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Married and have just come out

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Sam R, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Sam R

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    Hello all,

    I am hoping some guys on here can give me some advice.

    I am a guy who is married to a girl, the love of my life. That said I have been living a double a life. Since the age of 16 i have been having boarding sex with guys. I have never even been out to myself and although it sounds odd I have had these encounters and then just forgotten about them. This pattern has continued through my entire life.

    About 10 years ago I started to fall in love with a girl friend who I had known since I was 14. Our relationship progressed and we got closer and closer, spending all our time together and falling in love. I found her attractive, beautiful and in almost every way my soulmate.

    We proceeded to marry 5 years ago and had a wonderful time. All the while though I had been having encounters with men and had clearly become very skilled at hiding my true sexuality from everyone, even myself.

    3 months ago however I had an encounter with a man and developed a throat infection. It was at that point that I guess the lid came off my surpressed feelings and I started to become depressed. I went to the doctor who put me on anti depressants, and three weeks later the truth about what I had been doing flew out of my mouth to my wife. It is not a choice I made to tell her, I had never been unhappy with her wishing I could be free to go and be gay. It was like the feelings I had surprised flew out of me and there was nothing I can do to stop it.

    The past few months have been hell. My darling girl is so devastated as am I. I do not want to be gay but I guess that I am. I feel no relief In telling her or any excitement at the prospect of going of and meeting someone new. She was my world. She has moved to her mothers and I am with my sisters while we are in the process of selling the home we built together. I so want to wake up in the morning and not be attracted to men so I can return to her and be as happy as I was. I was never unhappy, never sat next to her thinking that I wanted to leave. She truly is the love of my life.

    The one thing I want to say is that I do not feel sorry for myself. I know in all of this the one person who is hurting more is my darling wife. I would do anything to take the pain away from her. She loves me so much and wants to be with me and I her but I think we both know it is impossible.

    All I am looking for by writing this post is hopefully to find someone who gas been through this or something similar so I can see light at the end of the tunnel.
     
  2. Chip

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    Hi, Sam, and welcome to EC.

    There are quite a few people here at EC that are going through, or have gone through, the same experience you're having. And as you're probably aware, there's no magic panacea that will make it all better.

    But you've already dealt with the hardest part: telling your wife and thinking about what it means, and taking the steps to extricate yourself from the existing situation.

    I strongly recommend Joe Kort's wonderful book "Ten Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real Love" which is horribly misnamed; it's a book about understanding and finding oneself and learning about the issues that we as gay men have as a result of our self-hate, being closeted, and other factors. It has several chapters that deal with heterosexually married gay men that I think will be particularly worthwhile for you. It's out of print, but there are used copies available on Bookfinder and the large print edition is available from Amazon.

    Separate from that, it might be good to see a therapist to help you process and understand the feelings. You're in the thick of it right now and may be feeling a bit overwhelmed, but that, too, will go away with time.

    I hope you stick around and continue to post and share your story. Feel free to ask any questions or discuss anything going on for you.
     
  3. IanGallagher

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    Chip, this actually sounds like a bisexual issue rather than a gay one. If I read correctly, Sam loves and is physically attracted to his wife. Sexuality isn't a black or white issue. There's a gray area. That gray area is bisexuality. I used to not believe in it either, then only now when it's becoming more prevalent and widely known I can come out as something other than a "strange straight guy." I walk down a street - I'll see girls and guys I'm equally attracted to.

    I'd say go to another bisexual forum site, it's the one with the shirtless guy on it, because there are many married bisexual guys on there who have continued a long and happy marriage despite not being heterosexual. They all have said it starts out rough, but eventually work out.

    And as someone who has tried to make it go away? I'm "sorry" to say it doesn't. I left high school and my home town thinking it would, it didn't. I left college and the entire state thinking it would, it didn't. In LA, I finally became a "mutant and proud." Here I'm just within the ranks of James Dean, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, etc. which is actually really cool.
     
    #3 IanGallagher, Jul 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  4. Katelynn

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    Sam, I can totally sympathize with being confused about one's sexuality. I've known I was female most of my life, which has caused various issues for me over the years, but it was really hard growing up knowing this & still being attracted to women. I coudn't figure out if I was straight, gay or what, because it was really confusing trying to match up my sexuality with my gender identity with my body. Every relationship I've had with girls has been totally short-term & largely unsatisfactory in intimate areas of the relationship, although I was the only one who was actually feeling awkward. I have found & still find it hard to identify myself as a lesbian, but my first step, which has helped me sooo much, was coming out to EC. I realize that I can't work these things out overnite, but everyone here will be supportive for you & you can always feel free to ask questions. Since I joined a couple of days ago, I have felt a lot better about who I am because everybody has been so supportive of me. I guess the point of all of this is just to say I totally know how you feel being confused, frustrated and scared & that you're not alone...
     
    #4 Katelynn, Jul 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  5. bookworm43

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    oh my goodness, the first thing you need is a hug. (*hug*) second, since you and your wife are seperated, but you still love each other, maybe you could try to explain why you did what you did. maybe if you two clear the air and talked, instead of not talking to each other, you could maybe walk away from the relationship feeling better. and it seems like you have quite a lot of soul searching to do to figure this all out...but it's worth the exhausting effort. i will offer you the following advice: most people are the teensiest bit bisexual, even if they don't want to admit it. there is no need to put a label on your sexuality. just explore yourself, and don't worry too much on the labels. if you ever feel depressed, come on this site. everyone here is super supportive, and there's always a friendly listening ear. if you ever need to talk or vent, myself and all of us friendly ECers are here for you. :slight_smile: and once again: (*hug*)
     
  6. LemonCake

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    Do you still feel a physical/sexual attraction to your wife? It seems like you still love her, so if the attraction is still there then wouldn't that mean you are bisexual?

    If you are bi then I guess it's possible you could decide to stay with her and try to make it up to her. But if all you want is another man, then you are gay I guess. It seems like a lot of people go through this even when they are in heterosexual marriages.
     
  7. Sam R

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    Thank you so much to all of you that have replied. I did not know what to expect when posting so to log in this morning and see 5 responses has been amazing.

    My wife and I are still talking and since this has all happened we have not even had one fight about it. We never faught during our marriage and we never will.
    We see each other twice a week to see how we are both doing and sort out things like selling the house.

    I have got an appointment with a psychiatrist on Monday for him to refer me to the right therapist. My wIfe too is seeing a therapist which I am pleased about for her.

    I am currently off of work as the whole coming out to myself and my wife gas left me with depression. I am getting through it day by day but it's so hard.

    Thank you for all of your advice and support, it is very kind. I feel like this is all my fault so asking for help seems very self indulgent given I have created all the mess. That said it is nice to know people out there care and if I can offer anyone advice to anyone then please ask.

    Thanks also for the guidance on the book, I will do some searching!

    Sam.
     
  8. Chrisw

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    Hi Sam

    I too am in the same position as yourself. I came out and we tried to make a go of it. It lasted two years trying before we both realised it was not to be. It just didn't work, she needed more and so did I and I shouldn't have let it carry on the way it did. The same way you did before you told your wife.

    There are days when I miss my old life , my wife, my kids and the family structure that came with it.

    I also love my new life. I have a new (male) partner. We have been together for one year and its working out really well. The days i'm down are when my ex wife is low or when I miss the family structure that goes with a "straight life".

    I am not quite divorced yet and its been a long journey of ups and downs. There are a few days when i wish i had not said anything and carried on regardless but deep down i know that not to be and there are lots more days i'm so glad i'm free, out and living an honest truthful life.

    Its tough going, thats the honest truth. it can never be like it was before and it can never be like it again in the future. Its time for you to change and look forward to your new life.

    I do miss my wife, who i thought was my life long companion. We were married 20 years and now its over. It is sad. My new life is great work in progress and its a brand new path with lots of challenges ahead for me. Thats the scary part (still not out at work but i am to parents and close friends). Im sure my mums erotically straight and socially gay. laughs.

    Keep talking to your wife. Its important for both of you find a way through this and maybe remain friends at the end of it. Im sure you will. Its hard for the wives. I feel the guilt you feel for the truths you've hidden so well but it diminishes in time.

    Keep in touch when you feel like the icon.:bang:
     
  9. mnguy

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    Maybe you are bisexual, since you said how much you love your wife. If that's the case then it's not a matter of being gay, but a matter of not being honorable to your marriage. I'm not trying to put you down by that, but this is my first reaction to this and I hate to see people cheating on their spouse with anyone. I suspect this has or will happen with some guys I know who married a woman because it was "the right thing to do", but I'm not sure if it's really a matter of being gay or that they just don't take marriage seriously.

    I'm sorry for all the turmoil you and your wife are experiencing. I hope things will turn out well as they have for several formerly married members here on EC.

    Take care (*hug*)
     
  10. Just Passing

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    Whilst this story is extremely sad from all sides, is it not possible that Sam R is actually gay, but his wife is just that one of a kind woman that goes against his usual sexual preference?

    Either way, I really feel sorry for both of you and I hope everything is resolved in the near future. :slight_smile:
     
  11. Jim1454

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    Hi Sam, and welcome to EC! (Welcome to Chrisw too!!)

    I have been through a similar experience. I hadn't physically been with other men before I was married, but I did use gay porn when I was alone. Yet, I never contemplated that I might be gay. In my mid 20s I was set up on a date with a lovely woman and she became my wife. We were together for 9 years and had 2 beautiful little girls. But mid way through that marriage, my use of porn moved on to chat rooms, and eventually I met with another man. That opened up a flood gate that I simply couldn't close. (I've been in recovery now for 4.5 years for sex addiction - I simply couldn't stop, even though I wanted to.) It was also the threat of an STD that prompted me to come out to my wife.

    I also loved my wife, and still do. She was devastated of course, but with counselling has made the best of the situation. She has remarried - because as was suggested - we both deserved more than we were going to get if we were to stay together.

    I'm now 5 weeks away from my second marriage - to another man - and I couldn't be happier. The crippling depression that I also suffered from is gone - partly with time and partly with medication.

    It really does get better.

    And for those who figure that I must be bi because I was married, I'll tell you right now that I don't consider myself bi. I have no interest in a relationship with a woman - now that I've come to terms with my orientation. I believe it was society's expectations of me that lead me down the path that I took. I don't question that some people are bisexual, but I'm not - even though I was 'happily' married for 9 years and fathered 2 children. I'm gay.
     
  12. lulu165

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    Your situation is tough. I think the path you are taking is the best path. Slow and easy, take time and process what your going through.



    This right here, put me at ease with myself. I was in a relationship with a boy awhile back and though I liked him a lot it didn't seem right. I have been thinking to myself that I couldnt possibly be a lesbian because I was in that relationship and I was happy. Seeing that you were happily married and still identify as gay was an ah ha moment, my initial idea that I had to be bisexual was pretty much diminished.
     
  13. zzzero

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    I didn't read everyone else's comments, but I'll just say this.

    If you truely love your wife, and she's the love of your life, and you don't want to leave her, and everything is fine between you two, then maybe you just need to reach an understanding about your sexuality. Though you may be gay, or bi, you've managed to find a woman who you love. The gender doesn't matter as long as you love her.

    If you were both happy with the way things were, then why not continue doing those things. She should understand that you have sexual feelings for men and that you love her too. It shouldn't be a huge deal, unless of course you didn't like the sex or some major part of your relationship with your wife, but in any sexual orientation that's a bad sign for a relationship.

    I don't think you need to disassemble the life you made with your wife if you love her... Would your life be so different if you were actually straight? Yes, you wouldn't be in this situation, but I mean before all this happened. Would you love her the same if you never hooked up with men?
     
  14. Chrisw

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    Hey Jim

    Thanks for the welcome mate. Its greatly appreciated.

    I too started out with porn too which moved to chat rooms (hesitantly) , then cam and to actual meeting people and then like yourself it was a one way road that i never returned back to.

    jim im glad you're wifes recovered. Any tips to speed up recovery would be most welcome.

    All the best for the new found love and marriage too.

    ......and also feel the same way as you..... even though i fathered three children i now consider myself gay too. I keep thinking if i'd just had an experience earlier on in my life i probably would not have taken that path.

    But hey I had a good life and its now time for a better one now! Society has changed so much since i left school some 24 years ago.

    Things do really get better!.........Watch "things get better apple" on youtube it picks me up everytime!

    Youre never alone!
     
  15. Jim1454

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    My wife really benefited from counselling. (Heck - I think EVERYONE would benefit from counselling, whether your gay or straight! We all face issues that are difficult to overcome, and having a professional help us through them is very valuable.) I think that made a huge difference.

    Fortunately, my wife is just a really positive and understanding person. She is also a realist. For her, things are as they are, and she's going to make the best of them. My partner's ex wife is the opposite. I'm not convinced that she has fully accepted her situation. She still seems bitter and almost disconnected from her reality - 4 years after separating. She has moved to another city (run away) and that doesn't appear to have made much of a difference. Everyone is different, and we all cope with these kinds of life events in different ways.

    Good luck!
     
  16. Sam R

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    Many thanks for all your replies. It has been a hellish few weeks but I think I am starting to come to terms woth it little by little each day.

    I am still seeing my wife twice a week which is totally amicable, no arguments or fights, just talking about how we are both doing and what we have got to sort out.

    I think I can admit to myself that I am not bi but gay. Looking back I can say the sex was not right for me with my wife. I love her so dearly but to stay woth her would be unfair as I would be doing it as I am scared of a future alone, and also so she is not alone, but she deserves someone straight to love the whole of her, I am just terrified she will never find that and that I will never be able to forgive myself for what I have done to both our lives.

    Thank you all for your continued advice. Sexuality seems to be such a huge and complex issue. I question myself daily about how I let myself fall in love with a women when i fancy men but I guess it's more common than I realise!

    I will keep you all posted on what is happening.

    Thank you so much.

    Sam.
     
  17. Chip

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    Sam,

    It sounds like you're making some great progress. That's important for you and also important for how your relationship with your wife plays out.

    I'll say it again: Get Joe Kort's book. One of the key elements he discusses in the chapters on heterosexually married gay men is the concept that it is not entirely the man's fault. I think you would really benefit from reading his words and thinking about what he has to say on the subject... and I think your wife would benefit tremendously from seeing a therapist if she isn't already doing so.

    But you're so right about the complexity of the issue, and it sounds like you're making great strides. Focus less on the past and more on where you are now... that's how you get through. And I think in time things will be a lot clearer and, hopefully, come to a sensible resolution.

    Please keep us informed!
     
  18. s5m1

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    Hi and welcome to EC. I was also married and have kids. Hang in there. It really does get better. As others have said, a good therapist is essential. The book Chip recommended is also a big help. For me, posting here on EC helped me sort through my feelings and realize I was not alone.

    Coming out after marriage stirs up many, complex emotions. For me, in addition to accepting I was gay, I also had to mourn the loss of a relationship and a life I had lived for so many years. There were also the challenges of figuring out how to speak with the kids.

    Just as I did, you will get through this and realize that life can be really great as a gay guy. I am now completely out, including professionally. I fell in love with a man three years ago and am now experiencing a relationship deeper than any I had ever known. There is no need to rush things. You will get here too. There will be some tough times, but they will pass.

    A friend of mine gave a speech recently when he accepted an award from a national LGBT professional group. He said that he did not become truly successful until be learned how to be authentic by embracing who he was. We spend so much time building barriers to hide ourselves and waste enormous mental energy struggling over our sexuality. Once we get beyond that, we can achieve whatever we want in life. I think my friend was exactly right.

    Please keep posting and let us know how we can help.
     
  19. Sam R

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    Hello all.

    Thank you for your continued posts. They have been really helpful.

    I am seeing a therapist as is my wife. I am in two minds as to if i should be seeing a gay therapist or one woth experience in this sort of field.

    It is starting to sink in a little that I am now going to be on my own and I have to learn to live with that, and when I am ready embrace it.

    The depression and anxiety is the hardest thing to cope with along with the internalized guilt that I feel. I am seeing my wife twice a week at the moment Just to keep lines open and see how we are doing. We are selling the house and sorting things slowly.

    I hope the anti depressant meds are the right thing as I was getting into a very bad place mentally so had to start taking them. I have heard lots of scare stories about taking them so any advice on this would be appreciated.

    I have ordered the book you have talked about and look forward to reading it when it arrives.

    Thanks so much for your support.
     
  20. Sam R

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    Hi all,

    Just thought I would give you an update an ask for some advice.

    I an seeing a therapist but I am not sure if she is the right one. Should I see a gay therapist or someone with experience in this area?

    Also re the depression that I seem to have since all this came out are anti depressants the right thing for me. Been on them for two weeks so far and feeling no better at all!