Help support Bonnie’s mission to help women and men in pain. Purchase her books from her website at www.Bonniekayebooks.com. Her newest book can be purchased at www.Dysfunctionalmen.com.
PHILADELPHIA HEALING WEEKEND - SEPTEMBER 28/29, 2013
My annual healing weekend will be in September in Philadelphia. No matter where you are on your journey to "Gay Husband Recovery," connecting with others who are walking your path empowers you to move forward. If you are interested in joining us, please send me a note at Bonkaye@aol.com with the word "Philly Healing" in the subject box, and I will send you the details. There is no cost for the weekend other than transportation, lodging, and meals. This is my gift to you to help you in your healing process. We are having women from as far away as Australia, England, and Canada. It will truly be an "International Healing Weekend." It's time to move your recovery journey ahead, and this is the place where it can start for you!
NEW EPIPHANY - GAY MEN DON'T THINK STRAIGHT
Every few years, an epiphany hits me like a ton of bricks. The first one was in 2001 when I realized that we became women who we were not necessarily supposed to become because our husbands are gay. Instead of working to grow emotionally and professionally, we are spiritually muted or stagnated for years living in a state of what I call "Muck"...much like sinking in quicksand. That is because we dance in that "circle of crazy" which means running around in circles like a dog chasing after its tail. Even the dog is in better shape than we are because sometimes he gets a hold of his tail--we just keep sinking further into helplessness.
Several epiphanies later, I now have a new one. This comes from 30 years and over 90,000 women asking me dozens of different questions that usually start the same way:
"HOW COULD HE DO THIS TO ME?"
It's very simple--he's GAY.
And here's my newest epiphany:
"GAY MEN DON'T THINK STRAIGHT."
Please don't misunderstand me. This is not a put down on gay people at all. It's just a reality based on years of observation. I am the first to say that I don't think gay. That is because I am straight. Once again--an observation.
So when women ask me how their gay husbands can do the things they do, it's quite simple--they are GAY. They don't belong in a marriage to you. PERIOD.
The problem with our women is that they keep expecting their husbands to act as if they are straight--not gay. You forget that gay men who complain about their unhappiness are unhappy because they are married to you--a woman. And even though your husband was for the most part all excited about the "opportunity" to marry you before you said, "I do," he was saying, "I hope I can, I hope I can make love to her, I hope she'll believe me when I pretend to be straight, I hope I won't keep fantasizing about men anymore, I hope those things I've done with guys will be in the past, I hope that if I can't resist these urges and she finds out, she won't leave me," etc. etc. You see, while you were entering the marriage filled with hopes and dreams, he was entering your marriage filled with the hope that he could "pull it off."
Don't ever believe that your gay husband just found out he was gay after he married you--after 10, 20, 30, or 40 years. That isn't true. And don't believe that he thought all men--including straight men--fantasize about being with men or have occasional sexual encounters with men because that is NOT true. And he knows it isn't true--he is just justifying his sexual fantasies and encounters. And why? He doesn't want to be gay.
I do believe that most gay men marry you because they love you--but let me clarify that by saying that they love you to the best of their ability as gay men. They love you the way they would love a sister or a cousin--but you are not his family--you are his WIFE. And as a wife, you are expecting more out your husband than to love you as a family member or best friend. That's where the disconnect begins. Some of us have that happen sooner than later in a marriage--but eventually, it does happen. And when things are not heating up in the bedroom, that's where the anger, resentment, and blame begin.
You: Why does it feel like I have to ask for sex all of the time?
Him: Why are you always thinking about sex?
You: Other women spend romantic evenings with their husbands.
Him: You are watching too many movies. It doesn't happen that way in real life.
You: We've only been married for a couple of years. Why don't you make love to me?
Him? What are you? A nymphomaniac? All you think about is sex, sex,, sex.
Here is the disconnect. As a gay man, he is also thinking about sex, sex, sex. But he is not thinking about having it with you. When he thinks about sex with you, he is thinking about a way out of having sex with you. Just like the thought of having sex with your brother or uncle would be repulsive to you, he has the same thought when it comes to you. It's not that he doesn't love you--he just doesn't love you the way you love him--because he is gay. He can love you, but he can't be "in love" with you. He is gay--he doesn't know how.
Gay men in denial who have a deep enough desire to stay married because they can't face living in a "gay world" will go through the motions. They can talk the talk. After all, they've been practicing their whole lives observing straight people. They can walk the walk--they know what a "straight walk" looks like. But they can't do the "dirty" indefinitely no matter how hard they try. And after a while, it becomes "dirty" to them. It becomes as incestuous to them as it would be for us to have sex with a family member--or even your best girlfriend whom you love--but not as a lover.
Why do we keep expecting gay men to be straight men? That is the faulty thinking that we have. Every response they have with you is based on their gay thinking--not on straight thinking. The resentment they have towards you is because you are a woman who wants them to be a straight man. Why wouldn't you? He married you. He promised to love you through everything--but he didn't understand that everything meant being a husband who wants intimacy and sex with his wife as part of the marital deal.
When your husband married you, he figured he could do it and maybe enjoy it. After all, he could always close his eyes and fantasize about his dream man. Many of these gay husbands do just that--and they have told me so. But they don't want to do more than they have to do to convince you that they are straight. After all, if they can get an erection every now and then--even if they can't keep it during your intimate moments--that will prove to you that they are straight. And if they lose the erection in the middle of one of those moments--no problem. It's your fault, isn't it? If he can get one, he takes the credit, but can't keep it going, then you get the credit because it must be your fault. Let's see, you're too fat...thin...dirty...smelly...flat chested....big chested...have bad breath...breathe too loud...demand too much...boring during sex...didn't clean the house enough, don't use the right shampoo, etc., etc., etc. And then you ask me how they could do this to you.
So ladies, here's where my new epiphany should become your new mantra:
GAY MEN DON'T THINK STRAIGHT BECAUSE THEY ARE GAY!
You need to say this over and over again to yourself daily whether you are still in your marriage or not. You see, we keep wondering how they can worse after they leave the marriage. We keep thinking like straight women who have a straight husband:
Us: Maybe now that he has left, he'll realize how much he has hurt me.
Them: I gave up so much of my life for her. I was such a good husband and provider. I gave her everything I had, and all she did was complain and complain about sex. She's so ungrateful.
Yes, we just don't get it. Women have come to me and said, "He's willing to give up his family for a roll in the hay with someone? Sex means more to him than his family?
Yes, you just don't get it. It's not about sex--it's about being gay and being free of living a lie where he can never please you. It's about him feeling the kind of love and excitement with a man that he can never feel for you because he is gay. And say it again:
GAY MEN DON'T THINK STRAIGHT BECAUSE THEY ARE GAY.
The key to healing from this nightmare is to realize that you can't do anything about it other than accept it. You can't personalize it. When your husband or ex-husband blames you for his unhappiness, you can believe it because you are a woman. You can never be the wife he needs because he doesn't need a wife--he needs a man. He is gay.
When he blames you for ANYTHING, hold your head high because you need to believe this has NOTHING to do with you. You didn't create it, and you can't change it. In Bonnie Kaye terms that means: You didn't break him--you can't fix him. Stop trying.
Nothing upsets me more than women who tell me that some of the problems in the marriage happened because of their behavior so they have to take some of the blame. Well sister, here's the news--you don't have to take any of the blame. You married someone who can never make you feel good about yourself because he was rejecting you on some level since the day he married you. Even though he didn't want to hurt you, he couldn't help himself because he is gay.
What does that mean? He resented you. You became the enemy. You were the keeper of his internal prison he created, and YOU held the key that you refused to hand him to escape. It doesn't matter that he wanted to marry you, nor does it matter that he refuses to leave his safety net and comfort level of leading a "straight life." Now you are the one who "keeps him trapped" into being someone he doesn't really want to be---namely your husband..
This is where another disconnect sets in. He continually picks, picks, picks--and he is picking at you and on you because of his frustration. He'll look to blame you for the problems in the marriage. After all, he's done everything to make you happy, but you are never happy. He's a good provider. He's a good father. What's the problem in the marriage? It has to be YOU. In his mind, he does what he believes is the right thing to do--other than giving you sex every time you ask for it--and don't you keep asking? What is with you?
Since most of these men don't or won't tell you the truth until they are ready--and sadly, too many will never be ready, even when they leave you--you slowly begin the deterioration process that strips down your self-esteem one layer at a time. You lose your footing because no matter how hard you try, your husband doesn't love you the way you know a man should love a woman. You're not stupid--but you sure are feeling very stupid because nothing you do is making your husband happy. When you don't know why all of your efforts don't bear the results you want, you finally understand what is wrong in your relationship--YOU ARE INADEQUATE. You have made every attempt to make your husband love you by showing him with love, affection, and passion--but nothing helps. What is wrong with you?
This is where the anger, depression, and worthlessness starts taking over your psyche. Many of our gay husbands/ex husbands are passive-aggressive. They use a "slap and smile" strategy meaning they slap you down (mostly emotionally, but in some cases physically) and then tell you that they love you. Our "perception" of love gets distorted. As long as you hear those words "I love you," you feel there is a chance if only you can change some of your ways. You know what upsets him most--SEX. Other than that, he's not "that bad." As your family and friends keep telling you, "He's a good dad. He's a good provider. You go on nice vacations. He's not a WOMANIZER. You are a lucky woman." Message: There's nothing wrong with him. You should be happy.
So why aren't you? You start feeling guilty because you think you don't have the right to complain. Then you start reading magazine articles that say most relationships "lose their groove" sexually in time, but the friendship and love is still there. As the song goes, "Don't worry--be happy." Right? Wrong.
This is not about straight couples who get caught up with life on life's terms over the years where sex can diminish due to health issues or job pressures. This is about a gay man who has never made you feel valued as a woman--only as a sexual aggressor who has turned him off. It's about losing confidence in everything you do because no matter how much you have done, nothing is working. So many of our women try transforming themselves by going through life-changing surgery like gastric bypasses, breast implants, liposuction, and plastic surgery in order to make themselves more beautiful so their husbands will desire them. That's because he usually throws in those little excuses, "If only you weren't so heavy....if only you would lose weight...if only your breasts weren't so small....if only your body wasn't so flabby....if only, if only, if only.
Ha, ha, ha. Like changing this will make their husbands want them sexually more. They soon find out that "enhancing your appearance" to make yourself more beautiful is an act in futility. Your husband doesn't want you more beautiful--he wants a man--he is gay.
When you are a normal woman, years of getting the message that you are 'abnormal" deprives you of ever knowing who you really are. There won't be much personal growth or actualizing here because you are too busy trying to get your husband to love you which means "desire you." You have to learn to accept the way you want your husband to love you WILL NEVER HAPPEN BECAUSE HE IS A GAY MAN!
Never mistake "cuddling with you" for "passion" with you. If it gives you some false illusion that "cuddling" means loving you, then you are deluding yourself. A marriage doesn't need cuddling as its primary source of affection. It needs the passion and desire that that makes you feel like you can climb a mountain or float on a cloud. A straight man will never just "do it" to make you happy. He will make you happy because it makes him happy when you are sexually satisfied. He loves to touch you. Cuddling is secondary--not the primary reason he wants to touch you. When a man loves you, he wants to "make love" to you.
I have been with my boyfriend for 19 years and 6 months. We have a beautiful and regular sex life that is always top of the line even at our age. As he explains to me, "Making love to you is the best way for me to express how much I love you." Yep, that is how a straight man thinks. We are both so in synch with each other because we know what pleases each other. After nearly two decades, I can tell you that he still works just as hard to please me because to him IT IS NOT WORK. It's passion that has built our intimacy to survive those difficult time when sex isn't possible due to medical issues. The medical issues are never an excuse--they are just a delay knowing things will be better and we will be fine. That's the difference between a straight man and a gay man. Straight men want sex with you because you are a woman--gay men don't want sex with you because you are a woman.
In closing, repeat these words every day:
GAY MEN DON'T THINK STRAIGHT--GAY MEN DON'T THINK STRAIGHT.
You'll know you finally understand this when you stop hurting over something you have no control over. Stop personalizing it for the sake of your own mental health. Distance yourself emotionally so that one day you can truly heal. Don't continue to let his homosexuality define who you are. Remember--you are straight and he is gay.
I NEED HELP
In next month's newsletter, I will be rolling out my new campaign for "His Fault Divorce," to counter "No Fault Divorce."
I have been talking about this for a long time, and now it is time to get this started. I believe that no woman should have to pay for a divorce from a gay husband. I see women not only losing tens of thousands of dollars to attorneys for divorce, but also losing their personal financial assets towards marital settlement and even alimony. This goes against everything I believe in. This divorce is not about "no fault" because there is fault. It's not about a man marrying you thinking he wouldn't be gay anymore. It's about a man who could never be a husband to you because he is gay.
All I'm asking for is fairness. You are not at fault because you married a gay man. Why should you have to pay for it? You went into the marriage with the intentions of staying married until death do you part. Your dreams were shot down through no fault of your own. Why do you have to pay for a mistake you had no control of because you had no knowledge of your husband's gay orientation? We need to STOP THE INSANITY.
This is NOT a revenge campaign. That would mean asking for compensation for every year of your life that you were living his lie. And I'm not saying that I'm against that either, but this is not what this is about. This is about justice. This is about fairness to us. This is about letting the world know that we are not going to continue to be victims. This will create more positive images of us than all of our desperate attempts to get "our story" out to the media which always seems to backfire on us. This will show that we are strong women who don't want to be victims anymore.
As I progress, I am going to need all kinds of help with this project to muster the support we need to make it happen. If you would like to be part of this new initiative, please write to me at Bonkaye@aol.com. Some of the help I need includes:
1. Legal help
2. Lobbying help
3. Public Relations
4. People willing to be interviewed by the media
5. Political connections
6. Social networking
8. Getting support from other women's groups
Please let me know if I can count on you.
Each month I welcome letters from my readers. If I feel others in our network will benefit from them, I will write to you for permission to reprint them either under your first name or anonymously. No one's letters to me are shared without specific permission that I will ask from you. Feel free to share your thoughts with me anytime you are moved to do so.
I read your May newsletter with interest, as always. Your discussion on the Jason Collins issue was interesting for several reasons. Here in Australia, we are limbering up for a Federal election in September, and the leader of the opposition (LNP – roughly equivalent to your Republican party), is a man called Tony Abbott. Just over a year ago, the media broke the story that his sister is lesbian, who came out about 5 years ago, and is now happy in a relationship with her partner, who she met at their children’s school. Yes, another 2 straight spouses and several children, left behind in the wake of their gay wife/mother’s revelation that they had been hiding in a closet and could no longer live without being “true to themselves”.
There has been a steady trickle of news stories about them, in view of the fact that Tony is vehemently opposed to gay marriage and has steadfastly stated that if he becomes Prime Minister, he will not support it becoming law in Australia. That’s neither here nor there really – the reason I bring it up is because in every story which I have read/seen/heard about his gay sister, there has not been A SINGLE WORD about the husbands/children and how this coming out might have affected them, or how little support there is for the straights.
It seems that in the USA, it’s the same – hailing Jason Collins as a hero for coming out? – give me strength!! Lori’s comment on what a ‘hero’ is, is spot on. Here, someone who is paid to run, swim, kick etc, is hailed as a hero when they actually do their job and run/swim/kick, and tickertape parades are arranged for sports teams who return home after having won whatever competition they were paid to go and participate in. Heroic for coming out? I don’t think so. Yes it takes courage, but once they come out, the ‘straight’ gays immediately tap into a vast network of social, emotional, physical and mental support, which is not available to their families, because no one thinks of the devastated straights left behind (except Bonnie Kaye).
There does seem to be an increasing incidence in movies/TV of stories or sidebars about gays married to/partnered with straights, but the reality of the consequences of coming out are never addressed and the fallout is never mentioned. Maybe that will come, once the full size of the ‘gay spouse/mate iceberg’ is revealed. I believe it is an iceberg, and the tip is starting to get larger.
Feel free to use any/all of this. Thanks again for a great newsletter.
I started writing this telling my story, all the pain, betrayal, lost love, confusion... All that, but then I smiled and thought that's silly, you know all that, all your ladies know all that, my story is their story so you know... And that helps me so much I tell you!! So I dry my tears again and tell you instead how much this newsletter helped me, I think it was your story and the talk about our right to get divorced, our right to end the confusion.
My husband and I separated two years ago and we had a pretty tempestuous time then, and YES he does say our marriage 'broke down' or whatever line he feels like giving to include me in the responsibility for our marriage not working, he will never really accept that how could it ever work when we carried a time bomb in it, and I knew it was ticking even if he didn't! I'm ashamed to say for the two years I have clung to a hope that maybe we could work it out, have a new honesty in our marriage and find a way to stay together - it sounds INSANE I know, I think I would have done anything to make it not true, especially for our two children, but I can't can I? I know that, I do.
So now I am at the stage where I think I need the simplicity of divorce, I finally need to stop living in this limbo land where I do still tread on eggshells.
Your newsletter talks of how these men love us as friends and think that that is what love is- it meant so much to read that because yes that is EXACTLY how it felt and was and is and it just isn't enough, is it, for us?
He is a good man at heart my husband so maybe we can be friends and keep it normal for the kids at least a bit, he's being more sensitive about that now but he wasn't at first and I always fear that stranger might return and hurt us so much again so I write this with a new, wavering vulnerable, damaged strength and you have helped me realise that I need to feel free of it so I will talk to him about divorce now!!!
One final thing for the women who are like I used to be, do like Bonnie says and TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS I knew something was wrong on my honeymoon - what a fool I feel!! - but I was married I thought I just had to accept things as they were but it's so hard to do that for so long, to wither and fail for so long. These last two years have been very hard but I wouldn't go back. I wear my hair long and soft now, I buy skirts and dresses, I am still on my own but I have such good friends and I feel more like a woman than I ever did! I'd like to meet someone but there is a big trust issue, but I hope..... And finally PLEASE know that your children will know more than you think I thought my kids knew nothing, that I had protected them... i was wrong and it breaks my heart what they knew... But I can still protect them and I will NOT alllow this to define them!
So love and peace and thanks to you Bonnie!
You referred to the basketball player Jason Collins in your last newsletter and it got me thinking about how a lot of gay men who come out late in their lives are portrayed in the media. They are given a pat on the back when really the young gay celebrity that I admire most is Chris Colfer (Kurt) from ‘Glee’. Although bullied in school, he has always being true to himself both on and off the screen. And that, to me is a true hero.
I thought about the movie ‘Beginners’ in which Christopher Plummer wins an Oscar. I remember hearing about this movie when it came out first. A 75 year old man comes out as gay shortly after the death of his wife. It is based on a true story. All I could think about was that poor woman who suffered decades of marriage with a gay man and died never knowing the truth. It makes me so angry and what is worse, the widower is to be commended on coming out and encouraged to live life to the full now as though she had being holding him back all these years?! What about her life? She deserved to live life to the full with someone who adored her. Was her life all for nothing? Well yes, it looks to me as if it was. I honestly could not bring myself to watch this movie for fear of the emotions that may surface.
But I really think that my story or any woman in your support group is an Oscar winning screenplay in the making. If only a movie from our point of view could be depicted. It would be heartfelt and raw and maybe then, the rest of the world would understand what we went through and have some understanding and compassion for us. It's still a man's world I reckon!
Love always, Marie (3 years out of relationship to gay man and never been happier!!)