In this episode:
Janine and Mike met in junior high. After admitting her crush on him, they began dating in university and fell in love, married, and had three beautiful children. They were partners. Unbreakable. With trust and respect, they navigated good times and bad with humor and friendship.
Two years before coming out as gay, Mike admitted he was attracted to men. Yet he reassured Janine that she was the love of his life. Feeling she had nothing to lose, Janine supported Mike during his exploration.
However, one Saturday morning, 15 minutes before ten nine-year olds were to arrive for book club, Mike stated “I’m gay.” In that moment, Janine felt numb. She knew it was the beginning of their end. Janine feared telling their children, family and friends. Would she ever find a love like theirs again, Janine wondered? Knowing that Mike had developed feelings for someone else was heartbreaking.
Janine experienced loneliness; she was picking up the pieces of her life while Mike was starting his “new and exciting gay life.”
Janine and Mike’s strong foundation and friendship allowed them to talk openly with their children, share Mike’s discovery that he is gay, and witness Janine’s support of his journey. They remained close, setting up and sharing an apartment, allowing their children to stay in their home during the first few critical months of transition.
When the relationship with Mike’s exploration partner temporarily came to an end, Janine helped Mike draft his dating profile. Over a bottle of wine, they discussed what characteristics would be important for Mike and their family. Fast forward, Janine and her new partner, and Mike and his original exploration partner are close friends, together they parent and celebrate milestones.
The biggest gifts of Janine’s journey have been her self-discovery, the people that she has met, and the realization that mixed-orientation marriages and sexuality need to be talked about. Janine wishes that there would have been more resources available when Mike came out. Most importantly, she wants people to know that their journey is unique and to celebrate their own path forward.
Tune into Episode 5 to hear Mike’s story.
Thank you for listening!
What topics would you like to hear more about? Reach out to me – I’d love to chat.