I was a married man for 14 years at the age of 34. I was divorced at the end of last year; the marriage to my now ex-wife ended amicably. You see at the time we got divorced I still loved her and I loved and still love the two beautiful babies that we had together. You might ask: Why if you loved her and the kids would you get divorced? Well, it’s complicated.
You see I grew up in a loving house, my mother and father was good to us four kids, they were tough with us and taught us values and morals, we went to church every week, they were very conservative and we were seen as more than comfortable middle class. You see we were lucky my dad had a business and was earning more than the average middle class income family. My dad went hunting once a year and my mom took us kids on holiday almost every school holiday where my dad would join us on the weekends. You could say we were privileged.
High school was hell for me. I went to technical school with a 90% filled with boys and 10% with girls. Being a bit of a wimp, I got beaten up every day by the bigger kids. There was one guy that beat me up every day. I did try to hit the bastard back but I would end up getting a bigger hiding, my nose was broken 2 times in high school.
For activities in school I joined the marching band, where I learned to play the trumpet and in matric I got involved with the revue the school was running, we loved music in our house as my mom and dad had a great music collection we would all listen to.
For matric farewell one of the girls at school got her sister to go with me so that I could go because at that stage I didn’t have any girlfriends. My dad did not allow us to have girlfriends until we got to matric so you might say we didn’t have female companionship as such.
At school being curious we did what I came to believe is normal horsing around experimenting with masturbation and checking out other boys to see if we were similar.
At this time I think I was 14, I realized something was wrong with me. I started to buy scope magazines to see if I could fix it and it sort of helped, I continued to convince myself that I was ok, I am fine, nothing is wrong.
My father cornered me one day as he got home and saw me playing house with my sister and we were arguing about something , but I seriously flapped my arms and in front of my mother he asked “are you gay?”. I grew cold, didn’t know what to say and froze up. My mom intervened and told my dad: No man there is no way!!! He did the most manly thing today!! He bought a Razor!
Oh ok and my dad went on with his business. That was possibly was the first time I could have told the truth, but how could I?
You see being gay at that time in my life, we never talked about sex and sexuality, at least not with our parents and what we learned back then we learned from our friends and siblings, we also would never come out to those friends as the fear of being beaten at school was too much. You see I was already being beaten up every day. If I told, I would have been beaten up even more. nonononono.
So I made a decision, a decision that I would have to live with for the rest of my life, one I regret, one that would set the tone for my life. I would keep quiet.
After school I went to work, I landed a job that paid well and I soon moved out of the house at the age of 19. I was self sufficient. I earned more than my elder brother and life was good, but I was lonely. I met a girl through one of my work colleges who set up a date with this matric girl, whose mom worked at a factory next door. She was pleasant and I got to know her better. A year later she was out of school and we were off on weekends together. At this point we never had any sexual relations, I think I was too scared, I mean it took six months for her to kiss me ... anyway she became my best friend.
I fell in love with her, in a big way she reminded me of my mom and our relationship reminded me of the solid relationship my father had with my mother. So with me and her being in love and being best friends I asked her to marry me.
Two weeks before the wedding I got the jitters. I still hid this situation in my head where I was attracted to men but here I was about to get married to this beautiful loving woman. I convinced myself that It would go away. I chose to take this feeling and put it in the ground. I loved her and that was that, so we married I was 21 and my beautiful bride was 19, her father had to legally sign her off to me.
So here we were children playing house, at first it was lovely we bought our first town house, new cars and lived the good life for a while.
Later that year my father was diagnosed with cancer and a year later he passed away, my mom lost it completely and her world fell apart. At this time me and my eldest brother were in a business partnership with my mom, trying to take over my dad’s company ,who this failed miserably as we could not come to terms with the death of my father .We lost everything that my dad built up for more than a decade in less than a year.
I took a job with my old company and we moved to a small flat. Throughout this my wife supported me through thick and thin. I worked very hard and we decided that we wanted to have a baby, we struggled to get pregnant but two years later my son was born. We soon after this decided that we would have to rebuild our lives and when the opportunity came to move out of the difficult situation that we found ourselves in Jhb we took it and relocated to Port Elizabeth to start a new chapter in our lives.
When we left Jhb, we didn’t have a cent of debt and we were initially earning much less than in Jhb but we did get by. With all of this happening I walked into a man who I thought was the most charming guy I have met. I got to know him and when I knew him better he told me that he was gay, I was dumfounded and got to see the way that he lived.
He was I ordinary bloke who didn’t make waves who didn’t give a stuff of what people thought about him being gay. I was envious that he could live life so free, at this time my wife was pregnant with our second child, and nine months later our beautiful baby girl was born.
I started to get depressed, I found myself hating who I was and not being truthful with my wife was eating my soul I was losing control. I did consider killing myself but decided that would not benefit anyone in my life and that I would not like to put anyone through that pain that we had with my father’s passing and what would God think of me wasting my life away like this. I had to choose a way forward. I firstly had to figure out who I was and then except that.
I asked myself so are you bi, gay or straight. Obviously I knew that there was no way that I was straight so who was I? Gay or bi?
I considered that I could be bi due to the fact that I had two children with my wife and obviously I loved my wife and the I started to look for help, I found it on a chat site and questioned guys. Soon I discovered I am not the only one in this boat. That there were many married men that felt the same as what I did.
The gay friend of mine and also by now a friend of my wife, by default decided one night to take me out to a gay bar, I kept a open mind and went along, that night I met a lot of normal guys having fun and I could not believe how normal these blokes were, they came from all walks of life: engineers ,doctors, personalities to mention a few all with one thing in common, the urge to live life to the fullest and be happy.
I struggled for a year and figured out that I must be gay and it took me a while but finally I accepted it for myself. Now what was I going to do about it? I would have to tell my wife after all she is my wife and we did share everything with each other. I just could not do it I could not break up my family I truly loved them. So I left it, as the months went on I grew more and more depressed again, this not being able to tell her was eating me up I could not concentrate and eventually, I lost my business. I found work again but couldn’t function anymore.
One evening I got home, she asked me if we could talk. I said yes and she asked me if I was having a affair. I said no and she asked me then what the hell is going on. I told her I could not tell her and then broke down crying, I told her that I didn’t want to break up my family and then she asked: Are you like your friend? Are you gay? It felt like my life ended right there and I told her Yes.
As you can imagine the next few days was a emotional rollercoaster and she stood by me and I tried to support her best as I could. She eventually came to understand what I was going through and forgave me. She helped me come out to my family and helped me get on my feet. I met a guy due to her pushing me to date later on and eventually she also started dating again. I am grateful for the life she has given me and thankful for her support. We were divorced in December and I share custody of our kids.
I am today a well balanced complete person with a love for life and a new love we have been together for a year, my family has excepted us as a couple, if I knew that they were going to react the way they did I wouldn’t have had to put myself and my ex wife true hell and back.
So why are you reading this today? Because I wanted you to see what could happen if you don’t have the talk with your kids, and I wanted to show you why there are so many married men in the closet.
Parents this one is for you, if you see that you have a gay kid just let him be and allow your kid to find happiness because if you don’t it could ruin a lot of unsuspecting people’s lives, and you do want your kids to be happy don’t you?
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