Saturday, December 17, 2016


Ladies, I’d like to wish you a holiday season. It would be a little silly to say “Happy” holiday season to the many of you who would feel I’m being sarcastic or insensitive during the worst months of each year.
For those of you who are still suffering in your marriages built on illusions and mirrors, there is no real happiness to talk about. Your future is in limbo, and you know that any moment your husband walks out the door some shoe can fall on your head.
For those of you who are newly divorced, this will be your most difficult year yet. All of those holiday traditions you celebrated together are no longer there. And as much as people like me advise you to “start new traditions” and give you “tips” for getting through the holiday, let’s be for real—it’s never, ever that simple.
For those of you in the early years of Gay Husband Recovery, memories of what you thought was yours forever will do the dance of the sugar plum fairies in your brain—no pun intended. They just make you wonder on what was real or not real for those years.
For those of you who are further into your recovery and still struggling with “issues” that create residual feelings of PTSD when certain triggers remind you of what you had, lost, or never had and lost—this is the time to expect those feelings to rise to the surface.
No matter what phase you are in, we are all struggling in this game of either GIVE ME BACK MY LIFE AS IT USED TO BE, or when you realize that won’t happen--TAKE BACK MY LIFE SO I CAN MOVE AHEAD. Unfortunately those pictures being shoved in our face every day and everywhere of families living out our fantasies that we believed to be our realities really tips our boat over making us feel like we are drowning or tilts the pin ball machine in our brain with bright lights until we are screaming “Tilt, Tilt.”
Personally, I think the holidays are a time we don’t have to be happy or even pretend to be happy. We’re not going to fool ourselves for sure. Maybe we can fool others around us, but do we need to do that? Do we need to pretend that our feelings aren’t really that important? Do we need to feel any more “minimized” than we already do?
Being in or ending a marriage to a gay man—whether he is open, in the closet, or somewhere in between—is a traumatic life event. Your investment of time and love into a no-win situation is your reality. In most cases, knowing that your husband was “exploring” his sexuality while lying next to you while he was lying to you and blaming you for the mishaps along the way is something you have to process. In over 20% of the cases of women who come to me, they have the received a gift from their gay husband’s indiscretions that never goes away—namely an STD that will last forever in some cases. And if that isn’t enough to kick you in the gut, people are praising him for being “brave” for coming out. Hello….what about us??? Is anyone praising us for the years we devoted to our family trying to be superwomen in hopes that our husbands would want us? Is anyone marching on a special day saying, “We are proud to be Straight Wives”? Do we get a special day of recognition or a movie about our pain?
And what about how we are portrayed by the media? First we had Brokeback Mountain that portrayed the two wives of gay men as idiots. Now we get a Netflix dramoedy with a real-life older out lesbian playing a straight wife. Oh—we also had Fran Drescher playing Nanny to her gay ex-husband on their double dates and a few Mormon women on TLC talking about how they are happy to marry their gay boyfriends. Is it any wonder that our ex gay husbands are the heroes? There is nothing real about how the media portrays our struggle—we appear as stupid bimbos who should have known better.
Yep. I’m angry. But I’m not bitter. There’s a line that separates them. A few people call me bitter—but that’s not the case. My life moved on, and I am living happily ever after. I’m angry because too many of you still suffering. Bitter would mean that I’m encouraging our women to stay angry. I don’t encourage it at all—but I do acknowledge it. I will validate every raw feeling that you have and make sure that you take absolutely NO RESPONSIBILITY for the demise of your marriage. I will not accept any man telling me, “Well, it wouldn’t have worked out even if I were straight.” That’s what I call denial. They just don’t get it because gay men don’t think straight. They don’t get that the way that you act is in response to the way they treat you.
Most of our women are wonderful women who want to be wonderful wives. Yes, some of us come from situations where there were “issues,” but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be wonderful wives—if we have wonderful husbands to nurture us and help us thrive. When we live a daily life of lies, confusion, and blame, we become different people. We become fearful, co-dependent, and suspicious because we are living someone else’s lie. This is the true shame of the holidays when you are a straight wife.
So, my message to you is to “just get through it.” It’s going to be a rough time until mid-February when all of those loving holidays are finally gone. Until then, it will be one reminder after another of what you thought you had but don’t have.
One of the reasons I get bummed out around this time of year is because I do know what’s ahead. I know that within the next 4 weeks or so, I am going to be meeting dozens of new women who will be hearing the news they never wanted to hear. This is the time of year that many married gay men wait for to tell their wives. They don’t want to louse up the holidays for the family, so they hang in there until January 1st or shortly thereafter. No comment. I’ll just be waiting for them.
Maybe it’s not the best time of the year for many Straight Wives—but it is a psychological time of renewal when January 1st comes along. The worst of the holiday season is behind us so things can get back on track. I was going to say “normalize,” but that would be misleading, wouldn’t it?

After 35 years working with Straight Wives, it takes a lot to inspire me to the point where I stand up and cheer. One of our sisters, Terri, shared this article by Kristin Kalbli with us. I was so blown away by the author’s writing that I wrote her a “fan” letter asking her to be a guest on my radio show on Sunday, December 18, 2016. After the article, I’ll give you the link to the show that you can listen to live at 9 p.m. EST or any time after that at the same link. Kristin gave me permission to share this article with you.

Frankly My Dear, I am the Victim of Homophobia Too!

Recently, author Rick Clemons published an article in the Huffington Post, ‘Frankly My Dear…Gay Men Marry Straight Women! Here’s Why!” 07/19/16 
In the article Clemons asserted “if you haven’t lived and breathed sexual orientation confusion, felt gay shame, or laid awake at night wishing that you really could pray the gay away, then honestly, you’ve nothing to contribute to this discussion.” As the ex-wife of a gay man (who was in denial during our marriage, but came out after divorcing his second wife), I know that I do have something to contribute to the discussion; and I have earned my place in the conversation.
It is an utter travesty that homophobia still exists in our culture to such a degree that self-loathing and fear still infect perfectly wonderful people who happen to be LGBT. Recently the Archbishop of Philadelphia said that gay couples should be abstinent. Preachers still promote disproven and insulting “reparative therapy” and advise gay men to marry straight women (as if our lives are suitable sacrifices on the altar of their religious homophobia). This is baldly discriminatory and deeply harmful to LGBT people.
But when my ex-husband chose to marry me (knowing he was gay), he compounded that harm, spreading the trauma and devastation to two lives, rather than confining it to one. I am the victim of homophobia too. Many LGBT people may not want to acknowledge this, thinking it detracts from their very real suffering. I certainly understand that they may not want to share that particular medal in the Oppression Olympics. 
I am not invalidating the brutal homophobia that sent people like my ex-husband so deeply into his closet that he had to use me as its door. I am saying that my life was ripped apart by that homophobia too. And I am in pain, and angry. Very, very angry. 
My justifiable anger should not be confused with homophobia. I am not, nor have I ever been, homophobic. I have officiated at LGBT weddings, and count LGBT people among my closest colleagues and friends. This shared trauma should make us allies against the injustice of homophobia and its consequences. But often, criticism of behavior like my ex-husband’s (deceiving a straight spouse into marriage) is spun as anti-gay rhetoric. And that is dishonest, dismissive, and divisive. 
I unequivocally sympathize with the struggles of LGBT men and women, although I don’t know what it is like to question my orientation.  But I do know what it is like to have my own sexuality deeply shamed, rejected and damaged. 
Let me explain: I was abjectly and repeatedly sexually rejected by my ex-husband, in the most intimate way a person can be rejected. But I had no idea why. I intuited that he might be gay; I even prayed that he was, because it would have explained the soul crushing rejection. I asked him on different occasions; he always denied it. He left me to guess, to ruminate, to wander in a desert with no answers, to live in an ether of doubt and questioning. And he left me to conclude I was the problem. My body image suffered, my self-esteem collapsed, my soul was damaged, my trust obliterated. I was devastated not to feel desired by my own husband; I was devastated my own husband did not want my touch. My sexuality was a threat to him, a reminder of his own homosexuality, which he was desperately running from. So he had to shame my sexuality and shut it down. 
He did the exact thing to me society did to him. And almost a decade post-divorce, I am still recovering from this form of sexual abuse, this gas-lighting, this mind-f**k. 
Clemons is correct that LGBTQ people are often cruelly “shamed and belief-poisoned” into hetero-normative marriages, but I take exception to his inclusion of the term “forced.” As the ex-wife of a gay man, I say with confidence that I was forced into a mixed orientation marriage against my will, without my knowledge or consent. I did not know he was gay at the time of our marriage, but he did. I would not have married him had I known the truth. was forced, not him. My ex-husband was not “forced” to lie to me, he was not “forced” to marry me, and he was not “forced” to stay in the closet. Not by me, at least. 
Because of my experience, I question Clemons’ narrative that gay men who marry straight women are merely the victims of cultural and familial homophobia and are entirely without responsibility or culpability for these deceptive marriages and their fallout. The homophobia of our culture, vast and grotesque as it is, is not an excuse to rob someone of agency, truth, and the ability to consent. 
It is the definition of entitlement for one person to use another as a beard, a shield, a prop. My ex-husband stole years of my life, depriving me of the love, sexual intimacy and pleasure I might have found with a heterosexual husband. And he did this knowingly. He is responsible for that choice.
In a somewhat cavalier tone, Clemons continues “So the burning question that some of you may still be asking is, ‘Why do gay men marry straight women?’ Frankly My Dear because, sometimes it takes time to live the life you’re meant to live.”  
Ok, fair enough. I get that. But what happens in the meantime to the straight spouses waiting for the truth while their gay spouses have “experiences not yet experienced,” as years of their lives are sacrificed on the altar of their gay spouse’s self-discovery? 
Is the straight spouse’s life disposable because it “takes time to live the life you’re meant to live?”  I cannot imagine anything so disregarding, so dismissive, and so self-serving. 
OH WAIT, yes I can, because I lived it
Yes, it is true, that “true freedom comes from trusting yourself enough to be yourself,” but let’s encourage each other not to learn that lesson at the expense of someone else’s life. 

Thank you, Kristin, for the beautiful words and thoughts of inspiration. To listen to more of Kristin’s thoughts on this matter, listen to our show live on 12/18 at 9 p.m. EST or any time after that at this link:

Patsy Rae Dawson is a Christian divorce coach who has helped many of our women of faith come to terms with the end of their marriages to a gay man based on religious scripture. She would like to help women in this situation with this very interesting survey that will help you make the right choice for your future and feel good about it. Here is what she offers:
FREE: Sexless Marriages & Without Natural Affection 4-Generational Survey by Patsy Rae Dawson
One unloving person without natural affection damages many lives over four generations or more. This survey helps you analyze your home of origin and marriage plus the effect on you and your children, and even your grandchildren. It helps you understand that a sexless marriage is not about you so you can make healthy decisions for your family. The survey is based on Bible principles. The most common remark I get is, “Being without natural affection includes much more than I expected.”

God doesn’t trap anyone in unloving marriages and provides many ways of escape including divorce that is as righteous as partaking of the Lord’s Supper.

When you participate, you’ll receive two free eReports: (1) Analyze Your Answers and (2) Everyone Is an Adult Child: God Doesn’t Tell Children to Love Their Parents—God Tells Children to Leave Their Parents.

Start the healing process today by taking this survey:

Each month, I receive letters with feedback from you, my readers. Those letters that I think will help so many of our readers are reprinted here with the writer’s permission.

Dear Bonnie,

First of all I want to tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your friend.  True friendships are hard to find, and finding someone who struggles with emotions you know and share is even more valuable.  Know we are all here for you .
     As I read your letter today I had many emotions strike up.  The first being a WOW.. So true and I wanted to add so many exclamation points in it when you discussed the emotional pain we go through. The blame...the constant lies...the emotional DRAINING of myself.... becoming someone I was NOT.  It has been over 3 years since my divorce, 16 since I first found the emails and group chats, and less than 24 hours since I dealt
with my ex.  The pain never leaves, I think it becomes tolerable and you find coping mechanisms to deal with them.  When you have children you focus on them and often put your own emotions to the back.  My ex still has not "come out" but the rumors have!!! My children now deal with those, even though they know from figuring it out and me sitting them down all about the same time.  I waited for them to start putting the pieces together, then when I realized he would NEVER do it, I did. He is a political figure in our county and community so when the rumors surfaced...they spread like wildfire. Many of my daily acquaintances finally put 2 and 2 together on the divorce.  I won't lie, I did enjoy the thought that the "Oh poor XXXX" that everyone felt when I left him and all the things people said about thrown in some faces.  But you know
how people are. Only one apology was said to me about what people had said.  The worst issue was I WAS seeing someone else and I knew it was over...I just refused to put it in his lap and ruin him like I could have.                                                                           The road I now take... when I am asked I tell people yes, it is true. I tell them it is something he can't help and I know that if he could have made it work with us he would have and that I will always care for him because he is the father of our children.  I also remind people he and I are friends and will always be, and I sympathize with his issue because he won't face it.  Then I drop it.
     Is the pain still real??? YES !! Each time my current husband goes some time without making love…I have doubts and trust issues.  When you live a lie for so worry and those old fears and relationship issues surface.  I require constant assurance from my husband and luckily he is also my best friend because we can talk about it and discuss openly why our past was difficult and can trouble us today. is NOT meant to be difficult ...but it is.  I know I have become a different person because of this...but it was an event in my life…not my entire life.  I am a survivor and choose to continue to be one.  My children have survived and know there is a reason God gave us this path. They also know he will continue to guide us daily to be the people he wants us to be, just as he guides and loves my ex.  He will struggle forever until he accepts his life and I pray one day he will find the courage to accept who he is so he can be happy and experience true love the way it is meant to be..and how it is meant for. Unfortunately..that was not going to be with me as hard as he tried.

     All my love to all....Stay strong..this is an EVENT ...not your entire life!! Make it only an EVENT!!!  Choose to survive!!

Straight sister – Melinda

Dear Bonnie,

I would not 'feel better' if I didn't know the reason for my ex-husbands sexual rejection! The gay man 'happily married' to his wife keeps her in ignorance - which is selfish & cruel especially as she was abused in her youth, because the patterns of being a 'plaything' for the self-serving sexual needs of others is perpetuated. He may not be physically abusing or brutally raping her. But he is serving his own sexual needs by avoiding sex with her. He is depriving her of intimate touch. He is treating her like a china doll (not for her benefit, but for his) as if she has no mind of her own but were a fragile inanimate thing best left in a display cabinet - yet she is a living, breathing, thinking, sexually-rejected woman. If you accept the definition of rape to be 'sexually forced against your will' then she is being raped because he is forcing his wife into a sexless marriage on the basis that HE can't handle being sexual with a woman. Not her choice. His. And he is also choosing to keep her in the dark, in perpetuity. Keeping her in a gilded cage. Love is about setting people free! It is very patronizing to assume he knows what is best for her - that is a conclusion SHE needs to come to, but it can't happen when he is systematically lying by omission. Her entire marriage has been predicated on a lie. So in answer to the question posed in your November newsletter - I would need to know the truth. Only knowing the truth can I face it. Only knowing the truth can I make I informed decision about my future. 
Terri x


This month’s computer radio show links in case you would like to listen:

Author Tarra Helfgott: Author, Looking for Mr. Straight:

Coach Suzette Vearnon – inspiring us every month!!

Thursday, November 24, 2016


November 2016     Volume 17, Issue 180


I apologize for missing the October newsletter several weeks ago. I was in the middle of writing it when I received a crushing blow. A close friend from my SWC support group died of a heart attack and died at the age of 73. This put me into a very depressed state for the week so much so that I was unable to concentrate on much of anything—including my radio show.

She was an active member of my Straight Wives Club. She first wrote to me for support four years ago at the age of 69. She told me that after nearly 40 years of marriage, she came across her husband’s homosexual secret. She desperately needed support and asked me for help. Through that help, I developed a wonderful friendship with a lady who was filled with humor and hope.

She joined my online support group and tried to show love and compassion to every woman who became part of the group. She kept us laughing, and she found the friendship and camaraderie that only Straight Wives can understand. Although I rarely work with women who are staying in marriages, she had a special set of circumstances that all of us overlooked. None of our members judged. Forty years living in self-doubt and lowering of self-worth was good enough for all of us to make her a member of our group.
She informed me several days before her death that she had obtained an apartment and was ready to leave her gay husband. She had found numerous emails from him and his young lover that she could no longer bear any longer. She was done. Finished. She said that peace of mind was the peace she desperately wanted and could never have living with a blatant liar.

Sadly, her day of moving never got here. She died unexpectedly. Even though she never had her life of physical freedom, she was at least emotionally free—which is half the battle.
This woman inspired all of us because she suffered with her tragedy with humor. No matter how horrible her life was, she continually posted funny and uplifting memes for our group to enjoy. In fact, this month’s memes that I am sharing at the end were posted by her in our support group.

She was such a big piece of so many of our hearts. She always offered her help and support no matter how much she was hurting. She inspired us with her determination at an age where many would just accept life for what it was. She could no longer do that. She wanted her freedom regardless of her age. She felt 40 years of being told about her inadequacies was long enough. 40 years for being blamed for not being “attractive enough, smart enough, or desirable enough was more than enough for her. Thankfully she lived long enough to find out the truth.

Her first correspondence to me in 2012 stated that “the shock, disgust, and extreme hurt was like a raw open and gaping wound.” Over the years, she was able to find the validation she needed—that we all need—through our love and support. And we always knew that as long as she could make us laugh daily, she was doing fine.

We will miss you so much, dear friend. Ironically, this next article was inspired by her when we spoke last month about her emotional pain. She asked if I could address it. I hope her request will help some of you.


In the past, I have spoken about the need for appropriate “healing time” following a marriage to a gay man. I have stated why these marriages are different than other marriages because of the unique set of problems that we face that others don’t.

All divorces are painful. Almost no one throws a party when a marriage ends. Even bad marriages that need to break up are difficult to end because of the emotional impact of ending years of time together. We go into a marriage with the intention of spending a lifetime with someone, and when that fails, so do many of our hopes, dreams and plans.

But these marriages are not like those of straight people whose lives get caught up with the normal stresses of life such as job pressures or health issues. This is not about two people falling out of love or growing in different directions. This is about a gay man marrying a straight woman where the husband is falling out of love with “straight,” As much as he tried to love it, he couldn’t—especially when it came to his “husbandly duty” job of making love to you—his beloved wife. Maybe he liked the perks of straight society’s acceptance, but the bottom line is he was longing to be snuggling up to a man—not a woman. He may love you, but not in that way—although he did try. But as I always tell these men, “You can’t fool Mother Nature no matter how much you want to.”

So after a few years of sexual distancing and finding 50 ways to say “NO” to you—while blaming you for his lack of interest—he begins to look at you as a “sexual predator” There is nothing worse than feeling that the man who claims to love you doesn’t want to be intimate with you. Oh sure, he might hug you or hold you, but that’s it. Don’t ask for more because you’re not going to get it.

To side track for a moment—a gay man wrote to me several weeks ago for conversation, I guess. He told me that gay men can live in a straight marriage because he was doing it—and had done it—for 30 years. He loves his wife deeply, and she loves him. He never cheated on her in all of her years together. I thought that was incredible. But he said he took his marriage vows very seriously. Quite admirable I thought. Then I asked him about his sex life with her—and of course he told me that he hadn’t had one with his wife in many years because he didn’t want her in that way. He tried to explain to me that they were both very happy. She had been a victim of sexual abuse growing up, so having a non-sexual aggressive person was fine with her. She just wanted someone to “love” her and take care of her—which he was doing. She had approached him the past and asked him if he was gay, but he denied it. 

He claimed that their three children and grandchild was all of the pleasure he needed. He told me, “Sexual attraction is just one component of a happy life; I did not deny myself any happiness by choosing to be faithful to the wonderful woman I married and love. Yes when I walk down the street my eyes are drawn more to other men who I find attractive, but I know when I get home I have someone I love and who loves me waiting for me.”

I then asked if he felt so secure in the marriage why he couldn’t tell his wife the truth. Maybe she was wondering why all of these years she didn’t appeal to him as a woman. Maybe having a “best friend” wasn’t the same as wondering why she wasn’t his best lover as well. He wrote this to me:

“We both feel lucky to have each other and I don't want to give her any doubts that I love her now, that I loved her when I married her, or any point in between. Yes I know that secrets can hurt people, but some secrets being shared can do more harm than good.”

I do have a problem with this. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t think so. This guy is obviously happy and does not want to “rock the boat, baby.” Well, at least he did tell he doesn’t want to “rock the boat.” I asked him why he would feel that way if he was so sure it wouldn’t matter to her. That’s when he told me about the shared secrets doing more harm than good. 

If you could send me your thoughts to share with others on this topic, I will be happy to keep your name anonymous or just use your first name. Tell me if you would feel better if you didn’t know the reason for your husband’s sexual and emotional rejection.

Of course, a gay man doesn’t think ‘STRAIGHT,” and therefore just doesn’t get it. I don’t care how he justifies it:

1.     My wife is happy that we love each other.
2.     My wife was abused when she was younger and doesn’t care about sex.
3.     My wife would only be more hurt if she knew the truth.
4.     My wife’s world would be torn apart, so why should I tell her?
5.     Lots of straight couples stop having sex after a number of years.
6.     There’s much more to love than sex.
7.     Sex takes up the least amount of time in a relationship.
8.     Women don’t care about sex.
9.     Women are more interested in being held and made to feel secure.
10.  It’s not the quantity or how much as opposed to the quality.

I’ve heard all of these reasons dozens of time from so many of the men who come to me seeking a miracle. The miracle they are looking for is a way to tell their wives so that they wives won’t be “too” upset or want “too” much from them during the divorce settlement. 

They also don’t want the “grieving” ordeal to take “too” long. Surely I must know a way to “fast track” the situation because they think that I can perform miracles. Boy, are they mad when I tell them I don’t have a magic wand to perform that kind of magic. There is no way your wife is not going to be upset—and there is no way that you are going to fast-forward your grief in a few weeks or months.

Of course, be aware that most men come to me when they are already “in love” with their true gay partner. They don’t want to come home anymore—well, not to their marital home that is. They want to go home to their new mate that you have no idea about. Oh—he’s not going to tell you about “him” either. What would be the sense? That would even hurt you so much more. Remember—some secrets shared can do more harm than good. See, even I learn something new at this late date of my life!

Getting back to my original thoughts—about emotional pain. Now I know that straight marriages certainly have their fair share of problems—but they are problems based on the truth of the situation. Our marriages are based on dishonesty and deceit from the beginning. A gay man knows on some level that he is gay or has male attractions before he marries you. This doesn’t start at a later time in life. The thoughts may have been suppressed or minimized, but they were always there. And that’s not to say that a gay man can’t be attracted to a woman in his younger years. The mind is a powerful tool. When you want something badly enough (to be straight), and you meet someone who you believe can enhance your life like no one else can (that wonderful straight girl with so many qualities), it’s easy to believe that love will conquer all—especially those nasty male attractions that your husbands don’t want to have. I really do understand why they marry us—and I really do believe in almost all cases they love us as much as they can. But heck, it’s not the love we need in the long run.

In the beginning it seems like it is. Yes, they love holding our hands, rubbing our hair, holding us when we lay down like an oversized security blanket. They’ll tell us that they love us and how they can’t or don’t want to live without us, and for some of us who never had real love before, it sounds so good—and it even feels good. But when that subject of sex comes up, you know there is something that isn’t quite right.

Almost all gay husbands had sex with us at one time. We can attest to that from the children we produced. But how many times have women told me they knew the exact date the children were “conceived”? Many. And that’s the really sad part. The fact that women can give me the date they conceived—seriously—is certainly an indication that there is a bigger problem than they realized. Women with straight husbands may have all kinds of problems, but knowing the date they conceived isn’t one of them for sure.

Some straight wives do everything they can to convince themselves that what they are going through is normal—until they realize that it is abnormal. Look, we read enough books and watch enough movies to know that men want sex. And when our husbands don’t want it or use it as ammunition against us as a way to insult us (you put on too much weight…you don’t want to do anything a little kinky (like wear a strap-on)….you always want me to be the aggressor…you have a bad body odor down there….), you just stop asking or suggesting.

Men don’t realize how much sexual rejection hurts. I could never imagine telling my husband or partner that I don’t want sex because his penis is too little. What do you think that would do to his self-worth? What if you kept telling him that he was too boring in bed? He didn’t have good technique or rhythm? His breath or body had a bad odor? Do you think he would feel good about himself? Better yet, what if your gay husband’s lover told him these messages? How good would he feel?

These are hurts that dig deep. The problem is they are built on lies—not truths. Where a straight man might find you to be the best lover in the world, your gay husband finds you to be the biggest annoyance in his “straight” existence.  How do these men think they can justify telling the women who love them so much and devote their loving moments and thoughts to them that sex is not that big a deal in a marriage and expect them to buy into that? Even if you have had a traumatic emotional sexual past through abuse, sexual rejection just adds to that trauma. It doesn’t necessarily make you feel better about yourself. I have had women in our network tell me that it makes them feel more like “damaged goods” than they ever felt. But these men can’t see it. It’s not that they don’t want to see it—but they are gay men who don’t think or understand straight women.

Sexual rejection permeates every aspect of our lives. Many gay husbands “gaslight” or what I call “gaylight” our women into thinking they are crazy or imagining something. Usually the only thing you are imagining—at least in the beginning—is that he is having an affair with another woman. And why wouldn’t you imagine that? You know that men want sex, and if he’s not having it with you, he must be having it with some other woman. Well, that’s one less thing you have to worry about—but you don’t know that because you have no reason to think that a gay man married you. So your self-doubt starts building up.

Some of these men are outright cruel. They will start making you doubt yourself with everything. This could include your ability to be a good mother or be a good employee. Everything here is up for grabs to divert you from the real truth of your doubting him. He doesn’t care about your sanity, your emotional well-being, your sexual needs, or your happiness as long as his secret is protected. And with this all—you still love him. Chances are you internalize the problem believing it is you who has the problem rather than face the reality of your marriage crumbling apart. Even a bad marriage is a marriage. And by this time, he has you in a state of co-dependency on him. He has you believing that:

1.    No one will ever “love” you as much as he does.
2.    No one will put up with you looking the way you do (too fat, too thin, etc.)
3.    No one wants a sex maniac that only thinks about sex all of the time.
4.    No one wants someone so pushy all of the time.
5.    No one will want to take a woman with children.
6.    Everyone will think you’re crazy.
7.    Everyone will say how stupid you were to give up a great guy like him.
8.    Everyone will blame you for breaking up a family, especially the kids.
9.    No one will help you when you’re on your own.
10. Repeat number 1—No one will ever “love” you as much as he does.

Let me tell you about number 1, 10, and 20, and 30 …and every time he repeats that line how no one will ever “love” you as much as he does. This is when L- O – V – E becomes nothing more than another vulgar 4-letter word. We lose total sight of the fact that LOVE IS KIND. It’s not brought about by being NEEDY and CO-DEPENDENT, but rather through actions and nurturing. We are like flowers—we need to blossom and grow. When we are stomped on instead of nurtured, we never reach the potential we were meant for. We are living in “survival” mode which means emotionally we are being drowned. How do you grow when you can barely breathe? And that keeps you as a codependent, heartbroken wife.

Unraveling yourself from this emotional damage takes time. You don’t just “get over it” when you can’t figure out what “it” even is. Some of you don’t have husbands or ex-husbands who will ever tell you the truth. They will just keep blaming you for the problems in your marriage. Many of you will continue to believe this until you find a voice of reason and sanity—like mine. I will tell you the truth. I will reassure you that the problems in your marriage have absolutely NOTHING to do with you, And they don’t. No matter how perfect you are—it’s never perfect enough for a gay man. You need to stop trying. You need to stop thinking there is a chance he will change. Oh…he will change. But it will always be for the worse because he doesn’t really want to be there.

The damage straight wives endure takes so much longer to recover from because it is so much more complicated than straight couples. Many of you need help to move ahead. I am so, so lucky to have a professional network of coaches and therapists that can help you get past your past and swing into a healthier future.

I have lots of support. All you have to do is ask. As the holiday seasons with all of their craziness sits closely in front of us, don’t feel funny asking for extra support. As you know, we get by with a little help from our friends—and our straight sisters.

The holidays are a crazy time of year. You can easily feel yourself falling down, down, down during any part of your healing. If you are looking for some professional help, I have some wonderful therapists and coaches who are part of my network. These are people who understand straight wives. They feel your pain—and in fact most of them have been there themselves.

My gal pal Patsy Rae Dawson is a Christian coach. For those of you who are struggling with the religious aspect of divorce, please see her website. She will help you with the scriptures to show you why you don’t have to feel obligated to stay in a destructive marriage. Here is her website:

Suzette Vearnon is an incredible life coach. You can hear her every month on my computer radio show “Straight Wives Talk Show.” She can really teach you how to move on to your next part of life leaving behind those ugly messages that you have been fed for years. You can visit her site at: Suzette will be my co-hostess this Sunday night on my radio show. Here is the link:

You can listen to these shows live at 9 p.m. EST or any time after the broadcast.

Trust me, no woman has to be alone at this time in her life, even if she feels like it. Remember, I am only a click away!!! Ask for help—I will make sure you get it.


September 2016     Volume 17, Issue 179


Friends, this month will mark my 65th birthday on September 26th. I will officially be a "senior citizen." Maybe I'm not typical in some ways, but there is no denying that age is more than a number--it's also a state of mind.

People change as they get older. Our outlook on life changes as well. We are living in times that to me seem very uncertain and scary. Then again, life was scary when I was growing up and being propagandized by the Cold War and then later the Vietnam War. Even though times were scary then, we weren't living with today's "political correctness" where people can say what they want and be whom they want to be--no matter how foreign it may seem to us. And if we question it, we are labeled or condemned.

Over the past 34 years since I started advocating for the rights of straight wives to be recognized for the pain that we fall into through no fault of our own, I have had a few detractors in both the gay community and the "bisexual" community. I have been accused of being a fake, a fraud, distorted in my thinking and "dangerous."  I make no apologies for how I think. If anything, I think of myself as being overly understanding to the gay husbands who come to me for help in doing the right thing. These detractors call me "dangerous" for spreading my "bitterness" to unsuspecting people who will be :"misled."

So let me make this clear. I am not angry nor am I bitter. I resolved my own marriage to a gay man years ago and moved on to a healthy, loving relationship with a straight man. If I get upset, it's not for me--but for the millions of women who find their lives in "lock down" in these marriages.

I am the first to say that I don't speak for all women in this situation--but I do speak for almost all of us. If someone is truly happy in her marriage, she won't be writing to me looking for help. And for those women who do write to me to help them stay in their marriages, I refer them immediately to the Straight Spouse Network where they can find that kind of support. Some women are determined to keep their marriages together--no matter what. Who am I to say they are wrong? I don't judge people. I help people. When people are unhappy being married to a gay/bisexual/transgender man, and they want to understand how it happened, I am there to give out the information to help unravel the puzzle that can be solved. I don't apologize for that. Thousands of women over the years have told me that I was their key to sanity and freedom--and that is what validates my work and keeps me moving ahead. The fact that a few bitter and angry gay/bisexual men and their partners feel the need to destroy everything I stand for just goes with the territory. It just makes me realize how effective I really am.

These marriages are destructive and hurtful in many different ways. When a woman has to spend every day wondering why her husband doesn't want to be intimate with her, it sends her into a negative state of mind questioning everything about herself and what's wrong with her because her husband can't be honest about the real reason for his rejection. If the shoe was on the other foot, how would he feel about it. How do you think a man would feel if he wanted to make love to you but you found a 101 excuses to say "No," including:

1) You are too small where it counts so you can't satisfy me.

2) You are too big where it counts so you hurt me.

3) You can't go long enough so you leave me feeling frustrated.

4) You really don't have good technique or rhythm.

5) You can't kiss good and your breath smells bad.

6) I can't get past your body odor to want to be intimate with you.

7) You're lack of exciting foreplay turns me off.

8) You never want to try anything new.

9) What are you? A sex addict? All you want is sex, sex, sex.

Trust me, if you said these things to a straight man, his ego would be very bruised to say the least. And even though there are straight men who lack sexual prowess, most women will suck it up and just go with the flow because they love their husbands and don't want to hurt them. They would rather hurt inside themselves than be honest. And let me go one step beyond that--he may not be the best in bed, but at least he wants you in there with him trying his best to please you.

With a gay man, however, he will come up with a similar "female oriented" list of reasons why he doesn't want to make love to you, but he won't worry if he's hurting your feelings. In fact, he's trying to do exactly that so you'll stop talking about your lack of sex life with him. The fault lies within you--not him. At least that is what he wants you to believe. Maybe now you'll stop "bothering" him about it.

These men don't care if their rejection of you as a woman destroys your internal system. They are looking for a way to protect themselves from your sexual advances, and what better way is there to do that than make you believe that you are unworthy? What pisses me off the most is not only are they doing "harm now," but they are doing harm for your future relationships. They are doing harm to your children--their children--who can't have the mother they deserve because she is a "battered" mother. No, I don't mean the kind of mother who is battered with bruises on the outside--I mean the kind of mother who is battered on the inside. Battered and crushed.

On September 11, I did a radio show with my gal pal Patsy Rae Dawson. I've known Patsy for a number of years and had the pleasure of meeting her in Houston at one of my Healing Weekends. Patsy is a Christian marriage coach who has worked with couples for many years. She is also a motivational speaker and author who challenges traditional Christian leadership views of sex and marriage. I asked Patsy to put together a piece for my Christian women who linger for far too many years in these marriages because of the "vows" they have taken during the marriage ceremony. Patsy put together a beautiful piece for those of you in this situation. When I read some of her points, it brought me back to this conversation that we need to keep having over and over again. In Patsy's own words:

My children never experienced their mother’s true personality growing up. Trying to survive a loveless, sexless marriage so saps us, we are never emotionally free to be our best. And because of my childhood spent trying to keep an angry mother happy and my marriage to a man I could never please, I thought I was born without a sense of humor. I didn’t realize I was existing in survival mode and a state of low-grade depression. Even before my divorce finalized, I was thrilled to discover I have a wonderful genetic sense of humor. I laugh out loud easily and often. I so regret my children didn’t get to grow up with their true mother. We should have been laughing fools.

My children suffered 1000 times more than I ever did. This is my greatest ignorance and sorrow that still makes me cry—that I didn’t step out of my own pain to see theirs. I was the adult and could make my own choices. They depended on me to protect them. My son carried his scars to an early grave. My daughter and I talk about her wounds; I’ve apologized many times for my blindness to her pain.

My children failed to receive the greatest gift parents can give them—to genuinely love and cherish each other and them.
Patsy's words really stung  my heart because they are the same words I hear from you over and over again. You are walking through the valley of the shadow of death here on earth. You are crushing those egg shells with your dance of doom no matter how carefully you try to avoid stepping on them. You are living each day in survival mode trying to make that ultimate chocolate chip cookie out of the few crumbs and chips scattered on the floor next to the eggshells. You are trying to be supermom believing that your kids can't see your crying on the inside or hear you late at night as you sob on the outside because you are hurting so much on the inside. It is easy to delude yourself while your husband does such an excellent job of doing it to you. Right?
Some of Patsy's other provoking thoughts include:
It’s easy to think, “That’s just the way he is” or the most deadly way we deceive ourselves, “My husband is perfect except for sex.” Because we believe that lie, we don’t recognize the red flags of secret unfaithfulness.

We also make the mistake of thinking, “I can live with it at this point.” But his desire for men never lessens. It always grows.

And that's the truth. Gay doesn't change. It doesn't go away. It's not a passing phase or a thought. It's not a lifestyle or a mid-life crisis. A person's sexuality is more than just a sexual act. It's his thinking, his wants, and his desires. None of which are you by the way. He'll stay there with you and pretend, but that's all it's going to be. He may love you like a brother or a distant cousin, but he's not going to love you like a straight man. Period. He can't. He is gay.
Patsy is a great believer in God's word of wanting Christian people to love sex. She will give you biblical verification of this over and over again. She will tell you scripturally why you need to leave marriages that are sexless marriages. They weren't meant to be.
I can't quote the bible like Patsy, but I can quote from several of the thousands of women who have written to me over the years. This one, from 2013, was from a woman who is part of this support network  and reflects the aftermath that many of you write to me about:

Dear Bonnie:
It’s been almost 3½ years in now (since we had contact) and I can’t believe how time flies!  I wanted to say again how very much I was helped during my family crisis by you and the support group and how often I am reminded you were right about many things from the start!  I still sometimes see what I learned still applies to an ongoing situation.   Mostly, I wanted to tell you that my life turned out BETTER than my old life by a bunch!  I met THE most wonderful man and I have a new family with two new step daughters and one new step son.  Although we have not made a decision to marry just yet we have made the decision to live together and be a family and I have NEVER been happier in my life.  I’ve attached a few pictures for you to see.

While meeting the new man in my life is great, I wanted to make a point.  Several months into counseling with you and the group, you made a very clear point to me.  I had said that among the disappointments was that my ex and I were happy.  We didn’t fight, we had built businesses and had been together since high school so our routine was pretty set.  You sternly told me I did NOT have a happy marriage.  You said that he did NOT love me as a man loves a woman truly and that his head was never in the game really.  You asked me to remember the thousand little digs/clues/lost moments that I never understood.   You asked me to consider this at the moment you said it to me and I remember searching my feeling as you said it and being sure you HAD to be wrong.    I searched my feelings for better than a year trying to decide this issue….trusting that you had never led me wrong but not feeling that at the time.  It stuck in my head.  I let time and distance go by and considered it again.  And again.

Here’s the end of that story.  This new man loves me a way that cannot be described without a bunch of mushy words that diffuse my point.   But it is TRUE!  There a huge difference in a thousand little ways.  I was so fed up of people telling me the ‘when one door closes another one opens” and “a better life awaits” but is OMG true!   You can and WILL survive!  I was able to take back possession of my memories I felt he had “cancelled” and now feel whole again.  Another year of financial clean up and we’re done…all the way….DONE!

You saved my life in so many ways….always know I am grateful.  I have had the chance to direct a few gals your way, one after receiving a beating when she lost it after catching her husband in bed with his BF before she even knew he was gay.  She said she was staying for the kids no matter what and I said please let the group educate you.  I don’t know if she made it there but I know what you did for me….

Give all the women a huge hug from me and thanks again for all you did….and do now to help us all…. Warmly, MJ

The line of MJ's that I have bolded really struck me:

I was able to take back possession of my memories I felt he had “cancelled” and now feel whole again. Now that is very powerful.

This letter came in last month.

Dear Bonnie,

I came to you four years ago filled with anger and doubts. I was angry at you because you couldn't give me the answers on how I could change my husband from "gay" to "straight," even though I believed he was still straight. I doubted you when you told me that he couldn't change because he promised me and swore he wanted to change. I blew you off back then and wrote a few sarcastic words. I think they were, "You don't know everything. You don't know me--you don't know my husband. You don't understand that we are different than other people coming to you."

You could have answered me the same way I answered you, but you didn't. You wished me good luck in a very nice way and stated that if I ever needed you again, you would be there for me. Of course, I didn't believe that would ever happen. But it did--last year.
After putting in another three years of doing everything I felt humanly possible to "straighten" out my gay husband, I had to admit defeat. He wasn't changing. In fact, he was getting worse. He had come home with an STD and accused me of giving it to him. I knew that was impossible, and when I went to get checked, I also was a victim of his indiscretions. He tried to explain that it happened before he "changed" when he had "one" unprotected sexual act. Well, I went berserk and decided that I was going to find the truth no matter what I had to do.

You suggested that I install spyware if I was ready to really learn the truth--and I did just that. Within the next few days, I saw why my husband was spending several hours a day locked away in his room for his "job." His job was obviously finding other married men for discreet sexual encounters. He even lied to them saying his was "disease free." I learned he was part of a gay swingers' group that featured all kinds of sexual interests from bondage and discipline to humiliation. You can only imagine how humiliated I felt. Humiliated...violated...and duped over and over again.

When I confronted him, he broke down crying and told me how much he loved me. He was willing to do anything to make our marriage work. But this time, I said a loud a resounding "NO." I couldn't do it anymore. I had to stop lying to myself and pretending it was something that it wasn't. All of those words that you sent me were about my marriage--my real marriage--not the marriage that I tried to pretend existed.

I want to thank you for not giving up on me even when I gave up on you in the beginning when I first wrote to you. You could have deleted the email, but you followed up with me every six months or so "checking in." When I found the truth, you were the first one I called--at 2 a.m. in the morning. I was hysterical--you calmed me down with love and compassion. That kind of compassion is hard to find from a stranger.

Bonnie Kaye, I've never met you, but it is on my bucket list to get there to give you a big hug one day. I was able to leave my "comfort nest" of delusion thanks to you. I am on the road to recovery which I know will take time after 18 years. But with you by my side, I know I will grow stronger and gain the perspective that I refused to accept in the past. Thank you for saving me from years of further mental deterioration and physical/sexual deterioration. I am going to take back my life. I would be stuck forever if I hadn't found you. With love and thanks, SM

These are heart-felt letters that inspire me--and I know inspire you,  my readers. After 15 years of monthly newsletters, I am still waiting for the one letter from any woman who has come my way for help who would say I was wrong  five years later, and she is still very happy being married to her gay husband. And if I ever did receive one, I would acknowledge it and then I would get tuck it away in the pile of thousands that say otherwise.

Why am I telling you this? Because after all these years, I know the truth--your truth--our truth. My critics say I'm "black and white," and yes I am. If people choose to stay together in this kind of a marriage, I never tell them, "You're crazy." People have different needs and desires. But if you come to me and ask me what you should do, I'm never going to tell you to learn to "suck it up" or "get used to it." No. I'm going to tell you to think about your own children and if you would advise them to marry someone who is just like your gay husband. I'm going to ask you what advice you would give the child you love about making a commitment for life with someone like you did. And I ask the men who come to me for help if they would want the daughter they love to marry a man just like them and have a marriage just like theirs. That usually is the defining moment for people who have to make this decision.

So I may be getting older this month for sure. And yet, my opinions are remaining consistent as they have for 35 years. For those who choose to hate and vilify me because I offer answers that make sense, oh well, hate me. For others who try to destroy me, well, I know who you are and what you are doing. Nothing you say or do will make any difference. You can tell lies about me, defame me, and undermine my work, but I am here to stay. And long after I'm gone, my words will live on to help the millions of women and men who are trying to make sense out of a situation that makes little sense at all.

If you'd like to listen to the Patsy Rae Dawson show, here's the link you can paste into your browser:

You can visit Patsy's website at:
You can ask for her brochure, sign up for her free newsletter and request coaching.