When Your Spouse Comes Out: A Straight Mate's Recovery Manual / Edition 1

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Effective therapeutic self-help techniques for a straight mate’s recovery

One of the most traumatic events that can happen in a marriage is discovering your mate is gay. When Your Spouse Comes Out: A Straight Mate’s Recovery Manual is a comprehensive exploration of the trauma that provides practical steps that successful individuals have taken to keep this event from ruining their future. This guide offers solid therapeutic techniques for self-help and presents poignant true stories that illustrate that the damage is not irreparable. The book examines the various reactions to the coming-out event, the personal challenges and obstacles often experienced, and shares lessons learned and some of the secrets of transformation.

When this crisis hits home, isolation, depression, anger, grief, and self-recrimination take root. When Your Spouse Comes Out: A Straight Mate’s Recovery Manual presents role models, analysis, practices, and activities promoting long-term emotional recovery for heterosexual men and women whose intimate partners are gay. The text includes integrated exercises helpful for class work and student discussion and case studies of people who recount their stories and explain their recovery.

Topics in When Your Spouse Comes Out: A Straight Mate’s Recovery Manual include:

  • different straight spouse responses to the coming out event
  • diverse ways gay mates approach coming out
  • typical stages of coping by straight spouses
  • health risks
  • how to tell the children
  • helping children with the resulting challenges
  • paths toward healing
  • recreating family
  • and more

When Your Spouse Comes Out: A Straight Mate’s Recovery Manual offers a self-directed path to recovery which can be used individually or in the context of a support group. This guide is invaluable for straight spouses working alone or in groups, therapists, counselors, group facilitators, librarians, families of gays/lesbians, and their mates.

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What People Are Saying

Amity Pierce Buxton
OFFERS INVALUABLE GUIDANCE to wives and husbands dealing with the disclosure or discovery of their partners' being gay or lesbian. . . . PROVIDES A TOOL KIT OF PRACTICAL AND POWERFUL STRATEGIES by which individuals can guide their own healing and transformation. Ways to process anger, fear, and grief and to deal with health risks will help straight spouses to get through difficult periods in their journeys toward healing and enable them to reconfigure their lives over time. . . . A welcome addition to the literature. (Amity Pierce Buxton, PhD, Founder, Straight Spouse Network)
Thomas B. Coburn
'You are not alone!' 'You have choices!' These are two of the central messages that this PROFOUNDLY USEFUL little book skillfully conveys. The result of a happy collaboration between a writer and a counselor, it brings together professional counseling advice with the lived experience of dozens of spouses who find themselves with a gay husband or wife. . . . One feels that one is talking with a wise, calmly reassuring friend. The power of When Your Spouse Come Out derives from its honesty, its respect for everyone involved in the coming-out experience, and its practicality in helping the 'straight mate' toward recovery. . . . One can either dip into the book to find sections that are relevant to oneself or can study it systematically. If one does the latter, one finds that the voice of wisdom is well grounded in the theoretical literature of counseling. (Thomas B. Coburn, PhD, President, Naropa University)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789036285
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Series: Haworth Series in GLBT Family Studies
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 170
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Grever, M.A., has been a successful businesswoman and English professor and now writes professionally. She is author of two books on straight spouse recovery, My Husband Is Gay: A Woman's Guide to Surviving the Crisis, and My Spouse Came Out: A Straight Mate's Recovery Manual, co-authored by Dr. Deborah Bowman. Her unique documentary on the straight spouse dilemma, One Gay, One Straight: Complicated Marriages, was just released. She is a recognized spokesperson on straight spouse issues, interviewed on major network shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper 360, The Early Show, Iyanla, and Inside Edition. Carol earned BA and MA degrees from Phillips University and Pacific University, respectively, and did doctoral work at Oklahoma State University. An adopted Coloradan, she lives and writes in Boulder.

Deborah Bowman, Ph.D., co-author of When Your Spouse Comes Out, has worked with a wide range of issues as a clinical psychologist including the trauma facing straight spouses. She has over 17 years of experience in private practice. Her prior work in agencies includes the investigation of child abuse for Boulder County Social Services and serving the dying with Boulder County Hospice. As co-founder of the Boulder Women's Institute she specialized in facilitating sexual abuse survivor groups. She is a professional trainer with the Boulder Psychotherapy Institute offering courses in Gestalt therapy and dream work. Deborah has taught at Naropa University since 1990, where she founded the Transpersonal Counseling Psychology Program. She initiated several specializations in the program including Wilderness Therapy. Deborah holds a BA from Kansas University and earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword (Reverend Jane E. Vennard). Preface. Part I: Ground—Understanding Contrasting Patterns. 1. Three Straight Spouse Stories. 2. Coming Out Three Ways. 3. Steps Toward Resolution: A Typical Example. Part II: Path—Self-Healing Guide for Straight Spouses. 4. Underlying Psychological Forces. 5. Immediate Personal Challenges. 6. Lingering Risks, Anger, and Grief. 7. Family and Social Challenges. 8. Long-Term Personal Obstacles. Part III: Fruition—Thriving After Crisis. 9. Secrets of Transformation. Appendix A: Activities for Self Healing. Appendix B: Related Resources. References. Index.

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