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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.


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February 11, 2021 10:24 am  #1


Chump Lady drops a truth bomb on a straight spouse

ICYMI: Am I Selfish for Leaving Him? 

Why is it that the straight spouse is always the one who feels empathy....the one who feels selfish for contemplating leaving their profoundly selfish spouse who went into the marriage with a lie?

 

 

February 11, 2021 12:01 pm  #2


Re: Chump Lady drops a truth bomb on a straight spouse

Could this be our own deceivedandsad?

 

February 11, 2021 12:58 pm  #3


Re: Chump Lady drops a truth bomb on a straight spouse

In faking their "normal" lives, gay-in-denial folks need a stage prop who will put up with their considerable bullshit - i.e., someone who reeks empathy.  This is what we do.

 

February 11, 2021 1:31 pm  #4


Re: Chump Lady drops a truth bomb on a straight spouse

Thank you for sharing this.

"Leaving him isn’t about dishonoring marriage or hating gays. You leave because you refuse to be part of sham. You want a REAL marriage, not a lie. And you cannot respect a man who isn’t true to himself or to you."

Well, this made me cry.

"Terrified of what? Modeling sanity to them? Not being abjectly miserable? Having the chance some day to model a healthy loving, reciprocal relationship to them? Having one with yourself?"

Yesterday the soon to be ex asked (again) if we could all live together after we get divorced and I just laughed. The quote above is close to what went through my mind. Why on God's green Earth would I do that?! Helpful to hear Chump Lady's better-worded version.
 

 

February 11, 2021 4:27 pm  #5


Re: Chump Lady drops a truth bomb on a straight spouse

Straight Spouse in Need,

If you're out there...please know that I'm also flipping birds at your husband from afar. Lean into that anger...It will help propel you out of that horrible hostage situation faster.

Rooting for you...and better days ahead <3

     Thread Starter
 

February 21, 2021 2:42 pm  #6


Re: Chump Lady drops a truth bomb on a straight spouse

Wow!! My story is that noticeable, huh?

Yes- it is me who wrote to CL, and she actually posted it the very next day.

I am so lost and confused.
I engaged, and now I feel myself leaning more towards staying... and some days feel ok.

But I had a dream last night... we were starting to get physical, and in my dream I literally curled up in a ball and cried, because I didn’t want to go through with it.

But it’s so hard to face life without him, knowing how both our families will respond, knowing how I would be ostracized by our church and basically all of our friends... I am just so absolutely alone.

Keep going strong, people! I pray one day this all ends... though my “happily ever after” is probably never going to be.

I did speak to a counselor last week. And she keeps coming back to “you have to look out for you.”
But isn’t marriage and family all about putting other’s first?
And isn’t being a Christian about forgiveness and “denying one’s self”?

Ugh. The mind games, friends. I don’t even know my own thoughts anymore

 

February 21, 2021 6:12 pm  #7


Re: Chump Lady drops a truth bomb on a straight spouse

    Three times in your marriage after months of gathering evidence that your husband is engaged in homosexual activities--online and on camera--you have "confronted him," and each time he reacts by minimizing his behavior, denying he's gay, and attacking you.  You have said what your "gut feeling" is, and you have asked for advice here and from Chump Lady, and you have seen a therapist: everyone you've sought a reading from has told you the same thing, and it agrees with your gut feeling.

Your husband is gay.  He is so deep in denial that he won't or can't admit the truth that at some level he knows about himself.  Over twelve years he has made it clear he can't and won't stop his activities.  He will never stop.  Here's a truth: a gay man in denial and in the closet cares more about protecting his closet than anything else in his life.  He will say and do whatever it takes to protect it.  He will sacrifice you and your children to it.   Is your life and the life of your children worth protecting his closet and keeping his secret? 

You are in turmoil, and you have lived in turmoil for many years.  Your turmoil won't stop while you continue this marriage.

I have a few observations and questions:
1) You don't STAY for the children.  You LEAVE for the children.  Living in a family with stress and secrets and lies and a mother who stays under the kind of abuse your husband is dishing out will damage your children.  
2) There are other churches.  Welcoming churches.  Churches that don't punish wives for leaving closeted and in denial gay men.
3) Surely God is not asking you to sacrifice yourself on the altar of your husband's closet.  And being a Christian does not mean you offer yourself up for continuing abuse.
4) God helps those who help themselves.  
5) Is your husband putting you and your children first?  
6) Is it even a marriage if it is entered into under false pretenses (that he's straight)?
7) Is your husband "denying" himself?"  
8)  You very much want the pain to stop and you would like someone to take your pain away.  You pray because you want God to DO SOMETHING.  What if that dream you had is God working through your dreams and showing you how you feel?  
9) Right now, you cannot see beyond what you will lose to what you will gain, and you imagine that you will be ostracized and lost, instead of supported and found.  Communities and families, however, are made of individuals, and you are likely to find help and acceptance and support from some of those in the community you think will reject you. You also have supportive communities here at the SSN and in Chump Nation, and with a therapist at your side.  
10) You don't have "happily ever after" now.  And if you think somehow that your husband will stop being gay and give you that "happily ever after" then, no, you will never have your happy ending.  If, on the other hand, you follow another fairy tale and "go off to seek your fortune," you will at least have a chance to find a better one than the life and the fortune awaiting you now. 
11)  Ask your therapist to help teach you about the concept of "re-framing."  
12) If you can't trust your thoughts, trust your gut--and trust that dream.  Your subconscious is speaking to you.  I had so many dreams like the one you describe, dreams that told me what I was feeling; when I didn't act on them, I started hearing things in my dreams, like my subconscious was making sure I heard myself. It was like some kind of audio, like someone was speaking to me.  I once dreamed that I was standing in front of a door, and a voice said, "You have to get out."  I woke up with that ringing in my ears.  Another time I heard, "I matter."  You matter, too.  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (February 21, 2021 6:17 pm)

 

February 21, 2021 6:49 pm  #8


Re: Chump Lady drops a truth bomb on a straight spouse

I am not religious — so I can't relate to the religious aspect of your struggle. But, I will say this: My husband's mother is what I would describe as extremely Catholic. She devotes so much of her life to the church that I often wondered why she didn't become a nun. She got divorced when my husband was a teenager (after his father confessed to an affair with another woman). I have no doubt that was incredibly difficult for her. It is so sad to me that she never remarried (due to her religious beliefs) because—though I don't see eye-to-eye with her on many issues—she is an incredibly kind and loving woman....who fell in love with the wrong man at 17. Divorce is hard for the entire family (no doubt)...but all four children wished their mother would have had the love and romance she deserved. I do, too. FWIW. 

Last edited by Julian_Stone (February 21, 2021 6:50 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

February 22, 2021 11:55 am  #9


Re: Chump Lady drops a truth bomb on a straight spouse

It sounds like you're going to suffer either way -- you leave your marriage and you might face judgement and ostracizing.  If you stay in this marriage, how much will your mental and emotional health suffer?  What about that of your kids, as they watch a dysfunctional marriage? Which is worse?  

I agree with OutofHisCloset--thinking about what my kids were SEEING in our marriage is what made me finally realize it's ok to leave. I finally told myself, I cannot be everything my children need if I stay in this marriage.  If all of my energy and emotions are being poured into him, or "survival" mode, what is left for me to give to them?  Likely, their father cannot be what they need either.  While I feel like my experience pales in comparison to what many here have gone through, I still recognized that he lied, that he traumatized me, that I no longer trust him, and frankly, I no longer feel that loving devotion that I felt in the first weeks post-disclosure.  I might feel like I love the person I thought he was--but he's not that person now, and I don't love the person I've seen him be in this last year since disclosure. Fight or Flight - and my mind is now trying to flee.  

Like Julian said about her MIL - we deserve to feel true, unadulterated love.  A love that doesn't break our boundaries, our trust, our hearts.

 

February 22, 2021 1:40 pm  #10


Re: Chump Lady drops a truth bomb on a straight spouse

Deceiveandsad,

Well chump lady is going to say it like it is.  Sometimes we need to hear it.  And sometimes we just need a friend and way to cope..married with kids it's not like you can just pack a bag and walk out the door.

I will say God would not want you to suffer forever with no end to it in sight.  Having been through this I will have to concur that kids do see the abuse.  It took sometime even after separated to teach my kids that no, they cannot swear and yell at me (like their mother).  I had to watch them in sad horror as they tried and learned just like their mother that it would get them nothing. 

My kids get an unabused stronger dad now.  They are much better off with 2 houses instead one toxic one.know that kids just want a mom and a dad..they don't want a fighting and unhappy mom and dad.  Your kids also need a mom that puts them first and has something left to give them..that your time, talents, spirit, being was not all taken by your husband.

Do whatever you have to do but know that family and your church are not living your life day to day.  Know that you have choices and it does not have be like it is forever.


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

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