My Husband Doesn’t Know I’m Gay

Reader’s Question:

I have been married for about five years, but we have been together since high school (i.e. a long time). My husband and I have two beautiful children and a very comfortable middle-class life. All is well except I am gay. I guess I have known all my life, but never wanted to face the truth. I love my husband and my family and I do not want a divorce. I am happy with my life and do not want things to change. However, I know I am hurting my husband because I am not attracted to men and he can tell during sex. I have to imagine women to get through it. Everything else is as perfect as I would hope for. I know he feels insufficient. I want to tell him it is my fault and not his, but I know this will not end well. I want to be honest, but I am afraid he will leave. This life we have built and fought for will be gone. Since I am content with just leaving things how they are and moving forward, is it unfair of me to keep this from my husband? I just get so sad that he feels less about himself because of my deception. I ‘m not sure I can live with this guilt since I love him so much, but I don’t want to lose my family. What do I do so that everyone is happy?

Everyone should be happy…eventually.

Take a deep breath. You already know what the right thing to do is, I know you do. The best choices are typically the toughest. As much as you love him and you don’t want to lose him, it is so unfair not to tell him the truth.

Yes, he will most likely leave, but either way, he has the right to choose for himself.

He will need time. Time to figure out what he wants, who he is without you, and how to handle this change in his reality. You have had a lot of time to process and deal with all of this, and now he will need time, too.

Maybe he will be okay with this. Maybe he will want to continue on without changing the status quo, as you do. Perhaps he will find solace in the truth and feel reassured that it is not his sexual prowess at fault. Maybe he already has a good idea that you are solely attracted to women.

There is only one way to find out.

I know that you love him and you don’t want to lose him, but his love for you should urge him to want what is best for you as well. It is in everyone’s best interest to tell the truth. If you both decide to bury this deep and live “happily ever after,” then so be it. That is your choice, together. It must be a choice he gets to make as well.

Sex is not the most important aspect of life or a relationship, BUT sex is important!

I am sorry that you never felt comfortable enough to be who you truly are. Opening up to your husband about this may seem like the end of your world, but try to think of it as a new beginning. It could take time to heal from the change, whatever that change ends up being…but you should both feel relieved to have spoken and heard the truth about such a heavy and constant concern.

Sharing this could give you a chance to really find yourself and explore new types of relationships. Maybe you will even find that perfect gal and fall in love.

Also, your situation is not as uncommon as you may believe. These things happen and people move on. Everything will be great. Just do right by your children and remember, the sooner you start your new journey, the sooner you can reach that happiness.

 

Should I Tell My Kids the Truth About Why Family is Never Around?

Reader’s Question:

 I didn’t have the best childhood. As an adult, I chose to leave it behind and start anew. I am now very happily married with three beautiful children, children who are starting to ask questions about why we don’t have any family around. I do not feel that we are ready for the conversations of why my family isn’t around and often I change the subject without even a fake answer. In addition to the lack of “family,” I am an incessant hermit, which does not help much with “the family is what you make of it,” because I don’t do that well either. This has now become pillow talk on a nightly basis and I am at wit’s end on what to say to my children so that my husband will stop nagging me. Thanks.

Well, I feel ya.

I’m sure many people, more than you and I both realize, understand. The truth is there is no right or wrong answer and it’s your choice (and the hubby’s of course) to release or withhold as much information as you feel necessary, but kids aren’t stupid. They go to school or have neighbors and they eventually figure out the world is not a perfect place. Not everyone lives in the best environment.

There is no shame in saying, “hey, I didn’t have the best childhood and as an adult, I don’t consider those people from that part of my life to be my family.”

Or try, “sometimes as an adult, you have to make hard decisions, like removing yourself from the lives of people and places that are not good for you.”

I’m all about keeping kids innocent, but too many kids today don’t know how good they have it. Children are increasingly entitled and ungrateful. They don’t realize what we as parents go through to make their life comfortable on a daily basis. If you don’t want to say much, fine, keep it simple, but say something that is honest and to the point.

I assume you want your kids to become strong adults with strong morals and deep character. Growing as a person requires us to leave our comfort zone. Admitting to your kids that your family will never be around because they are not good people will be hard for them, as honest reasons often are.

Ask yourself though, how does withholding the truth help them? Do you think your kids can’t handle the truth? Why? Wouldn’t you rather your children learn a lesson from the hardships you endured as a child? Wouldn’t you like to show them how you overcame serious difficulties and now are able to give them the life you always wanted?

I’ll bet your husband is proud of you. I’ll bet he admires the person you are more because he knows how tough you are. He knows how strong you are. There is nothing wrong with your kids slowly learning/feeling/knowing the same thing.

The world could use strong leaders with depth of character. It starts with parents. We need to be real with our kids.

Do not be ashamed of where you have come from. That was not your choice. You have chosen a better life for your kids than was decided for you. Share that!

Personally, I believe in nearly full disclosure. Exact details of situations do not need to be told or relived, but I get the idea across. I didn’t have the best childhood either. Over the years, I have grown, matured, and healed. I am stronger than ever and not afraid of people – including my children who are 16 & 12 – to know what I went through. Where I came from shaped who I am today…the good, the bad, and the very anxious.

I do not live with shame. I do not live with the guilt. Being open feels great and freeing. Perhaps sharing with your family will help with your hermit ways.

Not everyone is willing to work and move forward in order to free themselves from their past. It can be brutal.

In the end, these are your kids and you must decide what you are comfortable with and what you are not. Parent-Child relationships are all about boundaries and so set them and move forward.

Remember, as corny as it sounds…Honesty is the best policy! (Honesty with a dab of vagueness for the younger kids, of course.)

 

 

My Wife Refuses to Work for Me!

Reader’s Question:

My wife and I have been married for about 13 years and things are great. I’m writing to ask about my attitude more than hers, I suppose. I’d like my wife to quit her job and come work with me at my company. I am a general contractor and could use her help with office stuff and such. My wife is a nurse at the hospital and loves her job, and would like to keep things the way they are. We don’t need the money and it would give us more time to travel and spend more time with our kids. Plus, working together has always been a daydream of mine. When the kids were old enough she decided to go back to the hospital instead of coming to work with me. I feel resentful and I don’t want a fight. I don’t like having these ill feelings and it really does bother me. What’s the deal here and what should I do?

This is a good problem to have…realize how lucky you are, first!

While you might not need the income, your wife clearly needs her career right now. I’m assuming from the way you worded this, she is a good mother and wife. So, it is understandable that she likes the rewarding feeling being a good nurse provides, too.

Thank goodness for good nurses!

It’s hard to find a job you absolutely love, but if the myth is true, she seems like one of the very few lucky ones to feel like work is not work at all.

She either loves her job OR she doesn’t want to work with you.

Maybe she likes the time away from the family and home. A little independence is often needed to appreciate what you have. My husband and I have worked together for many years throughout our relationship (we run a business together right now) and we truly love spending a ton of time together. Why else marry someone, right?

But, the lack of separation and distance does cause agitation and issues…just as you would imagine. Plus, working together creates a new dynamic that may or may not be positive.

I get why this would seem like a dream for some people, and maybe depending on the type of business, it differs on how well it can go. In my experiences, working with your spouse is not an easy job at work or at home. The stress you could normally leave at the office will no longer be an option. Think about it.

I would just let this play out.

Your wife knows what you want and how you feel. Maybe over time she will soften to the idea. Don’t push her to do this if she really doesn’t want it. That can cause resentment and make things at work and home more difficult.

If someone is miserable because they are “forced” to do something, it can change them. They can harbor ill feelings and create a negative atmosphere…which you don’t for your marriage or your business.

Guns at a Sleepover?

Reader’s Question:

My daughter has met a new friend. They have been playing together for a few months and are now really close. She asked to sleepover at her friend’s house on a Friday night. I know the father has guns from other friends in the area. With this information, I am concerned with allowing my daughter to stay in their home should things not be locked tight and away from the children. Is it okay to ask about these guns or is this none of my business?

 When it comes to your child, everything is your business. You can ask anything you want, always.

When it comes to guns in the home, I feel that it is irresponsible not to ask. Where are the guns kept? Are they locked up? Who keeps the key? Is there a permit in the home for the guns? When you drop your child off at their home can you see that the guns are in fact locked up and away from the children? Do their children know where the guns are kept? Are they allowed to access the guns, and if so with or without a parent?

Guns are not a toy. It is estimated that over 1500 children die each year from accidents with a firearm. Thirty-four percent of children in the United States live in homes with at least one firearm. In sixty-nine percent of homes with firearms and children, more than one firearm is present. In nine percent of homes with children and guns, at least one of the weapons is stored unlocked and loaded.

While we are at it, when it comes to sleepovers, I also always ask about: internet access, movie/games ratings allowed in the home, if anyone else will be at or visiting the house, who will be watching the children, et cetera.

Ask questions. Ask questions. Ask questions.

Don’t be afraid of the local gaggle of moms calling you a “helicopter parent” when it comes to gun safety.

I have sleepovers. Generally, kids run the show. I send them home dirty, sick from junk, completely, utterly, worthlessly exhausted…because they did not sleep, not even a wink. With very few exceptions, we skip sleepovers, or hypocritically only allow them at our home.

My kid-my rules. Judge me, I truly do not care.

I would not allow my son to hang out at a home that allows kids to use weapons at their leisure. There are too many irresponsible parents and immature kids. I would not feel safe and I am not, will nor I ever, be comfortable with my boys being around guns unless I am there with them…for damn good reason.

I am not completely against guns.

I think if you live in a rural area, and need a gun for protection, or you are an avid hunter providing for your family…great. Keep it safe and locked up. BUT, if you are just some person who has taken up a hobby revolving around guns and you go to gun shows because you think they are cool…I do not support you.

There is no need and it is not safe. Guns simply create an unnecessary risk most of the time.

Maybe you are safe, but others are not. Even the best kids can make a dumb choice. They just show their friend once and once it all it takes!

Guns should only be for FOOD and PROTECTION.

Ask as many questions as you want and need to make sure you are making the best decision for your child. It sounds as though you don’t know this family very well, but your kids are going to be best friends, so it’s time to get to know them and make sure they provide a safe place to play.

Stuck in the “Friend Zone”…Don’t be a Schmuck!

Reader’s Question:

 II find it sad that women say, “where are all the good guys at? ” but then they choose the assholes. And when they find that good guy, they either immediately “friend zone” him, or lead him on until the asshole comes along, and then they “friend zone/ big brother” them. How do we get them to give the good guys a fighting chance?

I find this sad, too!

First, not all women are like this. It sounds like you’ve been burnt a few times. I want to reassure you that there are great gals out there looking for guys just like you, and these gals would most likely never give “the assholes” a chance.

Second, have you ever considered that you are looking for the wrong type of ladies?

Meaning, the women you are looking at, who have these tendencies, aren’t the right ladies for you. They may be pretty, but looks are not everything, and they do fade with age.

More important things – e.g. kindness, chemistry, and personality – last a lifetime.

When it comes to finding your partner, are you being realistic? Are you looking for the “Stepford wife?” Sometimes when we want something really badly, our expectations can get a little out of hand. I just want to make sure what you are looking for is real and obtainable. If you believe it so, then it is time to try something new. Reach far out of your comfort zone and ask someone out that you never would.

Take charge. Be daring.

The other possibility is, maybe you are looking for the right type of ladies, in the wrong places? If you are meeting ladies at the local watering hole, chances are, most of your buddies have/will be picking those same ladies up as well.

Try online dating or doing something fun in your community to meet a new variety of women. Hit the gym – but DO NOT PICK UP ANYONE AT THE GYM- or a new bookstore, and give it a try.

Trying new things and going new places can really help to put a fresh perspective on your dating life.

STOP BEING A SCHMUCK, NOW!

I know you know when “it” is happening. Heck, even my 16-year-old son can tell when he is getting friend-zoned before it actually happens. I will assume that you too can tell “it’s” coming, so stop letting it happen!

If you like her, tell her, and be a man about it.

Show her you are here for the picking, but you won’t wait long. She isn’t the only catch and you too can find someone else.

I’m not saying play games. I’m saying don’t be the whipping boy.

If you want to be friends great, but if you don’t then she needs to know you have real feelings for her. If she feels differently then you are moving on. You’re a man on a mission to find the love you deserve.

LADIES: STOP DATING ASSHOLES AND LEARN THAT NICE GUYS SHOULD FINISH FIRST!

 Those a-holes keep you up crying at night, treat you like you are beneath them, and they do it on purpose! It’s a manipulation game and they won’t stop until “we” stop falling for it. You are most likely passing the best guys up because honesty and respect aren’t intriguing enough for you.

Those a-holes might buy you things, lots of things, as they flaunt their money or their looks, but they are looking out for number one. While that may be you for a moment, it never lasts. Ask yourself…why do I like this guy if he is such an a-hole?

There, “nice guys,” I told them to stop it! Now go out and fight through that “friend zone.” Show these ladies that being with a good guy will make them happy in ways they never imagined!

Moving in Before Marriage?

Reader’s Question:

I just got engaged! I am very excited. I am 29 years old and have been dating my partner for almost a year. We are ready to start a family and move forward. However, my mom has asked that we not set a date for the wedding until we have lived with each other for at least 6 months. I think this is silly. I know him and he knows me and I don’t think this makes much difference. I have asked other couples and family members and most agree with my mom that you can’t really know someone well until you live together. My partner is upset and wants to get married asap. He says we can move in together now while we plan the wedding.  I’m torn now because marriage is forever and I didn’t have any doubts until now, because of the way everyone is acting out about this. I’d love some opinions on what you think about living together vs not before couples get married. Thank you!

Congratulations on your engagement!! What an exciting time for you and your family!

Everyone feels differently about living together before you get married. Generally, their feelings are very strong one way or another, and it sounds like your mom has strong feelings about this…for good reason. In my opinion, there is no “one size fits all” in this situation. Relationships are different for everyone and it could be that living together first just isn’t for you.

There have been several studies over the last decade that showed those who live together before getting engaged or married are more likely to get divorced, then those who do not cohabitate.

Reason being many couples who live together first end up in a bad marriage because it is really financially draining to move out once you move in. Also, you are now deeply emotionally invested in a relationship that you would have been more likely to end if you two were not living together. Sometimes, there is not a clear mutual commitment to getting married once you already live together. For you, the latter is not an issue as you are already engaged.

This may come as a surprise but, MARRIAGE IS HARD. And when you add children, things get even more complicated. Divorce can be even worse.

I’m honestly not sure. My partner and I lived together for years – almost 7 – before we got married. We lived like we were married and I introduced him as my husband even though we weren’t married, and it all seemed the same. Really, if it had not been for a life circumstance, we might have always lived together and never actually gotten married. It didn’t’ make things any different.

We knew each other for a while and became great friends before we started dating. Then we dated for about six months before he moved in with me.

Now that I look back, I am glad that we lived together through the good, the bad, and the fucking awful because when I finally did get him to marry me, (after 7 years) we both knew exactly what we were getting into.

MY WHOLE LONG DRAWN OUT POINT HERE IS…what’s the rush?

Why can’t you just say to your partner that you want to move in together now? Pick an amount of time to live together (8-12 months perhaps) and when that time has passed, pick a wedding date. If you still want to get married of course!

Eight to twelve months seems very fair and there is PLENTY of work you can do –  before setting a date – to start wedding planning in the meantime.

Whatever you decide, make sure that you make the decision that is best for you. Society, your family, friends, and other outsiders are not marrying your partner, only you are. As you wrote, marriage is (supposed to be) forever, so you have to go with your gut.

What does your intuition tell you to do? Think about it, sleep on it, and go with that. Have an open and honest conversation with you partner and explain how you are feeling, and how you would like to move forward.

It seems that he loves you so much he is bursting at the seams to marry you. If this is the case and you decide to move in first and start a little slower than planned, I’m sure he will understand. If not…that could be a major red flag.

Good luck and best of wishes on a long and happy marriage! xo