Jill and Jeff Smokler had been married for 17 years, having met over two decades ago as teenagers. They were soulmates, parents of three young kids, and are both writers. Jill started the hugely popular ‘Scary Mommy’ blog in 2008, and used it last week to announce some very surprising news: Jeff is gay.
The Saturday before the Scary Mommy blog post, Jill took to her personal Facebook to tell her followers that she was getting a divorce. Kind, understanding, and forgiving; Jill said that she knew about Jeff’s sexuality for some time.
“Without getting into too much personal detail, this is a reality which we have faced together for many years,” wrote Jill.
“And 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.”
Her fans were naturally shocked, and leapt to her defence. But it was Jeff himself that wrote on the Scary Mommy blog to discuss with their loyal readers the reason for the divorce.
“I’ve gotten a lot of questions over the last several weeks — but especially since Saturday — and I understand the curiosity,” said Jeff.
“Frankly, I’m grateful for it, because it gives me the chance to articulate thoughts and emotions that need a reckoning every now and again.”
The blog post, titled ‘When Love Isn’t Enough’, is a heartbreaking insight to the struggle Jeff experienced in coming to terms with his sexuality, and the effect it would have on his young family.
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“It’s been four or five years since I knew I was gay,” writes Jeff.
“Of course 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'."