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Tom’s Story

Recently, one of the guys from our online community submitted a bit of his personal story to share…

This is my first time opening up about this. I am 46. I am married with 3 adorable kids — aged 17, 16 and 12.

I grew up in the 1980s knowing in my teenage years that I was same-sex attracted, but I was from a regional area and from a family that you might call a bit “redneck”. At the time, same-sex attraction was shunned. I felt there was no real life available for people that didn’t fit the stereotypical nuclear family.

In the early 1990s, in my university years, I put aside my desires to be with men and followed the path that was expected. I found a girl that I really liked, and we became best friends. We ended up marrying and having three wonderful kids. My same-sex attraction was never an issue for me as I was happy and loved them all the same.

Then after 20 years of marriage, at the age of 44, I fell into the classic midlife crisis - feeling old, tired, depressed and seeing the kids grow up with time flying by. Suddenly I was hit with a disastrous medical prognosis. It was essentially a death sentence in the short term if I didn’t make radical changes. With stresses at work and no real close friends to lean on, I spiraled. I thought my life was done — when all of a sudden the urge to be with another man hit me.

I did what I thought I’d never do - I slept with a man. At the time I didn’t care one iota - Hell, I was a dead man walking. One guy led to another and another and eventually I was caught in a toxic cycle of finding lover after lover. My wife was completely oblivious - until I was caught. That was the start of the end for us. For the next two years, we tried to make it work, but I was continually drawn to other men.

Today, after 22 years and one week of marriage, I find myself spending the night alone, with no home to go to and no support network around me. I have been shown the door. I love my kids and my wife. I know I have done wrong by them, but I fear now it’s all too late. But tomorrow is another day and I hope I can find something to salvage in all of this.

This is a familiar story for so many guys. In fact, that’s why DALE is here. To allow us to share our stories and discover that we’re not alone. Have you got a story to share? You can submit your story here or post it to the Forums where other members of the DALE community can reply.

*Tom is not this person's real name.