Married man/dad coming out. Any advice regarding kids?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 03, 2010 5:14 PM GMT
    Stats: 50 yrs old; married 19 years; 4 kids - a teenage girl and 3 boys - 13 through 9. Perfect couple; perfect family, perfect house, perfect home, perfect career - perfectly miserable.

    I came out to my wife last week. Her response has been very understanding and confirmed that I married one of the best women on the planet. We are going to quietly separate and I'll move to a place about 3 blocks away with regular access to the house and kids.

    I'd appreciate comments or hindsight from anyone who's been through this regarding how to handle things - short term and long - with the kids and, particularly, with the boys. Special issues of concern include that all kids are athletes/jocks/team sports, all very popular - all in catholic school. My wife and I are fairly well known in the church/school/professional community - simply meaning that the probability that we will be able to keep this under wraps is unlikely after the first time that she or I is seen on the town with a date/friends.

    I understand the broad strokes, i.e., that the kids are generally resilient with this issue and will ultimately be o.k. if they know that they are loved - I wouldn't have gone down this path if I thought that it would be detrimental to the kids.

    I am wondering about the actual, specific and practical things, and the timing of these things, that fathers who came out did and said, or what they wish they had or hadn't done or said, that will help the kids adjust to the issue that dad is gay, that mom and dad are pursuing their own lives, but that we will always be a family.

    I'll most likely reply offline, but I'm posting here to the extent that there are others similarly situated on the site, who could also use the advice.

    Many thanks for any thoughts you may have.
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    Oct 03, 2010 5:18 PM GMT
    see my thread under this forum: To all my Brothers on RJ: Thankyou....It will explain a lot and feel free to IM me....we are all brothers going down the same road.....all the best, Keithicon_cool.gif
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    Oct 03, 2010 5:26 PM GMT
    So you finally told her. Wow! This must be an exciting time for you as you prepare to step out into your new life.

    Good luck. I am sure you will handle everything just fine.
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    Oct 03, 2010 5:42 PM GMT

    Well done for coming out to your wife mate! icon_biggrin.gif I'd hate to be in your shoes, as it must be hard telling your children. But honestly, if you think they'll be cool with it then i don't see why you don't come out to them also icon_smile.gif Good luck man.
  • baldone

    Posts: 826

    Oct 03, 2010 7:17 PM GMT
    welcome to the rest of your life......married 31 years and 2 kids, came out very late...wish i had done so so very much younger but you can never wish what you did not do......anyways for you it sounds like your wife is very understanding, mine well, we are finally getting along, talk couple times a week as we have our oldest who has some deep deep problems with drugs, depression, adiction
    and seems now like he is blaming it all on me
    but for the most part finally starting to life the life and enjoy myself
    am in desperate need to get back into shape as have let myself go last several years......don't let it get to you, you will be fine, your family will be fine
    drop me a note anytime you need to talk or vent or need a shoulder
    dave
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    Oct 03, 2010 7:22 PM GMT
    Congrats on coming out! icon_biggrin.gif
    I've never been through that, but you have my emotional support, and best wishes for happiness.
    And, it's awesome that your family is so supportive!
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    Oct 03, 2010 7:25 PM GMT
    As a child of divorce i must let you know that you must prepare for your kids to be very angry with you. They dont need to even have a reason but they will side with their mother. Letting them know that your gay and thats the reason for the separation will even let them grow to hate and resent you. When my parents divorced i resented my dad and in fact it took me years to start talking to him again. Now your teenage daughter will have it harder but your sons are younger so they will get over it much faster. I believe that you should leave out the part of you being gay for until your sure the kids are mature enough to understand why your gay and why your getting a divorce. Yay that your gay and out right now but at the same time you have to look at the kids and think about them more and how this will affect them rather than caring about your neighborhood watchers and what they think...im happy your ready to live your life now but just make sure your kids wont be harmed in anyway by you coming out.
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    Oct 03, 2010 9:15 PM GMT
    I am also married 51 year old guy. This is my 2nd marriage. My wife knew about my bisexual desires and loves it. I have not had sex with a man for almost 10 years. My wife and I feel it is best to keep it quiet and between us spouses. This is "our" sex lives. We watch gay porn together. We talk about my fantasies with other men if I have the opportunity. My wife will watch me having sex with a man one day. As a married couple, this is our own private kinky sex that no one else in the family needs to know.
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    Oct 04, 2010 11:12 PM GMT
    Thanks for the replies guys. Our current thinking is to just tell them the truth. Seems more respectful than fabricating a big story. Added benefit, they will hear it from us and not from the rumor mill. Any thoughts?
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    Oct 04, 2010 11:15 PM GMT


    I wish you a long and happy new life mate...

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    Oct 04, 2010 11:17 PM GMT
    you know your kids and family best and how they will react and the bottom line is the final decision has to be yours and yours alone. Having your wife there is, imho, a good idea. If you think the kids are old and mature enough to hear this, then the rest is up to you.....peace brother....keithicon_cool.gif
  • baldone

    Posts: 826

    Oct 04, 2010 11:18 PM GMT
    italnorlando saidThanks for the replies guys. Our current thinking is to just tell them the truth. Seems more respectful than fabricating a big story. Added benefit, they will hear it from us and not from the rumor mill. Any thoughts?
    this is the best way if feel, did not want my kids to hear from the "street" and daughter was one who found out on her own
    was tougher that way ...just be gentle, loving and let them know that you are still dad, and you still love then very much
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    Oct 04, 2010 11:40 PM GMT
    I went through this with 4 boys in the house, aged 7 to 16, all athletic and straight A students.

    My wife was very understanding after a few weeks of shock (she outed me to my family and all our friends). After she got over her fit of spite, we talked, went to a counselor and decided to remain friends after the divorce. We had an amicable divorce, sat the kids down and talked to them about the situation and made sure they knew we both loved them and that that would never change. There were a few rough patches to work through but we never lost sight of the effect we were having on the kids.

    Long story short (It's been 13 years now), we still have a friendly relationship and all the kids are supportive and loving towards both of us.

    It's a lot of hard work, but it's easier than trying to live (and hide) a lie to your spouse and children.

    Wish you the best of luck. email me if you want to talk about more.
  • laxdude25

    Posts: 604

    Oct 04, 2010 11:52 PM GMT
    Again, congratulations on handling this in a truly remarkable, honorable, and healthy way. You and I have had a continuing "conversation" through email as you went through this process, but I wanted to reinforce the message here on the thread since you decided to "go public." I think everyone has to follow the path that feels right, and you have thought through this so well that I'm sure whatever you decide will be right for you and your wife and children.

    I just wish we were closer so I could be more directly supportive. You're a great role model for so many men on this site. I was lucky, I "came out" to my future wife before we were married. But you're managing the process exactly right, no matter what time in life. Great work!
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    Oct 04, 2010 11:59 PM GMT
    The Truth Will Set You Free.

    My experience has been that they were a lot more understanding and accepting that I thought. To the point of my daughters always trying ti fix me up with cute guys...LOL
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    Oct 05, 2010 12:03 AM GMT
    italnorlando saidThanks for the replies guys. Our current thinking is to just tell them the truth. Seems more respectful than fabricating a big story. Added benefit, they will hear it from us and not from the rumor mill. Any thoughts?


    Sounds like the sensible thing to do... Like you said, it's not something you can hide forever, so you might as well get it out of the way early. Hope the kids won't be too hard on you icon_smile.gif
  • twentyfourhou...

    Posts: 243

    Oct 05, 2010 12:21 AM GMT
    Agree with comments from other divorced dads. I did what you are undertaking, 7 years ago. My boys are now 15 and 13 y/o. While i have no regrets, it is tough, very tough. Easier than living a lie but for me, it has been a juggling act - it was so much easier (in some ways) being "straight" in a heterosexual relationship - but my mental health would not allow that. My ex and i told our kids together - just as you are planning. I moved a couple of miles away but now live two blocks away - in the same subdivision. I could go on and on - dating, resentment, lonely nights, hearing my youngest cry at night, rebellion, etc. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.
    Congrats on having the balls to tell your wife - so many men in "our" situation prefer to play both sides - whatever their excuse is - the bottom line is - keeping the secret while having sexual encounters is a selfish act. There is nothing selfish regarding what you have undertaken and are about to do.
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    Oct 05, 2010 12:27 AM GMT
    italnorlando saidThanks for the replies guys. Our current thinking is to just tell them the truth. Seems more respectful than fabricating a big story. Added benefit, they will hear it from us and not from the rumor mill. Any thoughts?


    Be honest and straight up with them. Because the truth always comes out in the end anyways. The last thing you want to do is start anew on a lie. Start anew fresh without any regrets or lies, those days are over. Today is a new day, and what a day it will be when you can move forward without having to hold anything inside any longer. Your kids will accept you and love you no less.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 05, 2010 12:29 AM GMT
    Congrat's on your new life. You must feel great. How did your kids react or have you not told them.?
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    Oct 12, 2010 10:11 PM GMT
    CaliBoySwag said
    italnorlando saidThanks for the replies guys. Our current thinking is to just tell them the truth. Seems more respectful than fabricating a big story. Added benefit, they will hear it from us and not from the rumor mill. Any thoughts?


    Be honest and straight up with them. Because the truth always comes out in the end anyways. The last thing you want to do is start anew on a lie. Start anew fresh without any regrets or lies, those days are over. Today is a new day, and what a day it will be when you can move forward without having to hold anything inside any longer. Your kids will accept you and love you no less.




    I will second what both of you have said and decided. My ex wife and I did just that....it was still difficult with all the adjusting and changes but was much easier and the kids recognized that we were still a team and loved them. In the end the truth is the best course of action....doing that has integrity and power to make things better in the end.

    J
  • owen19832006

    Posts: 1035

    Oct 12, 2010 10:24 PM GMT
    very brave what you have done and most importantly honest.
    just tell your kids the truth assure them that nothing will change,that you love them and that all that different now is that you need to be honest with yourself
  • Sk8Tex

    Posts: 738

    Oct 12, 2010 10:28 PM GMT
    I would have to say just try to be honest with them at all times, dont be afraid to encourage questioning, and do not treat them any differently than you have in the past. Being a dad has nothing to do with being straight or gay, and it sounds to me like you already have plenty of the experience needed in order to be succesful on that front. The only difference now is you dont have to do what you were already doing for 13 years while lying about who you are. Enjoy the freedom and stop stressin out.
  • Pexus

    Posts: 70

    Oct 12, 2010 10:54 PM GMT
    italnorlando saidThanks for the replies guys. Our current thinking is to just tell them the truth. Seems more respectful than fabricating a big story. Added benefit, they will hear it from us and not from the rumor mill. Any thoughts?


    Your situation rings so many bells for me as I was 17 years ago. I was the youth leader and chair of a local youth charity board with a high profile in a village of 2000 people. In the UK at that time we had a law which was homophobic and tried to prevent children from being told the truth about gay people. This allowed some children to be homophobic and bullying. I say this to give you some context for the next bit.

    I told my wife, her reaction was not as good as the one you received but worse was our sister in law. She wasn't directly horrible but threatened to tell my son and daughter. We, my wife and I, took action before all the rumours and my sister in law's threat could be implemented. So, we told our kids simply and straight forwardly. My son, then 13 shrugged his shoulders, gave me a hug and said "You're still my dad"; his sister ran from the room to a friends house crying. She came round later.

    Over the years my children fared differently, with my son being bullied and my daughter loving my first long term partner and being so upset when he and I split (they remain friends). My son has made a career of being the child of a gay man and having an understanding of difference and equality. My daughter is glad that her daughter will grow up simply always knowing that I am her grandfather and that I happen to be gay.

    On the day I told my kids all the other kids in the village and my associates within the church and the youth club, as well as my fellow workers were told in one way or another. Everyone demonstrated how loving they were towards all of us. The attendance rates at the youth club soared and I was free to be myself and help at least 4 young people be themselves.

    My wife and I knew we had to be parents and that's what we were. We also trusted in people's good natures. Anyone who was negative was quietly dealt with by the rest of the village who showed respect for us and won ours for them.


    Big hugs, I hope this has helped. It is only my story and I pray that yours will be better.

    Paul
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Oct 12, 2010 11:08 PM GMT
    You're already an extraordinary father, clearly.
    You exhibit integrity, courage, dignity, honor, honesty, love, compassion, and an evolved and ever-evolving sense of self that models something valuable.
    Stay on that path, dude.
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    Oct 12, 2010 11:10 PM GMT
    Congrats! I can't even imagine being in your situation. Good luck to you and your family.