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At a crossroads...

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by sfmusicguy, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. sfmusicguy

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    Hi everyone, this is my first time posting. I am a man in a 32-year marriage and have an adult son. I'm not even really sure where to start. I guess I've known I am gay since I was a a kid, but had suppressed these feelings and struggled for many, many years and had given into the pressures of society telling me that I need to settle down, marry a nice woman, and have a family. When I was in high school I had my first gay experience and had a secret relationship with our high school sports team locker room manager (he was an adult), which I ended after a couple of years. After college I met a wonderful woman and got married shortly after, hoping to have put my gay experience behind me and to be "normal". I have tried to hide my sexuality from my wife through the years, but almost 20 years ago she saw on the internet history (stupid me, didn't know how to delete it) that I had watched gay porn a time or two. We had a rough patch for a few months and out of guilt and shame I stopped watching gay porn for about a year. But the last 19 years I have been watching gay porn more often, even daily, currently. I've been able to hide it very well, watching only on my phone. In a weak moment a year ago, I developed a relationship online with another guy on a gay website, and we met in person in a public place. We hit it off together immediately, and soon one meeting led to two, three, and then I found myself wanting to be in his company all the time. My wife was out of town for a week and he asked me over to his place for dinner. I accepted, and in a weak moment after dinner we were intimate. All the feelings I had for men that were bottled up for so long had come to a boiling point, and were set free that night. I am ashamed for have cheated on my wife, but the moment of intimacy with this man was exhilarating! I severed this relationship out of guilt that I had been unfaithful to my wife. I should say that my wife and I have not been intimate sexually for more than two years now. I love her as a good friend and roommate, but I've come to the realization that only a man will fulfill my desires both emotionally and sexually. I am now comfortable with myself being a gay man although I am not out to anyone. I feel I have been living a lie the last 32 years and I believe I owe it to my wife to be honest with her and come out to her about my sexuality. I feel that maybe deep down she really knows and we've been afraid to talk about the elephant in the room. Again, I feel horrible that I cheated on her, but I'm hoping that good will come from this someway, somehow. I'm terrified about coming out to her and also my adult son. Any advice you can give will be much appreciated. Sorry for such a long post, but thank you for giving me the forum to pour out my heart.
     
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  2. Contented

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    I think you experienced what many of us have. Once you become involved in same sex intimacy it is hard to close the barn door so to speak. Guilt and shame play a major role in our thinking as we evaluate how we got to this point. What we cannot change once acknowledged is our true sexual orientation. Living a lie is doubly difficult once the “ cat is out of the bag”. The only real path is being honest with your loved ones. No question there is most likely to be pain, hurt and anger however the option of living the rest of your life totally unfulfilled is horrible not to mention your wife. She deserves someone who can love her not just intellectually but physically as well just as you deserve to be a man who can fulfill your true desires. Good luck.
     
  3. sfmusicguy

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    Yes, you are absolutely right. I am at peace with myself being gay, and it is truly a relief to have accepted and embraced my sexuality. Thanks so much for your reply and support!
     
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  4. sfmusicguy

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    I am dreading telling my wife and son, especially my wife. The last thing in the world I want to do is to hurt her. I know it will be a tough go for a while, but trusting it will work out for the best for everyone. I guess I have to have hope and faith. Thanks again.
     
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  5. Contented

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    Telling them is not only courageous but an act of love. At first it may not seem that way but it is. You love your wife enough to allow her to find someone who can provide her with the emotional and sexual support she needs. If you don’t tell her you are sentencing both of you to misery for the rest of your lives. I can tell you from my experience I had the same worries as you and the world did not stop spinning when I came out as gay. Sure it wasn’t the easiest thing I ever did but then most things in life worthwhile take effort. For me I could no longer live pretending to be heterosexual, at first it was just exhausting and then just totally impossible. The desire to be with another man in a relationship became overpowering. It effected everything I did and felt. The only solution for me was a clean break allowing me to embrace the gay life I had dreamt of. Even now after unfortunately breaking up with my boyfriend and all the heartbreak that caused I am so glad I came out as gay. It was and is worth it.
     
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  6. Chip

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    Hi, and welcome to EC. You're definitely in the right place.

    The short answer, as you already know, is there's no easy solution to this. It's going to suck no matter what. I do think that at least she has an inkling of the issues already from what you've said.

    The best thing is probably to start having the conversation. You might want to engage a therapist now so that you have someone local for support to help you work thorugh the difficulty. If you read the archives of the "later in life" section here, you'll see that there are lots of folks that have been in the same situation. Nearly all experienced denial, then anger and rejection from their spouse initially; this is to be expected. For some, the spouse never recovered and has remained bitter. But for many others, eventually they have come to terms and been able to remain friends. There's really not much you can do about that other than try to find the deepest compassion inside you for what she will be feeling, and do your best to make things as easy on her as possible.

    I'd also suggest that if you have folks you are out to who are emotionally available and trustworthy, that you talk to them in advance of telling your wife so that you have some sort of a support system. And if you have a sense of what sort of support system your wife may have available to her, that would be useful to know as well (though I would not contact them before telling your wife.)

    None of this is easy, but it is necessary.

    One other suggestion: Get a copy of Joe Kort's marvelous book "Ten Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real Love" which has little to do with finding real love, but everything to do with undersatnding yourself. There's a great chapter in it on heterosexually married gay men that I think you'll find super helpful to your situation. (Don't get it confused with another book he has with a similar title.) The book is out of print, but you can likely find a used copy on Bookfinder.com or Amazon.com.
     
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  7. sfmusicguy

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    Yes! This is exactly where I am at. I find myself constantly thinking of another life I could have (and desire) where I can be open to others about being gay and be free to fulfill my needs, emotionally and physically, which can only be fulfilled in an intimate relationship with another man. My wife deserves this same fulfillment with another man who is able to provide this for her. Thanks again for your replies and support.
     
  8. DMals80

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    It’s incredible how powerful that internal desire to live your truth, as a gay person, becomes. I’m in the thick of it right now, still hiding from who I really am, and not wanting to hurt my wife by coming out. Metaphorically, it feels like I have been climbing a never ending mountain most of my adult life, just waiting and wanting so badly to reach the top, a place where I can be my authentic self. No longer living under the weight of a giant lie. Up until this point, I could never see the top of the mountain, but now as I approach 40, the top seems to be slowly emerging. To be honest, it scares the hell out of me, knowing that I’m approaching the point where I come out to my wife. I don’t know when it will happen but something inside is telling me I’m getting close. Almost like the train is leaving the station with me on it, whether I like it or not. Such a strange feeling. Anyone else experience anything like this?