Jeff Rohrer has a modern family, and he couldn’t be happier.
The former Dallas Cowboys linebacker, who recently made history by becoming the first known NFL player to enter a same-sex marriage, revealed during an interview with PEOPLE that he lives with his new husband, his ex-wife, and his two kids in the same house.
“It’s a real modern family,” he said. “I would never in a million years have expected this to be the way that we’d end up. There are all these different dynamics, and it’s working out really well so far.”
RadarOnline.com readers know Jeff, 60, married SkinLab founder Joshua Ross late last year after meeting him in 2015 — when the athlete was still living as a straight man.
Revealing the news to the New York Times in November 2018, Rohrer said if it hadn’t been for Joshua, 37, he’d still be in the closet.
Today, the two are happily married and living in the same home as Jeff’s ex-wife, Heather Rohrer, and their two teenage children, Isabella and Dondillon.
In the interview, Heather, 56, said she realized Jeff was gay well into their 17-year marriage, and eventually confronted him about it. The two divorced in 2011.
“It wasn’t that Jeffrey came out to me, but once I figured it out, it was obvious he way gay,” she said.
Though they didn’t speak for 18 months after their split, they eventually moved back in together to co-parent their son and daughter.
“He thought it was wrong; he was so angry. He thought his children wouldn’t love him, that he’d lose his job. I tried to help him,” said Heather. “I kept trying to tell him it was okay, that it was no big deal. But it was to him.”
Jeff agreed, recalling the many years he spent hiding his secret.
“I just wasn’t comfortable talking about it because of my paranoia of people finding out,” he said, adding that when he was in the NFL, “being gay was not a part of my life.”
Though Jeff knew he was born gay, it was something that he “managed,” and kept under wraps. “When you start managing something like that at a young age, and you don’t act upon it, you think you can do it your whole life.”
In the interview, Isabella, 16, and Dondillon, 15, revealed they never had a problem with their father’s sexuality, and though he didn’t directly come out to them, they realized it on their own when he introduced them to Joshua.
“I pieced it together that they were dating,” said Dondillon. “And eventually he called Josh his boyfriend and I was fine with it.”
“He hadn’t really talked to us face-to-face and said, ‘I’m gay.’ But it wasn’t a bad thing,” said Isabella.
Now that Jeff is happily remarried, he’s embraced his new life and mended ties with Heather, whom he said has been “so amazing” throughout the entire journey.
Of living with his husband’s ex, Joshua said “We get in our fights, but we find a way to make up. We’re just trying to do the best we can.”
Heather echoed his comment, saying that while “its’ been difficult to get to this place,” it’s definitely “worth it.”
“At the end of the day it’s just like any other family,” said Joshua.
“We’ve decided we may all live together forever,” said Heather, who’s also jumped back into the dating pool.
“And I think we will!” said Jeff.