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Lifestyle

Gay husband wants out of marriage

Q. I have been married for more than 15 years and have two great kids (14 and 9) with my wife. My life is seemingly perfect. No one would suspect there was a problem, but I’ve been living with the knowledge that I am gay for more than five years.

I didn’t figure out my sexuality until after I was married. I became very depressed. My life would be so much easier if I were straight. I do love my wife and my kids, but I’m not attracted to her and have not been for quite a while.

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I’ve met someone in a similar predicament. We have become best friends and share a lot of the same interests and values.

We have developed strong feelings for each other, and I could imagine a life in which the two of us were together.

Should this man and I continue to live a lie with our families or should we tell our wives and kids the truth and have a potentially hurtful situation for everyone involved?

A. If you truly love your wife, you will tell her the truth — before you tell anyone else. You are keeping your sexuality a secret from the person you are closest to. You say you are not attracted to her and have known this for some time. Imagine how sad and confused she must be about your relationship.

The most ethical thing to do is to deal with this within your marriage — and not to engage in a relationship with this other man until you are both honest with your wives and out of your marriages.

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A therapist with experience working with people who want to come out can help you find the most compassionate way to disclose this to your wife.

The Straight Spouse Network (straightspouse.org) is a resource for straight people with gay spouses. You should read some of the testimonials and stories written by straight spouses for insight into what this process might be like for your wife. The organization might be able to help her connect with someone who has also been through this very challenging situation.

Q. I’m in my mid 30s, and a really nice guy, but I never found that special someone.

I know that the bar scene is nowhere near the right place to look, and online dating is just a nowhere road, so what do I do?

I’ve been doing it all wrong all of my life. I can’t even find women who are close enough to my age these days. Lately, I’ve been saying that I’d rather stay single for the rest of my life than look for something I’ll never find, but now I feel like I’ve been lying to myself.

It really does hurt my heart when I say that, but I can’t help thinking it may never happen, no matter what I try.

I just don’t know what I have to do. Are these normal feelings? Is it really worth my time thinking I’ll find someone when I least expect it? Is there nothing I can do?

A. Every single thought you have is expressed in the negative.

The journey to meeting potential partners starts not in your heart but in your head. You need to look at everything you have tried in the past and make a determination to try new things with a positive attitude.

Online matching could actually be perfect for you. Research various matching sites and spend some time choosing the site that seems to reflect your own goals and values. If you approach the matching process as an opportunity simply to meet new people and polish your in-person skills, you might enjoy the process.

Send questions by e-mail to askamy@tribune.com or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

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