Missing people group?

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Joined in 2008
March 18, 2009, 09:21

Subject Line:

What might happen if heterosexual partners of gay/lesbian Christians were included in this category?

I’ve copied my original entry from the Supporters, Family(!) & Friends Forum some weeks ago and received 2 responses.

I ‘ve just read the latest entry in Telling Your Stories and it occurred to me that it seems to be the most active category on the forum. So I thought to post my entry here to see if giving it more exposure could result in more responses? I hope I have not crossed the lines of Forum “rules” in do so. Please advise and I will ratify a.s.a.p if necessary…..

Thank you, Lyfe


[ Start Quote: It seems to me that until the partnered gay / lesbian Christian makes the decision with their partner to end and leave their relationship, it would be reasonable to conclude that there are many in our Christian congregations in this category and on a different journey to the closeted married gay or the openly out and let’s end our marriage gay….

What if they (known to each partner, married & gay) do not wish to end their relationship at least not in the foreseeable future? Does this then mean they are being untrue to themselves or living a lie? If we accept that sexuality is more fluid than we first thought and if sexuality is best understood on a continuum scale than this should not be all too surprising. Maybe we need to accept that there are “mixed orientation couples” who are open with each other and are not “hanging in some terrible partnership” out of tragic agony and angst.

Now the notion of “good enough” needs expansion but that’s for another day and another post Razz

Staying on the subject, the “coming out” of such couples will likely take a different form and shape from the ones who clearly want nothing of the intimacy of this kind except in a clearly gay/lesbian relationship. We can assume that the gay is likely to lean towards bi-sexual on the sexuality continuum if he/she is in this kind of relationship. Not uncommonly they may not be strictly bisexual since they may only be “selectively bi” in so far as they will / can only be intimate and partner with a particular member of the opposite gender.

Hence we could say there may be more colours to the rainbow than meets the eye, LOL.

Maybe we need to be “enlightened” enough to not feel our way / cause is being diluted or challenged by anothers’ experience of “resolving” their identity dilemma?

What saddens me though, is that there seems to be even less openness and conversation for such relationships never mind support! By contrast I have found that once you eventually come out as clearly gay/lesbian, there is a lot more help / guidance out there.

It’s as if the gay and straight communities are saying – hey you there, sitting on the fence, get off it! But who says it is a fence and who decides that jumping off one side is better or healthier? Shouldn’t someone who is not bias for one side or the other be able to openly discuss and explore what the individual’s or the couple’s journey, desires and ultimate goals are?

It seems a bit unbalanced and somewhat unjust I feel that the freedom cry to “come out,” be true to yourself before others and your loving Creator God perhaps does not seem to make room for those who do not, yet again, fit our matrix of sexuality, honesty and relationship.

ALL relationships whether gay, heterosexual or mixed orientation do not escape the issues that make any kind of relationship “work” ie. honesty, openness to learn, change and grow out of our limiting thinking and/or behaviours, the ability to give of oneself and receive from others….etc. you get my meaning, I hope.

I haven’t posted in a very long time….I had a lot of thinking and living to do, LOL. I do get onto F2b forums every now and not suprisingly, this forum category is very slow moving; the most active forum is the coming out / telling our stories section. I rest my case, LOL.

Anyway (in the manner of Ellen Degeneres on her show )….I thought since everyone else found such freedom to write and share of themselves I’d take the plunge, catch my thinking onto the written word and wait……… I have NO idea what reponse I’d get or if ANY…oh dear, which is worse I wonder :-0

If can live my Lyfe my way……by not standing in your way as you live yours, I would be honouring you and God who created you in love and that would be a start at least…..


Lyfe…………..End Quote]

Joined in 2008
March 18, 2009, 20:25

My take on this scenario is that as long as both people are equally committed to making the relationship a mutually beneficial one, then I see few valid reasons why they should part. Broadly speaking, a loving relationship is not built solely on sexuality, but on a number of things. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on the forum, I like the concept of “emotional intimacy” where both partners sustain and build a relationship to the benefit of each other. This could even be in a mixed orientation marriage.

Just my thoughts 😉

Joined in 2007
March 20, 2009, 01:18

Hi Lyfe,

I would have to say that I agree with mobileguy here. I don’t think that there is any reason why someone should be told they have to quit a relationship that is emotionally and physically nurturing, regardless of orientation or anything else. Why fix something that is not broken.

I personally know of at least one couple who are both gay, but have a very fulfilling heterosexual relationship. The sad thing, for them *this is just in MY view, not necessarily theirs* is that because they’re a Christian couple, they don’t feel that they are able to be open and honest about their orientation.

If more people were able to be open and honest, it would make things a lot easier for those of us who struggle, I think.

Joined in 2006
March 20, 2009, 09:07

I cant see why you cant share your story here 😉 its all important and relevant.

What kind of challenges do you find with mixed orientation marriage if there be any? how does it work if one meets someone they want to partner with? (Im just really genuinely curious and this isnt meant to sound like a query of judgement :wink:)

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
March 20, 2009, 22:23

Hi Lyfe…..sorry I missed your original post.

I have considerable experience in this area of mixed orientation marriages. I’ve incorporated it as a part of my coaching practice.

If you want some more specific details you can email me directly if you like.

Basically….as you say it is not as cut and dried as people would have us believe.

When I was facing this issue I could only see two options….and there was no support or a single person I could find who really understood the issues.

I work with people to see that there are at least 6 different options….governed by a whole range of variables. Some of these include, church life, friends, business, health, age, children and their ages, financial considerations, length of relationship, personalities of the individuals…… to name a few.

Below is an intro I use when we begin discussions.

Mixed Orientation Marriage – What to do?

A mixed orientation marriage is where one partner is heterosexual and the other is same-sex-oriented (gay or lesbian) or bi-sexual.

The situation we find ourselves in was not one of intentional deception. (In some cultures, families and geographical areas this maybe different however, as it is a matter of survival). For most of us though, our marriages were the result of us conforming to a society, who at that time, believed homosexuality was crime, perversion and mental illness. We married thinking that it was the right thing to do and that it would help to change what we perceived was faulty within us. I know this was the case for me. I wanted to do the right thing. Having a wife and family was everyone’s goal. There are also a number of people whose same sex orientation did not become obvious or awakened till after they were married. You, I, and 1000’s of others are the products of an uninformed society. We are at the fault line and our generation is the one caught in the transition.

Had the current knowledge on sexual orientation been available to us growing up, our choices would have been different. If we were born 40 years earlier we wouldn’t have ever considered coming out. If we were in this current generation we would have realized our sexual orientation is natural and normal and wouldn’t have married to help fix it or felt it necessary to conform.

Making a decision about what to do, being gay or lesbian in a heterosexual marriage, can be quite complex. It has many consequences that can include firstly our partner of course but also children, families, employment, business, finances, friends, church, faith. The decisions we make will impact several or all of these.

Living with the internal conflict (dissonance) will eventually impact us either psychologically (e.g. depression), emotionally (distancing and unable to have intimacy or strong friendships) or physically (stress related illnesses e.g. high blood pressure, insomnia, ulcers etc). We need to put strategies into place to manage the stress and resolve the dissonance.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is coaching?

Coaching is a one on one interactive process that helps individuals gain clarity, set realistic goals and make better decisions. Your self awareness is heightened. I create a safe space for you to think, reflect and create strategies. I also support you through the process in a completely non-judgmental environment which is free of any agenda except to help you gain the clarity you need.

2. Is coaching the same as counseling or therapy?

No. Counselling and therapy usually focus on resolving issues from the past. Coaching is not so much about your past as about the creating the right future. Its more solution- based than problem-based.

3. What will happen in the sessions?

We will talk. Actually you’ll talk more than me as I will use my skills and experience to ask the right questions, reflect back on what you are saying and the things you might not see yourself and summarise. I will walk you through exercises that will help you gain clarity about your situation and how to resolve it.

4. Can you advise me?

A coach never advises or tells clients what they should do. I will be able however to share with you the information I have from my own experience of being married for 16 years, overcoming my sexual addiction, working with many clients in this area and the research I’ve been doing for the last 10 years. Most people find this invaluable but ultimately the decisions and choices are yours. I also have a bank of helpful articles and resources if you need them.

5. What outcomes can I expect?

Firstly, and most importantly you will get clarity to make choices. When I separated from my wife, I could only see two choices: stay in the marriage and try to overcome my attraction to the same sex or leave my Christian world and live as a gay man. There are actually seven different options we look at to help you decide which one is right for you. You will know what the right thing is for you to do right now. And that may be to stay in the marriage or put your decision on hold. Whatever you decide the internal dissonance will be greatly reduced.

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