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Well there is no hiding it now.

Imagine my surprise while Twitter alerted me that DivorcedMoms.com had tweeted a link to me. Of course I click on it, and too my surprise and almost embarrassment – there is my story. There is my story, and there is my name. There was no hiding from this now, it was out there.

I had in fact sent them this personal writing as a pitch idea for those going through divorce. To share how I felt in those first few months, the emotions that came and went – so that anyone else in my shoes could feel as if they were no longer alone.

But there it was, in black and white. My fears, my life, my inner most personal details were screaming at me from their site. While feeling proud, and in shock at the same time – I figure that if they posted it that quickly and without any communication, it must be worth reading. Click the link below to read what I never thought anyone would, and what the inner workings of infidelity and divorce feel like.

http://www.divorcedmoms.com/articles/he-left-two-weeks-ago-this-is-what-hatred-looks-like

This is how hatred feels

http://www.divorcedmoms.com/articles/he-left-two-weeks-ago-this-is-what-hatred-looks-like

From highlight reel to extended scenes…you deserve better.

I’ve always settled for “okay” love, “momentary” love, material love and graciousness, you know the kind, that when you buy someone something they really want – you then become the best thing that has ever happened to them, that isn’t real love.

We are raised with such convoluted ideals of what is expected, normal and acceptable for society to accept us. However, we relent, we condone, we allow others to interject their opinions and what they feel our relationship should produce or protect. Truth is – it is not their relationship. I’ve heard wait until your with someone for 15 years – that is a real relationship, real dedication, and real love. Bullshit. Real love, real dedication – has no essence of time. Period.

Being a relationship addict or addicted to love and the belief that one day if I put up with enough this relationship is sure to blossom into a lifetime commitment and I can finally relax into what normal people have – is a ridiculous ideal. I’ve literally laid down and allowed men to walk all over me my entire life, I allowed my father to treat me as if I was worthless and that rolled into relationship after relationship after relationship. You want to know why that is? The old adage you might as well stick it out – because the next person has just as much issues as the one you are with. LIES, LIES, LIES people, listen here that is just completely false and inaccurate. Everyone has their flaws like leaving their clothes beside the laundry basket, forgetting to take the garbage out, not always helping with the kids, but let me tell you…serious issues…there are men without them. You can do better!

something different

They say if you want a different outcome, do things differently. In each relationship I took from the previous failure and then tried to rectify that in the new one. If the guy before was unfaithful, I made myself more sexual, more available, more pleasing. If they guy before was unhappy or felt un-cared for, I learned to cook, to provide, to take care of. If the guy before was deceitful and untrustworthy I tried to open up more- communicate more, to allow and invite an openness in the relationship. If the guy was emotionally, mentally or physically abusive, I would modify my looks, my behaviors, I would give up my life, my fun, my wants and needs and dedicate myself completely to helping and fixing them…DO YOU SEE THE PROBLEM HERE?? The problems and changes to be made were not mine to make, it was simply the wrong relationship. I didn’t trust myself, I didn’t listen to my brain or follow my gut…that part was my only fault.

It is important for women to realize this: It is not your job to take on the success or failure of a relationship in its entirety. If the marriage/relationship is failing and you are the only one fighting…STOP. If the first time you meet a guy he has texts from women on his phone saying they are waiting naked in bed for him, honey… walk away! If a guy slaps you then tells you he loves you, walk away, (well I would slap him back and then walk away) but you know what I mean! If you find yourself in a dentist chair having a tooth extracted solely to provide your addict boyfriend with Vicodin – dear lord child, walk away! Cheaters, cheat… Liars, lie… Abusers dominate and destroy and Addicts, simply transfer their addictions. You do not need to stay in any of these situations if you do not want to. It is your choice – not God’s choice, or the Bibles choice, it is not what is best for your children, or what is best for you, or for the person you are desperately trying to fix. You will lose yourself, you will lose this battle and you deserve better.

higlightreel

Here is the thing, yes we tend to fall into relationship ruts, and often times can repeat the past and pick out of a pond packed with emotionally and mentally damaged fish that are most likely floating sideways if not upside down already! BUT, you have this amazing ability to change that. You are more wise that you give yourself credit for. And, my favorite part is this: Not every man will abuse you, not every man will cheat on you- repeatedly, not every man will be systematically deceitful, hurtful and unavailable. In my lifetime, I have loved entirely and completely three men – an abusive alcoholic, an unfaithful deceitful younger man, and an honest to goodness good man. They exist…I didn’t settle, I didn’t have to allow him to hurt me to be loved, or chase him for affection, or fight to keep him every night. He chose to stay, he chose to be kind, considerate, to listen, to communicate and to love me – even when I don’t deserve it.

You’ve heard the saying do not compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel, and it is true. Trust me, I lived a highlight reel life, I boasted and hung tightly to every UP, because I was so tormented and heartbroken by every LOW. I thought I needed to be thankful for the good times, because they made the hard times worth it…which is true to a point. However, when the hard times are many and the good times are few…you have to be strong enough and value yourself enough to draw the line.

There are a number of unhealthy relationships, guarded secrets, ultimatums and foundations built on infidelity, deceit and immoral actions – unfortunately the sad part isn’t that these exist, it is the people who think this is what they deserve. That this is the best they can have, that no one will love them outside of this relationship. That they have nothing to offer the world, no dream to chase, or talent to offer. They look in the mirror and see failure, ridicule, embarrassment and despair, when they should see strength, honor, integrity, beauty, hope and success.

In my mirror I can choose to see all those negative things as well, I can see my flaws and imperfections, my failed endeavors, relationships, parental screw-ups, employment mistakes, and lord knows what else. But, you want to know what I see when I look in the mirror? I see my daughter, I see her impressive beauty, her intelligence and witty personality, and her STRONG sense of self-esteem. I see my son, his goofy ways, his kind heart, and loving soul. I see my green eyes that I love, that have cried tears of happiness more than sadness, and that many have looked into, viewing the goodness of my heart. I see a woman who has been real, honest and fought when necessary and is learning to let some battles go. I see a woman who is beautiful because of my actions, my children, my mind, and my heart – not because of my physical features. And most importantly I see a woman who is unafraid, intelligent, quick witted, stubborn, hilariously funny, dorky, goofy and flat out 100% one of a kind.

you

That is what I choose, and what I will raise my daughter to choose…it is what all women need to choose…choose yourself and own your life. It will be the best investment you will ever make.

Loving yourself – Invites Love in.

Yesterday after sharing my feelings about a certain someone special to my friend, she wrote me something that really made me think.

She wrote : “You are an inspiration Jessica. I love how you may have had ups and downs, but you aren’t afraid to continue to love! I am more than happy for you and kiss enough frogs you are bound to find a prince.”

Instantly I thought, wait – out of everything why the hell am I not afraid to love? I am afraid to get hurt, to be left, to be cheated on – but I am not afraid to love which invites all those fears in… That makes no sense. How is my heart not hardened, bitter, and broken to all things that even remotely involve a connection with another person? Then I thought… did I really maybe kiss my last frog – could he be the prince? The fairy-tale hope never dies, does it?

Loving someone, although a risk is also a very freeing feeling – to give so much of yourself without a second thought, in hopes someone will return the love and see within you all the things you already know exist. On my way home yesterday I was thinking this over, which is something I love to do – to rehash, over think and analyze myself constantly and become my own worse critic. However, I realized that letting someone in, starting over with someone new forces you to fall in love with yourself and get to know yourself all over again.

Image

When you are in a relationship that has in many ways caused the loss of who you are, that has drained the existence of simple happiness, it is easy to fall into that hole that makes you think that you are worthless. Even worse when you are left – because we think to ourselves if I was worthy of love, he wouldn’t have left me. If I was beautiful, he wouldn’t have chosen her, if I could just show him I can be more, be better, he will come back. However, day after day, more and more you realize that is not the truth and not want you want. In fact, because you are worthy of love and happiness – he is gone – because he wasn’t worthy of your love.

A friend of mine told me once, “Be careful what you fight for, because one day you might wake up and realize it isn’t anything you really want anymore.”

She was right then, and it rings true now. Maybe that is why I am not afraid to love, because I know myself, what I have to offer, my heart and my desires. We all make mistakes, choices that we may regret, and we can talk ourselves out of anything and everything. Trust me, I am the best at all of these – but I have never successfully talked myself out of loving.

At the end of the day, I believe that if you love yourself enough, the fear to love dissipates. After all, a life without loving – is not worth living, and I want to love.

Packing my bags when I need to stay…

” I’d be packing my bags when I need to stay,I’d be chasing every breeze that blows my way” Toby Mac

For years, I was a strong believer in “If you aren’t happy get out” – so much so in fact that I did just that. If things weren’t the way I had expected, or something else was better, easier, or just less work I could throw that whole relationship in the trash and move on. It used to piss me off to no end, when I would hear girlfriends say, “I can’t leave because of the kids”, or ” when the kids are 18 or move out, I will leave then”. That was always a crock of really stinky crap to me, and I would fight back with advice like ” What about you, you don’t deserve to be happy now?” or “do you think your kids should live a lie thinking your life was great for 18 years than, all of sudden you get divorced?” Or, how about “your kids need to see you happy, they need to see two people who love each other, don’t you think they know you are not happy right now?”  And, while those are all still great points, valid points, and should really be considered – I know see where that comes from.

Admitting I was wrong, or possibly, slightly, part way incorrect – maybe is well, the truth. I was wrong. Truth is, if you are scared, not dedicated, maybe didn’t really mean your vows or many variances of lacking in the commitment to the marriage, your spouse and yourself – leaving makes sense and will most likely happen.

My friends used to say I was in love with falling in love. That all relationships go stale and become work, that is normal. For me, I thought when it stopped being fun, all the lovey-dovey stuff went away – and lies and skeletons in the closet came out to play and REAL LIFE came into account – the relationship was over, done, finito – adios – buh-bye! Although in my defense, cheating, abuse and drugs and alcoholism all are valid reasons to end a relationship – but only if you really need to use that excuse. There are many marriages who have made it through that and much worse, my guess is that they were fully committed. My other guess is that the love and the respect for the other person were genuine.

relationships2

 

My heart is an odd heart, it backfires, misfires, gets overheated and freezes over faster than that Frozone’s snow boots! When I shouldn’t have loved, I did – and too much. When I should have loved, I didn’t – or not enough. Being thirty-three I can tell you I have been in love only two times – which is odd because there have been four “main” men in my life that I spent years saying the daily I love you’s, the promises of every tomorrow, the I Do’s which turned to I Don’t, I Didn’t or I won’t do that. One relationship which produced my beautiful children – my true loves of my life – but looking back now, wasn’t real – no love.

Then as with any broken or failed relationship you tuck a little piece of “baggage” into a deep dark little hole, and move on to the next. And so on…so that when you settle down with the right person there is just enough unpacking, sorting, and repairing to drive you crazy – but without driving you away.

My husband and I do not have the perfect marriage, we are not that couple that never fights, I am not the perfect wife, and he is not the perfect husband. Our marriage is WORK, literally getting down and dirty, elbow grease and all – WORK. There are days where he can do no right by me, there are days that he irritates me, hurts my feelings, pushes my buttons and my limits making me feel like at any moment I could bust through the barrier of wonderful married-ville, and strangle him. AND, there are days when its reversed and I am all those thing to him. We are not easy to be married to, to live with – but damn it if we don’t find a way to always find a way. We do that, because we finally found the person, the commitment, the relationship that is worth all the WORK.

If someone were to ask us, how come you don’t just give up, or how much more are you gonna take? Our answer would be because of our family, because we love each other, for the kids, the extended family, our life – etc. Before, my kids weren’t a reason to stay in a relationship – now I am not saying that you should stay solely for the kids, but what I am saying is that it makes sense what I heard my girlfriends saying all those failed relationships of mine ago. It makes sense why our grandparents and great-grandparents were married 40, 50 and 60 years to the same person. Dedication and Commitment. My grandfather made some bad choices, and I am sure so did his father, and his father’s father. They may not have been the same bad choice, but you can bet your tush they weren’t perfect – and neither was their marriage.

There are those select few, the elite married couples who just really do have it perfectly figured out, they never fight, no one gets jealous, they are always kind, considerate, thoughtful, selfless – no baggage, no dramatic issues or life altering problems and just are HAPPY. If that is you, you had better go in and find your spouse – lay a big smooch right on them and take a minute to realize that you are lucky. Not everyone has that, and not necessarily because they can’t – but because they won’t.

There is a quote by Marilyn Monroe that was me exactly. It says:

“A wise girl kisses but doesn’t love ;
Listens but doesn’t believe ; and leaves
before she is left”

What it should say is a wise girl is a lonely girl too….

If I truly loved the people in my past, the way I do my husband – I would still be there. If I valued my relationships then as much as I value my marriage now, I’d still be there. It’s the same with cheating – I used to think that you can cheat on someone you love – because to be honest I cheated – and I thought I loved the person I cheated on. Truth is, I didn’t – because if I did, I wouldn’t have stepped over that line. Cheating is a choice, it is a premeditated, thoughtful process that you either decide to follow through with because you don’t care or you don’t love the person you are with. We all could cheat, we all could fall into that bottomless pit of deceit and have great affairs that are pleasing for the moment, that will only be detrimental internally, and externally for those we let down.

The saying “once a cheater, always a cheater” isn’t true. The truth is, when you find something and someone who you could or would never risk the chance of losing, you won’t cheat. When you think to yourself, that would be “fun” but it would ruin my family or its “new and exciting” but how new would it be, if you got stuck with it forever? The new and exciting, the fun, is in having those “trying” moments and not failing – but instead making it through them. It’s seeing your family and knowing that they are not dispensable, that you are valuable to them and to yourself.

This may sound like a bunch of soap box talking – but truth is, it’s just a couple of things I learned from messing up. Before my husband, before this marriage, I was packing my bags when I needed to stay, I was chasing any breeze that blew my way…luckily it led me to where I should be. Now my bags are staying unpacked and the breeze will blow me closer to my family, not away.

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