AUTHOR

shame

I Love my Wife but I Think I’m Gay

I frequently hear from gay men, “I love my wife but I just can’t shut off the attraction I have for men. What should I do?” As I was working on an essay for Psychology Today, I got an email from my ex-wife, whom I divorced 32 years ago, asking me to have lunch.  “Nothing serious.  Just haven’t caught up in a while.” I quickly accepted the invitation. My experience is unimaginable to some straight spouses, and for us, it didn’t come easily or quickly.
Sometimes we’re left with the choice between a bad decision and a worse decision, but things may not be as bad as they seem.  Click here to read

Are All Gay Men Narcissists?

Since my essay, “My Husband Is Having an Affair…With a Man,” was published, I have received many, many comments. Although some of the comments were supportive, many of them were challenging, such as this one: Sadly, most married, closeted gay men are manipulative, narcissistic con artists who only think about themselves with only occasional feelings of guilt and remorse. Their decision to leave or stay in their marriages is never out of consideration for the wife.
To read Digging Deeper with Straight Spouses – Part I, click here.

The Shame and Guilt of Same-Sex Attraction

Hi, Dr. Olson,

I am a middle-aged divorced man, and since my divorce I have been struggling with my sexual identity. Perhaps I have always been in denial or confusion with my sexuality. Growing up I had female friends but felt intimidated by them sexually. My first sexual experience was with a childhood friend, but I felt sick, ashamed, and guilty. This increased my need to always have a girlfriend to suppress this shame. Following my divorce, I felt incredibly lonely and started flirting with guys online. For the first time, I felt attractive. Who am I?

Your story is very familiar to me and not much different from my own. Some find it hard to believe that a man could reach middle age before questioning his sexual identity, but in my research, I have even interviewed a man in his nineties who, having lost his wife of over fifty years, began to explore his same-sex attractions. Seeking an answer to the question of who I am led me to write Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight.  Continue reading

Is Homosexuality Biological?

I am a self-identified gay man who recently stumbled across your book, Finally Out, and it raised some points that I want to ask you about. It seems to me that sexual desire may be learned rather than instinctual. Aren’t instincts and intelligence mutually exclusive? If homosexuality is a biologic instinct, in other words, hard-wired, wouldn’t it just die out?

The debate about whether being gay is nature versus nurture is one that has gone on for a long time and undoubtedly will continue for a long time.  I usually say that 99% of our brain functions at a primitive or primal level and 1% at a rational level.  Of course, these numbers are chosen arbitrarily to make a point. Continue reading

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