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It's Been Quite a While ... and I know I'm Lucky

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by slowmo, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. slowmo

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    Hi,

    So, I've been meaning to do this for a while. No time like the present! Sorry if I'm too verbose.

    I was never a big poster here back in the day. But I did read this thread rapaciously in 2017-2018 when I was trying to sort myself out. And it helped ... part of the process I guess. "Baby steps" was my mantra back then, and for me that worked just fine.

    Rewind ... I was a 58-year old "straight-acting" man who had been divorced after almost 30-years of a largely bad marriage to a narcissistic personality disordered woman. We met at 18 and married at 22. Yikes!!!! Let's just say I was at the head of the class when it came to living in multifaceted denial!

    I had actually left her eight years before that and then divorced her a couple of years later in order to save two of my kids: a perfectly acceptable and noble effort. Everyone supported me. At the time, I had a teen and two young adult children. The acceptance that I was gay ... and perhaps even entitled to a tiny, tiny smidgen of potential happiness? That took some additional years of thought and therapy after the divorce to belatedly realize, accept and act upon. I had always been really good at segmenting things in my mind. There had never been cheating with a guy or anything even close to that during the VERY long marriage. I was too busy telling myself I deserved all the crap that came my way.

    My hope is that my (admittedly weird) experience might offer some modest encouragement -- and even some optimism -- to others on this thread who continue to struggle. I'm not bragging at all. It's been really hard, but I continue to be amazed that there can actually be light and even happiness on the "other side." I don't look back at all those years and pine for what could have been. Forget that! I may have thirty more years of being the real ME ahead of me. Or it could be six months. Who knows? Who cares?

    Long story short. I came out to my therapist four years ago. I told him it was a secret he should know ... but one that I would take to my grave ... literally. I even told him there could be no notes ... just in case I got hit by a bus tomorrow. And he never pushed. Big aside here ... therapy is a must IMHO. And the right therapist can make a HUGE difference.

    I finally came out to a very dear friend two years ago. That went well, so I came out to my kids one by one in the following weeks. That also went surprisingly well. The two boys were a breeze ... "Dad, you deserve to be happy!" My daughter (the eldest and the only one who deals much with my ex) was fine intellectually. But it took her a little longer to accept and get comfortable with a new view of her new Dad. But since then, I've walked her down the aisle, and now she's going to deliver my first grandchild in a few months. And her husband -- a great guy but also a college football jock and a Wall Street bro -- was a breeze! LESSON ... don't underestimate what people are capable of when they care for you and yours. Then I told my siblings ... that went well too. Both of my parents were already gone -- that's sort of a regret -- but I like to think they too would have been happy for me.

    So after I FINALLY came out to those who matter, I spent several months dating ... a lot of dating in a relatively short time. There was one ten-day period with nine dates?!?!? You don't know unless you try, right? There were only a couple of real duds. Lots of first and second dates that one or both of us knew would go nowhere. It was also truly surprising that so many gay men of a certain age (OK they spanned from 26 to 67) simply wanted someone who wanted them and who was willing to make the first move. And there were even a couple of potential "maybe this could work" guys. Then I met HIM ... 19 months ago.

    He's been out his entire adult life. I admire him so much for that. We met on his very first date some 18 months after he had lost his husband/partner of more than 20 years to cancer in a matter of months. We knew it was right in just a few weeks. Our mantra? We're both products of our past ... very different pasts. No judgment; just acceptance. We've been together ever since. First it was weekends, then additional days, and more days, and I finally moved in full-time a couple months ago. He's met my kids, and it's gone well. And i'm so thankful for what I now have. I truly never knew things could be like this!

    It's been easier than I ever expected, actually. Yes, I had to learn how to deal with someone who loved me for me and who wasn't crazy/psycho/dysfunctional. Who knew "normal" could be so simple and different ... and easy? We're committed to each other from here on out.

    So what have I learned? It's NEVER, NEVER, NEVER too late to come out! And there's someone for everyone. But you have to put yourself out there and look. And get bruised a little.

    I know I probably would never have done this if my ex-wife had been even moderately OK to the kids. So maybe I should thank her for the years of torture?? NO. But if I knew then what I know now, I would have left her some years earlier. But it's NOT worth looking backward when the future is there to be made better

    YES, I really do know how lucky I am when it comes to the acceptance from my kids and in meeting Mr. Right. BUT none of that would ever have materialized if I hadn't finally decided I had more to lose by staying alone in the very LONELY closet, rather than putting myself out there. So ... GOOD LUCK!!!
     
    Confused54 and FooFight54 like this.
  2. Contented

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    What a wonderful life story. Thanks sharing this absolutely uplifting narrative from your life.
     
  3. Contented

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    What a wonderful life story. Thanks sharing this absolutely uplifting narrative from your life. So happy you found Mr Right.
     
  4. Contented

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    What a wonderful life story. Thanks sharing this absolutely uplifting narrative from your life. So happy you found Mr Right.
     
  5. Contented

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    Sorry for the multiple days posts no clue why.
     
  6. bingostring

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    That’s a great story. It should be an encouragement for others.
     
  7. Confused54

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    Beautiful story. So glad you found "Mr. Right" and all is well with your family. I've had a similar experience (but not involving a problem wife).