There are two sides to every story... and my side has been fairly quiet in comparison to the other.
I left the home I shared with my husband in early November. I didn't take everything I had... I left several of my belongings and my dogs in hopes that some time apart would clear my head and help me solidify my decisions to make the separation permanent or to want to try harder to save my marriage.
Only a handful of you know that I spent much of the last six years of my life doing just that... trying to save my marriage. I realized early on that there were issues that needed to be addressed and worked on together as a team... as a partnership... yet, those issues were never met with a sincere desire to fix anything.
In the past 3 years, I mentioned "divorce" to my husband on 3 different occasions... all 3 times were about a year's time in between. Each time, I had talked myself down from the cliff and just resided to try harder.
Last year, in August, I was starting to feel that urge to run again... but instead of lashing out or trying to run, I pushed myself harder into my marriage. I tried to spice things up in and out of the bedroom. I asked my husband constantly what I could do better. I pleaded to see a sex therapist and do some marriage counseling... all my efforts were thwarted and our issues were downplayed into something smaller than they really were.
I think around November or December of last year was when I just quit fighting... I didn't realize it at the time, I just quietly allowed myself to melt away into the background of our mundane life together.
I had resorted to Craigslist to entertain the idea of having an affair. I made friends with a few random men for flirtatious banter and attention via text messages. - But if it got to the point where there was an expectation of sex, I would shut that down immediately by blocking phone numbers and deleting email accounts. I didn't want to be "that girl" who cheated on her husband. I just wanted the attention and conversation I wasn't getting at home.
Believe me, I realize how awful this sounds... but in all fairness, and for the sake of being transparent, I wanted to share my shortcomings and failures as a wife as well. I have shared all this information with my husband already, so he's not finding anything new out via my online blog.
I worked like crazy, then I'd come home, cook dinner, love on my kiddos and dogs and then spend the rest of the evening in a separate room of the house from my husband.
This had become our normal day to day routine. Some days he'd even leave right when I'd walk in the door or vice versa.
I'd leave for out of town work for several days -- we would barely speak on the phone during my time away. I'd come home and most times he wouldn't even get off the couch to come greet me after my return.
My husband had become my roommate and live-in babysitter... except he wouldn't cook or plan dinners... that was always my responsibility. In the 6 years we were married, I can probably count on both hands how many times he actually cooked dinner. Even on the days where I worked 15+ hours... I'd come home exhausted and the first words out of his mouth would be "What do YOU want to do for dinner?" This became a very big point of contention in our relationship.
- But alas, I digress...
We had become roommates.
He made no effort to date me or spend time with me. The only time he'd ask his parents to watch Xander was when I was out of town so he could go do things. - Which is funny now, because in the last 2 months, Xander has spent more time with my in-laws than he has his ENTIRE life.
- But, again, I digress...
This August, I got tired of waiting around for my husband to want to hang out with me, so I started doing things that I liked doing. I started going to get massages. I started going to the gym and working out. I started getting regular manis and pedis. I figured if he didn't want to spend time with me, I'd fill my time with things I wanted to do and spend my limited free time with friends that did want to spend time with me.
I think the real wake up call for me came when a long-time friend visited in September. This friend has known me for over 20 years. - After a day or two of being at my house he said, "Your husband doesn't hang out with you." It was almost more of a question than a statement. -- And my immediate rebuttal was, "Yeah, I know, but it works for us."
Let that sink in a minute...
When did I become THAT girl?
I've always been one to be super affectionate and cuddly. I've always been one who needed lots of attention and reciprocated that back to my partners. I've always been one to talk and share my deepest thoughts, feelings, dreams and aspirations with the person I chose to share my life with.
- But I haven't been that girl with my husband. - Like, not at all. - Why not?
That changed everything for me.
Over the next month, I mentioned that to my husband. I told him on several occasions that I felt like we never spent any time together, that he didn't like to do anything I liked to do, that he didn't talk to me like he talked to other people. I suggested things to do with my husband. Activities we could do together. Asked if he needed time to go out with his friends. - And even the day before I left to go out of town for a week for my nephew's graduation from basic training, I mentioned again the need to go to marriage counseling and my request was met with a simple "What for?"
So I left town for a week... and found the only reason I wanted to come home was to see my kids and my dogs. I didn't miss my husband at all.
The very next day was when all of this officially started. - 2 weeks later, I moved out. - And now we're here.
I think we're both at the point now where we're done.
There's no hope for us getting back together.
Too many proverbial plates have been shattered.
Too many "I'm sorry, I should have / could have handled that better"s have been tossed about.
It is done.
He's spending time with his friends again. He's writing music again. He's working out everyday again. He's doing all the things I encouraged him to do while we were married... it only took me leaving and tearing my family apart to make him a better man for the next girl who comes along. - So to that future next girl: "You're welcome."
I tried. God knows I tried. I tried until I was completely depleted, desolate and numb.
When I was done, he finally decided he was ready to try. - Too little too late, I suppose.
When my actions weren't what he wanted or expected in response to his recent "changes" he was making "for me" - he'd act erratically by hacking into my personal email accounts, reading messages and conjuring up "proof" of what he wanted or needed to hear from those messages and then shared it with MY friends to make me out to be the villain that he needed me to be. I guess it's easier to believe I left him for some reason other than his shortcomings as a husband. He unleashed unkind and hurtful words. He did blatantly disrespectful things like inviting an ex-girlfriend who had been a point of contention early on in our relationship to my son's birthday party.
All these things he did and then just nonchalantly apologized for later.
So I call "Bullshit"...
You can throw a plate against the wall and watch it shatter. You can then apologize to the plate but that doesn't fix it. It's still shattered.
That's how I currently feel in regards to my marriage.
I left for me. I left for my happiness. I left for my kids' happiness.
I left because my children deserve to see what real love looks like - what a true partnership is supposed to look like - for them to not just accept that a marriage of convenience is normal.
I left for all the right reasons. I didn't leave for or because of anyone else.
- Ironically, I left to achieve happiness, but I haven't felt this much sadness in a very long time.
Even though it was ultimately my choice to leave, it doesn't mean that I don't hurt.
It doesn't mean that I don't spend every night crying myself to sleep.
It doesn't mean that I don't mourn the loss of the years I spent in this relationship.
It doesn't mean that I don't pray every night for direction, answers, change, and peace.
It doesn't mean I'm exempt from experiencing the five stages of the grieving process:
And finally, 5) Acceptance...
My marriage is over.
I will be stronger on the other side of this.
My kids will respect me more for fighting for my happiness.
I wasn't ever just given anything, I've worked extremely hard for everything I've had in my life.
I will not settle for a love that's less than I deserve and be complacent just because it's the easier road.
I will find my equal. I will find my match. I will find my steadfast partner. I will find my happy place.
It's just going to take some time for everything to fall into it's place.
- But until then... I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.
Much Peace, Love and Light, My Friends.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
So I'm sure some of you may have noticed that I've been cryptic and oh-so emo with my social media posts lately. I've been flying under the radar a lot these days.
I've told a handful of friends and family that I felt needed to know what was happening right now... As for the rest of you, I've deflected the questions and ignored numerous calls and texts.
Alan and I have agreed to separate for the time being.
I have officially moved out of our home and am temporarily shacking up with my best friend, Karla, until I can figure out how I want to proceed.
This wasn't an easy decision... for any of us.
Even though it was ultimately my decision to leave, that doesn't mean it's been all fun, puppy kisses and unicorn farts. It's been a hard, hard thing to stomach.
The "why" of it is complicated to say the very least... and you'd probably only understand my reasoning if you were extremely close to me, or spent a substantial amount of time at our house with us. I've never been one to openly share private details of my relationship struggles with people I weren't extremely close to.
- That being said, I'm not going to air out all of our issues.
But here's what I feel you all do need to know:
- My kids are both doing well and adjusting.
- Alan and I are very dedicated to our kids and have been able to remain very amicable, patient and understanding of one another.
- We had issues from the beginning. I spent much of the last 5 years trying to be very communicative about my feelings on those issues and tried to offer up many viable solutions. I have a lot of peace right now knowing that no one (Alan included) can say that I didn't try.
- I'm not ready to talk about it. I'm still figuring this whole thing out right now. There are so many bits and pieces and I'm just trying to find that one crucial piece that will help the whole picture come back into focus.
- I appreciate every call, email, text and prayer from those that have reached out to me privately. Please continue to pray for me and my family as we search for the right answers. Thank you.
Friday, August 12, 2016
This past year has been a crazy one. I don't think I realized just how crazy things were until after everything settled down 2 weeks ago.
My mom flew in right as Summer was coming to a close to spend time with my nephew before he shipped out to basic training.
That last week of July was already going to be complete insanity without my mom being here.
I was booked for a ton of work with the Beachbody convention.
We were trying to get my nephew's room cleaned & packed up.
Mom also decided we needed to squeeze in a move of all his stuff that was already in a storage unit to a smaller, climate-controlled unit that weekend.
Emily was attending Summer camp during the day and was dealing with a pretty awful cold, so by the time she got home every evening, she was completely wiped out.
We still needed to go shopping for school supplies and new khaki bottoms because she literally out grew EVERY SINGLE THING we bought her last year. But we only had time to go at 8pm on the Sunday before school started - which, btw, she started back on August 1st. No half day... Full regular week of school.
Mom wanted to cook a whole bunch. I was thankful for that, but holy moly! - Running all over town to different markets and grocery stores whilst toting a very active toddler who is well into his "Terrible Twos" was no easy feat!
But wait, there's more!
- Throw in some excessive nagging, incessant talking and worrying over my nephew's life... Well, that was just the icing on the proverbial cake. But at least none of the negativity was aimed at me this time around.
Overall, her visit wasn't as bad as I had feared it to be. She was pleasant for the most part. I think my nephew took the brunt of her grumpiness this time around.
She left on the 1st. David swore in and left on the 2nd.
... And I literally haven't done much of anything since.
Aside from the work I already had booked over the past 2 weeks, I didn't add much of anything else to my calendar.
I haven't cooked dinner for 2 freaking weeks. - WHAT?!?! - I know, right?!
I literally have been in a crazy unproductive state of decompression!
I only confess this all to you guys because I finally feel ready to get my life together again. Lol
I have this whole weekend off so I'm hitting the grocery store and will start back on my meal prep and planning.
I've set myself up to start another Advocare 10 day cleanse on Monday. (Let me know if anyone wants to do it with me!)
I'm ready to buckle down and get back in the gym. I've always been intimidated by gyms, so I'm enlisting some help from one of my fitness friends to come show me some exercises that will help me get myself to a less fat and flabby state. Ha!
I've realized with this past year, I took on entirely too much.
- Between taking care of extra humans on top of extra animals, our regular 5 fur babies plus my 2 children and my husband, I spent very little time taking care of myself.
My life has been so quiet these past 2 weeks.
I really didn't know what to do with myself, so I just hung out at home in a semi-vegetative state if I wasn't working.
I did manage to finally use my gift certificates I got last CHRISTMAS for a massage and a pedicure - not on the same day! - so I'm really thankful for that!
This extended down time has been really good for me. But I'm ready to hit the ground running again.
What I've learned from all this:
Self love is so important. Taking care of yourself is a means of ensuring that you are able to take care of others who need you.
I needed to be reminded of that.
I'm also pretty sure there are several of my friends out there that needed reminding too.
It's okay to be still...
It's okay to do absolutely nothing...
It's okay to just be... You.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Confession: I struggle with self love EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I'm 37. Most times, I'm the oldest of the girls I work with.
All of my colleagues are trendy, beautiful, vibrant and young looking -- and seem to have a matching girl squad of besties who always make time to hang and have fun.
I have too many gray hairs. I now have to color my hair every 8 weeks.
I am not tee-tiny - I have never been small or uber-skinny. But, I'm the heaviest I've ever been right now. I hate getting dressed. I loathe looking at myself in a full length mirror.
My arms are flabby and make me very self conscious because they jiggle when I have to tease clients hair.
I have always had large boobs and have never been able to go braless. The majority of my wardrobe consists of flowy black tops.
I'm have age spots, droopy eyelids and forehead wrinkles and more chins than a Chinese phone book now.
I share all of this because I know many beautiful women struggle with the same self-love issues.
I was venting to my husband the other day about my frustrations and he said to me, "I wish you could see yourself the way I see you."
Just for one day, I wish I were able to see myself through everyone else's eyes. I bet if all of us women could see just how our peers see us, we'd all have a good laugh over how much time we spent worrying about our appearances.
I decided this weekend to sign up for a gym membership. I'm tired of not liking what I see in the mirror.
I want to get healthy... Not for anyone else... Just for myself.
I want to look better. I want to feel better. I don't want to be skinny... I just want to be healthy and fit. I want to be strong and have some muscles.
I want to be a good example to my kids. I want to like myself and be proud of the changes that will happen to my body over the next few weeks, months, and years. Changes that I earned.
I'm finally ready. Enough is enough.
Tomorrow marks the start of a new journey.
Cheer me on and keep me accountable along the way, Friends!
Current Weight: 205lbs
Current Size: 14
Monday, May 16, 2016
Some days are easier than others.
I'm a mom. I run a household full-time - I clean, I cook, I handle the family budget and finances, I go to the grocery, I make sure the pets have food, water and keep up with when they need to go to the vet. I juggle co-parenting of one of my children with her father. I juggle several schedules. I try to accomodate sleepovers. I volunteer to chaperone field trips.
I have voluntarily taken on the responsibility of caring for my 19 year old nephew who has lived with us for a year now. In turn, this has opened my eyes to how everyone in my family has fallen short in regard to his life.
I have 2 young children -- who have had pretty normal and stable lives. I wasn't at all prepared to deal with all the issues that come with being a stand-in parent for a child who has had a harder life - emotionally and mentally - than most adults I know - at the mere age of 18.
In taking him into our home, it's added to the stress I imagine most parents feel - in the sense that they are influencing and shaping this human into the person they are going to be for the rest of their life. You hope and pray every single day that you're not messing them up any further. You try to instill values and personality traits that will help them succeed in life. You hope that your help will help them to forge a new path that's completely different from the one he's lived for the past 18 years.
With him has come the job of having to act as liaison between him and my mother. As strained as my relationship with my mother has been, having to turn to her for advice when dealing with my nephew hasn't been a cake walk to say the least. It's been bittersweet - especially if she feels my parenting style is lacking and isn't "right" per her standards.
The word "struggle" doesn't even begin to describe the daily internal fight I have with myself.
I run a business that I started 9 years ago - completely on my own. I maintain professional relationships. I try to encourage and positively impact every client of mine. I try to mentor and help every colleague or coworker to succeed. I tell everyone to not give up and to never stop chasing their dreams.
I try to maintain and invest in the personal relationships I have. I pray for my family and friends everyday. I help plan parties, run errands, move furniture, send care packages and randomly call or text message to let people know I'm here and thinking of them as often as I can.
I say all this not to toot my own horn.
More often than not, I fall short.
I don't handle situations as best as I can.
My feelings get hurt.
I get overwhelmed.
I spread myself too thin and then snap when the load gets too heavy.
I have days where I feel it's me against the world - where I've tried my hardest to make everyone else happy - and in turn have made myself so, so sad.
I struggle everyday to find balance.
The world has morphed into this ridiculously busy place where no one has time to spare.
I miss the days when I had so many friends that wanted to spend time with each other that we'd have dinner and movie nights almost every other weekend and would always have a house FULL of people who came over just to eat and laugh together.
I miss the days when I tried to do something to make the people closest to me smile -- just because I wanted to hear them laugh.
I miss the days when I didn't beat myself up so much for not being perfect at everything I do or tried to do.
Today wasn't the easiest of days. I failed to handle my trials with poise and grace. I feel incredibly sad and overwhelmed.
But I find peace in knowing that tomorrow is a new day and I get to start all over with a prayer and a happy song (probably one by Prince) in my heart.
Keep on keepin' on, Friends, because all we can do is keep on breathing. 💜