In essence, most of the best blog are personal ones. I haven’t been too personal up to this point but I figure I better start sometime. How else would I demonstrate to people my desire to start this blog and the possibility of happiness despite suffering.
I was raised in a very accepting and supportive household. My parents loved my brother and I and they allowed us to pursue whatever path we wished with some support and guidance along the way. Of course, my childhood wasn’t always the most functional but whose is? When I was 15, my youngest sister was born and my parents divorced two years later. Many things led to the divorce of my parents and I do not want to delve too much into that story because of my respect for them. Let’s just say that it wasn’t a pleasant time to be the eldest daughter to both of them; I got caught in the middle frequently.
Around this same time, I was dating someone who cheated on me numerous times. Unfortunately, I was too naive to figure out that I was worth more and I took him back every time.
After I graduated from high school, I started a full-time job at a pharmaceutical testing facility (I have a lot of guilt about some of the things I had to do to the rats and mice there). I broke up with my cheating boyfriend and met another man who was nine years older than I was. He gave me the attention and affection that I was desperately craving and our relationship progressed quickly. Within a few months I was living with this man and had fallen in love with him. He told me that he had been in prison but I didn’t care because I was so infatuated with him. I ignored every red flag and our relationship lasted three and a half years. Throughout the years I suffered through his addictions to pain medication and alcohol (anything to relieve him of his physical and emotional pain) and I stuck with him when he began to grow marijuana because he couldn’t find a job. I think I stayed with him for the time I did because he had so much potential. He had a college degree and was very intelligent despite his bad choices. We developed dreams together and I survived on those dreams while he struggled with his addiction.
After ending my relationship with him, I lived with my parents for some time. I rekindled an old friendship and, while I was helping her move into her boyfriend’s apartment, I met the man who is now my husband. I took my relationship with him much more slowly and cautiously for fear of being hurt again. He was also in the process of leaving his wife before he ever met me but I didn’t want to be known as the woman he decided to leave his wife for. They had been having issues for a while before he met me. We became two peas in a pod and talked about everything, we went on road trips, he loved my parents, and I began to tear down my walls. He proposed to me a year and a half into the relationship, I accepted, and we were married nine months later (July 2011 to be exact).
In early November of last year, a friend of mine told my sister-in-law that my husband was sleeping with another friend of mine. The story was that he had been sleeping with this friend for years, even before we had even met (so, he also allegedly cheated on his ex-wife with her). He and she would allegedly get together while I was working second shift at a grocery store and on their lunch breaks. Eventually the story got back to me and I questioned my husband and my other friend (the “mistress”) and they both denied it. Hearing the story “through the grapevine” was more violating than the thought of my husband having an affair. Due to the absence of evidence and some backpedaling, I chose to trust my husband. For a while, I couldn’t understand why my friend would tell my sister-in-law but not me and why people expected me to believe them and to not trust my husband. Unfortunately, women are expected to believe it when they hear their husbands are having an affair, regardless of whether it can be proven. I lost a couple of friends due to this story, one of which may have been an innocent party, and I feel as though my relationship with my brother and sister-in-law has taken a blow. However, my marriage is much stronger; I’ve learned that trust is a choice.
It would be easy for me to blame my misfortune and suffering on all of these individuals but I know that I have some blame to take in the relationships and situations I chose to be in. Realizing that each of these people are imperfect is important in my process of forgiveness (a topic I will touch on more in another post). I can’t say that I have never made a mistake, so how can I expect the people in my life to be perfect? This also doesn’t mean that I haven’t developed appropriate boundaries to avoid getting hurt and it certainly doesn’t mean that I allow people to walk all over me.
The first step to being happier in whatever situation you are in is acknowledging your role in your unhappiness. I will touch on that more in another post.