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A man having an affair with a male co-worker wants to know: how should he tell his girlfriend?

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A man has written famed advice columnist Dear Deidre with a heck of a quandary: he’s fallen hard for a male coworker, and now wonders how to tell his longtime girlfriend.

“Dear Deidre,” the man writes, according to The Sun. “I’ve identified as started an affair with a male colleague and I didn’t even know I was gay until we started our fling. I’m in a relationship with a 37-year-old woman, but now I want to be with him permanently. I’m a man of 39 and I’ve been with my partner for eight years. I got a new job five years ago at a timber yard and hit it off with this bloke who worked there. He’s 35 and is also living with his girlfriend.”

The anonymous man then goes on to detail how an instant connection led to friendship, and eventually, something more.

“Our connection was instant,” he writes, “but not in any sexual way – far from it – we used to have a laugh going out on deliveries and I enjoyed work. We went out as a foursome sometimes, but one evening I went for drinks in a pub near his home while his girlfriend was visiting family. We played snooker for hours and got completely smashed. We went back to his place and I was about to bed down on his sofa when he suggested I get into his bed instead. I didn’t see any harm in it and was too drunk to care.”

That’s when things evolved.

Related: She can’t stop thinking about her boyfriend’s gay past every time they have sex together

“In the early hours I woke up to feel my colleague stroking my legs and trying to kiss me,” the man says. “It felt good, but then I came to my senses and knew it was him – but I didn’t want it to stop. We ended up exploring each other’s bodies and then had sex. Neither of us had had a gay relationship before, but the sex was so incredible, I struggle to think about anything else. Work was closed during the first lockdown and it was torture not seeing him, but we’ve opened the depot again now. We are always trying to make deliveries in the same area so we can sneak off to a lay-by. We don’t want to hurt our partners, but how can we tell them our relationships are over and we’d like to live happily as a gay couple?”

As always, Deidre offers sensitive and sensible advice.

“Our sexuality is rarely black and white,” she notes. “It is more on a spectrum, with some of us feeling attracted to our own sex at some time – but it doesn’t excuse cheating. My support pack called Bisexual Issues explains more.”

“It’s best to put your affair on hold to enable you both to sort out your current relationships – you owe your partners that at the very least,” she advises. “Give each other time and space to work those issues through. You risk spreading coronavirus as well as STIs by having multiple sexual partners.”

Deidre then ends her response for the phone number of a UK hotline offering advice to LGBTQ questioning people.

Dear Deidre has a long history of offering affirming advice to LGBTQ people. Earlier this year, she offered advice to a man in a similar situation who had fallen for a co-worker while married to a woman. She also offered counsel to a man obsessed with having gay sex while also married to a woman.

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