Woman Wants to Come Out After 20 Years of Marriage

By Amy Dickinson | June 7th, 2022

The kids are grown – she wants to connect to her truth

concerned woman on a bed photo by Marcos Calvo Mesa Dreamstime

For 20 years, this “wonderful man” helped raise her children and is now beside her enjoying the grandchildren. With the kids grown, this woman wants to come out as a lesbian, acting on her long-time attraction to women – but she dreads breaking her partner’s heart and does not want to take him away from the grandkids. See what Amy Dickinson advises in this edition of “Ask Amy.”

Dear Amy:

I have been in a 20-year relationship with a wonderful man who has been there for me – through thick and thin.

We raised my children together and are now enjoying our grandchildren.

I have been very unhappy in the relationship for the last few years because I’ve fallen out of love with him.

I don’t want to have the grandbabies lose out on a wonderful grandfather because he will leave the country if we split up, but I want to be happy, too.

I’ve always liked women, but I didn’t want my mother to take my children away from me if I lived my true self, so when I met him, and we decided to get together, I honestly wanted to grow old with him.

Now my children are grown, and I feel like I deserve to be happy. I just don’t want to break a good man’s heart.

How can I have both things that I want?

– Lost in the Closet

Dear Lost:

You may not be able to have everything you want.

Because of your life experience, you already know this, but the only way to find out what you can have is to start living your truth by being honest with your partner.

You will then have to deal with his reaction to your disclosure (he may already suspect that you are attracted to women).

The challenges of coming out for older adults

I know of many instances where, relatively late in life, people choose to reconfigure their family system to accommodate less-traditional structures and situations.

There is no requirement that your partner should leave your family system – unless he wants to.

I hope you will find a way to sincerely convey your desire to remain in a loving relationship with him so that he can remain an important member of the family he has been a part of for the past two decades.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from when an older woman wants to come out to DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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