In this episode:
Renee and Piripi met at 13 years old, started dating at 15, and were together for 11 years before marrying. Eighteen months into their marriage, Piripi disclosed that he is gay.
Knowing from a young age that he was different, it was a long and slow journey for Piripi to accept that he is gay. Piripi did not want to live his life defined by living in a box, straight or gay. Piripi’s journey continues, and four years after coming out, there are still days that he struggles. Even after admitting to himself that he is gay and knowing there was no returning to a straight life, Piripi remained in denial for a period of time.
Once that realization clicks in your head, you know you have to start acknowledging it.
As their marriage began to crumble and her world turned upside down, Renee was clutching at straws, and she asked Piripi if he is gay. The answer was definitely not. After their marriage had dissolved and Piripi disclosed to Renee that he is gay, Renee felt complete and utter denial.
As Piripi struggled to accept that he is gay, and as Renee struggled to accept the end of their marriage, they both entered a dark period marked by depression. Piripi turned to alcohol and drugs to ease his pain, lacking the tools and resources to cope. After one year of abusing his body, Piripi realizes that he’s entering a growth period, striving towards happiness. Counseling and the support of friends helped him to move forward.
When their marriage was crumbling, gas lighting played a role. Renee didn’t question Piripi’s accusations. Lacking internal defenses, Renee began to question fundamental aspects of herself, of what she knew to be the truth. Renee, in the depths of despair, consumed a bottle of sleeping pills. Renee had never been depressed, and she had misconceptions about suicide. She felt that she was immune; too smart, strong, successful, happy, and optimistic to be at risk of suicide. She encourages people to reach out, to not feel ashamed, noting that depression touches everybody, in every corner of society.
Knowing you’re not alone makes you feel empowered.
After he came out, Piripi struggled to navigate the gay community. Still holding onto guilt and shame, it was more difficult than he had anticipated. He recommends to individuals coming out to seek resources, support groups, and trusted individuals. Piripi is still working towards self-forgiveness,
Be patient with yourself. You have to get to a point of acceptance.
After Piripi came out, Renee watched him being congratulated and celebrated. Meanwhile, she was devastated. Renee struggled to reconcile these two truths. Renee withdrew from Piripi to begin her healing and discover her future. She worked through the shame, anger, and stages of grief. She began looking forward, reimagining her life.
Where is the silver lining? It has to be here somewhere.
After a period of growth, self-discovery, and healing, a sense of peace washed over Renee. She was ready to share their story. Renee and Piripi launched their podcast, Me & my GAY ex-husband to tell their story; a story that is usually swept under the carpet. They hoped to create connection, assuring people in a mixed-orientation marriage that they are not alone. Through their raw, honest, and emotional conversation, they have created a real and relatable resource.
Telling their deeply personal and intimate story was initially scary and left them feeling exposed. The support and outreach fills Renee and Piripi with purpose and the strength to continue sharing their story.
Their journeys have been a whirlwind marked by beautiful unexpected gifts. Piripi’s unexpected gift has been discovering his sense of self and self-belief that he would not otherwise have sought. Realizing he can live his life in the way that he wants has been freeing. Renee’s gift has been freedom, the gift to take control of her life, to reimagine what she wanted, to discover joy. Ultimately, they embrace their separation, viewing it as a gift, emerging as transformed individuals with new goals and dreams.
Tune into Spotify and listen to their engaging, honest, raw conversation; you’ll leave lifted and hopeful.
Me & My GAY ex-husband, Podcast and Resources
Thank you for listening!
May our stories help forge your path forward. I hope you’ll stay tuned for our next episode and in the meantime, learn more about my story on my blog.