Response To Annie’s Mailbox Columns On “Husband of a Sudden Bixexual”
Response to “Husband of a Sudden Bisexual”
NOVEMBER 18, 2009:
After 20 years of marriage, my wife and I separated, with the plan that I would undergo therapy to discover why I had become disconnected from her over the past few years.
We agreed that after eight months or so, we would attend joint counseling sessions to see what had changed. After six months, I discovered she had had sex with a man and then later with a woman. She stated, “We’re separated, so I feel free to date and do not regret it.” I consider this adultery. What do you think?
Husband of a Sudden Bisexual
A married person who has sex outside the marriage has committed adultery. However, a legal separation, as opposed to an informal parting, often gives spouses tacit permission to date others. We assume this was not the case here. But you have a bigger problem. If your wife is bisexual, your marriage may not be reconcilable. If she isn’t already in counseling, you should make it a condition of your continued efforts to save the relationship. Provided, of course, you still want to.
JANUARY 2, 2010:
You missed the boat when you told “Husband of a Sudden Bisexual” that his marriage may not be reconcilable if his wife is bisexual. Bisexual people are just as inclined toward monogamy as anyone else. Millions of bisexuals may be getting fishy looks from their partners over the breakfast table because of your claim. Please set the record straight.
Happy Monogamous Bisexual
We didn’t mean to give the impression that bisexuals cannot be monogamous. But a wife who cheats with two different partners doesn’t seem inclined toward monogamy, and a husband who is surprised to discover she is bisexual may not be willing to reconcile. That was our point. Sorry it wasn’t clear.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.
AND MY RESPONSE, SENT JANUARY 2, 2010:
Dear Kathy and Marcy (“Annie”),
Every day, I look forward to your column in The Boston Globe.
But like “Happy Monogamous Bisexual,” I too was disappointed by your column of November 18th. I was glad to see your follow up, but I think you still missed the point. In your first column you wrote “If your wife is bisexual, your marriage may not be reconcilable.” That’s just as silly as writing “If your wife is heterosexual, your marriage may not be reconcilable.”
It’s not one’s sexual orientation that makes one good marriage material – it’s having goals for a marriage that are compatible with those of your partner. A person who wants a monogamous marriage would have a problem if their spouse wants an open marriage – regardless of either partner’s sexual orientation.
And I would also dispute your statement that the wife in your column cheated with two different partners. I understood the letter as saying that she dated two other people while they were separated. You were more nuanced about this in your first response, but in your second response you grossly oversimplified the situation.
That’s all I have. I hope that you’ll take a look at my website: http://www.robynochs.com. It’s jam packed with articles and other information about bisexual identity. marriage equality, and more. Here’s one article I particularly recommend: “Biphobia,” in “Getting Bi: Voice of Bisexuals Around the World” (Robyn Ochs and Sarah Rowley, eds.), Bisexual Resource Center 2005, pp. 201-205. This is a shortened version of “Biphobia: It Goes More than Two Ways” (above). (link to this article)
Warm regards and best wishes for a happy 2010.