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June 28, 2009

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June 28, 2009

I found and joined the Straight Spouse Network the same night my lesbian wife came out to me in October 1999, at that time I was a "client served". Finding this organization was the best thing that could have happened to me at the time. During those "darkest days of my life", the kindness, understanding and support from the other members of SSN proved to be invaluable to me. This organization helped me eventually move past my personal pain to a point where I was able to start helping those that came behind me by becoming a volunteer in 2001. Almost 10 years later, I continue to be involved with and support this outstanding group that showed me that I could live and laugh again.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity to serve others by co-hosting the Florida Gathering for the past 9 consecutive years. This annual event is officially sponsored by the Straight Spouse Network and is attended by SSN members from all over the world.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 28, 2009

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June 28, 2009

I was devastated when I discovered my new husband wasn't straight. I spent nearly two years thinking I was the only one in the whole world who had ever married a non-straight person. Finally I found the Straight Spouse Network and discovered I am NOT the only one. As a contact person now, I find it disheartening to meet so many new straight spouses as they discover their partners orientation; however, as a straight spouse, I think it is wonderful to be part of a group that listens and understands.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the daily lives of those who arrive devastated and confused and then find the support they need in order to get their feet on the ground and begin to heal and recover.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the wonderful people I meet.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

exceptionally caring and understanding.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Reach out to many more people.

Ways to make it better...

I would have found SSN much sooner.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

raising funds and getting publicity.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 22, 2009

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June 22, 2009

After 4 years of dating, a 1.5 year engagement, and 7.5 years of marriage, my husband told me he was gay. When he came out of the closet, I went into the closet. I couldn't talk to anyone, my life was crumbling, and I felt totally helpless and hopeless. I considered suicide. But then I found SSN through surfing the web. Thank goodness! It was a revelation to know that I was not the only one who was going through this same situation. How comforting to hear about the similarities many of us had experienced. I began the slow process of healing and letting my hurt out in the right way. God Bless this organization!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the MANY people it has helped to move on and put their lives back together.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the totally accepting feeling of SSN. At my first meeting, I was told that I did not have to speak if I did not want to. They were hear to talk and listen, whatever I needed.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

tremondously kind.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach out to so many more people in need.

Ways to make it better...

I would have known about SSN sooner.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

June 20, 2009

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June 20, 2009

completly devistated when my husband of 20 years "discovered" he was gay, I called the # for SSN listed in the back of a book my husband gave me. Amnity herself answered the phone & gave me info to get in touch with the group in my area. I called immediately & spent the next hour talking to someone who actually understood what I was going through!! It was an amazing help. I have attended a few meetings and have emailed those who needed encouragement themselves. I always get emails of upcoming events & meetings, and it is such a comfort, knowing that I am not alone, that others do understand & are there for me. It is a priceless gift for those who are left.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the hope that the hopeless can gain by the support given freely.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

knowing I am not alone.

Ways to make it better...

it was a little closer to home.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

June 20, 2009

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June 20, 2009

A wonderful group with an important mission! One day waking up & realizing your spouse is gay & in denial, is no walk in the park. The folks that are at SSN know this, since they have all been there. They offer Face to Face Meeting for folks around the world & I found them all very helpful during a very difficult time. I was & in some ways still am a "client served," but now am happy to volunteer my time to help.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the difference it makes in the lives of the folks it serves. All QUITE wonderful & amazing.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it a "membership" org for those that have been involved for 1 year plus. Pay dues, have a vote. Also, a free pass of course for the few that couldn't pay dues.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

playing a part in the lives of those who came after...helping as I was helped.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all very helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help members with finances through grant applications, get the word out on a bigger level, hire more folks to run it all, reach more lives!

Ways to make it better...

I had gotten there sooner!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Fun raising. For whatever reason, we are an unsympathic lot to corp. america

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 20, 2009

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June 20, 2009

SSN has provided an umbrella that allows for some funding and website listing of a couple of email lists that I run, one for straight spouses and one for both lbgt spouses and straight spouses. By providing support for the email list, I have been able to provide a place for many trying to figure out some of the most intimate relationships in their lives. It was also thru SSN that I was able to get my life back together when I realized that being gay was a big thing in my husband's life, despite his wanting to be in love with me. Being surrounded by others who had been in the same place helped me heal and eventually see that letting go of my anger and hurt was healing for both me and all of my relationships, not just the one with my ex. SSN provided me with the knowledge that I wasn't alone, others had been in the same situation. That feeling helped to save me.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own life and the lives of others, both str8 and lbgt.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

struggle with the lack of understanding that we get from both the str8 and lgbt communities. Also with getting funding since so few seem to understand/accept that all of us have the right to be true to ourselves and loved 1's when it doesn't fit the mold

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that the people are the most important aspect and manage to agree to disagree sometimes so that the healing for all can occur.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all survivors of the devastation that the coming out process can cause. They all want to give back the support now in the form of reaching out, healing and building bridges.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

be more visible, so that more people would understand the harm that hiding from yourself and bringing others into your "closet" does to not only yourself, but to the loved ones you pull into your "closet".

Ways to make it better...

everyone understood that people that are hurt can make very hurtful comments out of pain, rather than a desire to hurt.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding, visibility and acceptance in both the str8 and lbgt worlds. Currently all of these are challenges as the group is seen as challenging traditional values in the one and as being haters in the other. Maybe we do challenge tradition but no hate.

One thing I'd also say is that...

this organization has helped me to see that this world is big enough for all, and for all to live, work and play together with authenticity.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 19, 2009

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June 19, 2009

I found SSN in 2000 2.5 months after I found out my husband was gay. I was living in a small town in rural MN and I honestly thought I was the only person this had happened to until I found SSN. The online support groups helped me so much. Meeting other people who had gone through what I went through was key to my healing. It also helped me realize that I want to build bridges and support gay rights, so that maybe other gay men and women won't feel like they need to marry str8s.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my life and others. My healing process was greatly helped by this organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to keep building up people, educating people and let them know they are not alone - gay and str8 alike.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the unconditional support, no matter what situation people have. No one judges the str8 or the LGBT spouse.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

giving and loving. They were ready to talk on the phone anytime and offer help in any way they could

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

educate people about our side of the closet and what happens to the str8 spouse when someone comes out, and fight for more gay rights.

Ways to make it better...

I would have been more internet savvy in 2000 and thought to look for online help sooner.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funding. Many times post divorce people don't have funds to donate as much as they would like to donate to this or any other organization.

One thing I'd also say is that...

SSN helped save my sanity, has helped to literally save other people's lives and is a needed organization world wide.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 18, 2009

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June 18, 2009

The news that my spouse of 18 years is gay threw my life into complete turmoil. Straight spouses do face a lot of the same issues as any married person going through a difficult change in their relationship, but there are some issues that are quite unique to people in our situation. This network was an invaluable resource for me as I picked up the pieces of my life and is something I expect to be a part of for a long time to come.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Starting to be able to trust people again.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

Ways to make it better...

I could have connected with them sooner - it took a few e-mails and calls to get concrete information about groups in my area.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 18, 2009

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June 18, 2009

I was married 23 years when my world came crashing in as my husband told me he was gay. I had no idea where to turn or what to do. I had never heard of any one in my situation and then I found The Straight Spouse Network. It saved my sanity and helped me connect with others who had the same experience.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The services it provides to an otherwise neglected segment of the poputalion.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not change any thing.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The chance to learn and grow as I met new people from all walks of life dealing with this situation.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Have been giving, kind and understanding. Most go above and beyond what any one would expect of a volunteer. And they do this each day for people they have not even met.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Prevent so much pain from happening to so many innocent victims.

Ways to make it better...

I had found the organization faster.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The lack of funding and the fact that this organization serves a population of people that most consider collateral damage to the coming out process.

One thing I'd also say is that...

The Straight Spouse Network does so much for so many on a very limited budget. Keep up the good work!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 18, 2009

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June 18, 2009

The Straight Spouse Network helped me to reclaim my true self. Having been married to a man who forced celibacy on me with no explanation that made sense, over time, my self esteem was destroyed. I had no faith in my own judgement and my spirit was broken. I didn't care if I lived or died. By bringing me together with others who completely understood me and what I was dealing with, I truly believe the Straight Spouse Network saved my life. I learned how to deal with "pretzel logic". I learned how to help myself while still supporting my gay spouse's need finally to be genuine. SSN is the ONLY organization that does this very important work. While the gay spouses is supported and congratulated for finally coming out, the Straight Spouse is left with realizing that their whole life as they knew it just turned up-side-down and it seems that nobody really cares. SSN cares. SSN helps these straight spouses to resolve coming out issues in a constructive way for not only the straight spouse, but the gay spouse and children and they do it with compassion and respect. It is truly a life-line for many.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

observing the transformation of countless new members from despair to wholeness and happiness.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the friends I've made, but also the education I have received about gay issues. I am now an advocate for gay rights.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

non-judgemental and compassionate.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

take every opportunity to let people know we are here. We need to expand our visibility so that those who need us can find us.

Ways to make it better...

I had found the Straight Spouse Network sooner than I did.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funding to increase our capacity for outreach.

One thing I'd also say is that...

the Straight Spouse Network saves lives.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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