I'll cut to the chase. I'm one of those conflicted closet cases you mentioned in today's column. I married very young at at time when I was in total denial about my sexuality. If I could go back 20 years in time, I'd give my younger self some very pointed advice, but that time is long past. Mistakes were made.
So here I am. I'm 40 years old, I've got two great kids in elementary school that I wouldn't hurt for the world, and a wife whom I care about but I'm not attracted to her in the least. (By all appearances, she's not attracted to me either.) I haven't yet been sexually active outside my marriage, but I think that is inevitable. And, I've reached a point where I really want to come out. When that happens, I would rather be able to tell them that I did my best to be the person they wanted me to be, and instead of cheating I was honest with them when I realized that was impossible.
As I write this, I don't think I need advice. Although I am very concerned about hurting the people I love, I think the best way to avoid that over the long term is to tear the bandage off as quickly as possible and come out. Right? I think that's got to be better than preserving a marriage based on dishonesty, especially from the standpoint of my kids. I'd much rather be held accountable for living with some integrity than for living a lie.
But it is scary as hell—like jumping off a cliff. I guess I'm just writing for a little moral support here. I know I can't be the only conflicted closet case out there looking for some positive direction.
My response after the jump...
You were victimized by a homophobic culture that encouraged you to do precisely what you wound up doing: you suppressed and denied your true sexuality, you found a woman that you could pretend to love, you married her and had a family. Your victimization lead you to victimize your wife in turn, CCC, so you need to be sensitive to her needs, feelings, justifiable feelings of anger and betrayal, etc., when you come out to her. (Here's a link for her.)
But you do have my moral support—and it's time to do the right thing. Its time to live, like you said, with some integrity. Come out to your wife, while she's still young enough to build a new life for herself, and come out to your kids, because they have a right to finally meet their father.
Your wife may be relieved to learn that her marriage is dysfunctional—and her sex life nonexistent—through no fault of her own.
SLLOTD day readers who've been there—formerly closeted homos who married opposite-sex partners, men and women who discovered that they were married to closeted homos—are invited to share their experiences and insights with CCC.