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Coming out to your wife

  • sly777 Posts: 3
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 12:39 PM GMT
    I've been living a double life for a long time and have finally, after some encouragement from a friend, to come out to my wife and kids, and what happens happens. Has anyone else gone through this? How did it go? Any words of wisdom would be great.
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    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 12:52 PM GMT
    I could begin to imagine how stressful that must be for you.
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    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 2:42 PM GMT
    Having never had that particular set of cirumstances, my words of wisdom would apply to all. You only have to do it once. Of course, that's once per person, but you only have to come out to your wife once. Be prepared for a bad reaction, and then be prepared to feel like you finally made your way out from under a ton of debris.
  • Celticmusl Posts: 4324
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 2:44 PM GMT
    Maybe you could do it with a couples counselor's help.
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    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 2:46 PM GMT
    Wow, that's a whole lot of stress. I'm don't have any advice to give other than ignore Chuckystud's post when he sees this.
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    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 2:52 PM GMT
    I did this quite a few years ago with the help of a gay therapist who called himself "My Coming out Coach"

    First of all, remember that you have lived with the fact that you are gay for years and she has not. The book, "The other side of the closet" tells what is going through womens' minds during their gay husbands' coming out.

    When you do finally come out to her, my advice is to do it in private of course and remember that anything you say after. "I am gay" she will not hear or remember. I've heard that so many times, and it did happen to me. Be prepared to leave the house that day, even if she wants you to stay. Nothing will ever be the same again.

    Since I've left ...I've never been happier, healthier, or successful.

    http://www.straightspouse.org/theother.shtml
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    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 2:56 PM GMT
    Hey sly777, Here's a number or two you can call. They'll be able to help where we can't.

    http://www.glnh.org/hotline/index.html

    -us guys

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    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 2:57 PM GMT
    The out-come is different for everyone the only thing that is the same is how you feel afterward.
    Time will pass and you’ll be so relieved finally living your true self.
    The weight of the world will finally be off your shoulders; the only weight you will have is that of regret for waiting so long to do it.
    Good luck to you.
  • DJ_Lauderdale Posts: 4018
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 2:58 PM GMT
    I was going to send it in a private message because this isn't something I talk about very much (in the interest of always moving forward after learning my lessons in the past). But what the fuck, maybe others can be helped by reading this, I don't know.

    I was married, but had no kids, for about 5 years, and came out to my wife and everybody else about 6 years ago. I imagine things are different with kids, but I can relate to how scary of a time it is. People underestimate the amount of courage it takes to do this, because they fixate on how "weak" you were for not being yourself all these years and for not being honest and open. That stuff will come at you - ignore it, it's useless commentary for you at this point

    What's past is past. You have some bumpy times ahead. I think that for me, the thing that has been most difficult to overcome is the tremendous amount of guilt over the destruction that you've left in your wake. It has taken me years to deal with that, and to some extent it's still there even though my ex has remarried and is living a happy life. Expect this remorse and guilt, and deal with it as best you can. One tip for that is to do everything you can to keep looking and moving forward. Those times that you dwell on the past you may find yourself falling into despair and grief and guilt. It can be debilitating. I learned quickly to avoid that destructive pattern. You have to put a new life together. I focused on work for a long time. Also, friends became an issue. I lost many of my old friends - a few because they just didn't accept me, or drifted to my ex. But admittedly a lot were lost through my own doing... I distanced myself, they gave up. So I've had to build new friendships, as well.

    My good fortune was finding my BF. I didn't want to go through a slutty phase, or a party phase, or anything like that. Was just my choice. My bf was a huge blessing... he was going through a life rebuilding for a different reason, and so we were in similar points in our lives. I was very fortunate, we've been able to rebuild some domestication that followed quite a while of sleeping on an air mattress in a very empty apartment while things got sorted out with my ex, our house and belongings.

    By the way, I didn't even try therapy. I went to a couple of groups but found them depressing and useless. But that was me, it's worth trying.

    I'm happy to talk to you more about this stuff anytime, feel free to email me.

    Best of luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 3:02 PM GMT


    ...try this one - looks like it might be the ticket...

    http://www.gayfathersboston.org
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 3:10 PM GMT
    Bigsmiles saidI did this quite a few years ago with the help of a gay therapist who called himself "My Coming out Coach"

    First of all, remember that you have lived with the fact that you are gay for years and she has not. The book, "The other side of the closet" tells what is going through womens' minds during their gay husbands' coming out.

    When you do finally come out to her, my advice is to do it in private of course and remember that anything you say after. "I am gay" she will not hear or remember. I've heard that so many times, and it did happen to me. Be prepared to leave the house that day, even if she wants you to stay. Nothing will ever be the same again.

    Since I've left ...I've never been happier, healthier, or successful.

    http://www.straightspouse.org/theother.shtml


    That sounds like pretty good advice. Not that I can relate to your situation at all, but I'd recommend having a good support system (not just online) around you prior to coming out. Regardless of anyone's coming out situation, you need friends to fall back on.
  • QHCAguy Posts: 138
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 3:18 PM GMT
    Hey Sly,

    I've been through this myself and there is not a lot to make this easier for you or her. Fortunately i did not have kids to deal with as well.

    The one bit of advice I would give you is that when she lashes out at you try to have the compassion to treat her gently. That's not to say let her abuse you, just remember that the rug has been pulled out from under her.

    This step lets you BOTH lead an authentic life and everyone will be better off in the end. It will just be a little rocky for a while.

    I'm happy to talk to you about this anytime but I'd also suggest finding a professional who deals with LGBT issues to talk to.

    Take care!


  • Space_Cowboy_... Posts: 3734
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 3:35 PM GMT
    I was seeing a guy who was married and had kids, I didn't know he did until a few months into it; and he was actually caught by his wife. She thought he was cheating so she followed him and boom he was caught. It was a very embarrassing thing for him when she told his commander and everyone on base. He was kicked out of the Army, she divorced him, she took all his money, and his kids. We still talk every once in a while and he's doing better he found a job and he can see his kids now. Just think about if you get caught what can happen vs. just telling your family.
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    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 3:41 PM GMT
    Space_Cowboy_89 saidI was seeing a guy who was married and had kids, I didn't know he did until a few months into it; and he was actually caught by his wife. She thought he was cheating so she followed him and boom he was caught. It was a very embarrassing thing for him when she told his commander and everyone on base. He was kicked out of the Army, she divorced him, she took all his money, and his kids. We still talk every once in a while and he's doing better he found a job and he can see his kids now. Just think about if you get caught what can happen vs. just telling your family.


    I suppose for these reasons, you should be very selective in what you admit to her. Don't give her weaponry to take everything from you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 3:53 PM GMT
    and a PS to my earlier post.

    You weren't living a double life...you were living HALF a life

    Nate
  • GOODFITGUY1 Posts: 24
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 3:55 PM GMT
    I was married, have a daughter and have been there. Maybe there's a chance you'll be as fortunate as us - after much counseling my ex and I are best of friends and feel very connected through our daughter and the years we spent together. The guilt is heavy, but people are often compassionate, especially as time moves forward. Please don't hesitate to drop me a message if you'd like to talk directly. I remember thinking I'd never be on this side of the fence.
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    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 3:55 PM GMT
    Daily I see guys who are in your situation who choose to lead the double life. They seek other guys for 'discreet' encounters. What amazes me is they find suckers to meet ( pun intended I guess )

    You are looking to take the higher road; to get out of living a lie. Opinions are great, but be sure to listen to the specific advice of those earlier posters who have been through the same as you. They have walked the walk and may offer some great insight.

    I have always lived by the credo to listen to my gut instinct. Somehow, some way it is usually right on the money. That is all I have to offer other than the best wishes as you move forward.
  • Space_Cowboy_... Posts: 3734
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 4:01 PM GMT
    McGay said
    Space_Cowboy_89 saidI was seeing a guy who was married and had kids, I didn't know he did until a few months into it; and he was actually caught by his wife. She thought he was cheating so she followed him and boom he was caught. It was a very embarrassing thing for him when she told his commander and everyone on base. He was kicked out of the Army, she divorced him, she took all his money, and his kids. We still talk every once in a while and he's doing better he found a job and he can see his kids now. Just think about if you get caught what can happen vs. just telling your family.


    I suppose for these reasons, you should be very selective in what you admit to her. Don't give her weaponry to take everything from you.



    Very True!
  • DJ_Lauderdale Posts: 4018
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 4:03 PM GMT
    Space_Cowboy_89 said
    McGay said
    Space_Cowboy_89 saidI was seeing a guy who was married and had kids, I didn't know he did until a few months into it; and he was actually caught by his wife. She thought he was cheating so she followed him and boom he was caught. It was a very embarrassing thing for him when she told his commander and everyone on base. He was kicked out of the Army, she divorced him, she took all his money, and his kids. We still talk every once in a while and he's doing better he found a job and he can see his kids now. Just think about if you get caught what can happen vs. just telling your family.


    I suppose for these reasons, you should be very selective in what you admit to her. Don't give her weaponry to take everything from you.



    Very True!


    Cheating is something that I never did, and I'm soooo glad for that in hindsight. I could be 100% honest when I decided to come out, and I wasn't left raked over the coals, it was an even split... that made it easier to rebuilt.
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    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 4:07 PM GMT
    i didnt read everything, but judging by your age. your wife either already has an idea of whats up, or shes going to die on the inside the moment you tell her.

    goodluck.
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    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 4:08 PM GMT
    GuerrillaSodomite saidWow, that's a whole lot of stress. I'm don't have any advice to give other than ignore Chuckystud's post when he sees this.


    lol yeah, thats a lesson everybody to can keep in mind. hahahah
  • DJ_Lauderdale Posts: 4018
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 4:13 PM GMT
    Progress saidi didnt read everything, but judging by your age. your wife either already has an idea of whats up, or shes going to die on the inside the moment you tell her.

    goodluck.



    Sorry, but that's a useless comment. "I didn't read everything" means you don't know what you're taking about. "Judging by your age" shows that you don't have a clue. "She's going to die on the inside" is obvious and contributes nothing. And so your "good luck" is patronizing. But you're only 19 so judging by your age none of this is surprising.
  • Ironman4U Posts: 713
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 4:27 PM GMT
    Hey bud....been in your shoes. I know that it's one of the most difficult things you'll ever have to do, but as many mentioned before, you'll survive. Being authentic to yourself is the only way you can be truly happy. You owe that to yourself and to your wife.

    I've known a lot of guys who did not come out to their wives, but just separated and divorced. I felt the need to be completely honest and upfront with mine. I'm glad I did, but I did deal with repercussions - including fighting some court battles over child custody and visitation and having my "homosexuality" used against me.

    But I have no regrets. Getting advice from others is a great way to mentally prepare. And knowing that you have the support (on here and elsewhere) of other guys will help you not feel so isolated afterwards....feeling like you don't fit in your old world or your new one.

    Remember when you're coming out to your wife that you've had much time to deal with this and she hasn't. So she is likely to feel shock and betrayal and that everything you had together was a lie. You need to be there for her emotionally if she will let you. She will also need others to lean on (close friends or family). Depending on how they view the whole situation, they can either push her away from you in a negative way or be a positive influence.

    The main thing to focus on is the relationship with your kids. Being there for them, helping them, letting them know that you love them unconditionally and that will not change is critical. They respond to love and acceptance from you. Depending on ages, etc. they will have their issues to work out, but they will be able to with your help. Kids are more resilient than adults. And their love is less conditional. Your contact with them will change when you no longer live in the same house...so you have to make sure you make them your number one priority through all of this. Talking to them or seeing them daily is important.

    Of course, working with the wife from the outset to make sure that the kids remain the priority and helping them adjust and doing what is best for them should be something you discuss with your wife early on.

    Happy to discuss over the phone if you need to talk through anything. Best of luck. You're doing the right thing. It takes courage so I applaud your bold and important step.

  • grnranger99 Posts: 215
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 4:32 PM GMT
    I've been there myself. Possibly the most difficult thing I ever had to do. But looking back it was the best thing I ever did...for both my wife and myself.
    Good luck to you!
    There are a lot of decent people here who can help you deal with this situation honestly and compassionately, you will need people to talk to. It does help to know you are not alone.
    Don't be ashamed or feel guilty people make mistakes all the time. But it takes a man to accept responsibility and to do his best to make it right. No matter how difficult it can be.

  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Mar 11, 2010 4:35 PM GMT
    djdorchester saidI was going to send it in a private message because this isn't something I talk about very much (in the interest of always moving forward after learning my lessons in the past). But what the fuck, maybe others can be helped by reading this, I don't know.

    I was married, but had no kids, for about 5 years, and came out to my wife and everybody else about 6 years ago. I imagine things are different with kids, but I can relate to how scary of a time it is. People underestimate the amount of courage it takes to do this, because they fixate on how "weak" you were for not being yourself all these years and for not being honest and open. That stuff will come at you - ignore it, it's useless commentary for you at this point

    What's past is past. You have some bumpy times ahead. I think that for me, the thing that has been most difficult to overcome is the tremendous amount of guilt over the destruction that you've left in your wake. It has taken me years to deal with that, and to some extent it's still there even though my ex has remarried and is living a happy life. Expect this remorse and guilt, and deal with it as best you can. One tip for that is to do everything you can to keep looking and moving forward. Those times that you dwell on the past you may find yourself falling into despair and grief and guilt. It can be debilitating. I learned quickly to avoid that destructive pattern. You have to put a new life together. I focused on work for a long time. Also, friends became an issue. I lost many of my old friends - a few because they just didn't accept me, or drifted to my ex. But admittedly a lot were lost through my own doing... I distanced myself, they gave up. So I've had to build new friendships, as well.

    My good fortune was finding my BF. I didn't want to go through a slutty phase, or a party phase, or anything like that. Was just my choice. My bf was a huge blessing... he was going through a life rebuilding for a different reason, and so we were in similar points in our lives. I was very fortunate, we've been able to rebuild some domestication that followed quite a while of sleeping on an air mattress in a very empty apartment while things got sorted out with my ex, our house and belongings.

    By the way, I didn't even try therapy. I went to a couple of groups but found them depressing and useless. But that was me, it's worth trying.

    I'm happy to talk to you more about this stuff anytime, feel free to email me.

    Best of luck.


    What a good story you've shared. It bears repeating, so here it is for those who may not have seen it. Personally I'm not in this position, but your sharing what you went through is meaningful to anyone seeking to learn something about what his fellow man might have experienced. Can we clone you?