Finding Purpose Through Separation

Dating my husband

Beginning this list with reasons I love my husband has been great for me. Walking the journey from when my husband and I began dating and eventually married was a fun walk down memory lane. I must admit though, making my way through the honeymoon phase was a bit more emotional. Yet, there are no regrets as each piece of the puzzle has led us to today. But first, we must go back to where I left off. The separation.

Finding Purpose Through Separation

When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death – ourselves.  ~Eda LeShan

First, the positive: separation was the best diet ever. I dropped almost 20 pounds in the first few weeks and kept it off for about 5 years. I was smaller than I was in high school. But, I think that was the only positive… to begin with.

Things were not very amicable between Colby and I. Just not pretty at all. The words were not encouraging or uplifting. When he came to pick up the kids it was more of a hand off than anything else. I never used the kids as leverage as far as letting Colby take the kids. Unfortunately though, even the hand offs became ugly. One “transfer” even involved me getting drug down the street by a car. Cops called. Charges filed. Not pretty at all I tell ya.

After hearing how my daughter had to sleep in the bed with Colby’s new girlfriend during a weekend visit I lost it. My daughter was 3 at the time. All of this was not easy for her and trying to explain Daddy’s new girlfriend was impossible for me. It infuriated me honestly. The thought of this 19 year old girl trying to “mother” my 18 month old and 3 year old without me there was a tough pill to swallow.

Now, I eventually began dating too… but never had anyone live with me. I tried to keep the dates for times when the kids were with Colby. Eventually I got into a more “steady” relationship, but it was simply poisonous to who I was. I knew it. But I was desperately lonely. Wanted someone to love me again. Dumb.

My breaking point really came when my daughter (she was nearing the age of 4 by this time) was crying in her room one evening. I walked in and asked her what was wrong.

“Can you tell Daddy I’m sorry?”

Sorry? For what? What happened?

“Tell him I am sorry for being so bad that he left.”

That was it. My heart broke and became enraged all at once. How could he do this to my baby? I called him up and demanded that he talk to her. That he should have to explain why it wasn’t her fault. The next day I began looking for a counselor for her. We soon began play therapy and it was the beginning of life long issues with both her and our son we still face even today. (They are now 15 and 17 years old).

Life became a struggle. A couple more dead-end relationships for me. Each one was meant to bring me a feeling of belonging but left me wanting my husband even more. Eventually, Colby stopped coming to get the kids. He switched jobs so I could not garnish my child support from his checks. From what little I have received from him (I never asked because I did not want to know), Colby’s life became wrapped up in parties, drugs, alcohol. All that “fun stuff” we never partook in together. It enveloped him so that the kids no longer even mattered.

my focus

The kids and I jumped around from homes of friends and family sleeping where we could. Although I worked it was not enough to pay rent and utilities. We even moved out to a small city an hour out of town but couldn’t afford it once the child support stopped. No longer dating anyone. No longer content with my life. Living only to ensure my kids were taken care of. We went 10 months without a peep from Colby.

Until one day… my cousin saw him on a job. This at least led me to where he worked so I could tell the Attorney General and once again get child support. Plus, it once again opened the door for communication.

Eventually the kids and I moved in with my parents so we could have a regular place to sleep. I sat down and typed out the best stay at home mom resume I could come up with and began applying for jobs. I landed a job at a Law Firm… and that gave me access to a high profile divorce attorney who took my case. Pro Bono. I filed for divorce and figured it was the end to a chapter I needed to close.

It was also during all this time that I did my own soul searching. Who was I? What had I become? What part did I play in the separation? How could I change those things so that another man would love me again one day? So many questions. Questions I had to ask myself and knew demanded changes.

The only answer I found was Jesus. I poured myself into the Bible. Searched His Word for things I needed. Learned to envelope myself in His love for me and no longer sought after it from others. And, most importantly, I asked God to change me. Not Colby. Me. I needed to change and could not do it on my own.

Now, this may not be your answer. But it was mine. And was the key to bringing my husband back to me.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. ~ Matthew 7: 7-8

With the divorce proceedings beginning, my lawyer advised me to let Colby have visitation rights. I figured he had not seen them in over a year why should I bother. He suggested that it would show the judge I was at least trying where he was not. Ok. But I told him, “You don’t understand. If I see him, I’m going to fall in love with him again.” I don’t think he believed me.

The visitations began. Things were awkward. My son did not know this man. My daughter remembered but was hesitant. It was hard to let them go. I began inviting Colby to watch them preform in the church choir. Asked him to watch the kids while I worked at ministry events. And then one day, while at a care group meeting with some church friends, I told them how I desired to be friends with Colby. For the kids sake of course. That night one of the girls prayed for us. A powerful, heartwarming prayer.

The next day I picked up the phone and called Colby. It was a 45 minute conversation. Awkward at first but one of the best we have ever had. We came to agreements. We talked rationally. We decided to be friends for the kids. To co-parent. To do this together. Things were moving in the right direction.

Then I had a cancer scare. I had to have part of cervix removed and Colby offered to come along. Then he took off of work to take care of me. Brought my favorite movie over and helped me throughout the day. We even talked and decided to take the kids camping for Mother’s Day. Just the four of us. That was it. That was the one event that brought us back together.

Dating my husband

I began dating my husband again that day. It wasn’t easy. We had to get to know each other again. The new person we had each become. Some good. Some bad. But, we were dedicated and we had a plan: Christ. Communication. Compromise. These three simple truths still carry us today.

We both purposefully missed our court date that November.

Ok. That took longer than my 1,000 word limit I set for myself. Next week it’s the dating period. Even though it was a short one. Well, you will see…

Here goes this week’s addition to my never-ending list of reasons I love my husband: 

11. He is colorblind. This may sound like a silly one, but you have no idea what a challenge it becomes. But I love him for it especially when we laugh about it.
12. He doesn’t make me drive. He knows where we are going more often than I. He can see at night and I am a much better navigator anyways.
13. He understands my need for confirmation when buying anything over $5. I hate to spend money and he lets me know it will be alright.
14. He can be socially awkward. This used to be the other way around. Blogging has helped reverse those roles. He makes me smile though. He’s too cute.
15. He rolls over in his sleep. Well, not just because he wants to… but because I ask him to. Either to hold me or to stop him from snoring. Either way. He obeys.

Whew. Again, this week’s post may be a little different by I am enjoying the motivation from the Happy Wives Club. Join us by clicking on the image below!

Reasons I Love My Husband

Do you find some solace in time apart? Have you changed to strengthen and grow your marriage?


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Dallas, Texas Mom Blogger of 5 from toddler to teens living the dream... from home! Blogger and Brand Ambassador with reviews and family lifestyle content with a focus on family, travel and cars. Contact me at staci@7onashoestring.com. You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram as @7onashoestring

Comments

  1. You are so brave to share your story Staci. Again, I am so honored to be your friend. Thank you.

  2. Staci, you are such an amazing individual. The Maven up there said my words before I could say them… I am honored to be your friend. That is such a sweet picture of your oldest kids. By the way, I love your hair in that picture! Back to the point at hand, although this story may be difficult for you to write, just know it is so appreciated. So many people will read this and can relate in some way or another. Thank you for sharing!
    Rita O’Neal recently posted..Girls’ Night with a Kleenex Craft & Vudu.com #SharetheSoft #CBiasMy Profile

  3. […] Beginning this list with reasons I love my husband has been great for me. Walking the journey from when my husband and I began dating and eventually married was a fun walk down memory lane. I must admit though, making my way through the honeymoon phase …read more […]

  4. Staci, I am loving this series By the time you get to the end, we’re all going to be in tears! Is Colby reading this series? Amazing story of redemption.
    Fawn Weaver recently posted..Why My Marriage Just Keeps Getting Better {& Link Up Party}My Profile

  5. What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it. Only Jesus could have healed that rift, right? Remember this, even though you may struggle with remorse over that time and how it affected your children, they will be healed by knowing that their parents remarried and that marriage really IS for keeps. Divorce affects not only our children but our grandchildren and great grandchildren. Marriage will give your children the foundation to build their own marriages and they will thank you!

    blessings,
    Jill Farris (mother of eight and married almost 32 years by the grace of God…seriously)

  6. I don’t know what Fawn is talking about “by the end”…I’m already in tears!!! Wow, Staci, You are such a strong woman and I know that you know where that strength comes from.
    JanetGoingCrazy recently posted..That Crazy Man I Love {and shopping}My Profile

  7. Wow, Staci. What a powerful testimony!
    And your number 15 applies to my hubby too. Thank you for pointing that out to me, because it IS something to appreciate!
    Carol recently posted..What a Great Cleanup Solution!My Profile

  8. I love reading how God works through every situation, even the difficulties, in our lives! I like to call them “God Interventions”, when we know it was definitely the Lord who worked out the details that brought two people together, for the first time or the 10th time!!!! Love reading your story! My hubs and celebrating our 26th wedding anniversary today. I wrote a couple different posts about our story, too.
    In His Lo♥e, Ann @ Christ in the Clouds
    Ann recently posted..26 Reasons Why I Love My HusbandMy Profile

  9. Wow, your story is truly amazing! You have so many people sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for the next post…at least, I am! You are a very brave and strong woman that has come so far. And I love how strong you’ve always been for your kids. Very admirable!!
    Kecia recently posted..Iron Man 3: Sneak Peek of Super Bowl CommercialMy Profile

  10. This testimony is going to bless others so much Staci! God is so good in His plan and purpose. It’s also gives Him the glory for how He can change a person. I know it full well! Thank you for your honesty!
    Mimi recently posted..Wanna Know Why I LML?My Profile

  11. Oh you are so brave to share your story. And everything you did for your kids, wow. You’re a great, great person!
    Emily recently posted..one little word {present}My Profile

  12. You are such an inspiration! I would not know what I would do if my husband and I ever separated, but I hope that I’ll remember this post and work towards a better relationship! God Bless You and Your Family!
    Maria (Mammahomemaker) recently posted..Ohio Bloggers Network: Looking For BloggersMy Profile

  13. Staci, this story is so heartwarming that it literally makes me cry. I completely understand exactly where you are coming from of course I never got back with my ex. I think the feelings you express are unique to both you and your husband at the same time they are complex. I will be sharing this on my Facebook page. Many will completely empathize with you, cry with you both tears of sadness and joy. Thanks for sharing!
    Heather Buen recently posted..Guest Post: How to Create Kid-Friendly Sink AreasMy Profile

  14. WOW – i didn’t expect that at all. I don’t know much about your life, but this is the wildest store I’ve ever heard.
    Lena – recently posted..Upgrading to DSLR CameraMy Profile

  15. What an awesome testimony, Staci!
    Randi – Dukes and Duchesses recently posted..A Flower PincushionMy Profile

  16. Staci, you are an incredible person! It is so refreshing to hear someone like you give glory to God for getting you through….what a wonderful testimony to His power!

    I’m so glad you two worked it out because y’all are just too cute and as I’ve said before, your kids are just precious! Sometimes I think that those of us who have been through trials have a stronger relationship in the end. It seems that way with you guys for sure. Even though the trials were awful, you two made it through!!
    Gena recently posted..Easy Coconut Almond Granola RecipeMy Profile

  17. Wow that is a lot to come back from. Parts of this installment took me back to my childhood. My parents broke up frequently throughout my childhood – mom and I lived in various places (namely friends couches for awhile)..dealing with them dating then getting back together again…then another breakup. My mom even got married to my stepdad… But after all these years they got back together and got married to each other the year after I did.

    I can totally relate to your oldest daughter. That stuff was hard to be a part of as a kid.
    Darcy recently posted..Because Prompts are Fun: An Introduction to My LifeMy Profile

  18. Such a powerful, yet uplifting story. It’s an amazing testament to so many things – I’m pretty speechless. And hey, you’re wearing lipstick in that picture.

    I am so happy that you are happy and that you found yourself.
    Amber K. recently posted..Making Date Night a Reality in 30 Minutes or Less! Campbell’s Skillet SaucesMy Profile

  19. Wow! What an amazing post!! I am so glad things are working out now and I pray for your continued success in your relationship! I truly takes work to make it work! You’re doing great!
    Kristin Wheeler (Mama Luvs Books) recently posted..MedImmune RSV Awareness ~ Know the Signs; Protect Your KidsMy Profile

  20. Thanks so much for sharing your story. God is using you through your willingness to open up about hard things. God bless you!
    Wani recently posted..Guest Post by Kristin Hill TaylorMy Profile

  21. Woah. Staci, you really are brave for sharing this. I almost had tears in my eyes a couple of times while reading this post. I’m off to read the dating my husband one now.
    Lindsay recently posted..Life Changes: How Things Have Changed for Me in Recent MonthsMy Profile

  22. Wow! This was beautiful to read. I am sorry that you and your family had to go through everything that you did. But I am glad that you were able to work through it.

    It takes a lot of strength to forgive.

    Dawn
    Dawn recently posted..Lighted Furniture And New Kenmore Grills For Summer! Exclusively @Sears #GrillingisHappiness #adMy Profile

  23. Great story about reconciliation. God truly does work miracles. He is awesome isn’t He! I am happy for you and your family.
    Mama’s Always Home recently posted..How Important Is The Number Thirteen?My Profile

  24. Your story really tugged at my heart strings. We have so much in common, only my children were 4 months, 18 months, and 4yrs old when my husband & I seperated. We had no family to turn to and spent 2 yrs in 2 different shelters before being able to afford our own “little” apt. I was never able to speak aloud of what was happening because of the shame i felt, but after gaining the confidence back and independence, I recovered stronger than ever. My oldest daughter is determined to write a book one day of my experience, only she only knows a fraction of the truths. I was moved at how you said your blogging helped you open up. I’m certainly not an internet guru, but if chatting to “someone out there” helps open the unknown territories…who knows… maybe my story will unfold one day too. Thank you for your inspiration. I’m glad I stumbled upon your site. 🙂

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