Coming Out at 32 (very long)

I’ve been a father for four years. I’ve been happily married for almost seven years. My wife and I have been living together for almost eight years. We’ve been best friends for nearly nine years and friends for more than 10.

This begins like a fairy-tale, happily-ever-after story. But there is a plot twist. My wife has fallen in love with another woman.

At the beginning of their relationship, I thought in typical male fashion, “okay, my wife has a lesbian lover. I’m fine with this. Maybe we can * all * have a good time.” That’s not how this story goes. I first knew this was more than a dalliance when her wedding ring was suddenly replaced by one of the matching silver rings they bought together while in Austin. Now they intend to move in together and marry – which means I get a divorce.

As you might imagine, this situation has caused lots of tears, talking and introspection. We examined past relationships, our relationship, our behaviors and preferences. In fact, we’ve always joked about how we’ve reversed the traditional gender roles in our family in many ways; for instance I cook and she hogs the TV remote. I didn’t take long to realize that we should have known years ago that she is a lesbian. It explains quite a bit.

Then she drops another bombshell on me.

She says she has always suspected that I was a latent homosexual and I should explore my sexuality.

I love my wife dearly. She is my absolute best friend. I can think of few things more pleasant than drifting off to sleep with my arms around her or, even better, her arms around me. That being said, she is right.

How, you may ask, does a couple get to the advanced age of 32 before they realize they are gay? Here’s our story:

My wife and I both grew up in religious, conservative families. Hers was Southern Baptist; mine was Pentecostal. We thought the Baptists were too liberal. Growing up, it never crossed our minds that we could be anything but heterosexual. We met each other during college at Texas A&M University when we were 20 years old. Like many others that age, we were rejecting some of the dogma we were raised with and discovering our own truths. For me there were many beliefs, stereotypes and prejudices that had to be faced. Getting to and challenging my sexuality was way down the list.

During this tumultuous time, we became close friends. This was due in no small part to the fact that we were the “oddest” two in our group(s) of friends. At that time there were very few openly gay people at TAMU and none in our circle of friends. Lacking the proper exposure, it still hadn’t occurred to us that, although we recognized that we were the odd ones, we might be different in “that” way.

Close friendships like ours are a manifestation of true love as surely as the steamiest expressions of Eros. In our case, it even created Eros, at least sometimes. After various failed relationships for both of us, we let our love grow, moved in together, got married, had a kid and embarked on “normal” life. All along, though, there was a feeling of something missing.

She discovered what was missing when she met the “other woman” – her new life partner. I first began suspecting what was missing about three years ago after we moved to Dallas.

While out looking for lunch one day, I came upon the Cedar Springs area and, in particular, Hunky’s Hamburgers. Although I was an ostensible straight, I wasn’t a homophobe and I am eternally on a search for the World’s Best Burger so I stopped in. I fell for the joint. I went back at least once a week, usually more often.

I soon developed my first acknowledged crush on a man there. In the ensuing months I found myself fanaticizing about him. Although I never acted on those feelings, I still think about him months after leaving Dallas. I can look back on other friendships that I now recognize were crushes. My wife says she’s always known that one in particular was a crush and not a simple friendship.

Even after accepting the man-crush and realizing that special postcards in the Off the Street store caused a stirring in a certain organ on me, I wasn’t ready to admit to myself that I was gay. After all, I thought, I’m a father and a husband. And I deeply, honestly love my wife. How can I be gay if I can still perform with my wife with no problems?

But now the stark reality is that my wife wants to live with her lover and I face being single again. Only this time I know more about myself. This time I know that my inability to connect with most women is not an inherent character flaw, but a result of misplaced effort. I went to the local gay bar recently and felt more comfortable than I ever have in a straight bar. I never before knew why I felt awkward cruising around a bar. Now I understand I was in the wrong bars.

After eight years out of the dating scene I’m a little rusty. But I’ve dusted off the treadmill and bought some new clothes. I’m facing this with my head up and, hopefully, a smile on my face.

So hello world, I’m back and I’m Queer. (Just don’t tell my father, yet)

I’m glad the story has a happy ending, even if it is a bit bittersweet. Hope everything goes well with you and the kid as well. Good luck!

Here’s wishing you luck and happiness, Homey.

You should brew a special batch to commemorate the occasion: Coming Out Stout!

Congratulations! I’ve often thought that it might be easier to come to terms with being gay or bi when you’re out of your hormonal teens and have a little perspective on the world. It sounds like you and your wife are thoughtful, caring people and I’m happy for both of you, even though I know it must have been a hell of a struggle to get to this point.

Good luck with your father eventually.

Lawdy lawdy lawdy. :smiley:

Congrats, and welcome to a whole new way of looking at the world. And, in the immortal words of Akbar & Jeff:


Many congratulations on having the thoughtfulness and strength to re-examine who you are and to being on your way to a more fulfilled and happier life. My very best wishes to you.

First, welcome to the club. Always nice to meet a new member.

Second, it’s not required that you get a divorce. There may be advantages for the two of you to remain married, and since there are very few places in the country (especially in Texas) where her relationship with her partner would be legally recognized, you may be going through the trauma of the divorce unnecessarily.

Obviously I don’t know you or your wife or really anything about you and feel free to tell me I’m totally out of line for even bringing it up and I’ll just be over there now.

Welcome to the Family!!

I always considered myself fairly lucky in that I went through my “convincing myself I’m straight” phase in my teens and finally gave it up for a bust before I was even legally able to drink. I had two or three “girlfriends” with all of whom I was a perfect gentleman at all times…which may have been the reason for at least two of the breakups. One even turned out to be a lesbian, and I still talk to her fairly often.

But I breathe a sigh of relief and wipe my hand 'cross my brow when I think of the bullets I dodged. So many gay men get married and live miserably for years before they realize they’re gay, and then they have major entanglements (children, community property, messy divorce). I’m glad that at the very least your “entanglements” are slipping without a great deal of resistance. (And sometimes I do wish I’d managed to conceive a child while I was “straight”…I occasionally feel a small desire to leave someone behind who’ll carry my name into the future)

{{{Homebrew}}} (careful…I’m a hugger)


Welcome to the family! And best of luck on the dating scene.

Beyond that, I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest you look for queer social organizations outside of the dating scene. They are great ways to meet folks in the community with similar interests, build some new friendships, deal with coming-out issues, and what-have-you, without worrying about trying to get a date out of it all the time. My swim team saved my life, for instance. And what do you know? Dallas has one too.

Finally: kudos to you and your wife for preserving the friendship through what must have been a tremendously stressful time. Your child will be proud of (and grateful to) you both someday. I’m proud of you already.

Best wishes to you both.

Wow, what an amazing story. I hope things continue to go well for you, and wish you the best of luck!

*Is that even a word? It should be.

:eek: …and apparently it has a blank page for a website. Okay, if you or anybody else wants to get in touch with them, an email link to Team Dallas Aquatics is on this page.

[sub]I’ll get off the soapbox now. Sorry.[/sub]

Wow! Let’s see, I need to offer you…

Condolences, on the divorce; no matter what the reason, it’s a painful process.

Bright hope for the future. You and your wife do indeed sound like you are the best of friends; that may very well endure, to the benefit of each of you and to your children. You will understand each other in a way no one else ever could.

Congratulations, on your courage and on the new possibilities it will bring to you. You could have chosen to be sad, afraid, and lonely, but you went completely the other way with the situation. I find that impressive.

Finally, good luck on the dating scene. (Every human being could use that.) Knock 'em dead.

May I join in and also offer congratulations and welcome to the family.

Years ago, in Germany, they did a study and found that a larger percentage of deaf men were gay, than in the general population.
They determined that one of the reasons, if not the main reason, for this occurence was because these men had not grown up hearing negative connotations about being gay. Thus, when it came time for them to act upon sexual urges, they had less psychological baggage and were able to make a choice without fear.
For the non-hearing impaired, it takes courage to go against social “norms” you have heard all your life, and this is one reason many people come out later in life.
I think it is great that you and your wife have a built-in support group and hope you both remain friends.

Yet another chiming in to offer congratulations. I can’t say welcome to the family, but let me wish you well from the former family. We haven’t lost a son, we’ve gained a – well, er, I guess the metaphor kind of peters out at that point.

You have a remarkable story. I wish you much success in pursuing a new life, and luck in retaining what was important about the old, such as the commection you have with your wife and children.

Connection. Oh, you know what I meant.

Talk about turning lemons into lemonade!!!

I didn’t know I liked women until I was 29 – and I had to be dragged out kicking and screaming all the way.

I knew a woman who was very bitter about having been divorced when her former husband/best friend came out, until she herself started going out with the short stop on her women’s softball team. Now she and hubby are great friends again. Believe it or not, double “coming out parties” are more common than you might think.

Enjoy your new life – and try to introduce your kids to as many nice, normal gay people as possible in order to cushion any weirdness for them. No doubt life has been fairly stressful for them of late.


Like a bunch of others have said- welcome to the family. We’ve got ups and downs, but we try to be good people. I’ve met quite a few people in your situation, and it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to go through. For starters, a lot of people will immediately try to invalidate the love that you and your wife have.

Be that as it may, I’mm so very happy that you both have discovered what’s making you tick. Tread carefully, but be joyous in the walking.

There’s a few books and groups that deal with this subject- I’ll do some digging for you.

All the best,

A very interesting read.

You have expressed a desire to meet this new stage in your life head on, and I hope that this courage holds out for you.

Welcome to the Family, Homebrew!

This is wild, 'cause another friend of mine, in a very similar situation to yours, also came out this past week. He’s married with two young daughters. He also lives in Dallas. :smiley: But his wife is quite str8, so … there’s a divorce in their future, but they’re also quite amicable about it so it should go smoothly.

So, don’t worry. You’re not alone in this. Many people make such discoveries about themselves later in life.

Wow! Way! Congrats! Except on the divorce, of course. Good luck on that.