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Coming out After Being Married

When you need to love yourself to love anyone else

By Ashley MatteiPublished 4 years ago 8 min read
LGBTQ "love heart" (google images)

When I was 11 years old I used to get butterflies around this one girl at school. I never knew why, I just knew she made me feel different. That summer her and I decided to experiment with a little making out sesh in the tent at my house. That was the last her and I ever sooke of it! We never acted different around one another and we were perfect friends there after. It just wasn't something we spoke about.

Fast forward to 10th grade and I moved to a different school. I was the new "hot girl". I was a tad overwhelmed but my eyes were centered right on this one guy. My goodness I was attracted to him. I remember the first time I saw him, riding his bike past my house as we were moving in. I was sitting outside on the front porch with my friend. He looked right over at me with a smile and a wink. I was 15 years old then and well, a child no less. School went like no other. I enjoyed this kids company. We saw one another almost every night, sneaking off to midnight walks in the cemetery. Yup, you heard that right, the cemetery. That is actually even the first place he kissed me. I was obsessed with this kid. He was beautiful with his caramel colored skin and dark curly top hair that went into a tight fade. I would quickly learn a couple of years later how toxic this relationship would be.

But this is not why I am writing. In 11th grade there was a girl in school who was clearly into me (or I am pretty sure she was). I certainly felt the same if it was the case. My heart jumped out of my chest every time I saw her come around the corner of the hallway. She used to come up behind me when I was at my locker and run her hand across my lower back. I melted into myself every single time she did this. This is when I knew for a fact that I was gay. Not even my caramel colored beautiful childhood obsession could make me feel the way she did when she ran her hand across my lower back, when I saw her look at me or even say anything to me. This was not just a curiosity type crush, this was me discovering exactly who I was and the type of person who drove me out of my mind. Nothing ever happened with her, just casual flirting in the hallways at school or in our ceramics class. Nothing happened physically that is, however she changed my life in that moment because I found myself discovering who I was and what actually made my heart beat just a tad louder. To this day, I don't think she ever knows.

The problem was that I may have known who exactly I was but that did not stop me from trying to sabotage it to the fullest. I had my fair share and then some of guys walking in and out of my life. My therapist blames it on childhood trauma, I blame it on simple stupidity. But none the less I was never out with any females. When I was 18 years old I started selling magazines on a traveling crew. I made so many friends and so many memories, one being the first time I was actually with a girl physically. And not just once. We had the kind of relationship where we were young and having fun and it wasn't going to go past that so lets live it up kind of attitude. We remained friends for awhile until she randomly dropped off the face of the earth about 10 years ago.

So then comes leave from the army. An old boyfriend calls me within moments of my reactivating my phone when I came home on con-leave. We spoke for hours that night. The next day was the first day out of the next five that we were never apart, not for long anyways.

Now don't get me wrong. Neither of us were innocent in why our marriage failed. In the beginning of our relationship, right after we reconnected, within a month I was pregnant with what we would soon find out was twins. Heartbreakingly we lost them that year in 2006. It was really hard and we went about our daily lives continuing to work things out together. Even at that point I felt like something was missing from the relationship but I didn't know what it was. He worked and I stayed home because I was still recovering over the loss of the girls and then eventually we became pregnant again that following April, two months before we got married. The day before we got married I found out with hard evidence that he cheated on me but still, being pregnant I felt like this was the right decision. Get married and raise this baby in a happy household because that is what should happen. So we got married and started a life together. Officially.

Four and a half years married and three boys later I had a wake up call. I didn't do everything right and the biggest thing was figuring out myself internally from the get go but I knew I needed to make a change and make it fast. We began our divorce process which was super exhausting and very nasty and cold in the beginning. We had so much hate spewing at one another from the beginning to the end. I knew I was gay. I knew I should have told him. But I couldn't because I could not fully admit that to myself. Again, my therapist blames it on my childhood trauma as to why I could never stand up for myself and again I blame it on stupidity. Stupidity that I salvaged.

In 2011 I started a relationship with someone who was my best friend. I thought the relationship would be mutual but it only was for a short time. There was so much working against the relationship and really all we were, were best friends living together raising 5 boys (her two and my three). In the beginning of 2018 she moved out because we knew we could not keep lying to ourselves and everyone in our lives about the relationship we lacked in. So I swore I would never ever be in another relationship again. I wanted nothing but to focus on my boys and myself. Period.

Then April came along and I ran into someone at work that I had met six years prior while playing softball. She too was gay and fully out. When I met her she was playing on the softball team with her girlfriend and I was playing on it with mine at the time. April 2018 changed everything for me. She changed everything for me. From the moment we started talking I could not get enough of her. I could not get enough of not just her physically (because we were taking things very slow), but I also could not get enough of her mind, her beliefs, her dreams. Conversations with her would carry for hours and it was amazing to be able to talk about anything and everything and still that person wants to talk to you more. We laid everything out on the table to one another while we were talking in the beginning, the good and the bad. We never held back and we kept communication open. She was younger than I was by five years and no kids. I was a tad nervous about her meeting the boys but when we did introduce her to them we did so as friends. We took it slow and waited for the moment when I knew the boys were ready to have someone special like that in their lives. My middle son was who I was truly waiting on. He was very much attached to my ex and because of that I knew he needed to be ready for me to take that step before he met anyone else. The boys Dad had had a few relationships that the boys were involved in and attached to and well they didn't last so I did not want to do that again to the boys. Then one day my boy and I were talking and he said "Mom when you get a girlfriend again can you get someone like her". That was my green light.


We just celebrated our one year anniversary and I cannot tell you how amazing it feels. We are a family. Currently a family of five but we have plans to expand that to a family of six or seven in the future. I am just so damn proud of myself for admitting who I truly was and knowing what I deserve and want. Because of what I discovered about myself I am free. I am so beyond in love with my wife. My boys are so unbelievably happy and feel wanted and we all have dreams as a family.

I recently had a conversation with my middle son and he asked me why it never worked out with his Dad and was not asking because he is unhappy he just was curious. I told him the same thing I will tell you.

Until you are 100% happy with yourself inside, you will never be 100% happy with someone else. Always be true to yourself. I finally was and it was the happiest revelation I ever had.

Our wedding day!


About the Creator

Ashley Mattei

I am a 34 year old Boy Mom times 3! My wife and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary in October! Writing is a passion for me and I believe the best stories are told through experience!

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