A 42-year-old man who married a woman to have a straight lifestyle, even though he knew he was gay, is now seeking advice after falling in love with a man he met online.
The anonymous father of two wrote to The Washington Blad e ‘s advice column saying the affair has him “in a mess”. He admits he “always knew” he was attracted to men, but married a woman as he “wanted a normal life like everyone else”.
He explained: “When and where I was growing up, being gay wasn’t accepted and I didn’t want to face a life of ostracism. Also I wanted to have a family. I dated girls hoping I would stop thinking about guys, but I never stopped fantasising .”
While he’s been happy with his wife and “wouldn’t have missed being a dad for anything”, he began questioning his ‘straight’ lifestyle after meeting a man named Chris on the internet.
“I am feeling so much more passion and love with Chris,” he wrote. “Plus, 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 fantasising about guys.
“For about 25 years I’ve been telling myself I’m bisexual but I don’t think that’s the case anymore.”
He now fears his wife will poison his children against him if she finds out, but can’t bear the thought of spending the rest of his life in the closet acting as a straight man. “I don’t see any clear way out and I’d be grateful for your expertise,” he asks.
The letter writer says he’s afraid to leave his wife in case she turns their children against him (Jasmine Wallace Carter/Pexels)
The Washington Blade ‘s columnist and psychologist Michael Radkowsky responded to the anonymous letter from the ‘straight’ writer with some tough advice – and his first point was about the wellbeing of the man’s wife.
“I’m struck by how little regard or empathy you have for your wife,” he said. “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.
“She’s married to a guy who promised he would not have sex with men and then begins an affair with a guy he met online.
“I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t have sex with men, but what about her right to honest dialogue about all this?”
Radkoswky questions the man’s decision to remain ‘straight’ while in the closet, noting that while it was certainly more difficult to be out in the 90s than it is today, it was by no means impossible and there were plenty of visible, openly gay men at the time.
“My hunch is that you haven’t wanted to struggle with the harder road in life. 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,” he says.
The kinder thing to do, he advised, would be to come clean with his wife so she doesn’t squander the rest of her life in a sham marriage.
“Yes, there may be consequences to your being honest, though if you have a good relationship with your children, you may stand a good chance of staying connected to them.”
Radkoswky concluded: “Speaking of squandering, consider that you may in large part be squandering your own life, lying, living in fear and pretending to be someone you’re not.
“The path out of your ‘mess’ is to figure yourself out, to take the time to consider who you want to be and to define the values by which you want to live.”
Harsh but fair.
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