1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

I feel like I'm drowning

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Chris6198, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. Chris6198

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2021
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Canada
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    This is this first time I have ever posted about my sexuality. Not really sure what I'm looking for here, but I have to get this out some way. I'm 50 years old married for 21 years two kids 21 and 19. I love them with all I am and would do anything for them.

    I'm GAY ,. YUP I said it and I mean it,. First time I've ever wrote that. Feels good actually.

    I've been thinking about coming out to my wife and kids now for about two years. I want to live my life honestly and find someone to share the rest of it with.

    I love my wife she is a great woman, but I know she will not react well to the news. I'm not even sure how to say it to her. Should I just say I'm gay and I want to live my life this way.

    Some people may say I'm a bad person for doing this, some may say just stick it out.

    I'm so stressed,. I need to tell her so we can both move forward.

    Any words of wisdom or advice?

    Thanks
     
    Xey, Nic2552 and MistyMorn like this.
  2. Mj5963

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Port St. Lucie , Florida
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Good afternoon , I am a 61 year old guy who came out to my wife four years ago not by choice because she had discovered I was playing around with guys. So first my regret is I didn’t tell her beforehand . I owed that to her as much as to me. I cannot fix what I didn’t do, but obviously if I could I would. It brings up shame and guilt that is very very overwhelming . So if I could ever offer my personal experience as one that would help then it just may be best for all if you have a sit down. My therapist was great always made me write a letter to my wife as if I was giving it to her but I never did I just had very open and honest and very difficult talks about it , my struggles with finally accepting my sexuality . We chose a path called MOM, mixed orientation marriage whereas one spouse is straight and the other is not . It is not for everyone and requires so much communication and acceptable guidelines for both. If you want open relationship etc . Our sexuality is simply part of us not the definition and we are born with it . So we can chose how we celebrate it . Honesty is your best method in my view. I still struggle with the years of deceit and lack of honesty and continue to try and make amends . Hope this helped
     
  3. MikeL1962

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2021
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Menomonie Wisconsin
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Some people
    I am in somewhat the same boat. I've always been honest with my former wife...she knew how I felt when we were dating and even when we got married. Somehow she thought she could change memory whatever. Fast forward, I'm Gay and we are living single lives, it's working for now. As I come out to more and more friends and family and as we see different people the dynamics are changing and we are divorcing...very peaceful and amicable.
     
    MistyMorn, Bastion and sunbird like this.
  4. MikeL1962

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2021
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Menomonie Wisconsin
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Some people
    I meant Change me in that first sentence.
     
  5. I'm gay

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,723
    Likes Received:
    738
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Hi Chris,

    First, welcome to EC! Taking the first steps out of the closet is incredibly brave. It takes so much courage to reach this stage of coming out. You will need to summon just a bit more to finally live your truth. Most importantly, you've already done one of the hardest parts - coming out to yourself.

    There is a tremendous amount of wisdom here at EC. It's difficult to give you a bunch of advice on this question you posed because I don't really know enough about you and your family to be very helpful. For example, does your wife have any inkling at all that you could be gay? Could she suspect something? How accepting to LGBT is your family generally? Are you intending to divorce to be able to date men? If so, can your wife support herself? The answers to those, and many more, questions can help to give you better and more targeted advice.

    In general terms, though, I would give you this advice:

    1. This will likely take a long time for you to come out and begin to live your gay life.
    2. You have been processing this for a couple of years, so understand that it will take others equally as long to process.
    3. Your wife will go through the same stages of loss that you have undergone, as we all do. For her, the loss will be the loss of your marriage, the image of you as a heterosexual couple, loss of status, etc. The stages of loss are Denial - Anger - Bargaining - Grief - Acceptance. She, and your kids too, may experience some or all of these stages, in any particular order and in each stage for anywhere from minutes to months to years. Definitely be prepared for the anger stage.
    4. Therapy is a good idea.
    5. Read lots of posts here, interact with others. There is such great advice in these posts, from a wide variety of people, so the more you read and interact, the more you will learn about yourself and how to move forward.
    6. Be patient, with yourself and others. After coming out, you will want to move fast. For your sake, and others, be patient.

    I am now 5 years post-coming out. I too processed internally for two years before coming out. I was 47 with two kids. Stay with us here at EC, keep talking and asking questions.
     
  6. Bastion

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    147
    Location:
    North America
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    Hi @I'm gay
    So can I ask how it’s been like since coming out. Those five years. How are you adjusting to your new life and what’s the relationship now with wife and kids?
     
  7. I'm gay

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,723
    Likes Received:
    738
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Thanks for the question. It's been quite a journey over the last 5 years, and so much has happened in my life. For example, since separating from my wife: My older son graduated high school and started college, I got a boyfriend, my mom died, I moved into her house to caretake the property for my family, my boyfriend moved in with me and my younger son, who is now in high school.

    My relationship with my kids is good, and I still have a good relationship with my wife (we are actually still legally married). We have traveled together multiple times over the last 5 years, to include her, my kids and my boyfriend. We all even traveled to London together for New Year's 2020. Of course the pandemic has changed all that for traveling. During the lockdowns our bubble was merged with hers so the kids could be with us both. My younger son has had a difficult time with schooling over this past year. But, we're all getting through it as best we can.

    Overall, I have so much to be thankful for in how my journey has evolved. I've said this before on this forum, but I'll say it again here in this thread: One of the things that helped me tremendously in my coming out journey is that I had achieved complete self acceptance with no shame prior to coming out to other people. It helped me because after coming out and separating, I wasn't still trying to figure myself out or trying to accept being gay. I was already in love with being gay and wanting to experience it. Once you reach that stage, all the fear just drops away.

    Edit: Sorry OP, I'm not meaning to hijack your thread. Just wanted to answer Bastion's question.
     
    #7 I'm gay, Jun 10, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
    MistyMorn and Bastion like this.
  8. Bastion

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    147
    Location:
    North America
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    @I'm gay
    Thanks for your answer. I can see you have been on quite a journey. Am sure things were not easy at first. It’s been three years and am still in my internal processing phase I guess.
    But I don’t have a supportive environment to begin with. I am still attracted to women but also men. So finding out that I might be bi is a very big thing for me. I didn’t even know where to start. Yes I did try to make contact and befriend a couple of people from the lgbtq community in my area. Later both sides the straight and the gay guys weren’t very accepting of my situation. So I took a step back to think things over.

    So you have been married and lived with a woman for a time with kids. How did you realize you were definitely gay and not bi?

    And how is actually living with guy a boyfriend like?

    I apologize to the op also. But am curious. And we are not talking about a totally different subject than the thread. It’s very similar situations.
     
  9. quebec

    Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2014
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    1,195
    Location:
    Idaho, U.S.
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Some people
    @Chris6198.....Hello and a great big LGBTQIA+ welcome to Empty Closets! :old_smile: There are two sub-forums here on EC that could be a big help to you. They are titled: "Coming Out Advice" and "LGBT Later in Life". If you post there I think you'll find people who will understand how you feel and will be able to offer support and understanding! You can ask questions in any of the Sub-forums by creating a new thread or by joining in a conversation-thread that is already going. You can also post a message on anyone's Profile Page. If you have a question that is somewhat private you can always send a Private Message to any Staff Member. Normally Private Messages can only be exchanged between two Full Members, but a PM to a Staff Member is an exception. :old_wink: I was in a very similar situation to yours when I came out to my wife in 2016 at the age of 65. I said those three words "I am gay" for the very first time here on Empty Closets on December 25, 2014 in the middle of the worst crisis in my life. I felt unable to go on hiding my sexuality and equally unable to come out. After a year of leaning on the wonderful folks here on EC for support I connected with a therapist in December of 2015. With EC and the help of my therapist I came out to my wife in March of 2016. It was certainly the most difficult thing I've ever done, but I am so very glad that I did it. Unlike many "mixed-marriage" couples we have chosen to stay together. That is primarily because I have chosen to keep my marriage and the relationship that I have with my wife and the rest of my family over any desires that I have for a gay life. You're facing a tough decision...no doubt at all. You seem to have already thought about changing the way that you live. That is perhaps the most important choice you will need to make, and considering it before you talk to your wife is a good idea. If you know, as I did, that you want to keep the marriage together, then how you approach your wife will differ significantly from what you would say to her if you have chosen to dissolve the marriage and change how you live. The really important part of this decision is to be brutally honest with yourself. If you truly know that, after you come out, you will not be able to and/or will not desire to stay in your marriage...then it would be a disservice to both you and your wife to try to do so. If your heart isn't in the marriage then it would tend to turn into a very
    unpleasant situation for both of you. Since a marriage requires two people, the other side of the coin is that the same is true for your wife. If she does not feel committed to the marriage after you come out and you try to stay together, it will also turn into a very difficult state of affairs. Communication is going to be what helps make the choice about the future. The two of you will need to talk about your relationship and very honestly work out what each of you can live with under the new conditions.

    I hope that I haven't been too harsh. I've just tried to share what I went through in the hope that it might in some way help you to find a way to make your decision easier. Please don't hesitate to post more messages with any additional questions...we really do want to help!
    We are so glad that you have found us here on Empty Closets! :old_big_grin:
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
    #9 quebec, Jun 10, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
    Bastion and I'm gay like this.
  10. I'm gay

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,723
    Likes Received:
    738
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    To @Bastion

    I have always know I am gay. I turned 13 in 1981, and in my small community at the time, being gay was about the worst thing a teenage boy could be. So I was deeply ashamed and fearful of anyone finding out my secret. I pushed it down, pushed away any thoughts of other boys, and made myself a promise (at age 14) that no one would ever know my secret, that I would take it to the grave with me. I did what I thought was expected of me and dated girls, eventually dating my wife. My problem was not in recognizing that I was gay, only in accepting it and being ok with it. My denial all came crashing down on me after my dad died in 2014, which caused me two years of processing and reaching acceptance. I still wasn't ready to come out, though. I felt that even though I now accept myself, I had made my bed and had to lie in it. Then the Pulse shooting in 2016 occurred, and it was a catalyst for me to finally come out.

    Living with my boyfriend is entirely different than living with my wife. My wife and I were best friends in high school (she was my prom date even!), and we had natural comradery and an easy relationship. We literally never fought and argued. I have come to understand that although we had a good relationship in terms of how we got along and worked together well, we also had no passion together and a largely sexless marriage. My boyfriend and I are completely different (opposites attract kind of thing), and there is much passion in our relationship. Do we always get along like I did with my wife? No! But the passion I have with him is so much more fulfilling than my marriage ever was.
     
    #10 I'm gay, Jun 10, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
    Bastion, FooFight54 and quebec like this.
  11. old tacoma

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2020
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    @Chris6198 – “Some people may say I’m a bad person for doing this, some may say just stick it out.”
    I could have written your words myself. Yet I no longer feel like I’m drowning. Through the words of others here on EC, and a few friends, I realize that this process for me is going to take time. In fact, considering my age, I may run out of time. I know fully that I am making choices now that would be frowned upon by just about everyone — family, friends, neighbors, community. Perhaps even by some here on EC. This is my journey and I walk it. And when it hits the fan, I can and will accept responsibility for what I have freely chosen to do.
     
    Bastion and quebec like this.
  12. Chris6198

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2021
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Canada
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    Reading all of your posts have honestly helped alot. Finally having someone anyone to listen and reply with carrying words means the world. Thank you all. I will keep posting here and looking for advice and maybe someday soon I can give a little of my own. Thank you all for welcoming me and treating me with respect.
     
  13. PatrickUK

    Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    6,478
    Likes Received:
    1,762
    Location:
    England
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Even as recently as 15-20 years ago it didn't seem possible to live as an openly gay person in many parts of the world, including free countries like Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe, but then we started to see more recognition of same sex relationships and the introduction of legal partnerships and same sex marriage and things began to change. For those of us who had suppressed our sexual identity and married a partner of the opposite sex our eyes were opened to different possibilities and it no longer seemed necessary to live the rest our lives with a secret. The potential for a new beginning now seems like a real option, BUT... what about the wife (or husband) and kids? That's always the big wall facing us.

    There is no formula for coming out to the family and starting again. Each and every person in this situation will have to weigh their personal circumstances and come to their own decision, but continued suppression of the truth and denial of our identity never seems like a viable option - not in the medium to long term. Doing that will only cause more pain.

    I would suggest trying to build up a local support network in the first instance; people you can confide in and turn to for advice, support and friendship. This may be an LGBT community group and may include a therapist too. It will still be hard to come out, but having that support network will give you people to turn to if things don't go well. It's not a given that it will be like this though, because if people are assured and convinced of our ongoing love it can cushion the hardest of falls.

    In many ways you have crossed the first hurdle by admitting to yourself and us that you are gay. Admitting it and saying it is a big deal and you have done that now.
     
    old tacoma and I'm gay like this.
  14. justaguyinsf

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    310
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    You might want to think about how your life would look if you came out and your marriage ended. Would your friends back-off from you, and if so how would you respond or make new friends? What do you think your relationship with your kids will look like? If you end up single for a long time, will you be happy with that? It's great to have ideals and inspiration, but one also needs to consider the day-to-day realities of life and your ability to adapt to possible structural changes in your life. You might decide that what you have now is important enough to you, and that the possibilities if you come out are too uncertain or unappealing, so that you would choose to not come out.
     
    Bastion likes this.
  15. Bastion

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    147
    Location:
    North America
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    My relationship with my wife is very similar to what @I'm gay described of his relationship with his. We are great friends, we don’t argue much, we see eye to eye and agree on most things. We have an easy relationship. We work well together as a couple and do great by our kids. But we don’t have passion unfortunately. But a good working relationship is hard to find also these days in a world full of uncertainties. That’s why it’s not an easy choice to make and one has to think about the all pros and cons of ending a relationship to something unknown. Or come out and try to work it out somehow. But then you also have the kids to think about.
     
    justaguyinsf and MikeL1962 like this.
  16. I'm gay

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,723
    Likes Received:
    738
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    One of the reasons that I asked OP about his wife's ability to support herself if he came out and chose to leave the marriage is because it is a factor to consider in this decision. My wife makes a good living on her own, and so my ability to exit the marriage without financial disaster was legitimately a factor in my decision to come out and separate. Not everyone has that ability, and it can certainly complicate these decisions.
     
    justaguyinsf, Bastion and MikeL1962 like this.
  17. Bastion

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    147
    Location:
    North America
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    Yeah you bring a good point. My wife doesn’t have that ability. So it is more complicated.
     
  18. StillAround

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    574
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Washington State
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Chris,

    My situation was very similar to yours. I had been married for 27 years (no kids, though) and finally reached the point, at 69, when I knew that I didn't want to die without ever leading an authentic life. When I came out to my wife, I did not do it well. It just tumbled out of me without stopping to think about how she would deal with it. I regret that to this day (7 years later). I wish I had gathered my thought, written them down, and had a real conversation with her about the changes in my life. So I guess that would be my advice...

    A couple of days after I came out, we did have a serious sit-down. She was able to express her feelings and I was able to really listen. She maintained her composure throughout our conversation, but I was in tears the whole time. I still loved her and we had what felt like a lifetime of shared history. I was consumed by feelings of guilt that continue in some measure even now, but I've learned to live with it. Anyway, I kept telling her that I still wanted to be a part of her life, in any way she was willing to allow me to be. She reacted, appropriately, I think, with anger and fear for her own future. Fortunately, we were financially secure, and I kept assuring her that I would continue paying all the bills until we both figured out where we were headed. But I never gave up on trying to be supportive and to be there for her.

    I moved out of our home 6 months later, and we divorced 2 years after that. The first year after we separated was horrible for both of us. I was living alone for the first time in 27 years, lonely and wondering whether I could ever actually be content with my life. My wife had had serious clinical depression most of her life, and our separation made it so much worse. But after a year or so, we both started reconciling to the situation and even started getting together from time to time. By the time we divorced, We were able to describe each other as best friends.

    Shortly before our divorce became final, I met a lovely guy. As our relationship became more serious, I introduced her to him, and, over time, the three of us became a family.

    Still, I would not describe this as a totally happy ending. She still expressed anger from time to time, and when she did, I always told her that her feelings were valid, but that I was still there for her.

    And that's my story...
     
    Bastion likes this.
  19. Bi Wolf

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2021
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hub City
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    You have grown children and your family is complete. With nothing more to build, it is time to tell the truth but try not to lose what you have,