After 23 years of marriage, my husband confided in me that he was gay and had known since he was 14 but needed a wife and kids in order to achieve his ambitious career goals. Moments later, thinking that this didn't make sense, couldn't be true and surely has never happened to anyone else, I typed "my husband is gay and I'm not" into the search engine and up popped "Straight Spouse Network". What a surprise and a relief, I was not alone, I was not crazy, and I had a new circle of support surrounding me. Straights understand straights in ways no one else can.
Straight Spouse Network is made up of people, whose paths have been similar to mine, who volunteer their time and kindness to others on similar journeys.
I began my straight journey in 2005 and became a regular donor in 2008. Recently I began to volunteer with this unique organization in effort to give back and help sustain the mission.
When I first contacted the Straight Spouse Network, I felt so alone and unsure that my situation fit their services. At the time, I did not know of any other married persons dealing with a spouse who did not appear to be heterosexual or was perhaps bi-sexual or gay. This organization welcomed me, assured me that I was in the right place and was not the only one who had experienced the doubt, emotional pain and isolation that comes from living in someone's else's closet. I was able to join an online support group right away and was also very quickly contacted (personally) by a local face-2-face group leader and invited to a meeting that helped me tremendously.
What I would like people to know, is SSN is a service-intensive organization. Their time, focus and mission is almost exclusively targeted at actually helping people--many times one-on-one. This level of commitment and support is rare and fueled by many dedicated volunteers. Donations to SSN help increase the organization's visibility and ability to connect with more straight spouses who might otherwise be suffering in silence.
I thought I was alone but sadly realized i had a many others who were silently suffering from the shame and humiliation of a relationship that fell apart because my spouse lied to me about his orientation. The pain and embarrassment that I felt was debilitating. I was depressed and suicidal.
Living in a small, religious rural town where homosexuality is frowned upon, it was impossible to discuss my feelings with anyone. I found the Straight Spouse Network and immediately connected with others who shared a simliar story. I no longer felt alone. I developed friends and coping skills that allowed me to wake up each day and face my changing life.
I am four years post discover and am now at a point where I no longer feel anger or shame. But the effects of the lies and the emotional impact still shape how I relate to people. The SSN gave me perspective and the other survivors encouraged me to see that it would get better. They were right. It got better, it hurts less and now I can participate and give encouragement to those who are in a similar situation.
The straight spouse network has been invaluable to me since I had to initiate divorce from my husband. The facilitators are responsive and knowledgable. The groups are great.
SSN helped me at one of the lowest points of my life. I did not think anyone would understand what I was going through. I was so lost that it didn't even occur to me to seek help. My (then) husband gave me the link to SSN. The people at this organization not only saved my life, they helped me to start living again. There was a time when I didn't want my future. Thanks to those at SSN, I am happy again, and I can't wait to see what the future will bring. The staff and volunteers were kind, compassionate, and honest. They helped me find the path that was best for me and my family.
I started out receiving help from SSN, but today I volunteer as a facilitator for a support group. I am so glad to be able to help this organization continue to help others in need.
When my husband of 15 years came out as gay in 2004, I was shocked and devastated. I didn't know where to turn. After 2 months of not eating and hardly sleeping, my (then) husband searched for support for me. He found the Straight Spouse Network for me. I was concerned that the group might be anti-gay, but I was pleased to find that it is not. The support I have received has been life altering. It was such a comfort to hear from people who had been through similar situations, and it has been helpful for me to give back too. I don't know what I would have done without SSN, and I'm so thankful that the organization was there at my darkest hour.
They kept me going with internet communication and f2f meeting and individuals for the longest time. I keep a list open trying to be there for the newcomer. Thank you!
The help and friendships that the Straight Spouse Network gave me the most wonderful success to a new life after my husband came out of the closest.
I found this organization back in 2000 a few months after my then husband came out of the closet, announcing to me after almost 20 years of marriage, that he was gay. The group of people here reached out to me and listened and let me know I was not alone and with the help of Amity Pierce Buxton's book, the Other Side of the Closet, I was able to move forward with my kids, in a healthy manner. I discovered there were/are Face to Face Groups that get together at various locations throughout the country. This has been a God-send. I am post-disclosure 14 years and at this juncture my now new Hubby and I are at the Volunteer point where we give back our time and we organize an annual weekend Str8 event that takes place in October.
The Straight Spouse Network helped me so much 12 years ago when I found out my husband was gay. I had immediate help! Someone contacted me immediately once I found this organization. The lifeline of the Straight Spouse Network helped me feel not so alone, It helped me feel sane and helped me get through this crazy mess of being married to a gay spouse. I am indebted to them which is why I am now in the give back mode and now help others in this unique situation.
I found and opened the link to Straight Spouse Network in the summer of 2012...after having been married to a closeted gay man for 20 years. I was just browsing for articles and support having to do with how other people survived and made it work in their own Mixed Orientation Marriages. A few months later, I discovered my marriage was full of infidelities I had no knowledge of (we had promised monogamy in year 10 of our marriage) and had been over for more than three years, only I hadn't known it. The support I got through Straight Spouse Network, including email and recommended reading, really helped guide me in the chaos of starting over as a single woman, a formerly Straight Spouse.
This organization helped me at one of the darkest times of my life. They literally saved my life, scraping up from the floor when I felt I could no longer go on. I have been a part of this organization since April 2008, and I am grateful every day for the volunteers who reach out for shell-shocked straight spouses and bring them into the fold. My only wish is that the organization did not have to exist, but I am on-so blessed that they do.
I found Straight Spouse Network after discovering that my husband of 14 years was gay. This group is amazing for the support they provide. Time after time they have shown me that I am not alone and that others understand.
SSN saved my life! At the most crucial time in my life when I needed the most help, Amity Buxton was there. I reached out to her and she connected me immediately with people who walked my walk. She connected me with people who are now life long friends. I'm forever grateful for the love and passion SSN provided and, over the last ten years, I've been giving back.There are so many ways to help! Get connected. Straight Spouse Network http://www.straightspouse.org/
I volunteer as a support person in my local area. So many lives connected to our situation and very few resources that understand this side of the closet. While many of us support lgbt equality, the closeted community turns a blind eye toward us, as does the lgbt community at large who touts such a difficult path to their sexual freedom and give little if any to the lives and families that are imploded as a result of the "coming out" or "down low" situations we've collectively found ourselves in. SSN and those of us who encompass a wide variety of situations bound by one thread....loving or marrying a closeted lgbt person. It is in our commonality that we find support, resources and a shoulder to cry on or those who understand enough to laugh with us at the absurdity we've endured. The Straight Spouse Network embraces us, when those around us see us as broken people who just need to "get over it".
This is a Life Changing group even though I was already 2 years post divorce from a "Still in Denial Gay" ex husband after 22 years of marriage. The comfort and camaraderie I found in this group gave me the confidence and strength to face my " Still in closet" ex spouse on a daily basis while we co-parenting two teen-agers. I wish we have more publicity.
This group is very important and serves a particular need that is not served in any other capacity. This is a bonding, caring group of people that support each other in ways that help heal. I needed this group after I found out my husband of many years was hiding a secret and is gay. We had to divorce and this group was there for me. I don't know how else I would have made it through the situation. There's no book, therapist, friend or family member that can help in the same ways a network of people who have been through the same thing can.
Joined SSN when my life fell apart and to this day still rely on it everyday!
Wonderful support group and resources!
In February of 2010 my world was shattered when I discovered my husband of over 30 years had been living a double life. He originally claimed it to be a sex addiction. I could barely breathe, much less function. I demanded he contact the EAP group through work who referred us to a therapist. That therapist referred us to a wonderful group of counselors who handled sex addiction, but the truth of the matter was that although he was addicted to sex, it was with men and he was gay. It wasn't until my therapist referred me to the Straight Spouse Network (SSN) that I knew my prayers had been answered. I contacted them, explained my situation and received immediate support. This group literally saved my life. For the first time since that horrifying February day I knew I was no longer alone in my experience. There were actually others who understood my situation because they had also had their worlds torn apart after discovering their spouses were gay.
What most people don't understand is that this is not the same as finding out your husband has been cheating with another woman, or that your wife has been cheating with another man. Many of us had spouses that blamed the demise of the marriage on us all the while knowing that no matter what we did to fix things it would never work because we were the wrong sex. They essentially stole years of our lives from us taking away our ability to make decisions based on truth. We, being givers and fixers turned ourselves inside out trying to fix the unfixable. We are told to "Get Over It," usually shortly after finding out the truth, while many of our spouses have had years or even decades to manipulate us, convince us we are flawed, strip away our self-esteem, and sometimes even financially ruin us in pursuit of their gay lifestyles. While my gay spouse was congratulated for coming out of the closet and beginning to live his authentic gay life style I was pretty much shoved aside with little to no support until I found SSN. My immediate family was as supportive as they could be, but unless you have lived through it you can't even begin to fathom the destruction this type of situation causes.
It was such a blessing to know that I was not alone. That I wasn't broken. That I did everything I could to save my marriage, and that I wasn't a failure. It all boiled down to the fact that I just wasn't a man. The knowledge that others had been through similar experiences and lived through it to come out a stronger person is what helped me begin the road to recovery. The support I received from this support group had been a true Godsend and the reason I am the strong, independent person I am today. I thank God every day for the Straight Spouse Network and these wonderful people that have become my Familee.
Lots of great support provided thru small meetings w others going thru a similar experience. It's amazing to hear the variety of stories all of which have a common theme of a swerving of a marriage when one of the spouses awakens to being or tending gay. I'm very thankful for the support I've found w SSN.
I found the SSN online while I was researching for support of my bad situation in my marriage. I had discovered that after 36yrs of marriage and 3 years prior to marriage my husband is gay! Never had a clue. It's been a devastating blow to my life! Not knowing how to handle the whole situation both emotionally and physically. Through the SSN I have gained, knowledge and support. There are many of this kind of mind blowing marriages out there and if they only knew about SSN, perhaps more could get this support I've received. We are the collateral damage to a growing epidemic in the world. Gay people now have alot of open support and rights, but those of us left behind have none of the same. Just because we are considered "normal". Our lives and marriages have been turned upside down due to those gays who hide behind us, only later to turn on us. SSN needs to get it's message out there for the world to see!!!!
Straight Spouse Network was there for me when I needed it most. After going into a second marriage (stupidly) with a known bisexual, it didn't take long for the wheels to come off in our marriage. I had been "Schooled" to think that being this broken was okay...well, this group of people gave me the confidence to love ME for who I am...I loved the support that I got RIGHT out of the chute, and it keeps getting better for those who need it now. Straight Spouse Network saved my life, literally.