Stepping Out and Starting Over

When is it too late to start over? I know a man in his late sixties who only discovered that he was gay a few years ago. As he has worked through what he wants for his life he recently made the decision that finding intimacy and possibly love with another man was important to him. After forty five years of marriage to a woman, he has decided to make a few changes.

Living in a small southern town does not give you many opportunities to meet other gay men. That did not stop my friend. A few weeks ago he moved out of his marriage to an Airbnb on a trial basis a few towns over. And just this week he and his wife came to the conclusion that this separation was probably permanent.

Now that he is away from his marriage and his house, what should he do with all his newfound time? Well, he has projects at his house he needs to complete. He wants to stay close to where his wife lives so that he can help out as needed. She has never, he says, taken care of the house before. She won’t be able to manage it.

I have teased my friend that saying close to his wife and his old home; working on projects at his house; being on call for his wife’s emergencies, might not leave him much time to begin his new gay life. His response is that they have been married forty-five years and he still cares for her. It is hard to step out of the roles we play in our lives.

And then there is the little thing called a pandemic that gets in my friend’s way of dating, meeting guys, and having sex. What kind of risk do you put yourself in by going on a date? If you are in your late sixties with a few chronic illnesses then maybe the risk is large.

I applaud my friend for his courage in stepping out so late in life so that he can live his truth and for whatever time he has left, live his life authentically.

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