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General Discussion » Are any men/people truly 100% straight? » January 30, 2020 11:35 am

Well, this morning I thought I sure could use some insight again from all the discussions on the straight spouse network! And wow!

For me, my husband was not going to label himself, and I had to decide “what is acceptable to me?”  That involved a lot of things besides sexuality.  For me, trust was foundational. Monogamy was foundational (for me).  Being treated with kindness and respect—foundational. 

My ability to stay in the marriage required that I feel safe.  I worked hard to evaluate my own issues, including if Ihad unreasonable expectations, including if I could change my assumptions and expectations, and eventually knew that I had to decide what was acceptable to me.  Only I could make my decision, that not even God (I am a believer) could or would tell me what to do because I had to own it entirely,  That I could work very hard but at a certain point, I could only go so far, and my husband needed to act in ways where I had some confidence about the stability of the marriage and his concern for me as a real person.  His real actions had to show real efforts to work on a real relationship with a real me.

There was no 100% sure, because nothing is 100% sure. 

It has been the hardest, hardest, hardest work.  Because finally, in my case, I came to understand that the man I loved with all my heart did not treat me with respect or honesty.  The hidden sexuality and hidden activities were a part of that.  The way he talked to me—for a year—after I discovered things was a part of that, 

Lily talks frequently about “reciprocity.”  This has stuck with me and become a part of how I explain my decision to the people I trust to hear it. 

Reciprocity is not just sexual attraction, and it is not just emotional attraction.  There has to be reciprocity of honesty, reciprocity of listening, reciprocity of working, reciprocity of commitment, reciprocity of tsking responsibility, reciprocity of “give and take” that goes both ways which I guess is re

General Discussion » Before and After » October 3, 2019 10:31 pm

Thank you.  I have often had similar thoughts.  What is it like to have a normal day? What IS that anyway?

Support » Updates? » September 14, 2019 10:35 pm

ADSJ, and everyone:  I hope no one ever apologizes for writing out their own stories.  It really helps me to read everyone else’s stories.  It also helps me to have a place to write out mine.  I find it is just incredibly hard to explain to anyone the many layers of distress.

My husband moved out about 3 weeks ago.  I had to really stand up to him.  Beyond my own distress, my teens were also distressed having him in the house.  because of how he continually crosses boundaries and then twists things to make me the bad guy, I was really walking on eggshells afraid that anything I did or did not do might be used against me in court.  It is such a relief to all of us for him to have moved out, 

I have been lining up therapists for the teens and also for my young adult son.  One of the teens has already met a couple of times with a therapist—the other on a waiting list.  I have also spoken with the social worker at the Hugh school, and he is watching out for my two teens.  He also gave me names of good fit therapists and helped me get on lists.  I have also spoken with the leader of our church congregation, and he is going to now—with my permission—share with youth leaders about the divorce—though not share about husband’s sexuality.

As for me, in addition to my regular therapist, I have started some sessions with a family therapist, to help coach me in re-establishing some healthy family routines and rules and attitudes here at home.  For me and my teens, it is like we are survivors of a bomb attack and kind of hanging out dazed.  I have signed up for 12 sessions, and hope to move outward in my discussions with him to include advice on re-establishing my relationships with my two young adult children.  They spend quite a bit of time with their dad, and this really grieves me because my daughter has enforced having very little contact with me.  I believe my husband is nurturing my young adult son as his next source of “narcissistic supply.”  The mirro

General Discussion » Has anyone read "The Body Keeps the Score"? Addressing trauma » September 10, 2019 1:33 pm

lily wrote:

So there was one thing that jumped out at me from your post - "...get ready to discuss with him what I had discovered.  I knew I needed to--how could I have any self respect if I did not?"  

immediately I am scratching my head thinking what makes you believe that?  Isn't your self respect enhanced by just believing in yourself and not discussing it with him?  so I read on and you say how the next ten months has been like being beaten up all over again.

I have not been responding to this thread as I should have after starting it.  Thank you everyone for your thoughts and confirmation.  I definitely need to do some kind of mind/body trauma healing. 

Lily, I started responding to your question/comment soon after you posted it.  It turned into quite a writing event for me!  I worked through some events in the days before.  But of course it was way too long to post.

I guess we do not understand  things when we are in them quite the same as when we look back.  I do have self respect, and I did not know I was in for months ahead of emotional attacks at the time.  I guess I could have just left at that time.  I felt I had to speak to him about it, because it was an actual action that he could not deny—and I felt I needed to stand up for myself.  I also was acting in a way consistent with who I am—to be straightforward.  At that time I also still felt loyal to my husband, and to maintaining my family, so it was an act of integrity—doing something difficult because it seemed right to see if we could have an honest, respectful conversation, to see of possibly this could be a turning point toward a healthy relationship in the future.  I was not certain at the time what this meant about his sexuality.  i also had reason to believe he may have hooked up with other men and I wanted to know that—for me and my health.

I had no idea how crazy making the time ahead would become.

My husband is now out of the house—THAT was a very hard thing to

General Discussion » Podcast:straight spouse who knowingly entered MOM, on damage to self » September 10, 2019 8:22 am

I posted this late last night, and still this morning I remember these points below.  For context: these comments are from a woman who knowingly married her gay husband, who was her friend growing up.  Both of them trained as marriage/family therapists, so they communicated and genuinely cared for each other.  The divorce was a joint decision after about 15 years and 4 children (3 children? Not sure).

1- the enormous toll it took on her sense of self, for her husband to not desire her.  Even though she knew it was because he was gay.  She just internalized feelings that she was just not of value as a person.

2-Driving home the lack of reciprocity: how much more difficult the divorce was for her than for her husband.  He said, “I love you as much as ever!  While she had to work to detach and “love him less.”
Now, he is going on happy to explore his new fun life, to celebrate being himself, while she is full of grief, loneliness, anger, severely diminished self esteem, and a faith crisis.

General Discussion » Podcast:straight spouse who knowingly entered MOM, on damage to self » September 10, 2019 1:34 am

This podcast is really worth listening to.  Although some is about Mormon church doctrine and how it encourages MOM**, much of the focus is the straight spouse experience. The Mormon doctrine could equate to pressures in the general population as well.

The woman interviewed is honest and has some great insights. 

What is especially interesting to me about this podcast is, that because she entered marriage fully knowing her husband was gay, she does not have the sense of betrayal.  This helps in many ways to give clarity about the other long term damages that can come in a MOM. 

Really great.

**officially the Mormon church does not encourage MOM. However, if you want to get to Heaven, the doctrine pretty much means an LGB person would have to live celibate and live life thinking they are inherently “wrong.” Or they would have to enter a MOM and still live life thinking they were inherently wrong.

General Discussion » Let’s create a playlist! What ear worms live in our SSpouse psyche? » September 6, 2019 11:37 am

She has a girlfriend now
By Reel Big Fish

My 15yr old likes Ska, and this is new on his playlist.  Very danceable!  Funny if it’s about prom, but not so funny about broken families ...

Still, dance dance dance!

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