I was 35 when I realized I was bisexual, and I was terrified to tell my husband of five years.
Despite much research and fear, I finally came out to my husband, and he accepted me instantly.
I'm still working to understand my sexuality.
Years ago, I was walking toward my boyfriend one day. He was standing beneath an archway, and I was suddenly struck with the absolute truth that I would marry him someday. "Oh, my god," quietly escaped my lips. I smiled and continued walking toward him, much like I did on our wedding day.
Nine years later, I was jogging down the steps to a subway station, rushing to reach the platform before the train arrived. Suddenly, something clicked in my head, and I was struck with another absolute truth: I'm bisexual. I stopped dead in my tracks.
I'd been happily married for five years to my husband. I started to panic, wondering how I would tell him my truth when I barely understood it myself.
First, I spoke with other queer people to see whether I was really bisexual
The inner turmoil started to eat away at me. I felt uneasy — like I was keeping a dirty secret from my husband. I was lost, and I had no idea who to turn to.
Luckily, amazing LGBTQ people came to my rescue. I had some very eye-opening conversations with my pansexual and bisexual friends. I joined online communities, connecting with many women just like me. I learned a lot about the spectrum of sexual desire and drive.
But I still wasn't sure how to prove I was bisexual if I hadn't been with another woman. One friend put it all into perspective for me. They said, "If a boy had a crush on a girl, you wouldn't say, 'He can't prove he's straight. He hasn't kissed a girl before.' It's about what attracts you to another person. Physical intimacy is just part of the equation."
At that point, I started to remember a younger version of myself that struggled with bisexual thoughts. Looking back, I can see my little bisexual self had tried to come out so many times and that I'd never been comfortable enough to do so.
Finally, I was ready to tell my husband
I figured if I had the right vocabulary and information, my husband might be more accepting. Eventually, I came to my very scientific conclusion: I was a bisexual woman with heteroromantic tendencies and hetero- and homoerotic drives.
Terrified, I approached my husband and gave him the news.
His response? "OK."
"OK?" I asked back. I had done weeks of research and soul-searching. That was all he had to say? I needed more, so I asked how he felt.
He paused thoughtfully and said, "Honestly? I've known you were bisexual for a while. I was just waiting for you to find out for yourself. But I'm really glad you told me. How do you feel about it?"
I blurted out, "I don't know."
And I didn't. I had done all this emotional work to break the news to my husband, but I hadn't really had time to break the news to myself. A brand-new crop of worries arose. Was I expected to go to a pride parade? Should I come out to my parents?
3 years later, I'm still learning about my sexuality
Coming out to my husband ended up being one of the best and most rewarding things I'd ever done. I'm incredibly lucky to have a partner who supports me, understands me, and meets me where I'm at. We've had hard conversations about our marriage and transparent conversations about women, and we've even made jokes about our newfound common interest.
I have not explored my sexuality outside my marriage emotionally or physically. We have kept our relationship monogamous, as that's what works for us.
Coming out to my husband was the start of a much longer journey of coming out to myself. I've realized I might be more pansexual, as I find men, women, trans people, and nonbinary folks attractive.
I know not every marriage has a happy ending like this and not everyone can tell their spouse about their sexual identity. But I'm proof that if you want to, you may just have the support you need every step of the way.
Read the original article on Insider