Shop the fall collection ➔

I don’t know if I want to be a dad. 

Sitting there, celebrating Valentine’s Day as newly expectant parents, I heard these words. And it was the day we started to go around and around. We grew different and distant. Me scared of him leaving. Him scared of where our life was going.

We went around.

Over and over again.

He stayed. I pretended. For the next four years.

We found steady ground. That constantly looped about the ever-looming issues. Ones we dared not touch for fear of knocking us off the balance we found. Rather than tackling, we brushed off. Rather than working through, we idled. Rather than exposing, we covered up.

Too afraid to acknowledge our weaknesses, our failures, our feelings, our hopes, our mistakes, our disappointments, we chose to skim the surface. Terrified of being alone. Panicked love wasn’t enough. Fearful of life without.

We went around.

I can’t do this anymore. 

Sitting there, wrapping Christmas presents for our sons, I heard these words. And it was the day I started to go through.

No longer could I pretend. No longer could I skirt around. No longer could I force perfection. No longer could I hold all the pain, all the hurt, all the fears I had inside.

I knew that the only way to get through my separation and my divorce was by going through. The dam broke and I went under. I cracked. I shattered. I discovered the way to heal is by holding hands with my story. Accepting. Owning. Embracing.

I stopped running away.

And started crawling forward.

Time and time again, I was hit. Making me want to hide away. Pleading with God to take it all from me. I cannot do this anymore. I wanted to bury myself under. Go to sleep until I woke anew.

I go through.

Packing and dividing up all our belongings. Sell our home to moving into my home. Finding a lawyer. Filing for divorce. Taking the process step by step. Forcing myself to walk in with my head held high. Even though my heart was screaming RUN! Get away from here. There is only pain here. Acute pain. Sitting across from him scheduling out our children’s days. Sleeping alone longing for arms to protect me. Weekends ordering myself to be in the silence. Even though the loneliness choked me. Signing my name on the black line. From Mrs. to Ms. Sharing my sons with another woman. Even though I wanted to be selfish and keep them for myself. Hearing the news of a new life made. Of an engagement, house, marriage, and baby. And my heart wept. Emotions overwhelmed. Even though I didn’t know exactly what was making me cry and hurt. Facing the past. Head on. Exposing all the lies, all the betrayals, all the anger, all the grief. Knowing I cannot change what has happened. Even though I wish I could. Accepting what is. Embracing my journey. Moving forward towards peace and healing.

I go through.

And everything in between.

Yes, there were moments and days I did hide away. And still do. I didn’t want to feel, to confront, to work it out. I sat in it all. Letting myself find the courage inside of me to face what I needed to do. And sometimes I blatantly refused. I went out and had one too many cocktails. I purchased new shoes and earrings. I flirted with an attractive man on the dating app. Yet, every time, I woke up and went through. Hard conversation with my in-laws, friends, and family. Venting the anger that was building up inside. Releasing the tears from the jealousy, insecurities, and hurt I felt. When I spoke harshly or made a mistake, I picked up the phone and I apologized.

I go through.

When depression and anxiety hit. I don’t ignore. Brush it off. Say I am OK. I look that ugly dark beast straight in the eye and prove him wrong. Every damn time. Even though therapy is the last thing I want to do on my lunch break, I show up. When the words are vulnerable, raw, and extremely personal, I write. When anxiety whispers in my ear, no one likes you. You are worthless and a nuisance. I reach out anyway.

It is far from perfect.

In fact, it is complicated, exhausting, dirty, uncomfortable.

Never easy or pain-free.

Downright messy and unsightly. Blood shed with tear-stained cheeks. Scars covering my heart and soul. Not all forgiveness and love but mixed with resentment, anger,  and disdain.

Scary.

Heartbreaking.

Twirling around showing all bright, light, playful colors is so much more appealing.

Yet, I go through.

Because in the end, owning my story, embracing my past, walking forward is the most beautiful, courageous, brave, healing, and loving thing I can do.

You may also like:

I’m Done Being a Victim of Divorce

I’m Finally Admitting It After My Divorce: I’m Angry

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here!

Katie Weber

Me. My two little men. My second change. Motherhood. Depression. Divorce. Love. God. laugher. Friendship. My lovely. It's all right here. Follow along for more at Lovely in the Dark. 

The Best Marriage Advice We Ever Got: Touch Feet Every Night

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple touching feet in bed

Twenty-six years ago this summer, I got a tiny piece of advice on my wedding day that has kept me from making a huge mistake time and time again. A wise woman told me, “When you climb in bed each night with your husband, make sure that your feet touch under the covers. It’s hard to be mad at someone and touch feet.”  I had no idea, all those years ago, how impactful this piece of advice would be and how many times in our marriage this would be the small act that kept us united. This simple act of...

Keep Reading

Marriage Comes Down To the Little Things

In: Marriage
Empty cup next to coffee maker, color photo

Yesterday when my husband arrived home from work, I was met with a “you didn’t put my coffee cup out this morning.”  My back was to him. I was standing at the sink hand washing our daughter’s sippy cup. As I turned around, he must have read the emotion on my face because I didn’t have to say a word before he chimed in with a “no, no, I don’t expect you to! It was just a good reminder of all of the little things you do that I guess I just get used to and maybe don’t notice and...

Keep Reading

You’re Still the One I Want

In: Marriage
Hugging couple

I remember when we met like it was yesterday. You in your Wranglers and cowboy hat, I just had to ask you to dance. We’ve been together ever since. I remember how you would call me every night, we talked for hours. We had our own special way of saying goodnight before we hung up, “Take care of you for me.” The truth is the moment I  hung up, I couldn’t wait to talk to you again. We lived so far apart, that the only time we spent together was on the weekends. I loved those occasional mornings when you...

Keep Reading

Becoming a Stepmom Made Me a Mother

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Mother, father, and child kissing mom's cheek

From the time I was a little girl, it was always a given that I was going to be a mom. My younger sister and I picked names out (Denim and Lace) for our fictional children we were one day going to have, improbably, at the same time. As I grew older, college and responsibilities and a career kept my fictional children from becoming real, but I always knew that, eventually, I was going to be a mom. But then, life sometimes throws you hard and fast curveballs, and with one failed marriage looming on the horizon, I began to...

Keep Reading

The Greatest Gift Is Time

In: Living, Marriage, Motherhood
Couple with child at home

Recently, I attended both a wedding and a baby shower in the same weekend. As I was wrapping both gifts, I couldn’t help but think about what those two women really needed. The perfect gift for those first steps into marriage or motherhood is not anything that could be wrapped in pretty paper.  Sure newlyweds need pans to cook in, and babies need blankets to snuggle in. Yes, soft towels are nice and baby jammies might be the cutest clothing anyone could ever purchase. What both new brides and new mommas really need, though, could never be found on a...

Keep Reading

Loving and Appreciating the Man You Married Changes Everything

In: Marriage
Man and woman hold hands

They say, marry the man who . . .  Holds open the door for you. Gives you flowers on your birthday. Carries the heavy groceries for ysou. Makes coffee for you in the morning. Tells you how much he loves you every day. Messages you in the middle of the afternoon to tell you he’s thinking about you. Plans date nights for the two of you. But what if the man you married doesn’t do all or any of these things? Or what if he does them, but he doesn’t do them consistently? He’s so unlike those other husbands who...

Keep Reading

Loving Me after Trauma Means Being Careful with My Heart

In: Marriage
Man and woman silhouette

To the husband loving me despite my past trauma, Thank you. For not sneaking up and playfully putting your arms around me in the kitchen like you’d like to, because you know I don’t like being touched from behind. RELATED: The Lies of Abuse Will Not Silence My Voice For somehow always knowing when I need to hear “You look great,” because the low self-esteem is acting up again. For understanding that sex will always be different for me. And some days, difficult. For letting me sit in the chair facing the window in the restaurant. For living daily with...

Keep Reading

The Woman He Married Is Long Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Marriage
Young couple smiling

My husband has been married to at least five different women—and they’re all versions of me. His first wife was the 21-year-old version of me, who was a fit and focused college athlete. She was a driven, perfectionist dream-chaser. She was ready to push and sacrifice to chase the dream. No challenge was too hard—but then again, the hardest thing in her life was her organic chemistry final. She had the eternal optimism that comes with naivety and innocence. She loved him with eagerness and couldn’t wait to build a life with him. He often still daydreams of this first...

Keep Reading

Modeling a Healthy Marriage for Our Kids Matters

In: Kids, Marriage
Boy watching parents kiss

Sometimes he’ll whisper playfully to me, when I’m doting on the kids and not paying him much attention, “Hey, none of this, ya know,” gesturing to our boys, “would have been even remotely possible without me, the big D,” with a wink and a smirk. And I’ll smile involuntarily, roll my eyes, and concede, usually silently, that yeah, he’s got a point. A great point, actually. Without my (truly incredible) husband, without the two of us, there would be no family as we know it, no world as we know it.  It’s not about loving my husband more, nor is...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Love This Stage of Life With You

In: Marriage
Happy family of four

Dear husband, It’s no secret our love story has been long and bumpy. We have grown apart and back again many times throughout the years. But now we are entering a different time in our lives. Our children are no longer babies—they wouldn’t even be considered toddlers. I am loving this time with you. A time where we have more freedom to be silly, to play, to travel, and just sit with each other. The days before this were long. They were rocky. They were so stressful. RELATED: Dear Husband, There is a Table Waiting For Us There was never...

Keep Reading