Saturday, February 14, 2015


 FEBRUARY 2015     Volume 15, Issue 161

Bonnie’s Mantras:

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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 and clicking .


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!


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!


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

Sunday, February 8, 2015

On the subject of Joel Grey.....A hero?

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 from USA Today to People Magazine.  His fellow actors 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 even when he knew he was attracted to men. 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. They went through their marriages with that missing puzzle piece wondering what they were doing wrong because their gay husbands weren't happy. 

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.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Many of us felt nauseous when we learned about the series on The Learning Channel called "My Husband's Not Gay." This is a reality show following mis-marriages in the Mormon community between gay men and straight women. Well, maybe the men aren't gay. Maybe they just have SSA. SSA stands for Same Sex Attractions. My slogan now is  "SSA rhymes with Gay." Is that a coincidence that it rhymes? I think not. It sounds kinda trendy. I think it's more hopeful when you tell a woman, "I suffer from SSA" instead of, "I suffer from homosexuality." Yep, that's a great way to hide the truth. Sort of even better than A-sexual, bisexual, confused sexual...etc.
Several gay organizations responded to the show by promoting this petition. Please cut and paste this into your browser and fill it out to stop the insanity. Over 127,000 people have done this--and we need more of you to be clear to TLC about your disgust
Here's the link to the petition.

In view of all of the confusion about homosexuality that is rising thanks to this show, several gay men proclaiming to be "experts" are riding on the bandwagon in conjunction to the show. Joe Kort, a gay therapist, has a website called "Straight Guise." You can find it at

It states: It's not a gay thing, it's a guy thing!

Straight Guise is about straight men who have sex with men who question their sexual orientation and are not gay. It is about the many reasons men engage in sexual contact with other men that are not about a homosexual identity.

Straight men cannot become gay and gay men cannot become straight. Gay men are not gay due to complicated childhood experiences such as sexual abuse or problematic parenting.

He goes on to state: There is a significant difference between sexual identity, sexual behavior, and sexual fantasy.
If you watch his video on this home page, you'll see how absurd his faulty thinking is. His logic is if a man is more turned on by men on a beach and says that women are blocking his view, he's gay. But if he says that if he likes looking at both, he's not gay. And when women look at women on the beach while they are with their husbands, they are really undressing them in their minds because they want to have sex with those women.
Personally, I don't understand women's sexuality which is why you never see me writing about it. I only understand men--and if they want a penis--they want gay sex. Call it what it is.

Jumping on the Joe Kort bandwagon is a gay therapist named Rick Clemons who used to support me many years ago, but after hooking up with Joe Kort decided it was profitable to adopt the philosophy that Kort could be right because after all, he broke his relationship with me claiming he thought I would send more business his way. Men who want to be straight when they are gay are far more profitable! Believe me! I know! People come to me asking for all kinds of miracles, but I won't do it. I will not make them suffer for more years living a lie that they want to hear. But if I did, think of how rich I could become!
Clemons has gone one step further into the realm of stupidity with his recent article on Yahoo called "Five Reasons Having a Gay Husband is a Good Thing."

I won't even waste your time here discussing this, but if you feel like fueling your angry feelings about a statement like this, feel free to paste this link into your browser:

Here is the point I want to make. I DON'T WANT TO LIVE WITH A MAN WHO WANTS A MAN. PERIOD. Does it matter that his identity is straight but he wants a penis? I don't think so. Does it matter that it's only a sex thing but not an emotional thing? I don't think so. Does it matter that watching men have sex with each other or even masturbate alone in gay pornography is what turns him on before he has sex with you? Yes, I do think it matters.
I don't care if all of these men are justifying their gay sexual behavior with this new terminology of "SSA" or any other ridiculous letters. I tell people (and  yes, repeating):

                                                SSA rhymes with GAY

About six years ago, a young man in his mid 20's who was in the service came to me because he was very confused about his sexuality.  This man had never had a sexual relationship with a woman before, but he was obsessed with a married man who had no interest in him. One time the straight man laid with him in bed--no touching or feeling--but as he slept his arm was around the gay man. He interpreted this into the married man wanting to have sex with him. There was no further physical contact between them.

The young gay man told me that he wanted to get married because he came from a strong Christian home where homosexuality wasn't an option. He didn't think he could ever really perform with a woman because he was so hung up with this married man.

Not to worry--he found Joe Kort. Joe charged him $200.00 an hour by telephone to make him feel better about that particular gay attraction. After two sessions, Joe Kort reassured him that he wasn't gay. The guy felt so much better that he decided to stop talking to me. After all, I was the voice of doom promising this man who had no passion for women that some poor inexperienced one would be suffering every day from his sexual rejection. After all, he never had a woman and he was hung up on a man.

All of us know the real truth. All of us know what it is like to live with a man who wants a man more than he wants us. Yes, it is confusing--to YOU. Not to your husband. He knows what he is out there doing even when he comes home to deny it to YOU. He feels reassured that if he can convince you, then he can convince himself. He doth protest much to much, dothent he? 

My ex used to tell people, "How could I be gay? I have a wife and two children." That was his cover up to people who were so sure of what they believed. They went away scratching their head thinking, "I guess he's right."

I will remind you all again of my philosophy:


Once you cross over it by wanting it, thinking about it, looking at it in porno, fantasizing about it, touching it, or letting someone play with it--you've crossed over to the gay side of life. I don't care how sweet you are or how miserable you are--your man has engaged in penis sex. Period. And remember, sex with a penis is GAY sex.
Any woman who wants to stay with a man who is engaging in gay sex--well, that's the choice you make. But don't expect the women who are part of my network to grin, bear it, or accept it!!!

The next article is really an eye opener for women with children. It was in the gay publication The Advocate in September 2013. One of my wonderful Straight Wives, Patti, posted this, and I thought everyone with children NEEDS to read it.

I Want My Dad to Finally Come Out
My dad is gay, and my mom won't face it, but his coming out could heal our family.
My father’s gay. As our nation stumbles steadily towards long-overdue legal equity for same-sex couples and their families, I’m grateful to know that doesn’t necessarily make me a rarity these days. My father’s gay. I’ve known since I was 16, when a confluence of events (his repeated “solo” trips to Key West, his membership at an all-male gym, the discovery of his Playgirl stash) forced my siblings and me to reevaluate our entire family dynamic. My father’s gay. In the 20 years since, I’ve shared those exact same words with my best friends, a few girlfriends, and a therapist who is, I’m quite certain, the closest thing I’ll ever have to an attentive paternal figure. It’s too bad I have to pay him.
I don’t normally lead with this information, but I’m not dishonest about it either. If you’re curious enough to wonder out loud how my parents have stayed married for 40 years, I’d tell you the truth: No, it’s not one of those marriage-takes-many-shapes “understandings” that’s keeping them together. That would at least be a step toward openness and acceptance. My father and mother are still married because he lies about his sexuality and she chooses to believe him. It wasn’t always this clear to me.
I’m the middle child of three. My brother and sister and I have analyzed our parents ad nauseam. We’ve had to. Over the telephone, over beers, on countless jogs, we’ve tried to make sense of our painfully confusing childhoods because we long to live genuinely. When it’s about my parents, my siblings and I speak to each other directly and hold back nothing. There is a palpable feeling of safety and trust that runs through and connects the three of us. There is also an immense sadness.
My father was abusive. That one’s a little more difficult to admit. I’m convinced that my dad knew who he was well before that long walk down the aisle in 1972 that led him into a legally binding relationship with a woman. He was trying to please his conservative parents. He was doing what he thought was right, and dare I say, normal. And although I’ve often been reluctant to call him a coward for folding under what must have been immense family pressure, I will not hesitate to stamp that word on him for the physical and emotional violence he subjected us to growing up. I’m convinced that my dad didn’t want kids before he impregnated his wife for the first time. Children know when they aren’t wanted. They might not be able to verbalize that void, but they feel it, and it shows. My grammar school teachers noticed. They could never figure out why I was always so distraught, and to be honest, at that age, neither could I.
My father wasn’t abusive because he’s gay. Of course not. My father was abusive because he had trapped himself in a life he hated, and he took his frustrations out on three defenseless kids. Coward.
When I was 16, my mother found several back issues of Playgirl in my father’s dresser drawer. He denied they were his and claimed he had come across the magazines on our apartment balcony. As you do. He was simply storing them until he had time to interrogate my brother and me about their origin. My father‘s a generally smart man. Unless he was so completely blinded by his own self-hatred, he had to have known that his teenage sons were rather obviously heterosexual. He only asked us about his stash because he told his wife he would. It was part of his cover story, and he was determined to see it through to the end. My brother and I offered up nothing more than genuine bewilderment.
I drew two sweeping conclusions from that incident, and they have since proven, time and again, to be sound: (1) My father may be intelligent, but he is also an extraordinarily bad pathological liar, and (2) He has no qualms whatsoever about using us, his children, to keep his secret. It explains a lot about his unending crusade to make his brood come off as squeaky-clean; why he had always gone ballistic when we brought home average grades or grew our hair too long or got into harmless sibling skirmishes in front of company — he used us as a shield. And whenever we threatened to poke a hole in that perfect facade, we never felt safe in our own home.
As young adults we grew stronger. For us, that didn’t mean going far from home for college. We stayed in New York City, close to my parents. We were determined to fix our family. Fifteen years ago, at the dining room table, my sister and I sat down with our mother and asked her if she thought her husband was gay. She thanked us for inquiring, told us she’d once before wondered about his sexuality, and assured us that it was nothing more than a temporary struggle that he would no doubt overcome. My sister and I shared a look as it landed on us hard — righting the ship was way beyond our capabilities.
We didn’t give up. We outed our father … to our father. I was 23 and working at my first publishing job when he called me at my desk to say he knew all about our conversation with Mom.
“Good. I’m glad you know. And I want to tell you something … all we want is for you to be yourself, Dad. We’ll be here for Mom if you need to take some time to figure things out. Just let our family be what it truly is, no matter how off-kilter that may look. It’s OK.”
He couldn’t do it. My mother accepted his weak admission of occasional “bisexual tendencies” and turned her head back toward the sand. The lies survived. And that was so strange to me. He knew we knew, but he had crafted too much deceit to stop. He was on automatic.
I moved away. Yes, my intimate circle knew the whole story and that helped, but we kept it from our extended family in an act of complicity that I’m still uneasy about. My parents, reverting to their roles, continued right on pretending. My father enabled my mother to be in denial while she enabled him to live a double life. When I’m exhausted, I sometimes think they’re perfect for each other. I moved away because it can’t be healthy to be in on such an all-encompassing masquerade starring your childhood tormentor.
Last fall I got a call from my sister. Had I noticed that Mom was acting belligerent and antisocial?  Sure, I said, but her marriage is a sham. Who wouldn’t be angry?  I don’t give my mother a pass — she failed to protect us and is willfully oblivious to so many wrongs — but I tend to see her side more often than not. My sister finds it easier to back my father now that he’s in his mid-60s, frailer, and noticeably miserable. With a lot of professional help and a hugely supportive partner, I’ve tried not to hold so tight to my parents’ lives. They are a mess, but they are adults, and the mess is their choice. I’ll see them once in a while, but I will not participate in any conversation that asks me to prop up their lie. This is what I tell myself. And I try to follow through. My success rate fluctuates. My sister has three daughters. It’s important to her that they know their grandparents in some capacity. My mother’s recent nastiness was threatening that bond, and so we took it upon ourselves to do what she can’t or won’t: We brought up my father’s sexuality one more time.
My mother played dumb (again), my father confided in me that he wished he weren’t gay (again), and my brother, wisely, stayed out of the whole deal. Ultimately, my sister and I encouraged them to see a couples counselor even though they were never much of a couple to begin with. I feel like I’m parenting my parents. They went to two sessions together before my mother decided she’d rather not face the truth.
My father still goes. Twice a week. Whether it helps or not, I have no idea; nothing has changed on the outside. The facade still stands. I think one of the saddest things about my dad is that he’s spent so much energy and effort hiding himself — he’s been so needlessly self-involved for so many years — that he’s failed on an epic level to ever get to know his children. And that failure keeps him blind to where he’s lucky. He asked me rather solemnly the other day (no doubt encouraged by his therapist) if I knew there was an emotional aspect to being gay. That broke my heart. Not only because we’ve been trying to embolden my father to come out for well over a decade, but also because he was so oblivious to my life, to the circles I socialize in, to the friends of all sorts that mean so much to me, to the person I am … he’s so oblivious to the life I’ve tried in vain to share with him that he needed to ask me a question whose answer would be glaringly obvious to anyone who knows me even mildly. His question broke my heart because it insinuated that my father doesn’t understand love, not for himself and not for us.
That’s when I knew that he might never do it. He was stuck in a dark room of his own construction, and I had to divorce myself from the notion that he’d someday be brave enough to use the light switch. I knew I had to let go and move on for good. I hope that distance gives me more steady days than angry ones; more days when I can wish my father the best and my mother strength as I continue building something of my own.
I hope that article will inspire you to rethink staying together for the sake of the children.
Bonnie's Straight Wives Talk Show News!

This month, in addition to my wonderful monthly guests Dr. Brian Hooper (last Sunday of the month) and Suzette Hinton Rearnon (first Sunday), I have two wonderful guests.

This Sunday - January 18th - Mary Ann Glynn who specializes in Post Traumatic Stress and has developed an app to help people through it. We will be talking about Additions--including sexual addictions. Here's the link: 

Next Sunday - January 25th - Wayne Besen, NationalGay Leader, who is one of the leaders against the "My Husband Is Gay" show. Wayne is awesome in fighting for gay men to accept themselves instead of marrying us. He is a real advocate for us!

To listen to the shows, go to and type in Straight Wives Talk Show into the search bar. The show is live at 10 p.m. EST, but you can listen anytime it is over!
Here are some interesting thoughts for you to cut out for the month!



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Controversy on TLC Regarding Gay Mormons

There's a lot of hoopla over the upcoming TLC program about gay Mormon men marrying straight Mormon women while the wives claim, "My Husband's Not Gay!" People's reactions range from "Crazy" to "Outrageous." I look at it as future members of my Straight Wives Club. 

So I'm thinking to myself that we have created this mess by once again using labels. "Gay" is a hard word to embrace for men who grow up in the church. It is not acceptable. Look, Marie Osmond couldn't deal with the church when they learned her daughter was a lesbian. And that's Marie Osmond! How much worse would it be for an unknown?

So now the Mormon church feels that it can have a victory by convincing gay men that they aren't really gay if they get married and procreate. Hmmm....that seems a little strange since I have been married to a gay man and procreated. Yep, gay and married.

But since these gay men have such a hard time accepting that they are gay due to the large stigma put forth by the Mormon Church, I would like to share with them my concept from a few years ago of changing all the terminology that may make things easier for everyone. Titles seem to be so controversial--a sexual, bisexual, confused sexual, metrosexual, and homosexual. So I would like to share my column from three years ago in hopes it will take away the confusion. Maybe the Mormon wives could rethink their position with this.

The "P" WORD
As my long time readers know, "DENIAL" is a very powerful thing. That's why so many of our women linger in relationships long after they should—seeking the "TRUTH" while wasting years of their lives that can never be returned. I'm not quite sure why so many of the women who come to me have to have "POSITIVE" proof before taking action to end their marriages to gay men. I always give them my standard line of, "Look for the symptoms, and you'll eventually find the cause of what is bringing toxicity to your marriage," or "Look for the clues, and you'll eventually find the evidence." I try to relate it to medical and legal terminology to make it simple.
And yet, women want so badly to believe that the worst is not the worst, but rather some mistaken moment of stupidity….weakness….boredom….mid-life crisis….past sexual abuse issues resurfacing…and so on and so on. Here's the funny thing. These women come to me looking for the truth, but when I give it to them "straight," they don't want to hear it. It's like I need to be challenged at least once a week by some woman who will insist that her situation won't be like the other ones I write about. After all, her husband has always been so good…so honest…such a good friend…you know the story. These women are way beyond swimming down the river of De'Nile; they are building a Mountain of DENIAL. I send them directly to those other groups on the Internet who sit and complain while they figure out why life is so much better living with a "Bi" man than "No" man.
One woman sent me an interesting thought. After gathering information about her husband's homosexuality and confronting him, he replied, "I'm not gay—I'm straight with problems."  Wow—a new category. Now I could add that to the "A" sexual," "Bi-Sexual," "Metro-sexual," "Limbo," and "Straight-Gay Man" categories that are taking up a lot of my mental time explaining to women, but I've come up with my new terminology that will stop men from having to pick and choose which column of the menu they are on at any given year or what rung they are standing on of the Kinsey scale while they are scaling up and down between 1 and 6.
From now on, we can call these men "Penis Men."  It's so simple—it's not a choice of where a man is, but rather of what he wants. We don't have to use that ghastly "G" word anymore—we can use the trendier and more upscale "P" word. If a man is thinking about it, viewing male porno sites, fantasizing about it, or actually acting on it, he's a "P Man." It sounds more honest than "Bisexual" and  gives no false hope that he's going to want you, a woman, more one day than he does a man.
"P Men" sort of sound like that Elton John song "Rocket Man." We can even change the words to our cause:
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
Till touching down there brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I'm a Penis Man
Penis man burning out his fuse out there alone….
Since Elton John is an open "P Man," maybe he won't mind too much if I adapted those lyrics for the future.
Bottom line for our women—if he's a "P Man," you know that means he's a "G" man. But we'll let him think he's just a "P"!

Monday, December 15, 2014


 DECEMBER 2014     Volume 15, Issue 159

Bonnie’s Mantras:
Help support Bonnie’s mission to help women and men in pain. Purchase her books from her website at Please "Like" my Facebook page at Bonnie Kaye, Author. Thanks!

Dear Friends,
I am sorry for the delay of this newsletter. I have moved the time back to mid-month to coincide better with the holidays. This is a long newsletter to keep you busy reading during the holidays in hopes of giving you extra support.
Remember you can always find additional support by listening to my Straight Wives computer radio shows at and typing Straight Wives Talk Show into the search bar. I have had such inspirational guests throughout the years who will inspire you and help on your road to recovery.
Another great resource is the free support chat for destructive relationships with therapist Mary Ann Glynn who has been a guest on the show several times this year and will return to the show on January 18th. On that show, we will talk about the issues of addictions--including sex addictions and co-dependency in relationships. Mary Ann welcomes you to join her support chat which is every other Sunday evening. Here are the directions:
Go to Mary Ann's website at and scrolling down to the Services section on the home page. Then click on the highlighted "live chat support group" and it will take you there as a Guest# at the time of the chat.  You will see the date of the upcoming chat (December 21) or upcoming ones when you log on.
This chat is for all kinds of destructive relationships, but I think you'll find some straight sisters there as well!
I know this holiday season is so difficult to most of our women. Our sister Judy from Canada sent this excellent tip that might help:
Bonnie, in our local newspaper, an advice columnist said that survivors should write a letter to the person that has harmed them,(and not necessarily send it).  A reader said there is another piece to this assignment that others have found very therapeutic.  You write, to yourself, the letter you would like to receive from the other person that has harmed you.  This is helpful and excellent, as our coward ex's may never apologize, because their denial has become a way of life to them. we need to hear from our gay spouses, to help us heal?  Judy

Thanks, Judy. I think this is an excellent idea. Write the letter you deserve to hear. It will likely be the only one you ever get!

Deborah Sutton, another straight wife sister, is an extraordinary writer and supporter of those in pain. She has articulated what most of us think and feel in her blogs. Please check them out at the link below and join her mailing list--I did. And I look forward to every time she blogs. Here is the link so you can read her words from now and from the past. You can copy this link and put it into your browser:
Juliet Jeske is a wonderful writer who blogs about her life and is also a professional clown. She shared this with us recently. I think you'll really appreciate it! I look forward to her return to our Straight Wives Talk Show during the winter.
Kim Brooks is an excellent therapist in the Washington/VA area. She has been a guest on my radio show in the past, and she works quite successfully with straight wives having been one herself. Kim asked me to share this notice about her upcoming workshop:
Ready to push through the muck? Know someone who could use a leg up?
The January 9th-11th personal empowerment weekend is fast approaching! I am partnering with Your Infinite Life Training and Coaching Co. ( out of St. Louis to present their Remembrance Course especially for the straight spouse community. I took a version of the course in 1990 after my divorce, and it was transformational.
It is a positive and thoughtful opportunity to explore obstacles that prevent you from being the person you were meant to be. Although tuition is usually $395, I am offering it to our community for $95. I have started a GoFundMe campaign to underwrite the $5000 operating costs ( in the hope that it will make the course affordable for anyone who would like to attend.
If this weekend is successful, we will offer it in San Francisco in April and Chicago in May. My goal is for every straight spouse in America to have the opportunity to push through whatever is holding you back in life -- whether it's grief, anger, money, whatever -- and for us to then help our fellow str8s get back into life.
Feel free to email me at with questions, or go straight to to sign up. Look for the January 9th "Remembrance Course." (The website says $395; it is $95. Didn't want to upset enrollees in the other courses where it's not being subsidized!)
Hope to see you in DC. Or San Francisco. Or Chicago!
Yep, I admit I am a big fan of Jeanine Finelli. She was on my Straight Wife Talk Show on December 14th with some wonderful tips from her new book "Love Yourself to Health...with Gusto," available on or Here is a link to the show:
You can cut and paste it into your browser. Jeanine shared an excerpt from her book about holidays that she asked me to share with you in hopes of giving you some comfort:

Once you realize your family is not forever and you are going to leave a relationship, or have just left it, the fallout can wreak havoc on your holidays if you let it. This new space will be a prison if you allow it to be. What I realized, and you will too, is that nothing can take away holiday joy because if you are celebrating these holidays with any resemblance of the true spirit, then it lives inside of you and is not up for grabs.
Holidays for me are a time of celebrating faith, family, friends, and much anticipated time off from work or school. I feel such a high when I buy gifts for those I love. I love the music, the traditions, the food, and the memories I make. That’s the part that can make me feel so elated. But there’s always the potential to become deeply depressed—the worst for me is holiday time without my kids. I mourn the departure from my old house and the memories within—laughing, children, cooking turkeys, decorating Christmas trees, setting tables elegantly with candles and crystal, snuggling on the couch with my kids, and watching twinkling tree lights. This is where reframing how I think about the holidays saves me from the slump.

Now, I will get a much smaller tree, I will replace decorations that I lost during my divorce, I will put on my Christmas music and dance, I will watch the flurries from my new balcony, I will cook my favorite cookies and stews, and I will celebrate the reason for the season. I will see my son when he comes home from college, I will visit with friends, I will spend as much time with my daughter as possible, and I will be grateful that I have what I have. I will get down on my knees and thank Jesus for giving me the strength to move through this ordeal, and for the new gifts He has so gracefully bestowed upon me, all while never giving up on me that I will continue hear His messages that are like whispers to my heart.

My dear Bella, I wish I could give you a hug at this moment. I want you to know that I have experienced that misery that you feel in your heart. That terrifyingly painful ache is what immobilizes you and keeps you standing in that very spot because the pain of leaving is just too much to bear. This is why you must recognize it, and place your hand over your heart and tell yourself that you love you. You must realize that you no longer have to be doomed to life where you are the supporting actress in someone else’s movie. You have everything you need anyway because chances are that while you are decorating your home or even at church on Christmas Eve, your significant other is mostly likely on a date, planning a date, or just left a date. Let me hear a big Hell no! if that junk can be thrown out with last year’s Christmas tree! You no longer have to live to make someone else look good. You don’t have to bear the burden to protect anyone anymore.

Acknowledge that you love yourself so much, and but for a few shifts in your holidays as you have come to know them, you are allowing more love to flow into your life, and into your children’s lives. Open your heart to feeling and knowing the truth, and know that around the corner lies another tree waiting to be lit, another kitchen stove waiting to become the heart of your home, and another couch for you to snuggle and watch Frosty the Snowman with your kids.

You gave him too much of your past. Don’t give him your future. Give your children new memories of simple joy and a mother who knows how to protect what is undeniably the God-given right of human dignity. What is certain in an uncertain world is that staying where you are will continue to kill your spirit, and could eventually kill you.bon 
Be yourself, everyone else is taken- 

Jeanine Finelli, CHC  Author, Speaker   LY2H Facebook Page

Treat yourself to the best holiday present--Jeanine's book!!! I love it and refer to it constantly!!
Several stories were shared by women who are part of this support network this month. I think both are important because we have to understand how people think in order to help how we have to readjust our thinking. I've said this before, and I'll say it again--you cannot expect your gay husband to react to things the way a straight man would. Remember: GAY MEN DON'T THINK STRAIGHT!! They are gay men who think like gay men. Stop trying to come up with rational arguments when what is rational to us is not rational to them.
Here was a column by one gay husband in the blog Explore Experiences.
One of the best or worst parts about the Internet is that it makes you realize you are not alone.  Since I was a kid, I have felt I might be gay, yet it was something I could not accept nor tell anyone.  In high school and college, I would go to those dirty book stores to get off with another guy, but in my social circle, I was all man and hot for women.
My guess is that while I tried to hide it as I grew up, by parents knew.  I will never forget the comment my dad made after meeting my girlfriend (who would become my wife).  She and I had stopped by one of his friends house where they had been drinking, and he made the comment that she was good looking and didn't think I had it in me.  The way he said it told me he had his doubts that I was straight.
Today, my wife and I have been married for almost 25 years.  Overall we have a good relationship and most would consider us extremely successful.  What they don't know is that we have a sexless marriage which causes the most frustration for both of us.
My wife and I have discussed this issue and she has approached the "are you gay" question multiple times but usually it is when we have been drinking and I never give her a straight answer.  I am sure she knows but has chosen to ignore.  
At this point in our life, I think we both are of the opinion that what we have with each other is not perfect, but there is so many other positive aspects between us, that it is worth staying together.  That and the fear of the unknown probably keep us together.  I know she has wondered if she would be able to find another guy at her age.  I worry that the grass may not be greener on the other side if I came out.
So life goes on.  Frustration builds up from time to time until she explodes, then within a day or two she is fine and we continue.
If you would like to read the comments made after this article, here is the link:

MAILBAG: Each month I receive numerous letters from women after reading the monthly newsletter. For those that are particularly moving to me, I ask permission from them to share with you. Here you go!!!
Dear Bonnie,

Where do I start?  I am trying to remember back to the girl I once was.  I had just started out in my professional career in a specialty office where the team I worked with sensed a special camaraderie of caring, compassion/ and a shared humor with the patients and each other.  I loved my job, and my boss had become like a second father.  I lived in one of my favorite cities of all time, Traverse City.  It is a town filled with art, culture, friendly faces, festivals, community events, the college and some of the best dining in America.  The  beauty when driving up the peninsula that cut through the two bays was spectacularly dotted with cherry orchards and fun wineries open for taste tours, and of course more restaurants.  I lived in the same area as my family and had an amazing apartment and a fabulous roommate that I clicked well with.  

I met my husband when I was still in college before I moved.  He was the guy out of many that stood out.  I was used to guys throwing themselves at me and had learned to be wise and careful to their many aggressive sexual advances.  It felt like that was all guys wanted when they saw my curvy figure and blonde hair.  I was often told I had the "perfect" boobs by admirers.  He was a gentleman who seemed to want to talk. I felt like he saw me as a whole person, not just a set of tatas.  I thought this even though he really just talked about himself and his military career.  I was flattered he saw me as a person who could carry on conversations and instantly felt a sophistication I had desired.  We got along great because I was a people person and have always enjoyed getting to learn new things about people. I have been told my entire life by people that they felt open to share secrets with me that they never shared before.  He talked and I put him at ease.  I loved learning all about the military and he seemed to enjoy his teacher role.  I often told him he'd be a wonderful teacher. 

It was easy to say yes when he proposed, as I had thought a lot about it by then and hoped he would.  We seemed to both want a simple life, shared a love for nature and dreamed of a log cabin and kids.  I found it easy to say yes despite the red flags.  Really the only red flag at that point was sexual, and he seemed to have a little temper, but it didn't stay long, so I blew it off.  Also it was weird how he gloated over getting away with stuff when a cop let him off for speeding.  He said it was bc he is in the military.  It seemed slightly entitled.  So I asked my mom about the sex and she told me it always gets better after marriage.  I was raised to care about the person, and the sex was an act of love to cherish that person, so I believed her. I didn't want to base my decision on sex when I liked so much about him.. .how he loved his mom, our shared goals, the way we could talk, and what I thought was love.  Sex was something that could be acheived, and besides it was something I had never had a problem with.  I had some very passionate sexual relationships before, so I knew I could help him in this way.  The passionate relationships had been bery hurtful, especially one.  So I certainly didn't want to base my future on sex.  Besides, sex is why a guy wants to get married, right?  I couldn't wait to finally have guilt free married sex whenever and however we wanted.  

Yea the marriage night was a disappointment, as two months afterward when he finally relented, in a tent after my months of begging and asking, he told me "hurry up" as he masturbated...i cried during that episode, and it wouldn't be the last time. Gone were my days of believing marriage would have tender lovemaking.  He kept talking about his ex girlfriend or craning his neck towards other women when we were out.  I didn't know then that this was his game.  For the first time in my life I became self conscious.  I believed I wasn't attractive to him, and since I had been the girl who could literally win any other guy over, I remained stubborn, puzzled and challenged.  I tried everything to try to figure out what his thing was that turned him on.  I was met with rejection after painful rejection. I became jealous of the couples who had apparent sexual connection.  I felt so undesired and unloved.  I show my love with sex, much like a guy.  When it came to sex I guess I have always been the girl with a little extra testosterone.  Well now I know this probably served to piss my husband off at me because he had probably heard reassurances from countless guys about how sex always goes away after marriage.  Well he married the gay guy's nightmare.  And I just couldn't understand why he didn't see this libido as a gift, as I suspected would have been to any other guy.  

I took him to counseling after counseling to specifically complain about sex and help him work through it. They recommended he get his testosterone checked and he would always say he knew that was not the problem.  He said his sex drive was just fine, despite the fact he never had morning wood, could not last long or go more than once, plus it was infrequent.  He was the only guy I knew with a limp all the time.  He didn't like me to touch him there or flirt.  He told me we couldn't hold hands because it was frowned upon for military officers to show PDA with their wives.  He told me in counseling and outside that it was my fault because we were not friends.  I told him we would be friends if I got sex, and that I felt unloved and unvalued and grumpy without it.  He led me to believe I had intimidated his manhood and my personality was off-putting.  That was very hurtful.  The abuse started as a slow anger from him.  It felt like couple fights in the beginning.  I believed he was a wounded man who needed love and understanding and patience.  I believed I had gone into the marriage with expectations and needed to focus on all the good.  I had held onto every word in our vows and fully believed in general that people believed and meant these vows, except in extreme circumstances.  And my husband would never cheat, I trusted him.  

Soon after we had our first baby, I was shocked at the change I saw in him.  I wondered who took my husband and who this crazy talking man was standing in his place.  It was all on a steep downhill with no brakes.  But now I had a baby I loved with a man I wanted to share that with.  I would learn that family bond was nothing he intended to share.  I felt a deep, deep pain at the loss of connection I sensed other couples shared in their creation.  It was a pain and heartbreak like no other I had ever had until that point, and it never stopped.  The ache grew along with all of the others.  So it was when I was expressing breast milk to get our precious baby girl through surgery that I found out he gave me a disease.  He knew it as his face got white as a ghost.  He ended up telling me it was a man.  We separated two months.  He then told me he had made that up bc he was so ashamed of the truth.  He then told me an entire rape story.  Then months later he told me he had thought him cheating with a woman would have made me go crazy and report him to the military.  So it was two women after all.  That STD was Chlamydia and terrifying because I was scared I would lose my fertility. But more important was the fact that it could have been HIV and carried through my breast milk to our daughter.

After this we went through marriage retreats and years of counseling where he became great at distracting from the real issue.  I had been raised against prejudice, had a gay cousin that my parents loved and mentored and just couldn't believe the churches would judge gays.  Then for the first time in my life (right after he told me story number one) I saw this as an issue that could impact innocent people.  I saw gay as an issue that may have impacted me.  I did not want this to be true, and now not only did I feel threatened by the slutty looking women he checked out, but now I was noticing how many guys might be gay.  I saw it as a threat on my family and I still didn't know what to do because I didn't know if he had Madonna/whore syndrome, was addicted to porn, was gay, a sex addict as he claimed (which we attended meetings for) or was an alcoholic. At some point around this time I had another baby, after contemplating it with our Christian marriage counselor.  It would be the last baby I ever desired with him because he got more abusive than ever that pregnancy and after she was born.  It felt like when I needed him most was when he would lash out most and make it harder for me.  I would end up taking the girls to the ER and he would start a horrible fight.  I felt like I did it alone, while battling him.  

I often wrote him letters telling him I didn't want to hold him in a relationship he didn't want to be in.  He would ignore them, and say when prompted, "I don't want to divorce, I love you".  Yet he used divorce as a threat and many other things until I saw through the threats for what they were.  But not after lots of agony.  I often reached out to gay men during this time.  I had a friend in high school who is now open.  I left him a facebook message to please call me because I couldn't talk on a message. I left my number.  His reply was, "You're scaring me".  I had wanted to see if one of his buddies from Chicago near us could "test" my husband for me.  I would have paid him.  But he never called.  He didn't seem to care.  

I just wanted to know what the problem was.  Sometimes I thought he was gay, then I would find regular porn.  I would wonder if he had planted it purposely.  I wanted to know if I was doing everything I could.  I had become so volatile with him that I blamed myself.  I tried to work on me. When he became increasingly abusive, which I now realize was when the sex increased (the last year we had sex together, it was improved, but still mimicked was still missing something and leaving something in me to be desired) the verbal abuse, anger and even physical abuse increased.  The physical abuse felt degrading and I dealt with an intense shame that I later realized was his.  I am still recovering.  He told me to "shut my suck", "shut my hole" and called me retard.  The verbal was daily for a while and in front of my daughters I want to raise with dignity and self respect.  At this point all the abuse was unprovoked.  For the last four years I disengaged and didn't' react no matter how awful he was to the girls and I.  I knew he wanted me to be as crazy as him.  I went to counseling for reinforcement.

Now my divorce is almost final and he is with another woman. My heart aches for her and if she seeks me out I will first be sure she is willing to listen. I have found suspicious photos since he left.  One night after we separated during the divorce, he cried and told me he is gay but doesn't want to lose all his military buddies, his identity, and doesn't identify with the gay community.  I cried with him and told him I will let him figure it out and that when he does become his authentic self what a gift it would be to the girls.  I only way later realized that he never once cried for me or what he has done to the girls and I.  Yet I had cried yet again with him for him.  

I believe he is a narcissist and crazy because he talks to manipulate or because he is losing his brain cells and mind from the very heavy nightly drinking he was doing.  I believe he has told the other woman I am pyscho and flip flopped our conversations so I look crazy while he looks sane.  So I won't help her by going to her.  He probably has her believing he sees the kids more while he does his thing with guys.  She thinks he is super dad and a victim of me.  

In my situation I was seeking the truth.  At some point I had accepted it and wanted the healing to begin.  I still want healing.  I can't tell you how many times I silently crumbled under the shower's streams of water where the kids couldn't hear me and wails and moaning came from somewhere so deep and painful inside.  My mother's heart was ripping for my girls and I wished I knew what to do.  I felt so much guilt at leaving him a mess. You just don't leave a man down, you don't.  Not the father of my kids.  Would the truth set me free?  Free of guilt?  I believe it could have saved me years of heartache and taking responsibility that wasn't mine.

I desperately wanted to know there were and are caring gay men.  I still need this.  I am hurting so bad inside.  I have thought about reaching out to my gay cousin but I am afraid of the answers. The only gay man I ever "knew" (yet did not those 14.5 years), raped my soul repeatedly then mocked me with hateful eyes.  In order to do what he did, he had to believe I deserved it.  So he abused me and used my reactions as proof of my character.  He blamed me instead of himself.  He hated me instead of himself.  I wished a gay man who was caring and patient could have reached out to me.  I find it hard to believe there are nice gay men who aren't shallow, self centered (and serving), and vain. I have a hard time with gay rights activists.  If you gay men who slept with our husbands reached out and cared, you could show women that real men do exist and that caring men do exist.  Often times what breaks us can also heal us.  But it is so very scary for us.  I encourage you to test the woman out and see what acceptance level she is at and if she wants to listen, please give her more truth than she ever has had in her long painful dark mysterious marriage.  Be her light and her friend.  The woman married to these men have been slowly trained and brain washed.  The children need these women to heal, so they have a great mama whileb daddy is healing and still hiding until he is ready.  These kids need honesty and light in their parents' lives.  Many times it is the wife who is ready way before the gay husband ever is, if ever.  There is a reason they married even if gay, and put us through years and even decades of hell, while we unknowingly torture them sexually (trying to bring the marriage closer via sexual intimacy)....then most of these men don't even come out when we leave them and support them coming out.  They marry more women, make more babies they eventually abandon and ignore (except as occasional trophies), cause more pain and destruction...because they can not be coaxed into coming out.  These men are not the one exception to us, and they are not the one exception to you.  They are master manipulators and charmers.  They can charm a man and also get the woman all the straight men want.  It is unbelievable how unattractive and poor his self care was all those years.  He is now with a drop dead gorgeous professional and classy woman.  I have been astounded to see him flirt with 20 year old waitresses in front of me.  He has a beer gut and I just thought he was disgusting and pathetic in the end.  His eyes were so so so cold and empty. HOW do they attract anyone, let alone BOTH genders?

If more women knew, they would leave these men sooner, this would happen less and the more these men have consequences the better.  The more they feel they can get away with the double life, they will while wreaking havoc everywhere they go.  The more women knew, the more their girlfriends would know and would be turning these guys down. So many straight wives will never know for sure, but could be enlightened and take action if they were told.  I think it would be best over a drink, and when she is ready to listen (you will know).  She probably needs a guy friend more than you could ever ever know.

Thank you, 
Anonymous straight wife

Hi Bonnie,
It just infuriates me when I hear another men that decided to come out after spending most of their life pretending they are straight. Now as a Christian I should have more sympathy for the pain that they must have gone thru not being able to be who they were. I’m referring to the country music star that came out today at 52. After he was married twice to 2 different women, suddenly he is a hero because he finally comes out?? I just don’t get it. I am still struggling after 4 ½ years since I found out my ex is Gay. 20 years of marriage and one 17 year old son who by the way still will not see his father after 3 years. He only on occasion will answer his father thru text messages. Talk about the pain and trauma that my ex’s lies caused us. If my son came to me and said he was Gay I would love and support him but I cant support my ex. I just never will.
Dear Other Man:
Bonnie says you have come to her asking for advice. You're in love with a married man, and it sounds like his wife is making things difficult. I feel for you. I really do. Because I was fooled by a man a lot like your boyfriend, for a long time.
I was married for more than 20 years. And don't get me wrong, I had my doubts, even early on. Sexually, things just did not seem right. He didn't seem like he actually wanted me. But he said he loved me. He said he was faithful. He said I was crazy and oversexed for even asking him why we hardly ever had sex.
He made me feel really guilty for even bringing it up. And he insisted that everything was "normal," that married couples hardly ever have sex, and that I was immoral for wanting more. And what did I know? Maybe he was right, I thought. I was sexually inexperienced when I met him, so I really did not know. I took his word for it.
I tried really hard to ignore my own needs and desires, and that broke my heart. Every time I tried to dress sexy for my husband, or flirt with him, or do anything I could think of to make him want me, he brushed me off. It hurt. Over and over again, it hurt.
He gave me a sexually transmitted disease, when I was pregnant with our second child. My OB/GYN said that the only way I could get chlamydia was from sex, and my husband was the only person I had had sex with, so, you'd think I could add that up and know he was fooling around but let me tell you: He is the most persuasive person I know. And I loved him. When he told me my doctor was wrong, and that I must have contracted it from dirty medical equipment, well--I wanted to believe him.
He often told me that his ex-girlfriends were crazy. Possessive. Stalkers. Impossible. Whorish. And yet, he'd keep talking to some of them, even years after we were married. Always with the door closed.

He had secrets. Places I was not allowed to go. People I was not supposed to meet. Porn that came in the mail, addressed to him, that he swore was a postal service error.
He was also just rude about his homophobia. He loved making fun of gay people. They were immoral and disgusting.
When I argued for gay marriage equality, he told me, "Gay people have exactly the same rights as anyone. They can marry a woman, just like I did."
It took me a long time to realize he wasn't just being a sarcastic jackass--he was telling me the truth. He had married a woman, knowing he was gay, because---he could. He loved having that secret, that second life. He loved telling me that I was his wife, while acting like I was nobody all that important. And I suspect he loves telling other people that I am difficult, or crazy, or insisted he stay with me.

But, at the same time, during sex he'd say it would be good if I had a penis, so I would know what men like. He'd say I should try sex with a woman, because he was sure I would love lesbians. I have lesbian friends. I like them. But I don't want to see them naked any more than you do.
He started pushing me to have sex with other men--he wanted to see their penises. He loves talking about penises. But he tells me he is straight. He swears to this day that he was always utterly faithful. And he gets angry with me for having realized, at long last, that he is gay. He's angry that I left, because he has to take care of himself, now. And because he has to go find some other woman to be a beard for him.
When I realized he was gay, everything suddenly made sense. So, naturally, I wanted a divorce. I wanted to be free to either be alone, away from someone who had lied to me for more than two decades, or maybe, if it wasn't too late, to meet a man who could actually love and desire me. I wanted a do-over. I am fortunate that I made one for myself.
I wish one of the men my husband was with had come to me and told me he was gay. I would have left him many years earlier. When I finally did leave, one of the last things I said to him was, "You are free. Go. Be who you are. No one will judge you. No one cares. Just go be your honest self."
The man you're dating might be just like my ex-husband--using his wife, and using you. Don't waste another moment of YOUR precious life on a man who refuses to honestly and openly and fully commit to you. A man who won't hold your hand in public or kiss you in front of his mother is not a good man.
And if you can find it in your heart to tell your boyfriend's wife what is really going on, well--she may not seem like she believes you at first, but she will be so grateful for the truth when she can wipe away the tears and realize what a gift it is to her.
Knowing the truth is the only thing that will enable her to have the full, loving, sexually fulfilling relationship with a man that you also want with a man.
I wish you the best of luck and great, lasting love with a wonderful, sexy man who can see you as his beloved partner. And I wish the same thing for your boyfriend's wife, too.
I just suspect neither of you can have that with the man you're both trying to love.

Christine B

Dear Bonnie,

My situation is a little different.  My ex is still undercover, and is about to move in with his latest( naïve) girlfriend of a few years.  I'm not sure what I would say to the men who you speak with, but I do know what I would say to any guy dating my ex......and it's this....

    Make no mistake.  You are dealing with a lifelong COWARD.  He is weak and he is selfish.  He will throw you crumbs, just enough to keep you hanging on, so all will be on his terms.  He wants to have his cake and eat it too.  He will give up NOTHING  for either you or his current beard because he's still hiding who he is from his children and relatives.  I have known and observed this man for 35 years. 

Remember this:  'The one who loves the LEAST controls the relationship".  Can I say that again?  "The one who loves the LEAST controls the relationship".  He always takes care of #1, HIMSELF, and will always be in control, by remaining emotionally distant.  He excuses himself by saying "I am a very PRIVATE person".

He left me when he felt very close to being caught.  He's taken on a long-term girlfriend because he still wants to provide the illusion to his kids that he is straight.  I was ' chosen " for my open and trusting nature.  His unknowing girlfriend is very similar to me in this regard.  I think this same feature in you is attractive to him.  He has learned well through experience how to construct his life to best serve his selfish needs.  You, as a new beard...never factor into it.

As a PRIVATE person, he says very little.  So you think what he does say must be important, truthful, legit!!!  Haha!  !Who would guess that those important few things that he speaks would be LIES!!

I have 3 sisters.  As teenagers we had a pact.  If our date made a pass at any one of our sisters, we would tell the other, and the guy would get the boot.  I believed my sisters..and they.. me..They had my back.  I'd expect no less from a friend. I'd be so grateful from an acquaintance to tell me what I need to know.  It saves years of wasted time and heartache.

To the Other hear the truth from you would be so important in freeing my mind and my heart from this man. As useful as a full, open  admission from him (But that will never come)- your telling me the truth would be what I've been waiting to hear from him for years and years.  In that instant I would have the answer to 'EVERYTHING". The questions and doubts would cease. Every day not knowing 100% burns...I do not want to die not knowing for sure.

My thank you to you would be a chance to compare notes.  I could give you my years of insight to his behavior, so you could watch out for yourself.  You could make your own judgements from a strong, knowing position.  You could choose to protect your own heart, when dealing with this very weak person. I  AM NOT THE ENEMY!!

That's it, Bonnie!!

Sincerely,  Judy St. Catharines, Ontario

Ladies, know that my heart is with you on Christmas. Feel free to write to me at any time at if you need extra support during this time.
Love, Bonnie.