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Elizabeth Edwards has thrust herself, her husband and her family back into the lime light with the release of her book, "Resilience" and her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show.  

After watching the show, I got the feeling that a more appropriate title for the book might have been "Resilience and Revenge".

When the cameras showed up at the home of John and Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards looked like he was looking for the nearest foxhole.  When Oprah asked him if he would be around for later questioning, his answer was vague.  At the very end of the show, Oprah and Elizabeth cornered him somewhere in the house where he stood with his hands in his pockets looking like a little boy who had gotten his hand caught in the cookie jar.

 

Elizabeth looked comfortable with a smile on her face.  I could almost hear her thinking, "Let him squirm.  Have at it Oprah!"

Elizabeth is in good company:  Hillary Clinton comes first and foremost to mind...former First Lady and current Secretary of State (still married to Bill Clinton who had too much fun with a intern and many many more).

She was followed by Silda Spitzer (still wife to former governor of New York Eliot Spitzer, who had too much fun with young, glamorous and expensive prostitutes), Gayle Paterson (still wife to David Patterson, current governor of New York who had too much fun with several women), Suzanne Craig (still wife to former Idaho Senator Larry Craig who was having a little too much fun in an airport bathroom), and Gayle Haggard (still wife to "reformed" gay evangelical pastor, Ted Haggard who had too much fun with male prostitutes).

(Were you not cringing when you saw the pain in Silda’s face)  

These women (and there are many more like them) are women who have been publicly humiliated by their visible and prominent husband's indiscretions.  Every one of them have decided to "stand by their man".

 

As a woman, I've cringed when I've seen them appear in public with their unfaithful men.  Their husband’s indiscretions have subjected them to the flood lights of TV cameras for all the world to see.  Surely, they must have felt naked, exposed and mortified.  Yet there they were.

I do not judge these women's decisions.  That would never be my place.  But I do wonder why they stay.  Many of these women have daughters.  What do they tell their daughters?  Many of these women have sons.  What do they tell their sons?

Is "marriage" and the "family" so sacred and hallowed that the woman betrayed must become the sacrificial lamb for the sake of...what?  

This is where I get stuck.  Become the sacrificial lamb for what?

There is no intimacy, no marriage without Trust.  And when Trust gets broken, there are only two things that can fix it.  Time and Behavior.  That's it.  Time and Behavior.  

Time is not something that Elizabeth Edwards has the luxury of and I wish her well in her earnest desire to keep the marriage she thought she had intact as she faces a much more important battle...not her marriage, but her life.

And while I don't know any of these women and don't judge their decisions to stay, is it selfish of me, terrible of me to say, no scream:

JUST ONCE, ONE TIME ONLY, COULD ONE OF THESE WOMEN PUHLEASE GET REALLY ANGRY, REALLY PISSED OFF, AND NOT SHOW UP WITH THE "REMORSEFUL" HUSBAND AT THE NEWS CONFERENCE, STANDING IN THE BACKGROUND COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY HUMILIATED AND JUST ONCE HAVE HER OWN NEWS CONFERENCE WHERE SHE LOUDLY AND BOLDLY ANNOUNCES THAT SHE IS KICKING THE GUY TO THE CURB, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

Oh what I would give to see a press conference like that.

I'd love to see one of them write a book about that.  How great their life is without the Man.  Take it public, go on an international book tour, Larry King, Oprah, hell Regis and Kelly would do.  

These women who stay don’t seem that happy to me...more like sad and resigned.  I’d love to see just one of them break loose.  

Their revenge would be simple and powerful:  The unmistakable look of freedom shining brightly on their faces.

I’m the first to admit with my hand held high, this could be all me, my trigger. But really is it asking too much to just have ONE WOMAN, I don’t care which one, ONE WOMAN who has a husband in the public eye, a husband who says one thing out of one side of his mouth and another in some oval office, back of the car, public bathroom, or sleezy motel, just one of them be public that enough is enough. That’s all. Just one.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Laurie Zieber wrote May 9, 2009
    • The most hurtful IMO was Spitzer who announced to the world and to his wife for the first time at the same time!  She had no idea what was happening until he started speaking.  

      She processed that betrayal and shock while the cameras rolled.  

      Unbelievable composure that.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote May 9, 2009
    • I also saw a bit of the Oprah show.  John Edwards did seem very tense, and nothing like he is when he speaks publicly.  Guess he hasn’t been coached well enough yet to handle the media pressure.

      My heart goes out to those ladies as well.  But as sad as it is, I do understand their decision to stay.  In many cases, it will cost them a great deal to leave.  I suppose they are just trying to choose the course that will cost them the least.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote May 10, 2009
    • I am just saddened by the fact that these women feel that they have to stand by their man.
      I respect that they have the ability to forgive and may want to keep the marriage intact.
      But did they sign a contract that said THEY had to expose themselves and their feelings to the public? On that contract does it also mention that they have to stand by their man and continue to be publicly humiliated?
      If it was me.... I would NOT get up in front of the public. I would hire my own publicist and issue 1 statement 1 time only. The man had no problem climbing into bed on his own without his wife. He can climb right out on his own too.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote May 10, 2009
    • I can understand and respect these women’s choice to stay with their man.  Not saying I would do it myself, but I might.  

       These women have invested huge amounts of time (and in some cases cash) in making these men the powerful public figures they are. Let’s face it, very few men become successful politicians without a FABULOUS woman in the background.  If  you had 20 or 30 years into a huge investment, would you suddenly bail out?

      I too would like to see one of these wives stand up and knock the man out cold.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote May 10, 2009
    • AMEN to that Vikki! I just don’t understand women today, why are some excepting their husbands cheating behavior? If you feel you need more than what our relationship has to offer in terms of sex, then say so and if we can’t work it out then let me go, and move on but don’t cheat on me. I’m in no way going to condone a man cheating on me stand by my man hell he’s not your man any longer he is everybody elses too! Where is the morals in these women’s lives? Having a man in your life doesn’t validate you, and then he cheats on top of that!? Get real ladies, get real.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Foxfire5822 wrote May 10, 2009
    • Could you imagine how the press would react if anyone of these women actually did stand up and say “enough” I’d love to see it but my wager would be the press would crucify her!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote May 10, 2009
    • Women have been accepting men’s cheating since the beginning of time.  I’m guessing that’s not going to change any time soon, no matter how much we’d like to see it otherwise.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote May 10, 2009
    • Ok fine accept the cheating if you must. But again why degrade yourself even further by publicly endorsing THEIR behaviour? Stand if you must but do it in the privacy of your own home.



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      UK Girl wrote May 10, 2009
    • It’s the same in the UK and sometimes I just wish some woman would do her own press conference and say that yes she is staying because she wants to make the low down snake suffer for years ....... so he can’t slink off into the sunset with the topless model , the 20 yrs younger model and he has to face his responsibilites ....

      I think these guys get so powerful they never hear the word NO ... and then when they get caught all they worry about is their image .....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote May 10, 2009
    • Very good post.
      I’ve often wondered the same thing. I can see, not that I agree with it, but I can see the woman who chooses to stay’s point of views on a few different levels. I believe they get very caught up in time invested in the marriage or whatever relationship they think they have. That’s hard to overlook when you‘re in it. Been there. I’m no public figure, however my ex was an exec chef for a well known company and I know what humiliation feels like when EVERYBODY knows and you walk through a crowded place and everyone just looks at you with ‘that look’ but they say nothing. So, WHY do they stay? To keep what they worked so hard for? Please. Kick him out and KEEP EVERYTHING you worked for I say. Take HIS butt to the CLEANERS and humiliate him right back simply because he had NOOOO problem doing it to you. Any man that allows his woman to suffer that kind of emotional stress, pain (pain’s too light of a descriptive) and despair deserves anything BUT for his woman to stand by him.
      Do they stay for the kids? Well then, why set that example? I don’t get that either. A postcard picture perfect family on the outside with a houseful of silent baggage? No thanks. Living that lie is too high of a price for the wife and kids. And Daddy-O’s let off the hook.
      Another angle is, She stays in order to need to put what he did in his face on a daily basis. Elizabeth? Perhaps.
      None of it’s worth it. Same deal applies to any guy that cheats. If you forgive him once, he will certainly do it again. Haven’t seen a tiger change his stripes yet.
      If my husband or partner put me in that position, I’d absolutely not handle it the way Hillary or Elizabeth or any of the others did. Safe to say, THAT dude barked up the wrong tree humiliating me publicly. There’s nothing forgiveable about it. I’m not sure at the end of the day what makes these chicks ‘stand by their men.’ Maybe too much of a Tammy Wynette song. lol Those days are over. DUMP the cheater and live a quality life full of peace, happiness and shop til you drop on his dime. ;)
      In the meantime they could be with someone trustworthy and kind. Choosing to accept b.s. is ridiculous.
      I know too how it is when a woman gets betrayed and the other woman for whatever reason won’t step out of the picture and the wife needs to ‘claim’ her proverbial territory. Sadly, the wife IS the only one who cares about that component. Intolerable. All of it. High profile or not, those women are stupid to stay.
      Just my long winded humble opinion. lolol



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote May 10, 2009
    • I saw the show Oprah did w/ Elizabeth. You can see in her eyes she’s not ok with any of it and I thought that the way she kept saying about the baby that might be her husband’s.. ‘It doesn’t affect my life at all’ - I almost spit my lunch out when she said that!
      It must be something she has to tell herself to stay in survival mode or something. Wierd...  just pretend it isn’t happening? HUH?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote May 10, 2009
    • Great answer Vikki! Very well put.



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      Jenz ~ wrote May 10, 2009
    • UGH! And that LAST one.... HAGGARD. WTF is SHE thinking! He’s been with men and who knows what else that they AREN‘T saying? WHY would you ever stay with a man who does these things...  Gross Gross Gross! ACK! I couldn’t be in the same house with the man let alone the same bed.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jana Toohey wrote May 10, 2009
    • I don’t think you can really say what you would do, unless it actually happens to you. Many of these women clearly are “in shock” and who knows how long it takes to process. In Elizabeth’s case, she doesn’t have the luxury of throwing it all away with those young kids in the picture & and her terminal prognosis. And I believe her when she says this is one crummy part of a much bigger life picture...  

      I don’t know, I just know I’ve learned in my life never to say “NEVER” because everytime I ever have, it’s come back to bite me in the ass. Until you‘re there, you really don’t know.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Leeann wrote May 10, 2009
    • I think Ellizbeth is giving old John boy  more  heartache behind close doors, then will ever know!!!  I am a amazed how he didn’t sit and tell the world he made a mistake , instead he ran from the camera . I would have kicked his butt right out door in front of camera, wow wouldn’t that been great to see !!!



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      Jana Toohey wrote May 10, 2009
    • Oh you KNOW he’s getting the shit behind closed doors! I was bummed the show was all about that, and it did seem kind of poor me vindictive. I would rather have seen her talk about her journey with B/C, and even about how this part has made it extra tough - but it was his public humiliation.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Wittymom wrote May 11, 2009
    • I saw Elizabeth on Oprah and then this morning on the Today Show. I have to agree with you in that I have always wondered how these women bring themselves to make the symbolism of standing by their men in the public eye. In Elizabeth’s case, I wanted to give her an excuse because of her terminal illness..she said this morning that she wanted to leave a family picture for her kids, that of a complete family. But isn’t that a farce? What are the kids learning, that you forgive and then...write a book about it? I’ve been down the cheated on rode...I didn’t stick around, the kid was his without a doubt, and yes, I wanted to know even though I had already put all the motions in place to leave. Something as deep as this chips away at your soul, staying in it is just not healthy.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote May 11, 2009
    • All I can say is that there are a lot of wise women here.

      I’ve really enjoyed the conversations and discussions.

      I’m hoping Elizabeth Edwards got a great financial deal on that book and has put al proceeds towards a trust fund for her children only.  I have a feeling she knows exactly what she is doing.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote May 11, 2009
    • Hey ladies I Googled Elizabeth Edwards earlier after seeing and commenting on this post and I had no idea she had cancer and it’s her second fight.

      OMG - I would have ripped that bast**d apart on the screen and at home - I sorry I called him a snake - at least a snake has a purpose in life.

      Can I also say some of the drugs you have for Cancer make you not responsible for your actions - I would be wearing his balls as earrings and shown those Oprah ....

      I hope every night when he slinks home she makes his life living hell - I sure wouldn’t let him of the leash



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jana Toohey wrote May 11, 2009
    • Testicular earrings - there’s something for the jewelry makers to consider. I’m guessing they could be quite popular.... very funny ukgirl.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote May 11, 2009
    • I once had a big fight with a guy in a work situation and I very quietly said in his ear I would make his balls into earrings ..... then stepped back his hands immediatley cupped his balls and he gave in ....

      Men and their balls .... he and his other women would have nothing to play with thats for sure when I had finished



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote May 11, 2009
    • I saw a necklace once made in the shape of a vulva.  Why not testicles?



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      Vikki Hall wrote May 11, 2009
    • Yuck!

      Even if the male earned getting his balls chopped off there is no way I find them attractive.

      hairy testicles.... so not attractive



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robinesque wrote May 11, 2009
    • I agree with Janatoo.  You never know how you are going to react until you are in the situation.  I think these women looked at the big picture, realized their investments, and just weren’t about to hand over their hard-earned returns to THEM!  

      Those dalliances and those women were/are insignificant.  I think it reflects far worse on the husbands that THEY couldn’t keep their pants up at the slightest whiff than it does at the wives who didn’t give the little tramp what she wanted:  HER MAN!  Faults and all.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote May 11, 2009
    • Robinesque, I agree.  These women have worked just as hard to get where they are as a couple, and stand to lose it all if they walk away.  It’s a tough call either way, and I don’t think it’s fair to criticize them for their decision, whichever way they go.  I’ve never had to make that choice, but as they (robincyn) said...

      Never say never.  So I don’t.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote May 11, 2009
    • “Her man” wasn’t thinking about ‘her’ when he was sleeping with and carrying on with another. In Elizabeth’s case, I understand staying b/c of the limited options and illness. Don’t get me wrong- I’m not being judgemental. My feelings about things like this come from my own experience. I did stay for awhile when it happened to me due to the “my man and my investments” stuff. Why should SHE ‘win?’ pffft. It’s short lived. I wasn’t winning any prize by staying with a narcissistic cheater who didn’t care at all how humiliating all of it was, not to mention my soul was dissintegrating more and more by the day. ACK! They aren’t either. I think many women stay out of fear. The other thing about cheating like that that just burns my ass is, these guys risk your health that way. Who wants AIDS or a frickin STD? Doesn’t look like any of them gave a shit about that either does it. Again, for me, hell no. No benefit to staying with someone like that. A woman cannot force a man or control the man into doing what she wants. The love’s gone forever after cheating happens. To be with someone who can’t be trusted would be selling one’s self short.
      That’s unfortunate.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote May 11, 2009
    • Gators, what’s the deal? Who’s rude to you?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Termite wrote May 11, 2009
    • I have never had to deal with a situation like this, so I don’t know how I would react. I can say that I hate cheaters, when we said our vows we meant it.
      I can tell you how I think I would react, but like I said, I don’t know for sure how I would.
      IMO once a cheater, always a cheater!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote May 11, 2009
    • So my question is then. So it’s OK to publicly endorse the man’s behavior by supporting HIM?
      I get that women don’t want to throw away their investment. I also get that women don’t want the other woman to win.
      What I don’t get is WHY do the women stand there all pansy ass (yep I said it and nope it’s never happened to me) and smile. We all know that behind close doors the bitch comes out and the man probably doesn’t get any relief.
      Do the women have no  self respect?  Is that why they go public and stand there smiling and supportive?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote May 11, 2009
    • BTW if your not in the public eye then this doesn’t apply to you.....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jana Toohey wrote May 11, 2009
    • I think they do it because they‘re in shock... Nothing makes sense to them at the time - because they thought he had the same commitment to the “vows” that she had, and maybe he did at the time.  

      Let me just tell you, people cheat - good people, bad people, and people that NEVER EVER thought they would. Life happens, and if you‘re naive enought to think “it could never happen to you” then you would just be that much more shocked when it does.  

      I will tell you that at 17, my husband grew up faster than most 40 year old men I know. He took responsibilty for his life, my life & our kids. After 30 years, he screwed up. Nobody that ever knew him or ever knew me could believe it. I’m thankful he got to finally get off the golden boy pedistal and be human like the rest of us. Of course, it’s taken me years to get to that place, but I am. And I am so glad I did not throw it all away.  

      I always had big opinions of what I would do, and how I would handle it, until it happened to me. The easy way would have been to throw his ass to the curb, cause I could have taken the cash with me. I stayed because I loved him, our kids, our grandkids - and I still wanted to be old with him on the porch. Actually I moved out for a year, but in the end I’m here because I want to be.  

      Whew... nice to get that off my chest.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Termite wrote May 11, 2009
    • Well said Vikki!! I never understood that. But to each their own I guess.  I don’t think you would see me standing next to him singing stand by your man!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote May 11, 2009
    • janatoo:  I agree with you 100%.  In any long term marriage, crap is going to happen.  I’m of the belief that it would be foolish to throw away a marriage based on a one time incident.  Affairs can actually be a catalyst for a marriage and there is much both people can learn.  I’m talking more about the women that are married to men like Spitzer who I believe is a sex addict (sex addicts have extremely low rates of recovery) or who are gay and not willing to admit it.  So, you of course made the strong, courageous and right decision for yourself.  My day job, believe it or not, is as a marriage counselor and I can’t recall a time I’ve ever advocated divorce, with the exception of addictions that the person refuse to admit. There is one big picture here.  Most marriages can survive infidelity but as you know, you need time plus behavior to really trust again.  Thanks for getting that off your chest.  You made a very valuable contribution to this post.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jana Toohey wrote May 11, 2009
    • Thanks Hotwomen... So you‘re a Marriage Counselor and a Troublemaker. It’s not really like me to vomit my personal stuff like that, but I have to say it feels pretty good.

      I learned a lot from the experience about me and about him. I think we‘re better today than we’d have been without it - and it was NOT easy. It definately changes you, but some of us need a little changing...  

      It’s not for everyone, but for me it seems right - and today, with my newly diagnosed breast cancer - I am SOOO Glad he’s here to hold onto. While I’m vomiting I might as well get it all out! Go ahead - send me a bill... lol!

      Spitzer & Ted Haggard - Dogs of a different nature, and I don’t think they can pray it out of him.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jana Toohey wrote May 11, 2009
    • At least I didn’t have to stand next to him for a press party & smile. Seems cruel, and someone should be looking out for her, since maybe she can’t look out for herself yet...  

      Sorry, just remembered that was the original point of the post.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote May 11, 2009
    • I’ve tried to envision forgiving this sort of thing, and have even tried to overlook it once. No way Jose. They always do it again because forgiving them gives them what they see as a permission slip. For me, I’m worth having a man be faithful. If a guy looked at me and said “shit happens,” I’d probably laugh my ass off. “Oh! You just FELL into her then?” hahaha, followed by a “GET OUT.” Kids, no kids, whatever. No WAY baby. Been there, done that, got ALL of the proverbial tee shirts. Never again. Shoulda said no! No 2nd chance from me. Is there really anything worse a man can do to a woman? Not really.
      ‘Forgive‘, in the event of cheating is a mighty big word for a very small man.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jana Toohey wrote May 11, 2009
    • Point taken Jenz.  

      The universe is amazing in providing us with just what we need to learn & grow - maybe this one is just not for you.  

      I do remember using the very same words, but learning how to forgive someone, IMHO is one of the lessons many of us need. It hasn’t made me week (which I never was) and I will never forget. But it has made me see him as another struggling soul, just trying to find his way through this crazy life like the rest of us.  

      My husband is the kindest most generous and amazing person I know. Honestly, it’s good to know he has flaws. It was much harder living with Mr. Perfect. Now I get to know him for who he really is, and it is a relief for him too.  

      BTW, this was in 2001, and it’s taken a long time to say this and really mean it - but I do.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robinesque wrote May 11, 2009
    • I understand, Jenz, but like you said, this option wasn’t for you.  

      Vikki, I don’t like that the wives stand up there with the husbands at the press conference, but as they are STILL in shock, they are walking zombies when their publicists and whomever else gets to them in their vulnerable stages, and manages to talk them into (physically) “standing by their man.”  

      You KNOW he is getting hell from the wife behind closed doors!  They have vent and “vomit” like the rest of us.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote May 11, 2009
    • Yes, it’s important to never than never or say, “Well I would never put up with that“, etc. etc.  I’ve been humbled more times than I care to say.

      This post was not an indictment towards any of those women, but just a frustration.  I wouldn’t want to be in any of their shoes.  

      Personally, I thought Elizabeth Edwards should have titled her book, “Resilience and Revenge“.  I feel for her.  I just hope that we don’t see a People Magazine one day that has John Edwards and the Hunter woman and their baby and his and Elizabeth’s children on the cover!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robinesque wrote May 11, 2009
    • Yeah, that question of paternity was quite painful for Elizabeth.



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      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote May 11, 2009
    • Oh, that’s got to hurt horribly.  And the sad thing is that it may not affect her life, but it certainly affects her children.  That’s the really tough thing...the whole thing about the child.  The child is innocent.  The child has a right to know her (is it a her?) family.  But I can totally understand Edward’s desire to not go there.  Too much.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robinesque wrote May 11, 2009
    • Excellent post, hotmama!



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      Robinesque wrote May 11, 2009
    • I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this active and was actually going to comment on that, but here you are!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote May 11, 2009
    • Yes, this is unusual for me...it’s fun, I’ve never done this.  Watching the Nuggets game, husband occupied...I could get addicted!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote May 11, 2009
    • Janatoo, you have a great story.  My divorce was one of my most painful experiences but it’s also been the richest.  I would have preferred to stay with the man and father of my four children, but it wasn’t much of a choice.  You are most fortunate!  The treasures always seem to be in the mess.  We just have to be willing to find them.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote May 11, 2009
    • This was a great post and awesome conversation following it.



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