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'I Left My Husband For Him, But He Didn't Return The Favor'

In less than two months, I went from having the "perfect" family and "having it all" to becoming a single mom.
11/09/2015 12:40pm ET | Updated November 9, 2016
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Sometimes we screw up, but we have to find happiness and strength within to get back up again.

If someone had walked up to me and told me a year ago I would be a 30-year-old single mom with two kids, I would have looked at them like they were batshit crazy.

A year ago, I was THAT mom -- the one who seemed to have it all together, who had it all in some ways: two beautiful boys, a nice home, a good man and father to our kids. I cooked the meals and coordinated professional family photos, planned vacations, sent out Christmas cards, etc. I had a rigid schedule but made time to run and managed to be in decent physical shape.

But something was missing. In my marriage, I felt alone. Why wasn't I happy?

I met my ex when I was seventeen. He was four years older than me and I was smitten. He had a job, a truck, and a house. He had it all together. We got along great so dating him while I was in college seemed like the right thing to do. And of course, after college the next step was marriage, right?

He was a hard worker and provided stability throughout the marriage. We had two beautiful boys and all seemed well -- or was it?

After having our second child, I started to feel different. I hated the person I was and the wife and mother I had become. I did not feel good enough and I felt incredibly alone. I was unhappy.

I strived to be perfect and wanted validation from my husband and always seemed to end up disappointed. We only communicated when it came to daily tasks and the kids. Date nights disappeared and communication was lacking. I felt my husband did not want to spend time with me. That alone feeling turned into resentment and I grew to hate the man I married. And then my life started to change before my eyes and it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

He will remain nameless. We talked every single day about our ho-hum lives, kiddos and sleep deprivation, running, peanut butter/dark chocolate goodness, etc. He was quirky, but I was too and we clicked instantly as friends. Never did we discuss problems in our marriages. We just jived well and I always enjoyed talking to him. I could be my goofy self with him.

He thought my tattoos were cool when my husband did not, we shared an appreciation for swear words, his sweet tooth was just as terrible as mine and we shared a Starbucks addiction. One day, I looked at him in a different light and realized that I loved him as more than a friend. He knew more about me than anyone, made me feel beautiful, embraced my quirkiness... I knew at that moment he was the love of my life and my heart belonged to him. There was a problem: He was married and so was I.

Our innocent conversations turned into professing our love to one another. Apparently he had felt that way our entire friendship and I was oblivious the entire time. That led to future conversations about marriage, where we would live, custody arrangements, etc. We loved each other and knew we could no longer live without one another.

Did this man have an impact on my decision to divorce my husband? Yes. Was it the only reason? No. But knowing I had found the "love of my life" made the decision to divorce my companion and husband of 12 years much more bearable.

So I did it. All of the resentment and insecurities I had bottled up over time were released and I filed for divorce. At that point I went through the motions, I did what I thought made sense and what I had to do.

There was no drama and the divorce was clean. In less than two months, I went from having the "perfect" family and "having it all" to becoming a single mom. But I had it all figured out. I was finally going to be happy -- or so I thought.

I was now divorced, but he was not. We continued to talk about our plans and how happy we were going to be. And then one day that all changed. He told me although he would always love me, he could not follow through with our plan for the sake of his kids. And just like that, my plans to spend the rest of my life with the man I loved and my best friend were crushed.

I write all of this not for pity. Am I heartbroken? Yep. Was I naive? Hell yes. But I am not a victim.

I made some errors in judgment and take responsibility for my actions. I share all of this to say I am not perfect; no one is. We all make mistakes, but we still deserve happiness. It took going through a divorce and being left brokenhearted to begin truly learning who I am as my own person and what I really want -- the one thing I never gave myself the opportunity to do while I was in a relationship all of those years.

I was knocked down by a ton of bricks when he decided not to divorce his wife and it has been a true test to get back up again and climb out of the abyss. It is not easy, but I am learning to appreciate life from a different perspective. I am more humble, I am more patient, I am more forgiving.

I am learning to love myself and I am becoming a better mother because of it. I am now 30 and a single mom of two awesome kids. Am I lonely? Yes. But that is ok. I have learned so much about myself over the last 12 months I now know I deserve happiness and will not settle for anything less.

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