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Thread: Need Advice- Any Lesbians Who Came Out Latter In Life?

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    Need Advice- Any Lesbians Who Came Out Latter In Life?

    Are there any lesbians out there who came out later in life?

    I would love to hear your journeys and what helped you get through life and any guidance or suggestions for support.

    Five years ago, I divorced my husband of 15 years and came out as a lesbian. Since then, I've had 3 failed relationships with women, one just recently.

    I'm going through a period of loneliness and pain. I feel like I need to reset my life but not really sure what that looks like.

    I know I need some time alone to learn and find more of myself, but at this stage in my life, it feels like I've already arrived late and don't really know where or how I fit in anymore. I also feel like I'm having a hard time letting go of my past mistakes, hurt feelings, etc....that it may be hindering me from moving forward.

    Has anyone out there experienced something similar or can related to these feelings of loneliness and needing to start over? How does one stop dwelling in the past, let go and move forward?

    Thank you for listening.

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    I have a good friend in this scenario. Super cute, professional, married, 2 great kids. Once the kids were grown, she came out and was one of the first people in our state to get married.

    I was the first person they told. I had absolutely zeeeeeero idea! But they knew I'd not only be accepting, but super happy for them, and I was!

    They moved into a gorgeous house, and they ran a business together (her wife's business). They traveled the world, posted it all on Facebook, and were truly soulmates.

    I was so envious of what they found, until.....

    I recently saw my friend. They are getting a divorce. Her new wife has been cheating on her with a woman from a couple they are friends with. My friend inadvertently saw some texts, and confronted her wife, so that's that. They are now going through a divorce, and all the mess that comes with it.

    Seems heartbreak is heartbreak, no matter where it comes from. Just as love is love. Loneliness is loneliness.

    I'm sorry for your pain. Follow your heart, and know that there are jerky, idiotic people all around us. Trick is, avoid them like a minefield until you find someone who isn't.

  3. #3
    Gold Member SGH's Avatar
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    Full disclosure: I do not identify as a lesbian.

    I am someone who sits in an unclear place on the sexual spectrum, however (I would argue more people do than would readily admit). It is simpler for me to identify myself as "straight" but any individual who knows me knows I am realistically bi-sexual by "definition". I believe sexuality is very complicated and that people come into a full understanding of their sexuality over the course of their life. Despite the fluctuating nature of sexuality and the journey of understanding that all human beings experience, we like to box people into easy-to-accept categories, and there are cultures that correspond to those categories. My guess is, your loneliness partially stems from entering a new culture that many people come into at a relatively young age and feeling out of place.

    Learning more about the new stage of life you are entering and letting go of the past are two separate tasks, both with their own challenges. I would argue that natural starting point would be to start building a sense of positive self-regard throughout the process. Outpatient therapy with a trusted clinician would be a great place to begin doing that. It sounds like you have likely dealt with an enormous amount of stress, loss, and possibly trauma in recent years that need to be sorted through while you discover your new identity. Try to practice self-compassion no matter what road you take from here on out. We are all learning and growing at our own pace in our own time.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    at this stage in my life, it feels like I've already arrived late and don't really know where or how I fit in anymore.
    What is your age, and what kinds of things do you think might be prompting you to view yourself as 'arriving late'?

    What kind of timeline are you holding in your mind that you believe you're late for?

    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    I also feel like I'm having a hard time letting go of my past mistakes, hurt feelings, etc....that it may be hindering me from moving forward.
    You mentioned that your family was hard on you during (or after?) your divorce. How much of this difficulty with your past mistakes and hurt feelings might be attributable to them?

    Might you be taking up where they left off in scrutinizing yourself?

    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    Has anyone out there experienced something similar or can related to these feelings of loneliness and needing to start over? How does one stop dwelling in the past, let go and move forward?
    I'm not a lesbian, but I've certainly had periods over the course of my life of loneliness, rumination, working myself through difficult phases and starting new chapters. These times feel freakish and isolating while going through them, but I've come to learn that they're pretty universal. Growing pains--and building confidence and compassion by navigating through them.

    I think of such times as my 'tenderizers'. They hurt like hell, but they do serve to make me more tender toward myself and others as I mature.

    We can talk more about this, but I don't want to influence your answers to the questions above.

    Head high, and trust that despite grieving, you're doing better than you believe right now.

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    [QUOTE=catfeeder;7049622]What is your age, and what kinds of things do you think might be prompting you to view yourself as 'arriving late'?

    What kind of timeline are you holding in your mind that you believe you're late for?

    Well, I'm 45 yrs old. Was married to a man for 15 years and divorced him about 5 years ago. I've had 3 adult relationships with women, all of which have failed. When I look around, other women my age are married with kids (not really sure I want/need kids), are settled, have a home life/family life. I don't necessarily need kids but I would like a sense of "family", like a home, partner, maybe pets...etc. I want to feel settled, set-up and ready as I enter my sunset years. Where I am now, I feel like I have so much ground to make up for that it's putting pressure and stress on the decisions I make. I feel like it's affecting my relationship decisions and in fact, making me waste more time.



    You mentioned that your family was hard on you during (or after?) your divorce. How much of this difficulty with your past mistakes and hurt feelings might be attributable to them?

    Might you be taking up where they left off in scrutinizing yourself?

    I told my parents I was a lesbian and getting a divorce the same day. They were in shock. They also loved my ex husband and occasionally tell me that they think I made a mistake divorcing him, even though I've told them many times the reasons why I chose to divorce so that I can stay honest and true to myself (and others). After having a string of failed relationships with women, sometimes I do wonder if I will ever find a woman who I can be happy with, especially at my age. Are they all taken? Is there a reason why women my age are single? Because there is something wrong with them or they are already so broken and aren't capable of being in a long term relationship? I don't see myself as one of those people. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places?

    I don't want to be alone my entire life, but after my last relationship, I am realizing that being with the wrong person is even worse! I feel so drained and beaten down, exhausted....I don't want to lose hope but I feel like I need some positive sign....just so I can keep my faith that everything will work out.


    I'm inherently a good person with good qualities and a lot of love to give. But why do I consistently seek out the wrong person? It's so frustrating .

  7. #6
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    <<What kind of timeline are you holding in your mind that you believe you're late for?>>

    Well, I'm 45 yrs old. Was married to a man for 15 years and divorced him about 5 years ago. I've had 3 adult relationships with women, all of which have failed.
    Well, you keep repeating this storyline by rote, with the word 'failed' hitting your own psyche like a hammer. Why do that to yourself? We ALL have relationships that don't work out, and rather than viewing them through a lens of failure, why not change your inner dialog to see them as building blocks from which you've learned important things?

    Every relationship is an experiment, without guarantees. Most people are NOT our match--or even a 'good' match. It takes practice and resilience--and often solo time--to learn what IS right for us, and what's not. Expecting to have coupledom all wrapped up by a certain age, especially after coming out to explore your REAL sexuality, is like asking a 6th grader to master advanced maths. Such an expectation would be cruel, so why impose it on yourself when you have your entire life to navigate and learn along the way?

    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    When I look around, other women my age are married with kids (not really sure I want/need kids), are settled, have a home life/family life. I don't necessarily need kids but I would like a sense of "family", like a home, partner, maybe pets...etc. I want to feel settled, set-up and ready as I enter my sunset years. Where I am now, I feel like I have so much ground to make up for that it's putting pressure and stress on the decisions I make. I feel like it's affecting my relationship decisions and in fact, making me waste more time.
    Careful of 'looking around' and projecting ideals onto other people while deciding that you somehow come up short on those ideals according to some arbitrary calendar. When kids do that, they feel lousy about not being seniors, or driving, or having a BF or a cheerleading trophy, even while they fail to appreciate their own unique value.

    You have your own unique value, and if your only way of appreciating it is through through a relationship with someone else who you believe can see it FOR you, then you'll never feel secure and valuable in your own right. Maybe this is your time to learn that--and BEFORE latching onto the next person just to play out a fantasy that fits inside your calendar.

    I'd suggest finding ways to ditch that calendar--it's one you formed from conditioning around a female biological clock. What if you could liberate yourself from that and trust that your best years will be those without that kind of pressure--and you can begin those years as early as you choose?

    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    After having a string of failed relationships with women,
    There you go again.

    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    sometimes I do wonder if I will ever find a woman who I can be happy with, especially at my age. Are they all taken? Is there a reason why women my age are single? Because there is something wrong with them or they are already so broken and aren't capable of being in a long term relationship? I don't see myself as one of those people. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places?
    What about women who don't view being coupled-up as a necessity? You don't 'see' them because you've ruled out that they exist. Why 'must' they be either wrong or broken? What if they aren't cynical, miserable or even on the hunt for their next relationship, but they're on solid ground and know that if they ever come across the 'right' simpatico with someone, then that's the next relationship they'll have. Unless and until then, what if they just live full lives and are happy?

    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    I don't want to be alone my entire life, but after my last relationship, I am realizing that being with the wrong person is even worse! I feel so drained and beaten down, exhausted....I don't want to lose hope but I feel like I need some positive sign....just so I can keep my faith that everything will work out.
    Leapfrogging from one relationship to the next, or at least measuring your quality of life according to the relationship you're in at the moment IS an exhausting and discouraging way to live.

    When you don't know who you are without a partner, that's a pretty good signal that your highest, most intelligent Self remains waiting patiently to be found. You can keep distracting yourself with The Hunt, or you can relax and catch your breath and trust that one of the most important people to discover lives right inside of you. She will always be on your side whether you ever settle down long enough to recognize her and honor her, and love her, or not.

    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    I'm inherently a good person with good qualities and a lot of love to give. But why do I consistently seek out the wrong person? It's so frustrating .
    Because you keep attempting to give away what you haven't yet learned how to give to your Self yet.

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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Well, you keep repeating this storyline by rote, with the word 'failed' hitting your own psyche like a hammer. Why do that to yourself? We ALL have relationships that don't work out, and rather than viewing them through a lens of failure, why not change your inner dialog to see them as building blocks from which you've learned important things?
    Every relationship is an experiment, without guarantees. Most people are NOT our match--or even a 'good' match. It takes practice and resilience--and often solo time--to learn what IS right for us, and what's not. Expecting to have coupledom all wrapped up by a certain age, especially after coming out to explore your REAL sexuality, is like asking a 6th grader to master advanced maths. Such an expectation would be cruel, so why impose it on yourself when you have your entire life to navigate and learn along the way?
    Yes, I know what you are saying is true. I am especially hard on myself. I need to just relax and see my experiences as growth and learning rather than "failed".


    Careful of 'looking around' and projecting ideals onto other people while deciding that you somehow come up short on those ideals according to some arbitrary calendar. When kids do that, they feel lousy about not being seniors, or driving, or having a BF or a cheerleading trophy, even while they fail to appreciate their own unique value.

    You have your own unique value, and if your only way of appreciating it is through through a relationship with someone else who you believe can see it FOR you, then you'll never feel secure and valuable in your own right. Maybe this is your time to learn that--and BEFORE latching onto the next person just to play out a fantasy that fits inside your calendar.
    I was so amazed at how much I tolerated in my last relationship. Looking back, it was probably one of the most abusive and "addictive" relationships I've had in awhile....if ever. I am still dumbfounded why I allowed someone to treat me so disrespectfully, physically and emotionally abusive, and feel like I had to tip toe around....without the ability to be myself. And on top of it, feel sad after we break up...even though I initiated it....sooo strange to me. There was probably something that I was attached to, probably something that stems from my childhood. I'm trying to sit with my emotions now, post break up, and try and learn as much as I can about myself, cherish myself, and respect myself. Have you ever or know of people who have experienced abusive relationships? What were the reasons behind justifying abusive behavior or staying in and then having such a hard time letting go?

    I'd suggest finding ways to ditch that calendar--it's one you formed from conditioning around a female biological clock. What if you could liberate yourself from that and trust that your best years will be those without that kind of pressure--and you can begin those years as early as you choose?
    I would love to just let go of all expectations and "calendars" and just 'be" for once in my life without the notion of having to do something or be someone in particular. Again, I think I am just hard on myself. I don't know why. Could be passed on from childhood. Many people tell me that your 40s and 50s are some of the best years of your life so I'm going to keep telling myself that, relax, and stay open to new experiences. Focus on loving myself.


    What about women who don't view being coupled-up as a necessity? You don't 'see' them because you've ruled out that they exist. Why 'must' they be either wrong or broken? What if they aren't cynical, miserable or even on the hunt for their next relationship, but they're on solid ground and know that if they ever come across the 'right' simpatico with someone, then that's the next relationship they'll have. Unless and until then, what if they just live full lives and are happy?
    That's a really good point. I never really thought of that.



    Leapfrogging from one relationship to the next, or at least measuring your quality of life according to the relationship you're in at the moment IS an exhausting and discouraging way to live.

    When you don't know who you are without a partner, that's a pretty good signal that your highest, most intelligent Self remains waiting patiently to be found. You can keep distracting yourself with The Hunt, or you can relax and catch your breath and trust that one of the most important people to discover lives right inside of you. She will always be on your side whether you ever settle down long enough to recognize her and honor her, and love her, or not.
    Reading this made me emotional. I feel hurt and guilt for not honoring myself, for mostly trying to put other people's needs before my own. For repressing my sexuality. For putting myself through necessary heartache. How does one learn forgiveness and let go?



    Because you keep attempting to give away what you haven't yet learned how to give to your Self yet.
    What do you mean by this? That I haven't learned to give myself the things I need first, to feel secure and loved on my own before seeking out a relationship?

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    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    What do you mean by this? That I haven't learned to give myself the things I need first, to feel secure and loved on my own before seeking out a relationship?
    Yes. When you can feel secure enough single, and even enjOy the liberation of solo living, then you'll be on solid ground for making careful selections. Your drivers toward a relationship will feel inspirational--and optional--in ways that you cannot fathom while feeling dismal about some arbitrary timeline and comparing your life negatively to the imagined bliss of others.

    How long of a stretch have you ever spent solo?

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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Yes. When you can feel secure enough single, and even enjOy the liberation of solo living, then you'll be on solid ground for making careful selections. Your drivers toward a relationship will feel inspirational--and optional--in ways that you cannot fathom while feeling dismal about some arbitrary timeline and comparing your life negatively to the imagined bliss of others.

    How long of a stretch have you ever spent solo?
    Hmmmm......not very long. As an adult, probably about 3-4 months tops. But this is the first time after a break up that I'm actually looking forward to having time as a single person. Any advice for how to spend time and learn about myself? I've been reading a lot of books...recommendations?

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    This thread could shed some light on this: [Register to see the link]
    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    this is the first time after a break up that I'm actually looking forward to having time as a single person. Any advice for how to spend time and learn about myself? I've been reading a lot of books...recommendations?

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