I’ve read that men speak an average of 10k words per day and women speak twice that much. Well…I can usually top that each and every day until the day that I started to put together this post. I got stuck because I didn’t know which words to type or how to choose words that would fully explain why I want to share my most personal struggle and my toughest moments, until about a week ago.
I found out that a friend of the family was going through something in her marriage that no one can likely sympathize with. Something so horrible that it took me back to my previous life and reminded me why I left it and why I want to share my thoughts. You see, this beautiful friend that is successful, smart and a hero of a woman had just found out how hollow her marriage really was and as shocking as her husband’s actions had been she started to question her worth and also made a statement that many of us have said before, “I knew I should never have married him.” I’ve uttered those words too, years ago, when I finally realized the kind of marriage that I was in and the example I was setting for my sons.
Why do we do that? Why, as women, do we not listen and follow our gut instincts? Why do we continually excuse bad behavior over and over again to the point that we forget that we are doing it because it’s become our norm? Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t think that all women are like me and thank goodness that you’re not because if every woman was like me there would be a lot of talkative, high-strung (sometimes), perfectionist, happy, University of Florida fans in the world. But if you have ever uttered something similar to “I knew I should have listened to my gut” then we are a lot more alike than you may realize.
While I can’t trash my ex-husband (even though I really want to give you all of the dirt) because I had to sign a piece of paper saying something along the lines of “don’t tell the truth about why you left me because I may run for a political office one day and I don’t want my dirty laundry aired” (my paraphrasing), I can tell you what I did wrong and how I’ve coped with my divorce, how I’m co-parenting with someone that is extremely grating, how I managed (not very successfully, obviously) a marriage when a mental illness is involved, why I think that divorce is not always the answer, how I found “Staci” again, and how I knew that I was worth loving again. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you listen because I wouldn’t ever wish what I’ve gone through on anyone so if I can help you avoid the roller coaster that I’ve been on or help you cope with it, then I’ll feel that reliving and opening each wound will have been worth it.
My hope is that by hearing where I’ve been, my journey and where I’ve landed, that you will be inspired in some way. Whether it be to speak up and say something to a friend that is in a downward spiral in her relationship or to teach your daughters that they don’t always have to fix someone and to know that her opinion is just as valued as someone that might speak louder than them or just simply to reflect and be thankful that your husband loves and respects you, my goal is to be the cause of hope, smiles, encouragement and honesty.
So now that I’ve passed the 26k-word-mark about a paragraph ago, I’ll end with this thought – just remember that you are worth so much, your opinion, your thoughts, your presence, your laughter, your smile. Don’t ever question your worth…and if you find yourself starting to question it, that’s the biggest red flag of an unhealthy relationship. My blog will likely mention “husband” frequently as the other party in a relationship, but know that it can be either person in a relationship that can cause harm. Not all men are bad, and not all women are sane. Just know that my perspective is coming from a place where I want women to be strong and to know their worth because I went through a marriage where I lost my strength and voice. I’m not a he-woman, man-hater and I wouldn’t consider myself a feminist, but I would consider myself to be a human that only wants to empower other humans to know that they matter to God, their family, their friends and so many others.