Skip to main content

The First Year, The Hardest One- The Story of Veronica

"I am still healing, still grieving -- I doubt I’ll ever get over this. But unlike when Jonathan first came out to me, I believe that I can be happy again someday. I’m realizing that although I will never have the beautiful life that I dreamed of, that the life I am living can be beautiful in a different way."




Divorce is a tragedy, regardless of how mature and friendly the exiting spouses behave during and after the event.  A family is ripped apart.  Deconstructed.  Redefined.  It hurts.  It is like a death.  We mourn.  Life will never be the same. 

The ability human beings have to move forward and rebuild while our souls are bleeding out is quite impressive. 



This is the story of an aquaintance of mine, "Veronica" -a former straight spouse of a Mo-Mo marriage, like myself.  She's quite remarkable.  I post it with her permission. The names have been changed.





"This week marked one year since we left Morocco. One year since we moved to Utah. One
year since we lived together as a complete family. One year since I became a single mom. 

When I look back on this year, I am amazed at all I have been able to accomplish: my student teaching, my Praxis tests, several classes; I began running; I was hired to teach second grade next year; I settled my family into our new home, had a yard sale, separated Jonathan’s things and moved them into a storage unit; I bought a new car -- all on my own; I have started looking for a home to buy, and have been pre-approved for a mortgage -- all on my own; I have taken my kids on some road trips; I even went on my first post-divorce date. And I did all this while mourning, healing, grieving, and struggling with my faith. Oh, and taking care of four young children who need me on every level: my oldest struggled with school, my daughter is in therapy to deal with her feelings about the divorce, one son shoved a piece of plastic in his ear and we had to have it surgically removed, and I potty trained my youngest! Many days I didn’t want to get out of bed. Some days I felt so alone, the feeling was palpable, physical pain. But I persevered, and I have survived the first year.

It’s funny how anniversaries bring us back in time. I graduated high school 20 years ago this month, and I have been thinking about and remembering things from that time that I probably haven’t thought about in 20 years. On the 19th, the anniversary of the day I said goodbye to Jonathan and to my life as I knew it, I was reminded of the searing pain of that parting. Jonathan had decided not to come to the airport in Casablanca with us, knowing that it would be too hard for all of us. He had arranged for an embassy driver to bring us. When the driver arrived, we loaded the kids, our luggage, and Jonathan’s mom, who had come to help with the move, into the van. I went back inside to make sure I had everything, and to say goodbye to the house that had been our home for over two years -- the house where we had celebrated birthdays and holidays, where I had run my small preschool, and where Jonathan had come out of the closet and our lives had changed forever. The home where we had gathered our children and told them that our family would never be the same. 

While we were upstairs, I realized that this would be the last time we would be in a home as husband and wife. When Jonathan pulled me into his arms, we clung to each other, sobbing, hardly able to catch a breath. The pain of that moment stands out as one of the most agonizing experiences of my life. I felt as if the bond that had held us together for 13 years was ripping apart, never to be mended again. From that moment on, life would never be the same. We had dealt with many separations during our marriage because of army deployments and work travel, but this was going to be completely different. I was used to solo parenting, but this was the moment when I became a single parent. Although Jonathan was still going to be my best friend and partner in raising our children, I was on my own. I no longer had a companion in life.

I feel like a baby on her first birthday. I remember marveling at how much my babies developed in one short year. They began the year being able to do little more than cry, and ended the year taking their first wobbly steps toward independence. At the beginning of this life-changing year, I was like my babies, capable of little more than crying. But I have taken my first steps now, and am hopeful that there will be happy days for me in the future. I am still healing, still grieving -- I doubt I’ll ever get over this. But unlike when Jonathan first came out to me, I believe that I can be happy again someday. I’m realizing that although I will never have the beautiful life that I dreamed of, that the life I am living can be beautiful in a different way. I’m just taking it one wobbly step at a time."


**Tomorrow look for the story of how Matt and I told our kids that he is gay.

Comments

  1. Veronica, thank you for sharing. It is important to leave these truths out in cyber space for other straight spouses and potential spouses to find. I hope this will help others when they find it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This one is nice and thanks for sharing all these with us.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Counterfeit Experience of the Straight Spouse

The conversation has to continue as long as the wrong people keep bringing it up (April 2017, Ensign pg. 33).

The further I get from my experience in a mixed-orientation marriage, the more acute my understanding of how my experience, as the straight spouse, is/was marginalized.

Don't get me wrong! I'm the biggest cheerleader for the gay spouse, feeling trapped and unable to live authentically.  I'm the one banging on the other side of the closet door, begging, "Sweetheart, come on.  Stop doing this to yourself.  It's 2017 and despondency or depression or suicide is so unnecessary for THIS." 

But there's also the experiences of the men and women who are/were the straight spouse, like Ashley 1.0.  We aren't living authentically either.  And our suffering and scars aren't seeming too important. You may have read about how I super duper wanted to drive my mini-van off of Cedar mountain. 

And if you're just joining this conversation:  No.  It is…

In Which I Feel Compelled to Start a Blog Because of a Club and a Unicorn...

My name is Ashley.  I was Mormon for the first 36 years of my life.

Yep, I was baptized when I was 8.  I went to BYU where I received a Bachelors in Theatre.  I married a returned missionary in the Mt. Timpanogas Temple.  We were full tithe payers.  I fulfilled several callings diligently, including serving as Primary President for 2 years.

About a year after my divorce, I was chatting with my new bishop, who I had known for several years prior to that.  He asked me, "So, Ashley, why did you and Matt get divorced?"

I replied, "Matt is a homosexual."

I just looked him in the eye after I said this and waited a few seconds while he absorbed it.

Then he asked, "Well, was there another problem as well?  Like drinking? Or gambling?"
I looked him in the eye a second time and replied, "Nope.  Just that."

He was genuinely confused.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was in a mixed-orientation marriage- a marriage between someone who is gay and someone who i…

The White Man

Let's leave this ambiguous.

Also, I'm not gonna tell you about experiences that took place with just one white man. For this, I'll make it one lumpy conceptual White Cisgender Heterosexual Conservative Male (cue the music from the 'Beef-It's What's For Dinner!' music).

In the work force, I have to deal with him. I have to play the game of diplomacy without compromising who I am. If it's mental gymnastics, it's the balance beam in heels with someone patting me on the head saying, "Gosh, I just don't know how you do that! I never could do that! But here are some pointers! Hey! Why did you do it like that?? Why aren't you listening?"

...but I just keep doing my thing.

Utah is the type of prime real estate, and certainly not the most prime, where this guy is King. Everything around him is his dominion. He is not a part of a group that is marginalized. For those of you who do not understand what I mean, I'll present you with the ext…