I stumbled across this forum looking for something to help me understand whats just happened in my own family. After 27 years of marriage and 4 kids my mom discovered that my dad is gay and has been having multiple affairs and encounters over the last few years. Our age range is 17-24, I'm 22 and very liberal I have no problem with the idea of a gay person in our family... but I have a MAJOR problem with the cheating and lies. I found out a few weeks ago and I'm still angry... intensely, FURIOUSLY angry with my dad. My dad never came out to my mom, she found incriminating emails and he denied it right up until the moment she quoted them to him. He has never apologized, maybe out of pride, maybe emotional stupidity, maybe he thinks he "shouldn't apologize for being himself". You have lied to your family for years, the very foundation of family was built on sand. You sound like a good man and a good dad so you may want to learn from my dads mistakes.
Whether or not you have cheated this lie that you have told is gigantic, all-encompassing and it can make your kids question the foundation of their world. My dad's first reaction to me was defensive, his first words were "I fell in love and I'm not sorry". Honestly, it felt like losing my dad. Someone who I've loved and admired all these years not only did the unthinkable, but isnt sorry?! He has since tried to apologize for the pain its caused but holds the ground that he isnt sorry about falling in love, I'm not sure its enough after where we started. If your kids are angry, they have a right to be you have pulled the rug right out from under their world. Accept the anger, getting defensive will only lock you into adversarial roles.
This whole process my dad has continued to bend or obscure the truth, when you come out lay it all on the table (at least what your kids are mature enough to hear). Any more lies from this point on will stop them from ever trusting you again. At this point I still feel like I need to fact check everything that comes out of his mouth because most are untrue.
Ever since we found out my dad has been cold, shockingly, painfully cold. He acts as though everything is normal, just trying to chat as usual. I have yet to see any evidence that the dissolution of our family causes him pain. Maybe he thinks hes being stoic but mostly it makes me feel alone, like our family wasn't worth much and hes just relieved to be free of the lie it was.
You're probably not hiding it as well as you think, my siblings have found gay porn on our family computer, the signs were there and the emails my mum found were opened and left out on our shared computer. Its not fair to corner your wife into outing you just as it hasn't been fair for your wife to increasingly engage with other men. Come out to her, dont make it be the other way around. Even at the end my dad forced my mom to say the words, "its over" he mentioned recommitting but in the same sentence said he couldnt be sure he wouldnt cheat. Now she has to carry the guilt of ending it and outing him even though she has been faithful and would have liked him to recommit.
I don't think my dad really realizes what hes lost or what hes done. Maybe your kids wont react with this kind of hurt and anger, for everyone involved I hope they dont. But they might and you need to be understanding and still be the dad they recognize, thats the worst part about this for me. I want to go to my dad but after all thats happened it feels like there is nowhere to go, that man is gone or he never existed. Good luck, this is a pivotal moment for everyone, do your best to handle it with honesty, integrity and emotion.