lesbianSexuality may take a lifetime to really master, but as for identity, many would assume that gets sorted out in the teen years. But for Jessica Streit, mother of two boys, she didn’t become aware of her own sexual orientation until well after she was married to a man and her sons were born.

The topic of LAMs — lesbian after marriage — is hardly new terrain. Jennifer Baumgardner explored the phenomenon not too long, defining LAM as:

These are the women who have tied the knot, procreated, and, once the children are out of the home or more independent, found love in the arms of a woman.

Jessica tells me that she was well aware of her attraction to women at the time of her marriage and had openly dated a woman prior to marrying. She describes herself as “madly in love” with her girlfriend at the time, but ended the relationship a year before meeting her husband. She considered herself bisexual and was out to both her husband and her mother. Yet, after her first son was born, Jessica began to doubt whether she was actually sexually attracted to men.

Prior to marrying, Jessica had shared with her mother that if she had not married a man by the time she was 35, she would seek out a sperm donor and have children either on her own or with a woman. Jessica’s mother replied that she didn’t want “children whose father came from a test tube.” She adds that something about about the conversation stayed with her well into her relationship with her girlfriend, and the relationship eventually ended because she couldn’t reconcile her identity with her desire for a family.

“…we ended it because I didn’t feel like I could be a part of a lesbian couple. I just didn’t feel like I could live open and out and raise kids as a gay woman. In retrospect, I was scared and not feeling very strong,” says Jessica.

A year later, Jessica met her husband and engaged in a whirlwind in courtship that she admits “moved very quickly.” The pair moved in together after five months of dating and married a year later. Jessica was eight weeks pregnant on her wedding day. But not long after getting pregnant, the mother says that she lost all interest in her husband sexually. She began to experience physical pain during intercourse and visited multiple doctors to determine the cause. Even after an exploratory surgery turned up no explanation, Jessica began to realize that her block may be mental.

She remained in the marriage for another five years.