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+25
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Last week I met a girl I went to school with. It's been years since we've seen each other, and we were trying to catch up over a cup of coffee. As she was telling me about her glamorous life, her wonderful husband and all her accomplishments, she abruptly stopped and asked:

"Do you love your children more than your husband?”  

coffee with girlfriendAs I sat there sipping my cup of coffee and looking at the friend I haven't seen in years, I understood that something was wrong and I sensed that she was extremely unhappy. Even though she just told me about her perfect world complete with a  perfect marriage, I sensed that she was desperately trying to convince the whole world and herself  that she was living the life she dreamed of. Yet, underneath all that posh, I knew that  she was lost and unhappy. Knowing her personality and how strong she was I knew that perhaps for the first time in her life she was uncertain of her future and was scared  that her perfect world wasn't that perfect.

I reached out to her and asked what was wrong. She automatically brushed me off with a smile, but pressed for an answer.  

I put my hand over hers and said: "I love my children, and I adore my husband."  

"Ok", she said,  "but do you love them the same?"

"No", I said.

She looked at me in disbelief, maybe because I was fast to answer, or maybe because she didn't expect such an answer. So I continued:

"I believe that we as parents love our children with all our hearts. I believe that each and every parent thinks that their child is the brightest, the most beautiful, and the most talented. Some of us are blatant about it, and some are more subdued, but every parent glows looking at their children’s accomplishments and triumphs.”

“I believe that when parents choose to have children, they take on a responsibility to love them unconditionally, but they never vow to love their spouse the same.”

“I would die for my children and my husband, but do I love them the same? No.”

My friend looked at me and said: "So it's ok if I don't love my husband and my daughter the same?" She looked like the schoolgirl I remember from so many years ago. With tears running down her cheeks all I could do was hold her hand.

After few minutes I asked:

"Do you love your husband?"

She sat there looking at me for a long time, and then quietly said: "No". She said that she was unhappy for a very long time, married for all the wrong reasons and saw no way out.

hell"There is always a way out", I said. Everyone deserves to be happy, and I believe alone and happy is better than married and miserable.  

She got up as soon as I finished my sentence and to my surprise announced to the whole Starbucks "I don't love my husband, I'm leaving him and getting a divorce".  

For her this was a break through- for me it was a disaster. I just steered someone in the direction of divorce. Am I going to hell for this?

+25
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Member Comments

    • +4 votes vote up vote up

      Sewingchic wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • Your friend was already thinking in these terms.  You just gave her permission to say them out loud.  Having been divorced after 29 years to a minister, who also happened to be quite a narcissistic and a womanizer, I wish I had had a friend to be so honest with.  Perhaps I would have left him long before I did.  Instead, I pretended to the outside world that everything was OK for many years.

      You were being a great friend.  You did not steer her towards divorce.  You just gave her the courage to make a decision that needed to be made.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Mzd3 wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • I think you are spot on as far as loving your children unconditionally, thats how I feel too. And even though your advice is true, she doesn’t have to take it.So , if she does get a divorce, its her choice. You gave her your opinion.(which I agree with) I also understand how women can feel trapped , like there is no way out. Sometimes you can just stay in the relationship or the option of leaving can mean living in poverty...And most mothers do not want to put their children in that situation if they dont HAVE to. So, no, I dont think what you did was wrong...



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cindylouwho1966 wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • No, I do not believe you are going to hell, nor do I think you did anything wrong. This was a friend who knew the answer, but was too afraid to say it to herself. She needed a friend, one who wasn’t close to the situation, to help her verbalize her feelings.

      If a marriage is strong, your words are not going to cause someone to break off her relationship.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Elaine11 wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • I think you voiced what your friend was already thinking and gave her that extra push to do what in heart she wanted to do all along. What you did was help her make a very hard yet important decision for her happiness.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Karen Branum wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • Your honesty is exactly what your friend needed. I hope she finds happiness, she is in a very tough spot.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa Wald Guarino wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • You did right.
      Your answer to her questions and being open to “hearing” her was just what she needed.
      What she planned to do was her decision. A decision she made under the circumstances she was in. Seems she felt silenced until she had a friend (you) to bring it out.
      You were a true friend.  That’s what she needed.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Martha Perez Torres wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • I think that she already had made that decision but needed someone to validate her decision.  Many of us need that push/support to help us realize that is OK to make life changing decisions.  No- I do not think you are going to help for being a good friend.happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kandykahne 5 wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • I don’t think you did anything wrong. Sometimes people just need to hear it from someone else. I say sometimes it takes an “outsider” to listen and express their opinion as opposed to someone close to that person. happy



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    • +3 votes vote up vote up

      Egotogo wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • As women we are often sold a bill of goods about marriage.  We have a wonderful husband, 2.4 kids, a great house, wonderful friends and neighbors, money and great pressure from society to live happily ever after.  Unfortunately, when we get caught up in measuring happiness with the stereotypical things that “good wives” should have and do, we often lose our identity.  We lose ourselves.  We lose our way.

      That being said, divorce sucks!  It is not the magic pill that suddenly makes you happy.  It is a long, tortuous road that often leaves you vulnerable to making your next big mistake unless you take the time and energy to expose what went wrong in this first place.  You must learn who you are and what you need.  

      So, are you going to hell for helping your friend make another spontaneous decision devoid of realistic expectations?  Knowing the hell your friend is going through, I find it ironic that you are looking to assuage your own guilt.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Nara Blueeyes wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • No you‘re not going to hell for this!  She asked you a question and you gave her your honest opinion.  I divorced my ex (a preacher also but with a porn addiction) after 23 years and I wish I would’ve had the courage to do it a lot sooner.  Don’t second guess yourself.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynamon wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • You did a wonderful thing for a friend who needed the outlet, validation, and “permission” to express what she felt.  Thank you for empowering her in that moment and others via your posting.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Momwtwins2 wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • I think this women already had her answer and was looking for someone to validate her feelings. The choice to end her marrage was already in motion long before you.

      Kristin



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Ellen Carter wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • I agree with momwtwins...you didn’t make the choice for her, but made it easier to choose.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Steve Aka Bubba wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • I very highly doubt that you are going to hell Yana. Your friend was in a situation that she just was'nt sure what to do. It sounded like she was seriously thinking about divorce and all she was looking for was someone who would tell her the truth about the situation. I would have advised her to to the same. And as for loving your children and husband the same. I would have said that I love my (in my case)child with all my heart, and I love my wife with all my heart. But in two competely different ways. Because at one time in my life, I did. I still love my daughter with all my heart, unconditionally and forever. Now her mother decided, that she wanted a husband AND a boyfriend. That's why she is no longer around. But either way, my daughter and I are both happier on our own.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Evilamy wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • I don’t think you‘re going to Hell. I mean, you didn’t say anything that she wasn’t already thinking. If you had known all the facts and then encouraged her to stay in a relationship that made her unhappy, that might be hell-worthy, but I doubt it. If stuff like that landed people in Hell, Hell would probably be pretty crowded. Maybe it IS crowded. I have no idea ;)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Thkful2bhiz08 wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • God still works in mysterious ways.  You may have kept her from committing suicide or homicide.  In these days and times, we really do not know what people are going through from minute to minute.  I am sure she is thanking God for you right now.  estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Miaz987 wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • She just needed to say it out loud. You only told her what she already had in her mind but wanted to hear from another person. Too many times people stay for their children and they don’t realize that half the time, they‘re doing more damage staying. Children realize when their parents are not happy.  

      People don’t make a decision like a divorce on a whim, they’ve been thinking about it over a long period of time.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Redcrow wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • Oh, girl, you are going STRAIGHT to hell ~ one way ticket...no passing go....no dilly-dallying in fun-land on the way!

      Just kidding.

      Would you feel the same regret if she was a battered woman?
      Not at all! Advocating for someone to value and make strides toward happiness is never a bad move.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • I do not think you are going to Hell for consulting a friend. I too believe that her mind was already made up and your presence and input boosted her confidence and self worth.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • No you are not going to hell! You reached out to someone you felt was in need. That is all you did. This woman knew what she wanted but just hadn’t said it outloud yet. So she was seeking validation I would guess. I didn’t hear in your words go out honey and divorce....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Wittymom wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • Your paths crossed for a reason. She needed a message obviously you were the medium through which that message was passed.  She was already thinking of divorce and obviously got to a level where she felt comfortable enough to ask you a question she had been struggling with.  Your affirmation served as her confirmation.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tammy Slater-Kendrick wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • Yana, as long as you say what’s in your heart, you shouldn’t feel guilty. You didn’t tell her what to do, you told her that she didn’t have to live in a bad situation. As someone who has been divorced twice, I can say from experience that divorce is exactly what you make it. For me, it wasn’t the end of anything - it was the BEGINNING. For years, my advice to the newly single is “life begins at divorce!” If your friend embraces the opportunity to pursue a life that makes her happy, it can be best for everyone (including her children and her husband). What you did was give her permission to do that.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne Lyken-Garner wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • She seems to have been a terribly haunted soul. I think that she’d already made the decision before you came on the scene.

      No one loves their kids the same as their spouse. I think she knew this all along. We don’t even love all our kids the same. The same intensity yes, but not in the same way. Some kids need a firmer love, some need a more nurturing love, others who are weak or disabled need a totally different kind of love.

      I don’t think that you should feel responsible for this, Yana. Your friend just needed you there when she made the decision for herself - strength in numbers.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cmrobert wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • You simply validated what was already in her heart.  Her decision - not yours.  

      Cheryl~



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • Yana dearest,  you in NO way directed her to this decision, she was looking for confirmation.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Frannie1964 wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • No your not going to Hell. I believe your friend already had made her dicision but all she wanted was someone to listen to her and not sit there and judge her. You were there for her and answered her questions the best you knew how. She felt that was the best time to yell It out and she felt free at that time. You didn’t tell her what to do or to get a divorce. All you did was be a good friend and gave her support. For that, your not going to Hell happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Monkish wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • I have a friend who just left her husband and the children, teens, are with him.  I am so upset I don’t know what to say.  She has never been satisfied with her life. She has always wanted to travel, etc.  They had a child with problems and they are in foreclosure.  She has always spent too much money on things I feel because she wants a life she does not have.  It is our sin nature to never be satisfied.  Paul, I have learned to be satisfied whether I have nothing or more than enough.
      Divorce is a horrible thing and where does it say your husband needs to make you “happy.” Do you make your husband “happy” the way you want from him. Also, men are different focusing on their job etc. She needs to understand that this relationship will never stop. They have a daughter. Years later when he remarries, his new wife may not like her daughter or is jealous of her. I remember a pastor saying it is great to look at his wife and say lets go see the grandkids and her love might be very different if she were a step mom. In fact I have a friend who inherited a house because the step mom, her aunt, hated the daughter and left her nothing.
      So, tell your friend to get counseling and try to please him and in the process he will please you. My husband had a problem that we just addressed and he changed after 21 years of marriage. You need to have patience. The daughter has a much greater chance of being a pregnant teen if they divorce. Have her read how children of divorce feel and how it has effected their life.
      You go to hell for not letting God be your master/friend by not believing in Christ’s sacrifice for you.  We should be happy to give our lives if necessary for Him.  Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him.  Deny is not in our modern vocabulary neither is servant.  A willing servant to God. We are a “me” oriented society and that is what got us into the mess this country is in because of greed, self-serving, and the failure to be mature enough to not go for instant gratification.  We are spoiled children.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Femmefatale wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • Your friend asked you a question she needed help with herself.  She didnt want to tell you she was in trouble with her own feelings.  You opened a door she couldnt walk thru I think she thought she was alone.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Barbarie White wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • estatic  I also believe that the kind of love we have for our children is also completely diffierent then the kind of love we have for out spouse, partner, and Friends.  Yes we love them probably all in all about the same depth level, yet the kind of love is different.  Does that make sense?  Am I off base with my thought process?  Would love to hear back.

      Be Blessed, Be Inspired, Be Encouraged.

      Much Love
      Always
      Barbarie
      TenderSpirit!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tonya McCormack wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • Of course you aren’t going to hell!  You were right to voice your opinion.  She just needed to hear it from someone else—she already made up her mind to leave him in her heart.  I think she needed that one last piece of supportive advice from someone who really does have it together.  

      I remember on my wedding day (to my ex-husband, not my current one!) wishing so badly my mom would ask me if this was what I wanted to do.  I did NOT want to marry that man but I was afraid of him and afraid to back out, too.  In my mind I was screaming “Mom, ask me if this is what I want to do!  ASK ME!!!”  

      She never did ask me.  But I did leave him 8 months later.  Sometimes it can be the tiniest nudge to help us make the move that we know in our hearts we should make.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Treasa Vick wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • If she has been unhappy for along time, she already made up her mind. She just needed an opinion from a friends advice to precess with it.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Delish wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • As we all know, no one can make any of us do anything, unless they are holding a gun to our head. Your friend was going to leave her husband sooner or later, but your talk made her accept that fact sooner. If you go to hell, it won’t be for this. Besides, you’ll have lots of company, including some of us—welcome home!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rainj wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • No you are not going to hell.  God knows your heart and you were only a sounding board. She already knew waht she was going to do she just needed a friend to speak it out loud too.  Please keep supporting her she is going to need you again soon I think.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dana Mite wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • People get married & divorced like clockwork these days.

      “alone and happy is better than married and miserable”
      I really dig this quote.

      At 43, never married, with no kids & I am not regretting it.
      I used to say ‘being picky is better than being divorced’ or ‘loneliness is just a mindset‘.  

      Who knows if I will ever find MY man, but it sure is nice being solo for so long. I look forward to one day having a man in my life, but for now I will just stick with all the male friends.

      Hell is not the afterlife, it is what we create for ourselves here on earth, if we do not follow are hearts w/ our head.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • Yana hell has no reservation for you because of your honesty. Your friend apparently has been living a life style unhappy and being around others has made her feel as though she has to lie about her happiness but you saw through it and its ok to what you shared with her, she has to make changes in her life if she is unhappy we‘re all responsible for our own happiness.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • Thanks guys for your words of wisdom. I feel better already. estatic;



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • i agree with all the women here Yana.. your friend had her mind made up already..you are a good friend, and she is lucky to have you in her life..she needed a sounding board, and you were there for her



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gabby wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • I have always believed that “HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY.”

      Yana, you have done your friend a big favor and proved to all—-what friends are really for!

      You sure deserve a pat on your back & a big round of applause.
      Gool



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Aug 4, 2009
    • Hi Yana,

       Absolutely not!  Your friend already had her mind made up and she just needed to vent to someone and put it all into perspective.



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