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September 14, 2018 11:38 am  #1

Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

So being in bed sick lately, I have gone back reading through really old posts (hard to tell how old since the years aren’t displayed ).  I’ve figured out there are a few core people who’ve been on here awhile and you have all been so wonderful to me (not listing names, I don’t want to leave anyone out, but you know who you are), so a big thanks to you.  So it’s obvious that besides the lurkers like I was. 

People usually come on here at the start of their journey.  Then get to a hopefully healthy place and stop coming.  Hopefully they are moving on with their lives in a positive way and decide that it’s better to not come on here, that it keeps them in the past (something I’m fighting with and has been discussed in old threads).   

But you guys, how do you do it?  How long have you been on here?   Besides your own healing, I’m guessing most of you might be like me.  A sincere desire to help “the new people” ( I don’t consider myself new to this process , just new to the board ).   How often do you check the boards?  What have you found to be heathy for you?  Once a day?  Once a week?  Have you found that there seems to be some kind of frequency of new people posting in crisis wanting help?

Anyway, just wanted to thank you all and thought it might be an interesting new topic (especially as there appears to be more lurkers then posters on here, lol)


September 14, 2018 5:14 pm  #2

Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

Hi 4ever,

I'm not sure how long I've been here.  Years, for sure. When I first started my journey in 2010, I found the bulletin boards and posted. I'm not sure what I wrote, honestly.  But I kept checking back and no one answered my post for days - weeks.  I was DYING - I wanted answers within minutes, not weeks.  Then I noticed that most of the other posters were also in crisis mode.  There was some comfort in knowing I wasn't alone, but honestly, not much. No one had any answers - only commiseration. It was like the blind leading the sightless, to me.  I told myself that if I got through this journey, I'd try to come back and offer hope to those who were in the thick of their journey.

I spent a few years getting through the hard, dark places.  I was honestly too busy to come back. I was busy separating, being a single mom, trying to figure out my living situation, and trying to figure out what I wanted out of any of the men drifting in and out of my life.  But every once in a while, I'd swing through.  Things didn't seem too much different on the board.  Still loads of people in crisis, looking for answers.  But I began to see that I had some of those answers.  Or I thought I did, anyway.  I started stopping by the boards on most weekdays.  I'd surf between tasks while at work.  I type extremely fast, so it'd only take a few minutes here and there to type it all out.  I noticed several others doing the same thing as me, after a while.  Whether they were there before or after me, I have no idea.  I just noticed them after a while.

And then a curious thing started happening.  After reading so many people's experiences, I began to see patterns. I'd see people's stories unfold over time, and most initially came and said that their spouse hadn't cheated. Then later the story would unfold more fully, and the deceit and lies would be revealed.  I saw it again, and again, and again.  I started noticing that newbies kept concentrating on their spouse's sexuality rather than their behavior. And it was leaving them all lost.  You can't choose your sexuality, but you can choose your behaviors. And I felt it was my job to show them that.  Some of the other long-terms posters each have their own specific thing they concentrate on, I've noticed.  Some are really wonderful with compassion and soothing frayed nerves.  Others are idea people. Me myself, I feel like I'm that outspoken aunt who will say, "WHY are you putting up with this?!?"  It's easier if people can see what they're up against, so I try to lay that out in stark terms, so that the str8 spouse can see what it looks like from the outside.  I also feel that I understand people fairly well, so their motivations are obvious to me a lot of the time. I'm the one who says, "If that were true, then he would have done X. Since he's not doing X, he's lying to you."  Of course I could be dead wrong.

I feel like only str8 spouses can help other str8s fully.  It's a mind f*ck, and although the differences between our pain and another "regular" challenged marriage may seem the same to the world, we know they're not.  We know how invalidating this is. How it makes us question our own sexuality, our own worth, and how it often steals our entire past from us (at least the portion that we were with our gay spouse).  It's something I don't think most people can relate to.  So I stay. It's interesting, honestly. It's rewarding when you see someone in a dire situation get stronger and take their lives back.

I'm now the Deputy Director of the Straight Spouse Network.  That was all born from wanting to help others in my former situation. I believe it's one of the callings in my life. The amount of people my situation has in turn allowed me to help is no mistake. I was put into that fire because I was going to be a fireman.  Lol.


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

September 14, 2018 5:24 pm  #3

Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

You wouldn't believe how many email requests SSN gets for support - either local support groups, or just to connect with another str8 for support.  It's between 4 and 20 individuals per DAY. Hundreds a year.  There are millions of us. We will not be invisible forever.  And the only people who can volunteer for SSN HAVE to be be straight spouses.  There are so many more working behind the scenes than you'd ever think.


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

September 14, 2018 8:41 pm  #4

Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

Since 2011 for me. Sadly, I don't think the pace of new people posting has taken any sort of decrease over that time.


September 15, 2018 8:53 am  #5

Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

Been here a while.   I pop back on because I feel for anyone going through this.

I've moved on but every once and while I think about what I could have done differently...not much..we do what we have to to survive.  For example in hindsight I should have just kicked her out and told the kids what she was doing...but at the time I had neither the strength or the lack of compassion to do so. I sleep better knowing I did not change into a cruel hurtful person .

No the SSN helped me so much and sometimes I want to drop in if only to say that yes there is a life after TGT and it can be so much better than living with a covert hurting spouse.  I implore everyone here to walk on ...God knows and he would not want us staying in an abusive marriage..

Last edited by Rob (September 17, 2018 7:45 pm)

"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7

September 15, 2018 11:51 am  #6

Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

I have not quite moved on, but I have evolved.  I don't remember exactly when I first registered here, but it was probably only a few months ago.

I think my experience is similar to what Kel described: in the beginning, I wanted constant feedback.  At times I still do, but I think she's further along on this journey than I am.

In the beginning, I was put in touch with a SSN group near me, but I felt the woman I e-mailed with was just assuming I would need a divorce.  She didn't understand!  I wasn't sure I wanted to leave the marriage!  I think you guys know where this is going.

Now, though, I find myself being the exact person I didn't want to talk to six months ago.  I see one after another come on posting that they've discovered something, confronted their husband, and been told that he's realized he might be "bisexual" but he's never cheated, still he wants to explore the other side of his personality.

Fast forward.

He's already been cheating.  He has no attractions to women and hasn't for years.  He's using bisexuality as a halfway morally acceptable excuse, because he isn't bisexual, he's gay, but doesn't want to admit he's been lying all this time.

I don't want to be the person who backs people into the corner, particularly at this most vulnerable moment.  That's partially why I post a little less than I did in the beginning.  I try very hard to thread the needle, by telling newbies that many of the things their spouses are claiming are pretty common, and their spouses might even be telling the truth ... but for many of us, the story evolves over time, and the truth will eventually reveal itself but they should prepare themselves emotionally for at least the possibility that their spouses are cheating on them, and for the possibility that they may have to divorce.

I'm not in a good place emotionally right now.  I'm still living in the same house with my husband, but I've initiated the process of getting a divorce.  I feel financially vulnerable; when we married my husband was much further along in his career than I was, and over the years our financial decisions were always based on the assumption that we were a partnership.  So if my earnings potential had to take a hit, in order for his earnings potential to go up, we weighed the benefits against the burdens as a couple.  We never actually recognized that the burdens were falling on me alone, and the benefits were flowing disproportionately to him alone.

Until we reach the stage in this divorce where I know what his claims will be in terms of separate versus community property, I don't know how badly I'm going to get screwed.

I've learned a lot in the past few months.  I never realized that my husband doesn't recognize that lies of omission are still lies.  That came as a real shock, because honesty was always of critical importance to me.  Now I'm starting to be candid with people about the fact that we're splitting up, and the first question is always "Are you really sure?" as if maybe I haven't quite thought this out.  As if I haven't been agonizing over this day and night nonstop since last December.  

People act as if it's just one tiny little lie, but there's no such thing as one lie.  All lies come into existence pregnant with other lies.  And in the end, how can any marriage succeed when this many lies have been told?


September 15, 2018 2:50 pm  #7

Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

I expect to new visitors many of us might seem a bit negative or dismissive of any option other than the split. I prefer to think of it as realism born of experience and a desire to help others avoid pain. It's certainly not simply a case of taking the easy way out. None of our options are easy.


September 15, 2018 5:14 pm  #8

Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

I'm very grateful for the old timers, whether or not they disagree with what I think is true, and for the newcomers too. I'm still in the early stages, fighting with the hope/wish that he will change back to the person I thought I knew. Reading posts, from newcomers as well as from people further down the path, that is all helping me make sense of the jumble inside me. I haven't read a post yet that was unkind or dismissive, even if I didn't agree or understand. Yet. It gives me hope that maybe I can get through this.


September 15, 2018 9:30 pm  #9

Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

Walkby myself, I get it, it is a process.  I talked with the woman from SSN, just after I left my Husband.  For me, she helped me stay strong and fight the urge to go back (I'm sure that is hysterical for anyone who has been reading my story).  But that is how STRONG the urge is, to go back, to what was comfortable (even if it had been a living nightmare).  I had to figure it out in my own slow agonizing time.  That's why this board is just so important, for people figuring it out AND for those of us still putting our lives back together.


Last edited by 4everdamaged (September 15, 2018 9:35 pm)

     Thread Starter

September 16, 2018 3:47 pm  #10

Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

I don't consider myself an old-timer. My time here is a drop in the bucket compared to some. It was a difficult site to feel, at first, that it was somewhere I'd be welcomed after my initial attempt to open a dialogue was treated with suspicion. I persevered however, because there's no one individual situation here that mirrors another, at a time when a spouse's emotional turmoil is indescribable....and I realised if I backed away I'd be losing the one place where just about every member knows how that turmoil feels. 
I've been a member approx 15 months but looking back at my first posts....I'm not the same confused, sad person anymore. I've learned more about myself, my 33 year r'ship and the man I lost trust in than I ever thought was possible. 
Giving up the dream is difficult. I'm envious of those who have got to the other side, though I know the pain and self-preservation it must take to get there. 
I have a dear friend who said to rip! that bandaid off...instead of slowly bit by bit. But I can't. I get angry with myself sometimes, but ultimately feel that *slowly* is my journey

Last edited by Ellexoh_nz (September 16, 2018 3:48 pm)

** ...look pressure in the eye,  
walk towards it... **


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