,” Crockett says.
Is it worth divorcing over your spouse’s same-sex attraction?