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.