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This Open Forum is funded and administered by the Straight Spouse Network (SSN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides support to straight spouses and partners who have discovered that their spouse/partner isn’t straight. The results from SSN’s Annual Summer Donation Drive are in! Together with your help, SSN raised $16,381 during our annual Summer Donation Drive! That’s 109% of our goal! Learn more about how the funds will be utilized.

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Straight Spouse Network Open Forum

This Open Forum is funded and administered by the Straight Spouse Network (SSN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides support to straight spouses and partners who have discovered that their spouse/partner isn’t straight. Your donations allow us to provide important support and resources that straight spouses can't find anywhere else.


Happy New Year, Friends!

Our year-end fundraising campaign is officially complete and with your generous help we raised $13,813 to serve straight spouses in need. From all of us at SSN, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your donations allow us to provide important support and resources that straight spouses can't find anywhere else.

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Support » New and need support » Yesterday 2:51 pm

Upside
Replies: 12

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So sorry your husband did this to you and your family, stronggirl.

Your story sounds familiar. Wife and I had been married many years, with a toddler, discovered she was not forthcoming about her affairs with women. She also agreed to couples therapy, begging me that she could change. I believed.

I shared my story on these forums. Everyone told me to leave, in their kind way. I stayed, thinking we were the beautiful and unique snowflake. We were different.

Here's what happened next: my wife promised to not contact her affair partners, to not delete messages, and to be open in her behavior and feelings while we went to in-depth couples counseling. I later found out she lasted less than 24 hours before contacting her girlfriend of 5 years. She was sleeping with women again within weeks. She was hiding full-blown relationships within six months. Meanwhile, I was unaware. She didn't improve, she got better at deception.

Your husband may be a better person than my wife. But given the history of hiding sex, I wouldn't bet on it.

Can an open marriage work? Yes. These often happen when a partner discusses these needs in advance of marriage so that both parties can be fully informed. Changing a marriage to an open relationship in the middle is called an ultimatum. "Do this or I will be forced to leave. Why won't you allow our family to be happy?"

Ellexoh_nz is right. Do you know who you're sexually attracted to? He knew. His unwillingness to be honest highlights that he's not done lying to you for personal benefit.

Leaving a marriage because your husband is having illicit sex with men isn't a reflection of you. How you react to this information is. It is awful, but you are stronger.

Wishing you continued strength and happiness ahead, whatever you choose.

General Discussion » Snooping for Curious Spouses » Yesterday 12:28 pm

Upside
Replies: 41

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Thank you, Maria! I'm sorry, just seeing this now. Will flow in.

Update: v1.03 - Added in a section about Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, Google Hangouts, and Dehashed.

General Discussion » Tara Brach Meditations » June 7, 2021 10:40 am

Upside
Replies: 4

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Love Tara Brach's work.

I would also recommend Jon Kabat-Zinn. Here's one that I think is lovely.

Support » Divorced and hurt » June 4, 2021 11:31 am

Upside
Replies: 4

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Sorry to hear your ex-husband did this to you, Hurtex. I share these feelings. Sadness. Rage. Hollowness.

Your feelings are valid. It is unfair that your ex is seemingly free from repercussions. Karma needs to clarify its timelines.

My wife wasted 15 years of my life without having the decency of truth. I can say that I have spent the last two years in this dreamlike state now. It hit me recently that my time in mourning is nearing 10% of the time of my entire marriage. For some reason, seeing it through this neutral lens woke me up. Do I want to spend the next 15 years wistful for the time I lost? Or is it best to try and live for the time I have left?

Please know that the best revenge for our stories is a happy, fulfilled life. It may look different than you had planned, but there are many paths to any goal. With children, whether on your own, with a surrogate, or fostering/adoption there are possibilities.

You didn't choose the hand you were dealt, but you can choose how you react today and each day from here on to make those dreams happen. That's my take on this, at least. Trying each day.

Is He/She Gay » Still Confused » June 4, 2021 10:49 am

Upside
Replies: 13

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I'm proud of you RAR. Having more information can help you make the best decision.

When I joined this forum I also shared my story. As I unfurled the mountain of evidence I'd uncovered of my wife's affairs with men and women, I was so hopeful that I was misreading it all. But the reality was so very clear to anyone who has been through this. As my wife begged me back that "she could change" I gave in to the hopes of this promised future. I didn't listen to the sage advice here. We went into counseling and I stopped the divorce.

It's a year later. 

My only advice from the other end of the rainbow is that you can't change a person's character flaws. A cheater is a cheater, always. And many couples counselors are blind to the fact that cheating is a problem. As my wife began cheating again (during a pandemic *sigh*) the counselor was confused why I didn't want to have an open marriage. I had to hold my jaw from dropping.

If your husband chose to hide, lie, and manipulate for self-benefit, odds are it will happen again. I don't say this to add more to your plate, just to highlight that time is a finite resource. Delaying action is what your husband wants. It's the state he created. If you choose couples counseling, creating a mental deadline for him to step up can help make sure he respects your time, not simply future fakes for years to come, as he has done so far.

Is He/She Gay » I feel like I know the answer.. » June 4, 2021 10:29 am

Upside
Replies: 4

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Your boyfriend sounds like a monster. An abusive, manipulative, lying, cheating monster. You deserve so much better!

Are you safe now? Step one is getting the hell out of there. No contact. Just vanish and block. If needed, an order of protection may be required.

Have you attended a group for SSN, cheaters, or survivors of abuse? This can also be beneficial. Talking with others, hearing their stories. You can and will break free from this.

Have you explored talking to a counselor? I think it could help. Personally, I found that I'm attracted to people who treat me badly (YAY), and therapy helped me understand why. It gave me a view into the warning signs I should be aware of.

One other action that I found helpful was journaling. I always sort of laughed at how wasteful it seemed, but when you're dealing with someone actively gaslighting you this can be helpful to firmly plant your version of reality somewhere. It gives your story weight. This may help as you come "out of the fog" of this terrible place.

This is an abusive relationship created by a predator. He will do everything in his power to manipulate you into delaying. Do not stay!

Wishing you brighter days on the path ahead and we're here to help!

Support » Pride month? » June 3, 2021 1:33 pm

Upside
Replies: 16

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longwayhome wrote:

Upside, I believe it’s their own hate for themselves that they take out on us, however way they can.

That's a helpful perspective I'd never considered. Thank you, Longwayhome.

Is He/She Gay » Still Confused » June 3, 2021 12:54 pm

Upside
Replies: 13

Go to post

Let's ignore "the gay thing" right now.

You are not happy. You fear communicating with him about your feelings because he is doesn't share and may threaten self-harm. He travels often. He bailed on counseling. He isn't interested in you sexually or attending to your needs. He is hiding Viagra from specialty pharmacies. He is hiding hotels. He has been found with unknown, tight male underwear. He lies about what you know (viagra, hotels) to your face. He is tech-savvy and is protective of his phone.

That's so much to carry – I'm sorry, RAR.

But your gut is saying he's gay. Based on my experience here, he is absolutely cheating and very likely with men. People don't accidentally order Viagra or hotels. Trust your gut. It is there for a reason.

Regarding your question on why you won't leave: you want to believe the best about the man you married. You want all of this reality to go away and have the life you and your children deserve. The one he promised and continues to promise. This is called "future faking". People, especially the kind-hearted, will spend decades waiting for promises to be fulfilled.

If possible, speak with a lawyer. It is often free and can help you process what this path may look like. It is just a conversation but can ground this decision in tangible action.

If you need further evidence, this article may help. But I would recommend avoiding any further evidence gathering if you can. Some things are best left unknown.

Wishing you strength on your path ahead.

Support » Pride month? » June 3, 2021 11:53 am

Upside
Replies: 16

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It's almost funny, in a painful sort of way, how disturbed I can be at colors. Rainbows made me irrationally mad for many months.

The part that hurts in my story is that my wife won't admit her sexuality or that her affairs with women occurred. Even with 100% proof. But she likes to tease at reality. Each day (only in Pride month) she dresses our child in rainbows. The calendar she made with a giant picture of our child with a rainbow painted on their face. Can't help but feel a stab in my heart each time I see this, which is her exact goal.

It is good to celebrate who you are. It is never good to use others, deceive people, or actively cause harm in your quest to "find yourself".

General Discussion » Kourtney and her journey after discovering her spouse wasn't straight » June 3, 2021 11:26 am

Upside
Replies: 2

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Thank you for sharing this!

Kourtney's story feels so similar: 17-year marriage. Roommates. Blind-sided by the affair. Young child. Having a tough go of it.

The tips she shared were actionable. Grateful to hear her story of moving forward. Thanks again!

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