The straight spouse experience has been told in compelling detail in the new book Unseen Unheard: the Journey of Straight Spouses by Amity Pierce Buxton and R. L. Pinely. Amity is the founder of the Straight Spouse Network, and the author of The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families.
The book is a compilation of different experiences of men and women who discovered that their husbands or wives were gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. These powerful and unique stories are told in personal remembrance by straight spouses, and chronicle the slow journey from the shock and paralysis of the initial discovery to the healing and affirmation of a new life of infinite possibilities.
Often the straight partner is overlooked in the coming out process, silenced, or disregarded. These stories reflect the devastating reality of recovering from shattered belief systems, betrayal, sexual issues, and secrecy that often accompanies the revelation that their wives are having an affair with another woman or their husbands are having sex with other men – or want to. While many LGBT people come out of the closet with affirmation and encouragement, their heterosexual spouses are rendered invisible and inaudible, working through their shattered lives alone.
Moving forward from the point of discovery or disclosure is a slow journey, but a profound one. The book recounts the insights gained, the new self discoveries, and affirms the courage and resiliency of inner strength that emerges for many.