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Coming Out the Closet Divorce: Stats & Stories

coming out the closet divorce

Coming Out the Closet Divorce: Stats & Stories

While divorce is becoming more common, there is also a population of people who have experienced a “coming out the closet divorce.” This latter population is growing. These divorce hearings can be a tad more difficult than a standard divorce, depending on the state you’re in. Let’s examine why!


Coming out the closet divorce situations play out in a now-familiar arc, thanks to various popular TV shows. There are estimates that about two million individuals who married someone of the opposite sex have come out as transgender, lesbian, gay or bisexual. When a spouse comes out to their partner, one-third of marriages end. Another third will separate after trying to make it work, while another third will try to stay together, but only half will be successful. The other half will part ways, usually after three years. This can be because of the obsolescent view of homosexuality and the need to have a family.

While the current status of the nation doesn’t offer much empathy for homosexuals, it was much worse long ago; and is still very dangerous in other countries. This pressured many people to enter straight marriages, which now end in a divorce where a partner comes out of the closet.

The Impact of a Coming Out the Closet Divorce

While the immediate thought tends to be about the significant other, there is a larger impact at play. When a marriage is dissolved, and one party comes out of the closet, it can take a toll on the entire family. This means children who are teased at school and who have a hard time dealing with it. Parents who might be confused and wondering what is going on. Other close family members who feel disillusioned and coworkers and work superiors of both parties, which may be wondering how to console their colleague. These divorces can also make headlines in your town, which may cause problems.

Hate crimes are not a problem of the past and can be very dangerous. They are just the product of someone who is aggressive and doesn’t know any better who finds out that someone is different from them. Just the same, it is something to be conscious of. You can read more about it here.

What Happens Next?

If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll obviously need a divorce lawyer. While you might want to try to work things out, the statistics are not on your side. You will want to at least speak to an attorney and find out what your options are. Finding someone with experience and a deep knowledge of divorce law is essential. Both are tools they can put to work for you. You can start your search here.

You will also want to figure out if you will need counseling. Divorce is a traumatic enough experience, having a spouse who came out of the closet afterward can make it a little harder to process and understand. While counseling can have a negative connotation, there are a growing number of people who seek counseling after a standard divorce. There are a lot of feelings left without resolution and a lot that you will need to talk about. Having someone listen without judgment is very important.

The Outcome

There is no such thing as a clean divorce, even when it is a coming out the closet divorce. They are all messy and problematic, for both parties. But, you will want to take as long as you need to process it. Just make sure that it doesn’t become unhealthy. If you start to drink more, go out less or just dwell consistently, you will need to find another way to cope. This is the reason that counseling can be essential.

You will also want to talk to your divorce attorney. They will be able to tell you how the divorce will affect your daily life and what options you have available. It is more than likely that once the papers are signed, and you have settled everything, the whole mess will be wrapped in a nice and neat bow. But, that is not always the case. That is why having an experienced and knowledgeable attorney fighting for you is essential.

Divorce is never going to be something easy or cheap. It will always be a process that goes on longer than you would like.  And it will always be one that will take a toll on you. Just know that, if your spouse has come out of the closet after the divorce, it would likely have happened eventually. Because it is sooner than later, you will have more of your life to live and more time to recover from it all. This is the beginning of a new life, which is always a great thing. It will give you a new start and a new view of life. It is going to happen, regardless. The best you can do is move on and live the life you want and try to be happy.

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