This accessible book offers support and advice for women in heterosexual marriages who discover, or are coming to terms with, their lesbianism or bisexuality. It also offers guidance for the single lovers of married women. In sharing the author’s personal story, as well as the descriptive experiences of others, this book provides validation and empowerment to multitudes of women in their search for their true identities.
In this third edition of Married Women Who Love Women, the author gives women ways in which to structure and restructure their lives and their families after they realize their same-gender sexuality. Chapters consider questions such as how women make this discovery, reactions from loved ones, and the outcomes for marriages and families. Updated throughout with contemporary understandings of sexuality and gender, this book includes a wealth of information, fresh narratives, and stories offering insight into women’s experiences across the country.
This is an essential read for women and their partners who are discovering their true identity, as well as therapists, helping professionals, and students of women’s studies, gender studies, sexuality studies, and LGBTQ studies programs.
Table of Contents
Preface Acknowledgements Introduction 2020 or Recap Part 1: The Discovery 1. Awakening 2. What Am I? 3. What Now? Part 2: A New Life 4. Do I Tell My Husband or Not? 5. The Husbands 6. What Do the Kids Think? 7. Coming Out to Friends and Family Part 3: Options 8. The Reality of Marriage 9. Redefined Marriages 10. New Kinds of Relationships Including Polyamorous Ones 11. The Single Lovers of Married Women 12. Labeling: No Longer So Simple Part 4: Selfhood 13. Sexual Intimacy 14. New Beginnings 15. What Does Transgender Mean? 16. Then and Now or Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda Part 5: More Women's Stories 17. More Women's Stories Appendix: Where to Turn for Help and Information Notes Glossary Bibliography Additional Reading Index
Carren Strock is equally at home with a paintbrush and canvas, a needle and thread, or a hammer and nails. While eclectic in her writing as she is in her other interests, she is best known for this book, Married Women Who Love Women, her definitive sociological study, now in its third edition.
"An enlightening book that addresses with sensitivity and compassion for all involved, the difficult circumstance—more common than many may realize—of women who are married to men, who then become aware of their primary desire for other women. Updated to speak to evolving sexual and emotional mores, this volume underscores how complex the human heart is, and how resistant to rigid and unchanging labels human sexual responses can be." —Dr. Naomi Wolf, Author of The Beauty Myth and Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love, USA
"This book provides a deep, thoughtful, and moving account of the diverse experiences of married women who find themselves unexpectedly but passionately falling in love with other women. The powerful first-person accounts in this book will shatter all of your stereotypes about what 'typical lesbians' or 'typical bisexuals' are supposed to be like, and whether those are even the right terms to apply to some of these cases! Anyone who has marveled at the power of love and desire to turn life upside down will find this book captivating and engrossing." —Lisa M. Diamond, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies, University of Utah, and Author of Sexual Fluidity, USA
"Carren Strock’s first book helped me find my authentic voice and life many years ago. Her words spoke to the depths of my heart, gave me the courage to step fully into who I am, and helped me to live an authentic life. I am sure that this edition will help many more women. I highly recommend it! As a 62-year-old woman who came out when I was 41, her words gave me the wings to fly. I will be forever grateful for her literary contributions!" —Micki Grimland, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, USA
"I think Married Women Who Love Women is a great book. I find it helpful for women who are debating what to do. I feel that it’s on a level with Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden because it opens up the possibilities and normalizes a variety of sexual feelings and sexual ideas for a number of people." —Elisabeth Gordon, MD, Psychiatrist, Sexual Health, USA
"Twenty-years after Carren Strock shattered barriers with her best-selling book, Married Women Who Love Women, changes in social mores and attitudes have necessitated a third edition. This book apprises the expanding consciousness of sexual attraction, orientation, fluidity and identity. By sharing highly personal and compelling stories of married women around the world who have an affinity for other women, she has created a safe space for kinship, understanding, and sisterhood for those who identify with this experience. Carren’s honest description of her own journey helps to sooth the angst that often accompanies this type of exploration. Married Women Who Love Women is a useful guide for therapists and helping professionals—and most of all, for women who love women, their partners, family members, and friends." —Margaret DaRos, LCSW, LADC, Psychotherapist, Contributing Author to the anthology, Out of the Closet, Into Our Hearts: Celebrating Our Gay Family Members, and Board Member of Portland Maine PFLAG, USA
"Married Women Who Love Women deepens the complex narrative around women’s lives. While society is evolving and is seemingly more open to the fluidity of gender and sexual expression, the actual negotiations between the women and those they love--husbands, children, family, friends, and lovers—is still shrouded in societal norms and pressures. This edition using women’s words, and some of their husbands and children’s voices along with accessible professional/academic analysis allows the reader to begin to understand the complexities of gender but more importantly the fluidity of love." —JoAnne Myers, PhD, Associate Professor of Political Science and Co-Founder of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Marist College, USA, and Author of The Historical Dictionary of the Lesbian and Gay Liberation Movements