Gayle Haggard: My husband Ted Haggard is free from homosexual compulsions - for real this time
By Michael Sheridan
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Originally Published:Wednesday, January 27th 2010, 12:48 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 27th 2010, 12:48 PM
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Ted Haggard's wife is standing by her man, no matter how many times he may have had homosexual affairs.
Gayle Haggard appeared on the "Today" show on Wednesday to talk about her new book, "Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made In My Darkest Hour," and declared that her one-time Evangelical superstar husband was “cured” of his homosexual compulsions.
"Our sexuality is conditioned, and we can be conditioned in any number of ways," she told Meredith Vieira.
"Ted was dealing with certain compulsions that were unwanted."
However, through therapy, she claims those compulsions -- which she said Ted had suffered from most of his life -- were gone.
"But that's not true for everybody," she added. "That's his story."
Haggard admitted that her husband, who once led a church of nearly 14,000 worshipers, had a homosexual relationship early in their marriage.
"I think at that point I was ignorant of the gravity," she said.
"I felt as though, you know, we all struggle, you know, in different areas of our lives, and certainly in our sexuality, so I was willing to forgive him."
Haggard said he sought counseling then, and told her it wouldn't happen again.
"I felt as though the problem was pretty much solved," she said. But "it would reemerge in his life from time to time, and he wouldn't tell me about it."
Haggard also recounted the moment she learned there was "some truth" to the 2006 claims of drugs and gay sex that disgraced the religious leader, who at his height reportedly consulted with President George W. Bush.
I felt "shock, first of all, and then heartbreak, once I discovered that there was some truth to the allegations," she said.
"I felt that my marriage was at a healthy place," Haggard explained. "Everything in my life felt healthy at that time... That was probably the happiest time of my life."
The couple was at their attorney's office the day after the shocking allegations first came to light. The prostitute, Mike Jones, claimed Ted had been a client of his for several years, and had even bought drugs from him.
"I had gone to the bathroom, and I had gotten back and the attorney had told me to go into the office with Ted and he closed the door," Gayle Haggard said.
"I felt life draining from my body, because things didn't feel right all of a sudden."
When her husband confessed to her that there was some truth to the allegations, that happy image of her life was shattered.
"I couldn't speak," Haggard said. "I think I eventually uttered the words, 'Who are you?', because it was so far removed from the man that I knew."
She even confessed to sleeping with her husband that very night, writing in her book that she was "choosing to love" Ted, despite the lies he had told her.
"I knew I was going to have to make the choice early on, as to what I was going to do, and I chose early on that I really do love this man, and I'm willing to fight with him for our marriage, and our family," she said.
As a result, Haggard said her life has never been better.
"Our relationship is better than it's ever been," she said. "Going over this mountain together has given me the marriage I've always longed for."
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