It is estimated that up to two million gay, lesbian, or bisexual individuals have ever married or will marry. Some come out after a long struggle of trying to make a go of the heterosexual marriage that society prefers. Others have yet to disclose. Still others may stay closeted. When they come out, attention focuses on them. Their heterosexual spouses are largely forgotten. Family members and friends minimize the straight spouses’ concerns. Few therapists understand their unique issues of sexual rejection, betrayal, and identity crisis. So, spouses cope alone, their anger and pain escalating. Once they find peer support in SSN, they resolve their profound issues constructively.

Professionals and the wider community need to become more aware of the impact on spouses and family members when a partner comes out. Addressing their unique needs will lessen isolation, aid healing, and increase understanding of everyone involved.