I’m a firm believer that Life should come with a manual. One that tells you everything that’s going to happen on your journey…you know, the things every woman goes through but no one tells you about? I think it would save many of us a lot of heartache and frustration over the years if we knew, for instance, that one day when the kids are finally gone we would look at our husband and say "Who are you, and what am I supposed to do with you?" Being so caught up in that whole infant-to-college whirlwind, you lose not only who you are as a person, but also that breathless, exciting, intimate relationship you had with your husband in the years before kids. And now you’re left on your own to figure out what to do – like, do I try to rekindle the romance of our early days, do I leave it behind for the excitement of a new romance, or what? Oh, and it doesn’t help matters that right about this time, life hands you perimenopause and all the fun that goes with that. So here you are, suddenly childless, with a man you’re not sure you know anymore, a body that simply can’t belong to you – no wonder there are so many divorces initiated by women our age.
I wish I’d had a little more knowledge of what was in store for me as I entered my mid forties. I was strong, fit and healthy, had just landed my dream job…then out of nowhere I was hit with a cyst on my ovary and a blood clot in my leg all at the same time. I developed exercise induced asthma, nasal polyps and gained 30 pounds…talk about depressing! I was extremely emotional, found myself in tears over the least little thing (which was just about everything), and had no idea what was happening to me. My husband and I couldn’t communicate at all, and ended up drifting apart. I tried to put all the blame on him and convinced myself that I’d be better off if I could just start over without him (like all my problems would just disappear…yeah right). Believe me, it has been a rough 5 years…but suddenly about 3 or 4 months ago it was like something clicked in my brain and the fog I’d been under just went away. I am still dealing with the health issues, but they’re under control…and the wonderful man I married is still with me, right by my side. He never gave up on me, never stopped loving me no matter how crazy and/or angry I got. And we’re having the time of our lives right now. We’ve just purchased our dream home, we’re able to travel wherever we want and most important, our communication has never been better – in all ways, if you know what I mean.
If I could, I would write that manual and tell women everywhere that no matter how successful you are, no matter how in control you think you are, or how strong you think your marriage is, there will come a time when you’ll be handed more than you ever thought you could take. And while I don’t profess to have the answer to everything, I can say from my own experience that knowledge and communication are of the utmost importance. And never give up on yourself – you will come out the other side and life will be better than ever!