Sunday, February 12, 2017

Gay in a straight mariage

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

I have been married for 43 years. I’m a gay man and my wife knows it. We got through a very difficult time. However, we have had a good marriage for a long time. I haven’t acted on my sexuality since I was young.

My mother is dying and asked me if I was “queer” and I said no. I did not feel it was necessary to bring her more grief. She’s a very religious woman and I am a religious man.

My wife got mad because I didn’t tell my mother the truth. She said my mother must know the truth by now or she wouldn’t have asked.

None of my children or grandchildren know. It’s not an issue in our marriage, so why should I tell my elderly mom now? What good would it do? Why does my wife care about my mother knowing?

My clergyman knows because he also counseled us. That was a long time ago.

And God knows. I know that God loves me. I was at peace about everything until now.

If I wanted to leave and be with a man for the rest of my life, my wife would have eventually been fine with that. At one time, that is what I thought I wanted. But after thinking about it for a long time, I decided I wanted my family more.

I love my wife even though I do not feel “that way” about her. I want to understand why she wants to rock the boat, so to speak.

Not rocking the boat

Dear not rocking,

We feel you have made your decision, along with your wife, to choose the way you want to live your lives. We also feel your sexuality is between you and your wife.

We cannot know why your wife is angry about your not disclosing your private decisions with your mother. However, this may be a symptom that you two have more to address regarding your orientation. We do suggest that you and your wife may need some extra help with your losses and suggest getting professional guidance, regardless of what has been done in the past.

We applaud the mature manner in which you and your wife seem to be handling your lives together. There’s no reason you can’t continue holding true to each other through this new challenging time.

In order to keep awareness of each other’s needs and comforting, it may be wise to address any new feelings now.

If you allow that to happen, you’ll grow closer through this experience of great loss. You’ll be able to function at a heightened level of appreciation for each other and close any gaps of miscommunication that often happens when people lose someone so very close to them.

We hope and pray this current hardship will give you both an opportunity to solidify your relationship together in a new and even more positive way.

Best to you both. Our condolences are with you also.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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