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

Married and not out

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by bwhopper, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. bwhopper

    bwhopper Guest

    i am married and in my 40s and not out. I have known, if i am totally honest with myself, that i am gay for many years but have just really faced the reality that it will never go away. i have spoken to a couple friends and that made me feel much better. if i look at my life in reverse, the signs were there in grade school, even more so in high school, and really obvious in college and afterwards. i just forged on and thinking it was a phase or i was just weird. but the things that turned me on never changed. now what do i do. i love my wife but feel like i am living a lie.
     
  2. Melusine

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    TN
    I am so sorry you are in such a difficult situation. Part of me is screaming that you need to some out, but I know how terrifying that thought must be.

    The fact is, this is not your fault, or your wife's. Unfortunately we live in a society that encourages men to conform to the 'normal' and get married, whatever they may feel.

    I truly feel that you need to be true to yourself. You are not doing yourself or your wife any favors by staying in the closet. Tell her. It will be difficult but tell her. Of she loves you she will hopefully be able to be there for you. Be prepared for anger. She will probably feel lied to and will feel inadequate, but just reassure her that your being gay isn't about her, it's just the way you were born.

    I wish I could help you more. I wish you the best of luck, whatever you decide, and I am praying for you.

    X
     
  3. dynamighty

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indiana
    Gender:
    Genderqueer
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    It is sad to say that you are not the only one in your situation. Facing the facts can be hard, but you seem like you are stuck looking at the retrospective. Stop feeling like you've lost time and start seizing the day!

    What Melusine said is true: You being gay is not about her. The longer you are with her, lying to her, the more you will hurt her. Since you love her, and you want to open up and love yourself, the best thing to do is to let her know. Talk it out with her as calmly as possible. Make sure you tell her that it isn't about her, and open the dialog between you two as calmly as possible. You need to open up your life and take your chance to stop living in regret. It is never too late.

    You can do it. <3

    Best of luck to you, and I hope everything goes well for the both of you. You have some hard times ahead, but in the end, you will be happier.
     
  4. bwhopper

    bwhopper Guest

    Thank you and i know you are both right, i just dont want to agree. How do i explain that i have come to terms with my sexuality and that i have known for awhile? i halfway think she already knows or at least suspects.
     
  5. EM68

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,265
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stoughton, Massachusetts USA
    It seems like you know you are gay and you are ready to accept it. That is good. From my experience, once this happens it becomes harder not to come out and live the life you want. You may want to seek a counselor to work this out and have the ability to tell your wife. At some point you will need to tell your wife and it will be hard on her and you. I am not going to lie to you. There will be some tough times ahead for both of you. In the end both of you will be able to move on with your life and be happy.

    If you think she may suspect that she knows then she probably knows.
     
  6. feelindown

    feelindown Guest

    ok, we'll you know you like guys but you are always married and i'm assuming you are having sex with your wife and that to some degree you like that too. so yes, you have accepted you like men, but my question is what are you really saying? are you saying that you want to end your relationshp with your wife so that you can pursue and experiment with men because you are really not attracted to her? or are you saying that you want to stay with her but just want her to know you also like guys? which is it. the bottom line is that even if you were 100% straight, you would still see other women that you liked and may want to be with but since you are married that is not an option in a conservative traditional marriage. so there's nothign you woudl be able to do with that desire anyway. so i'm just trying to udnerstand if you want to end the marriage so you can live life as a self-actualized gay man? or do you just want her to know that this is a part of you but you have no intentions of acting on it? you need to ask yourself which one it is....if you think you may want to start or have already started secretly experimenting and hooking up with men, then you definitely need to get out of the marriage and not keep her in the dark about your activities. there are posts on here from other married men going through what you are going through but it sounds like at some point they start going down a path of secret gay hookups while the wifey is in the dark about the whole thing.
     
  7. bwhopper

    bwhopper Guest

    you have nailed the delema on the head. i remain committed to her and do not intend to act further in spite of the reality/ i just feel dishonest with her not knowing.
     
  8. feelindown

    feelindown Guest

    ok, well now we are making progress. what i am hearing you say is that you personally have realized you like men and have accepted it but you are committed to your marriage and do not plan on breaking it up over your male attraction. that's good.

    now, here is what you need to understand and realize. there are some schools of thought that may suggest that you are at the beginning stages of self actualization. this school of though says that you have finally come to terms with the fact that you like men and have accepted that. prior to that you were in some quasi denial stage. knowing that you liked guys but never really accepting it. it did not "technically" exist in your mind and therefore, it was tucked under the rug from your wife and argueably even yourself. So this same school of thought will suggest that now that you have accepted this, it will not be very long before you will want to move further down teh self actualization process by embracing these feelings and acting on them in some way.....moving closer and closer to full actualization where you are living as a gay man. for this school of thought, it would suggest that you internally are not and will not be at peace until you fully move towards full actualization of your desires.

    the other school of thought says, what she dont know wont hurt her. if a tree falls in an empty forest does it still make noise if noone hears it? basically this means, if you are not going to act on the desires, if you are not going to do anything with them and it's not damaging your existing relationship, then what's the point of telling her? do you know every single thing about her. i'm sure you don't. many things that cross our mind that we do not act on, we dont go run out and tell our significant other or spouse. if you saw a hot girl walk down the street and in your mind you instantly thought of sexual thigns about this hot woman, would you go and run adn tell your wife, "hey babe, i just want to let you know that i saw a woman and wanted to have sex with her but of course i am committed to you adn wouldn't never do that but i just wanted to let you know.." ok, you probably wouldn't because it was just a passing thought.

    now here's the rub, the fact that you feel bad about this and the fact that you have some anxiety and stress over it right now, seems to indicate that it is not a passing thought. ifi it were something you really had no plans of acting on or every doing anything about, then i do not think you would be on this website. you have talked to other "freinds" about this as well. so to me, it may sound as though it this at some level represents something in your life that you are really trying to deal with. i do wonder if at even on a "fantasy" level you are entertaing your secret attractions and therefore feel guilty about that. this could be through visual stimulation online or movies or daydreams, etc. my sense is that you could be feeding this attraction in some way without you persay "cheating" with hookups, etc.

    so let's look at what happens: "hey dear, i just want you to know that i am committed to our relationshp and i'm never going to leave you but i wanted to let you know what i also have an attracdtion for men. nothing i'm ever going to act on but i just felt like i was living a lie".

    your wife is going to want to know: are you having sex with men, do you want to have sex with men, are you looking at porn, have you met any men, have you ever had any sex with men or any sexual encounters, do you plan on having any sexual encournters with men. do you want to have sexual encournters with me. is our marriage over? you will need to be prepared to answer these questions. this will also create doubt in your wife's mind about your committment to hte marriage. "why is he telling me this. is he doing something with guys now? does he want to? is he not attracted to me? are we headed towards divorce?".

    so my advice is that before you tell your wife anything, get yourself together. this is very new to you (acceptance). take time now to know what you want to do long term. it's easy to say that you will not act on anything but you just accepted your attractions.

    my personal though is that it's good for a wife to know what you are going through. heck you are telling friends and you're not married to them so how coem she is in the dark. butttt, with that said, i dont get the feeling from what you wrote that you are quite sure yet what this will mean long term. and if you are not sure what this means for you long term, you can't expect someone (your wife) to help you figure out if you want to be with John while you're married to Jane.

    im not sure how old you are, or how long you have been married. but if you dont think this is an issue for you or your marriage and you haven't done anything and you're not secretly feeding your attraction in anyway, then what is the point of talking about it. again, if you had thoughts of other women (which men do in a marriage) they aren't running out and telling the wife about every thought. but if you just want your wife to know this is something that is a part of you but it's not going to affect your marriage but you didnt want to live a lie with her and have her in the dark then tell her but she will want to know the answers to the above questions.

    i've leave with this little analogy....if you did not cut your finger, there would be no need to put a bandaid on it. there would need to put peroxide on the wound. however, if you are bleeding you immediately get out the first aid kit to address or "dress" the wound.

    to me it sounds like you are bleeding a bit, and you are workign though ways to address the wound (friends, this website, etc.). good luck and i hope that you continue to have a committed marriage.
     
  9. Jim1454

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7,284
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Toronto
    Hi there, and welcome to EC from another (previously) married man.

    Ed's advice to find a counsellor is what I would have said too. I don't think anyone is really capable of working through this situation alone. Find a counsellor or therapist who can help you work through the questions that are posted above. What do you think you want? Figuring that out before you speak to your wife will be helpful. Working with a counsellor helped me figure things out and start to feel good about myself again. He also helped me work through this with my wife.

    Also - NOT fooling around behind your wife's back is critical. You don't need to be with another man to know you want to be with another man. Being faithful will help you feel better about yourself in through the transition...

    This is a tough spot for you to be in. I can relate completely. Read through my earlier threads (ones that I've started, as I've made a lot of posts in other threads) to see how I've coped. I had 2 kids, a wonderful wife, a beautiful home, 2 cars, a great job, and a golden retriever. And I was miserable. I was living 2 separate lives, and it nearly killed me.

    I can attest to the fact that once you've clued into this about yourself, there's no turning back. I also hoped for years that it was just a phase, that I would get over it, that I could 'deal' with it, that if I just 'got it out of my system'. Of course I couldn't.

    But eventually, I came to terms with it. I accepted that I was gay, and I told my wife what I'd been doing. And also as Ed said, things got a lot worse before they got better. But they DID get better. I'm getting married in 2 weeks to another man. We're in love with each other, and can't wait to start our new life as a married couple.

    Good luck, and don't hesitate to write back!
     
  10. hogo2011

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oregon
    Gender:
    Female
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    I was reading your post and felt the need to comment. I too am in my 40s and married. Just this week I came to terms that I am gay. I've known all my life that I was but, I too, finally got tired of living a lie. I love my husband:grin:. My biggest fear of all this is what his reaction will be. I have no clue. I do know that this site has been very helpful. It has let me know that I'm not alone in this and please see that you aren't either. :slight_smile:
     
  11. seedoubleu

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Gender:
    Male
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    As a still-married-mostly-out man, I'd like to put this in: Don't fool around behind her back - she will be hurt enough when you finally come out to her, but if you mess around then you're just going to increase her pain much more. It may be hard (trust me, I know!) but hold off. Also, I would humbly suggest Over the Cliff: Gay Husbands in Straight Marriages (it's available as an eBook or real book from Amazon) - you'll probably see a lot of yourself in those stories. There's a version for the wife as well, you may want to have a copy of it to give her when you come out (or shortly afterwards).

    I would also suggest, if you have support groups in your area, contact them. Both for you, and your wife. And counseling/therapy, if your insurance covers it and you can find one who can work with you. If you can't, then at least get friends, gay and straight, who you can go to just to talk things through. (And not all girls, either! Some of them need to be guys, in my opinion.)
     
  12. jimL

    Full Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    I just came out to my wife six weeks ago. It was the most difficult thing that I have every done in my life. Fortunately she has been very supportive and understanding. We are continuing on with our relationship. I know it will be difficult at times but I think we can make it work. As several people suggested here at EC, I did get and am continuing to get counseling, it really helps just to talk about it. I'm glad you have friends that you can talk with also. I think the most importing thing to emphasis to her is that you loved her when you married her and you still love her and this has nothing to do with her. Also, be prepared to answer what your future holds! That will be one of her first questions. You are right in that you are hiding this part of you that your wife knows nothing about and she does deserve to know. Be strong. Good luck and all the best to you.
     
  13. bwhopper

    bwhopper Guest

    Very helpful and thank you. This thread has taught me a great deal. I just wish I didn't have to face this and that it would go away. But it won't and it is constantly on my mind. It is funny how obvious thing are about oneself when you look backwards. But my delema is how to address going forward. So thank you for the comments and keep them coming. This has to be helping more than me.
     
  14. s5m1

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Messages:
    800
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    Hi, and welcome to EC. I was married for a long time and have three kids, so I can relate to what you are going through. It is a hard process, with many ups and downs. But, if you stick with it, eventually it is possible to live a very happy and fulfilling life true to who you really are.

    As others have said, a good therapist is essential. In fact, I would recommend you see one before coming out to your spouse. That way, you will have someone to bounce ideas off of, as well as a support system in place.

    Like you, I always hoped “those feelings” would go away. As you and I know, despite marriage, kids and an outwardly straight life, they never do go away. They can’t because that is who we are. When I came out, nobody was mad at me for lying. They understood. I, however, was mad for having lied to myself for so many years.

    While I was being hard on myself for repressing my true self for so long, I was also telling myself I could never live as an out gay man (I know how inconsistent that sounds). After all, that would mean my family and friends would reject me and my career would end. Or, so I thought.

    Thanks to some tough work with my therapist and some great advice here on EC, I eventually stopped beating up on myself for being gay and accepted who I was. I also stopped dwelling on the past and decided to live for the present. I came out to my ex-wife, kids, other family, friends, and my professional colleagues.

    Rather than being rejected, I received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from everyone. In fact, because I was no longer hiding my true self, my relationships deepened. My stress level also plummeted. Three years ago, I met a man and fell in love, deeper than anything I had ever known. My kids love him, and he accompanies me to the many social events I have to attend for work.

    For me, staying married was not an option. I wanted to live a happy life. There was no way that I could be happy in a marriage to a woman. It was not a matter of whether I had sex with a man. It was about accepting myself.

    I also realized that this was the only life I was going to get to live. When taking my last breath, I didn’t want to look back and say that I lived an unhappy life because I was concerned about what others thought. I took charge of my life. You can too.

    Hang in there. Be true to yourself, and work toward coming out. Life as an out gay man can be really great, if you just give it a try.
     
  15. feelindown

    feelindown Guest

    >>>>>>>I also realized that this was the only life I was going to get to live. When taking my last breath, I didn’t want to look back and say that I lived an unhappy life because I was concerned about what others thought. I took charge of my life. You can too.

    this was a very helpful comment. i struggle with self acceptance on the daily. my stress level is off the charts. in fact i live with stress so much i have become used to it and part of my daily being. i do not quite know what it feels like to be at peace really. haven't lived life that way. one night i woke up in a gasp for air. i felt the life living me (or so i thought) suddenly i screamed "noooo, not yet, i'm not ready yet. no." i instantly thought at that moment there was so much i hadn't done yet, so much i wanted to do, and so many years wasted on being down and sad. i gained my breath after that and was fine. but i never forgot that feeling. the truth is that life is short. time flies and before you know it you're 20, 30, 40, 60, and 70..... why live half your life as though you are going to get a "reset" button or a rewind button. doesn't happen. in my mid 30s when i go to the clubs i feel older even though i can pass for late 20s. but i see guys in there that are early 20s and i think to myself, gee i wish i would have had the courage to try this stuff when i was younger because i would be a lot more sure of myself at this age and more confident about what i wanted (women or men). the point is, you have to determine what you want. i know some guys on here said they stayed married but always had thoughts. sounds like the thoughts never go away, it's just up to you whether you want to act on them or not. i think you really should seek counseling to figure out next steps and that will be important for your wife to know what's going to happen next. are you going to have a marriage that is a loving marriage of closeness and intimacy or will it be a marriage where you love the person dearly but you are not in love with them becuase you cna't feel a spark for them really and want to get out of the marriage. you have to determine that. i just think that noone wants to hear "hi honey i'm gay and i dont know what this means for us and i need time to figure it out". does that mean a week, a month, 3 years. in the meantime what is she supposed to do? hope that you dont decide to leave her? maybe get some counselling now to see if you can work through some things. but i think you do need to tell her what's up. maybe you guys can work through it together, maybe you can't. but ultimately you need to make the decision what you want to do.

    i think a lot of people initally wnat to keep the relationshp going becaue it's safe. but as they accept their feelings more and more, the desire to act on those feelings and explore those feelings with someone of the same sex gets stronger in my opinion. what that means for a marriage i can't tell you.
     
  16. CharmanderGato

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Alabama (a very closed-minded, bigoted town)
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Look, i'm only 16 and I'm not sure what I am, and I'm certain I can't be of any help, but, seriously, I'm rooting for you, buddy, and I hope this all works out. I'm close to tears after reading all of this... These people are so nice and have such good advice. We're lucky to have them. I would love to be able to give advice like this, but ... I just can't. On this subject anyway... Just know I've got my fingers crossed and I'll be praying for you tonight. Good luck and keep it up. :slight_smile: If there's anything I can do, Let me know. Keep us posted, okay?
     
  17. bwhopper

    bwhopper Guest

    These comments are so helpful! I am coming to terms day by day that being gay will not go away in me, in spite of the fact that I wish it would. I wish the same passion were there for the opposite sex, but it is not and I am just pretending. I have accepted who and what I am but still wrestling with how I balance that against the commitment I made to be honest to my wife and God. I do wish I had been honest with myself much earlier in my life, but again, this is about now and the future. Being able to talk about it here helps a ton. And I do think my wife may have some suspicion based on some of the things I like. I just don't know that I'm ready to have the conversation out of the blue, but if it comes up naturally, I will not lie.
     
  18. CharmanderGato

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Alabama (a very closed-minded, bigoted town)
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Glad to hear it. and you should never lie. I told my mom the other day when it came up naturally too. I asked if i could have a rainbow bracelet, she asked why, and out it came. Good luck! I must admit, they all had very good advice, even if i myself didn't help much.
     
  19. bwhopper

    bwhopper Guest

    I do feel dishonest with her not knowing and know I will feel bad when she does know. In the past if someone asked me if I was gay, I denied it. If someone were to ask now, I also would not deny it. And I look at people I know are gay and make eye contact and get a smile. I once had a girlfriend who tried to set me up with a guy and I was offended. So like I said, the signs were always there back from looking at the sears catalog. I just didn't listen to myself and open to the truth. Now it has greater consequences and feel like I need to live with the decisions I have made, maybe even if it dosent allow me to live a life that is more truthful to who I am, because it dosent feel like it will ever change.
     
  20. CharmanderGato

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Alabama (a very closed-minded, bigoted town)
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    No offense intended, but i'm guessing you wish you'd let her set you up? And yes, I think it's good that you are coming to terms with it, even so late in life, I myself, being only 16, had plenty of time, but the world is different today than it was back then adn my mother isn't very prejudiced, so i saw no need to hide it any more.

    I'm sure whatever you decide will be right, but... I hate to think of you suffering, or anyone in your position for that matter. You've been faithful, but for how much longer can you keep it inside? I only lasted two or three weeks of knowing what i was for sure before i let it loose to my mom, sister, and best friend... But, If you can handle it, have at it. We're all here for you.

    And this may seem indelicate, but what is your wife's disposition against gays?