DEAR ABBY: I have been married more than 25 years and have kids. I’m also gay. I always have been, but when I was a teenager, it wasn’t acceptable and I always believed I would just outgrow it, or learn to live with it. Then came the computer era and the internet — things I never dreamed of while growing up. They changed my life, yet I’m still closeted.
I have had two gay relationships. Both lasted less than a year. I feel like my whole life has been a lie, and I pretty much screwed up my wife because of it. I did provide her with all the creature comforts financially, and gave her two beautiful kids.
I just don’t know if it’s worth coming out at this point in my life. I’m also reluctant because I don’t have a guy in my life right now, although I am looking. It’s just so difficult. I’m torn about how to live the remainder of my life. Please help. — CLOSETED IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR CLOSETED: Because you are looking for a partner, it looks like you really don’t plan on sticking around once you find one. Tell your wife the truth so she can decide how she would like to spend the rest of HER life. She may need help from a licensed therapist to deal with the ramifications of your disclosure, so be prepared because it may be a shock when she learns the person she has spent the last quarter of a century with is not exactly who she thought he was .
DEAR ABBY: I was adopted and recently came across my biological family. It’s huge. I suffer from severe depression and now know that most of my bio family does, too.
During the past year, my husband and I decided to tackle it head-on with medication, and there has been a noticeable change in me. My husband is very supportive, and we are close. Problem is, I want to meet my out-of-state bio brother alone. He’s the only full sibling I have, and our connection is uncanny.
My husband is a hyper extrovert, and I don’t want his charming antics to distract from this moment (although usually I love it). He, however, says he can’t agree. He’s afraid something with the new family will set off a depressive episode, and I’ll be too far away for him to get to me. That’s understandable. But what do I do? I still feel the same. Is he right or am I? — CONNECTING IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR CONNECTING: Not knowing how serious your depressive episodes have been, my instinctive reaction is to advise you to listen to your husband. Surely he wouldn’t have to be with you every minute and could stay at a nearby hotel or motel while you are seeing your sibling.
That said, if there is any chance that an episode could result in you becoming self-destructive, it is important to discuss this visit with the therapist who prescribes your medications before making any plans to go. Do tell your husband that if he accompanies you, you would like him to tone down his need for attention so he won’t distract from your experience or your brother’s.