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NEXT HEALING WEEKEND: CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME!!
My next healing weekend will be in Los Angeles, California. It will take place on September 20/21. If you are interested in receiving details, please write to me at Bonkaye@aol.com and write "California Info" in the subject box. Our healing weekends are a place where women can meet, share, bond--and never even say a word--but you'll want to! We will also have some wonderful guest speakers to inspire you in your future paths of recovery!
Please like my new FB page at Bonnie Kaye, Author. Thanks!
THE JUNE ISSUE
Many of you wrote to me waiting for the June newsletter which never came. One reason is because I decided to change the date of the newsletters from mid-month to the first of the month due to my time constraints. The second reason was because I decided to change the direction of the June newsletter. For the past few years, I have been sharing stories from gay men who are part of this network meaning they have come to me for help or support in coming out to their wives. Their stories have been so helpful to us in helping us come to terms with our own marriages and realizing that these men tried their best not to be gay, but they ultimately couldn't help who they are. They didn't marry us to make us miserable but rather to validate their own lives and hopes that loving us enough would take away those male attractions. In the end, it is what it is. A mess.
I've decided this year that I've published enough stories over the past four years of men's stories on why they took the marriage road with us. They are wonderful for new men who come to me for understanding, and I send them out to women who question why their husbands "chose" homosexuality over their families. As you come to understand homosexuality, you will realize this is not just about sex--it's about who a person is. Homosexuality is not just a sexual act--it's the entire make up of a person--and it is different than straight. Once you accept that, you'll be able to understand my philosophy that "gay men don't think straight." They are gay. I don't think gay. I'm straight. That doesn't mean better--it just means different. The men who sit home and torture you can't be honest to you because they won't be honest with themselves. I don't care how they touch you, feel you, tell you how they love you, or have sex with you. If they want a penis--that is the dividing line for me. Gay. Yes, to me it is black and white. Confusing to some of you--but definitely clear to me. Penis. Gay. Period.
I listened to over 2,000 men in the past 30 years. I do understand their struggle and their battle. I support any man who wants to do the right thing--which is come out to you and tell you the truth. Of course, this is a battle sometimes because some men don't believe that telling the truth is the "best thing to do."
I am now asking those of you who would like to volunteer to help me convince these men that telling the truth to your wife is the least they can do. When I send men letters, I always explain the importance of:
3. Doing this the right way
Some men listen to what I have to say. But I think that some prefer not to believe me and think I'll approve of them keeping the "secret" from you. I won't. Period. I am going to now share two different letters I recently received that are typical of letters I received from gay men throughout the year. I need your input in what you would like these men to know as far as being a straight wife. This won't be easy for you because you need to put "personal feelings" meaning anger and cursing on the side and instead answer with "emotional impact" statements that might get the point across.
I want to be able to share with men who write to me your deep feelings of hurt and devastation in a way that they will "get it." Believe it or not, sometimes it does matter. For example, one man who was dating a gay married man recently wrote to me that:
I have just spent all morning reading your articles and going over your Website - you are truly remarkable for your courage and conviction.
I was being so selfish - enjoying the passion and excitement of having this affair and not considering 'the wife'. I justified it for a while - thinking 'she must know, and perhaps she gets enough out of the marriage (children, money, lifestyle, etc) that she is accepting. But now after reading your material, I feel like a fool. She must be harboring such confusion, and perhaps even deep sadness.
I like getting letters from what I call "Other Men" because it is easier most of the time to work with them to realize how much hurt they are causing an unsuspecting wife. By the time the other man writes to me (a few dozen every year), your gay husband is usually cheating on him as well.
I will reprint two letters that I received during 2014 anonymously with you from two of the husbands who asked me for help:
From this past February:
I have been married for 24 years to a wonderful woman. When I married her, I believed we would live together and die together because I loved her so much. Yes, I did have attractions to certain males but I believed that was normal for teenage guys. One time an uncle molested me at the age of 14 and told me it's normal for all men to experiment--that way they would know what kind of sex they really wanted when they were older.
I didn't like him touching me, and thankfully, he didn't do anything painful to me like intercourse. I felt so guilty after that, but he was my uncle who loved me and he was also my mother's brother.
I tried to put that occasion (one time only) out of my mind because I was too afraid to tell anyone. When I was 17 or 18, I would see other guys in the locker room in school and sometimes think about how it would feel if they had touched me instead. I then pushed those thoughts away knowing they were wrong. I wasn't "that kind of a guy."
When I met my wife in 1989, I immediately was attracted to her. She was beautiful with long brown hair and green eyes. We both had two of the same college classes, so we were spending a lot of time together. We found we had so much in common and our personalities really blended well. I had gone out with other girls and dated in high school, but it was casual dating and nothing serious.
My wife and I became inseparable, and within the year, we took our vows as husband and wife. Our first decade together was wonderful. We were in our early 20's when we got married, and sex was good. We didn't have a lot of it sometimes because we started a family within two years. Sometimes we were just too beat to get around to it. I started working extra hours to support the family and was tired a lot at the end of the day. Sex wasn't the first thing on my mind. I guess it wasn't that much on my wife's mind either although she did bring it up from time to time.
By the end of 10 years, there were three beautiful children in our lives. I felt so content having a beautiful wife, three beautiful children, a good job, and a nice house. I was living the American dream. And yet--this dream seem to leave me feeling unhappy. I couldn't figure it out, so I started taking a few drinks to "lift" my spirits. My drinking started to cause some arguments in the marriage, so one night, I told my wife that if I can't have a few drinks at home, I'll go to a bar and slammed out the door.
Don't ask me why or how I ended up at a gay bar. It was the first bar that I saw. I had seen it hundreds of times through the years but never dreamed of going into it. That night was different. I just needed a drink and I wanted it quickly. I walked in there feeling nervous and not knowing what to expect. I justified it to myself that a drink was a drink--it didn't matter where you had it.
That night was the beginning of me realizing why I had been drinking all of those years. It was to numb the pain I had for still having those gay attractions. Once I realized this was numbing my pain--guess what? I kept doing it. I didn't go back to the gay bar for another ten years, but I became a heavy drinker. I couldn't let "gay" get in the way of having my beautiful wife and children.
It did cause tension for sure. My wife and I stopped having sex. She believed it was because of the alcohol. I believed it was because I couldn't keep doing something that wasn't natural to me anymore. As the years passed, thinking about making love to her just became harder and harder. And so we stopped talking about it after a while. I knew she was unhappy about it, but I was unhappy too. I had to give up my happiness to remain a good husband, so if she wanted to keep me there, it came with a price.
I don't remember exactly how it happened, but we started growing apart. Our kids were now teenagers, so she was wrapped up in a lot of their activities. I understood because I did work a lot, and I appreciated the fact that she was there for them when I couldn't be. It seemed our communication was just whatever was necessary, and a peck on the cheek was our customary way to say "I love you." And I meant it--I did love her. She was a wonderful wife and mother. Was I in love with her? No. But I loved her , and I hoped that would be enough.
But it wasn't. One night two years ago, I revisited the gay bar. I just felt I wanted to see it one more time--even though I truly believed I WAS NOT GAY. I sat next to a guy and started drinking. After four drinks, he asked me if I wanted to sit and listen to music with him in his car. I said yes. That was the beginning of my new "gay" life. At first I justified it as just some touching like I did as a teenager. However, within a few months, I couldn't deny what it was anymore. As much as I didn't want to be gay, I couldn't stay away from it. It obsessed me.
I had a dozen or so sexual experiences before I met the man of my dreams. He is everything I could possibly hope for--except he can't accept the fact that I am married. I realize that my marriage is over. Meeting someone who consumes all of my thoughts has shown me that. I am planning to tell my wife in the next week or two, but I'm not sure how to tell her.
I know that my feelings are NOT her fault. She has been a wonderful wife. However, even if I didn't meet my boyfriend, my marriage was growing apart more and more. Is it really necessary for me to tell her that I'm gay? I don't see how it could serve any greater purpose other than to hurt her and the children. She would probably blame herself, and I don't want the children to feel any kind of stigma because of this. Why can't I just tell her that it's time we move on now that the kids are almost raised and we are both not feeling "into it"?
I know my drinking was a big factor in the decline of my marriage, but I never even acted on the gay until a couple of years ago and the marriage was already practically over. Please give me your feedback. I want to do the right thing.
LETTER #2 - This past March
I am struggling with when to tell my wife, and most of the once married/straight, and now gay guys that I have talked to recommend not bringing up being gay as far as the reason for wanting the divorce. I think the fear is that it will be more financially costly and the wife will be vindictive (and we don't have the money to hire attorneys). I have heard of instances of this on my "journey."
The fact that she will be angry and unsympathetic is what worries me most. I want to minimize the impact on the family and if my announcing I am gay, while asking for a divorce will be more painful for all involved (her, my sons, her parents) then I would tend to just address the divorce issue first and deal with everything else later. Her parents know that we have had marital issues over the years and even they get frequently frustrated dealing with her. If she were to tell me she were a lesbian and wanted a divorce, I would understand that as more of a rationale than that I've been a "bad" husband. It doesn't sound like you think that works with 90% of women.
I would also be comfortable telling my sons at any time now, but when we spoke on the phone, you said I should tell my wife first. I don't think they will "fly off the handle" as she will.
So, the real question in my mind is... do I tell her I am gay and then address the divorce issue or get the divorce and then let her know why? I know this is ultimately my decision, but... based on your experience with women, how is it best received and "handled" by everyone involved?
I have many years left to be happy and I am very unhappy now, partly because my relationship with my wife is not fun and positive (largely because of her personality and issues), and partly because I want to be with guys more and I am getting increasingly frustrated with the way she treats me and her issues that she will not address or get help for (OCD, neediness, lack of self esteem, and lack of close friends).
So, I have contemplated admitting I am gay, in hopes that she will be more understanding of the reason for a divorce. However, my fear is that she will be more angry and vindictive, about "how I could do that to her!" versus understanding my situation. Most married guys I have spoken to recommend not making that part of the divorce, as for most it has been more painful or because it is not grounds for divorce where I live, and therefore will not help the situation, but further complicate it and give her more to be angry and vengeful about.
I would tell my sons (as you recommend) as soon as a divorce is final (and I could tell her too) that I am gay. What do you think about all of this? Do I really have to tell her if I was planning to divorce her anyway?
So ladies.....here's where I need your help. If you could send me some comments on what you would like men to know when they write me letters like this, I will compile them and have them ready to go. Sometimes, I think hearing the voices of others besides mine really helps men who have a conscience. I will share it with our group in an upcoming newsletter as well. You can sign it however you want--with a first name, an initial, or a middle name. You can even make up a name! But guys need to hear us and take responsibility for what they do to us.
When Christian Mingle, the online dating service, started advertising on television a few years back, it seemed like a dream come true for many Christian women. After all, no respectable Christian woman likes to get clawed on her first date. This was a dating site where good women with Christian values could meet good men with Christian values--in other words--HANDS OFF. Women with deep religious commitments felt this was an answer to their prayers for meeting a guy who would love them for themselves and not for sex. I have no doubt that there have been successful matches through this dating service--but there are also some dangerous liaisons.
In my first book "The Gay Husband Checklist for Women Who Wonder," I have a chapter on the prototype of woman a gay man looks for when he decides to try the marriage route. I give a list of characteristics and traits that gay men look for either consciously or subconsciously or unconsciously. One of them is women with religious backgrounds. They are prime targets because they are NOT looking for sex or sexual contact prior to marriage based on their religious beliefs.
Remember--Christian gay men in denial don't want to be gay. Homosexuality goes against everything they are taught and raised to believe in church and at home in their Christian families. They have heard the repeated message that gay people are hell-bound, and there is no one who can save them. Even in some of the modernized churches where they acknowledge that maybe people are born gay, they still say that if that is so, gay people are still obligated not to act on their homosexuality in sexual ways. In other words, plan on a lifetime of celibacy. No fooling around. Ever. Whatever.
For gay men who want to try to live the straight life, Christian Mingle is a wonderful tool. First of all, if you are not aggressive with the woman you are dating--that's good. You want her for her mind and not her body. You care about her on an emotional and intellectual level--good Christians aren't thinking about sex. Whewwwwww.....that takes a lot of the pressure off the gay man. It gives him more time to think about the wedding night....like how he is going to pull that off. Well, never worry today about something that can be put off until tomorrow, right?
Even if the majority of men who go on Christian mingle have good intentions, I know for a fact that all of them do not. One of my dear friends in our Straight Wives Club was married to a man who will never admit to being gay. The fact that he has HIV from having sex with men still does not make him admit to it--publically of course. The fact that he has advertised and met some unsuspecting woman on Christian Mingle is a horrific thing. In fact, it doesn't get much lower than that.
On a regular dating service such as Match.com or EHarmony.com, you have the opportunity to meet men. You know that some might be good--some might be bad--all of them may be a little misleading. You go into the online dating service recognizing there are game players who are users and losers as hopefully some winners.
But on Christian Mingle--well--that is somewhat "Holy" for lack of a better word. It's not like Farmersonly.com where you are looking for someone who can appreciate a cow or goat the way "that only farmers do." You are looking for someone on a site that has the name "Christian" in it--meaning Godly. Why would you think there would be game players on a line promoted via God's name? And yet, you can see how easy it is to be blindsided by "men in hiding."
The bottom line is who can you trust? You can only trust your own gut instinct. If a man is willing not to touch you until after marriage, that is a dangerous red flag for you as a woman. You are leaving a marriage where a man didn't want you as a woman. You don't want to put yourself back in the same position.
I am not saying you have to go against your religious beliefs, but you surely can do things short of "everything." Any straight man who wants to marry you should want you sexually in the worst way. You can tell from his affection, kissing, and touching that will get you to the point of saying "STOP!!!" But if he stops before he gets you to say "STOP," chances are he is on this line for something you don't want to have to know about--and my best advice to you is RUN!!! As fast as you can, RUN!!!!
Starting over can be a beautiful adventure--but like all adventures, it has its highs and lows. You just don't want to put yourself back in emotional harm's way. Making better choices is life is all about.
BLOG - JILL
One of our far away straight sisters, Jill, has a beautiful blog that I follow. The blog is called "Unspeakable Scars." Her writing in each entry is so eloquent. To give you and example, here is her June passage that I would like to share it with you:
“I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love” – Charles Bukowski
This just about sums up how I felt in that moment when I realized I wasn’t in love anymore.
Something I’ve learned about myself is that when I love I love deeply, too much perhaps, but how do you control love? You can’t help how you feel, there’s no turning down the volume, it is what it is, you either feel it or you don’t. I used to ask myself why am I giving this person everything and I’m not getting anything in return and I would excuse him for it with the notion that he just shows his love in a different way than I do. I started to think that I was too loving, too romantic, too idealistic, too hungry for love and passion. At the end of it all I actually felt quite silly for ever believing that those things really existed, those feelings and desires, and I was stripped bare.
At night when we’d go to bed I would lie awake staring at his back as he lay on the edge of the bed, this vast space between us. I’d cry silently, not wanting to make an already awkward situation even worse. That was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever felt. I wondered what was so terrible about me that he would rather cling to the edge of the bed than lie next to me, his wife. Eventually even that was too much for him to bear and he just stopped coming to bed altogether. Didn’t feel good.
The Bukowski line describes how I felt. After such a long period of time when all I felt was grief and despair there was a moment, a morning. I woke up and was lying in bed gazing out the window and it was the most beautiful morning, full of clarity, when the sky is that shade of blue you only see in the Spring and the sun was shining but it looked cold. The light was melancholy and matter-of-fact. I looked around me and I knew it was over. Everything felt foreign, the sheets on the bed, the paint on the walls, the books on the shelf. It was as if everything was stained. Those feelings of love and hope and desire were long gone. Instead there was just this awful, suffocating sadness.
Months later during my recovery I was sitting outside by myself and I had this incredibly strong feeling. It was a hot day and I was enjoying the feeling of the sun on my skin and I was thinking about everything that had happened and I was crying sort of half happy half sad and I suddenly had this very strong feeling wash over me. I felt alive. I felt like the day had just hugged me. It was the most intense and beautiful and life affirming feeling I’ve ever experienced and I have no idea where it came from.
I’ve had my feelings hurt, I’ve hurt other peoples feelings. I know how it feels to show love and I know what it is to feel loved. I’ve felt angry (still do) and sad and hopeless, and I’ve felt strong too. Feelings leave scars on who you are, whether they be good or bad.
Intuition is a feeling. One thing this experience has taught me is to trust it.
You can also Jill's eloquent past and future words here:
Also, if you go to my "Links" page at the menu of www.gayhusbands.com, you can access two other phenomenal blogs by my friends Maureen and Grace.
JULY RADIO SHOWS
Every Sunday night a 10 p.m. EST, 9 p.m. CT, 8 p.m. MT, and 7 p.m. PT, you can catch my show live on www.Blogtalkradio.com. You can also listen to all of the previous broadcasts anytime you like. Go to: www.Blogtalkradio.com
In the search box, type in Straight Wives Talk Show.
Coming this month:
Sunday, July 6 - The inspirational Suzette Hinton - Life Coach who teaches us the importance of loving ourselves first.
Sunday, July 13 - Therapist Alexa Servodidio - Teaching us healing techniques when going through the toughest of times.
Sunday, July 20 - Dr. Karin Huffer - author of Overcoming the Devastation of the Legal Abuse System and court advocate for women where abuse is involved including issues such as child custody and child support.
Sunday, July 27 - our own personal doctor in the house--Dr. Brian Hooper! Dr. Hooper is always validating our pain so we can move ahead instead of being held back.
All of my wonderful guests are there to help you move to a happier stage in your life. Listen whenever you can--the shows are there for you!
Have a wonderful month--and please send me your thoughts that I can share with the men who come to me.
With love and hope,