She’s bisexual and married to a man.

Q:

I am a bisexual woman married to a man. We have two toddlers. While we might have the outside appearance of being a heterosexual couple, most of our friends and social activities are LGBT.

My husband is straight but, he is also active in his LGBT group at his company — works on the parade float, performs in the parade, goes to parties, etc.

Our children are definitely being raised in queer culture. How do we explain this to them as they are growing up?

A:

I am sure you have noticed that so much of the conversation about LGBT parents is really about “same-sex parents.” Bisexual parents who are married to someone of the opposite sex are often overlooked for the very reason that their sexual orientation is not as obvious — they are mistaken for heterosexual couples.

Your kids are young enough that your family’s involvement in the LGBT community will be something they know and accept. You take pride in being a part of this community; they will probably enjoy it, too.

Still, they will need you to help them find the words to better understand their family. They need to hear in casual and frequent ways that you are bisexual or whatever word works best for you to describe yourself. If you don’t say anything, as they grow up, they will wonder but will be afraid to ask.

What matters to the kids is that your sexuality is not going to threaten your relationship with their dad. Most of the conversations they will overhear in the LGBT community about bisexual parents will involve someone coming out and then divorcing. They need to know that for you, part of being bisexual means that you love their dad very much and you are staying with him.

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Related Links:

bisexual.org: A resource site maintained by the Bisexual Foundation

Bisexual Resource Center

14 thoughts on “She’s bisexual and married to a man.”

  1. I couldn’t agree more with your advice Abigail. The woman in question is quite openly bisexual to the world and their whole family is involved in the gay community. Both the children’s parents consider themselves part of the gay community. Therefore it is important that the children know the nature of their involvement. it’s better that they find out from their own parents, about their sexual orientation, rather than someone else.

    They also need to be equipped for possible teasing at school. Finally, as you said, the children will have no doubt have questions to ask about their families involvement within the gay community.

  2. I think it’s great that you are both so active in the LGBT community, while remaining a married couple. Your children are so young that they will think your social activities are normal…until they get into school and learn from friends’ families what else is “normal”. You are teaching them by example that all people are different and special, and this will turn them into non-judgemental adults…which the world can always use more of!!!

    P.S. After 23 years as a lesbian, my mother is committed to a man. My 4 year old son spends lots of time with my Mom’s ex who still lives as a lesbian. He calls her and her partner “Grandma.” Someday he’ll learn that it’s different, but for now I enjoy the innocence.

  3. I always enjoy reading your advice (though sometimes I do so a while after it comes out).

    When I read the recent advice item about a bi married woman with kids, it occurred to me to suggest a yahoo group I read called “Making Mixed Orientation Marriages Work.” (I’m a bi man married to a straight woman.)

    Link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MMOMW/

    I’ve found the group to be a good place to find people who can debunk the myth that a marriage with one gay or bi partner cannot work.

    Best regards,
    Robert

  4. We have three preschool children and my husband knows I am bisexual. We’ve agreed to keep it quiet. He says as long as I am discreet and cautious he will stay with me. Honesty is the only way to deal with this issue. Never hide it from your spouse.

  5. I am a bisexual mom of two, and have been married to an LGBT-friendly man for over a decade. The key to the success of our marriage has been honest communication. My orientation has never been a secret, although not everyone in my family “knows”.

    Monogamy is far from dull. We are comfortable enough in our marriage to discuss what we find attractive and to discover together what makes us feel good. We find others attractive and share our thoughts without feeling jealous, because we trust each other implicitly. We are faithful to each other and won’t jeopardize our relationship for a fling. Being open about our desires has served to strengthen our marriage rather than damage it. Like any couple, we’ve had our share of stormy weather, but things are easily resolved.

    Now, as for our children, they have known since an early age that I used to date women and we have taught them that families come in many shapes and sizes. They have grown up with tolerance, compassion, and respect for others. Having a bisexual mom has not affected their orientations; it has made them more aware of the spectrum of love and more kind towards others.

  6. It is disgusting that you would lead a “bisexual” lifestyle and have ANY children. What an injustice for them.

    If your husband doesn’t get his own “kicks” from your “bi” choice, which would be unhealthy anyway, then he’s a total moron for tolerating you and your “discreet” activities.

  7. Disgusting? How so? Are bisexuals not supposed to have children? Oops, nobody ever told me. Me wife is also bi. We have an unusual family true, but we are all very happy. As both Anne and Brenda commented being open and honest is absolutely vital. Our children are very aware that they have a special family. Our society loses so much by not accepting persons who are different.

  8. Visitor, why are you assuming that the woman who wrote the question is also having sex with a woman? There’s nothing in her letter that indicates that at all.

    Thanks for answering this question, Abigail. With any luck my fiance and I will be in the same situation in ten years or so. :)

  9. To the visitor’s response that has disgust. If its so disgusting to you and you felt the need to leave the crude and invasive comment then how is it you came to this site and to this blog? You took the time to read the story and the answer and comments. Seems to me your a bit curious yourself or you would not of been in this particular site and blog.

    My opinion is that as long as you are comfortable with your kids knowing and comfortable with the possibility that your children may end up living the same life style as yours then go for it. Children have a mind of their own and can make decisions on their own. You can have your dreams for your children, but keep in mind they have their own dreams for themselves.

  10. When I was 13, i realised my mum was more than close to another female. Later I saw that they were in fact lovers when i came from school early and found them. we talked and i was and am fine with who my mum is. it made me open-minded and led to my own experiences.

  11. I was raised in a open-minded family with my mom and sister. I started to experiment in my early teens. When my mom discovered me with my best friend, she came in and talked to us about it and told us that it’s ok to be bisexual. At dinner we discussed it as a family and found out that both my sister and mom have had bisexual experiences.

  12. I am happy for love in all relationships, I am myself a bisexual male and I have always had the best luck taking my time and I am in love with a beautiful bisexual woman and I plan to have a family.

    I was raised in a divorce from strict Catholic living to my mom’s transition into lesbian separatist feminism and I was never in the closet because I got sent home and didn’t realize I was even doing something wrong. I am very much in love with this woman. I have been with two others in the past and they didn’t work out due to miscarriages and mothers, my mom didn’t like a bisexual woman love interest in my life and I was from a different country and American bisexuals have a bad rap so that didn’t work. None of us are promiscuous, never cheated. But as comments above dictate, it is assumed that I will and I chose to be careful and knew when it was there to be safe. Love is love.

    My mom came out and wasn’t the glowing example of parenting either pre or post coming out and I still ended up well. I admit I fear mixed orientation relationships so I am happy for you all. Happy to see some progress in mentalities. We are both bisexual in how we fall in love with one another and I will argue if someone says I am one or the other because I wasn’t closeted and I adapted from an early age of knowing I wasn’t really going to find love easily. I can say I oddly found someone I feared because she prefers to embrace her feminine role even. Because even I have the idea that most bi women are social justice warriors who are bitter and have a political stance on everything or promiscuous and claim to think bi dudes are gross closet cases with AIDS or liars but I hold those beliefs when I first meet a bi male too. But I am happy.

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