Jill Smokler is best known for writing about her children.
But the blogger behind wildly popular website Scary Mommy made news over the weekend for a heartfelt message she shared with readers about her marriage.
Specifically, about the surprising reason why her marriage is coming to an end.
Via an emotional post on Facebook, Smokler said on Satuday her husband is gay.
The soon-to-be former couple has three kids and has been involved romantically for over two decades.
“Yesterday, Jeff and I told our children that we are divorcing, after more than 17 years of marriage and 23 years of togetherness,” Smokler wrote.
“We also told them that the impetus for the divorce is the fact that Jeff is gay.
“Without getting into too much personal detail, this is a reality which we have faced together for many years.”
“For a very long time, the deep love we had for one another sustained us through the more difficult moments that our increasingly diverging sexuality created.
“We have spent more than half of our lives inseparable, and we are very proud of the life and family we have built together. We have been true partners and friends; we are a kickass team.
“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.”
Jeff, meanwhile, went ahead and shared his side of this story on Scary Mommy.
Explaining that he knew he was gay for about the last “four or five years,” he wrote the following:
“I always knew I was different, but when you meet your soulmate when you’re 18 years old – only five years older than my own daughter is now – and that person is a woman, you simply think ‘thank God then, I can’t be gay.”
Jeff and Jill are parents to a nine-year old, an 11-year old and a 13-year old.
“One thing I’ll say about my own journey is this: What should have been an easy choice — a no brainer — was the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” Jeff also wrote.
“Once I came to terms with the fact that I was gay, I figured I had two options:
I could die — either from my intentional neglect of my health and well-being, or perhaps from something even more tragic — leaving my children fatherless, or I could come out and hope that I remained surrounded by the love of my friends, family, wife and children.”
During an interview with the Today show on Friday, Jill talked about breaking the news to the kids.
She said her and Jeff’s 13-year-old daughter reacted with sympathy and even offered to hug her father, while their boys had more trouble with the announcement.
Jill said they have “weepy moments” but have still been “incredibly mature” given the situation.
“I have had probably 70 people message me or email me privately who are in the same situation,” she said on Today, adding:
“This has been really good for me. For as many nasty comments as we get on the internet, every time I have put something out there that has made me feel super vulnerable or that was painfully honest, the response has always been amazing.”
Scary Mommy has over 2.8 million Likes on Facebook.
It is a go-to website for parenting tales and advice.
Added Jeff in his Scary Mommy entry, focusing on what’s most important:
Our children are amazing. They are all digesting the information in their own ways, but, boy, are they all also showing their true colors.
Brush away all of the worst characteristics and idiosyncrasies one would expect from kids their ages, and we’re left with compassionate, thoughtful, wonderful children.