Scary Mommy blog creator Jill Smokler had some major news for her followers this week.
She is divorcing her husband Jeff Smokler because he has come out as gay.
“Yesterday, Jeff and I told our children that we are divorcing, after more than 17 years of marriage and 23 years of togetherness. We also told them that the impetus for the divorce is the fact that Jeff is gay,” she wrote on her site.
“Without getting into too much personal detail, this is a reality which we have faced together for many years. And for a very long time, the deep love we had for one another sustained us through the more difficult moments that our increasingly diverging sexuality created.”
Jill goes on to explain that the two have been inseparable for more than half their lives, and are proud of the family they have built together.
“We have been true partners and friends; we are a kickass team,” she writes. “And while we will no longer love each other as husband and as wife, we remain deeply committed to one another as partners and co-parents to the three most incredible kids we could ask for.
“Love is love is love is love…”
Jeff admits he’s known he’s gay for four or five years now, but that when he met Jill he truly fell in love with her.
“Of course I always knew I was different, but when you meet your soulmate when you’re 18 years old — only five years older than my own daughter is now — and that person is a woman, you simply think ‘thank God then, I can’t be gay,’” he writes. “It wasn’t until after Jill and I were married that I started to understand my (what I perceived at the time to be) bisexuality. Once I knew, the first and only person I told was my wife. And so began a long, unexpected journey that Jill and I decided we would take together.”
He adds that coming out was the hardest decision he’s ever made and that if he didn’t come out he could possibly die.
“What should have been an easy choice — a no brainer — was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. Once I came to terms with the fact that I was gay, I figured I had two options: I could die — either from my intentional neglect of my health and well-being, or perhaps from something even more tragic —leaving my children fatherless, or I could come out and hope that I remained surrounded by the love of my friends, family, wife and children. Like I said, seems like a pretty easy decision,” he says.
Jeff reveals that he let himself slip into unhealthy habits and depression because he wasn’t living his truth.
“I don’t want to give the impression that this is easy, or that we have it all figured out. We both have deeply rooted, complex feelings and emotions born from a marriage largely defined by a shared secret,” he says. “But whereas love simply wasn’t enough to keep us together, it turns out it comes in real handy in times of strife.”
Both Jill and Jeff say their children are holding up fine, and are processing the information in their own ways.
“Brush away all of the worst characteristics and idiosyncrasies one would expect from kids their ages, and we’re left with compassionate, thoughtful, wonderful children,” Jeff writes.
The two say they are finding their individual happiness now, and even ran into each other at their local Target this week.
“Jill and I ran into each other at Target, shopping for things for our respective homes. We laughed out loud and hugged,” Jeff writes. “I hated the decorative pillow she placed in her shopping cart, and I’m quite sure she thought the vase I was gripping was hideous. But it was a nice surprise to see one another, and I think likely one that a higher power had a hand in. As we walked out of Target and toward our cars, a million pounds lighter from the disclosure of our truth, Jill locked her arm in mine. A couple steps out of the store, she turned to me and asked, ‘Are you as happy as I am?’ And I was.”
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