Dear Amy: I am a woman questioning my sexuality. I have been married to a man for over 20 years and we have children together. (I have not told my husband about my struggles, as he is homophobic.)
This has been a difficult and confusing time for me, and I have been in therapy throughout. My therapist says it’s common for women to discover this in their 40s — to realize they are attracted to another woman, even though they may have been married to a man for many years.
I am in love with a friend — a woman. I was attracted to her before we became friends.
We are very close but have only known each other for about a year. We are both going through divorces. (She recently found out that her husband is trans, and gay.)
We see each other nearly every day. We go out to dinner, movies, plays, museums, etc. as friends. I have never felt closer to another woman. We get along well and have so much fun together. Sometimes I think she feels the same way about me.
I recently came out to her, but through choking words and sobbing. I’m not sure she understood what I was saying. I did not exactly say, “I am gay.” She never brought it up after that, but for me, a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
I feel like a hypocrite giving her advice about her husband. I want her to be able to lean on me through good and bad times.
Should I tell her my true feelings? — Confused
Dear Confused: Coming out is a process, and you’re in the midst of it. You will continue to express your truth to various people in various ways over this transitional period.
Yes, I think you should continue to talk about this with your friend, even if it is awkward for you to bring it up. One way to do so would be for you to discuss with her some of the conversations you’re having in therapy. She may not have grasped that you are gay — and you can laugh about that missed communication later.
Yes, you should come out again to her. I do not think you should tell her that you are in love with her, however. You are both going through divorces. Regardless of whether she is also into you, you should walk around in your own identity for a while and gain some confidence and emotional stability before making any declarations.
Dear Amy: I am a married 50-year-old woman with a lovely family. My parents live just down the road. They think I should make more effort to visit, but here lies the problem.
I lived with my parents briefly in my early 30s while going to school and changing careers. I stayed in a suite in the basement. The rule was to never come upstairs unless I call first, and yet my mother was controlling and verbally abusive — coming into my area at all times — so I left after about four months.
I moved out of the city, got married, had a child and then moved back to where they live. In the few years I was gone, my brother’s marriage ended. He had no children and moved into the basement suite at my parents’ house. That was 16 years ago. He is now 55 years old.
He does not work. He does not contribute. Mother cooks for him, cleans for him and lends him money. He takes his meals back down to the basement. He is not supporting them even emotionally.
I am baffled at the way they treat him compared to my experience there. I can’t bring myself to even visit their home, it makes me sick to see.
Am I right to just stay away? They complain about him still being there but do nothing to push him out the door. — Baffled
Dear Baffled: Please understand something: Your mother was controlling you, and now she is controlling your brother. Her extreme enabling is a form of control. And look at what this has done for/to him? It has rendered him useless.
I can completely understand why you don’t enjoy spending time embroiled in this toxic system, and I think you should explain why.
Dear Amy: Regarding responding to comments about height: I used to use the line, “I’m not short, I’m fun-sized.”
Recently, I updated my response to: “I’m eco-friendly.”
This always gets a smile! — DD
Dear DD: You’re helping to save the planet, one smile at a time.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.