I was married for 26 years  and I knew him most of my life

He had cancer and it lasted 3.5 years

I had an unbelievable wave of support

I had two children 19 and 9

Lord knows we needed to laugh

My hospice people told me for the first Thanksgiving and Christmas you need to be out of the house

We eat cheeseburgers in his honor

Music has been a good outlet for me

I have memories of us playing the music

His presence is just still there

You have a choice after someone dies of curling up in a ball

Five years later this can still hit me out of the blue

My children saved my life

The whole situation that we were in was so difficult

I said to my children, “I hope my legacy to you is showing you what a marriage really is. It’s until death do you part and it’s in sickness and in health and if you don’t take those two seriously then don’t get married.”

You learn to value things like the daily hugs

I found out I was a lot stronger than people thought

I found some sort of inner strength and God too

For the first time in my life I had money

Each morning dawns with a new reality of loss of the one who knew you best

You cannot prepare for that

The aloneness of this is profound

You need friends who won’t run away from you in fear

I would ball my eyes out until I almost threw up

You just have to constantly tell yourself it’s going to be okay

I try to look at my blessings

There are things that are good and they’re still there

I’m glad I was married that was my gift

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He had been having an affair for more than a year

I gave him a few minutes to grab a few things and kicked him out

I knew something was happening I just didn’t realize it was that

He had spent that last year gaslighting me

I did not have the most stable childhood

I’m living with someone who is making my life a lie

The structure of ideas you’ve built around your life to make it work all of a sudden dissolves

I was always very clear that I really needed to feel this

I would pull my car over to the side of the road and sob

I really wanted to move past this

I embraced minimalism

I went back to school

It feels good to be moving forward and moving past that experience

That experience doesn’t define me anymore

Right after it happened it was all I could talk about it

There will be a time when you are on the other side of it

Let it break you

Build up that foundation again

Embrace that opportunity

Feel it, feel all of it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She was traveling a lot

I started to get jealous

I was considering hacking into my wife’s account to spy on her

I knew that wasn’t good

What would I do if I found out she was cheating on me?

A part of me wouldn’t be mad

I could use that as an excuse to end the relationship

It occurred to me that it was over

We worked out a logical separation plan

I made sure to move close so we could keep our son in the same daycare

We make it a point to be helpful to each other

I started picking up hobbies

I felt like shackles had been pulled off

I found myself doing things I didn’t know whether I would like doing or not

I wanted to do something with my life

I finally had time to start a passion project

That was the start of a very wild ride

I can get lonely like the next person but I’m an introvert

When my emotions are shut off they’re all shut off

I wasn’t feeling joy of any sort at all I actually went to counseling about it

As a really overweight person who has a hard time getting a date shutting off feels better than feeling loneliness or pain

I have to be intentional about trying to take risks and feel pain

I found out I’m a very flexible personality

This was making me really unhappy

I found myself resenting it more and more over time

I’ve learned I need to be aware of who I am

It’s interesting how we continue to learn about ourselves

It’s really easy to get down on yourself when you find yourself single

Forgive yourself for whatever your part in that relationship was

In the course of a year or two years, your life can entirely change

Operate with integrity and allow yourself to grow and be the best you can be

Just because a relationship is over doesn’t mean life is over

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I lost two relationships in a year

I thought, “What is wrong with me? Am I that horrible of a person?

I just felt anxiety and fear constantly and wasn’t a nice person to be around

When you’re in that space of holding on by any means necessary you do what you have to do

You get these feelings of unworthiness

I wasn’t going to let go no matter what

That’s a very lonely place to be

It wears you down

I grew up a pleaser

I thought I had to do things for people to like me

I didn’t feel I could commit to myself

I did a lot of deep work to overcome

We don’t want to see what’s right in front of us

I had tried to build a world around me and everything had to fit into that world

When you love someone they shouldn’t have to give up things to fit in your life

I think the biggest misconception we have in life about love is that we have to give up something

I had to learn to be with myself but not by myself

I was so depressed I didn’t care if I got out of bed

Something had to change if I was to go on

The most important person is you

You can’t give what you don’t have

I feel like crap and I don’t even want to be here

I spent a lot of time alone

Something deep within said, “This is not how your story ends.”

I started reading

I started to learn about vibration and frequency

There was so much more to life than what I had been seeing

The relationships became a learning ground that I became grateful for

We have to forgive. I had to forgive myself.

Now in my relationships I just let people be.

The only way I can be me is if people can be themselves

Once we work on ourselves our relationships get better

People are starting to see me different

I’m more approachable

The only way to get out of where we are is sometimes to take a different direction

Talk to somebody who won’t judge you

Sometimes you have to get with yourself for a moment

Sometimes doors are shut because they need to be shut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got a phone call from my then wife that she didn’t want to be married anymore

When she wanted to fight I would shut down and be silent

Now I realize my going silent or walking away was just as bad as if I had hit

The next year I was pretty much an alcoholic

I was trying to hold it together for the sake of the kids

I had to come home because I was about to become a liability

I had a series of videos I made for my children

It’s a running joke…you deploy you get divorced

We’re never prepared to return to our families

On Christmas morning I handed my kids off to my ex-wife and sat at home alone

I will never forget that hug

I realized very quickly although I thought I was a feminist I was a recovering misogynist

What are you going to do when the newness wears off?

If you swallow your pride and learn the accent the other person is speaking with you’ll reach them much better

If there are kids involved put the napalm away

I tried for 2 years to make the marriage work because one day my kids were going to ask me why

I tried as hard as I possibly could to make it work

I was on the phone with her mother trying to find out why

I didn’t value me because I was rejected by someone else

I had a nice life and I think that’s the thing we lose sight of

How can I sacrifice all of my soul to make you happy?

I know I can’t fix it.

Do you want me to listen? Do you want me to leave? Do you want me to just sit here?

My value is in me being me

All I ever wanted to be was a husband and a dad and I had failed

The marriage failed, I didn’t fail

I love you regardless

I made a lot of mistakes

I didn’t fix those mistakes in time to save it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I felt like I was in a movie

I got this text saying I don’t want to be in a relationship with you

I was in this new city by myself

It all went so quickly

When you have this connection you’ve never had before it makes it hard to slow down

You get sideswiped by reality when that person really isn’t ready or they’re just not the one

I had been dating for a gazillion years

I had never met someone who I connected with on more than one level

There was no closure

I knew I had been happy

Surrounding yourself with people who are positive can help as well

You vibe has to change

I’ve noticed when I don’t get my way I take that to heart

I can choose not to marinate in the disappointment

I learned what a trigger is and how a trigger can spiral you into this sad vortex

It was a psychological F-bomb

I’ve learned the less I have these triggers…the more it goes away

The less I thought about it the less pain I felt

You’re dating the same guy because you’re not learning the lesson

Moving forward, take the time for yourself and realize where you played a piece

It’s hard not to condemn yourself and start beating yourself up

Most people are not taking the time to do that self-reflection

It’s embarrassing sometimes to admit you suck

Don’t wallow indefinitely

Some of your coping mechanisms may not be healthy

I had to lay off the wine and find something else

Whatever you are doing make sure it is healthy and take care of yourself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We spent ourselves into bankruptcy trying to have a kid

I’m still friends with both of my ex-wives

It’s hard to throw away someone who really truly knows you, warts and all.

I didn’t want to lose a friend.

If we had cut spending maybe I would have been home more

The shoulda coulda woulda game is not that helpful

With my second marriage, I inherited teenagers

She admitted that she had cheated on me and I was just devastated

I thought at the time there was no hope of ever turning this around

At the time I was operating on 100% emotion

There are people who have worked through this and have come out stronger on the other side of infertility

We had a really bad habit of not forgiving

Know when to argue

You both bend as much as you can and at some point, you can’t anymore.

Just because you are upset doesn’t mean you have to say that kind of stuff

I was ecstatic that she found the right guy

I saw myself getting sucked in because I just love to help people

Somebody has to want to change themselves

In the end, the only improvement is self-improvement

God has your back

If I can just hang though this horrible period something better is around the corner.

What did I do wrong?

I feel I will be a better partner in the future

1+1=3 The two of us together makes something phenomenal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie is the reason this single gal has a savings account!

I’d always dreamt and envisioned this big way of celebrating milestones such as a 10-year anniversary.

What is the “sure enough” way to know what my gut instinct is telling me is the truth? You go on a second honeymoon.

When I came home that’s when I started unwrapping that combined life and making my new plan for myself.

Everything I had been feeling was sadly true.

I held out hope for so long that this was fixable.

I had heard messages that we compromise, we work things out, we fight for our marriage, marriage is forever.

I compromised all of myself and I didn’t even know who I was anymore.

I vanished in that relationship.

Something woke me up after that 10-years

Why am I unhappy, why am I feeling so empty, why am I feeling so lost, why is nothing fulfilling or exciting. It was because I didn’t even know who I was.

I felt like I was turning into a crazy person.

I almost had a mental checklist of every single thing I could try before I knew there was no hope.

I felt like it [leaving] was a rebirth or an awakening.

I thought about the things I loved when I was a kid and those were the things I went back to.

If someone had asked me to talk about myself other than what I did for a living and that I was a Mom, I wouldn’t have been able to string together many sentences.

The word that always comes to mind when I think about who I am as a person is resilient.

I just kept getting back up and I won’t stay down.

I believed in love and I believed in my ability to be a whole person and I was not going to let this scar me or wound me forever.

It was just going to be something I grew and learned from.

I had a lot of support from my immediate family that was absolutely priceless.

When I found myself Suddenly Single I felt like I lost all my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I gave him everything he wanted because at that point I just wanted out.

I moved in with my brother.

I joined a life group through my church.

I got to know a whole bunch of new people.

There was something inside of me that kept telling me no, it’s not quite time.

I felt like I was carrying around a lot of negativity and projecting that I was projecting on to other people.

I wrote a list of what I wanted in a potential future partner.

I don’t want to be so tied up in my relationship that I don’t have other relationships outside of that relationship.

I like to have my own identity.

You will move past it and you will be in a place where you are confident and happy and with the person you want to be with, it just takes some time to get there.

In every situation, there is always the dark time.

The universe has a way of working everything out for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mental illness and domestic violence drove her from her first two marriages.

When she finally met the right man, she tried to give him away to her girlfriend.

If you think he’s good enough for your best friend he’s good enough for you.

That feeling of knowing he will take care of me no matter what.

You have to let it go.

You have a fresh start, so use it and use it well.