I Married a Lesbian

Jul 9, 2021 | 2013 Winter - Mixed Marriages

By Denise Garrow-Pruitt

It has been my experience that lesbians often fear having relationships with bisexual women. I am sharing my personal story to illustrate that a lesbian and a bisexual woman can be in a long-term relationship.

My spouse and I have enjoyed being married for eight years (that’s how long marriage has been legal in Massachusetts), but have been in a relationship for over 12 years. Our story is not unique, but it is an opportunity to teach. This is our opportunity to proclaim that a lesbian can fall in love with a bisexual and they can live happily ever after.

I am a bisexual woman. I was married to a wonderful man who was and still is my best friend. We were together for over 30 years and married for 25 of those years. We had three children together and raised five children altogether. He was my soul mate and she is the love of my life. I am happy with my spouse but refuse to deny my years before her. We are a blended family and will continue to be.

My lesbian spouse has had 10 male sexual partners in her lifetime. I have had only two in my entire life. My spouse is very grounded in who she is. While she can peacefully coexist with men, a love relationship never worked because she couldn’t become emotionally attached to men. She was told she was gay by others before she herself realized that she was. In her late twenties she fell head over heels in love with a woman. Emotionally and physically, she had found the total package she knew existed and realized she was, in fact, a lesbian. From that point on, she continued to date women.

I was never exposed to any gay people growing up. I knew I liked looking down women’s shirts, but I thought that was normal. As a kid I dreamed of growing up and having babies. There was never a man in those dreams. I wanted a traditional life because that is all I knew. I married the boy next door because I got pregnant as a teen. He was wonderful. We built our family; we even took in foster kids. We loved each other and loved raising our children.

My reality check came when I was in graduate school and I met a woman from my town who was also in graduate school. She was very different from me. She was a single teacher living at home with her father. She was great with kids but had never married. She was a closeted lesbian. I learned a lot from her. I learned what those feelings I’d had all my life were all about. She was very clear with me that she only dated other lesbians. She was my first same-sex love.

After figuring out with my lesbian friend that I was bisexual, I spoke with my husband and told him what I suspected. He supported my feelings. (Note: this was hard for him as he did not see this coming, but he wanted me to be happy.) I started to explore my sexuality by going to coming out groups and gay social gatherings and talking with other bisexuals.

I met the love of my life in a place no one would ever guess—the local International House of Pancakes. I did not have to go to a bar or surf online dating sites; I met her simply by going out and looking. We did not have instant chemistry. She’d had a few bad relationships and was weary of yet “another married woman” who “claimed she was gay.”

We slowly built a friendship, then a relationship. We began to see how we complement each other. We both were good people, but in areas that were challenges we had to work on making it better. We were made for each other. We were from different ethnic backgrounds, religions and cultures. Together we bonded and brought those two worlds together.

Now I am married to a lesbian, and some of you might consider me a lesbian, too. I intend to spend the rest of my life with my spouse. But I am a bisexual. I will never lose the feelings I have for men. I will never deny my past. I will never deny the happiness I shared for 25 years with my husband. I have the capability to love a man or a woman emotionally and physically, and I have done that and will always keep my heart and brain open to that option.

Relationships can work between lesbians and bisexuals. I believe that open communication, honesty, respecting each other’s feelings and working together can cultivate a long-lasting relationship. Love can endure anything.

Dr. Denise Garrow-Pruitt is a college dean and professor. She believes that the only way to change thinking is through education, and has contributed this story in the hope of educating and creating change.

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