Chrystie Crownover Watched Bruce Jenner Interview With Family, Feels His Pain

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Chrystie Crownover is Bruce Jenner's first ex-wife. She watched the Keeping Up With the Kardashians patriarch's interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday evening--along with other members of the Jenner and Kardashian families.

Bruce Jenner and Chrystie Crownover were married from 1972 to 1981, and are the parents of Burt and Cassandra Jenner. He divulged his deep, dark secret to her many years ago, while the two were still married.

“I can’t remember the exact words because it was such a shock to me, but he opened up his heart and confessed, and he had to share this deep, dark secret,” she explained of Bruce Jenner during the early years of their marriage. “He told me he wanted to be a woman, and understandably, I didn’t know what to say.”

“It’s so hard to wrap your head around it, particularly because he was such a manly man,” she continued. “He never indicated anything feminine in his demeanor.”

Despite the pain she saw in Bruce Jenner's eyes the night his interview with Diane Sawyer aired on 20/20, she believes it was a very positive thing.

"Pain... pain." "He was tearful at times and it broke my heart," she said. "It broke my heart for him... I think it was cathartic to watch it together. It was pretty intense."

“I’m sure there are plenty of people that don’t have the courage to come out at all, ever, and they live private, dark, tortured lives, and that’s tragic,” Chrystie Crownover added. “That’s just tragic and the fact that he did share it with me that first year, I feel like that was actually a gift he gave to me to trust me with something so intimate.”

Hopefully the support of two of Bruce Jenner's ex-wives--Chrystie Crownover and Linda Thompson--will help confirm he has made the right decision in going forward with his painful ordeal. Step-daughter Kourtney Kardashian believes his interview will change lives.

Now if only Kris Jenner would get on board. Kathie Lee Gifford said Monday on the Today Show that she believes Kris is still 'new' to the idea of Bruce wanting to be a woman, and that she doesn't not support him. She's simply still processing the entire notion.

Wouldn't it be wonderful for Bruce Jenner to have the support of all three of his ex-wives? Chrystie Crownover, Linda Thompson, and Kris Jenner could teach the world a lot about love if they all hopped on board of his journey.

Kimberly Ripley

Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and ‘Nana’ to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.