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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Straight Spouse Network Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Human Services, Mental Health

Mission: Who we are: Current and former Straight Spouses/Partners of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people, Mixed Orientation Couples and our Families and Friends. What we do Serve straight spouses, mixed orientation couples, families and community by: * Reaching Out to increase visibility of straight spouses and accessibility to support * Healing and empowering straight spouses to cope constructively * Building Bridges between spouses, within families and with the larger community through support, education and advocacy The Straight Spouse Network (SSN) is an international organization that provides personal, confidential support and information to heterosexual spouses/partners, current or former, of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender mates and mixed-orientation couples for constructively resolving coming-out problems. SSN also offers research-based information about spouse, couple, and family issues and resources to other family members, professionals, community organizations, and the public. SSN is the only support network of its kind in the world. As outreach, the network offers information about spouse and family issues, mixed orientation marriages and spouse resources to professionals, community organizations and the media.

Results: * 53 support groups in the US and other countries * Spouse contacts for individual sharing in most US states and several foreign countries * Eight online support groups, most with chats and webs attached * Best of Northeast in the 2009 Pride Choice Awards, sponsored by GreatNonprofits

Geographic areas served: Worldwide

Programs: Provided for continuing avenues of communication with new and existing straight spouses who seek and require support. Promoted meetings of straight spouses. Provide on going web related information services, on-line bulletin board communications and live gatherings for direct communication among spouses.

produced newsletter for constituents who sign up to receive it.

fostered collective understanding and support for the rights and needs of the straight spouses in mixed orientation relationships.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Julie206

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Joined SSN when my life fell apart and to this day still rely on it everyday!
Wonderful support group and resources!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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!!!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This network is a Godsend. It is helped me not drown in my life. I was so overwhelmed when my ex put me through this and I felt like I wanted to run away and never come back. BUT I WAS a MOTHER and I couldn't.

The network gave me a safe place to CRY, YELL, and get the support and NOT the judgement.

It was what saved my sanity.

Thank you!

Isabel

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

This organization allowed my ex-husband to out me as gay which was very hurtful. I am NOT gay. I am bisexual. I left my ex-husband because he was abusive. Outting me as gay is a continuation of this abuse after the marriage has legally ended. I did attempt to contact this organization but have not received a reply.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

They have been very supportive of my experience, and explained to me certain behaviors of people coming out, they helped staying afloat on this hard times

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Without a doubt The Straight Spouse Network, and the amazing people I've met there, have kept me going at a time in my life when I thought I could not go on. I can't express how important it is just knowing that there are others out there in my situation; that I'm not alone, and that I don't have to live in someone else's closet out of shame or guilt that I somehow caused my spouse's sexual identity issues. There seems to be so little support for the straight spouse in this situation; it's as if the gay/bi spouse is the only one who's considered courageous for coming out, while we're often thought of as the obstacle that had to be overcome. We lived THEIR lie, not the other way around. I hope and pray that this incredible organization continues to be there for those of us who need it...and there's a lot more of us out there than many care to admit. -Steve S. in NJ

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My former husband was abusive throughout the marriage. After I left him, this network provided him support again me. There are at least 2 sides to every story. My side was not allowed to be told.

24

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After too many dead-end phone calls to 24 hour support and crisis centers, and extensive internet research, I was finally able to find a calming supportive source of quality information. I was literally told that because I was not gay, I could not receive any support from the call centers. Support for straight spouses is sorely lacking, and the upheaval of such individual's lives deserves support, and good guidance just as much as the person coming out of the closet. It would be very helpful to have a 24 hour phone line available for emotional support for straight spouses. Thank you for all that you are doing. Just reading the information on the website is helping me cope, at a time when I feel totally isolated from my family and friends.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

If I had only found this organization five years sooner than I did, my life would have looked very different. A life saving organization that allows straight spouses of LGB to feel less isolated and crazy.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Recently my wife informed me that she was gay and would be leaving me for another woman. I had no one to talk to and no where to turn. I was devastated to say the least. I found the SSN and now I have hope. They are a family of great people that have experienced what I am going through. They have welcomed me in with open arms and are helping me through what now seems to be the worst time in my life. I talk to them daily and learn from all of the great people how to better cope with the terrible situation I have found myself in. I don't know how I would be able to work through this without the help of these great friends!

14

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organisation helped me enormously when my world fell apart after my wife of 32 years left me to live with another woman, in another country. She was my world, and my world was shattered. Now nearly two years later I m on the road to recovery and building a new life thanks to the Straight Spouse Network.

20

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SSN or Straight Spouse Network is a nonprofit organization of which I have been a member of for six years. In 2002, I found out that my husband was gay and we had been married for 21 years. My life was devastated and I had little hope for the future. I did not understand why he had married me and had two chldren with me. I was confused and angry. A friend of mine saw an article in Dear Abbey and connected me to SSN. I started posting and sharing my story and very quickly realized that I was not the only one. I can honestly say that they saved my life. They gave me hope at a time when I had none. Thier support and compassion was overwhelming. Thier support helped me to understand the lesbian, gay and transgendered experience and become sensitive to thier needs. It is my goal that through education and legistlation, there will be less Str8 Spouses left in the dust. All of us together can make this happen. Hugs, Ann St. Croix