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The Big Talk With My Wife...

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

  1. Carpe noctem 16

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    HereWeGo,

    Man oh man........ I read this whole thread all last night and let me tell you it gave me the chills. I have to thank you for what you're doing.

    I'm also married and have a babygirl. My daughter sleeps with us in bed and every morning she wakes up with a big smile when she opens her eyes and sees us. You cant put a price on that!!!

    I too have alot of issues with my mother. We really never had a good relationship. She never really showed me any affection as a kid. I was always never really good enough as a son for her. It didnt matter what i was doing in life, i never really got support from her. Instead she would criticize and just say things to hurt me. I was sexually assaulted by her husbannds brother as a kid. (Her husband is my stepfather) I have yet to receive an apology for that. Her husband cheated on her twice and had a child outside of marriage. However, she still believes anything he says. How can i love my mother? She could never protect me bc all she cared for was herself and how she looked to the rest of the world.

    My wife is also the best partner i've ever had. She's an amazing human being. She has showed me what unconditional love is and shes makes sure everybody is taking care off first. I've always wanted a family and now that i have one i'm not to sure if its going to remain that way.

    Reading your story has really given me an insight of what i have to prepare for. And im terrified! Thank you again for sharing your experience!
     
  2. TAXODIUM

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    I can say exactly the same thing about my wife. She is an amazing human being, loved and admired by everyone who knows her.

    The difficult thing in our situation is that she constantly comes back to these very points. What she has sacrificed for me and the kids, always putting us first before herself and how selfish it is for me now to decide that none of it means anything because I am gay. What about her? Why does she ultimately have no say in how the script of this horror movie is written? How unfair it is for her to have given everything only to be "cast off and unwanted."

    The guilt is suffocating.
     
  3. Carpe noctem 16

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    Taxodium ----- Thats exactly how i feel. She has done so much for me in so many ways and this is how i repay her? I cant see her suffer man that shit just breaks my heart. Sometimes i wonder if i should just put all this back in the closet and just continue on with my normal life??
     
  4. TAXODIUM

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    I wish EVERY SECOND OF EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY that I had NEVER, EVER told her. Once you tell her, you can't take it back. EVERYTHING shifts. It's been cataclysmic here.

    Before I told her, I did a pretty good job of bifurcating it. There was my straight life and my gay life. I was astride the two, with one metaphorical foot on each side. When you say it to yourself and then say it to HER, both of your feet move to the other side of the line. I am finding it almost insurmountably impossible to put one foot back on the other side, even though she is begging me to do so.

    But everyone's story is different and everyone's wife reacts differently. Just know I'm thinking about you and everybody else on here struggling with the same issues.
     
    #84 TAXODIUM, Mar 16, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  5. HereWeGo

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    Carpe noctem 16,

    I hope there's a point where my journey is not so scary, that there will be a turning of the tide. I hope that eventually there were be redemption in my decision to open up to my wife. I wish you the best at reaching the right decision for you. Regardless, know that you have the support of others who are in the same boat.

    TAXODIUM,
    I'm slowly... VERY slowly learning that we need to also take care of ourselves. It's also nice to have a couples therapist acknowledge that what I'm doing is not selfish. It's the opposite of selfish. I tried to protect my family as best I could. In the end we're dealing with something that nature handed us.

    Funny, I was asked that very question today. Considering where I am in this process, my response was surprising... read below.

    ---------- Post added 16th Mar 2016 at 05:17 PM ----------

    DAY TWENTY-SEVEN

    Just got out of couples therapy. What just happened? The session got extended to nearly two hours. I can’t make heads or tails of everything that transpired.

    We began with my wife saying she feels she dominates the sessions and she wanted to turn things over to me. I don’t think that’s true, but okay fine.

    So I started by explaining the wicker basket analogy I referenced in my previous post. I went through the labels on all my baskets: sexuality, marriage, work, dead grandma… The therapist asked which basket I wanted to pull down today. I told her I wanted to look through the one that encompasses my marriage and sexuality. “OK, let’s do that”, she said. “What do you see in the basket?”

    I was afraid to open it up. I was afraid to look at the contents. I went into a trance-like state. I didn’t look at my wife, and I didn’t even look at my therapist. My vision was soft-focused, looking beyond my therapist. “I have to acknowledge who I am,” I started slowly. “I have to acknowledge that I’m this thing that starts with the letter G.”

    “That you’re gay?” she asked. I nodded my head. “Can you say it? Can you tell that to your wife?”

    There was a long silence. Still looking across the room and yet to infinity I said quietly, “I’m gay.”

    And so it began. It was the first time I was able to confront my wife and express my sexuality in such a blunt way. I remained in my trance for most of the two-hour session. It was almost like someone had given me a truth serum and with quiet confidence, I answered all the questions that were lobbed my way by both wife and therapist. The questions were direct. They made me dig deep. They were scary, and yet I didn’t care. The weird thing is, I almost don’t remember a lot of what I said. It’s like the first time you skydive out of an airplane. Rarely can one actually remember the rush of the first 30 seconds of freefall. It’s only once the parachute deploys and you glide down to the ground that you can get a sense of what you’re doing. I’m only now pulling the ripcord to slow down and make sense of what happened in that room.

    I brought up the three components of love that my individual therapist mentioned: Sex, intimacy / emotion and nurturing / looking out for someone’s well-being. I even went so far as to tell them that I rate high on two of those three but I don’t have the capacity to be sexually intimate right now.

    I was silent for a long time. “Where did you go?” said the therapist (something she asks often in our sessions). “What are you thinking?”

    Again, a heavy silence before I spoke. “I’m thinking that my marriage is a piece of fine art on the wall at a museum. And I’ve taken that beautiful piece of art, and I’ve scribbled all over it. Then I took spray paint and graffitied all over it. Then I punched holes in it! And I yanked it off the wall! And I stomped on it!!! AND I PISSED ON IT! AND I SHIT ON IT!!!!!!!!!”

    Slowly, our therapist affirmed some things for me: that I didn’t ask for this and that I love my wife very much, and I kept this secret for so long to protect the one that I love. That what my wife and I have is a special bond that will last forever. We will always be best friends and be there for each other.

    My wife spoke. She said her mind was going down two paths. One is that all this has come up so rapidly. I’ve only had three sessions with my new personal therapist and was he qualified to be with me and maybe I need someone else because how could I go from saying I just had an interest in guys just a month ago and now I’m calling myself gay? I explained that the train is moving much faster than I ever anticipated. That I’m coming to terms with all this myself, but I’m learning to accept them.

    “What’s the other path?” the therapist asked.

    “That I still don’t know if he desires me… that he wants me. That he thinks I’m beautiful. If he says he’s into guys, can he still be attracted to me? Does he still want to be intimate with me?”

    I replied, “I hope I can be.”

    “But you’re not answering the question? I know you hope to! Do you still desire me?” she asked in frustration. I was so confused. I thought I WAS answering her. “I’ve asked this question over and over again since day one and I never get a straight answer!” She was yelling now, slamming her fist on the couch. “Do you still wish to be with me? Do you want me or are you done and want to fuck men and be through with me? Do you want to work on us? ” I think everyone on the floor heard that bit.

    “Yes,” I said “I do want to work on us.”

    “Finally! That’s what I’ve been wanting to hear the whole time!”

    And I finally understood. She wasn’t asking if I desired her in the sense that I lusted after her, but that I choose her over others. “If I didn’t desire you, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now,” I said. If I didn’t desire you, I would have cheated on you years ago. I’m here because I want to try and make this work!”

    She didn’t understand how up until six weeks ago we were having sex and then all of a sudden, I decide I can’t be intimate because I’m gay. I don’t know either. She went on to say what an important role sexual intimacy is in our relationship. Up until six weeks ago, she thought we had a healthy sex life. I could touch her breasts and she’d get warm and tingly. Then I’d touch her between her legs and a wave of excitement would shoot through her body and just when that seemed plenty on its own, I would enter her and we’d be one. She said this was the glue that made us whole. “Yes we have the kids together and we have our friendship, but if I have no shot at being physically intimate with you, then why am I here?”

    I told her I wish I could promise that we could have our sex life back. Right now I need to figure out some more things. She talks about feeling inadequate but I counter, “I’m the one who feels I’m inadequate for YOU! I can’t give you what YOU need, not the other way around!” My therapist asked if there was another word I could use that wasn’t so negative. I said I didn’t mean inadequate in a negative sense; I couldn’t think of a better word to use in its place. In short: I’m incapable of giving what my wife needs.

    But I felt like I got some clarity. I was presented the hard line in our relationship. If my wife and I can’t be physically intimate, then there’s not room for me in a marriage.

    I suppose we could talk about open relationships and other things, but that all seems beside the point and I don’t think either of us wants that.

    My wife said she felt so overwhelmed taking care of everyone in her life, and now looking out for me seems an added burden. Our therapist corrected her. “He’s a big boy. He can take care of himself. Can’t you?” I nodded. “You need to take care of you. Work on your meditation and yoga and whatever else you need.” There was more validation about my wife’s feelings, that she’s entitled to be mad, upset, get angry whatever. But she needs to take care of herself, and work on her own self-validation. My lack of interest in sex with her has nothing to do with her. That’s my issue, not hers.

    My wife brought up the fact that revealing my secret was so important that I was willing to sacrifice our marriage and our childrens’ lives for it. I warned that what I was about to say was going to sound bad. “The last month has been the most painful, horrible month of my life. I don’t wish it on anybody… the pain, the tears, the anguish…. BUT, living a secret, denying who I am, and having that buzz in my head every hour of every day for YEARS was torture.”

    My therapist looked at me and asked, “If your wife said there was a way you could go back in time and take back everything you said and she’d never know about your secret and you continued to live with that secret until the day you died, would you?”

    I answered, “No.”

    And that was more or less it. We pretty much left our situation at the door. As we walked to our vehicles, she got an email from her client saying she was fired. Talk about adding insult to injury.

    “I’m not like you,” she said. “I can’t compartmentalize. I have to work at something and work at something until I figure it out and get to the next level. AND I have to pick up the kids after school, AND I have to get them snacks, AND I have to take our son to his baseball game where his little sister is going to be bored for two hours, AND our daughter has to make a fucking leprechaun trap for school tomorrow and I’m no good at that shit AND the baseball game is going to get over at seven o’clock so I have to take them out and feed them AND my other client is going to fire me because there’s not time for me to get work done AND I need to find time to do yoga so I can process all this because our therapist says I need to find time for me AND I’m trying to run a non-profit.”

    “Look,” I replied, “I know this is going to sound bad. But after today’s therapy session, I feel like I don’t have anything else to say. I’ll just be rehashing stuff.”

    “You don’t rehash. I rehash,” she said.

    “The point is, there’s no use in staying up late, spending hours talking about things if we’re going in circles. Use that time more productively.”

    “I don’t know how you can compartmentalize like you do.”

    “I have to focus on one thing for a while, do what I can, then work on the next thing. Because if I try to work on everything at once, I’ll never get anything done.”

    We said our goodbyes. No “I love yous”… no hugs… I told her to check in with me later and let me know how things were going with her afternoon.

    I took my marriage and sexuality, wrapped it up gently, lifted it up high over my head and slid it gently back onto the shelf. I pulled down the basket that said “work” and started in.
     
  6. TAXODIUM

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    HereWeGo wrote: “Do you still wish to be with me? Do you want me or are you done and want to fuck men and be through with me? Do you want to work on us? ”

    First of all, let me compliment you on the way you write and express yourself. Every word you use conveys so many levels of emotion.

    Anyway, this is where my wife is. She deeply craves the physical intimacy as a pathway back to "us" and I can't get her to understand that we each need to work on ourselves *individually* if there is to be an "us." She is digging her heels in and reluctant to do so, I think because she knows it will mean accepting that I am gay and that the "us" that she wants rediscover likely doesn't exist anymore. Everything has changed.

    One of the things that I have really been able to articulate is that we have two things going on: 1) pre-existing issues in the marriage that we've never really dealt with and 2) my orientation. They are both separate and entwined.

    The marriage issues were somewhat manageable until I fell in love with a guy, lost him, went into a deep depression (which she recognized) and BAM the marriage issues and my orientation converged in an apocalyptic apex.
    I have said as much in a joint therapy session with her.

    She constantly tells me that she knows what a struggle this if for me, wants reassurance that I know she knows I am sacrificing myself for her. I know she is devastated. We've been together for 26 years. But at the same time, I almost want to scream WTF you know you're killing me and I'm killing you and neither of us is really happy even though we love each other so why can't we be grown ups and just do the right thing for each other and live separate lives while we're both young enough to try to find some peace and happiness and fulfilling love?! Co-dependency is a powerful and addictive drug...
     
    #86 TAXODIUM, Mar 16, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  7. HereWeGo

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    I laughed at that last line because it's so true (and it reminds me of Rick James' cocaine line on the Dave Chappelle show).

    I feel like I'm hardly the one that should be dispensing advice after being here for only a month and I'm hardly out of the forest with my own issues. If you're both really unhappy, maybe you fall on your sword to save both of you... if you truly know that your wife would be happier outside of the relationship. I know, I know, easier said than done.

    My perspective changes from day to day on things. Today, I feel like I laid myself bare. My wife knows me warts and all. She's setting the parameters to make our marriage work on her end. (For her it's having sexual intimacy). I need to set the parameters that work for me. (I don't know what they are yet). Hopefully, the two sides overlap somewhere and we can find a happy medium. It won't be the same as it was for either of us... ever... even if I went back to denial.

    Regarding advice: I hope you can ignore if it's totally off base. When I read through responses to my posts and people express there thoughts, some I write off as "not for me", but sometimes.... things stick and I see something about my situation I hadn't considered.

    I know you're going through a tough time right now and I wish you the best. I hope you get to a place of peace some day. Life is too short not to. Knowing that there are other people in the world going through the same thing is strangely comforting. (*hug*)
     
  8. demidiluvian

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    I'm trying (and retrying) to reply, but not having much luck. I think this is hitting home in a few unpleasant ways for me tonight. So I'll just shoot from the hip & see what happens.

    I, too, felt tortured about my sexuality. It was worst last year, and I think I understand now that was because I finally, really believed it was true.
    My wife and I are not in love. Perhaps we were once, and while there is still some care and concern, we are not in love.
    She was pretty much indifferent when I told her I was gay. We talked for a while, but here's a good summary "Ok, but why do you all of a sudden think you're gay when you said you were bi before?" "I feel like I'm gay, I don't know how I can better explain it." "Well, ok, I really don't have a problem with it. Look, it's good to talk, but I really want to read a bit before bed."
    I can see that the love in your marriage is magnifying your grief. But I have to say, I still wish I had the love. It is probably the reason why I am working so hard on this now. I need to find my way to love.
    I also have a child. I'm also doing this for him. I want him to see that someone can follow their heart's truth. I also want him to see me (and his mother, for that matter) as someone with love in their life.

    Ok. Thanks for everything you're saying. It's helping me. It may not be my experience, but it helps give me a perspective I couldn't have had otherwise. Fingers crossed for some peace in your life.
     
  9. Nickw

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    Herewego

    I am in your wife's place in my relationship with my wife. I just realized in reading your Beautiful prose that I am losing my wife, not to a woman...I wish...but to nothing. I fear, now, that she is asexual. The end result may be the same. I am demanding an intimacy she cannot provide no matter how hard she is trying for me.

    Now, I am starting to see why I started seeking intimacy outside the marriage. Crap!
     
  10. HereWeGo

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    Things my wife is screaming at me right now from across the house. I'm so scared right now. I'm shaking:

    Poor fucking baby. God damn right you blew something up. You fucking killed it.

    You said everything wrong today.

    Selfish asshole.

    How dare you do this to me... Your kids.

    I was a sucker. You're a liar!

    I'm not fighting for anything. You're not even fucking trying!

    You're not even fucking trying.

    Compartmentalize, my ass!

    I can't believe this is my life. I gave you fucking everything. I'm done.
     
  11. demidiluvian

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    Oof. My thoughts are with you, fwiw.
     
  12. HereWeGo

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    OK... I really regret that last post an hour later. We were going through the stages of grief here. She was reflecting on things that were said in therapy today and she was spinning. When she came up stairs and confronted me and stomped and said mean things I said quietly that I wasn't going to engage while she berated me.

    Things cooled down soon enough and now we are both back to crying and being numb.

    Lesson learned: I can't run to EC every time something happens in the heat of the moment. I need to digest and then share.

    And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
     
  13. TravelerMe

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    People grieve in different ways; if you need to hash it out in print go for it.

    Hugs to you both.
     
  14. amomwhoknows

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    Gently, when I read this last night, I could feel the stress radiating off your wife. I am curious what you did to help her with anything above. You say you agree with the therapist in your wife needing to do self-care, but I can kind of understand the middle of the night blow ups/anxiety attacks etc. And as I think you know there is much danger in those late night blow ups because of the general exhaustion that accompanies them. I am guessing, though, that right now in those few moments of quiet is the only time she can really face what you two are going through. And then the anger and the grief builds.

    She doesn't get any other opportunity, work, kids, housework, when is she suppose to do this self care?

    I am certainly not suggesting that you aren't an involved parent and helpful husband, but rather than totally compartmentalizing perhaps you should have heard her and said, at a minimum, what can I do to help or better yet taken something on so she could go to Yoga.

    She may want to consider a sleep aide simply to reset her body clock. I imagine at this point it is totally out of whack, to the point if she can even unwind to try and get to sleep her body is likely fighting those efforts.
     
    #94 amomwhoknows, Mar 17, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  15. HereWeGo

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    This morning I was really hurting from last night's behavior. Even if what she said was out of anger, she must really be thinking those things. But you made a very good observation and something I hadn't thought of. I'm glad you pointed it out and put things in perspective. I'm trying my best to be there for her. And we do put our arms around each other. (And yes she is taking something to help her sleep.)
     
  16. Omla

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    Your story is fascinating to me!
     
  17. TAXODIUM

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    My heart goes out to you and to her.

    This is almost word for word what I have experienced during many late night breakdowns. I try to remain calm, comfort her, but sometimes she will leave or I will leave for a bit to go for a for drive. It usually ends with me lying in a ball on the floor or curled up in the bathtub feeling very self-destructive for causing her this pain.
     
  18. Omla

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    Yours is the first post on the site that explores the idea that telling all can be a bad idea...
    I believe in some cases that might be true....

    Maybe there are are lots of people with small to large bisexual aspects that feel it's not worth sharing... I know Edith on downton abbey shared her baby's true identity,(pls ignore the reference if you don't know the show), but is the truth always the best way?
    I do believe in occassionally cheating heterosexually and not telling (a very slightly open monogamy), though I haven't done it.
     
  19. HereWeGo

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    No big long epic post tonight. I just wanted to acknowledge that it was one month ago tonight that I came out to my wife. It feels like the longest month of my life, and it happened in February so it's only been 29 days (leap year).

    I feel like things are far from being resolved. I'm exhausted, emotionally spent and I'm really fucking tired of buying Kleenex!

    But I want to give a shout out to the EC community and the handful of people who have reached out to me over the past few weeks. Your kind words, encouragement, advice and even the reality checks have kept me going. This would have been such an isolating, lonely and more torturous journey without you. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you... thank you... thank you!
     
  20. I'mStillStanding

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    I've followed your journey, and can't even begin to describe the impact it had made on me. This is night one of mine and my wife's journey. And I'm petrified. Having you share your story gives me hope. I need that now more than anything, thanks for that.