Greetings, bi wives! It’s been awhile since I came to talk to you but as the title of this writing indicates, as a biwife husband, well, check this out…
So, one fine summer day, our three children paraded into my presence and, right away, I knew something was up; if these three characters were standing in front of me, this just couldn’t be a good thing. Instead of giving myself a headache trying to figure out what they wanted, I waited patiently for one of them to become the spokesperson and tell me what’s going on.
After a couple of minutes of looking at each other, I cleared my throat to get their attention and, finally, my daughter took a small step forward and asked, “Can we talk to you about something?”
“Sure,” I said, waiting for the shoe to drop. “You know that if you wanna talk, we can talk.”
My daughter looked at her brothers – and they were looking nervous – then scratched her head for a moment – and then asked, “Does Mommy like girls?”
Okay… of all the things they could have asked, this was not one of them! Now, we’d already had the “birds and bees” talk which included sexuality choices – better to let them know “before the fact” instead of finding out via peer pressure (which can be bad) but my wife and I had decided not to let them know that we were both bisexual, invoking need to know and, well, they didn’t need to know… but they somehow found out. I kept my face “neutral” – I was stunned and working hard not to let it show – and asked, “What makes you ask a question like that?”
Apparently, one of the kids – and it wasn’t important which one – overheard their mother talking on the phone and I could only assume that my wife was talking to one of her female lovers and, um, in such a way that it was clear to whoever overheard her that, ah, crap, there was something “different” about Mom… and now they were before me looking for confirmation and perhaps some clarification and I wasn’t sure I wanted to have that conversation with them, not because I didn’t think they’d understand, but because I couldn’t foresee what the impacts would be down the road. I even thought about dropping back and punting and invoking a well-known dodge: Go ask your mother.
Indeed, I wondered for a moment why they didn’t just go ask her but I figured that they thought that asking her wouldn’t go over well and, honestly, I didn’t know that it would. I thought about deflecting the question and invoking another well-known dodge: I don’t think you’re old enough to understand this but at 13, 15, and 17, yeah, they were both smart and old enough to understand. And, yes, I even thought about lying to them and acting as if I had no idea what they were talking about but that would have been a disaster just waiting to happen and in many ways.
So after spending all of ten seconds thinking about all of this, I simply said, “Yes, she does like girls, too, and, of course, you guys remember that we talked about stuff like this, right?”
The three of them nodded and I could see each of them processing what I just said and coming to their own “conclusions.” My sons, well, they just kinda shrugged and my oldest son’s response to my question – “Yeah…” had a thick undercoat of disinterest and the youngest had a “Wow!” look on his face but, like his brother, didn’t seem to be all that intrigued about it. My daughter, on the other hand, looked… distressed? Discombobulated? I’m not sure but it wasn’t hard to tell that having this confirmed may have shaken her up; it was at this moment I realized why they came to ask me this because I was also the head of the family damage control department.
Oh, man… this could be bad and the feeling grew on me as my daughter turned to her brothers and said, “I wanna talk to Daddy alone, if you don’t mind.” The boys blinked at having been dismissed – and I thought it was funny but knew better than to laugh or smile. The oldest frowned and said, “Whatever…” and he and his brother hauled butt and I got the sense that they were very happy to be sent on their way. My daughter is looking at me with a look I still couldn’t decipher but, okay, I gotta deal with this so I got her to sit down and tell me what was on her mind.
“Mommy’s like me, huh?” she asked – and, yes, I already knew that she was bisexual – we had one hell of a talk about it when she came out.
“Yeah, she is – does that surprise you?” I asked.
“Yes and no,” she replied. “I guess it never crossed my mind that she could be.”
“Are you bothered by this?” I asked.
“I’m not sure,” she replied. “Is it good that we’re both like that?”
“I dunno, sweetheart, but I’d have to say that it’s probably a good thing that you and your mother have something in common,” I replied carefully. “But whether that’s good or bad is really up to you to decide.”
“I think it can be a good thing,” she said after a moment – and I let go of the breath I’d been holding. “Should I go talk to her?”
“Yeah, I think you should,” I said. “But give me a moment to let her know that you wanna talk to her, okay?”
“Are you gonna tell her why I want to talk to her? You know she’s gonna ask…” she said.
“I’ll tell her that you want to talk to her about some girl stuff and that she’s better qualified to talk to you than I am,” I said.
Two hours later…
My daughter came skipping down the stairs, smiling brightly and announced that she was going outside, stopping long enough to plant a wet kiss on my cheek. My wife came downstairs a moment later with an amused look on her face and all I asked was, “Did everything go okay?”
My wife replied, “Yeah, um, we understand each other better now.”
I guess it was days later when I found myself thinking about the implications in more detail and wondered if I – if we – did the right thing by having this particular discussion. I never asked my wife or daughter what they talked about – girls have to have their secrets, right? But I also felt that at some point, the kids would eventually figure out that neither of us were straight and that it was better they have the facts than to make assumptions. I knew other bisexual parents who’d go to great lengths to keep their sexuality a secret from their children – and the children figured it out anyway – but because of the parents’ inability (or desire) to talk to their children about such things, the relationship they had with their children suffered. And, yes, I’ve even seen it blow up in the faces of well-meaning parents and since I knew this, well, all my wife and I could do was to just wait and see if any of this would have a negative impact on our children.
And it didn’t. Not long after this happen, my oldest son came out to me as bisexual…
KDaddy23, Contributing Author