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The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2001

    Little help for straight husbands

    As a straight husband whose wife just came out, I ordered this book as soon as I heard about it. I read it in one sitting. I found it to be out-of-date and minimizing to straight husbands. The focus is on the struggles of gay husbands and straight wives, and it minimizes the pain and trauma that straight husbands experience. For example, there are numerous statements in the book that straight men get over the pain more quickly than straight women, and that the straight male spouse often forms new relationships within only a few years. It seemed to suggest that the pain we feel is less powerful and consuming. I found this very insulting, as I am having a terible time watching my marriage (and best friendship) dissolve. Also, the examples (case studies) for 'saving' the marriage often include individuals who accept a third (or more) person into the relationship. If you are an ex-hippie with an 'open' marriage, or are unconventional, this might or might not work. If you are a conventional person in your twenties or thirties, with conventional ideas about marriage, you will find little to relate to with these people. I had hoped that the examples would date from the 1990's, not the 1970's or early 1980's. The 'steps of recovery' outlined are descriptive only, and do not provide practical steps. This book needs to be updated before it can have relevance to the complications of living in the present time. For straight husbands: buy this if you want to or need to, but I am sorry to say that, in my opinion, what you are looking for is not in this book.

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