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.

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August 2016     Volume 17, Issue 178


          We are living in a world that revolves around "political correctness." Over the past ten years,  I have watched this develop and to some degree get it and agree with it. I agree that people need to be accepted for who they are. I agree that it is unkind to mock people because of how they look. And I agree that no one should have to live in a world feeling uncomfortable or feel "left out." So yes, political correctness has certainly made some major inroads.

I have to admit I don't understand all of these inroads. Maybe it's my age or maybe it's because it's too hard to "get it" all--and especially when it comes to sexuality. It was difficult enough for me to comprehend it when I learned that homosexual people were marrying straight people. That was a real eye opener. You see, I didn't grow up with that knowledge. I was told that if a man was gay or a woman was a lesbian, it meant that he or she wanted to be with someone of the same sex. Honest--that's what they used to teach us. This was in the day before the Kinsey ladder climbing up or down on the number chart ranging from straight to gay and everything in between. I didn't realize there was an "in between."
When I was in high school in the pre-enlightened 1960's, people would whisper the word "homosexual" or some horrifying derivative of the word, but I really didn't know anyone like that. There was one boy in high school--yes one--where rumors were whispered behind closed doors--but no actual confirmation. I went out of my way to be nice to this pimpled peer because I, too, was a teenager who never fit in to any crowd. I wanted to--but somehow, I didn't at that age. Therefore, I tried to find others like me for some kind of camaraderie. When we would speak, I never dared mention the rumors I heard about him for fear of making him feel worse than he already did. This was the closest I got to the gay world until 1968 in California.

At the age of 17, I moved to California to stay with my father. It was such a different way of life. Gay was very prominent back then as if it were the land of milk and honey for the new gay immigrants continuing to arrive daily on its shores. Here in California one could live an openly gay life. Actually, in California you could live whatever life you wanted because back then sex was over-the-top. There were orgies and swinging. It was quite liberating to those who needed to feel liberated. It was there that I met the first "openly" gay man in my life. At 17, I knew so little that I was so sure that gay was just a condition that came from lack of proper love. I was so sure that loving him would make him straight. And I tried the best I could for a girl of 17--but there was no change. I guess he tried to because why not? He was 24, and it seemed like something he thought might work--but he found out quickly it didn't. That's when I learned to understand that gay men were going to stay gay men. They couldn't change--and they shouldn't have to change.

 As the years went on, I thought I had that whole issue figured out--but I didn't. At the age of 25 I rekindled a romance with a man who was my high school crush. We were both adults now and thinking that maybe we could make us work. Something was off from the beginning--but I wrote it off to the Zodiac signs. He was a Cancer--I was a Libra--and the two signs weren't meshing. At least that sounded logical in the 1970's. And talk about not knowing--I will tell you this. We were parted for six years since we had last seen each other. When we reunited, he told me that he had been with four other people during those six years--two men and two women. Did it strike me strange that he had been with two men? Not at all. Don't forget--the 60's and 70's were a time of "sexual experimentation" for people. He assured me that he tried it--and didn't like it. Or he liked it, but not as much as being with a woman. And guess what? I bought it. It sounded logical to me. Why else would a man want to be with me unless he "decided" he was straight?

 We were very misled in those days by reports by "sexual experts" such as Dr. Kinsey who talked about sexual fluidity long before it was acknowledged as "accepted behavior" as it is today. Of course, he was stating that a large percentage of men had some kind of "homosexual" encounter if their lifetimes, and it was "normal." So that's what I thought. When that boyfriend said he "tried it" and "didn't like it," it made sense to me. And although I left him before our plans to move in together hastened to the date of action, I was having doubts because something was "off." I still was attributing it to the moon being in the seventh house and Jupiter aligning with Mars. Yes, it must have been that Zodiac incompatibility again. It's funny--we had sex, but I always felt he wasn't there with me--much like his moodiness and brooding.  It wasn't until ten years later and several years after the marriage to my gay husband that I learned that he, too, was gay. I was smarter by then. I knew the moment I dialed him and a man picked up the phone that that was his lover--and he admitted it.

 Oh well, enough of my history. I like to tell you my story because so many of our women kick themselves over and over for not seeing the red flags. That's because so many of us didn't know they were red flags. We just didn't know enough. We didn't have computers to check on the facts or find explanations to the behaviors that we attributed to astrology. Yes--for those of you grew up during the age of Aquarius, didn't the signs of the Zodiac explain everything?

 Anyway, getting back to my point--over the past 10 years or so, political correctness has taken over in our country. It seems that you can't say much about anyone without getting condemned. We have to accept things which in the past would not be acceptable. And I admit I am somewhat weary of having to try to be understanding of behavior that seems somewhat mixed up and jumbled, but that's me. It was difficult for me to understand straight vs. gay--and now there are so many other variations of the sexual spectrum that I never imagined. And I'm not knocking it--I'm just acknowledging it. But I do have a problem with it, and I'll explain why.

 It seems that we keep rallying to the cause of fighting for people who are coming out of some closet. The closets are different ones ranging from gay to transgender and include a whole new vocabulary of in-betweens that I won't get into. But it seems the more that these men come out and end up with barrels of praise for their bravery, the further back we, their wives, are shoved back into their closets.

 How we, the straight wives, are feeling is never the issue, is it? Is anyone out there asking us Straight Wives what it feels like to have our lives blown away and devastated? I don't think so. I do know that I get at least two or three requests from media shows each month asking me for people in my group who are finding ways of "making it work by readjusting their thinking." I tell them they have come to the wrong person and refer them to other groups who may know these women. Of course, that's after I ask them if they would be interested in doing a show on the "real lives of straight wives" focusing on the devastation of what it is like to be one. Not one production company has ever said to me, "What a great idea!" Well one did--but they were only willing to do it if the husbands were willing to go on the show--and I don't think your husbands wanted to do it. Heck, they don't even want to talk to you about it. But they'll tell the world?

 People don't take us seriously because there are no consequences. There are no advocates out there shouting for OUR rights. There is no one writing about OUR pain except an occasional Huffington Post blog or comedy cable show. We are judged by others without compassion or empathy that they are so willing to give to our husbands. People still think that either we knew and were desperate or missed all the signs meaning we were stupid. And then there are those who understand less than we did who still think that these men weren't gay when they married us, so it must have been our bad cooking that made them gay.

 We were questioning our own judgment throughout our marriage wondering what was going wrong. When we found out, then people started questioning us as if we were "blind" or "responsible." Is it any wonder that we prefer to stay silent? We are double whammied--first by our gay husbands and then by society as a whole. While people are so busy cheering on the bravery of our husbands, who is looking our way with awards for enduring the suffering all of the years if our marriages were bad or if our marriages were good, awarding us for losing what meant most to us in our lives--namely our husbands. For some women, they look at the man standing in front of them and still see these men as their HUSBANDS--not as their GAY HUSBANDS. They still can't understand how gay crept into their marriage when they weren't looking. What changed? This takes years to figure out in many cases.
 Why don't producers of shows want to know what it's like to survive this kind of marriage for us? Why do they only care about the 5% of marriages that try to make it work by living in an open marriage? What about the other 95% of us? Why aren't the members of the gay community taking up our cause like they want us to take up their cause? Where are their warnings to men getting married knowing that they aren't exactly straight even if they don't know they are exactly gay yet? And where is the condemnation from the gay community of men who are married and living this double life? Why are certain support chapters of gay fathers encouraging their members not to tell their wives until "after the divorce" so they won't have to end up with less financially? Where are the groups telling these men to FIX THE MISTAKE in a way that the wife comes out a winner after she has lost so much?

 No one is parading for us around the country. No one has even suggested that we have a special "Straight Wives Matter Day" for us whose lives were thrown into turmoil without a warning. We are expected to be "understanding," "accepting," and "advocates" for the gay community now that we are somehow attached to it in a different kind of way--namely through our husbands. But what gay organization has said, "We embrace the millions of straight wives who have lost their husbands and families and welcome them to our community"? I haven't heard of any yet who are looking to share our grieving. And until I start to hear it, I guess no one except us will really care if Straight Wives Matter. Sad, isn't it?  

Each month, I receive numerous letters of appreciation from my readers. If I think your letter will help others, I always ask your permission to republish. Here are two letters from this month.

Dear Bonnie,

          I hope my email finds you well.  I always think about you.  It's been years since I met you in Houston.  It's also been a long journey for me.  I've ducked in and out of and the Straight Wives Radio Blog for years now because I still find it so helpful to my recovery.  I credit you for telling it to me 'straight' and for saving my life.  I put all of my trust in you, and you gave me the strength to be honest with myself, to trust my own intuition and to leave the relationship.  After struggling with my recovery for about two years (I finally realized there had to be more to my story then just being duped by a gay man).  For some reason, I don't know why but at the time I never fully understood what you meant about the crazy making, gaslighting and narcissism nor did         

I realize that was exactly what I was suffering from and why I was having such difficulty moving on.  I went back to your material, listened more closely to some of your guests like Mary Ann Glynn and Donna Anderson and then started Googling those terms and watching videos and so began my true healing. All of the pieces just fell into place and now I know I was severely gas-lighted by a covert narcissist.  It's actually fascinating how these people work and even more fascinating to learn about the symptoms of someone who has been abused in this way and how very little the professionals know about this type of abuse.  Needless to say, I exhibited most of the symptoms like not knowing what just happened to me, ruminating (a biggee!), feeling hopeless, suicidal, isolating, not being able to concentrate, etc.  It was heartbreaking but at the same time knowing what happened, what he deliberately did and more importantly who he really is as a person has ended most of my pain.  For the first time in years, I feel like I'm finally getting back to myself (kind of, still afraid to date) and to some of the things I love to do like sewing and writing (my therapy).  So speaking of writing...I wrote the poem below, and if you want to share it or any part of this email on your website or elsewhere, please do.  
From the bottom of my heart I thank you for what you've done for me and also for all of the other straight wives.  Hugs!

The Letter To Him I Never Sent 

It's been a long and lonely last three years
Still I fight back some of those old salty tears
Stupidly I thought you would be my last love 
Only later to be strangled like a too-tight glove

Was the making of that big, beautiful home 
Your secret plan to leave me all alone 
Should have known you gave me many clues
Just a sick little game to watch me lose

And all that gaslighting and crazy making
Shattered my world and left me shaking
Of all the happy times I thought we shared
Now I know you never could have cared 

Because you treated me like a big 'a hole'
That ripped right through my very soul
Every day it felt like a slap without a slap
But more than that I felt so trapped 

Always telling lies, the biggest 'I am not gay'
Like a cat on a mouse I was only your prey
You are the biggest down-low pretender
A bait and switch I'm not your defender 

Played me day and night like some old fool
But I'm here to tell you that was so not cool 
I ain't no longer your cover girl or your beard
Go on and continue living the life you feared

Don't you know you can run but cannot hide
Behind that mask your fake and phony side
Learned many years ago how to avoid your eyes
That when it ended, I never said any goodbyes

See you skipped no beat and moved right on
You think you may have found a better swan?
Another good woman you will probably destroy
Hey abuser, user we are not your lil' play toy

Clear off the table now so I can place my bet
Cause a man like you, I'm sure she's never met 
Maybe in a few years she'll reach out to me
Then I'll tell her all about 'The Bonnie' who set me free


Dear Bonnie,

          I have been thinking a lot about the theme of "I will never be the same" and learning " to live with it." Most of the time, I think I'm actually better in spite of it all! I was so naive before this experience. I blamed myself my whole life because i refused to see other people's bad behavior and mental illness. It was too scary. And i think I believed people would change if I acted " better."  I refused to think I didn't have control. So weird. Fear drove me in my life. I made bad decisions. I stayed too long. I lived in denial and fragmented my mind to tolerate terrible situations. I didn't know I had the power to leave. I didn't know I could like and care for myself. I relied on others for that, and they were not safe. My whole life was like some sort of reward/punishment, tit for tat experiment. I was keeping score, everyone was keeping score! This is not love.

          With my gay ex, I could not understand the disconnection between us. I rationalized that I had some attachment disorder. ( I'm sure he loved that!) After I found out the truth, I felt stupid. I felt shame. It made me feel even more worthless. And my so called friends? They said" how could you.....?" I didn't realize they needed to invalidate me to protect whatever crap they had going on. This experience has sucked. But I have learned a lot about myself and other people. I have learned that caring for ourselves is seen as selfish. I have learned that most people unconsciously are manipulative and out for themselves but can couch it in caring and concern and looking " nice", but they really don't care, because they are focused on themselves. So now, I look for those few people! The truly caring ones! I actually think I found one in my therapist of all people! I am learning what caring relations looks like and that maybe I deserve it after all. I have also met some amazing women on the internet, and sadly, they are not here, but we connect in cyberspace. 

          So, do we ever get over" it"? The trauma? No. It is part of me. But it doesn't define me. I am working on bringing all the parts of me together for wholeness and maybe liking myself one day ( loving myself is a stretch lol!). If I had stayed with my gex, I could never have had space to do this. I'm pretty confident that he will leave me alone as I made sure it got back to him that I knew what he was! Maybe healing just looks like wholeness and not putting up with anymore toxic people. I don't miss that torture! 

          Many blessings to you today on our little soul journey! xoxo
A Straight Sister

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your heart-felt words.