How can I go on alone, after all this time being with her? Hal asked himself when his wife of twenty years came out. He voiced the primary fear most straight mates feel: I’ll grow old alone and lonely. Carol remembers it this way: The week Jim moved out of our home, I remember catching my breath in the grocery store, eyes full of tears, when I saw an elderly couple walking hand in hand. That will never be me, I thought. This sense of abandonment was voiced in various ways by most of the straight spouses in this book, and it translates into a complexity of fears.