The stress of cheating on my wife is making me ill – but I can no longer suppress who I am | Life and style


I’m a 41-year-old man and I have been married to my wife for 10 years. I have always been bisexual, but because I wanted a family (we have two young children) I turned a blind eye to my gay side. I thought I could keep it up for ever, but after hiding it for so long I developed insomnia and other ailments. A year ago I decided to explore my sexuality. After a few meet ups with random men, I met a man who is 20 years my senior and quickly fell in love. I am now in a loving sexual relationship with him. I feel so much more sexually confident and have a happiness I’ve never felt before. However I’m beginning to suffer from gastrointestinal problems due to the stress of cheating on my wife and being disloyal to my kids. The insomnia has got worse and I have begun to use alcohol to get to sleep. I love my wife dearly, but my attraction to her fizzled out soon after our second child was born. I don’t want to break up our family but I can’t live without a man in my life. Should I seek therapy? Moral guidance would be appreciated.

Therapy would probably be very helpful. You need a lot of support, although “moral guidance” is not called for at all. You are who you are – a person who is “wired” in a certain way – and that is very unlikely to change, even if you want it to. Only you know if there is a possibility that your wife will accept the truth of who you really are, and I can understand you may not want to risk telling her in case it is unacceptable. But the toll this is taking on you is enormous. Perhaps, after some individual therapeutic help, you could also use a couples therapist to find a way to talk to your wife about your distressing situation in a safe and palatable manner.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

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If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions.

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