Bonnie asked me to write to you, but first you should know that I pray for each of you every time I see a newsletter from Bonnie in my email. It wasn’t so long ago that I waited for Bonnie’s newsletters, hoping they would help me make sense of something absolutely crazy and foreign to me.
You will never be able to make sense of someone else’s inner chaos. But you can survive this—and thrive—and, when you do what you need to take care of yourself first, you will learn to love and trust a man again.
Most likely, there is someone out there who will love you in all the ways that a man should love a woman. He will tell his friends and family that you’re the best thing to ever happen to him. He will adore the ground you walk on.
He will encourage you and hold you when you’re sad, and he will celebrate with you when you’re happy. He will always be there to kiss you good night, and tell you you’re beautiful first thing in the morning. He will love your children and be a strong, confident, male figure in their lives. He will talk about growing old with you, and spoiling grandchildren together.
He will make you a priority in his life. He will make choices that allow him to spend more time with you, instead of less. He will naturally grab your hand when you’re walking through a busy, public place. He will tell you over and over that he loves you. He will take time off to help nurse you back to health when you’re sick. He will make you feel desirable and sexy even when you feel you aren’t.
He will “be there” in every way you need him to be.
You will love this man as madly as he loves you, and you will trust him completely. And you will thank God for him every day, and wish you’d met him years or decades ago, but you both know it wasn’t meant to happen that way.
I don’t know why God allowed me to meet and marry my gay husband and go through the hell I did with him. But I do know that it helped me find the person I needed to find—Me. The truth is, I had lost “me” somewhere along life’s journey, and when I did that, it allowed “him” to creep into my life and use—and abuse—it for his own purposes.
Start this New Year by cutting that toxic person out of your life. Don’t continue to let him rob you of more precious time. Guess what? You can’t change him. You can’t fix him. You can’t do anything to make him the man you want him to be. He is who he is, and what he is, and that’s all you’ll ever get from him, despite whatever manipulative lies he’s telling you.
Can you take another year living in this Hell? Then get rid of him. Now. By the way, there is no man alive—not even a sweet, precious, sincere, loving and giving man—who can fill all the voids in your life until you fill some of them yourself first. There are six things I did to rediscover the power of myself, and to recover from the heartbreak of loving a gay man:
1) Fall in love with yourself. Enjoy spending time with yourself, alone, walking around the neighborhood, or sitting quietly with your positive thoughts of what your new life can be like. Discover new things about yourself—maybe you have talents or artistic interests. Maybe you will find joy in helping at a retirement home or a preschool, or volunteering at your church, singing in a choir, learning to paint, or to belly dance. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but didn’t, because you didn’t have time? Well, now you have the time. Do it. Make it happen. I started writing and painting again. No best-selling novel or a masterpiece yet, but I created things that meant something to me and were fun to work on.
2) Get rid of the remnants of “him.” I cleaned house after mine left—a process which took months, but it felt GREAT. If he touched it, wore it, bought it, sat on it, liked it, I tossed it. Yes, that left me with a pretty barren house for a while, but I began, over time, to fill my home with only the things that I chose, that I loved, that meant something special to ME and my children. Far better to have a barren house full of love than a full house full of reminders of a painful relationship.
3) Reach for your Higher Power and/or open yourself up to new spiritual thinking. Think about what you believe and find like-minded people to surround yourself with during this time. I used this time to learn about all types of religious philosophies, angels, astrology, numerology, positive thinking . . . even Feng Shui. My world became bigger, and my relationship with my own Higher Power—God—became even stronger, which gave me the energy I needed.
4) Rekindle relationships with your stable girlfriends, or find a new circle of female friends. We often underestimate how much power we as women have in supporting and encouraging each other. If you need to find new female friends, do it. If someone’s not lifting you up, if they’re not a joy to be around, it’s probably time to part ways. You don’t need to take on anyone else’s baggage right now, but you do need “girl time.” I even used sites like Facebook and MySpace to find old friends and supportive new friends. (Female friends, that is. Leave the men alone. More on that later.)
5) Concentrate on being healthy. Eat when you should and eat right. Exercise. If you hate to go to the gym, take your kids, your dog, your neighbor, etc. on walks with you around the neighborhood. Go to the doctor. Go to the dentist. Talk to a therapist (I highly recommend this!) or a pastor who provides counseling. Look for a support group. If you smoke, cut back or quit entirely. Don’t hang out in bars. This is an investment in your future self. By the way, think about changing your hairstyle in some way, or wearing a color you don’t normally wear. Breaking out of old habits and getting out of all ruts is emotionally healthy!
6) Don’t even think about dating. Don’t even bother to look, because when you’re looking, you don’t find the right guy anyway. Don’t put your profile on Match.com or any other dating website. Don’t let a friend or family member fix you up on a blind date. 2011 is your year, and you can’t possibly give yourself the attention you need while trying to look all perky and cute for some guy. This year, you are “The One.” And when it’s time for you to meet “The Other One,” nothing can stop that from happening. Most likely, it will happen as a complete surprise to you both.
And how did this all work out for me? I’ve been with my wonderful Lee for three years now, and they’ve been the happiest, most joy-filled, passionate years of my life. He’s everything I never even knew I was missing in a man. We’ve just celebrated our third Christmas together, in our home, surrounded by five young adult children, his mother, sister and brother, two dogs and three cats. My dear sisters, I have a real family now, and a home full of love. And this is exactly what I pray each of you will find, too.
I would love to hear from you, and I can’t wait to hear your victorious survival stories as well. And you WILL be victorious in this!
Much, much, much love,
New Orleans, LA
Thank you so much, Rhonda, for your heartfelt letter. I know that other women will feel so encouraged by it! Please tune in and listen to Rhonda on this Sunday evening, January 16th at 10 p.m. EST or go to the archives for that day when you have time.
Directions for the computer radio talk show:
Bonnie and her co-hostess Misti Lynn Hall, a therapist specializing in straight wife coaching, can now be heard live every Sunday evening for 90 minutes at 10 p.m. EST, 9 p.m. CT, 8 p.m. MT, and 6 p.m. PT on Blog Talk Radio which can be heard on any computer. Their show focuses on straight women married to or divorced from gay men. They discuss the hard-hitting issues that women face in these relationships and help both marriage partners to move on to a better, saner, place in life. Listeners have the opportunity to call in and ask questions.
To hear the show, click into this link or paste it into your Internet browser:
When the Blog Radio screen comes up, on the top line, click “On Air.” A new screen will come up where you can select from a drop-down menu where it says "Choose A Category." Click into “WOMEN.” Then the screen will pop up with the live shows. Click into the live show of STRAIGHT WIVES to hear us. If you would like to ask questions live, you can call in at: (646) 716-4893. You can also email Bonnie at Bonkaye@aol.com during the broadcast to ask a question for the show.
To hear past shows, go to: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bonnielkaye
Go to the “On Demand” episodes. There you can listen to past shows if you can’t listen when we go live!
That’s it for this month! Remember the my mantra that I will tell you to keep repeating:
LIFE WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE THIS COMPLICATED!
Love, Bonnie J