Q. How do I tell my wife that I also ‘like’ men?
A. Your attraction to a person of the same sex is shared by many individuals; some who live an openly gay lifestyle and others who choose go about their lives married to women. Theories on sexuality have, time and time again, reported that Sexual Orientation isn't as black and white as many would believe - reporting instead that many people's fantasies and desires fall somewhere within the “gray area” between heterosexuality and homosexuality.
Whether or not someone chooses to act upon his or her sexual preferences may not always be within their reach, especially for those living within families or communities that have little or no tolerance for homosexuality. However, if you feel safe enough to step out of the closet, then it's time to consider a number of things, mainly:
- Is your interest in men bi-curiosity or bi-sexuality, rather than full-blown homosexuality? Have you figured out the full nature and extent of these feelings, and the possible implications of each?
- Do you want to act upon your desire or keep it as a fantasy … perhaps one that you might even share with your wife? Could it, therefore, be a phase that doesn't require you to change your daily life? Or, is this attraction far deeper, something that resonates within you so much that maintaining the status quo simply doesn't cut it anymore? Does continuing to live with your wife (and children?) in the current arrangement jeopardize your emotional well-being?
The answers to these questions are important because they indicate whether you're living a life of integrity, one that satisfies you on all levels of being. Although you have a responsibility to be faithful to your wife, the burden of keeping up a false front by acting as if you are satisfied with your heterosexual lifestyle, will eventually catch up with you - whether in the form of clandestine affairs or stress-induced anxiety.
It's important to come clean to your wife about such an important area of your life, especially because you've made a commitment to being true to one another – not just physically, but even more importantly, mentally. If you're interest in men is more of a kink, rather than a definitive life altering revelation, perhaps she'll be responsive – maybe surprise you even! She may even have more of a clue about your preferences than you might think!
However, it really is impossible for us to say – and it will be somewhat of a gamble no matter what you think her reaction might be. On the other hand, having relationships behind her back is neither safe nor advisable, and only mires you deeper into secrecy and shame. If this is already the case, stop immediately and deal with your wife without the distraction of outside sources, for the sake of mutual honesty, trust and respect. Also, at the very least, take precautions to limit her exposure to potential STDs/STIs from your other sexual partners.
If you're really struggling with feelings of confusion over your sexual identity, it's very important that you consider seeking the guidance of a counselor. With the help of an objective, professionally trained individual, you can determine what changes - if any - need to be made in your marital situation and come up with more specific strategies to help you share this secret with your wife.