Beyond Ex-Gay

Survivor Narrative


Pam Ferguson

I found out my husband was attracted to other men during a two-hour nighttime road trip down a lonely stretch of HWY 30 between Abilene and Fort Worth, Texas.  He came clean with me there in the car as he drove. 

Artistic rendering of woman contemplatingI remember drawing my knees up to my chest, fighting the urge to cry uncontrollably, while at the same time suppressing the constant gagging reflex to throw up. I can't remember a time when I more longed to be held and rocked by my Daddy than that moment. The pain was so overwhelming, so intense, that I felt dwarfed and small in the face of it.  

Thinking back on it takes me to a place I do not like to be. A place from whence I've come that was dark and filled with despair.

For many months after the revelation, I was haunted by the fact that he had been forced to tell me. It was not something he had shared willingly. While he wasn't currently "acting out" or cheating on me at the time of the reveal, my emotional health had disintegrated to the point of near suicide from difficulties in our still new marriage. 

It was his former best friend, and best man at our wedding, who forced the issue of his "coming out" to me. This married friend had been in a three-year love affair with my husband prior to our getting married. My husband married me believing he could once and for all overcome his then unwanted attractions and have a successful marriage with me.  In his estimation, I was the perfect woman for him. He was probably right about that. However, he was wrong about pretty much every other assumption he had made about marrying me.

Tunnels with GraffitiWhat my husband hadn't counted on was the fact that his same-sex attraction issues belonged entirely to him. I had nothing to do with them and certainly could not do ONE THING to help in his battle to overcome them. 

This is the message I feel most adamant about when communicating with other women who may find themselves in similar circumstances. Your husband's attractions to other men have absolutely nothing to do with you. There is nothing you can do to make it go away or to make him be sexually attracted to you. 

In fact, the more you try to do overt things that you may think will help, the worse the situation will probably become. The very best thing you can do for your husband, in truth, what any wife can do for her husband, is to work on your own emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Then, no matter how your journey proceeds, you're good. If, as in my case, it turns out that your husband determines to identify or re-indentify as gay, you can walk away a stronger, more loving, tolerant, and understanding individual than you were before. 

While my now ex-husband did choose to leave our marriage, and he did choose to identify as gay, he did not choose the reasons for his same-sex attractions. No one fully understands or knows what all those reasons are, and to me, they are inconsequential. My prayer is that by finally identifying as gay, my ex-husband will find the emotional and spiritual wholeness that he's been seeking for so long. 

Image of PamMy prayers and blessings go with him because I love him that much, and because he is my brother in Christ first and foremost. I cannot judge his heart, even though I may not be in complete agreement with all of his actions.

I feel thankful for the strength, the growth, and the relationships I have gained because of my husband's struggles. I'm thankful for God's trust in me to deal with such matters. I believe I was placed here, in this situation, at this moment, for such a time as this.

I look forward to the opportunity to use my experiences, and certainly my journey of faith, to help others as we all figure it out, one step at a time. I appreciate the hearts and minds of those like Peterson, Christine, and Steve who've set up this place of dialogue and potential healing for all of us who've been brought here, right now, for such a time as this.

Pam Ferguson, a middle school teacher, volunteers as a contributing writer to Ex-Gay Watch and maintains her own blog, Willful Grace


Read other ex-gay survivor narratives.