Pages Navigation Menu

Our Reality – On a TV Near You?

Posted by on Jan 24, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

There has been a lot of interest and comment  in our face to face and online chat groups about last week’s NCIS episode, which portrayed the straight spouse of a murdered naval petty officer. Whether we like the portrayal squeezed into a one hour murder mystery or not, one thing is clear:  the repeal of Dont ask Dont Tell has caused mainstrem media to actually NOTICE us, and the effect of a gay husband “at least being honest with himself” on the family.  Here at the Straight Spouse Network, we’ve seen some military spouses who have been dealing with the imperitive to keep hiding the real reason behind their divorce, separation, unhappiness.  With the repeal of DADT, we expect we will encounter more military straight spouses, as their gay spouses and the lovers of those gay spouses come out

We wont give away spoilers, and you can still catch the episode online or in repeats.  Don’t worry, the angry, bitter, hateful, drunken straight spouse didn’t do it.  But for those of us who have been through this experience, watching the interrogation scene where the wife of the murdered man’s lover is brought in for DUI and questioned about the murder is downright painful.  When told of the death of the officer, she replies “I hope it hurt”.

Oh, that is not nice.  Not nice at all.

But so true for so many of us, especially in the first months after disclosure or discovery.

In the interrogation scene, the emotions of hatred, embarrassment, shame, desire for a “real man” are shown.

Not nice.  Not nice at all.

But so true for so many of us, especially in the first months after disclosure or discovery.

The wife seeks solace in alcohol.

Not nice.  Not nice at all.

But so true for many of us, especially in the first months after disclosure or discovery.

She says she’s fighting to save her marriage, and a few seconds later admits to having been at a bar the night of the murder, “looking for a real man”.

Not nice.  Not nice at all.

But so true for so many of us, especially when our own sexuality is in shreds after a long term marriage to a gay person.

Its a bit much to expect that in a one hour episode focused on a murder that the journey for the jilted straight wife beyond the darkest point will be shown.  That would likely wrap it up in a nice neat package.  In fact, there is nothing nice, nor neat about this process for the straight spouse or the family.

We’re getting noticed, in all phases, and in different ways.  Did anyone catch the line on Modern Family, when an old girlfriend is asked if a character had a beard in high school she replies “You’re looking at her”?

What important now that media is actually noticing our existence, is to be truly visible in real life – as a real, honest human person who copes with this experience and finds solutions to move forward.  The anger is not politically correct, desirable, easy, or pretty.  But it is very real, and very normal and honest.  It is not a reason to dismiss the straight spouse as an angry, bitter, vindictive person who cannot deal with the truth.  It is not a reason to shun us, or our families.

We’re more than a joke, but as time goes on, we do find that humor helps!  Sometimes our gay spouses find our ability to be humorous a sign that we are somehow homophobic, bitter, angry, mean. Poliitally incorrect. After all, we sometimes laugh at them, the changes in appearance, the choice of friends.  Or we make jokes like the one in Modern Family.

The fact is, as we recover, we reclaim more of our true selves.  Humor is a healthy sign, even if it has a caustic edge at first.  Many of us supress that humor, that perspective, as it is considered by some to be politically incorrect.  Its not part of someone elses’ story of who we are supposed to be.

Anger, humor, self destructive behavior, crazy desire – these are all part of the range of the highs and lows of the roller coaster of being married to a gay person.  Anyone who has ever taken a long ride on a modern extreme roller coaster knows that once you get off, you could be a bit dizzy, disoriented, even sick.  But you get better.  And of course, there are people who never should go on a roller coaster for reasons of their health.  In an amusement park, they have that choice.  When it comes to dealing with a gay spouse, they have no choice or control.  They need help getting better, staying alive, remaining healthy, growing strong.  But all too often they are shunned, ignored, or patted on the back and told to get over it.  Fast.

The Straight Spouse Network is here to help all straight spouses find their best solution, gain support for their journey, regardless of the outcome of the marriage.Now more than ever, it’s possible for military straight spouses to seek the help they need in a confidential setting.  We are here for you!

Read More