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Had a Conversation with Wife on Friday

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Bmw, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. Bmw

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    So after years of holding it inside, I just told my wife of 15 years that "I'm gay". She was shocked, says she had no idea. She is the only person I have told. However, she told her sister, sister had the same reaction, she claims to have had no clue whatsoever. We had been having trouble, no sex, I had been moody and distant for some time. She had asked what was wrong on at least 3 other occasions. On those occasions, I had played it off as the medications I was on, work stress, and number of other things. Both my wife and sister-in-law now looking back have acknowledged that my revelation explains it.

    Since telling, we have cried (me much more than her), she has been angry, she has been sad, she has been in turmoil. Neither of us sleep very well and neither of us are eating much. We have two kids so we are maintaining a brave face for them. She visited with a counselor right away, she also visited the family doctor to get some meds to help with the sleep. Those seem to have help tremendously at this point. I know this is a long process and things can change from day to day. But, overall, though it is getting better. We had planned a family vacation for next week (the kids spring break) which we had called off over the weekend but have now decided to go anyway. So we have been out the eat as a family for 2 nights in a row and board the plan for summer weather on Friday. My wife and I have talked for hours each night, exploring questions she has, and weighing our options of whether we will stay together for now or divorce.

    Very little of the conversation has gone as planned but the experience has been so overwhelmingly positive which is a total contrast to my expectation. We have not yet made a decision as to next moves. We are going one day at a time. She has acknowledged that she may still be in shock. If however I knew this would have been the outcome, I would have done this years ago instead of putting her and myself through agony all these years. I truly stressed myself out over the reveal for literally years for, at least so far, seemingly nothing.
     
  2. MOGUY

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    Congratulations on letting it out! It's great that you're taking it slowly. I'll always remember the clash of emotions when I told my wife 3 years ago. Relief of not suppressing it any longer and heartache at having her know. It still is an emotional roller coaster for us but life is certainly better than it was when I hid my feelings.
     
  3. Clay

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    Congratulations on coming out! I wish I could give you more advice, but I'm sure everyone will be really helpful here.
     
  4. greatwhale

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    Hey Bmw, welcome to EC!

    This is one amazing first post! Congratulations on the courage you found to tell her. As you said, one day at a time, put your kids first, and keep the lines of communication open. You will both come out of this as better and happier people!
     
  5. tscott

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    BMW -

    There is not a soul here that has not been though something similar. For me it was 25 years and 3 children. You seem to have your priorities straight by putting the children first. they will need you both more than ever. I found telling then about me and the divorce together was a blessing in disguise. It let them now it was nobody's fault, and that they had no part in the breakup. You seem to being doing what makes good sense, taking your time and weighing your options. Good luck to you as you wade through this difficult time.
     
  6. Wildside

    Wildside Guest

    :welcome: and CONGRATULATIONS!!! OMG, this is such an emotionally powerful post. And it's your first post. It seems like so many of us come here because we're struggling to do what you have already done. I can just feel so much emotion reading your post. It sounds like both of you are handling it extremely well. I'm sure it is much harder, and that at some moments it is overpowering, but I can't imagine a better result considering the circumstances. No matter what the two of you decide from here (and that may change over time as well), the way that the two of you are handling this will ensure that your children are OK.
     
  7. Bmw

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    Thanks for the support and replies. Today was especially tough, she was very angry. I am not about to fault her for that but it is so hard to deal with. She said some very cutting things but I will continue to just keep quiet. The entire time we have been married, she has always been very negative about anyone who is gay. Last night she said that this has been eye opening because she now knows that it is not a choice and thinks very differently about it. Yes, this was my first post but I have been reading everyone else for some time now. It helped be with the struggle and gave me some insight into what to expect. Of course, afterwards, you realize how difficult it really is to deal with all the raw emotion. I have never cried so much, I have never hurt so much for someone else. It is so hard to explain to her that I really do love her but how I love her is not what she needed or thought. I do really love her, always have, and always will. I will probably always carry the guilt of hurting her, of having lied all this time to her, to have let her feel rejected.

    I spent a few hours with just me and boys (11 & 13) today. They don't know anything and it is particularly difficult to think how this may affect them. It was a good time though and they are happy well adjusted kids so they will be okay because they have two parents who are committed to them.
     
  8. arturoenrico

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    I understand what you are going through, since i have been there myself. It is a tough time. Regarding your boys, the most important thing, whatever happens going forward, is for you to continue to be as present in their lives as possible. If you plan on leaving the home to live elsewhere, just make sure you show up for every little thing. That is what will help them and help you in the end.
     
  9. Bmw

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    So, it is now a week and a day post reveal. We are now in the Carribean on the vacation that had been planned. No so sure this was good idea but nonetheless, we are here. There is just so much anger. We have pretty much decided to end the marriage after school is out. I need advice from those of you that have kids. How and what do you tell them? You see up until now their has been little fighting, and an otherwise seemingly happy family. The kids are happy. The older one knows something is not right but hasn't asked any questions yet. I just don't want to make this more traumatic on them than it has to be.
     
  10. BeingEarnest

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    your story brings back so many memories. It was almost a year ago that I told my wife. Her reaction was very similar. We had a family trip planned the following week, and went on it. It was so hard.

    We tried for months to find a way to work it out and stay married- but functionally it was really already over. I was asked to move into a different bedroom, and it just got harder with time. The thing that kept hitting me, and still does, is that I want to be there for her, and support her and care for her. That was the best part of our relationship. But in this situation, I cannot. I am not allowed, because it brings up pain for her. Learning to step away goes against every instinct I have, and it is gut wrenching.

    Because she was my primary emotional support for years, and now I am not allowed to turn to her, I have to learn to reach out to others for help. This has been a blessing. I am developing a strong network of friends, and counselors to help me. I am starting to come out of my shell (which was really just a closet that I carried on my back)

    It took me a long time to begin to realize that the best way I can help her is to be healthy myself. I have to learn to love myself. It sounds so cliched, but it is true. I denied, rejected, and unconsciously hated a part of myself for most of my life. Even when I was told that I was loved, a part of me felt unloveable. When I came out to myself and to my wife, I hoped that it would bring us closer together. It explained why I had so much difficulty with sex. Why it seemed that a part of me was blocked off. She had said for years that she could sense that I would shut down, and she loved me and wanted to love all of me. I was so surprised that when I opened up, took the wall down, she put up her own wall.

    I didn't understand, because I didn't understand what it means to be gay. I didn't understand that she had a range of feelings for me (as a straight woman for a man) that I was not even aware of because I did not have those feelings. Now that I am beginning to experience life as a gay man, and meeting other men, I think --- how did I not know this? The magnitude of difference is on the rector scale. Now that I am feeling it--- I can see what she had to hold back in our relationship. We really are on different operating systems, and that part is irreconcilable.

    From your posts, I can see how much you love your wife. As hard as it is, she has to go through her process of healing, and will need to look to others to help her through it. You probably will not be able to be her support through this. Take the time to get help for yourself. Learn to accept and love yourself. This is especially important now, not only as your family and life change radically, but as you begin to reclaim a part of yourself that has been cut off. That part of yourself needs to know that it is loved and loveable- because it is.
    Therapists can be helpful. Mine has been. I had so much shame inside. It was a real obstacle to get over, and know that being gay, being who I really am, is not something to be ashamed of. It is something that can be embraced.

    As I go through the separation now, my wife and I both aim to be kind to one another, and to cooperate with each other, especially in caring for our son and attending to financial matters. It is still painful. She is angry and hurt, but she also still loves me. And I still love her. This is the difficult and disorienting phase of learning to express that love and care in new and different ways.

    I feel for you as you go through this time. Not only do you have a sudden change in your family life, you are also faced with the experience -hopes and fears- of coming out to others, which is an emotional roller coaster on its own. You are dealing with this all at the same time. (And probably expected to do a job, be a parent and all of the other duties of life) I hope you will be kind and gentle with yourself. It is a courageous step you are taking. And you are not alone.
     
  11. Wildside

    Wildside Guest

    I found this whole thread so overpowering. I guess because I relate to it so much. Maybe I will tell my wife, I don't know. She is flying away tomorrow to see her mother for a couple weeks, so I guess this isn't the weekend to say anything. but maybe after she gets back, I don't know. or maybe never. It seems so hard. but I really appreciate that you guys are both so willing to share your experiences. It gives me a chance to make an informed decision, knowing what will come out of it. It seems to me like the initial results are always really bad, really hard. Long term might make it worth it, I don't know. Sometimes I just feel like this: :help:
     
  12. PeteNJ

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    Hugs!

    You can put on the face of normalcy just so long. Clearly you passed as heteroplausible for a long time... and now you're ready to end that insanity for yourself.

    So on one hand, *you* need support, to start socializing and connecting with the gay community. I hear you say your stbx did that -- what about you?

    About ending the marriage.... put the kids first. period. If you do that, it will only reap huge fatherhood dividends years in the future when your boys get it.

    So -- do you have a lawyer yet? and I mean, I really f*cking great divorce lawyer? If not, get one. Immediately. Don't do anything about accounts, finances, etc. until you do.

    Your boys -- when its time to talk to them -- need to be assured and reassured that they will neither be isolated from their mother nor you. Get them both cell phones... and let them use them to text you (and their mother) whenever they want.

    Your stbx's anger is part of her process -- which she needs to go through with her own support mechanisms (that means, not you). It's not your job to take that anger or to lessen it. She needs to turn to her own therapist/etc for that.

    Your life as an out gay man will be amazing. What you are teaching your sons about being authentic and true to yourself is something they will always carry with them.

    best, Pete
     
  13. Bmw

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    I want to again thank you for the very spot-on responses. It truly amazes me how similar many our paths really are. Yes, I know I need to take care of me and, also yes, I can't fix her now. In fact, I told her that last week. I said, I can't be the one you lean on because I am the issue so go find someone else to talk to -- that is when she called the neighbor, her sister, and made the appointment with the counselor. Surprisingly, that still sounds sort of like I am telling her what to do. So, the anger today was a little too much, I finally had to separate myself from her. Took one of my sons to a bonfire here at the resort. I really had a great time and he did too. A little separation from her was definitely in order. She stayed in the room with my other son so, we still focused on the kids.

    I want to say that I have had time to process all this. In the past I have had shame, I have had guilt but overall, I feel like, other dealing with her response, I am strong enough to handle this. It is extremely emotional. It is a little tougher to deal with than I had anticipated but, I believe that my self confidence is in the right place to handle it. I am who I am. I will however get some good counseling to help deal with it all, nonetheless.

    Oh and Pete, I am a lawyer so got those bases covered. Not that I would represent myself but I know what's up and who to use when needed. Excellent advice nonetheless. Guys, I am reaching out here and it is such a good support for me.

    I still want to hear from someone who has had experiences with kids mine's age. Did you tell the whole truth? If not, what?
     
  14. Wildside

    Wildside Guest

    BMW, what do you think about using a mediator for the divorce process? A friend of mine did that, and even though his wife was totally vindictive, he said it made the whole process less painful and that by the end of it she was getting close to being readonable
     
  15. Bmw

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    So if I am being honest I am not worried about that part. I'm not naive or stupid but I'm going to be fair. When it comes down to it, she most likely will be as well. She is not typically a vindictive person, we will see if that continues. If we can't reach a reasonable agreement, mediation is a very viable option. She is and has been a stay at home mom, I have been the sole bread winner so that is what it is. We have enough to go around, she has already made it abundantly clear she does not want the house we live in, she doesn't want the memories. We are both going to have lawyers after next week -- when the vacation is over which we discussed this morning. We also discussed a custody agreement, we have a tentative agreement for equal shared legal and physical custody. She is more afraid of the kids rejecting her. I would never let them do that, she is a good mother. Oh and before you say it, again I am not naive. If a bitter divorce is the end result, I'll let the lawyers fight it out -- I am putting the kids first no matter what.
     
  16. Wildside

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    Sounds like you know what you're doing. My question about mediation was actually a selfish one, for my own benefit, in case I end up in the same situation. :goodluck:
     
  17. awt

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    Hey BMW
    Having been through this 7 years ago when my daughter was 13 and my son 9, my wife and I agreed to be mature and adult about what whas happening and put the kids first. Sure, there was bitterness and recrimination at first but what I recall most was that it wasn't what I said to my children that counted for anything - It was what I did.
    They saw I was still the same dad they'd always known, always there for them and had no intention of 'running away' with another man. I did enter a relationship after about a year, but my partner was trying to prise me away from my family so I ditched him. Seeing that, they knew where my priorities were.

    In fact, my ex and I are still legally married (but separated) and remain the closest of friends - Neither of us have found a long term relationship and quite like the single/dating life. Should anything happen to either of us, the other will have automatic control of all assets to pass on to our son and daughter.

    I appreciate I have probably been fortunate on the outcome we have reached, but we still muse over how you don't throw away 15 years of knowing each other and raising a family together over a change of circumstances. Life is all about change and self-realisation.
     
  18. GayDadStr8Marig

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    Bmw, much peace to you in the days and weeks ahead in this journey.

    One year ago this past Saturday was my Big Conversation, once and for all time extricating myself from that hideous dungeon of a closet and thrusting the rusty, moldy marriage into a dust heap. There were bitter sessions of her lashing out, accusations, recriminations and finger-pointing... I did my best to bite my tongue and let her get it out of her system without egging on for more grief. I acknowledged my faults and weaknesses that led to the disastrous relationship failing, and in the process learned just how unhappy we both had been for a very long time.

    Though her decision that we must divorce immediately stung severely, it was in reality the best decision to not drag out the process any longer than legally required. We agreed up front the kids come first, and we agreed to take whatever steps were needed to not disrupt their lives to the best of our abilities. Due to their ages (8 and 10 at the time) I agreed there was little to be gained by presenting my sexual orientation as the reason for the divorce; we simply told the kids that we could no longer be married and once we divorced I would be moving out.

    During the summer we worked out the details of the divorce, it was final at the end of July and in September I moved out. For the kids, their day-to-day activities have not changed; in fact the only change they've seen is that every other weekend they sleep over at my apartment; we still have the dad-taxi every afternoon for their activities and I still go to their weekend competitions/events.

    Two days after I came out to my now-ex-wife, I met the man I intend to spend the rest of my life with. We had many conversations here on EC for weeks leading up to that weekend, and happened to be able to meet at a local gay support group at an area church. His support this past year has helped me through innumerable days were I really didn't feel like I had the psychological strength to battle through another day of the hostilities and uncertainties. I hope I've also been able to support him through his own separation process from his wife as well as he has been there for me.

    We know what the future possibilities look like now, and that is our anchor that keeps us steady those days when we're feeling unsteady with the world. So far, my son only knows I have a friend whom I send messages back and forth frequently, but it's only a matter of time until I figure out some way for the kids to meet my boyfriend as eventually we'll be sharing an apartment at some point.
     
  19. Bmw

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    Was up at 2 AM and couldn't go back to sleep. Her roller coaster continues. I am tired in more ways than one. If only, I had waited till after this vacation, perhaps, just perhaps, I could better endure it. I need distance, I need support, I need a break then I can come back to it.

    Wildside, mediation works great. I have seen it work so many times so as you think about it, it is an excellent option. Just know it is not binding unless agreed so it still takes some cooperation.
     
  20. PeteNJ

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    Mediation. Great Idea. But a crap shoot.

    Did mediation with ex, had an agreement. Here in N J you then take it to your own attorney. Her attorney would not accept it.

    So if you are sure that won't happen, it's great.

    End of story. - I just sat on it for several months, not pushing or in anyway making demands. Finally ex could not stand tthe uncertainty and living together - and she agreed to the terms.

    By that point I'd already lined up killer divorce attorney if needed. It was a wretched time