Married to a Man for 23 Years and Now I think I’m a Lesbian

50 Shades of Lesbian

Married
Thinks She's a Lesbian. © Tom Merton/Getty images
Dear Lesbian Life:
I remember the first time I saw a Playboy magazine, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the women in the pictures.
I remember the first time I masturbated, it was to the thought of a woman. I grew up in a small town during an era when girls dated boys and only men were gay. Lesbian looked like boys and I could understand the attraction. So there I was in my late teens and earlier twenties dating men but fantasizing about women during sex. Fast forward 23 years and I’m married with three children.

I married my husband for many fabulous reasons, but sexual satisfaction wasn't one of them. During this past summer I had what I would call a sexual awakening. After reading the "The 50 Shades of Grey" trilogy it was as if my libido had finally awoken after 20 years and I had the sex drive of a 16-year-old boy. The desire to be with a woman was all I could think about and so I went for it.

The first and only experience I had with a woman can only be described as spiritual. I felt a connection with her that I have never experienced with any man. It was so natural and so beautiful and I felt complete. I have begun to see women differently. I am noticing beauty in them that a year ago I never would have noticed. I am wondering if my eyes and my mind have finally been opened to the way in which I was intended to be. Was it my upbringing and societal pressures that kept me from being who I truly am, a lesbian.

Or is this just a phase?

I hope to hear back from you soon, my marriage is hanging on by a thread.
50 Shades of Lesbian

Dear 50 Shades of Lesbian:

Thanks for writing in. You are not the first person to describe her first same-sex experience as “spiritual.” I love that you use those words, though, because so many religions try to use God as justification to discriminate against us and try to tell us we are sinners.

Your first experience does offer some clues to your sexual orientation.

So does your early feelings about women and your attraction to women. Many women report that they would have come out as lesbian sooner, had they known it was an option. You may very well be one of those women.

There is a Lot to Consider

You’ve got a lot going on, though. This isn’t just about coming out and figuring out if you are a lesbian or not. This is also about your relationship with your husband and if you are going to be with him or not. You also have children to consider. It sounds like you want a quick and easy answer to something that warrants a lot of time and consideration. Like you said, your marriage is hanging in the balance and 23 years is a lot to let go of for one sexual encounter (as fantastic as it was!)

Being a lesbian is about sex, but it’s about more than that. So make sure that you really can see yourself in a relationship with another woman and consider all the other aspects of being a lesbian before you make your decision.

Be thoughtful. Take your time. I suggest talking with a good therapist to help you sort this out. Don’t do anything rash, but do do what is right for you.

You can start here by reading others stories from women and read about how they knew they were a lesbian.

You might see yourself reflected in their tales.

You might also relate to these stories of other women who were married before coming out.

Most of all, I stress that you take the time to figure this out for yourself and don’t rush the process.