DEAR ABBY: I have been married more than 25 years and have kids. I'm also gay. I always have been, but when I was a teenager, it wasn't acceptable and I always believed I would just outgrow it, or learn to live with it. Then came the computer era and the internet -- things I never dreamed of while growing up. They changed my life, yet I'm still closeted.
I have had two gay relationships. Both lasted less than a year. I feel like my whole life has been a lie, and I pretty much screwed up my wife because of it. I did provide her with all the creature comforts financially, and gave her two beautiful kids.
I just don't know if it's worth coming out at this point in my life. I'm also reluctant because I don't have a guy in my life right now, although I am looking. It's just so difficult. I'm torn about how to live the remainder of my life. Please help. -- CLOSETED IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR CLOSETED: Because you are looking for a partner, it looks like you really don't plan on sticking around once you find one. Tell your wife the truth so she can decide how she would like to spend the rest of HER life. She may need help from a licensed therapist to deal with the ramifications of your disclosure, so be prepared because it may be a shock when she learns the person she has spent the last quarter of a century with is not exactly who she thought he was.
DEAR ABBY: My late husband was of the Jewish faith. Our children and I are not. Through the years, kind and generous friends and neighbors have sent cards and gifts for Jewish holidays, which makes me very uncomfortable. What wording would you suggest I use to have this practice discontinued without seeming rude or unappreciative? -- NON-JEWISH IN ILLINOIS
DEAR NON-JEWISH: You can get your point across to these thoughtful people by saying something like this: "I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but you should know that although my husband followed the Jewish religion, my children and I do not. We are ___________." Frankly, you should have spoken up years ago.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.