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My First Marriage Taught Me Not To Lean On My Husband

My kids are at their other dad’s house this weekend. They make me pretty crazy at least once a day but even so, I started missing them the second we dropped them off. This morning, instead of waking to my usual 6:30am alarm (“Mom, I have to go potty.”),  I slept in. I took a shower. I even blow dried my hair! Breakfast was eaten at a normal pace and my eggs never got cold. It was like I was 22 again – zero responsibilities and endless amounts of freedom. When the girls are at their dad’s house, I really try to take advantage of the freedom. It’s either that or I’d lay in bed all day worrying about them.

Now I get to put in a few hours of work at the grocery store. Do I work at the grocery store you ask? No – not even close. But our local Harmons is probably my favorite place to set up my laptop and crank out a few thoughts. They have a great seating area upstairs where you can look down on the store and admire all their treats. I grab a yerba mate and something to munch on and just enjoy being inside my own mind for a while.   I’m one of those lucky weirdos who loves their job and looks forward to putting in some overtime on a Saturday when the kids are out of town.

Just a few years ago, I was not this woman. I was living with my parents with no idea how I was going to provide for my family. I was sad, humiliated, heart broken and hopeless. Betrayal trauma, legal paperwork, and a stress induced eating disorder were kicking my butt. There was a period where I was convinced my life was ruined.

Gosh, I was SO WRONG.

Little by little, my life came back together. I got a part time job while my mom helped watch my kids. I saved enough to buy a car. I finished my associates degree. Hell, I even eventually packed up and moved 1100 miles away from my parents with my two little girls on a whim.

The kick in the pants I experienced a few years ago was a wake up call. It was a very important reminder to take control of my life and work for the things that I wanted. It was especially a reminder that I needed to rely NOT on a man, but on God and myself.

But First, I Had To Reach Rock Bottom

After about a year of crying, stumbling around, and not having any real plan, I quite literally threw my hands up in the air and surrendered.

“God, I’m done. I’m not going to ask for anything anymore. It’s your will, not mine. I can ask for all the things in the world but you’re going to do what you want anyways. So you do your thing and just help me figure it out as I go – help me deal with it. That’s all I can do. I’m done making plans or asking for anything. Do what you want.”

This wasn’t a “humble” type of scenario. This was more of a situation where I was so stumped and so frustrated that I said “Fine. Do what you want. I’m not trying anymore.”

Is that the best way to approach God? I don’t think so. I think he’d be a bit happier had I come to him seeking a life of worship and all things Godly because I loved him, not because my life was in disrepair.

But I was broken. Careless decisions from my past had brought me to a point where I was broken and completely incapable of fixing it myself.

God never said “Geez, finally! Btw, I told you so. You should have listened to me.” Instead, he got to work. He took my life that I had slowly broken into shards and he put it back together piece by piece, making it something way better than I could have created myself.

    • He showed me where I was broken, so I could see the things I needed to work on.
    • He took me back to school and showed me a few things that I was really good at and could build on.
    • He introduced me to men that were good, giving me hope that I could have something better when I was ready.
    • He gave me the courage to live on my own again when I needed it.
    • He introduced me to women that were incredible role models.
    • He led me to the job that I have now and love so much.
  • He led me to Mr. Wilson.

As a person who’s excited by the ability to articulate her thoughts through writing (nerrrrrrd), I’m lost for words when I try to describe the appreciation I have for a God who continually helps us to press forward – despite opposition, despite our faults and dumb choices. If you let him, he will make all things right. He will help you succeed and be truly happy even when you thought you could never find peace again. You just have to place one foot in front of the other and I truly believe that HE will take care of the rest.

Back to my point though – My first marriage really taught me not to lean on my husband. I leaned way too hard on him. I relied on him to provide for our family financially, I relied on him to make me happy, I relied on him to feel loved and to feel good about myself. When he walked away, it felt like everything went with him – my self worth, my happiness, my direction in life. Kaboom.

I’ve learned that my partner should NOT be my foundation. He is a flawed human just like the rest of us and is sure to disappoint me (and I, him) from time to time. However, God is perfect. I CAN rely wholly on him. And he will help me to create my own foundation of happiness and self worth. I’m going to make damn sure that I am my own foundation for financial support as well.

Mr. Wilson doesn’t have to be my everything. Instead, he can be my best friend, my lover, my partner, and whatever else he wants to be. It’s going pretty well so far…