I'll try to make this first step back into EC as brief as possible, but if you're struggling with the prospect of coming out, have recently come out, or are somewhere down the road on your journey; please stick with this thread for a bit. I'll start at present day. On May 4, 2018 I married the man I had no idea existed for me when I came out in 2012! If you'd like to read my threads from that time, my user name then was just 55. What follows is a brief summary of my journey. I married my wife (both virgins) when she was 19 and I was 20 back in 1976. I was a totally naïve farm boy, an over-the-top devout Catholic, and mostly unaware that I was gay. Through 35 years of marriage and three children, I came to realize my orientation and felt "till death do us part" was my obligation and my sentence. I loved my wife and kids, but began a secret life in book stores and mall bathrooms. The guilt was relentless, but the desires overwhelming. I hated myself because I knew I was good in my soul, but my secret life made me believe I was the lowest of the low - it literally had me by the balls. Anyway, six years ago, a routine physical for my ex turned up an STD - the jig was up. Two months later we were divorced and I was on my own - depressed, lonely, and anxious. A great counselor and EC got me through that time. I have spent the past six years trying to rebuild my relationships with my children, although the total abandonment I had so long feared of my siblings and friends never happened. They've been supportive throughout. To her endless credit, my ex has supported me as best she could - never estranging me from my kids and continuing to include me in family activities even though she had every reason to make my life hell. It has been a roller coaster for both of us. About a year after having my life drop out from under me I was introduced to the man I said "I do" to on a beautiful May night. Five years full of laughs and a few tears culminated in a wedding attended by just over 100 people, including my children, granddaughter, extended family, coworkers, and long-time friends - all the people I had for so long feared I would lose if they knew the real me. It was also attended by my new family (a new mother-in-law and six new brothers and sisters-in-law and their spouses) and my new gay friends! Earlier in the post, I gave much credit to EC for helping me though that initial journey. It also provided me with one of the most amazing friends I have ever had. On EC, he posts as Maxx. Our journeys mirrored each other's in many ways. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend his wedding last September and was so proud when he and his new husband attended mine! If this post or any of the old threads and posts from me ( as 55) or Maxx can help anyone struggling with the prospect of coming out or your journey after making that gut-wrenching decision, please add to this thread. I plan be more active here again for as long as I'm helpful and I think Maxx feels the same. It feels great to write here again! May we all feel this way someday!