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l felt like I was in the right place to allow someone in. It still took a lot because he had baby mama drama. He was probably one of the worst people that I could have gotten involved with because of all the baggage that came along with him. And me trying to learn to trust wasn't a good situation. And he started off with a lie that I didn't find out about until I was already in there. He said that they were divorced already and they weren't.
I think he broke through because he put up with a lot from me. A lot of my tests and just my anger. He did everything that I demanded of him. He jumped through lots of hoops. But then again, so did I. So I think I felt like he did everything I wanted him to do. He's done everything I can think of to try make me feel comfortable, like I can trust him. So I think that's when I decided 'Ok, well, let's try again.'
What made you know that this was someone you could be married to?
It's hard to talk about this because he's not this person anymore. He was just so different, so invested in me. Because of him I experienced so many things that I had never experienced before. And he was different in a lot of ways that I thought were good and were needed in a husband, not just somebody I was going to mess around with. A lot of it was me feeling like he was good on paper, to be honest. He's got good stats. Stable and got a good career and he's a good dad and he seems pretty safe.
I think I had a habit of falling for guys who were good looking so much so that they always had a fan base. Dang that's just so hard to be with somebody like that. Not that I wasn't attracted to him but he wasn't like--you know what I'm saying. I just felt like he was wanting the same thing that I was wanting. He wanted a family, he wanted the commitment. He wanted to do something for the long haul. So we matched there.
And then I also, to be honest, I desperately wanted kids. And I was just like, 'Dang. I'm starting to get old as far as having kids' and I wanted at least three. It was 2009 when we met and I'm 37, I'll be 38 this year. And so I just figured, you got to date for a while and then you gotta be married for a minute. I was just trying to calculate it in my head and I was like, 'I don't have that much time.' So I kind of let that biological clock take over. But I felt safe enough to do that with him.
First and foremost I've learned that you must, you must have somebody that you are compatible with. Your core values, the real deep stuff, you have to have that in common. I don't care what E Harmony says. You can't turn a blind eye to being completely different. Opposites do attract but not completely opposite. It's no fun. You can't force chemistry. That's what it is. You cannot force chemistry.
I don't know how your parents raised you but I've always been raised that no matter what, you stick with it. And that's just not the greatest advice ever. Cuz realistically speaking, had I not had that kind of mentality, I just don't think I'd be here. You end up putting up with more than you should. And gosh...I just don't think that it should be that way. I think it's ok to say that 'Man. Yes, this is kind of a fail to a certain degree.' But I think I'd rather fail and be free than fail and just keep failing, sitting in that failure.
I think it's important to listen to yourself. I've learned that. Listen to that little voice, don't shove it down. Listen to it. And not to be afraid to reach out and talk to people because you wait too long and you're kind of like too far gone.
But I think the most important thing is just to make sure that you're compatible and make sure that you're friends. There's so much value in being friends first. I can't even tell you how much value lies in that. Because when everything else--if you do have a rough patch, which you will, you fall back on that friendship and that really sustains the relationship. If there's no friendship there and the sex is gone and the affection and that good stuff is gone and you don't even value that person as a friend, there's nothing! There's nothing. And I think when you're truly friends with someone, there's a respect that goes along with that. And without that as a foundation, truly, there's nothing left when you go through hard times.
What do you think about the notion of staying because you have children?
Oh man, I get it. I get it. I never got that as a child, seeing my parents go through their stuff. I never got it. I got to the age where I was just like, 'Ugh I wish they would just get a divorce because they're just so miserable.' But now I get it.
My dad would always tell me-- I mean he shouldn't have-- but he would always tell me, 'I'm only in this for you. I'm only staying for you.' Now, that I'm in a situation, I get it but it's still such a hard place to be in because you don't know which one is more damaging, to stay or to leave. I see now that there's a gray area. It's not black and white anymore.
I even have a different level of understanding when it comes to cheating. It used to be so black and white for me. 'You just don't do it. I don't care what it is. You get divorced first. You don't cheat. But I get it though. I get how it can happen. I get how it can happen without you even really trying for that to happen. So it's just not so black and white anymore. I used to be one of those, 'Oh, well you have kids. Imagine what that's going to do to the kids.' I get it! And that still applies cuz yeah, it's going to affect everyone but I still can understand how it still happens.
From my perspective, I'm always feeling like you're constantly sacrificing yourself for someone else.
It's hard for me to really speak on it and I don't want to sound hypocritical but I can see why it would beneficial to not do that, to sacrifice for the kids. Yeah, you're doing all that but you're just not living. You're here but you're not really living. That's not fair to anyone either. It just takes such a leap of faith to decide you're going to release yourself, free yourself and have faith that everything will be ok if you do that. That's the hardest part. 'Dang, what's going to happen if I do this that and the other?'
I think fear just takes over when you have kids because you don't want them to feel like they have to take sides. You don't want to lose them. Some of it is a control issue. You don't want them to be out of your grip. You don't want anyone else to step in and be mommy and take your place. I get the gray area now. 'Dang. This is why people stay when they shouldn't.' It's a big deal, it's a big adjustment.
I've had talks with my eldest son. I've tried to gauge where he's at and he's just not having it. He will just flat out tell me, 'I don't want any changes. I want mommy to be mommy and daddy to be daddy and for everybody to stay in one house. I don't want anybody to leave.' And then there was one time where he was like, 'Well, I'm going to go with daddy.' Gurl. That shook me to my core. And then the next day, 'I would stay with mommy.' Instead of getting mad at him, I put myself in his shoes. I don't want him to have to choose. That would be horrible. And so you stay. So I don't have the right answer. I still haven't figured out what you should do. I don't know. I asked my dad if he made the right decision. Because he always used to tell me that he just wanted to leave and he stayed just for us. I just asked him this two months ago. And he was like, 'Yea I do think I made the right decision.' And I said 'Is that because you guys are good now and you're where you should be?' And he said yeah.
You see, that's a gamble. I don't know if that will help. I don't know if, after it's all said and done and the kids are gone, that we'll be good. And I don't know if I'm willing to live for the next 18 years or whatever, like this. That's like a sentence, like a life sentence. So I just don't know and it's embarrassing to say it but you still just don't know so you feel stuck. Just know that there's two sides and it's hard either way.
What do you want to teach your children about marriage?
Yeah that is tough because I don't feel like I'm living it. In a perfect world, I would want my kids to value God in their marriage and put Him first. Because I really do think, I really do believe when you're rooted in Christ, in all things, it's just the best foundation that you can have. I want them to know how important it is to pray with your spouse and to communicate and share your feelings but also listen.
Like right now, I'm always preaching to them kindness. Kindness goes so far. Just be kind. And when you're kind to someone, it's contagious. I'm teaching them to find someone who's kind and to always be kind.
And that marriage is good thing. Marriage is supposed to be a wonderful thing. At this age, it's kind of hard to explain but I just wouldn't want them to think that this is what marriage looks like even though this is all they have to look at. So that's whats hard about it. I want them to know and understand that the institution of marriage is such a wonderful thing when you're married to the right person. But also that it takes a lot of work. It's not supposed to be gut wrenchingly hard but it's not a cake walk at the same time.
And that's why I do try to allow them to see that in action. Like, if I know I'm wrong or if I said something in front of them, to him that I shouldn't have, I try my best to apologize right in front of them. And if it's not right in front of them, then later on I will tell them, 'Remember when Mommy said this? Or remember when Mommy lost her temper and did that? I'm sorry for that. I shouldn't have done that. That wasn't very kind.' I try my best to--even in this mess, this is what it's supposed to look like.
What keeps you hopeful in your marriage?
I don't have any hope. Awww. Dang! That's not going to help anyone.
Laughs [almost hysterically]
Yeah no, I don't. I don't. Wish I had something else to say!
I'm just tickled by the fact that you're laughing so hard after saying that.
Laughs some more.
I know! I came to that realization a long time ago. You know that whole proposal thing, that whole renewing of the vows thing that I told you about. That lasted about a week. It was all about the grand gesture. All that stuff. But yeah that's gone bye bye. I don't really, I don't. Now my hope really is that I'm able to hang in there long enough to not lose my mind and be able to be a good mom to them and find other outlets just to keep me swimming. And I feel like I'm doing that. That's why I can laugh.
What are your other outlets?
I loooove--I don't like working out, weights and stuff. But girl, give me some Zumba. I love to dance it just automatically boosts my spirit, like happy. I have my dog now.
How did that happen?
Ooh wow. Well, we got into this big fight, again. I don't even remember what it was about. But I think it was something like I was telling him he wants to hold me down. I've never had anybody who wants to keep me from being happy, the happiest that I can be so he'll stand in the way of everything. Finally, he was like, 'Get your fucking dog and see how happy it makes you.' Girl, the next day Spot came home. It's the best thing!
So yeah, I think that. And shoot, not being pregnant anymore lifted a lot because being pregnant depresses me. And getting past the postpartum, baby blues, depression thing. I feel like that has lifted. I'm happier now.
And to be honest, being noticed. Being complimented, being appreciated helps. I didn't realize how much I was lacking that stuff until I started to receive it. It was like 'Oh shoot.' This could get me in trouble. Like, 'Really? Oh!' It does help. Every little bit helps because when you feel invisible and somebody actually sees you, it's dangerous. Good and bad. So I'll just take a little bit here, a little bit there. Still staying in that safe zone. I see you see me. I like it, ok. Just getting back to me. And now, I'm done having babies and I can just be the best mom I can be for them but also look forward to them having more and more independence and feeling safer with them being able to kind of fend for themselves a little bit more.
I get out of the house more, a lot more. I'm like, 'Hey! Girl's night every week. What are we doing?!' So that's been helpful
And I talk about it. I talk about what I'm feeling, what I'm going through. Not with him because he doesn't listen but I'm not just keeping it in because that's so toxic.
I have my days for sure where I'm just like, 'Oh my gosh. I can't get off the floor' Crying, this is so sad, this is horrible.
But the bigger picture is I don't have hope for the marriage, so to speak, but I do feel like at some point, I'm going to figure this thing out. Either I'm going to get out or it's going to get better, I'm going to stay in. But something is going to give. I don't feel hopeless about my life as a whole. So I just try to focus a little bit more on me and try to take the focus off of him completely. Not worrying about what he thinks about me as much. So that way, when the shots come when the 'You're this and you're that.' You suck at this...' or 'I blame you for that.' It doesn't hurt nearly as badly when you just choose not to believe those things. And you let it be their problem. 'Okay that is your issue. I have mine but that one's yours. I'm not taking on mine and yours. You gotta clean your own house.' That's been my biggest thing, lately. Kind of separating his issues versus mine, when I can clearly see that that's a "him" issue.
I try to still address mine. I try to really dig down to the root of what is coming out of his mouth and what is coming out of my mouth and where it stems from. And when I get to the point where I'm like, 'Ok, that has nothing to do with me. I'm able to let that go.' So that's where I'm sitting.
Is there anything else you want to add?
I know that people have kids soon after they get married, all the time, and it works out great but I think there's so much value in waiting. We did it the way we did because of my age and how many kids we wanted. But if at all possible, I would highly recommend being married first for a while and soaking up that time. Because kids they just--you just have no time. You really have to work, extra hard to make time to keep your marriage alive. And if you're already are shaky and your foundation isn't great, it's close to impossible to do that. They soak up so much. I highly recommend putting that off for at least a year. Be married and travel and do everything that you're not going to be able to do as easily when a baby comes in. I mean, I knew that. I figured that that would be best. But I was like 'Hmm I don't have time for that.'
And I'm glad. I'm glad we did when we did because I didn't know we were going to have problems. I didn't know I was going to have miscarriages none of that. That's why I had a baby at 37.
Do you feel like the miscarriages took a toll on you guys too?
Oh...my...That was the breaking point. That was it. That was it, Ver-on-ica. That was the nail. I just felt like... I don't even know how our last baby came about after that. Because it was just so damaging, to have to go through that and have no support. I mean, it's death. It's your child. I also learned that it really doesn't matter like when people who've never experienced it, they're like, 'Oh it's so early on, how could it affect you...'
No, no, no.
From the minute you find out that there is life inside of you, it's such a great loss. It doesn't matter how far along you are. It's life and you feel like, instantly, it is your job to protect that life. It is your job to take care of that life. And when you lose that life, there's so much guilt, there's so much confusion, hopelessness. There's so many different emotions. And to have to go through those by yourself, not only to go through those by yourself but have someone adding on to that pain...I just wouldn't wish it on anyone. I have yet to rebound from that and he has yet to apologize.
So that was really, that was the beginning of the end, for sure. I get it now. I get it when they say finances or a loss can really take a toll on a marriage. And they can be dealbreakers. They can just end it all. Because he was probably going through his own stuff too. The only difference is I'm willing to talk about things and he's not. So that's a recipe for disaster. Heavy, heavy stuff. I didn't think about stuff like that. You just think, you get pregnant and you have a baby. So that just threw me for a loop, to have that one and then have the same thing happen again, right after. That's when you just start, 'Dangit, we waited too long and I'm too old.' That's why we had kids when we did to avoid stuff like that. But it still happens.
And I think about them all the time. And that's the thing, I can't really share that. I can't really talk about that because I feel like I'm the only one that thinks about them. Like it wasn't a loss for him, it was a loss for me. I was in it by myself. That was just, just horrible.
I hope once I come out on the other side, I hope to really have some sort of testimony that will be better. But for right now, my motto is just keep swimming. So that's what I'm doing.