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There are few things worse than hearing your spouse is gay, especially when we are told on a holiday or anniversary.
The day lives forever in our memories, not as a celebration, but as the day our life was upended.
Not ever hearing those words from a gay spouse is one of those things that is worse. Maybe we suspect something: find gay pornography, strange text messages and emails, or find apps like Grindr on the phone. So we are left to wonder – did he ever tell the children’s grandparents?
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But often, criticism of behavior like my ex-husband’s (deceiving a straight spouse into marriage) is spun as anti-gay rhetoric. I unequivocally sympathize with the struggles of LGBT men and women, although I don’t know what it is like to question my orientation.
But I do know what it is like to have my own sexuality deeply shamed, rejected and damaged.
He left me to guess, to ruminate, to wander in a desert with no answers, to live in an ether of doubt and questioning. My body image suffered, my self-esteem collapsed, my soul was damaged, my trust obliterated.
I was devastated not to feel desired by my own husband; I was devastated my own husband did not want my touch.
But when my ex-husband chose to marry me (knowing he was gay), he compounded that harm, spreading the trauma and devastation to two lives, rather than confining it to one. Many LGBT people may not want to acknowledge this, thinking it detracts from their very real suffering.
I certainly understand that they may not want to share that particular medal in the Oppression Olympics.In the article Clemons asserted “if you haven’t lived and breathed sexual orientation confusion, felt gay shame, or laid awake at night wishing that you really could pray the gay away, then honestly, you’ve nothing to contribute to this discussion.” As the ex-wife of a gay man (who was in denial during our marriage, but came out after divorcing his second wife), I know that I It is an utter travesty that homophobia still exists in our culture to such a degree that self-loathing and fear still infect perfectly wonderful people who happen to be LGBT.Recently the Archbishop of Philadelphia said that gay couples should be abstinent.” “you’re crazy, what will you be accusing me of next”. When confronted with truth, they sometimes become former friends. Especially if we have been sworn to secrecy for a number of years. When Collins came out after their breakup via announcements on television and in Sports Illustrated, it was news to many people.Or we hear a derisive snort, and are subjected to a stream of ridicule – as if we are to blame for everything that is wrong in the marriage. Sometimes our spouses tell us the truth we discover whatever prompts us to ask the question. Our children face the truth and don’t have the same perspective that we do – sometimes they are more concerned with separation and divorce than having a gay parent. It was also news to Carolyn, who handled the media attention and intrusiveness with grace and maturity. Often we remain connected, especially if we have children and share custody.My sexuality was a threat to him, a reminder of his own homosexuality, which he was desperately running from. Clemons is correct that LGBTQ people are often cruelly “shamed and belief-poisoned” into hetero-normative marriages, but I take exception to his inclusion of the term “forced.” As the ex-wife of a gay man, I say with confidence that was forced into a mixed orientation marriage against my will, without my knowledge or consent. Homosexuality isn’t a disorder, but several therapists he’s seen over the years have explained away the same sex affairs by accrediting the behavior to being bipolar.