Oct 2, 2016
Months ago I separated from my husband.
Every day since, my moods have been volatile, colorful and constantly changing. I’m either up or down, angry or ok, upset or calm, tearful or solemn. Like my life this past year, I feel like I’m just trying to stay above water, trying to hold things together while breaking slowly apart.
In these last several months, I began to wail – a deep, weeping cry that travels deep into one’s soul. I remember swimming far out into the ocean in Mexico, and wailing while my stepdaughters swam farther behind. I remember running up the hills in Hawaii, and wailing after every 4 blocks. I have laid in bed staring at the wall hours on end, replaying tragic events, reciting broken vows and revisiting every action that led to this single moment…
I don’t know what to do.
And yet I do.
I know that I have lifetime goals I want to complete, all that encompasses my family, my faith and my community. I know that I have strong convictions, all unwavering values that must align with someone who shares the same priorities and beliefs as me. I know that I am a beautiful, strong, hard-working, passionate and committed woman, worthy characteristics of any virtuous wife.
And yet for a long time, I didn’t feel good enough.
For a long time, subconsciously, I didn’t feel good enough or understand why I felt so disconnected in my marriage. I felt invisible. I felt like my hurt, didn’t hurt him. I felt like his eyes were no longer seeing deeply into mine. I felt unbeautiful.
I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I needed to find me again. Between the piles of laundry, the endless errands and nonstop to-do list, I want to start brushing my hair, wearing something nice or spend a weekend spontaneously doing something that I didn’t plan. I want someone to ask me questions and be genuinely interested in my thoughts, dreams and ambitions. I want to start smiling again, I want to start feeling purposeful again, most importantly, I want to start focusing on what I want, versus what I don’t want – as I hopefully think about my future either with or without my husband.
I know who I am, I know what I want, I know what I need to do and as I continue being authentically me, I know that it will deflect the people who shouldn’t be in my life and affect the people that should.
One thing this experience has taught me is to stay faithful in God’s plan for my life; to surrender, pray…let go and let God. It has taught me to consistently open my bible, to start getting on my knees and fervently pray and to be keenly aware of the people God provided in my life – sending me private messages, writing encouraging comments and texting me reassuring thoughts.
I am not staying or going on this joint road because of fear, I am tenaciously walking my chosen life’s path because of Love. I love my husband, that’s why I stay. In the same token, I love my husband, and that’s why I am also ready to let go.
Tonight I saw a shooting star.
For a moment I was reminded of the hopes and wishes I dreamt of as a young girl looking at the night sky. I closed my eyes and in the most child-like intention, I prayed for my strength and I wished for the marriage God intended me to have.
I know exactly how you feel and admire the strength you have in sharing your “authentic self” during this time. When moving to Elk Grove Kevin and I didn’t know if we should stay together or not and yet with a great deal of prayer and support we now have a marriage and love that we never would have had if not gone through what we did. It awakens your soul to an unimaginable depth.
I am so sorry to hear about your separation. I am in a very toxic marriage and have been for 11 years. I feel stuck and have lost all self confidence. I have gained an extreme amount of weight. I want me back. I read on one of your blogs that you know about free gyms. I am not able to spend money but would love to work out to start feeling better. If you have any info that you can send me I live in San Antonio and my Email is Kimberly.email@example.com. I try very hard during the really rough days to remember the things I learned in church as a little girl and my grandmother used to tell me often. God only gives us what we can handle and he does this to make us stronger. I believe this even thought I may not know what I am suppose to see or the lesson I am suppose to learn from it but I do know he is with me every step of the way.
Kimberley, here is our NEM group (that’s free!) in San Antonio. I am so sorry you are undergoing challenging times!
Thank you Karla, I appreciate you commenting as I always see you both as a perfect couple!
Wow! I hope everything works out well for you and your boys. I pray your husband realuzes, that his sons need their dad there with them. Not just on weekends, but everyday of their lives. Really bums me out. What more could be want? A beautiful wife, three handsome young boys. Sad Anyway best wishes, stay strong, be happy. I’ll pray for your happiness as well.
Thank you Phil
Be strong for you and your family. God has a plan for all of us. You are strong woman with weaknesses as we all do. To err is human. It’s time to forgo all your troubles and fears – as this to shall pass.
Hang in there♡ You’ve got this 🙂
Just be strong and squeeze those
You’re in our thoughts♡
You are not alone. Congratulations for being Brave enough to be transparent. Many women face these same situations silent and broken. There is freedom in releasing. With God all things are possible and praying he directs your path towards joy & happiness. This storm won’t last always.
Thank you Karie
oh maria…this is sad news…but for me also “good”to read. Because i struggle with exactly the same problems. You are a rol model for me..and ofcourse your life is not my life,and your situation is different then mine…but knowing that we are in this together,that i am not alone gives me a little bit courage for the future. I don’t believe in god, but i do believe that it gives you strenght right now. I wish you all the best…and i know and feel your pain. It is all of letting go of your expactations and dreams…and finding a way to deal with that…xx
let go and let God. Simple words. Easy to say, hard to do. But total truth.
Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your heart. God is gracious and kind. Forgiving and steadfast. He wants us to have joy and genuine love in our lives. Keep looking HIS way and being YOU! love and prayers!
Maria, I am not sure if you read this, but I weep and I wail with you. This year 2016 has been almost a mirror of yours and my 10 year “solid” marriage is now nothing but a question.
I, like you, have surrendered it all to God, and I like you, pray for nothing but the marriage God intended me to have. And this is when you know what faith is. I admire you and it brings a little bit of peace to know that I am not alone. I am an “important” business woman, daily surrounded by tons of people and having to make huge decisions; yet, when it comes to your heart and your family, you feel so vulnerable.
So, Maria, I know you know you are not alone, but I want to thank you for putting yourself out there because I am sure you are helping hundreds of women like me as we together share difficult times.
I will pray for you and your husband the same prayer I pray for my husband and I: to soften our hearts and make us the wives and husbands we are meant to be. There is nothing impossible for God, but we must allow Him to work on our lives.
I’ve learned a lot about my faith this past year – and despite the challenges and bleakness of my situation, I have incredible faith in God that this is happening for a reason
I know you will pull through this. You seem like a wonderful person.
I feel ya! *Hugs* I’ve had to adjust to life as single mom myself. It was not always an easy transition and took some time to find myself. However my son and I are adjusting well to the new life and back to finding our happy.
Just know everything you are feeling is perfectly normal. My boys were 4, 6, and 9 when my ex husband and I separated. I used to think I was schizophrenic or something because one second I was fine and the next second I was crying in the bathroom. There were days I went through every single emotion- it’s exhausting! It was not an easy time and so I empathize with you on every level. Slowly but surely the pain passed, life starts getting better and better and now, 4 years later, it’s just part of my story, the boys and I became closer than ever and I’m happily engaged (and believe me, I wanted nothing to do with men for a long time). My favorite quote that got me through is, ….and so she decided to start living the life she’d imagined”. You’re an inspiration, Maria! Keep on keeping on.
Maria, this was very inspiring for me to read and yes you certainly are not alone, you ARE all the things you believe you are and thank you for your bravery in writing this for those many women who will need this to inspire them!! I love what you do for others and I love you! Keep doing all the amazing things you do and continue seek God and you will always find comfort and joy through any obstacles you face. Many blessings to you!!
Beautiful words, written from a beautiful, courageous soul! We can allow our circumstances to break us and make us bitter, or use them to grow us and mold us into the God-ordained image He has in mind for us. A breath-taking image that mirrors Him! He is ever present and close to the broken and does indeed make beautiful things out of the broke pieces we bring to Him. He is love. He is healer. He is the giver of all good gifts. Continue on, brave one. Press in, to Him, the true Lover of your soul. Continue letting out those wailings as necessary, for joy cometh in the morning.
Wow. So raw, so real. Thanks for sharing, and just know that I will be praying for you daily. You’re strong, you’re intelligent, and you inspire me more than you will ever know, and I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who feels that way. Stay strong, Maria.
Praying for you during this difficult time. Thanks for sharing your heart, that way we know how to pray for you.
Hi Maria, I’ve followed you for some time, and you have always been an inspiration. You and your family are in my prayers during this time. God has a beautiful plan and divine purpose for your life, and it’s awesome that you can use this time in your life to comfort/inspire/encourage others. Draw strength from Him and all will be well. God bless you!
I know you know this, and I bear no judgment whatsoever toward you, but just a gentle reminder that — married or not — you will always have your husband in your life. Even though my daughters are now married and have families of their own, I must still “endure” the occasional presence of their father — sadly a man who had no respect for me and was not good for me. I am loving you and praying for and with you as you continue your journey. You come to my mind often (Holy Spirit?) and I always think and pray for you, Dear. Many blessings and one big sister-style hug! <3
Have you heard of marriage 911. I am currently doing it. Im not trying to say I know something that will answer your prayers just maybe a different perspective. I too am struggling with my marriage but this class is teaching me to look and rely for my everything from God. Getting to know him first and everything will fall into place. Like you I’ve been like the waves on the ocean constantly letting myself to be tossed around by emotions instead of being grounded in Jesus’s supernatural strength. I pray and hope that more than anything you cling and fall in love in Christ more each day…i hope I’m not overstepping any boundaries…
I have felt so much of what you have written in the last few years. Thank you for your honesty!
I’m sorry Maria !you seem like a strong confident women and I’m sure you will over come this !its hard to understand now but someday you will.do what’s best for you and the kids.God will provide .its hard life is hard .
Oh Maria, my heart breaks for you. And it breaks because I am in the same situation, I love so I stay, I love so I know I need to leave. My counselor keeps telling me leave it at the feet of Jesus, leave it at the cross. I have so much guilt over different things that have happened. God bless you as you find your way, the way God would have you go. You’re amazing, stay strong.
Dang Maria..that was deep. You are an awesome woman. Whichever path you choose, you’re going to be alright. You are a strong women. Much love.
That was beautiful and so painfully familiar. We love you Maria!
I have read this over and over again! If I could have literally wrote this word for word this would have been it! Thank you for speaking out ! Please keep writing! This has helped me so much. Prayers for you and your boys! My life’s journey right now is no joke…
Thank you so much Mary!
Maria, You are absolutely inspirational! 💞Keep your head up and keep going and moving and ultimately being you.
No one said life was fair or easy. Life is tough, marriage is work, motherhood is endless and the list goes on and on. I wish and pray for health, happiness and strength for you and your boys! Believe strongly and have Faith! 💞
You and your family are in my prayers.
7 Cast all your cares upon him, for he takes care of you.
8 Be sober and vigilant. For your adversary, the devil, is like a roaring lion, traveling around and seeking those whom he might devour.
9 Resist him by being strong in faith, being aware that the same passions afflict those who are your brothers in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself perfect, confirm, and establish us, after a brief time of suffering.
11 To him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:7-11
God’s heart is broken!
Thank you for your words. I just decided this past weekend that it is time to separate from my husband, start divorce process and break it to my parents. I could have (and most people would have) left a year ago but I was not ready to process everything at once. God is so good and He will never give us something that we cannot bear. I found so much encouragement from your words tonight.
Sorry for the loss of your marriage, your honesty and openness is inspiring, refreshing and needed. As I’m sure you know the process of which you are going through is indeed a “process” and being busy sometimes can lead to being too busy and that is not a good thing. I wish you all that you seek. The ultimate faith I’ve found is exercising faith by truly letting go. Be not afraid, let some others make some decisions for you. As you know our lord works to us through others, be mindful thought of false prophets & wolves in sheeps clothing. Don’t be afraid to allow him to bring you to your next desitination and love on HIS terms. It will happen, guaranteed you just need to allow it. Your no excuse platform has opened my eyes and I thank you for that as i seek to WORK SMARTER to be the better man, husband, step-father & worker that I can become, only but for the Grace of God. Peace and blessing to you and yours. PS. The worst thing that ever happened to me, never happended to me. Shine on!
Its been months since I have read one of your posts. I was shocked to read this post, no words can express my empathy, and no words I can think of can lift your spirits. However, I want you to know your strength, openness, honesty and bravery to talk about your life and feelings is a healthy and attractive quality. I know you will have a wonderful life because you have a vision and dream of what you want your life to be. There are many of us who have lost hope and lost that dream. I don’t want you to ever lose your dream or your passion for life. You have inspired many, myself included with your openness, don’t lose your energy and passion to connect with others. Life is a long journey, when your dreams are great, your obstacles are tall. I wish you the best Maria, we all do.
Maria, you will be strong because your family needs you. As Morgan Freeman said in Evan Almighty, when you pray for strength, does God give you strength or does he give opportunity to be strong? While this is a time of emotional pain, this is the time to be strong not only for yourself, but for your children. Keep to your faith and be strong.
Love isn’t something you feel, it’s a choice and an action. If this were not true then the Lord would be unjust to command us to love one another. Luke 6:30-36 demonstrates what God defines as love.
Looking back at two failed marriages I can tell you exactly why they ended. We were both focused on the fact that our needs weren’t being met. We were selfish. If I could go back to my first marriage I would devote myself to meeting all of her needs and rely on God to meet mine.
I challenge you to do two things. First, take a pen and paper and describe the actions of love. Write out 10 characteristics of loving someone. Apply them first to God, then to yourself, and finally to your husband. Second, discover God’s plan for marriage. Search scripture and read everything you can find on the topic. Meditate on it, asking God to reveal his will for your marriage.
When you understand God’s will you can take action to stay in His will, and being in God’s will is a key to receiving His blessing.
Praying for you! I am sorry that you are going through hard times. But I’m glad that you sound hopeful and have made the choice to prioritize YOUR needs, in addition to everything that you are working on.
Hi, I’m Marta from Panama, considering what i read about your beliefs in God and Jesus. May be you should ask:” oh Heavenly Father, what do you want from me”? How can i make you happy? The plans of God to your life are Beatiful according with Jeremiah 29:11. I promise you, that through your wnderfull life, He wants to do something Great
Thank you for sharing. You are so wise and inspiring! Sadly I have been dealing with a similar sitsuation with my husband too.
I am so sad for you. I have been there. May God guide you and protect you and your family through this trial. I remember when my my marriage ended. I was so torn about the situation. One day, I could only pray for guidance and I opened my Bible and it fell to the verses in Matthew 5:29-30 about “If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out.” And I realized, if God were saying that one should be willing to give up a part of themselves to live the life He intended for them, then surely He also would accept someone who felt they needed to let go of a relationship. This verse gave me comfort in a time of despair. May it comfort you also.
Maria, I ran across this post quite by accident and read the first two paragraphs and couldn’t stop till the end. I don’t know you or what has happened in your marriage. The only thing I know about you is that you’re the “What’s your excuse mom.” It’s something you have apologized for, asking forgiveness from those who were offended. Now it seems those who felt slighted have little empathy for you now that you’re in a troubling time in your own life. So your “enemies ” pile on. Please know I am not here to judge you. As I read your post and the comments that were left it seemed to me that too much emphasis is placed on you to be strong. Dear Maria, that’s an exhausting way to live. The Lord doesn’t expect you to stand in your own strength. We fail every time we try. Sure we want to appear strong and in control in the eyes of others. It makes us feel good when people look at us and speak of their admiration of our strength. It strokes our pride. Not the good kind of pride because it is one that is egocentric. I believe that to be the downfall for many of us…myself included. The Word tells us, “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us,” and, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” The kind of strength the Lord gives is free of the side effects you may experience when trying to stand in your own strength. Some of those side effects are found in your own post. Instead of praying for you to have strength, I’ll instead pray for you to have boldness. With boldness a person will be strong, it will be a strength that’s not self-centered but one that is focused on the needs of others. It is what brings joy to your life when you’re being bold serving the Lord. And remember this, the Lord sees your tears; “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book,” Psalms 56:8. King David, a man after God’s own heart knew a about deep soulful mourning…as do many of us. Remember this, you are a new creation in Christ, old things are passed away, behold, all things have become new. So now you’re starting a new chapter in your life, it’s up to you what you want those pages to say. It’s a blank canvas waiting for the vision you and the Lord share to be displayed to the world. What will it look like? Only time will tell. I pray it will be a heavenly masterpiece.
Don’t give up just yet. I too recently went through a very tough time in my marriage and now my wife and I are stronger than ever. I was battling with depression and drinking too much. I realized that what was truly important was my family and I am committed to making my relationship even stronger. Hang in there.
My previous Pastor, (who is now with the LORD), used to teach that…
“In either gladness or sadness, every circumstance of life is designed by God to draw us closer to His heart of everlasting Love!” I pray that you will grow into an even deeper appreciation for His word!
In Matthew 7, Christ was trying to get his disciples to understand a new relationship with God.
As a Jew would see it, he was no longer just a far away God that only visited the tabernacle or temple once a year.
Now He is “our Father”, “your Father”, “your Heavenly Father”! What a blessed thought!
The creator of the entire universe wants to provide for every need in our lives every moment of every day as only a PERFECT Father could do! Hallelujah!
“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” There’s no better place to be than in the book.
May the LORD bless you and keep you, in His everlasting Love!
Sorry, Maria, it’s Matthew chapter 6 actually.
Too much gray hair!
God will show you the way find strength in him and you children I too went tru this but I keot my children and put my strength in them and we’re all the better for it you are an amazing and so very beautiful young lady don’t give up on your dreams !
I have to apologize to you because initially, I was a little satisfied to hear about your marriage. I have been angry at you for years. Your “no excuse” campaign hurt me personally because I am extremely resistant to weight loss and genuinely, between long commute, grad school, and parenting DON’T have a lot of time. Going to the grocery store is an accomplishment. I realize all divorce and separations are awful and I don’t wish it on anyone. I am truly and deeply sorry.
Good read! I separated with my husband in april of this year. He left me because he “could no longer be honest, and God told him to get a divorce” I totally get the meaning of limbo! Mine now refuses to do what needs to be done to move forward in our divorce so I am myself are in limbo! I pray for your heart during this time, because I know your pain!
I understand where you are coming from. We all are on our separate paths trying to discover the meaning to our individual lives – and I believe we all work in stages. So I am prayerful that he gets perspective!