Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Distorted Perceptions - 2003

This is an article from my newsletter from 2003 that still rings true.

Distortion Perceptions - May 2003


I’ve written about this before, and probably not too long ago. But I could never write about this enough, so I’ll talk about it again. It’s what I call “Distorted Perceptions.” It’s an important part of understanding the whole concept your marriage and why it failed.

I think I’ve gotten most of you on board with understanding that you had no influence on your husband’s homosexuality. No matter how easy it is for us to fall into the trap of believing that we were not “good enough” or “smart enough” or “pretty enough” or “sexy enough” for our husbands, I hope after reading my constant reassurances, you finally understand that your husband’s homosexuality was there long before you were.

The next concept of why your marriage failed is a little more difficult for you to understand. You are still looking at your marriage as if it takes “two to tango” as the saying goes. I often hear women say, “He made mistakes, and I made mistakes,” or “We both had faults,” Let’s acknowledge that no one is perfect. Yes, we all have faults. But it is not your “faults” that created the problems in the marriage. On the other hand, it is very possible that the problems in the marriage intensified your faults.

Example? Okay. Let’s start with me revealing to you some of the problems I had in my marriage. Because of all of the erratic behavior and inconsistencies in my marriage, I was overly suspicious of my husband’s actions. Whenever I couldn’t account for his missing time, I believed he was out cheating on me. I made an automatic search of all of his belongs when he wasn’t looking. This included all of the pockets in his clothes, his little black phone book, and his wallet. I looked in the car at the mileage gauge, looked under the seats for clues of unfamiliar items, and went through the glove compartment for any suspicious papers, matchbook covers, or receipts left behind and haphazardly thrown in there. As soon as I would find a possible incriminating piece of evidence, I would confront my husband. He would get angry and yell at me how I was neurotic and ridiculous. He always had an explanation of whatever evidence I found, and he did his best to convince me that I was the one with a “vivid” imagination that was always in the overactive mode.

From where he was sitting, I looked like the overly nagging wife. Snooping didn’t become me. But I became obsessed. Once the trust was gone, there was no way for me to regain it, especially when his patterns of suspicion continued. As much as I tried to ignore what kept hitting me in the face, I was unable to do so. As time progressed, my obsession deepened. Every time he left the house, my imagination took over and images of young men jolted out in my mind. Every guy my husband spoke to became suspect to me. My reactions to people were totally different because of this. No doubt, there were many innocent people who became victims of my unfounded hostility, but I was unable to distinguish fact from fiction because of the ones who were my realities and nightmares.

Now, my husband blamed me for overreacting to almost everything. And maybe in many cases I did. Bottom line: This was not who I was, but who I became because HE WAS GAY AND LIVING A LIE. And that lie infiltrated the darkest part of my soul turning me into someone whom I didn’t recognize or even like.

There were days when I woke up and didn’t want to live any more. This was NOT ME. The real me had a passion for life that had been temporarily snuffed out. I didn’t know it was temporary while I lived it because my life was now on another plane—somewhere between the Twilight Zone and death. I say death because on three different occasions I attempted suicide. It seemed like an excellent alternative during those moments that seemed so inescapable and hopeless. This was NOT ME either. Prior to my marriage, I was so high on life. I was active, sociable, surrounded by high self-esteem, and very independent. I turned into someone who was depressed, scared, insecure, co-dependant, and crying constantly from being hurt.

The decisions and the moves that I made during my marriage were based on the mutated perceptions inside my marriage. Before I suspected that homosexuality was the cause of my unhappiness, I came to believe that it was me who was causing the problems in my marriage. If I told my husband that our marriage had problems, he would reply, “We don’t have problems—YOU have the problem. I am happy in the marriage. YOU are the unhappy one.” Many of you have written to me that your husbands tell you the same thing. The problem is YOU—not him, not the “marriage.” And naturally, my husband, as well as yours, never looks beyond the fact that YOU have a problem, because it’s always all about them. I guess I was falling into a darker hole each day so it was easy for me to believe that I was the one with the problems. He wasn’t falling into a dark hole. He seemed content, and why not?  He had a wife and a life outside his wife.

He was living his lie. And it was a big lie. Not a little white lie. Lying about your sexuality is a really very big lie. VERY BIG. What is a little lie? A little lie is taking money and buying something and not telling your spouse. A little lie is getting a couple of drinks at the bar with some friends while you tell your wife you are working. A little lie is not revealing that you broke your diet, smoked a cigarette after you quit, or paying more for something than you’re supposed to but keeping quiet not to start a fight because you’ve unbalanced the family budget.

It’s not like I’m condoning lying, but I certainly do understand it. I’ve lied myself when the thought of revealing something is going to result in an unnecessary argument that can be avoided and has no real effect on the state of a relationship. To lie is human. To live a lie is different. It’s not something that is inconsequential. When you live a lie, there are always consequences for someone. In our cases, it ends up being our consequence.

The basis for a relationship should be one built on give and take. When a man stops having sex with his wife because it’s too much of a burden for him because he is gay, you are giving wrong information to your wife. I don’t hear too many men take responsibility for their lack of sexual activity other than made up stories about being too tired, too overworked, too depressed, too headachy, too sore from exercising, etc. When those excuses run out, then the tables turn. Then it’s—YOU. You are too heavy, YOU are too naggy, YOU are too unsympathetic,
YOU are too demanding, and of course…..YOU ARE A NYMPHOMANIAC or something just as insulting. Because YOU now think YOU are the problem in your marriage, YOU are the one who tries to change YOURSELF. So, now you are changing yourself to become the ideal wife of a man who doesn’t want to make love to you no matter how good you look, how nice you act, how talented you are, or of course—how devoted you are to your gay husband. Ouch! That hurts.  


Eventually, after your husband rejects you enough times, you stop expecting sex, and you also stop asking for it. He breathes a deep sigh of relief. Whew!! “She finally gets it. Stop asking because you’re not going to get it.” Once your wife stops asking you to have sex, she has resigned herself to living an unhappy life with you. How happy to do you think she’s going to be? And when she’s not happy, that’s her fault too, right? Wrong. It’s the husband’s fault.

Some gay husbands believe that money is the key to happiness—YOUR happiness. They will try to compensate for their sexual inadequacy by buying you gifts and trinkets, as if that will do it for you. It’s the same pattern as the physically abusive husband who beats his wife, begs for forgiveness, tells her that he loves her, and goes out to buy a present to prove it. HYPOCRITS. Like a bracelet is going to make you feel better about yourself. “I don’t think you’re good enough to make love to, but I think you’re good enough for a bracelet.”  Thanks pal—but no thanks.
 
I know they say that the failure of a marriage is the fault of both parties, and maybe that’s the case in functional marriages. But guess what? I don’t think it’s that way when you live with a gay man. You aren’t happy. He can’t be happy. He is saying that you are making him unhappy because of your own unhappiness. But if he would have been a straight husband, maybe you would be happy. Perhaps you could have met life’s challenges as a team instead of being on different teams. And not only are you both on different teams, but you’re both playing in different ballparks. If the pitcher for the New York Yankees throws the most perfect pitch in NY, the best player in Boston standing hundreds of miles away can’t hit it—NO MATTER WHAT. You are in two different cities on two different teams. Two different places in two different spaces.

The same goes for straight wives with gay husbands. If your husband is telling you that the lack of sex in your marriage is YOUR fault, and he is a gay man, no matter what you do to make yourself more physically attractive, and some of you have gone to the extremes of breast implants and liposuction, it’s not going to change anything. You are playing in the wrong ballpark. Or shall I say, you have the wrong plumbing.

If you think I’m saying to all of you that you are perfect and without fault, well, I’m not. No one is perfect; we are all human. We all make mistakes. We all have bad days. We all have human traits, and this is fine. And no husband—straight, gay or otherwise is perfect either. I don’t think any of us are seeking perfection. We are seeking husbands who are playing in the same ballpark. And although many couples who are STRAIGHT couples grow apart, they do it in a more honest way. They don’t always look to place the blame on your lap. They take some responsibility for the marriage unraveling. And you can make sense of those marriages that don’t work without feeling that you are responsible for their failure. In a marriage with a gay husband, you don’t even know what is real and not real. You are living in a labyrinth that has only twists and turns. There is no way to ever find a way to the end of the maze. The twists and turns go nowhere except in vicious circles. 


And so, when you sit back and recount the years that have passed and try to figure out what went wrong in your marriage, do yourself a favor--stop thinking about it. When you live with a gay man who is parading in disguise as a straight man, nothing can change the circumstances. Or shall I say, only you are capable of changing them—by leaving the marriage and moving on to a life that makes sense. What’s really so amazing is that life can make sense once your marriage is over. No more mazes to run through, no more Twilight Zones or Outer Limits. No more trying to solve the unsolvable, no more fighting against the unchanging tide. When you live like this, you zap your mental and physical energy because  spinning gold out of hay only happens in fairytales. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

OCTOBER NEWSLETTER 2014

BONNIE KAYE'S STRAIGHT TALK
 OCTOBER 2014     Volume 15, Issue 157

Bonnie’s Mantras:
LIFE WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE THIS COMPLICATED. PERIOD.
YOU CAN'T FIX A BROKEN MAN--BUT HE CAN BREAK YOU!

Help support Bonnie’s mission to help women and men in pain. Purchase her books from her website at www.Bonniekayebooks.com.

Please "Like" my new FB page at Bonnie Kaye, Author. Thanks!

CALIFORNIA HEALING WEEKEND
Last weekend, 25 women gathered in Los Angeles from all over the country to participate in my semi-annual healing weekend. It is so validating for these women to meet others in their struggle to remind them that they are not alone. Although we come from all different locations, cultures, religions, and economic strata, the emotional impact is always the same. What we learn from each other cannot be written about in a few words. Support is so important to the recovery process. I was so happy to reunite with some of my most favorite women in the world and meet some new women who were merely names on an email before this. I learned from each and every one of them about the strength that we all have within and the battles that we all must conquer in time. There is no quick fix to Gay Husband Recovery, but support along the way makes the road that much easier. As I told our women, there will be a day when the term "Straight Wife" does not define you anymore. That is the goal!

DETERMINING TERMINOLOGY
I am now in my 30th year of giving support and counseling in the straight/gay arena. Although I have a lot of people on my side, I still have some heavy-duty detractors who continue to challenge me on issues like "Bisexuality" and "Gay Porn." Most of the time it is men who get angry when I tell them that they are gay when they insist they are not. Sometimes their wives are angry when they insist that their husbands are not like those "gay ones" that I write about. Okay. So go live happily ever after when your husband comes home after some male sexual encounter. More power to you--I couldn't do it.

People accuse me of being so "black and white" with no shades of gay....excuse me..gray. Yes, that is true. I don't quite get it. I am VERY pro-gay. Why can't men who are having sex with a penis feel the same way? Why do they need to hide under the pretense that they are NOT gay because they would never kiss a man? I don't think kissing a man on the lips is nearly as revealing as kissing him halfway down his body on his organ--but that's me. Jaded. 

One of our wonderful women at the healing weekend expressed it best to me. She is not going to call her husband "gay" because he'll dispute it by stating he has a wife and four children. Instead she will tell the children that their father has sexual encounters with men, and then they can call it what they want. I really like this approach. No name calling or labeling. Just the facts, Ma'am. I do think this can resolve things much better when it comes time to telling the children!
GOOD ADVICE FROM OUR MAGGIE

My dear friend Maggie sent me an article from an attorney, Bruce Provda, who gave some important tips for women when they are divorcing a narcissist. Since many of us are or have been married to a narcissist, I thought this information could really help.
Pay attention, ladies!

Six Important Tips When Divorcing a Narcissist

By Bruce Provda, Esq, July 08, 2014
The challenge of going through a divorce pro-se, a Latin term meaning “on one's own behalf,” is something many people face every day. With some preparation, and these six tips, you can make it through the nightmare and come out alive.

Preparation. Prepare yourself for the legal fight you have coming. Free divorce workshops and support groups are offered in many towns. Progressive court systems are now offering free clinics for people who will be representing themselves in one of life’s most difficult chapters. Visit the courthouse where your divorce will be heard. Sit for several hours and observe the judge and attorneys. Become comfortable in the environment. It can be intimidating to people who have never been through legal proceedings before.

Hunker Down. Go ahead now and accept the possibility that some of your family and friends will fall for the narcissist’s tendency to tell the story in a convincing manner. Don’t hold a grudge against those in your circle who buy into his or her manipulations. Remember, you also once believed the things you were told. Narcissists will not tolerate failure and this makes it improbable that your soon-to-be-ex will accept any responsibility for the ending of the marriage. You may be the target of a vicious smear campaign and painted as a villain. Be strong and take the high road and eventually the narcissist will be seen for who they truly are. It always happens.

Document. Document. Document. Keep a daily agenda-style journal for recording things that happen. For more important items — or items too large to document in your journal — send an email to yourself in which you spell out the event. Keeping all documents and paperwork in binders —coordinated with your journal — divided by year, month and day, will make retrievable of even the most arcane piece of information easier.

Organize. In connection with the advice above, make sure you get — and stay — organized. Find a system that works for you. Some people maintain strictly digital records. Others use a binder system and others use some combination. The best retrieval system will be one that’s simple and that you will use consistently.

Stop Talking. Or at least limit your communication with your soon-to-be-ex. Keep conversations short and unemotional. If zero contact is impossible, especially if you have children together, then try to limit your communication to emails or texting. Anything that will make sure you can easily keep a record will help. Establish personal boundaries and don’t waiver. Narcissists get their energy from being able to control you. Do not give in to their twisted hunger by giving them what they request.

Maintain Composure. When it’s finally time to face your spouse in the courtroom, make sure you are completely prepared. Thorough preparation will help you stay focused and composed when the problems get too sticky. When you face false accusations, be sure to answer calmly and be ready to provide credible information based on facts. Staying focused will keep you from getting caught up in the need to defend every small allegation and wasting energy. To be successful and maintain composure while the narcissist is testifying, take notes of things that you would like to address, but don’t get sidetracked. Stay focused and stay strong and centered.

Probably no one told you this process will be easy. If you can make a conscious decision to be a survivor instead of a victim, the knowledge you’ve gained can be life-changing as you go through the steps. Divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances. If you find yourself going up against a narcissist as your own representative, then fasten your safety belt and use the oxygen mask if you need to.

SUGGESTION FROM OUR STRAIGHT WIFE SISTER, SUSAN

I received a letter the other day from Susan B. who is a part of this network. Susan was very generous in sharing her story in the Straight Wives Shattered Lives" series. I thought that her suggestion was an excellent one, so I am sharing it with you. I had the pleasure of meeting Susan face-to-face at the California Healing Weekend. It was a wonderful moment for me to meet a caring, sharing woman who was willing to tell her story.
I asked Susan if I could share her letter with you because what she has requested is something that I believe is such an important need for all of us. Here it goes!

Bonnie,
Going through this terrible journey, where to be honest most of the time I would have preferred to go to sleep and simply not wake up, I am reminded that I am not alone.

Because of you, I have discovered an entire worldwide sisterhood who completely understand every single nuance of my pain and suffering. I call you all my SIB-lings. My “Sisters In Bonnie”.

My SIBlings understand why I cry all of the time, am depressed, have lost joy, feel hopeless.

My SIBlings understand the loss of self worth, feeling ugly, and unlovable.

My SIBlings get how difficult it is to have a clear vision of the future when the goal is just to get through a single day at times.

My SIBlings understand how I feel used, robbed of my life, and thrown into an Alice in Wonderland world of confusion and disbelief.

My SIBlings understand the deep anger, the time involved just to process what has happened, and that the “getting over it” will take a great deal of time, if it completely happens at all in our lifetime.

My SIBlings understand in a way that our families, friends and coworkers cannot, because they have not lived through this nightmare, which is the reason for this email.

I have a suggestion!!!!!!!! No, okay, I have a desperate NEED, a need that I KNOW each and every other SIB shares.

I have purchased your books and find that how you explain our situation is easy to read and understand, so I need/want/beg you to write one for our families and friends.

A booklet-something small, direct,  and to the point-which clearly explains what has happened to us and what we are going through.

A booklet that explains why a gay man would marry a straight woman, since many of them just do not believe this could happen.

A booklet that explains how a life of deception unravels us.

A booklet that describes to OTHERS the reasons why we are in the state we are in, and how they can help us through it.

It could cost $5, and we could buy 30 of them, if that is what we needed,  to hand out to family and friends.

The preface could basically say:
“You are getting this booklet because someone whom you are important to wants you to understand her journey.  You cannot be expected to completely understand the magnitude of this life event unless you have walked in her shoes, but your support and validation will assist in her recovery. Thank you for loving and helping her.”
Maybe in your next newsletter you could ask your world of SIBlings what they would like to see in it?

I will be more than happy to put this together for our women. I won't charge money for it as long as you don't mind printing it out as a Microsoft document. I will then see about having it run off as a booklet if you would like to buy it at cost for $5.00 plus shipping.

If you would like me to answer a question for you in this document that you can share with others, please send it to me at Bonkaye@aol.com. In the headline, type "Question for Booklet." 

This will be for the people in your life who don't understand our journey in hopes that they can realize what we are going through.

And Susan--what a great idea! Thanks! xoxoxoxo

MAILBAG - Ladies, thank you for always sharing such remarkable thoughts!

Dear Bonnie,  

This truly is one thought as I am sick right now, but it came to me laying here.  It's probably been said before, but here goes:

"It takes so much courage for these gay men to "come out," finally.  But how much more cowardice do they have for the years and decades they lie, blame, sometimes abuse and belittle their wife for being herself, which is a woman."

We should be celebrating the guys who come clean earlier on, not just random "coming out" with no accountability for the prison sentence they forced on another soul(s).  Where to draw the line?  Well mine didn't get real with me for 14+ years, and even now he is going to the arms of another woman (no joke). So I guess I can plug in the average age a woman lives, minus the stress of a gay/straight "marriage", and any abuse, that takes years away, and celebrate the estimated years left?!

Things ARE finally falling into place!  I am towards the end at 38 years old, yay!   
I found a picture in his stuff as I organized and got his stuff in the garage.  Looked gay to me..  Four naked hairy butts, all super close to each other.  Straight guys would not sit that close period (even dressed), and straight guys wouldn't take a picture, and a straight guy would not keep that picture (hidden).  My husband was in that picture.  Now he is with his ex-girlfriend, who has NO idea.  Heck, I have NO idea WHO this man is that I was married to all these years.  Some gay guys sure do have NPD (not just the traits).  

Such a good thing I found it because pictures don't lie.  And he has played so many mind games.  I feel my guilt fading away with the family photos that are now off the walls.  Only the ones of my kids remain :-)

You know, the sad thing is, Bonnie,  these men struggle with coming towards their most authentic selves.  So they gravitate towards the most authentic women they can find, discourage these women from being THEIR authentic selves, then after using these women and children, they decide it's convenient to now find their authentic selves.  So now ALL the members of the family for the FIRST time have to find themselves, who they are, but the men get sympathy and a party.  The women will never know who they would have been had those years not been stolen.  Instead, they have to remember who they were before the gay man posing as a real husband, and who they think they want to be now.  They have to put together the pieces, while losing the middle pieces that were all a lie.  Then they have to mend themselves to make the pieces connect, without the middle pieces.

The crazy thing is that the girl I was when I innocently and loyalty said my vows, was not homophobic, and knew my own sexuality to its core.  I was MORE sexual and open about sex than many of my (young 20's) girlfriends, and very passionate.  I felt like sex was the reason to live!  I felt like those moments of intimacy were glimpses of heaven, escape and freedom from all oppression!  I loved sex, and I wanted my marriage to take this to newer heights, levels and exploration.  This was one of the main reasons I wanted to get married.  Unfortunately, I also viewed my vows as a commitment to work through anything.  Hence the dilemma and the length of time it took me to see, and to be okay with breaking away.  And truthfully, it was more the abuse that justified my filing for the divorce.  But, oh how I missed the tenderness, the touch of another, the long intimate talks, especially during the afterglow moments of collapsing, bodies folding in perfection, the teasing anticipation, the REAL kisses, the looks of love and desire, getting to look with love and desire, giving, taking, wanting, needing, flirting, blushing.  Nope, that was not allowed.  That was indoctrinated into me slowly, steadily, and craftily.  Probably as he was having gang bangs, one-on-one passion, and whatever pleased him!

Ok, maybe you can help me find my voice, my articulation here.  WHAT to say to people who sympathize with my husband's sexuality issues?  I find that I am defensive...like it's okay for ME to be his supporter in finding himself, but I don't like it when others sympathize to ME about him?  It makes me glad I decided not to watch Brokeback  Mountain yet.  I guess I wish people would keep their sympathy and support to the kids and me, and their sympathy towards him....to him.  I mean, are people going up to HIM saying, "Wow, the way your wife and kids must feel is unbelievable."  The pain of KNOWING your sexuality but to have it robbed by someone who doesn't know or want to know theirs is such a double, triple, exponential tragedy.  What a sick world, and what sick choices of individuals to make THEIR tragedy everyone else's.  Then what about the way you are handling your wife and kids now?  How selfish, how cruel.  Those poor kids, with no understanding of what happened, and just thinking their father is no longer interested in being in their life (though that's not new, because emotionally you never had much to give as a shell of a man)...wow, you really CAN see it from these straight people's points of view in this crazy world, can't you bro?"

You can share any of my ramblings.  I feel like I have nowhere else to share right now.  Being a wife of a straight/gay marriage feels like being the slave's slave.  Both have a long way to go to be truly free.  Sometimes the world accepts, while at the same time it chastises the slave.  The slave is more of the focus of humanitarians everywhere, sometimes getting recognition, sometimes being hated.  The slave's slave is just nonexistent, except fot the WONDERFUL world of technology...and the others like the subgroup of the politically recognized, who ban together, and the woman who started this.  I am not trying to glorify you, Bonnie.  It IS a great thing when one can use their own life's experience to make such a difference.  It is what many of us wish to do, even in small ways.  We don't want the bad experiences to be a waste.  We want them to be used for good, so good can triumph.  It is a great thing.  

Thanks,
Annabelle

Dear Bonnie,

This I write after a couple glasses of wine, my divorce will be final, hopefully, Friday.  I can only say to all the women out there that there is healing.  I was married almost 23 years when he finally admitted that he was "attracted to men".  This after 3 years and 30 plus encounters with men he met online.  

I need let others know that though he is an ass and used me more than half my life and my entire adult life was a lie, I choose to not let this define me.  I am more than the sum of my history.  I believe that the world is bigger than the pain others inflict.   

Please post this as anonymous.


HAVE A MONTH FILLED WITH HAPPINESS AND PEACE!

LOVE, BONNIE

Thursday, July 31, 2014

August Newsletter! Bonnie Kaye Straight Talk

Bonnie Kaye’s Straight Talk Newsletter
AUGUST 2014     Volume 15, Issue 155
Bonnie’s Mantras:
LIFE WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE THIS COMPLICATED. PERIOD.
YOU CAN'T FIX A BROKEN MAN--BUT HE CAN BREAK YOU!
Help support Bonnie’s mission to help women and men in pain. Purchase her books from her website at www.Bonniekayebooks.com

NEXT HEALING WEEKEND: CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME!!
My next healing weekend will be in Los Angeles, California. It will take place on September 20/21. If you are interested in receiving details, please write to me at Bonkaye@aol.com and write "California Info" in the subject box. Our healing weekends are a place where women can meet, share, bond--and never even say a word--but you'll want to! We will also have some wonderful guest speakers to inspire you in your future paths of recovery!

Please like my new FB page at Bonnie Kaye, Author. Thanks!

STRAIGHT WIVES AND POST TRAUMATIC STRESS
Many of us who live in or come out of mis-marriages to gay men have lots of untangling to do after the emotional and sometimes physical abuse of living for years with lies and deception. As a result, some of us go through the condition called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Mary Ann Glynn, a therapist who appears on my show several times a year, has recently released a new app that she developed called "Mind Warrior." She states:

For those caught in a relationship with a sociopath, the brain’s response to the ongoing trauma puts us in “survival mode” and we can lose our grip on the ability to cope (choose positive and healthy ways of feeling).  Indeed, we can be stuck in the cycle of abuse and deception, which produces feelings of confusion, unsafety, self-doubt, and hyper vigilance, so that our ability to focus our attention on our needs or even be connected to ourselves fades.  Then we begin to break down, unravel, and lose ourselves.
Recognizing that the reaction in the present as basically triggering a flashback is very empowering!  It starts to put us back in the driver’s seat.  The beauty of consciously addressing the trauma of being in a destructive relationship in a strange way forces us to heal any connected underlying trauma as well.

Mind Warrior™ helps you do exactly that.  It takes you through the steps of recognizing and connecting to the trigger.  It then provides a variety of ways to take action to move along the negative feeling state and feel better.  As you practice this you realize that you can better control those conditioned responses and flashbacks, care for and recover yourself faster, all the while strengthening your coping skills instead of continuing to lose them.  The connection to self prevents further loss of self and builds the self-esteem and strength you need to go forward in a positive way.
Mind Warrior™ has features that promote the focused attention that increases neuroplasticity, and keeps you on track and encouraged:
  1. Trigger, Assess and Take Action pages take you through the steps to connect to the trigger, take action and track it to a better place
  2. Substance and Compulsive Behavior Trigger page can help to keep you from being lured back into the relationship, or resorting to addictive behaviors.
  3. Daily Focus page helps visualize and plan your day ahead with awareness and control.
  4. Weekly Review page helps to view success, plan for the week ahead, and stay focused.
  5. Lifestyle Goals page helps plan for goals for overall well-being.
  6. History saves all input so you can track your progress.
  7. Email Option – you can email any inputted information to connect to others, to begin to come out of the isolation of being in a destructive relationship.  You can also email input to a therapist or sponsor to aid therapy and reach your goals.
To learn more about Mind Warrior, you can go to the FB page and please click "Like"! or you can purchase it from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

Mary Ann will be my guest next Sunday night, August 10th. If you would like to learn more about this inexpensive method of getting help for yourself when you just can't afford to go to a therapist, please tune in. Here is the link to the show. Just copy it into your browser on the night of the broadcast or following it. Airtime is 10 p.m. EST.

A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR WOMEN
Let's be honest--the overwhelming majority of us are in the helping profession. It's no accident as I've stated many times. Last week, Dr. Karin Huffer appeared on my Straight Wives Talk Show. She is an amazing international authority on advocacy for people with disabilities who have to go to court for many different issues. The great thing that Dr. Huffer revealed is that when you come out of a marriage with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, this is accepted as a disability, so you qualify to have a trained advocate with you in court as you go through the process. For many of our women, this is a new field that you can get certified in through Kings College which offers the course.

The six-week online course starting in September is held on Thursday afternoons for three hours and can be accessed from any computer. The cost includes the book and materials. You get a certificate and a badge for court when you complete the course.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if straight wives could get certified and help other straight wives in court? Dr. Huffer was amazing. She speaks all over the world on behalf of those who can't speak for themselves. Please listen to the program that aired last week. Here is the link to the show that you can cut and paste into your browser.


If you sign up for the course early, you get a nice discount. People from all walks of life take this course, and if you are in the helping field, it would be excellent for you. Write to me if you need more information or to Dr. Huffer at: legalabuse@gmail.com if you would like to take part now or in the future classes.

OH WHAT A MONTH...AND WHAT A NEWSLETTER

This has been a very difficult month for me--thanks to my wonderful, dedicated, and loving readers who responded to my request to answer two letters sent to me by two different gay husbands. My heart hurt for you more this month than ever as I read over 87 responses from around the world. I don't think I've had this kind of "concentrated anger" in all my years of working with straight wives. It really brought me down to crying on some days. Why? Because when I read the letters you sent to me, and I added up all of the years of unhappiness, confusion, and self-erosion, it came to hundreds and hundreds of collective years. Years that you will never be able to get back. Years that you could have had a man who loved you for being a woman. Years of living in the darkness of your husbands' closets. How could I not be sad? I will be sharing some of these letters in my newsletters this month and next month. I will be sharing segments of all of your letters in a document I put together. When it is completed in the fall, I'll offer it to each and every one of you. Thank you for having the courage to articulate so beautifully what your husbands/ex-husbands need to know. And here we go!

Narcissus,
You knew when you married her that you had experienced same sex attraction, did you tell her before you married her? I am guessing you did not and, if you did, you presented just as you did above – as something everyone does to see what kind of sex they like. In your 20s your sexual orientation had already begun to alter the relationship and damage your wife’s self esteem. You indicate she was dissatisfied with the frequency of sex and she brought up more than once; how many times would have gotten your attention? She gave up. Think about this, you are Gay, you didn’t want to have sex with a woman, no matter how fond you were of her. So, every time she wanted sex, you didn’t. As a woman we are taught men always want sex. Her husband didn’t. She brought it up, apparently you didn’t. Her conclusion would have been that she was not desirable. In a way, she wasn’t desirable, at least not to you, her sex partner. Every time you looked at her you would have had a slightly disappointed look. When she wanted sex your look might have even been disdain or revulsion. Maybe the look was quick but I guarantee she caught it and it was devastating. Of course you grew apart, by 30 having a husband who doesn’t want to have sex with her had destroyed her sexual self. No wonder your “I love you’s” were a quick peck, she could probably read the relief on your face and may have felt grateful you would even allow her repellant self that close. You may have been living the American Dream but your wife was living in a hell that you and your lies constructed, and then you started to drink to numb your pain. What about your family’s pain and confusion? You let your wife and family believe that alcohol killed your relationship and you’re still trying to convince yourself the alcohol was at fault. You are even considering letting that myth survive a divorce in which you are leaving for another man.

The logic of your comment that if you had to give up your happiness to be a good husband she had to pay the price of you staying eludes me. Did she know what she was buying? No she did not, because you had not told her. When your pain became unbearable you started to cheat and you cheated a lot. Then when you met Mr. Right you realized your marriage was over.

Why would you need to be honest now? How will she ever recover from what you’ve done to her if she doesn’t even know what happened. Oh yeah, you really don’t care about her happiness or you would’ve been honest 23 years ago and let her know what she needed to know to maybe find some happiness herself.
It’s also time for honesty and ownership of what you’ve done. You didn’t choose to be Gay but you did choose this path, and you need to do everything in your power to fix it. She will be angry. Narcissus, you’ve been lying to her and cheating on her and, assuming she hasn’t been cheating on you, you have deprived her of 25 years of a Straight relationship with someone who desired her, someone who thought she was sexy rather than a burden. The price you have to pay for 25 years of avoiding the emotions is to experience them now. Practice the phrase “I am sorry; I did this to you; I should have told you; you didn’t deserve this; this is all my fault.” Say it to her repeatedly, say it every time she is sad, angry, anxious, bewildered, and certainly say it when she is devastated. You did this, you must pay the piper.

Why didn’t you tell her as soon as you began to struggle with your sexuality in the marriage? We both know it was because you were afraid she would leave you. Now that you have the man of your dreams, you don’t need her anymore. Lucky you, she’ll probably continue to mother your children. You know that feeling you feel about your guy? She felt that about you and you disappeared, first into a glass of alcohol, then into a bar, then into a Gay bar, and now you’re about to disappear into another relationship. You wanted to be her husband and live the life of a Gay single at the same time, so here’s your chance, give her everything but the debts. Continue to pay for everything, treat her well and with kindness. It is time for you to make both the sacrifice and amends.  Patti
Dear Bonnie,
I would encourage all gay men who are married to be honest with their wives. It is the absolute right thing to do. It will help give her closure the validation she deserves. She has spent some years with you  dedicated to you and her family. She has felt rejected day after day year after year. Rejected as a woman. Her self esteem has been shattered. Even though she probably does not approach you for sex any longer she knows you don't want her and she believes something is wrong with her. She knows something is not right in the marriage but just does not know what it is and she spends all her time trying to make things right. If you knew the pain you have already caused her would you want her pain to continue. As you leave to live your new life it would only be selfish not to allow her to do the same.

I was unknowingly married to a gay man for 22 years. He never had the courage to tell me the truth. At the end of our marriage I did question him and he broke all contact with me.  After 22 years he cut me out of his life like I was nothing. I know he never loved me but I at least thought we were friends. I had to accept that it was all a lie. It was so hard to understand after all the years we were together.

I did think of him and how hard it must have been for him to live
 with
 me all those years when he could not have real love feelings towards a woman.

I think it broke both of us living this lie. He knew it was a lie. I did not know. I don't know how he can truly live an authentic life without complete honesty.

I believe he came out to himself but only to himself he will never admit the truth to me or his family.

It would have helped the healing process if he could have been honest but instead he blamed me for everything wrong in his life.

I pray that we can both find peace.
  Debbie

Bonnie, 

Thank you. . . thank you. . for  that you do.  I apologize but I had to stop reading because as usual, it brought memories, sadness, confusion, and an over-abundance of emotions and tears and internal pain to me.  I began reading and thinking, "I" can do what Bonnie is asking and I can help.  Reading the first gay husband statement about how he now realizes he must have caused his wife such sadness, pain, and confusion broke me down.  Every day I get up with the intention of being "me" and being strong and being an advocate for myself and other women, but then the pain comes again and the memories that just flood me.  Those words brought so much overwhelmed feelings to me.  I am grateful to the gay man who wrote them but it brings back pain  . . concealment. . . lies. . deception. . confusion. . pain (internal, physical, and emotional). . . and brings back that feeling of being trapped. . . wanting to believe, wanting to love, wanting to be loyal, wanting a family, and just knowing in my gut that life would only get worse for the children and I if I ever left.  

I am so grateful that there are gay men willing to step up, speak, realize, and understand. . . but it takes a very unique gay man.  I can not go in to the memory vault and I can never relive the words and actions that kept me feeling so trapped but I can say it has been a long life of emotional torture since a young age that has brought me such physical pain and emotional pain. . . but more importantly my children as well. . . OUR children.  

I want to speak to gay men.  I want them to understand.  I want them to know me and know truly what it did to me.  I refuse to be angry for their homosexuality.  I am a firm believer that everyone deserves to love who they choose and that homosexuality is NOT wrong because it is who they are. . . but it is all about the treatment, the lies, the deception, the narcissism, and the emotional abuse and more.  Today I still firmly believe  I would take endless punches to one emotional blow from my gay ex-husband. . . the threats, the intimidation, the put-downs, the confusion, and the latent (and many times obvious) innuendos about what would be done to me and the children if I left, and, of course, the many "I am not gay, I love you, you are the best wife in the world, you are just crazy and making things up in your mind again" remarks.  All of this became an internal battle for me -- mind, body, soul . . . head telling me one thing, body feeling the pain, and gut telling me another.  End result: Confusion, illness, pain, sadness, and much, much more.  
Please Bonnie, reach out to these men.  Teach them.  Guide them.  Support them.  Make them understand. But more importantly, help the women and children who are victims in this.  I love you for all that you do and the person that you are and I do feel confident that if there is anyone in the world that can give guidance it is you!!!!
Love you.  Aimee

Hi Bonnie 

I have been reading your newsletter for over 2 years now and it has been a lifesaver, I mean that quite literally. I seriously thought I was the only one and knowing that others have gone through the same trauma has helped enormously and I have learned so much from other women's experiences. I have never felt I needed to contribute my experience until this newsletter but I would like to send a message to the two men you mention. 

I was 62 when my husband announced he was gay and was leaving; I am 64 now. We were married for 30 years and I knew something was amiss but I didn't know what. I had come to the conclusion that he was slightly autistic and could not demonstrate closeness in a relationship. When he told me he was gay all the jigsaw pieces that were my marriage fell into place and I understood immediately what had been wrong. In some ways it was a relief but I was ill prepared for the aftermath. When you split up from a heterosexual relationship you can hold the preceding years as good. When your partner tells you he is gay he obliterates your shared past. It is gone and no amount of reassurance can ever convince you otherwise.

In many ways my husband was a good partner. He was affectionate, caring and supportive. In some ways this only made it worse and if he had been abusive then I might have bailed sooner. This in no way minimises the horrendous tales of physical and mental abuse that I have read in your newsletters and maybe I would not have bailed and simply survived as any of your contributors had to do. 

My message to the two men is very simple. Everyone is entitled to the truth about their life and to be enabled to make an informed decision about what they may or may not want to do. Any deviation from this can never be interpreted in any other way than exceptionally selfish and will not and cannot be seen as protective or caring. The longer they leave their wives in ignorance, the more damage they will do. However difficult their own lives have been they were always operating from a position of strength as they knew the truth. This may be difficult to understand. Ignorance is not bliss, it is dis-empowering and damaging. I am not sure I will ever recover totally, I have a daily and possibly a permanent battle to hold on to some truth about my relationship with my ex. It morphs and shifts depending on my mood. My ex feels we should be friends and that he did and does love me. What errant nonsense, if he did he would never have used my precious time in this way. I of course never loved him as he hid himself from me and the person I loved simply didn't exist. 

Man up, own up, it is the only moral road. All else is cowardice. As for the fears about the divorce settlement...no worries there if my experience is anything to go by. You would think that they had some sense of reparation and feel that they owe their wives something if only money, but apparently not.   Leslie

Hi Bonnie
 What an interesting July News Letter and I am eager to put forward my thoughts in an email to you on the two letters from the gay husbands, as I am sure many of your other readers will be too. 

So here goes !  I will try and sound positive and not sound too bitter when it comes to my thoughts. 
If I were to put myself in their shoes I can see why they do it.  They have so much to lose, both financially and emotionally.  However, what happened to moral ethics.  It is so very wrong for one human being to be so cruel to another human whom they are suppose to love.   More importantly many times these men are putting their wives' health at risk by having clandestine meetings with other gay men that they know nothing about for sex and then sleeping with their wives.   Then there is the psychological damage they do to their wives' self esteem and confidence.   Women are very sensitive to emotional withdrawal and changes to their husband's persona.  When you love someone as much as we women love our husbands it destroys us when our emotional and physical love is not reciprocated and is withdrawn from us and we have no idea why things have changed.  To experience that is mental torture.  We lie awake at night blaming ourselves, wondering what we are doing wrong.   

When I think back on the last 15 years of my marriage, prior to my coming to my senses and taking on board what you told me eight years prior,  I cannot help but wonder how different life would have been if he had done the right thing by me and not for himself.  People say to me that if I had ended the marriage the day I discovered the gay porn etc., I would have missed out on numerous happy occasions with him.   I agree, but, I would have been young enough to have met someone else and perhaps my life would be more fulfilling.  But instead I suffered the ups and downs of my husband going in and out of moods where he was fighting the urges to meet men for sex.  In addition I would now have found myself in my early 50s with the prospects of possibly being on my own for the rest of my life with no one to grow old with.  

Would it not be more honest, and selfless,  not to waste another human being's life for your own selfish reasons.  I can only talk from my own experience here but I am sure others will see something of themselves in this.   If my husband had had the courage or the moral obligation to be honest with me that he is gay and prefers men to me then  I could have moved on with my life.  But he kept assuring me that he wanted to grow old with me and that he did not want the gay life.  He acknowledges now that "he wanted his cake and to eat it too" even though eventually it was to the expense of wasting all the years we were together.  Our whole marriage was a sham.   If I could turn back the clock to that fateful day I would have preferred my husband to have just been honest with me and to have encouraged me, albeit it would have been a devastating blow, to move on with my life without him. 

So  yes I think these men should think of their wives first and not themselves.  Yes OK their wives are going to be absolutely distraught and devastated initially.  However, is it not better to end things whilst they are still young enough to make a new life with someone else than let things go on until the wife is left with no self esteem or  confidence and has also lost the trust in having another relationship w
ith a man. 

HONESTY IS BEST
With kindest regards      
Angela

Ok, here is my two cents!! The wife deserves to know why her marriage isn't working. She deserves to know that the demise of the marriage is not her fault!! The wife deserves to feel period. Stand up and own what and who you have become and let the cards fall where they may. If you are worried about someone making a fuss then grow up. Being gay is not your fault but you have to own up to the circumstances and let your wife and family grieve the loss of the life they probably always wanted. If you are worried about the people finding out that your gay then get over it, you are. To me, if u want to get divorced first so your wife doesn't rake u over the coals in a divorce than that is selfish. It's also selfish if you

Don't want to hurt her, guess what, it's already too late. You have been hurting her already and you want to keep her in the dark just so u can be happy! She deserves to be happy too!! 

Bonnie it's really hard to be nice!! These are my thoughts. I feel that all of these guys listening to the other gay men are just cowards. Tara

Thank you, ladies, for your kind words. More will be printed in the September newsletter. Now, to end on a positive note!!!

A woman who is part of our support network wrote to me that her life has moved on after almost 40 years. I know so many of our women are afraid to take that step after being in a relationship for 20, 30, 40 or more years. It is scary--and you've had lots of time to lose yourselves in the process.

I asked this woman if she could write a note of encouragement to women who have been in long-term relationships. I think her words will help many of you.

Movin' On
As we go together to the courthouse, shove the papers across the window to the clerk, she gives us a startled look. "You've been married a very long time," she observes. "Almost 40 years," I reply. After turning the papers in, we shake hands--first time we have touched in six months. That morning, we sat together at the bank, disentangling our checking accounts. We go back to the house after filing the divorce papers, and he naps on the couch while I repose in the spare bedroom. We wake up, and I say, "Let's go out to dinner." We head out, and I treat him to a celebratory "beginning of the end of marriage" dinner.

I spend the night on my friend Susan's comfortable couch. Back I go to the house the next morning. "Time to get the wedding ring cut off," he announces. We traipse down to the jewelry store where three years ago I got a new fancy wedding ring. His wedding band is plain gold, but it was my grandmother's wedding band from 1914, engraved on the inside of the ring. She wore it for fifty years, and he has worn it for almost forty.
It cuts his finger when he pulls it off, blood following the ring. He solemnly hands it back to me. I slip it into my purple wallet. He dabs at the blood with his handkerchief. He takes me out to lunch. Our uncoupling officially started six months ago, when I went to the desert southwest by myself for the winter. This is our first separation ever, at least physically. Our emotional separation is much longer. At least 20 years...at least. But we used to be happy, loving, and best friends. What happened?

Twenty years ago he had surgery for prostate cancer. It was a huge turning point in our
marriage. Our sex life before that had been okay, not great. I almost always initiated it. I knew he didn't seem to like sex as much as I did. But the result of the prostate cancer surgery, permanent impotence, proved to be a huge test for both of us. Neither of us passed that test.

Unbeknownst to me, he turned to watching gay videos. About five and a half years ago, I found them--almost 400 of them! He tried to tell me it wasn't a big deal, it was just a "collection." Then I found gay books. Gay books on the bookshelf. Gay books on his phone. He grew even less affectionate than he had been, and he was never very affectionate. He didn't like to hug or kiss. He rejected any advances, almost recoiled. I was hurt, angry and frustrated, while trying to remain true to my wedding vows and understand his frustration as a sexually impotent male.

At that point I found Bonnie on the Internet, but I still wasn't ready to leave the marriage. Several things happened in the past year to push me to make that decision. One of our adult sons discovered the gay videos (he really wasn't hiding them!) and confronted him about being a closeted gay man. He refused to discuss it at all, which led to a permanent estrangement between them. (Their relationship had been strained anyway.)
And I had left the house one day for about 10 minutes and came back to find him watching gay porn on the computer. He acted as if it wasn't a big deal. What did he do if I was gone for a couple of hours? A couple of days? I was hurt and angry all over again.

He started getting into arguments with our friends, and being withdrawn or negative at social events. I wonder now if he was trying to push me away?
So I left for six months, a trial separation. We didn't talk, only emailed. This was hard, because, like many of you, he had been my best friend once, and I missed him. Or I missed what we used to have together, or what I thought we had together. It's not simple, or clear-cut. These mixed emotions are quite normal.

Two weeks after I left, a guy I had grown up with got in touch with me. We hadn't seen each other since we were kids. We talked on the phone for hours and hours (we live in different states) and decided to get together to see how it would be in person. He was great! He is straight! And what a huge difference! He wants to hold my hand, and hug me. We enjoy many of the same activities, and want to see each other again. It's developed into a serious relationship.

The divorce will be final in a few weeks, and I am moving on. There is always hope, and you don't know what's at the other end. It takes courage, resolve, and a little help from your friends, but even after forty years, there is light on the other side. So, get a move on, Straight Sister s! It will get better!

Love, A Straight Sister!

Have a peaceful month!

Love, Bonnie