D.I.V.O.R.C.E & Lifestyle/Home & Garden Blogs


A word I very rarely see in the genre of lifestyle/home and garden blogs is: divorce

It happens. After all, the US percentage for marriages that end in divorce hovers around 50%.


I ask because I have had emails over the years asking me if bloggers have perfect lives. And I write back: no, of course they don't. 

They ask me, I suppose, because I have not had a perfect life by any stretch of the imagination, and I have been straightforward about it. 



And then a reader will write, "but their lives seem so perfect. A pretty house, well-behaved children, a loving spouse they say is their best friend..."

Sometimes it does indeed seem that way. Perfect. A charmed life. 

So today I am addressing this phenomenon. Where are the divorces in our little corner of Blog Land? Does this genre just have fewer divorces? 

Of course many bloggers don't write about their personal lives. And that is their prerogative. If they want to blog about pretty things and tell readers where they bought them or how they made them, there's nothing wrong with that. And many readers want that and nothing else, so they are happy campers.

But it seems unbalanced to some readers. They wonder why their own lives don't measure up. They feel they aren't getting the whole picture of this person they love to read daily.

Does a blogger owe their readers more transparency? Of course not. There are no rules.

And many bloggers are married and were either very lucky or a whole lot smarter than me. Perhaps they made wiser choices, had better insight. Somehow they did indeed find their prince. And have lived happily ever after. 

For real.


I got on this topic because there is a popular blogger, a published author, who has seemingly deleted her longtime blog, Mabel's House

People she knew and trusted in her town, who she should have been able to count on, were not kind to her. 

Her blog now has an actual Archive of only a few months. But they are posts about hope and moving on and being a good mother. They are full of humor etched with tears. And finding out that the simplest things of life are the best.


She has turned off her comments.

She is trying to keep it together and spend quality time with her child. Get accustomed to living in a different place. And who could blame her? 

She openly writes about the pain, the leaving behind of her old life. Her home.

I want to write her and tell her that there are more of us out here, and she is not alone, but I have no way to reach her. 

I read her words, and they are uniquely and poignantly beautiful, even though there is a sadness that runs through the paragraphs like a cut that won't stop bleeding. 

***
"...So lately, you guys, lately it's been a bit crazy. I've been amazed at how deep the post-divorce scrutiny has been. I mean, I like to think I'm interesting and all... but not this interesting. The gossip. The texts to my close friends asking questions about me (not directly to me, never directly), has been ridiculous. The online stalking. I mean, COME ON.
 

I keep hearing my late Uncle Trent's words in my head.

"Some people don't have anything better to do than sit around and pick lint out of their belly buttons." 

And it makes me cranky. Because I love blogging. And I love being a writer. I love my Facebook account, and Instagram is fun. But I do not like feeling like I'm a side show. I don't like feeling like my real life, in all it's painful glory lately, is some sort of reality sitcom to be watched and critiqued.


It's hurtful. 


Actually, it kind of makes me want to set my hair on fire and beat it out with a golf shoe..."

***

I love her style of writing. She can say so much with few words. And her words are magical.


(Her Book)
 Things just didn't work out in her marriage.

***
Bloggers of this genre do get divorced. At least some of us do. I have seen some over the years I've been blogging. 

They write that they are working on their marriage. You can feel their hope in between the lines. 

And then something like this appears...


Goodbye 2013

"First off, I want to thank each and every one of you who has sent emails, comments and messages checking up on me since my little absence. I wanted to give myself time to really *REALLY* be sure I wanted to share what’s going on in my life, and do so without tears in my eyes.

I can’t promise I wont have tears in my eyes though, but go with it.
I have always been open about the struggles that life has brought our way, whether it be our marriage, family life, bills, anything really. I’m not ashamed to admit that things aren’t perfect in this little world of mine– because the internet lies, and it sends out a message that everyone else has this beautiful life full of happiness, perfect magazine homes, and every project made from toilet paper rolls turns into golden pinterest worthy wall art.

That’s not life. Life isn’t always sunshine, sometimes there is rain, and lots of it.

Right now– there’s rain.

A few months ago (Sometimes it feels like days, sometimes years. Time kind of stands still when life is thrown for a loop) my husband decided that he just couldn’t do this anymore..."
      

And then they fade away for a time. They post erratically, months pass, and suddenly you come upon this...


Letting Go ...


The brave blogger I'm writing about is Rachelle from Fingerprints On The Fridge

She has come through the storm, and she is smiling.

She and Liz are symbols of strength for women and mothers everywhere, who decided honesty is the best policy. Who couldn't make it work, and let it be known that life is not just pretty pictures on the wall.

But life goes on.



I very much admire them for being so open, because it proves that all of us live through things we never could have predicted. And survive. 

I am so damned proud of them both I could bust.

And in the honest rendering of their pain, they are helping many other women recognize theirs. And that is a gift that will resonate for a very long time.






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80 comments

  1. I don't usually put too much personal stuff on my blog. My family would not be pleased if I shared their stories.

    So, I will admit that after 43 years of marriage, now in retirement, my husband is driving me NUTS! He wants to do EVERYTHING together and I need my space. We go through so many phases in our lives and this togetherness in retirement is hard because I don't want to hurt my best friend's feelings.

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    1. Oh, I've heard this story many times! It's very typical. The manager at the complex here, who's in her sixties, just went on a vacation to a cabin by herself. Said she needed some alone time.

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    2. can someone PLEASE do a blog post about this as I am finding the very same and my dh has only been retired for a year!

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    3. My husband took early retirement a little over two years ago. It was an adjustment, to say the least. He wants to go where I go, even the grocery store. However, as my arthritis has gotten worse, I don't mind. We find our space apart here at home when I go to the studio or become engrossed in a book. He follows a lot of sports so he enjoys his Man Cave with the big TV. My tastes run to British whodunits which he cannot comprehend, so this works for the best!

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    4. I remember my mother going through this same thing when my father retired...drove her bonkers!

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    5. I was so sad when I read whats been happening at Mabel's House. I can relate to her experience all to well. It gets worse before it gets better. And the better is much better than you think it can be while you're going through the pain. I missed a lot but do you know whats become of Mabel? Anyway, I don't read many blogs anymore. I follow business facebook pages a lot. I'm glad we didn't have blogs when I was young. I can see it would have really made me depressed! They've become so staged. It's keeping up with the Jones on a scale that's out of control. I've noticed now its couples that have been married for years that are calling it quits. It doesn't matter if your young or old it's always very sad, scary and extremely difficult.

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  2. my husband and I have been married 42 years and after retirement yes it takes some getting used to - I think there are a lot of divorces out there, maybe they just aren't mentioned on blogs - most of the ones I read are happily married

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    1. Maybe they just aren't mentioned, I don't know.

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  3. Oh Yes We are all,each of Us real people,some like Me with just good IMAGINATIONS.We watch a lot of cartoons around here and My husband and I love Sponge Bob. I, like Sponge Bob, just happens to have a great imagination which helps Me relax and enjoy some quiet time.I am 61 and at this point in life I know none of Us are perfect-NO NOT ONE. Denise of Coffeeberry Cottage

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    1. Perfection is just a word, rarely achieved.

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  4. umm.. I have to be mega careful cause my new meds have removed A LOT of my charm factor lol..
    so I will just say- GOOD for those 2 ladies and all the others who have chosen to go thru the storm and come out with a smile.. I know the kind of strength that takes- I've lived it 4 times..
    I take, with a teaspoon of salt- not a grain, all the words folks type about 10, 20 ,50 wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunderful years of marriage.. My rational mind and 57 years of life experience , plus 1000's of TRUTHFUL conversations with real women , tells me ::MAX 10% are really happily married. The REST have found a way to make it work for them, versus splitting up their Goodies- having to whip themselves into decent enough shape to start dating again and catch another of equal or greater value lol.. Men, trade up-- women over 35 take what they can get or remain alone.
    So, when I hear and read about lives that are "oh so wuuuunderful" I smile and wish them well at keeping up with that BS disguise 24/7..

    see what I meant about the Charm Factor lol..

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    1. But Sonny, your charm is your honesty. We are the same age. At this point in my life, I don't care how wuuuunderful it is. I like to live with dogs.
      Brenda

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    2. I do admire you Brenda and all you have gone thru to come out on this side of the tunnel.. at this point maybe its only our pups who deserve our love , as they surely return it 100 fold. Me and my 3 pups are doing just fine too..

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    3. Your honesty Sonny is so refreshing! Years ago, when a self-help book said marriage is a contract, I had no idea what the writer was talking about. But it is, and you have to decide if your life is better with him or without and take it from there.

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  5. Yes it is true most blogs do concentrate on the beautiful, and keep personal angst hidden. But just like the movies, we know it is color-enhanced and tweeked. It isn't easy to bear one's soul, but I greatly admire those who do. I myself have a rocky history, and have been through the pain of divorce more than once. I remember the fear of going it alone, again, and the pain of rejection in the pit of my stomach, when my second husband decided he did not love me anymore and promptly moved in with a woman ten years younger than me. I am now thankfully married to my best friend and I know he will never leave me and I will never leave him, we are committed and that is the big difference from the other ones. My heart goes out to all the women out there going through that dark time, especially the mothers with children. But things have a way of working out for the best sometimes, although it is not always apparent in the beginning. So blogging about one's personal life is a choice we all must make on an individual basis. I respect those who choose not to and applaud those that do.

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    1. I am happy you have your life now, Lana. Commitment is hard to maintain. I too feel so bad for the mothers of young children. I've been there as well. My ex used to say women don't age well, but men age like fine leather. I guess he never looked in the mirror.

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  6. Oh, Brenda, I think divorce is certainly the proverbial "elephant in the room" in the blogging world. People for the most part think that if you're going to write a blog, you'd better have it all together. I think my very first post on my blog alluded to the fact that if you're looking for a perfectly charmed life, don't stop here! Ha!

    I totally understand why people don't want to address divorce on their blogs--it's private and well...awkward at times. I can't use our real names or give much identifying information on my blog because we have stalkers. Not scary, physically-harm-you stalkers, but people who drive relentlessly past our home and my work trying to glean any bit of information about our lives. I completely understand the one blogger's comment about being "in a reality sitcom."

    But I do sometimes write about the reality of divorce because I want to be a voice of reassurance to others--I survived this and you will too. :-)

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    1. I think you nailed it. It is the proverbial elephant in the room.

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  7. I stay away from talking about my divorce and the man I became involved with after my divorce. I hadn't allowed myself to heal before I got into another relationship and it became as painful as my marriage. I have nothing but positive feelings now about the lessons I learned through both relationships. I have grown into a much better, happier and more balanced person thanks to all that I've experienced. Life goes on and gets better when you can change your perspective to one of searching for the silver lining instead of moaning about what was. Only the present matters! xoxox

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    1. Oh, the tales we could all tell. But it is the lessons we learn that are important. Otherwise it was for naught.

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  8. i think a lot of the probably is our society goes around thinking that every one is perfect & we break, when we fall ... it is such a shock. i think we have remember that it is ok to fail or fall & talk to our husband/wives about it. be totally honest. put it out there. not waiting until it is too late. get help. counseling. whatever it needs to make it work. maybe getting married should not be so easy. i think cheating is so sad & horrible. if only the person who was considering it would have said in the beginning - look i am totally not liking where our relationship is going & this is what i need or want? i know my relationship/marriage has changed. we are different people than we were when we 1st started dating. times stink & i get frustrated. i want to run. but hell - i did not get into this to get a divorce. i refuse to fail or run away. i had a friend ask me (she got divorced & has a teenage son) if i would leave or get a divorce? hell no ... i will struggle through anything or any where for this ... i wanted this & still do. when it is work i want it more ... this November we will be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. & that does not include our dating years. we should have gotten married sooner & i could add those years to my married time. does that make sense? it is a lesson & i am willing to work on it. if he is willing or wants too. you have to both want to. i think we ALL need to say or agree that we are not all perfect, our lives, our blogs - what you see on the outside is just a part of who we are ... you never know the real stuff. you only can imagine how it is for each one of us. & give us a break. we all are only human. we break, we fail & we need a chance to move through what it is ... i think a lot of folks are worried about the kids - how will they get through the divorce - but i think it sort of needs to be a more open conversation with them - i have another friend who recently got a divorce & she had 2 girls - she had to get the older girl a counselor to talk with - & i think that is great - if she needed someone outside of her parents to chat with ... she needs to understand that what happened had nothing to do with my friend Jenni - she felt it was part of her fault for the dissolve of marriage. hopefully with time & help from the counselor she will get to understand sort of why it happened & she will see that her parents are better apart than together.

    i have always enjoyed your openness ... but i know for some that is not the way they wish their blogs to go. & that is cool. too each his own, right? i think that is the saying. big big hugs. ( :

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    1. Yes, to each their own. Sometimes, probably more often than we think, children blame themselves. They think they had some part in the divorce. The failure of the family not staying together. And often they suffer with this silently. It takes two. Just like the song says. It takes two.

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  9. One of the best written and truthful posts I have ever read. All the comments I can relate to and write similar ones. I have been blogging for about 6 years, married 54 years and only write about upbeat things. If someone asks me what is the secret to a long happy marriage, I say I have no idea. Many times I have wanted to drive past my road and just keep going on and on and away but I have never done that. I have, however, had 3 nervous breakdowns. Being an RN I knew the kind of help I needed and have never been ashamed to go to the right place for it. 6 children, always worked as a nurse and have done just about everything I have wanted to do in my life. Yes I am married to a good man. Loyal, honest, faithful, as far as I know, so what you don't know won't hurt you. LOL I am 76 been retired only 6 years and so has HH (handsome husband) He goes out everyday to his hometown and hangs out with his old friends, I like to stay at home do my art projects etc. He shops and cooks all our meals and we so enjoy our breakfast together and reading the newspaper and watching the birds. I have no idea how we have stayed together so long except I know I love this man and he loves me. Bugs the day lights out of me and I do him. BTW the only thing I have not done is go para-sailing. The damn kids won't let me.

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    1. Sounds like you have found the secret for happiness. Happiness in a marriage. I applaud you.

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    2. Me too. It is very rare to have what you have. I know my parents have it. 52 years and they havent killed each other. I do believe they are really best friends and I never once heard them call each other names. They have alot of respect for one another. I often why I didnt marry someone like my Dad. Gentle and kind and smart and never had a bad word to say about anyone and the glass was half full. I married the complete opposite. TWICE!

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  10. I don't get too personal on my blog because I know my family reads it and I don't want to be judged by them. When I'm feeling out of the blog loop, or depressed, I take a break from blogging because reading about all the perceived happiness and looking at the beautiful people who live in the beautiful homes isn't healthy for me. I wan't my blog to be a place where I can have fun being the editor and photographer of my very own magazine! For me it's an escape from all the stress I allow into my life. I can definitely see how young people can feel like they've got to have the perfect house to be the "norm". We saved up for 10 years to pay for our first carpet installation! Thanks for the insightful post, Brenda.

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    1. We see so many beautiful things on blogs. But there has to be more. And if they don't wish to put it out there, that is certainly their decision, and it is the right decision for them. But I, like you, sometimes feel like I can never attain what some of them have done. I wonder why it took me so long in life to figure out what I really needed. What I really want.

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  11. Divorce is everywhere, no escaping it even if it is not in ones own house. I have never met anyone who has a perfect life, everyone has trials no matter how pretty their house is or how wonderful their husband. The flip side to blogging about having a true partner and maybe being one of the lucky group to have a stable long term happy marriage is that if you do blog about it people are not usually happy for you. People naturally want to see the flaws in others lives because they feel better about their own. Besides, you know as well as me, in this day and age of social media where the urge is to tell all, the all you tell might just come back to bite some of the open books in the azz!

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    1. There is a reason I can be so open. I don't have much in the way of family. No one in my family reads my blog. And so if it somehow comes back to bite me in the butt, I'd rather I wrote what I felt needed telling, than to have kept silent.

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  12. This is a really beautiful post. Thanks :)

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    1. And sad. But sometimes there is beauty in sadness. Because we learn more about ourselves.

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  13. Oh the stories I could tell. But don't because - well, in my opinion. I just don't think it would help. People that want to tell all their personal business on their blog, or other social media-- do it for some other reason that I don't understand. I only tell so much-- and leave a little back. When I do feel a need to write and it happens. I use a journal and write down privately. Then if I don't burn it- my kids will have something interesting and maybe even shocking to read when I'm gone. :)
    I lean more on the private side of blogging. I don't talk a lot about my kids and any of life's problems they might have. I talk about some of our own issues-- but believe me. I don't tell it all.
    I guess it's all just a matter of preference.

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  14. I would hate to think that because I don't talk about certain things on my blog that people would get the impression that I lead a perfect life. Surely people realise that not every blog is going to give all the intimate details about the writer. Of course, it isn't just divorce that isn't talked about. There's cancer and miscarriage, eating disorders, bullying and many, many more issues. Going through a divorce is a very difficult time and I can understand why some bloggers would want to write about. If it helps them and readers who are going through similar troubles then that's good.

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    1. Many readers privately write me and thank me for being so open, for then they don't feel so alone. It opens a discussion between us, and that way we can help one another. It has been my decision, and one I don't regret.

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  15. Thank-you . Some people dear to me have experienced separation and divorce, and it really was sad to see in the midst of their own despair at their husbands leaving them ( some were left by husbands while still raising the young children they had with the husbands they planned to spend their lives with ) they were slandered , gossiped about, and abandoned by so many of the friends and family they love. Talk about betrayal upon betrayal . The hurt never seems to be far away , but a post like yours goes a long way towards relief, and even offers encouragement. I am so sorry for Mabel's House . This touches so close to home for me as someone I would give my life for found herself being slandered and criticized by family members, completely undeserved ,sheesh ! WRITE ON !!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Her pain is so palpable. I don't understand why people were not there for her, and instead made things worse.

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    2. This post really touched my heart b/c this morning ........we found out of a friend with FIVE kids who found out the spouse was cheating. Such a betrayal to not only the parent but all the kids. I think everyone who has shared helps INSPIRE !! Agree with Kathy ...WRITE ON!!

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  16. Beautiful post, Brenda. I know the pain and humiliation of divorce. The challenge of it can make you stronger as many women (and men) have proven. There is life after divorce and it can be beautiful too. I felt like I got a new set of eyes and a new heart after going through my divorce and I will be forever thankful to God for that blessing in the midst of the storm. Thank you for sharing these examples!

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    1. The storm is the hard part. But then the calm after the storm is when we have to figure out what comes next.

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  17. I have been married 24 years. Not so much happily, and not so much badly. He has mental health issues that have developed over the last few years. He says painful, hateful things to me, about me. If I had somewhere to go, someway to support myself I think I would leave. But it is what it is and so I stay. A very wise person once told me, "This is your life. Just suck it up and deal with it." I'm trying. To the women who were brave enough to leave God bless you.

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    1. It took me years. I too was afraid. It took all I had to walk out the door, and I tried very hard, driving away, not to look back.

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  18. Hi Brenda, yes this is a topic that most keep silent thinking everyone will judge or think us less then perfect. Well, LIFE is not perfect. As for me, after 41 years of marriage and being with the same wonderful man for 43 years, I can tell you we've been through it all. Except for killing each other or burning the house down, we've seen hard times. And, we have a neighbor in our sub who actually did burn the house down. Oh not pretty!!
    The good news is, somehow we got through the storms together. Well, I take that back, the somehow was by the grace of God that we weathered our storms and still together and life is good. Not perfect, but very good and in that sense maybe that is what perfect really is. Taking it day by day and kicking the rocks away as they come in our path. My hubby and I are best friends, after all, I suppose I would not want to go through the rough stuff with anyone else. We did not settle either, as we, after all these years, do really love each other. For many of my family and friends, staying divorced was the answer and their life is better because of it.
    On my blog I focus on the fun, the projects, my faith and my art. There is too much bad news out there and you never hear about the good news. Life is so fragile and I am so thankful, that at my age, I can still do what I love with the support of my hubby. It is truly a blessing among the ups and downs of how far we have come
    and still working towards the future. We will be facing retirement soon and I guess that is another bridge we will cross with God's help!
    My heart goes out to the ladies you write about and the courage in their journey.
    Thank you Brenda for sharing all sorts of interesting topics that push us to think and share.

    Hugs

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    1. I can hardly listen to the news, for it is filled with shootings and maiming and all kinds of desperation. But sometimes we can't stop things from happening in our own lives. People grow apart. Some have nothing to say to the other once the kids leave. Sometimes there is an affair. And you try to build a bridge back. But sometimes you just can't make it work. I'm happy for you and your husband.

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  19. I rarely post anything personal on my blog, and as a matter of fact for the first year I wrote, I even used an assumed name, just because I felt no one needed to know who I was. Friends convinced me to use my name and post a few photos of myself, and the first week I did, someone commented that they, "didn't like my face!!!!!"

    It's because of rude folks like this who are usually just unhappy with themselves that it's always good to use some form of caution when writing.

    Great topic, and you did a good job of exploring several angles to this interesting blogging world.

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    1. I am a private person in real life. Few people know me. I don't socialize. But here on this blog, I want to teach and be taught. And that comes from life experience. And if, by some miracle, you help one person, it is worth it.

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    2. Brenda, what you are is one beautiful person. You are so talented in your writing. You bravely have used your painful storms in life in a positive way to help others. Your words awaken awareness. In that, you give a gift. It is called HOPE.
      And yes, it is worth it.

      Take care,
      Emily

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  20. Another great article you have written! I have talked publicly some in the past about my life, but I do keep a lot of the details of my past to myself. The only reason I revealed as much as I did was because I thought it might be helpful to someone else, not to shock or dismay or titillate. There are so many damn nosy people from that little town I originally came from who were dying to know everything there was to know about me. Unfortunately a lot of them found me on FB, and tried to get their curiosity satisfied that way. I am very careful about not revealing too much, while still trying to be honest. I have always admired the straightforward way you write about your personal life. You have probably helped a lot of people realize they are not alone in their struggles.

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    1. People don't find me on Facebook or Twitter or anything but Pinterest. And that's where I pin inspiration photos. It is here that people find me. But I am not one to share on social media. Guess it doesn't really matter where you share. You share what is important to you. And what you think can make a difference and perhaps keep someone else from making the same mistake.

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  21. Today is our 31st anniversary. My husband makes me laugh every day, we enjoy being together, and in general, I don't know how he puts up with me. BUT, are there days I want to run away and hide? Certainly. Hubby and I recently retired. I have hobbies, interests and a few (not a lot) friends. He has none of those things. Well, except fishing. Big whoop. Sometimes it makes me sad, but basically he's happy, I'm happy, and although life isn't perfect, it's pretty darn good.

    There certainly are times I want to write about the 'not so great' things, but he reads my blog and that would be weird and maybe a little hurtful. I want to write about how I wish he would take initiative on the things we do, where we go, when we go, without me having to ask. I want to write about how I wish he could be a bit more communicative. Not just to me, but to others. I want to write about how there are times I am concerned he's just going to curl up in a corner and wait to die and grow old fast. I want to write about how I think he should consider getting a part time job because for him, retirement may not be all it's cracked up to be.

    I've read the comments from some of your readers saying their husbands want to do everything with them. I would say to them...it's time to have a serious talk with your husband. None of you are responsible for your husband's life. He needs to find his own way. Doing things day in and day out that you don't want to do will only cause resentment and unhappiness. We all need space. Even your husband. He just doesn't realize it.

    I've thought about starting a blog under an assumed name. Maybe someday.

    Well, thanks for the opportunity to 'put it out there' Brenda. At least I know hubby won't see this ;).

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    1. It seems quite common that when men retire, they are at a loss of what to do next. Many don't have hobbies to distract them and give them joy. Women seem to have an easier time of this and lots of hobbies and it is a time when they often bloom. And experience much happiness. I feel for the men who don't know how to find things to give them joy independent of their spouse.

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    2. People have to be occupied ........ my husband's career is his passion. I always say when he retires, he will have to volunteer b/c he would go nuts at home! Also -it is not healthy to do EVERYTHING together. My maternal grandma was widowed early. We lost my grandpa at a pretty young age to a heart attack. She as never the same after he passed and she lived over 20 years so devastated

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  22. Well Brenda, I wrote a long and super intelligent and articulate comment (lol!), but when I hit 'preview', it disappeared! Oh well, I'll just make this short and say I've enjoyed your topic, the comments, and your honesty on coping with (and even enjoying!) what life has dealt you. I don't lead a perfect life either and I appreciate reading your observations, tips, and suggestions. I especially liked your post a few days ago about "I used to think...." That was great. I left an abusive husband and had a hard row of it for a few years, but things got better and I would say that in many ways, I am better off now than I was before. Praise God for that! My ex used to tell me, "You can't make it without me..." and my poor little beaten down self would think, "maybe I can't, but I have to try..." Now I'm off-topic, but just wanted to get that in.

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    1. That's exactly the words I kept hearing: "You can't make it without me." They tell you over and over until you believe it. It is hard to step out there and find out if he was right.

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    2. Yes, I thought perhaps I would be living out of a dumpster, but God gave me an basement apartment instead! lol! I didn't know how I'd find work, so threw my sewing machine in the trunk of my car, thought I could perhaps do some mending or such to make some pennies. When one is beaten down, one has such low expectations of oneself. It's hard to leave when you don't know how on earth you will make if financially, but our God sees and knows all and He showed me mercy, compassion and love. It wasn't a walk in the park, but good people helped me along the way and by God's grace I am 'happy' and peaceful today.

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  23. I don't believe that anyone has an actual "perfect" life. Yes, there are many of us struggling to get by, and you know that I am very honest about my situation. This is a supportive group and I know it helps me every day to get by. xo Laura

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    1. That's what I am hoping to achieve by these forums. To support one another through thick and thin. This does not have to be such a competitive group, blogging. Women need to help other women.

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    2. Truly strong (and good women) lift each other up!! That is why I smile when I read my favorite blogs. And when things are not perfect ? We can send each other good vibes, comments, or prayers :)

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  24. I've had a very active blog since 2006 but I've been on hiatus since January of this year. I loved and enjoyed blogging about my quilting passion, the love of my needle and thread, my family and occasional challenges and sresses in my life. During a particular challenging chapter of my life I mentioned a more than once that things were happening and I was feeling very, very stressed. A fellow blogger left a fairly snarky comment that set me back on my heels "we get it already; so you've been stressed. We all experience it but don't feel the need to talk about it on our blogs". I didn't know how to react so I started to drift away from blogging. I understand that some just don't want to hear about that sort of thing but she could have just stopped reading my blog rather than lash out at me. Everytime I think about going back to blogging I think twice and don't do it. :-) My point is that some don't want to know that bloggers don't have perfect lives; they want the fantasy. I hope I've made sense.

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    1. You've made perfect sense. I've gotten them too. But not very many. She should be ashamed of herself. She shouldn't have commented at all, rather than say something like that. Please don't let it make you think the whole cart of apples are bad. IT IS YOUR BLOG. This is a free country and we have freedom of speech. You say what you want. Whenever I get something like that, and I try "not" being who I really am, it comes off as fake. Because it is! People who read me frequently can always tell that I'm holding back. We have to express ourselves naturally, or they may as well as read a fictional book. Don't let her do this to you. You're letting that hateful woman win. Don't let her win, please.

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    2. Agree 100% Darlene! Don't let that snarky woman hamper your freedom of expression on your own blog. I don't blog but I have a FB page. If someone doesn't like what I post - they can delete me or .....if they are unkind? I just delete them ! LOL I deleted a family member for a snarky comment - aint missed them a bit !! ha-ha

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  25. Your post and the comments were like a breath of fresh air to read I think women feel more open to sharing their feelings on your website than they do on their own blogs. In the few years I've been blogging, I've "complained" maybe twice about my husband and/or my marriage. I received many comments which were basically, "Shame on you for feeling that way". Not only do many bloggers try to make their lives sound perfect, people who read those blogs don't want to be disappointed when they find out life isn't a fairy tale. On the other hand, blogs that let a ton of negativity creep in, that involve a lot of day to day whining and complaining and victim playing, are enough to make anyone run scared. I love when women open up with life experiences. We want to see how they handled it, we want to learn from them. It encourages the "sisterhood" that I find so wonderful and amazing in this forum.

    I hope someday to be able to share some of my own experiences, my own mistakes and hurts and horrendous times. I'm in a good place right now, as long as my marriage and family stays healthy...physically and mentally. That's rarely how it works but I hope I have women like you and many of your followers who are willing to listen when I send up that SOS!

    Jane

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    1. I'll be here, Jane! Looking out to sea with one hand shielding my eyes from the sun waiting for that SOS from you!

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    2. Jane..... I think some ppl who never complain about their spouses are fake! GOOD GRIEF !

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  26. Brenda,
    I love that you have been so forthcoming with your life...it was so nice to see that someone was going through the same crap and that I wasn't the only person.

    As to the most perfect blogs...I have learned in my 58 years that we all need to take things with a grain of salt and that most that we see/read/hear is all candy coated.

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    1. Yep, you're right. Lots of people feel the need to candy coat things. And they have their reasons. And I respect that too.

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    2. Me too - I love how genuine and sincere Brenda is !!

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  27. I am three times divorced and had other long relationships that did not work out. I'm so far from perfect it's not funny but I'm honest, open and my home is not a showplace. I too noticed how everyone was 'married to my best friend' etc. If I'm honest, I don't believe it's true for all of those who say that. We lie to ourselves about things and say how we 'hope' and 'wish' they were. I love your honesty and from the day I found your blog knew I found a kindred spirit. I'm so much happier alone and I admit it freely. Good for those who can share the pain of divorce and single parenthood with others. They are not alone and by sharing are giving a gift to many. Good topic and post Brenda!

    Linda

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    1. I see that "best friend" thing in About Me profiles, and I think: Um-hm, maybe so and maybe not. We are kindred spirits and I'm glad we found one another, Linda. I told my kids again and again that if they suddenly thought they weren't making mistakes, that they'd better look around them. Cause they've fallen down in a heap and are dead. I told them you cannot be alive and not mistakes. And secondly, to learn from them.

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  28. Just got to throw this one out and don't mean to sound flippant or sarcastic-- but... with all this talk about 'best friends' and dogs, perhaps we should be marrying our dogs, lol! Always happy to see us, always accepting, loving, never shouts at us, deeply loyal, but by golly, they just aren't worth a darn when it comes to bringin' home the bacon!

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    1. No, they'd eat it before they got home! I have a book about a female author called Three Dog Night. It's a true story. Her husband is in a nursing home for brain damage he sustained from getting hit by a car walking. Nothing she can do for him. She visits, he immediately forgets. She said she sleeps with three good-sized dogs and she's perfectly happy.

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  29. Well, I do read alot of blogs, but only read about 10 blogs every single day. Most blogs I do believe are somewhat phoney, like facebook is primarily phoney. 'see me and my perfect life, perfect dogs, perfect husband, perfect family, perfect house, perfect swingset, perfect bathroom, perfect flowers' those type of people are not real and they create a dream like setting that is impossible to achieve. I am rarely on FB anymore. I was guilty of that for a while, see my perfect vacation I took with my abusive husband that ruins every single vacation we go on' Yep, I was guilty until I left him and now my pictures on FB include my weiner dog and the occastional loaf of bread I bake in winter.... I cannot even bring up the word alcohol or heaven forbid, wine on one particular blog I follow. So, I think she tends to want to create a perfect world of followers as well. So, there are only two blogs I comment on yours and 7MSN Ranch. I feel that I can comment and be true to myself and not have to worry that I typed the word wine.

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    1. You shouldn't have to worry about any comment you make. How ridiculous. I've never posted a photo on Facebook. Wouldn't even know how. Don't want to learn.

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  31. Thank you for another wonderful post.

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  32. I just found your blog and wished I had sooner. It really is a breather to actually discuss topics instead of reading and wishing for a perfect pretty life. I stepped away from blogging and its world awhile ago. I was tired of the never ending candy coated syrup. I understand bloggers not wanting to share their personal life but adding in a bit, here and there, actually makes them a bit more human. I stopped reading blogs a while ago and just recently came back but I have been culling out a lot of them. As stated, life nor a human is perfect. We are to make mistakes and learn from these as we continue to walk that journey. I hope I have finally reached that calm. Its been severely painful journey, breathing some days was the best I could do. My little girl is thriving from the change and the first time in a long time, my smile is real. I forgot what happy and joy was from the long painful experiences. I feel alive again, do what I want to do without constant verbal abuse and wondering whether he will be sober today and honestly, won't be looking for that elusive 'best friend' for quite some time, unless, it is fluffy, has 4 legs, and a wet nose. My papers and paint brush are better than dealing with that crap any day of the week.

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  33. I know the feeling. Listening to hear ice cubes going into a glass, and Scotch being poured over them. Hoping a football goes a certain way or there will be hell to pay. Running for my car with my two dogs and hoping beyond hope I can make it inside and lock the door before he jerks it open and me out. I lived too many years being afraid, and frankly, that's not really living. That is existing. More power to you. I applaud you for making a new life for you and your daughter. Who ever coined that phrase: A dog is a man's best friend", I'm sorry, but they got it wrong. A dog is a woman's best friend. Or a cat. Or any pet that shows her unconditional love.

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    1. Brenda, men like that who bully their wives/kids/pets, etc - they are COWARDS!! Glad you got away from that looser!

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  34. Rachelle/Liz............whoever would judge you or be unkind is insecure and your Uncle Trent is right has "nothing to do but ...."LOL People like that are ridiculous! God bless you both ! Everyone has ups and downs in life ............ People who judge are just miserable ppl !! Hugs oxox

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you! However, if you are a no-reply commenter, I cannot reply via email to your questions or comments.

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