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Struggling to see way ahead after coming out to wife

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Highlander2, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Highlander2

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    So another week and I've seen the new man loads. We've been out for dinner together, clubbing with friends, and just spent quiet time with each other. He seems a genuine guy and I am really enjoying the time we spend together. We were in a club together ( a straight one, but there were loads of gay guys there too) and it just felt amazing to be up there dancing with a group of guys and him - every so often he'd just kiss me and no-one blinked. We left later and he took my hand as we walked home at 2am. There was a bit of me that was slightly uncomfortable about such a visible show of affection but we were both drunk and no-one who passed us commented which gave me confidence as we went on. He is so chilled about who he is and it's taking me forward in leaps and bounds. I feel so relaxed about being gay and, is it 'normal' to feel proud? I feel proud of myself - not just for being honest with who I am, but not being afraid to be honest about who I am with anyone else too. A year ago if I'd been told I would be dancing with a bear of a guy who couldn't keep his hands off me and then walking through the city at 2am holding his hand before spending the night in his bed - I'd have thought they were mad.

    The feeling of being me - no hidden parts of me, no anxiety about gay feelings, no 'shame' or guilt about liking the look of a man - is just amazing. I get sad about my other life, with my wife and her dreams and future, but I am determined to get myself in a better place at the same time as being there for her and my kids. One step at a time.

    :slight_smile:
     
  2. quietman702

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    Wow Highlander 2 I hope to experience that too. I see why you're awesome. :eusa_clap
     
  3. Highlander2

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    So things are going well - up to a point. I got a message from 'Him' the other day, out of the blue. Just asking how I was. Telling me, when I say I'm good, that he still cares and that we are still friends...yeah right. It's not helpful.

    Add to this, the guy I have been seeing mentioned the 'B' word the other day. Boyfriend. I'm really not sure about this whole 'labelling' of what we are. I'm dating him, yes, we have a good time together and we kiss. We've not physically had sex yet (sorry if that's too much information), and I'm not sure why. We get very passionate when we start kissing, and there has been physical sexual contact that stops short of anything else, but...

    I'm happy to go with the flow and spend time with him and sleep with him if that's what we both want, but not sure I necessarily want to be labelled yet as someone's "boyfriend" and everything that that might bring - what i'm trying to say is that, since 'He' kicked me in the teeth, I've got a bit of steel in me that wants to take care of myself and not get too involved with someone just quite yet. But I do like him - I can't necessarily see us getting married ! - but I enjoy his company and he is a genuinely nice guy. Suggestions please guys?
     
    #183 Highlander2, Jul 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  4. Electra

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    Firstly so pleased to read your post of 6th July. Have been following your story over recent months and it is so empowering to read how you have changed so much!! My own recent coming out has been similarly amazing and like you when I look at myself now- openly gay, out to the world and with wonderful gay friends (have just been on a weekend retreat for gay men which was incredible) - I would never have believed I would be in this so much better place just two years ago (when I was still completely lost and confused and full of internalised homophobia). So 'high five' brother!!! We have done it…
    And do your last post about whether you want your friend to be your boyfriend (marriage!!?) and musings about how physical you have been is just wonderful, its just normal relationship stuff (nothing to do with being gay or straight). Thats not to down-play its importance but it is just so lovely that you are now your true self and exploring all this and not filled with angst and shame and guilt… again we are truly brilliant aren't we!!
    I am tettering on the edge of allowing myself to be open to actual, physical relationships and I hope not far behind your own recent journey… wish me luck xx
     
  5. PatrickUK

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    As far as the first paragraph is concerned, nothing much to say. I'm not being dismissive, but you are done with him... yesterdays man. He messed you about and fooled with your emotions precisely when you didn't need it. Eventually, you'll get to a point where you may not even read his messages.

    Now, the second paragraph is much more interesting as the new fella is clearly into you. You are taking your time to make sure things are right and giving yourself breathing space and I'm totally supportive of that. I would never criticise people who have sex on a first date, but I think it can sometimes set the wrong tone if you are looking to build a special, long term relationship. It will feel like time soon enough, I'm sure.

    Don't worry about the 'B' word (boyfriend) or what it means too much at this stage. It takes some people more time to come around to that way of thinking. You know what you are looking for and it's probably not that far removed from what he is suggesting, but you need more time to develop your feelings, process your thoughts and arrive at a place where you can trust someone like that. It's okay as long as you are not smothering yourself in cotton wool (and I don't think you are).

    By taking things at a steady pace and getting to know each other you are setting some foundations that will give you more confidence and hopefully develop something meaningful that will help to heal past scars and get you into a much better place.

    Very best of luck to you. :thumbsup:
     
  6. Highlander2

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    Thanks Linco. As far as 'he' is concerned, it's difficult. We still have to have contact with one another through our work but I don't physically see him that often which is fine. When I do, it's like I get a punch in the stomach and I feel like I'm back to the start again about controlling and shutting away how I feel about him DESPITE everything that's happened between us since. I'm sure it will get better - I can now look at photographs of us together and let 'feelings' take over - but face to face is going to take time.

    Yes, the new guy is definitely in to me. He's a lovely guy but you have hit the nail on the head when you say that I need to let my feelings develop. He's attractive but I still find my head being turned by other guys that I think are more attractive. I'm feeling a bit mixed up as I do really like him but, and this is a big but - he's made it clear that any sexual activity is pretty much on a (not sure how to put this) each one of us having a very 'defined role' about who does what and that's not for changing. The problem is that I am probably more 'one' than the other (although not exclusive!) (and typically the 'one' is the one he is), but can't see me being with someone that was totally inflexible. I don't want this to be an issue before we even get there but the longer we don't do anything the more I begin to feel like we're both going to just end up as 'friends' when it's clear we can both see us being more than that - role definitions apart.

    I know I'm analysing this more than I should be - I am just enjoying going with the flow just now, but what I don't want to do is lead this guy on. I've had that done to me and it's such a kick in the teeth.
     
  7. Highlander2

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    So another week and things are getting better and better with the 'new guy'. He's stayed over and I've stayed with him and it's ended up with us sleeping together each time. I'm not used to being the 'initiator' so when I finally can't contain it any more he just says yes as if he was waiting for me to take control. I'm not used to being the 'dominant' one so it's taking a bit of getting used to. I don't want him thinking that I'm just telling him what's happening or 'asking' him each time I want us to get physical.

    We've spent some good times doing things together - taking in some music events, going out for nights out - I'm finding a really strong sense of connection starting to grow. He's not what I would have thought I would have gone for. Compared to the last one they're like chalk and cheese both in terms of physical size, body shape, vanity, and a load of other things BUT: he's genuine, he treats me really well, he's thoughtful, he's got a very good sense of humour, he's not "up himself", he's not vain, he can dance and he's not afraid to!, he tells me I'm hot ( :slight_smile: ), and I feel I can TRUST him. I don't have nagging feelings that I'm being led along, that's he's hooking up with other guys at the same time as telling me a load of lies about how he feels.

    Today we spent time together and just had the most relaxing Sunday morning lying together on the sofa, listening to music and just chilling out for hours. I felt the most at east I've felt in months - I could've lain there all day with him with his head on my chest.

    I am actually feeling like I would really miss him if I didn't see him again. Lots more planned for the next few days and coming weeks :slight_smile:
     
  8. Damien

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    Hi Highlander.
    gosh I feel for the both of you. You are in a situation with no perfect, easy solution, but in time, it will be worked out. You love your wife, so make sure you keep telling her that despite the feelings you have for guys, that she is and remains a dear friend. I think that is important. But also, well we might only ever get to live this one life, so we ought to live it fully, and to do that means being authentically ourselves, and that includes in the domain of sexuality. So maybe, for now, just let the dust settle for a while, and let both yourself and your wife adjust gradually to the new reality. If you didn't know you were gay when you met her, it would be helpful to let her know, I think. That way she won't feel deceived. I feel for you both, and although I'm not in your situation I truly wish you the best, and hope you stay in touch here, and keep us informed about how things are going.
    Damien. *hug*
     
  9. GayDadStr8Marig

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    Highlander, you continue to be an inspiration to me. I'm really happy that your new guy is working out sonwell. Labels be damned. Roles be damned. Just be you and let things get themselves sorted as they may be. Enjoy the freedom of being openly affectionate with him in public. Of course be aware of the situation around you (no sense borrowing trouble) but don't let worry about what others stink dissuade you from expressing your love for each other the same way any straight couple does.
     
  10. manwithnoname7

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    Your almost organic honesty is inspriring Highlander
     
  11. CyclingFan

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    I love that the story you're telling now is so radically different than the title of the thread, Highlander2.

    Amazing what can happen in 275 days
     
  12. quietman702

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    Highland so very happy for you, enjoy.
     
  13. Highlander2

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    Thanks everyone. I still get days when I doubt myself. When I am having coffee with my wife and everything just feels 'normal' again, but then I think about whether I could actually go back to a life where I couldn't be me - truly - again. The me I am now. The me where I like meeting the new guy, holding him, and how 'at ease' I feel with myself. Going back to a life where I am NOT at ease with myself and the constant feeling of being irritated and wanting something more but not really being sure what that is - would be a disaster.

    @Damien you're right. My wife and I are still very good (best?) friends. We're the ones that we each turn to when life is turning a bit crap and we just need to offload about stuff. That's hard at the same time though. It's just going to take time to redefine things, but at the moment it's good and it will take time.

    It's funny, @Damien, your signature line about being truly, madly and deeply in love. I've felt that way before - with 'him' - but not so with the new man. I really like him, and I enjoy the time we spend together - but it's not been "love at first sight" and I don't get the same feelings I did with 'him'. I shouldn't compare as they are totally different people, but I do worry a bit this is a kind of rebound but right now it's nice and I'm really enjoying it.

    ---------- Post added 21st Jul 2014 at 11:08 AM ----------

    Thanks GDSM :wink: Just sitting next to him at the movies or in a restaurant or bar and letting his leg rest against mine without 'needing' to keep a respectable 'man space' between us is good. It's something I am getting used to - meeting him in a bar with friends, a hug and kiss, it's just gradual.

    I'm just going with the flow. Right now, it feels good. :slight_smile:
     
  14. Highlander2

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    So I've been away with the new man in my life. We took ourselves away for the weekend and it was fantastic. We get on well, he makes me laugh and he is a caring guy. We enjoy each others company and we're not running out of things to do or talk about. That's a couple of months nearly we've been dating. He's not afraid to show affection in public which I find liberating and there's a bit of me that's proud of who I am and how far I've come in this journey so far. It just feels 'right' when I waken next to him, or he kisses me.

    It was a bit strange checking into the hotel together. That's the first real public demonstration I've done and it being obvious to the other person that I'm gay.

    My wife knows about him and takes great delight in making me squirm with some of the questions she's asked - the most outrageous being: "so, that's a few weeks you've being seeing him. Do you like him? [pause] Have you slept with him yet? [pause[ You slept with me after 3 weeks dating me" Awkward... :wink:
     
  15. bottomsup

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    Brilliant highlander, well done and congratulations:slight_smile:
    As others have said, your an inspiration to us all, and we all wish you the very best. Have enjoyed your posts and wish you all the verry best.
    Well done!
     
  16. mav96213

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    Highlander, we're way overdue for an update. How are things going?
     
  17. adrum

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    Hi Highlander,

    It has taken me some time but I have read through every post in this thread and I want to tell you how encouraging and helpful it as been for me. As someone who has yet to come out to his wife, I find your story gives me some sort of glimpse into events that are otherwise a complete unknown. I know that it will be different for me, but reading these posts has helped me to feel like it is possible to make the transition that you made. Your ability to communicate your thoughts and feelings through the written word has made this even more helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your journey so far with us.

    I would like to ask you a question now that you have been separated from your wife for a few months. Before the separation you were really struggling with deciding what to do: should you stay or should you go. You were worried that if you leave, you might find that it was a mistake and that you gave up a good life in exchange for that which you thought you needed, but might turn out to be nothing more than a "gay adolescent" phase. You were worried about ending up lonely and unhappy.

    My question is: how do you feel about things now? Now that you're out there, dating a guy (I assume still), living life as YOU for the first time, and living on your own. Are you feeling like, so far, it was the best decision? Are you feeling regret? Have you gone through phases of emotion (like a grieving process)? I know it's still a bit early but I (and I think others) would really benefit from your insights.

    Thanks again.
     
  18. Highlander2

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    Hey everyone. Sorry for taking so much time out of the forum. I've been conscious that I didn't want to just keep posting about how great everything was all the time :wink:

    So here goes.

    I'm still seeing the 'new guy' (haha that sounds funny now as I type it). We get on really well. I stay at his place quite often, and he stays over at mine too once or twice a week. We give each other space though and it can be a couple of days before we see each other sometimes. But it's good - it feels like we're not living in each other's space. He makes me laugh and the physical side is great. We're planning short trips away together in the coming couple of months and the time we spend together is just relaxing and good time. I'm not second guessing what he's going to say, do or ask. I'm not watching him on his mobile phone all the time - I trust him. That's almost three months and it's still good. Hey, I'm not looking to get married or anything but I'm not looking for anyone else just now and he and me are good with each other so that's completely fine for both of us.

    @adrum - thanks for your comments - haha there is another thread which is equally as long but covers a period of the last year that I am happily just forgetting ever happened :wink:

    To try and answer your question, yes, it has been hard. I still love her. I still want to make sure she's not lonely, that my kids have the chance to see their parents work together and get on with one another to make their lives as peaceful, normal and happy as possible. That takes it toll though.

    There are times when I visit (which I do most days) or stay for food/stay over in the spare room (that doesn't happen often) and it just feels like it used to. I sometimes get sad when I think about the change in my life and the fact that I really can't go back. We've both talked about that and although I do love her and on the occasion when I give her a hug I do feel warmth and caring love for her, I know that when I hold him or sleep with him it all feels totally normal and what I want. Waking next to him just feels the right thing. I try and imagine sleeping with my wife (I need to stop calling her that) again, and it's something that I find difficult to imagine. There is this massive 'thing' in my head now that stops me from thinking that would be something I could want to do. I don't know if it's just guilt or whether the whole experience of being with guys has finally removed any kind of physical desire for a female body I might have had.

    I try to imagine giving up this new found liberation I have. Of being able to look at guys who pass me and not worry about being 'discovered'; about not being able to give my guy a hug or kiss or sleep with him again. I try to think about just 'going back' to the life I had and how it would resolve a lot of the basic issues around finance, kids, and so on. But I know that even when I get down days (that doesn't happen that often now) going back would only make the sad feeling go away for a while, just to be replaced by a feeling of resentment that I'd have given up on something that I've known about since I was a teenager and just climbed 'back into the closet' again.

    Don't get me wrong - there were days where I didn't think I could get out of bed I felt so directionless and at sea with what to do once I'd left. The guilt, the fear of being alone, the feeling of rejection by the guy I trusted and thought cared enough for me. But I'm totally open to those who matter, open to those who ask or might need to know and am actually not that bothered about anyone else knowing too. If my guy wants a kiss as he's heading off to work, then he get's one. If that's at the roadside before he gets in his car, then that's fine with me. I spent too many years feeling like how I felt was just a phase, that I'd never be in a position to do anything about how I felt, how I felt incomplete.

    I like living on my own - most of the time - it's quite nice to get back home and have the place to myself, just getting on with things or out visiting friends, or spending time with my boyfriend.

    Do I have regrets? That's a difficult one. In some ways, knowing how much I enjoy being with a guy and how much it just feels 'right' I wish I'd done this much earlier. But, doing it earlier would mean not having my kids or having spent the time I did with my wife. It's a choice I can't really make now. Do I regret leaving? I regret allowing myself to be weak with the guy who triggered all of this. But I also know that without that energising rush of feeling he gave me that confirmed I really did have feelings for guys and that the one standing in front of me felt the same way, there's no way I would've left on a 'thought' that being gay was real. I would've struggled on feeling incomplete and unhappy but not really knowing why.

    But since it happened, and I couldn't then control how I felt and it all just moved inexorably, I look back and have to be a bit selfish. I have to look at how I feel now. Proud and happy to be out. I talk about my boyfriend to some of my work colleagues who know I'm gay, about what we did at the weekend or have planned. It feels good and I am totally relaxed about people knowing I'm gay.

    I feel proud of myself for weathering the storm of the last, almost year soon, but it's still hard. We've still to sort out finances and formal things. She and I still get on very well and we both have our kids best interests at heart. I also have hers too and we are still best friends who look out for each other.

    Was it the best decision? Again, it's really hard to say. It's impossible to forget something that you know about yourself. Having it confirmed to yourself that you're gay, enjoy having sex with guys, and the emotional attachment that can develop - it's pretty hard to then try and deny it and convince yourself that you can just get back into the hetero way of family life again and put it all down to a phase. Fine if I'd been 18 or 19 - but 40? The decision was really made for me, and looking at how I feel about myself now it has been the right decision.

    I think if I'd tried to go back and make it work I'd have resented myself for not having the balls to be me when I had the chance. Knowing the gay feelings were real would've just made me feel worse inside especially as I'd have confirmed it all to myself and then denied it again. I used to think that this was the one and only chance in my life to really be me. If I fluffed it, that's it. No changing your mind. I figured that if I stayed, that would have to be it forever. No messing around with my kids or her. In the end, I had to think about myself and believe that by doing that I could still make sure my family were okay in all of it.

    Sorry it's a long update! There's probably stuff I've missed, but promise it won't be as long before another update :slight_smile:
     
    #198 Highlander2, Sep 3, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  19. bottomsup

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    Man, thanks for the update, and well done finding your feet.
    You have answered what I would not ask anyone, and have answered fully.
    Glad you are well:slight_smile:
     
  20. Horizon55

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    Highlander,
    I just want to say how much I appreciated your thoughtful and extensive post. I have been wondering about you. As someone who is still very much on the leading edge of all of this it is truly helpful to hear the voices and stories of those who are coming out (no pun intended) 'the other side' with a bit of time behind them. This helps me understand one of my fears which is: will it actually be worse to come out in the sense of moving to a lonely still unrealized gay life at such a late phase of life for me (I'm 58). Your thoughtful, balanced telling of your experiences, both the positive and the challenging make me realize that life will go on, that yes there are challenges but that overall you feel you are in such a better place. I loved the line that you would have 'resented yourself for not having the balls to be you when you had the chance'. The chance, I'm coming to realize is now.

    You give me hope and, more importantly, courage. Thanks.