Finding out that your partner is gay is a pretty big deal, especially because it usually means your relationship is coming to an end. Debbie Dawe-Mattausch’s first husband came out to her, but rather than letting this news tear her family apart, she has embraced her ex—whom she affectionately refers to as her “wasband”—as well as his new partner in an extended family of sorts. Debbie shares how she managed to set aside her hurt over the end of the relationship and chose to have compassion for her ex-husband given that he’d had to hide an important part of himself for so long. Today her large blended family consists of her husband and his son, daughter and son-in-law, Deborah, her son and his girlfriend, her two daughters and their husbands, her ex and his husband, three granddaughters and a grandson. She and her “wasband” have gone on numerous vacations together and spend important holidays as a group. As a result Debbie says, “I didn’t lose him as a friend and as a person I care about.” Her family is a model for co-parenting positively after the end of a relationship, no matter what the circumstances.
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