Well…. I have officially made it to 12 months of healing. The journey has been a roller coaster. I never imagined I’d come so far so quickly. For anyone just joining my journey, last year I found out that my husband of 10 years was having an emotional affair (and possibly even more) with a woman half his age. I stayed through the lies and deceit. I spent years trying to change myself by taking psychiatric medications, praying, attending individual and group therapies. I did everything I could to save my marriage. But in the end, I had to respect myself and choose my own happiness. So, I asked him to move out. He made no attempts to admit to any wrongdoing or fight for the relationship. Instead, he continued to be disrespectful and act out with anger. During this time, I learned all about Betrayal Trauma and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I learned the importance of No-Contact during the healing process. I started this blog and an Instagram page in hopes to help others in similar situations gain their strength and independence.
As of today, I have met an amazing Man. He has been my best friend and partner. He has given me faith that there are good Men in this world. My ex is living with the Woman he claimed he was not having an affair with “shocker”. I wish I could say that the hurt isn’t still there. I think anyone who has been made to feel that they are unworthy or less than good enough will have a shock to their self-esteem. But this is something that I am working on. Remembering that I am a beautiful person inside and out and that I have earned every wrinkle, gray hair, and stretchmark. These are my battle scars. My children are happy and healthy and proud of their mom. At the end of the day, I’m able to look myself in the mirror and smile. I’m just a month and a half away from being able to file for divorce. I’m excited about my new life, my new love, and my newfound freedom and purpose in life.
Thanks for everyone who has been following and supporting me. I love you all!!!
I still have quite a bit of anger and bitterness built up inside of me that I need to let go of if I’m going to truly heal.
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness”. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
B and I watched a movie a week ago, it was called “Deep Water”. It was a pretty messed up movie about a married couple. His wife had multiple affairs. She would flirt with men in front of him, their friends, and their child. But he stayed with her. During this movie, we both realized that we had some built-up anger from past relationships. This is the first time I had seen him react this way, usually, it was me. He has joked before and called me a “feminist” and a “man-hater”. I asked him if that’s the way I come off. He said, “sometimes you do”. I realized; this is not the image that I wanted to project. I don’t want to be a woman scorned. I want to be a Woman healed. “Hurt, people, hurt people”. That’s not what I want to do. If I continue this path, I will be just like my ex. I saw the quote above on Facebook and I added it to my story. B told me that I should have it blown up, framed, and hung in my house, as a reminder. It’s almost been a year since the split. It’s time to finally let go and move on. I can’t let my past hold me back from my future any longer.
So, how do I do this? It must be intentional. I will need to train my brain to think positively and not negatively. I have chosen to read affirmations and bible verses daily.
Oh, February. The Month of love. And it’s a short month. So, I’m going to make this a short blog post.
This Month has taught me 3 things.
How to communicate my wants, needs, and feelings more effectively.
How to trust and allow myself to be vulnerable again.
How to go after my goals and aspirations.
Communicate. Even when it’s uncomfortable or uneasy. One of the best ways to heal, is simply getting everything out. ~Relationship Rules
Communication was never easy during my marriage. I never felt like I could safely express how I was feeling. I never felt heard and most of the times I was told it wasn’t a good time to talk or he was “done with this conversation”. I was often left feeling frustrated and nothing ever seemed resolved.
Thankfully, I’m in what I would like to call a “healthy relationship”. One in which I’m free to express my feelings. I’m able to say what I do and do not like, and I feel heard and respected. I unfortunately have brought some unhealthy habits into the relationship that I’m working on. When my feelings are hurt, I tend to shut down. I’m used to being laughed at or ignored when I cry. So if I feel emotional, I turn away or say I want to get off the phone and talk later. B- (The guy I’m dating) apologizes if he says something hurtful to me. But he also expresses his boundaries by explaining that he would rather not hang up the phone or end a conversation until we both felt heard and not angry.
Which leads me into Trust and Vulnerability.
Trust is a product of vulnerability that grows over time and requires work, attention, and full engagement. ~Brene Brown
B has been amazing. He’s never made me doubt him. He communicates with me about most things. He includes me in his decisions even though he doesn’t have to. He asks my opinion. I feel safe and cared for when I’m with him. He not only tells me but also shows me how grateful he is to have me in his life. We communicate often enough but still support each other’s individual lives and goals. I miss him when we are separated but still feel secure enough in our relationship that I can focus on myself without worrying if he’s going to stray. I finally understand what they mean by- A relationship should consist of two whole people that come together. If not, you’re expecting that other person to meet your needs. For years during my marriage, I heard this and thought that it was me that had the issue with being independent. I was wrong. I have always been confident and secure in marriages. I never asked for anything except love, honesty, and respect. They were the one’s who strayed because they did not receive enough attention or affection. And they failed to communicate this with me. I’m happy to be with someone who is confident, secure, established, and knows how to meet their own needs. Someone who knows how to express their needs and wants and allows me to do the same.
Which brings me to my last point- My goals and aspirations.
Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up… Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (TEV)
We were not made to go through life alone. We were meant to help each other, lift each other up when we struggle. That has always been my goal. Before I even knew my purpose in life, I was helping others. When I was just 20 years old, I used to take young Women into my home that had no where else to go. Women who were transitioning in life after break-ups with their significant others, until they got back on their feet. In 2 years, I took 5 Women into my home. I went on to work as an Advocate for a Domestic Violence shelter. Today, I have 40 followers on my blog and 830 followers on my Instagram page. My goal is to educate others about violence against Women. And to help Women heal and live healthy, productive lives.
It starts with me! I must heal and help myself before I can help others.
I am not the Woman that has it all together. Even after 9 Months, the scars, the memories, the trauma is still fresh in my mind. Sometimes it takes me several days to write these posts. Sometimes I have to shut the laptop and walk away. But what I’ve learned is that I have support. I have built a community that stands by me. People who are proud of me. People who hold my hand, who listen to me as I pour out my heart and soul. People who hold me as I cry and tell my story. Because yes, even 9 Months later, the pain is still there. But it will not stay there. The more I talk about it, the more I cry, the more I tell my story, the stronger I become. And the more I heal.
So here we go….
Month 9 taught me that I can trust myself. My gut instincts and intuition were spot on.
My 10 year old daughter spent Christmas break with her father. When she returned she informed me that she met his new girlfriend and her family. As she told me about it, she mentioned the girlfriend’s name. I recognized it immediately. It was the same name of the 24 year old that my husband was having an emotional affair with prior to us separating. The emotional affair that he promised to end. The same woman that he continued to secretly talk to until I checked our phone bill and discovered the truth. The same secret affair that caused me to say, enough is enough. The same woman that I text messaged and introduced myself to. I wanted her to know I existed. That I was his wife, the mother of his children, and a kind hearted person that was desperately fighting for her marriage. The same woman that he told his mother was just a friend. The woman he told his mother was there for him when he was struggling in our marriage so he needed to be there for her during the struggles in her relationship. The woman he said he would never date because she was having domestic violence issues with her boyfriend and he didn’t need that type of drama in his life.
This is why they call it betrayal. It hurts. It doesn’t hurt that he is dating someone, it hurts that he is dating her. Because everything I questioned him about, that I begged him to be honest with me about, that he swore was just in my head, were all lies. Not only did he lie to me, he lied to our Therapist, our family, our friends, and most of all, he lied to himself. It could have been anyone else and I would have been happy for him. Just not her.
While we’re at it, let’s talk about her. “The other woman”. When did we go wrong as Woman to think that it was acceptable to engage in a relationship with another woman’s husband? There’s no excuse. The second I sent her that text message, she knew he was married. Yet, she still chose to be with him even even after we separated.
I found a great guy who has so far proven to be trustworthy, genuine, and caring. We have become best friends and enjoy each other’s company. I have asked God to give me the strength to open up my heart and trust again. I have asked God to give me the strength to let go of the hurt and anger. I asked Him to give me the strength to forgive. I want to be happy.
So, when the guy I’m dating (We will call him B) invited my girls and I to spend the week at the beach with him and his children, I said yes. The weather was perfect. It was relaxing and fun. We walked the beach, watched movies, shopped, went wine tasting, took the kids to the pool, relaxed in the hot tub, dined at local restaurants, and had our own private New Years Eve firework show. We took lots of photos, to include our kiss at midnight. B and I posted our photos on Facebook to share with our friends and family. The outpour of love and support for our friendship/relationship has been amazing. “Congratulations”, “I’m so Happy For You”, “You both deserve the best”. Funny little word, “deserve”. Isn’t it. In fact, B has told me multiple times that he doesn’t “deserve” me. I think I’ve thought several times, God, what did I do to “deserve” this Man? The relationship is still new. And although I’m not yet divorced, I feel I finally got it right. I found a man who values me, my friendship, and my life. A man who says he will “walk beside me” in life, and has. He understands words mean nothing to me. His actions mean everything.
I wish I could say I’m ending this post on a good note. I wish I could say we came home from the beach and everything has been sunshine and seashells. But it hasn’t. My soon to be ex-husband threw another wrench in my happy story. He texted me the night we got home from the beach that he “Couldn’t believe we did not spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years Eve together and you are o.k. with it?”. Now, I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the phrases- Narcissist, gaslighting, no contact, or trauma bond. If you’re not, feel free to click on each word to learn more. The short version is that Therapists recommend what’s called no-contact for their clients to assist them with healing from these toxic relationships. Because the Narcissist will sometimes attempt to draw their intimate partner back into the relationship (trauma bonding) for no other reason than to control them and they do this by gaslighting (making them feel guilty, bad, or “crazy”) for walking away. What I should have done was not respond, because that’s what he wanted, a response. But instead, I fell right into his trap and responded by saying “Really… says the guy that is dating the girl half his age that ruined our marriage. You got what you wanted, I hope you’re happy with your decision. I’m happy with mine. I forgive you”. And just like that, he knows that he still has me, that I am bothered, and that I do still care.
It’s been a long journey and I still have a long way to go. 12 months of healing is not going to be enough. But it’s a start. They say the best revenge for a survivor of a toxic relationship is to become successful. Abusers are generally sad, angry, unhappy people. They want to see you fall flat on your face and fail. Especially if you’re the one who walked away from them. But I’m not doing this for him, I’m doing it for me. That scared, sad, insecure person I used to be, is growing happier and stronger everyday. And I no longer care about him and his life. I only care about my happiness and the happiness of my girls.
Hello Friends. It’s been a long time. I’m officially 8 months in from deciding to separate from my husband. It’s been quite a journey. This month I’m going to talk about my relationship status. That’s right, your girl has met someone.
That moment you change your Facebook relationship status, your whole life changes. I made the conscious decision to not change mine to Single because technically I’m still married but I also didn’t want everyone to know my business so I decided not to change it to Separated. So I have no status. I just leave it up to the imagination. Wouldn’t you know that my inbox began to flood with questions from people about whether or not I was still with my husband? I guess it was obvious when I removed all of his photos from my page. All of a sudden Men are sending 👍thumbs-ups, ❤hearts, and even the 😮wow emojis on my photos. Here I was thinking I was some dried-up 40 year old who lost her mojo. Sadly, I allowed a man to make me feel so little about myself that I actually thought that I was unattractive. According to my Facebook following, I’m sexy and hot🔥. I decided to embrace this. A friend of mine is a photographer and asked me to be an amateur model to help him market his work. I’ve been able to play dress up, have fun, and rebuild my self-esteem. For the first time in a long time, I feel beautiful and confident.
During this time, I’ve taken the opportunity to make new friends, reconnect with old friends, and go on a few dates. It’s been quite an exciting journey. I’ve talked to a lot of people who said they hate dating because there’s so much pressure and stress. I can tell you, I never felt that way. I think if you go into the dating world with no expectations and an open mind, you will have better success. Most of it was like speed dating. A message here, a message there, small talk, and then done✔. I exchanged numbers with a few but after talking with them realized we had nothing in common. I hung out and grabbed breakfast or dinner and drinks🍻 with a few but there was no chemistry. And then there was 1, an ex-co-worker. We first met 4 years ago. I was a new employee and we were both “happily married”. There was never any flirting, we barely even talked other than good morning. Not long after that he put in his notice and left to start a new job. We remained Facebook friends but truthfully, I don’t remember us ever interacting. And then I changed my relationship status. He stuck out like a sore thumb. Most Men would send me messages telling me how beautiful I was or “Hearting” my photos. But he “Wowed” all of my photos. I honestly didn’t know how to feel about it.
After about a month of this, I decided to message him on messenger. I asked him if he was just going to “wow” my photos and not actually speak to me. He was surprised that I reached out to him. He said he figured I was dating someone based on all of the attention I was getting. We messaged for the next 2 hours, just catching up. He told me how his marriage failed and they divorced at the end of 2020. We talked about work, old co-workers, and dating. The next night I gave him my phone number and we began talking on the phone. We talked for hours. He was funny, kind, and adventurous. We had a lot in common. We spent the rest of the week talking daily. Finally, we decided to hang out for the first time. He owns several motorcycles. I’ve never ridden on a motorcycle before, if anything I’ve always been against motorcycles. My Mom’s sister was killed on one when she was 17 and it was forbidden for us to ever get on one. But, seeing how I’m in my rebel stage, I said yes when he asked if I wanted to go for a ride. It was liberating and freeing. Afterward we went for margaritas and Mexican. At the end of the night, he asked if he could kiss me. I let him. I can’t say there was instant chemistry, but there was definitely an instant bond. It was the best time I’ve had since hanging out with my best friend after my first divorce. The only difference is that back then I was too stupid to realize that initial chemistry is not important and decided to hook up with his friend (my current husband that I’m separated from). This time I decided to take a chance on the “Good Guy” with potential friendship vibes.
Here it is 3 months later and I don’t regret taking that chance and going on a second date. This Man is amazing. We have become fast friends. We have real-life conversations. We get along great. We stay up all night talking, laughing, and watching movies. He’s there when I need him. He’s incredibly hard-working and handy. He’s respectful, honest, and loyal. He cares about my feelings. The chemistry is growing, but for once, it’s not the most important thing. For the first time in a long time, I feel safe and secure. We both love to travel and have planned our first trip together for the week after Christmas. It’s an exciting time in my life. After my separation, I prayed and told God that I was looking for a companion. I think my prayer has been answered.
It’s now been 7 months since I decided to separate from my husband. Last month would have been 11 years married. Surprisingly, that day came and passed with very little feelings at all. No one goes into a marriage expecting it to fail, but some marriages are not meant to last.
***Caution*** If you or someone you know is in a toxic relationship, I would advise you to step away from it long enough to find out if it’s safe enough to re-enter. If you find yourself feeling better, stronger, and healthier; I would question if it’s worth going back. I know now, that mine is not. Now that I’m on the downslope of my separation, I will share all of the things that have helped me so far in making that decision and assisted in my healing journey:
Therapy: Having a good therapist to help me navigate this process has been crucial. All of the feelings and emotions, from sadness to anger to uncertainty and happiness. At times it has been scary. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have a professional to help me make sense of all that has happened.
Support: I don’t know what I would do without all of my friends and family members that have been there for me. The shoulders I’ve leaned on, the late night phone calls when I couldn’t sleep. The people who were there to help cheer me up. I had one friend who talked to me on snapchat using those funny little filters. We laughed so hard that night until I cried tears of joy. The outpour of love that I have received on social media. People checking in on me and praying daily. My co-workers who have become my second family and constantly provide words of wisdom. I will forever be grateful.
Reading: I have read countless books. Books about divorce, separation, dating, healthy vs unhealthy relationship, parenting, red flags, boundaries, self love, intimacy, and domestic violence. Knowing where you came from, where you were, how you got there, where you are now, and how to get to where you need to be. I’m learning how to make healthier choices and changes for the future. The most beneficial books that I’ve read are:
“The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman,
“RELATIONSHIP RED FLAGS: Domestic Violence, Dating Abuse, Pathological Bonds, Toxic Partners & More Decoded (Relationship Literacy Series Book 1″, by Anna Moss,
“4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication in Love, Life, Work–Anywhere!: A How-To Guide for Practicing the Empathic Listening, Speaking, and Dialogue Skills to Achieve Relationship Success”, by Bento C. Leall III,
“Mindful Relationships” (4 book series) by Amy White
The “Boundaries” books by Henry Cloud
Prayer: I’m learning to ask God for help and wait for him to answer. I recommend the Holy Bible App. It’s available on your cell phone. My top 5 daily reading plans (with bible verses and daily devotions)include:
1. Self Worth,
2. Proverbs 31,
Podcasts: My top 3 podcasts that have helped me with this healing process have been:
1. “The Narcissists’ Code by Lee Hammock,
2. “The Naked Marriage” with Dave and Ashley Willis, and
3. “Betrayal Trauma Recovery” by Anne Blythe.
Music: The top 10 songs that have helped me get through this break up include: 1. “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo,
2. “We’re Good” by Dua Lipa,
3. “Happier than Ever” by Billie Eilish,
4. “Part of Me” Katy Perry, 5. “Praying” by Kesha,
6. “Bird Set Free” by Sia,
7. “I Don’t Think About You” by Kelly Clarkson,
8. “Heartbreak Anthem” by Galantis,
9. “Good as Hell” by Lizzo, and
10. “IDGAF” by Dua Lipa.
Instagram: I started an Instagram page in which I talk about toxic relationships and betrayal trauma. 3 benefits of posting on Instagram:
I have connected with multiple Therapists, Counselors, victims, and survivors.
I’ve been able to post others stories anonymously, which helps spread awareness in reference to toxic relationships while protecting the victims and perpetrators identities.
I’m blessed to report that I have 310 followers and my page continues to grow daily.
It’s a confidence booster and helps me learn to feel beautiful in my own skin.
I’ve turned it into a family affair. I bring my teenage daughters and they have the opportunity to help me dress and give ideas of how to pose.
It’s been a way to express myself through art and be a representation of the Artists work.
Lastly, this Blog. No one else may read it. But at least I will have it to look back on and see the progress and just how far I came. You see, the day I decided to leave my unhealthy marriage, was one of the worst days of my life. I left my house after an argument with my husband and headed to work, knowing that there was no way I would be able to function. But I had no where else to go. My home was no longer a safe place to be. I pulled over on the side of the road as I fought through a panic attack and contemplated calling an ambulance to take me to the Emergency Room. Instead I called my supervisor because I didn’t want to just not show up to work. She kindly asked me where I was and drove to me. She listened to me and helped calm me that day. I know I’ve never been the type to contemplate suicide but I had definitely reached the point of not wanting to live another day in my current life. It was him or me, and I chose me. Today I’m healthy and happy again and I’ve had nothing but blessings come my way.
Just like always, my ex has once again outdone himself with the special occasions. He was always great at remembering special dates, picking the right card, treats, etc. He really knew how to make me feel special on a special day. If only he put that much effort into ordinary days. Here it is exactly 2.5 months from the last time that he reached out to me (If you're just tuning in, look back at July 29th's blog post). July 13th was our 14th Anniversary of when we first met. He surprised me that day with a text message telling me how much he missed his family and still loved us, after our separation. He said he still wanted to be friends. However, he never followed through with an explanation or an action plan of making that happen. Instead he refused to go to my oldest daughters (who he has raised for the last 14 years) 16th Birthday party, rarely takes advantage of his visitation with our girls, and rarely communicates or co-parents with me. It's very confusing, hurtful, and just doesn't make any sense. But, why would I expect anything different. This is what he did during our 14 year relationship and marriage. His actions never backed up his words.
The other day I met him at my job to exchange custody of our youngest child. I got out of the car and began to walk with her towards his vehicle. He got out of his car and walked towards me. He took the items out of my hand and hugged me. I was surprised. I didn’t want to be rude, so I hugged him back. He then proceeded to pull me closer and hold me tighter. I tried to pull away but he held me tighter. I don’t know how else to explain it but he hugged me like I had just told him I was dying and it would be the last time he would ever see me. I asked him why he was hugging me? I don’t remember exactly what he said but I do remember him asking me if I was o.k.? I said I was. I explained to him that it was weird that he was hugging me. He finally pulled away and continued to ask me how work was going? I told him fine. He continued with small talk, something he never did. He was never really one to ask me how I was feeling or doing.
I hugged and kissed our daughter, told her goodbye, got into my car and drove into the gated area of my workplace. I was in shock. What the hell was that? What just happened?
Later on that night I received a text from him. Another big surprise. It said that the reason he hugged me was because he really missed me and the kids. He explained that a few months separated from each other was not going to erase the 14 years that we spent together. He said he still loved me and missed our friendship. What? Who was this guy? I don’t mean to sound heartless, but what friendship? We had spent the last few years fighting about everything. We couldn’t have sex, watch a movie/show, go out to eat, or go on a family trip without having a heated argument. Not to mention it had gotten to the point that I basically had to beg him to spend time with me or to have a conversation with me without a Therapist mediating. We started the Therapy after I became suspicious he was seeing someone else and found out that he was having an emotional affair/friendship with another Woman. Just like now, he was given the opportunity to have a family and friendship with his wife and kids but didn’t make the effort to do so. Not to mention he lied about not ending that friendship. That’s why I made the decision to separate.
I am no longer a fool and know better than to give my time and energy to someone who has proven over and over again that they are unwilling to respect me. Someone who continues to take advantage of what they can get from the relationship while putting in little to no effort in return. So excuse me for not buying his bullshit or giving him the benefit of the doubt this time. But, I kindly asked him to tell me what is was that he missed about our friendship that he was wanting again. He said he wanted us to still get together as a family and do family activities. Ummmm… what? We’re not a family, anymore. Oh my God!! My head hurts. Here he goes again playing mind games when I was doing so well. Here he is trying to pull me back into the toxic cycle. This time I responded with- “You’re not being very forthcoming with your expectations. Therefore, I’m going to continue with moving on with my life. However, I am willing to go back to the Marriage Therapist for the purposes of navigating Co-Parenting, because it sounds like that is what you are asking for. Just let me know if that works for you?” He replied with a thumbs up and the words- OK. I already know he has no plans to schedule that appointment.
I still continue to give my ex every opportunity to prove that what he says is what he means. However, he continues to fill my head with these wonderful words and mixed messages of wanting to be a family again. He has yet to make any effort to follow through with what he says and then goes months without communicating again. Why do I continue to respond or even entertain his words you may ask? Because, at the end of the day I want to be able to say that I gave him every opportunity to change, before filling for divorce. But, as I explained to him, I have no plans to put my life on hold and wait for him to decide if he wants to be a part of a family or just have a family on standby when it’s convenient for him. I want to be apart of something real. I’m moving on. My girls and I deserve to have consistency.
It’s been 13 years since my last tattoo. I’ve always been the type of person to put a lot of thought and research into what I put on my body. I mean, it’s permanent. It can’t just be anything and it has to be unique. So, why today? The truth is, I didn’t choose today. It chose me. I messaged the tattoo artist and this was the first available day they had. I don’t believe in superstitions, I believe in God. What did I get? I got a tattoo of a butterfly. Why? Some say that a butterfly represents transformation and rebirth. That is what I’m doing isn’t, it? Rebuilding myself. Transforming into a new, improved, better version of myself.
During my last therapy session, we discussed how well I’m doing. I’m happy, I’m losing weight, working out, blogging, inspiring other women, developing new and healthy relationships, and advancing in my career. What else could a girl ask for? On the outside, it looks like I’m confident and secure. For the most part, I am, but honestly, most of the confidence and security I feel comes from other people. I could do my best to fill my life with only people that speak life into me and encourage me, but that’s only half the battle. The inner battle of believing in myself is what should count the most.
So, how does one transition intoa butterfly?
Encourage yourself. Tell yourself you’re doing a great job. You got this! You’re a Rock Star.
See your true beauty. Look at yourself in the mirror, take more pictures. Dress up, fix your hair, put on make-up, paint your nails. Do it all, for yourself.
Speak words of affirmations to yourself. Memorize bible verses. Remember how you talk to yourself, is how you will allow someone else talk to you.
Lastly, trust and believe in yourself. Be confident in the decisions that you make.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
What have I learned since my last post? During my last therapy session, my Therapist and I discussed why it is I keep finding myself in unhealthy and unfulfilling relationships. She shared with me a poem called “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk” by Portia Nelson”.
None of us is perfect. Some of us are a product of our environment. We may have learned things from our parents while we were growing up or may have experienced a traumatic event that was beyond our control. We may not even know that what we have learned or what was done to us was wrong or unhealthy. But, once we learn that there is a better, healthier way of doing things, it is up to us to make the change. It may not be easy but it can be done. The Author of the poem talks about someone walking down the street and repeatedly falling into a hole in the sidewalk. The person has been doing it so long unconsciously that it has become a habit. They soon realize that what they are doing is unhealthy and therefore they can no longer claim ignorance. With some hard work and effort they eventually learn to walk around the hole and finally they walk down a different street entirely. Ultimately mastering this new skill and ridding their self from this unhealthy habit all together. We all have the power to change our own destiny.
Time to rebuild my life
You could say I’m me rebuilding my life. With the help of my Therapist I have been able to learn how to build happy, healthy relationships with happy, healthy people. After the separation from my husband, I realized I didn’t really have any friends or a support system. My Therapist and I discussed how I needed to start dating. No, I don’t mean dating in the terms of finding a new boyfriend/Man. But applying my newfound skills that I’m learning to building meaningful non- intimate relationships. Meeting new people, male or female and seeing if they are reliable, trustworthy people that I can lean on for support and enjoy spending time with.
Making new friends
How does one make new friends?
First thing I did was start attending church again. Church small groups are a great way to get to know people. Some have groups for singles, single parents, divorcees etc. However, due to my crazy schedule, it’s hard for me to attend on a regular basis. But I’m working on this. Second, I invited all my co-workers that work with me to my house for a get together. Would you believe that not one of the 12 people I invited showed up? It’s o.k. I’ll just try this again at a later time. I was able to get together with female co-worker for drinks and appetizers and I’ve made plans to get a pedicure with another female co-worker on Tuesday. Third, I tried the Facebook dating App. Here I’ve been able to meet Men who aren’t just there for relationships but also for chatting, friendships, or just getting together to do fun indoor and outdoor activities.
I like to call it a “Social Experiment”. I would have never thought there were so many singles with in 40 miles of me. At this point I’m happy to say that I have made 3 solid connections. The first(we’ll call him Andrew) works in a similar line of work as I do and we cross paths from time to time. He also has two little girls. We went out for dinner one night and had an amazing time, talking for hours. We plan to meet for breakfast this morning. I’m excited. The second (we’ll call Brad) is new in town. I’m helping him with getting to know the area (i.e. real estate, restaurants, museums, etc.). We’ve made plans with some other people to go play music bingo and hiking at a park. The third (we will call Joe) lives near the beach. We both love dogs and share lots of photos and videos of our fur babies. We also share photos of our recent home projects. He’s doing multiple home renovation projects and shares his videos with me. We haven’t made any plans to meet up but I am enjoying messaging him on Facebook messenger getting to know him.I’ve heard that Meetups is another great way to meet like minded people who enjoy indoor and outdoor activities but I haven’t explored this option yet.
I have so much more to learn. I’m ready to try new things and meet new people. I’m ready to enjoy my life again!! The sky’s the limit.
My 2 daughters and my 16-year old’s best friend took a short girl’s trip to the beach a week ago. Of course, this trip was not without any issues. Story of my life. We stopped for breakfast on the way. The lady at the drive-thru handed me our drinks and I gracefully dropped the very large strawberry lemonade right down the front of me, and ice was puddled in the floorboard beneath the foot peddle of the car. And there was a line of cars behind me. The lady kindly gave me a rag to start soaking up the mess and fixed me another drink. I carefully drove my car to the nearest parking space. My girls looked at me nervously and wide eyed, just waiting for me to lose it and have a meltdown. This was the first time that I had been on a trip without another adult, without my husband to help me with the kids. The beach was always our thing, that we did as a family each year. I was too emotionally exhausted to get angry or cry. I simply wiped up the mess and drove towards the beach. I was not going to let this ruin our trip.
We finally reached the beach and drove around for another 30 minutes looking for a parking space. My options were to pay $20 to park across the street in the parking deck and walk with the heavy cooler, pay $10 for 2.5 hours of maximum parking time, pack everything and everything up and move again, or pay $40 for all day parking right off the beach. Now I remember what was so great about the extra help or a man to do the heavy lifting. So, I paid the $40. That hurt because I’m a thrifty spender but again, at this point, I just didn’t care.
The waves were huge because a hurricane had hit 3 days before. The shells were monstrous, plentiful, and fully intact. I’ve never seen anything like it. After about an hour of picking shells, I sat down in my chair to relax and listen to music on my phone. That’s when I say it,” the text” …From My husband. It simply stated in so many words that he missed us, all of us. That he knew we had a troubled marriage, but he still loved me and no matter what we were always going to be his family and one day he hoped we could be friends. I was stunned. It had been almost 2.5 months of either silent treatment, no contact, or just angry/resentful behavior from him; and now this. Why now? Was it because we were at the beach? Did it seem like we were moving on without him? The thoughts raced through my head. I read it at least 5 more times before responding. I texted him and reminded him that this was a separation. A time for us to work on ourselves as individuals and try to become two healthy, whole, healed people. I explained to him that more than anything I wished we could be a family but we both had to be willing to go to therapy and work. I told him if he was ready and willing to do that, I would go. But there was no response from him.
The beach trip was exactly what we needed. A fun, girls’ trip. Some one on one “family” time. When we got back, we began preparing for my daughters sweet 16 party which was only 3 days away. Friday evening, we decorated the venue. I thought about what my husband had texted me. So, I made the effort to show him that we were still open to being a family. I texted him to remind him of the time of the event and the address to the venue. But he texted me back that he would not be attending. He also sent our 16-year-old a message apologizing to her and telling her that he was not going to be attending. He promised to make it up to her. She came to me crying and showed me the text. You see, my husband came into our lives when my son was 5 years old, and my daughter was 2. He had raised my children for the past 14 years. Their biological father was in the military and although he was involved in their lives, he lived out of the country or on the other side of the country and absent. I felt for her. He had broken her heart. How do you explain to a 16-year-old that the man who had raised her and she looked up to as a Father for her entire life was not going to show up for her on such a special day? I realized that the text message he sent me about us always being his “family” was just another empty promise. He was still only thinking about himself and his feelings.
A few days later, I had a Therapy appointment. I was able to talk to my Therapist about all that had happened. I asked her opinion about what that text message from my husband may have meant. She explained to me that some people when they feel that their significant other is moving on, will try to “regain some control” by reaching back out to them. This was confusing to me. Why would someone do that? What are they trying to accomplish with this? I asked her if she thought he meant any of it? She said that sometimes they do it because they mean it and sometimes, they do it to feed their own ego. Like saying, “She still loves me”. I asked her what I was to do with this information? Do I still hope for change? She simply said, “actions speak louder than words”. “What have his actions showed you”? That’s when I realized. Our entire marriage was full of either empty promises with no follow through or blatant refusal to do anything he didn’t want to do. There was very little action or wanting to make any sacrifices in our marriage. It was that moment that I realized and decided, I was done waiting for him to change. I had waisted too many years on hoping and waiting for him.