For most of my life, I rode along with the gentle and perfect breeze that I thought was my life. I had very little conflict or life-altering negative experiences.
I grew up with loving, traditional, Bible-believing parents. I had a fun childhood. I never wanted for anything, but was taught to work hard, love others and follow Christian principles.
I wanted the white-picket, Ward and June Cleaver life. I found it when I met Devon.
We had a beautiful wedding, a great marriage relationship, three amazing kids, a solid home and were financially secure.
Then I found out, through a series of accidents and even in a JOKE, that Devon was gay.
My entire world crumbled in that moment.
I didn’t know who I was apart from him. I couldn’t grasp that he really was gay and tried everything I could to “change” him. I felt alone, barring a few people that I could talk to, and tried to control the situation by forcing him to see that there was no other alternative other than marriage. That he wasn’t really gay, but confused with same-sex attraction. I lived in denial for quite sometime before I had that epiphany that we were no longer working from the same starting point: Marriage. I was actually able to accept this and move forward, knowing that I had done everything I could.
This was nearly 10 years ago, and at the time, the only support I could find was through the Christian ex-gay therapy group Exodus International and the non-Christian group Straight Spouse Network. Neither one fit what I felt was the right way to handle my situation and I floundered through a year and half of isolation, loneliness and fear.
Today, since Devon’s Big Reveal, more and more people are sharing their stories. A spouse coming out of the closet is much more common than I had ever dreamed it was. The more that I shared, the more people came forward and found help through chatting with me. They, likewise, sent support my way by introducing people like me into my life.
I am glad to say that today… I am happy and thankful.
I am happy with myself. I know and love myself in ways I never dreamed that I would again when the pieces of my life shattered.
I am thankful for… and this is a biggie… Devon coming out of the closet. It took me several years to get there, but I wouldn’t be who I am today without those words from his lips.
We’ve made it work. I’ve changed a lot, but I love it that I was given the opportunity to change.
My hope is that through this blog site, you too can become happy and thankful. Each person’s journey in this life of Mixed Orientation Marriage (whether you knew you were in one or not) is very unique. I wish there was a step-by-step how to manual on getting through it, but there isn’t. Finding people and support is one of the few things you can do in working through this often lonely and isolated experience. But…
You aren’t alone.
We now raise our family Rainbow Style. We call ourselves the Reese’s and Their Pieces, and it works. Sure, there are still bumps, issues, and feelings creep up that still need to be dealt with (even ones I thought I had already let go of) but I know my goal: to make things beautiful. Lemonade out of lemons. Playing solitaire with a full deck of cards where a few were missing before.
Please share your stories with me through an email. I will try to publish them under the tab “Stories” for others to see. If you have questions, email me under the “Contact” tab and I will answer to the best of my ability either in an email or as a blog post (with your permission, of course). Everyone’s journey and process is unique and by sharing your story, not only are you helping yourself to process things, you will be helping someone else along the way.
Devon, Felipe (his husband), Maddie, Kate, Thomas and I are a testimony for those in this world who need to see that everything can be okay. And I dare say even more beautiful than what I thought I wanted when I married him. My new mantra in life is Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others, and I couldn’t have done that without Devon coming out of the closet.
Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,
Emily Fay Reese
I am a Midwest gal from Iowa, a weirdy mom, a 2x Colon Cancer Survivor, a lover of basketball, bacon, writing, teaching English to at-risk high schoolers, and promoter of everything that helps make this world a better place. Reno is where I live with my extended Rainbow Family and my lovetank gets filled by being around others in meaningful dialogue and receiving love from others and their stories. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the form below makes it easy for you.