My husband and I split up three months ago when I came out as a lesbian. I encouraged him to date again but found myself jealous the morning after—and not for the reasons you may think.
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An image of Linda Fruits and her husband.
Credit: Main Image: Courtesy of Linda Fruits.

I encouraged my husband to have a one-night stand. You may be thinking I'm out of my mind after reading that, but I promise, I'm not.

I came out to my family about three months ago (as a lesbian). My husband and I decided afterward to live together and raise our kids but see other people. Now everyone wants to know what dating will look like moving forward.

I wanted my husband to have the physical touch and love that he deserves and what I could no longer force myself to give to him.

The inevitable happened, he had his first date and hook up. He told me that she wanted to meet at a hotel, and I thought to myself, well buckle up buttercup here it comes. It was time for us to practice what we have been discussing for the month prior. Let the dating games begin.

The days and hours leading up to the date, I felt a little nervous but overall fine. I could tell he was also a little nervous but obviously excited. Since we live together, I helped him pick out his outfit and just like that he was on his way.

I was more anxious about being nervous and what feelings would come up knowing what was about to happen. I'm already a light sleeper so I decided to take melatonin to try to offset my creative mind; it helped, a little. My mind raced and I tossed and turned until about midnight and finally dozed off. I couldn't stop picturing them. You know when you're with someone for a long time you know all their "moves." It's like a dance, a pattern, you know all too well. But why could I not stop torturing myself? The fact that I have not been able to enjoy or be intimate with my husband for years, I thought for sure I couldn't be jealous of the act. I wanted no part of it, so what was I feeling? It's not like I have very many friends to talk to about this; we were in uncharted territory.

When he came home the next morning, I almost couldn't look him in the eyes. He asked me if I had any questions and that was a hard no. It felt weird. I felt disgusted. I needed some time to process, alone. I ran to my local hot yoga studio and sweat it out. Mid-session, my favorite/mania song of the week came on and I just started to cry. Silently of course, in the shadows of the yoga studio. Thankfully it was so dark in there so no one even knew, and it was apparently the release I needed.

I felt some jealously but the more I dug into this feeling I realized it wasn't about the sex; I was just more jealous that he got to stay at a hotel, kid-free on the beach. Burnt out mom over here realized she too needed a break.

I recognized that up until this point, for me, nothing had changed in our relationship. We were already not having sex and acting like friends, teammates, raising the children together. That the love for him had never changed. When I told him about me being attracted to women, that's when he started to grieve our marriage, but since we still lived together and saw each other every day, nothing changed for me, until now.

For the first time, it was my turn to grieve for our marriage. We talked about how both of us were feeling, we both cried at times. It was a healthy part of processing and at the end of the day, I am so proud of both of us for continuing to put our family first.

I'm not sure if jealously is learned or something that has always been within us, but some of us can love more than one person at a time. That's where polyamory has gained more acceptance in the last couple of years. Consensual non-monogamy. Cheating is still cheating if the other person doesn't know or doesn't approve. This means that you set boundaries and are honest with each other.

One single person cannot provide everything you need to be emotionally fulfilled, that's where friends and family come into play too. You may not even realize it because it's already in action. Think about how different parts of you shine more when you are with different friends—maybe you laugh so deeply with one of your friends or maybe it's a sensitive caring nurturing relationship you have with a family member. That's also why moms need a mom's night out from time to time—we are refilling our emotional selves. For polyamory, it's the same concept, just more romantically or sexually speaking. I don't consider us poly since we are no longer intimate together, but the groundwork is still the same. The communication, boundaries, and having hard conversations about feelings since we have kids and plan to live together for the foreseeable future. We have to be as open and honest as possible.

After the first 24 hours had passed after his date night, our emotions started to settle and by 48 hours or more, we were back to our normal routine. We did it. We made it through what could potentially ruin most relationships.

He went on another date with another woman a few weeks later and the burn of the first-time experience was gone, and I was much more relaxed. I was just worried he would get home safely as someone who genuinely cares about him.

You might be thinking how the hell could I even go through something like this. You're picturing yourself and how'd you feel if this was you. We didn't get here overnight. It took weeks and constant communication and figuring out what we were comfortable with and how it made us feel. Just talking about our feelings almost made most of them go away, oddly enough. The wanting to understand each other's emotions and perspectives goes a long way.

Many people also want to know if we are going to get divorced right away or at all. I take a step back and think about people who get divorced, they usually are so fed up with each other and never want to see each other's faces again. We have a different situation, we are still living together and continue to be a great solid team raising our children, so to answer the question, there's no real rush. Yes, eventually, but we will cross that bridge when we get there.

For now, we will continue to put love first. The love for our family, the love for our children to have both parents every day, and the love for each other's happiness and fulfillment.

Linda Fruits is the writer behind the Fruits of Motherhood blog whose mission is to normalize motherhood. She has a talent for making mothers feel less alone in the daily struggles of parenting with a side of side-splitting laughter. You can follow her on Instagram @fruitsofmotherhood and Tiktok @fruitsofmotherhood and connect through email: Fruitsofmotherhood@gmail.com.