Recently I read this from another blog, and it struck a cord with me.
"We all deserve a partner in life who can do three things for us every day: Someone who will make us feel loved, make us feel respected, and make us feel appreciated every single day."
I believe this is true, I believe it is what we should strive for in our relationships, whether they be gay or straight relationships. The question for the mixed orientation marriage is, can you have all three?
I think about my own relationship. I know my soon to be ex-husband (STBH) loves me, but I also know it is not a complete love. While he loves the person that I am, and I honestly feel that from him, he doesn't love me as a sexual being. There is a missing element to our love. It gnaws at him and it gnaws at me. He wants to be that sexual partner for me, but he falls short, due to no fault of his own. The result is he feels bad because he does love me and wants to give that to me, and I feel bad because I am asking of him something that he is not capable of giving. It leaves us both empty and incomplete.
I can see it now he is in a new relationship. It is a relationship that completes him. It is a relationship that does not leave him feeling incomplete. He feels whole.
Respect. I have felt respected, but not always. When STBH first came out and started exploring his feelings and going through what I call his gay teenage years, I felt disrespected and left behind. It was like this whole life we had built together he was willing to just toss aside in favor of his new friends, his new self discovery, his new life. Eventually he came back to his family, but came back a changed person. I changed too. Now our respect for each other is not as husband and wife and commitments we have made to each other in that regard, but rather a respect for who each other is as a human being, who each other is as a parent, and who each other is as a friend.
Appreciation. I can honestly say that during our marriage I have felt appreciated, although at time I let my own selfishness stand in the way of allowing myself to feel his appreciation. I have felt even more appreciated as we have redefined what our relationship is.
To be loved, respected and appreciated. It sounds simple, yet in a mixed orientation marriage so very hard. Ultimately for us we both determined we could not continue on. Yet in making that decision our relationship has grown in our love, respect and appreciation for each other. Kind of ironic.