A 42-year-old married father of two says he’s “in a mess” after choosing the straight life despite knowing he was gay, so he’s seeking advice from Washington Blade columnist Michael Radkowsky.
“I’ve been having a relationship with a guy I met online for the last few months and I’m falling in love,” the man writes.
He continues by saying that he “always knew” he was attracted to men, but that he craved a “normal life like everyone else.”
“When and where I was growing up, being gay wasn’t accepted and I didn’t want to face a life of ostracism,” he writes. “Also I wanted to have a family. I dated girls hoping I would stop thinking about guys, but I never stopped fantasizing.”
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The man goes on to say he’s “happy with Rachel overall” and enjoys being a father, but his true passions lie with Chris, his secret gay lover.
“The sex is amazing, so much better than anything I ever experienced with a woman. Every time I’ve had sex with a woman, I’ve really been fantasizing about guys. For about 25 years I’ve been telling myself I’m bisexual but I don’t think that’s the case anymore.”
The man says that if Rachel ever learns of this, she’ll be furious and probably turn his kids against him.
“A few years ago she found some gay porn on my laptop,” he adds. “She sort of accepted I was ‘curious’ and maybe a little bi but I promised I would never act on it. But I think she has been suspicious ever since.”
Now, he’s at a complete loss for what to do.
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In his response, the very first thing Radkowsky says is: “I’m struck by how little regard or empathy you have for your wife. Your focus is on avoiding her wrath and keeping her clueless so that you can have things your way, rather than considering the kind of marriage you’re giving her.”
Radkowsky says this is totally unfair.
“I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t have sex with men, but what about her right to honest dialogue about all this?”
Somewhat unhelpfully, Radkowsky says all of this could have been avoided if the guy had just been honest with himself from the beginning.
“True, it was a lot more difficult to be gay in the 1990s than it is today. But while there was far less acceptance then, there were plenty of out and visible gay people. We’re talking the 1990s, not the 1950s,” Radkowsky writes.
Related: Married man grapples with bisexual urges and being faithful to wife, seeks advice
“My hunch is that you haven’t wanted to struggle with the harder road in life,” he continues. “You’ve wanted to give yourself an out. Problem is, there are often consequences to taking the (seemingly) easy road, and now you’re facing them.”
Ultimately, Radkowsky says the guy is going to have to decide whether he wants to stay with Rachel or be with Chris, but that he can’t have it both ways.
“Consider that you may in large part be squandering your own life, lying, living in fear and pretending to be someone you’re not,” he advises. “The path out of your ‘mess’ is to figure yourself out.”
What advice would you give this guy? Share your pearls of wisdom in the comments section below…
News flash, there is no easy road.
I think that what some don’t get. There is no “easy path”. Yes, if you date your same gender you’re gonna have to deal with homophobia, always validating your relationship in comparison to hetero couples, perhaps religious persecution. But no matter what identity you embrace, who you date, who you sexually engage with, where you fit in the romantic, sexual, affection, relationship spectrum- life is hard. So, you might as well do what you want to do, live in your truth and be with/love who you want to be with/love.
He is being selfish. The wife needs to know and if she responds to the news with anger, that is her right. He has been dishonest and unfaithful to her.
As far as his fear about her turning the kids against him… all I have to say about that is, did he raise his kids to hate gays, or to accept them? Either way, good or bad, he will reap what he has sown.
I was these same shoes. Come out, pure and simple. She probably already knows. You cant change your sexual orientation. Read some books on coming out first. She will be bitter at first, but once she rebuilds her life, she’ll get over it. I am good friends with my ex wife and her bf. It’s not like you left for another twat, you just can’t live without male bonding. Your kids will be fine. You just may be broke for a while. It’s the most courageous thing I’ve ever done, but so worth it. Especially today where contracting HIV is in the past. Let her get on with her life while shes not all dried up. Your friends and family will be accepting. We are our own wost enemy creating all this paranoia and walls. I am.much closer to my straight friends and kids today then I ever was before. Embrace who you are.
Do you have no shame? You make your bed and now you need to lie in it. Your realization that you are gay doesn’t mean that you have to live a gay life style, which quite honestly will disappoint you tremendously in the end. You now have a child and your job is to sacrifice yourself to give your child the best he or she deserves. Everything else is secondary. Dump your secret gay lover and focus on your marriage and your innocent wife.
Do YOU have no shame? So he doesn’t have to live a gay lifestyle, being gay is a choice to you? He can’t be a good father because he’s gay?
You DO NOT BELONG HERE. Go away. In you’re own words, you are DISGUSTING.
Agree, there is no easy road. I’ve been in his shoes. And, it is a very painful path to walk. I’m on the other side of the mountain now, thank god. But, I would never have made it alive without the incredible love and support of friends and family. I’ve always been struck by how quickly folks are to judge married gay men. As if they are all selfish bastards with no regard for the impact they are having on their families. While they are definitely some like that, most are decent, kind, and loving people who are just trying to find some way to be happy but are caught in a destructive loop of guilt, self-loathing, depression, and hopelessness. Words like “solve your own problems”, “reap what you sow”, and “just getting what you deserve” are just pushing him over that cliff when instead we should be reaching out a hand.
Yes, he needs to be honest with his wife and kids. He needs to live his truth. He also needs to know that it will be ok. It won’t be easy and things will never be the same again. They will be different, but it will be ok. Yes, some relationships will go way and it will be very sad. But, new ones will come along and some old ones will become stronger. And, once he works through all the pain and tears, he’ll find a sense of happiness and belonging that he didn’t think was possible.
I feel like that there are A LOT of men from our generation (80’s, 90’s) suffering through this issue. And, their families are suffering with them. As community, if we could be a little more understanding and supportive, maybe we could ease that suffering just a little. Wouldn’t that be cool.
Gay men don’t choose to live as a heterosexual because they’re selfish or confused or whatever. They do it because they’re a victim of their circumstance and a victim of the culture around them. If they felt they were allowed to be themselves, they would have made a different choice.
This could have been me ten years ago.
The only difference is I never cheated on my wife. Believe me, I completely get the idea of just wanting to fit somewhere and just have a life regular life. But dude needs to fess up. That shit ain’t going away no matter if he drops the dude he is with.
The best thing to do would be to come out to the wife and keep the kids at the forefront for the divorce. Actually because he cheated, he has it easier, there is someone there to love and support him. When I came out after the final separation, I was homeless for three weeks.
He said he didn’t want to choose difficult path. Ironically, he chose probably the most difficult path. You will always get what you sew before.
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
You choose the shirt you are going to wear in the morning, not your sexual orientation …
Why does this closeted guy with children find someone to “date” and I’m out of the closet and can’t get a bf?
Yup. Splitting with the wife and letting everyone get with who they are compatible with is the best way to go. Bumpy road but worth the freedom, for everyone. The other way is a lifetime jail sentence.
Since the wife has already found the gay porn on the computer, and has been suspicious of him a few times since then, his coming out should not be quite the shock he envisions.
There will be a lot of tears and some anger, but eventually reconciliation.
I’m disappointed at the vengeful and sanctimonious comments regarding this issue. It’s like people are gleefully hoping that someone who makes certain life choices “get what’s coming to them”. At the same time I’m encouraged by @astew0867 and @RickHeathen who recognize the bigger societal impact and seek to make the best of this difficult and emotional situation. The guy’s family will benefit by him coming to terms with himself and taking that first step towards truth. No it’s not an ideal situation but it’s a salvageable situation. We should all want that for him and his family and who knows maybe you’ll need that support some day.
Look, first things first: Gay, or Straight, you’re cheating on your wife. You made vows when you got married, so “fish or cut bait”. Make a decision and man up. You’ve tried to have it both ways and, sorry, you can’t. It’s true that you shouldn’t have to torture yourself for the rest of your life if you really feel you’re Gay, but she deserves the chance to be happy with someone who truly loves her, too. Nobody can say she’ll “come around”. You’re completely disrupting her life, and her future too, and it’s not her fault. Hopefully, she’ll realize she’s better off knowing the truth, even if it means divorce (that’s her decision). If your kids love you, and you’ve been the best father you can, hopefully they’ll come to understand your decisions.
There are no guarantees, but you don’t want to live your life in misery, and you’d make a lousy husband and father if you did. Rip the bandage, come clean, and take the consequences.
I have no sympathy for the guy. Truth be told I have no sympathy for any person who cheats on a spouse or partner. He made a horrible decision in the past. Depending on how old he is and where he lived, I might understand the decision even if I strongly disagree with it. The fact is that he has to be an adult and make an adult decision. He can stay with the wife and be faithful to her, despite the personal angst this causes him or he can tell her the truth and together with her come to a decision about their future. What he is doing now is unfair to him, to her, to the children, and frankly, to the boyfriend.
I had a friend who made the same choice when he was in college. He has made a lot of stupid decisions and almost been nailed a few times. We do not speak much anymore because he knows I disapprove. But I wonder when the lid is going to blow because his wife is not stupid and he is not completely discrete.
Regardless of what he SHOULD have done, he needs advice now.
There is really only one path open to him, and that is to come out, ask for a divorce and move on with his life. If it means the worst, then so be it. It is far better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are not.
Staying in place is just delaying the inevitable and makes the breakup and coming out worse. His wife deserves a husband who loves her and can give her fantastic sex, which this guy apparently cannot. Just to be fair to her, he needs to let her go. His kids deserve a father who is honest with himself and the world — it’s the best role model he can be. They may not understand it now, but at some point, they will respect their dad for being real and brave enough to give up everything so that he can be himself, and more importantly, HONEST with his loved ones.
He also needs to be honest with his boyfriend, which no one seems to care about. He needs to break with his family so he can finally have a real relationship with the b.f.
Yes, had he did this earlier, it would have been easier. This just proves that the longer he waits the worse it will be. He is on a collision course with himself, and at this point it is unavoidable.
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