Our expert says:
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
Hi Confused and thanks for posting here. It sounds as if both you and your fiancé are experiencing a crisis - in his instance, related to his sexual identity and you're both dealing with the possible implications of this for your relationship.
First off, it is clinically unlikely that his sexual experience with another boy at the age of twelve has any impact on his current questioning of his sexual orientation. You mention that the encounter involved another boy who was a friend - it is possible that this was normal, innocent childhood experimentation and the word 'molested' may be somewhat harsh under these circumstances. Many children engage in such sexual play which does not influence the development of their sexual identity. We need to be weary of wanting to 'blame' homosexuality on something or to find a 'cause' for it - we don't feel compelled to do the same with heterosexuality.
Secondly, you have no reason to doubt that your fiancé loves you. However, 'love' sometimes only serves to complicate things - in instances of co-dependence, for example - and has little bearing on the fact that in many instances sexual orientation and sexual identity are dynamic. A married woman who realises over time that she is lesbian does not suddenly stop loving her husband, but the erotic content of the relationship will undoubtedly shift as her inner fantasy world shifts and her awareness develops.
Significantly, every one of us is located somewhere on a continuum between being 100% straight and 100% gay. In that sense it is not surprising that many straight-identifying people often find people of the same sex attractive or include people of the same sex in their inner fantasy world. Usually it doesn't matter what label people apply to us - what really matters is how we feel about ourselves and how we relate to and experience our own sexual identity. Your fiancé is indicating very clearly that he is experiencing a crisis in terms of his own sense of himself and I commend you both for being willing to resolve this matter before you get married or before you have children.
I suggest that your fiancé undergo a process of counselling to resolve his sexual orientation. A counsellor will be able to help him separate two key issues - your relationship (and his feelings for you) and his sexual identity. Once he has made some progress in resolving his sense of confusion it is possible that you may be incorporated into the counselling process as well. I urge you to seek a gay-friendly counsellor to whom your fiancé will feel comfortable speaking openly and honestly - if you're in or near Cape Town contact Triangle Project on (021) 448 3812 for a referral.
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