DEAR ABBY: I'm married to a man 21 years my senior. "Joe" and I have been married six years. I have recently realized I'm gay and have fallen in love with another woman.
Although Joe isn't infirm or mentally deficient, he has a hard time making decisions on his own. He'll read something, hand it to me and ask me what I think. He can't form an opinion on his own, but God forbid you challenge an opinion he DOES have.
Over the course of our marriage, he has become "crotchety" and burned all his bridges. Because of this, I have lost friends, business opportunities and my reputation. He got fired from his job three years ago and has never actively tried to find another one. I have carried the family on my own financially.
He literally has no one but me. He's past retirement age, and I'm half that. I have more life to live being who I really AM, but I feel guilty leaving him high and dry. I no longer love him; I love my girlfriend. I want to be out and proud and live what I realize now is my real truth. How can I tell him I want out? -- TRAPPED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR TRAPPED: Before telling your husband anything, discuss this with a divorce lawyer. Leaving him may be complicated because you have been his sole support for a while. Once you know what your financial responsibilities may -- or may not -- be, you will be in a better position to give your husband the bad news. When you do, a way to start would be to tell him you have realized that you are a lesbian.