Friday, March 25, 2011

Seeing less of the Kids

As gay, separated father of teenagers, I have encountered many positives and a couple of negatives in my new situation since coming out to my entire family a few months ago.

  • Finally understanding what my growing attraction to men really meant:  I'm gay!  How exciting!!...I honestly didn't know.
  • Being able to live a truthful life.  The most important thing, by far, is finally being true to myself.  
  • Not having to keep a big part of me hidden from family and close friends and eventually, my work colleagues. 
  • I can ogle all the hot guys I want, wank off to online gay porn and hone my gaydar / man-flirting skills without feeling any guilt whatsoever. None!  It is simply who I am.
  •  Eventually, I will have truly passionate sex with a guy, being fully engaged in a way which I could never quite achieve with a woman.  (even though I worked very hard at it!)
  • Escaping a poisoned marital environment where being blamed for everything, listening to complaining, criticism, name-calling and anger were daily occurrences.  (Knowing that I've escaped this unhappy situation fills me with the greatest joy, every single day)
  • Serving as a positive role model to my children who were well aware of how badly I was being treated but who didn't know the real reason.  You do not have to stay in a desperately unhappy situation!
  • Seeing my kids develop a more positive, consistently-happy relationship with their mother, based on them finally understanding the reason for her unhappiness;  their father is gay!

  • Taking a financial hit as we divide our assets and work out our equalized incomes.  While this is a great concern, I know I will survive and adjust to my new reality.  Also, the rules regarding the division of assets in my jurisdiction are pretty fair and reasonable.  The great reward at the end;  I will finally regain my financial independence!
  • Seeing less of the kids.   This is the only part of my new situation which causes me,  occasionally very often, to fall into the deepest despair and sadness.
The logical side of me knows that our "empty nest syndrome" was well underway.  The kids have jobs, friends, demanding school schedules, extra curricular involvements and sports activities.  Although still they do some things with their parents, there are many more activities which any normal teenager would not be caught dead doing with his/her parents.   That is to be expected and is in fact, desirable for an emotionally-healthy teenager.

My number one goal as a parent since the kids were infants was to produce independent, self-sufficient adults.  In this regard, we have been hugely successful as all of our kids are incredibly independent.  They display an amazing degree of self-assurance and self-confidence that my wife and I didn't achieve until well into adulthood.  The kids are not wholly dependent on the adults in their lives any more..... which means that we spend less time with them.  As well, one or more of the kids will going out of town to university soon;  parents need to adjust to that reality as well.

In the months since my coming-out and separation, I've had the kids with me most of the time while their mother remained alone and desperately sad in her new home.  Her pain caused me great sadness as well but I could not convince the kids to leave the only home they'd ever known.  "Losing" her children is the worst fate that could befall a devoted mother, after conceiving the kids, carrying them for nine months, giving birth, nursing each for a year or more, followed by nearly twenty challenging years of parenting.  Clearly, this was a horribly unfair situation.

I have worked extremely hard in the past month to improve the living conditions at my wife's house.  The goal was to make it a real "home" for the kids;  one which was much more desirable to live in.  Hello, flat screen TV! 

Although the kids were being manipulated in a way, both of us were in strong agreement that my wife must not be alone most of the time, even if it meant that I would be alone more.  As as result, one of the kids is now living with my wife most of the time while the other lives with me most of the time.  Each kid still spends a day or two per week with the opposite parent.

As well, we both remain heavily involved in their after-school activities (ie: driving them everywhere) most days.  I don't want to suggest everything is perfect;  there is occasionally a bit of sneaky, manipulative behaviour regarding the kids' living arrangements which upsets me, but I'll deal with that as it occurs.  It helps enormously that my kids are older teenagers and I have a very strong relationship with them, having raised them basically by myself.   For the most part, they are able to make their own choices in this matter regardless of parental maneuverings.

This more equitable arrangement has been on place for less than one week   I desperately miss having al my kids with me all the time.  Selfish, I know.  Our new arrangement is flexible and one of the kids told me that it may evolve into a week-on, week-off situation.  It is their choice entirely.  During the summer vacation, the arrangement likely will change again, I'm sure, with me seeing even less of all the kids for a while.

This is our new reality; one which saddens me immensely.  It is the biggest price I will have to pay for being true to myself and for seeking (eventually, hopefully, years from now) a real, loving relationship. When I do have the kids with me, I now resolve to make the most of the time we spend together.  Both parents are trying harder to provide a completely loving and supportive environment for them so they can adjust to their new reality.


  1. No situation is perfect and every relationship requires compromise and understanding. Yes, you sacrificed something, but you gained something as well. The best you can do is learn to live with the change in status quo and make the best of it, as it seems you're doing. Change is not always good OR bad, sometimes it's both, but it's necessary for growth to get us where we want and need to go.

    Continue doing what you're doing: balancing the needs of yourself AND the needs of your kids :-)

  2. your kids must be so proud of you, you are a really good role model for them.

  3. Thanks buddy/ You always nail it; telling me exactly what I need to hear. Yes, I've had some extremely difficult and sad moments over this issue/ In time, the gains that I've made will far outweigh these. Hugs.

  4. I've said it before, I'll say it again - kids are remarkably resilient. The conversations you've had with your ex-wife are nothing compared to the conversations your kids have had with each other.

    And good for you and your ex for trying to find the balance between raising your kids and living your lives separately.

  5. It's very good to hear you so positive about your current stage of developing into gay life. Your saying that you had to work at heterosexual sex is, of course, the give-away. I remember heterosex as not being anything really exciting or particularly enjoyable; but my first time with a man was like watching the sky suddenly clear after a thunderstorm -- I knew immediately that THIS was what sex was meant to be.

    It is so good to hear you being so positive!

  6. It all sounds usual/understandable so there is comfort you are processing the typical things, and on the same road - which leads (most of the time!) to all's well that end's well. Or so I hope.

  7. RG: Yes, you're correct.... kids are resilient. My kids are doing just fine. I'm feeling a bit of angst every now and then.

    Will: Thank you! Of course, I didn't realize that I had to "work at " heterosexual sex at the time.... I figured it out 20 years later.

    Ur-Spo: Yes, it is very much a journey which seems to be extremely proceeding well, with the odd bump and twist. I already know that it will end well... This is because the determination of what constitutes a "happy ending" is up to the individual. I'm already in a much happier situation than I was three months ago.


Please tell me what you're thinking!


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