When Sarah Bowles, 54, read todayâ€™s headlines about Phillip Schofield coming out as gay, the situation felt all too familiar.
In 2016, the mother-of-three appeared on â€˜This Morningâ€™ and told Schofield and co-host Holly Willoughby how her own former husband had come to the same conclusion, after 17 years of marriage.
â€œIt felt weird, realising that when I was speaking to him I imagine he had his own issues at the time,â€ Bowles tells Yahoo UK.
The London-based comedian, whose marriage ended in 2007, says she never suspected Schofield could be going through the same battle her husband did.
She sends her well wishes to the 57-year-old, who today publicly thanked his wife and daughters for their â€œsupport and strengthâ€.
Bowlesâ€™ ex-husbandâ€™s coming out did not happen in a similar way.
While she says both she and her children had identified and accepted her husbandâ€™s homosexuality, the â€œstigmaâ€ around being gay meant that he could not do the same.
The struggle left Bowlesâ€™ ex â€œsuicidalâ€, she tells Yahoo UK.
â€œWe got married in 1990 when AIDs was still terrifying,â€ she explains.
â€œI donâ€™t know but assume thatâ€™s why my husband couldnâ€™t come out at that point. He was in denial and would accuse me and the children of spreading lies when we tried to talk about it.â€
Sadly, this lead to the breakdown of her marriage in 2007 and her ex-husbandâ€™s estrangement from their three children (two daughters and one son).
Some 13-years later, Bowles has moved past her experience and feels â€œat easeâ€ with what happened â€“Â channelling her feelings through stand-up comedy.
However, she is heartened by Schofieldâ€™s announcement today. A sign, she says, that â€œthe world has changed and things have moved on.â€
â€œPhillip has taken away the taboo, heâ€™s leaving families more empowered and hopefully there will be less damaged families in futureâ€.
And for those families who are left in less amicable situations than Schofieldâ€™s, Bowles has some advice:
â€œBe as kind to yourself and your children as you can,â€ Bowles says. â€œYou may have to be brave.
â€œMaybe more people will be talking about this kind of thing now but itâ€™s not something you can speak to everyone and anyone about – not everyone will understand it, which can be isolating.â€