Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other staff.


Is it possible for a gay person to be happy in a heterosexual marriage? I married a wonderful man (I'm a woman), and later realized my sexual orientation.

I like my husband but we don't have sex very often. What's more, I'm not very interested in sex with women or men, which is very confusing. I don't know if I'm not highly sexed by nature, or if it's related to my eating disorder. I want to save my marriage, but I wonder if I'm just fooling myself.


Thanks for writing. It sounds like there are two important questions facing you. One is whether to stay in your marriage, and the other is how your eating disorder might be affecting your sexual feelings.

You asked whether someone who is lesbian or gay can be happy married to someone who is heterosexual and the opposite gender. There isn't any simple answer to that question. It depends on what you want out of marriage, how your spouse feels about it, and what agreements the two of you have about relationships outside the marriage. If you have friends you trust, people whose opinions you value, it might be helpful to discuss these questions your friends.

You didn't mention whether you are getting any help with your eating disorder via self-help groups or a professional therapist. If you are not already getting help, I strongly recommend you do so. Eating disorders can be complex and difficult, and no one need deal with them alone. You can get to the Eating Disorders Department for by going to our Articles page and then clicking on Eating Disorders. Your local psychological association or the nearest Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Center can provide the names of psychotherapists in your area.


Author and psychologist Gail S. Bernstein, Ph.D. has a psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bernstein speaks and writes about gay, lesbian and bisexual people for both general and professional audiences, and is the author of the new audiotape, NOT HETEROSEXUAL: An Educational Program About Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.


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