Triggers – the post discovery ripple effect.

Just shy of 3 years post discovery and most days are fine. A few are even great. Everyone says that we have to find ways past the anger, ways to forgive and move on. That staying angry will only hurt us and that the anger will consume us.
Most days I think I’ve managed this well, most days I don’t feel angry. In fact I think I’ve probably managed it a little too well. If there were an award for turning the other cheek I’d most certainly have won it by now. I’m successfully co-parenting with my ex-husband, we do family things together every week. We even went on a week-long road trip to visit his family together and nobody had to be medicated or hospitalized. Ha ha ha. But in all seriousness I have forgiven and moved past a lot, mostly for the benefit of our children but also because I know that although he made some poor choices in how he handled things, he was hurting and struggling with his own identity and many other things and ultimately had enough self-loathing and bad feelings about it, and don’t forget, I loved this man, so despite everything of course it broke my heart to see him hurting that way. So I made a conscious EFFORT (effort is capitalized because dammit, it was and is hard) not to beat him up about it or wallow in it forever. With therapy and time I got better at it, and like I said I think I’m doing a pretty good job most days.
But then every once in awhile a day like today sneaks up. Where something as simple as not getting approved for a car loan can turn me into a raging angry and then in short order a sniveling mess of salt water and mucous. Granted, the triggers used to be a lot closer together and come a lot more often so I suppose there has been some progress, but on days like today I can’t help but feel utterly defeated because clearly I’ve been fooling myself, anger is still there. So then I start thinking, does it make me an epic failure of a human being because I haven’t managed to “let go’ of the anger. Whose expectation for letting go am I subscribing to anyway? My friends, family, society? Over these 3 years they have all at one point or another put that pressure on me in some way, I’m sure they are well-intentioned but at the end of the day whose needs are they really serving with that request? I think maybe it’s their own. Maybe they are asking us (straight spouses) to move on, to let go, to get passed the anger because it makes them uncomfortable. Because they don’t want to see it, or think about it. Perhaps it strikes too close too home because it’s an uncomfortable recognition that we are struggling through no fault of our own and that it can happen to anyone.
After all, maybe it’s okay to be angry, maybe it’s normal, and maybe it makes me human. Maybe I’ll continue to be angry from time to time as long as I am living and struggling day to day with the very tangible ripple effect of being a straight spouse. Putting all the emotional betrayal and loss aside, who wouldn’t be angry if they lost everything they worked so hard for, their home, their car, their credit and were now dealing with financial ruin because of someoneelse’s lies and cowardice? (And before you say it’s just money, there are more important things in life, believe me I know and I am grateful everyday for those.If you do find that person, in the words of Letter Kenny, tell them I said, “Get off the cross, because we need the wood.” Maybe they are ready to be a martyr or a saint but I sadly am only human and you know what I am done apologizing for it. Yes I get angry sometimes, this is a hard road to be on, especially because I didn’t chose it but rather was thrown out on to it at 80km an hour. But you know what, I’m walking it nonetheless and I’m doing the best I can, which for the most part is pretty damn good. So unless you’ve walked it, I’ll thank you not to tell me what shoes I should wear. Some day the joys of paying for someoneelse’s poor decisions will be over. But today is not that day.

I’m reminded of The Beatles song. “Happiness is a Warm Gun”, implying that the gun is warm because it just went off.. In that song they get to pull the trigger and experience happiness as a result, instead of being asked as straight spouses are, to rise above their triggers, to get over, or rise above or suppress their anger. I say enough is enough. Our triggers are there for a reason let us be free to experience them for what they are, and if you can’t support us, then I respectfully ask you not to shame us. Better yet, shut your mouth and get out of the line of fire.

Holiday Humour – warning. sense of humour required.

Over the holidays I had a long car ride and was getting tired of all the christmas songs. Toward the end I think I started getting a little tired because I started changing some of the words. It was very therapeutic because sometimes you just have to laugh
Here are some of my revamped gems.

‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.. Becomes, I’m beginning to feel a lot like fuck this…

And that snow patrol song from Greys Anatomy. ‘ if I lay here, and forget that you’re queer, would you lie with me and forget that I’m a girl…’

O come ye unfaithful, come out of the closet…

God rest ye merry gentlemen….
I know my ex likes gentlemen, it caused me such dismay. But be warned if you ask him, he says that he’s not gay

Silent night
Silent night, lonely night, spouse is far out of sight. Went to Home Depot 3 hours ago. Said it was for some wood, boy don’t I know.

For the guys… I saw mommy kissing Mrs. Claus, way back in the closet last night.

John Lennon’s Happy Christmas
So this is christmas
And daddy likes cock
So just bend him over
While the family’s in shock

And so this Christmas
Oh look kids a crumb
We’ll all have to share it
‘cause dad likes it up the bum

A very merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Lets hope is a good one
Though daddy is queer

And so this is Christmas
No presents we’re broke
You can blame your father
Escorts are no joke

And so merry Christmas
It all black and white
On this credit card statement
yet somehow he still lies

A Very merry Christmas
And happy new year
One more vial of blood
To stop STI fear

And so this is Christmas
And what else has dad done
Hey wait, just don’t tell me
Ya fuck it Im done

And so merry Christmas
We hope you have fun
Gay, lesbian, bi, queer or pan
But hey if your married sure, hope the truth’s in your plan

Lies are over
Cock you want it
Lies are over now

Little drummer Boy
Straight they told us par rum pun pum pum,
We should have seen the signs how dumb dumb dumb dumb…
But hey we’re not alone familee is such fun fun fun fun
So every October we meet and drink rum rum rum rum rum, rum rum rum.

Away in a Manger
Away in a bathhouse with some guy name Fred
My liar of a husband is giving some head

Last Christmas
Last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day found out you were gay. This year to save me from tears I’ll drink Johnny Walker special

Christmas Time -Alvin and the Chipmunks
Christmas Christmas time is here
The triggers they are everywhere
Claims (s)he’s straight but it won’t last
Hurry Christmas be over fast

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Grandma were not married now cause he’s queer,
I’m Walking home from therapy alone
You can say their no such thing as Kinsey
But as for me and familee we believe

Do you hear what I hear?
Said the straight spouse to the closeted,
Denial is what I hear, denial is what hear
Said the closeted spouse to the straight
hey you know I’m not queer’ hey you know I’m not queer.
A thong a thong, mixed up in the sheets that I’ve never seen before…

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Oh I want a heterosexual for Christmas
Only a heterosexual will do
No more denial or lying liar pants
I only want a straight taking off my pants

ingwamazin -being determined in our efforts to live a good life

You don’t go through something like I did in the past 2+ years and come out unchanged. It certainly leaves it’s mark. Even though I am healing I do know that I will never be the same. This experience has certainly left its mark, and though I may still be discovering the full extent of that change ; (a change that is at once heartbreaking and beautiful, positive and negative)and who I will become. I know without a doubt that something core within me has forever been altered. That is the reason for my tattoo. I am Anishinaabekwe. I once heard an Algonquin Elder speak about the significance of the feather. While there are many stories and teachings about the feather. This Elder spoke about how the feather keeps us walking the good path in life, it is a reminder that we can not change the past, we can not go back but can only move forward along the journey of life. In much the same way that when you touch a feather you can only run your hand smoothly along the surface from quill to tip, if you try to ‘go back’ or run your hand along it backwards then you ruin the very essence of the feather. This really spoke to me. I can’t change what happened and it will forever leave a mark on my being ( just like my tattoo is permanent) I can however honour the past and continue to walk forward on this journey in a good way.


Today was an emotional day. It was all together challenging, rewarding, beautiful, sad and happy. All the feels of life and in particular the past two years condensed into one day. As individuals my ex and I have come a long way the hard way in the past two years. This was the first time he felt comfortable enough to ask us to attend the PRIDE parade with him as a family. For many reasons, some of which I blog about ( and even though I still feel that the LGBTQ+ community could and should be doing more to help acknowledge and support spouses/partners left behind after discovery or a partners coming out and after all the heartbreak and hardship of the past 2 years I still went to the parade today because I know how important it is to teach my children that love is love and that everyone deserves the freedom to live authentically. During the parade I felt a lot of love and warmth and was happy to see so many people celebrating and supporting but at times I also felt waves of sadness knowing that people were looking at my ‘family’ and thinking we were a happy hetero ally family, and while we are allies we are so much more than just that. My goal this year is to continue raising awareness and connecting with LGBTQ+ organizations to foster support and partnership for mixed orientation families, straight spouses and other partners who’s loved ones come out as LGBTQ+. There are more of us then you realize and likely to be even more in the next 5 years. We too are victims of homophobia/transphobia and need to feel loved and supported, not silenced and shamed. Maybe next year there will be a straight spouses/partners/mixed orientation family banner and community presence in the parade…. And maybe just maybe, one day there will be no more straight spouses/ partners left behind at all. #loveislove #healing #straightspouse #mixedorientationfamily


PRIDE (and prejudice)

PRIDE (and prejudice)

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Tomorrow is the start of PRIDE week in my city and it always fills me with mixed emotions. While on one hand I think its great that PRIDE exists and that the LGBTQ+ community can celebrate, raise awareness etc. However, ever since TGT it no longer feels quite so easy and simple. After the initial shock and turmoil that comes with the discovery that your spouse isn’t straight; I started trying to raise awareness and advocate. I became a facilitator for the straight spouse support network and started a local face-to-face support group in my city. Our first meeting was held in a room we rented from a local community organization whose mandate is to provide mental health support for all citizens. However, when we shared our poster and information about our Straight Spouse Support group, to help people who’s partners have come out as LGBTQ+ with that community organization they told us that we would no longer be able to hold meetings in that space. They used the rationale that this was because our group excluded people of the LGBTQ+. To me this didn’t seem fair as they had a poster in there lobby about an LGBTQ+ event they were hosting that didn’t include straight people and that didn’t seem to be a problem with them. This organization was not specifically an LGBTQ+ but an organization meant to serve the entire community and yet her they were excluding us from having a safe place to meet and share our feelings and work on healing. That just didn’t seem right. After that I tried meeting with their senior staff to better explain our purpose and goals and to create awareness and educate that we are not a homophobic group. Would straight people be invited to a lesbian gay or bisexual support group? No because then people wouldn’t feel comfortable exploring and expressing their feeling authentically. Does that mean those groups are deliberate excluding or even hate straight people no, absolutely not. True equality does not mean everyone has to get the same treatment, or access the same programs or eat the same food or do the same thing all the time. It means everyone has the right to feel safe and express themselves and live authentically while respecting each other’s differences. How could this organization not understand that? Still we were turned away.

Next I tried to reach out to LGBTQ+ organizations, as my ex spouse who was using there services shared with me that some of the people in his support groups had recently come out to or left their unknowing partners and that maybe these people would like their partners, spouses or love ones to know that they were not alone and that there is a group where they to can get support for the grief, and transition they are dealing with being the partner left behind. I approached these groups to explain who we were and what we offered, if they weren’t willing or able to build a partnership at that time I would understand but would they at least be open to sharing the news and contact information about our group with their members and clients so that it might help other partners who have been left behind when their spouse came out. Most of these organizations didn’t even acknowledge my emails or calls, some said no and one said maybe but a year later we are still waiting to connect and move the issue forward and news of our group still isn’t being openly shared.
I contacted media too and very few wanted to print a story, have an interview or talk about the issue. All I wanted to do was raise awareness and let other straight spouses or partners of people who have come out know that they were not alone and that there is somewhere for them to see support.
So all this turning us away really started to send the message from the LGBTQ+ community that they want straight spouses or partners of people who have come out to remain silent or to hide quietly in the closet their spouse/partner just vacated. And that is why I struggle with supporting PRIDE this year. I know that not all LGBTQ+ community members have betrayed a straight loved one by coming out of the closet later in life and I know that the reason this stuff even happens is because of societies fear and long standing homophobic, transphobic attitudes but still I struggle with how it is possible to celebrate PRIDE without full disclosure and honesty, as a larger organization or movement how can the LGBTQ+ community in this city truthfully celebrate PRIDE when they are excluding, or turning a blind eye to part of their rainbow family ( straight spouses, or betrayed partners who may not even be straight but weren’t aware of their partners own LGBTQ+ identity, and children of mixed orientation marriages) To me true PRIDE comes when we acknowledge all the parts or ourselves and our actions, even the parts where we may have been afraid, or hurt people or made poor choices etc. I think we can only really celebrate PRIDE when we acknowledge and celebrate it all, the whole beautiful, messy wonderful and painful journey that makes us human.
I wonder will we ever see a PRIDE week where straight spouses, or betrayed partners who may not even be straight but weren’t aware of their partners own LGBTQ+ identity, and children of mixed orientation marriages are openly included in the festivities? Where they can have a voice and share their stories, where we can celebrate life and differences and work toward healing, co-parenting and loving one another together? Will there come a day when myself, my children and their LGBTQ+ dad can walk together proudly in the PRIDE parade and acknowledge that yes it is great that he can now live an authentic life but that there was some hurt there Will there ever be a day where it is acknowledged that we too are part of the rainbow family, and that whether we chose to be or not it doesn’t have to take away from or tarnish the LGBTQ+ community. A day that we can be acknowledged loved and accepted: a day that we can all truly have PRIDE.


Just get over it

I was looking through my phone history to share a picture of the girls when they were 6 months with a friend because her daughter just turned 6 month so we were swapping pictures. (Even though my twins are 2 now. Anyway, point is I stumbled across a screenshot I took back then from when I found out my spouse was in the closet and I just had to share. My hope in sharing this is not to shame or embarrass anyone but rather I hope to enlighten some people who want to brush off what we s a straight spouses go through so easily. You know those people, the friends and family who refuse to acknowledge or believe all this shit is real, or that we are exaggerating or better yet that ‘supportive’ friend who tells you that you just need to get over it.

13895029_10154127474667949_7867634346750179171_nFor me it’s not the fact that these are same sex relations. It’s the underhanded, sneaking, dishonesty of it all. More than that, it’s the betrayal of it all. If these were straight men or women sneaking off to publicly and randomly hook up like this while their unsuspecting spouses or significant other were unaware, or worse still at home breast feeding their 6 month old infants, I’m pretty sure society would be in an uproar about this type of abhorrent behaviour. Don’t misunderstand, I am fully aware of the fact that that very society and its homophobic, transphobic, queerphobic attitude and in some case policies and laws, have created a situation where some in the LGBTQ+ community don’t feel safe, accepted, respected or proud to live openly, to live authentically and that is absolutely wrong and not OK and needs to change. The bifurcating reality though is that it is also not ok for these hurting members of the LGBTQ+ society to commit lateral violence toward their spouse. Most people are quick to support the LGBTQ+ member coming out, and while they should be and do need support. That support should not come at the expense of the unknowing betrayed partner. The partner left behind did not have any agency in what happened to them; the only thing they are guilty of is falling in love with someone. They should not be made to feel silenced and shamed because of it; just as the LGBTQ+ partner should not be shamed or made to feel less because of their sexuality, gender or identity. But too often when the LGBTQ+ community promotes acceptance, equality and safe space of inclusion for everyone they generally mean everyone except heteronormative, straights. There are some fantastic LGBTQ+ inclusive groups in my city that promote being a space for everyone, for all types of people. I have lots of friends and people I love and respect that use those services and yet I myself don’t feel reflected, included or welcomed there. Even though I am part of the rainbow family, I am the co parent of two beautiful children with an LGBTQ+ former spouse. One day our own children may or may not have questions about their own gender, identity or sexuality. I would love for my ex spouse and I to teach them to love and respect for every human being and to be proud and love themselves no matter what. I would love to share in LGBTQ+ activities and events because whether I chose it or not it is part of my life, my family and the core of who I am now. I too have been a victim of homophobia, transphobia and hate. But the problem is I don’t belong and am not accepted by these organizations and spaces, my voice isn’t reflected there because I am straight and I was the victim of a victim of homophobia. So to admit my existence or to allow me to have a presence or a voice would mean what, that ‘hurt people hurt people? Well good we already knew that. And betrayed spouses, and children of closeted spouses are another very real example of that.

Sometimes I think the LGBTQ+ community is hesitant to acknowledge us because they may feel we are hateful or blaming them. While we maybe be angry and we are definitely hurt that doesn’t mean we are homophobic or that we want to spread hate or blame. In fact quite the opposite, we loved our spouses, we are also suffering because of society’s homophobia and transphobia. We need support and healing and love and acceptance. Partners who have discovered their spouse/partner isn’t straight or have had a spouse/or partner come out after years in a relationship have experienced a very deep betrayal by the person they loved and trusted most in the world, and even though that partner was hurting too, they were aware of what they were doing, aware that they were queer or questioning or having confusing feelings about their gender and identity and even though it may have been for valid understandable reasons like family, religion, social pressures, fear etc. they still chose to wrap up another person in their lie, to hurt and betray another person. Some cheated, some stole and some even jeopardized the health of their loved ones and their children in the process of hiding that they were LGBTQ+. Some are still doing it.

A lot of us need and want to connect with, understand and support our queer or questioning partners feelings, challenges, experience and journey but instead we are excluded, silenced and shut out by a lot of straight and LGBTQ+ people, and organizations it’s almost as if they don’t want to acknowledge that we exist. Many of us have lost friends and family. Would u tell the child of an alcoholic who doesn’t drink that it’s ok they don’t need support because their life isn’t really affected by alcohol? Would you tell the child of parents who went to residential school to suck it up because it doesn’t affect their life? Would you tell someone who was abused as a child that it’s ok to abuse their own children because it’s the hurt they had to live with and experience so it’s all they know? I don’t think as a society most people would be ok with any of the above. We know for a fact that lateral violence and intergenerational trauma exists. Recent studies even show that it can impact changes to our DNA. Bottom line, we know that people who have been hurt or are hurting hurt other people. So why doesn’t society want to hear from partners and family’s that have been left behind. Is it because then they would have to admit that on the whole homophobia and transphobia still exist and maybe as human beings we aren’t as loving and accepting as we claim to be? Why does the LGBTQ+ community want to exclude us, or gave us stay silently in the closet out spouse just left? Is it be because as a whole the LGBTQ+ movement is still in its infancy and still fighting for equality and a safe space, basic things that those of us who are straight are privileged to have and take for granted? I don’t know, I’m genuinely asking. If that’s why I can understand it more easily but it still hurts and I don’t think it needs to be that way. Partners who have discovered a spouse/partner isn’t straight or have had a spouse/ partner volunteer that information need to be included in the conversation. We need to have a voice, we need be respected and not feel shamed and silenced so that we can all heal. Maybe people aren’t ready for this yet but I think we need to work together to find a space to truly love respect and honour all aspects of gender, identity LGBTQ+, and rainbow family. True inclusiveness means excepting every part if our stories, and ourselves even the parts we don’t like, the parts where we hurt people, or made poor choices or were scared or angry or the parts that shame us or that we wish we could change, erase or forget. Everything all of it. We don’t get to pick and chose, we are human beings this is how we heal, how we grow, how we learn and most of all how we love and how we live.


Comedy = Tragedy + Time

I’ve heard some straight spouses who are further along in their journey refer to the whole process of their spouse coming out as a gift. Personally, I can’t say that I see it that way, (and if it is a gift it’s one I’d still like to find the gift receipt for). Certainly it is something that has irrevocably changed me, and while there are days when I long to be the old me there are other days when I think the new me is becoming someone pretty cool. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that in surviving the aftermath of being a straight spouse nothing scares me anymore; or if it’s the fact that Straight Spouses have been so underrepresented, silenced and even maligned that I feel incensed to find my voice and be and advocate, or maybe even something a little more self serving in nature, it’s likely some combination of all of these but whatever the reason I suppose the ‘gift’ in all of this is that it has given me the chance (or rather forced me) to reexamine, reevaluate and reprioritize my life. Unfortunately this opportunity was created through tragedy, (but really, when you think about it isn’t that often the case) I think it is an opportunity that few people ever really seize. I’m guessing that’s because most people are fortunate enough to never experience a crisis that shakes them to their very core, causing them to question every aspect of themselves. So no, I am not quite ready to call this a ‘gift’ but maybe, just maybe it’s an opportunity (however unsolicited) that allows us a chance to open ourselves to greater things, to gifts that we might otherwise never have found?


PS: for the record I am in no way saying that my “comedic genius” is one of these gifts, and don’t worry I’m certainly not about to pack it all in and quit my day job folks. I just meant in the broader sense it has allowed me to find my voice, try new things, be less afraid because I know I can survive.



What are/have been your opportunities? Please share



Default Settings

Is it normal that my default setting is to think everyone is a liar?

I recently started casually dating someone and they pointed out that I make them feel as if I think everything they say is a lie. At first I was a little offended and my initial defensive response was, “as if, if I make you feel that way, you must be a liar or feeling guilty about something” However, when I paused for a moment to reflect on his comment I thought to myself, damn it, he is totally right. So then I told him not to take it personally it wasn’t just him, I assume everyone is a liar. I mean I mostly thought this even before discovery I think that’s because of some childhood abandonment issues and repeatedly being let down or disappointed by the people in life who are support to protect, nurture and love you the most but anyway, somehow despite my best efforts I manages to meet, open up to, trust inevitably fall in love with someone who I thought was different, someone who knew where I was coming from, someone who I thought understood and who would never in a million years let me down in the same way.  I know that part at least is not a unique story. Whether you are a straight spouse or someone who has experienced the breakup of a heterosexual partnership, heartbreak is heartbreak is heartbreak. In fact even though the circumstances, stories and details may be different I think it is this heartbreak that unites us all, but where it gets a little different for the straight spouse I think is with the sheer level of betrayal.  As straight spouse there are just more layers to this betrayal.  Finding out that you’ve spent 5, 10 or for some 20, 30 or 50+ years with, someone you gave 100 percent of yourself to, someone you bared your soul to, someone you crapped your pants in front of for crying out loud!!! HAHAHA , finding out that that someone was lying to someone was lying to you the whole time, and not just about their actions like the fact that they were cheating or spending money or had an addiction but more than that, they were lying about who they were at their very core, their identity. They didn’t trust you or your love for them enough to share their deepest truth with you. That’s it, that’s the crux of it right there folks; that’s the level of betrayal that cuts so deep it shakes the very core of your being. It makes you question everything, your sanity, your judgement, your sense of self, your esteem, your beliefs, your values, everything.   So I guess that’s why my default setting is to assume that everyone is a liar at least until time and their actions prove otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are good people out there. Actually, I’m not even naive enough to think that lying means someone is a bad person; in fact I find most people lie because of fear. They are afraid to let others see the truth, or afraid to get hurt or I think what often rings most true is that people are most afraid to face their own truth, as is often the case with the spouse of a straight partner, (often for so many valid reasons that I won’t go into this time)

A lot of people in my life, even ones I never thought would have betrayed me with lies, some small, some big and some inutterably life changing.

So now I just assume everyone is a liar until time proves otherwise. I don’t hold it against them or blame them, in fact I realize most of them have a lot of healing to do, (and If I can I try to help them) hurt people hurt people is how the saying goes and now I totally see it. I suppose it could be that most people don’t walk through life with the assumption that everyone is a liar in which case this likely means that I myself still have a long way to go on my own healing journey to change this default setting.