Welcome back to our weekly Sex Column, the series where experts offer advice to struggling daters on navigating the sticky world of relationships.

Last week, we helped a woman devastated by her cheating husband, who slept with their daughter-in-law.

This time around, we’re helping a husband, and father of two children, whose wife has taken him back after he left her for another man. He says he doesn’t want to be gay but yearns for the love and company of men.

His wife has taken him back on condition he ‘stops being gay’. It seems like an impossible situation for this tormented man.

Let’s see if this is a problem that can be solved…

The Problem:

Three years ago, I left my wife for another man. I always knew I was gay but tried to live the life my parents expected, so suppressed my feelings.

I married and had two children, now six and eight. I supported the family as my wife doesn’t work. On the surface, we looked like a traditional family, which everyone in my culture approves of.

Sex with my wife has never been great, understandably. I couldn’t resist sneaking into gay clubs – where I met the guy I fell in love with.

Things went wrong in my new relationship. I went home, begging forgiveness. Perhaps I shouldn’t, but I had nowhere to go and missed my kids.

Everyone was delighted. My wife accepted me back on one condition – that I stop being gay and never get involved with another man.

If I could ‘stop’ being gay, I would, yearning for other men makes me feel worthless.

I love my kids, who know nothing of this. Believe it or not I love my wife – but in a sisterly way. Is there therapy that could make me stop wanting other men?

What the experts say:

Try to look at this another way. The problem isn’t that you are gay, which is not a choice – but the fact you want the impossible to please your wife.

‘You’ve tried to hide your sexuality, forcing yourself into a relationship with someone you don’t find physically attractive’ says Dr Angharad Rudkin

‘Although this “sisterly” love can satisfy some aspects of your life, it will always leave you feeling dissatisfaction. Living such a lie is damaging not just to your own health and stress levels, but will make those around you unhappy too.’

‘The evidence suggests so-called “conversion therapy” does not work, instead increasing the risk of substance abuse, depression and self-harm.’ says James McConnachie. ‘Would your wife want that for you, the father of her children?’

You feel forced to choose between your family and your sexuality but McConnachie believes you can have both.

‘Don’t lie to your wife and have a boyfriend on the side’ he says. ‘But you do need to talk to her about creating a future together that lets you be you, while having a real role as a loving dad.’

Rudkin agrees you can be a great dad and a good friend to your wife. ‘Living an authentic life will create contentment.’

Reach out to straightpartnersanonymous.com to help you and your wife find a way forward.

What do you think?

Leave your own advice in the comments section below and we will publish a selection of the best reader words of wisdom.

Laura Collins is a counsellor and columnist.

The Experts:

James McConnachie is the author of Sex (Rough Guides)

Dr Angharad Rudkin is a clinical psychologist

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