It seems everyone has a blog these days. Not that I'm giving in to the "norm." I just want to have a place that is mine. These are my thoughts, my opinions, my hopes, my dreams, my fears. I am a Daughter. I am a Wife. I am a Mother. But above all, I am a WOMAN.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

As A Wife . . . Giving Thanks

This is going to be combination post.  You see, this is not only Thanksgiving week, but today is my  Anniversary.  My husband and I were married 11 years ago today, November 22nd.  11 Years.  Wow.  And I want to tell you how that came about.

My husband and I met when we were kids.  Well, I was a kid.  He was this weird teenage boy in the background that his sister and I ignored.  Boys? YUCK!

Fast forward ten years.  We meet again.  He's CUTE!  Tall, dark, handsome, with a little bit of bad-boy, and a whole lot of charm.  I fell in love.  Hard.  Fast.  Permanently.

We dated off and on for over ten years.  When we weren't dating, we were friends.  Best friends.  And, yes, now that we're married all of those secrets we shared as friends can sometimes be Too Much Information.  Lol.  But, in a way, that same sharing in friendship is the ONLY reason we're married.  And that is the story behind the story.

We've both been in other relationships, of course.  But in those ten years of off-an-on some of those other people weren't just "Other People."  They were Bad People.  Some times bad for us, sometimes just bad period.  In my case, they were both.  See, I'm not the best judge of character when it comes to men.  A couple of them (okay, most of them) were mean to me.  Not physically, because that I could have walked away from.  No, they were emotionally and mentally abusive.  Those types are more insidious.  They sneak up on you.  At first, you say, "He's just having a bad day."  Then, you start to believe him sometimes when he says, "It's your fault that I'm mad."  Then, you believe you just don't deserve anything better.  Then, you don't believe you deserve anything at all.

If you're lucky, you get out.  I was lucky.

Then, I hit the jackpot.  The Million Dollar, Once In A Lifetime, Jackpot.  My husband asked me out.  We dated.  He fell in love with me again.  I had never fallen OUT of love with him.  I had just repressed it to get on with my life.  When he asked me to marry him, I said "YES" and rushed him to the alter before he could change his mind.

But, there were still problems.  My problems that became his problems.  Those past relationships, the ones I mentioned above, well, they left scars.  Not healed little white scars you have to look for to find.  In fact, they weren't really even scars.  They were more like gaping, bloody, infected wounds that I had covered with band-aids and hoped would go away.  They didn't.

J. got to play doctor (and not the fun kind of "doctor" game girls and boys play).  He got to deal with all of those trust issues, and incompetency feelings, and depressive withdrawal from him.  Our first -- and worst -- fight was over Christmas lights.  Seriously, it was over Christmas lights.  He asked me what kind I wanted to buy for the house.  Icicle lights or colored lights or just plain white string lights?  I said I didn't care.  HE said (and I can still remember it to this day), "I asked you.  When I ask for your opinion on something I. Want.  Your.  Opinion.  I do NOT want to hear 'I don't care.'  Do you understand me."  And, no, that last was NOT a question.  All of this was said in a tone of voice barely above a whisper, so no one else in Wally World heard him.  And that made it even more . . . impressive.

And that friendship I told you helped?  Well, see, I had watched him go through other relationships, also.  Not only did I know what HE had been through, I had seen how he reacted to THEIR behavior.  I KNEW I could trust him.  Not an I-know-in-my-heart-I-can-trust-him type of trust.  I knew because I had SEEN him go through the worst and I had SEEN how he reacted.  I had proof.  I trusted because he had already proved I could trust him.

He saved me.  He saved me from myself.  He saved me from my past.  He saved me from my wounds.  I had loved him for years, I love him now, and I will love him forever.  He is my savior, my heart, my soul-mate, and my world.  Unless you have that, you can't understand that kind of love.

It's an old-fashioned, all-the-way-to-the-bone love.  If (God Forbid!) I lost him tomorrow, a very large part of me would die.  I know that.  When I even think about things like that, I feel part of my heart and part of my soul shrink backward in fear.  This is the fairy tale love that I believed in as a little girl and scoffed at as an young adult.  Real Love Does Exist.  I found it.

He's not perfect.  He snores.  He gets cranky.  He snores.  He misunderstands me sometimes.  He snores.  He drives like an old man sometimes -- sloooooowly.  And, did I mention he snores?  He's not perfect.  But he is Perfect For Me.

He is a wonderful husband.  He's an unbelievably good father.  He helps me clean house.  He vacuums and mops because it hurts my back.  He works long hours to make enough money to take care of me and the kids.  He is patient.  He is kind.  He has a great sense of humor.  He is a gentleman.

I don't deserve him.  I never have, and I never will.  I treat him badly sometimes.  But he makes me strive to be better, to be more deserving of him.

He is Mine.  And I give Thanks to God Every Day for my husband.

I Love You, J.  More than you know, more than you can imagine, and more than I ever thought I was capable of.  Happy Anniversary, Honey.  Eleven years......and hopefully, another fifty or sixty.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Why is betrayal so much a part of life?  Is there any among us who has not been betrayed?

I have been betrayed by men, by acquaintences, by friends, even by family.  Amazing. I never expect it, yet it happens. I will even say I am sure that I have betrayed someone. But this blog is a public forum, so please forgive me for not treating it as a Confessional.

I'm sure we have all been betrayed by a lover. What young girl has not had her heart broken by a boy? Why else is the divorce rate so high if not for betrayal?  Whether it is our heart that is betrayed, or our trust, it is still betrayal and it still hurts. Truth be told, I I have been accused of breaking a heart or two myself.  They trusted me with their heart, and I betrayed that trust.

Acquaintences, too, have betrayed me  sometimes.  Gossip is gossip is gossip.  Seriously, what else are you going to trust with someone you barely know?  Betrayal here is just proof that we should not spread stories about other people. And lest you think I am being sanctimonious, I willingly admit I have a lot of trouble with this. Sometimes I discuss people with other people out of concern, but (I have to confess) sometimes I do it out of malicious glee over some disliked person's misfortune. I am ashamed of it, but I am guilty of it.  

Friends......or people we thought were friends. To trust someone with our most intimate secrets and have that betrayed can be agony. We gave a shovel and a map of where all of our skeletons are buried to someone who went and put those dirty old bones on display for the world to see. Ouch. That forces us to cut off a friendship, and hurts as much as any physical amputation. The longer and deeper the friendship was before the betrayal, the worse the amputation and resulting phantom pain.

Family betrayals are worse than any other though.  "Blood is thicker than water." Except when isn't. These people are the ones we are supposed to be able to trust above all others. These are the people that are supposed to stand WITH us against all others, against the entire world if necessary.  When they betray us, it feels like an assassination.  They killed a piece of our heart.  That part of us will never trust again. It will never love again.  That piece is dead.

Betrayal. It can cause so much damage.  It has caused friendships to end.  It has caused feuds that have lasted from hours to generations.  It has caused families to disintegrate. It has caused marriages to end in divorce.  It has even caused suicides and murder. Betrayal has resulted in the death of so many things and so many people.

And all of it could be avoided. We all just need to stop and think before we speak.  We need to stop and think before we act.  We need to stop and think. STOP and THINK.  Would we want someone to say that to us?  Would we want someone to do that to us?

Several years ago, my husband and I went to a Marriage Retreat.  One of the things they taught us (or tried to) was, before we speak, ask ourselves, "Are the words I am about to speak Kind? Are they Necessary?  Are they True?" If the answer to ANY of those three questions is "No" then just don't say them.  Simple.

We should all try to think about that more often.  I know by my own scars that other people should.   I know by my own guilt that I definitely should.

What about you?  How many scars do you have?  How much guilt do you carry?

This blog is not an indictment of myself or of you, the reader. It is just my own thoughts and experiences mixed with inquiry. Did I make you think?  Yes?  Good. Self-reflection is good for the soul. I hope I made you think. I hope we all will stop and think more often.  If not, well, maybe next time.