Real talk ...
I'm about to utter 5 words I've never before publicly spoken on my blog.
I don't even say these words on my personal facebook page,
and some people I've known my whole life still don't even know...
my husband is in prison.
He's been gone for 18 months.
He's coming home in 12 days.
I decided to keep some parts of my personal life private,
and so I keep much of the thoughts and feelings I have about my husband being away
If you know me in "real life", you know that I usually have a smile on my face.
I've worked hard at maintaining that smile every day these past 18 months.
But we all know sometimes it's easy to throw on a smile and dodge the hard conversations and questions. It's that "prison-wife" stigma I've worked so hard to avoid.
It's the thought that people will judge me, or my hubby,
or our relationship.
It's the fear - that idea that I won't measure up, or something.
I don't know.
So many thoughts are running through my head and I've changed so much these past 18 months.
I've been mom and dad to my girls.
I've cried, I've been utterly exhausted. I've avoided people at times. I've clung to my family for refuge. I've found peace and security. I've wrestled with doubt and anxiety.
And here I am, 18 months later,
and guess what?
We did it.
I am head over heels in love with my husband,
I truly believe he is my soulmate.
He is the only man I have ever loved.
I thought I loved others, before him...
what foolishness ;)
After nearly 8 years of a relationship he still gives me butterflies.
We have two beautiful daughters.
They have my eyes, his nose, and his beautiful long eyelashes.
We are counting down the days until he comes home and all is right in our world again.
A few of my friends have had hubbies go to jail or prison in these 18 months.
A few have reached out to me, asking for help; advice...
how to get through life missing your hubby,
dealing with people telling you they know what to do, judging you, and the stigma of prison-wife life.
Heres what I say.
1. Cling to your faith.
2. Cling to your family.
3. Be real about your emotions....
4. Be honest with your hubby. He's a big boy, he can handle it. You will both have
bad days, you will both have good days. If you're mad at him, tell him. If you are
disappointed and angry, tell him.
5. Forgive him.
6. Don't be bitter with your friends and family who judge your relationship or
your hubby. In all honesty, they just love you and care about you. Don't expect
everyone to understand...they won't. Dealing with gossip hurts....dealing with lies hurts too.
Let it go.
7. Find a few great friends. There are a handful of girls who have been like family to me
over these last long months. I have called them crying about money problems, and giddy with
excitement over God's provison. They have cheered me on, encouraged me,
prayed for me, watched my kids, and worked around my crazy schedule to see me...
you guys know who you are, and you have been a source of strength to me that
you will never truly realize.
(cue music: wind beneath my wings....lol)
but in all reality,
this has been the craziest 18 months of my life,
but I would not trade the strength and maturity and growth it has given my hubby or me,