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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

what doesn't kill us makes us stronger

A wonderfully honest, STRONG, and anonymous momma wrote a touching account of her struggles with marriage and infidelity, and her adventures getting back into shape post-babies. THANK YOU, real momma, for sharing this true story of something other women struggle with.

Making a Change

The big 3-0
I always said and still believe turning "fill in the blank" means nothing, it's merely a number, and for me, turning 30 was just another day but little did I know, turning 30 was going to be just the beginning. I was 30 and why not make a change, a lifestyle change at that.

First on my list was to lose weight. With a BMI of obese (I was in denial for years) I was finally ready to shed some pounds in exchange for a new lease on life. My husband had recently left for a 5 month military stint and I needed an outlet so I focused my energy into working out. Why not, right? If he was going to be doing PT on a daily basis and returning home looking as fine as can be why can't I attempt to turn his head, yet again? And so I did. Working out 5-6 days a week using an at home video as well as a local fitness class once a week. If anything, working out was going to be "ME time" something I rarely got when my husband was home and knew I would hardly ever get when he was away unless I made plans for it.

image from Google

And then things changed... 
Five days after shipping out I received a typed letter with no return address. This letter was going to change my life forever. I will never forget that day as I had just returned home from errands, my oldest (then 4) ready for a nap and my youngest (then 9 months) already asleep in the car. As I began to scan this letter the words were not making sense. I was angry, sad, confused, pissed off, hurt, betrayed. I quickly learned that over the past 9+ months my husband had been having an affair and not just with any one but with someone I knew. My life had turned from soap opera to lifetime movie in 2.3 seconds. This was not the first time either, this was at least the third time that I was aware of in the nearly 5 years that we have been married. Each time before, I kept things "between us" - not wanting to involve family or admit to the shame I was feeling. This time I was done. I remember thinking what do I do now? Where do I turn? Do I stay....again? Will things change? How could he? Why would he? I deserve better!

Keeping the Faith
Different than the times before I immediately felt as if this forced separation was a good thing, necessary, and needed. It's hard to make a reasonable and responsible decision when the other person is right there, in the same house and bed night after night and easily accessible by phone. This time I didn't even know the next time we would talk as his ass now belonged to the military and he did what they said and when they said to do it. To note, I do believe in God and am faithful. I won't preach but I will say that without prayer and faith I wouldn't be as strong as I am. Those first few days, hell weeks to a month, were the hardest of all my 30 years of existence. I have no doubts, that if it wasn't for my children, I would have either spiraled into a deep, dark depression, or had a mental breakdown. Knowing that I was the soul provider for my children at this point in time kept me going, made me get up every morning and forced me to care for myself. Sleep was minimal, I was doing anything and everything not to think about what had been happening. I was drowning my sorrows in exercise. I was so nauseous that I didn't eat for nearly two weeks - I had to force myself to stay hydrated. I was only able to sleep once exhausted obtaining maybe 4 hours of sleep a night.

Three days later I learned that there were others. Married almost 5 years and I knew of at least 5 people in which my husband's, "in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, till death do us part" had slept with and/or had an ongoing relationship with. Now I was furious! My life had gone soap opera to lifetime movie and now Desperate Housewives! Could it get any crazier? Nothing could top this, I'm still convinced nothing can top this.

Staying Strong

Amidst all of my heartache and pain I have reminded myself of many great blessings - a home, two beautiful, young children, and a stable career. I hated, despised, was repulsed by the thought of divorce but this time was the LAST time. I was done being used, abused in some ways, and mistreated. I only got as far as a contact call but that I was a big step for me. I met briefly with a lawyer and got an idea of what my life would look like minus my spouse. It was empowering I will admit. I To learn that I had just as good a chance as any to obtain primary residency, retain our home, and receive child support benefits. I quickly learned how divorces get messy and ugly too. My husband's reaction was "I hate the idea that you called or are considering it, but I understand completely why you would." He was no longer making excuses and beginning to understand the seriousness of his stupid, dumb ass choices.

Making Time for ME

Back to where this all began, I was 30 and why not make a change, a lifestyle change at that. With the help of my wonderfully supportive family (mine and his) and church congregation, I have been able to maintain a regular, manageable and healthy workout schedule. Finding time to eat and forcing myself to eat has proven to be the biggest challenge. Being a single parent there's always something to do, someone to feed or clean, or somewhere to be. My year 30 goals: lose 30 lbs and run 6-5k races (totaling 30k). To date I have lost 20 lbs and ran my first race today! What a great sense of accomplishment! If anything, I hope my children are able to grow up and learn that patience, persistence, hard work, and faith all pay off!!

image from Google

Still Growing
The end result has yet to be determined. I am anxiously awaiting my husband's return home on a multitude of levels. I am proud of his accomplishments since being gone and honored to call him my husband despite his previously, ridiculously childish and irresponsible behaviors. I have faith that this marriage has grown stronger through this life changing event. I am optimistic that we can and will overcome this hurdle in the game called life. "What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger" has forever been a favorite quote of mine, but now I see it in a whole different light. Is the glass half empty or half decide.

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