Friday, January 28, 2011

Came out to my kids....

Re-reading this I thought, "Gosh.... what a boring post!"   I will leave the full account "as is" as I'm sure there are married gay/bi guys with kids who will want to read it all.  I'll probably  summarize it a bit in a few days

I was a little tense about this all day, not the actual "coming out" part, but because my wife would be there as well. Apart from our difficult phone conversations, we hadn't met in a few days.  She arrived more emotionally fragile and distraught that I'd ever seen her in 20 years.

I felt very sorry for her but I hope this was the worst moment, and that she would eventually feel better soon.   By contrast, I was as happy and serene as a Buddha but I tried to conceal this as it would upset my wife.  She thinks I'm taking this all too lightly;  I'm not, but the whole coming-out process has been so positive and empowering!

We all sat down together and I told the kids (16, 14) the facts:
  1. I starting noticing an attraction to men about 10 years ago,but had great difficulty in first recognizing, then admitting what it meant.  
  2. The hardest thing was to actually admit to myself that I was bisexual or gay and this occurred very recently.  (I know I sound still in denial, but the debate "Do bisexuals exist? will be the subject of future post.)
  3. Their mother found out accidentally over a year ago.
  4. The past year has been extremely difficult for her as she tried to cope by spending as much time as possible away from me.
  5. The kids needed to treat their mother with a great deal of compassion.
  6. The severe emotional distress and anger experienced by their mother caused her behaviour to be not as usual;  that she was lashing out a lot of the time.
  7. Then my wife cut in with a breaking voice saying, "I deserve to be happy.... and the only I can be happy is to spend most of the time at my house. (on the lake).   You kids can live here full-time, come live with me full time, or travel back and forth as you wish.  I just can't live here."  The "D" word wasn't mentioned, but the kids got the message, I'm sure.  It was heartbreaking for me to listen to her pain;  there was nothing I could do to fix it.
  8. I said that the kids should try to spend as much time as they could at their mother's house... that it woudn't kill them to do so.
  9. I also floated the idea that I would sell my house and get a place on the lake, so the kids can go back and forth easily.  They seemed receptive to this idea.
  10. The kids and I hugged;  I said I was sorry for the shocking news, but telling the truth is the best way to deal with this. 
  11. My wife asked if they had any idea that I was gay.  They said,  "no."
  12. I said that this was probably the most difficult moment and that things will get better from her.
  13. We all agreed that our 19 year old daughter (2000 miles away at school) will be told in person when she returns at the end of April.  She's a sweet and compassionate young woman;  I know she will be fine with the news and concerned about her mother's emotional state.
Throughout this, the kids were solemn;  stone-faced even.  My wife (concerned for their emotional well-being) started asking them a barrage of questions which I found it a bit annoying, but she was genuinely worried.   "Are you all right?  Do you understand what you heard?  It's okay if you get really angry with everyone around you!"  and on and on.... "Do you want me to make you an appointment with a _______"..... Then my daughter  cut in (very slight smirk, eye roll and an ironic glance), "...a therapist?  That won't be necessary, mom!" 

After repeatedly assuring their mother they were fine, my wife went out to the car to wait for my daughter, who will be staying with her for a day or two.   My son refused to go with them despite repeated requests from both of us, but said he will go out on Sunday.

With my wife out in the car, I emphasized to the kids again that it was this issue which caused their mother to be so angry for the past year.  I said that bringing this out in the open could only make her happier, eventually, so everyone will be happier.   My daughter hugged me and thanked me for telling them my secret;  that it was good that they knew.  That was very special!

I told the kids that it was unlikely that their mother and I would ever live in the same house again for more than a few days, even though my wife told me yesterday that I could still go out to the lake house in the summer, on occasion, and she could spend a regular weeknight or two here. It may take time for that to occur.  My daughter said she understood that.

I said to my daughter, "This means we could now check out hot guys together."  We had a great laugh at that, and then I said that I hoped that we wouldn't be interested in the same age group of men.  I also said that it was highly unlikely that I would want to find a partner for many years to come.  If fact, I said, I might must be like my beautiful, vivacious grandmother was widowed at 40 and lived alone in perfect happiness for 55 years despite many suitors.  "Why would I want some old man to look after?"

My daughter left with my wife.  I asked my son what he thought of it all;  was he really all right?.  He said, "I'm fine, Dad.  When's supper?"  We discussed the menu and I am now making roast chicken thighs, gravy, mashed potatoes and peas.but right now, I'm pretty darned happy.  I'm sure that very difficult situations will occur as we go along, but I'm sure the kids will be just fine.


  1. Wow you have great kids. I'm so happy for you Alan. Formidable! Big congrats!

  2. This is a great story. I hope it goes that well for me.

  3. I'd really have no idea who to do what you did. Kids are a bit more savvy these days...and a lot more resilient. least that's my perception.

    It's probably great to have it off your chest.

  4. So Alan, anything big going on in your life?

    LOL I know you've been through a lot in the last week. I'm so very happy you came through it so well. I would have been a wreck for sure. I think everything is going to be fine now, don't you?

  5. Thanks for the support, everyone! I'm absolutely confident about me and the kids moving forward very well from this. I'm very worried about my wife's emotional state in the short / medium term, but in the end, I hope she will achieve some measure of happiness.

    Still many, many hurdles to cross, especially 'division of assets.' etc.

  6. Real life is always so much more interesting and dramatic than the made up stuff on the so called "reality shows." What would I rather watch? "The Kardashians" for "Jim's Life?" It's not even a contest.
    I had a feeling everything would come around for you and your family. I'm no therapist but I suspect your wife will eventually reconcile and come to terms with her new reality.
    As to your statement about bisexuality, believe me Jim it doesn't exist. Sure, gay people can have sex with the opposite sex but that doesn't mean they're attracted to both sexes. You're either one way or another. It's like being born a blonde and saying "I'm really a brunette." You can artificially change your hair color and convince yourself that you're a brunette but deep down to your roots you will always remain a blonde. That's just the way it is Jim. Reality.

  7. Hi Ron, I'll have a post on bisexuality soon... but right now, I've pretty much decided to throw in the towel and call myself "gay". It's just easier to understand. I had no idea the term "bi" could cause such controversy. Frankly, I don't think it is anyone's business what label another person chooses to use.... anyway, aren't labels for cans of soup, not people?

    Right now, I'm so battered, I can't imagine myself being interested in anyone, man or woman, for a very, very long time.

    p.s. Who is this "Jim" in your comment? My name is Alan.

  8. Brave fellow, going on your Journey. But it is a good journey.

    This may help; I thought of you -

  9. This is so awesome!! This is so freak'in awesome!

    I'm in love with this post of urz...totally completely deeply!

    I'm very happy that ur kid took it so well and didn't react the way ur wife did...who I am feeling bad fr, I guess she was expecting the kids to be just as angry as she was!

  10. No, she wasn't expecting or hoping the kids would be angry... not at all. The worse part of all of this for me, and one that I cannot undo, is the suffering I've caused my wife.

    It's an extremely complicated situation with many emotions at play; concerns about your kids suffering and becoming screwed up, mourning the final end of a marriage (we were very much in love for years, including physically), worrying about your own future (financial and emotional), and yes, feeling anger towards me over the fact that I didn't tell her I was gay as soon as I could have. In fact, I was a coward and never did actually tell her: she found out by accidental discoveries.

    You'd have to be a robot not to feel a variety of intense emotions with all that going on.

  11. It's cool how some of the next generations of kids are growing up to be such amazing people and are acting more mature than some adults do these days. You're lucky to have such great kids! It's a roller coaster you're on right now for sure but at the end of the ride you will have a smile on your face and it will be a great feeling.

  12. Thanks, Rob! (Java JuNKo) Yes, my kids are fantastic! ... thanks for stopping by and commenting. A pleasant surprise to wake up to!


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