I recently become close friends with a man who is in the same situation. One day he confided that he is gay and has known it for more than 10 years. He told me he, too, had been content with his life but had grown increasingly depressed before we met.
As our friendship has developed I have come to realize that I'm gay as well. It was a struggle to finally admit this to myself, but I accept that it's the truth. My friend and I have been exploring our sexuality together, and he says he is happier than he has been in years.
Both of us love our wives and children; however, we desperately need to fulfill our own needs as well. Do you have any advice on the best way to move forward that will have minimal impact on everyone involved?
— A Difficult Situation
DEAR IN: You say you have known for years that something was missing. Well, it is possible that your wives have felt the same way and may have blamed themselves for it. That's why it is important for you and your friend to explain everything to them honestly.
It would be helpful for everyone who will be affected to seek counseling and receive the emotional support they will need through this life-changing transition. You and your lover should go online and find the nearest gay and lesbian community center. (Go to www.lgbtcenters.org for a complete list.) Your wives should contact the Straight Spouse Network, which has been mentioned in my column many times. It can be reached at www.straightspouse.org.
Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. To order “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It,” send your name and mailing address plus check or money order for $7 to Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included.)