Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Newsletter - Transgender Topic

BONNIE KAYE'S STRAIGHT TALK
 April 2015     Volume 16, Issue 163

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

Bonnie's next Healing Weekend: October 3/4 in Philadelphia. Join me as we gather to share our stories and learn from professionals how to get on the road to healing. This will be a most remarkable and memorable weekend for our Straight Sisters. The seminar is my gift to our women. The only charge is transportation, hotel (great group rate), and food. This will be a weekend that will dramatically change your life. Write to me for details at Bonkaye@aol.com for more information. In the subject box, write "Healing Weekend."

TRANSGENDERISM

Those of you who know me know that I am honest with my thoughts and judgments. They are not just made strictly on my opinion from my own marriage--but rather after 30 years of experience of helping over 100,000 women. I try to only talk about what I am sure of--not about what I don't understand or am unsure of.

Our Straight Wife Sister, MJ, raised the issue of transgenderism after my last newsletter. This has been making big national news over the past few months with the announcement of Bruce Jenner "going girl."  Sexual identity changes became major headlines several years ago when Chastity Bono, the daughter of Sonny and Cher Bono, announced her transition into a "him" and appeared as a man on Dancing With The Stars. Was that confusing to me? Yes. I admit it. Back then I heard about it, but very rarely. Now I hear about it--almost daily. People all over the world are now coming out in droves about their true sexual identity. They have been living under the radar as the sex they were assigned to (vagina vs. penis) all of their lives, but they know they are in the wrong body--and have always known.

So now that I've learned a lot more about it, do I understand it better? Well, quite honestly, no I don't. I have had five or six women this year contact me for support with their transgender husbands because they don't know where to go for support. My heart goes out to them because I believe their emotional turmoil is even greater than ours.

I can't even imagine having my husband come to me and reveal that he is becoming a woman. And yet, it seems to be so much more of a common place problem then we ever imagined. It's big enough to attach the "T" to the GLBT community. It's important enough that a spokesperson from the "T" community was selected to be the spokesperson for the popular project skin product Clean and Clear.  Jazz Jennings is a 14-year old transgender (boy to girl) who is being featured in their new campaign called "See the Real Me." Jazz will be the star of a new reality show that will be seen on The Learning Channel, the same channel that brought us the latest Mormon Story about being a gay man and married to a woman. TLC also brought us the Honey Boo Boo drama that millions of people watched faithfully until the Mama of the Boo Boo went back with her oldest daughter's molesting boyfriend after his 10 year prison term for child abuse. Only then did TLC have the decency to cut that show. I keep forgetting what we are supposed to be learning from The Learn Channel--but that's me.

There are so many aspects of transgender that I can't wrap my head around. For instance, if a man becomes a woman and wants to stay with a woman, was he a lesbian when he got married? Does he want to stay with a woman or find a man? You may say that's silly--he' s now a woman--he'll want a man. But not always. I have spoken to two women who claim their husbands want to continue in their marriages with them. They claim they married their wives because they loved them, and during and after "transitioning," they still loved them and wanted to be with them sexually--but as a woman. Both women said, "No," but felt somewhat guilty. They could no longer view their husbands as men--but rather as women. They wanted a man, not a woman. They were not lesbians, so they did not want a wife. They wanted a husband.

Then there are women whose husbands became women and moved on with a man. They want to remain friends with their wives and ask them to accept them and their new boyfriends. And no--the kids are NOT adjusting well now having two mothers because one was once their father.

Guess what? Regardless of the outcome, everyone doesn't come out a winner here. Even the gay community is split about the "T" in the GLBT world. It's not necessarily a match when you think about it. Gay people are drawn to people of the same sex. They may try to suppress their homosexuality if they can and marry a woman which could work for a while, but then it falls apart as their homosexual feelings rev up as the marriage progresses. Transgender people are born in the wrong bodies and could end up gay or straight after an operation or "transition." So is this really connected to gay? The jury is out on this.

When I was growing up back in the 1960's, it seemed so much easier. When men would dress up in women's clothes, they were either trying to make us laugh like Milton Berle or Flip Wilson or identified as "drag queens." Drag queens were gay men who enjoyed dressing up. But it didn't mean they wanted to be a woman.  At least we didn't think it meant that. It reminds me of how unaware we were when that hit song by the Kinks came out in 1970. In the 1960's and 1970's, where sex was running rampant and anything "goes" (or went), these lyrics to their song Lola may have been addressing the issue. Part of it went: 

Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls.
It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world,
Except for Lola. Lo lo lo lo Lola. 

Well I left home just a week before,
And I've never ever kissed a woman before,
But Lola smiled and took me by the hand,
And said, "Little boy, gonna make you a man."

Well I'm not the world's most masculine man,
But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man,
And so is Lola.
Lo lo lo lo Lola. Lo lo lo lo Lola.

Back in 1970, it was cute and catchy. We didn't think too much about it. We just thought guys who dressed up were "transvestites" or "cross-dressers." We were really clueless. But then again, we were really clueless about gay men marrying straight women as well. I'm not saying time is a great healer, but it certainly is a great teacher.
One lesson I have learned is this: Like the gay community, I am opening my arms to women who are married to anyone outside the heterosexual community. This means if your husband is gay, bi, a-sexual, confused, transgender, sex addicted or any other situation that leaves you feeling the same way straight wives feel emotionally, you are welcome to be part of our Straight Wives Sisterhood. We may not all be in the same part of the boat, but we are still sinking on the same ship.. So welcome to our drowning sisters married to men outside the heterosexual realm. You have a large network of new sisters who can understand your pain and who will throw out that life raft to you.

AN LETTER FROM AN ADULT CHILD OF A GAY FATHER TO HER MOTHER

As I have continually said over the past five years, telling the children the truth about their fathers is essential on so many levels. In my March 2015 newsletter, I wrote about the importance of doing this.
My dear friend in Australia showed that newsletter to her daughter. Her response was so moving that I asked permission to use this to share with you. I hope it will give you insight into the minds of our beloved children. We must do whatever we can to minimize the hurt to our children.

Hi Mom,
I just read the newsletter from Bonnie and it was truly insightful. I will never understand how you feel or the hurt you have gone through, now and for what appears to be years even before all of this came "out".

As I grow up, I begin to learn the value of being loved and having someone to love you. It must have been extremely hard to have been in a relationship where Dad was so emotionally and sexually unavailable to you for years. He truly was living a double life, but the sad thing was, there was the life he was living and also the life where he could do what he wanted with whomever he wanted. The devastating part is, that you were living a life where you weren't savvy to living any life you deserved at all. You deserved to have someone treat you like the beautiful creature you are. I will never understand what it was like to be the mother of two children and have a husband who barely supported you emotionally or physically. What I will always struggle to understand is how you managed to do it at all. You were always so supportive and so attentive and all this whilst dealing with your own struggles. I have tried to explain to you how I feel the best I can in a letter to myself, one I wish I could have read years earlier but...hindsight is a great thing. 


Dear Clare, 

Today is the day.. Today is the day you will walk through your front door and things will change forever. They won't just change momentarily but they will change the way you love yourself, live your life, but most of all change the way you love others. It will be a day like any other. You are only 20 and you will have just come back from one of your biggest adventures. You will think travelling to America has made you so wise and aged you beyond your years, but this my friend is the beginning, the beginning of a change you never saw coming, and this will have you changed inside and out. 

You walk through the doors, you have missed your parents so much. Because they were the perfect parents? They were the perfect couple. They were everything you aspired to be and their relationship one day you wanted for yourself. People spoke about how they were the "perfect couple". They barely fought.. Well not in front of you. They looked at each other lovingly, they provided for you and your brother and they gave you everything you needed to achieve your dreams. 

It would be this simple sentence that changed everything forever.. "Mom, why are you being so mean to Dad?". Things have changed since you have been away, they didn't look at each other the way they used to. A few weeks will go by and you will find out your father is gay. But that doesn't matter does it? You love gay people, you admire their strength and everything you believe in totally supports his choice to be an openly homosexual man.. Does it? 

Well it doesn't. 

You will think that everything has been a lie, you will question why you didn't see it coming, you will wonder why whenever Dad was home late from a meeting, why the first thing you thought of was "is he having an affair?" Why didn't he when his brother came out as gay and his own parents wouldn't speak to him for 6 months, why didn't he stand up and say, "Well I am gay too." Why when I was confused and writing silly love letters at school, why didn't he say well I am gay and once I was confused, but now I am not. Why did he lie to me? Why was he so accommodating when he found your cigarette butts in the bush where you hid them? Because he had his own secrets, much bigger secrets to keep that mine didn't matter.. Why when mom read my diary and found out I wanted to kill myself, why did he just tell her to stop going through my things.. Why? Because he knew that he had secrets and mom was going through my stuff that maybe she would go through his? Was he that selfish that he could forget about me and all I was going through to protect his own life that he had been hiding for so many years? 

You will watch your mother cry, you will watch her become catatonic and paralyzed with sadness that you think she needs help, far more help then you can offer her. You will also be selfish and start to think why is this happening to you? What did you do wrong to deserve all of this? You have bigger things to worry about then sit here dealing with all this shit. 

But. You. Will. Be. Okay. 

You will be okay, you will learn that being honest is the only thing that will get you through this life. You will learn that your mother is the strongest person you know and that she deserves someone who treats her like a woman, someone who gets butterflies in their stomach when they see her, someone who can't stand to be without her. You will realize that there is the very real possibility that maybe it will only be you two, always. You will love and learn and you will make mistakes. 

You probably won't be that close with your Dad anymore because he is living his own life now, and that for some reason living his own life where he is happy might be more important than you. You will come to terms with the fact that he is okay choosing his happiness over caring about anything you decide to do, and it will hurt but you will also let him go because if he is happy and he isn't hurting anyone, then at least that is something. 

Most of all Clare, you will grow and you will learn and maybe one day you will get to have the perfect relationship and you will love and be loved and you will also learn that maybe you won't.. But that is okay too. 


The end. 

Love you Mom Xxx 

Claire, I thank you so much on behalf of our support network--our straight wives and gay men--for expressing yourself in such a beautifully, articulate way stirring every emotion in our own bodies. Your words will resound within my heart for years to come.
And to your mother--lots of love coming your way! Love, Bonnie

MAILBAG: Each month I encourage readers to send in letters to help others going through our situation. I will always ask permission to reprint them if you'd like to share them with others.

This letter is from my our straight wife sister Susan whom I had the pleasure to meet at our healing weekend in California. This is in response to the February newsletter about Joel Grey and how BRAVE he was to come out.

Dear Bonnie,

Thank you, Bonnie, for a great newsletter!

The explanation of why it takes us longer to get over our failed marriage to a gay man is SO valuable. If I could have a dime for every person who has said "You were divorced before, what's the big deal?"

I don't even know where to start with the answer to that.

And you nailed it when you said that we are searching for validation....

I'll tell you what else you nailed: Joel Grey!

When I saw that headline of him coming out, I thought the EXACT same thing! 
Of course, if we were to express our opinion about it, we would be considered anti-gay, labeled as a hater. I am not anti-gay, I am anti-lying and anti-deceiving. I am anti-fraud. 
Why is someone labeled as a hero who in fact lied and deceived for so many years? What about the trail left in his wake?

Can you imagine a cover of People magazine with a profile of a murderer who says "I'm not murdering anymore!", and everyone rallying around him and patting him on the back and telling him how proud they are of him and what a hero and role model!
Ridiculous.

These gay men murder our spirits and our essence, and if they ever come out (mine never will, married yet another woman whose life he will trash) at all, the wife is essentially dismissed as having supplied her purpose in his life and "her services are no longer needed."

The woman is used, chewed up, spit out, dispensed of, and she is supposed to be "over it"? And the worst, when you are in this pit of confusion and despair, is the ever-chipper person who says that you can simply "choose to be happy". As though, well-for-heaven's-sake-I-didn't-know-I-could-do-that, thanks for telling me! I will just do that tomorrow and then none of this will exist anymore and I will ride off into the sunset whole and happy in an instant!
Oh BROTHER....

Here is what I have figured out about happiness.

Happiness is different from contentment.
From peace.
From calmness.
From fulfillment.
From purpose.
The word itself is derived from "happenings", meaning things that happen around you and TO you. 

To imply that a person can choose to be happy implies that we can choose everything that has happened to us, and that is simply not true.

What we CAN do after the end of our unfortunate head-on collision of a marriage is to recreate a new life bit by bit, and with those "bits" will come "happenings", and those happenings will start to bring happiness back around. 

This process can take a long time, I just wish people were more patient. But you and I know that the only real way for anybody to "get it" would be for them to stand in our shoes, and I, for one, would not wish it on my worst enemy...........although for just one single day, I would be grateful for my gay ex husband to feel how I have felt at my lowest......

Thank you again for your devoted work to the healing of women, Bonnie! I have so much love for you! 
Susan


Links to recent radio programs
Ross Rosenberg - March 13, 2015  Link to cut and paste into your browser:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bonnielkaye/2015/04/14/bonnie-kayes-straight-wives-talk-show-featuring-therapistauthor-ross-rosenberg

Ross is a therapist who works with people who are "co-dependent" and who gravitate to narcissists. His book The Human Magnet Syndrome is an excellent resource for many of us. Take a moment and go to his website at http://humanmagnetsyndrome.com You sill definitely learn a lot!

Melanie Tonia Evans will be my guest from Australia on March 20, 2015. Link:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bonnielkaye/2015/04/21/bonnie-kayes-straight-wives-talk-show-featuring-melanie-tonia-evans

Melanie is internationally known for her work in helping people heal from living with a narcissist. Here is her website:

http://www.melanietoniaevans.com/services/quanta-healing-explained.htm

Love, Bonnie :)


                                                                                        

            


Love, Bonnie

March Newsletter 2015 - Three Most Important Articles

BONNIE KAYE'S STRAIGHT TALK
 MARCH 2015     Volume 16, Issue 162

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 my mission to help women and men in pain. Purchase my books from my website at www.Bonniekayebooks.com. Please "Like" my Facebook page at Bonnie Kaye, Author. Thanks!

NEW DAY AND TIME FOR STRAIGHT WIVES TALK SHOW
This is a reminder that my computer radio show "Straight Wives Talk Show" has moved to Monday evenings at 9 p.m. EST, 8 p.m. CT, 7 p.m. MT, and 6 p.m. PT. The show can be heard live or after the podcast 24/7. Just log in to www.Blogtalkradio.com, and in the search bar type in Bonnie Kaye's Straight Wives Talk Show. My two monthly regular  co-hosts, Dr. Brian Hooper and Coach Suzette Hinton Vearnon will be joining me on the first and last Mondays of the month to discuss issues that affect us all. In between I have specialists who can help us through the healing process. You can listen to any of the past shows when you have the time or the need. If you would like a link to my weekly radio show a day ahead of time, please email at Bonkaye@aol.com and put "Radio" in the subject box.

HAPPY 15 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TO US

This month marks the start of my 15th year of monthly newsletters. I know it's hard for me to believe that there are so many things to say after so many years of saying them! I decided to change directions this newsletter because I wanted to celebrate this special anniversary month with three REPEAT articles from the past. Even though you may have read them before, they are messages that need to be hit home to many of us. In fact, they are so important that I send them separately to everyone who asks me for information. Some of the things I mention in the articles will be painful to some of you, but you know it is said with love, compassion, understanding--and mostly experience.  Please forgive the length of this, but I couldn't find anything I wanted to cut. I hope these messages guide you in the future.


#1 - WAITING FOR HIS CONFESSION THAT WILL NEVER COME…AND WHY
Okay, I finally, finally get it. Although I’ve alluded to it numerous times in my writing, I had to really get this clear in my mind. Some of your husbands will never admit they are gay to you. You are standing around waiting for a confession so you can feel better about the void and lack of intimacy in your marriage. If only you could get a confession…if only you could hear him say those magic words…if only you found the proof you need…if only, if only….
Guest what? It is not going to happen. I wrote about this ten years ago when I described the Straight-Gay man. Since it has been a while since some of you have read it, I am going to repeat it here because I believe it helps you understand these men who won’t tell you they are gay because they don’t believe they are gay. This article is from my newsletter dated January, 2002.

            I have coined a new term for another classification of gay husbands. It is “Straight Gay Husbands.” I hope you like it. It is my new reference to gay men who are permanently living the straight life, sort of like wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are the husbands who will not acknowledge their homosexuality privately or publicly--ever. Some of them know that you know, but try to confuse you enough to put enough doubt in your mind to make you think that you are the crazy one. It’s the best defense to your “offensive” questions. These are the men that shut you up or shut you down the moment you think about making mention of the possibility of homosexuality. They know what they are, and they know what you suspect, but keep your mouth shut because they don’t want to hear about it--especially from you.

            These men are different than the gay husbands that admit they are gay/bisexual but promise not to act on those needs while they remain married to you. (Like we really believe that story!) They are also different than the gay husbands who are leading very secret lives and not leaving a trail of crumbs for you to follow. They are not even quite like the Limbo Men I have described who are caught in between two worlds. These are men who are definitely not stuck. They are identifying strictly as straight. There is no way they are entering the gay world through the front or back door, or even through the closet. They detest the gay world and what it stands for which gives them even greater reassurance, at least to themselves, that they are not gay.

            The Straight Gay Men are the ones who have to remain in total control of all of their physical motions lest someone should suspect they are not quite as straight as they claim. It’s funny how many women tell me how their husbands’ physical appearances, gestures, and movements change once they come out. I can’t even fathom how difficult it must be to have to go through life calculating every breath and step you take. It’s sort of like walking down a sidewalk and having to make sure that you “don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back” as the game use to say. My balance and coordination never let me win that game.

            These husbands are quick to use you and the children as their proof that they are not gay to the outside world just in case they let their guard down and anyone might accuse them of the “unthinkable.” They honestly don’t identify as gay even though they have sex with men. They don’t get themselves involved emotionally with men, just sexually. That helps them justify the fact that they are straight, not gay.

            Some women can’t understand this. If you look like a duck, walk like a duck, act like a duck, but have sex with a goose, are you still a duck or are you a goose? I say you’re a goose. I don’t care what you act like to the outside world; I only look at who satisfies you sexually. And if you’re a duck making love to a goose, your feathers have to ruffle in a different direction when you stand up and straighten them out. But this does make things that much more confusing and complicated. So, to simplify your confusion, let me say this—STRAIGHT MEN DON’T HAVE GAY SEX. You can call it whatever makes you feel better, but I still call it gay—all the way.

            Women who live with Straight Gay Men and Limbo Men are often the most commonly emotionally abused women. They would have to be. Their husbands are truly living in a complex world that makes little or any sense. They are living unfilled lives because they don’t have any emotional connections. They don’t connect emotionally with their wives because they aren’t really straight. They don’t connect emotionally with men because they refuse to be gay. And so they function but don’t connect. This lack of emotional connection creates a sense of insensitivity when it comes to your feelings and your emotions.

            It also closes them up as human beings. They are unable to connect with a wife because they are living an internal--and what seems like an eternal--lie. This lie keeps overtaking any sense of good feelings towards the person whom they believe is responsible for this state of living—namely you. Now we know it is ridiculous to think that you should be their reason for living this lie, but subconsciously, this is how they feel.

            As much as they love to have you as their “cover” is as much as they hate to have you sharing under their covers. They resent your nagging demands for sexual intimacy because it “isn’t their thing.” It’s your thing. And why do you have to try to make them feel inadequate just because they are? Even when you stop asking for it, you are still thinking about it and they can tell. It means they have to come up with a continuous string of stories to account for their lack of sexual behavior with you. This puts pressure on these guys who feel you are being unreasonable. Why do you have to make such a big deal out of sex?

            They feel that in all other ways, they are ideal husbands. They are there raising the family with you. They are helping to support your financial needs or at least sharing in them. They are taking part in the social activities that you have decided are important. They are doing lots for you—and how do you show your appreciation? By badgering them with little innuendos and questioning looks. This really shows a lack of appreciation on your part and so they get pissed.

            The Straight Gay Men think they are Supermen. And to a degree, they are. They juggle, manipulate, calculate, and carefully plan out all of their actions. It takes a lot of energy to do this, and they marvel at their ability to pull it off. It gives them an air of smugness that shows in their personality. I’m not quite sure what they think they’re pulling off because they know that you are doubtful of their explanations. There are only so many headaches, backaches, depressions, and side effects from medication that you can keep relying on. But they feel confident if they use these excuses enough, you’ll give up. Most women do. As I’ve said before numerous times, no woman wants to feel like she has to beg her husband to make love to her. It’s degrading and demeaning. We get the hint after enough sexual rejection and stop asking. But it doesn’t mean that we stop thinking—and wanting.

            Every time we see other couples holding and caressing lovingly together, this is a reminder. It’s a reminder of what we thought we should have had but never were able to achieve. It’s a reminder of what our hopes and dreams were for married life when we took that life-altering step and said, “I do.”  We are momentarily reminded of what marriage was supposed to be, but never became. And this sadness shows in our faces, in our eyes, and in our hearts. When our husbands glimpse at us, they know what we are thinking. They know what we are wishing. They know that the words they don’t want to hear may possibly be coming out of our mouths at any moment. Rather than take a chance and have to come up with one more excuse, they find some way to knock us down and put us back into the non-assertive mental state that they so easily know how to do.
     
             We are women who have been conditioned. Remember, Straight Gay Men remain in the marriages indefinitely and have years to erode your sense of self-worth. They are not going anywhere, and they want to make sure that you feel inadequate enough so that you won’t go anywhere either. I don’t know who could have taught these men about the facts of life and marriage, but obviously, they weren’t listening or didn’t have a teacher. Didn’t anyone ever tell them that sex is part of marriage? Didn’t they ever hear that intimacy grows from making love to the person who loves you? Do they really believe that they can sit for years in a marriage and overlook that little detail? Yes, they do. And we become their silent partners because we have been silenced on the issue of sex.

            The irony is that even if you leave these men, as some women do, they will remarry again. Yes, they will remarry another woman. They will still do their occasional gay sex thing to satisfy their sexual need, but that goes with the territory. It is amazing to me how these men can live such a delusional existence until the day they die. And they will drag other women into their web of deceit. The next victim (and men who do this more than once are victimizers) will fall for it just like you did—but even better. Your Straight Gay Husband has a track record. He will still use you as his shield by telling his next conquest that he was married before, ergo, he is straight. And the woman who is in a subsequent marriage with this man has no reason to question his sexuality at all. He married before; he’s marrying again. Chances are his next wife will feel even more inadequate than you feel. He’ll make sure to tell her that the two of you never had problems in the bedroom before. And if she does meet you, she’ll be too embarrassed to ask you the truth. And you’ll probably keep protecting him.

            So if you are in a long-term marriage to a Straight Gay Man, don’t plan on things ever getting better. There may be temporary second honeymoon periods, only to prove to you once again that you are crazy for even suspecting there is something wrong with your wonder man. But it’s guaranteed that things will resort back to the “normal” pattern of digs, harsh words, and put-downs. Count on it. Then decide if this is the most that you want out of life because as long as you are in this marriage, this is all you can expect.

There is a word that describes what these husbands do: COMPARTMENTALIZE. This means he is able to keep his behaviors separate and tied up in neat packages without letting one interfere with the other. The Straight Gay Men live their lives this way. They are able to separate their need for sexual dabbling with a man from their “straight lives” as straight husbands. I do tell our women that as long as you allow your husband to live in his “compartmentalized closet,” he will remain there forever. The fact that you remain in the marriage to him allows him to justify even more that he is straight—especially in his own mind. After all, his wife isn’t going anywhere, right? This convinces him even more.

So if your happiness is waiting for a confession that won’t be coming, do yourself a favor and stop waiting for it. Take control of your life and GET OUT before you allow yourself to totally lose who you are. Remember—if your husband can’t admit he is gay to himself, he will never admit it to you. In his own warped sense of reality, he is a straight man.

#2 - THE HONEYMOON REVISITED


                I love happy endings to stories. With straight/gay marriages, some of you also have the advantage of having some happy middles of stories even if the endings are sad. Of course, these middle stories don’t last very long, but while they happen, it’s like having a second honeymoon.


            I hear it from many women. The story is usually the same, so here goes a typical one that I received this week:

Dear Bonnie,
It’s a miracle! After I confronted my husband with my suspicions about his being gay, he admitted to me that he had passing thoughts about men but would never act on them. And now, things are better than they’ve ever been. Now it’s just like when we were on our honeymoon—but even better. My husband is being very attentive to me and very considerate. For the first time in years, he is being affectionate to me. He is holding my hand in public and kissing me goodnight every night.
And now for the best part—my husband realizes that he is not gay.     
He has approached me for sex for the first time in years. He is really doing everything to be the kind of husband that I knew he could be if he could just get those homosexual thoughts out of his head. Now I realize that we can move forward in our marriage with all of the bad times behind us.”
     
<   Most of the time, the letters end with, “You were wrong, Bonnie.” Sometimes, I’ll hear a more insightful thought from a woman saying, “I know that this is just a temporary stage, but I’ll take it for the moment!”

I do want to tell you that these honeymoons don’t last for long. Sometimes they’ll last a few weeks or even a few months. But as letters that come in later with humble apologies to me say, the “honeymoon revisited phase” is usually over within a short amount of time. You see, after the husbands lulls you into a false sense of security once again, he feels he has you back where he wants you and so his “Normal,” or shall we say, “Abnormal,” patterns creep back slowly, or sometimes quickly. But they always come back. I tell these women there is no need to apologize. I know how I used to hang on to any false hope that came my way no matter how quickly it whizzed past my eyes.

Why do our gay husbands revisit the honeymoon phase? Quite simple. They fear that you now suspect or know the truth about their homosexuality and they are determined to throw you off track and start doubting yourself. They are not ready to be honest, and so they buy time. They become affectionate, attentive, and start to give you unexpected gifts. They say they are willing to work on their “sexual dysfunction.” They claim they will go for marriage counseling, and in some cases, give it a try for a few weeks or months.

And you feel good. You start believing that your suspicion about the worst possible scenario is untrue. And all those little signs that you thought were leading you in that direction were really something else. Maybe it was just a curiosity phase. Maybe your husband was having problems from medications. Maybe he does have some gay tendencies, but maybe that’s from an extra chromosome or two that has been misplaced. Maybe he’s learned his lesson by realizing that you are going to leave your marriage if you find out that he’s doing his thing.

Then you think you are so “stupid” when the second honeymoon is over and reality hits again. Please don’t apologize or feel stupid. I was lulled endless times into what I wanted to be a functioning marriage. I grasped for any sign of rebuttal from my husband and swore I could make things better if only he would work with me on it. Yes, I even had a couple of extra sexual encounters that he initiated in good faith to prove to me that our marriage would be A-okay. But how long could he fool me? He couldn’t even fool himself. He couldn’t carry out this lie indefinitely, and within a short time, things reverted to where they were—or shall I say deteriorated back to where they were—when I threw out my suspicions.

So, next time you see things changing, be aware that it is just a temporary ploy. Don’t get your hopes up—enjoy the peace and quiet for whatever time it lasts. Use this time to strengthen yourself mentally because this is not the time that your husband will be battering you down mentally. Recognize it for what it is and take advantage of the quiet time to make a plan to protect yourself and your future. And rest assure—the honeymoon will be over before you know it. Once you understand this, your chances of being disappointed will become one of expectation and much easier to handle.

#3TELLING THE CHILDREN

Every few years, I have an epiphany. You know what I mean—that “Aha” moment when things you were gray about become black and white. In the past six months, this has happened to me in terms of the always present issue of WHAT TO TELL THE CHILDREN.
Okay, I admit I was on the fence for the past 25 years. And believe me when I tell you I struggled with this throughout the time of my own children growing up, as well as your children growing up. I really vacillated because I felt that every situation was so different. It depended on:

            1. The age of the children
            2. The location of where the family lives
            3. The willingness of the father to reveal the information
            4. The acceptance of the mother of her husband’s homosexuality

I used to think that if a child was younger or older, the news would be better accepted. I really did “fear” telling children in their adolescent years for fear of them questioning their own sexuality which might further complicate their teenage years.
So now, after listening to so many stories from adult survivor children of straight/gay marriages, I realize that I was wrongthe children need to know as soon as possible. So let’s discuss the two issues here: (1) why do they need to know and (2) how to 
tell them.

Let’s start with the question “why do they need to know?”

First, the truth may hurt some of you reading this, but it’s better to face the reality than live in the fantasy. Although our husbands may be award-winning actors as they portray their parts as “straight husbands” during your marriage, you, the straight wives, have not developed that same talent of “acting” like you are happy when you know that there is something missing and wrong in your marriage. Most of you are spending hours every week wondering what the problem is and how you can fix it, and when you find nothing is changing no matter how monumental your efforts are, you become depressed. There’s no shame in this, trust me. I was there. It’s really hard to keep laughing while your sense of self and sexual esteem is plummeting downwards daily. When the extent of your intimacy with your husband resorts to being a quick peck on the cheek, it’s hard not to feel that sense of rejection.

It doesn’t take long before you move from a state of “living” into a state of “existing.” Yes, you wake up, do your chores, go to your job, get through the days, take care of the kids and husband, but you’re on auto pilot. In most cases you have no idea what is going wrong in your marriage, but you do know it’s not what marriage was supposed to be like. And even when you suspect the worst—namely the truth—you’re doing your best to believe the lies your husbands are constantly telling you hoping beyond hope that lies will miraculously turn into truths--but they never do.

Stop deluding yourselves by thinking your children don’t know something is wrong. They do. Every child of a straight/gay marriage has written to me telling me that he or she knew something wasn’t right in the home. There was a lack of affection, caring, compassion, and loving.  It didn’t mean the dad wasn’t a good dad—it just means that the marriage wasn’t a good marriage. Children know it. They can sense it. And guess what? They sense your unhappiness. They hear your crying. They see you taking “medication” in the form of antidepressants. They sense your struggle, even if they don’t know what the struggle is about.

When you do find out the truth, if you don’t leave the marriage, you are covering up the truth. Like I said, YOU are covering up the truth. By the time you find out, your husband has now let down his defenses and started to get careless. Almost all of these children found evidence of their father’s homosexuality before you did via the Internet, cell phones, or pornographic material in the home. But now you feel backed against the corner to keep HIS secret. Let me tell you as a fact—this kind of secret destroys families.

I can understand the fear that gay men have of their families finding out. I work with many gay men who are going through this process and I do hurt for them. I really do. But I also tell them they need to do the right thing and TELL THE TRUTH. Now I’m telling both our women and gay men you need to tell the truth to your children.

First of all, why are we keeping this a secret? A secret implies something bad. Are we giving the message that homosexuality is bad? By keeping this a secret, we are. Homosexuality is different—it’s not bad. We have to move away from the “secret” mentality because it only perpetuates the situation and makes it worse.  Remember—children are made up of two parents, not one. If a child feels that there is something wrong with the father without knowing what the truth is, any kind of horror can be imagined far worse than the truth. This affects the self-worth of the child because half of him or her came from the father.

Next is the issue of the children knowing and feeling they now have to keep this news a “secret.” This puts them in a very dark space that they don’t want to be in. They feel they are caught in a web of deceit affecting both of their parents. They don’t want to be the cause of the breakup of a marriage. They know their fathers are cheating but they are afraid of hurting their mothers. They don’t want their fathers to be mad at them, so they keep silent seeing their mothers hurting and feeling helpless to do anything to help their mothers.
Yikes!!! What are we doing to these precious children? We are giving them all the wrong messages about love, marriage, and trust. How the heck are they supposed to find positive relationships in their future when they look at their “teachers”—namely their parents—and feel such a sense of confusion?

Yep, this secret should not be a secret—it should be discussed as soon as the wife has time to process it. And it should be told to the children by BOTH parents. However, some of the fathers refuse to do this, still thinking about protecting themselves before protecting the mental health of their children. In that case, you will have to become the teller of the news on your own. Give your husband a chance to tell it with you, but if he refuses, be firm and tell him that you will do it yourself.

I know some of you are shuddering by now. As loving, kind, compassionate women, you are often the “keeper of the secret” for your gay husbands. You continue to protect them long after they are living their gay lives because they ask you to because THEY don’t want people to know. Let’s be honest—why are you protecting them? Why aren’t you protecting your children? Why should your children live in the mystery of why a marriage ended, and in some cases, blame YOU for the end of their family life? This makes no sense.
I look at this like a domino effect. Your husband has no choice in his homosexuality. He married you with the hopes and dreams of being a good “straight” husband, but it’s not happening over time. So he’s falling and knocks you down. Now the pressure of both of you falling is knocking down the children. Who are the real victims here?

Mis-marriages (or mistakes in a marriage as I call them) happen. The issue of fault is not the issue when it comes to the children. Gay men make the mistake and most often unintentionally—but they can fix it. They don’t have to linger in your life forever making you feel more trapped than they feel being where they don’t belong.  As adults, you have the power to rebuild your lives again even though many of you feel very powerless. With help, counseling, and support—it does happen all the time. But who is there to rebuild your children? Why wouldn’t you think that your marriage wouldn’t affect them? Trust me when I tell you that it does. The emotional damage that it can cause them will fill their lifetimes.  That’s why you owe it to them to do the right thing and tell them the truth before they find it out some other way or from someone else. Your children won’t thank you for “protecting” them as some as you think—they’ll wonder why you couldn’t be honest with them and then wonder what else wasn’t true in their lives that you “protected” them from.

 As far as how to tell them, well, that’s another story. It can’t be told with anger in your voice and venom in your heart no matter how you are feeling at the moment. Remember—this is NOT about you—it’s about YOUR CHILDREN. When you talk about their father in a derogatory way, don’t think they won’t be internalizing it because they will. Your children don’t have to be your allies—you have friends and families for that. The children need to feel a sense of security and love from both parents, even when one of them may be acting like a total jerk. And to my gay men reading this, trust me—it’s not the “gay” that makes these men jerks—it’s the lack of responsibility financially and emotionally to the families after they leave. And while I’m on that subject, I don’t really care about how gay husbands now have the chance to “find themselves” after being tormented in a mis-marriage for years. 

The family STILL has to come first. That’s the correct, responsible thing to do. I make NO excuses for irresponsible gay husbands who are too busy having fun in their new found freedom to remember their grieving families. NONE.

So that’s where the problem comes in. It’s not really WHEN you tell the children, but HOW you tell them that is the issue. Homosexuality CANNOT be used as the weapon in the truth. Using derogatory words about gay is NOT going to help. That’s why wives have to be able to separate their personal own antagonisms based on their hurt from this discussion. Telling your children that their daddy is a “faggot” who likes to “screw men” is totally inappropriate. This is NOT going to make your children feel better about the situation. You can’t use gay as the target of your anger when telling the children the news. This is where loving them and putting their needs for emotional stability before your need for revenge comes into play.
Children don’t have to “visualize” their father’s sex habits in order to know about homosexuality. It’s bad enough that you are smacked in the face with it—but you’re an adult. It’s hard enough for you to figure out—don’t expect them to be able to deal with those thoughts. They shouldn’t have to. They do need to know this:

1. People are born differently. Some are tall; some are short. Some are white; some are black; some have blue eyes; some have brown eyes; some are straight; some are gay.

2. People don’t “choose” to be gay. They are born that way. They don’t always know it because there’s no big “G” sign on their bodies when they are born. The homosexuality develops at different times of each person’s life. Some people know it early; some know it later. There’s no set time which is the problem. For those that develop this later, they don’t understand or know it at the time they are getting married. The marriage was brought together by love, and the children were born out of this love.

3. When a man realizes he is gay, he needs to love his wife and children enough to be honest with them because he doesn’t want his family to suffer anymore. As a gay man, he can’t be the kind of husband the wife needs, but he can still be an important part of the family.

 4. A gay man can still be a wonderful father. His love for his children hasn’t changed even if the marriage does change.

Do I have all of the answers? No, not yet. But I think this is a good start. It’s an objective start. Look, when my kids were growing up and my ex-husband was acting like a jerk, I had to bite my tongue A LOT so I wouldn’t say derogatory things about him that would affect them. Sometimes, I bit it so hard that it was swelling out of my mouth. There were plenty of times I wanted to call him every horrible name in the book—but I didn’t—not to them. I saved it for my friends and family. To my children, I turned my ex into a prince. I didn’t do it for him—I did it for them. I wanted them to feel secure that their parents loved them regardless of the fact that we couldn’t live with each other. I also knew that children are created from two parents. If they believe that one of them is “defective,” they internalize that something within them is wrong. It deteriorates their own sense of self-esteem which affects their future as far as positive relationships. I see it all of the time as our children find themselves in destructive relationships as they grow older because they don’t feel worthy of anything better. 

And guess what? I told my children when I felt I had no choice. My ex refused to tell them even though I repeatedly asked him to. They would be in his home and find things as children do—magazines, videos, and other things. They would see him in bed sleeping with other men. By the time they were in their early teens, I felt I had no choice. They were confused, and I felt that as they grew into their teenage years, they needed to understand what was going on. And so, with great sensitivity, I told them because their father couldn’t—or shall I say wouldn’t.  My ex was leading an actively gay life, and my children were around it whenever they visited him. He thought he was “hiding” it because he wasn’t holding hands or showing public display of affection, but children are far more perceptive than that. I felt the words had to be spoken because they were asking me questions that needed to be addressed.

Once my ex knew I told them was he mad? Infuriated is putting it mildly. He told me that I had no business to tell his business. But I told him he had no right living a life that the children were seeing and pretending like it wasn’t happening. How confused were they supposed to be growing up?

We didn’t speak for nearly a year after I dropped the news, but I had no regrets. In fact, in later years when my daughter came to terms with her homosexuality, at least she understood that she didn’t have to live her life in a closet pretending to be who she wasn’t because she didn’t have to feel the shame her father felt throughout his life.
My daughter was far more accepting of her father’s homosexuality than he was of hers--ironically. My son, on the other hand, felt it was his secret to keep from his friends. And that was his choice. He loved his father dearly, but he didn’t want people to know he had a gay father. I respected that decision. My son was certainly pro-gay, but he didn’t want people to know his father was gay. You see, if your children choose to keep the secret from their friends, that’s fine. But at least give them the knowledge to make that choice.

So, yes, there are no easy answers in this most complex situation. But as I tell the men who come to me, the truth will set you free. I am now telling you that it will also set your children free. Please think about this and feel free to get back to me with your thoughts and stories. We owe this to our children.

Thank you for indulging me on this special anniversary edition. There is nothing much that is new that I could say that would have been more impactful than this!
With love, hope, and optimism,
Bonnie♥ 
                    

                     

Saturday, February 14, 2015

♥♥ FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER 2015 - VALENTINE'S DAY ISSUE ♥♥

BONNIE KAYE'S STRAIGHT TALK
 FEBRUARY 2015     Volume 15, Issue 161

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 my mission to help women and men in pain. Purchase my books from my website at www.Bonniekayebooks.com. Please "Like" my Facebook page at Bonnie Kaye, Author. Thanks!

STRAIGHT TALK RADIO SHOW MOVES TO DIFFERENT DAY AND TIME
Starting the first week of March, my Straight Wives Talk Show heard on Blog Talk Radio is moving from Sunday night to Monday night at 9 p.m. EST. I will post the info on my Facebook page as well as on my blog which you can access via my website at www.gayhusbands.com and clicking .

FROM MY ARCHIVES

This was a powerful Valentine's Day message that appeared in 2011 in my February newsletter. It is still so relevant today that I wanted to share it again--with love!

IN THE AFTERMATH OF VALENTINE’S DAY - 2011

Each year this issue of my newsletter comes out on the heels of Valentine’s Day, the ultimate annual reminder of how hard you can keep trying to make crumbs into a cake that never quite seem to “stick” together.

It’s impossible to escape the reminders that loom largely in your face--or in the case of all of those heart balloons--over your head. You can turn off the television and radio to avoid the Hallmark commercials, but as soon as you walk into the market, the first five rows of display tables are filled with hearts of chocolate and bouquets of roses.

To many of our women, this is a painful holiday. For those still in a marriage, your husband sometimes does his “husbandly” Valentine duty of bringing home a card with little xxxxx’s and ooooo’s or expressing his appreciation of you by giving you a box of candy--even though he keeps telling you how “unappealing” you are to him because of your weight. On this sacred day, he lets that comment pass as he shoves the chocolates at you encouraging you to enjoy them as a way of saying, “Don’t expect more.” Yep, some sweets for the sweet. It doesn’t mean he’s going to make love to you or make your feel beautiful—but hey, crumbs are still crumbs. By the way, on a personal note—how many crumbs does it take to make a cake? How about a slice of cake? I haven’t figured that one out yet.

For those women whose marriages have ended this year, your first Valentine’s Day is usually the worst—which is the good news. In the future, you will feel better once your emotions sort out the reality from the fiction in your marriage. At least those moments of frustrations of wondering why your husband couldn't love you the way you needed to be loved on that special day of romance for couples will be better understood. The other bonus is that you won’t have to feel frustrated and once again disappointed after making the day such a special one only to end up with his recurring headache, toothache, backache, or inability to “perform” due to….oh yeah—stress.  

One of the ways that I keep trying to hit home with our ladies is to make Valentine’s Day a new tradition of loving YOU. Unless you can learn to love yourself, trust me, it will be impossible to love someone else—at least in a healthy way. I know that may sound funny, but trust me—it’s true.

When I was younger, I had a distorted image of what marriage was about. I believed that if you loved someone with all your heart and soul, you would live happily ever after forever and ever. Amen. I guess that meant that I had to work hard every day waking up and figuring out what I could do to have my husband keep loving me the way I loved him. Sadly, many of us from the baby boomer generation were socialized that way not realizing that marriage needed to be a two way street. Do whatever it takes to make your man happy. Those were the messages we kept hearing over and over again.

We found ourselves in marriages that weren’t fulfilling because no matter how hard we worked, we were running in circles. It was sort of like running around that Valentine heart. You’d move up the curve of one side but within a short amount of time you’d come sliding down the other side. Then you try climbing that slope again only to be bounced back down. In other words, even if you get to the top, don’t plan to stay there very long. And the climb down—or rather the fall—is a long and slippery one for sure.

And yes—we got tired—oh so tired—of the excuses leading to the accusations:

ü  Valentine’s Day is for young people

ü  Valentine’s Day is for young lovers

ü  Valentine’s Day is for newly weds

Which all translate into one real meaning of what your gay husband is thinking--

Why are you always trying to think of a reason to have sex?

Here’s the funny thing—as much as you are dreading Valentine’s Day, so is your gay husband. Remember that song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon? You know the one that says, “Get off the bus, Gus. Make a new plan, Stan. No need to be coy, Roy.” Yep, for your gay husband, it’s 50 Ways to Say No to Your Wife. It could include lyrics like:
“I’ve got a new pain, Jane. I have too much stress, Bess. You’re much too large, Marge. I need some air, Clair. My tooth does hurt, Gert. There’s a pain in my head, Peg.”
Yep, I bet I could rewrite that song in a flash. Sadly, so could all of you.

So, to my weary women warriors fighting that hopeless battle, gather your strength for the fight ahead of learning to love yourself most of all. You see, I’ve learned in life and through enough hard knocks and lessons that when you love yourself first, you’ll never be disappointed. Why? Because you won’t depend on others to love you in a way that can be disappointing and defeating. Even when you are disappointed, you love yourself enough to analyze the situation and do something meaningful for you. You don’t personalize the rejection—you realize YOU are not the problem—your partner is.

Remember, if you don’t learn how to love yourself, you’ll be doomed to repeat your legacy over and over again. It may not be with a gay man, but it will be with some man who isn’t worthy of your time or attention. Don’t forget—there are lots of unsavory predators out there in the straight world. Some of you have told me all about them—well, actually I found my own collection of them for a number of years as well!
Happy Valentine’s Day to my ladies. Better days are ahead! Promise!

WHY OUR DIVORCES ARE DIFFERENT

Couples in America get divorced every day. Nearly 50% of all marriages in end divorce--and I mean STRAIGHT marriages. Many of us hear from well-meaning friends and family members, "Why aren't you over it? Why can't you get past it? He was gay, so move on." Although these are "well-meaning" comments--I think they are--they are made without understanding why our situation is different. And for that reason, people tend to judge us as being, "weak," "victims," or "over-dramatic."

There is a good reason why these relationships don't have more happier "after-endings." It's not about a "divorce." I was divorced from a straight husband before my gay husband. It was not a good marriage in many ways, but it was totally different than my marriage to my gay husband. I would like to explain the difference to you. 

Most of the women I have worked with through the years who had gay husbands--including me--have been stripped down as women. Our husbands have been emotionally abusive, in some cases physically abusive (out of their frustration),  "gaylighting" them (making them think they are crazy when they find gay porno, gay texts, etc.), or "controlling." Sometimes it's a combination of all of these traits.

I have heard straight men talk about being "emasculated" by their wives and how it hurts. In the same way, women feel "de-feminized." Their sexuality in almost all cases has been stamped out away one layer at a time even though they had normal sexual needs. They become sexually paralyzed believing they are failures in bed. They are BLAMED for the lack of sex by their husbands in some of the cruelest ways. They say they don't want to make love to you because you are too "fat," "sloppy," "smelly,"
 "a nymphomaniac," "boring in bed, " "a lousy lay," and every other personally hurtful word that can demean your womanhood.  When asked why he is rejecting you, he tells you that you're crazy and imagining it or you are too needy. In time, you start believing him and stop asking for what is rightfully yours.

People who haven't been in our shoes may tell you they would never stay in a marriage that was like ours or they were smart enough to never allow that happen to happen to them. I heard that comment many times which used to make me feel even more defeated. But let's be for real. Take someone who was inexperienced or young when she got married and this was her first serious relationship and sexual experience. The marriage to her gay husband was the only marriage she had. It's easy to see how inexperienced people can get fooled into believing they are at fault. Add to this the confusion or lack of knowledge to so many about this topic, and you'll get a better understanding as to why so many women go deeper into the closet than their husbands ever did.

I accept the "fact" and always have and stated for the record that gay people are still discriminated against which makes it so hard for gay men to come out. My heart goes out to many of the men living a double life because they, too, are in pain. BUT--and I say BUT--take a look at it from the woman's side. People view her as "stupid" because how could she not know? There is a big social stigma against woman who have been married to gay men. In some cases, people still believe a man wasn't gay when he married you; how did he become gay after he married you? You must have failed as a wife.  Since in so many cases the men are NOT honest with their wives about being gay or use confusing words like "curious, a-sexual, bisexual etc," the woman internalizes that the problems that crop up 10, 20, 30, or 40 years later are her fault.

What about women who work to get healed and now want to start new relationships? It takes so long to start believing in themselves again. They wonder how much of their marriage was real vs. their own misconception. Can they trust their instincts again? The trust issue was the worst for me. It took me years to trust my boyfriend because every time he said something that "sounded" like my gay ex as to why he was late or held up, it brought back doubts from that marriage. When some women start new relationships and reveal their exes were gay, the guy says he can't handle it. He's afraid he'll be exposed to STD's no matter how much you assure him that you are clean because you've been tested. Boom--one more step into the closet for us. And talking about being tested, do you know how traumatizing it is for a woman to get an STD test? She is 40, 50, or 60 years old and has never been unfaithful in her marriage. Don't you think there is a sense of shame for women when we go through this trauma? What about the days she is waiting in anguish to get the test results? Worse, how about when she finds out she has the "gift" that gives for a lifetime? Approximately 20% of women married to gay men have HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, and HPV (pre-cancer from STD's) from their gay husbands who had no conscience about having unprotected sex with men and then showing a moment of guilt or to prove they weren't really gay--with their wives. Do you think it's easy for these women to move on? I don't think so.
  
More and more professional therapists are now stating that these marriages leave women with post traumatic stress disorder which stops them from moving forward in a healthy way. This means it will take lots of professional help and money to get your life on track again. What happens when you don't have the resources to get "healed"?

Sadly, most straight wives have no idea who they are after these marriages. After years of having their self and sexual esteem stripped away one day at a time, they are not the same person they were before the marriage. They become a new person based on their trauma. My ex-husband used to "shout me down" to "shut me up." So many of these men are very controlling because if they aren't, they fear their secret will come out. And so they control their wives. They criticize everything to make her shut up and stop questioning. They constantly question her ability as a mother since she has been told time and again in so many ways that she is already a failure as a wife. Let me assure you--this changes a woman in so many ways after abuse for so many years.

No one can ever convince me that these marriages aren't more debilitating than other marriages between straight people. Maybe it's because I see the struggle of our women with such beautiful souls who have had their hearts ripped out and their lives torn apart. Maybe it's because as times are changing more people are cheering how brave gay men are to come out without recognizing the damage done to their wives.

Keeping along these lines, I recently blogged about Joel Grey coming out in his later years making front page headlines nationwide. This is what I wrote:

Who Is The Real Hero?

Last week, actor Joel Grey was in the news discussing his life as a gay man. He was in the forefront of the news from USA Today to People Magazine.  People in show business were commending his courage. Of course, he said he didn't like to be "labeled" as "gay," but if he had to pick a word, okay--"gay."

This is another example of how distorted the world is when it comes to straight wives. Why is a gay man who took up decades of our lives considered a hero? Why isn't the straight wife who spent all of these years living her husband's lie but not knowing it applauded for the courage she has? She's the one who lived a life devoted to making her husband happy but failed because he was gay. Did he ever tell her during the marriage why things weren't going as well as they could have been because he was a gay man?

Grey uses the excuse that he grew up in different times when gay was not an option. Okay, I do understand that. But guess what? Plenty of men from his generation grew up the same way, but they didn't marry and bring an unsuspecting woman into the mix. He could have remained a bachelor, but instead chose to marry and have two children. His children are happy that he can live outside of his secret for now because they've known for a while. I wonder how long his wife has known?

Men who come out publicly are not nearly as brave as their wives who wondered through the whole marriage why they couldn't make their husbands happy. They personalized the rejection and just tried harder and harder to make something work that isn't workable. When is the last time you saw a straight wife on the cover of a newspaper or magazine being applauded by the general public for her bravery in enduring this kind of a marriage? Not only is the straight wife victimized by her gay husband by being in a distorted marriage, but then she has to hear how people admire...applaud...cheer for the man when he is ready to come out. Yep, something here is definitely wrong.

Ironically, Joel Grey said his 24 years of marriage were his happiest years. I bet they were. There is nothing like having a straight wife try harder and harder to make your life wonderful while you are living your lie on a daily basis and making her feel as if something is wrong with her because your husband is pissed off from being in a situation that HE created by marrying you. Who is the hero here?

The only time I'll acknowledge that straight wives are being recognized in the way that we deserve is when magazines like People have a cover story about the brave and courageous straight wife who now has to fend for herself as a single mother, lose much of what she had which often means her house and other financial security, and recover from the long-term mental battering from a man who could never love her in the same way a straight man could have. Oh yes--did I mention giving up years where every day she lived with confusion wondering what she did wrong? Yes, we are the champions. We are the heroes. It would be nice to have the media honor us.

Some words from my friend Kathryn Holguin, MFTi, PCCi

I have had the honor of meeting Kathy Holguin in person. Kathy is a family therapist in Orange County, California, who is specializing healing women in relationships with gay husbands. Kathy understands because she was there in her previous marriage to a gay man. Kathy will be a guest on my Straight Wives Talks Show on February 22. She is a guest quarterly on the show. Here is a link to her last show you can put in your browser: 


In Kathy's words......

I’m hoping to bring some encouragement to my fellow straight-wives through the effort of writing this article. For many of us, the discovery that our husbands are gay or, at the very least, attracted to other men, caught most of us by surprise.   If you were not surprised, then you were hoping your worst fear wasn’t going to be proven true.  Let’s face it, we love who we love.  Most of us are unaware of why we love the people we love, many of whom are unworthy of our affection.  And yet… we love them anyway.   For whatever reason, we find ourselves attracted to men who are limited in what they can give back to us. 

To more fully understand ourselves and how we relate to others, I suggest looking at ourselves from an “attachment” perspective. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I am constantly amazed at how relevant our early attachment to our mom or dad plays such a vital role as we live out the story of our love lives.  Can you remember who taught you to ride a bike?  Was it your dad?  Did he run alongside of you encouraging and cheering you on? Did he hold on until you felt confident enough to ride on your own?  Did he see you fall, become overwhelmed with your pain and never allow you to ride a bike again?  Did he give you a bike and leave it up to you to figure out how to ride it on your own?  It seems like these are silly questions, but they speak to the quality of connectedness you felt as a child.  These answers can help unveil why we become “pleasers” or why we have to “avoid” confrontation.  I believe part of our struggle is that we slowly lose our voice in our relationship with our gay husband.  We think that if we just “please” him enough we can somehow save our doomed marriage. Somehow we are at fault and have to figure out “where we went wrong” so we can fix our lives. 

We have the power to redefine ourselves, pick up the broken pieces of our hopes, dreams and desires and create something beautiful from the rubble.  We can get back onto the bike.  Even though it may feel wobbly and scary, we can learn to ride again.  As we understand how we learned to love from our parents, we will more fully understand why we love whom we love. 

To understand secure attachment we need to consider the following:  A child’s feelings are paramount with respect to secure or insecure attachment.  As the child experiences a feeling, the parent recognizes those feelings and welcomes them.  The child feels safe to express his/her feelings fully and in turn learns to feel and deal with his/her emotions.  The parent is able to offer comfort when the child is distressed. The child reacts feeling loved, seen, important, safe, whole.  These feelings create an environment between parent and child fostering trust and respect helping the child to feel secure.

If you grew up in a home where your feelings were not valued, you probably have a difficult time dealing with the intense feelings surfacing during this traumatic time in your life.  Trusting your spouse during this time is impossible, but trusting yourself if just as difficult.  As a young child, if you were ignored, criticized, belittled or marginalized you suffered a form of betrayal.  A child’s feelings are innocent, raw and honest, and when a parent does not value a child’s feelings the child learns that they were are not important.  A parent is supposed to love and protect the child.   Children will defend their parent’s actions even to their own destruction because children believe that a parent is always right.  However, when a parent betrays the trust of a child, trauma is created for the child, plummeting the child into a state of survival.  The child denies their own feelings so they can create a sense of safety and security. The child is thrown into “survival mode”.  A child cannot risk the loss of the parental relationship, so they deny their own feelings, effectively shutting down their perceptions. It is in this “shutting down” process that the child grows up to question their own perceptions causing confusion and mistrust in their own judgment.  This scenario is referred too as Betrayal Trauma. 

When the traumatic people and events surface, there is an opportunity feel and deal with the events that caused so much confusion in childhood.  As an adult, you can begin to ask the question “what about me?”  When this question begins to demand an answer you will known that you are well on your way to finding your voice which ultimately leads to the ability to thaw out emotionally, grieve your losses and move into a life full of satisfaction, joy and healing.

It is my sincere hope that by reading this short article, you will begin to value your experiences both past and present.  Hold them closely and honor your own pain and suffering.  Give yourself the gift of compassion and empathy.  If you are suffering in a marriage, to a man you love, but cannot trust or be married to, your situation is enormous and should be treated with care, empathy and respect.  You deserve to be supported not isolated, championed not shamed, loved not hurt.  Don’t be afraid, you are not alone.

Thank you, Kathy, for those beautiful words.

If you are in the Orange County area of California, Kathy is conducting weekly workshops to help women understand their relationships and how they can get stronger to stop from making the same mistakes. The workshops are free and are held at a church in Westchester, California from 7 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. on Sunday evenings. If you would like to attend, call Kathy at 951-215-6454.

Kathy also does private counseling by Skype or telephone. Feel free to call her to set up an appointment.


           
Ladies, I wish you all a beautiful Valentine's Day filled with self-love. When you learn to love yourself for who you really are, that's when the true happiness begins!

Love, Bonnie