There seem to be many stages in this process, finding out you’re a straight spouse and having to live with it. You go through one stage and move onto another only to find yourself back were you started. Certain things act as a trigger, a memory, a song, situations, things people say, all sorts of things. This morning I heard a song and it threw me into a depression. I started to remember things about my life before, where we lived and what we were doing and how I felt then (happy) and how I thought life was great. Hearing the song made me sad because it reminded me of a time when I thought I was happy but in reality life wasn’t really how I thought it was so in a sense the memory is a joke and hearing that song opened an old wound.

Going back to the beginning I think the first stage was Suspicion. There were feelings of uneasiness, something’s not right, can’t figure out what it is though. Everything roused my suspicion, my senses were switched on but I didn’t know what to do with them, this seems weird, that seems strange, but why? This was a crazy- making stage. Something’s up. My gut and my intuition was telling me something that really scared me.

Next stage was Denial. I went into complete denial which in turn had serious repercussions for me. Depression set in, I became totally isolated from the world and my health and well being slowly deteriorated. This stage lasted longer than it should have and like I’ve stated before I think had I not turned to substances I possibly would have moved on from this stage a lot sooner, I’ll never know. I think a lot of straight spouses hang out in the denial stage for a long time and it’s totally understandable considering the circumstances. I wish I’d been able to handle this stage better but I got totally buried in it.

I think the next stage for me was Shock and Survival. I could see I was disintegrating and I was shocked to realize that if I was going to survive this the only person that could save me was myself. I think I was hoping some miracle would occur and make everything okay again, it felt like I was stuck in a waiting room and eventually my turn would come and somehow I’d be saved. Realizing that wasn’t the case and that I would have to take drastic measures to climb out of the hole I was in, that shocked me. But it was the most crucial step to my recovery. You’re stuck inside a burning building and you have two options: Burn alive or Jump. I decided to jump.

The next stage was Recovery and Delusion. The recovery part at this stage was physical and emotional. I was in a bad way physically from all the chemicals I’d been putting inside my body so it took me a few months to withdraw from all of that crap and start to feel human again. Emotionally I was broken and confused, I was still in shock and I was still in denial to some extent and slightly deluded. I was making excuses for his behavior and defending him. I was also saying things like ‘I have no regrets, I wouldn’t be who I am today had this not happened, it’s made me stronger.’

Which brings us to the next stage: Anger. Like a bolt out of the blue I was suddenly consumed by anger. I was raging.  I had a lot of time to think and I was spending all of it dissecting the past, every aspect of it, big and small. I started piecing things together, making shocking realizations and then it hit me what a fool he’d made of me. It was all fake, all of it. I was a joke. All those years wasted. There was a lot to be angry about and I’m still angry today, it’s the stage I revisit the most, unfortunately.

I then entered a stage which I’ll call Rejuvenation. This is when I started to see the good again. Simple things. The world wasn’t completely dark like it was before. I could wake up and be appreciative of the world around me, my loved ones, I felt fortunate. I started to respect myself again and not take things for granted. I learned to laugh again and was able to have fun and even dream a little about a new life ahead. I got some confidence back.

These are the stages I’ve gone through so far. Lately I’ve been feeling angry and depressed. Depression has been an ongoing thing throughout this whole experience. I know it’s not unusual for straight spouses to bounce between these stages, it seems to be the nature of it.

I hope that one day I will reach the stage of Acceptance and Forgiveness. I’m not there yet. I have accepted a lot, I’m no longer in denial, it is what it is,  though I may never fully understand it. By acceptance I think I mean bury it. For good. And move on.

I wanted to write this post because I know other straight spouses struggle with these feelings, you’re not alone. It is a process you have to wade through and I’m learning this everyday and trying to find new ways to deal with it. What a lot of people don’t realize is that these feelings are only one part of it. Some of us have health problems, financial problems: sometimes as a result of this situation. So it can feel overwhelming at times. I try to stay positive. Recognize the progress you’ve made so far, it’s not to be discounted no matter how small it may seem now.





~ by brebrave on August 14, 2013.

5 Responses to “Stages”

  1. I am a str8spouse too. Your blog is dead on. The feelings of loss are tremendous as well as the feeling that I should have known before I was slapped with it in the face. You are not alone, neither am I. But it shouldn’t have happened. Courage isn’t what occurs after all the cards are on the table, it is what occurs before the hand is played. My husband should have had the courage to walk away long before he said I Do and created such a disaster for our family. Now I must deal with the fall out.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dealing with these feelings is really hard, they come and go regularly.. it’s like being haunted. It’s very difficult for people who haven’t gone through it to understand how it feels, no amount of explaining seems to cut it, the ongoing pain we feel. Nobody likes to be fooled (even on a small scale), it’s an uncomfortable sensation. Being fooled into a marriage and a whole life, giving yourself fully to another person and then finding THIS out, it’s soul destroying. It’s a constant task, picking up the pieces.
      If they don’t have the courage to be honest about their sexuality they should at least have the decency to practice celibacy instead of pretending they’re something they’re not and ruining innocent peoples lives.
      Thanks for your response it’s always a comfort knowing you’re not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They could have practiced their secret life without pulling a straight wife into it, but they are cowards. They wanted to live the straight life appearance, including with children, and conveniently keep their other life to themselves and for whomever they sought


  2. You describe so well the stages I have gone through. Having been in a 22 year marriage to a gay man. We have been divorced 2 1/2 years. I have reached a stage of anger and depression that seems to stay. I am looking forward to rejuvenation. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have much in common with you. I became chemically dependent in my marriage. I am codependent. I have dissected everything about the marriage and myself. Truths about the marriage did not come to me until I was away from him. Things that were unexplainable at the time all made sense. Then I did not know how I overlooked these things. Such as I found gay porn in the computer history. He told me it was my fault, that I gave us a computer virus. I never mentioned it again. This is just one of many things I overlooked. The sexless marriage was a big thing I overlooked. I was always trying to fix, trying to please. When a man called my house seeming disappointed and a little upset and told me my husband was suppose to met him for a cookout it was January and cold outside. I gave my husband the message but never questioned him about anything. I did not know what cookout meant. I was so mentally beat down at the end because he tore me down on a daily basis. I am glad I am free of him. The healing process seems to take so long. I am looking forward to a time that this no longer effects me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Debra, welcome 🙂
      Yep there are a lot of stages in this process, I’m still wading through them. Anger haunts me the most. I think it’s the injustice of it all, that’s what makes me angry. It’s like he did this terrible thing and just got away with it. The anger you feel might always be there but over time it does subside, I used to feel angry all the time but now it’s a bit more in control. I used to spend all day and night dissecting everything and I think that contributed to my depression so nowadays I try to focus on other’s hard though. It’s amazing what you remember, even now I’ll recall some instance from years back and I’m thinking how did I not figure it out? Well, eventually we all do.
      You will recover from this, it’s just a process. Focus on the things that make you happy and taking care of you, that’s most important at this stage. I still have bad days but I’m learning to overcome them as time goes by. You learn so much about yourself, how strong you can be. You’ve made it past the worst of it, now you have to take back your life and make up for all the time he wasted. You will heal, just takes time.

      Liked by 1 person

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