Tag Archives: Divorce

What Your Kids Probably Want

 Having kids and going through a spouse coming out is horribly painful and difficult. Besides each family’s situation being unique in how it is handled, our kids are our biggest responsibility in helping them come out of this on the other side, as healthy and happy. I think the kid in the video link below says it all.

What do you think?

Kids take our cues on how to view and handle this tough situation. Protect yourself and protect your kids. Gosh darn it! What a difficult thing to do.

Much love to you all. I hope this little girl can give everyone the insight and wisdom we need.

Click here to view the video.

Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,

Emily and Her Three Little Birds

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To Stay or Not to Stay: That Is the Question

The male singer with the high pitch voice is David Lindley, the Jackson Browne's band guitar player.
The male singer with the high pitch voice is David Lindley, Jackson Browne’s band guitar player.

The word “stay” has been floating around the interwebs a bunch this past week.  With all of the SCOTUS posts and people’s opinions on The Book of Faces, it’s getting a bit confusing.

Basically, by not reviewing any of the appeals, SCOTUS is saying that same-sex marriage is constitutional and will be allowed in the states where many stays and voters wanted it to be banned… or defined marriage as between one man and one woman.  In my opinion, there will be hold-out states, and eventually SCOTUS will have to face the issue and make a federal ruling.

Supreme_Court_US_2010

It’s a little more complicated than that, but for now, this Ally will take what she can get.  People should get married if they want… regardless of who it is.  Love is love, marriage is a state mandated right, churches will not be “forced” to perform marriage ceremonies if they choose not to (which they already have that choice) and no Church or religious belief should dictate that to any other citizen of the United States of America.  I wrote a post on my other blog titled “Kiss My Big White Butt” that basically spelled out how I feel about it.  You can read it here if you’d like.

But what about the word “stay” as used in Mixed Orientation Marriages?  Should you “stay” once you find out and not divorce, trying to work things out in a heterosexual marriage while dealing with the complexity of same-sex orientation in your spouse?

I don’t actually have the answers for you.  I have known people who have stayed and tried to work it out.  In the beginning of Devon’s Big Reveal, I was determined to make it work.  My view on the matter was a religious one, basing my actions and reactions on the “fact” that being gay is a choice.  Therefore, Devon could choose to not “be gay” and with the proper counseling and guidance and manipulation from me, he would choose to work through it and “stay” married to me.

Should I stay or should I go?
Should I stay or should I go?

My attitude continued with this until the day I finally accepted that he didn’t really want to stay in it.  His homosexuality was not a choice.  I was choosing to keep him around until I could convince him otherwise.  The day I realized and accepted that was the very day I could let go and tell him that I wanted a divorce.

I slept for 14 hours straight that night and woke up with the most peaceful feeling I had ever experienced.

So… I didn’t stay.  I’m glad I didn’t.  NOW.  But it took me a year and a half to get there, and I tried everything I could think of, even some things I’m not so proud of.  I used scripture and the kids against him, for one, and for that, I am sorry.  In the end, however, that year and a half was a time of growth and grappling with big issues, with the biggest being my own belief system.  Before that Big Reveal, I thought I had all the answers.  After those words “I am gay” came out of his mouth, I truly learned what it meant to walk in someone else’s shoes and being judged for they very thing I used to judge others.  It was tough.  Once you live out something that was not expected to ever happen in your life, you gain empathy and wisdom beyond what you thought you could bear.

How long will it take you, as the straight spouse, to decide what you should do?  I don’t know.  Some lovely people I have met on this journey and through this website are still married after years of dealing with it.  Some of that has to do with age and the length of time they have been married.  Some of it has to do with their kids.  Many times, however, it has had to do with religious pressures based on fear… and that is no way to live.  True love has nothing to do with fear, and many times true love has to do with letting go.

Of course, this is all based on my own experience and others sharing their experiences with me.  I will not judge if you choose to stay.

However, I encourage you to truly evaluate your reasons behind staying.  Is it in any way based in fear?  Like, being afraid you won’t find anyone else?  Afraid that you can’t live without him or her?  Fear that people would find out and you’d lose friends and family over it?  Fear that others will be mad at you, or at your spouse?  All of these things can and will work out, because I have experienced it.  So have others.

Do what you think is right.  But try working toward not living in fear.  Fear is stifling and causes too much anxiety and unhappiness.

Be happy.  Be free.  If you can do that and “stay”, then by all means, do it.  You deserve the best in life, because life is too short to live it in fear.

Love, Emily Without Judgement

NoFearInLoveTattoo

That Damn Wedding Album

I’m a clutter whore.

I keep anything and everything.  It used to drive the OCD man crazy.

If Devon hadn’t have come out of the closet, our differences on our housekeeping philosophies would have driven us apart, I’m sure of it.  But you know, gay trumps clutter any day.

So when it finally came time to move out of our foreclosed home, I had been living there by myself for nearly a year.  The house was disgusting with piles of ka-ka everywhere.  I even had kept my Christmas tree up until April.  No kidding.  I think I kind of rebelled against him in a twisted way with my new-found freedom of not having to keep the place neat and orderly all the time.  I now despise June Clever, who wore prim and proper little dresses with pearls and carried a vacuum in her purse.

Like seriously, I pretty much didn’t fold one ounce of laundry for I think 5 months.  Ask my kids.  I would simply fish through a Mt. Everest of clean laundry everyday in order to get dressed.  They used to lie on it like a giant Lovesac and watch Hannah Montana.

I’ll bet it was uber comfy.

Wait.  Who am I kidding?  I would still be doing that today if my oldest daughter didn’t like to fold laundry so much (this is beyond my understanding).  Thank you, Devon, for passing on that mutant gene.

You can only imagine what it was like when it came time to sort through household junk and decide what he would keep and what I would keep.  I pretty much just wanted to leave it all there and start over.  I considered pulling a trailer trash move and walking away from everything just so I wouldn’t have to sort through and organize things.

Devon’s solution was to come over when I wasn’t there to find the things he wanted.   I was glad about that arrangement.  I definitely didn’t want to hear a lecture from him about my slovenly ways.  I’m sure he took a look around, baby barfed a few times on the dry brown lawn, and set to work.  I had already given him a list of things I definitely wanted and set a few things aside.

But, that damn wedding album.

That was a doozy.  I really didn’t want the stupid thing because at the time, I was still really struggling with my hurt and anger.  He didn’t want it that badly either because it made him cry.  Actually, everything makes him cry.  He’s the biggest bawl baby ever.

But we knew we needed to keep it.  You know, our kids really loved that album.  For me it produced hurt.  For them it produced nostalgia.  They loved us both.  Without the two of us marrying, they wouldn’t have existed.  That is a very amazing thing, really.

I put my hurt aside, he put his tears aside, and we kept it.  I gave it to him for safe keeping because I really wanted all of the scrapbooks I had created.  There were times that I considered cutting out his face from the pictures out of spite, believe me.

Today, I am so glad we kept it.  With time, my hurt healed.  We worked on our relationship to make it as amicable as possible, which also took time.  Today, I can sit down with the kids and look at that album with them.  They can even ask me questions about our first date, what it was like in the hospital when they were born and how Daddy reacted, what our favorite vacations were together as an intact family… and I don’t get sad anymore.  That one really took time.

It has been so important to the kids though.  When they see that we aren’t bitter toward each other, at least with our demeanor and words, then they feel more secure.

At this point in my journey, I can finally look at the pictures from that day and not feel bitter that Devon hid his homosexuality from me.  For a very long time, I felt like our marriage was a sham.  Once I finally accepted as truth that I was the only woman he ever loved, I felt free to believe that he truly loved me and that my relationship with him was real.

Keep that wedding album, people.  You might be glad that you did someday.  I fully believe that if you work through the bitterness, the betrayal and the lies that were lived by your gay spouse, you will make peace with the life you lived.  It is genuine.  Your love was genuine.  And your kids need to know that.

Oh, and don’t cut out any faces.  That looks freaky.

santacruzfampic
We went on tons of family vacations to Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay, California. This is one of my favorite pictures of us. I still have it framed and displayed in a prominent place.

Blessings, Emily

Keeping Your Feet Outside of Your Door

TheRoadToBreeLOTR“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo, Lord of the Rings

I (Emily Reese) am not new to the blogging world.  Devon and I have been running a blog together for two years now called SameSides: Amicable Divorce and Getting Along With Your Ex.  It has been enjoyable and encouraging, for us and for our readers.

We have met so many wonderful people along the way and have been given many interesting opportunities to share our story not just through our blog, but with other media outlets.  The Universe has been quite gracious in allowing our experiences with our own divorce to help others with their lives as they navigate the waters of the difficult issues that surround the break up of a marriage and a family.

Our own story, which ultimately centered around Devon coming out of the closet after 10 years of marriage and three young kids, is intertwined with the generalities of going through a divorce.

It is time to start a new blog that deals with the hot topics today of LGBT rights, same-sex marriage and how the Church and other religions deal with the hearts and minds of the LGBTQI community.

But most importantly, there is a dire need for there to be places where straight spouses can find encouragement and support as each unique situation is faced.  While it is a very big deal for a gay spouse to come out to his or her spouse and family, it is far too common for the straight spouse to be overshadowed by the news as the gay spouse deals with his or her journey.  The journey for the straight spouse can be lonely and isolation is often the experience that defines that journey.  Here, love, support, safety and encouragement can be found.

While many pieces that I will write about will include the added layer of difficulty that Christianity and the Church can bring into a MOM marriage, that is not exclusively what I will focus on.  It is the hearts, the minds, the feelings, the difficulties, the defeats and the victories that will be experienced in the straight spouse’s world… that is my heart.

It’s a tough road.  There’s no other way to state it.  But it is truly possible to come out on the other side of this closet a stronger, wiser, more loving and beautiful person.  Many have traveled this road before me, and many will travel it after me.  If you have found yourself on this road, you are not alone.  And you are loved.

Thank you for stopping by.  As I develop this blog, help me to grow it into a safe haven for all people to live, love, learn and grow with as much open-mindedness as we can muster.

Thanks for joining the conversation as we step out of our door and follow the road we have been given.  May we keep our feet grounded as best as we can so wherever we end up, it will be beautiful.

Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,

Emily6thRoundSelfie