Eight years ago today I woke up so excited that at 32, I was getting married. I had planned this beautiful fall tropical wedding at the Phoenix Zoo – and everything you would expect at a wedding was thrown out the window. I didn’t want a traditional reception, I wanted a memorable one.
We were married in front of the giraffes during mating season, but thankfully they refrained. Mariachi music was playing throughout the ceremony and I remembered looking at M with love in my eyes and hope in my heart. I was ready for the ever-after fairy tale. I wanted children, the white picket fence, and a love that would make me feel secure and wanted for the rest of my life.
What I didn’t realize, maybe because I was in denial, was that my friends and family were not excited at all that I was marrying M. They were taking bets on how long it would last. They knew I was making a terrible mistake as he was not the man made for me. I didn’t know until months later that my family was not M’s biggest fan club. My best friend and Maid of Honor Lisa, had even said that morning – Let’s jump in my car and just go. I thought she was joking. She wasn’t.
My best friend, Lisa – she is the exact opposite of me, the Ying to my Yang. Love her!
I have now been divorced as long as I was married. I was married for 3.5 years – married on 11/4/06 and divorced on 5/13/10. We were together for a total of 7 years.
Matt is not a bad man, but some of his actions were appalling. Many, and I mean, many days I was told I was stupid, ugly, fat, and that no one would ever love me again. The days when he called me a Bitch and a C&nt still haunt me. I don’t do well with verbal and emotional abuse. He told me daily that he was the best I would ever have, that no man could love my strong personality. He was also the most negative man I had ever known in my life. My positivity soon gave way to negativity and I too, was overly negative. I couldn’t blame people for not wanting to be around me anymore.
With this divorce and the loss of my flower shop I was in financial ruin. I left that marriage with $500 and hope in my heart that one day I would know what it was like to be truly loved by another human being. But first, I had to learn to love myself again. Because honestly, I hated everything about myself.
But damn, my flowers were breathtaking. I sure know how to throw a party btw!
I wrote out a list of every bad quality I had and I have spent the last four years working on myself by conquering that list. I have regained my strength and my adventurous spirit. I am no longer afraid of anything anymore. I am not afraid to live my life for me. I am not afraid of saying no, even though it is still hard. I am not afraid to let my intelligence shine through, even when it intimidates those around me. I will not apologize for being crazy intelligent anymore. And I am not afraid to love again.
I am blessed and cursed with a personality that sees the good in each and every person. I fall in love easily, but hurt deeply when it doesn’t work out. I’m a very passionate person and that level of depth is quite hard for people to handle on a daily basis, which is why I spend a lot of time alone. But now when things don’t work out, I try to see what lesson I learned from that person, and walk on.
I’m an emotional empath and am now careful of who I allow into my inner space. People have always told me – you are who you surround yourself with – so very true. The people in your life are the reflections of your soul.
So this morning I am sad. I am sad that the life I envisioned did not work out in any sense. Everything I wanted in life was taken away from me until I woke up one morning with nothing.
That’s not entirely true, I woke up with my family and friends holding out their hands and saying – here, let us help you up.
I worked through that pain with a lot of counseling and quite a few bottles of wine. I made some seriously bad decisions in my life at that time too. The best thing I did in my 30s was when I packed up the rest of my belongings at 39 and took off on this #GirlOnTheRun journey that has had me traveling for 19 months and has brought me to Alaska.
Last year I healed while traveling around the US. I learned to love myself again and love all the unique attributes I possess. I learned that I am not a quitter in life and just because I quit my marriage didn’t make me a bad person, it just meant that I put myself first.
I had told Lisa on my wedding day that I would rather be 40 and divorced than to say I was 40 and never married. How foolish I was back then. Staying with the wrong man prevented me from possibly finding the right man. Staying with a man that broke me down everyday almost killed my soul.
Today though, I am 40, single, no kids and I am a full-time traveler and writer. Never in my life would I have ever thought that sentence would be used to describe me. But it does. This is who I am. I am the maker of my destiny and the only one responsible for my decisions in life.
I choose to continue to live a life that I love and make memories that will last me a lifetime. I’m also ready to love again. Funny, I tell myself every morning – I love you, Kristi. Because it is true, if you don’t love yourself, how can you love someone else?
November 4th… you are so full of memories for me. Thank you for the lessons you taught me in love and friendship and most importantly, how to live again when your dreams are shattered into a thousand pieces.
Kyle Trail says
First off, good job here. It’s an excellent piece of writing and it should be required reading for those prepping to be married and/or divorced.
I was married at 24 for 6 years myself. When it finally ended (she did not want to be married at all and much less to me), it was devastating for me. I immediately took full responsibility for the entire thing. It had to be my fault right? I’m bad at sex or I’m not attractive enough. I beat the crap out of myself internally. It got so bad that I ended up calling a friend as I was having persistent (and quite annoying) suicidal visions.
Following that stuff (and that was really the first 2-3 years after the divorce), I figured out that it wasn’t me or her or anything like that. I would have to realize that and be happy with who I am. That took a while.
Here we are 15 years later, though, and I’m happily re-married and we have two beautiful children (6 and 8) and just celebrated our 10th anniversary (which is 4 years longer than my first marriage and 8 years longer than my wife’s first marriage).
What I’m getting at is that you have to figure out what you want and what’s good for you before you can move forward. What I have is not for everyone (Certainly not for my ex who I still talk to sometimes but have a tough time understanding why I was with.), but there is some way for everyone to be happy out there. Unless your being happy is hurting someone else, then go for it.
Thanks again for the great read sister and good luck,
Amanda Boehmer says
Thank you for sharing! Great article!
I STUCK IT OUT FOR 28 IM BAD. ONLY TO FIND OUT HE HAD MENTAL PROBS WAY BEFORE I MET HIM & NO ONE KNEW IT. HE STILL PLAYS THE MIND GAMES WITH OUR DTR (HES IN ASST LIVING) BUT SHE KNOWS THEM & CAN HANDLE THEM. BUT AT 50 THERE I WAS DIVORCED. IT SUCKED.
You’re a lover AND a fighter!
The day you were married, was my daughter’s due date. I had her four days later on the 8th.
It’s amazing how different our paths are, yet those paths crossed.
I’m so glad I was introduced to you at Think Tank in North Carolina last month. Your blog is beautiful, and reading it each day has been such a gift.
Thank you for sharing so much of your life, and your journey. It helps me focus, and be more “in the moment” with the people in my life.
Plus, the gorgeous photos of Alaska make me smile – mostly because I’ll never go there, and it’s nice to have a direct connection to all its beauty without having to suffer the cold! XOXOX.
You continue to be an inspiration. I am honored to have been part of your journey back to your amazing self! What a gift this piece of writing is – thank you for your continued bravery and honesty not only to yourself but to the world. Love you!
Connie - Baby to Boomer Lifestyle says
Looking backwards means you stumble into the future. Letting it go lets you find today’s memories. You didn’t fail and his words have no power because he’s not a part of your life. Just be and quietly something inside will tell you that THIS is the right spot for you.because it’s where you are right now. Sending you peace and love and warm hugs. 🙂
Michelle @ theycallmemummy says
Kristi, when you describe personality, it’s like you’re describing me. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through. Your account of your marriage made me want to wrap you up in my arms and take the pain away.
I am in awe of your strength and want you to know I admire you for your honesty, guts and ability to see that you are worth all the pure and perfect-for-you love you are most certainly going to attract.
Take care of you and hold your head high, girl!
My sister said the same thing to me on the day I got married the first time. Then I got married again, without having any better understanding of myself.
Then a third time. Fortunately, this one is good..great even. It just took three tries.
I don’t think your ex sounds like a good man. He sounds abusive and horrible and I am happy that you are out of that situation.
Suzanne Stavert says
YOU GO GIRL! It had to be very difficult to write that post, however, look how far you have come. I always say that we learn more from the difficulties in our lives than the triumphs! You keep up the great work and articles like this help everyone!
Cathy Chester says
One of the most beautiful posts I’ve read in a long, long time. I hurt for you but am happy that you came out the other side. The truth is we must love ourselves before all else. Not always an easy lesson to learn. Good for you, Kristi!
“I am blessed and cursed with a personality that sees the good in each and every person. I fall in love easily, but hurt deeply when it doesn’t work out. I’m a very passionate person and that level of depth is quite hard for people to handle on a daily basis, which is why I spend a lot of time alone. But now when things don’t work out, I try to see what lesson I learned from that person, and walk on.”
I’m a little like this too. Wayne Dyer has a saying: “your heart is not broken, it is broken open.” This is so true. Every “heartbreak” I’ve had has brought me closer my authentic self.
Thanks for sharing how you dodged a bullet and found your way to a rich and meaningful place.
Beautifully written…by a beautiful soul.
One life my friend, one life <3
Rock on, woman.
I’m glad you found yourself. I’m thrilled you love the woman you have become. Proud to know you.
I’m working on the same thing. Life after it being shattered and being 50. Thanks for this article.