Thursday, April 14, 2016

Finding Success Within A Relationship

I have been married twice.

And twice I've been divorced.

I am definitely not an expert on relationships, but I have an idea of what it takes to be a powerful and supportive partner.

I say this because today I am in an amazing relationship, where for once, I feel accepted, loved, appreciated, and free to become the best selling author I have always dreamed of being.

"When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner.  Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated, and ambitious.  Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home.  These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier." - Sheryl Sandberg

I actually read that quote in the book Girlcode by Cara Alwill Leyba.  She and I had a similar experience from a past relationship, which upon reading her experience compelled me to share mine as well.

Eight years ago I decided I was actually going to write a book.  I loved to write, keeping steady journals for myself and my children, along with doodling short stories in any notebook I could get my hands on.  I began blogging, slowly integrating myself into the writing world.  After about a year, while I was pregnant with my third and last child, I announced to my then husband that I was going to write and publish a book.

He was silent at first.  I reclined on a chair in the kitchen staring at his blank expression, wondering if he had heard me.  Moments later his eyes rolled, and with a condescending tone he said, "We will see."

Those words cut into my heart, twisting relentlessly at my soul.  I remained quiet, as he turned and walked away.  From there on out, he showed absolutely no interest in any of my writing, or my desire for success.

Cara Alwill Leyba continues to write her reaction, "That moment was a turning point for me.  I knew I could never be with a man who did not get as excited about my dreams as I did.  I knew I needed to be with someone who respected my ambition, who wanted to see me grow, and who wasn't afraid to see me shine."

What a brilliant lady.  In that moment, I felt the same way, but I was married to the man and carrying his child.  It was also my second marriage.  I wasn't prepared to leave him just because he didn't support my dreams, as well, I wanted to give him the chance to see what I could do and hopefully change his mind.  But as it turns out, my life path was not with him.  Over the next couple of years it became evident through more of his actions, and the day I decided to end the marriage was one of elation and gratitude to know I still had a voice.

I had continued to write, despite his lack of support, but the process was slow and I allowed him to take my power because I was worried I would irritate him.  Once we were divorced, my writing picked up speed and from that moment I grew exponentially, finally evolving because I took back my power and demanded to be heard. 

Now I live with a man who understands me.  He supports my goals and dreams.  When I ask him for advice on my ideas or plans, he is there to assist me onto a clearer path and brainstorm without complaint.  He loves to witness my passion for my writing, and is one of my loudest and strongest supporters.  It is super sexy to see his excitement for my ambitions, and I am forever grateful I found a man who is not afraid of my success.

Plus, he makes me laugh.  Hard.  To the point of tears and a headache.  Which only makes me love him more.

Mwah - Niki

P.S.
It's my mom's birthday. She passed away six and a half years ago, and I still miss her and wish she could see where my life has gone. I think she would be proud.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  I miss you.

2 comments:

  1. Man that takes HUGE guts. Congrats on realizing he wasn't worth another year of your life. I've been with my partner for six years now and I don't think he's ever read my blog. Just this last week I wrote and article for City Weekly and it actually made the cover. He was actually the one to call and tell me and he picked up a few copies for me. I was so excited that he was excited. And then I asked if he'd actually read the article. Nope. I had to ask him to read it and it kind of took some of the wind out of my sails. It's so important for our loved ones to support our dreams. I'm so happy you've found someone who does that for you. And Happy Birthday to Mom. I'm sure she's very proud of you.

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    1. Gah! I hope he reads it. I want to read it. Will you send me the link? I suck at writing with humor and idolize the way you do it with such ease :) And congrats on getting your article published!

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