My wife and I talk about the blogs, gay politics, and family issues on a pretty regular basis. Daily, probably. Our openness is one of the most wholesome and healthy things in our marriage. I can say what I think--cautiously and sensitively, still--and she will respect me for my honestly and candor. We've had our share of misunderstandings, hurt feelings, over-reactions, and the like. But we work at it. We work through it. And we're stronger, I believe, not just for weathering the storm, but because we're willing to face the realities of our lives and deal with them.
My struggle with same-gender attraction has been one of the most formative issues in making our marriage strong. We know our marriage is "high risk," so to speak. We know that we need to be super understanding of one another. We know that we are committed to each other despite the challenges.
Some marriages seem to be defined by "mixed orientation," which is one reason I think the term mixed orientation marriage is annoying. In the final analysis, an MOM is just like any other marriage--one in which a commitment is made to be sexual and domestic partners despite the challenges life throws at you. The challenges will be colored by external attractions in both cases, sexual intimacy will face challenges in both cases, etc. To quote Samantha:
I can name six marriages (not MOM) in less than thirty seconds that deal with problems with attraction, sexual interaction, impotence, low-libido, and other intimacy detractions. They have to work to be physically intimate, just as I may have to. They don't always feel fulfilled emotionally by their spouses. Sometimes I think we, in MOM's feel we have a special corner on the market when it comes to intimacy issues. We're whiners.
I don't know what to tell people whose spouses aren't ready to deal with the realities of having unwanted sexual attractions. You can't force someone to bump up a few levels of maturity and empathy. But, if there's a solution to be had, I'd say it's worth trying to find. Counseling, certainly, ought to be an option. And for those for whom it's not a likely option, I hope some solution is there for you, and I really do hope that you will find it and have a better marriage because of dealing with challenges, not in spite of them.