Friday, June 26, 2015

Our Story (20): Happily Ever After

“Have you ever felt really close to someone? So close that you can’t understand
why you and the other person have two separate bodies, two separate skins?”
- Nancy Garden -

(continuing from last time...)

It was a long and oftentimes painful journey to finally arrive at this happily ever after but despite everything I remained joyful and optimistic, determined to be happy. And even though it took a long time to get my ex’s debilitating voice out of my head and stop 16 years of toxic experiences that can fill up an entire book from haunting me, eventually that dysfunctional relationship was left so far behind that it seems as though it happened in another lifetime. To someone else. Because if I’d carried that baggage around with me, feeling bitter and angry, he’d still have control over me.

The most amazing man in the world was the only person in my life that knew about my past...until now. Yes, my dear blogging pals, you are the first ones after him who know what my first marriage was like. Even though I’d moved forward, somewhere in the back of my mind there’d always been that lingering fear that no one would believe me, so I kept my story a secret. Which meant that I hadn’t healed 100%. That realization came to me when Birdie and Louise posed the question “How did you meet your husband?” on my ‘Ask me anything post’. And when it did, I decided that the time had come to cross that hurdle and release my story into the universe. I am now free.


My husband’s real name is George, which I never use on this blog, and that’s simply because he is – and always will be – the most amazing man in the world. He and my ex have absolutely nothing in common; they are like night and day. My life has gone from one end of the spectrum to the other. And I’ve gone from thinking “This can’t be my life for the next 20...30...50 years. It just can’t. I won’t make it.” to “There aren’t enough years, enough lifetimes, to enjoy with this man.

Today the most amazing man in the world and I are celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary, which is a perfect time to end this series. I have created the video below, my first one ever, as a gift to him and I want to share it with all of you. It will show you this incredible man through my eyes. I chose the song “You” (by Jim Brickman and Tara Maclean) because it was a favourite tune during the weeks that led up to meeting my happily ever after. And whenever I used to play it, I dreamed about meeting someone that I could dedicate it to. And I did. My always and forever.

I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.


Thank you to all who followed this series. And thank you to all for your supportive and encouraging comments. Everyone has a story. And this one that started off as mine...is now ours.

Have a wonderful weekend.

69 comments:

  1. That was so beautiful. I know you feel so wonderful to be finally free and with such an amazing man! You are very brave for sharing your story and I'm sure it will help others struggling. You deserve such happiness.

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    1. Thanks, girl! I'm happy to be at the other end of the spectrum now.

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  2. That video has to be the best anniversary present ever, lucky George! Thanks for sharing your story so openly with us, tears in my eyes, beautiful post.

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    1. Thank you, Christine! And thank you for following this series. I appreciate your support.

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  3. Happy Anniversary Martha and George! I loved the video! You did very nicely with it (I'm curious where that big spoon is, LOL). Thank you for sharing your story with us and with basically the world because you don't have any idea who might "stumble" upon your blog and it. It might help someone else to get out of an abusive relationship and also for them to realize there is life afterwards and an abundant good life. I wish the two of you many more wonderful years together!

    betty

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    1. Thanks, Betty. The photo with the big spoon in it was taken in Niagara Falls. It's one of my favourite photos; shows how silly my husband gets.

      And yes, there is life afterwards! A much better life.

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  4. I wish I had the words to say how magical and loving you two are, to be able to thank you for sharing that love, I'm so touched and so happy for you 2. Thank God you found each other. I wish you a great anniversary and at least 50 more. A Love like yours, doesn't come often or easily but if it had to happen i am so very happy that it happened to you 2 Martha and George happy lifetime Anniversary, and mostly Girl, thanks for sharing it, it brings me great joy xx

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    1. Thank you, Lorraine, for your kind words and your continuous support. You are such a good soul and I hope we meet one day! xo

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  5. It made me so happy for you that i had to watch it again, and love it even more, and he sings ? wow I'm so darned happy for you girl, I'm so, so happy xo

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing the story. Like a lot of people, I grew up in an extended family where men and women treated each other more or less with casual respect. For a long time it was impossible for me to really understand - or even feel empathy - for people who stayed in abusive relationships. I didn't get why a woman would stay with a man who hit her or treated her with manipulative cruelty. Obviously there was something despicably wrong with the abuser, but it seemed like the woman (or man) who stayed was to blame as well. It makes it so, so easy to give up on them. It's only from hearing stories like your own - stories where the victim is frank about their own participation, the damage it's done and the intricacies of the traps that keep one stuck - that have enabled me to find the empathy that I should have felt all along.

    I feel badly that the indifference and blame I once directed at abuse victims - and which I know others still direct at them - serves as one more bar in the cage that keeps people from escaping. "Yes, he's right, my friends are right, people are right -- there IS something weak about me - something in me that must like this or deserve this or be too weak to escape this."

    So I want to say that telling this kind of story is really, really important if it can change the way we think about abuse. As more escapees are willing to challenge the embarrassment and the glare of ignorant judgement, it can help people see the way out of these relationships.

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    1. I can't tell you how much I appreciate and admire your honesty. We are all guilty of judging another person's situation because we evaluate it from our point of view. But we truly don't understand, do we? Not unless we have personally experienced it. Abuse, manipulation, emotional blackmail, etc., are all very complex beasts. There are so many variables in the mix and a lot of psychology involved. There is no easy explanation, no black and white definition. It's quite complex. Whenever I hear individuals criticize or belittle someone in a toxic relationship I suggest that they do a little research, read a few books on the subject, and so on, to educate themselves on the subject. The information they discover will be quite enlightening. And then they, too, can join in helping 'the victims' rather than victimizing them even further.

      One of the best books I have ever read about abusive, angry and controlling men is this one:
      Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

      I guarantee that if you ever read this book, it will completely change your perspective. Although I see that you are pretty much there.

      Thank you for this great comment!

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  7. Happy anniversary! Thank you for sharing your story.

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  8. fork in the road
    when care marks the better slant
    life's love follows
    _m

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  9. Wonderful video , describes how I feel about my husband and he will say the same of me to we complete each other . It took me many years to get the ex's voice out of my head from his verbal abuse and nastiness of control but all is wonderful now I am with my best friend my soul mate my caring , loving, understanding, compassionate , kind and respectful Ken AKA Papa he went through it to with ex's so we both helped each other heal from it all ! Thanks for sharing , here's to true love ! have a wonderful weekend !

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    1. You said it, girl! Here's to true love. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend with your honey bunny.

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  10. This is my first time visiting your blog, but wow, what an incredible impact your story and video has on me. So happy for your happily ever after.

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    1. Thanks! And thank you for stopping by. It's always nice to see new bloggers drop in.

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  11. Yes Martha, you are FREE at last!
    This was simply a wonderful series. I haven't read such honesty in a long time.
    You got what you so rightly deserved and worked for.....to live happily ever after.

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    1. Thanks, Jim. Isn't happily ever after what we all strive for? It's nice when we get there.

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  12. You're a couple of good performers. we have to do some good performing to keep things going. Happy anniversary. I hope Telling your story is good medicine.

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    1. Thanks, Red! Yes, telling my story has been very good medicine. And the support of my blogging friends has been very much appreciated!

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  13. For the longest time I had always thought you'll had been together for a long time until you started telling us about your ex-husband. You'll do seem to be two sides the same coin. Congrats on 11 years,

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    1. Thanks, Adam! Sometimes I find it hard to believe that my husband and I haven't been together since my youth. He should have; that's for sure.

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  14. ¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸
    ¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸
    ¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸
    ¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸

    ¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸
    ¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸
    ¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸
    ¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*♥Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ♥*¨*•.¸

    Happy Anniversary Martha & George!

    (I actually meant to ask you when you had your ask me anything post if your real name is Martha?)

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    1. Thanks, Birdie! That is pretty cool. And yes, that is definitely my real name. I was named after my maternal grandmother.

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  15. How absolutely lovely, Martha! What a wonderful way to celebrate your anniversary. You make such a great couple!! Happy, happy anniversary!!

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    1. Thanks, Francie! I had to do something really special for the finale of this series. And for this amazing man.

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  16. Wonderful series of posts! You've been very honest and open telling your story. I admire your courage (and your writing ability). Happy Anniversary!

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    1. Thank you! It was very challenging putting these posts together. But also quite enjoyable.

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  17. I love a happy ending and you have one of the BEST! Happy Anniversary and what an amazing video tribute to your Amazing Guy!

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    1. Thanks, Debra! I love a happy ending, too. And this one was the best.

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  18. Happy anniversary to both of you. It took a lot of courage to share your story with the world. May you both enjoy many wonderful years together.

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    1. Thank you so much, Linda! I must say that I really enjoyed putting all this down in words. It was quite liberating.

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  19. Standing up ovation from here Martha for your outstanding video and for sharing your great inspirational story with us.
    It might not have been the most direct and scenic road but you have found your destination and it's one that most will never get to. You both deserve all the happiness of life live in the power of two!

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    1. Thank you, Richard! Sometimes it's necessary to take those off road and less scenic routes. They build character and help us grow. And they certainly make us appreciate the people we love even more!

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  20. I totally got the tingles from this. Brilliant work and I need to learn from you, how you put sound and video together, with words. You are seriously blowing my mind.

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    1. This is the first time ever that I've made a video. I opened up plain old (free) movie maker and jumped right in. I figured "how hard could it be?" And found out that it's ridiculously easy. I had no clue what I was doing when I started but jumped right off the cliff. Look what happened. It actually worked. And you know what else? My hubby LOVED it. LOVED it. He's watched it I don't know how many times. Took him a while to come out of his office after watching it the first time. I swear I heard Kleenex being pulled out of the box and some sniffling :)

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    2. I love learning new stuff and am having fun learning video terms. What I want to learn is how to upload from my pc and have you be able to open both sound and video. I find all of this to be great fun.

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    3. It is a lot of fun! And once you get started, I imagine you'll become a video creating junkie!

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    4. I love all the little details of things, being a baker and all.

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  21. And also, MUCH THANKS for sharing your journey with us.

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    1. I love that you all read through it and left some really cool comments. When I started I thought it would be tough to write but it was very easy. And very liberating!

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    2. When we write honestly and from the heart, the writing comes easy.

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    3. What's the name of the free program? The one we were using expired and cost too much.

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    4. Plain old Movie Maker from Windows. It was part of our operating system but I think you can download it if you don't have it. It is extremely user-friendly. I created this video without even reading a single help file. Total trial and error. I like software that you don't need to bang your head against the screen to figure out :)

      Here is a link that might be useful:

      5 BEST FREE VIDEO EDITING PROGRAMS

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    5. Thanks bunches :-)

      I'll be checking these out for sure :-)

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    6. I hope you find out that really works for you. I'm sooooo looking forward to the day that you become a video star :)

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  22. Happy Anniversary Martha and George! What a beautiful story you've told us. Wishing you many, many more celebrations together!

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    1. Thank you so much! We're hoping that life grants us many more!

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  23. A Very Happy Anniversary to you both! Thank goodness you found each other and can share confidently a wonderful life together now xx

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    1. Thanks, Chel! Yes, thank goodness for that. I am grateful that he and I crossed paths.

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  24. Awwww...I love a happy ending!
    Happy Anniversary to you both....many many more♥️
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I hope life grants us many more years together!

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  25. Congratulations on so many wonderful years together! So happy that you found each other.

    I really enjoyed your series and it has such a perfect ending. So happy for you.

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    1. Thank you, Jen! That is really kind. And thanks for your support!

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  26. Massive Hugs to the both of you and telling your story just might help someone else in this massive universe of ours!

    Cheers!!!!

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    1. *squeeeeeze* Those were great hugs, Ron! We all need some of those from time to time. If I've helped anyone, it's been worth telling my story. Relationships should not hurt. They should bring joy. Thanks for reading! And for this lovely comment.

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  27. Happy anniversary! You have a wonderful story...you're an amazing woman, and I'm so glad you found your amazing man!

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    1. Thank you, Bethany. That is really kind! And I wish you everything that brings you joy.

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  28. I think you need to start writing for a profession, Martha. You have such talent and your writing so fresh and honest and interesting. I loved this series and wish you and your husband best wishes and much continued happiness.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! What a wonderful comment. I really appreciate it. I have been writing since I was a child; I've just never done anything with it.

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  29. I've been reading through all your posts to make sure I didn't miss one. I wasn't going to respond to any of them until I caught up. but this was absolutely wonderful. You'll have the whole world falling in love with George! Thank you for sharing your journey. It is such an inspiring and hopeful story! What struck me about it was how true it rang. For any of us who have gone through an abusive relationship, we can painfully feel the truth of your words ~ heck you don't have to have experienced a bad one to feel the truth. I'm so glad that you found the love you were WORTH!!!! I'll go one step beyond Nancy (above) and suggest you could make a book out of this! But this series has been perfect in and of itself!

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    1. My story can be told by many others who have had similar experiences of bad relationships. There are many. Some worse than others. I had a great time putting this series together and I was actually sad that it ended. I finally told my story and it was very liberating. I hope others will one day share theirs.

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  30. I was reading your current post and somehow ending up clicking this. I got so pulled into to your story - from your first marriage until now in "your happily ever after" and truly am blown away. I can relate to your story soo much although I was the daughter and watched my parents' downward spiral. Your transformation and your strength is truly inspiring and amazing. Thank you for sharing this with us. I know I'm a year late but your words are forever here for anyone who is going through something similar or has gone through it. I wish you and you husband infinite years of happiness! xoxo

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, Shaharoh. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this story. I believe everyone has their own. I'm sorry you had to witness difficult times with your parents. No child should every have to. I truly regret that my kids have been witnesses to such dysfunctional experiences but I cannot go back and change any of it. Thankfully I changed directions and gave them an example of how people should treat each other. Live and learn.

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