THE VALLEY OF TROUBLE - THE DOOR OF HOPE
In 1981, a little ministry was born that has brought hope and insight to
hundreds of women whose husbands have left them for male lovers. Kerri
Comstock of Auburn, Washington, U.S.A., and Jean Thomas of Seattle founded
"The Door of Hope," and began publishing a newsletter that initially went
out to two wives and Bob Davies of Love In Action. Kerri included her
phone number on it, and began doing some phone counselling. Both of them
have done quite a bit of personal counselling since that time.
I asked Jean and Kerri if we could get together and talk about some of
their experiences as wives with gay husbands, and what their thoughts on
helping other women in the same positions are now, and if they've changed
since beginning this work.
MEETING & MARRYING THEIR HUSBANDS
Jean met her husband Val at her church in Houston. After much prayer and
knowing him for a while, they married. Val told Jean about his attraction
for men, but Jean says that she didn't really know what that meant at the
time. Two years later Val fell sexually, and he and the man he'd been
involved with went to Jean to confess and ask her pardon. Jean thought it
was all over at that point, but as the years passed she could not help but
know that Val had continued to be involved sexually outside their marriage.
After 13 years of marriage Jean and Val mutually agreed to part. "I
physically could not stand it anymore. I'd had a miscarriage. With him
being in the house and going out on me, I just couldn't emotionally handle
it. It's amazing to me, looking back, I didn't have a nervous breakdown."
Kerri, who grew up in the Assemblies of God Church, was taught by a Sunday
school teacher that she should pray for her future mate. Kerri says she
took that very literally, and when she was in the 7th grade, had a dream
that she would marry a man with black hair, glasses, and the name of Dave.
When she was 17 she literally met the "man of her dreams," and was proposed
to by him after exchanging three letters and spending five hours with him.
They were married six weeks later. Dave did not tell Kerri of his problems
with homosexuality. She was totally ignorant of it for eight years until
she became aware that he wasn't coming home from work till late. She
suspected another woman for a while, then finally confronted him regarding
homosexuality, Dave denied it.
Finally, after having been in the hospital with the last of four
miscarriages, Kerri went home to family to recover, and Dave had someone
move in with him when she was gone. "I really consider that to be when the
marriage broke up, and that was in October of 1978," she said.
Dave came back to her briefly. "He really tried to make a break with his
gay life," Kerri went on, "but he met up with more gay people, and he just
couldn't stay away." And that's when he left -- for my own good, he said."
Kerri, prompted by Jean at that point, admitted that Dave had given her
several venereal diseases along the way. "That was part of why he knew he
had to leave. I have to respect the fact that he cared enough to go."
Kerri said she wouldn't have asked him to leave. "I just didn't feel it
was right to end a marriage for any reason."
THE MINISTRY BEGINS
In the early days of the newsletter, the women taught that it was God's
will to restore a broken marriage. "If you believe that you married the
man God had for you, you can know that His perfect will is to restore your
marriage and deliver your husband," said Jean in 1981. They found
scriptures like John 1:37 (Nothing is impossible with God) to hang on to,
claiming that God had already redeemed the relationships.
They still believe that God is going to turn their husbands around, but
both feel God has freed them from waiting any longer. "I no longer am
living for Val's return," said Jean. Jesus is who she is living for, and
the healing she had been praying for for her husband has actually come to
her. Kerri sees the same phenomena.
They stood for their husbands' return out of obedience to God. Neither
regret the years, and both counsel with women to hang on to their hope as
long as they need to, as long as they feel God has called them to it. In
that time of "standing" God has the chance to work out issues in both the
husband and the wife. Kerri said that along the way both their men had
opportunities to get right with God, but in their choosing sin, they would
have to suffer some consequences, even if they ultimately returned to
After four years of separation, Jean received a "word" that confirmed what
she had begun to suspect, that God was going to release her from waiting
for Val's return." And that was when I saw that there was another
possibility (besides waiting for Val). And my first thought was, "Oh, my
God, I'm leaving Val behind, could that possibly be? And the next day I
asked Him to show me what that word meant.
"Val and I had an appointment that afternoon with a counsellor, and in that
time Val, before God and the counsellor and me, asked God to break the
covenant of marriage between us. Okay, I thought, this is it."
"Our relationship to God is more important than the marriage bond," added
Kerri. And one of the consequences of their husbands' sin would be that
neither woman would be there any more. If they returned to Christ, it
could very well be that the women had long since gone on spiritually, and
even begun dating, even to possibly remarrying.
Both Jean and Kerri believe that God hates divorce, but, nevertheless,
Kerri was divorced by Dave, and Jean, though dragging her feet, has decided
that she must file the divorce papers to avoid entanglements in Val's
Neither believe divorce is automatically "the end," but Jean candidly
admitted that she's not sure what she would do if he came back right now.
"I still feel a lot of closeness with him." But she has also been
discovering who she is in Christ as a whole woman, not just a married
Kerri notes the same thing in her life, that life as a married woman
brought a total burying of her personality and gifts. Even Dave has
remarked that since their separation she's become the woman he knew when
they first married.
"If they turn around and God brings them home, that's fantastic," said
Kerri. "But it's not like it's essential or even desirable at this point,"
Jean isn't dating, but acknowledges the importance of a relationship she
has with a man whose wife left him. When she realised that Val didn't have
to be the centre of her life any more, she found she needed a significant
man in her life for a short time. Kerri agreed and said that she dated a
man who understood that she was going through a process of becoming free
from her commitment to Dave, and let her "glom" on to him She says that he
gently began to urge her to date other men, too, which she had started to
Both feel it's been vital for them to understand that they married
homosexual men because of problems that dated way back to their pre-married
days. Kerri says she is now asking God to show her why she would've run to
a relationship with a man who eventually left her so that she doesn't
repeat the same mistake.
Jean began getting inner healing prayer at her church, and found the Holy
Spirit prompting her to see a pattern of hurts that has caused her to "shut
down" the feminine side of herself.
If she and Val were reconciled, says Jean, then the marriage would be
between two very different people. Val would have to be different, and she
is already significantly changed from the woman he was married to. She is
much more independent and sure of herself, less inclined to play the role
of a wife who stays in the background.
To Be Continued
-- Robbi Kenney
Kerri and Jean can be reached at "A Door of Hope," P.O. Box 295, Auburn,
WA, 98071, U.S.A.
For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual
brokenness, please contact:
LOVE IN ACTION
G.P.O. Box 1115
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Phone (08) 371 0446
This article is reprinted by permission from
P O Box 33039
Seattle WA 98133-0039
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