If someone is asking this question, they are quite obviously facing a massive dilemma. To make this topic more manageable, let us rule out of this discussion someone who is certain that they are homosexual. This is an entirely separate matter. Here we are addressing someone who assumes and plans to get married but who is questioning themselves. While they are attracted to members of the opposite gender, they also feel a degree of attraction to members of the same gender. This leaves them confused about their own sexuality. What are they to make of their same-sex attraction? We will first set out the contours of the quandary and from this and seek to untangle a way through it.
The dilemma and some concerns
One possible element of the issue is trying to work out what their sexual preference or orientation really is. Some people are genuinely frightened of entering a marriage when they doubt that they are sufficiently attracted to a member of the opposite gender. They worry that they will not “have their heart in it” and thus will struggle to participate appropriately in the marriage. There is also the moral issue that burdens their mind: “Is it fair and honest to enter into a marriage with someone when I cannot say wholeheartedly that I am emotionally fit to be the person my spouse expects me to be?”
The issue is more complex, insofar as they are most likely going to feel unable to tell the person they are dating about their sexual confusion. Most probably, they recognize that discussing this with their date will risk the “whole thing going up in smoke.” This means that they are contemplating hiding this issue from the person they will marry, which goes against the basic principles of openness and honesty with a spouse. Some people have told me that they worry that in the end, they will stray because they fear they will not be able “to keep a lid on it.” Those people are sensible enough to realize that entertaining such behavior, within the context of their marriage, would be profoundly immoral and devastating.
Can a bi-sexual person get married successfully?
The first thing to recognize is that some people are bi-sexual, insofar as they are attracted to both genders. While the term “bi-sexual” is regularly misused in public discourse, we are using it here in its proper scientific meaning, referring to a stable and permanent orientation. Perhaps some people were unaware or confused at the beginning and came to realize that they were bi-sexual after some self-reflection. However, from the moment they came to this realization, this is their continual state of being. People who are in the habit of changing their minds about their sexual orientation are not bi-sexual. What they are is highly controversial nowadays, but it is not bi-sexual.
If someone is bisexual, then this needs to be taken very seriously. It would be both immoral and completely crazy to ignore this and just pursue marriage in the hope that “it all works out somehow.” Unfortunately, there is a good chance that it will not. Bi-sexual people can be successfully and happily married so long as they have made a clear commitment to the path of marriage, and are clear that this is the only direction they intend to go in. They need to feel highly confident in their decision and have whatever support mechanism they feel they need to ensure this does not unravel. People have all kinds of inclinations, and this does not in any way mean that they will pursue them.
If someone has already indulged their same-sex interest even to a moderate degree, then this is by no means a simple matter. Marriage should not be pursued without professional assistance to figure things out.
Can someone who dabbled in same-sex exploration be married successfully?
There are people who during adolescence or under unique circumstances felt they had such an inclination to same-sex exploration. It has since subsided and is no longer active in their consciousness. This is not worthy of any further attention. It may spook them out a bit that they went through this, but it is not something to be worried about.
(But if there is no attraction or very little attraction to the opposite gender, that is another whole matter for another article. There are also people who have little or no sexual interest in general. Depending on the exact nature of the person’s disposition, this orientation may be referred to by various terms. Most commonly, this is labeled “asexual.” We shall address this separately.)
However, some people find their same-sex interest persists, and they may even have got caught up in it for a time. Now, they are really unsure what this means for them in relation to marriage. The answer is simple and complex at once. A qualified professional can help them determine whether this interest in the opposite gender is something serious, or whether it is the product of some psychological “agitation.”
If it is a serious interest, then the earlier comments regarding being bi-sexual apply here. If it is the result of some other psychological phenomena, then the sexuality issue is secondary and the person should focus on getting help for the primary matter. If they do not seek help for the underlying cause, then the person will suffer doubly – the main issue will cause mayhem in their relationships and the sexuality aspect will always be a menace in their marriage. Without going into details, it is possible for a qualified professional to tell that some people’s same-sex tendency is not “sincere” and is actually being driven by an underlying dynamic that is negatively affecting their lives in other ways as well.
As much as I would like to, it is not possible to set out here how one can tell whether the same-sex dalliance is a genuine proclivity, or whether it is a by-product of an emotional disturbance. For this, you need to speak to a truly skilled expert. Given the risks of things going badly wrong, if you are in a situation where you are unsure what to make of your same-sex inclination, you really need to take this seriously and consult someone who can help you get to the bottom of it.
At least now you hopefully have more clarity about where you fit it along this spectrum and what the issues are. Do not underestimate the power of your mind and the strength of your values. If you are deeply committed to the idea of marriage, then there is a good chance that with proper support you will be able to work through whatever it is that you need to. I have seen people go through this process and come out the other side with clarity and tranquility about their future life course.