Monday, August 15, 2016


August 2016     Volume 17, Issue 178
Bonnie’s Mantra:
COMPUTER RADIO PODCASTS - www.blogtalkradio/bonnielkaye                                     Live on Sunday night 9 p.m. EST or any time after the live broadcast!

Any ladies in NY, NJ, or CT want to meet up with me for dinner in NYC on Tuesday evening September 20th? I'll be meeting up with one of our Aussie sisters who is visiting, and we would love to see you. Please let me know by writing to me at

            We are living in a world that revolves around "political correctness." Over the past ten years,  I have watched this develop and to some degree get it and agree with it. I agree that people need to be accepted for who they are. I agree that it is unkind to mock people because of how they look. And I agree that no one should have to live in a world feeling uncomfortable or feel "left out." So yes, political correctness has certainly made some major inroads.
            I have to admit I don't understand all of these inroads. Maybe it's my age or maybe it's because it's too hard to "get it" all--and especially when it comes to sexuality. It was difficult enough for me to comprehend it when I learned that homosexual people were marrying straight people. That was a real eye opener. You see, I didn't grow up with that knowledge. I was told that if a man was gay or a woman was a lesbian, it meant that he or she wanted to be with someone of the same sex. Honest--that's what they used to teach us. This was in the day before the Kinsey ladder climbing up or down on the number chart ranging from straight to gay and everything in between. I didn't realize there was an "in between."

            When I was in high school in the pre-enlightened 1960's, people would whisper the word "homosexual" or some horrifying derivative of the word, but I really didn't know anyone like that. There was one boy in high school--yes one--where rumors were whispered behind closed doors--but no actual confirmation. I went out of my way to be nice to this pimpled peer because I, too, was a teenager who never fit in to any crowd. I wanted to--but somehow, I didn't at that age. Therefore, I tried to find others like me for some kind of camaraderie. When we would speak, I never dared mention the rumors I heard about him for fear of making him feel worse than he already did. This was the closest I got to the gay world until 1968 in California.

            At the age of 17, I moved to California to stay with my father. It was such a different way of life. Gay was very prominent back then as if it were the land of milk and honey for the new gay immigrants continuing to arrive daily on its shores. Here in California one could live an openly gay life. Actually, in California you could live whatever life you wanted because back then sex was over-the-top. There were orgies and swinging. It was quite liberating to those who needed to feel liberated. It was there that I met the first "openly" gay man in my life. At 17, I knew so little that I was so sure that gay was just a condition that came from lack of proper love. I was so sure that loving him would make him straight. And I tried the best I could for a girl of 17--but there was no change. I guess he tried to because why not? He was 24, and it seemed like something he thought might work--but he found out quickly it didn't. That's when I learned to understand that gay men were going to stay gay men. They couldn't change--and they shouldn't have to change.

            As the years went on, I thought I had that whole issue figured out--but I didn't. At the age of 25 I rekindled a romance with a man who was my high school crush. We were both adults now and thinking that maybe we could make us work. Something was off from the beginning--but I wrote it off to the Zodiac signs. He was a Cancer--I was a Libra--and the two signs weren't meshing. At least that sounded logical in the 1970's. And talk about not knowing--I will tell you this. We were parted for six years since we had last seen each other. When we reunited, he told me that he had been with four other people during those six years--two men and two women. Did it strike me strange that he had been with two men? Not at all. Don't forget--the 60's and 70's were a time of "sexual experimentation" for people. He assured me that he tried it--and didn't like it. Or he liked it, but not as much as being with a woman. And guess what? I bought it. It sounded logical to me. Why else would a man want to be with me unless he "decided" he was straight?

            We were very misled in those days by reports by "sexual experts" such as Dr. Kinsey who talked about sexual fluidity long before it was acknowledged as "accepted behavior" as it is today. Of course, he was stating that a large percentage of men had some kind of "homosexual" encounter if their lifetimes, and it was "normal." So that's what I thought. When that boyfriend said he "tried it" and "didn't like it," it made sense to me. And although I left him before our plans to move in together hastened to the date of action, I was having doubts because something was "off." I still was attributing it to the moon being in the seventh house and Jupiter aligning with Mars. Yes, it must have been that Zodiac incompatibility again. It's funny--we had sex, but I always felt he wasn't there with me--much like his moodiness and brooding.  It wasn't until ten years later and several years after the marriage to my gay husband that I learned that he, too, was gay. I was smarter by then. I knew the moment I dialed him and a man picked up the phone that that was his lover--and he admitted it.

            Oh well, enough of my history. I like to tell you my story because so many of our women kick themselves over and over for not seeing the red flags. That's because so many of us didn't know they were red flags. We just didn't know enough. We didn't have computers to check on the facts or find explanations to the behaviors that we attributed to astrology. Yes--for those of you grew up during the age of Aquarius, didn't the signs of the Zodiac explain everything?

            Anyway, getting back to my point--over the past 10 years or so, political correctness has taken over in our country. It seems that you can't say much about anyone without getting condemned. We have to accept things which in the past would not be acceptable. And I admit I am somewhat weary of having to try to be understanding of behavior that seems somewhat mixed up and jumbled, but that's me. It was difficult for me to understand straight vs. gay--and now there are so many other variations of the sexual spectrum that I never imagined. And I'm not knocking it--I'm just acknowledging it. But I do have a problem with it, and I'll explain why.

            It seems that we keep rallying to the cause of fighting for people who are coming out of some closet. The closets are different ones ranging from gay to transgender and include a whole new vocabulary of in-betweens that I won't get into. But it seems the more that these men come out and end up with barrels of praise for their bravery, the further back we, their wives, are shoved back into their closets.

            How we, the straight wives, are feeling is never the issue, is it? Is anyone out there asking us Straight Wives what it feels like to have our lives blown away and devastated? I don't think so. I do know that I get at least two or three requests from media shows each month asking me for people in my group who are finding ways of "making it work by readjusting their thinking." I tell them they have come to the wrong person and refer them to other groups who may know these women. Of course, that's after I ask them if they would be interested in doing a show on the "real lives of straight wives" focusing on the devastation of what it is like to be one. Not one production company has ever said to me, "What a great idea!" Well one did--but they were only willing to do it if the husbands were willing to go on the show--and I don't think your husbands wanted to do it. Heck, they don't even want to talk to you about it. But they'll tell the world?

            People don't take us seriously because there are no consequences. There are no advocates out there shouting for OUR rights. There is no one writing about OUR pain except an occasional Huffington Post blog or comedy cable show. We are judged by others without compassion or empathy that they are so willing to give to our husbands. People still think that either we knew and were desperate or missed all the signs meaning we were stupid. And then there are those who understand less than we did who still think that these men weren't gay when they married us, so it must have been our bad cooking that made them gay.

            We were questioning our own judgment throughout our marriage wondering what was going wrong. When we found out, then people started questioning us as if we were "blind" or "responsible." Is it any wonder that we prefer to stay silent? We are double whammied--first by our gay husbands and then by society as a whole. While people are so busy cheering on the bravery of our husbands, who is looking our way with awards for enduring the suffering all of the years if our marriages were bad or if our marriages were good, awarding us for losing what meant most to us in our lives--namely our husbands. For some women, they look at the man standing in front of them and still see these men as their HUSBANDS--not as their GAY HUSBANDS. They still can't understand how gay crept into their marriage when they weren't looking. What changed? This takes years to figure out in many cases.

            Why don't producers of shows want to know what it's like to survive this kind of marriage for us? Why do they only care about the 5% of marriages that try to make it work by living in an open marriage? What about the other 95% of us? Why aren't the members of the gay community taking up our cause like they want us to take up their cause? Where are their warnings to men getting married knowing that they aren't exactly straight even if they don't know they are exactly gay yet? And where is the condemnation from the gay community of men who are married and living this double life? Why are certain support chapters of gay fathers encouraging their members not to tell their wives until "after the divorce" so they won't have to end up with less financially? Where are the groups telling these men to FIX THE MISTAKE in a way that the wife comes out a winner after she has lost so much?

            No one is parading for us around the country. No one has even suggested that we have a special "Straight Wives Matter Day" for us whose lives were thrown into turmoil without a warning. We are expected to be "understanding," "accepting," and "advocates" for the gay community now that we are somehow attached to it in a different kind of way--namely through our husbands. But what gay organization has said, "We embrace the millions of straight wives who have lost their husbands and families and welcome them to our community"? I haven't heard of any yet who are looking to share our grieving. And until I start to hear it, I guess no one except us will really care if Straight Wives Matter. Sad, isn't it?      


Each month, I receive numerous letters of appreciation from my readers. If I think your letter will help others, I always ask your permission to republish. Here are two letters from this month.

Dear Bonnie,

            I hope my email finds you well.  I always think about you.  It's been years since I met you in Houston.  It's also been a long journey for me.  I've ducked in and out of and the Straight Wives Radio Blog for years now because I still find it so helpful to my recovery.  I credit you for telling it to me 'straight' and for saving my life.  I put all of my trust in you, and you gave me the strength to be honest with myself, to trust my own intuition and to leave the relationship.  After struggling with my recovery for about two years (I finally realized there had to be more to my story then just being duped by a gay man).  

          For some reason, I don't know why but at the time I never fully understood what you meant about the crazy making, gaslighting and narcissism nor did   I realize that was exactly what I was suffering from and why I was having such difficulty moving on.  I went back to your material, listened more closely to some of your guests like Mary Ann Glynn and Donna Anderson and then started Googling those terms and watching videos and so began my true healing. All of the pieces just fell into place and now I know I was severely gaslighted by a covert narcissist.  It's actually fascinating how these people work and even more fascinating to learn about the symptoms of someone who has been abused in this way and how very little the professionals know about this type of abuse.  Needless to say, I exhibited most of the symptoms like not knowing what just happened to me, ruminating (a biggee!), feeling hopeless, suicidal, isolating, not being able to concentrate, etc.  It was heartbreaking but at the same time knowing what happened, what he deliberately did and more importantly who he really is as a person has ended most of my pain.  For the first time in years, I feel like I'm finally getting back to myself (kind of, still afraid to date) and to some of the things I love to do like sewing and writing (my therapy).  So speaking of writing...I wrote the poem below, and if you want to share it or any part of this email on your website or elsewhere, please do.  
          From the bottom of my heart I thank you for what you've done for me and also for all of the other straight wives.  Hugs!

The Letter To Him I Never Sent 

It's been a long and lonely last three years
Still I fight back some of those old salty tears
Stupidly I thought you would be my last love 
Only later to be strangled like a too-tight glove

Was the making of that big, beautiful home 
Your secret plan to leave me all alone 
Should have known you gave me many clues
Just a sick little game to watch me lose

And all that gaslighting and crazy making
Shattered my world and left me shaking
Of all the happy times I thought we shared
Now I know you never could have cared 

Because you treated me like a big 'a hole'
That ripped right through my very soul
Every day it felt like a slap without a slap
But more than that I felt so trapped 

Always telling lies, the biggest 'I am not gay'
Like a cat on a mouse I was only your prey
You are the biggest down-low pretender
A bait and switch I'm not your defender 

Played me day and night like some old fool
But I'm here to tell you that was so not cool 
I ain't no longer your cover girl or your beard
Go on and continue living the life you feared

Don't you know you can run but cannot hide
Behind that mask your fake and phony side
Learned many years ago how to avoid your eyes
That when it ended, I never said any goodbyes

See you skipped no beat and moved right on
You think you may have found a better swan?
Another good woman you will probably destroy
Hey abuser, user we are not your lil' play toy

Clear off the table now so I can place my bet
Cause a man like you, I'm sure she's never met 
Maybe in a few years she'll reach out to me
Then I'll tell her all about 'The Bonnie' who set me free


Dear Bonnie,

            I have been thinking a lot about the theme of "I will never be the same" and learning " to live with it." Most of the time, I think I'm actually better in spite of it all! I was so naive before this experience. I blamed myself my whole life because i refused to see other people's bad behavior and mental illness. It was too scary. And i think I believed people would change if I acted " better."  I refused to think I didn't have control. So weird. Fear drove me in my life. I made bad decisions. I stayed too long. I lived in denial and fragmented my mind to tolerate terrible situations. I didn't know I had the power to leave. I didn't know I could like and care for myself. I relied on others for that, and they were not safe. My whole life was like some sort of reward/punishment, tit for tat experiment. I was keeping score, everyone was keeping score! This is not love.

            With my gay ex, I could not understand the disconnection between us. I rationalized that I had some attachment disorder. ( I'm sure he loved that!) After I found out the truth, I felt stupid. I felt shame. It made me feel even more worthless. And my so called friends? They said" how could you.....?" I didn't realize they needed to invalidate me to protect whatever crap they had going on. This experience has sucked. But I have learned a lot about myself and other people. I have learned that caring for ourselves is seen as selfish. I have learned that most people unconsciously are manipulative and out for themselves but can couch it in caring and concern and looking " nice", but they really don't care, because they are focused on themselves. So now, I look for those few people! The truly caring ones! I actually think I found one in my therapist of all people! I am learning what caring relations looks like and that maybe I deserve it after all. I have also met some amazing women on the internet, and sadly, they are not here, but we connect in cyberspace. 

            So, do we ever get over" it"? The trauma? No. It is part of me. But it doesn't define me. I am working on bringing all the parts of me together for wholeness and maybe liking myself one day ( loving myself is a stretch lol!). If I had stayed with my gex, I could never have had space to do this. I'm pretty confident that he will leave me alone as I made sure it got back to him that I knew what he was! Maybe healing just looks like wholeness and not putting up with anymore toxic people. I don't miss that torture! 

            Many blessings to you today on our little soul journey! xoxo
A Straight Sister

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your heart-felt words.



Here are the links for this month's radio shows to cut and paste!


Sunday, July 17, 2016


June 2016     Volume 17, Issue 176
Bonnie’s Mantra:
COMPUTER RADIO PODCASTS - www.blogtalkradio/bonnielkaye

Dear Friends,
In June of 2010, Doug Dittmer, a superb peer counselor for the many gay husbands who have contacted me for support with their coming out issues, was kind enough to answer the 12 most asked questions by straight women about their gay husbands.  

The article was so powerful, I wanted to re-print it for our June's newsletter if you joined my support network after that or need to hear it again. I am hoping Doug's words will help you get a better understanding what is going on with your gay husband and how things fell apart. Doug is the primary author and researcher of the book we produced together titled Over the Cliff: Gay Men in Straight Marriages. He did a phenomenal job interviewing 17 gay husbands who were truthful with him as far as why they left or stayed in their marriages. You can purchase it on Amazon on my website at by clicking into the picture in either hardback or kindle. It is also available through all large booksellers.

I asked Doug if he felt that anything needed to be changed after six years, but he said no--the story is still the same--and I agree.


Once a year during the month of June, I like to dedicate this newsletter to the gay husbands/ex-husbands who are really doing their best to right the wrongs of their marriages. In this year’s June issue, I imposed on my male gay peer coach Doug to answer 12 of the questions that women ask me most often.

Before I give you Doug’s answers to these questions, I would like to remind our women that not all husbands/ex-husbands are irresponsible, cruel, or detached from their families. I know that many of you do have husbands who seem to have been transformed into strangers in your midst—but not all of them.

There are some wonderful gay men who found themselves caught up in their own confusion throughout their lives. When they have the courage to be honest and leave the marriage, they remain faithful to their families emotionally and financially. I have met some of these men, and you have read some of their letters throughout the years.

Doug is a hero to me. I have never personally met him, but I have seen the life-saving work he has done with the men I send him who want to do the right thing, as well as the women who I have sent to him to help them understand the dynamics of our situation from a gay man’s point of view. He has personally helped hundreds of people in clarifying the reality of this situation so that they can move ahead in their lives. I am in awe of this man because he is so generous with his time and efforts to help people in our network.

Although we don’t always agree 100% of the time, we agree almost all of the time. And I guess in this situation where emotions and feelings run so high, that’s the most anyone can ask for. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Doug’s thoughts, I know you will find them honest, insightful, and heartfelt. Hopefully, you will learn some of the answers that you wonder about that have remained unanswered.

If you have questions or comments for Doug after reading this, please send them to me at and I will forward them to him.

Here are Doug’s answers to the 12 most often asked questions that come my way from my straight wives.

1. Was my husband gay when he married me?
Science still has not determined why some people are gay but the research since the 1970’s has focused on genetic and/or biological factors.  It appears that our sexuality is hard-wired in our brain before we are born.  It occurs throughout the world in all cultures and it has been observed in over 100 species. Researchers have also identified structural differences in the brains of gay and straight men. In addition, all those old psychoanalytic theories about absentee or ineffective fathers and dominant mothers have since been disproved.  Whether we are gay or straight, it appears that is determined sometime while we are developing as a fetus.  Was I gay when I married my wife?  Absolutely.  I was gay the day I was born but no one in my family knew it or suspected it – including me.

2. Did my husband know he was gay when he married me?
The answer to that question depends on how one defines gay and straight.  There is a difference between sexual orientation and sexual identity.  Sexual orientation is based on our natural sexual attractions and responses toward the same or opposite gender and it does not change over time.  There has never been any documented cases of anyone who changed his sexual orientation.  Even the reparative ministry folks do not claim to be able to change someone’s natural attractions and desires.  But sexual identity is based on how we perceive ourselves and that self-concept DOES change as we gain experience and become aware of our natural feelings and responses.  For example, I knew I was attracted to other guys during my teen years and young adulthood.  But the attraction was just physical.  I had no interest in any kind of emotional relationship with another male.  Therefore I did not define myself as being gay.  My concept of the average gay man was shaped by a culture that failed to show me any positive gay relationships and treated them as perverts and felons.  Remember, it was only a few years ago that the Supreme Court struck down felony offenses for consensual gay sex.  And in most States in America, it still is legal to discriminate against gay people in employment and public accommodations.  The only images I had of gay men were those who were gender non-conformists – males whose outward behaviors and interests were feminine and those who were shunned as outcasts in our society.  That was not how I saw myself.  I saw myself as an average guy who was in a heterosexual marriage.  Even though I knew that I found some guys attractive and had natural sexual feelings for them, I did not view that as being homosexual.  Like most husbands in these situations, I had limited sexual experience when I married and I married when I was young.  I believed that those homosexual feelings and desires were probably present in most men, but the average guy was able to suppress those feelings and form a love bond with a woman, get married and have children. 
Like most gay men who marry women, I didn’t define ‘gay’ in terms of sexual attractions.  I defined ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ in terms of emotional attachments and/or outward masculine behavior.  I couldn’t see myself ever loving another man and I wasn’t into cross dressing or other overt feminine behavior.  I couldn’t even imagine it.  I never met two guys who loved each other so I had no role models to compare with.  The only way that I knew how to live was to love a woman and marry her and have kids.  There were no other options in life.

3. Did my husband really love me when he married me or was he trying to escape who he was?
We have all read accounts about gay Hollywood stars who entered marriages of convenience. They didn’t really love their wife.  It was an arrangement made by the studio execs or their managers to squash rumors of homosexuality.  Being gay in Hollywood is still pretty much a career-capper.  Ditto for politicians.  Former Governor James McGreevy knew he was gay but got married because he needed a cover.  In his book he admitted he knew he could not have a successful political career without a wife.  So he married twice to protect his political career.  But that’s not the case in most of the gay married guys I’ve met and coached.  In fact, most of the husbands describe their marriage in terms of ‘soul mate’ and ‘best friend’.  Part of the reason that these marriages are so very difficult and painful is because the relationship between the gay man and his wife is so very close.  I’m not surprised.  If the brain science is correct, our brain is most similar to those of straight women.  We have skill sets most resembling those of women.  We have the same high language skills and intuition and empathy.  Why should it then be a surprise that we form very close relationships with women?  In some ways, we are like the sister our wife always dreamed of having.  It is much easier to end a marriage when two people have simply fallen out of love.  It is far more difficult and painful to end that marriage when you still love each other but you know that it cannot work.  You’re not just losing a spouse.  You’re losing the best friend you ever had.

4. If my husband was gay, how was he able to have sex with me?
Men and women experience sexual desire very differently.  Researchers had control groups watch porn movies.  Using various instruments and brain imaging, they were able to measure sexual arousal. By tracking the retina, they were able to zero in on what the subject was watching or focusing on when they became aroused.  It was determined that women tend to focus on the context of the scene – the situation and the romance and intimacy.  However, gay men and straight men alike tend to focus on body parts.  That probably also explains why women are twice as likely to have sex with men or women.  The plumbing equipment and the visuals are not as important to them as the romance and emotional love bond.  Men however, are highly visual and respond to visions of genital activity.  In addition, a young man’s body is flooded with high levels of testosterone which amplifies emotions.  One female researcher began taking testosterone injections equal to about 10% of what the average male her age would have in his system.  She discontinued her experiment within just a few weeks.  She reported that all of her emotions were heightened to the point where it was difficult to control them.  That makes sense.  All of our lives, boys have to deal with hyper-activity and out-of-control emotions.  But it is that testosterone that pushes us to have sex.  It’s the same stuff that makes us fall hopelessly in love – or lust. For most of us in our teens and early adulthood, ANY sex is good.  There is no such thing as unfulfilled sex at that age.  The very thought of having sex resulted in arousal.  

5. Was my husband fantasizing about men when he had sex with me?
Some men do use homosexual fantasies to perform with their wife but that was not my experience nor does it seem to be the case in most that I’ve worked with.  Fantasizing about a penis while you’re playing with a vagina just doesn’t work for most of us.  If we start thinking about some guy we want to have sex with, and then see our wife making love to us, it usually results in a deflated penis.  Most married guys separate our two realities.  We live in a heterosexual world and heterosexual marriage and we try to play the role of a heterosexual husband and father.  Our homosexual nature is assigned to an alter-ego and we keep that persona locked up in the closet until we can let him out in private – or with another guy.  I was sexually active with my wife up until our separation.  However for several years of our marriage she was aware that I was also having sex with men. When I had sex with her, I was doing it for her and trying my best to please her.  I was able to bring her to orgasm and myself as well.  But it felt academic.  I was doing those things to please her.  But when I was with a guy, whatever activity I was engaged in with them was shear lust and hunger.  I wasn’t doing it to please him.  I was doing it to please me because I desired it.  I think that’s a significant difference that defines what sexual pleasure is.  Are you doing it to please the other person, or are you doing it because it turns you on and you hunger for it?  As gay married gay men grow older, the testosterone poisoning can no longer be relied upon.  The levels begin to drop in the late 20s and 30s.  Now he has to rely on desire to make it work.

6. Why couldn’t my husband be honest with me before he cheated with a man?
Most gay husbands married when they were young and had limited or no sexual experience with other men.  We try to understand our attraction to other men but some things in life cannot be learned academically or through cognitive reasoning.  Logic doesn’t teach us about our sexuality.  These are complex physical and emotional responses that we have to experience.  But we have no personal experience to draw from so the only way to discern whether this is just some crazy fantasy or something much deeper is through experiential learning.  In that type of learning process, we experience something, then reflect on that experience, draw conclusions, and then adjust the experience and try it again.  We keep repeating variations until we are able to learn from it and answer the questions about ourselves.  Gay married guys are not willing to hurt their wife and family and risk destruction of the marriage over what may turn out to be some phase or ridiculous fantasy.  We are not about to do that when it’s just possible that we could try it and come away with disgust and disillusionment.  It’s one thing to put ourselves at risk of getting emotionally hurt but we are not willing to destroy our family without knowing the truth about ourselves.  But the dilemma is that he cannot go have a full relationship with another man.  He cannot experience that because he is married so he never truly gets the answers he needs.  Very frequently, it sets him up in an approach-avoidance conflict where he reaches out for something but then pulls back because if he achieves what he desires it will hurt his wife and cause him more pain and guilt – which he tries to avoid.  In my own life, I searched for those answers and tried to find fulfillment.  But I couldn’t let myself fall in love with another guy and went to extremes to avoid it.  That set up a sexual compulsion where I tried to use quantity as a substitute for what I really needed and desired.  Until I understood that I was sabotaging myself in the hopes of avoiding painful situations for her, it was a constant compulsion that preoccupied me.

7. Why did he constantly blame me for his unhappiness in the marriage?
In my own marriage, I knew that we had once been sexually happy but didn’t understand why that was changing.  Sex was becoming more like a duty or work for me.  I saw my own struggle - working hard to try to keep romance and lust alive.  However, I didn’t see her working at it at all.  It felt like I was the only one working to keep the romance alive and she just took it for granted and didn’t see or appreciate what I was doing to keep it going.  It was faulty reasoning.  Of course she didn’t have to work at it.  She loved me and I turned her on.  She didn’t want anyone else.  It wasn’t work, it was pleasure for her.  But I was wrestling - trying to stay motivated.  Yes, I loved her.  But I didn’t desire her body.  I desired and needed men, and I never had to work at that.  It came automatically.  And it wasn’t just about a penis vs. vagina.  She could have sex reassignment surgery and get a penis – but she would still be a woman with a penis.  I desired and needed a man.  No matter what she did or how hard she tried to please me, she couldn’t be a man for me.  But at the time it was happening, all I could see was that somehow I used to be motivated to have sex with her and now I was struggling and having to work at it.  But I didn’t see her putting in the same amount of work/effort that I was.  I remember thinking, if only she would be more aggressive in bed, or be more spontaneous and take the initiative.  If only she would try to find ways to turn me on.  The “if-only” kept coming up until I finally hit the truth.  If only she was a man. 

8. My husband said that I didn’t want to have sex enough so he turned to men. Is that true?
This is another “if-only” excuse. Quantity is sometimes used as a coping strategy to keep a guy’s mind off of sex.  He figures if he keeps himself sexually satiated he won’t think about sex and won’t be driven to have sex with men.  He figures it’s her job to keep his sexual energy drained and that way he won’t fantasize about guys or desire to have sex with them. But I learned that staying sexually drained might keep my mind off of sex temporarily, but it still wasn’t going to get me what I needed to be happy. 

9. My husband says he is bisexual. Does that mean he can stay happy with me without having sex with a man? 
For the most part, bisexuality among adult men tends to be a transitional state.  When you look at the statistics by age group, those who identify themselves as being bisexual tend to be in late adolescent years or early 20’s.  As we humans sexually experiment and learn about ourselves, we tend to change our ‘bisexual’ self-identity to that of heterosexual or homosexual.  By the time we are in mid-life, the number of people identifying as bisexual drops dramatically.  In my own case, I identified as being bisexual for several years because I loved my wife and was sexually active with her, but at the same time I was sexually attracted to men though I had no interest in a love relationship with a man.  So I didn’t seem to fit in either the heterosexual column or the homosexual column.  But as I learned more about me and experimented with men physically and emotionally, it became clear that I was predominately sexually and emotionally attracted to men.   I had been subconsciously trying to avoid emotional bonds with men because I instinctively knew that it would be a life altering experience that would threaten my self-concept and my marriage.  I could have sex with men but as long as I didn’t love them, I wasn’t gay.  Inevitably however, I met a man who I fell deeply in love with.  I had an emotional response that I had never known existed.  Limerence, that feeling of deep love that has an obsessive-compulsive quality to it, is something I never knew existed.  I had never experienced it in my life until he came along.  The feelings were so deep and overwhelming that it instantly destroyed any self-concept of bisexuality.  I wasn’t caught in the in-between world of loving a woman and yet being physically drawn to men.  I was fully engulfed in physical and emotional desire for another man.  I couldn’t possibly be any more gay – not by any stretch of the definition. 

10. Now that my husband has found his new life, why does he treat me like an enemy?
As I pointed out earlier, these mixed-orientation marriages tend to be extremely close. It is easy to walk away from someone with whom we have fallen out of love.  Leaving someone you love feels like pulling live flesh from your body.  It’s very common for the husband and/or the wife to assign blame to each other and treat each other badly as a means of making it easier to let go.  Also, he has been struggling with his sexuality for a long time.  There has been an internal war going on and an identity crisis.  Eventually he hates the situation he is in and it doesn’t seem that he will ever be able to be happy and fulfilled because for most of his life he stifled his own needs to maintain his dysfunctional marriage.  But eventually the disdain he has for the marriage becomes personified and he begins to see his wife as a block in his path to self-actualization and happiness.  Subconsciously he begins to feel as if his wife is the warden and he’s a prisoner.  When it reaches that point, any attempt at showing him love is rebuffed.  The experience has taught me that people can love us but if that love is not coming from someone we love, it doesn’t feel like love at all.  It feels like we are being stalked.

But it need not go from a love relationship to a hate relationship.  Many couples find ways to stay friends and co-parent their children.  My advice is to not wait until you both become bitter and cynical.  Have the courage and grace to admit that the marriage cannot work.  Have the caring and love to let go and help each other find someone else who can give them the love you cannot give each other.  Hold onto the good memories and hold onto the respect for each other.  But let go of the impossible marriage.  You are doing no favors to yourselves or to your spouse or children in clinging to a marriage that is dysfunctional and failing.

But know that this situation was not caused by the wife.  It didn’t happen because you weren’t sexy enough or you weren’t aggressive enough.  It happened because he is gay and despite all the years of war within himself, he cannot change it no matter how much he loves you or how much you love him.

11. My husband tells me that he is gay because he was sexually molested when he was younger.   He claims this is a learned behavior that he can un-learn with therapy and support.   Is this true?
This is the favorite fodder for anti-gay religious groups such as the Family Research Council or NARTH.  These organizations tout statistical studies that report that gay men are more likely to have been molested by adult males as children, and therefore jump to the conclusion that childhood sexual experience with a male causes homosexuality.  It begs the question:  Is heterosexuality caused by sexual molestation by someone of the opposite sex??

But seriously, the statistics they cite are erroneous or taken out of context.  It is true that gay men are more likely to report sexual experiences with adults when they were under the age of 16, but in the majority of those cases (one study reports it as 68%), they had already self-identified as being gay before the molestation had occurred. A closer look at those suspect statistics reveals definitions that become problematic.  A boy of 15 who had a sexual experience with a boy of 18 would have fallen within the definitions of having been molested.  But most of us would not view sex between a 15-year-old and 18-year-old as a predator molestation.

This is what the American Psychological Association has to say about it in May, 2000:

"No specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse does not appear to be more prevalent in children who grow up to identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, than in children who identify as heterosexual."

The national Organization on Male Sexual Victimization stated in 2004:

"While there are different theories about how sexual orientation develops, experts in the human sexuality field do not believe that premature sexual experiences play a significant role in late adolescent or adult sexual orientation.”

Sexual abuse can interfere with a person’s sexual enjoyment and may even contribute to a condition referred to as Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in which a person keeps checking to reassure himself that he’s not gay.  But childhood sexual abuse does not create a person’s deepest passions, attractions and desires.    

12. What do you suggest about telling the children?  
I think the answer to that depends on the age of the children.  Generally speaking, kids don’t want to hear about anything sexual associated with their parents.  It conjures up images of what Mom or Dad does between the sheets.  There’s a strong “yuck” factor to it.  Husbands and wives divorce every day but they don’t usually share their bedroom disappointments with their children.  That being said, if Dad has found a male partner, or if other situations arise that make it necessary to have that conversation with the kids, I believe it should be couched in terms of affection and love rather than complicated and ambiguous labels.  Children understand love and affection.  But terms such as ‘sexual orientation’ are generally beyond their level of comprehension. Unless they are in their late teens, anything about their parents that includes the word ‘sexual’ is toxic.  Wherever possible, the child should be given support he/she is going to need to cope with the knowledge that they have a gay parent.  If a child shares that information with friends, they can quickly become the target of mean-spirited taunts.  I urge parents to work with a therapist or family counselors in discussing it with kids and I recommend they also have a conversation with the school counselor so the kids have someone supportive they can turn to at school. 

Thank you, Doug, again for helping us clarify so many of the complicated situations.
Have a wonderful month. If you need support, write to me at

Support is a "click" away!

Bonnie Kaye's Straight Talk Newsletter - MAY EDITION

MAY 2016     Volume 17, Issue 175
Bonnie’s Mantra:
COMPUTER RADIO PODCASTS - www.blogtalkradio/bonnielkaye

Dear Friend,

I am sorry for the late newsletter. This month, I wanted to find the perfect words to say as a tribute to our women due to Mother's Day. I went back to my past newsletters and found this piece from 2009 which I hold to still be relevant and truthful in 2016. I hope you will learn from it.
                                     MAY IS FOR WOMEN!! (May 2009)

May is definitely the month that celebrates mothers, wives, and women in general. I would like to spend this month with you talking about the wonderful women who write to me daily in their worst moments of stress and distress trying to make sense of what has happened in their lives. Many of these women are now facing single motherhood, something that would have been unthinkable when they were taking those “I do” vows of love eternal. Every woman thinks at some point in the marriage when learning the truth, “Who would have ever thought…..”

Let me look back over the past 25 years since I started working with thousands of women married to gay men to give you some insight of what has changed. Okay, that took about five seconds. The answer is NOTHING HAS CHANGED. The same feelings of disbelief, shame, and fear are still the prevalent emotions that all women write to me about. I still receive on an average 30 – 40 letters a week for help and support every week. Women are still asking me to give them the answers that they are desperately seeking to these questions:

1.    Will my husband change?

2.    Can my husband change?

3.    What can I do to make my husband change?

4.    What can you do to make my husband change?

5.    Why can’t my husband change?

Then after a couple of go rounds, the responses go in one of two directions:

1.    Why didn’t I find you years ago? or

2.    Why are you so negative?

Some women who write to me accuse me of being negative when I tell them the answers to these questions. They think that through developing a combative dialogue with me that they can make me change the answers I am giving them. They try to wear me out or down. They ask me why am I so black and white? Where are my shades of gray? Aren’t there any exceptions to the rule? I sometimes get worn down enough to tell them that yes, there are exceptions to every rule. I know there are at dozen or two women out of millions of us who embrace their husbands’ homosexuality and think that it’s just fine. I don’t have their names, but I advise them to check out those online groups that encourage women to sit and linger in a destructive marriage to a man who can never be a real husband to them.

I prefer to think of myself as the voice of sanity and reason rather than delusion. How many of you would be reading this newsletter if year in and year out I told you that it’s no big deal to have a gay husband and you can learn to live with it? I bet those dozen or two women would find their way to this newsletter list while the rest of you would turn away in disappointment. You see, even though most of you may not like what I have to say in the beginning, you know what I am right in what I am saying by the end. Once you are willing to close that closet door stuffed with denial—namely your closet stuffed with your denial—you have to deal with the truth at some point.

I have no happy campers writing to me. Every woman who writes to me feels her soul has been ripped out of her. It doesn’t matter what religion, nationality, culture, country, political belief, education level, or profession she has—she is part of the same group as all of the rest of us. And although we are all so different, in many ways we are all so much the same. I truly believe that we have so many commonalities that gay men sense when they meet us. 

We are trusting, loving, accepting, understanding, compassionate, giving, and in most cases, forgiving. This is not a coincidence—not with so many numbers of us. When a gay man is seeking a wife, he is seeking a woman—either consciously or unconsciously--who fits that profile “just in case.” And I say “just in case” because these guys are really hoping against hope that marrying us will change them. But it doesn’t. It can’t. They are gay. We are women.

Some women have what they thought were the best of marriages. Others had the worst. In the end, it’s all the same. But in between the beginning and the end, it’s definitely different. Women who had marriages with turmoil feel a sense of relief that the marriage is over and now understand the reasons why they could never make their husbands happy no matter how hard they tried. They have an easier time accepting that homosexuality was the cause of their unhappiness because now they know that it wasn’t because they weren’t “thin enough,” “attractive enough,” “smart enough,” “supportive enough,” or too “sexually demanding.” Women who had happy marriages have a much harder time dealing with this news. They lived a happy life and believed that their marriages would be forever. They may not have had the best sex lives, but everything else seemed great. They were married to their “best friend.” They can’t understand how sex with a man could be more important to their husbands than the love for their family.  They don’t understand how men are willing to sacrifice the beautiful life they have for a sexual act. They want this “nightmare” to go away because they want their husbands “back.” They come to me wanting that magic wand that will “whisk the gay away.” I never was able to find out where they sell those wands. I am still working on finding the wand that “makes your husband gay” as so many ignorant people still believe we have the capability to do!

Two of the most heard questions are (1) Why did this happen to me? and (2) How did this happen to me?  I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I’m pretty clear on why it happened. 

Almost all of you were “gay bait” whether you want to admit it or not. Please let me explain before you get upset—and that goes double for my gay husbands reading this. In all of my endless research over the last 26 years, I have put together a profile of the woman that a gay man seeks out for a wife. I have a whole chapter about this in my book “The Gay Husband Checklist.” Once again, let me doubly emphasize that I believe in my heart that almost every gay man who marries loves his wife when he marries her—I’d say at least 95%. Let’s be honest—would most of us have married a man who we didn’t think loved us? 

I don’t believe for one moment that straight wives are desperate women trying to hook any man who will marry them. On the contrary. Most of us dated our gay husbands for a while or knew them for a while and the love was there. These men loved us with their hearts to the best of their ability. There was no trickery here—gay husbands didn’t marry you because they hate women. They married you because they loved you and hoped they weren’t gay men. Most of them knew that they had twinges, attractions, or even urges to be with a man, but they could not equate that with being gay. And for those who did know at the time of the marriage that they enjoyed a few fleeing sexual encounters with men, they felt for the most part it was just an encounter and that didn’t make them gay. How could they be gay and love a woman?

They were just as confused then as we became later. They were just as influenced by the gay stereotypes in movies as we were. They couldn’t relate to the swishy, flashy, effeminate acting men that Hollywood portrayed as gay. That wasn’t them. Gay men grew up with the same misconceptions that straight women grew up with. Gay people only wanted gay people. The fact that these husbands had these feelings was a fluke—a fluke that would disappear after they married you. Loving you and building a family would take their minds off those terrible thoughts FOREVER. 

And for a while, it did. Starting that new life with a new wife and taking those vows kept them busy for a while. Most of us were married in our 20’s when any sex can feel good to a man—even sex with a woman. Most of them tried to be loving husbands. But in time, “loving” became “dutiful,” and from “dutiful” became “resentful.” A gay man for the most part can only keep up the pretense for so long. As they physically mature, so does their sexuality. 

Unfortunately, with all of the research, slides and scales that have been invented to explain this, no one has come up with a realistic determination of when the “gay day” will strike. That’s because no two people are exactly alike. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there could be a method that by your 21st birthday when the clock struck midnight, a man’s sexuality would suddenly become clear? Maybe someday science will learn how to control that “gay clock,” but I don’t know of anyone working on it yet.

The fact is that a man’s sexuality will develop at any time throughout the marriage. I believe there are a few men who honestly didn’t even have a hint when they married—not even a twinge. They are able to successfully enjoy their marriages for a number of years. Then all of a sudden—BAM!!!  Gay creeps up on them out of nowhere. But most gay husbands had some kind of feelings before they took those vows to you but either thought they would disappear or could be controlled. Look, people give up smoking and carbohydrates; why not desires for a penis?

For those men whose sexuality jumped ahead of them, the unhappiness set in. And guess who was responsible for that? YOU. You were the cause of their frustration. You made them feel “trapped.” You made them feel inadequate because you were expecting them to do things they didn’t want to do—namely make love to you. And so you became sexually “demanding” just because you expected them to act like a straight man should act. And to justify their unhappiness, they started holding you accountable for everything that was wrong in the marriage. In their own minds, if they could make YOU the fault, they wouldn’t have to accept the real culprit—THEIR HOMOSEXUALITY. It was easier for them to knock you down than to be honest with themselves. You were standing in their way of frustration, so you were easy to knock down—over and over again. The knocking wasn’t usually physical, but in almost all cases it was emotionally and mentally abusive.

No one who is straight understands better than I do about the pain that so many gay men go through during their struggle to come to terms with themselves. I have worked with hundreds of wonderful men—some of whom contribute regularly to my newsletter—who share their heartaches with me during their quest for understanding themselves and “chasing the gay that won’t go away.” You always hear me repeat over and over that these men have NO choice in their homosexuality—but they DO have a choice in being honest about it. The sooner the better is what I say. Every day that you live a lie, is a day gone that cannot be taken back. The days turn into weeks, the weeks months, the months years, and before you know it, 10, 20, and 30 years have passed. For many people, it is a lifetime. And what do you have to show for it?

Some gay husbands believe they are doing the “right thing” by staying in a marriage that is a lie. They justify it by saying it would hurt their wives too much if they left. I think the woman should make that decision after she knows the truth. To me, that is the coward’s way out. In most cases, men are afraid of what they have to lose, and in many cases, there’s a lot at stake. Most likely your wife won’t be happy when she hears the news, and how she reacts causes fear to paralyze many of these men long after their honesty due date. 

Many of your gay husbands continue to live in denial and never will tell you the truth. I tell women who have husbands that finally admit to being gay or even “bisexual” which is gay to be thankful that they have a confession. So many of our women feel they can’t have closure because they don’t have a confession. What is that about anyway? You supposedly “love” a woman but you don’t “love her enough” to tell her the truth for fear of how it will affect you? Is that love or is that selfishness? is selfishness.

You see, as I told you earlier, almost all straight wives of gay men are not typical wives. There is a certain prototype that gay men look for in a wife when there may be problems down the road. That’s why you rarely see a straight wife seeking total revenge on her gay husband. In some cases, it does happen, but for the most part, we are women who love too much, too hard, feel too bad about our husbands’ pain, feel guilty even when our head tells us it has nothing to do with us, and continue to want to protect our husbands even when they are out there and not protecting us.  They aren’t thinking of us when they have unprotected sex and bring home sexually transmitted diseases, are they?

Hundreds of women are receiving this newsletter who have HIV/AIDS, herpes, syphilis, and pre-cancerous conditions attributed to STD’s brought home by their unprotected husbands. To me, this is unforgivable. Even then, some gay husbands can’t be honest. They turn the tables accusing their wives of infidelity. Or they come up with the old “toilet bowl crawling with vermin” theory. They are “clueless” how their wives became infected. Okay. How do you even respond to that?

I never said there were any easy solutions to this multi-complex problem. Some gay husbands do the right thing—and some, sooner than later. Even the later ones I can deal with. But the ones that never do the right thing, well those are the ones I hold great contempt for. They refuse to discuss anything with their wives. They emotionally retreat into a shell and don’t come out. They live in a constant state of denial, making their wives second guess themselves over and over and over. This second guessing is emotionally exhausting for any woman who has to keep questioning herself daily. I remember those feelings of self-doubt and how they crept into every decision I had to make. After a while, I couldn’t do anything without questioning my ability as to whether or not I was making the right decision. After all, if I was “imagining” my husband was gay, what else was I “imagining”?

One of the biggest problems that both gay husbands and straight wives have understanding is that gay is not a “lifestyle.” One of the prime reasons why gay husbands are so convinced they are not gay is because they don’t feel comfortable living in the stereotypical gay world. They believe if they are repulsed by gay bars, gay parades, and gay activities, then they aren’t gay. They are straight men who have a sexual need. They don’t equate that sexual need to gay. They really believe they are straight. A gay encounter now and then to relieve the need doesn’t make them gay. As one woman in my support group recently said, “My husband said he just ‘dabbled’ a few times. Dabbling? Yikes! What is that? Plenty of men claim they aren’t gay because they only allow men to perform oral sex on them. Oh yes—they make sure to add that it’s because their wives don’t want to do it, and having a man do it makes it “Not Cheating.” So I suppose if a woman has a straight man perform oral sex because her husband refuses to do it, then it’s not cheating, right?  Where’s the sense of reality here?

Why do women have such a hard time accepting the truth even if they don’t find hard-core proof of their husbands’ homosexuality? What is proof? For some women, it would mean walking in and finding him actually having sex with a man. They keep asking me, “Does it mean he’s gay because he’s looking at gay porno? He swears it’s only pictures and he’s not acting on it?” Gay. It’s gay. Straight men DON’T look at gay porno. Others ask me, “Is it gay when he masturbates? He’s not having sex with anyone else.” In other words, he’s not having sex with you, but he’s masturbating and having sex with himself—usually after looking at the gay porno. Gay. It’s gay. You catch him in gay chatrooms posting profiles of himself. He claims he’s just having fun because he’s bored. Gay. It’s gay. Straight men don’t have fun that way. You find his cell phone bills and there are calls to gay dating services or sex lines. He says it’s just a joke. Gay. It’s gay. Spending money on gay hotlines is not something a straight man would do. What is wrong with our women? When I tell these stories to my own ex-husband, he laughs. He can’t believe that women are this na├»ve. We are so desperate to hang on to the cries of denial that we believe anything these men these men tell us. I say “we” because I was once walking in your shoes a long time ago. I wanted to believe that the worst of all possibilities was impossible.

By hanging on to this hope, I lost who “I” was in the marriage and became someone that I no longer recognized. I remember making all kinds of personal compromises in my head every day. Even though the words were never spoken, all the clues and hints were there. 

The confrontations always ended the same way: “You’re imagining things.” I knew in time that I wasn’t. In the beginning I was able to believe those denials, and in fact, felt relieved when they kept coming. But in time, I had to think with my head instead of with my heart.

What was I able to live with? What was I able to accept? How much could I live with in order to keep my family intact? If my husband disappeared for a few hours every six months and did something I never had to find out about with a consenting adult, I could live with that. I thought I could live with that. I was willing to live with that. I packaged it in my own mind and felt a sigh of relief. I was so ridiculous, wasn’t I? Many of our women try this approach at first because of the fear of losing what they have. I tried to make it feel better by using the word “bisexual.” That was certainly one step up in comfort from “gay.” Bisexual gives women the illusion of hope. Your husband can be happy with a woman or a man; therefore, he can pick you—IF YOU TRY HARD ENOUGH. I tried and tried and tried. Nothing I tried worked in the end because we have NO CONTROL over our husbands’ homosexuality. They have no control over it—so how can we have any control?

Many of our women write and tell me that they live with gay husbands who are controlling. They don’t necessarily start out controlling, but as they grapple with their homosexuality, these men become controlling because they have no control over their sexuality. Some of them are in such fear of the truth coming out that they will isolate you in all kinds of ways. Some will whisk you off to a new home hundreds or thousands of miles away from everything secure and familiar to you. Others will start making demands on your time so that you don’t spend time with friends and family. And still others will make it so uncomfortable for company to come that people will want to stay away. They hope that by isolating you, you will not tell their “secret” based on your knowledge or suspicions. By isolating “you,” you become more dependent on “him.” This is how he keeps you in his darkened closet.

The sad thing is that even when some of these men finally do come out, we are still stuck in that closet. They’ve jolted—we’re stuck. We all go through the same set of emotions ranging from “how could I have been this stupid” to “I can’t tell anyone about this.” Of course it doesn’t help when your husbands warn you “you better not tell anyone about this—especially my family.” That’s when you are now stuck in the situation of continuing to live his lie for him while he is living his gay life and telling the people who know and love you that the marriage didn’t work out for “mutual reasons.” Or some guys go to the next level and come right out and say the marriage didn’t work because of YOU. And you are still “protecting” his secret while he’s defaming you. What’s with that?

I know that change is difficult, but living in a marriage that’s a lie is more difficult. Some of our women lose view of that because they feel paralyzed into inaction. They’ll sooner pop mind altering anti-depressants than take a chance at making a change for the better. How good is a marriage if you have to be medicated to stay in it? Doesn’t this show you that there is a problem?

For the women who are afraid to break up their families because of the children, I say take a chance. Children know when a marriage isn’t happy. They know when you aren’t happy. They are too young to understand why you aren’t happy, especially when they are living in the lie with you. So instead, they start doubting themselves and wondering what they are doing wrong to cause you unhappiness. They blame themselves, no matter how many times you tell them it’s not their fault. They don’t believe you any more than you believe your husbands’ denials. And what about the role model you are setting forth for them? Is this what you want for them in their futures? Do you want them to stay in a marriage that lacks emotional connection and sexual connection? If they see that is acceptable in your marriage, they will think this is what marriage is and repeat it in their own marriages. I also ask my women this question: Do you have a daughter or a sister? If not, a best friend? When they say yes, I ask them if they would want them to be in this kind of a marriage. No one has said yet. So why would any woman want less for herself than for her child, sister, or friend? What sense does this make?

I never compare two people. I left my marriage with two little babies after four years of a broken marriage. I only had a GED which I obtained at 26. I went on welfare for 3 years while I snuck to college and raised the children struggling financially every single day. But I had peace of mind that I didn’t have to struggle living in a failing marriage that had no place to go but further down. I put myself in a place where I wouldn’t have to worry about supporting my children any more. I became self-sufficient and independent. There were days when I was falling over with exhaustion. I had a 3 month old with a rare undiagnosed disease at the time. I had a two year old who gave new meaning to the “terrible twos.” And yet, as horrible as it was, it was still better than wondering every time my husband went out the door where he was going. It was better than listening to all of the reasons why he didn’t want to have sex with me. And it was better than being in a controlling situation where I had NO control. Yes, it was difficult, but it was BETTER.

Change is a fact of life. People have overcome greater struggles than this. No one says it will be easy—because it’s not. But staying where you are and being paralyzed is not easy either. I know change can take time—but you have to WANT to make a change. And if you are reading this newsletter, there is something within you that is looking to do this. I don’t give you a timeline, but rather a mind-set. You can never by physically free if you’re not emotionally free. You have to have a clear mind to make an escape plan. And some of our women can never escape. They are disabled and dependent for health reasons—but guess what? They are emotionally free which is half the battle—the most important half of it. 

Don’t apologize for loving your husband after he turns your life upside down. You can still love a man who has done this to you because there is part of you who understands this is not a real choice. You may hate the way he does it or how he treats you, but that doesn’t mean you can turn off the love button like a faucet. Some women will love their ex-husbands forever. Look, I love mine. Not as a husband, but as a family member. It took years to get to this point, but children often bond people together. Our losing both of our children in 2002 and 2005 bonded us more closely together than before because no one can understand our loss better than each other.

And if you don’t love your gay husband anymore, that’s fine too. Plenty of people break up who are straight couples and life goes on. In fact, 50% of the marriages in the country break up. Guess why? Because they were mistakes or became mistakes. Human nature is never a perfect science or math. People change, they grow, and they grow apart. Life was meant to live, not to accept as a death sentence. When people feel they are dying in a marriage, they end it and move on. Why do we, as wives of gay men, feel the need to hang and cling onto something that wasn’t meant to be in the first place? Why do we have to have proof before we can justify leaving? Why can’t the proof be that you’re just not happy and getting what you deserve out of a marriage?

That brings me back to my first point. We are different. We are loving, caring, hurting women who will try to the end to make something that is broken work. We will linger and wilt in a ridiculous marriage rather than stand up and say, “I don’t want this anymore for myself because I deserve better.” That’s because so many of us feel for so long that we don’t deserve better.

A few closing thoughts:

Allow yourself to have a pity party when you need one. Life dealt you a hand that you never expected or wanted. You don’t have to be brave—give yourself permission to break down once in a while and cry. But then pick yourself up and keep moving ahead.

Most importantly, there is no timeline of gay husband recovery. This situation is not like any other situation where people get divorced. We are dealing with a myriad of issues that straight couples don’t deal with. You have the children and they are going to deal or accept it, the family, the friends, your co-workers, now having to support a family, financial woes, self-esteem issues, sexual esteem issues, trust issues—including trusting yourself—to deal with. You have to watch with your eyes or at least in your head about your husband loving a man—something that was unthinkable to you when it came to your husband—instead of you. In the beginning, you believe that every man you meet is a gay man. Every man is a suspect. After all, you couldn’t tell with your husband, how can you tell with someone else?

You may believe that you will never trust another man again, but we all think that in our early phases of recovery. Recovery takes time, and women who don’t allow themselves that time are doomed to make a mistake again. It doesn’t mean you’ll find another gay man, but you will find plenty of straight predators out there that are looking for vulnerable women like you after this happens. In our need to feel the love that’s been missing for so long, we often jump before we are ready. We compromise again. That’s why it’s not unusual to find women married for a second time in a marriage with a gay man after a marriage with an abusive man. Abuse could include drinking, drugging, sexual addiction, or gambling. When you’re at a low point, this is when you jump into something just to prove to yourself that you are worthy.

You have to get to know who you are again. You have to become strong so you don’t keep making the same mistake in a different form over and over. Learn to love yourself first. You can never truly love a man in the right way if you don’t learn to love yourself. You have to learn that your needs are just as important in a relationship as your man’s needs. Learn to speak up and assert yourself; if not, you’re doomed to find another wrong relationship. 

Realize you can be COMPLETE without a man. You shouldn’t need a man to make your life—you should want a man to complement your life.
Please be aware that we have read so many “happily after ever again” stories here from straight wives who found their real soulmates after thinking love was a part of their past that would never happen again. I’m one of many success stories, and I keep bragging about it. It’s been 15 years, 4 months and two weeks. We celebrate every month because to me, finding your soulmate is a celebration! After all this time, the passion and love are even stronger than ever! Go figure! 

I will end this newsletter with the most profound statement that my dear friend, Viv from Ohio, stated in a recent chat session. These words were so moving that I wish I would have thought of them myself, but I didn’t. But guess what? I haven’t stopped thinking about them and using them since I heard them.
Viv, who was stuck in a very abusive marriage for 25 years but found her freedom couple of years ago, said she figured out:

“When you are living in a situation that you don’t understand and being mistreated, you are a victim. But once you know the truth and you continue to stay in it, you become a volunteer.”

Think about it!

The following article is written by Suzette Vearnon, my beautiful co-hostess monthly on the Straight Wives Talk Show. She can be heard on the first Sunday of the month.

The New Codependency: The Senseless Attempt To Make Sense                            Out Of Nonsense

His story doesn't add up. His behavior doesn't line up with his words. He won't give her the answer she wants or the closure she needs. It is senseless to try to connect dots that aren't on the page or put together a puzzle with pieces that don't fit. Yet, so many women put their lives on hold or stay in relationships longer than they should, trying to make sense out of nonsense.
A recovering sometimes relapsing codependent myself, I can tell you why. The real question can't be answered with a magnifying glass or demanding answers. The real question has nothing to do with him. The real question is about you. Getting answers is about your own absolution. This is the crux of codependency.
It is no longer limited to drug and alcohol enabling. It has reinvented itself and is garnering a devout following of articulate, successful, attractive and smart women who find themselves floundering around in emotional quicksand. The new codependency is the senseless attempt to make sense out of nonsense.
"I know I'm a good woman," they say loud and proud to high five's and fist bumps and toasts. At first, it feels like they are earning their way out of the nonsense. But when they go home, doubts and fears gnaw at their resolve. You'd think having support would be enough. But not for the codependent. Their quest for absolution can lead them right back to that quicksand and, despite the objections of all around, they jump back in. This is why some women find themselves 10, 20 and 30 years with someone they should have left a long time ago.
Sadly, this kept me stuck even post legal separation and divorce. My inner jury was still out about my worthiness. This is why my ex was able to insinuate himself back into my life. He held the key to my vulnerability and I never changed the lock.
So how do we stop the senselessness?
One of the youngest attendees at an all woman's retreat gave one of the best answers I've ever heard. She said, "When the words don't add up, the truth was never in the equation." Put away your magnifying glass. Put away your tools. Accept that no further assembly is required. In the words of Wendy Williams, tell your hyper vigilance to "take several seats!"
Secondly, stop letting his "no" stop you from finding your own "yes." You are responsible for your own happiness and your own closure. No one else. He has to awaken in his own time and of his own accord. When you are tempted to try to figure him out, ask yourself, "How can I give myself what I need to be okay?" This is the only sense that makes sense.
Suzette R. Hinton, Certified Life and Relationship Coach, Coach and Author. Graduate of Coaching Academy of North America, Inc. and Leader of Statistics Be Darned community of women. Suzette is living life on her terms and empowering others to do the same. To contact Suzette or to book her for your next speaking event, go to
This month, I received a beautiful letter from one of our sisters that I want to share with you with her permission.
Dear Friends,
I wanted to send you a little note of encouragement no matter where you are on this roller coaster called lies and acceptance. I got on the roller coaster and rode it for about 13 years.  Prior to this, I lived the dream life of love, marriage, and trust. The ride began with him in chat rooms, and me being oblivious to any of it. Then I got tired of the hours and hours he spent, and I decided to check them out. I was floored.  Yes, it got worse. We went to a counselor. The first time he swore he was just curious and felt inferior about himself.                                                                                                                                      
 I'm guessing you know the story... the counselor told me it was up to me to forgive him! Then it went to texting men and many, many more chat rooms...many more counselors and pastor conversations...for ME! (Because it was obviously my fault)
Finally after turning to others for attention, losing myself, becoming involved with someone else..... I ended it. Along that path I made many mistakes! I just wanted attention. I wanted someone to truly love me. I wanted someone to want to make love to me.  I was so lost.  I was angry. I hated myself. It was hard I won't lie.
Today... I am married. My daughter has "figured it out". My ex is very, very sloppy still!!! He is miserable! My son I think has figured it out..but doesn't want to discuss it. I just continue to leave conversations open.  My ex won't admit it.... He continues to lie about
money, where he is going, and on and on. He won't change. Very sad for him.
I remarried to the person I found while still married to my ex. Marriage is still the hardest thing in the world...but so different than before. My husband truly loves me and I do him.  I deal with my ex sometimes daily. We still have children together...that won't change. But now I feel in control of it all. I have confidence and I am no longer on the roller coaster. It's not easy continuing to deal with him. His voice even grates on my nerves. I realize though our ability to get along is the greatest gift I have ever given my children. They are not uncomfortable with us together at the same place, and know we both love them.                                                                                                                                         
My intention of ending my marriage with him was not to take their father away, it was to save their mother. I am an amazing mom again. I focus my days on all my children (I now have 4) Not only has my journey been hard, but it has been a blessing. I no longer look at divorced parents and think how horrible they are. (NEVER JUDGE OTHERS!) I know in many cases..only they know the reason..not the gossip reason. I have the ability to know children can come from divorced families and succeed and are just as happy as others. I have one graduating from college soon, and one entering college, a 4th and 7th grader. We are an amazing blended family! I am overdrawn in my account, we rent a house because we can't afford to buy one, we have one car that is nice.                                                                                                                                      
The main difference???? Every single day I want to go home. I can't wait to see my children and my husband. I love talking to all of them, playing games, and watching them play their sports.
Change is hard...I could have never gotten through it without my faith inGod and knowing he is a loving, forgiving God. He wants us happy and knows when we are broken. Always matter how much you think you love the roller coaster you are is not healthy to ride them forever and ever. They will make you sick. Inside and out.
Your sister --
Lost then found.

Love to all of our wonderful Straight Wives Sisters! Bonnie :)
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