This is the fourth and final part of a four-part series. Here are parts one, two, and three.
“I really liked Kerry, before all of this happened,” Jan said. “I mean I really liked her as a friend.”
We had been talking for almost an hour, and our conversation was winding down, but I was still curious: How had it been possible for Jan to fall in love with Kerry when she hadn’t had that experience before?
Jan told us that she had, kind of, had the experience before—not of falling in love with a woman, but of being intimate. During her second marriage, her husband was exploring polyamory, and he and she were intimate with another couple.
“I didn’t like it at all,” Jan said. “I mean, I was doing it to try to maintain my relationship, and I was not at all attracted to those women, and that was really uncomfortable. I would not let those women touch me in my most private parts, because it just felt sickening to me.”
After the marriage ended, there were a couple of crushes, but they never went anywhere (one of the women lived on the other side of the country).
So, while these experiences may have opened her up to falling in love with a woman, it was getting to know Kerry as a person that moved Jan’s heart.
“Kerry is such an outgoing, friendly kind of person,” Jan said, “so she was making everybody in this group feel comfortable, in Mexico, and it just felt like so much more fun. I thought my job, organizing this trip, is so much easier because Kerry is here and she’s making it fun for everybody. And I had the thought, that very first day, that whatever I do with Healing Journeys, I always want to have Kerry there because she’s going to make it more fun for everybody. So I had this deep love for her before it turned into being sexual attraction. That never happened to me before. And she has been part of every Healing Journeys activity since then.”
Coming home from the retreat wasn’t easy—first they pretended that “what happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico,” as Kerry put it. But neither was satisfied with that tack. Finally, after six weeks, Kerry told her wife what had happened and began the difficult work of ending a relationship that needed to be ended.
“It was going to happen anyway,” said Kerry, talking about her troubled marriage. “We got married because of the prop 8 thing, in that window.”
Their wedding happened ten months after they’d met, and they hadn’t lived together yet.
“What I remember is that as soon as she moved in,” Jan recalled “you started telling me at church that this was, a whoopsie.”
Will experiences like Jan’s and Kerry’s become more common, we wondered, now that gay marriage is legal?
“It’s been interesting because in our circle of friends at church,” Jan said, “there are a number of women who are single who are really looking for a man, and we tease them a lot, I’ll tell them it’s just easier to switch teams, because there’s a lot more women available. And they all say no, I couldn’t imagine doing that.”
“Could you have imagined,” Kerry said, “if I had teased you, like a month before…”
“No, I couldn’t have,” said Jan.