The Slow Walk Before Waking Up

There is a walk each one of us must take, a journey we are all on together, walking separately, but together and it’s called life. We can listen to others tell about their trials and tribulations and while some have miraculous stories, others share stories that resonate on some level with all of us, and then there are stories of life that hit home, and we feel the other person’s joy or their pain because of similar experiences. Knowing you’re not alone and knowing others have had similar trials, then pulled themselves up, and thrived…gives each of us not only hope but empowers us as we move through our own storm.

I’m going to tell my story over the next few months in small blog posts in hopes that someone will read my words one day and it will help them if they are going through something similar. A year ago, I let all of my subscribers know that I was going through a difficult season with my marriage. The outpouring of support was overwhelming, and you gave me hope for a brighter day. You were the gentle push that I needed to keep me going and not give up. I went from posting on the blog at least 5 times a week to barely posting once or twice a week, and through it all, you girls are still here and still encouraging me, and I am so thankful!

It Takes Two

Let me start off by saying that I’m not perfect. It takes two to tango in a relationship and let’s face facts…we all know there are two sides to every story. I’m sure the other person in this story, has an entirely different viewpoint than I do, which we all would expect…right? I did ask my estranged husband if I could write about our relationship in hopes that it might help others and he said he didn’t see how our story could help anyone, but nonetheless, he said yes, so here we go.

The Slow Walk A Year Before…

The end of the relationship was the beginning of it. If you read this post, then you know a little about how everything got started. In today’s post, I am going to share a little about the year before I decided to end the marriage.

As women, we are more tuned into our feelings and know when something is off in our relationships. In the summer of 2021, I was getting that feeling…something was off, there was a void, and it seemed like there was a huge divide in the marriage. I was feeling like I was observing my life as an onlooker and my eyes were slowly opening to my reality and realizing I had been living in a fantasy for well over a decade. And I’m just gonna throw this out there…when you start waking up like that, everything in your life changes, and reality is coming in hot.

I had sunk into a depression, I had nearly become a recluse, and the only thing I worried about was the man that I loved so dearly. If you were outside looking in, you would think we had the perfect marriage, the cutest couple on the block, always hugging and holding hands…just a normal couple. But we were not and I didn’t even know it, but I was starting to open my eyes and see truth staring back at me.

He was becoming distant and so was I; there were hardly any texts or calls between us…some people would say that we were in a rut. But we weren’t in a rut – the discard stage was starting. By Christmas, I felt like I was an invisible object, and any joy, laughter, or happiness that I once had, had been slowly sucked out of me. It was like watching a bright lightbulb slowly go dim until there was no light left. And that lightbulb had been flickering on and off consistently over an extended period of time, and all my family saw it except for me.

At this point, my brother stepped in and had a sit-down talk with me trying to open my eyes wider. But in my mind, I thought everything would work itself out because that was what we did. That was our relationship. Life had been tough on him. He didn’t know how to show affection and had a hard time sharing his emotions. In fact, not once in 12 years were we able to have a discussion and come to a resolution that we both agreed on. It was filled with hot then cold moments, periods of highs then periods of lows that rotated on a daily or weekly cycle…and I knew that my job had become the one who was the “fixer”. I became an expert in apologizing for any and everything, whether I was at fault or not…because it was my job. I had been slowly cultivated to accept this to be the norm, and I willingly did it, because that had become my job.

Over the years, I learned how to let things go, not ask questions, let him live his life, and never say a word; I learned to just “be there” when I was needed. Again, this is my opinion from my viewpoint, I am sure the other person involved will have his own viewpoint. By this part of the story, you may have come to the same conclusion that I came to last summer after we had been separated for a few months.

I am dealing with a covert narcissist (my opinion only, of course). And let me tell ya…that is a slippery slope no one wants to go down. I started learning, I started researching, and I was relentless in my quest for answers…cause I had no clue what was going on with me. I kicked this man out of my house, I was tired of the constant turmoil of highs and lows, never having a constant secure feeling in the relationship…so why was I wanting him back? But once I thought about it…I didn’t want him back, but maybe I did…no, I don’t want to go back to the way it was…or do I? These were my thoughts on repeat and I couldn’t wrap my head around it nor why my emotions were all over the map. Then I learned what trauma bonds were, I learned about triangulation, gaslighting, manipulations, love bombing, hoovering, and devaluing. I must admit…I did not like what I was learning, but I was determined to kick that can down the road. And in the far distance, I could see a new horizon that would be bringing peace and laughter once again.

I took my brother’s concerns to heart after a few weeks of pondering on his words in January of last year. I ultimately decided to ask my husband to stay with a family member on his days off for a little bit so I could be alone and figure my own feelings out. I was waking up, but still felt as if I needed to fix this debacle. In the next post, we will talk about how that “break” worked out and what transpired for the next few months.

FYI: From here on out, this story is about to give movie worthy. Oh, the plot twists that are coming…

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Proverbs 31:25
“She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future…”

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    • Laurie Athey

      Tough tough stuff and you are so brave to share. I myself have been feeling lost in my marriage. Husband and I are more buddies or roommates. I love him and he is my best friend but the spark is gone. Ive been telling him for months that I think im broken because the only emotions I feel are anger and sadness. He automatically assumes its him but im not entirely sure it is. Truly. No narcissistic behavior from him but im tired of being the only one doing everything from housework to yardwork to laundry. After 30 years of marriage Im just tired. But this isn’t about me and I can’t wait to read your next post. Chin up girlie.

      • Beverly

        I will be praying for you. I felt the same way, especially about the physical stuff. Omg! Lol. Next post we will explore triangulation-and it’s a doozy!

  • Lisa

    You should consider making this into a book! I am so proud of you Beverly for getting this out! It does help others and the courage you have and the wisdom you have gained will flourish on your journey. As always, you know I am here for you Beautifully Dressed and Blessed! I love you girl!

    • Beverly

      I’m slowly writing the book, that more detailed, but I’m having to pace myself. You are always there for me and I know you are a friend indeed! Love you bunches🥰🥰

  • Chris

    You are so brave to share your story. Hopefully this will help others and also help you to heal!
    We all hope you find the happiness you deserve. 🙏🏻❤️

    • Hope

      Maybe that thought about moving to Nashville should be taken to heart. Sounds like a complete fresh start would do you well! I love how strong you are. Keep it up. You’ve got this and with Gods help you will come out on a much better side.

  • Teresa Cotton

    Telling your story takes bravery and vulnerability.Thank you for sharing it and I look forward to learning from your experience.

    • Beverly

      Thanks Teresa! At first I was simply embarrassed, then I started looking outside the box and realized this was one of the biggest learning experiences in my life that was bringing wisdom to the table. It was a very slow process though, lol

  • Melanie S

    You are loved by so many and your story will open someone’s eyes one day that is going through what you went through. Praying for you and will continue praying for you as you write your story. Sending you big hugs and love ❤️

    • Beverly

      Thanks Bridget! I’m learning happiness is all around me, whereas I had the belief that happiness lied in a person I never felt like that before, but that was my mindset for quite sometime. You would never think a person could fog your thinking so much. But people truly can. Thank you for the comment, hugs!!!!🤗🤗🤗

  • Ellaine Edwards

    It’s a blessing to be so authentic and not just be on automatic. Your journey is so real and God will never leave you or forsake you. Hang in there sis 😘

    • Beverly

      You are so right Elaine! My spiritual walk has been propelled a thousand times farther than I ever imagined. I look at my experience as a blessing now. I’m going to share more about that side too. Hugs to you🤗🥰

  • Holli

    Thanks for sharing your story, I feel like I’m reading my own story of 23 years. Narcissists are incredibly difficult to deal with, they make you question your own sanity. I too became very depressed until my mom stepped in. I’m here to tell you that you will find peace and joy again. Praying for your healing, Beverly.

  • Dottie Weaver

    I really love the line: The slow walk before waking up! It’s so applicable. You are a very strong person although you may not think so. And you deserve to be happy!

  • Kelly H

    Your strength and dignity shine through. I am cheering for you and am proud of you for making those courageous changes. It would have been easier to stay quiet and not rock the boat. Congratulations for digging in and doing the hard work to regain yourself. What a lovely example for your family and for your readers. Thank you for sharing.

    • Beverly

      Your comment was very humbling and I am doing so much better. It’s amazing how the saying, things aren’t always as they seem, is so true in so many ways! God bless you!🥰

    • Beverly

      Thanks Stephanie. It was tough, but once I started really evaluating things, boy did the info start rolling in. I’m working on Sunday’s post now cause the editing and deleting process is unreal lol

  • Debora Wooley

    Thank you for sharing your story and so sorry you have had to go through this. You have been the spark of light for many of us over the last few years and we will continue to be your life-light source, always shining on you from behind. Prayers for continued strength. xoxo

    • Beverly

      Woo, I love this! And you girls have been!! The push to put a post out, and shop for clothes, to share with you all is exactly what I needed. All of the encouragement from everyone, and all of the ladies who were going through this or had been through it, was so helpful. Hugs to all of you🤗🥰

  • Tracy B.

    I am going through something very similar in my life and your post definitely makes me know that I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing!

  • Tammy Branscome

    Wow! How incredibly powerful! I agree this should be a book and thank you for sharing. Divorce is never easy and brings feelings of failure, isolation, to name a few. (been there, done that) Your words will be so encouraging to anyone else feeling alone in this situation. You are an incredibly strong person to open up and share your story. God certainly is with you and guiding you.

    • Beverly

      Thank you for saying that Tammy. I’ve been so reserved when or if I spoke about it. But I also know hearing other’s stories helped me tremendously ❤️❤️❤️You’re a beautiful person 🤗

  • Renee

    Praying for you. ❤️ Thank you for sharing your story. I too have gone through a similar thing. Keep you head up and move forward. 😊

  • Tonja Rhule

    Bravo to you for sharing your story! It is not only therapy for you to get it out but it gives your followers hope to move forward. ♥

  • Patricia A Zerby

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure it will help someone who may be in that same situation.
    Take care

  • Laurie

    Thank you for sharing this. It must have been incredibly difficult but hopefully cathartic. Looking forward to the next chapter. Stay strong and true to yourself!

  • Lisa Romeo

    I’m late getting to your last week of emails. This one blew me away. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing. I’m sure your story is going to help so many people.

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