Sunday, July 1, 2012

On Tiny Crumbs and a Beautifully Brave Wildflower

Yes, I'm late to the game, but thankfully Wildflower Ashley Wilkinson was not. In the unlikely event you haven't read about Club Unicorn and Josh and Lolly Weed and their mixed-orientation marriage, follow the previous link. Then read Ashley's response. Then read her whole blog, because it is simply excellent. 

If I may... I would like to say a word regarding the Weeds and their post... this is my uber-honest opinion. UBER-honest. 

Before I do, let me say first that I come from a mixed-orientation marriage which transitioned into divorce. A pretty good divorce. I am much happier now than when I was married, and my former spouse and I get along quite well. And, just like Josh and Lolly Weed, I am also a fully-active card-carrying member of the LDS Church.  

But back to Club Unicorn... I actually believe this couple is sincere. I also believe their blogpost is akin to a gray wolf in meticulously tailored and ridiculously fashionable sheep's clothing. It is elegantly written with no stone unturned, though the stone-turning has lent itself to discourse suppression, something called discursive closure. Things get cursorily mentioned as if to address them sufficiently enough to move on. But they haven't been discussed sufficiently. I'm not ok with that. And while the Weed's post may be helpful to some... maybe...

...Ultimately, I find it highly problematic.

Problematic because these types of shared experiences can be dangerous. Dangerous in a world where people hope desperately for reality not to be real. Or for someone else's reality to be their own.

These kinds of declarations should come with big yellow warning signs. Like a wise Wildflower said the other day... Results not typical. Not everyone would choose to live the life of an informercial. Buyer be warned.

My intent is not to yell and scream at Josh and Lolly Weed and tell them they are wrong. I'm not even here to argue whether or not mixed-orientation marriages should or should not occur. The point is, they happen. Accepting what is, let us not be deceived by our assumptions about what mixed-orientation marriages truly are. Let us, instead, talk about what they truly are. One way to start is to talk about what they truly are not. (Teaser for future blogpost.) 

To illustrate this point most eloquently, I share a snippet from amazing author Dan Pearce of the blog Single Dad Laughing wherein he demonstrates particularly appropriate insight without having experienced a mixed-orientation marriage himself. Thank you, Dan, for writing In Which I Respond to Josh Weed's Club Unicorn Post.

What gets under my skin is how many people are using his post to say, “SEE?! TOLD YOU SO!”
There are people who are using it as an example of how it can be and how it should be for every gay person. They’re using it as a religious mold into which they believe all gays can fit. They’re using it as proof that people who are struggling with it just aren’t trying hard enough; they just aren’t doing it with the right mindset; they just aren’t doing it with enough determination. If they were… surely they could achieve the same thing Josh and Lolly have achieved.


Josh Weed's marriage is NOT an example of how it can be and how it should be for every gay person. I would add that it is not an example of how it can be and how it should be for every straight spouse. Josh and Lolly Weed have said as much.

And yet Josh Weed's Club Unicorn post is still viral. Right now. Just two nights ago another friend was excited to tell me about it and how she posted it to her Facebook page only to be precariously "liked" by countless other Facebookers. Again. To this I have to honestly say I am as equally concerned as I am grateful, as others have noted as well, because the Weeds have contributed greatly to a very necessary conversation. For that I would like to express a sincere thank you to Josh and Lolly Weed.

I suppose what I'm really doing in this post is providing a very small bibliography of two of my favorite responses to a post gone viral. A dangerous post gone viral. And my main message here isn't to the Josh and Lolly's of the world. Not that they aren't important too. They are. They have stories to tell. And, right now, they have Josh and Lolly Weed to help them do that. 

Today, my message is to all those who have tried and tried and tried and not ended up in Club Unicorn. And to those who are trying and trying and trying and wondering if they ever will or even want to make it into Club Unicorn. And even to those who are considering signing up to try and try and try to join Club Unicorn. To you lovely people, I would like you to know:

It's ok NOT to believe in unicorns. 


You have permission to be the rule, and NOT the exception. 

Please feel welcome to leave comments!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's NOT Your Fault

The following email exchange is from our online support group (posted with permission.) M----- sent an email with the subject heading "Need Some Encouragement."

I haven't posted on here much, but I could use some encouragement and
perspective today. My husband and I separated back in June. He's
alternately saying he's bi, gay, unsure, conflicted; whatever suits
the moment. But he admits to having always been attracted to men. And
there have been incidents over the years that point in the direction
of gay. Then back in January I discovered he wasn't where he said he
would be, and he was with a man. He says just friends, but I was
suspicious of the relationship before. And besides, why hide it if
it's friendship? Usually when you find your spouse in a hotel room
with someone else, it's not good news.

Anyway. We're in counseling, both individually and as a couple. And
one minute I think we understand each other, and the next I think he's
lost his mind. Because he keeps saying things like yes, he's
conflicted about his sexuality, but that's not why he left. And that I
need to take half of the responsibility for the marriage not working
out. This fries my logic circuits. Because of course, I'm not perfect,
but I think that anything else we could work on together to improve,
but being gay kind of necessarily ends the marriage (since I'm really
not interested in some kind of open relationship). But he keeps saying
that no, that's not the reason it's over, and that I share some
responsibility for it not working. Is this typical, or is he just
really, really more screwed up than I imagined? Or if I'm wrong, I'm
willing to hear that, too.

All I know is, I'm not the one who has been lying about who I am.


My response:

Oh, Sweetheart...

NO, THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!! Please, hear and believe that above everything else.

He IS unsure and conflicted - he is a gay man struggling out of a closet that has caused unbelievable brain damage for him. He is gay. There may be some bi-sexuality - depending on how sexually functional he is / was with you. But that makes no difference. He is sexually attracted to men - therefore HE IS NOT STRAIGHT. He was in a hotel room with a man after lying about where he was? He's gay. And he's a liar. And he's a cheater. None of this is your fault.

I have always been so sick of the "I'm gay - therefore it wasn't really cheating. I couldn't help myself" bullshit. Cheating is cheating. Does the fact that he's gay make it more complicated? Sure. I remember when I found out that my straight boyfriend of nearly 5 years had been serially cheating on me and my former husband was appalled. He could not believe that the boyfriend would do that to me. He was totally dis-connected from the reality that they had done exactly the same thing.

Gay men that are married and want out eventually have sex with other men SO THEY CAN GET OUT AND FINALLY JUST BE GAY - even if they aren't consciously aware of it. Even if they are still confused and terrified. They need out. They want out. And they get out. But they already feel like such shit for (1) being an "evil gay" in the first place and (2) for lying for so many years about it (3) And for hurting you. They are desperate to not be the bad guy all alone. They have been blaming us wives for years for being part of the system that has kept them trapped in a world of pain where they cannot be who they really are. Deep down they resent us and our children (even though they know it's not our faults and even though they may really love us) for adding to an already unbearable burden.

In non-mixed marriages, heterosexual or homosexual, blame can be shared for that marriage failing. And even in your marriage, there are certainly things that you didn't do or could have done or should have done. You are human and therefore not perfect. If this was a non -mixed marriage, you could go to therapy and work on yourself, the relationship, issues... But THIS marriage was doomed to fail from the very beginning. RARE as a unicorn is the mixed orientation marriage that lasts and is based on a healthy, honest working friendship. He wants you to share the blame so he doesn't have to carry it alone. Tough shit. Don't do it.

He DID leave because he is gay. He needs out and you need him out. I know how much it hurts - BELIEVE ME I know. But, in the long run you will praise the gods if you get assertive, take action and DO NOT allow his mind games to work any longer. You have been brain damaged through this too and it is time you choose YOUR health and YOUR life.

But, when you do, be prepared for some unbelievably weird meanness which is, unfortunately, all too often part of the deal. A divorce between a straight and a gay spouse (especially when religion is involved) can be unbearably messy. As a whole, I love gay men with all my heart and will fight for them and their rights until the day I die. But those that got married and tried to be straight and are so damaged by that that they become the devils of destruction to their ex-wives and children? OH, HELL NO. I will put them in their place right quick. Just cause you're gay doesn't mean you get to be an asshole, I'm sorry.

He IS more screwed up than you imagined - although much of that is not his fault either. Don't join him in that. He is a big boy - let him take care of himself. He has a tough road to travel but there is huge support for him if he accepts it. Your job is to make sure you and your children get, and stay, well.

I am SO SORRY! All this is just gross - for everyone. But, you are not alone - not even close.

More love than you know what to do with,

Friday, September 18, 2009


Question: I am still trying to wrap my head around all of this, trying to separate the gay from the jerk. I love gay men. Why’s this particular one such an ass? I am torn between defending homosexuality and hating what he / it did to me. How do you do it?

This is such a great conversation to have. One of the hardest things about being married to a gay man is that everything becomes about his sexuality. All marital problems are attributed to his being gay. All personality conflicts and quirks, even disorders, are slapped with a “Gay” label – even problems that have absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation. Once that closet door is opened and we are bound, gagged and dragged inside, we’re like a lifeless little Jonah – swallowed whole and incapable of seeing anything but the giant gay whale that is consuming us both. This needs to stop.

First of all, peel the “Gay” label off of his behavior. How do you look at straight men? Is a guy good just because he is straight? Is he a jerk because he is straight? No. Straight men are either good guys or assholes because of their personalities – not because they’re straight. That’s a no-brainer. Take the one size fits all label off of gay men. Guess what? There are great gay guys and horrible gay guys and it’s not about their sexual orientation – it’s about the kind of human they are.

We are straight women. If we are having a bad day or being bitchy is it because we’re straight? No – we’re probably just momentarily suffering from Mad Cow Disease (aka: PMS.) You get my point. Behavior may be influenced by one’s sexuality, but is not a product of it.

You went through a divorce. Divorce is gross. I now a lot of straight men that are asses to the women they are divorcing. Historically, divorce is not the friendliest of playgrounds and both parties are seldom full of sunshine and good will. The sad truth is that a gay man that married a woman obviously spent a good chunk of time denying and loathing himself. He wasn’t allowed by himself, his family, religion, society… to develop and mature all his internal parts the way other humans got to. When he finally comes out, he really does have to go back and explore, find out, grow up and re-mature himself all over again. (It is similar for individuals leaving the strict religions they grew up in.) That’s why it’s called a “Gay Adolescence.” Does it completely suck that we find ourselves picking up the pieces and raising kids all alone and being the only grown up in sight? Yep. Welcome to it. But remember, many straight men and women find themselves in a similar position while their former spouses move to Disneyland.

Rare is the couple that isn’t pissed when they get divorced. Our gay husbands took everything they were and put it in an airless jar on the shelf and it caused them enormous pain. As much as they try not to blame us, we wives and our kids become listed among the things that bound them, stifled them and held them prisoner in a place they really didn’t want to be – regardless of how much they loved us.

And we’re pissed at them for being gay, for not touching us, for not seeing us. We blame them for the 30 lbs we put on our dead bodies and the insanity that has whirled around our heads for years. By the time everything explodes he is in crisis and we are in crisis and nothing makes sense to anyone. No one handles that like Gandhi and Mother Theresa. We’re all just lucky to come out alive.

Bottom line: There are wonderful gay men that leave their marriages with integrity and continue to be friends with their ex wives and there are gay men that are the ex-husbands from hell that cause nothing but continued trauma and grief - just as there are straight men that leave their marriages with integrity and continue to be friends with their ex wives and there are straight men that are the ex husbands from hell that cause nothing but continued trauma and grief.

There are kind gay men and kind straight men. There are responsible gay men and responsible straight men. And sometimes, gay or straight, some guys are just assholes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Anonymous" Four Years Ago

"It has been so long since I have written in my journal. It surprises me that I am motivated to do it now… I guess it is because my feelings are changing so drastically lately, and I don’t know why.

Ever since my whole life shattered and shifted a little over a year ago, it has been easy for me to “understand” my ex and to forgive him. In fact, it seemed as though a huge weight had lifted off of my shoulders. I had blamed myself so long for the unhappiness in our marriage. And at long last the truth was out – it was HIM all along! There was a selfish self-vindication of sorts. I got to be the “good” one - finally. I got to be the victim, the innocent one, the saint. He was the problem. He was the bad one.

I have been so busy getting the house sold, packing it all up, finding a new home and job, and getting settled. Then came my daughter’s wedding. It has been a very busy year.

Last month was wonderful as I was able to stay with my oldest son and his wife at their home, and the whole family was together. I truly learned that no matter what happens legally or physically – a family IS forever. For better or for worse, you never stop being a family.

Lately, though, I have struggled with emotions quite different from the easy strength and magnanimous acceptance I have been blessed with. I have felt a growing sense of anger – rage even – betrayal, shame, hurt, pain. I think I am thawing out – the insulating cocoon of denial is wearing thin. The anesthesia of busy-ness and survival is wearing off. I am ‘coming to.’ And the pain is setting in.

Perhaps it is just time that has created this. Maybe I am doing something to contribute to the pain. I just don’t know. All I know is that I feel so much pain all of the time. I even left in the middle of church today. I couldn’t even focus on what was being said.

Maybe I am being too busy, just starting home-based business. But I even felt the pain before, as I came home from work and just sat on the couch watching TV until bedtime. I miss my friends in my old neighborhood. I miss my home. I MISS MY FAMILY. I MISS MY LIFE!

Don’t get me wrong. I have been SO blessed with my job and home. I know I am where I need to be. But everything that was my life is now gone. My husband, my family, my home, my friends, my reputation, my security, my companionship, my routine. Gone. Forever gone.

I have started reading scriptures again, and I must say it is painful. So much about being ‘cast off’ and the punishment of the unrighteous. I still love my ex so much, and it hurts to realize that he really, truly is sinning, living outside of God’s law. That hurts so much. He doesn’t believe he will be punished. But I know that he has broken up a family. He has let us ALL down. He has shaken the very foundation of his children’s belief in love, family and God. He has chosen his selfish gratification over a commitment to God and to me and to our children. That is so hard for me to overlook.

I DO NOT believe he has a choice about his same-sex attraction. But I absolutely believe he had and HAS a choice about how to react to it. Once he married me and we had children, he should have forever put that aside… as hard as that may sound. Just think of the people who have put their desires aside for God (think about missionaries, monks and nuns, to name a few) or because of physical or mental defects.

Not everyone can have the love they want. Look at me. I will never know what it means to be totally and completely loved. Never ever. I know that. That hurts. He never even gave me the chance to try to love him. He never was honest with me until it was too late and he already had someone else to love him. How very, very unfair of him.

I think of our youngest son, in his senior year of high school, living with his dad and his boyfriend. What a nightmare for our son! In fact, my ex told me that our son has been staying with a friend in our old neighborhood during the school week. I got so upset because my ex hasn’t even talked the friend’s mom, to make sure it was ok with her. I finally shamed him into calling the mom, who said they loved having our son there. Then today ex told me that our son is at the Dunes with a ‘bunch of kids’ – which means he has no idea who our son is with. It makes me sick to my stomach to know that he cares so little for our son.

My son and I have talked lately, and I totally understand how frustrated he is with his dad’s boyfriend, and how he blames the BF for breaking up our family. My ex even let his BF ‘discipline’ our son, which I totally disagreed with. Finally our son and the BF had a huge fight, ending in a nasty letter from the BF and then silence between the two of them. So where was my ex in all of this… AWOL as usual. Maybe he even likes being fought over!

Can my ex really be this selfish???? Is he really that low and lazy and disdainful of everyone but himself? I guess the answer is in his actions. Yes, he is that selfish. He is willing to give up everything for someone to takes hikes with, and go to concerts, and make gingerbread houses at a gay couples Christmas party, and whatever…. It makes me sick. He gave it all up… yet says he ‘sees himself alone’ and wishes he could be by himself and not have anyone else to have to deal with.

I feel so used. I feel so foolish and so discarded. I feel like so much of my life was wasted. What a joke I must be to him. What a sorry, sick joke. What am I thinking? How can I even talk to him civilly after what he has done to all of us? He has used his gayness as a shield to cover his own vanity and selfishness and total disregard of everyone but himself, and I have swallowed the hook. How stupid can I be???

I watch my married daughter and her new husband fight and compete and make each other miserable… and wonder why they stay together. What can possibly keep that relationship alive? But I of all people know the answer… it is fantasy. If you make believe long enough, you can almost see a relationship where there is nothing but mutual deception and using each other. I am as guilty as my ex in this. I wanted the security, the home, the normality of it all, in spite of the fact that for years it had been quite hollow and empty.

But having children changes it all. We should have been able to put it all aside for them. How many generations have we messed up? How much pain have we spawned? How much heartache, and doubt, and pain? And for what? Is my ex happier now? I don’t think so.

I am happier that he has told the truth. But I really have just traded one pain for another. It is just a nightmare. No one wins. No one.

He is gay. He could never love me. He lied to me about E V E R Y T H I N G… about GOD, about LOVE, about FOREVER. HE LIED. HE CHEATED. HE DIDN’T CARE. HE GAVE US ALL AWAY. Nothing I can do will ever change that. I have been blaming all of this on his gayness. But it is not about his gayness. It is about his character. He cheated. He lied. That is character, not sexual orientation.

I DO believe at first he didn’t want to do it. But he didn’t fight it. He didn’t tell me. He just gave in. He had sex with who knows how many other men? God, it makes me sick. HE HAD SEX WITH OTHER MEN. He kissed them. He held them. He caressed them. The he came home to me, and our children, and his Sunday School lesson. What kind of man does that??????

I don’t know how I am going to get over this. I long for the sense of love and understanding and la-la-land I have had for the past year. But it is gone. In its place is a raw, oozing pain that is slowing bleeding all of the love out of me. I don’t want to go through this. I don’t want to do this.

I want my life back, even it is only a fantasy. I want my family. I want my dreams. I want my LIFE. I want those promises fulfilled. I want my life. I want it back. I want this to all end. I want it all to be over.

I want to go back to our temple marriage and make it work… to be skinnier or to be more honest or to be more kind or to SOMEHOW make him STRAIGHT enough to LOVE me and NEVER LEAVE me and our children and our God.

X, how how how can you do this to me? To us? To our kids? Is it worth it? Is it? What now? How long will this last? How long will you be happy? When will this pain hit you? When will you wake up from your dream and see your life decaying around you? This is truly hell… to see what could have been, yet is no more.

I dreamed last night. In my dream, you took me and a baby boy to a gay bar. When you saw some of your friends, you stood up to go see them and our beautiful, precious son, who had been on your lap, fell to the floor. When I asked you how you could do that, you said, “That is just how I am. He understands I am gay. He is not hurt. He is fine.” And you smiled at this little baby and bounced him on your knee…

Is that the way you feel? Really? Like everything is ok? How can you ever make it ok? How can it ever be ok? If it was just you and I it would be different. But we have three children. THREE CHILDREN and generations that will be affected. This is the family curse. Broken families. Infidelity. Pain. Hurt. And I so desperately wanted to be the one to break the chain of hurt and secrets in my life.

So where do we go from here? What do we do now? WE???? There is no we. There never has been.

How do I function with such debilitating pain and sorrow and anger? It consumes me and drowns me. It is inside of me and all around me…

And how do I do it ALL ALONE? Rejected. Discarded. What do I do now?"

This journal entry was written four years ago by the same woman that posted the Anonymous Letter to an Anonymous Wildflower two posts back. Time does heal. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and, no, it is NOT another oncoming train.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Anonymous Email To An Anonymous Wildflower

Yeah, there is a lot of "Anonymous" on this blog - which is as it should be when there are spouses and children involved. This was written by a woman in our group to a new member going through the big blow up. So happy she was willing to share...

"First of all, I want to let you know how much light and strength and beauty I see in you! AMAZING! You look at real life, not sugar coating it, but still manage to beautifully maintain your boundaries, protect yourself and your kids, negotiate the thorny and painful relationship with the LDS Church, and move forward with your life. WOW.

I am here to tell you that, five years post-divorce my life has unfolded to beauty and joy and FUN that I never dared to dream before. And I am freakin' 56 years old! I have learned that I CAN support myself financially and thrive and make a professional name for myself, even though I didn't finish my degree... yet.

I have seen my children emerge from a complete shattering of their lives after seeing their "righteous" Mormon dad come out, watching the marriage and family seemingly end, losing our big "rich" house and lifestyle, etc... They were teenagers when it all happened. Now three of the four are happily married or in a long-term (heterosexual) relationships. And my 21 year old "baby" and I finally have a great relationship. They love both their mom and gay dad. I did NOT lose my family. I just let go of the SICKNESS that was created by lies and craziness... and the beauty of our real connection has flourished.

AND... I have found STRAIGHT love and sex is UNBELIEVABLE! My Wildflowers sisters are shocked, I know. I was the "Mother Theresa" - celibate, never kissed a guy for nearly 5 years after my divorce. But I really believe that for each of us there is a healing for every wound. And it has been amazing to FEEL desired and sexy and connected. It really is truer than you know that the cause of your feelings of not being desired and loved is on HIS side of the bed, not yours. If a 56 year old, overweight, borderline frigid woman like me can experience a renewal of the paradisaical glory like I have, Honey, there is hope for you!

There is a future so bright for you. As bright as your darkest days were dark. Brighter even.

I am still navigating my relationship with the Mormon Church. I see things from such a different perspective. Thanks to Emily's mom, Carol Lynn, just a short year ago, I reconnected to the "feminine divine" - that eternal, powerful, healing, comforting Mother who has altered my life forever. I have reconnected with my own highest self. I have been led to energy work and the amazing transformation that can happen in our lives. I am working on returning to school to get my Masters and open a therapy practice - which I have wanted to do ALL of my life. But now is the right time for me.

Life is as different for me now as the soaring butterfly that looks down at the little fuzzy caterpillars in the garden and wonders, "Was that REALLY what I used to be???" Yet as a caterpillar I loved the soft dirt under my little feet, and the green leaves. Now I fly on the air and drink nectar. Yet I am the same person, the same being. But transformed.

Oh my gosh, I just looked out my window and a HUGE yellow swallowtail butterfly was outside of my office. COOL! It's a sign!

You are in what I call "goo time" - in the chrysalis, a caterpillar literally dissolves into goo. Then a few "imaginal" cells somehow transform their DNA, and the rest of the goo follows transforming cell by cell until a butterfly forms.

Goo time is not fun. The whole world seems unfamiliar. You feel stuck or that life is unraveling or that nothing is happening. Yet deep within the fiber of your life and soul, 'imaginal cells' are leading the way for the new person you will be. Be patient, have bright hope, follow your intuition, surround yourself with those whose energy will activate and hasten the transformation. It is already happening.

I don't for a minute discount the pain you are going through, or the hard work you will have to do. But you will be ok, I promise. MORE than ok.

AND - no matter how messed up you think this will make your kids; they will also heal and transform. There is a happy ending. I have been down the road ahead of you, and I am here to tell you, it will be there for you.

Take care, and keep in touch. You are loved!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Dear God:

The lady reading this is beautiful, classy and strong and I love her.

Help her live her life to the fullest.

Please promote her and cause her to excel above her expectations.

Help her shine in the darkest places where it is impossible to love.

Protect her at all times, lift her up when she needs you the most

And let her know when she walks with you..

She will always be safe.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lost And Found

To me one of the hardest things about staying married to a gay man for any length of time is that, once you have been given the full information, you are dragged into his closet and forced to live there with him. Suddenly you are living with this secret, and the shattering pain and humiliation it is causing you, pretty much isolated and completely alone. Often, understandably, he doesn't want you to tell anyone while he either experiments and figures out what he is going to do or stays closeted forever in an attempt to live the life of a straight man.

Every single thing suddenly becomes about, and revolves around, his "issue." It eclipses everything. All other marital problems, those that any couple deals with, are swept under the rug or filed under the category of "Because He is Gay" and become too big and confusing to deal with and work on. It consumes our every waking thought and often our sleep as well. It affects how we look at ourselves and our lives and how we do nearly everything. It is hard enough for women to not lose themselves completely in marriage and motherhood but when we find out, or finally face the fact, that our husbands are gay - it is nearly impossible to not disappear completely.

We find ourselves being held hostage in his closet. The clothes are his. The smells are his. The shoes are his. It is dark and frightening and miserable. The worst part is that we let HIM have the key and we wait for HIM to decide whether or not we ever get to come out. Unless a woman has been there, it is impossible to understand the despair this situation brings.

Whether we decide to leave the marriage or stay - it is imperative that we rescue ourselves, separate ourselves from his sexuality and reclaim who we are. If you are a woman that has chosen to live with him in his closet I cannot recommend highly enough that you not blast the "He's gay" information from the rooftops but share the situation with ONE trusted friend or relative. I do believe that every gay person deserves to come out to who they want when they want and that their privacy should absolutely be protected. BUT the wife of a gay man desperately needs at least one person to confide in and get support from. Talk to someone.

And if you choose to stay - Honey, you take your freaking sledge hammer to that closet and expand it into the biggest walk in anyone has ever seen. Put in windows and vaulted ceilings and shelves and artwork and your clothing and your perfume and every alive and beautiful thing that screams YOU because this is your life too and remaining lost is no longer an option.

There are many, many painful problems that accompany marriages between gay and straight people but I think we often make it mean more than it really does. We let it be far bigger than it is and let it eclipse more than we should. Is it confusing and painful as hell? Without question. But does it mean what we make it mean - that we are not attractive, desirable, beautiful, talented, fun, alive and worthy of love? NO. It simply means he is gay and we do with that what we will. We claim for ourselves what we will.

Still married, separated or divorced the trick, and task, is to find ourselves again. Take out old pictures and remember who you were before he came into your life. Pick up old musical instruments and hobbies. Put on music. Dance. Run. Eat chocolate. Have as many Girl's Nights Out as you can. Paint your toenails bright red. Stare at your naked body in the mirror and have a conversation with it. I am not kidding. Tell your body that it is beautiful and desirable because it is female - not in spite of that fact. Do this every day until you believe it. Slather yourself with yummy lotion. Buy pretty lingerie just for YOU. Read books that YOU like. See movies that YOU like. Prepare food that YOU like.

Remember that this is your life and you are ultimately here on this planet for you. The birds sing for you. The breeze blows for you. The flowers bloom for you. The moon rises and the stars shine for you. The world is overflowing with joy and laughter and precious moments and miracles and gifts and party favors for you.

And, guess what? It doesn't have one teeny, tiny, little, itty, bitty thing to do with him.