Former New York City mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) has publicly announced his and his wife’s intention to stay married and live in the same house, but to "date other people."
De Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, posed for a photoshoot with the New York Times as part of a profile detailing the history of the couple's relationship and announcing their separation. According to de Blasio, the beginning of the end was when he started seeing a therapist during COVID-19. "It made me emotionally very needy," de Blasio said.
The former mayor’s wife also cited de Blasio’s failed presidential bid as a fracturing point in their relationship, to which de Blasio sheepishly agreed. She called her husband’s 2020 presidential ambitions a "distraction." De Blasio dropped out of the race, following low polling and his failure to qualify for a primary debate.
Following his botched attempt at the White House, de Blasio made a play for a newly drawn and heavily Democratic congressional district in New York City. He dropped out of that race as well, also due to poor polling.
De Blasio has expended considerable political capital for his wife’s sake. During his time as mayor, he faced considerable controversy after appointing his wife to lead a mental health initiative in New York City and funding it to the tune of nearly $1 billion. He and his wife were criticized for the lack of tangible results from the program and the magnitude of funds spent. The Times called the two "the most significant and dissected biracial couple in American politics."
Prior to their marriage, de Blasio's wife penned a seven-page essay for Essence magazine in 1979 entitled "I Am a Lesbian," in which she frankly discussed her alternative sexuality. "I have also been fortunate because I discovered my preference for women early, before getting locked into a traditional marriage and having children," she wrote.
The couple married in 1994 in a ceremony officiated by two gay men. They have two children, now both in their 20s. Per the Times, de Blasio and his wife made the decision to split when things felt "off" after a night of "binge-watching television at their Brooklyn home."
Speaking of the couple's unorthodox arrangement—staying married but seeing other people—de Blasio provided one of his wife’s favorite quotes to explain things—"labels put people in boxes, and those boxes are shaped like coffins."
De Blasio’s wife appears eager to get into the dating game, joking with the Times reporter who wrote the profile about putting her phone number in the piece.