Some Things to Remember

None of us feels comfortable about giving or getting advice. Our experiences are different, and even if we've listened carefully, with love and empathy, to all of the details another man has told us, we can only guess at what might be helpful to him. Still, there are some general truths to hold on to as we all struggle with the dilemma of being married and feeling sexually attracted to men.

Remember what is most important in your life. Don't throw it away.

Don't make sudden decisions. Take the time to think things over, talk with your wife, talk with your own therapist, talk with a couples therapist if your wife is willing.

If you have children, don't do anything that will hurt them. Kids can take anger, sadness, even the breakup of a marriage. But they need to know that you love them.

If you're fighting with your wife, fight fair. Feel your own pain, but recognize her pain as well. Remember the things that have kept you connected, and honor them.

Watch out for all-or-nothing thinking. She may find it simpler to think you're totally gay, totally dishonest, totally heartless. You may find it simpler to think you're totally gay, totally trapped, and that the only way to respond is to be totally honest (or for that matter, totally secret). That kind of either/or thinking doesn't help you or your wife in the long run.

If you choose to tell your wife about your feelings toward men, don't go into details about your experiences unless you're sure that will help. Your wife may want to understand your feelings, and she wants to be able to trust you. She may be willing to hear that you are attracted to men, even that you have fantasies when you masturbate or have sex with her. But sexual jealousy is a loaded gun. She may not be ready for the rage that can be triggered in her by her sense of betrayal if you tell her details about sex with men.

Limit your drinking to the amount you're used to. Alcohol and drugs don't make the pain go away. Be ready for mood swings, and if you're depressed, or if you recognize that you're acting impulsively out of anger, get help. Antidepressant drugs can b e an aid in coping.

Stay connected to friends and family members who can listen to you and share your feelings.