Sunday, July 17, 2011

Becoming Bi-Sexual

A Brenda and Brandon came to me with an interesting issue.  After fifteen years of marriage, she admitted to herself and her husband that she is bisexual.  They came to me feeling confused and tired.

I truly empathized with them both, for both of their lives, their worlds changed in an instance.  Neither of them knew what the next move should be.  When they came to me, they desired to know what happens next….  One of the tenets of good coaching is to have the absolute belief in clients, to believe that they already have the answers for the present and the future.  However, all humans miss the trees because of the forest sometimes. 

                Brenda and Brandon are educated and have two sons: 14 & 10.  They also rear a 12 year old daughter.  They have acquired many of the trappings of the material world.  Moreover, before Brenda reflected on her own sexuality, they both felt very settled together.  However, life is never static.  The band the Talking Heads  made a tune called Once in a Lifetime.  At the end of the song the lead singer, David Byrne, repeats the lines:  “Same as it ever was.  Same as it ever was.  Same as it ever was… (and whispers) until the twister comes.  Here comes the twister.”  The twister had come for Brenda and Brandon. 

                On a night out with her girlfriends, Brenda was approached by a beautiful woman while she stood next to the bar waiting for her drink.  Brenda herself a beautiful woman swayed to the music as her world changed.  This lovely lady walked up to Brenda placed her hand on Brenda’s hip and bent in close: “I think you are beautiful.  I would love to sit with you and talk.”  Brenda found herself sitting, talking, laughing, feeling sexy and attractive, and wanting to see this lady again.                 

                I entered the lives of Brenda and Brandon after Brenda had revealed her desire to be with a woman and after she actually had been intimate with another woman.  The two were confused about many things, but they were not confused about wanting to stay married.  Both of them wanted to keep the marriage together.  I coached the couple and each individual.  We agreed to enter a co-creative relationship.

Brenda enjoyed being with women.  Moreover, in an ideal world she would be able to continue exploring her emerging sexuality.  However, she loved her sexual life with her husband and loved the man she married.  She did not want Brandon to sleep with other woman, and she wanted him to understand that being with a woman was not a rejection of him.  Her bisexual orientation was always with her; however, this was the first time she would admit it to herself.  Much of her family and friends would not understand.  As matter of fact, the only reason she felt safe enough to explore her hidden side is because Brandon is her best friend and accepted all of her.  Everyone else knows her as a stable, “straight-laced,” and dependable.  Being bi-sexual did not fit cleanly with the persona she had created for the world to see.

Brandon felt insecure for the first time in their marriage, and though heterosexual, he wanted the ability to explore sexuality too, with other women, which was a point of conflict for the two.  Brandon had been in a threesome before they had married and saw this as a compromise.  Brandon was also torn: He was also jealous, but also knew that Brenda deserved to know her whole self, love her whole self.  Moreover, he was at a point where he did not know how to help or what to say. Moreover, Brandon admitted to Brenda and himself that he liked the idea of Brenda being with other women he just wanted to explore as well.

During our couple and individual sessions, both of them realized that they had a healthy sex life, but they had lost a lot of intimacy while pursuing education, raising kids, taking care of aging parents, and creating successful careers.  Moreover, Brandon and Brenda agreed that being bisexual was Brenda’s orientation; therefore, discussions concerning what was fair were hard to gauge because they were apples and oranges sexually.  In other words, since their orientations were different, they could not honestly describe a situation in which they both could explore sexually in a manner that they thought was ‘fair.’  Therefore, neither of them would have sexual experiences outside of the marriage.  Brenda and Brandon decided to create a plan and explore themselves as a couple as well as individuals.   Moreover, they realized that they could not “take it personal’ that they each were evolving individuals.  Lastly they agreed to be open to future change in their lives regardless of the nature of the change. 

                Another aspect of the coaching process was making a plan for dealing with any residual anger. Both of my clients were in pain.  I advised both to see a licensed counselor or psychiatrist if the pain was overwhelming or if they could not accept the past.  The process of coaching deals with the present and the future primarily.  Both Brenda and Brandon felt misunderstood; they both felt rejected.  To their credit they developed a plan to sit in other shoes.  Separately they journaled about what it must feel like to be each other.  They focused on the advantages and disadvantages, the good and the bad of each other’s lives and transformations.  From this exercise, the two became much more empathetic.             

                This particular couple successfully used coaching as a method to weather transformation in their marriage.    Though our couching sessions, Brenda and Brandon still take the time to be empathic to each other’s individual needs and plan different opportunities to increase their intimacy.  Transformations are not uncommon in relationships, all relationships.  Health, economic security, individual needs, the death of loved ones, etcetera: change any aspect of our lives may cause fear, confusion, and pain, acquiring professional coaching is one way to maintain balance and plan for the tomorrow you envision .

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Anonymous said...

VERY powerful story of transformation! Thanks for sharing. I wish Brenda and Brandon much luck as they move forward and applaud their commitment to one another.

Dr. T said...

Thank you so much for your comments.

Anonymous said...

So what's wrong with a threesome? Feels like a very good compromise: everybody gets what they want

Dr. T said...

A threesome is one approach that has to agree upon by all parties If both Brenda and Brandon agreed that a threesome was a good solution, then I agree with you: it might be a good compromise. However, Brenda did want to see Brandon have sex with another woman. Moreover, Brandon wanted to explore his own sexuality andhave sex with other women while Brenda took part in the whole sexual experience. They could not agree on the "rules" of the threesome, so it was not a viable option for the two of them.