Ending deception benefits all
By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
Creators Syndicate Inc.
DEAR ANNIE: I am in my mid-50s and have known since childhood that I am gay, but have always lived as a straight man. I met my wife in graduate school. I liked her as a friend and, after many years, gave in and married her. I was lonely and couldn’t see myself living openly as my real self. We have two children.
Four months ago, I met a younger guy who is very much in the closet except with me. Our friendship electrifies me. There is nothing sexual between us and I don’t intend to initiate anything, but if he wanted more, I don’t know what I’d do. I couldn’t stand to lose him. I have been faithful to my wife, even though our sex life has been marginal at best. She accepts my friend and has even had him over for dinner, but my children do not. It’s as if they know.
I want so much to tell my wife. I know it would clear up many questions I’m sure she has. But I fear what she might do to me — a nasty divorce and a financial wipeout. Do I have anything to gain by telling her, or should I just refuse to state what might already be obvious? — Still In the Closet
DEAR CLOSET: Here’s what you have to gain: a loving relationship and satisfying sex life with someone who appreciates the real you, and the self-respect that comes from being honest and doing the right thing. Your wife also deserves to know the truth and, if she wants it, a relationship with someone who is sexually attracted to her.
She and your children can learn to forgive you for the deception if you handle this decently and lovingly. If you decide to come clean, you can get support through PFLAG (pflag.org), 1726 M St. N.W., Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036.
DEAR ANNIE: I recently received an invitation to a bridal shower for my cousin’s fiancee. The invitation states, "Please wrap all gifts in clear wrap." Is this something new? — Insulted in Pennsylvania
DEAR INSULTED: Clear wrap allows the bride to see the presents without opening them and, if necessary, return them without disturbing the packaging. For the sake of family peace, try to assume it was the shower hostesses, and not the bride, who made this gauche suggestion.