Archive for the ‘Other Resources’ Category


December 29th, 2012 by Carol Grever

Since May, 2008, I have written articles on many
aspects of the straight spouse experience. 
I’ve responded to hundreds of online comments and private emails
generated by this blog.  Occasionally, with
permission from correspondents, I’ve embedded their powerful messages in longer

Now I would like to invite
readers to submit guest posts for this site, sharing more directly their own
stories and lessons learned from their mixed-orientation relationships.  This hard-won wisdom can be more than helpful—it
can change lives.

If you are a straight spouse with a topic you’d
like to write about, or if you want to share your personal story in a supportive
way, submit
a proposal
to me before sending the post. 
Click on the highlighted link to open an email for your proposal. 

Your topic or story should relate directly to some aspect of your own
straight spouse experience, e.g. coping mechanisms, telling the children, other
parenting concerns, self-care during crisis, decision to stay or separate, legal
or financial aspects of either, secrecy issues, counseling experiences,
long-term healing, etc. Gay-straight relationships are multi-faceted and
complicated and we learn from each other.  Your own experience will
suggest subjects to address in a post.

Once you’ve sent your proposal, if your topic or
story seems appropriate for this site, I’ll send more detailed guidelines about
desired format and content.  When your
post is completed, you can publish it under your own name or a pseudonym.  Your privacy will be protected at all

 Though there are dozens of articles already
available here on the Straight Spouse Connection, they only scratch the surface of
possible topics of interest to men and women whose mates unexpectedly came out
as gay.  You can add to the useful
information here and I’m eager to provide a forum for original articles and the
comments they’ll generate. 

Send a proposal today.  Thank you for visiting this site and for your
interest in helping other straight spouses heal their hurts and create a more
satisfying future.

great respect,


FINALLY OUT Encourages Understanding

June 13th, 2011 by Carol Grever

Many readers of this Web site are mature women, long-married, whose husbands have come out in mid-life or later.  Most have been utterly unaware and shocked by the disclosure. 

They ask, “Why did he marry me?  Was my whole marriage a sham, a lie?   Why do so many men come out after having families?  How could they not know they’re gay until they’ve entangled their wives in this traumatic dilemma?”

Such questions come up repeatedly, particularly from women whose husbands suddenly identified as homosexual after decades of marriage.  Until now, almost nothing has been written about this common occurrence.  But a new book offers well-researched, scientific and definitive answers, along with the author’s personal experience in the situation.

Dr. Loren A. Olson, author of Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, is a gay psychiatrist, father and grandfather, who came out at age 40.  Having both personal and professional knowledge of the hidden population of gay, married men, he writes with authority about evolving sexual identification—his own and that of his patients and friends.  He has presented his research on mature gay men at the World Congress of Psychiatry in Prague and has received other professional recognition.  He is a recognized expert in his field.

His new book is obviously educational for gay men attempting to live straight lives while struggling with their sexual identity.  But for straight spouses, Finally Out offers a foundation for forgiveness and understanding of our gay husbands.  Having this information can lead to the final phase of straight spouse recovery: Forgiveness.  In the blog entry “Stages of Recovery” (May 28, 2008), I wrote about our journey toward wholeness:   

Fortunately, most spouses reach a turning point, finding inner strength to begin healing.  This usually happens when they accept what they cannot change . . . .  When anger is replaced by forgiveness, trust and hope can be restored.  . . .  When they regard the whole experience as a teacher, not a disaster, they are able to move into the next phase of their lives, reconfiguring a happier future. 

Finally Out will appeal to diverse audiences:  mature gays, their wives and families, academics, and medical professionals.  It is a valuable addition to the literature on human sexuality, written in an accessible, personal way.  Dr. Olson’s informative book could become a key turning point to complete your healing as a straight spouse.  I highly recommend it.




April 23rd, 2011 by Carol Grever

The complexities of a mixed-orientation marriage increase exponentially when one or both partners suffer addictions.  A recent email from a straight spouse highlighted this multi-layered affliction.  Here is an excerpt from her message.

My husband and I met over 13 years ago. . . . Twelve years later he came out to me and to many acquaintances.  At first I did not see how it could change what we had.  Now that he has been out for a few months, I am having difficulty coping with my feelings.  We still love each other, but I have lost my trust in him . . . .  I feel all alone.  We both suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction.  We have over six months of recovery and are active members of AA.  That is why this all came up.  My husband was working on clearing the wreckage of his past, and his true self came to the surface. 

Addictions themselves add enormous difficulty to the problems of a coming-out event.  Two major life changes are happening at once—getting sober and revealing one’s true sexual identity.  The entire family is affected by both challenges.  While the12-Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous has effectively helped millions recover from dependence on alcohol and drugs, working through the steps transforms people in fundamental ways.  They set out to conquer their addiction, but in the process they alter their ideals, standards, and daily life.  An elemental shift is happening, whether it is the gay or the straight partner engaged in the AA program. 

These psychic alterations further complicate their marital dilemma.  For example, AA’s Step 4 requires a deep and fearless moral inventory of character defects and wrongs done.  Step 5 demands openly admitting those wrongs to a neutral party.  Steps 8 and 9 require making amends to anyone harmed by earlier actions.  People spend months or years occupied with these steps toward sober living. 

The drama is even more complicated when both partners are in AA.  If they both fully participate in the 12-Step program, each understands the transformational process.  But if only one partner experiences this psychic shift, the mate’s alienation increases.  The chasm widens and the probability of saving their marriage diminishes even further.  Still, the indisputable benefits of overcoming a drug and/or alcohol addiction make recovery efforts intrinsically worthwhile. 

Perceived dangers to a rocky mixed-orientation marriage should not deter an alcoholic from joining AA.  Day by day, recovering addicts and alcoholics reconfigure their very lives.  Sincere adherence to AA’s 12 Steps can lead to freedom from addiction, while simultaneously mapping a very different life path.  The work involves total honesty around self-centeredness, resentments, fear, and sexual behavior.  A spiritual awakening often occurs as a person’s “Higher Power” is identified.  Viewpoint, values, and lifestyle all drastically change.  Lies and secrecy are no longer tolerated.  Minds are clear, not muddled by chemicals.  Ongoing personal assessments fuel even more change. 

At best, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, and humanitarian service are evidence of the personal growth encouraged by AA.  The downside is that the partners may grow in different directions and recovery from addiction becomes another catalyst to separate.  However, statistically, these gay-straight relationships have less than a 15% chance of survival under any circumstances, even if addiction is not present.  The most positive conclusion, of course, is to have both partners living the life they choose, clean and sober, productive and proud, whether gay or straight, single or together.