We haven’t been posting in this blog for a while, as we’ve been undergoing some renovations on our site. But the cyberdust is clearing, so we are back! And we have been busy!
We are very proud to announce that Amity Buxton has published two recent articles for Huffington Post. Amity’s voice is one of the clearest statements of the straight spouse experience, because she focuses on the total experience of the spouse, the family, and on going forward. The path to our own healing and strength is not an easy one, and can be lonely at times. Thanks to Amity for sharing with a wider audience our perspectives and concerns, as well as our ongoing needs and those of our families.
The heterosexual spouses and ex spouses of LGBT people are not the enemies of LGBT people. We are family. All families have disagreements, different ideas. But they are family. This can be difficult to realize at first, but many of us do continue to have some familial relationship with our exes and some of us progress better with healthy distancing . There really isn’t a one size fits all checklist for describing or recognizing a gay spouse, or even for describing our own experiences and perspectives.
So we love it when someone is recognized for getting the word out about all our different experiences. And that includes a recent TV appearance by a straight spouse on the Judge Alex show. For many who saw the program, much of what the straight ex wife said rang very true. She was deceived, and recovered her costs for the wedding. Many who viewed the episode found it validating to hear someone else state what they have been feeling.
There is a whole new awareness of families like ours today, and we are happy to offer help, support, advice, and friendship to men and women who find that they have married or become sexually involved with an LGBT person. Real support at an unreal time is truly what we are about.
By Diana Robertson
If you were in the woods and got shot with an arrow would you pick up a bow and shoot a second arrow into yourself? Probably not.
But too often when I get shot by an emotional arrow I do, indeed, shoot myself with a second arrow.
Here is how it happens: My husband comes out of the closet and says he wants a divorce. (First arrow) I tell myself that I am unlovable. (Second arrow) I should have seen this coming. (Yet another arrow) I’m stupid, ugly, undesirable, naïve, and now my life has been wasted. (Entire quiver of arrows)
As stupid as it seems to imagine physically shooting ourselves with a second arrow after being hit by a first one, one would think that we would realize how wrong it is to shoot ourselves with additional emotional arrows. But we all do it. And we often inflict much more damage to ourselves than was caused by the initial emotional arrow.
This pattern happens in other situations outside the world of the straight spouse experience, too.
First Arrow Second Arrow
Someone else is selected for a job. “I’m a loser.”
My child gets a bad grade at school. “I’m a terrible parent.”
My neighbor is mean to me. “I must be doing something to deserve it.”
Isn’t it bad enough that we got shot once? And who taught us that it makes sense to add injury to injury? “Well look at that! I just got shot!” *sigh* “Hand me my bow, I’ve gotta shoot another arrow into myself.” Senseless as it may be, we do it way too often.
The straight spouse experience has given me many opportunities for target practice.
When my gay ex husband was reveling in his new found freedom and honesty, I was telling myself that living with me must have been really crappy for him to be that happy to get away from me. When I began to dabble in the online dating scene, and experienced being told “You aren’t the right one for me,” I added the arrow of “I am too fat—I will always be alone.” Now that my ex is in a committed relationship with another man I tell myself “Look, a lying, cheating narcissist can find love. I must really be terrible.”
Step away from the arrows! Stop the madness! Just deal with the first arrow, gently remove it, put on a bandage, and go buy some Kevlar protective clothing. I am doing a lot better, now, stopping myself from inflicting Second Arrows on myself. I sometimes have even been known to murmur to myself, “Put down the arrow, one wound is plenty.” I’m becoming almost Zen-like in my ability to observe an initial arrow and then move on with my happy life.
Someone else gets the job? If I was not the best choice, I would not have been happy in that job.
A neighbor is mean to me? That says a lot about him and nothing about me.
No follow up phone call after a first date? Next!
Gay ex husband (who always refused to go on vacations) is going on frequent vacations now with his boyfriend.
I rejoice that he will not be with me when I go to Florida in October!