how to decide - come out or not

  • thatguyny

    Posts: 28

    Mar 22, 2010 1:03 PM GMT
    hey all, first post here, and hoping i can get an idea or two on how i can figure out if i should come out or not.

    this is where i'm at
    i'm married - for almost 25 years
    got married very young - she was pregnant
    i still feel young and like i have a good long life ahead of me
    i love her, but i'm more gay than bi, and more gay than ever before
    i have performance anxiety with her except in the morning
    my wife is my best friend
    3 kids - youngest 15 oldest, well, almost 25
    i never wanted to throw my kids life into turmoil - especially as teenagers

    the sex part of marriage - or the avoidance of it - makes for some tension, though not much.
    my wife may have an idea that i'm gay - she's asked if a man has ever tried to kiss me, and said that she thinks it would be easier to deal with a husband cheating with another man than with a woman. i dodn't take either opportunity to be honest - at all.

    i've had some health issues that are often cause by stress

    i have NO support system - other than my wife. no really close friends, i have friends, but not really close friends, and no one to talk to about this

    i never had a gay experience until i'd been married for years

    i have anonymous safe gay stuff - mutual masturbation, way more often than i'd like to admit to anyone - gym steam room stuff - i know - i'm one of THOSE guys

    i go back and forth between wanting to spend the rest of my life with my family versus wanting to be honest about who i am

    my wife loves gay men and loves me and likes me, and is extermely open minded, but still, i can't imagine how she would deal with this

    i picture myself years from now, and think that when i'm older, i'd be happier with my family, but right now, it's stressfull to live this lie

    i don't know how to make this decision.
    i was thinking of seeing a shrink, but i don't even know how to get one who can help with this kind of thing

    any thoughts are appreciated
    many thanks
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 22, 2010 1:25 PM GMT
    I wish I had a answer for you that would make all of this an easy next step in your life.

    That said, there are some great men that have been where you are right now, and hopefully they'll be here to offer you some support!

    Welcome to Realjock, eh?


    When I read this, "my wife may have an idea that i'm gay - she's asked if a man has ever tried to kiss me, and said that she thinks it would be easier to deal with a husband cheating with another man than with a woman. i dodn't take either opportunity to be honest - at all."

    ...the first thought that came was that she knows/feels/suspects you've dallied with another and has a fear that the 'others' may be women, which she hinted would be more threatening to her personally than a dalliance with a man.

    -Doug of meninlove
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    Mar 22, 2010 1:51 PM GMT
    You're not alone, for sure. While I can't speak specifically for the wife thing, I've found in other areas of my life that therapy can be helpful. If you can find a good therapist who deals with sexuality issues it might help.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 22, 2010 6:32 PM GMT
    Your wife suspects you're queer, and likely has for years. The saying "nobody knows I'm gay" means everyone knows except you.

    Depends. You want integrity? You want wholeness? You want respect? Tired of being dishonest? I think you know the right thing to do, but, are too afraid. The real question is: Have you hit bottom yet?
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Mar 22, 2010 7:09 PM GMT
    Very easy to find a therapist who can help you, and you will have many in your area and you can pick and choose. Look online for a gay and lesbian community service group. They can lead you to a therapist, counselor, or support group.

    I suggest not coming out until you speak with someone like a therapist or support group. As you stated, your wife is your only emotional "support system" and there will be some very difficult days ahead if you lose this. It might take awhile to get to the point where you can actually tell your wife, and it might be in front of a therapist or marriage counselor. Get some professional advice and go from there.
  • thatguyny

    Posts: 28

    Mar 23, 2010 12:42 AM GMT
    even going to a therapist or counselor is going to start all sorts of discussions with my wife that I don't know how to have until talking with a counselor or therapist
    "honey, i need to see a shrink"
    "why"
    "uh, i can't tell you - it's personal, something i need to work out, you'll find out sooner or later, but I can't say right now"
    ugh
    it's a classic catch-22

    there are so many challenges with this, it's absolutely f'ing mind boggling


  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Mar 23, 2010 12:53 AM GMT
    Well I think you should just tell her, the first day or so might suck but after that it'll eventually get super easy, and I'm sure your kids will be okay they're big now.
  • chris_dallas

    Posts: 340

    Mar 23, 2010 12:55 AM GMT
    how old are ur kids?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 12:58 AM GMT
    Best of luck to you. It does sound like you have an amazing wife. I don't know the answer, but will your wife be more pleased to know the truth? It sounds like she probably knows anyway. Your wife may be a total saint, but it takes two to be great friends with your significant other. I'm guessing you must be a pretty good guy yourself.
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    Mar 23, 2010 1:01 AM GMT
    Personally, I think it's shitty that you are messing around with guys and not telling your wife. It's awful that you would be that disrespectful to her, especially when you say she is your best friend. I honestly did feel kind of bad for you until I read that part... if you can't be faithful to your wife, you should end it if you know you are going to cheat on her. Dishonesty is disgusting and cheating is even worse. My advice to you is to tell your wife ASAP and stop being a lying cheating asshole. Sorry, was that harsh? Well, your wife would probably thank me for telling you the truth.

    As far as your kids go, they probably wouldn't hate you for being gay... they are your kids and will love you. However, the cheating part - still awful. Your kids may not forgive you for that.
  • chris_dallas

    Posts: 340

    Mar 23, 2010 1:06 AM GMT
    JoeB1986 saidPersonally, I think it's shitty that you are messing around with guys and not telling your wife. It's awful that you would be that disrespectful to her, especially when you say she is your best friend. I honestly did feel kind of bad for you until I read that part... if you can't be faithful to your wife, you should end it if you know you are going to cheat on her. Dishonesty is disgusting and cheating is even worse. My advice to you is to tell your wife ASAP and stop being a lying cheating asshole. Sorry, was that harsh? Well, your wife would probably thank me for telling you the truth.

    As far as your kids go, they probably wouldn't hate you for being gay... they are your kids and will love you. However, the cheating part - still awful. Your kids may not forgive you for that.


    a lil blunt but i agree
    although if ur kids are close to being out of highschool i would wait till they are so its easier and just dont cheat anymore
    but if not tell her now and just get it done with she obviously knows
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 1:11 AM GMT
    There's never going to be a convenient, perfect time for you to come out, but you really should look at doing it sooner rather than later. The longer you drag this out the harder it will be for everyone involved.

    that_guy_NY said

    i go back and forth between wanting to spend the rest of my life with my family versus wanting to be honest about who i am


    You can do both.
  • thatguyny

    Posts: 28

    Mar 23, 2010 1:27 AM GMT
    chris_dallas said
    JoeB1986 saidPersonally, I think it's shitty that you are messing around with guys and not telling your wife. It's awful that you would be that disrespectful to her, especially when you say she is your best friend. I honestly did feel kind of bad for you until I read that part... if you can't be faithful to your wife, you should end it if you know you are going to cheat on her. Dishonesty is disgusting and cheating is even worse. My advice to you is to tell your wife ASAP and stop being a lying cheating asshole. Sorry, was that harsh? Well, your wife would probably thank me for telling you the truth.

    As far as your kids go, they probably wouldn't hate you for being gay... they are your kids and will love you. However, the cheating part - still awful. Your kids may not forgive you for that.


    a lil blunt but i agree
    although if ur kids are close to being out of highschool i would wait till they are so its easier and just dont cheat anymore
    but if not tell her now and just get it done with she obviously knows


    JUST don't cheat anymore
    i've tried, really, I have
    and i guess i've convinced myself that a circle jerk isn't cheating, and if i keep it to that, then i'm not so despicable.

    sexual urges are STRONG
    and i swear it'd be different if i were really attracted to women (like i think i used to be). I swear, that i could control because i Ihave a woman.
    But this is different - a whole different world

    i envy you young guys who are out and not conflicted
    the conflict can be torture
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 1:27 AM GMT
    ILmarathonrunner saidBest of luck to you. It does sound like you have an amazing wife. I don't know the answer, but will your wife be more pleased to know the truth? It sounds like she probably knows anyway. Your wife may be a total saint, but it takes two to be great friends with your significant other. I'm guessing you must be a pretty good guy yourself.



    I about overlooked the 'cheating' part. Not cool at all, but still, that does not make you a horrible person. Probably makes the need to fess up that much greater, IMHO.
  • curve

    Posts: 668

    Mar 23, 2010 1:47 AM GMT
    be honest with her and yourself... bring her into the loop and work on it together... she will love you for this, maybe not right away... but it's the best alternative.

    You can have your family and be a happy gay man at the same time -- i direct speak from experience myself!
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    Mar 23, 2010 2:32 AM GMT
    why is everyone talking to him like he is diseased ??? " yeah go see a shrink " ..."You want integrity..wholeness....respect?" what kind of crap is that ???? as if life were so black and white as you make it out to be or want it to be... being gay has nothing to do with being in any kind of relationship or simply being a human being for that matter...."sometimes" relationships are a little more complicated then blurting out words to someone you have spent your life with to deliberately destroy them and yourself, including everything you've had prior just because you got some "advice" from a bunch of guys that are really just unhappy with their own lives to whom being gay means utter identity. Our sexuality should be nothing but a part of who we are as a whole, it should not define us as individuals & people, it should not make us take to the streets and shout our sexuality out loud... I like to think that we as human beings are a little more complex then whose bedrooms we choose to grace . I think your problem has nothing to do with which sex you have decided to have these indiscretions with...after years of marriage and life with children I would guess many things have changed in your couple, and sure even though most of us would like to believe that we are perfect human beings and have never done any wrong, we'd just be lying to ourselves........ After all, we do stumble and fall but isn't THAT just what makes us human??? .......Being honest with your self would include the fact that you & your spouse really do deserve a standing ovation after 25yrs of marriage and after having raised 3 kids together, you guys have done the hardest work of all !!!! It would just be so easy to throw in the towel, throw away all that hard work you have done for so long...that's right, hard work - it's just what any relationship is, any relationship worth having that is, including all of the bad and ugly!
    So I say, roll up those sleeves and find your self and her again, find the couple that you once were, yes you will always be a father & she will always be their mother, but now you finally have the time to find those care free couple days that vanished once early parenthood came.
    I say, give your self a second chance, you deserve it! Fight for her, for your self , fight for the couple & all the years that you have spent together. Be that man that you are and that she needs you to be right now. And yes, years from now, when you happily gaze in to each other eyes as your grandchildren run around, you will realize how happy you trully are, how wonderfully human you are and how worth it it all was !
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    Mar 23, 2010 4:23 AM GMT
    Hey man, that is a tough situation you are in but I have to admit, I have read stories literally identical to yours over and over on the internet. I honestly have no clue as to whether you should come out or not. That is something only you can know. Asking a question like that from a forum full of strangers is not the best way to decide IMO because everyone's situation is unique.

    You shouldn't envy others, sometimes you just need to look at what you have. You have a stable partner and kids..both of which are lacking in many gay mens' lives. So don't think your life was/is a waste or anything and don't assume all openly gay men are all happy and shit.

    But on the other hand, I understand that being sexually fulfilled is very important to a happy life as well and if you and your wife both are unsatisfied, that is a problem too.

    You need to evaluate both options well. If there is a chance that your family will take it well, and will stick with you no matter what, you should definitely consider coming out. But if they're all 'god hates fags' crazy, you may lose their support and that is something you need to consider too as that may become even more painful than staying in the closet. If you were 19, with a girlfriend asking this same question, I would tell you to leap outta the closet but your situation is a bit more complex. My point is that you are the best person to make the choice, not any of us. However, there must be plenty of other men on this site who have been in your shoes...hopefully they will talk to you.

    I must say though, if you decide to stay with your wife, don't cheat on her. I understand that we get desperate but that is just low and nasty. No one likes being cheated on..
  • thatguyny

    Posts: 28

    Mar 23, 2010 4:48 PM GMT
    meclk saidHey man, that is a tough situation you are in but I have to admit, I have read stories literally identical to yours over and over on the internet. I honestly have no clue as to whether you should come out or not. That is something only you can know. Asking a question like that from a forum full of strangers is not the best way to decide IMO because everyone's situation is unique....


    Yup, I'm with you on that. That's why I tried to as HOW to decide, not WHAT the decision should be.

    My wife's cousin came out while married, and has the best relationship with his ex wife. it's incredible. If I thought it would probably end up like that, i'd still be confused, but at least that would make it a little easier.

    I think i'll try to poke around for what she thinks is the 'right' thing for a husband to do in that situation. I know that in general she's not particularly happy with with guys that decide they don't want to be married anymore, and leave their wives.
    But I wonder if she'd choose to continue on not knowing, because other than sex, and issues of avoiding sex, we've got a great thing

    UGH!
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    Mar 23, 2010 5:15 PM GMT
    But you don't have a great thing, you have a relationship that is, fundamentally, based upon a lie. You've compounded that situation by cheating on her by having sexual adventures with other men. More lies.

    I think what you're really looking for is someone to come up with a scenario in which you are legitimized by trying to have your cake and eat it too, and it doesn't exist. Either you believe that the people you love deserve honesty and integrity from you or you don't. You either live your life honestly or you don't. Every day that you prolong this situation you rob your loved ones of the opportunity to live THEIR lives honestly.

    And yeah, with questions like that, your wife knows.

    PS - I do think it's funny that you can find a way to go to circle jerks with other men but think that there's no way you could go to see a therapist without your wife knowing.
  • curve

    Posts: 668

    Mar 23, 2010 5:34 PM GMT
    that_guy_NY said
    meclk said

    My wife's cousin came out while married, and has the best relationship with his ex wife. it's incredible. If I thought it would probably end up like that, i'd still be confused, but at least that would make it a little easier.

    I think i'll try to poke around for what she thinks is the 'right' thing for a husband to do in that situation. I know that in general she's not particularly happy with with guys that decide they don't want to be married anymore, and leave their wives.
    But I wonder if she'd choose to continue on not knowing, because other than sex, and issues of avoiding sex, we've got a great thing

    UGH!


    you just said, your wife's cousin came out and has a wonderful relationship with his ex-wife... there's a role model for you, a beginning of a network.

    Beging honest and open is easier than you think. It's far easier than not telling the whole truth.

    You have more choices than you think... take the big step, take action. The longer you make excuses the harder it will be... you are trying to convince yourself all the reasons not to do it... "JUST DO IT"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 5:43 PM GMT
    badmikeyt saidBut you don't have a great thing, you have a relationship that is, fundamentally, based upon a lie. You've compounded that situation by cheating on her by having sexual adventures with other men. More lies.

    I think what you're really looking for is someone to come up with a scenario in which you are legitimized by trying to have your cake and eat it too, and it doesn't exist. Either you believe that the people you love deserve honesty and integrity from you or you don't. You either live your life honestly or you don't. Every day that you prolong this situation you rob your loved ones of the opportunity to live THEIR lives honestly.

    And yeah, with questions like that, your wife knows.

    PS - I do think it's funny that you can find a way to go to circle jerks with other men but think that there's no way you could go to see a therapist without your wife knowing.



    Mikey is correct. I can speak from experience. First thing to know is that you are going to get advice that is ALL over the place - only you know your specific circumstances. I can't predict how your life is going to go, but I can tell how it went for me. The "gay" feelings kept growing. The tension between us kept getting worse. The stress on me got heavier and heavier every day. The "anxieties" you describe increased. If you're thinking all of this will pass and you'll live happily ever after in your straight marriage, then you should reconsider. It happened to nobody I met through my journey that was in the same situation. Not one, and I met a good number through support groups. Some stayed married, and lived with increasing unhappiness, emptiness, and stress. Just to save a marriage that had become a sham.

    But look - I get where you're coming from. You love her. She's your best friend. You don't want to lose her, to be the reason your family broke apart. But like Mikey said, it's based on a lie. Dude, stop sneaking around even if all you're doing is circle-jerking (I find it hard to believe that's all you've done). You're not doing her any favors, even if you think you're doing what's best for everyone.

    You said you picture yourself years from know and think you'd be happier with your family. Does that mean you're going to lose your kids? Many of the men I met in your situation had kids (I don't) and they are still good fathers who love their kids and are loved by them.

    You said you still feel young and have a good long life ahead of you. In my opinion, you're only living as half a man. The other half is repressed and fighting his way out. You could live the rest of your life totally complete, no more internal struggles. No more repression. Somebody above said it will be rough for a couple days and let me correct him and say that it will be rough for much, much longer than a couple of days. But when you're out of the storm, you will be a happier man. You're wasting time right now... your's and your wife's.

  • thatguyny

    Posts: 28

    Mar 23, 2010 7:05 PM GMT
    badmikeyt said...

    PS - I do think it's funny that you can find a way to go to circle jerks with other men but think that there's no way you could go to see a therapist without your wife knowing.


    well, if therapy for 5 minutes every once in a while during lunch hour would work, i'd be all over that!

    ---
    to badmikey and everyone else, i do appreciate the responses - lots to think about and honestly, i haven't had the opportunity to talk about it before, even on a forum like this.

    so to the guys who were deep in the closet, and already came out by their own choice, what did it?
    what was the straw that broke the closets lock (apologies for the mixed metaphor)?
    Did you plan it? Or did you just snap?

    I know every situation is different, but just hearing about others experiences is really helpful to me and my current mindset (which is - i think i want to come out, but i want to be sure, and i want to do it the most humane way possible)

    thanks again for the support
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 7:11 PM GMT
    that_guy,

    I'll send you a private email with answers to some of your questions. I don't mind being somewhat open on a forum like this, but I find that some topics (such as this one) generate a huge amount of hate and personal attacks even if your intentions are good.

    See this recent thread... it has some really great responses in it, but it's laced with negativity and offensive remarks. If you can sort them out there are good comments.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/865335/

    Meanwhile watch for an email from me.

    D

  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Mar 23, 2010 7:11 PM GMT
    that_guy_NY saideven going to a therapist or counselor is going to start all sorts of discussions with my wife that I don't know how to have until talking with a counselor or therapist
    "honey, i need to see a shrink"
    "why"
    "uh, i can't tell you - it's personal, something i need to work out, you'll find out sooner or later, but I can't say right now"
    ugh
    it's a classic catch-22

    there are so many challenges with this, it's absolutely f'ing mind boggling




    No, it's a private matter. Tell her you are unhappy with some things in your life and you want to get better. Tell her you want to be honest with her and that is why you are telling her you are seeing a shrink, but other than that, she has to respect your privacy about this issue for the time being. Tell her you can tell her more after you see a shrink for awhile, but once again the reason why you are seeing a shrink is to help you feel better and to make things better.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 23, 2010 7:19 PM GMT
    Well first of all, welcome to RJ. I hope you find men here who are open, honest and caring and absolutely concerned for whats going on with you.

    Since I've never been in your situation, maybe a little hard for me to give objective advice, but I'll do my best.....

    I think you need to be honest with her, first and foremost. Even if you don't know what your going to do, you need to be honest. She's your best friend, the mother of your children and your greatest supporter for at least 25 years.
    She is going to ask you what you want. If you don't know, say so. Work it through together. It affects your kids, you know you will feel better for it because you handled it responsibly. You've worked through almost everything together, why not this, especially since she's "gay friendly" and she probably already knows.

    In the end, your happiness and your life is very important. Your wife's opinion is important and your children's a priority. I probably ultimately would base your moves on your kids' acceptance. They are certainly old enough to understand and accept it.

    More than anything, know you can develop a support system. Do it here, you have some awesome guys to help you along!