eb925guy saidI too fit into this category. I'm actually going through the process as we speak. Married 22 yrs and been confused since about the 4th grade...yeah, OK, I'm slow!
Why did I marry? I honestly thought that all the feelings would go away. I was not sexually active prior to marriage (I know, again... I'm slow, shy and unusual I guess). Although I knew I liked looking at guys I thought it was more the absence of a relationship than an issue of homosexuality. Raised in a small town in the east where I'm not sure they even knew how to spell gay.
How did I get through the years of marriage? My years of marriage were very good. I have a very loving wife, she's a great mother and a very caring individual. I have 3 great kids, I love them dearly. Early on while raising kids, my thoughts were diverted. My focus was on my family. When Al Gore invented the Internet, my world started to change (damn you Al Gore! LOL). Wife working nights, kids in bed, dad home alone on the Internet. But even then I did NOT consider myself gay, bi perhaps, in denial definitely but NOT gay. After all, how could I be, I was married, the church said it was wrong, no one in my family was gay, where could I have caught such a thing? I had so much to learn.
Did my wife suspect? Definitely not for the first 15 - 20 years. I think there were a couple of things, after that, that might have caused some suspicion, she asked once (gay.com in history...duh!) and I denied. Again, trying to accept it myself was the hardest.
What made me finally come out? I couldn't continue to live the double life. My entire life consisted of being someone I was not, from early in my childhood. I built a wall so secure that NO ONE was allowed behind, not my wife, my kids, my friends, my pastor, NO ONE. Finally after constantly being on my mind (over a year) and not feeling like I could get the love I needed, I picked up the phone and made an appt with a therapist. The hardest call I ever made. Tears streaming down my face, finally admitting who I was, not only to the therapist on the phone but to myself. I could now be free. Told my wife about the therapist but would NOT tell her why. She felt betrayed and in sort of a guessing game asked me if I was gay (not many other possibilities of things that I had been dealing with since my youth). I told her yes and that began the process (and a very LONG night).
Being married and being gay is a very difficult life style. I don't believe that many gay guys really understand how hard it is. Not everyone is in a geographical location, religious situation or family setting where admitting they are gay, especially to themselves, is easily done. Ignorance plays a large part also. The path of least resistance is to follow what society favors. There's the hope of change, the hope that never happens. The one thing that I've found in going through all of this is that there is heartache and pain, for you and the family, but there's a new freedom. The support that is shown while forming new communities of friends is not only essential but, for me, it's been overwhelming. Support groups, friends (new gay friends) and forums like RJ all contribute to making the transition so much easier. My wife is extremely understanding and we are working together! to make the transition, despite the enormous pain she is dealing with. The loss of a husband, life style, future, all of it. We will remain best friends, I hope forever.
OK, much more than the poster asked for but, for me, it's therapeutical. If anyone else is going through this and they're as confused as I've been, feel free to reach out and say hi. We all need the support of each other, don't be ashamed to ask for it.
Even though this post is 8 years old and there are probably several other posts on these forums that will also hit the bulls-eye, I have to quote this one and simply acknowledge I am this man too - just at a different stage in this evolution us married guys go through. I'm still married, been in therapy, have admitted to myself what I've always known. I did a masterful job at securing all of this behind The Wall... but I can't do it anymore.
I can't handle the daily battle inside of myself. I'm 47 and have never known a life of inner peace. I don't know what that is. It must feel wonderful but I feel as though it is something I'll never know because my life has been too consumed with making sure every single relationship I have with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, has been managed properly to keep the secret. To keep the house of cards standing strong. It takes every ounce of energy I have. It's exhausting and I'm tired. I'm just... so tired. But I still can't move from my spot. To keep from emotionally hurting everyone else I elect to take that pain on myself.
All the reasoning and rationale for coming out has been presented to me, and I understand it. I even support it. It's not as though I need perspective or convincing. I'm there... I agree. It just comes down to the fact that I'm afraid. I'm terrified. I find every reason why now is not the right time. There's a milestone approaching, who has a graduation coming up, the family wants to go on vacation, it's tax season... etc. I let those things win.
I don't know why I feel like I have to puke it all out this morning. I came on here to post hot pics of naked guys doing yard work, and found myself searching out "Married" topics as well. So here I am. To you men who have 'made it over the mountain' and still have the relationships with your exes and children intact, I applaud and envy you. I admire your strength, your courage, and your status. I feel like I'm one step away from being there myself, but I can't bring myself over that line. One thing I can say for myself is that I feel like I 'want' to finally take that step. I never felt that way before. Perhaps that momentum will carry me onward. I don't know.
So I guess I should answer the questions of the initial topic. Why did you get married, how did you get through the years of marriage and did your wives suspect, what made you decide to finally come out?
Why did I marry? Like in the post I quoted, I thought these feelings would go away, even though I've felt them since I'm eight years old. I did so well in stamping them down - regardless of all the 'experiences' I've had leading into my 20's. I married because it was what was expected of me. I married because it was the safe thing to do. I'm the only surviving son and the last one to carry on the family name. I married so I could make my father proud and see that the tree didn't end with me. So I had four kids... all girls. I love my girls unlike anything that can be described in words, but I don't let the joke that life played on me get by. The blood line will continue, but the name will die with me.
I got through the years of marriage very happy - still am, in fact. I love my wife and the life we built with our girls. Even though I'm gay, I still want to provide and care for them all. The problem is within the conflict of interest. Not very interested in the bedroom being a gay man in a straight marriage. And believe me, it's an issue. My wife knows (thinks) I'm bisexual due to some pictures she found of me (some of which you see on this site). However, she still does not know anything else. She doesn't believe I'm gay - as we both fully believe one is born that way. What I've never told her yet is that... I was born this way. She thinks some of my childhood experiences were not welcomed and they fucked with my head. Truth is, I welcomed them like fantasies coming true. But only I know that.
I have not come out yet, and that is one of the reasons I'm posting here. My resistance to all of this has eroded away, and I just can't fight it anymore.