Tuesday, April 14, 2015


 April 2015     Volume 16, Issue 163

Bonnie’s Mantras:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Dear Clare, 

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

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

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

Well it doesn't. 

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

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

But. You. Will. Be. Okay. 

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

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

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

The end. 

Love you Mom Xxx 

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

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

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

Dear Bonnie,

Thank you, Bonnie, for a great newsletter!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is what I have figured out about happiness.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


Love, Bonnie :)



Love, Bonnie

1 comment:

  1. Similarly to the idea that you can 'choose to be happy,' an acquaintance said to me (when I said we'd split up a couple of months earlier and without her knowing anything about the circumstances or my life): 'As long as you're not bitter.' I was lost for words - what a cheek!