Straight Spouse
Support Resources

 

A private, safe resource center for Str8 Spouses of Gay and Lesbian partners. A place to share common issues, receive recovery support, exchange topical resources, freely express personal experiences and discuss the impact these issues have upon children, friends, family and our social environment.
Contents:
Just click on paragraph topic below.

We share common experiences.

We share common emotions.

We share common circumstances.

We share common strengths.

We share a common purpose.

Is Your Marriage Still Viable?

The Music of Peggy Scott-Adams

About the HOTLinks list.

Health Issues

Legal Issues

Public Agencies

Online Support

Children's Issues

The Other Side

Moving On With Your Life

Visit our message board

Join our regularly scheduled
Monday Night Support Chat

Recommended Reading

E-Mail

You are not alone.

Research, though scant, has accelerated in the past five years.  It was originally estimated that approximately 2 million families in the United States face this issue.  However, more updated figures reflective of the rise in numbers of "coming out" individuals as a result of gains in acceptance of gays by society more realistically are projected to be from 3 - 4 million families.  Given an average family of 4 (including children) this occurrence can well impact on as many as 12 to 16 million individuals. Further, ( this is supported by the increase in computer use) the numbers of gays and lesbians who with the guaranteed anonymity of cyber chat rooms, message boards as well as personal ads reveal a much greater degree of marrieds. Therefore   the original estimate of 20% gays & 35% lesbians, being or having been married escalates to closer than 50%.  First hand witnesses frequenting gay bars, indicate that about 1/2 and possibly more of the men in attendance are married, with their wives unaware of their sexual preference or activities. 

In the past, many gays and lesbians hid their true sexual identity out of fear of persecution and loss of employment. However, in the past 20 years, greater numbers of these individuals are emerging from their closets encouraged and welcomed by a highly visible, mobilized and supportive gay community. With the recent advent of this greater gay acceptance, more homosexuals are coming out and, consequently, more of their spouses are having to deal with a plethora of complex issues.

We share common experiences.

For those gays and lesbians who married (many in long term marriages in excess of 25 years) and who carefully maintained their sexual preferences as a secret from their spouses, children and extended families, the revelation of their true sexual orientation and their desire to pursue this lifestyle often has the effect of an emotional tidal wave upon their families. The initial shock of disclosure is followed by a series of feelings, issues and actions with which all must be dealt. [Back To Top]

We share common emotions.

The aftermath of such disclosure upon the straight spouse, following what they had considered to be a normal heterosexual relationship, is usually mired in intense confusion. Along with the normal grief process that occurs with the dissolution of any love partnership, there are strong and unique feelings of despair, self-blame, and lowered sexual self esteem. The most common thread that unites us is the sense of betrayal and the total shattering of trust brought on by years of deception. Additionally, there can be panic over the real possibility of having been exposed to or having contracted sexually transmitted diseases, including but not limited to AIDS. [Back To Top]

We share common circumstances.

There is a well-established and widely-recognized social protocol of acceptance for other victims of grief, as well as a multitude of psychological support resources which exist. Unlike them, our grieving has been steeped in secrecy, misunderstanding and a very real fear of lack of acceptance. Ignorance by the public of this crisis enhances the despair felt by the straight spouse who views herself/himself as a pariah and who understandably fears the negative impact that disclosure of the situation would have upon any children of the marriage. Tragically, we tend to turn inward and isolate ourselves from society and any source of support. This oft-felt isolation results from the mistaken notion that we are the only ones to whom this has ever happened. Without support we can push ourselves deep into the same closet recently vacated by our gay partner. [Back To Top]

We share common strengths.

Our commonality transcends our diverse backgrounds, varying geographic locations and individual  circumstances. This uniqueness can create the group cohesion which will help us not only to survive our current situation but also to begin to rebuild our lives. In sharing this common issue, we create a comfort zone which allows us as a group to reinforce each other, validate our experience and draw emotional sustenance from one another. [Back To Top]

We share a common purpose.

Our goal is to offer a safe forum for self-education, self-expression and self-actualization. It is meant to be an open and expressive forum. It is not our purpose to indulge in public "gay bashing" or other non-productive behavior. On the contrary, we are totally in accord with creating a social and political climate where one need not hide one's sexual identity. All of us are the ultimate victims of such a climate which led to years of deceit, betrayal and emotional devastation.
[Back To Top]


Is Your Marriage Still Viable?

This question can only be answered by you and your spouse. To make an informed decision, it is imperative that you educate yourself. You must learn how this issue affects you and your spouse individually and how it impacts the marriage. In other words, you both have to decide what you can and cannot live with and if and how the needs of both partners can be met in the marriage. To help you begin to sort this out, we offer you this guide of questions and thoughts to consider compiled from the group's input. [Back To Top]

The Music of Peggy Scott-Adams

To hear a short sample of what has become an anthem to the Straight Spouses online, "Bill" just click its title. In the next window that you see, choose the "Open this file from its Current Source" option and then click the "OK" button. A new window that looks like a tapedeck control will then appear...it will take a few minutes to load the song...when it is 100% loaded, click the play button.
 
"Bill" Music and Lyrics by Jimmy Lewis BMI/Warren Hildebrand Music as featured on the Help Yourself album Performed by Peggy Scott-Adams Distributed by Mardi Gras Records, Inc. New Orleans, LA
[Back To Top]


About the HOTLinks list.

The hyperlinks that appear in the right portion of your screen are vital resources and have been categorized into subject areas that have been of demonstrated interest and concern to straight spouses. Each link can be researched and will lead to peripheral areas of similar and further information. Please feel free to email to the address given below any links that you feel would be helpful to the group.
[Back To Top]

Health Issues: Since the behavior surrounding this issue is sexuality, one must be keenly aware of the dangers  affecting a partner of a potentially high-risk individual. Many of the following links are female-oriented; however, straight spouses of either gender may be exposed to some of the following medical concerns. Besides the obvious hiv/aids concerns there exists dozens of sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Every spouse of an admitted gay or lesbian partner must take the positive action to protect his/her life by being checked immediately for a wide range of STDs. This should be done whether or not the gay/lesbian partner acknowledges any extra-marital sexual activity. Additionally, links have been provided to help you better understand some of the more prevalent mental health issues.
[Back To Top] [To Related Hot List Links] (Hot Links are on the right side of screen)

Legal Issues: Many straight spouses are emotionally devastated upon discovering that their spouses have not been truthful with them about their sexual orientation or sexual activity. This is especially true in the case of long-term marriages and marriages that have produced children. It is incumbent upon the straight spouse to be informed of her/his rights under the law.
[Back To Top] [To Related Hot List Links] (Hot Links are on the right side of screen)

Public Agencies: The newly aware spouse will confront a variety of issues regarding this situation. A list of government agencies and officials has been included to allow you to have your voice heard. Of particular interest is the website of Congressman Tom Coburn, who has been very active in framing HIV-related legislation.
[Back To Top] [To Related Hot List Links] (Hot Links are on the right side of screen)

Online Support: Many newly aware spouses begin
what seems like an endless search for information and support. For those not extremely knowledgeable of computer resources, a list of search engines has been included to broaden your resource base. Click the search engine listed and then you will be prompted to type a word or words that describe the topic for which you seek information.
[Back To Top] [To Related Hot List Links] (Hot Links are on the right side of screen)

Children's Issues: The manner of dealing with this situation by both parents is crucial in determining the future attitudinal and emotional development of the children. It is advisable to maintain an age appropriate approach to disclosure, and it is often advisable to seek intervention and consultation with professionals to facilitate this disclosure. The paramount need of children is to feel secure and loved and to know that they in no way contributed to the situation.
Back To Top] [To Related Hot List Links] (Hot Links are on the right side of screen)

The Other Side: To adequately acquaint the straight spouse with both the path taken by the homosexual spouse and the language spoken in the homosexual community, there is a short list of links to "the other side of the closet". [Back To Top] [To Related Hot List Links] (Hot Links are on the right side of screen)

Moving On With Your Life: For many, a major part of the rebuilding process is seeking out and forming new friendships. In many cases friends of the marriage may not prove to be individual friends of either spouse. A short list of links is
included as suggestions for re-establishing oneself in the single world and as a beginning to rebuilding. [Back To Top] [To Related Hot List Links] (Hot Links are on the right side of screen)

Visit our message board
Support Str8 Spouses of Gays

and

Join our regularly scheduled
Monday Night Support Chat
10-midnite(eastern)
[Just click the link above. You'll see a Welcome and an explanation of the chat room protocol. Just click "Relationships Chat" at the bottom to enter the chat room.
[Back To Top]

Recommended Reading: While it must seem< that the list of books on homosexuality is endless, there are very few books which address the issues that face the straight spouses and children of gays and lesbians. The list which follows is intended as a beginning bibliography for the straight spouse. We solicit and would appreciate your recommendations for books that you have found helpful in order to make this list as complete and helpful as possible.

The Other Side of the Closet
Amity Pierce Buxton

Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends
Dr. Bruce Fisher

Husbands Who Love Men: Deceit, Disease, Despair
Aileen Atwood, RN, Ed.D

Life Strategies
Phillip C. McGraw, Ph.D

In the Meantime
Iyanla Vanzant

Uncommon Lives: Gay Men
& Straight Women
Catherine Whitney

Is he straight?: A checklist for 
Women Who Wonder
Bonnie Kaye, M.Ed

Married Women Who Love Women
Carren Strock

(the following address Children's Issues)

Coping When A Parent Is Gay
Deborah A. Miller, PhD

There's Something I've Been Meaning To Tell You
Laralee Pike
[Back To Top]


To e-mail for more information on any of these support resources simply click foxed@aol.com
Any concerns or questions regarding the subject matter of this page may be e-mailed to Dina or Jean.

Any suggestions regarding the format of this
page should be addressed to webmaster.

copyright 1998, 1999, 2000
by Straight Spouse Support Resources, Inc. a non profit organization, created in order to provide nationwide support by and for individuals whose spouses or partners have declared themselves to be homosexuals.
 

[Back To Top]

 

HOTLinks
Just click an item listed
below to go directly to the listed resource.
..

Health Issues

STDs

Female Genital Tract

Chlamydia

Yeast Infections

Genital Herpes

HIV Information

AIDS & HIV
Information

Syphilis and AIDS

Sexuality

Sexual Addiction

Strung Out on Sex

Sexual Obsession

Sex Addictions (AOL)

Addiction & Recovery

Sexual
Compulsives
Anonymous

Men's Health

Women's Health

Mental Health

Well-Being

Legal Issues

Legal WebCenter

USLaw.com

Divorce Source

Domestic Violence

Child Support
(by state)

Hiring a Lawyer

Legal Status
of Women

AIDS and
The Law

 Public
Agencies

U.S. Government
Agencies

State Govenment
Officials & Agencies

Find Your U.S.
Representative

Find Your U.S.
Senator

Congressman
Tom Coburn
(HIV Activist)

Online
Support

AOL
Support
Message
Boards

AOL
Scheduled
Topic Chat

[then click
"Relationships
Chat" to enter
chat room.]

GUIDE:
Is Your
Marriage Viable?

Gay Spouse/
Straight Spouse
HELP Page

Support Access
(altavista)

Out Together

Gay Married Men's
Support Group
(Chicago area)

[group for gay
married men, but
webpage recognizes
and deals with both
sides of issue]

YAHOO!

EXCITE

GEOCities

AOLNetFind

LYCOS

METAFind

METACrawl

Children's
Issues

COLAGE

Children of
Queer Parents

The Other
Side


Mothers Of Male Homosexuals: A Study


Married Homosexual Men

Dictionary of
Gay Terms

Another
Dictionary of
Gay Terms

Married & Gay

Cruising

Nature
vs. Nurture

Articles on
Homosexuality

www.gay.com

The Ins and Outs
of Gay Sex

Gay/Lesbian
Issues Resource
and Info Guide

Coming Out
Stories Gallery

Natl Institute for
Gay Lesbian Bisexual
& Transgender
Education

Moving On
With
YOUR Life

Life Lessons
from a
Butterfly

Dealing with Anger

Letting Go

Singles
Organizations

Digital City
Resources

 

1 1