Coming Out (While Gay And Married)

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Coming out is not so easy when you're married. No matter what you do or don't do, someone could get hurt. Either you go through life denying who you are with the fear of getting caught or being outed, or you hurt your wife. One married reader says "it would be easy if she was nasty or hateful, but she loves me and is truly my best friend."

Sure coming out is hard. The social pressures and stigmas that surround gay men are tremendous.

Gay people should be given a medal for being brave enough to come out in environments where gay men can be viewed as weak or an abomination of nature or blamed for natural disasters. So, we've all been left with a choice to make: Deny our inner selves or face the battles of being an openly gay man. No wonder there are so many people on the down low. As anti-gay social pressures increase, so do temptations for many gay men to stay in the closet. No one likes being a moving target. In irony, the same gay men that can be discriminated against for being who they are is at the same time asked not to live a lie.

Being gay isn't a choice. One cannot decide to be gay, but a man can definitely choose whether or not to live as an out gay man. Given this, there are many benefits to being out, including finding some inner peace in deciding to be honest with yourself and those you care about. 

When I say being 'out', I'm not referring to the stereotypes and generalizations usually associated with being gay, I'm speaking of fully accepting one's same gender loving feelings without hiding or living a lie.

I'm referring to fulfilling one's dreams of having a family or raising children or not as a productive member of society. All this can be done as a gay man. Not a gay man living within the confines of the heterosexual norms.

Sure, if you're currently married and not out, things may be tough to sort out.

However, by taking the steps toward coming out, the process of healing begins. You will then be free to explore the parts of you that have been suppressed for far too long. I'm not suggesting that you go out and make up for lost time (in the bedroom or the bar), but I do suggest spending some quality time with yourself and developing new life goals. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Now that you're out, what kind of life do you want to live?
    Understand that you can be gay and still like the things you like. There is no one way to be gay!
  2. Do you still have the same desires for a family?
    Many men in previous heterosexual relationships now have same sex partners and still maintain positive contact with their ex wives and kids.
  3. Have you found a gay-friendly support network or friends?
    If not, try starting in the Gay Life forum or visit a local gay community center. They have tons of programs and you can meet some great people with similar interests. This is very important. There are also many men in the forum who share your same experiences. They have been a tremendous help to others and can be helpful to you as well. You should surround yourself with as many positive influences as possible.
  1. If you are spiritual or religious, have you found a gay-affirmative church?
    Browse through the gay-friendly church guide for a spiritual home that best fits your faith. Spirituality has helped many men through this tough time.
  2. What are your coming out goals?
    Coming out is on your terms. You shouldn't feel the pressure to come out to all at once. Make sure you are comfortable. Set goals for coming out. You already made a major milestone by coming out to yourself. Now set other targets such as coming out to your family, friends and coworkers. Some people go for it "whole hog" and just spill the beans. It takes years for others. You decide for yourself!
Lastly, let's talk about the wife. Like I mentioned earlier, this is not the most ideal situation but as you've already recognized, you must do what is best for ALL- not just yourself. It's important that you find inner peace with your decision and understand that delaying present hurt can sometimes lead to future pain. Be honest with both your wife and yourself. If you love her as much as she loves you then she deserves to know the truth... and you deserve to live in without hiding!