NEXT HEALING WEEKEND
My next HEALING WEEKEND will be outside Washington D.C. on Saturday, April28 – Sunday, April 29. If you would like to be part of this amazing weekend, please email me at Bonkaye@aol.com and put the word “Healing” in the subject box. I will send you the details this month. There is no charge for the weekend outside of travel, lodging, and food. This is a life-changing experience for people who need help during the grieving and recovery process.
VALENTINE'S DAY - AGAIN--BUT A CHANCE FOR A BETTER ONE AHEAD!!
It's that time of the year again. The day that symbolizes LOVE. Love with a soulmate, lover, or loving husband. It's the day that so many of our women struggle with because they have lost their feminine spirit from living with or having lived with a gay man. But even so, we're human, and the smallest glimmer of false hope (that many of us live(d) with) that has been pushed to the back of our psyche, somehow magically pops up that day like daisies at a gravesite.
This is the day that many of us fantasize will make up for the other 364 days of nothingness when it comes to intimacy, affection, and well....sex. So many of our women hang their hopes on this day thinking that it will be the game changer.
Sadly, the game doesn't change--well, if it does, it's just a downhill spiral of being kicked down the steps one bounce at a time--sort of like the metal slinky toy. There's an old saying my father taught me at an early age--"Big Expectations Lead to Big Disappointments," and trust me, there are sure lots of disappointed straight women out there on this day. And yes, I WAS one of them.
I say WAS because now I can say the word in the past. It's been many years since my feelings of inadequacy on this holiday due to my ex-husband's rejection have hovered over me. But you never forget even after you think you have forgotten. There's that little trigger to remind you--namely Post Traumatic Stress--which pops up to greet you on February 14th of each year. Yes, there is no limit to the length of time cruelty takes to vanish. It isn't quite the simple, "Get over it," that people keep thinking and later start saying when they think you're taking much too long to heal. By the way, as a side note, that is a major reason why many women with gay husbands are shoved deeper into the closet when they discover they are married to a man who just isn't "straight."
Yes, I say, "Just isn't straight," because I am personally tired of having to defend myself on the terminology I choose to use--namely the word GAY. I told you last month about my own personal scale of straight or not. That includes the "asexuals," "addict sexuals," "bisexuals," "consexuals," (confused sexuals) "denysexuals," "experimentsexuals" (those who like to experiment), "pansexuals," "homosexuals," and "metrosexuals," "transgender," and "transsexuals." Actually, it includes anything that is a prefix that doesn't start with "HETERO." Not hetero--NOT STRAIGHT. Period. Look, in all fairness, if the LGBTIA etc. can keep expanding due to "inclusiveness," and so can I based on THEIR definitions--even if I don't understand them all. Mine is so much simpler--NOT STRAIGHT. It covers the wide spectrum of sexual differences. And there is no shame being directed in any way to anyone who is sexually different. I hope you learn to embrace yourself, accept yourself, and come to terms with yourself rather than keep punishing some loving woman by making her think that there is something wrong with her for not wanting to live this way. How many of us remember these famous words?
It's not my problem. You're the one with a problem.
Yes, this is the beginning of the great mental beating down of almost every straight wife who lives with a husband who can't be honest with her for fear of losing what he is protecting the most--namely HIMSELF. But that's another subject for another day.
However, I do like to stay timely and relevant, so let me say a word or two about acceptance. Over the past six months, a movement has become prioritized in our society called "ME TOO." This movement started as a result of sexual victimization of women through harassment--ranging from sexual pressure to sexual violence and rape-- who wanted their voices to be heard. They wanted those years of silence to become resounding as they told their stories one by one in long lines that couldn't be stopped. Some women waited 40 years to tell their stories--but they stood up and were validated. These brave women ranging from actresses to young girls who became our Olympic champions raged with indignation against their predators and let the world know that they women were no longer going to live with the shame of sexual abuse.
I suggest that "WE TOO" be the adopted slogan for straight wives starting on this holiday. Rather than hide in the emptied closets of our husbands for fear of public shame or ridicule that we are forced to live with under people's snickering of, "How didn't she know?" or "He wasn't gay when he married her," why can't we shout out those words? "WE TOO" shows the world that we were also victims and not volunteers. Some of you lingered in abusive marriages for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and longer years of alienation, degrading, manipulating, sexual rejection, loss of self-esteem, and gaylighting. Some of you were held hostage through mind beating by insensitive narcissists who knew how to love-bomb you only to drop a bomb on you. Even the nicest of gay husbands--and I do know some of them who have become close friends of mine--took from you what you deserved--the right to be in a "straight" marriage.
The "WE TOO" movement includes millions of us in this country and millions more around the world. Gay men who marry us later tell us that they did it because they were "victims of society." And I do get it. I understand what it's like to be a victim. But that doesn't give a man the right to bring someone into his life to avoid or hide it from the public by grabbing some loving, innocent woman into the same trap he is trying to escape from. In the end, he just feels "double trapped" by society--and now YOU. He views you as the jail keeper. You are the one keeping him from happiness. He has to try to make you happy which once again comes back to his greatest fear--performing the role of a "straight" husband. It doesn't make him love you more; it only makes him resent you more. These men think they are setting themselves free from the judgment of society, when in fact, they are now more miserable than ever. And who gets the brunt of it? WE DO. That's we have to stand together as straight sisters and say, "WE TOO!!!" Sadly, we are a huge minority, and yet no one is hearing our cause because we are the voice of SILENCE.
I don't know any group that I can think of that feels so isolated as we do. While others are out there demanding their rights through having their voices being heard in the media, on television, in marches and pride parades, we are huddled in the back of the empty closets afraid to raise our hands to unite ourselves and let the world know that we are out there. We should feel no shame about being a straight wife. I am not looking for people to feel sorry for us, but rather to display the empathy and understanding that is so much missing from this issue. It can only change when we decide to have our voices heard and move out of the closet into the world while saying, "WE TOO!"
Saying those words will help you feel validated and a victor instead of a victim. When we don't have to be afraid of people knowing our truth--and YES--it is our truth to tell--it is validating--not negating our stories. We don't have to stand in that closet anymore--we can take a hammer and nails and board it up for good so that we don't have to retreat back to it. Bottom line--start loving yourself enough or even more on this Valentine's Day so that you can keep moving "straight ahead" for all of your future ones. Love to all of you from ME on this special day of love.
FROM THE VAULT ON VALENTINE'S DAY
The following article is from a newsletter published over 15 years ago. The message is still powerful, so please read it.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY--NOT
In the past, I have written about the difficulty that straight wives have during the holiday season. It is not uncommon for depression to set in somewhere around Thanksgiving and continue right through the New Year. During that six-week period, there are three holidays that revolve around family happiness and unity, something most of us are missing.
While we get caught up in the preparation for these holidays, we can’t help but to feel an emotional letdown when they actually take place. We know what they represent, and yet, we never feel the wonder and joy of what the holidays represent that others are feeling. We go through the motions waiting for the emotional impact to kick in, but when it doesn’t, that’s when the depression sets in.
And now, just as we start to get back to our “normal” existence state of mind to cope in our relationships, we are once again brought down by the most hurtful holiday of all—Valentine’s Day. This is the day that exemplifies love and romance. It’s hearts and flowers all the way. It’s the day that symbolizes what being in love is all about. It’s a day where two people who love each other take the time to stop and think about that love and to remember how it feels to be “in love” even if some of the passion has faded through the years.
If you are the wife of a gay man, this is a day that really hurts. This day, more so than all of the other holidays, is a slap of reality about your marriage. You see, on the other holidays you can cover yourself with a veil of illusion because they are family holidays. Whatever you are lacking in your marriage can be compensated for through your children and other family members. But Valentine’s Day is different. It’s about the two of you. And no matter how you justify it by thinking it’s a day of love in general, it’s not. Yes, you can buy Valentine’s Day cards for your son or daughter, mother and father, co-workers and friends to try to make it better. But there’s really no escaping what it really is—a holiday for lovers.
The reason why this holiday in so painful is because it is upfront and personal and right in your face. No matter how you try to avoid dealing with the reality of living with a gay husband on a day-to-day basis and lull yourself into a false sense of security, Valentine’s Day reminds you of the lie you are living with the man whom you fell in love with and married in good faith. It’s a reminder of everything that you were supposed to have but were cheated from having. And the man who robbed you of your dreams is still lying in bed next to you. Each morning when you wake up with him next to you, it’s one more day of living a lie.
Now the lie wasn’t your lie to start with—it’s his lie. But it has become your lie because you’re living it with him. You’re going through the motions of what marriage is supposed to be, but it’s falling way short of what your intentions were when you made that commitment at the altar Your husband, who promised to love and cherish you through sickness and health ‘til death do you part, never mentioned that he would never be able to love you the way you needed to be loved. In fairness, maybe he didn’t know that he wouldn’t be able to do it. No doubt, he was hoping that he could pull it off. And I’ll even go so far as to say that maybe he didn’t come to terms with the fact that he was gay on that life-changing day. But in almost all cases he knew he was having conflicting feelings. He knew something was off even if he couldn’t figure out that it was homosexuality.
Even when I speak to gay men who tell me that they honestly didn’t believe that they were gay, or hadn’t acted on those impulses prior to marriage, they still knew looking or thinking about men sexually aroused them. And even if they still couldn’t come to terms with that, they knew when they stopped making love to you early in the marriage that they were not attracted to you because you were a woman. But they kept quiet because they were afraid if they told you their secret, you may blow it for them. You might pull away their security blanket leaving them vulnerable and feeling naked. It wasn’t always an easy choice for them to keep lying to you, but it was easier than telling the truth.
So to those of you who are living in one of the many situations that bring us all together under this umbrella of commonality, let me personally wish you a Happy Future Valentine’s Day. Believe me, it can happen to you just like it happened to me. This is a day I celebrate in a big way. It’s a day that makes me happy because I have a man whom I am in love with. He makes my heart flutter and my knees still get shaky when we touch—and that’s after eight years. I don’t say that to brag, but rather to let you know how life was meant to be. You were meant to have a man who can love you and make love to you. You were meant to meet someone who would cherish you and treat you as if you were the most important part of his life. The fact that you were sidetracked doesn’t mean that you are doomed forever. It is never too late to find the happiness you are seeking as long as you don’t give up hope. And even if you don’t want to think about falling in love, at least think about not living in an abusive situation. Work on loving yourself enough to move away from a man who is not your soulmate but who is destroying your soul instead, one layer at a time.
Go out and buy yourself a giant box of chocolates. Enjoy each one of them as you remember how sweet life is supposed to be and how wonderful it will be once you remove yourself from a disastrous situation.