How should I feel - 1 year later.

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    Jan 06, 2009 5:53 PM GMT
    So today is a "special" day for me. It was a year ago that I came out to my wife. So why do I have such mixed feelings? I feel liberated, happy and a weight has been lifted, but then I feel sad, like schmuck, and even lonely for having broken up the "perfect" family unit.

    Hard to believe it's been a year. So much has been changed and I've met so many nice guys in the past 12 months, many right here on RJ. The support has been unbelievable. I've never felt so good about who I am in my life. Physically I'm in good shape (less weight, more muscle). I'm constantly being complimented, which I'm still struggling with accepting (the modestly I guess). And I have not been happier (overall) for so many years.

    Anyway, anyone else feel this way a year after coming out? Especially if you've been married and have a family.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 06, 2009 10:34 PM GMT
    First of all Congrats eb icon_wink.gif

    Of course this is going to be a bittersweet time for you
    Whenever we end a relationship there is always some nostalgia and missing the person that we've left behind
    It's worse for you because you left a complete lifestyle package
    I left a situation where I was engaged
    I've never looked back and I am much happier where I am now
    But there are some aspects of that life that I do miss
    The Certainty of it
    The ease of moving in and out of any situation
    and on and on

    But I'd never trade being gay for anything icon_cool.gif
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    Jan 06, 2009 10:43 PM GMT
    All I can say is CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!
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    Jan 06, 2009 10:47 PM GMT
    yes yes, lots of congratulations, you made a tough decision!

    i'm glad to see you have your head held up high icon_biggrin.gif

    here's to another great year!
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    Jan 06, 2009 10:51 PM GMT
    I think you can rest easy with the thought that you did the right thing, despite any consequences, even your mixed feelings.
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    Jan 06, 2009 10:58 PM GMT
    You should feel happy. Youre doing great! Just wait until you find your guy icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 06, 2009 10:59 PM GMT
    If you're the good guy you seem to be, you no doubt feel badly about the time and confusion and possible pain you feel you caused someone else, not just yourself. And it's hard to get over that completely, because there's so little you can do to "make it better" for someone else.

    Let yourself feel it all, the up and the down. Feeling it and remembering it makes us human and gives us the heart to empathize with others, as well as to grow and prosper.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jan 07, 2009 12:31 AM GMT
    There is no right or wrong way to go through this, and there's no one specific thing you should feel. You have mixed feelings because the nature of the situation is very complex - which let's face it, you didn't need any of us to tell you.

    You already know how big of a sweety you are and how much courage it takes to completely and totally live honestly. Congratulations.
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    Jan 07, 2009 12:40 AM GMT
    Congratulations buddy... it's amazing feeling isn't it! Yet I understand that bittersweet of it all.

    I came out about 4 years ago and every now and then when I'm thinking about my old family unit and how things use to be. However, that being said, I'm still happier than I've ever been and know that I am exactlly the man that I am suppose to be.
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    Jan 07, 2009 1:28 AM GMT
    Honesty IS the best policy.

    Think of all those years you were a dirt bag.

    It's great that you've changed your ways.

    I hope you'll take your lesson forward to other folks who go through life being dishonest, and deplorable.

    You should take strength knowing that, although it took years, you FINALLY did the honorable, and right, thing...a no-brainer.
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    Jan 07, 2009 1:34 AM GMT
    give it time and be good to yourself. things will come around and you will continue to better understand yourself resulting in increased happiness. these things take time.
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    Jan 07, 2009 2:23 AM GMT
    eb925guy saidAnyway, anyone else feel this way a year after coming out? Especially if you've been married and have a family.


    I also came out when I was in a straight marriage. And 15 years later I'm happier than I've ever been in my life. But not without regrets.

    I regret having wasted 30 years thinking I was straight, and trying to live that way (15 to 45, assuming I should have known my orientation at around 15).

    I regret I married a woman under false pretenses and caused her grief, even if that wasn't my intention. Yet the responsibility to know what I am was mine, and she was blameless. A straight woman deserves a straight husband, which I wasn't.

    This is one reason I hate the stupid right-wing fundamentalists, who think forcing gay men into straight marriages will "cure" us. All it does is ruin 2 lives, the innocent wife along with the husband, and maybe upend the lives of children, too. I just wish they would leave us alone to be ourselves.
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    Jan 07, 2009 3:42 AM GMT
    We chatted back when you had just come out and I can't believe it's been a year already either. I remember how hard it was and how much strength and courage it took to do it. I've always said that it's not fair to rip on guys who marry a woman and 'deceive' her because they are both victims of homophobia - or more accurately heterosexism.

    The reality is that you did have feelings for your wife and that's real and sad to let go of. But they are not the feelings of rightness and wonder that you'll experience when you meet the right guy. Right now it's like you let go of the security of one trapeze and you're flying through the air and you've yet to grab the other trapeze.

    Just honour yourself and your feelings - you're totally on the right path. I'm here for you if you ever need to talk. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 07, 2009 4:00 AM GMT
    Wow, I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate the encouragement and kind words. This was a tough decision and it certainly is one that I don't regret making even though it's been tough.

    I've chatted with many of you in the past year and met a couple of you. This is what makes me know that what I did was right. Thanks again! A new year, a new beginning, a new life. Cheers!!!
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    Jan 07, 2009 5:29 AM GMT
    First things first: ignore Chucky...er...'flex210' and the unfair dirtbag assessment he made of your character, Don. What you did a year ago was a monumental achievement, and one that a person makes when the time is right for them. Someone who hasn't been through it can't possibly know how difficult it is to end a marriage on that note.

    Every March 21st (the day I told my then-wife I thought I might be gay four years ago) is special to me. It's a day I reflect on where I am, where I was, and how far I've come. It's less bittersweet than slightly wondrous when I stop to think back to the straight days, as it's a life that seems entirely foreign to me. I look at the relationship I had with my former wife and the reltionship I have with her now (we're closer now, after all we've sharedand been through together, and I honestly don't believe she'll ever be 'replaced' in a sense), and I'm amazed at what a journey life is. I also think about the lessons I learned. On the first anniversary I had the japanese characters for truth, love, courage, and beauty tattooed on my arm so that I would always remember the importance of those virtues. It's not a sad day for me, really, because I believe all things happen in their due course. I don't regret anything in my life, but rather look at it all as an incredible wealth of life experience without which I would not be who I am.

    After one year, this anniversary might still be a bit of a raw wound, but it will get easier in time. Take the time to mourn what's gone if you need to, but don't do so with even a shred of regret, and always focus on what's to come. I think you're off to a great start, bud. And it's been a pleasure chatting with you on and off about it over the past year and some.
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    Jan 07, 2009 5:34 AM GMT
    I had no such baggage, but a year after I came out I was a miserable wreck of a human. You had to overcome so much more, all those years and the relationship with your wife, and a year later you feel great. Congrats! It has to have been a rough year, but 2009 is starting off great for you.
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    Jan 07, 2009 6:00 AM GMT
    ::: edited because I violated RJ's forum rules and terms of use. voluntarily deleted. addressed my issue via official channels.
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    Jan 07, 2009 6:01 AM GMT
    Congratulations on your life and movement closer to the truth. In one way shape or another it's an experience all humans can (hopefully) relate to.
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    Jan 07, 2009 6:07 AM GMT
    Don,

    I just wanted to add my best wishes and congratulations to you. I remember chatting with you (via E-mail) awhile back. You've worked hard - and you're not letting anything stand in your way of your goals. Continued good luck and best of everything to you!

    Gregg
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    Jan 07, 2009 6:14 AM GMT
    I'm also happy for you. Coming out is hard for almost everyone, and gets harder the longer you wait. It was hard for me, and I came out when I was 20/21, so it must have taken an unbelievable amount of courage for you to did what you had to do, especially when it involved coming out to your family.

    I'm glad that you've made so much progress in such a short period of time. I'm sure this year will be an even better one for you. Good luck
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    Jan 07, 2009 6:17 AM GMT
    flex210 saidHonesty IS the best policy.
    Think of all those years you were a dirt bag.
    It's great that you've changed your ways.
    I hope you'll take your lesson forward to other folks who go through life being dishonest, and deplorable.
    You should take strength knowing that, although it took years, you FINALLY did the honorable, and right, thing...a no-brainer.
    You're right, honesty is the best policy! I'm happy that your life must have been perfect and that you knew immediately who you were and what it was that you were to do. Some of us didn't have that knowledge and we made choices that we do regret in many ways but I'll share with you that a lot of things happened along the way that made me a much stronger and more complete person than I would have ever been had I not gotten married and had a family.

    With my wife and family I cared for a critically ill son for two years, grieved at the loss of another child, buried my parents and one of hers and through it all, we leaned on each other. We supported and loved each other. Dishonest, no, not at all. I did and do love her! In the way I thought I did when I married her? No and for that I'm sorrowful. I didn't go through life being dishonest and deplorable, I learned late in my life who I really was and why I felt the way I did. I never sacrificed my family for "fun" nor did I choose to leave for anyone else but me, no one waiting in the wings or on the catch. I worked it out with her and with my children and they continue to love and support me in my decision.

    So thanks for your response but come down off your perch of perfection and consider that it might NOT be quite what you think it is.
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    Jan 07, 2009 6:23 AM GMT
    zdrew said
    After one year, this anniversary might still be a bit of a raw wound, but it will get easier in time. Take the time to mourn what's gone if you need to, but don't do so with even a shred of regret, and always focus on what's to come. I think you're off to a great start, bud. And it's been a pleasure chatting with you on and off about it over the past year and some.
    Thanks, like so many here, your words do mean a lot and the encouragement is helpful. I try to focus on the future, find that I'm glad 2008 has passed so I can focus on being myself and letting my family see that I am happy and sharing that joy with me.
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    Jan 07, 2009 6:30 AM GMT
    I forgot to add, a good friend of mine is a gay man in his 50's. He found out late in life too when he had a wife and two kids. Surly, there was some hard times. But, his kids are my age now and his partner is like a second father to them. It is great watching them interact as a family. When his daughter got married her mother and two fathers walked her down the aisle.
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    Jan 07, 2009 7:09 AM GMT
    Don,
    Congratulation on your first year out!

    I understand EXACTLY what you have gone through, as I went through the same thing 12 years ago....It is very hard and nobody is happy with you and everyone is confused at why you picked "now" to have what they see as a "mid-life crisis", etc....
    Those that would be critical of you and your "choices", or question your "honesty", have never been faced with a dilemma that carries such a social stigma and the life altering magnitude of the changes that you have undergone. My heart goes out to you over the loss of loved ones and the challenges of caring for an ill child. May you and your ex-wife remain friends after she gets past the hurt, for you did share a few years together and have children that will forever tie you to each other.
    My friend you are NOT a "schmuck", but a damn fine man! It take courage to be honest with yourself and with the ones you love, especially when you know it may hurt and change several lives. Time heals all wounds and time wounds all heels...Congratulations on 1 year and look forward to MANY more!
    Gary

    PS: Still waiting to see you on SeanCody.com!.... STUD! icon_cool.gif
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    Jan 07, 2009 5:01 PM GMT
    What about the 2 hours plus 5 minutes driving time I gave you? You have no regrets about that!?!?!

    funny pictures