Dear Dr. Faizal,

I am a 21-year-old Indo-Canadian woman. About a year ago, my father arranged my marriage to his best friend’s son. Since our engagement, my fiancé and I have become very close. We love each other a lot. One night, after a very romantic evening, he revealed a secret: he is gay. He told me that he’s trying to change because he loves me and wants to be with me. I am devastated. Should I tell this to my parents? Should I dissolve this relationship? Is it possible for my fiancé to become heterosexual if I love him enough?

– Bent on a Straight Answer

Dear Bent on a Straight Answer,

It’s wonderful to find someone whom you consider to be a potential life partner, someone you may have fantasized about for much of your life. But before you commit to spending the rest of your life with a person, you must face reality and consider the various aspects of a marriage, including a couple’s sexual relations, realistically.

Over the decades there have been many studies conducted to determine the causes of homosexuality. Ultimately, the issue comes down to one question: Is homosexuality a choice?

If homosexuality is a choice, then a motivated person would have the strength to choose to refrain from homosexual behavior. In this sense, your fiancé would be able to commit to you as a heterosexual husband and not participate in any type of sexual behavior with a man. No problem.

However, most scholars today agree that homosexuality is not just about the act of sex as much as it is about one’s sexual orientation. People may be able to choose a sexual act with a certain partner (male or female), but a person cannot choose his or her sexual orientation, which most researchers and sex therapists believe is innate, or inborn. In this regard, your fiancé may be able to refrain from being sexual with a man, and may, because of your love for one another, motivate himself to make love to you, but at what cost?

Though he loves you, he may not love having sex with you. Eventually, you would not enjoy what would become a passionless act, void of intimacy and mutual connection. You will soon learn what therapists have believed all along: bad sex in a marriage results in a bad marriage.

I realize that it may be difficult to face up to the reality of your situation but take comfort in the fact that you still have the opportunity to functionally resolve the issue.

First, give credit to your fiancé for having the courage to share with you his secret, something he has not yet come to terms with. Understand and accept that he is who he is, as you are who you are, and that in no way did he wish to hurt you.

Second, should you wish to dissolve this relationship, I recommend you assertively tell your fiancé that though you care for him, you both deserve more – a partner whom you can be ‘one’ with, without attempting to change anything about yourselves.

Finally, you can then tell your respective parents you mutually decided it was in everyone’s best interest for this marriage to occur. Out of respect for your fiancé, details need not be divulged.

Though your relationship with your fiancé may not result in marriage, it may still result in something else women truly crave – a real friendship, something that is not typically contingent on one’s sexual orientation.

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