By Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin & Arthur E. Nowlin, LMSW, CAADC
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This article was written by Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin for Message Magazine : Drama Files
One afternoon I was in my office about to leave for the evening when I heard an unexpected knock at the door. I opened it to find a woman named Channel standing there alone. Channel could barely compose herself.
“I just flew in from Europe to surprise my husband Clayton for his birthday. I had told him a few days ago that work would prevent me for arriving in time for his birthday.”
She was an attorney whose case settled early, enabling her to return to the states sooner than she had expected. All she could think about on her long flight was hugging her husband and enjoying a pleasant evening together.
As she pulled up to their house she noticed how dark it was. When she walked in she heard music and there were several couples in the living room, deep in embrace. More surprising to her was that they were all men.
She looked around the room and did not see her husband Clayton anywhere. She quickly ran upstairs to their bedroom and she could hear music playing so she opened the door. There he was with another man.
“Channel!” Clayton screamed. She turned quickly, ran out of the house and drove away crying and so confused. She kept asking herself “Did I really see him with another man? I never knew he was on ‘the down-low’ or bisexual. How could I be married to a man for 15 years and never suspect anything?”
“Do you think he was bisexual when I married him?” Channel asked.
I told her what she saw that night was not a one night stand. It was too calculated. I suspected that Clayton was very familiar with this man, more than likely he had been in their home before as well as the other men.
Can This Marriage Be Saved?
A recent national survey released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that more Americans are identifying as bisexual than ever before. Also, more straight-identifying men are admitting to having tried gay sex. Researchers interviewed more than 9,000 men and women ages 18 to 44. Of all the men interviewed, 6.2 percent of them said they had engaged in same-sex sexual activity at least once in their lifetime. And of that 6.2 percent, 2.3 percent identified as straight.
After several weeks of counseling, I encouraged Channel to decide whether she wanted to continue in her marriage. Clayton had been leaving her messages indicating that he wanted to talk to her for some hope of resolution. She decided that she would meet with her spouse to hear his explanation but she asked me to be in the meeting. I offered my office and Clayton agreed to come. As we prepared for this session I noticed Channel’s discomfort, but she remained focused and prayerful.
Then, on a Thursday afternoon, Clayton walked into my office, greeted us both, sat down and began to cry. He was so ashamed and wanted Channel to try to understand. He admitted he was bisexual and he had tried to stop his lifestyle when he met her, but he got pulled back in. He pleaded with Channel not to divorce him.
“I don’t hate you, but I can’t be your wife any longer,” Channel said. “I don’t know who you are and I have been married to a complete stranger.”
Clayton stated he would file for divorce and pay all expenses. Channel thanked him and the room went silent.
In the family way: Clayton’s lifestyle stood in the way of the intimacy and security he sought all along.
“I love you,” Clayton finally turned and said. “I never wanted to hurt you.”
Clayton reached over to hug his wife goodbye and noticed she was pregnant. She quickly closed her jacket, but she knew he realized she was with child. The had been trying for years to conceive and now they would be parents in five months. Clayton was overwhelmed with emotions and pleaded with her to attend counseling with him to overcome this desire to be with men. Clayton knew that this was God speaking to him to change his life and be the husband and father he had called him to be.
Clayton admitted he experimented with homosexuality in college and became addicted to the emotional attachment to men because his father was never in his life until after law school. He wanted to be heterosexual but Satan had a hold on him and he was fighting for his life.
Clayton shared in the session that when Channel was out of town men would show up at the house. Why is this happening? he wondered. He learned that Channel’s secretary was homosexual who learned about Clayton from an old college roommate who stopped by the firm to say hello. Channel’s secretary kept her calendar and would notify the other men when she would be out of town.
In our book Attitude Adjustment of the Christian Man and Women my late husband, Arthur Nowlin, LMSW, developed the behavioral concept module entitled the RACE syndrome which stands for: Rejection, Alienation, Complication and Experimentation.
The RACE syndrome is an extension of personal fear and anxiety that hinders positive growth in the attitudes of men and women. Rejection relates to fear, fear of rejection, which implies one is not at peace in their relationship with others. One cannot bare his or her true feelings because of this fear. Alienation relates to the lack of trust and the barriers of low self-esteem, shame and guilt. Complication is a major concern, resulting in the acceptance of sin and running away from God and our Christian walk. Experimentation prevents one’s socialization skills from achieving full potential and stagnates their opportunity to become positive influences.
With the guidance of the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and counseling the couple agreed to continue with me. Channel and Clayton’s strong desire to raise their child together gave them hope and a motivation to rebuild their marriage. She asked him to sell the house and purchase another one, and he agreed. She also determined that she would not be traveling due to her pregnancy and marital counseling.
Clayton received the Christian counseling perspective positively. His many emotional scars cried out for resolution. He has a great motivation to change his lifestyle and a great desire to leave his homosexual orientation behind to live within biblical teachings. That is the only reason this worked. The hard work involved requires patience and perseverance. He seeks the transformation that comes from his relationship with Jesus Christ.
I am happy to share as their therapist that they completed our book and Clayton has not been with another man in seven months. He has also severed all connections with his former associates. They moved into their new home, awaiting the arrival of their new baby. Channel works with me on rebuilding her trust with Clayton and Clayton is rebuilding his relationship with God and Channel.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent.