Saturday, February 19, 2011


Dear Friends,
I am so excited because March marks the 11th year of the start of my monthly newsletter Straight Talk. I will be going back to the archives to share the best of my past advice via my newsletters.

This first article was written for the premier issue of the newsletter in March 2001.
Now, a decade later, I am repeating it for you because none of the relevency has been lost--none!

I hope you learn from this.
Love, Bonnie

The Issue of SECRECY—Who Can I Tell?

Several dozen women have recently written to me about the issue of keeping the news of their husbands’ homosexuality a secret once they learn about it. Their husbands are very emphatic that no one should know about this—not family members, friends, co-workers or counselors.

I feel very angry when I receive these letters because not only are these wives expected to deal with their shattered lives, but their husbands also expect them to deal with it alone in isolation. Some women admit that they are much too embarrassed to tell anyone for fear of being ridiculed. Others are convinced that it would be some type of betrayal to their husbands even though they have been betrayed. Why do they feel the need to protect their husbands while they continue to suffer in silence?

I remember when I suspected that my husband, Michael, might be “bisexual” and suggested that we talk to a professional counselor. He strongly warned me that if I told anyone about my suspicions, he would leave me and never look back. At that time, I was in a beaten down state of mind, and the thought of his leaving kept me from seeking help and support. Eventually when I couldn’t bear to carry this burden alone, I turned to my family and made them promise me that they would never reveal my suspicions because I couldn’t bear to pay the consequences. I suffered greatly during those days because I felt so isolated and alone.

Gay husbands who demand this from their wives have most likely made sure that they have a support system in place. They have already gone to bars, meetings, and/or counselors to look for affirmation in their decision to come out. They have gotten the support they need, but fear that their secret will hurt their reputation with the family, friends, and business associates.

This to me is the greatest form of selfishness. I strongly encourage all women who learn this news to seek help and support immediately. No woman should have to deal with this devastation alone. The straight wives are the ones who need the support and help. It is their lives that are being pulled apart one strand at a time. One woman wrote me the following:

Dear Bonnie,
I have been married for 15 years. Three months ago, my husband revealed to me that he was homosexual. I was shocked and repulsed by this news. At first I couldn’t believe it. Here was a man whom I thought was my best friend for all these years. I believed we had no secrets between us. How could I have been so blind not to see this?

These last six months have been the most painful months of my life. My husband moved out last month with another man whom he claims he loves. I still love him very much in spite of the hurt. He has begged me not to tell anyone about the real reason he left. I have gone along with his wishes to protect him from the disapproval of his family. But in the meantime, I constantly receive calls from his mother and sister asking me why we can’t work on our problems in our marriage. Now they actually feel that I am the cause of the split because they think that I am not looking to go for help. Even my own mother can’t understand why I am not trying harder to put things back on track.

I’m not looking to hurt my husband, but on the other hand, I’m not happy with people thinking that I am the cause of the problem. What should I do not to compromise his request for secrecy but not to take the brunt of the blame?

This letter was typical of the many I received from women trying to protect their husbands while taking the blame for the break-up of the marriage. Honestly I don’t understand this need to continue protecting the husband.

I am not saying that the news should be shouted out to anyone who will lend an ear; however, no woman should have to endure the additional pressures of taking the blame from the family. Homosexuality is clearly the reason why the marriage is breaking apart. Why shouldn’t the wife be “allowed” to tell her family and friends who can offer her support? How much more selfish can a husband be to expect this news to remain his secret? It’s not his secret to the people he chooses to tell.

I remember after my marriage when I revealed this information to my friends. My husband became enraged yelling that it was not my place to tell people. This was his private business and I had no right spreading it around. But I told them anyway because I needed support and understanding. Those people around me were very supportive even if they didn’t understand the issue. They may not have understood, but they knew I was hurting and wanted to help me feel better. This is what helped me move through the readjustment period much more quickly.

Your husband kept his homosexuality a secret until he was ready to reveal the information. This does not mean that you are committed to keeping it a secret. This information should not be used as a weapon of revenge; however, women can certainly use it to enlist the needed support to cope with the changes that will come about from this revelation. His secret is now your nightmare. You have every right to find the comfort and support you need.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Dear Friends,
Each year I like to write a Valentine's Day message to address the pain that our women go through on this day. For those of you who don't receive my newsletter, I am reprinting it for you. If you would like to be on my newsletter list, just let me know by sending me an email at

Each year this issue of my newsletter comes out on the heels of Valentine’s Day, the ultimate annual reminder of how hard you can keep trying to make crumbs into a cake that never quite seem to “gel” together.
It’s impossible to escape the reminders that loom largely in your face--or in the case of all of those heart balloons--over your head. You can turn off the television and radio to avoid the Hallmark commercials, but as soon as you walk into the market, the first five rows of display tables are filled with hearts of chocolate and bouquets of roses.

To many of our women, this is a painful holiday. For those still in a marriage, your husband sometimes does his “husbandly” Valentine duty of bringing home a card with little xxxxx’s and oooo’s or expressing his appreciation of you by giving you a box of candy--even though he keeps telling you how “unappealing” you are to him because of your weight. On this sacred day, he lets that comment pass as he shoves the chocolates at you encouraging you to enjoy them as a way of saying, “Don’t expect more.” Yep, some sweets for the sweet. It doesn’t mean he’s going to make love to you or make your feel beautiful—but hey, crumbs are still crumbs. By the way, on a personal note—how many crumbs does it take to make a cake? How about a slice of cake? I haven’t figured that one out yet.

For those women whose marriages have ended this year, your first Valentine’s Day is usually the worst—which is the good news. In the future, you will feel better once your emotions sort out the reality from the fiction in your marriage. At least those moments of frustrations of wondering why your husband couldn’t love you the way you needed to be loved on that special day of romance for couples will be better understood. The other bonus is that you won’t have to feel frustrated and once again disappointed after making the day such a special one only to end up with his recurring headache, toothache, backache, or inability to “perform” due to….oh yeah—stress.

One of the ways that I keep trying to hit home with our ladies is to make Valentine’s Day a new tradition of loving YOU. Unless you can learn to love yourself, trust me, it will be impossible to love someone else—at least in a healthy way. I know that may sound funny, but trust me—it’s true.
When I was younger, I had a distorted image of what marriage was about. I believed that if you loved someone with all your heart and soul, you would live happily ever after forever and ever. Amen. I guess that meant that I had to work hard every day waking up and figuring out what I could do to have my husband keep loving me the way I loved him. Sadly, many of us from the baby boomer generation were socialized that way not realizing that marriage needed to be a two way street. Do whatever it takes to make your man happy. Those were the messages we kept hearing over and over again.

We found ourselves in marriages that weren’t fulfilling because no matter how hard we worked, we were running in circles. It was sort of like running around that Valentine heart. You’d move up the curve of one side but within a short amount of time you’d come sliding down the other side. Then you try climbing that slope again only to be bounced back down. In other words, even if you get to the top, don’t plan to stay there very long. And the climb down—or rather the fall—is a long and slippery one for sure.

And yes—we got tired—oh so tired—of the excuses leading to the accusations:
 Valentine’s Day is for young people
 Valentine’s Day is for young lovers
 Valentine’s Day is for newly weds
Which all translate into one real meaning of what your gay husband is thinking--
Why are you always trying to think of a reason to have sex?

Here’s the funny thing—as much as you are dreading Valentine’s Day, so is your gay husband. Remember that song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon? You know the one that says, “Get off the bus, Gus. Make a new plan, Stan. No need to be coy, Roy.” Yep, for your gay husband, it’s 50 Ways to Say No to Your Wife. It could include lyrics like:

“I’ve got a new pain, Jane. I have too much stress, Bess. You’re much too large, Marge. I need some air, Clair. My tooth does hurt, Gert. There’s a pain in my head, Peg.”

Yep, I bet I could rewrite that song in a flash. Sadly, so could all of you.

So, to my weary women warriors fighting that hopeless battle, gather your strength for the fight ahead of learning to love yourself most of all. You see, I’ve learned in life and through enough hard knocks and lessons that when you love yourself first, you’ll never be disappointed. Why? Because you won’t depend on others to love you in a way that can be disappointing and defeating. Even when you are disappointed, you love yourself enough to analyze the situation and do something meaningful for you. You don’t personalize the rejection—you realize YOU are not the problem—your partner is.

Remember, if you don’t learn how to love yourself, you’ll be doomed to repeat your legacy over and over again. It may not be with a gay man, but it will be with some man who isn’t worthy of your time or attention. Don’t forget—there are lots of unsavory predators out there in the straight world. Some of you have told me all about them—well, actually I found my own collection of them for a number of years as well!

If you need ways to build up your self-esteem or to feel better about yourself, write to me at I will send you ideas and suggestions. Most of them won’t be mine because people far more original than me thought them up, but at least I found them and I’ll share them with you.
Happy Valentine’s Day to my ladies and men. Better days are ahead! Promise!

Friday, February 4, 2011


Dear Friends,
This is an article from my archives. This article was written in 2002, but it is still as relevant today.


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.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Dear Friends,
Welcome to my new blog which will be updated on a regular basis with news, articles, and links to help you understand the complexities of staight/gay marriages. I welcome your comments and hope you will share your thoughts and feelings with the thousands of people who will be reading the words here. If you need need help or support, you can always reach me at Never feel as if you have to go through this journey alone. Reach out--and help will be there.
Love, Bonnie