One night, Jessica Turner, a mother of 3, was talking to her children about how their day went in school at the dinner table. Meanwhile, she noticed that her husband, Matthew Turner, had been acting weird these past few days strangely, and that night seemed to be more different.
After the meal, she instructed her children to go to their room and do their nightly routine to prepare themselves to sleep. When there were only two of them left, Jessica asked Matthew if there was something wrong. She was soon to find out what Matthew had been hiding from his wife for a long time.
Later that night, Jessica filled up with thoughts about what could be going on with her husband. She was even more puzzled when her husband refused to speak up during the evening meal.
Laying in bed beside her husband, who is facing the opposite direction at the moment, she cannot bear the thought of her husband’s strange actions. She believes that everything is alright between them. Was she wrong, though?
The following day, while Jessica was preparing breakfast and her kids’ lunchboxes, her husband hurriedly made his way to kiss her goodbye to go early to his office. Hiding her curiosity, Jessica still manages to acknowledge her husband’s goodbye properly.
As soon as her husband left for work, Jessica went on wondering again what could be the reason for her husband’s strange actions. Cutting the thought off, she continues packing up her children’s lunchboxes.
Driving her kids to school, Jessica was still caught off by her own thoughts. Nearing the school grounds, Jessica reminded her kids to behave while they attend school for the day.
After dropping the kids, Jessica drives again home to prepare for her office work. As soon as she arrived home, she quickly took a shower and dressed herself up for work that would usually start at ten in the morning.
At the office, Jessica has lots of content articles to edit. Notwithstanding the filing of content articles that need to be furnished, Jessica still finds herself spending time thinking about her husband.
She feels uneasy just by thinking hard about why Matthew seemed off. It gives her an inch of pain in her heart, indulging in the thought that her husband appeared to be depressed and distant for about a long time now.
At her break time in the afternoon, Jessica called at the publication office where her husband worked. Her husband’s secretary picked up the call, and Jessica took the chance to ask her husband’s officemate about how her husband was doing in the office.
The secretary told her that she finds nothing unusual about Matthew Turner, and he was always doing well with his job. With the gift of assurance, Jessica reached out her thanks to the secretary before dropping the call.
After work, Jessica fetched her children from school. Driving back home, her children share stories from today’s school. Giggles and laughs filled the car as her children enjoyingly sharing the highlights of their day.
Hearing her children’s stories, Jessica felt her heart at ease for a moment as she gained comfort. The laughs and giggles continue as they drive their way to their home, and Jessica happily joins her kids’ playful chuckles.
Arriving home, Jessica told her kids to get down the car and enter their house first. Jessica then parked the car properly in their garage. Afterward, Jessica saw that dinner was already served upon entering their home, and her husband and kids were sitting by the sofa while watching cartoons.
Jessica greeted her husband with a kiss and a hug and informed the kids to get to the dinner table for the evening meal.
At dinner time, Jessica’s thoughts from early in the morning about Matthew have been shrugged off. The dinner time went well, and the kids enjoyed their food. After a while, the kids got back on the sofa to continue watching cartoons.
Just then, Jessica and Matthew have left again at the table, and the two just stared awkwardly at each other. Urging to start a conversation, Jessica and Matthew called out each other’s names simultaneously.
With all the strength that she gathered, Jessica addressed her concerns to Matthew. She asked him why she felt that he was distancing himself from her. Matthew composed himself first before uttering the words that he has been holding on to for so long.
After moments of silence, when Matthew was about to start speaking up, they were interrupted by the children, who were now sounding sleepy. Jessica then led her kids in their bedroom to let them sleep, leaving Matthew at the dinner table.
After sending the kids to sleep, Jessica went out to the kitchen to make some coffee. On her way to the kitchen, she saw Matthew sitting on the sofa and deep thought. She called out his name and signaled him to come over to her at the dinner table.
Breaking the silence, Matthew blurted out a confession that left Jessica in a state of shock. Matthew admitted that he was bisexual. Saying this word, she looked straight at Jessica with worry and fear in his eyes.
Matthew’s confession has left the couple to become more distant from each other. Doing everything they could, Jessica and Matthew tried to save their marriage in their paces. They attended marriage counseling, but it just did not work out for them.
After attempts to save their marriage, no matter how much Jessica connects with her husband, Matthew keeps disconnected from her. After a long while, Matthew has then revealed a much more horrifying thing to Jessica.
“For the first time in my life, despite the sadness and grief I’m feeling right now, I can say with confidence that I’m ready to embrace freedom, hope, and God as a gay man.”, Matthew Turner said.
“As someone who spent 30+ years in fundamentalist/evangelical churches, exploring God through conservative theologies, I lived many days overwhelmed by fear, shame, and self-hatred.”, he added. Finally, after 16 long years of marriage, he told Jessica the truth. And it felt like he could now spread his wings like those of a butterfly.
Matthew has waited for 16 years of his marriage with Jessica, to tell the truth, because this was the only time that he felt more courageous than the other days. He has lived with the idea that he could not be gay because it was not acceptable.
Matthew said that he only dated women and eventually met and fell deeply in love with Jessica. He never hesitated about marrying Jessica and building a lovely family with her.
After the biggest revelation of Matthew, Jessica has taken a long time to process everything that Matthew had said. Matthew patiently waited for Jessica’s response to her acknowledgment of the truth.
After moments of sinking into her system, Jessica gathered up all her strength and uttered Matthew a reply. ‘Okay. Can’t we still be married?'” says Jessica. Matthew was somehow confused by Jessica’s response.
After knowing the truth, Jessica’s grieving of what might have been lost now that the truth has been revealed. She’s definitely in pain. She will have moments of frustrations and resentments, which are certainly part of the grieving process.
She has grief about their relationship and marriage, which can be very hard to take. She cannot bear the thought of living without someone with whom she dreamt of growing old.
Despite her grieving, she still wanted to work everything like how it used to be. Jessica and Matthew kept the revelation only by themselves. They kept it from everyone, especially their children, who would be the most affected if they had to know the truth.
For a long time, the couple went on like how they would always be. They did their best to act normal in front of their children and families as if nothing had ever happened between them.
In the middle of her grieving, Jessica could not deny looking back in the past to where it all started. Meeting in 2003, Jessica and Matthew grew quickly in love with each other. During that time, Jessica was still in college at the University of Wisconsin while Matthew worked as an editor of a Christian music publication.
They instantly hit it off and became the greatest love of their lives. Their relationship was then something beautiful.
In October 2004, despite the allegations that Matthew was not “straight,” the couple took another big step for their relationship, and that is to enter their marriage life. The couple has given birth to three lovely children, Elias, ten, Adeline, ten, and Ezra, six. Fast forward, Jessica Turner became the founder of The Mom Creative blog and an Instagram influencer, while Matthew Turner is a best-selling Christian children’s book author.
Before Matthew’s most significant revelation, they were once a happy family who loved to spend quality time with each other. Unfortunately, this pleasure gift will now be coming to an end.
Even though the couple is working together to stay intact in their marriage, things do not just go in their way. They would be suitable for a while, but most of the time, Jessica can still feel that even if Matthew was near her, she couldn’t reach him because he seemed so distant.
She would cry every time. Even if she were driving for work, her tears would solely flow from her eyes. With this, the couple decided to file a divorce to end their marriage.
After all the difficult conversations they made with their children, family members, and conservative Baptist parents of Matthew, the couple put an end to their marriage. “I think because our marriage ended from a place where we just still deeply cared for each other, the idea that you can still love one another even after a marriage has ended is powerful.”, Jessica said.
Despite Jessica’s persuasion of making her family whole again, she also wanted to make Matthew whole and happy. “Love is different now, but it’s beautiful.”, added Jessica.
Upon discovering their parents’ divorce, the couple’s children have brought out specific questions about their why’s and how’s regarding their parents’ ending of vows. The children also shared their time of grieving as they cried knowing about their parent’s divorce.
Matthew just explained to his children that he was going to a different house three-quarters miles away from their original home. The children still had a hard time understanding the situation of their parents.
Ending their marriage, Jessica and Matthew have comprehensively known that it will give their children a difficult time taking in every detail about their situation. Thus, they wanted to let their children feel that they still have their parents by their side.
The ex-couples are making sure that their children spend time with each of them. They may not work on their marriage, but they can still work on good parenting to their children.
The ex-couples remained as good friends despite all the things that they’ve been through. Jessica and Matthew still act as a family when it comes to their children. They are still together as one lovely family during clan gatherings for meals, birthdays, holidays, Friday movie nights, and a Florida vacation.
The ex-couples find forgiveness and support for each other as they also remain to become ethical parents as they nurture their children’s growth and development.
Jessica and Matthew may have struggled a lot during the last years of their marriage, but this did not hinder them from providing the love, care, and support that their children needed. They have forgiven each other, and they have chosen to look at the brighter side of ending their marriage.
They must have hurt each other before, but they look up to what could keep their parenting stable. They have decided to come together as parents of their children for them to sustain and still fulfill the needs of their children.
Matthew will forever be grateful for having Jessica in his life. He gives credit to Jessica’s unwavering love and support before and after he has revealed his actual being. Mathew thanks his ex-wife for accepting him for who he was, even if that means they have to end their marriage.
“Many of the steps I’ve taken recently wouldn’t have happened without Jessica walking beside me, helping me through every fear,” Matthew shared.
Despite getting a divorce and living separately, Jessica and Matthew took a great leap towards moving forward. They needed the support of each other up until the day after they divorced.
Both of them have learned the value of forgiveness and empathy, which has even helped them recover from the pain they had suffered as they ended their marriage. The ex-couples have lived on their disposition of love as great friends.
Matthew’s plans include him continuing to write children’s books. He has also expressed his gratitude for the support of my publisher Convergent Books. “Writing books about wholeness, hope, and God’s love for children is an honor and privilege I do not take for granted.”, he stated. Matthew has also manifested his utmost desire to make progress with love and compassion towards the greater good.
Jessica and Matthew’s reason for divorce might bring out controversies coming from people who don’t even know their whole story. “Coming out to my kids was one of the hardest, most beautiful things I’ve ever done. Loving and protecting their stories will always be our first priority.”, Matthew enunciated.
In the face of it all, they wanted to protect their loved ones, especially their families and children. They have always wanted to put the well-being of their kids first on the list. Ending their journey of romantic love, Jessica and Matthew are still open to searching for the new love of their lives.
Jessica acknowledges that she still mourns for what can no longer be but she also acknowledges the fact of what’s more there could be for both of them as they grow apart from each other. The ex-couples are both open in saying “I do’s” again if love will have to find them again. They’re not closing their doors in finding the right person for them.
Jessica and Matthew’s love journey may not have ended very well, but they both knew that they had given each other the love that they both deserve. For now, they decide on growing in separate ways as they still keep up with each other as best of friends, co-parents, and colleagues in pursuing their dreams in life. They may have gone through hard times, but they believe and hope that everything will be okay most days. They still live with this thought every day as they continue to journey separately now.
What would you feel if the same thing happened to you? How would you react, if ever? If Matthew Turner would have said it earlier, will things still be the same from what they are? Are you still willing to love despite the risks that it takes to love the person you love?