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.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Happy Valentines Day you beautiful, wild women! I am here to remind you that, regardless of your single / divorced status - whether you have a gay husband, new straight husband, boyfriend or if you are totally independent this year - today is a day to remember to fall deeper and deeper in love with YOU. Celebrate being a woman. Celebrate all the glorious, sexy, wonderful and vibrant things that you are.

The following is the text of a favorite gift book, by Kobi Yamada [Compendium publishing], that I keep by my bed. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you're able, grab one for yourself and every woman you know and love.

Happy Love Yourself Day!!!


She loved life and it loved her right back.

She listened to her heart above all the other voices.

She pursued big dreams instead of small realities.

She saw every ending as a new beginning.

She discovered her real measurements had nothing to do with numbers or statistics.

She was kind, loving and patient with herself.

She woke up one day and threw away all her excuses.

She realized that she was missing a great deal by being sensible.

She turned her cant's into cans, and her dreams into plans.

She ignored people who said it couldn't be done.

She had a way of turning obstacles into opportunities.

She went out on a limb, had it break off behind her, and discovered she could fly.

She discovered that she was the one she'd been waiting for.

She added so much beauty to being human.

She walked in when everyone else walked out.

She just had this way of brightening the day.

She made the whole world feel like home.

She decided to enjoy more and endure less.

She decided to start living the life she'd imagined.

She colored her thoughts with only the brightest hues.

She was an artist and her life was her canvas.

She ran ahead where there were no paths.

She crossed borders, recklessly, refusing to recognize limits, saying bonjour and buon giorno as though she owned both France and Italy and the day itself.

She held her head high and looked the world straight in the eye.

She not only saw a light at the end of the tunnel, she became that light for others.

She designed a life she loved.

She took the leap and built her wings on the way down.

She said bye-bye to unhealthy relationships.

She remained true to herself.

She made the world a better place.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Absolutely True Ballad Of Tommy and Molly

I cannot tell you the absolute glee that filled my being when, not only was I told this unbelievably ridiculous tale, but was given permission to blog it.

Tommy, NOT his real name, is a friend of mine. Molly, NOT her real name either, is not - although she should be. She soooo needs me. Except, if this woman were my friend I would seriously have to hit her with something heavy that smelled of old cheese - so never mind. I swear that every word of this is true. And I suspect that, as painful as it is to admit it, a few of us - including my formerly mindless self - can relate.

Back Story: Tommy and Molly were friends in high school. Not close friends but they did attend a school dance together. She is now a single returned Mormon missionary in her thirties, Primary President (Primary is the church program for children), and proud cat owner. Tommy is a big, beautiful gay man who is about as Mormon as I am and has been in a solid and enviable relationship for nine years.

So, Molly contacts Tommy on Facebook and asks him if he ever got the message she left with his father. No, he did not. Seems she has been trying to find him, needs to talk to him and, clearly, sees the Facebook connection as a sign that their reunion is "meant to be."

Tommy is on Facebook one night and Molly sends him an Instant Message. "Can I call you?" Tommy..." Um... I guess."

11:30 PM. Phone rings.

Tommy: Hello?

Molly: Hi Tommy, it's Molly.

[Chit chat about Primary and cats. Then...]

Molly: I have something I want to ask you. Kathy told me you are gay. Is that true?

Tommy: Yes, it's true. I am gay.

Molly: Well... [pause] How gay are you?

Tommy: Um... pretty much as gay as you can get.

Molly: Have you ever acted on it?

Tommy: Yep. Pretty much for the past ten years.


Molly: I have to tell you something weird.

Tommy: Okay...

Molly: I've been having this dream about you for the past year.


Tommy: Okay...

Molly: My dream is, basically, that we should be more than friends.

Tommy: Um... what does that mean?

Molly: I think... that we are eternal companions.

Tommy: Um... well... I'm gay.

Molly: Well, I talked to my bishop about it and he said that I should talk to you about my dream - about us being more that just friends.

Tommy: [Stunned silence.]

Molly: I really think we are meant to be. In my Patriarchal Blessing it says that I met my eternal companion in the pre-existence and that if he doesn't make the right choices I will be alone. Are you willing to make the right choices, Tommy? Are you willing to use the Atonement? Are you willing to erase your sin so that we can be together? Because... I'd be willing to help you work through it.

Tommy: I'm very flattered but... I Am Gay. And I'm very happy in my relationship. I don't feel like it's a sin and I'm really comfortable with where I'm at.

Molly: Well, I really feel like this is my destiny and I'm afraid that you're going to mess it up.

Tommy: Um, Molly, I don't really know what else to say. It's late and this really isn't a good time...

Molly: Remember that I am the Primary President and would love to have you come to church with me so you can learn from those pure little souls and follow their example...


Ladies... do I really need to ask? What is WRONG with this picture???

Sunday, February 1, 2009

More Advice For Yet Another Young Woman

Hi there, I'm an LDS gal actually living [abroad] right now. But roots in the states and in Utah and all. Anyways, several weeks ago, my boyfriend who is also LDS told me that he wonders if he's not gay. I had been pretty unhappy in the relationship for a while but it had been amazingly wonderful so I was holding out for something to change. I didn't understand why things had changed and when he told me everything just made sense. I truly did think that I was going to marry him and then.... bombshell. Obviously couldn't really talk to anyone that I knew about it because that would be betraying his trust. But the consequences of this for me have been a little more than I could handle by myself.

Since he told me initially we've had several really good conversations which brought things out in the open a little more. I learned that he doesn't think that he's completely gay but rather just that he notices attractive men and women. And that it started about a year after his dad ran off with another woman while he was a
teenager. But it's making things really difficult for him now. He's angry with his father and blames him.

Fear not, if any of you are about ready to jump up and yell "don't marry him!!" that's pretty far from my thoughts right now. I think that it could be a possibility for the very very very distant future but I'm not holding out for it and I know that we'll break up when I come back to the states. My concern right now is that I feel like I have a responsibility to help him. I really do think that there's a reason that God put us together right now. He doesn't have a whole lot of people in his life that care about him and the fact that he trusts me means that he's come a long way. He wants to make the right decision - he wants to stay in the church and have a family and all that but I think he doesn't know how to get to that point from where
he is now. And I think he feels pretty alone. I want so much to provide at least a happy aspect of his life while he struggles with this but I'm worried about getting pulled down too.

The story is a little more involved than this, but that's a good summary for now.

From what I understand you are a wonderful group and I hope that everything is going well for all of you! Any advice that you might have for either him or me would both be extremely welcome. Thanks, Laurie.
[Not her real name.]


As for my advice at present, it sounds like you are thinking pretty well. Just remember to take care of YOU. One commonality with all the men is that they slowly and I mean slowly they take your life away and take away who you are. Stay strong and keep yourself as number 1. Help but from a distance. Don't fall into that trap that he has no one. You are not responsible to take care of him and make it all better for him. Take care of you first. It is an awful place to wake up one day and realize that who you are is lost....very hard to find yourself again....ask the ladies.



How brave of your friend to be honest with you and with himself. He has more courage than so many of our spouses could find. That isn't, by the way, necessarily a criticism, it is more a sign of the times that so many of us experienced.

You're right, the abbreviated response from me will be, "Do not marry him." Period. End of discussion.

You can be his friend. He trusted you with something very special. He can never, EVER, be the kind of husband you want him to be. He can never, EVER, be the kind of husband that he knows you want him to be. Marriage is difficult under the best of circumstances. The reality of his sexuality is too much to ask of any couple.

He has a tough road ahead of him, being a gay LDS man. I'm sure he knows that in some ways. No one other than those who have lived it as a str8 LDS wife know what you can be facing.

Yes, you were brought together for a reason. I'll be very bold and suggest that the reason was NOT for you to be his wife.

This is a sequence of events that I would not wish on anyone. My children would agree.

Be his friend. Be his sounding board. DO NOT try to be his therapist. Go about distancing from him in a way that is healthy for you first. So many of us are "fixers". It is in our nature. I believe it is part and parcel to what made us appealing to our gay spouses. We go about our lives trying to nurture/mother/fix that which needs attention...often to our own detriment. We've been taught for too long that taking care of ourselves is somehow selfish, so we "do" for everyone else. It can be a slippery slope. I lost myself in my marriage. I lost myself in making "lemonade out of lemons." I wanted so desperately to improve upon the not-rightness in our marriage. I also wanted to be married. I was so good at it. In the end, the marriage died a slow and painful death and wanted to go the way of the marriage. Thirty years is a long time to live a one-sided lie.


You can count your lucky stars that you have found all of us, because we have gone the full gamut of knowing sometimes from the outset (like me) about our husband’s orientation and thinking that our love would conquer all. And for others finding out later and still discovering that no amount of 'working at it' or feeling that you were meant for each other, or we connect so well, or we just love each other to death will ever be enough for him to put this aside, because it cannot be put aside, or put up with, or changed. If anything as the years progress it seems that this only gets stronger and stronger for the men, until they feel they cannot do anything else but to act out, get divorced or stay miserable, trapped in a very unloving relationship which is unfair to both parties. So give yourself a huge present and find a completely heterosexual male - you do not need this problem ever in a marriage, there are too many others that are deserving to be worked on and that result in wonderful fulfilling years.

I agree with Patti that we are such fixers and this cannot be fixed, believe us, many of us have tried for as long as 25 years. You deserve and should be blessed with a wonderful YOU. Worry about yourself and finding that which gives you purpose and offers service in this world.

We care about you and hope you will find our harsh reality filled only with sincere love for you - no one should suffer the pain, anguish and hurt that we and our children have experienced because of this same-sex orientation, that results in a crisis of identity (for the men) and behavior that destroys family units.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Jeni - One Year Later

"The past year has been a bumpy road to say the least but I feel like things are finally starting to get back on track. After much convincing on his behalf, I agreed to marry the man that I told the Wildflowers about. I loved him very much and I was convinced that if I could just remove him from the circumstances he had surrounded himself with and offer him a fresh start, we would be alright.

Two weeks before our wedding date and the night before he was supposed to move from Utah to California into our new house, he called everything off because he had met a new man. Naturally, I was beyond devastated - but this time something new happened to me that hadn't happened all the other times that I had been mistreated, used and deceived by him - I got angry. Anger proved to be the cure to my blindness and gullibility and the key to my self-empowerment.

I am dating somebody new now that is a wonderfully honest and patient man. He suffers a lot for the damage I received from the five years I spent in my previous relationship, but he is good and loving and willing to wait for time to heal me. I have seen my ex once since we broke up but now that I am happy with somebody new, he of course has tried to break back into my life anyway he can - making promises and more promises that now I know he will never keep. He claims he has been in therapy and getting help for his SSA and the damage that has been inflicted on him but I also know that he is still unwilling to give up his old life and his old connections.

I never got the chance to thank you and the Wildflowers for the support that you provided me. Compared to many of the stories I heard from fellow Wildflower women, I know that I am relatively lucky that I got out when I did. It was still, however, the darkest period in my life. I cannot express to you how comforting it was just to know that there were other women out there going through the same thing I was experiencing."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Would You Do It Again?

I was recently asked to give advice to a young woman in love with an admittedly gay young man who keeps asking her to marry him. Oh boy...

For starters, let me refer ya'll to an email I received a few years ago from a young woman (published with her permission - but name changed), and the responses several women in our group gave her.

"I just recently discovered the We Are Wildflowers web site and read several stories about incredibly strong woman and their gay husbands. I can't tell you the impact it had on me. I felt by reading these stories, I was seeing a preview of my own life fifteen years down the road. My name is Jeni. I am 21 years old and very recently graduated from BYU. My best friend, boyfriend and soul mate of the past three years, told me two months and four days ago that is he gay (it feels like so much longer.) He has been involved in gay relationships for nine months. I know that the magnitude of other women's emotions and hurt must far exceed mine since there were actually married but so much of what was said describes my relationship with terrifying accuracy. His incessant cycle of leaving and coming back, wanting to be together or not, claiming to be willingly to do whatever it takes and then backing out, is the roller coaster we live on right now. We were never officially engaged but we were supposed to get married in September of this year. We are currently living together as, probably, a very foolish way to become even closer and see if we stand any chance at all of being able to make this work long term. I love this man to the depths of my soul. He is very honest with me now about all the homosexual activities he engages in and I've even gone so far as to meet and spend time with some of his "friends" just to try and make things a little easier for both of us. We have even gone to counseling a few times together. He is at the crossroads of deciding if we can make it work together or if he needs to live the other life. I am at the precarious position of knowing as a result of numerous confirmations, that we were meant to be together and weighing this against the undeniable fact that he is actively gay. I love him. He is my best friend. I know him inside and out. I guess my one question is, knowing everything that you guys know and experiencing everything you've all been through, if you were back at the point in your life where I am now at, would you do it all again? I am very interested in talking to whom ever has time and is willing to share their experiences with me. From what I can tell, this group seems amazing and exactly the help and direction I've been frantically searching for. It is so hard to not have anyone who understands to talk about this with."


I would advise her not to marry him. She can be a good friend because in the end that is what he will be...either that or worse someone she will resent the rest of her life. Men who play the back and forth game will never be able to give her the peace and feeling of trust and security she deserves. I would tell her that if she loves him and wants to be a part of his life be his friend. If she marries him she will probably have an unfulfilled sex life as well as her emotional needs may not get taken care of either. So it is better that they remain friends.

The authorities of the church have counseled those with SSA [Same Sex Attraction] not to marry until the issue has been properly addressed and if he has been living an active gay life for 9 months he is not resolved. If I were to go back I wouldn't do it again and this is the first time I can say that without wondering. It is too hard. People say but you got your kids out of this. Well I believe I would have had them anyway. I may have just had a supportive loving husband here to help me and then maybe even make love to me in the evening after the kids went to bed.


Jeni, my only thought has been to add a different dimension to your thoughts. I think about my kids. I would NEVER DO THIS AGAIN for all the pain that it has caused them. They are about to both have birthdays and be 6 and 4. Two boys. They have been through so much and I'd never do it again to them. I'd go through so much sadness and pain and whatever I had to in walking away from the love of my life, my soul mate, my best friend, my whatever if it meant sparing children pain and struggles.

I didn't think about children really before I got married. I didn't know my ex was gay, but I did know he couldn't tell me that he loved me. He couldn't connect with me emotionally. We were everything else and he had "good reasons" and "explanations" why he couldn't connect the way I could. I only thought about me and thought that I'd just be fine, I'd struggle through it, I'd be able to change that in him, if I loved him enough and expressed it to him......I regret that I never thought about how his lack of emotional giving would effect our boys. That is one regret that I will always, always have. There is nothing I can do about it. I fight that everyday... the effects of that are devastating. And I would NEVER EVER do that again.

So those are my small thoughts for you. Sacrifice yourself is so much better and easier than seeing your children suffer each day. My boys are better than they were 2 years ago, but it has been such a hard fight and it will be a fight for their entire lives. I am sorry that I have done that to them.


You are so wise to be seeking advice and support at this stage of your relationship. And this is, without any doubt, the very best place to find it. Jim, my husband of 26 years came out to me in January of this year. We have 4 children, two boys ages 25 and 22, and 2 daughters, ages 20 and 16.

I would TOTALLY agree with everything that has been said up to this point about the pain and emotional disconnection and wreckage for your children. I have lived with depression, despair and loneliness for at least 20 of those years. My children have struggled, also, with depression and even drug/alcohol abuse. They are now struggling with a divorce, seeing their formerly ‘active’ LDS father no longer attending church, and sorting out what all this means to them. We have always been considered an active, dependable family in our ward, clear up until January. Then, in one weekend, that all changed forever. Like Colleen said, quoting Dr. Phil – this is our “new normal.” But it is NOT what I dreamed of. I have had to grieve my dreams and let them go.

Jim is truly my soul mate. I still love him and he tells me that I am the only woman he will ever love. But that was NOT enough. We both agreed that we had confirmation after confirmation that we were supposed to be together. I still am not sure what that meant. I DO know that it meant that we had a deep spiritual connection.

Would I do it all again? That is impossible for me to even think about now. Like Julie, I grieve for my children and what this means for their lives. It is one thing to love a gay man, and quite a different thing to have a gay father. Because he was living a double life in secret (20 years of casual encounters and 7 months now of a committed relationship) that secrecy and lies became a slow poison that killed everything good in our family. I always blamed myself for the pain and lack of connection. Now I know it was his SSA that stood between us.

Interestingly enough, I just got off the phone with Jim. I read your letter to him. He sighed a big sigh, and said, “Tell her I just can’t see how it can ever work. He could never deny who he is for her. It [SSA] is too strong. It is who he IS. No matter how much I wanted to be ‘normal’ it just can’t be. “SSA is real. It does not go away. There are sites that talk about “reorientation therapy” or “healing homosexuality.” I believe that some people may be able to repress or live with the SSA and choose to be married or live alone. But when you realize that most people with SSA have known it was part of their live since before they were FIVE years old… what are the chances that it will drastically change?

All this being said, I get to your question of what should YOU do. Here is the answer… ready?,… NO ONE CAN TELL YOU. You have to follow your own path. But keep your eyes and heart open. One thing I can guarantee you is that you will have pain and grief, whether you marry him or not. It is part of life. But much of it is a choice. You have already made a choice that I think you are not happy with – to live with him. You have already started to give yourself away to him. KEEP yourself. A true relationship does not require one person to give up what they hold dear. And isn’t that what you are both requiring from each other? You are asking him to give up his yearning for masculine bonding, with the promise that you can replace it. You can’t. He is asking you to give up your hopes and dreams of a committed, faithful, worthy, mature husband. You can’t. You may marry him, but those dreams will still be written on your heart and will cause pain. You will see you children’s hearts broken. You will think you are making a difference, only to see it fall apart.

I would suggest a separation from him to see if you truly love him, or if it is a toxic dependency. To be a real separation, you need to have NO contact from him, and no contact with places and things that you shared together. Find a friend who can cry with you and has an objective viewpoint. Grieve, get angry, work out scenarios, talk it through without the rose colored glasses.


Dear Jeni,

I haven't read anyone else's responses.

Here's mine "STEP AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Be his friend, if you must, but DO NOT marry this man. Period.

Yes, there ARE exceptions. Statistically those who remain "married" fall into the less-than-one-fifth category. Yes, you could be one of the couples who beats the odds. But you have to truly ask yourself if you want him to stay married because he has been guilted into it?

I'm 53. My husband of 27 years told me he was gay in 1997. If I had known I would not have married him, particularly if I had been 19 NOW, in this climate that is thankfully at least a bit more exposed, educated and candid.

He is a gay man. He may want to be str8. Wishing (and praying) won't make it so. It is very much like eye color. He can want to be blue-eyed because everyone who is considered "acceptable" or "normal" or fill-in-the-appropriate-descriptor, is blue eyed. He can wear contact lenses to change the appearance. He may be accepted as blue-eyed. The truth is, he still has brown eyes. He knows it.

What it comes down to, I have learned, is TOUCH. It is the eagerness to touch and be touched. A kiss on the eyelids can be tenderer, more passionate, than "the act". We did not have that. My husband had the desire to be a husband/lover to me. It cannot be learned from a magazine or a video. It has to come from inside. It has to be instinctive. No wonder our sex life was so abysmal! There was no way he could ever be what I needed or what he needed. I was a virgin when I married. So was my husband. "Normal" for us, in terms of sexual intimacy was light-hearted kidding that I had the libido that he was supposed to have. I believed it. He was attentive. He was not passionate. He was dutiful, when necessary. He was actually fully engaged, it seemed, three times in those years. Why? Because he determined that it was time for us to have a/another child. This is NOT "normal." How do I know? Hindsight and real-life.

I belong to another support group for str8 spouses. (The Straight Spouse Network). Since I became involved with them, have met hundreds of str8 spouses in person, and corresponded with hundreds more via a private website. With very few exceptions, the stories are the same for both str8 husbands and str8 wives. Sexual intimacy was rarely, if ever, "equal." A good marriage is not about sex. A good marriage IS about intimacy. It IS about implicit trust. I don't believe that it is either fair or realistic for either of you to expect there to be complete trust if you go forward with this man.

Being gay isn't the problem, being closeted IS. Dragging some sweet sister or nice str8 priesthood holder to the temple hoping against hope that some miracle will occur is risky, unlikely, and wholly unfair to two otherwise wonderful people... before they have children. The legacy that this can leave for children cannot be described or measured IF the father/husband opts to behave in ways that are all-too-typical. (again, there are exceptions)

I won't apologize for the candor. You have the most extraordinary chance to NOT live our lives. Grab it. Embrace it. Be grateful to him for having the courage to tell you the truth.

Nothing you did made him gay. Nothing you can do or say will make him str8. Be his pal. You deserve something different. He will find his own way.


When I GREW UP I realized that there are many paths we can take in life--and one of the others would have been much healthier for ALL involved! Be his friend. Include him in your life. Get married and you and he can go out together with your spouses/partners. Now that I'm on the OTHER END--I see that friendship with him is so much better than marriage.

When it all comes down to it--as I said--I COULDN'T do it again--I can't even consider would I do it again--as this broke me. It does take everything you are--it destroys your life and it destroys the relationship. I might be friends with my ex now--BUT it is by far different than it was . . . I see that we could have maintained a close friendship and not had this huge burden of pain.


Hi Jeni,

First, I want to just give you a huge hug because what you're going through is so tough. Now for the bad news. I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but I would have to totally agree with what the others have said. I didn't know my husband was gay when I married him. If I had..... I still don't know what I would have done. I might well have married him anyway. BUT... knowing what I know now I WOULD NEVER DO IT AGAIN. And it's not because I don't love him. We both agree that we love each other very much, but from this vantage point, there is so much missing from our marriage, so many painful, hurtful times that I didn't understand at the moment. We both would have been spared those. Not to mention the fact that after 15 years, it's not just about the 2 of us any more. Not only might my 4 children (ages 1 1/2-14) have to deal with the tragedy of divorce, but how hard would it be for my boys to have their dad "come out" to them right now, just when they are struggling through their own adolescence.

I wish I could tell you that love will conquer all, but it just doesn't work that way in this world right now. The wisest (and unfortunately most painful in the short term) thing for you BOTH to do is to move on with your lives. You BOTH will be happier in the long run.