I Need Advice

To begin I need to tell you that I am in my mid 50's and recently seperated from my husband of 13 years.  That being said, here is my story:

Two months ago I met a very nice man on an internet dating service and I immediately felt comfortable with him.  You know, the kind of person you meet and feel like you've known him your whole life?  He is funny, sensitive, compassionate, and loving.

Our relationship was intense both physically and emotionally very quickly.  We realized we were needy and lonely and filled each other's needs and we also wished it hadn't happened that way.  Our motive was to find a friend as a companion but it didn't happen that way.

It didn't take me long to realize there were things about him I didn't understand.  He is moody, troubled, and seems so tormented.  His life has taken a spiral downward with the loss of his job as a highly paid manager in a company that closed , significant stock market losses to his retirement, and difficulties with his children.  He talks a lot about his many failed relationships with women, including his wife of 22 years who left him with two teenage kids five years ago.   Mostly he talks about all the other women and how he has been rejected by so many or that he was looking for a friend and the woman would become attached.  When we met, he said he "has so many women in his head" with unresolved situations that he really hadn't planned on getting involved with another and was disappointed in himself that he let it happen with me.  He immediately attached himself to me in some ways, but wants to call our relationship "friends with benefits". 

Red flags started popping up almost immediately and at first I denied them, of course.  He talked about how many things I didn't know about him, how he occasionally went to gay bars (but always with a female date), he would talk in riddles sometimes and never explain what he meant - leaving me to fill in the gaps, and my intuition just picked up so many hints from him.  I finally asked him what his sexual preference was one night when he was here for dinner.  He didn't get upset but he did tell me that there were certain things about himself that he wanted to keep private and that if we were in this for the long-term, he would share much more about his life with me, but assured me as just friends there was no reason to share those parts of himself with me.  He did get frustrated with some of my questions and wanted me to stop, which I did.

Since then the hints keep dropping, his stories become a little more revealing, and I can sense his pain and sadness.  Just last night he took me to a gay bar and as we sat there I was watching his face and he was studying the people and taking it all in.  Yet he was telling me of other times he had been there and a couple of guys made advances toward him and he got very angry and threatened them.  When asked why he goes there, he said it is usually a place where people are happy and the music is lively and he can escape there.

I need to add to this story that he has been very attentive to my needs as I go through this separation from my marriage and the self-esteem issues that go with it.  He encourages me, makes me laugh, hugs and holds me, and is constantly boosting my bruised and battered self-esteem.   I adore him.

After some reading, I have come to believe that he is going through the coming out process.  I feel he wants to tell me so badly, but just can't.  I am unsure of how many gay friends, if any, he has.  He says he doesn't have many friends at all, except all the women he's known.  I don't think he has been with a man sexually, but did hint about someone in college (in the 80's).  I can just sense from him a need to talk to someone about it.  I am more than willling to be that person and I feel he is so close to telling me. 

So I need advice about how to help him.  I care very deeply for him and it is so hard to watch him struggle this way.  It appears to me he is trying so hard to deny it or keep it hidden and it is taking a toll on him physically and emotionally.  Sometimes he drinks too much and it's like he is on a mission to get drunk, he works out feverishly, he has trouble sleeping and eating.  And his self-esteem is so low.  Is there anything else I can do except wait for him to find the courage to tell me? 

Thanks for any help anyone can give me.  EP has helped me through tough times and the people here are so caring and helpful.  I appreciate any and all advice I can get.




liz6210 liz6210
56-60, F
1 Response Mar 21, 2009

Thank you for the tips JP. I will certainly keep them in mind.