Resources for Spouses
Wives of homosexual strugglers who married before fully facing and resolving their homosexual feelings have many special burdens to carry in this. The may have been lied to. Their husbands...
NOTE: These resources are listed here for informational purposes They fact that an organization is listed here does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by People Can Change.
Retreats & Trainings
For Wives of SSA Men
- A Wife's Healing Journey, by People Can Change
- TLC (formerly Love/Sex/Intimacy), by the International Healing Foundation
- Women of Worth, by North Star International (Upcoming Conference: April 19-20, 2013)
Women's Healing (General)
- People Can Change - Spouse's Group, Wives of men (or husbands of wives) with SSA can give & receive support
- North Star International (Latter-day Saint) - Specially aimed groups: Spouses, Couples, Friends & Family
Special Considerations for Wives
Wives of homosexual strugglers who married before fully facing and resolving their homosexual feelings have many special burdens to carry in this. They may have been lied to. Their husbands may have been cheating on them with other men, or with a secret pornography habit. The whole foundation of their marriage is probably shaken, and they don't know whether the marriage will survive, or whether they even want it to. They often feel unloved and undesirable as women. Your pain is deep and legitimate.
We know this because several of us were married and inadvertently put our wives in this position before we found a way out of homosexuality. (See Alan's, Ben's, Bob's, Dan's, David's, Jason's and Richard's stories at Our Stories of Change. The marriages of all seven men remain intact and, most would say, better than ever.)
Several things we want to emphasize about what we have written above:
It's not your fault, and it's not about you.
The fact that our problems were with men and masculinity emphasize that we did not turn to homosexuality because of problems in our marriages or problems with women. They were problems with men and our own sense of masculinity that we brought into our marriages and originated long before we met our future wives. Therefore, you can't fix it. Some women feel if they were only prettier or thinner or blonder or darker or more shapely or something else that this would solve the problem. It won't, because it's not about women. (See It's a Guy Thing.)
Homosexually oriented husbands who want to change and who want to save their marriages will need to deal with their masculinity issues and "heterophobia" (fear of heterosexual men) even while they work on the biggest crisis their marriages will ever face.
Here is how, from our perspective, wives can help the most:
- Believe in the possibility of change. Read our stories on this Web site and know that change is possible for those who want it and seek it.
- Love him unconditionally, and never shame him. You may express your anger, hurt and fear, as well, but be sure he knows that you love him as much as ever and are willing to work with him to find a way out of homosexuality if he is willing to try.
- As much as you can handle it, provide a non-judgmental listening ear. This can not only help him but bring you closer together in this Herculean challenge.
- Be willing to talk about it. Some wives think if they ignore the situation it will go away. It won't.
- Give him plenty of space to spend in healing time with heterosexual male friends and mentors, support groups, masculine activities and "guy time." Healing from homosexual problems required most of us to immerse ourselves in every aspect of healing.
- Get support for yourself, independent of your husband, whether through formal counseling, an S-Anon (partners of "sexaholics") group or other support group. You need to talk out your own feelings, too, and there is probably too much tension between you and your husband for him to listen as objectively as you would like, and vice versa.
- Respect his confidentiality. You need to talk out your feelings, but your husband also needs to trust you and others. He's sure to appreciate it and trust your confidence more if you check with him before discussing the issue with anyone else.
- Unconditional love doesn't mean unlimited acceptance of every behavior. Without criticism or condemnation, make it clear to your husband that you still expect faithful monogamy from him. Know your own personal limits of tolerance for his behavior, and don't allow them to be violated again and again without taking action. Be willing to walk away from the marriage rather than have him drag you down with him, if he is going to go that way. He needs to know that he has to make choices, that his choices have consequences, and that your self-respect will not allow you to be party to an "open" marriage. You can convey this message lovingly, letting him know that you want him to stay in the marriage with you and be faithful to you, but that if he is not willing to be faithful you will be forced to walk away, despite your love for him.