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Really need some opinions...

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by adapt55, Apr 14, 2019 at 10:37 AM.

?

What should I do?

  1. Stay with my wife who I love and enjoy sleeping with

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. Leave my wife and embark on a new path dating men

    2 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Stick around a while longer to see if anything changes even though nothing has changed the last 10 y

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. adapt55

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    Hello everyone,
    Thanks in advance for reading. I've read so many posts like the one I'm about to type, but it's time I made one of my own and got some feedback. Again, thank you in advance for responding.

    I'm 45 and have everything a married man could want: great house, career, success, etc. My wife is amazing and also very attractive, and I have three great kids. But despite this, I'm usually depressed, down, bored, feel a void, and need to abuse alcohol every weekend just to get by. I don't really fit in with other males and I don't have many friends. In fact, I've really never had a close relationship with a man. I've dealt with confusing orientation feelings my whole life, and I've always known this is why I'm bad socially, I'm different, and I'm not "one of the guys" if you will. I've known this is also why I've been unhappy, but it's gotten really bad lately to the point that I'm finally admitting to myself that my attraction to men and uncertainty about my sexuality has to be the overriding issue that is basically ruining me. What's confusing is that I'm still sexually attracted to my wife and I still enjoy sex with her.

    Two years ago, with the pressure bearing down on me, I broke down and admitted to my wife one of my biggest fantasies, but it was not being with a man. It was watching or knowing about her being with another man/men. After almost two years of discussion, she is not down for this. There were times when I thought she would be, and that thought made me very happy. But ultimately, that notion has died, and that conversely makes me very depressed (I'm not forcing her to try this, but I have nagged her a lot). I figured when I told here this she'd either do it or divorce me, but she's too good of a partner, so she's refused, and she wants to stick it out with me. I did include some bi-curious thoughts when I gave her my reasoning behind the cuckold fantasy, and I do think she suspects I might be bi-curious, but I don't think she puts a ton of weight into it because I'm always down for sex with her. I honestly don't know if this would have been enough to fill this void I have, but I sure as heck wanted to try in case it was. Also, by the way there's usually another male somehow involved with sex with my wife. For example, I'll often fantasize during sex that I'm actually someone else, so I'm watching her have sex with someone else, which is erotic to me.

    What I'm really interested in getting here is some feedback on this above but also considering my history, which I will outline here:

    - when I was five I was caught dressing up in my sisters clothes, and was really, really punished. Like my dad kicked me and my mom out of the house (1-2 days I think). it was so bad that I wonder if this is how I repressed my feelings, not to mention feeling the pressure of society and wanting very badly to have a "normal" life after a tough childhood and very unstable family dynamic

    - I definitely was inclined from ages 7-8 to 10-12 to engage in homosexual behavior with boys. at 10, I had a strong urge to shower in a gym I went to with men, which I did and recall being fully erect but not knowing what that was. that is crazy.

    - From 12-15 I had numerous encounters with boys, it mostly was scary and I felt a lot of guilt, but I continued to pursue this even though I also started to be attracted to girls

    - Around 15-16 I began to focus on girls and all that, but the thoughts were still there as were some encounters

    - at 18, I met an amazing girl and we quickly started a serious relationship. shortly after I found out that she had been fairly promiscuous, and that really bothered me. it hit at my low self esteem and hurt my ego, but I think I was also turned on by this and it didn't take long for me to fantasize about her with other men, which I did for a long, long time, with no real breaks (certainly went months at a time without doing it over last 20 years). very confusing to say the least.

    - at 21, she got pregnant, and since I did love her and was attracted to her, we got married. I knew the gay thoughts were there, but I just thought I was experimenting earlier in life and came to the conclusion that I wanted to be with a girl. In retrospect, had I not met this amazing girl, I think I might have eventually turned to men or at least tried. I'm 45 and she's the only serious or real girlfriend I've ever had. I was surprised to realize upon reflection, that my experiences with other girls were not good at all. I had to stop sex mid stream twice and always seemed to have performance issues. I thought it was nerves or guilt (I fooled around with other girls before I got married). I didn't really think this was a sign because, again, I am attracted to women, sometimes very attracted to them.

    - for the next 10 years or so, things were okay, but very hectic, and I basically buried myself in work and have done that for 20 years. It's made me successful, but I've clearly been hiding something or have had something missing. I always thought that if the feelings got worse that I might have to take some action.

    Well, the feelings have gotten a lot worse.

    - over the last 10 years or so, while I do have some problems with my wife and some of her flaws, and while my life overall is very stressful, it sure feels like my brain is telling me that I'm not happy in my life as a man married to woman. I have had encounters with men while married, as I've tried to experiment and make heads or tails of this. The results are usually inconclusive, although I did have some very erotic moments. I have also started feeling more and more feminine, and when I'm in strange places I really like to act "gay" in front of people. It's like coming out to strangers. I also have interest in dressing more feminine. I've been doing that a lot more, and I also think I might be jealous of my wife for being such an attractive woman and garnering so much attention from men. The cuckold thing may have worked for a while with this, but since that's dead this is all just more frustration.

    - Finally, this year, I've hit rock bottom knowing the cuckold fantasy is dead. That's when it finally occurred to me that, while I've felt at best bisexual all these years, and felt heterosexual only for longer periods of time over the years, everything lines up that basically every problem in my life and marriage stems from this confusion. I've actually long wished the feelings were stronger so I knew definitively, but the feelings come and go and range from strong too mild.

    I have a lot of lose if I end my marriage, and it kills me to think I might have to tell my wife everything and end this pain (for her and for me) and break up our current family dynamic. I worry that I'll decide in 1-2 years that I made a mistake and she'll have moved on with another man. But on the other hand, my boredom and sadness and only getting worse. On a typical summer day, I may go to the lake or an amusement park with the family, but I'll sit there and long for an entirely different scenario, like traveling or doing touristy stuff with a man who I'm intimate with emotionally and sexually. I'm also feeling strong urges to become more feminine and have positive thoughts about my life simply being gay, not even talking about sex, hanging out socially with women, etc. I'd like for my wife to just end it herself with an affair (I've given here full permission to do so) or just because she's sick of me, but she's still hanging in there.

    Last point, she's not particularly kinky and is pretty conservative, so this will never happen, but I think my ideal scenario would have me living with her and another man and we'd all have sex, but there's probably only a 1% chance of anything like that happening. I do, tho, suspect she may try the cuckolding as a last resort if I tell her everything, but that's just and guess I don't want her doing anything she doesn't want to do. She could easily hook up with a great-looking 25 year old guy, and I've told her to go for it, but she won't.

    At the end of the day, I think I'm bisexual but lean more toward homo than heterosexual, and the urge is clearly strong enough to ruin my current heterosexual existence. Like I've said, I've always known that I had these thoughts and feelings, but not until recently that I truly matched everything up and for the first time in my life I am seriously considering a life as a gay man out in the open.

    If anyone has any thoughts or comments I'd love to hear them. Am I gay? Should I leave? Can I possibly be happy staying with her, post whatever thoughts you have if you'd like.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. whistle1

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    I know this sounds rather basic, but I would recommend seeing a counselor - especially one who deals with LGBT issues.
     
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  3. Contented

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    Your story is similar to many here on EC including mine. After years of pretending "hetero" the desire to acknowledge and embrace my homosexuality built up to the boiling point. Once that dam broke I knew there was no going back. For a short time I thought I could live as a bisexual man however over time I could not lie to myself any longer. I simply no longer had any interest in intimacy of any kind with women period. I couldn't even fake it with those blue "chemical" supplements! While frightening to say the least I needed to make the break and move ahead towards the gay life style I had always envisioned. Stripping away layers and layers of toxic masculinity, shame, guilt and homophobia revealed a totally different person. One that is more connected to whom I always felt I was inside, It was a liberation of mind, body and soul not to be too dramatic. It was earth shaking for me as what I found under all that baggage was a gay man, somewhat effeminate, longing to live openly, authentically without shame or guilt. At times this evolution was hard as others could not understand what happened to me. I left a long term GF, became estranged from my mother and sister, and an ex wife to become involved in openly gay relationship with a fantastic man. More than two years down that road, it was the best decision of my life. I am finally living the life I fantasied over for years. The unhappy and unfulfilled feelings faded so quickly after embracing the "hidden" me finally out of the closet and in the light after years of repression.
     
  4. adapt55

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    Thanks, I have. Ivy league PHD, hasn't helped
     
  5. adapt55

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    Thanks for your reply. You're actually lucky in that there was no doubt. If I had no attraction to my wife this would be a lot more cut and dried.

    I'd really like to hear from someone who had doubts, attraction to both sexes, in my situation, and ended the marriage and tried living gay out.
     
  6. whistle1

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    Sorry to hear the counseling hasn't helped.
     
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  7. smurf

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    From what you wrote and how you worded your poll, I think its fairly clear that you have to at the very least tell your wife that you are into men more than you or her realized.

    Will it ruin your marriage? Maybe not. I would have a conversation with your wife, tell her the part that you still lover her, your relationship, etc, but that you also have to start being honest with yourself and her.

    That way you both can decide what to do with your relationship.

    Why do you think therapy hasn't worked? Have you told our therapist everything you told us here?

    Read some of the stories on this section and feel free to reach out to the posters. Everyone here is super helpful, but some don't always read every thread.
     
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  8. adapt55

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    Thanks for your thoughts. Unfortunately, she's been through a lot lately with some family issues (mom, sister, our kids) so I was hoping to hang in there another 2-3 years until things settle down and most importantly our kids get a little older before adding any more to her plate. But it's wearing on me so hard, I can barely function. I'm not even 100% sure my depression is caused by this, but as I wrote above, for the first time, I'm recognizing that this has to be it. If my wife was a bitch this would be a lot easier, or even if she was unattractive, but she's neither. Thanks again.
     
  9. LostInDaydreams

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    The timing is never going to perfect. Do you think it’s fair to make this decision for her and keep her in the dark? Particularly as your last post implies you’d be willing to tell her now if she weren’t quite so attractive.
     
  10. Nickw

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    Hey. Welcome to EC. I'm sixty and my wife and I have been together for 37 years. I came out to her three years ago as bisexual. We remain married and my sexuality is just part of our lives.

    My personality does not allow me to cheat...not judging. So, I never experienced intimacy with a man. As a gift, my wife allowed me some intimacy with men. Later that developed to me having a boyfriend.

    Your fantasy is sort of my reality right now. My friend is part of the family. My wife is cool with it.

    I only know of a dozen or so guys who have this. The vast majority of bisexual men do have to chose to be married to a woman or have intimate male friends. Having both, and being open about it, is pretty rare.

    To be blunt. You've already experimented with men...multiple times...on the down low. So, your same sex desires are, likely, important enough to risk your marriage.

    So, why not have an honest conversation with your wife? Repression of our sexuality is not healthy. You may need to come out in order to be the person you need to be. Your wife may, or may not, accept this...many don't.

    I was ready for divorce rather than continue to hide an important part of me. I know how difficult this is.
     
  11. adapt55

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    For now I'm making a decision to hold off because she literally can't handle another crisis, plus I'm not yet 100% sure this is what I want yet. Her attractiveness just adds to the pain because I am very attracted to her physically and love her emotionally.
     
  12. adapt55

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    Thank you for your thoughts. I don't think she'd be down for your scenario and my fantasy scenario, I know, is just a fantasy.
     
  13. justaguyinsf

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    My situation was very similar to yours and I have been divorced for 20 years now. If you are attracted to your wife, love her, and you are both satisfied generally with your relationship (including the sex) then I would say acknowledge your fantasies and I would counsel against divorce. (It's not clear what your wife feels about your relationship.) Keep in mind that regardless of sexuality it is very common to have a mid-life slump (or "crisis") at your stage in life. Things can get to be monotonous and feel endless when your kids are getting more independent (you don't say how old your kids are) and you're between being a young adult and a retiree. That's the time when fantasies can seem like a perfect escape. You should remind yourself that a fantasy is not reality, which is always far messier and much more complicated. As a psychotherapist friend once said to me, "not all fantasies are meant to be lived." I would also say that you should really consider the worst-possible realistic scenario in terms of a divorce, and decide whether fulfilling your fantasy and perhaps coming out as gay or bi would be worth it to you. Don't be swept up by the overemphasis on being your "real" self as the most important thing you can do ... to my mind that reflects a somewhat adolescent view of the world (and frankly you're already being your "real" self). Last consider what your life might be like if you did take things to the point of divorce apart from the damage to your family. Gather information from a variety of sources and not just the dyed-in-the-wool gay zealots ... things are much more complicated than they let on.

    Personally, I'm glad I'm no longer married because the marriage was troubled by much more than sexuality, but if things had not been so fractured I would have preferred to have stayed married to my wife and it would have been better for everyone involved. As a conservative, more traditional and family-oriented kind of guy it's very difficult for me to relate to most gay men and I still feel much more comfortable with straight people.

    I hope that is at least somewhat helpful.

    Tom
     
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  14. adapt55

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    Very helpful, Tom. Thank you so much. To answer some of your questions, too:

    - kids are 22, 13, and 12

    - My wife loves me greatly and does not wish to be with anyone else, which makes it hard. Someone above intimated that I should tell her this, but right now it would make things worse, and it's not like she has any desire whatsoever to date anyone else. So why tell her now when she'd rather be living with me? If I told her now and we divorced, I think she'd take a while before dating. She also does need me in many ways, so leaving her alone, again, I think would be worse. And again, this is what makes it so hard.

    It's funny but for the last 2-3 years I've definitely viewed this as a mid-life crisis of sorts. I should also say that our current life is pretty boring and monotonous, and we've been at this parenting for 22+ years. Our kids are high-maintenance and we're really really been pinched in terms of alone time and time for ourselves for decades. This all makes this even more complicated because I feel like I could deal with my urges a lot better if my overall quality of life were better. I have issues with my wife, but they are not serious enough to divorce over and wreck the family. If she was a serious problem, then it would be a lot easier.
     
  15. Nickw

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    I am going to belabor this point a bit. You mentioned experimenting with men during the marriage. Am I understanding this to be having an intimate relationship with men?

    Look. I'm far from the moral police here. I just got zinged again for describing my lifestyle in a bit too much detail by the moderators....But, do you plan on continuing to see men when the "urge" hits? How do you reconcile this, or justify this, in your marriage?

    I had become a wreck keeping a secret that nearly destroyed my marriage. I lost the ability to be vulnerable in my intimacy with my wife, my friends and my family. I became angry and guarded. I blamed my wife for holding the keys to my sexuality.

    Only you can decide what is best for your situation. But, I would caution you about continuing to experiment on the side because there's a good chance you'll get caught.
     
  16. adapt55

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    I've had a couple of experiences while married, not proud of that, but they happened a long time ago (10+ years) and were not that involved and no actual sex. So this isn't really an angle worth looking at. But thanks for your reply.
     
  17. Skeksis

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    I think you’re bisexual. But you’ve denied and repressed the same-sex attractions for so long that you can’t go on with the idea of never having sex or love or romance with a man for the rest of your life. The cuckold fantasy was a safe way for your mind to incorporate your same-sex attractions into your love life without truly exposing yourself to your wife. The #1 thing I think you should do is be true to yourself and do what you want to do in your heart. You need to be honest with your wife. It doesn’t sound like she would be open to an arrangement. So therefore you have to decide what you want more: to be solely with your wife or possibly split up or divorce and pursue sex or a relationship with men. It doesn’t seem like you’ll be able to have both because she seems very monogamous and not experimental. You need to pick the choice that your heart wants the most. That will be where you begin your journey to happiness and contentment. I think you know it’s with a man and not with your wife. Otherwise you wouldn’t be so torn up about the situation. I wish you luck though because you deserve to be happy.
     
    #17 Skeksis, Apr 15, 2019 at 7:24 PM
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 7:25 PM
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  18. Contented

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    I don’t think pointing out that living an authentic life marks you as a gay zealot. I read the situation as living authentically may indeed mean for you heterosexuality. I think a more accurate read is that you are conflicted over same sex attraction. If that is indeed the case and your wife cannot live in a mixed orientation marriage you have choices to make. I have never read where anyone facing a life decision this consequencal ever said it was easy. Just that sometimes it is necessary.