As the former wife of a husband who didn’t come out as gay until 17 years into our marriage, I celebrate National Coming Out Day. And here is why:
You will never, ever be able to fully understand or embrace what is happening within the heart and soul of another human being.
Just as no one on this earth will be able to fully understand or embrace what is happening within yours.
We think of #NationalComingOut day as being for those in the LGBTQ+ community. Yes, I do too. But I’d like to flip the script + approach it from another perspective as well.
I am one of the millions who have been betrayed, hurt, and traumatized by someone who felt he couldn’t be free to be himself.
As a result, my former husband took a dark path to numb his heart and soul. When the truth finally “came out”, our marriage imploded and I suffered from complex PTSD that could have taken my life.
I lost the man I loved.
Our kids were affected.
Our families were affected.
Our friends, community, and those around us were affected.
Now, 7-years post-discovery, I’ve fully stepped into forgiveness and can look back, only imagining how my husband felt inside for all those years.
How his inner struggles and excruciating pain stemmed from not feeling free to be himself…
As someone who loved him, it’s absolutely horrifying that he or any human should go through this.
There are so many layers that develop when we hold secrets.
We can’t be true and authentic to who we are. We aren’t able to be vulnerable with those we love most. Life becomes tainted and foggy. Our self-betrayal becomes deeper and darker. And ultimately, we detach from our core, eventually traumatizing our own heart and soul in the process.
For me, there is another layer.
Because my former husband felt he couldn’t disclose his true sexuality, his lies, unbeknownst to me, became my lies.
When we are operating in a relationship that isn’t grounded in truth and honesty, no one can energetically step into the best version of themselves individually, or as a couple.
In other words, I wasn’t fully free to be me because he felt he couldn’t be himself.
Let’s not forget the layers of pain our sons, my heroes — and our families had to walk through and heal from as well.
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