This week, there were numerous advertisements announcing the return of Fran Drescher’s sit-com Happily Divorced. I could not believe it. Do you mean to tell me that there are enough people watching this comedy series about the painful marriages of over 4 million straight women to renew it for another season? Who would believe it?
As a counseling authority in the field of straight-gay marriages for nearly 30 years, I find it so offensive that Fran Drescher cannot see the lack of humor that over 4 million women in this country suffer from when they find themselves in a doomed marriage of distortion for 10, 20, 30, and 40 plus years of their lives because of their husbands' lies. None of them are making jokes about their marriages or the years that follow as Fran does in her show. They have suffered humiliation for years that were stolen and can never be returned. When a woman of 60 plus years writes to me to tell me that the only sex she had in her life for forty years was the dozen or so times with her gay husband who found numerous reasons to say “no” to her requests because she now discovered he is a gay man—it really makes me ill. What gives a gay man the right to do this to a woman? How selfish can a husband be to withhold this truth from the woman he vowed in front of God to love and cherish? Is this love? I don’t think so.
I have worked with over 75,000 women through the years. These are women who have lost all sense of who they are because they are living in a marriage to a gay man—but the joke is on them because their husbands hardly ever tell them the truth. Their marriages lack the real ingredients that marriage is about—trust, honesty, passion, making love, showing devoted love to the woman who is devotes her life to a man who can never treat her like a straight husband would. Let’s not even get into the tens of thousands of women who are now suffering with STD’s like AIDS/HIV, herpes, syphilis, and gonorrhea because their gay husbands were having unprotected sex with anonymous sex partners.
In an interview with Fran in the Huffington Post this week about her support for gay marriages, she reminded people that she was raped in 2002 in her home as well as her best girl friend by a black man. Her point of bringing up the race issue was that she doesn’t hold it against black people that she was raped; therefore, she doesn’t hold it against gay people that her ex-husband is gay. That gave me a new idea. Maybe Fran should consider doing a comedy about her rape for a next show. Since she does such an excellent job at making jokes at her misfortunes, maybe she can try that angle for her next show. She can call it “Unhappily Raped.”
Straight Wives don’t feel the same impact as a rape victim which is a heinous crime—but they do feel extremely violated and betrayed. Some of them are physically abused throughout this ordeal and the vast majority of women are emotionally abused by men who feel caught in their own web of deceit of marriage. This leads to continual mental abuse on a daily basis because the gay husband feels he is stuck in the marriage muck when in fact, he chooses to remain there because he is too much of a coward to get out. It’s easier to beat his wife down blaming her for his unhappiness than to take responsibility for his actions by telling her the truth. And please don’t tell me he’s staying there because he “loves” her. Most of these men have such contempt for their wives that love isn’t a factor by the point they realize they can’t get rid of those nagging attractions to men.
In my book “The Gay Husband Checklist for Women Who Wonder,” I have a chapter on the prototype of a woman that a gay man marries—and in Fran’s case—stays with even though the marriage is off kilter. One of those categories is about women who were victims of sexual abuse. When women have been sexually abused or raped, their desire for a healthy sexual relationship with a man is often damaged. Perhaps that is why Fran felt relieved when her husband stopped having regular relations with her. She may have been just as relieved as her husband was when she backed away. And maybe this is also why she can be so forgiving to her ex-husband who didn’t tell her that he was gay until after the marriage was over.
The problem with Fran passing off her life with a gay husband as “funny” while she continues to make a joke out of the struggles of those whose lives have been shattered is the public will never be able to understand the reality of how our lives have broken us mentally, emotionally, and sexually. The public will continue to view us as unsympathetic whiners when we should be double-dating our husbands’ new boyfriends. After all, Fran thinks it is a laugh. When are we going to learn to lighten up a bit and make fun at our own misfortune? I say never. I don’t believe in laughing at the pain of others. But that’s me.
Bonnie Kaye, M.Ed.