I’m Attracted to Other Men. Should I Leave My Wife?
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Thanks for your question. It sounds like there are a tangle of conflicts here and I empathize with what I think I hear in your question, which is that you are having feelings which are somehow “wrong” to have, which I imagine is very uncomfortable, even painful. Holding a secret you feel you can’t share with your spouse is often a tough place to be.
In fact, I almost wonder what might happen to your curiosity about men if your spouse heard and accepted this about yourself—or if somehow these feelings became less dangerous and more human. How do you feel about this attraction? You say, “I don’t want to feel like I can’t be myself when I am with her.” What about yourself, aside from the literal idea of sex with a man, feels “not OK” when you’re with her? Is there some ideal sense of manhood you’re trying to fulfill? Does this attraction for men symbolize something that is unsafe in the marriage or your social/cultural circle? Of course as a society in general, we are given horrifically limited identity choices for manhood. Any whiff of “sensitivity” can bring out the gay jokes, as if anything other than James Bond were unacceptable. (Of course, if you’ve seen the latest Bond, you know even he has some interesting inclinations!)
The fact is, our sexuality falls on a spectrum and some of us develop attractions for people of both genders. It’s normal to have fantasies of what sex with the same gender is like, at least occasionally, and some have them more consciously than others—and the very idea is more accepted in some cultures than others. (In ancient Greece, there was no eros more “noble” than love between men.) I’m not saying it’s always a “choice,” but for some of us it is; some folks are clearly attracted to a particular gender, while 3%-5% of us are more in the middle of the spectrum and attracted to both. In the latter case, it’s important to note that we find ourselves attracted to people rather than “men” (or women). For instance, is there a particular man you’ve found “hot” or fantasized about? (Our bodies are pretty clear about attraction.) Perhaps your curiosity about men carries some kind of psychological symbolism—i.e., that you’re hoping for greater emotional freedom and acceptance of “unmanly” aspects of you, especially if you feel pressured to be “strong” or “tough” (like your wife, it sounds like) in a conservative environment. If your desire for men were accepted, you might have wider emotional latitude. Or perhaps the idea of surrendering that strength in order to feel protected is part of the appeal; sometimes it’s nice for us guys to take off the Superman cape and let someone else drive, especially if we’ve lacked close male relationships.
Because us guys are so often prohibited from being vulnerable or “emotional”—which we are; in spite of what culture says about Mars vs. Venus, we’re just emotional in different ways—we can sometimes long for more intimate but not necessarily physical relationships with men, though sometimes that longing is physical; or we have sexual desires that contain emotional longings for connection. These are chicken-and-egg questions that are worthy of further reflection, I think, with the understanding that this might be frightening in the cultural context (and I live in liberal Los Angeles, so it’s easy for me to say) but which are nothing but human at the end of the day. Have you considered discussing this with a therapist?
As awkward and shameful as it might feel, each of us is unique in who or what we find desirable, and while sexual desire is often mysterious or even frightening, when you boil it down it’s related to longings for love, affection, and safety. In a way, all the sturm and drang about sexuality is a red herring and reflect our neurotic cultural bias; imagine if you substituted “other women” for “men” in your question. I find it admirable that you’re not willing to ignore something so vital in your psyche and are searching for answers, which to me indicates courage and integrity. Something tells me there’s a conversation that needs to happen between you and your wife (perhaps with the help of a couples counselor), when the time is right. My sense is that you have a longing to feel safer and less guarded where you live, in a psychological, emotional, and possibly sexual sense. There’s certainly no shame in any of that. You might want to do some research on bisexuality. There are some excellent online resources for people experiencing what you are.
After some sifting, it might become clearer what it is you’re needing from your wife, whether that’s a more emotionally flexible relationship, or even the opportunity to explore this topic in an open, mutually respectful way. Sometimes deciding between commitment and sexual freedom/ experimentation, regardless of gender, is a difficult choice, especially for men who marry young, as you have. And like it or not, our psyches, sexuality, and selfhood continue to evolve over time; thanks for writing, and bravo for having the courage of emotional self-assertion.
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JodiJune 21st, 2013 at 12:26 PM
I don’t think that I would make any hasty decisions. What if you then left your wife and then decided that that wasn’t the right move either? I don’t know where your sexuality falls, and it could just be that you are lacking something in your marriage and you are looking for that elsewhere and this just happens to be what is attractive to you at this moment. I definitely think that I would take a little bit of time with this kind of decision because you wnat to be sure that whatever move that you make is the right one for now and for the future.
paulineJune 21st, 2013 at 4:01 PM
Obviously this is not something new but is something that yyou have been feeling for a long long time.
It could be the real deal or it could be a way of lookingfor a way out of a situation and a marriage that isn’t fulfilling you in some way.
Get some advice from a therapist, maybe you and your wife should go together.
AdeOctober 22nd, 2018 at 7:55 AM
I was once married to a great woman
I also had those gay thoughts and feelings
For other men
So I acted upon this and ended up leaving her and being the gay man I always thought I was
Try before you buy I say you never know you may like it or even better love it like I did and still do
RaymondOctober 23rd, 2018 at 4:23 PM
You’re a lucky man, to fullfill you’re dream.
Marissa HJune 22nd, 2013 at 12:10 AM
Having been married for over thrifty years I can tell you for a fact that hiding things or even feelings can be damaging to your marriage.
Talk to your wife. Having a counselor as suggested is an excellent idea. Keeping this bottled down will only create problems sooner or later.
Be open be respectful and most importantly be open to what she says.
JacobJune 22nd, 2013 at 4:41 AM
Perhaps this is a part of yourself that you have been trying to hide from other people, and this is the time where you are feeling it even more intensely.
I say that if this is what you feel, then there is no sense in denying these feelings. So you may be gay, so what? Society is far more open to that today than maybe even five years ago. I want to encourage you to be your true self, accept that authenticity. If that mean leaving your wife and pursuing love elsewhere, then if you do it in a way that does no harm then I think that in the end you will be much happier with your decision.
Darren Haber, MFTJune 22nd, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Hi all, great comments, thanks so much!
K.PJune 22nd, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Self talk definitely helps me…and I’m sure it would help you too.Be sure about what you want and what you are ready to let go for that…You will then be in a better position to take decision or talk to your spouse.Rushing into a conversation without having one with your own self is not worth it.
Miguel MartinezOctober 10th, 2014 at 4:41 PM
This situation is more common than you would believe. When a human is born there are needs essential for it to trive. It’s more than just food. The studies have shown that 30 out of 100 babies died as a result of not bonding to a person which requires, hugging, kissing, caressing, and being made to feel that they are important and wanted. Gangs fulfill some of these needs. Male bonding is essential for our lives. For a man to be kindly affectionet to another man takes a real man who has taken his stand on who and what he is. Sex is one thing and love is love. Man to women, women to women, man to man, it does not make any difference. You had the need of being bonded as a baby human. Did you stop being human because you grew up? Fall in love with whoever I say. You’ll find that this will not diminish your love for your wife. If anything you’ll want her more. We as men can be in love with other men and we don’t have to express it via sex. If a man will give his life for another man, does that make him gay. When I say I am in love with you. It means I think about all the time. When I say I like being with you because I like how you make me laugh, I like how I feel when I am with you, when I have to hug you and hold you tight, does this make me gay. Then I’ll be gay, just don’ ask me to have sex with you. We as human need each other desperately. You have need that need to be addressed. Go for it. You deserve to be loved by more than just your wife.
danielsJanuary 4th, 2015 at 7:32 PM
I am in this same position, part of me wants to go all out gay and change my life. The other part is that i love my wife and am attracted to her too.
Just sometimes i could care less about her and want to live for me.
RaymondJuly 13th, 2017 at 12:00 PM
I have felt the same way also, it is nice to know that I am not the only male that has these feelings toward men
I have been married for 25yrs, and from this day my secret is getting worse, by holding it hidden. In just have my fantasy.
RogerMarch 15th, 2015 at 3:38 PM
The same thing happened to me at exactly your age. By fortuitous circumstance my closest male friend expressed and revealed his circumstances as well. We satisfied our mutual curiosity/need with each other. We remain married to our respective spouses to this day. We discreetly discharge this very complicated self aspect about 4 or 5 times a year and that suffices. It seems an innate part of us that will not be denied without internal psychic damage. But it definitely required a moral compromise. An orientation aspect best kept to oneself and not expressed excessively.
JeremyApril 28th, 2019 at 9:43 AM
Wow… Good for you.
Darren H.March 15th, 2015 at 10:23 PM
Thank you all for your honest responses.
GabrielJune 16th, 2015 at 7:09 PM
I’m going through same situation. Probably my case is common type:
1. Conservative wife, one of those of taking shower before sex, no blowjobs and no kinky/creative attitude in bed.
2. Christian & Moral parents with aggresive POV against gay behaviour
3. Born and raised in a society where homosexuals are harrased and excluded
So, it hasnt been easy really. I feel attracted to good male bodies and masculine personalities since like 10 years ago. I got married because I’m bisexual, but with storms inside the marriage, I feel more and more inclined to try with a male partner. Starting with a friendship and the whatever happens.
BiMarriedOctober 2nd, 2017 at 2:51 AM
I am going through the same situation as yours. I am bi and married for 3 years to a woman. I respect and care for my wife but i am unable to love her the way i once loved a man (before my marriage). Sometimes i really get frustrated for deceiving her and myself. Adding to my misery she is very dull and reserved in bed also. I come from a country where loving a man is considered promiscuous and sinful – I am not talking about just sex.
But i would add something here, i fell twice in love with a man. That was awesome. But homosexual love is fleeting. A man would never be monogamous in his sexual relationship and that hurts. Both the time i was cheated. I was told, its not possible to live with only one man. I am totally clueless about how to cope up with this dual life of mine. I also can not cheat my wife by kissing and hugging a man.
Any suggestion or help would be appreciated.
JohnOctober 3rd, 2017 at 4:53 AM
I am 60 here and married to same woman for forty. I have never been with anyone but her. Male or female! We have not had sex for years. When we did it was mostly me stimulating her with my fingers and her giving me oral. I crave a meeting with male. Have never acted on though I want to. Can not imagine hurting her in any way. So I do watch gay pornography and masturbate.
NickJune 21st, 2015 at 2:33 AM
I’m in the same situation and really don’t know what to do.. My wife loves me so much and I have strong feelings for her but don’t think this is fair to any of us as I can’t stop feeling attracted to men..
I’m 32 and have been married for 6 years with no children.
I had my first individual therapy last week as I’m so confused and think I need help..
Would be great to know how are you handling it and if you’ve come to make any decision..
All the best.
EricksonJuly 4th, 2015 at 2:33 PM
I know this article was written a few years ago. I hope everything is better/resolved. If not, I hope my feedback can help. I truly agree with Miguel’s response. Love is love. But love does not equal sex. For myself, I’ve fantasized a romantic life with ALL of my close friends (male and female) because what I feel for them is genuine love. Am I in love with any of them? I now know the answer is no. But when these feelings came, I thought I might have been in love. I’ve received from them what I need as far as human connection. Personally, I don’t classify myself into any sexuality except “Erickson.” As stated above, “each of us is unique in who or what we find desirable.” The most accurate description of my sexuality is Erickson! You are you! Don’t let labels get to you or even define you. Yes, labels help us communicate to others our inner world, but when it comes down to it, you are a human that requires unique kinds of love from ALL of your relationships in life.
KSE wifeAugust 16th, 2015 at 11:36 PM
Tell your wife. If she cares about you or has morals and compassion she will be understanding and SHOULD NOT out your feelings to anyone else! I hope she will at least see you respect her
DebraJune 25th, 2019 at 6:41 AM
Thank you for your comment on being honest with your wife. I am a wife of 20 yrs. who’s husband was on gay porn sites, emailing men and yes having sex with men. I found this out myself and needless to say it destroyed me. I will never and I mean never be the same. I lost teeth and most of my hair from the stress. The worse part of this revelation was his lies and denials. My husband stated that after losing his job of 20 yrs. where he was a VP of a Company he felt discarded and useless. What steered him in this behavior (after a year of couple therapy) he had an emotional unavailable father that troubled him since he was a child. Through therapy we discovered his “acting out” came more from an emotional distant from father. He was looking for a connection that he never found, His sex consisted of no faces no names and only one time hook-ups. Our sex was always passionate and loving. When he was going through this (4 years) he didn’t touch me. I thought it was depression from the job loss and I let him grieve. I asked him if he needed therapy or a divorce but he answered no “I love you , you are all I have.” We are still together and I the pain is starting to subside. I realized that this is something he went through and i need to look at it as a physiological issue not a sex issue. I am also trying to get over him not having safe sex. I’m still not sure if we will make it as a couple. I believe if we had such a wonderful honest relationship he would of come to me when he had these “unwanted thoughts” that caused him anxiety and changed who he was. It’s beautiful been 7 years since he had a sexual encounter with a man. He is who he was before this horrendous situation and he spends every day showing me his love and commitment to me. Please men think of your wife and family before acting. Being in the dark made me feel like a door mat. If you can’t speak to your wife find a good therapist that has you and your wife’s best interest. It’s hard enough for a wife to find this out but your lies will destroy her.
DavidSeptember 14th, 2015 at 7:32 PM
I’m in my second marriage, the first ended after 14 years in such a horrific manor they should make a movie about it, I then met a wonderful woman who I share a lot in common with and have been very happy for the past three years, but then I met this guy. He is married as well and 10 years younger but the connection is electric. I have never been so in love with another human being, so much that I’m starting to think I don’t even care what other people might think.
I know it’s “wrong” in so many ways but I can’t imagine turning my back on something that feels so wonderful.
I get it, I’m a selfish a$# for even considering leaving my wife to start a life over with a man, but how can I consider staying with her when I know I am so madly in love with him?
To do so just because of what people may think of me makes me a coward in my mind.
While leaving her to be with him just makes me an a#%.
As a normal hetero married man, I can honestly say I have fallen head over heals in love with another man.
Darren HaberSeptember 15th, 2015 at 8:49 PM
Thanks all for your posts. And David I wouldn’t denigrate yourself. Sexuality is much more fluid (no pun intended) than we think. A lot of people have attraction to men and women and to some degree society practices what we might call heterosexism, though that it is very slowly starting to change. It takes courage to own your emotional truth especially when it goes against the grain. I appreciate your candor and wish you the best of luck.
David T. G, VADecember 20th, 2015 at 1:41 AM
I have been married for 26 years in my second marriage and in that time, I have had several sexual escapades with other men being mainly the bottom and I love it. I am in love with my best friend who is 14 years younger than me and I have asked him several times and I have asked him to let me do him and he just says no I am not gay but I know he wants me. I love him so much and we are best friends. he just wont go that far. we are from the south and it is different to express your sexual orientation. I am bi, I know that. I do love my wife but but love to feel a mans touch and a man inside me. I do want a divorce but don’t know how to ask her, shes southern as you can get and I don’t know what kind of reaction I would get…any help?
December 21st, 2015 at
Thank you for your comment. The GoodTherapy.org Team is not qualified to offer professional advice, but an understanding and supportive therapist or counselor may be of help as you address these questions and decide how to talk to your wife. If you would like to search for a mental health professional in your area, you can search for one using our site.
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Please know that you are not alone. Help is available, and we wish you the best of luck in your search.
The GoodTherapy.org Team
EdwardDecember 20th, 2015 at 4:35 PM
Hi, I’ve found myself in a similar situation, but on the other side. I’m 21 and my once boyfriend, who’s 28, is now married to a woman.
When we were on our first dates, he told me he had to constantly be on dates with girls in order to keep up appearances but it didn’t matter to me, I was so madly in love with him.
We kept seeing each other, going out to restaurants on small dates, exchanging text messages constantly, I even had my first time with him!.
Almost a year after we met, he started acting strange, until he finally dropped the bomb on me he was getting married in 2 weeks, he was busy due to the planning of the wedding, I was devastated, I swear I cried everyday for at least 2 weeks.
It has been a year since that happened and it’s gotten confusing, he still texts me like once a month to tell he loves me, or that he wants to be with me, but that he can’t. That if he did so, he’d lose everything.
I know what you feel, but as someone who’s been through this I can tell you, not speaking out and keeping all to yourself is going to just get worse and worse with time.
It’s a painful situation for everyone. Don’t do anything like that. If you don’t love your wife anymore, she deserves to know the reasons.
If not you’d be living a lie, and you’d be dragging everyone you love into it.
I truly believe in love between 2 men as I’ve lived it myself, and it’s something incredible and beautiful, like all love is, but if you don’t have the courage to speak up, you’ll end up in a painful mess like mine.
Just an Honest Regular Black Guy From the hoodApril 20th, 2017 at 1:34 AM
Some of you guys are really, really overreacting. This guy did not say he’s gay and he specified that this attraction is not necessarily sexual. He also did not say he has had these feelings for any extreme length of time contrary to the assumptions posted in earlier posts. Listen dude, there are many different levels of attraction that can stem from a whole variety of subconscious psychological needs other than homosexuality. Many women are attracted to each other and many men are attracted to each other at different points throughout life. It does not mean you have to be gay and come out and join the party. What it does mean is to do some soul searching as to who you really are and what the root of these attractions is. In fact, its best not to explore the sexual aspect of it yet as sex tends to clouds one’s ability to accurately sift through honest emotions. Figure out what about this one guy or multiple guys you are attracted to. Is it physical or emotional…. or is it something about their personality. Is it something they give that subconsciously you feel you are missing or are you attracted to things that mirror you. ….or is it a certain way that they treat you. This may have nothing to do with them being male, it may have everything to do with you knowing what you like, need and who you want to be. Also, don’t be so quick to do anything crazy to ruin your relationship with your wife. Remember, attractions come and go, but love, sacrifice and time invested is a rarity these days.
Darren HaberApril 20th, 2017 at 3:04 PM
Dear Guy from the Hood — thanks for your response. That is a very insightful post. Ever consider becoming a therapist or counselor? :)
ReedJanuary 5th, 2016 at 2:10 PM
I’m completely in the same situation as everyone who has posted – I’ve been married 25 years with 2 kids and have had interests in guys for as long as I can remember. I married because it was the “right thing” to do and all of my other friends were getting married at the time. In the last 6 years, the desire has become stronger and I’ve met guys while traveling for my job. I’ve never done anything to put myself at risk and always felt ashamed after. Then this last summer I met up with someone who was different. He was recently divorced with kids and we met at a bar and just talked. We instantly clicked. We have become more intimate with each other than I ever thought possible. We see each other as often as possible and talk/text daily. I truly believe he is my soulmate and we are making plans to be together. Certain things have to get lined up/done before I can leave my wife. It’s hard to act the part of the happy devoted husband at home but I keep looking to my future with this man.
ChaseFebruary 4th, 2016 at 5:52 PM
I’ve been married 31 years. High school sweetheart. Two children in their 20s. I started noticing a stronger attraction to men in my mid to late30s I was happily married and had a pretty good sex life. Four years ago I met someone at work nearly 20 years younger. He was openly gay. I told him I was curious and he said he would have sex with me if I wanted to just experience it. We did but eventually it became more. We fell in love. However when it came close to where I was leaving my wife he got nervous and thought it was a bad idea in leaving out lots of details. My wife and kids found out but I chose to stay as my wife was diagnosed with a dangerous medical issue. I’ve tried for the last three plus years to
Make the marriage work. She has undergone a major medical procedure and I am there for her everyday. But the marriage as a husband is gone. I feel
I would rather be with a man. How long do I wait. My wife may never recover or if she does her life will never be the same. I’m still in
My early 50s and in great shape. Do I sacrifice the rest of my life? I will always support her and make sure she has the best of medical care but I am miserable and have considered just ending it all to escape. I’m
Trying not to be do cowardly but the pain is suffocating Any words of advice?
February 4th, 2016 at
Thank you for your comment. The GoodTherapy.org Team is not qualified to offer professional advice, but we encourage you to reach out. A therapist or counselor can offer help and support as you search for answers.
You can find a mental health professional in your area by using our web site. To see a list of practitioners in your area, simply enter your ZIP code here.
If you feel you are in crisis, or in danger of harming yourself or others, please contact local law enforcement or visit your local emergency room immediately. You can find more crisis information and resources here.
You may also wish to contact the GLBT National Help Center. This hotline provides telephone or online support to GLBT individuals of all ages.
JohanFebruary 23rd, 2016 at 3:41 AM
I have a lot of empathy with you all… I am 47 now and have sexual attractions towards men for the past 30 year’s. It however became more promenant the past 10 – 15 years When I was a young boy and man I always got dressed in my mother’s dresses and panties and bra when I was home alone even put on some make up….. I am with my current wife for the past 18 years and she knows about most of my feelings… So we play it out is a sexual way during sex… Luckily for me she is dominant and love to take charge, we are is a (D/s – dominant and submissive relationship). She requested me to shave my body after I told her I have feminine feelings…so in the bedroom she make me her sissy husband… And I love that… I sometimes dress up in bra and panties but I haven’t to earn it.. I will say I am more attractive to woman than men… So my relationship with my wife is ideal for me.. I love her with all my heart…Sometimes I wish I could be hold tight by a strong guy and fall a sleep in his arms… Am I gay.. I don’t know… What I know is that I live my wife and children beyond my sexual urges… I will not leave her… I will always hope she will let us have a stud in the bedroom with us… The bottom line is…talk to your partner and they might just accept it better than you think… When I first told my wife and our first sexy kinky sessions in the bedroom she said to me we wasted so many good years that we could have fun….
ChrisMarch 16th, 2016 at 9:04 AM
So, my story – looking for helpful answers.
My wife and I are married – we just celebrated our 5-year anniversary. We have one 20-month old Son.
In November, my wife cheated on me with a work-friend (male). I found her texts….it was devastating, but I chose to forgive her, and love her, and work through it, and move onwards. Things got better, and we renewed our vows (sort of, in her culture), in February, 2016 – leaving the past behind, and starting fresh, renewed, in love….
Come back to March, 2016.
I am bi-sexual. I’ve sort of known, but when I got married in 2011, I thought that it was no longer an issue. It wasn’t, and we were fairly happy (so I thought!). A few years ago, when in our marriage, we were just too busy for each other, and stopped having sex, and just worked, came home, chatted, went on as normal (we thought this was fine….I was clueless!!), my thoughts and attractions, started to emerge again. Why? No idea. What didn’t/doesn’t help, is that I’m a musician, and the majority of my friends are Gay. I’m fine with that, but what fueled my desires more, was when a friend said “You really should get a Grindr account (a gay-hook-up app).” I did. I started looking at gay-porn (and straight porn, equally) online. It was a means to a solution.
When things went wrong, after I found out about my wife having cheated. I forgave her….but on Grindr, a young guy said he liked me and I was more attracted to him than most of the idiots on there…. I decided I wanted to act on it. We met up, and made out…. that’s all we did. For some reason, my bi-sexuality goes as far as being attracted to guys, but not more much. Kissing – that’s fine….
After we had met, this young man left back to his own country (Peru) – and was gone. I look back at it as an experience, but learned from it, that I really am not interested in that – but, find myself attracted to men, and really only turned on by the sexual acts online. I still identify as straight, and if I weren’t with my wife, I would go straight away towards another woman. Women are what I like, and always will – I’m just attracted to men.
My wife found my Grindr account and fell apart. When I got home, she asked me about it, and I told her everything.
She said “you have essentially cheated on me with 200 guys and 50 girls” (I had multiple female dating sites too, where I was just looking to be turned on). She defined every conversation on Grindr to be me cheating, though I only met one….and made out with one…. and she’s forgiven me for that….but I feel so bad!
One week ago, we started fresh, with a blessing for our marriage – a way to leave the past behind, and start renewed – I was on Grindr – and clearly, this wasn’t starting new for me – and now this has happened, , I am now, ready to, and hoping to, start over. I love my wife. This is what I wrote her the other night:
“I consider you my soulmate – the one I ‘want’ to be with; the one I choose, and will continue to choose. Whether I’m bi or not, whether I’m attracted to both men and women alike, and acted on it; I choose to be with you, not because I don’t want to explore my other side, and not because I am ignoring a part of me. It will probably always be a ‘part’ of my life.
I choose to love you as my life partner. I initially fell in love with your smile and your personality, and now I find myself completely in love with everything else too.
I’ve made many mistakes in my life, and for the first time ever, I fell like I’m in a relationship where I can face it with someone that understands me and loves me, for who I am. I know we’ll be ok, because I trust in who we are, but especially in who we’ve become over the last 3 months by learning more about each other.”
She responded: “I hope I can get back to the same place where I love you like that…It’s a little shaken right now…”
She’s asked for space – I don’t know how to give that to her. I want her desperately, and she doesn’t want me to touch her, kiss her, hold her, or anything. She wants us to be “just friends”. She says “our marriage, as we knew it, is dead. I don’t know how I can go on with you – I don’t even know you. I need to figure things out but right now, I am completely numb”.
I’ve very hurt – and I don’t know where to start – how to be with her – how not to lose her – but, I know I messed up – and she did too when she cheated, but we worked on that, and now what’s important is us working through this huge bump in our relationship; That’s important.
She says she can forgive me for “cheating on her” on Grindr and the other sites – but, she can’t forgive me for NOT TELLING HER that I was bi-sexual. I never told her cause I never thought it was relevant after we married…..
Long story – thanks – we’ve booked our first couples therapy session for March 31st, 2016. It’s a start – I’m open to ideas and suggestions for us moving forward. I love my son – I love my wife – and I’d like us to stay together….
JohnSeptember 12th, 2016 at 2:34 AM
I’m in the same situation now. I’m 34 and been married for 10years and have 2 kids. I always knew that I have a feeling for other guys but never acted on it. I’ve been with a guy after 3years of marraige and i loved it. Since then I’ve been with a guys just to satisfy this desire. I have recently met another guy 30 unmarried and we are in love. It is not just about sex but i cant stand being away from him. I have never felt like this before, never.
My wife and I have been having trouble for the past 3 years and we at a point where we are both seriously considering divorce. On the otherhand me and my boyfriend are making plans to move in together but because we are both very discrete we’ll say we are flatmates. I love this man so much it is scary but I know I want to be with him.
EricksonSeptember 12th, 2016 at 8:13 PM
I posted last year. I think I found my sexuality. However, it seems ever changing. BUT ANYWAY! at 28 years old, I think my sexuality is heteroromantic bisexual. Heteroromantic because I only desire to be romantic with women. Bisexual because I have sexual urges for both men and women. AND THEN about 9 months later, I grew a crush on a guy because our personalities and intellect match. So I guess I’m partly sapiosexual LOL I hope this’ll help some guys asking if they’re gay for liking men.
JacobSeptember 30th, 2016 at 2:37 AM
To all of the married men out there who are struggling with their sexual identity: Talk to your wife. I’d suggest with a counselor, but if you don’t think she will freak out, talk to her alone. Tell her how you feel. She deserves nothing less than the truth from you, and DON’T cheat on her. You won’t be doing her, or you, any favors by being that selfish. That said, you have to be true to you. You need to let her know that. Darren is right, sexuality can be very fluid for some of us. I myself am exclusively gay. I have never been attracted to women, neither on a physical, or emotional level that would engender feelings of romance. Most of you sound like you are probably bi-sexual, and there is NOTHING wrong with that! There can be in the gay and straight community, a stigma about bi-sexuality that I personally find hypocritical and confounding. But it’s very natural. I know discovering new things about yourself can be scary, but there is nothing to be frightened of. If you wife TRULY loves you, you won’t frighten her away by showing her all of who you are. If she is worthy of you, she will be willing to hear you. If you are worthy of her, you will be honest.
Daddy MOctober 4th, 2016 at 8:37 AM
I also feel the same way
DarkOctober 13th, 2016 at 12:47 AM
It’s very simple, you are bisexual at very least (depends how honest you are with yourself). This is not a new thing in your life either you were born like that, you just haven’t explored(or you supressed) your feelings for men and you want with what is “socially acceptable” You aren’t first guy either. There are loads of closeted gay guys who get married get kids and all of that stuff and when they get in mid 30s they finally have balls to be themselves and come out as gay at which point they have to choose between being happy or not tearing apart the family and both of these choices suck. Life in the closet is dark and empty, I got enough courage in my early 20s to kick the closet door off it’s hinges, so glad I did it and I’m thankful for not ever having to be in your place.
StevenOctober 19th, 2016 at 8:11 AM
I am 47 and have just told my wife of 24 years that it is time for me to move. She of course asked why, and I told her that I was gay. That I have had these feelings since before she and I even dated. I tried to put them aside and pretend they were not there for so many. And finally came to a point where I had to do something. I told her that I would rather leave her and be friends than to stay and hate her and resent her. After a couple of days of shock for her and sort of relief for me, we met up to talk. And I have to honestly say it was one of the best conversations I have ever had with her in all the time that I have known her. For the first time in so many years I was actually telling the truth and not trying to live behind a lie and be something that I was not. It really was an excellent conversation. We have 3 children together, one is grown, (in age) and then one is a senior in high school and the other is only in elementary school. We (I) have only shared with my oldest the part of me being gay and she is completely okay with it. Was shocked at first but then revealed some things to me about herself that explained her reaction and acceptance. The high schooler only knows of the divorce and says “it happens” the youngest just said “daddy rent a place with a pool” typical response from that age. So now as I sit here typing this I am in my own apartment now for 3 weeks and it has hit me that I am alone. I have been struggling with many emotions and it seems as they are getting harder and harder to deal with. I never cheated on my wife, to this day I still have not been with anyone other than her for our entire time together. And I will remain that way until the divorce is final. However, I have been on several apps and I have been on several web sites and I know that this feeling is real and I will act upon it sooner or later. I think my whole point to this, is to say, be honest with each other. If you are in this situation you are not doing anyone any favors by keeping this bottled up inside. My wife is a very strong southern baptist woman. Raised in the church and has always been a big part of her life. So for her this was of course a shock, but at the same time she rationalized it as a “proper” way for God to forgive her for the divorce. But looking back at our years together I realize now that most of the problem in the marriage was me and that because I was not honest with my self and who I was, I was not honest in the relationship and that caused many issues and problems that could have been avoided. If the world 30 years ago was like it is today I would have never ever gotten married. I know I jumped around a lot with this and I apologize for that, but right now that is sort of how my life is. Scattered everywhere and trying to pick up the pieces and put them together. Thanks for reading if you made it this far and I would love to hear any comments or thoughts that may help and reassurance that it’s all going to be okay.
Trevor S.November 15th, 2016 at 6:17 AM
Hi I was so moved by your reply. I seldom, if ever, comment on postings and yet I felt compelled to tell you that—believe it or not, and in your darkest and loneliest moments—-everything will be alright for you. I guarantee it. For as long as you continue to be honest with yourself and especially honest with others that all is good. I especially value your loyal and faithful values to your marriage and your faithfulness to yourself. I feel I’ve so many things to share with you including books, plays (See or read, Fun Home by Allison Bechdel). I just know that there’s a very lucky man out there waiting for you. Just wait a little while. -Andrew.
StevenMarch 22nd, 2017 at 12:02 PM
Thanks for your reply. I appreciate the words of encouragement. I know it has been a while since I have been on here but needless to say that 2017 has not been my favorite year. Long story. Anyway, I think I am going to pick up a copy of the book you suggested and wanted to thank you for that as well as to tell you to please feel free to share anything else you may have. It has been an interesting time since coming out and moving out and there have been some super low lows. Not too many highs but as a good friend of mine said “you can’t have the high’s without the low’s” But damn did they have to be that low. Anyway, thanks again for your reply and I hope that you will reply again. I will do a better job now of checking this more often. – Steven
TrevorMarch 28th, 2017 at 8:37 AM
Hi. It’s great to hear from you. Candidly, you line, “But damn did they (lows) have to be so low…” It hurt reading that. I can’t imagine the emotional depths you have plumbed to get to where you are going. And I so respect and admire that. I generally take a Stoic approach to life and everything I do. Philosophies by Marcus Aurelius (Emperor of Rome) help me deal with difficult moments especially those that are out of our control. If it’s any consolation to you, you’re doing the right thing. And while I can suggest several books for insight, my layman (non-professional) advice is to focus on a set of rules or a playbook that can guide you through this period of ambiguity. A great set of rules for me has been (believe it or not) “Dr. Phil’s Ten Life Laws.” You can easily Google these to view them. You’ll get affirmation that you’re in fact practicing many of the laws he promotes: “You create your own experience:” “You cannot change what you do not acknowledge;” “Life rewards action.” Yes, they’re somewhat trite in their simplicity but they work when you apply them; especially when you’re trying to negotiate ‘new territory’ with friends and co-workers who until recently thought they “knew” Steven and are likely applying new filters and lenses to see the man you are today. Heavy stuff! I remain steadfastly proud of you. No, really. And while the notion of us communicating directly is likely not possible through this medium I welcome the chance to speak with you or correspond to the extent that’s possible. Happy to send you an email address for further direct contact. In the meantime, know that I am sending good wishes your way. Everything will work out in the way it was meant to be. All the best to you, Steven. -Andrew
BuffyNovember 1st, 2016 at 7:45 AM
I’m a woman, but I came to this web site to understand how the male mind works in the way that men are attracted to other men as someone I know is probably gay. Let me just say that I think gay sex is disgusting, but I’m trying to understand it if that’s even possible. I think on average men desire sex more than women and I also think they have more fantasies about it. So, I wonder if men are attracted to other men because it requires less social commitment — you are only there for raw sex and not much else. Also I think that gay sex carries less *responsibility*, as in no risk of pregnancy or setting up housekeeping with long-term relationships…fast, easy, less complicated. However, the downside would be that you build nothing permanent in your lifetime – usually no children or ongoing home life. I’m trying not to be too anal (no pun intended), but I think heterosexual relationships are more complicated and some men opt out for that reason. So, what do you get from your gay partner? Love, acceptance, sexual satisfaction?
JacobNovember 1st, 2016 at 3:12 PM
Buffy…first of all, I commend you for at least (so you say) attempting to understand why some men are attracted to other men. So, as a gay man, allow me to educate you…
Your thinking that gay sex is disgusting is neither here nor there for us. We have absolutely no desire to hop into bed with you, or any other woman, so it’s not something you will ever get to experience. Therefore your opinion on that matter is moot. That said, yes, there are those of us who are looking for raw, no strings attached sex. Just like there are heterosexuals (both men and women) who are looking for raw, no strings attached sex…
As far as no social commitment due to there being no chance of pregnancy, I would ask if you feel the same way about a heterosexual couple having sex while using birth control? Aren’t you negating the ‘social commitment’ by doing so?
As far as setting up ‘housekeeping’ as you put it, there are many same sex couples who have homes, and families, and they are filled with love, and laughter, and the same trials and hardships as heterosexual households. Some have children, and some do not. Just like heterosexuals.
As far as relationships being complicated, that is true for everyone regardless of sexual orientation. People are different, and that is a GOOD THING. When two different people come together, and make a commitment, and decide to walk through this life hand in hand, there are going to be complications. There are going to be arguments, and squabbles, and sometimes outright screaming matches. It’s just life. But there is also loving, and tenderness, and hopefully some good sex in there too. You wanted to know what we get out of it? The same exact thing you do from your relationships. We aren’t all looking for casual sex. A lot of us want something real, and lasting, and lifelong. Just like you do. It’s not fast, it’s not easy, and it’s not simple. Our attraction to the same gender came about in the same way yours did for the opposite one. It just happened.
BuffyNovember 1st, 2016 at 6:39 PM
Thank you for answering my question so eloquently. I still don’t entirely understand your viewpoint, but I appreciate how you brought up that sometimes we do indeed have squabbles and screaming matches with those we live with as well as love and laughter. It’s all part of being human. Even though I try to be the best person I know how, I can’t please anyone 100% of the time. But I realize I have to learn to love myself thru it all and accept myself even as God loves and accepts me thru my relationship with his son, Jesus and Jesus loves you, too. :)
JohnDecember 8th, 2016 at 3:20 PM
WOW!!! This was very interesting reading. I too, am going through these desires of being with guys.
First, I’m 68 years old; I have been married to my wife for 38 years. She is definitely on the very conservative. The past 8 years has been a rough time in that we have NOT had sex, and I’ve not had sex with another woman. I have ALWAYS been attracted to men since my pre-teens. Throughout my high school years, I loved watching guys. Anyway, after getting out of the armed services, I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart but I still had these strong desires to be with a guy. I am an introvert (and may I add, I HATE IT) because I’d love to express myself but to shy. I have always dreamed of being outgoing and knowing what I want and living that kind of life.
In the last few years, continuing to have the strong feelings for guys has become very strong. I’ve had sex with a guy once in my life and loved it even though I felt it was disastrous. I’ve texted with a guy that I felt was really a match, both of us having strong feelings for each other. However, I would chicken out on meeting up with him.
My son and his family are living with my wife and me, now for 6 years. Found out I was watching gay porn online (which was my way of temporarily satisfying my manly desire). That was an embarrassing experience. Then he went to my eldest son-n-law and told him.
This probably doesn’t make since, but I am so depressed because I can’t live a happy life because of this sexual identity I am laboring. Now I’m 68 years old and too old to really experience a manly relationship to satisfy me.
Jacob kDecember 13th, 2016 at 5:43 PM
I’m 22 I had a guy friend who sexually alsuted me I’m actually seeing a therapist right now because I was fighting really bad depression anxiety eating disorder and other stuff my mom takes me all the time were very close we try about this but I’m confused with who I feel sexually attached to I experience with the ex friend who sexually abused me I never had sex with another guy before but my family help though it just saying me and my ex friend were just experiencing but at that time both my grandma and grandpa past away I was going through really bad depression still to this day I don’t know what I am but I’m still saying my therapist soon hopefully he can answer for me
MichelleJanuary 9th, 2017 at 1:02 PM
I am a woman, married 19 years with one son to a man who has recently told me that he is attracted to some men. He asked me if I “accept” him and I said of course. I accept him as a human being with all his feelings. I don’t shame him for his desires. However, I think he may want me to do more than accept his attraction to men. If you are a man in this situation, what would it mean to you if your wife “accepted” you? Accept what, exactly?
JoeMarch 10th, 2017 at 7:52 AM
That is a question for him to answer. My bisexuality is strictly sexual. When I told my wife about my feelings, urges and curiosities. she never said she accepted them and I never asked her to. We just resorted to role play in the bedroom to satisfy my urges. But as I said earlier with me it’s strictly about sex with another man. My advise to you ask him the question, accept what? He may or may not know the answer. And you have some soul searching of your own as to what are you willing to accept.
TrevorMarch 10th, 2017 at 4:30 PM
Great question and answer from Joe. From my perspective there are two “asks” here:
First and fundamentally, we all want to be accepted and acknowledged worthy of our feelings. In other words we want affirmation from those closest to us that our feelings matter and it sounds like you have exceptionally demonstrated that affirmation with your acceptance. This is no small task as it requires a kind, loving and caring person to do so. And I’m sure your husband recognizes the magnitude of your love and support for him as an individual. The “So what?” to all of this is what would he like to do at this stage now that he’s made his feelings known to you. Would he like to explore his feelings by seeking men and if so how do you feel about that? This is the key part where I suggest you seek counseling to help you navigate this very slippery part. I trust that couples faced with this kind of circumstances are able to address this on their own by setting boundaries (“don’t ask, don’t tell”) including rules about safety, honesty, etc. Again a very challenging path where you might benefit from professional counseling to provide you both with a suggested “roadmap” on how to proceed and still remain in a marriage. The upside here is: he was honest with you. There are legions of men who do this on the “down lo” and place themselves in all kinds of risky situations just to be furtive. Finally, and while you may have never envisioned that this would happen in your 19 years of marriage, this is not an uncommon situation. There are millions of men and marriages that have had to face this and there are many resources available to support you and guide you. He may already know what he wants to do with this new information at least for the time being. My question to you is: how much are you willing to accept as he acts out in the feelings you legitimized? The latter by the way is not intended to place blame on you for being so amazing. Best wishes to you! This too shall pass and you’ll be a better person in the long run.
Mark B.May 3rd, 2017 at 6:44 AM
I am a 39-year-old married man that identifies as straight. I am beyond happily married to my loving wife. I have 3-year-old son and couldn’t be happier as a father. I am sexually attracted to my wife and I admire how beautiful she is inside and out, but I struggle with attraction to certain types of men. My wife knows this about me, because before we were married we vowed to each other that we would always tell the truth, no matter how much it hurts. Always be honest. Thankfully my wife loves me enough to accept this attraction. I am not attracted to men all the time. It is almost like a cycle with me. I have no desire to be with a man sexually since I have been married. I have experimented with other straight guys when I was younger and it was ok, but not something that I have to have to be happy or sexually satisfied. Those guys are also now married and living happy lives. I actually think it is something normal that guys experience in there life. I don’t label it as gay or bisexual but something of an alpha-male kind of thing. Dominance, who is the “bad-ass” kind of persona. Being raised on a farm in Ohio, I have learned that sometimes a male dog will mount another male dog to show him who is boss and the same way with horses and bulls (male cow). Poor comparison I know, but that kind of helped me understand myself. My wife and I have sex everyday and it is super awesome, but there are occasions when a very masculine, straight, attractive guy turns my head. This doesn’t make me gay or bisexual, it is just human nature to look.
The TruthMarch 21st, 2017 at 12:15 PM
Well as a straight man which unfortunately it is real fact that many women nowadays are leaving their husbands for another woman since i know a friend that had this happened to him.
shanApril 5th, 2017 at 5:53 AM
dear darren hi, you are so handsome!! ,im a physician married for 20 years with a son, in recent years sometimes i wach gay photos and have some fantasies .my wife is very tough and after finding the matter wants divorce ,we are fighting everyday ,should i feel abnormal or blame myself ? can u give me some advice plz ? thanks a lot,dr. shan
Darren HaberApril 6th, 2017 at 11:19 PM
Hi there. I really think your best bet is to seek your own counseling. In fact you can find some good therapists on this site! Thx for your comment.
RyanApril 14th, 2017 at 5:13 PM
I am in the same boat. I have been married for ten years and have five kids, yes five. I told my wife I was bisexual, but may be more so gay. I have watched a lot of gay porn, half of our marriage. She was more hurt about the porn. I told her about my fantasies, my wants and desires about men, and yet she still wants to stay with me and have sex. I even told her about the guys I have crushes on in my town. We’re going to therapy, but I dont think it will work. Everyone tells me I am not gay, because I am 35 with kids. I have been told I lack an identity, I am confused, I am going through a phase. I have been told the porn and alcohol have warped my mind. My wife says if I just have sex with her it will change my mind. I live in a small town where my parents are quite wealthy, I know they won’t accept me, and I don’t really care, I’m 35. I just want to move out and have a lot of gay sex and meet a man to make me happier, all the while being a responsible adult for my children. The therapist says I need to love myself before I can learn to love others. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s confusing. It doesn’t matter how gay you tell someone you are, they don’t believe you. I dont get it, I feel like I have missed out on so much the past ten years.
shanApril 16th, 2017 at 1:22 AM
dear ryan ,your comment is great, you are lucky cause well off and can manage things well , i referred to therapist ,he was amiable and open minded told me not to dream of this stuff anymore ,but i really cant , should i feel guilty just for a desire to do few bj ? wish i could see you ! and more ,thanks,dr.shan
Just an Honest Regular Black Guy From the HoodApril 20th, 2017 at 1:50 AM
Seems like to me straight people are always being paranoid about anything remotely related to homosexuality and gay people are always wanting EVERYBODY to be gay. Listen guys, sexuality is not black and white. There are infinite shades of grey. Same sex attraction and love is commonplace, but we can’t just rush to group everyone who encounters anything related to it into our 3 strict categories, gay, bi or straight. The breath and variance in sexual preference is far to vast to do so. That would be like categorizing all of the ethnicities of the world as either Black or White. Allow people to be and experience life on their own accord. They will know whether their attraction is a phase, a single incident, an exception, an attraction to one person or if it’s a lifestyle. The key is to encourage self exploration without leading them based on our own experience or perception.
Just an Honest Regular Black Guy From the HoodApril 20th, 2017 at 10:37 PM
“Dear Guy from the Hood — thanks for your response. That is a very insightful post. Ever consider becoming a therapist or counselor? :)”
Yeah, I’ve thought about it. Are you gonna pay for it? lol Just kidding. I really wouldn’t know where to start. I figure its a lot of school and a lot of expense. I’m 41, currently unemployed, but looking and in debt. I do love understanding people and helping them to understand themselves though.
JohnAugust 17th, 2017 at 6:42 AM
Thanks so much for this site. It is great to know i am not the only one feeling this way. I am 36 years old, married for 14 years with two children. I love my wife and Love my Family. I kinda always had a secret thing for guys growing up but never acted on it. Just a few months ago i was on a business trip out of state and acted on it with a guy. It was very nice and i really enjoyed it. I feel so guilty. Now that i am back home, i have acted on it again with a few different guys, no feeling at all for these guys. But now i have met one guy who lives close to us and we speak daily. I have some feelings towards him and i am not even sure where this is coming from. He is gay. He knows i am married. I am so confused and torn as to what to do. I am also a very active church member which makes this very hard for me. I feel like a complete hypocrite and just a total failure. Really turning my back on my spouse, kids and my church and my God. I want to tell my wife, but not even sure how or where to start. I have just told everything to one of my co-workers who i speak to very often and i am very close to. We both confide and talk to each other often. She is very understanding. So part of me says leave my wife and have fun, enjoy life and do what i want to do. (I Know very selfish!) Another part of me says no i cannot do that, i need to be there for my family and i cannot just loose everything. Like how would my family even accept me, i would loose all my church family and friends, and really be all alone. This has really been putting me in a very dark place the past two weeks. I have literally broken down twice so far while at work and have been so depressed not knowing what direction i am going in. I also sit here and think, what am i doing? Am i going thru midlife Crisis? What is wrong with me? I could use any encouraging words and seek advice on how to deal with this. Thank You
SirioSeptember 24th, 2017 at 8:12 AM
I need help
The GoodTherapy.org TeamSeptember 24th, 2017 at 9:12 AM
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JamesOctober 20th, 2017 at 6:47 PM
Hi I want to share my story as well, I’m 47 married I have two adult kids and one teen at home. As a teen growing up I liked both girls and guys, but later past high school I noticed I like guys more. Fast forward to 1997 got married and had our 2nd kid, later I hooked up with another guy had sex, but really enjoy it much, fast forward to 2017, met a young man and we both were attracted to each other we always hooked up, sometimes I slept over his place, recently I told my wife I had an affair with a man and told her I’m attracted to men, she kicked me out, and she asked me to come back so we could talk, I showed her who he was, and said so you left me for someone that handsome! Anyway we talked about my sexuality she’s slowly dealing with it, she asked if I loved him I told her the truth that I do, and she was blankless anyway we try to talk about this everyday, it gets easier but, still hurts for her, anyway my friends I think it’s best to be open, sure it will hurt, but it gets better everyday but slowly, truth is I really want to be with him. Can anyone help in this area?
BobMay 25th, 2018 at 2:57 PM
Thank you for all the honest accepting voices in this forum. I am 33, married with two kids and my wife is pregnant. I came out to her as bisexual three years ago, but feel I may be more gay now and don’t think I can continue living in a straight monogamous marriage. I’m not sure how to even begin to understand my needs, emotionally and sexually.
I am completely open with her about my struggle, but not sure what to do. How do I find myself and my needs? How do we raise a child separated, if that’s what happens? The pregnancy was unplanned.
I also feel terrible because she is a stay at home mom, and now feels she needs to go back to school and get a job to be less dependent on me.
Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts!
PaulaJune 17th, 2018 at 6:58 PM
I’m a woman and have to say….it’s alarming to see just how many men enter heterosexual relationships knowing of their attraction to men. All I can say, is that people (in this case, those men who are deciding to come out) have the responsibility to be honest with others. Some of you have knowingly deceived people who put their trust and faith in you, robbing them of the right to a living a life based on truth and integrity. If there was any doubt, quite frankly, you had no business walking the path you did and ruining someone else’s life. People can be so damned selfish!!
John MApril 28th, 2019 at 10:00 AM
I have been wrestling with these desires too for the past 4 years. I got married 5 years ago and after a year into our marriage I found myself wondering what it would be like to be with a man. And, now 5 years later I am still married haven’t had sex in a year and really want to explore being with another man. I don’t want to divorce my wife and explore this other side of me and find out it isn’t for me. But, worse yet my marriage is failing and I need to do something. My wife just told me yesterday her youngest brother just came out as gay. He has been in a gay relationship for 5 years and hiding it from his family. Confused… I have to confess that I have been dating men online only, I have found one that I a connection with. We like to do a lot of the same things. But, he wants more than F.W.B, he wants to find that one to marry. He has stated that if we go all the way that he will expect me to leave my wife and it will just be him and I. I feel a strong connection to him but that seems to be more commitment to another man than I want, I just want to explore not hurt some guy in the process if it is not what I want after the fact. So, I understand a little of what you are going through and it is a tough spot to be in… I wish you well in figuring it out…
JohnMay 3rd, 2019 at 3:07 AM
I understand your heart won’t let you hurt your wife. Been married for fourth years. Would never want to hurt her no matter how much I would like to get in touch with my curiosity to try an idea with another guy.
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