Saturday, November 11, 2006

An open letter to Gayle Haggard

Dear Mrs. Haggard,
First of all, I know what you are going through. My soon to be ex-husband came out of the closet 11 months ago. You probably feel like you have been hit in the face with a cinder block (metaphorically speaking).

The first thing you should do is get tested for every STD known to humanity including HIV. If you ever have sex with your husband again, make him wear a condom. (Actually, that's good advice for someone who has discovered their straight spouse has cheated on them.) I know your church has probably told you that it's a sin to use condoms or they aren't effective in stopping the spread of STD, but medical professionals say otherwise. Who are you going to believe about condoms? A book written by bunch of bronze age nomads before condoms were invented?(paraphrasing Richard Dawkins) Or the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the Whitman Walker Clinic?

The second thing you should know, being gay in and of itself is not evil. Your husband's dishonesty with himself and you is evil. Homophobia is evil. Homosexuality is not a disease to be cured. Going to spiritual "restoration" will not cure gayness. Geez, that sounds so Soviet, like going to a re-education camp. My S2BX was filled with self-loathing for years, his homosexuality was the invisible elephant in the home. I knew that he was keeping something from me, that there was some element of intimacy that was missing from our marriage, but he wouldn't talk about. Now that he's out, it's like a giant weight has been lifted from his shoulders. Maybe that was the sensation that I got when he told me. The weight left his shoulders and slammed me in the face.

Please re-examine how your religious beliefs have contributed to the closeting of your husband and your current pain. There are an estimated 2 million mixed orientation marriages. About 20% of gay married are married to a woman. The closet is an ugly place to be for both individuals in these marriages. If society accepted gays as they are, a lot of pain and suffering will be averted. If I had known that my S2BX was gay, I never would have married him. I have a feeling that if you had known about your husband's orientation that you would have married someone else.

I understand that you want to try and make the marriage work. Sadly, the divorce rate in mixed orientation marriages is extremely high. Good luck, about 80% of mixed orientation marriages end in divorce. As in most cases of adultery, the wife is the last to know. I wish you luck, the odds are against you.

Remember that you are not alone in this. The are many resources available to support you, the Straight Spouse Network has been an incredible comfort to me. They even have a reading list for spouses. And a reading list for children.

Please, accept the fact that your husband's homosexuality is not your fault. Ignore Mark Driscoll, he's an asshole who twists the Bible to suit his own purposes. You will get through this.

I know I am a stranger trying to tell you how to live your life, however, Evangelical Christians have been trying to tell Americans how to live their lives. I'm just returning the favor.

Hopes and wishes,
phinky

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