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Anyone having regrets?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by JonathanW, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. JonathanW

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    was wondering, did anyone that was in a heterosexual marriage ever regret starting a new gay life? All I read is stories of people feeling liberated, but since I’m very confused about how gay I actually am, I’m so afraid i’ll regret it a year from now. I’m in my 40’s and have a very nice family with three kids. Good relationship with my wife, though I miss being sexually interested. Came out to her last year, she’s very understanding. But I’m stuck at a crossroads since I hate the thought of leaving our great family life for something that is very vague, only based on fantasies and assumptions that I might regret later.
     
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  2. quadratic

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    How DARE you, sir - borrow my brain! Those have been my own thoughts exactly, although being a bit older (60) I've had more time to make an utter fool of myself. I think that had I come out, say, 15 years ago, it would have been far far better for my wife and family. But I kept thinking "I'm only a bit gay, really - not quite gay enough to come out." And maybe I was right; my sexuality has been in a state of flux for years. Only recently (9 days ago) did I talk with my family, and although the repercussions have been pretty bloody awful, I really could not have done so earlier. I have regrets that I wasn't honest with myself so long ago, but then I wasn't in that space where it was possible for me.

    Everyone's journey is different, and as I've discovered, you can't live two lives at once to see which one might be better . (Well, I can't). I'm pretty sure regrets are part and parcel of being human. If you can be honest with yourself, you'd be doing fine.
     
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  3. Nickw

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    Hey

    Of course this is the crux for many of us when we come out to our spouses. First, we fear that we will lose everything when we disclose our sexuality. Then, once we do come out, we reach this point of needing to decide what it now means. Do we continue on with a journey that may, or may not, provide fulfillment? Or, are we content to live our current lives with our spouses as a mixed orientation marriage?

    This is different for each of us. And, our spouses may, and should, have a lot of input in how we proceed. It seems, so often, that the fate of the relationship comes down to what the non straight spouse wants. It’s like our spouses say “when you figure it out, I’m here”. This is such an incredible expression of love. But, it might not make it easier on many of us.

    The other thing to consider is that your wife may be wrestling with the same issues you are. She is content with the marriage, the kids, the comfortable life. The unknown of trying to find another husband or partner is more worrisome than having a life without true intimacy.

    There is no common solution for this. But, I am convinced that there may be alternative lifestyles that could work once we open up our minds to the possibilities. For me, my wife and I have an open marriage. At the base of our lives together, we are partners and best friends. So, giving that up was not an option for either of us. But, my needs for same sex intimacy were compelling. So, we make it work because we have the same goals. It is not for everybody. But, it may be worth a heart to heart conversation with your spouse.

    To your question. I do think that finding a future life of fulfillment may have a lot to do with how “gay” you are. As a bisexual, I know I would not be happy in a new life. But, you appear to be more on the gay end of the spectrum. So, you may never be fulfilled with the safety of your current situation. I can tell you that the urges and desires to be with a man will not diminish over time.
     
  4. OnTheHighway

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    As I look back on my own journey towards self actualization I confronted a powerful emotion: Shame. Working hard to develop self esteem, self respect, self worth and learning to love myself helped me work through the shame. Making myself vulnerable, finding closure to the events and circumstances that lead to my own emotional wall, learning to sometime accept circumstances as they are were all key to managing the shame. And it is not easy. Upon reflection, I was the only one responsible for myself and I took it upon myself to figure out the maze of coming out and dealing with the shame. Even my ex wife recognized she was partially complacent in our specific circumstances as all the signs were there and we both chose to ignore them; however, I take full responsible for my own actions, decisions and emotional distress I did cause.

    I do not agree with the concept of a person living authentically, living your truth, and as a result have regret. Maybe we make choices in life which were based on circumstances, facts, and opinions that we could not control - giving in to the heteronormative script. But our journeys to live our truth require we recognize the heteronormative script for what it is, a human designed construct to control society; and it is a very powerful all encompassing socialization methodology to try and break free from.

    If you are living your truth, but find doing so has not provided the joy you desire the issue is not to regret your decision to live your truth. The challenge is to continue your journey of self actualization and find the equilibrium in your life which may bring you the happiness and joy we all seek.
     
  5. Choirboy

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    Well, first let me say that I'm very happy in my new life. I have a partner who is my best friend and our relationship is happier, healthier and fuller than anything I had with my ex-wife. She and I get along better than we did for the majority of our marriage, and our daughters have accepted my partner with great enthusiasm and are as much a part of our lives as long distance college students can be.

    I wouldn't say I have regrets, so much as I miss the portions of our marriage that fit so nicely into what I expected life to be. We were very much established as a couple (or should I say I was established as her tag-along spouse), and while it did get frustrating, it was familiar and didn't require much thought, because it was kind of a robot-like existence. I REALLY missed not being as much a part of my girls' high school years because of moving out. It didnt hurt our relationship and it doesnt seem to bother them nearly as much as it bothers me. But I had recognized 10 years prior that our marriage was in trouble and hung on as long as I could, but I could have missed far more.

    My family had been pretty nonchalantly accepting, which is just what I would expect, but sometimes I regret not telling them earlier. My mother died over 30 years ago and suspected I was gay, but I never actually told her. We were close and talking to her would have been helpful.

    It would be nice if we could experience all the aspects of what we want and need without them negating the other, but that's not how life works. What's important is remembering, even when you have regrets, that going back isn't possible, but making your future an improvement over here and now certainly can be done. And accepting the beauty and happiness of where you are now is a great first step.
     
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  6. justaguyinsf

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    I have a hard time relating to many gay men (their behaviors, political leanings, etc.) and most of the time I don't really feel like I'm part of the gay community. That said, I wouldn't want to go back to my marriage, which was very dysfunctional, and I am glad I got divorced from my ex-wife and have been able to keep my relationship with my daughter and also rebuild my financial situation. I would still prefer a straight (heteronormative?) lifestyle, and, with some regularity, wish I could be more sexually attracted to women. I've thought about the possibility of being upfront with a woman about my sexuality and trying to have a relationship with her, but that seems like a really difficult needle to thread. If my marriage hadn't been so screwed-up for reasons that included sex but other more significant things as well, I would have been happy remaining closeted and part of a stable family life.
     
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  7. Contented

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    I catch myself saying I regret not coming out sooner as I was in my 50s when I did. However if I truly analyze that statement it is not true. I couldn’t have come out earlier as it took me years to understand and finally acknowledge who I really was. For years I was oblivious to my buried same sex attraction because of my heteronormative programming. It wasn’t until later in life I developed to tools I needed to understand who I was and begin to break the shackles ( and they are indeed real psychological shackles) of my heteronormative brain washing. I truly don’t regret the process of coming out nor any of the results of that journey nor the pain my search for authenticity caused or may have caused myself or others. Moving forward is the only option open to us. Life has no instant replays.
     
    #7 Contented, Jul 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
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  8. Fuzzy

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    I am younger and the divorce is fresh. So maybe too soon to really answer, but so far so good. Haven't started "a new gay life" quite yet.
     
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  9. KeLeWi

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    My only regret is that I did not come out sooner so that my soon-to-be-ex-wife could have found someone who could give her 100% of the love and devotion that she deserves. I love her dearly, but not in the way she deserves.
     
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  10. Bastion

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    I haven’t mentioned this before or elaborated on this more. But there was a brief period of time during a separation with my wife. I hung around with some of lgbtq community people in my area. I wanted to see and explore the alternative to my married straight life. Things didn’t turn out as I hoped they would. I had this ideal and maybe utopic scenario in my head that things would better I would feel liberated. But unfortunately I was kinda disappointed of the behaviors that I witnessed. I realized i didn’t agree with most them. When I tried to speak my mind about some of the issues. They would only get angry and hostile. So I left them thinking mostly that I didn’t fit in really. Now am back with my wife. Although things are not ideal, but I find it kind of easier, calmer, less stressful in a way. If a person has to always be in a struggle with himself and other people. That’s not really a healthy way to live. Life is hard as it is with us trying to get ahead with work(financial situation) while also finding the right balance between a healthy lifestyle and the work itself.
     
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  11. out2019

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    I fear this too- I think there are probably 'quieter' ways to go about it. After all, imagine basing judgement of hetero lifestyles on, say, one of those holiday package tour destinations were people booze it up for a week...

    I am sure there different types of groups and meetups for all sorts of people.
     
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  12. Stephanie8

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    How did you propose this arrangement with your spouse? This is what I hope for but I told my husband he is now just heartbroken and so sad. I want to somehow have him understand that I love him and our family, but my secual desires lay elsewhere
     
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  13. Nickw

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    @Stephanie8

    When I came out to my wife I was in my mid fifties. My wife and I are very physically active. We ski, kite surf, rock climb and mountain bike. I would never find another man or woman to do this stuff with. Not at this level. Nor would she.

    We built a relationship and a partnership around these activities including where we live, our careers, our friends. We, each, are committed to keeping our lives and partnership together.

    So, with that basis, the extension is that we each try and create a place where we each can grow. A platform that we can reach further out. A “base camp” in climbing terms.

    My wife supports my individual “climb” because she knows I need the base camp to make it work.

    Because of all this, my wife suggested I explore same sex intimacy. She knows I need her and she trusts I will take care of her.

    For most of our marriage, the only thing lacking was our difference in sexual appetite. I would come in after a wave session and want sex. She would want to climb into bed. She knows I attracted to her in all ways. She just knows I need more. She’s so successful at so many things she does that the idea she can’t be everything to me doesn’t matter.
     
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  14. Bastion

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    I know. And you are right. What happened was with a particular group of people and I can’t generalize it to include everyone. And also it’s not aimed at or in judgment of straight or gay people. Because there can be toxic people in any gender or sexual identity or orientation. But there are specific behaviors that one should not condone in either.
     
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  15. Bastion

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    I like this understanding, communication and logic that you and your wife share. It’s very unique and special.
     
  16. NotTooLoud

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    The only regrets are what my children believe about me -- things my ex-wife told them. It had nothing to do with who I am. The transition was much easier for me though because my ex was such a b#tch. She told them I left because I was gay. The truth is, I stayed so long with someone so dishonest and decietful because I could not deal with my own truth.