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Doubting sexuality


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Hello. 

I have not been on this site for a long time. Have struggled with intrusive thoughts over the years on lots of different pure o themes mostly focused on my relationships. I have been with my boyfriend for nearly a year now and am extremely happy with him. About 6 months ago I started to get intrusive thoughts and doubts that I may be bisexual as I told him about some fantasies and that I had momentarily looked at girl profiles on a dating site. As we have got more serious this theme has got stronger. I have held back on confessing and telling him how bad the thoughts have been but yesterday I broke down on front of him. He doesn't have much knowledge of ocd and said maybe it was a possibility I was in denial and that maybe I should chat to my lesbian friend. Well you can imagine how I have felt since then! It felt like my worst nightmare him saying those things and like maybe this isn't ocd. I know I need to sit with the fact that we can never know something 100% and sit with the thoughts but I am seriously struggling. Just wanted to vent and see if others have experienced this? I had cbt over 10 years ago and feel like I may need some more now! This relationship means everything to me and I hate the fact I am not enjoying it as much as I should. Thank you for listening 

Edited by Hels40
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  • Hels40 changed the title to Doubting sexuality

Hi @Hels40,

I have a very similar theme after watching a tv soap episode about a year into my relationship with my boyfriend which planted the intrusive thought that I am gay and in denial, so I sympathise.

From what I’ve read on here, it does seem that accepting the uncertainty is key, although really hard to deal with.

I’m also going through CBT to help so it might be worth looking into?

Some of the best advice I’ve got from here is a) trying to accept the uncertainty and b) when that’s feeling impossible and perhaps you’re finding yourself ruminating or another compulsion then allow yourself to say ‘this is a question which doesn’t need to be answered right now’.

this has helped me but I still have a way to go.

For what it’s worth, it sounds like you love your boyfriend very much. I love mine incredibly too and just before this thought pattern struck had never felt happier in my life. Others have advised that OCD attacks the things that mean the most to us so this might be advice worth bearing in mind too.

I hope you’re okay x

 

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Thank you so much for your reply. Sorry to hear you have been experiencing this too. This definitely all started soon after when I met my boyfriend and I felt the happiest I have felt in a long long time. I love him so much and haven't felt this connection with anyone. The latest spike started soon after he met my kids for the first time and talking about plans to live together in the future. 

This week has been horrible since he says maybe I was in denial. My brain now tells me that must be true and if it is our relationship will be affected. 

Before this I was adopting a so what attitude to my thoughts and saying that I didn't need to answer this now which was helping a little. 

Did you go through your GP for CBT? Whatever the theme I know it needs to be treated as Ocd. 

Thanks again for answering xx

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Hi @Hels40,

I can understand how upsetting your boyfriend’s comments would have been, even if they were meant in a supportive way. I’ve found it hugely unsettling to be questioning something about the core of who I am when I had felt completely secure in my sexuality before that.

A possible suggestion is whether or not you talk about any of this with your boyfriend moving forward? I say this for two reasons -

a) if you’re not sharing this with your boyfriend - and know you want to be with him - then it possibly muddies the water less and will mean comments questioning your sexuality from him will not be a factor you have to contend with, alongside the existing instrusive thoughts.

b) and this is the main reason I stopped talking to my boyfriend about this - I identified that confessing to him had become one of my compulsions, so it would give me temporary relief but didn’t stop new spikes.

That’s something you’ll need to weigh up, and I appreciate how daunting the idea of keeping this all to yourself may feel so I would still say you perhaps need to look at help you can get to manage these new thoughts in a better way.

I self referred - I think its called IAAPT - rather than going through a GP. Just had my first CBT session today after about 8 months on the waiting list. During that 8 month wait I read this forum a lot taking note of the advice given by different users across all of the different posts and read a few of the different books recommended by other users on here to educate myself more (you may not need to do this as you sound more clued up than me - I didnt realise I had OCD until mid last year).

I know 8 months seems like a long time - in reality the time has passed quickly - but you could also look into private therapy - I think the OCD-UK team could recommend therapists if you need. 

It might also be helpful if you keep a note of when you notice spikes occuring. My theme came about a few weeks before moving in together and then have been particularly bad on key events eg birthdays, anniversaries. You might be able to identify particular triggers you have which will hopefully help you prepare for, and manage, any future spikes.

I hope this helps in a small way - remember that you can always say ‘this question doesn’t need answering today’.

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I definitely feel like not saying anything is the way to go now. As this is a relatively new relationship I feel it could really muddy the waters and I could fall into the trap of confessing every time I feel terrible like I did at the weekend and just make everything 100 times worse. 

I actually self referred myself today and already feel a lot better. I still carry a lot of shame about my ocd and my pride tells me I can muddle through but it has got steadily worse during lockdown. Private therapy isn't really an option right now financially but I am working through some books while I wait for treatment. 

I will definitely keep a note of the spikes that is a great idea. I also suffer with a lot of relationship intrusive thoughts and a fear of cheating (him on me) but the sexual identity theme seems so much more frightening right now. 

Am so pleased you are now getting some treatment. 8 months must have felt like a long time but will so be worth it! 

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