GAY HUSBANDS AND THE ROBBING OF OUR FEMININE SPIRIT
On my March 28th Bonnie Kaye's Straight Wives Talk Show with my monthly co-host Dr. Brian Hooper, I read a letter from my second newsletter written in April of 2001. It focused on dialogue between a gay ex-husband, Jay, who had recently left his marriage and me. Jay gave me permission to publish our conversation which led me to an epiphany that I always remember. I would like to explain that important realization all of these years later after hearing from tens of thousands more of you.
First I will reprint some of that conversation, and then I will write about what I learned from it.
This is part of the dialogue that started the article:
I am a gay man who was married for 23 years. My ex-wife and I have two
children. I am writing to encourage you to continue the important work
you are doing. I only wish that in 1996 when I finally began to come
out that there had been resources such as yours to support our family
through our transition.
I think that both men and women in these circumstances must recognize that there are no winners but there are survivors who create new ways to relate, maintain, support and redefine their family. In the process of ending my marriage, I lost my best friend and the dream we had of growing old together. Slowly, we have worked to continue to parent our children in accordance with the many values that we continue to share. There are many things I would, in retrospect have done and handled differently, but my single largest regret is that I did not deal with the secret of my sexuality while still in my marriage and in the years of counseling before divorce. So to those men who you counsel , I would urge them to give the woman they chose to love and bear children the earliest chance to deal with the truth. They probably will not have a marriage together, but they will at least have a chance of preserving the love that once brought them together with hopes and plans for a lifetime.
There was some more dialogue, but this is how the conversation ended which is the most important part:
I was much more demanding about the order around me when I was married to my ex-wife. While I still like a nice home, I find I am less compulsive about cleaning and demanding that those around me keep things tidy and neat. I believe that my need for external order in my prior life was a way of coping with my own internal chaos (and tension created by my attempts to compartmentalize my being.) Of course, my discomfort with disorder at home also served to legitimize my disappointment in my ex-wife as a homemaker. "If only she were a better wife.......we would be happy" was my mantra. Indeed, she was disorganized and sloppy, but as it turned out, I have realized that IF O
NLY SHE HAD BEEN A MAN,
I WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE TOLERANT. Ouch.
Those were my words in 2001. If I had to write this again every year, nothing would change except I would add a few additional thoughts based on your experiences that you shared with me.
Over the past 15 years I have defined what I believe to be the most underwritten, misunderstood or understated problem of this whole picture. Women married to gay men have been robbed of their FEMININE SPIRIT. We, as women, are born with love in our hearts that should be tied into lust in our bodies as we get older. The Feminine Spirit isn't about sex--it's about passion combined with intimacy. It's about your body shaking with anticipation when you are going to be with the man you love or desire. It's about intimacy on both an emotional and physical level. I don't care that men are from Mars and women are from Venus as the saying goes. It's not about your thinking patterns. This is about bodily phyiscal intimacy that goes as deep as your inner soul.
After working with over 2,000 gay men since 2001 in their quests to come out to their wives, I have learned that the love these men felt for you was real--but it was the love they would have for a sister or a "best friend." This is not the love that kindles the feminine spirit that we were blessed with. Rather it dulls it to the point of extinction. How does that candle dim, blow out, and get buried? Let me explain.
When our "best friends" who claim to love us start rejecting us physically early in the marriage, what's the message?
They don't want us. It's that simple.
And here are some "simple truths."
No straight man has one long, continuous migraine over the period of years that stops him from desiring you without his going to a doctor for help. A straight man would be running to a doctor and begging for a cure so he could make love with his wife.
No straight man is too busy with his heavy work load to touch you and fondle you playfully day in and day out. Coming home from too much work makes a straight man want to play to forget his tough day.
No straight man has that much pressure placed on him that he can't relieve his pressure by making love to his wife instead of pulling away from her. When straight men feel stressed out, they want sex as a stress reliever.
Yes, ladies--that's the truth. If the only man you've ever had is your gay husband, then you have never known the real truth. It is so much easier to believe your gay husband when he tells you to stop acting like a silly teenager or stop watching so many Hallmark romance movies that give you ideas that aren't true except in the movies.
As any of us who have learned better will tell you--those are lies they are telling you. We know because a number of our women remarry or find new relationships where sex is a priority no matter how many other things are going on. They will tell you this next truth:
Healthy straight men want sex...and lots of it.
And when they have a loving woman beside them, they want it with her. Okay, maybe in 30 or 40 years it will change like your gay husbands keep telling you when you bring up the subject. But not in the first year or five years or ten years while you are only in your 30's or 40's.
Now if your gay husband could at least take the responsibility of saying that there was something wrong with him and not with you, that would be a little better. It would be fairer than those husbands who blame you for not being attractive enough....thin enough...heavy enough...sexy enough...adventurous enough (meaning you aren't willing to have a 3-some with another man or use sexual equipment in his rear end)..supportive enough...understanding enough...and the list goes on.
But although it would be a little better, it still would never be good enough because it is not the truth.
Then he comes up with the famous line, "NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE YOU AS MUCH AS I LOVE YOU." Raise your hand high right in back of my hand if you've heard this line before. I learned from my gay husband that L-O-V-E is just another 4-letter word.
The sad thing is that sexual rejection on a physical, mental, intimate, and emotional level gets you to start believing these words. And then you start making excuses for his behaviors:
....He's right. My friends don't talk about having sex that much.
....He's willing to put up with my faults.
....He doesn't hit me.
....He's good to the children.
....He loves me--and he tells me that all of the time. You can't have everything.....
Guess what, ladies? You don't have anything except a roommate. But it's worse because a roommate doesn't pretend to love you like a wife. A roommate doesn't sit and lie to you on this level making you feel bad about yourself as a woman and as a human being day in and day out. A roommate wouldn't make you are sexually mutated unable to think, want, or desire sex anymore because that feminine spirit that you had was never nurtured or grown--it was stunted, mutilated, and suffocated by your "best friend" who couldn't be honest with you.
Sadly, too many of our women don't realize that the most important gift of nature that they were blessed with was torn away in the name of "love."
I ask these men who come to me (usually after they fall in love/lust with another man) how they would feel if their new gay partner would refuse to have sex with them or tell them that they aren't sexy enough....big enough....smooth enough...smell good enough...etc. on a regular basis. How would they feel if their new men would constantly tell them to stop thinking about sex so much or turn away from them in the bedroom instead of having an intimate moment. I try to get them to see how you are feeling now in your marriage and why they need to tell you the truth.
Do they get it? Yep. Will they do it? Sometimes. Will they come up with reasons why they can't do it? Yes. And the most popular reason they give is.....(drum roll)
TOO MANY PEOPLE WILL BE HURT
Think about it. Too many people. Who are these people? What should come before the love a husband has for his wife? Who promised to love you, cherish you, comfort you, take care of you no matter what? Shouldn't the wife be person number ONE? Shouldn't your feelings come before all others? Wasn't that what the marriage vows were about?
What he is saying is that his family outside of you, his friends, and co-workers may not be happy if they learn the truth. Maybe they will reject him the way you are feeling rejected. Of course he doesn't believe you feel that way. And he will justify in his own mind how you couldn't possibly feel that way because he is a "good husband."
Why? He will say that he is a good husband...a good father...a good provider...someone you can count on. Except for that little thing called sex....and let's face it...he'll tell you that takes up the "least amount of time" in a relationship.
He still doesn't get it.
He doesn't get the fact that he has stolen your feminine spirit from you. He has taken away that piece of you that makes you a woman instead of a machine. Your heart that used to flutter with excitement now sits like a lump of clay within your chest. He has caused you to believe that sex is something that you are not worthy of.
How many years will it take you to rebuild your sexual esteem? Some women never do, and that's the tragedy. My marriage ended when I was young--at the age of 33. I believed at that time that I was finished with sex. I had no feminine spirit left in me. It was beaten down and tucked away for the next 11 years.
I was happy being celibate for many of those years. I was busy going raising my children, going to school, and working two jobs. I found other ways to build my self-esteem and never felt that I was missing anything without having a soulmate in my life. I was woman hear me roar--and roar I did. I rebuilt my sense of who I was and what my purpose was. Rebuilding self-esteem is really the key to finding your sexual esteem again.
Then one day my desire returned, and I realized it was time to fall in love again. This time, however, it would be out of desire--not out of need. I never wanted to feel needy again which so many of us do in time when spending your marriage with someone who acts like he doesn't really need you. One day nearly 25 years ago, my soulmate came into my life and my heart hasn't stopped beating strong since that day. I was lucky to be able to rebuild my life because I was relatively young.
For women who flounder in these sexless, emotionless, lack of intimacy type marriages for years and years, there is often no desire to re-find the feminine spirit. It's been so badly damaged that the thought of reviving or awakening it seems almost impossible. For our women who only had one man in their lives--namely their gay husbands--they don't believe that they are going to be able to ever meet anyone now that they are 60 or above. They were "good girls" in the 1950's and 1960's when they were taught that sex had to wait until marriage. Some of them were even taught that sex was for the purpose of reproduction of children and not to be enjoyed. That sure made it easy for their gay husbands to say, "No," as they made you feel abnormal for wanting to be normal.
The new normal became a life void of physical and sexual intimacy or even affection. Those little robotical "kissing pecks" were the most you could expect--if that. If there was sex on some rare occasion, it was in the dark of the night where you weren't very easily visualized (whew) and served as a vessel. You could have just as easily been a can of Crisco or jar of Vaseline. You may have believed that this was "sex," but it wasn't. It was just a sexual act. It wasn't out of sexual desire, but rather out of sexual "obligation." It wasn't making love.
And that's what angers me most of all. Something that is so precious and beautiful that makes our hearts sing and bodies shake with the ultimate excitement has been buried before it ever had a chance to get started. This is something that our husbands steal from us we need to understand.