By: Margarita Holmes
Dear Dr Holmes and Mr Baer:
I am married for three years now. My wife Bee and I met 4 years, introduced by my ex lover, “Jobert.”
I chose my wife to be with and have a relationship with. Some people might not find her beautiful, but she is beautiful to me. We have a baby boy of 18 months. He is the light of both our lives.
I have just one problem with her. She has changed since our marriage. It is a small matter, but I find it very difficult.
She is defensive about my bisexuality, even if she accepts it. She knew from the start that I was bisexual. But she doesn’t want to be reminded of it.
She asked me not to see my former friends anymore, especially “Jobert”; he considered her a friend and she did too, when we were first introduced.
It is ok with me if she no longer wants to be friends with him. I do not want to stop. We have been friends since high school. Albert
You say you have just one small problem with Bee: her acceptance of your bisexuality, subject to drawing a veil over it and never mentioning it. You say Bee is accepting of your bisexuality but everything else you tell us suggests that she is in fact in denial. She doesn’t want it ever mentioned, she wants to shun your old friends and she even wants to cut ties with Jobert, with whom she was friends before meeting you. It is as if she believes that mere association with these emblematic figures from your past will reignite your bisexual fires.
Let us limit our discussion to maintaining your friendship with Jobert in the face of Bee’s opposition. An obvious solution is to discuss the matter properly with Bee, establish exactly why she wants you to let go of this longstanding relationship and reach a compromise. If that isn’t possible for whatever reason, then that leaves you potentially with a stark choice: your wife or your friend. However your discussions go, they should tell you a lot about the state of your marriage and give you both a platform on which to build a better future, whatever form that might take. —JAF BAER
I agree with Mr Baer about Bea not accepting your bisexuality. This is not a small matter at all. Your bisexuality is an important part of who you are; just as anybody’s sexual orientation is an important part of who he is. No wonder you find it difficult to abide by her “prohibitions,” and that is as it should be.
In fact, I would like to speak personally (and not-ahem-professionally, which is the way I hope I come cross most of the time) regarding this matter: I hope you find her demand so difficult you decide it is a deal breaker.
A deal breaker : A deal breaker is ‘the catch’ that a particular individual cannot overlook and ultimately outweighs any redeeming quality the individual may possess. https://www.urbandictionary.com/ define.php?term=Dealbreaker
Urban dictionary shares the following example, a conversation from 2 detectives from the TV show CASTLE:
Esposito: “What happen, did the relationship suck?”
Ryan: “Dealbreaker. She wanted to have sex in a Coffin”
Obviously, this is something anyone can literally live with (in a manner of speaking,…especially when the coffin isn’t closed.)
However, what Bea expects of you is not—for you to still live a happy, comfortable, productive life.
Had she not known of your bisexuality and your friendship with Jobert, she could, perhaps, be forgiven. However, she did know and, unless she made your giving up your friends as a condition for your marriage that you agreed to, she has no right to ask you to give this up now (or ever).
To ask you to give you a friendship that sustains and gives you such joy is selfish, unrealistic and small minded.
Mr Baer is right: Talk to her, and see if you can find a way for both of you to be true to yourselves. However, if that is impossible, I suggest staying together happily and safely would also be impossible, not only for you, but also for your baby boy of 18 months.
Babies have a more nuanced understanding of emotion than scientists had previously thought. IN fact, by 18 months of age, babies have a fairly sophisticated understanding of human emotion. https://www.onlinelibrary.wiley. com/doi/10.1111/infa.12230
I wish you success in your future dialogues/conversations with Bee. But more importantly, I wish you courage and discernment, to know when to give in and when to “fight the good fight and stay the course.”—MG Holmes