"Even when [Jeanice and I] were having great sex, I still had an attraction to men," Jim says. "I always sort of thought the gayness would eventually get out of my system. Once or twice she asked if there was another woman in my life, and I actually told her there was not. In the back of my mind I thought, 'Okay, there's men in my life, but there's no other women in my life.'"
"He just came out and said, 'I'm gay,'" Jeanice says. "'I have been all my life.' I felt so betrayed, and I felt really angry at myself. Why didn't I see it? Why didn't I see the signs? My whole life was a lie."
"The coming out process is hard for many people. It was hard for me," David says. "I think it's easier to do what your friends, family and society expect of you than to what's right for you. You need to do what's right for yourself to be comfortable and happy for yourself."
After Joseph came out to Sara, they decided that, for the benefit of their family, they would try to continue to stay married and live together.
"We don't pretend to be lovers. ... We made an agreement that he would live downstairs while we worked through this. And we remain the best of friends, though. That doesn't change in our relationship. That's how it started. And that's how it continues. ... In our family, we have always been tolerant and have always been surrounded by people who are different than ourselves. So we just continue to stress that the tolerance is important."
"It was pretty negative in our family to be gay," Joseph says. "Growing up, you know, even the slightest feminine behavior that they'd see that I had, they would correct. Every time they'd correct my behavior, of course I saw that as being negative. The way I talked, the way I walked—I always felt ashamed whenever I was corrected on my behavior."
When her husband finally confessed to her, Carol was, of course, devastated. She says that she relates this kind of unimaginable pain to what a person goes through when dealing with a death in the family.
"You go through the stages of death you go through when another person dies," Carol says. "And you have to take care of yourself. You have to do what's best for you. Whatever that would be. I would say [to other wives] find a counselor."
Carol says that after going through these stages, she realized that, in a sense, she felt relieved."
[For years] I had thought I was not sexy enough or beautiful enough or interesting enough," she says. "I thought there was something wrong with me. So it was a big relief. I thought, 'Maybe I'm okay after all.'"
Patricia says, "I was shocked and devastated to learn it. And I understand even more today where that shock and devastation came from. It was a death for me, too, watching this very embracing relationship and family come to an end. It was extremely difficult for me."
Nikki says that revealing her true self was necessary for her to go on, and at the same time, she doesn't believe her marriage was ever a façade.
"I still don't feel like my marriage was a lie," Nikki says. "I loved him and I wanted that life. I just felt like I needed to follow what I thought everyone else wanted me to do. ...It's been a journey. It's still a journey. But being true to who I am is most important. I hope it lets my girls know that you need to stand up for who you are on the inside."
Under the pen name Nikki Rashan, Nikki wrote a novel called Double Pleasure, Double Pain with the hope of reaching out to women going through similar experiences.