Relationships/Creative Nonfiction/LGBTQ

Is an affair a deal-breaker if you can’t find what you want at home?

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Source: wernerimages/DepositPhoto/170560288

I drove my best friend, Bruce, home after my husband, Doug, and I had eaten dinner with him. When he opened the door to get out of my Camry, I shivered as premature winter-cold rushed in. But the brisk temperature outside stung less than my frigid relationship with Doug.

As Bruce stepped out of the car, I said to him, “I don’t know what’s up. Something’s really wrong between Doug and me right now.”

For a moment, Bruce sat there half in and half out of the car…


As I mentioned in the essay: It wasn't always so.

Maybe things are good because of maturity. Maybe we're too stubborn to give up on it. My bet is that dwindling testosterone means we're not led around by our penises anymore.


My husband gave me a Valentine that said, “You’re my favorite person to do everything & nothing with.”

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Copyright Hallmark Cares

You’re my favorite person to do nothing with

As I read the rest of the Valentine it said, “Together on the couch, out in the world, or just texting during the day — our you-and-me time is my favorite time.” This message tugged at my heart as he’d intended.

I realized the true test of a relationship is to do nothing with someone.

Can you feel comfort, intimacy, and love even during those laid-back times?

I’m 78-years-old, and I continue to practice psychiatry. And I write. But only when I want to. Life demands less of me than it once did. …


Your thoughtful question deserves a response.

Aging definitely makes a difference. As we age, our values change. We are less driven by the tyranny of ambition. We've climbed the ladder as far as we can.

This creates a great sense of freedom to refocus on other things.

I've often written that we can measure time or experience time. When we're young, we measure it: What's on my to-do list? What time is my next meeting? With whom should I network (even if I don't like them) to advance my career.

With age, we can ask, "Whom and what do…

Thanks, Paul. Being old allows us to realize what is important and what is not. Time becomes urgent and we don't want to waste it on what doesn't matter. For me, working with the mental health needs of people who suffer is one of the things that gives my life meaning. I want to continue as long as I can do a satisfactory job of it.

I struggled with being called, “Daddy,” by younger gay men, as Arthur Keith wrote about, but I’ve made peace with it.

I was put off because, like Keith, I have…

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When my granddaughter came out, I was surprised that as a gay man I felt sad.

Things are different now. What a joy it is to see her fall in love the first time.

Had I wanted her to resign as a sexual being? Never to experience the intimacy of another’s body? Heart? Soul? Of course not.

It wasn’t about her. I grieved my expectations for her life.

I thought, “I want to protect you from the pain I have experienced.” But the truth is, I was more concerned about my pain than hers.

She recently wrote to me, “Grandpa…

Loren A Olson MD

Gay father; Psychiatrist; Award-winning author FINALLY OUT. Chapter excerpt here: Top writer on Medium. Not medical advice.

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