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Are closeted, married people generally happy?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Growing, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Growing

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    I'm wondering about the married man that I like. He (kind of) let me know that he was interested in a hook up. When he told me that he was married he volunteered that they were "happy".

    I'm wondering at his present state of mind. Why, I cannot answer. Do you think some people are happy to have their cake and eat it - domestic bliss whilst occasionally having a physical dalliance. Or do you think that somewhere in their psyche they are struggling being closeted.

    Maybe he is emotionally shutdown to connecting with a man and is perfectly ok to have a hookup and consign it to the past.

    Any opinions? Were most closeted married men gradually obliged to move from successful compartmentalization and denial to acceptance that their feelings couldn't be denied. Are some closeted people forever at peace or are they working hard to repress their true nature?
     
  2. LostInDaydreams

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    I don't think anyone can answer that question, apart from the man himself. It depends what he really meant by happy.

    Is his wife aware of his hook ups? If not, that would suggest something wasn't quite right with the relationship, which is just my opinion. I don't think that it's impossible to be gay, married to a member of the opposite-sex and also happy. Just reading posts on EC will show you that, but I think there needs to be communication for the relationship to be happy.

    For me (I'm in a long-term relationship with a man), I wouldn't be interested in hook ups with women, that wouldn't make my current situation happy. This process has never been about just sex with a woman. My relationship wasn't happy, lacked connection, which eventually caused me to question my sexuality. For me, this process has been about questioning whether the kind of relationship I want is only possible with another woman. So, I don't think, personally, I could be at peace with my current situation.

    I hope that answers your question a little bit.
     
  3. Chip

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    This is something that would be near impossible to get any reliable data on, because most closeted people probably wouldn't respond to a request for a survey or research.

    However, I think it's safe to say that no one who is closeted, hiding that info from their spouse, and sneaking around can truly be happy. They're being inauthentic with themselves and those around them, and we do know from research that that sort of inauthenticity causes stress, anxiety, and all sorts of other discomfort, both physical and emotional.

    Yet... people lie and deny to protect themselves and convince themselves that staying where they are is the best choice. It almost never is.

    Also, hopefully you're not considering any sort of hookup or relationship with a married person. Unless you don't have any cares or concerns about the pain you'd be contributing to with his spouse, it's a terrible idea.
     
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  4. Growing

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    Thanks for the replies. I wouldn't consider a relationship with him and destroying a family. But I would like a friendship based on support and frank discussion. But I do not believe him to be guilt ridden.

    Whilst I do know if he has already cheated on his wife my gut instinct tells me that he can shut it out and in a sense wants his family life and an occasional hookup. Maybe I'm wrong and he is tormented inside but he appears to be cool, laid back and presents himself in a very professional way.
     
  5. Growing

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    Whilst I don't know if he has already cheated*
     
  6. LostInDaydreams

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    You should be able to edit your original post. There should be an edit button underneath, but it'll only be there for 10 or 15 minutes. Can't remember which. :slight_smile:
     
  7. I'm gay

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    I was generally happy in my marriage while I was in denial. As soon as I came out to myself and acknowledged my homosexuality to myself is the point at which I became increasingly unhappy and depressed. In my case, I didn't cheat on my wife, which I believe helped me to stay in denial and compartmentalize my gay desires.

    Each person is unique, coming from different backgrounds, cultures, and families, so I don't think any of us can generalize about happiness in a mixed-orientation marriage.
     
  8. Twist

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    In my observation, someone who is looking to cheat on their significant other is NOT happy.

    Also, in my observation, closeted (gay or bi) men looking to hook up outside for sex outside their marriage are also NOT happy.

    Your mileage may vary.
     
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  9. HelpLOL

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    Thanks for the post I'm really interested in the answers. I wish I had insight but the only thing I can add is to be wary of getting involved with him if he's "cheating". You really don't want to get caught up in that kind of thing.
     
  10. quebec

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    Growing....There are two issues there, as I see it. One...what is meant by "closeted" and Two...Communication. Closeted...I consider myself to be sort of closeted. I am out to a few very close friends, but not the world (I have never posted it on Facebook!). Communication...I came out to my wife 20 months ago. It was very difficult, just as tough as the day (2 years ago) that I first said "I am gay" to another person. But communication has saved our marriage. We have been together for 39 years, raised a family and have grandkids. That relationship is important to me. I am very much in love with my wife...emotionally, not sexually. So, in a way I am a closeted gay guy in a opposite-sex marriage that has worked because we have spent time talking about it to each other. I am NOT out looking for hookups or a boyfriend. I agree with other posters, if he is looking for a hookup, then that marriage is not happy...even if he thinks it is. Let his wife find out and he will see just how happy she isn't ....that's unless she is the most forgiving woman ever to walk the earth!!! (what do you think ladies?)

    Quick note on "authentic" living, per Chip's message. I have seen comments here on EC that imply that you can only live "authentically" if you are totally out to everyone. (Chip... that's not what I think you said!) I'd like to gently postulate , (trying hard here to say this in a very non-confrontational way!) that living "authentically" can mean different things to different people. I am out to those that I want to know and see no reason at all to broadcast to the world who I would like to have sex with. For the most part, that is my business, not theirs. If I feel the need to tell someone I will, if not, then I don't think they need to know. For me that is "living authentically". .....Thanks and I wish a Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays if you wish) to everyone here on empty closets! .....David
     
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  11. HelpLOL

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    @quebec hey awesome to hear your story, my wife recently came out to me. It's nice to see things can still work out. :grin:
     
  12. OGS

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    This exactly. I will say that I would add that it is hard for me to imagine anyone who is closeted (as opposed to in denial) being truly happy. That's just based on my experience and what I've seen. There are a lot of things I have a hard time imagining that happen any way.

    I'm not sure that people who say they are happy despite these circumstances are somehow being duplicitous though. I think part of it may be that coming out resets your notions of what happiness is possible. I think we all experience life as a mix of good and bad and we sort of make our determination with respect to what ratio between them constitutes happiness. Happy people don't simply fail to have negative experiences. Hardly anybody gets everything they want in life, but some people get a large portion of what they think is possible and desirable and some get a small portion--and to some degree we call the one happiness and the other unhappiness. Ironically that means that the more you think is truly possible the more you have to get to be happy. I think coming out completely resets that equation for most people, but then you look back on your life through the current lens, so what seemed like happiness in the past pails so thoroughly in relationship to happiness now that we declare we were unhappy then, despite the fact that if we could ask us back then we might disagree.

    Just my thoughts...
     
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  13. Chip

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    I think what you're describing can be fine; there can be reasons why coming out to everyone isn't safe, or serves no purpose. The only thing one has to be aware of is whether there's a deep and lingering fear of judgment or non-acceptance that fuels the choice to not come out to someone. If so, that can get in the way of living truly happily and authentically, but that's something I think each person has to judge for him or herself.
     
  14. quebec

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    Chip...you are so very right! For about two years after I first came out (here on empty closets), I was in fear of anyone that I know finding out. In the last year I have become much more comfortable with who I am. I no longer have the driving need to escape the guilt and shame I carried due to the secret that had lived in me for 50+ years. At this point in my life I am pleased with the acceptance of those whom I have told and treat each opportunity to tell someone else as something that I can choose to do or not to do. The guilt and shame are essentially gone (oh they try to come back at times, but I slam the door on them!). I am happier now than I have ever been. When I do come out to another person, it has become a joyful (yes!) experience sharing who I really am with a long-time friend! ....David
     
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  15. SiennaFire

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    It's hard to know his particulars without talking to him. There's a wide range of possibilities.
    • He recently came out to himself, and he's starting to his explore his gay side as part of his journey of sexual acceptance. This path may lead him to come out and separate as part of his finding authenticity.
    • He's happy to have his cake and eat it too, scratching the itch every now and then with a safe hookup that doesn't result in emotional attachment. Such a state typically involves denial / internalized homophobia at some level where he acknowledges his sexual attraction to guys, yet he doesn't want to be gay or live a gay lifestyle.
    • He's a Kinsey 3 and wants to have his cake and eat it too as a way of having the best of both worlds.
    • He's stuck and stays married because he feels it's safer to stay married than to start a new life.
    • He has an open relationship with his wife.
    By "happy" I would speculate that he means that he has an otherwise typical marriage and has no desire to leave her.
     
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  16. baristajedi

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    This answer will be different for everyone, it's possible he is happy, and any of siennafire's suggestions of different situations could apply. I myself am much more fulfilled by being out of the closet and separated.
     
    #16 baristajedi, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  17. Growing

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    SiennaFire thanks for that thoughtful response. I think in his case it is points 2,3 and 4.
    He doesn't want to live the gay lifestyle and opted for a family but is fine with quick, infrequent hookups.
    I came out of the closet with optimism about the future. I'm lonely with this lifestyle and try to be content and self actualize.
    But if I'm honest sometimes I do wonder if he made the right choice. I feel sad and lonely today. I wish that I knew this guy enough to have such a discussion and compare our levels of happiness.

    Sometimes I wonder why I came out when I'm alone. Sorry to be negative. I'm just low today and feeling that my courage has left me lonely and his denial offers him more.
     
  18. SiennaFire

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    The grass can seem greener on the other side. I've been on both sides of the fence, and I feel that you've made the right decision if you are truly gay (Kinsey 5 or higher) to come out and be able to date men. For me, sex and relationships with men are much better than they were with women because they are aligned with who I am. It takes a lot of mental bandwidth to stay in denial / the closet, which can contribute to mental health issues as well.

    Do you live in an area of South Africa that is accepting of gay people? What is causing the loneliness?

    Best,
    SF
     
    #18 SiennaFire, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  19. angeluscrzy

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    For what it's worth, I've been split from my kids' mother for 2 and a half years now. There are times where I feel incredibly alone, and I do long to find a nice guy one of these days.
    That said, I could never see myself being truly happy if I stayed within my straight relationship. There was always this sort of disconnect, and an inner feeling that I was "broken" in some way.
    For people that choose to stay married and closeted, if it works for them so be it. I just know that for me personally, that is a situation I could no longer maintain.
    There were other problems within the relationship tho, so that makes a difference to some extent I'm sure.
     
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  20. Growing

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    Thanks for the nice responses SF and angeluscrzy. I guess when people come out they do it for a reason and expect an eventual relationship. I had one with a very toxic person. I thought it was my reward from the universe. It was anything but. However I learned a great deal about myself and trusting intuition and about boundaries.

    I don't go on the gay scene as it appears too intense and word spreads. When I have cruised a little I feel very ashamed as it's not me - but I have needs.....
    I don't like aspects of male intimacy (penetration) so feel very different from full on gay men. But yet I want to share my life with a man. I sometimes project what I need in a man onto someone I fancy and then start the infatuation longing phase.

    That's why I'm wondering what this married man is thinking. Is he just able to shut down physical desire for a man and return to his family. A part of me hopes that he harbours some intrigue about me. But I know it's pure wishful thinking. Plus I'd never want to be responsible for hurting a family. I'd just like to be friends with him and maybe be an ear for him if ever he decided to open up. But I do believe that he wants the family life more than a life that honours his true nature.