Wow…I’m not only surprised, I’m shocked to see comments like “That makes me sick” from people who consider themselves Catholic. Where would we be if Jesus had said that to the woman at the well? To the adulteress? To Mary Magdelene?
LovingHusband, I’m a recent convert (well, I will officially be confirmed after the Easter Vigil ), bisexual woman, and am married to a Catholic man. Unlike your wife, I didn’t know about my sexuality until after I had been married to my husband for several years. I’m no expert, but I can tell you that personal counseling and couples’ counseling as well as time with our priest has been of great help to us both and to our relationship.
I realize that you will have to deal with the possible anger of your wife when she realizes you have snooped. Don’t justify your snooping, though it’s fine to tell her in a calm, non-defensive way, why you felt the need to do so. If you try to defend your actions, she’s likely to get involved in a fight with you over your snooping **instead **of talking about the real issue here–her possible infidelity.
First of all, you may find great support, help, and amazing advice by visiting/joining the Straight Spouse Network. Though it’s not a Catholic organization, I’ve met many straight spouses of online friends who’ve found great comfort there, and I think it may be helpful for you.
Your wife may be using her SSA as an excuse for falling in to temptation. However, it’s also possible that, due to the way our society treats those with SSAs, she may either be unaware of the intensity of her feelings or be more lesbian than bisexual.
Many, many gay and lesbian individuals (especially those of us brought up in traditional/conservative families and churches) find themselves trying to be “normal” by entering into heterosexual unions and attempting to do away with their SSA. Unfortunately, this very, very rarely ends in any real happiness for them or their partner. If your wife is one of these people, she needs help to feel comfortable with who she is and with the assistance of a therapist, your priest, and/or you, to make a decision about how she can best live a life of faith and honesty. As hard as it may be to consider a life without her as your wife, if that’s the path she chooses, you’ll know that you’ll be in a much better place than you would be if you ignored what’s happening right now and allowed this to go on. The longer this lasts, the harder it is–especially once children are a part of the family.
Just in case your wife decides she is lesbian but *wants *to make a monogamous marriage work, there is also a small online support group for people with mixed orientation marriages (i.e. marriages where one person has an SSA and one doesn’t) who are committed to making a monogamous marriage work. It can be a very positive place with a very unique take on how to make something most think is impossible, possible. I found a lot of hope there while I was a member a couple years ago. You can find out more here: groups.yahoo.com/group/MMOMW/
On the other hand, your wife may truly *be *bisexual, in which case she, like I, can find at least some (if not a lot of) satisfaction with someone of the opposite sex. If so, with the help of professionals, you can decide what she needs to do in order to stay in touch with her bisexuality while remaining within the bonds of a monogamous relationship. For me, that currently means reading non-fiction books about others like me, sometimes watching movies that feature bisexual/lesbian characters, talking with my husband about my feelings, spending time in support groups and with like-minded Christian/Catholic friends, journaling my feelings and thoughts, and reading devotionals meant for LGBT people of faith. My husband and I work these things out together and decide upon what will help me without hurting him. In the reading I’ve done, it seems that those who try to totally avoid all thoughts of their SSA end up dealing with a huge crisis at a later part of their life. They seem to be more successful at dealing with it by accepting its presence and finding supportive ways of coping (similar to the way an alcoholic goes to AA, *not *that an SSA is an addiction…).
One way or another, I do agree with those who say you should address this issue and do it soon. Your wife’s activities are a cry for help–she obviously loves you as she indicates that she doesn’t want to leave you, but she must feel that something is missing in her life or she wouldn’t be engaging in these self-destructive pursuits. Maybe she needs to spend more time connecting with you and with God. Maybe she needs to express her SSA in ways that will help her without hurting you (in other words, *not *by cheating!). I hope that you two can talk about this and figure out what will work for you.
Without going into much detail (this post is way too long as it is! :eek: ), the place my husband and I find ourselves is not an easy one. We didn’t chose it, but we have faith that we are where we are meant to be. With a lot of faith, a lot of grace, and God’s constant presence in our life and marriage, we’re making a seemingly impossible situation work. We’re very happy. It took us over 3 years to get to this point, but it was worth it! I’ll be thinking of you and your wife and keeping you in my prayers. If either of you want to contact me personally, feel free–just send me a PM.
I realize not all of the things I’ve expressed here are completely in keeping with the official Catholic stance on homosexuality. I hope that isn’t a problem. I think, as a matter of conscience, sometimes we have to do what is best in our situation, basing our decisions on a combination of prayer, contemplation, discussions with people we trust (such as a priest, deacon, or other religious person), and faith. I run a group for Catholic young adults and have heard several of our speakers (all of whom were Catholic and most of whom were priests or Catholic theologists/professors) express a similar view.