DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm gay. I have a wife and two kids, and the truth is I should have married the man I secretly loved (and had a relationship with) back in university. I'm crazy about my kids, and my wife is a wonderful woman, but my "love life" with her is poor and it's a big lie. I don't know if it's too late to come out of the closet, in regards to my kids who are now teenage boys at a vulnerable age. I don't see any men, but I want to be free to do so, and I'm trapped by my own cowardly decision not to be who I really am. I don't know what to do and I don't want to hear from you, or smug, heterosexual married people. I would like to hear from someone who has has come out and then seen the effect on his kids. Could you please ask any readers with experience to help me? -- So Messed Up, Winnipeg
Dear Messed Up: I'll appeal to gay dads for help -- those who confessed to their families and started living an honestly gay life, and those who stayed with their wife for the kids sake, and saw men privately -- or those who stifled it until the kids left home. Please write with your experiences, particularly about how your decision affected the kids. We'll publish the letters in an upcoming column for you. The only thing I want to say as a woman is your wife needs to be told, no matter what happens, so she can make decisions to protect herself from your high-risk partners.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm in love with my best friend's wife. I make up excuses to go out to their country place every weekend. I love to see both of them. I love him as my best buddy, and her as the most ideal woman I ever met -- sexy, fun, intelligent, kind, great cook, loves her job. I don't think my friend knows I'm in love with her. I didn't know until about three months ago. I had a dream about his beautiful wife that made me realize why I quit trying to date other women. In June, sleeping in the attic of their house, I dreamed she was mine, and we made love, and then it all made sense. Neither one knows my secret. I feel like a jerk for going there and looking at my friend's wife but I can't stop myself because I love both of them. Can you help? -- Such a Jerk, Winnipeg
Dear Jerk: In North American society we seem to think we should be able to take a crack at whomever we love. And there's a good chance you really do love this woman. You see her a lot, and in every kind of day-to-day situation, except in your bed. You probably see her kissing and embracing her husband and have an idea what she'd be like sexually. But this situation is not fair to three out of three people 1) your best friend, because you should be someone he can trust 2) the wife, because you go there every weekend, and you secretly lust after her 3) you, because you're playing a losing game and have quit trying to find your own woman altogether. It's time to back off this couple for everyone's sake and start looking for a woman just like the fantasy you found in your friend's life.
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