Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Married Gay Man and Co-Worker

I am struggling with a situation. I am a married man who found myself falling in love with a male colleague.  I would like to express myself but hope to take a calculated risk.  The assurance I seek, which could be too ideal I reckon, is to find out if he is gay, too.  When I desire him, I am aware I could be over reading his behaviors as I want so much for him to be gay. 

I have grown to like him very gradually.  I miss him a lot when I do not see him; receiving his texts makes me feel like he is thinking of me at least.  I care a lot for him and he has certainly shown very personal care towards me.  I look forward to meeting him every day.  It is not sex as I do not get attracted to him over his physical appeal; he is a very average guy.  It is that special connection I feel between us.  And from there an arousal.  I think of him every day. Deep down I do wish I could express myself honestly with the hope that he will accept and respond favorably.  I am not afraid that he does not like me the way I do.  I love him and I have no obligatory expectation.  I am most afraid that if he is resentful of my honesty it will change our relationship.  I will drive him away. 

I am homosexual but because I am married to a woman and capable of intimacy with females, I qualify myself as bisexual.  I am straight acting, highly sociable and sit in top management team of my company.  Very private in my personal life, I am a closet homosexual.  I do not hang around in pubs or bars – overall am a family man.  A workaholic by nature, I like outdoors, sports and adventures.

I am actually going through a great struggle over the issue.  I am tempted to express my feelings but seized with such great fear.  I am able to take it IF he is gay but not interested in me. I cannot bear it if he is not even gay and starts to feel uneasy upon hearing me.

This is a fairly common situation, being romantically and/or sexually attracted to someone and not only not knowing if they feel the same way about you, but not even knowing if they're gay. What makes it even more difficult for you is that you're in the closet. So even if he's gay and is attracted to you, he doesn't know how to deal with it any more than you do. [This is one more example of how being in the closet can be so detrimental for gay people.] If both of you were "out" you'd only have to deal with how you felt about each other, not with whether or not to disclose the truth of your sexuality. But let's get past that for the moment.

Judging from other information you've given me which I have not posted, you bounce back and forth from thinking this fellow is gay to not gay and, as you admit, clutch at every possible indication that he could be gay and feel the same way as you do. Frankly, the only way you can tell for certain is by being honest with him, whatever the consequences. But then -- even if he's gay, even if he feels the same way you do -- there's the fact that you are already in a relationship, however bogus it may be; you're married. Even if he is comfortable with his sexuality it doesn't mean he will be comfortable in a clandestine relationship with a married man, gay or bi. Many gay men have been burned by getting into relationships with conflicted married men who, whatever they say in bed, will never have the courage to come out and/or leave their wives. 

I can tell you are very conflicted, possibly due to religious feelings. You say at one point that your feelings aren't sexual, then say that he "arouses" you. Let's be blunt. You may have "feelings" for this guy, but you also hunger for his body. Don't let your hang ups make you ashamed of this. It's okay to be gay. It's okay to have romantic and sexual feelings for other men.

You are not alone in this situation. Many family men, whether they identify as gay, bi or even straight [which is major self-denial, of course] are privately attracted to men. Being in a closet doesn't make it easier for them, although they wrongly believe it will, at least at first. 

Before you come out to this guy you might consider getting counseling or therapy from a gay or gay-friendly therapist. If your town has a gay center, you might inquire if they have a group for married gay men or men struggling with their identity. Meeting other men who are in a similar situation might make it easier for you. It might prepare you to have what I suspect you really want: a committed sexual and romantic relationship with a man.

I simply can't tell you whether or not this guy is gay or feels the same way as you do. And you must understand, as an Out and Proud Gay Man, I can't encourage people to stay in the closet and have boyfriends on the side while pretending to the world to be straight. If you want to live a straight closeted life, that's your prerogative, but you have to accept that some privileges will be lost to you. 


Anonymous said...

This was a really good answer, Bill. Well thought out and helpful.


Bill Samuels said...

Many thanks, David!