Questioning sexuality - No age limit
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Step1Counselling. Isabel Fulcher Registered MBACP
14th August, 20150 Comments
Questioning sexuality is something often associated with teenagers; and of course this can indeed be the case. Bringing confusion and doubt into what can already be a challenging time, caught between peer pressure and parental expectations, all mixed in with internal personal feelings and thoughts.
However this issue is not confined to one particular age group. It can arise at any age and at any life stage. Single, married, with or without having had children with someone.
One particular group that might not immediately spring to mind, are those that are at or past retirement age, and who to all intents and purposes have been happily married for 30, 40 years or more, perhaps with children and grandchildren. The fact is that is they may indeed be happily married and love their partner very much, and in no way want to make any changes to their life or 'rock the boat' at all.
However, knowing all this can mean that a time of confusion can arise, when something stirs up memories of long ago. Memories of very happy same sex relationships, that took place before following the traditional and expected path of marriage to a member of the opposite sex and having a family together.
This is all the more likely now with so much available on the internet. With a few clicks it is possible to enter into conversations and online relationships that would never be ventured into in reality. Unlocking memories that had long ago been placed very securely in a safe corner of the mind. There is also the impact on the partner and the relationship, if these online activities are discovered.
The more tolerant we become as a society, the more it is easy to forget that it wasn't until 1967 that the Sexual Offences Act came into force in England and Wales and decriminalised homosexual acts between two men over 21 years of age and ‘in private'. We have a whole generation, who have lived through very different times to the ones we now find ourselves in.
Now it is very common to hear of men who, having had children with someone, have made that decision to leave in order to be in a same sex relationship. However difficult that decision has been, it's fair to assume that thirty years ago this would have been out of the question for many people.
It is very likely that anyone now finding themselves trying to understand all their different thoughts, feelings and confusion, will have no-one that they can really open up to and discuss what they're going through.
This is where counselling can really help. Giving that person the confidential and non-judgmental space to talk through their thoughts and feelings around everything that is going on for them. The freedom to talk, if they wish, about those happy past memories and relationships, or ultimately just to try and find a way forward.
About the author
I work in private practice and am passionate about the benefits and healing properties of talking therapies, both because of my own experiences and all my one-to one client work.
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