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The Big Talk With My Wife...

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by HereWeGo, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. HereWeGo

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    I started going to therapy 18 months ago to combat my depression. It's something I experienced on and off over the years and I decided when I was going through my next cycle I'd take a stab at it. I come from a family that never used therapy. It was a sign of weakness but I wanted to give it a shot anyway. My wife's family loves therapy... so why not?

    On the application was a line that said Do you have questions about your sexual orientation? I waited until the last second before turning it in to reply "Yes".

    To back up: My wife and I have been together for about 23 years, married for 17 of them. We fell in love right away and became each others' best friend. I lost my virginity to her and she's the only partner I've had sex with. And we had amazing sex for years!We have two beautiful children together. Over the years my wife and I maintained a great relationship, but I'm also really bad about communicating my feelings... almost emotionally stunted... things to work out in therapy, right?

    BUT... I noticed myself having an attraction to men since my early 30s. I loved the way the male body looked (and I often wished I looked as good as some of the men I saw). At some point, the attraction became more sexual in nature and I soon started fantasizing about men. I dabbled with gay porn on occasion, but not very often. I started buying sex toys and experimenting on different sexual desires... always in secret. My wife found the collection several years ago and question me about them. I was embarrassed and wrote it off as I was curious, and that was it.

    Through the years, my wife expressed anger that I harbored secrets. When confronted, I'd go silent and not say anything. Was I in denial?

    Once I got into therapy, I started exploring this part of myself right away. My attraction to men and my sexual secrets soon festered and every day I lived with them was a burden.

    I knew I had to share this with my wife to free myself, but I couldn't get the courage. Therapy after therapy session I rehashed the same things over and over. Did I desire to be with men? How can I express this to the love of my life?

    The last couple of months came to a boiling point with me and I needed to finally express my true feelings.

    Our sex life at home became bad the last couple of years. I had so much guilt I couldn't even perform in the bedroom sometimes. I wanted our bedroom to remain sacred. I didn't want this other part of my life to enter into it.

    Finally, last week, I told my wife over dinner... our first date night in forever. My hope was that if I showed that I remained loyal and faithful, that there would be some understanding. She asked if I'd ever been attracted to people I knew and I told her the truth, that I hadn't. I can't say she took things in stride, but she remained calm. She had more questions than anything because I was scant on details. We both teared up on occasion, but overall, the moment was quiet. We went to the movies and went home. But she did say she wanted to keep the dialogue going.

    On the surface, life went on sort of normal for the next 48 hours. I was giving her time to process everything before digging deeper.

    Two nights passed and when it was late I asked her what she thought about what I told her. She went through such a range of emotions. She asked for more information. She asked how often I fantasized about men and how often about women. I told her 50 / 50. She asked how often she was in those fantasies. I said when it came to women it was only her. So, she said, "you think about men and me. I don't know how to feel about that. It makes me feel sort of dyke-y." In truth, I only thought about her because I was in love with her.

    Her perception of the situation changed. The first conversation over dinner, she thought that maybe I harbored some sort of homosexual curiosity, something she recognized a lot of people have. She even said she can look at a girl and think she's hot... But what I expressed 48 hours later was much different... much darker. The range of emotions changed every 30 seconds. She said she surprisingly wasn't angry or mad at me, but then raged... absolutely raged... but then got quiet again. She downed a whole bottle of wine so that she could barely keep her eyes open, but it continued (she by no means has a drinking problem). She wished I'd cheated on her so she could just hate me.

    "I don't know what to do with this information" she said. "You're handing me this, but what are you saying? Are you gay? are you curious?" She then went on to tell me that after having been with a lot of guys, she finally fell for me, fell in love with me. She has no desire to ever be in love again. If something ever happens to me, that's it, she doesn't want to be with anybody else. She told me that when she masturbates and fantasizes, it's only about me. I felt so guilty. For me, having sex was part of sharing our love for each other, but for her it was so much more. For her it seemed like it was part of what being in love is about, being attracted to your partner and being turned on just thinking about him / her.

    I could go on and on. It's more complicated than what I'm expressing here. We finally went to bed around 3:30am. She was asleep before I got to the bed. She'd mentioned she wasn't even sure if she wanted to share a bed with me that night. I honored that by sleeping elsewhere. At 6:30, I heard her leave the house. I thought maybe she was off to an Al-Anon meeting. I texted her to please be careful. She'd gone to bed on a bottle of wine just three hours earlier and had little sleep. I said when you get to where you're going, take Uber home. No response. She finally got home three hours later.

    The kids were out of the house for awhile later that day and we talked again. More yelling, more confusion. I cried harder than I ever had in my life. She said she left that morning because she wanted to hurt me. She wanted me to be scared and worry. She wanted to be careless.

    She had so many self esteem issues, had just gotten a handle on them, and then I did this to her. She came from a pretty messed up home, lots of drama and I was the ONE place she could turn to for stability and support, and I'd just ripped the carpet out from under her. There are still questions. What to do with the information I gave her. I haven't come out and said I want to end our relationship. I don't want an emotional relationship with someone else. Yes, I think about physically being with guys, but are those just fantasies?

    It's confusing for me because it's not like this is a secret I kept all my life. I wasn't attracted to men as a teen or young adult either...I'd had a couple of fleeting relationships with girls in high school, but my wife was sort of my first everything.

    She's mad because she feels the therapist I'm seeing didn't work these issues out with me before coming clean. That I gave her this information too early. It's out there, but what to do with it?

    We already have an appointment to see a couples therapist to work on this, and other communication issues I have.

    I told her anything I've done to hurt her never came from a malicious place. She knows that. She knows and says I'm a good person.

    Our conversations have been civil since then, but I know she must be going through so much and has so many questions. She's seeking her own therapist as well.

    I read somewhere that once the toothpaste is out of the tube, there's no putting it back in. I feel like I squeezed too early. What if after all this, an opportunity came along for me to hook up with a guy and after all this I didn't like it? Am I going to complicate my relationship for that? It was made very clear that there is no room for me to explore with someone else to find out.

    I guess therapy will lead the way.

    This was really long, but it felt good to write this out. I'm not looking for advice, or acceptance or anything. I've seen other similar posts where the person coming out is being congratulated. I'm sure if my wife saw those congratulations, it would piss her off. It'd piss me off too. I'm okay if this is just a private bitch session that nobody sees, but thanks to whoever is out there for listening.
     
  2. driedroses

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    Hi. I want to thank you for being honest with your wife. Not congratulatory or whatever, but I've been where she is, and the honesty is the most important part. If you don't believe me, check out Straight Spouse Network forums where the common thread is - he/she will never actually admit they're gay. I was fortunate that my ex was honest with me and I know it takes a lot of strength to be honest. So, thanks, and kudos for the honesty. And you're right, the congratulations (for him) did piss me off.

    You said you're not asking for advice, but I would say the best advice I was given is - be gentle with yourself. That goes for both of you. In your case, forgive yourself as well and as quickly as you can. Forgiveness isn't carte blanche to go out and act on your impulses, but it is allowing yourself space to heal, which will in some ways allow her space to heal.

    When the grief comes (and it will), let it wash over you. Don't wallow in it, don't drown in it, but give yourself (and her) the space to grieve. Your lives are different now, and they will always be different. I believe this is the adultery we are told about - we have adulterated our picture, our view of our lives. That is neither good nor bad, it simply is.

    One more suggestion - go through therapy, find support groups (both of you, if possible), work with and for each other as much as possible, and come back to this in a year. I think you might be amazed at what you find.

    Let your wife know there's an anonymous woman on a message board who is thinking about her and wishing her all the strength she can muster in this difficult time. Best wishes to you both.
     
  3. SiennaFire

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    Hi HereWeGo,

    Welcome to EC :welcome:

    You'll discover a wonderful and supportive environment during your journey of self discovery. There are a number of married people in similar situations and who post regularly to LGBT Later in Life - Empty Closets - A safe online community for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people coming out. You may want to check it out.

    Here are two thoughts that came to mind after reading your post.

    When people come out to their straight spouse, it's typical for the straight spouse to have strong emotional reactions. Please understand that you've had many months of therapy to process your feelings. From your wife's perspective you dropped a bomb on her. It's typical for the straight spouse to go through the stages of grieving Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance as they process the news. Yelling and angry conversations are quite typical. Please realize she is likely coming from a place of hurt and anger is how the hurt gets expressed. It's important to keep the lines of communication open despite the anger. It's helpful that you are both seeking therapy.

    You said that you noticed yourself having an attraction to men since your early 30s but not earlier. This is not typical because most people who are gay or bisexual have some form of attraction for the same sex throughout their life, even if that attraction is misinterpreted. For example, I used to admire guys in high school with girl friends. Once I came out as gay I realized that I was attracted to the guy and the admiration piece was part of my denial. Have you discussed this topic with your therapist?

    HTH
     
    #3 SiennaFire, Feb 23, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  4. HereWeGo

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    driedroses,

    Thank you for your reply. It was nice to hear your perspective. I will keep in mind for us to be gentle with each other. It's so weird that we oscillate between intense conversations, and the next minute talking about day to day things as if nothing as happened.

    We spoke for another long time last night. There was no booze, no yelling, just talking, trying to figure shit out. It's hard because I don't know if I've figured out where I fit into all this. Am I gay? I've never used that word in therapy. I just discussed my attraction to men. And I still love my wife. I'm still attracted to my wife, like seriously love her female body. Pardon my bluntness, but touching her breasts and other private areas really still pleases me... but there's this itch as well.

    It's so hard for us to lay in bed together, but not snuggle. My wife is afraid to, because of where it will lead and make things more confusing for her. But laying alone, not having that tactile companionship was very hard for me.

    ...20 MINUTES LATER...

    Just got off the phone with my wife. We're going to The Center For Healthy Sex tonight, a special therapy place that deals specifically with our issue. We both discussed what we need from this process. I thanked my wife for being so civil through all this. We laughed a couple of times. This process is going to suck, but when she mentioned this place, I breathed a sigh of relief and I felt my body relax for the first time in days.

    And I just saved you from rehashing my saga as if I'm in some sort of online therapy.

    And SiennaFire, thank you for your response as well. We're both going through the five stages. My wife said she looked them up again yesterday and she's been going through all of them.

    And we both know that therapy is key.

    I saw my wife and seven year old daughter having a lovely moment before school this morning. I went into my closet (ha ha) to get some clothes and I just crumpled to the floor and started crying. My wife came in and asked me what was going on, and I told her that I don't want to break the family apart because of our affection, love and support for each other. I still want to wake up every morning and share our day together... all of us. We all get along so well and we're a relatively healthy family (despite the obvious). The idea of having to move out when I don't even know what I want, even if it is to explore some kind of physical thing with some guy just sounds like not worth losing the amazing life that I have.

    Thanks again for letting me share and taking the time to listen.
     
  5. HereWeGo

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    DAY SIX:

    My wife and I had our first couples therapy session today. We jumped straight in. I was scared being in a room where a therapist was asking me such direct questions, not in a threatening way, but I just felt vulnerable in front of my wife.

    The therapist was brilliant. She was kind, patient, nurturing, and validated the feelings that both my wife and I had. I expressed that I wanted to still be with my wife and family. We are a tight unit and the idea of not being with them is devastating to me. I don't want another emotional relationship. I have the relationship that I want. Thinking of dropping everything I have to pursue sex with a man just doesn't seem like an even trade. I said I feel like I have an itch to scratch, but I'm willing to not scratch in order to keep our family intact. I've never cheated on my wife. I told the therapist that if I hadn't been able to control my desires, I would have cheated like a lot of other men that are dealing with this issue.

    My wife expressed doubt about this, but the therapist assured us that other couples do find ways around this. Dealing with my sexual identity doesn't change the fact that we can't make our relationship work. She pointed out there are cross dressers who freely cross dress at home and maintain healthy relationships with their spouses. It's just that our relationship will be different. We'll have to dig deeper to figure out what that means.

    This process has really taken a toll on my wife's self esteem. She has a lot of fears because she feels like her future lies in my hands, that it's out of her control. I hate that I've taken that control away from her. It sucks knowing I've permanently altered someone's life trajectory. I feel personally to blame. But then I try to tell myself that this isn't my fault. For whatever reason, I took me until now to reach this point, to accept certain things about myself.

    My wife questioned my first therapist who helped me get to the point of discussing my sexuality with her. I brought that up to the couples therapist and she was abhorred at the way my personal therapist handled my situation. (Not worth going into details), but I've decided to let my personal therapist go and I'll find another.

    I don't know how people go through this without the aid of therapy. The fact that my wife and I jumped on board within a week of this was such a huge help to everything we're both going through.

    We're both so exhausted, getting about 4-5 hours of sleep each night. We each have humongous work deadlines looming over us... not the best week to start this process. But is there ever a good time? Both of us each sweated profusely in bed last night. I got up at 3am to check on my daughter who was crying, when I came back I touched my sheets and they were soaking wet. It felt gross to lay on them, but I was too tired to do anything about it.

    Sometimes things are so normal around our house: eating dinner together, watching my daughter's school play, listening to my wife's work issues... We go from normal activities to all of a sudden going fuck! Our lives are a mess right now, and then all the scary feelings come back.

    In spite of the five stages of grief, my wife has been exceptionally kind. We're both learning more about each other from this experience. It's a journey.

    Right now the house is quiet as we both go about our night routines, but once we both slow down and are lying in bed together, if we start talking about our situation, the mood can quickly change. Would actually be nice to avoid that for one night so we can try and get a good night sleep.

    This post doesn't feel very interesting, but I want to keep writing my process down. Even if my journey helps one person out there, then I feel like this I worth it.
     
  6. MaximusMike

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    I thought I'd just give my two cents of advice here. I think the biggest problem people who are married to/dating have with people such as you or I is that they fear that they can't give us something another gender can. As such, it may seem we're more likely to cheat on them. Give her this to consider: "All the time I've been with you, I've never had the inclination to cheat on you with another woman. Cheating is not something I ever want to do, even if it means the question of my true sexuality goes unanswered for the rest of my life." Cheating is not endemic to bi people, or even married men, anyone can cheat on their partner, regardless of orientation or marital status.

    I hope that was worthy advice, and good luck with it all!
     
  7. HereWeGo

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    Thanks for your input Maximus Mike

    I always hinged on my lack of cheating as proof of my loyalty. And you're right, she does fear that there is something that she can't give me, and it bothers her because she wants me to be completely fulfilled. If we're having sex and she knows she can't satisfy me 100%, then there's this thought that I'm not 100% hers. These are valid feelings she's told me.

    After we said we were going to sleep, we laid in bed talking for another two hours with the lights out. There was affection between us. She kissed me on the forehead, I massaged her shoulders which were so tight and we held hands. My poor wife is so stressed out, she's been having physical reactions like uncontrollable shaking and a tight stomach. And she's been sooo horny. She said she's been dripping for days. In all of our years of marriage we never discussed the fact that each of us masturbate. She was embarrassed to tell me, but she finally said she's been having to do it a lot these past few days just to release the pressure. Our therapist said it's nor surprising that she's so horny because of the stress. She was so afraid I'd judge her for doing that. I assured her I didn't and was glad she shared. It was interesting to hear her feel so vulnerable, when I've been the one feeling that way.

    She said there's a question she was afraid to ask me. I said Uh Oh, I hate it when you lead with something like that. Was she digging deeper? Was she asking about things I hadn't yet figured out? I finally told her to go ahead and she said it was perfectly fine if I wasn't ready to answer. She wanted to know whether I fantasize about giving or receiving. I asked her why this was important to know, and she really had a hard time answering. For the first time, I felt like she didn't have the words to tell me when I'm usually the doe in headlights. I let her off the hook and finally told her that it was both. She was silent for a moment, and then finally explained. If I was just receiving, then she could chalk things up as I was trying to explore the idea of being physically penetrated, trying to hit my P-Spot, but wanting to give meant that there was something more. It wasn't just about finding a way to experience something that feels good.

    I expressed my appreciation of how kind she's been through all this. She said there are things she wants to rage about and be angry about, but she's trying to control her emotions to stay strong for me. I said her emotions are important too, and it's not fair for her to keep them pent up. I know that any anger she has is not directed personally at me. She's angry about the situation and that her life has suddenly spiraled out of control. She's such a good, wonderful woman and is handling this with more maturity than I could have ever imagined. I feel so lucky that despite all the upheaval and shitty mess that this has caused, that she is my partner to help me through this journey.

    So another short night sleep.... Big deadlines at work today... HUGE deadlines that I've had to put on hold. Hopefully I can focus on that for awhile...

    If there's anyone still out there reading this post, thanks for listening.
     
    #7 HereWeGo, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  8. HereWeGo

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    DAY EIGHT:

    Last night was really tough. I had to work late and didn't have a chance to connect with my wife all day to check in on her (minus a couple of texts). On top of that our daughter was sick and coughed all night.

    We barely got the kids to bed at 9:30 and I was already sobbing in the kitchen. I felt like we had to hide the tears because the kids hadn't fallen asleep yet and we didn't want them to know what was going on.

    We finally found a private place where we wept and wept and wept from so much pain. The main topic last night was about all the stuff that this situation churned up in my wife. We talked about her difficult childhood with her parents, being emotionally abused. Her dad always calling her out on her weight. "If you were thing you could have anything..." We talked about the series of boyfriends she had that were both emotionally and physically abusive. Finally I came into her life and all the drama stopped. I was the exception to the rule in her life, and that rule remained unchanged for more than 20 years. And now this horrible thing has happened to her and now she's back to never having someone who's rejected her. I think the number one reason why I didn't bring up this situation with her earlier was because I knew this would shoot down her self esteem into a bottomless pit. By keeping my secret, I was protecting her from her horrific past. Her life with me allowed her to shut the door on all these awful incidents and now she is facing them all head on. Most of my crying is watching her go through this process. And yet she tries to remain stoic and comfort me. She needs to take care of herself as much as I need to try and take care of me.

    She got to a scary point where she was numb, repeating herself... the same thing she did a few nights ago that led her to do something reckless and put herself in danger.

    Then we pulled out of it, and we became affectionate, holding each other on the couch. Being tactile is such an important part of our relationship. It felt like a nice place to end the night. I'd pulled her out of that scary place.

    Then she asked me to kiss her. I kissed her gently on the lips. The kisses grew more intense. Soon it was the most passionate kissing we'd had in years. I was so turned on, and so was she. We kept all our clothes on, but touched each other. I hadn't wanted her this intensely in a long time. I wanted to rip off all my clothes and jump her.

    I questioned out loud if this was a safe thing to be doing. Would this cause more confusion for us after the fact? She asked me to seduce her. I told her things she wanted to hear. But all of a sudden, long into our session, I instantly went flaccid. My head took over. Is this safe? I'm I creating a false sense of security? Is this ultimate denial? She went to touch my flaccid member. I knew the second she discovered it that it'd be over for me. I'd become way to self conscience of the situation... the same scenario that happened in our bedroom over the last year while I was addressing these feelings in therapy.

    I said we had to stop and instantly she went back to that dark place. I'd failed her. I felt like this was a test and I failed. So four hours after we started our conversation, we were back to square one.

    Once again, it was three in the morning. We were going to have another night of four hours sleep. And on top of that I had a sick kid coughing all night in my bed. I have looming deadlines that may cost me my job if I don't focus.

    My wife found a therapist and is at her appointment now. It pains me to see her in so much pain. What a horrible place to be in. So sad.
     
  9. nerdbrain

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    Wow, your story is truly heartbreaking.

    I can identify a lot with many aspects of it -- the warm and loving relationship, the incredible guilt about hurting someone you love, and the sudden self-consciousness during sex. And the feeling of failure.

    The main piece of advice I can give you is to try to take care of yourself. This is going to be an extremely stressful and exhausting time. If there is any way you can leave your child with relatives for a day or two and get some real rest, do it. If there is anything you can delegate or postpone at work, do it. If you can go for a massage/sauna or some other relaxing service, do it. If you don't carve out some time to rest, you're not going to be able to handle it.

    A few other observations.

    It sounds like your wife is truly reliant upon you for her self esteem -- that's why you feel like you're pulling the rug out. But her situation is rather unhealthy to begin with. It's not really mature to rely on someone else for self-esteem; it's more of a codependent thing. Those are her own issues that she obviously came into the relationship with, and they aren't your fault (although obviously the current situation is exacerbating them).

    Her horniness and your sudden passionate encounter are not unusual. I've read that, paradoxically, it's common for couples going through this process to feel much more intimate all of a sudden. The reason is that by sharing your secret, you are suddenly being much more intimate and vulnerable than you ever have before, and are experiencing a newfound (if temporary) closeness.

    I would echo SiennaFire's comment that it's fairly unusual to have no inkling at all that you might be gay before age 30. It's possible that you've repressed some of those thoughts, or perhaps misinterpreted them. Something to think about.

    Anyway, best wishes to you and your family. I hope you are able to find some peace.
     
  10. Choirboy

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    HereWeGo, despite the emotions and struggles you're going through, I have to tell you I'm a little jealous of the way things are going between you and your wife. The love between the two of you comes through loud and clear, and I admire the way the two of you are working through this in a caring, respectful way. I came out to my wife after 20 years of marriage and 2 kids, like you, having never been unfaithful to her, but realizing that things had to be faced. But our marriage was never much of a joint venture, though, and had we been able to work together both before AND after my coming out, things could have been very different.

    You've already figured out that this isn't an easy process, and where things end up is anyone's guess. But the fact that the two of you are working so hard to navigate through this is a beautiful and healthy thing. I'm genuinely impressed. Take care. It will not be difficult and painful forever.
     
  11. JohnnyWisdom

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    HereWeGo, I just want to say that I'm both reading and empathizing with you. Please keep writing. The intimacy issues happened for me, too, with my wife becoming very horny after I came out to her and then me not being able to get out of my head and perform.

    This is a process. It doesn't happen quickly or easily, but it does get better. Take care of yourself first. That's the first thing my therapist told me - just like oxygen masks on a plane - you put on yours first before helping anyone else. It has served me well.
     
    #11 JohnnyWisdom, Feb 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  12. TAXODIUM

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    Wow. Just wow. This is almost a mirror image of my story... wife's self-esteem issues, her complete reliance on me, the sudden, urgent need for intimacy, the fear of leading her into a false sense of security. Just. Wow.
     
  13. SiennaFire

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    Hi HereWeGo,

    I've read your posts and tried to digest them to get an understanding of the gestalt of what's going on. The following stand out in my mind.

    First, it's great that you are pursuing couples therapy and sharing your thoughts here. When I came out as gay to my wife, she wasn't as open to therapy as your wife, so EC was an important source of support for me before I found support in real life through gay support groups and gay friends. I found that posting to EC was helpful in clarifying my thought process. I'd encourage you to continue with couples therapy and posting your thoughts here. Depending on your comfort level, you may even want to seek out support groups for bisexual men.

    Second, have you formed an opinion on your sexual orientation? Based on what you've posted, I'm assuming that you are 50/50 straight/gay, which implies that you are a (Kinsey 3) bisexual. The post presumes you are Kinsey 3.

    Third, it seems to me that based on your wife's reaction, she is reacting as if you've come out as gay and are on the path towards separation, even though you identify as bisexual. I suspect that since you came out to her as questioning rather than as bisexual, she is assuming the worst. Part of her reaction is probably related to her difficult childhood and her reliance on you as well. I wanted to share this observation and get your thoughts. You want to reaffirm to your wife that you are devoted to her and plan to remain monogamous with her. It's probably best to enlist the help of your therapist to reinforce this as well.

    Fourth, regarding the intimacy with your wife, it's quite common for there to be increased sexual desire after coming out. If you had come out as gay, then I agree that being intimate with your wife is potentially a mixed message. Since you want to stay monogamous with her, it makes sense to be intimate with your wife. If you continue to feel conflicting emotions about being intimate with your wife, perhaps it's best to discuss these with your therapist.

    Fifth, it's important to get enough rest to function. Try to strike a balance between keeping open communication with your wife and getting enough rest.

    You are not alone and your friends here on EC can help you navigate these waters, so continue to post and share your thoughts.

    (&&&)
     
    #13 SiennaFire, Feb 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  14. HereWeGo

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    DAY NINE

    Thank you all who replied and offered your experiences, advice and observations. Sienna Fire, TAXODIUM, JohnnyWisdom, Choirboy and nerdbrain, each one of your comments spoke to me in different ways. As much as I’m using this post as an outlet for me, I selfishly appreciate that there are others out there listening to my story.

    Funny how different things can be after 24 hours. Soon after my last post, my wife went and saw her new therapist. She knows she has codependency issues and that's one of many reasons why she went to see someone right away. Most of the self-esteem issues have to do with her weight. She is extremely heavy. I suppose obese is a better word, although that never bothered me much with the exception that I worry about her health. It’s something she’ been dealing with her whole life. She wishes that if she were more thin and beautiful that it would help our situation. I knew this was going to be a big problem when coming out and probably a big reason why it took me longer than it did. I wanted to protect her self-esteem.

    She'll be seeing the therapist twice a week for a while. Just like I need to carve time out for myself to figure things out, she needs to carve time out for herself as well. She's really taken to meditation and meditation yoga. She wants to try a 30-day yoga challenge. There's a meditation app called Head Space which she loves. I tried it for the first time last night, but I was so tired that I fell asleep three minutes into the session.

    She acknowledged that what happened two nights ago was pushing it and that I need my space to figure things out. She was extremely apologetic.

    I've been given more space the last 48 hours and its weird how things have felt more "normal". When I came home from work last night at 9pm, we talked about our situation for a bit, but not too deeply. We both realized we needed a break from the talk. We watched John Oliver on TV... the first time we'd watched any TV since this all started. We both needed to laugh. It was nice to be on the couch together doing something that was part of our regular routine. Afterward, we both went to bed. I slept for about eight hours, the most rest I'd had in days. Her… not so much.

    Today was crazy family stuff, splitting up the kids to tackle birthday parties, baseball, etc. We've been two ships passing in the night. She's at a concert with a friend tonight, who knows about our situation... One of two people she's confided in... and I'm okay with that.

    Meanwhile, I went to a new therapist today, who graciously offered to come in on Saturday because he knew I needed help. We addressed a lot of questions I've been having over the past few days.

    I've spent the last couple of days thinking about how I don't have clarity on my own situation and questions about my own sexuality. I've never used the "G" word and when I spoke with my wife that first night, I talked about my "attraction to men". My wife questions what that means. She ponders that because I'm unsure about things, perhaps this is some sort of "fetish" (a word that she acknowledges she's using in the wrong context), or maybe these are just fantasies and nothing more. I've been following along, not accepting those suggestions necessarily, but thinking, maybe I don’t really want to BE with men, but that this is all just in my head. After all, I’ve never had sex with a man. Maybe I’d find out it’s not my thing.

    I’ve let her know that I want to remain monogamous and keep things in the bedroom, but I’m realizing that I’m being a little altruistic. The therapist today asked: if I could have any woman, the most beautiful woman in the world would I want her, and I realized that I wouldn’t. If there was a hot chick and a hot guy walking down the street, I’m going to want to bone the guy every single time. When it comes to porn, I only watch two dudes go at it. I mean, it doesn’t get much more fucking gay than that, does it?

    Even though I opened up to my wife, I still realize that I’m in denial about my true situation. I’m afraid to say that “G” word, because it erases all hope. It no longer allows us to share a bed together, be intimate and share a life together. We can no longer wake up as a family, get the kids ready for school together, come home and have dinner together, etc. etc. I want to retain every single part of our relationship except for the sex. My wife made it clear from day one that she can’t share her bed with anybody. She admits that she would be extremely jealous. I certainly don’t blame her. She keeps mentioned she can’t have a threesome, which is so weird, because I have no desire for that anyway.

    My wife is a very sexual being. I feel so fortunate that she is. Sex over the years has been incredible because of it. The number of times we’ve had simultaneous orgasms are too many to count. I still love kissing and suckling her breasts, and yes even feeling her become wet at my touch.

    I feel like we’ve both been creating this false narrative of hope… writing my situation off as a fetish, obsession, fantasy… whatever we’ve been calling it. She’s even said she’s afraid her hopes have allowed me to not express my true feelings. In truth, her hopes created doubt in me, but now that the shock of all this has subsided, I realize the truth is staring me in the face. At the same time, my wife says I need to find my true self. As much as she doesn’t want to hear it, she says I need to find my true path.

    My new therapist suggested I bring this up at our next couples therapy session on Wednesday. Bring it up early on so we have the full 90 minutes to talk about it. Explain that I held back because the situation was confusing, that I had a fear of losing her and everything else that I mentioned. Of course the appointment is the same day my daughter turns seven. I don’t know how tainted I want to make that occasion. Maybe I should hold off a week. But I have to acknowledge who I am in that therapy session. I need to tell my wife that I love her, I want to be with her, I want to share my life with her, but I’m gay.

    I am gay.
     
    #14 HereWeGo, Feb 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  15. Forhim

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    HereWeGo,

    Thanks so much for posting this. I am also gay and married, just came out to my mom, brother and dad. My dad was easy because it was via phone call since he lives in another state. My mom and brother where my first face to face. I need to tell my wife next, I am trying to work through the what ifs in case it turns bad. I have prepared for the worst and hoping for the best.

    You story inspired me to seek out a therapist to work through this. I know my wife also has self esteem issues that she must work through, but she has to make the journey, I know I can't make her or would not benefit her personally. I look forward to reading more of your post.
     
  16. Hats

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    HereWeGo, what a wretched and heartbreaking situation this is for both of you. Your words are so raw and frank and honest. I don't think I can imagine what all that pain and anxiety must feel like, but you have my full sympathy nonetheless.

    Please don't blame yourself. About four years ago, I started to question my own sexuality for the first time, and whilst I wrestled with my feelings, wrestled with what various outcomes would mean, and asked myself many times, "Why now?" I came to realise that life is a bit like a pressure cooker in some respects. At the time I'd been living in a new country on the other side of the world away from most of my family for a couple of years and I'd started to unwind a bit and allow myself some freedom to be myself, and it was only when this happened, when the pressure reduced, that various things, some of which I knew about and other things I wasn't even aware of, started to surface. I have the impression you feel like you've been lying to your wife. I don't think you have. I think it's just that you didn't know how far the rabbit hole extended because you'd never been in a position to become aware of the rabbit hole in the first place, if that makes sense. For what it's worth you sound bisexual rather than gay to me, on the basis that I don't understand how you can have all the feelings for your wife that you evidently do and be gay at the same time. However, I'm relatively new to all of this and I could be completely wrong. You know yourself better than I do.

    Finally, thank you for going about this in the way you have. You strike me as a good man with integrity who is only trying to do the right thing, and you've been incredibly kind and fair to your wife even if it appears to have done little to mitigate the hurt she feels. Thank you for being a good man. I take my hat off to you.

    Hats
     
  17. SiennaFire

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    Your post resonated with me because it reminded me of a poem that I wrote around the time I came out, when I was still dancing around the "G" word myself http://emptyclosets.com/forum/2679456-post8.html

    It takes a lot of courage to come out as gay at midlife, to step outside the expectations put in front of you by society, church, family, or friends to be "normal". While it may not be entirely clear to you today, you have taken large step towards authenticity by embracing the "G" word, to begin the process of discovering the real you. You will need time to get comfortable with this new identify and to give yourself permission to be fully gay.

    Given this new insight about yourself, you'll need to figure out for yourself if you still want to stay married. You certainly can decide to remain married and enjoy a life as a family together without sexual intimacy. Is this really the life you wish to live? Are you living this way for yourself or because you learned earlier in life this is how you should live? Complicating this decision is that over time you will experience hightened desires and curiousity about sex with other men as you embrace and get comfortable with your sexuality. Denial of this fundamental part of yourself will be the price that you pay to maintain the status quo. Joe Kort's book may be useful reading as you figure this out (see below for the book reference).

    It's quite common for wives in a mixed-orientation marriage to pick up clues that their husband is gay. At some level it's quite possible that your wife already knows that you are gay, and her reaction to your coming corroborates that to a certain extent. Therefore the news might not be as shocking to her as you think.

    Here are some books that have helped me after coming out. You seem like you would benefit from these as well.

    10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real Love by Joe Kort is a great book. The book helps you to understand yourself as a gay man and how this impacts your relationships. It also includes material about mixed-orientation marriages, which is immediately applicable to your situation.

    The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs is another great book to help you make sense of the shame that you may feel as a gay man, common coping strategies gay men employ, and how to live an authentic life. It was a real eye opener for me as it helped me understand some of the things I was doing while in denial/the closet.
     
    #17 SiennaFire, Feb 28, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  18. Mr B

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    In my opinion, someone who gets turned on by the thought of having sexual interactions with someone of the same sex is gay, period. This is mostly biologically determined from birth by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because of society's heteronormativity, people who are born gay, 'learn' to behave and live in a heterossexual manner. The side effect is that they gradually lose touch with their inner self and their feelings. However, at some point in their lives, that side of their personality that remained repressed to the point of vanishing from the conscious mind starts re-surfacing and it becames harder and harder to push it back down, eventually the pressure becomes to much to handle on your own and you have to come out to people around you. At the same time, you will be learning your true self while 'unlearning' the repressing patterns of thought and behaviours that were imposed on you during your childhood by society. There will be collateral damage, but its not your fault, its society's fault. We've been terribly let down by family, church, schools, etc... during our childhood by being told that there are right and 'wrong' feelings in regard to sexual attraction and by their tacit expectations of we eventually fulfilling our gender roles. As a young person, all you want is approval, to make your parents proud. That's how gay people gets into the whole mess in the first place! Now, at thirty or fourty years old, we are finally strong enough to stand up for our feelings. You only live once and we are playing in the second half, every minute is precious. People on their deathbeds generally don't regret things they have done, what really bothers them is what they did NOT do. Whats the point of living a life for the others? People will judge you and hate for any reason. In the end they will not be there on your last hour, when you look back and think about what you have missed out just for fear of being of being judged.
     
  19. Chip

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    Um, wow. This completely ignores the voluminous body of knowledge about bisexuality, which is extremely well documented and not remotely controversial.


    If you're talking about sexual attraction and desire, I know of nothing in the research literature to support this view.

    I do, in principle, agree with the idea that many men who are gay end up heterosexually married because of societal pressures. Likewise, there are people who are genuinely bisexual who get married and find, later that it isn't working for them.

    Please be careful with the statements you make because they can be interpreted to be devaluing of the place of bisexual people in society.
     
  20. I'mStillStanding

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    This thread is like a life raft. I just kinda told my mom (I said I think I'm gay with the reasons) and actually told my sister I'm gay. I've not told my wife and I've thought about it all day. But reading about your wife wondering if you were saying you're gay or curious, I'm going to wait to get some therapy under my belt so I'm ready to come out out before I start the dialog with her. Thanks for sharing!