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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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    DAY THIRTY-EIGHT

    The days go by. I’ve lost all sense of time. Has it been a day since I first came out to my wife, or has it been ten thousand?

    I came home from work about a week and a half ago. I walked in the front door excited to be greeted by my family. My little girl ran over and gave my legs a tight squeeze. My wife happened to be by the front door. Instinctually, I leaned over to kiss her, but at the last second pulled away. We both instantly felt the awkwardness in the room. We moved on, starting the bedtime routine and settling the kids down. When the house was quiet, I went to the kitchen to make myself a late dinner. My wife appeared in the doorway. “You know, you don’t have to be afraid to kiss me. I’ll tell you if you’re crossing a boundary.” I told her I wanted to kiss her very much. And we did. We spent the next few nights snuggling. Things still felt weird, but I loved her warmth up against my body as I spooned her. “The problem with you spooning me,” she said, “is that I get so horny when you’re up against me.”

    Next it’s a Friday night, a week ago. My son needs to be dropped off at 3am to go on a Boy Scout trip to Bryce and Zion Canyons. I offer to take him at that most ungodly hour. I decide to stay up late, maybe watch a little TV, play some video games… something I haven’t really had the pleasure to do for the past month. But my wife is downstairs with me, and we start to talk… Another late night talk. But this time it’s different. For once, I don’t care how late it is because I need to stay up anyway. And for once, we just talked… no yelling, no sobbing, just a civil discussion our situation. We came to the conclusion that there is no road map for this. We have to chart our own course.

    She keeps coming back to our sex life being so good before my big announcement. It wasn’t until the next day that I realize why we have such different perspectives on it. For her, every time we made love was great. We touched each other, felt each other get turned on, and more often than not we climaxed together. What she didn’t know was all the times that I didn’t want to have sex. The times when I said I was too tired. The times I couldn’t get it up because I was too stressed about work, the number of times I silently ignored her advances, pretending I wasn’t reading the signs… and what about those occasions when she’d have a bit too much red wine which made her horny as hell, and I’d be afraid on those occasions because I’d be obligated to perform. I remembered the times over the years that she called me out for not initiating sex enough. Somehow, she’s forgotten all these things and has this utopian ideal of what our sexual intimacy was like.

    One kid away at camp! Now we just have to get rid of one more so we can have the house to ourselves! Hooray, a sleep over for the little one because my wife and I have Springsteen tickets! I night out enjoying music might do us some good. We’re both exhausted from staying up late, slight headaches. We both say on the way to the show that if we could sell the tickets, we’d be better off instead of dragging ourselves to the venue on such little sleep. But we push onward. Our seats are descent and soon we are wrapped up in the show. He’s performing the entire River album. I’m not a huge Springsteen fan, but I love the poetic lyrics, and Bruce’s charisma is infectious. He’s enjoying himself so much on stage, how could I not as well? My wife stands up and dances to song after song. She’s so into the performance, that for the first time in a month, as she sways from side to side with her eyes closed, she is free. I always felt that way about her dancing. She goes to a place of such joy. We held hands. We gave each other pecks on the cheek. Sometimes the lyrics hit home for us, especially when Bruce sang of love… and sometimes, the lyrics hurt, because they were about love lost.

    Well now you say that you've made up your mind
    it's been such a long, long time since it's been good with us
    And that somewhere back along the line
    You lost your love and I lost your trust
    Now rooms that once were so bright
    Are filled with the coming night, darlin'

    I don't wanna fade away
    Oh I don't wanna fade away
    Tell me what can I do what can I say
    Cause darlin' I don't wanna fade away



    My wife mentioned in therapy that in the past we’d come home from a concert without kids and instantly we’d jump into bed and make love. But that night was different. We both dragged ourselves to bed and I quickly put my oversized headphones on. It was late… 2:30 in the morning. But still, the lack of sexual intimacy went noticed.

    ***

    Over a month in, and I still hadn’t told anyone else of my situation. There was one friend at work. I don’t mind him knowing, but he’s not the kind of guy I can go to for introspection. As much as I hate to say it, after 15 years in LA, I feel like I don’t have a confidant outside of my wife. I find people in this town are so flakey, and I’ve yet to make the kind of connection I made with my New York friends. My wife kept insisting that I talk to our mutual friend Stefan. The problem is he’s one of a group of people we hang out with, and I’m just not ready to be an open book to everyone. But I agree it would be good to talk to him. He’s as close to my New York friends that I got.

    We met for drinks at a small, intimate bar, the perfect place. As we downed our first drink, we just shot the shit, caught up on some things and laughed. He got up to go to the bathroom and when he came back I told him there’s something I wanted to share with him, but I needed his word that he wouldn’t tell anybody. “What about my wife?” he asked. “I love your wife very much,” I said, “but come on, you know how she gets when she drinks. She tells everybody everything.” He couldn’t argue. He thought about it for a minute, clapped his hands together and said, “I’m in!”.

    “Are you sure?” I asked. “I understand if you feel you can’t keep something from your wife. And what I gotta say is big and juicy!”

    And then I said, “A few weeks ago I came out to my wife.”

    “You’re GAY!” he said really loud. He’s so dramatic and wears his heart on his sleeve. Already I know I’m telling the right person. “Hold on, I need another drink… immediately.”

    And then I told him EVERYTHING! I spared him no intimate detail. I was able to be graphic and blunt about my desires. “Yes I fantasize about having a big cock in me.” And no judgement. He offered his own experimentation in college when he boned a guy for six months. Was fun, but in hindsight not his thing. He told me how his wife uses dildos on him in the bedroom. For three hours we talked… and drank… and then did it some more. He felt for both my wife and me, and felt our burden. I did find the perfect confidant.

    I left my Vespa parked at the bar and took Uber home. The next day my wife was thrilled that I found someone I could freely talk to. She was happy for me. I told her one thing Stefan told me over and over again: “It’s not fair that you have can’t talk to your friends about this. You need an outlet to figure things out, and for you that’s to talk things through. I’m at a point where I don’t care. Talk to whoever you want if it helps give you clarity and lets you process. After talking to Stefan I see the value in this.”

    A couple days later we had therapy. It was the first time there were no histrionics, no other shoe to drop. We spoke of intentions. My intention at this moment is to try to find a way to make it work between the two of us. And I sincerely believe it. But I did say one thing. “Yes, my intention is to still be with you, but there’s one thing that can’t be forgotten. I spent a long time living silently wrestling with my sexual identity. I’m not willing to cork in back into a bottle. I need it to remain out in the open. I can’t suppress it again and go back into the closet. That’s too painful for me. I have to acknowledge it.”

    My wife suggested that instead of having our sex life together, and me having my own compartmentalized sex life with all my sex toys and whatnot, that maybe they could be joined together. “There are some new things I may be willing to try. And maybe there’s a few things I’d like you to do to me that we haven’t done before.”

    My wife mentioned that she’d been searching again on the internet for situations where mixed oriented couples live together. “The outlook is always so grim,” she said. “Not once have I found a story where the couple stays together.”

    I replied, “We decided to chart our own path, right? Who gives a fuck how those other stories end? It’s about how our own story ends. We have to write our own story and go on our own journey.” We held each other’s hands for the rest of the session.

    Twenty-four hours later I was riding home late from work on my Vespa when I suddenly got really horny. Like mega-horny! But my fantasies were not about men. They were about me, and my wife and me bringing some of my other life into our bedroom. I imagined us playing with some of my toys. I imaged us exploring each other again, in a way we hadn’t done for many many years. Jesus Christ, is that a hard-on I was getting thinking about those things? Now it was MY turn to be confused. I kept the thoughts to myself that night. It was too new for me, and I was scared about what it meant.

    I couldn’t wait to see my therapist to get his take on things. “You and your wife are probably the most intimate now than you have been your entire life. Intimacy is about opening yourself up to your partner and making yourself vulnerable. You have a very special bond with her right now. Don’t be afraid of those feelings of intimacy. Embrace them. Don’t think whether you should or not. You need to live in the now. Don’t worry about where you’ll be in six months. If you desire to be affectionate with your wife, then go, be affectionate. If you hold back your feelings, and you don’t explore them, then you WILL regret not having done it at some point down the road.”

    That night, I told my wife how I was feeling, and what my therapist suggested. We went to bed. I leaned over and gave my wife a kiss. (She insists that I take the lead with all affection these days). Then I kissed her again… then big long passionate kisses. Next my hand is on her breast. Soon we are wrapped around each other in the throes of passion. At one point I lean over to my side of the bed and realize we’re out of contraception. (we use a female film called VCF… a million times better than a condom.) Well fuck! So we play some more. And for the first time in many MANY years, I felt freedom in my bed. I had no secrets to harbor, I wasn’t guarded about how my body reacted to certain kinds of touch. She touched me in ways I’ve never felt. I was vocal and I finally felt free in my own bed. She was able to get me off in ways that have never worked before. It was incredible!

    The next day we talked about what an amazing night we had. The next night was even better once we had proper contraception… and the night after that.

    Life feels sort of back to normal. We’re moving on with day to day things and for the first time the big elephant that was in the room left for a bit… maybe taking a stroll through the neighborhood, but at the moment he’s not here with my wife and me.

    We speak about living in the now (something we’re both learning from our Head Space meditation app). We’re trying not to project where we will be next week… month… year. Who the fuck knows? I’m not naïve, but we’re not going to deny ourselves where our heads and bodies are at this moment… and that’s to be with each other. I still acknowledge that I’m gay. Yes, I know, a gay guy who is happily having sex with his wife. But I’m so tired of labels, and trying to shove things into boxes that don’t fit. I’m charting my own course. I’m not following somebody else’s path. I’m on my OWN journey. I’m accepting and appreciating the situation that I’m in and what makes me happy today.
     
  2. nerdbrain

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    Wow. Just wow.

    So much identification with this story. Especially and including the unexpected fantasies about my wife.

    I've been so careful not to let our relationship get sexual again, even though we see each other regularly, cuddle, sometimes sleep over. I've been paranoid about leading her on or sending mixed messages. I've read all the same stories and they always end badly.

    So I'm kind of amazed at what you guys are doing. I can't tell if I'm appalled that you are ignoring the obvious, or envious that you are just letting yourselves be. Or both.

    All I do is put myself in boxes. Boxes upon boxes.

    Please keep posting. I need to know how this turns out.
     
  3. I'mStillStanding

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    Nerdbrain is right wow is the word.

    I'm happy for you. Reading it, gives me clarity on my situation. Crazy that you are living day by day with the plan on staying, and I'm ready to finalize a divorce (that hang been filled yet) it is all about boxes. I've been stuffed in this box of what your suppose to be as a man, in Georgia, Christian etc. Accepting that I'm gay and living as a gay man is going to be the way I can bust out of the box. Why does there have to be rules? Do you :slight_smile: and following v your story is just amazing, thanks for sharin it with us.(*hug*)
     
  4. HereWeGo

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    I find your situation so amazing random. You ripped off the band aid so fast. You have a clear path and know what you need. I have mad respect for that and I'm so excited for you.

    nerdbrain, I think it's lovely that you and your wife still have affection for each other despite living separately.

    I'm so grateful for you two sharing your experiences. It's been a less lonely road.

    I think it's fascinating how each of us works with what we have and how our solutions differ.

    Its weird because for me I don't feel any different. I don't see a straight man or a gay man in the mirror. I just see me. I'm not a changed person. I'm still the guy who likes playing violent video games, calls people "Dude" etc. I suppose some people would call that adapting to the hetero normal spectrum. But I love who I am right now. I don't want my personality to change. I just get off on guys. I'm not bi. I can't ever picture myself with another woman, but for the first time in forever I'm content with where I am... Living in the now.
     
  5. Nickw

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    Herewego

    Thanks so much for sharing. "Living in the now" is so important. But, not the easiest thing to always do. I am happy for you that you have found a way to achieve that.
     
  6. HereWeGo

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    DAY FORTY-FIVE
    We had sex five times last week. My wife and I hadn’t done that in years. The third day (or was it the fourth? Things move so fast it’s hard to keep tabs), I found myself texting my wife from work: “I want to come home. I’ve been horny all day! *devil emoticon*”. I’d never done something like that where I gave hints that I wanted to have sexy time when I got home. This idea of letting go of all my hang-ups and living in the now seemed to be working. Or was it?

    Before I sent the text, I was listening to NPR on the way to work. There was a story about the Tom Of Finland Foundation, a craftsman style house in Los Angeles that was once the home of the artist Tom Of Finland. He’s known for his homoerotic drawings of men in uniform. I’ve seen some of his artwork before and it’s well, very homo and very erotic. The president of the foundation was being interviewed about the house and why it should be preserved. He said it’s important for men to have a place to go where they can feel comfortable and safe who enjoy this sort of thing. The reporter went on to describe the gentleman in his 50s who was wearing a $15,000 leather outfit, and sounded VERY comfortable with who he was. I pull into the underground parking garage at the office before the story is finished, and I’m frustrated because I want to hang on to every word. Jesus Christ, I just came out as gay, don’t tell me I’m into leather!

    I’ve been reading articles on how to successfully stay in a mixed orientation marriage. The main thing is to maintain open communication with your spouse and to continue acknowledging your homosexuality. It’s important to discuss boundaries with your spouse. Those boundaries may not be as generous as having an open marriage, or sharing your bed with someone. It can be as simple as attending gay support groups, going to a gay bar or something like that. So far I haven’t felt the need to go to gay meetups. How are those conversations different from the ones that I have with my regular friends? “Hey! How’s it going? How’s your gay day? Just super! I’m feeling gay-fucking-tastic!”

    So I’m thinking about ways I can express my sexuality, and I hear about this artist foundation. Maybe that’s a way for me to go be with my peeps! It’s really too hard core for my taste, but I look up the place anyway. There’s a link to a bunch of erotic art. Soon I find myself at work looking at page after page of it. I get pretty turned on, like, really turned on. Soon afterward I text my wife: “I want to come home. I’ve been horny all day! *devil emoticon*.”

    The first three nights we had sex were amazing! It felt very freeing. But during those first three nights I was still in my hetero world. I wasn’t allowing and didn’t need gay thoughts to enter the bedroom. And the sex was just easier because I didn’t have the burden of harboring secrets so I was more relaxed and in the moment. But that fourth night, I pushed myself. I had allowed myself to look at that erotic art and that’s what turned me on, more than thinking about having sex with my wife. The sex was still good, but not as great as it was when I locked that gay part of me outside the door.

    The next day I spent more time at work searching and exploring. I checked out the hook-up section of Craig’s List. I had no intention of actually reaching out to anyone, but I wanted to see what the gamut was. I was particularly interested to see how many guys were looking to hook up on the DL, which is often code for “I’m married”. How many men in my situation are out there?

    Between that Scandinavian Tom guy and Craig’s List, I was having a little bit of sad and pathetic gay moment. I knew my wife was going to be out with friends that night, so I took advantage of the situation. I just wanted to freely be at home and think about myself as a gay man. I took a couple of strong hits of weed from the vape to get myself relaxed. I stood in front of the mirror examining myself, being critical even. “Are you gay? Do you look gay? You look like the same guy to me, but yeah, maybe you’d fit in at a gay bar. You did grow a mustache a few months ago for Christ’s sake! But that doesn’t mean anything. Grandpa had a mustache and he sure as fuck wasn’t gay.”

    I thought about the numerous times I would be preening in front of the same mirror and my wife would walk in behind me and wrap her arms around me. We’d both stare at ourselves in the mirror, admiring the perfect couple we were, big smiles on our faces, happy that we loved what we saw looking back at us. Then the THC took me to a different place. I started to imagine someone walking through the same doorway, but this time, it was a man. Someone my age, with a little gray in his beard, like me, handsome even… someone secure of who he was. He put his arms around me. My mind altered state allowed the two of us to look into the mirror together. There I was! There was the gay man who so recently came out of the closet. There was the gay man, that yes, might actually like being in a relationship with another man. My God, it felt good. I craved it so bad. This could make me happy. We smiled together. We were happy.

    It was nearly 11pm. I decided to brush my teeth, go to bed, and just rest with my happy thoughts. I listen to these binaural recordings from a company called idoser. You can download them on Amazon for 99 cents. There are some that help you sleep, others with names like Peyote, Cocaine and other salacious drugs and others with sexual names like Multiple O, Kama Sutra and even Poppers. They’re goofy names to sell product, but when I listen to some of the sexual recordings, especially when stoned, my mind and body do get taken to another place. There is actually a physical sensation when listening to these, and I swear, they can create an involuntary erection. It’s a safe way for me to fantasize. My mind often wanders when listening and I can sometimes picture a guy on top of me, or sometimes the other way around. I know, it sounds bizarre, and may not be for everyone, but don’t knock it until you try it. ANYWAY, I explain all this because this gay guy was about to go to bed, listen to some fantasy recording, and go to sleep happy. Just at that moment, my wife came home.

    She never minded my pot smoking in the past, but she’s been critical since our therapist suggested I nix it while undergoing therapy. I tried hiding in the dark so my wife couldn’t see my red eyes. We spoke for a bit. I could smell the red wine on her breath. That meant she would be looking for nookie. A few minutes later we were both in bed. She made the first move, something she said she wouldn’t do for a while because she wanted me to take the lead when I felt comfortable. But I liked the fact that our sexual rejuvenation emboldened her. Unfortunately, my head was in a different place. She said “I don’t know how you can perform when you’re high. I know I can’t.” Fuck! She knows I’m stoned. I said I sort of like sex like this. “I understand if you’re tired, but I’ve been thinking about you all night.” She peppered me with kisses. I really WAS tired and wanted to sleep but I didn’t want to dash her confidence and make her feel self-conscience about making the first move. So I played along. She touched me in ways that felt pretty amazing. I’m sure the weed helped. But we were somewhat out of synch. I also had trouble maintaining an erection.

    All of a sudden I felt like I was back to the moment I was in before I came out to my wife. I was sneaking around looking at gay material online behind her back. I was fantasizing about men without her knowledge. And I was having sex with her when I didn’t want to in order to cover up how I truly felt. We’d spent the last month enduing a major upheaval in our lives. Things were just starting to get back to normal. Why would I ever put the brakes on her sexual needs and start churning up our lives again? I’m exhausted from that experience. I’m sure she is too.

    Not being able to maintain an erection was too much for me. I started having performance anxiety. I tried to interject a little of my homosexual self into the moment, the "gay me" who I was looking at in the mirror just an hour earlier. I went for an act of desperation. In my head I thought, “I’m going to fuck you with my big gay dick.” I kept saying that over and over in my head in a very aggressive way. It started to turn me on again. I may be having sex with a woman, but by god, it’s with my big… gay… dick!

    In the end, she felt satisfied. With the mixture of drugs and her touching and playing I enjoyed myself, but I was very self-conscience that I didn’t finish too. All of a sudden, I felt like the scared guy I was forty-six days ago who was afraid to open up to his wife… afraid of confrontation,… afraid of the unknown… afraid to be free.

    I found myself to be weepy in the days that followed. I’ve been lonely not having anybody to share with (outside my therapist and a couple guys I check in with occasionally). I started looking into support groups, but I’m afraid to try those because I fear my mixed orientation relationship is unique enough that I may not be accepted or understood as well. I wish I could find a support group like all the wonderful MOM people I meet in EC who are going through the same thing as me. Then there’s the conversation I need to have with my wife to tell her about my need to mix with gay people, be it in a support session or socially. I want a gay friend to help guide me through the process.

    My wife’s and my lives have been put on hold the last few weeks and we’re just now in the middle of catch up. There are domestic things around the house that need to get done. I’m working 12-14 hour days to get up to speed for all the time I lost while going through my crisis. I feel like I’ve been neglecting my kids because I haven’t had the stamina or ability to be there for them. The dog got sprayed by a skunk the other night and the whole house reeks of it. My cell phone popped out of the holder on my bike the other night riding home late from work and I spent an hour in the dark looking for it. I’m a documentary film maker and spent all day Saturday in this horrendous place interacting with such sad people and their issues and yet I was in a place where I could quite possibly be physically harmed or killed (I’m not being melodramatic and I’m sorry I’m not able to go into more details, but let me just say that I had a harrowing day.) And then after that I went to my son’s baseball game and fought all my inner turmoil to cheer him on. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm sort of glad that my wife got a UTI (urinary tract infection) so we can't have sex for a few days.


    So see, here’s all this other stuff called life, that is getting in the way of my journey. I’ve decided to not talk about the gay me to my wife right now because I don’t want to tip the cart. I don’t have the time or the energy to discuss what this means to me or her or us or our marriage. Something has to give and at this moment, it’s that.

    Saturday night I tucked my daughter in at 9pm and I fell sleep next to her. This morning, nearly 12 hours later, I woke up and crawled into my own bed, snuggling with my wife. “I’ve really been needing you the last couple of days,” I said. She placed her head on my chest, which she’s always called “her favorite place to be”. Silent tears streaked down my cheeks. There’s so much I wanted to say, and yet I was just too exhausted to say it. She asked what was going on, and I just told her I was overwhelmed by everything. No details.

    I had more work to do, but today was Sunday and I really wanted to spend time with my family. We all went to the park for the afternoon. I helped my daughter ride her bike for the first time. We played a new dice game on the picnic blanket. I tried to make the best of it, but I was extremely moody and volatile. I couldn’t control myself at times. I went from having a lovely time to being irritable and nasty and then crying behind my sunglasses. I know it’s because I’m completely overwhelmed. I know it’s because all this stuff about my sexuality is festering inside me. After all, I’m behaving the exact same way I did before I came out and my gay secret overwhelmed me. I had such a hard time being present in the moment and it sucked.

    So now, here it is past midnight. I should have started catching up on my work a long time ago. I have editors that need scripts to work off of in a few hours, but instead I’ve spent almost two hours spewing out this journal entry instead. Now I suppose I’ll be up for another two or three hours doing real work. Then five hours of sleep and then another day where I have to get the kids off to school, make their lunches, get dressed and run out the door for another 12 hour day…

    …and so it goes.
     
    #106 HereWeGo, Apr 4, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  7. I'mStillStanding

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    Man, reading this was just was a trip on an emotionally charged roller coaster. I wish I had something to say that would offer some kind of comfort. (*hug*)



    Stay strong, but don't lose yourself. Your awesome, and I really look up to you.
     
  8. Weston

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    I experienced something similar when I was coming out to my wife. Before coming out, I always felt "policed" by my situation, by my need to remain in the closet yet have anonymous sex whenever possible. After I came out, I was my own policeman, and I was a far harsher judge of my actions, to the point I actually had less sex after coming out, at least in the initial phase, than before. Although I no longer had to worry about exposure, i felt guilty for even thinking about gay sex, and that continued for some time.
     
  9. Nickw

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    I can only relate to a bit of what you are going through since it was so long ago for me and I did not have other relationships in my life. I had slowly accepted that I was gay since I sort of grew up knowing about my same sex attractions. But, when I figured out I was really bisexual I did the same thing...looked at myself in the mirror and tried to see if this realization had changed me. Once I determined I hadn't changed, I became resolute not to lose this part of me.

    I hope you can keep holding on to what you have learned about yourself and find ways to nurture it. It is a learning process that is complicated by your relationship with your wife. But, you will find your way to do this. While there is a lot of emotional turmoil in all of this you can find some joy here too. Best.
     
    #109 Nickw, Apr 4, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  10. Invidia

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    You seem to know what you're doing. :slight_smile: I wish you happiness!
     
  11. nerdbrain

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    When I read your story, it pains me to hear how you are running yourself ragged. You're giving all your energy to work and family, with nothing left over for you.

    You've got a personal crisis going on, so try to cut yourself a break. See if you can get proactive in buying back chunks of time in your life.

    At work, you can tell your supervisor (or yourself if you're self-employed) that you're going to be more strict about limiting your hours to, say, 10 per day. Or maybe work from home a few days a week. Perhaps there is some way to delegate some of your responsibilities to someone else. If any of your work is simply tedious and time-consuming, there are very inexpensive virtual assistants and other freelancers available on a site called Upwork.

    Or you could throw a little money at the problem. Order in instead of cooking. Send the laundry out instead of doing it yourself. Buy things online instead of going shopping. These aren't huge expenses -- think about what the free time is worth to you.

    Personally, I'm at the other extreme. I've optimized my life to such an extent that I pretty much never have to leave the house if I don't want to. But surely there's a happy medium that leaves you enough time and energy to deal with the emotional drain of sorting out your identity.
     
  12. HereWeGo

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    I know it sounds easy in theory, but implementing is a little harder. I'm a freelancer and work from project to project so it's feast or famine for me. When I'm working on a project my whole family knows they need to go on autopilot without me. It's just the nature of my business. There are times I don't see my kids for two days even though we all sleep in the same house. I guess that's the price I pay for being a creative. Fortunately, I like my job.

    I alerted my boss shortly after I came out that I was going through the most painful thing I've ever dealt with in my life and I may be delayed getting a few things done, but I'll get them done. He's been pretty cool about that.

    And because of my erratic hours I hardly cook anyway. So I've implemented your suggestions and there still aren't enough hours in the day LOL.

    Thankfully I have a wife who steps up and does all the extra cooking, shopping, carting kids to afternoon activities etc.

    I do have a long scooter ride planned through the mountains with my riding buddies on Sunday. That's always my mental break. Now if there was a gay scooter group I could kill two birds with one stone.

    My time management issues are temporary and I'll be able to change my focus soon, but it's just very frustrating in the meantime.

    Thanks for the suggestions and looking out for me. :icon_bigg
     
  13. StillAround

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    This. Absolutely this. My wife and I have been separated for almost 2 years--our divorce will be final soon--and my boyfriend is now living with me, but I still miss this.
     
  14. nerdbrain

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    Glad to hear it's temporary and there may be an end in sight!

    And aren't scooter rides inherently gay? :dry:

    ---------- Post added 6th Apr 2016 at 02:27 AM ----------

    Wow, this post was awhile back.

    I'm sad to hear that you still feel this way. Every time I think about my wife I miss her and feel a pain in my heart. I've really been hoping that it goes away and am discouraged to hear that it may not.
     
  15. HereWeGo

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    Now them is fightin' words! Not with the dudes I ride with. We don't zip around town in little 50cc engines with nicely tucked scarves saying "ciao". I'll ride 300+miles a day and sometimes go for 3-4 days with all my camping gear and ride up the coast. Been to Mexico and San Francisco too.

    I'll defend my scooter more than I will being gay. :lol:
     
  16. nerdbrain

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    Sooo... is this thing a Vespa or a motorcycle?
     
  17. HereWeGo

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    DAY SIXTY-NINE :grin:

    I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I’ve written anything about my journey…. Proof of how much I’ve put my coming out on the back burner over the past few weeks.

    I wish I was writing this to talk about my breakthroughs, moving on, figuring everything out, being in a happy place, etc. But it’s not. This is just another entry about frustration. (Haven’t we all heard these stories before?)

    Work got really intense a month ago. I mean REALLY crazy. I was pulling 70+ hour weeks, coming home at 11pm or midnight almost every night... Working on the weekends… I got completely engulfed. Part of it is the nature of the beast as a documentary producer, but the other part was that I dropped the ball on so many things while dealing with the fallout from coming out to my wife that I had some major catching up to do.

    My wife suggested we put talk about my sexuality on hold until my work project ends. She said she was in a good place after having a very amazing week of robust sex. She felt sated and secure that we were okay. Because I’m the master of compartmentalizing, I was okay with that arrangement. To not talk about me being gay so I can concentrate on work sounded great to me. There was no way I could come home at midnight, talk about being a homosexual until 3am and then get up at 7am to take care of the kids.

    Life went back to normal, as if what had transpired two months ago never happened. We all caught up on things we let go during our crisis. We even cancelled our couples therapy because we both agreed there was no point in paying $200 for two hours to not talk about our situation. For the first two or three weeks, I was okay with that arrangement…

    …except I wasn’t. Because while my wife convinced herself we were in a good place, I secretly knew the conversation wasn’t over. So I went back to mulling things over in my head. I continued to think about what my future would look like, questioned if my wife and I would need to break things off and when. Each week, my frustration grew. I really was back at square one. I was back to thinking about my sexuality only in my head.

    The exciting week of sex I had with my wife also waned. Last week, my wife called and said she’d had a good dose of red wine (which meant she was as horny as hell). As upset as it makes me feel to write this, I was dreading coming home. I did not want to have sex with my wife, but I didn’t want to tell her that for fear that we’d end up talking about my sexual orientation, which I just really didn’t have the physical strength to do given how tired I was. How horrible it is to be at work at 10:30 at night, afraid to go home, because God forbid, your wife wants to have sex with you! How many married men would be THRILLED at the opportunity! And yet my heart was racing knowing I had to come up with an excuse. Fortunately, my wife saw how tired I was and I actually passed out on the foot of our bed with my work clothes still on, shoes and everything. I know, I know, I know… it sounds insane that I responded the way I did. If I stand back and look at my actions, this makes no sense, but in the moment, this is how I handled it.

    I started looking into group therapy. I found a meetup in West Hollywood. The group has a screening process because the leader only wants serious candidates who are willing to commit to weekly meetings and not just pop by on occasion. I reached out and heard back from the leader late one night while I was still at work. He ended up calling me at 11pm and I told him my story. It was the first time I’d told a gay person. And while there is surprise when telling my friends, there was also surprise telling this leader my story too. He was SHOCKED that I was gay and had never had sex with a man. When I said I’d been with my wife for 20 years I swear he did a spit take. It was kind of funny to hear his reaction. He even emailed me the next day. “Did you ever look at gay porn?” It felt weird sharing a conversation with a stranger and not telling my wife. There was nothing wrong with what I was doing… just getting information about a therapy session… but there’s something about confiding to someone, hearing a voice of compassion on the other end that felt slightly secretive.

    I told my therapist what I did and he said talking to another gay person about my situation is a milestone. He was thrilled. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but he was happy that I was seeking out group therapy… something he himself was about to suggest.

    Committing to group therapy meant telling my wife that I wanted to do this, yet talk about my sexuality was still on moratorium. “It’s only a couple more weeks.” I told myself. “Just bury this shit a little deeper inside you.”

    On Monday I looked on the calendar and saw that had another couples therapy session scheduled for Wednesday. I called my wife to ask if she wanted to go or cancel. “Do you think we need it?” she asked me. I said that I think we will eventually, but not now because we’ve put all talk about my sexuality on hold until I finished my project. There was silence on the other end.

    “I thought we were doing okay with that stuff,” she said. Uh oh… I could feel it coming on. Here I wanted to avoid this talk for a few more days and now I was walking right into it for the first time in weeks… and over the phone.

    “Well,” I replied. “We agreed to not talk about it while I finished work because you felt in a good place, but that doesn’t mean I’ve just stopped thinking about our situation. I said in our last couples session that I didn’t want to bury my sexual identity and that it had to be out and open. And I feel what’s happened is we’ve gone back to our old way of things. We haven’t talked about this for several weeks.”

    “I’m willing to talk, but what do you want to talk about? I’ve said this before, that this is your problem you have to figure out. I can’t help you with it.” Her tone got serious. “I thought we were okay. My heart is starting to race. Are there things you still want to say to me that you haven’t?”

    “I need something more than just talking to my therapist. I feel like I’m talking in circles.”

    “You’re looping,” she acknowledged. She got it.

    “Exactly, I have to take some other sort of action to move myself forward.” I told her how my therapist and people on EC have recommended group therapy. Yes, EC is group therapy of sorts, but it’s not the same as interacting with people in one room. I told her this is important to me because I’ve been living in a bubble talking to therapists and a couple of friends, but I need to share with people who are in a similar place as me. I specifically said I need to be around a group of my peers, gay peers. I realized after the fact that I was throwing the word “gay” around much more loosely than I’ve ever done before.

    She worried about what sort of agendas this group therapy might have. She thought that maybe I should check out The Foundry, which is a sex therapy center in Los Angeles. “Maybe the Foundry would be better, because it wouldn’t be just gay men, but maybe all sorts of people who are expressing an interest in same sex attractions but aren’t necessarily gay”.

    There was so much more that I wanted to say but I reeled in the conversation before we had a nuclear situation on our hands (“just get through the next two weeks” I kept telling myself).

    That night I got in touch with the group therapy leader, who then put me in touch with the group therapist who runs the sessions. He called me at 10pm to conduct a second interview / screening. I told him I was committed to going, but couldn’t start for another two weeks because of work. He cut me off, “Then get in touch with me when you’re ready. We get a lot of people who are interested, then don’t commit. It’s a great group of people that we limit to 15 people so we want people who are serious.”

    “I am serious,” I said. I felt like this was a major step for me by calling this guy, and I didn’t want him to dismiss me. “I’ll be ready in a couple of weeks.”

    “Great, then contact me in a couple of weeks,” he said.

    Yesterday I spun and spun all day about my situation. I think of I’mStillStanding and brians34 who’ve made such headway in the same amount of time while I’ve remained stationary. I’m so thrilled for those two guys who’ve opened up and taken steps forward.

    Then all my old thoughts come back. Do I want to leave someone I love who comforts me and cares for me and is affectionate with me? If I live on my own I could possibly be lonely for quite some time before finding somebody else. And will I connect with someone as deeply as I do my wife? When I look in the mirror I no longer see someone who might be gay. I don’t feel gay. I feel like I’m going back into my own personal denial. Sigh, I’m so very very afraid, and yet determined to push through this process.

    Last weekend, the family was hungry while running errands around town. I suggested a Mexican restaurant in West Hollywood. We walked in on a Sunday afternoon and almost every table was filled with gay men. It felt good to be in the same room as all those guys. I was disappointed when I got to our table and I was left with a seat facing away from the scene. I couldn’t even have eye candy for the meal. I couldn’t believe the drive I had to belong to any one of those other tables. It’s such an internal thing that I still can’t wrap my head around. Why was it so important to belong? It wasn’t like they were talking about how fabulous and gay they were (or maybe they were, who knows). Why did I find the need to be with my kind? I guess it’s like being the only black person in a town full of white people and then you walk into a place, and you see all these other black folk. “Somebody who gets me” I guess is the answer.

    Now I’ve neglected work for another two hours… Can’t do this again until my project ends.

    Not a very inspiring post… not very original… and frankly, I think I bored myself writing it… but there you are. Love to all of you in the EC community. Your ears, eyes and voices are an invaluable part of my journey.
     
  18. SiennaFire

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    Love how you posted on day 69 :slight_smile: FWIW, I wasn't posting about my breakthroughs on day 69, so you don't need to apologize for being where you are (*hug*)

    Since you are short on time because of work deadlines, I'll cut to the chase.

    What do you want?

    You need to figure out what you want from your life and go from there. I get that you are in crunch time at work and don't have the time now. Realize that you need to address this question when you have the time to fully grok it. Do you want the freedom to explore and live authentically? Are you willing to take a risk to find true happiness? Or do you want the status quo where you live for a romanticized notion of what you should want?

    Your wife appears to be smarter than you are giving her credit for. At some level she knows where this is going, and she wants you to take the lead.

    While you've made progress getting to the place where you can call this guy, he is right. You aren't ready to commit and need to contact him when you are ready. The paradox here is that when you realize he is right, you'll be ready.

    (&&&)
     
    #118 SiennaFire, Apr 28, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  19. HereWeGo

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    SF, I was totally channeling you when I was in my therapy session today. I walked in very frustrated, feeling like I'd hit a new low. I didn't walk out much better, but given a little time to reflect, I think I have a strategy.

    That was the main focus of therapy today. I built this scaffolding around myself made out of heterosexual norms and this is what's kept me going all these years. Now the structure is crumbling and the gay me is oozing out and I don't know what to do with it.

    I keep trying to figure out the future: Do I just move out, get divorced, have an open marriage or what? But my therapist says I'm becoming consumed by all that bigger picture stuff instead of dealing with what's in front of me.

    Right now I have a wife who is in denial that I'm gay and is trying every theory in the book to explain my behavior except the obvious. My therapist says I need to schedule an appointment with the couples therapist and within the first two minutes ask both my wife and the therapist: Do you accept the fact that I'm gay? Make it very clear. Make sure there is no wondering, but just accept the fact that I'm gay. We all have to be on the same page here. We can then move onto the next step. I need to explain my desire to be with men, that I need to experience it, that I won't be satisfied otherwise and a part of me is missing. THEN we discuss next steps. Can we have an open marriage where we seek partners elsewhere? Do we separate yet remain married? My therapist thinks my wife might be more flexible to arrangements than I think.

    If we just get to acceptance during that meeting that will be a huge step.

    Truth is, if I could be roommates with my wife and share time with the kids and raise them together, that would make me happy. I really love our family unit and I enjoy our life together, including my wife. And I say that without trying to force myself into a heteronormal life. I would want to live in the house as a gay man.

    Would there need to be outside companionship? Absolutely! Do I still want to experience the bigger world as a gay man? You bet! Will I eventually find someone else I want to spend my life with? Maybe... but that's way down the line and I don't really want to sit at home alone in a one bedroom apartment waiting for it to happen.


    I think on one hand you're right and on the other I think she really is still in denial.

    I have to give her credit for being proactive. Last night she mention that we didn't need to schedule a therapy appointment to talk. We could schedule an hour just the two of us to discuss things. And then this morning she mentioned something else which is way to long and convoluted to go into here. She was still fighting for her side, but at least she was willing to bring it up. Unfortunately, lack of time once again got in the way.


    No I know he is right. He had worked for 13 hours straight and then called me at 10pm at night to see how serious I was, so I'm sure he didn't want to waste time with someone who wasn't ready immediately. Just frustrating that I'm ready to take that next step, but my job is getting in the way at the moment.

    What keeps me going is one of the first responses I had on this thread: Look back here in a year and you'll see how changed your world has become. I'm only two months into this process. I'm sure things will be vastly different in another ten. I truly believe I will be in a more peaceful place. There will be a lot of heartbreak, pain and oceans of tears, but I'm committed to not being on my deathbed regretting that I didn't seek out this other self that I was born with... my true self.

    Thanks as always SF for your enlightening response.
     
  20. nerdbrain

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    HWG, once again I marvel at how similar our situations are -- the lack of gay experience, the self-doubt, the plunge into work, the deep bond with our wives.

    However, I'm an extreme example of not taking action and clinging to safety; my state of limbo has been going on for years.

    What most impressed me in your post was this: "When I look in the mirror I no longer see someone who might be gay. I don’t feel gay. I feel like I’m going back into my own personal denial. Sigh, I’m so very very afraid, and yet determined to push through this process."

    I'm afraid too, but I keep letting myself off the hook. I don't want to face it. I don't want more pain. I realize full well that I am back in denial, but oddly I am not committed to getting out of it. It's like being an alcoholic who realizes he's an alcoholic, but doesn't want to do anything about it.

    They say that change happens when the pain of doing nothing becomes too much to bear. At this rate, I could wait a very long time for that to happen. It's weird, and not in a good way.

    I really admire your persistence in a super-stressful situation. You seem to have faith that you know who you are deep down, and will ultimately reach a state of acceptance and peace, no matter how hard the path.