By Andrew M Potts
In the country, there's a greater expectation from family, friends and the community to marry than there is in the city. Many country guys marry and have families before they've had a chance to come to terms with their homosexuality or to explain to the world that they are gay.
Sometimes gay guys marry because they don’t want to disappoint their family.
It's hard enough to tell your parents and siblings that you’re gay; adding a wife and kids to the equation doesn't make things easier.
If your children are still quite young, you probably won’t have to tell them until they’re older.
Telling your wife is going to be extremely difficult for you both. She may feel betrayed, deceived, or that it’s her fault that you’re gay. She may think she's done something wrong to make you look at other people. It’s vitally important that you let her know that it’s nothing she’s done and that it’s not her fault.
Hopefully you chose a wife who loved as a friend, so make sure she knows that. too. Make sure she knows this is as much about her being free to find someone who can truly love her as she deserves, just as much as it is about you.
The questions you need to ask yourself are:
Is an amicable separation possible?
Can you continue living together as friends or will you have to separate and move out completely?
Can you stay friends or will you need some time apart?
If you do separate, is there going to be a problem with visitation rights or custody over the kids?
How will her side of the family take it and what about your mutual friends?
It may be worth getting a couple’s therapist or relationship counselor involved who might be able to mediate on some of these issues. You might even want to do this before you tell her, particularly if there has been conflict in the relationship leading up to this decision.
Finally, the breakdown of any relationship is always going to be painful, so if things get too much for you, don’t hesitate to get some therapeutic counseling for yourself.
Having an impartial person to talk to who doesn’t know you or any of the other people involved can be a big help and a qualified counselor can help you with strategies to cope with any depression or stress you may be going through.
Parents & Friends of Lesbians And Gays (PFLAG) www.pflag.org