I'm a Lesbian Married to a Man

At 50, I was finally able to admit to myself that I was a lesbian. I have been married for over 25 years and have a daughter, 15. My marriage has been a martyrdom, as I have no desire.

I have always been attracted to women, but never had the courage to accept it. Then came the religious prohibitions that have caused distress to my sex life. Since adolescence, my first experiences with sex were with men, but they were never good. I thought it was because there was no passion. At 16, I had a different kind of relationship with a co-worker. She pleased me, we were always together, and there was a lot of affection, but we never touched each other. There was the desire, but there was also a great fear, because, in my mind, if you liked women you were a dyke, butch, and I've always been very feminine. I did not understand the lesbian world.

I ended up getting married, more for convenience than for passion. To have a little pleasure, close my eyes and imagine myself having sex with a woman. To dream often of being able to experiment, because just by looking at an interesting woman, I could tell the sex with her would be complete, fulfilling. My husband does not understand why I don't seek him out or why I don't feel joy in our sexual relationship. In the other areas of our life, we get along well. He is a great husband and I feel guilty for not being able to feel pleasure with him. But I don't have the courage to speak up.

The only time I spoke with someone about this was on Brazilian blog BlogSouBi (Blog I'm bi), because I knew I would not be rejected there. I'm too scared to face the world, my family. I've thought about divorce, but the fear is too great and I end up just leaving things as they are. I wonder how long I will be able to bear this secret. Getting it off my chest feels good.
The fear, the impositions of family and the judgment of society can lead one to make that kind of choice: to pretend to be happy.

"The time of plural truths is over. Now we live in the time of the universal lie. We have never lied so much. We live a lie every day," wrote the Portuguese writer José Saramago. And this "now" has already lasted a long time.

This article was originally posted in BlogSouBi and published on BrasilPost; it was translated into English.