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Input on a big decision

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by nerdbrain, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. nerdbrain

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    Friends,

    I have posted parts of my story many times over the past months. While I have made some progress in various aspects of knowing myself, I am still hopelessly stuck regarding the situation with my wife.

    We are currently separated since November, when I told her that I need to go and explore my gay feelings. I basically told her to proceed as if the marriage were over. In that time she has started seeing a few people. I have had one session with a particularly caring gay escort, and lots of therapy.

    My gay feelings have been a sort of undercurrent in my life since my late teens, occasionally coming to the forefront with great intensity, at other times practically invisible. Since childhood, I have consistently been attracted to girls, and still usually need to look at straight porn in order to climax.

    My understanding is that the existence of these gay feelings means our marriage has no future, regardless of the presence of some hetero attraction. Furthermore, I have a great deal of identification with gay culture and community, and feel somewhat removed from the straight world.

    In my mind, the separation was a bold, pre-emptive action, to try to avoid the fate of so many people who spend 10 or 20 or 30 years in marriages, leaving the other partner in far worse shape.

    But I still love my wife and miss her terribly. The idea of cutting the cord and getting a divorce fills me with anxiety and grief. Right now I know she is sitting in bed with the cat playing silly games on her phone, and I long to be over there snuggled up with them. My feelings towards her are loving and protective and, it seems to me, masculine.

    At the same time I’m just starting to dip my toe in the gay waters, with a dating profile. I know that my deepest sexual fantasies can’t be realized with a woman, but I am far from comfortable expressing them with a man.

    I know I have to make a choice, and the pressure to do so is killing me. I feel torn apart. I just want to hide, which is essentially what I have done. I wish I had infinite time to work this out, but we can’t keep going in this limbo.

    Reading this over now, it seems obvious that it’s time to end things. But I value the opinions of the people here on EC, and would love to hear anyone’s input.
     
  2. greatwhale

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    I was caught in the vortex of doubt and second-guessing that you are currently in, or, more accurately, being the Artful Dodger, avoiding any kind of openness to the possibility of being gay. In that respect you are far further ahead (with your pre-emptive separation) than I was at your age.

    I also felt that strong protective urge (I was drawn to my ex the most when she allowed herself to be vulnerable), and this continued with my kids. The turning point for me, however, almost two years ago now, was a vision of a loving, close and tender relationship with a man...it just clicked with me, I can't describe it in any way other than to say that it was a physical reaction, felt deep in my gut.

    Of course, this was an imaginary lover, in an imaginary situation, but that is how visions are made: contemplating that which never existed before and proceeding more by feeling than by logic...this is the stuff of life and of growth, it's all about becoming oneself.
     
  3. danielo21

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    I think there are many factors that influence your situation

    1) You don't seem comfortable expressing your love and/or lust for men. I suppose you attach shame and internalized homophobia to these feelings.

    2) You know that to be truly sexually fulfilled you need a man, not a woman. You identified with the gay community more than with the straight.

    3) You miss your wife. From your words, I'm sure she is amazing and represents a nice life of companionship, security and comfort. You don't want to hurt her, however you realize that "gay feelings" can't be ignored any more.

    4) You are afraid of jumping to the unknown (like everyone) because it's scary

    As you see, three of the four factors that are holding you back.
    Another thing I see is that because we gay/bi people spend a part of our life ignoring feelings that shouldn't be ignored, so many times the concept of "first love", "romance" and even "crushes" are drastically different to the ones experimented by straight people because we blocked, diminshed them so many people (like you) end up as 35 without knowing where our truly attractions lay.

    You can't expect to be comfortable overnight with you attractions after 15+ years of repression, without counting internalized homophobia. Straight people don't discover what they want after having sex a few times. They meet each other, experience crushes, interact wiht the opposite sex in a non-sexual context...

    I agree with you that yes, probably it is time to end things now, and it's gonna be hard, but it is going to be harder and unfair for both of you if you don't do it. I say this because although you love your wife, there is clearly a connection missing with her, and I think that you want more from a man than sexual fantasies. Nobody in their right mind ends a perfect loving relationship because some sexual desirees.

    I suggest you to analize yourself and keep exploring your sexuality in the gay community. It is not a short process, so I wish you luck.
     
  4. mapleluv

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    If you were happy in the relationship, you would have stayed; but you weren't, so you left. Remember: you were not happy. And if you went back, you still wouldn't be happy. You may miss your ex terribly, but at least now you have the potential of finding a partner who you can be happy with. Have hope, faith, patience, & most of all courage to move forward with your life.
     
  5. happyhamster144

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    Hi
    I'm in a similar situation, in the process of separating, having very similar thoughts.
    It would be so easy to slip back into familiar habits because it is safe. The alternative of a new different life although exciting is scary, you just do not know what will happen.
    Of course you still have feelings for her but if it was going to work would it not have by now? Also I have got to the point where I cannot pretend any more.
    It is really hard watching someone you care about hurting because of what you feel you need to do. I have felt really selfish at times.
    One of the reasons why I have taken so long to work this out was the fear of having to go though this process.
    Best wishes
     
  6. nerdbrain

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    Well, I've gone ahead and done it -- told my wife that I am not really able to offer her any kind of relationship other than friendship right now, and that we will need to wind down the marriage.

    It was sort of anti-climactic. Right now I feel eerily calm. Only a sense of loss and a vague unease that I may have just made a very bad decision.

    Give it time, I suppose? I don't know. I miss her.
     
  7. skiff

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    I am not sure how "masculine" has anything to do with gay. There are masculine and effeminate gay men. Feeling love and protective for a woman are also possible for a gay man.

    How do you define gay?

    I love the woman I married, I feel protective of her, I miss the security, I am "masculine" and I am gay.
     
  8. Tightrope

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    Your first post on this thread was an easy yet gripping read.

    I think that, like you said, you are probably bisexual but may lean more toward liking men; however, I can't be sure, nor does that matter. I'm only saying that based on all the facts and feelings you are putting out there. One of the things that needs to be sorted out is what is it that people like physically and emotionally from each gender, as that will set the stage for your journey, in my opinion.

    Your story falls along the continuum that is experienced here - from later in life types who are staying in marriages to those who have divorced or separated to those who pushed the eject button fairly quickly to those who never coupled because they sensed it could lead to uncoupling.

    What I sense is that you want or need aspects of both genders. Let's face it: most conventional marriages do not accommodate husbands or wives who want to keep the heterosexual component and experience the other. A few marriages can. In that way, you are being very honest.

    One thing worried me - "a particularly caring escort." I would admonish caution here. To me, that sounds a lot like the euphemism "hooker with a heart of gold." For them, it's a job. For you, it sounds like the fulfillment of something deeper. Rarely do these objectives intersect.

    You want to explore your sexuality in an honest manner and outside of the confines of marriage. Take it slow. Chronologically, you are exiting earlier than the majority of people who make this discovery. It will become clearer in time, but there are no guarantees as to how clear things will look and what the timeline looks like.

    But, mostly, your honesty to your spouse and to us is laudable.
     
  9. offmychest

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    have you had sex with a guy yet? i can't remember. anything physical yet? dating profile? seriously bro it doesn't sound like you need to be dating anyone right now and should just be getting comfortable in your gay shoes. go to some gay volunteer stuff, gay events, gay this gay that. you are still questioning if you'e gay. why do you think you should be dating. you need to be around gays to see how you feel. i think you are trying to rush the physical aspect so it can "prove" or disprove what you are worried about. however, even if you try and get hot and heavy with a guy and you're turned off, doesn't mean you're still not gay. just means you were into that situation. i think you need to make non sexual connections with the gays in your area and focus on their first.let's take down the dating profile. the guys on there know they are gay and want to go out with other gays to date. you are unsure. you do not know. you are not sure you want to have sex, you are just testing the waters. nobody is going to have time for all of that. in the gay dating world, you need to be able to quickly hop on the train or hop off. just like in the nyc subways, you can't stand in the doorway because you will get run over or yelled at or smushed by the doors. same with the gay dating. you need to only date once you fundamentally know you want to have gay sex or a gay boyfriend/partner. right now you do not know that. id say get off there for your own good.
     
    #9 offmychest, Jan 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2015
  10. greatwhale

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    Letting go was a supreme act of love on your part, never regret that; it is more than laudable, it is courageous. Try also to distinguish your love for her from what the marital situation was. It is normal to miss the security, status and safety that the matrimonial home represents, despite the absence of desire, these were valuable things.

    Here, where you are now, is where your imagination needs to kick in a little, so that you can imagine home, security, love, and yes, finally sex, with a male partner...remind yourself that you are free now to explore who you are and, hopefully, you have fun doing so!
     
  11. kindy14

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    Takes a lot to be honest with yourself, and then your partner. I'm glad things are working out well for you (well enough in the situation right.) I should have had the courage 15 years ago to jump ship. My separation involves way more than my sexuality, and really that part of it has more to do with being in a monogamous relationship. I'm having some of the same issues reconciling where I'm going from here.

    I'm not sure what "identifying with the gay community" means in your case (or really any case.) I don't identify with any community at the moment. I'm not really a hookup kinda guy, though I've done 2 now. I've got my gay roommate who I adore, but I wouldn't want to do anything casual with him. I've got a couple gay guys I'm starting to become friends with. Put me anyplace and I blend into the background, and I'll talk to anyone if someone initiates a conversation (or I'm chemically altered and my inhibitions are down.)

    My wife was my social outlet for 23 years. We would do things together, car shows, art shows, museums. Things that interested me, she would join me. Some things that interested her, I would join her. All my life I've had issues with making friends, so I don't have many casual friends. Trying to figure out where I go next is just frustrating.

    Also, what are gay feelings? I've always been attracted to guys, and girls. I can see myself having both physical and romantic/emotional relationships with both sexes. What attracts me physically to a man or woman are obviously different, and the satisfaction derived physically would be different. I've noticed I've always liked a certain personality of person, that is usually more attractive to me then anything else. The feelings I have for my roommate seem the same as the feelings I've had falling in love before.

    I feel stuck like I have to pick a side a lot of times.
     
  12. JerryX

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    Just have a beer and you will end up finding yourself in a gay bar having the greatest time of your life. All the feelings will come together later on with shame, guilt and fear but it all will pass in time. But play it safe so you don´t have to feel sorry about anything...remember condom.

    That´s what happened to me years ago and I am very much alive, happy & healthy today!
    Good luck :eusa_danc
     
  13. PeteNJ

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    Its natural that you miss her, dont beat yourself up about it, and don't get caught in the possible pull that you need to go back to her, take care of her, etc.

    Take a deep breath... are things beginning to feel better? They will more and more.

    There are resources in the city you might look at -- The Center of course, then various coming out support groups, bi/gay men's group.

    Find yourself support -- a gay therapist for instance, join a gay spiritual community (I know of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith communities), look on meet up for the many gay interest groups (beyond being gay!).

    Hugs.