Sunday, May 25, 2008
Coming Out Mid-Age
Coming out of the closet is a very emotional journey with several highs and lows. Many who have come out to their friends and family at a young age have faced many difficulties with acceptance and rejection from others. But coming out at 19 when your unmarried, no kids and truly just about to start your adult life, is far different than at the age of 40 when your whole life has been built around a image that isn't true to who you are. The stacks are higher in many ways.
Imagine being married for several years, having kids, establishing your social network around a heterosexual life (work, friends, etc). Trying to either subdue your true sexual feelings, live a double life with a secret same sex friend, having secret encounters or just denying yourself, can be an emotional burden. Imagine after all this time you decide that you will tell the truth. This almost seems a recipe for a mid-life crisis- disaster. You're not 19 anymore. Life is completely different. I know a few gentlemen who have gone through this situation and have informed me that it can be a very challenging time in ones life. But the overall result is the freedom of having a more honest life.
When I was reviewing the Google news on my blog. I read an article referring to this subject focusing on a father's coming out to his family. I thought that I would make this post to highlight the article, In the Name of the Father
When Jonathan's middle daughter gets married this year, he won't be walking her down the aisle. Jonathan's children, two girls and a boy, don't talk to him anymore. The uneasy peace brokered after Jonathan came out to his family in 2000 after 25 years of marriage, was severed nine months ago when his children found out that Jonathan had quietly wed his much younger lover.
"When my partner and I decided to get married, I didn't want to rub salt into the wound," says Jonathan. "They found out, as did my ex-wife, through mutual friends. So now I have a situation where my kids are in a real standoff that I withheld something from them. Not that they would have said, 'Good for you.'"
Despair creeps into Jonathan's voice as he wonders whether his ties to his children can ever be rehabilitated. Over the past several months, he has received letters from his adult children indicting his fathering skills, questioning his character, and asking him to stay out of their lives. "I'm basically shut out," he says.
To read the full article click here: The Ottawa Citizen