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Another married guy checking-in

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by daytonav8r, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. daytonav8r

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    I've been lurking on these forums for a bit now, and would like to thank everyone in this community for sharing their experiences. It's great to know I'm not alone.

    My story seems to be a familiar one on these forums. I'm a 38 year old male, married for 14 years now with two awesome daughters. Like a lot of you on here, I've known I was gay since I was very young, but only recently have I become comfortable enough to accept that fact for myself. A number of factors caused me to repress and hate this fact about myself for most of my life: growing up in a relatively conservative family, the influence of religion, and the fact that during my most formative years sexuality simply wasn't discussed as openly as it is today.

    I always wanted to believe that my attraction to other males was just a phase I'd grow out of eventually, and I even got married in my mid-20s to try to validate that belief. My marriage has been characterized by constant conflict and angst almost from day one. We've been to the brink of divorce and back more times than I can count, and for the past 9 years have been keeping things together for the sake of our children. Don't get me wrong, she's a great person and a fantastic mother to our girls, and I really do care about her. But we just don't work on so many levels, not the least of which is my sexuality, which has likely been a hidden root cause of conflict for a long time.

    So I'm at this place where I need to begin the journey to live openly and authentically as the person that I know I am. This will ultimately mean divorcing and totally upending my children's lives, losing some close friends and alienating family members. I find myself questioning daily whether my happiness is worth that cost, but the alternative is to keep suffocating under the weight of my deception, and that's not an option either.

    It's the holidays, and not really the ideal time to come out to my family and shakeup my whole world. Sometime in the new year, I've decided that this needs to happen, though. I've sought-out a gay-friendly counselor in my area and will begin attending sessions with him in January, and I'm hoping that will yield some positive results.

    If you've read this far, thanks for reading. Again, I really appreciate being able to relate to the stories of other people on these forums, and look forward to interacting with you all.
     
  2. PatrickUK

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    First of all welcome. I hope the time you have spent lurking and reading the various threads and posts has been helpful and has helped to inform your decision to visit a counsellor in the new year. I think that's absolutely the right thing to do, because it will give you space to explore the shame factors - conservative family/background, religion and societal repression of discussions surrounding homosexuality. For the first time in your life you will be able to talk without fear of judgement or criticism and during that process gather the strength and resolve to take the big decision of ending your marriage.

    By your own admission, you have been close to divorce a number of times and even though your sexuality may have been an issue, it doesn't sound like it's ever emerged as an issue. I'm guessing therefore, that many other issues have been fuelling the conflict and angst that exists between the two of you.

    It's only natural that you should look at the difficulties of the situation you are in and ask yourself if it's worth it, but nobody is protected if you don't confront the fear. The inauthentic relationships that persist offer no protection or sense of validation to anyone. Your wife doesn't know the real you and is denied the opportunity of real love with another man who can meet all her needs, your kids are denied the opportunity of knowing their dad on a very deep and fully human level and you are denied the potential for a relationship that touches, satisfies and completes you. You all deserve no less.

    You now realise that our sexuality is never a phase and I hope the counselling will bring a greater sense of clarity and optimism that you can move forward in 2019.
     
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  3. Dionysios

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    Good luck to you. I feel your pain of trying to live a straight life. I just came out to my wife (no other family or friends know yet) and we are on an emotional roller coaster. At times I am fine, other times overwhelmed by feelings of guilt for what I am putting my wife through. I am glad you are waiting until after the holidays to come out. That's better for you and your family. I am sure having a trained counselor will be a positive thing for you. He or she can be a good sounding board as well as providing some valuable perspective.
     
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  4. Rade

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    Wow your doing good already.....
    Coming out at Christmas is definately a NO NO.....I came out in February and still this Christmas be will be very difficult....
    Finding the counselor, excellent, right move. I'm doing counselling now....I would at least have a number of sessions before coming out, so it could be a few more months, don't rush it and give yourself time. I would advise that you have a back up plan in case you need to leave home, even if it's for a few days after you have told her. also consider your finances, as I'm now skint, well will be when she divorces me.
     
    #4 Rade, Dec 15, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
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  5. I'mStillStanding

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    @daytonav8r thank you for sharing your story. I too was married, though we didn’t have kids, when I accepted who I was. It is a process, but getting to be yourself and experience life honestly is worth it. Promise!

    The therapist is going to help a lot. It’s great having someone in your corner. You also have the EC family, and they have been a life saver for me the last couple of years. Enjoy the holidays :slight_smile: and know the new year is going to have it’s obstacles but tons of rewards.
     
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  6. Razorbacks

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    Hi Daytona. I, like you, have spent a lot of time lurking and reading through every post I could find that seems similar to my situation. There is a lot of good information here! Your situation sounds similar to mine, and I am planning to come out to my wife in 2019 as well. I just wanted to say you’re definitely not alone. Seeing a therapist is really helping shift my mindset away from my feelings of guilt. I hope therapy helps you too!
     
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  7. daytonav8r

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    Thanks for your kind response, Patrick.

    I agree completely that nobody is protected if I don't confront this, and that everybody deserves better. Change of this magnitude is so uncomfortable, though, and despite the fact that my wife and I have had issues over the years, I have no doubt that she truly loves me and is going to be crushed by this. I think I read on here somewhere that this was analogous to pulling the pin out of a grenade and letting it explode, and that's definitely how this feels. I agree that we'll all be better off for having gone through it, though.

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply. I've noticed you've given some great feedback on other threads, and I appreciate you taking the time.
     
  8. daytonav8r

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    Hi Razorback-
    Thanks for reading. I saw your thread as I was lurking and will be following your journey closely as well. Glad to hear that you're finding therapy beneficial, and I hope I have the same experience.
    I agree there's a lot of good information here. Thanks for sharing your perspective so far.
     
  9. Highlander2

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    Hi Daytonav8r

    I’m glad you’re finding support through the threads. We’ve each tread our own path to get to where we are now. Some of us are further down that path but we all started with that sense of confusion and fear.

    None of us wanted to hurt our wives. For many of us they were wonderful women who we loved, just not in the way that they needed their husband to.

    Some of us took time to come out gradually. Others, like me, kind of blew the door off and destroyed the closet at the same time. Each brings its own trauma and challenges.

    I knew why I wanted for myself, my (now) ex wife and my children and I worked and fought hard to achieve that. Sticking to my values and principles and living authentically meant some tough choices but at the end of the day I can look at myself in the mirror and feel that, despite everything, I did the right thing as far as I could for everyone - in the circumstances.

    Only you’ll know when the right time to come out will be. It can often feel like an exorable conclusion that takes different times for different people.

    Come here and talk often. Listen to the advice and make up your mind from it all as to what works for you and your family.

    I wanted my children to want me when I was old and to be able to look them in the face and not feel like I’d abandoned them or had become a stranger.
     
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  10. Rade

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    Just wanted to say what a great post you wrote.......
    In my case I lit the match, then the fuse, watched it ignite the bomb....I stood back and watched it explode.
    But I'm now living my gay life.....that is priceless.....I walk with my head high....
    ....
    To others...you pay a price, I have like many others but I have my freedom, and like today I spent some of it with a guy for first time in 25 yrs and I'm 43.....it blew me away, and that's was just the cuddles, kisses and closeness.....people follow your dreams...Jon xxx
     
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  11. Highlander2

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    Thanks Rade

    We all make a sacrifice but as you say being able to live authentically and as the real you is priceless.

    It can all work out. It really can.
     
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  12. Spaceman

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    Hi Daytona,

    I'm five years into a journey that began very similarly to what you're going through now. 16 year marriage to a good woman, two daughters who I adore and the never ending feeling of suffocation and inauthenticity that comes from being in the closet.

    Coming out and rebuilding me life hasn't been easy, and there are pros and cons to whatever choice you make. The reality is we've created a situation in which the people closest to us are going to get hurt. Knowing it wasn't done with bad intentions helps, but there's no way to come through this unscathed.

    That said, I do feel coming out later in life was the only right choice. I'm now remarried to my husband and my ex wife is engaged to her boyfriend. Because I came out, we both have the chance to experience romantic love in a way that wasn't possible before.

    My advice is to go into this with your eyes open. Realize that coming out isn't going to solve all your problems and will create a bunch of new ones, some that you can't anticipate. You'll have incredible highs and painful lows, but you will grow form each experience and have the peace that comes with being the man you were meant to be.