Do you ever see a couple and think, wow they look so happy, I wonder what their secret is- only to find out years later, that they had a horrible marriage and are getting divorced? It seems to be a common theme lately.

What I wonder is why we all put on that happy face and suffer for so long without telling a soul what it is we are really going through. I was a perfect example of this.

The last few of years of my marriage, I was the most unhappy I had ever been in my entire life and if you only knew the half of what I had been through before all of this, you would understand the significance of this statement.

During my marriage many things happened that eventually caused it’s demise.  I caught my ex-husband on a dating website that was geared towards married men looking for sex. I would come home not knowing if I was coming home to the nice husband or the miserable one depending on which swing of the bi-polar he was experiencing. I would know what I was in for the minute I saw his face when I would come home from work, when he was actually here since he worked 7 days a week and left me with all responsibilities. When he was paid cash for big jobs, he would blow through thousands of dollars on any stupid gadget, tool, electronic, you name it, in the matter of days and tell me that he had no money. He once bought a $600 guitar in addition to a guitar that he already had, yet he didn’t know how to play. He was a yeller, yelled at the kids and at me and me being the way I am I would yell right back at him. I took care of the kids, worked a full time job, a part time job, went to school and helped run his business while having no help or support from him. When I couldn’t reach him, I immediately panicked and thought that he was dead because of the numerous suicide attempts and gun licenses that I would take from the mail before he could get his hands on them. I was literally living a daily hell for years and my friends and family didn’t know a thing.

I put on my happy face every day until finally after multiple attempts at marriage counseling and really evaluating my life, I realized that I lost myself. By this point I was so sure that I was ready to get out that I filed for divorce on Valentine’s day. I told my dad by sending him an email that simply said, “Hi dad, just wanted to let you know that I am filing for divorce” He immediately called me and was baffled. But what he did say is, “I trust your judgment and I support you”. Words that I will never forget. I never told him all of the things that were happening because I never wanted him to judge my ex-husband. I felt that if I was willing to stay with everything that he did, I had no right to bash him to my family.

The divorce process was hell on all of us and a major emotional adjustment on the kids but now, three years later, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. The kids are well adjusted and I am very happy with the person I am now that I have my life back.

My ex has become much more mentally stable and is thankfully re-married to an amazing woman who makes me feel that my kids are safe when they are with them. She is a nurse and a mother herself and one of the kindest most patient women I have ever met. Every day I pray that they will stay together until my kids are at least 18. She is now taking care of him and probably living the same fears that I did but I’m sure no one will ever know.

The reason I am now telling this story is because I think that it’s time we all stopped putting on a happy face and really face our lives and our relationships. We all deserve to be happy and if we aren’t, we need to find out how we can be. I lost myself completely in my marriage and have now found myself again. I vow to never let another man take the life out of me.  The next man in my life needs to bring more life to me and not take anything from me.

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