I'm a guy in my early 50s, married for half of that, and have finally come to realize that I am attracted to men even more than I am attracted to women. I love my wife, love having sex with her, but fantasize about men. I don't want to turn my life upside down (hurt my wife, get divorced, freak out my kids, etc.) just to scratch this itch. But I also realize that to some degree I have not really lived who I am all these years. (My wife discovered I have these feelings a couple of years ago and we got through that crisis when I told her I did not act on them, which is still true.) Any advice?
Gay, Bi, Whatever
Dear Gay, Bi, Whatever,
Sometimes there's a theme in the letters. I just finished agonizing over a guy whose wife seems to be in the grip of an alien passion. I told him I think he has to try to keep his wife from seeing this other man. And now it's the person in the grip of the alien, surprising passion who is writing. So I ask myself: If it's wrong for her to stray, why wouldn't it be wrong for you?
The difference, it seems to me, is that she didn't suddenly wake up and discover she's a heterosexual woman. She knew that all along. She just wants to alter the terms of her marriage.
You're in the grip of something altogether more profound. You woke up and found you weren't entirely who you thought you were. That, it seems to me, is a more urgent matter.
My only advice at this point is to accept what you now know, and don't begin the journey alone. A very cursory search on the Web shows a wealth of places you can turn to for testimony from men with similar stories: Here you are in your early 50s, married with kids, and it's finally time to admit that you're gay. How do you do it?
Here is a remarkably thoughtful memoir about one married man's gradual acceptance of who he was that you might find reflects some of your own feelings and experiences. "Mark" carefully and honestly spells out the conflicts of such a situation. And on this page, in the spouse section, I found the response of "Nancy" very moving.
I'd suggest you try to find a group in your area and get acquainted. There's nothing like getting to know people who are going through the same thing you are. You will realize that you are not so unusual, and will be able to profit from the experience of others who have wrestled with the same questions. Good luck. There's nothing you can't get through in this life if you're willing to get up every morning and face the truth.
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