A popular parenting blogger decided to share her experience of telling her kids that she and her husband are divorcing because he’s gay.
Jill Smokler, founder of the ‘Scary Mommy’ website, took to her Facebook page to tell her 30,000 followers that she is getting a divorce after 17 years of marriage.
“Yesterday, Jeff and I told our children that we are divorcing, after more than 17 years of marriage and 23 years of togetherness,” she wrote on Facebook on 4 March.
“We also told them that the impetus for the divorce is the fact that Jeff is gay.”
Smokler explained it’s a “reality” the pair have had to deal with for several years, but it won’t change their family set-up.
“We have spent more than half of our lives inseparable, and we are very proud of the life and family we have built together,” she continued.
“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.
“It’s our greatest hope that this experience translates into raising empathetic, caring and open-minded children who learn to embrace their differences… and respect and appreciate that which makes others different, too.”
Smokler’s post had more than 2,000 likes and hundreds of comments from people wishing her the best for her family.
“I have to say that I love you; for your compassion for your family, for the loving way you have found to make this transition easier for your children and for the way you have lifted your husband up,” one person wrote.
“I have family that went through this – and there was so much pain and hurt. Well done.”
Smokler told The Huffington Post UK she has been “amazed” by the touching responses she’s received to sharing her story.
“We chose to share it a) because we were both so tired of keeping a secret, and b) because we know we’re not the only couple dealing with a marriage like this and we hope it encourages some open dialogue,” she said.
“The number of people reaching out to us has been overwhelming… I think every parent can relate to wanting their children surrounded by love; whether they are married or divorced.
“That’s our goal here, and I think that’s what really resonated with people.”
The mum has since shared her children’s reactions to the news.
“Evan, in response to my explaining why there’s no hope for reconciliation: ‘You know, mummy, you have options. You could become transgender’,” she wrote on 5 March.
“Here’s to open-minded kids who think outside of the box… and to a whole other conversation we’ll need to be having tonight.”