My One Big Secret You Don’t Know


October 31, 2008 I created my blog and wrote my first post. I was so obsessed that weekend, I wrote 5 posts and barely slept, one of them, The Best Trim Colours: NOT Cloud White, is still one of my top 10 most read posts.

If you have read my blog for a long time, you’ll notice that I always say ‘we’ and ‘us’ but you have never seen a picture of who I’m with. And if you’re a regular reader, you will have already figured it out.

That I am in a relationship with a woman.

Terreeia and I met in 1998 when I participated in a six month leadership training program through Landmark Education. She was the head coach.

I was married 15 years ago for one year. My ex-husband and I had no idea how to communicate so that’s why it didn’t last. My relationships with men before and after my marriage were not spectacular enough to write about.

I am not an easy person to be with. I participated in Landmark Courses for 10 years because I have a tortured head. I analyze everything down to the minutia and I process my upsets out loud. For this reason, I don’t hold a grudge, forgive easily and almost instantly. But I certainly have a temper. One of the reasons why I was committed to doing so many courses to learn how to communicate better was because I would say what was in my head out loud and unfiltered, and then I’d have a mess to clean up.

The men I attracted in relationships seemed to mostly fall into two extremes. The ones I could dominate so then I’d get turned off and bored really fast, or the powerful ones that wanted to dominate me. And the latter is the worst of the two, I can’t stand to be dominated. What’s great about being with a powerful woman is that it goes back and forth. Sometimes I call the shots and sometimes she does (and I’m not talking about sex).

I am not a lesbian, but I’m pretty sure I have the politics of one. And it took me 10 years of back and forth, breaking up and getting back together with Terreeia to finally realize that she is my soul mate in the world regardless of gender. We were married this past April on Earth Day.

She is the editor of the posts I’m afraid to hit publish. And lately I’ve been bored with my blog because now that you know everything about me except this, well, how long can I write about just my nephews anyway? This blog would be so much more interesting if I could write about my relationship because I have a lot to say about them.

Terreeia is the reason I haven’t told you. Being a lesbian all her life, she grew up being discriminated for being gay.

While I’m the first person to share my whole life story with someone five minutes after I’ve met them, she is the opposite of that.

She is convinced that it will be the end of this blog if I tell you. ‘But really?’, I ask myself ‘Are most people in the world so small that they can’t accept other people for their differences?  And there are many overtly gay men who are designers, in fact I’m tired of only ever seeing male couples on the covers of shelter magazines talking about their fabulous homes.

Along with running her executive coaching and consulting business Terreeia helps me run mine.

Her title on emails to our clients is ‘Director of Customer Service and Delight’. That is who Terreeia is in the world. Before she became a consultant, she was in management in the food and beverage industry. She has won all kinds of awards for creating teams. Terreeia is obsessed with service and she is the most brilliant communicator I have ever met.

Where I’m always asking Why? Because I’m fascinated to learn what makes people tick, Terreeia always has the because. Because she actually understands on a deep level what makes people tick.

She is this amazing, gourmet cook. I haven’t been in a grocery store in years (seriously).

So I’m telling you this today because I’m not someone who hides who I am in general.

When you meet me after reading this blog and getting to know me here, I’m the same person.  Many of you already feel like we are friends from reading my blog and it’s just not authentic that you don’t know this about me too. And the world is different now then it was 20 years ago, (I sure hope so).

Terreeia & Maria

Me and the love of my life (on vacation last year)

This post has been written for months. I wrote it one day when we were having an argument. She left because that’s how she processes stuff (I want to talk and yell a little if necessary) a little while later I called her and said “I’m about to hit publish on this post”, and she immediately rushed home to talk me out of it. I know, sneaky right?

I heard once that we can only marry someone who is either your mom, your dad, or not your mom or not your dad. Well Terreeia is like my mom who never gossips, and always takes the high road – well she takes it to the extreme, I can only strive to be like that.  And I think your partner should make you want to be a better person.

I love you sweet Terreeia. Thanks for letting me publish this post today.



leave aREPLY

  1. I’m late to this post but happy you felt confident enough to share this information with your readers. From the hundreds of comments I’ve read I’d say it was as much a non-issue with them as it should be and is with me. I’m happy you’re with someone you care for and who cares for you, isn’t that what all of us crave and some spend a lifetime searching for and never find? May you have years of making happy memories together.

  2. I meandered to this after reading about your father’s passing. Please accept my condolences. I think I had a Dad much the same as yours, but I believe that it was more of a generational thing. My Dad had difficulty accepting strong and independent women. My mother certainly was, much to my father’s chagrin. She raised my sister and me to follow in her footsteps.

    Your blog about being with Terreeia is very powerful. You’ve certainly learned to communicate!

    All the best to you both!


  3. What a beautiful picture of you two! It had to have taken so much courage to push that publish button. I bet you feel like a heavy weight has been taken from you though. Rejoice in your love for each other…we are rejoicing with you!

  4. What a wonderful gift to have found true love. I’ll never understand the prejudice the LGBTQ has to endure. As you say,,,we’ve come along way. Here’s to happiness,,,whatever form it takes!

  5. Congratulations, Maria. I had followed your blog for a long time, and two years ago “life happened” full force and my time for internet activity became almost nonexistent. Today I started rambling through your past blog entries and found this powerful, beautiful post. How wonderful to find someone that you truly like and enjoy and then to find love with them! I have learned so much from you, and now have more time to follow you. Seems to me that your happiness and joy are reflected in your lovely, insightful work. I am grateful that you and T found the courage and faith to so publicly share. We wish you many years of happiness and joy together!

  6. Maria, I have seen this “undertone” for awhiile now reading your blog, and unlike choosing colour, I don’t consider this “undertone” a complicating factor in my choosing a friend, a blog to read and a color expert! Honey, if you’ll share this with us, you know we’ll listen to your color suggestions!!! Live your life and give me color!!!

  7. I realize this post was written years ago, but I’ve only recently (so blessed) stumbled upon your Blog and terrific wisdom. Reading various links, I could sit all day and feel enlightened. Then, I found this post. You have an amazing life with a great career combined with love. Regardless of your choice in partner/spouse, I have the utmost respect for you and wish you both lived in my neck of the woods! I’m happily married to a man, and my twin brother, who is a respected physician, is in a long-term relationship with a man. Love happens where it happens. Thanks for sharing your “true colors!” All the best and keep blogging!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing! I so enjoyed meeting you both at your Austin seminar and simple love your blog.

  9. Maria, I just love this post. I know it’s old, but I got to it from your birthday post. It just warms my heart and I’m so happy for you to have found someone so perfect to share your life with. Yay!! ~Angela~

  10. It is amazing to find the one perfect person in your life. I am truly happy for you. simple fact, live your life with honesty and shame on those who cannot deal with it not your problem great luck to one of the most talented and creative person i love to follow. sherry

  11. What a beautiful tribute to your soulmate! It’s not about the gender of who we love. It’s about the connection and how we make each other feel.

  12. I know this comment is “late to the party” in reading this post. But after meeting Teerreia in Austin-I can completely understand why you fell in love with her and I love knowing more details of y’all’s beautiful relationship. Her heart shines through in everything she says, touches or communicates through. This post resonates with me on so many levels and makes me happy for both of you. Love is good in all of its wonderful manifestations. Sending holiday love and Christmas hugs-xoxo-Jen

  13. Bravo! I am happy that you hit ‘publish’. If a relationship works, that’s all that matters. Happiness to you on your birthday, and to you and Tereeia for your future.