When Your Spouse Comes Out : A Straight Mate's Recovery Manual book cover
1st Edition

When Your Spouse Comes Out
A Straight Mate's Recovery Manual

ISBN 9780789036292
Published March 3, 2008 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

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.

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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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.