Eight years ago I was sitting on my patio one summer night with four close friends. I thought I had it all-a cute little house, a career with 3 letters after my name, a BMW in the driveway, wine in my left hand that was sporting a $16,000 Tacori diamond ring, and a perfect fiancé that was in Vegas for the weekend for his bachelor party. My wedding was less than 2 months away and I couldn’t wait to put on that $3000 dress and add more diamonds to my finger.
Looking back now, I’m disgusted with myself and wonder who the hell I thought I was. When did I become so materialistic? Why didn’t I realize that I had to put a price tag on everything and have something better than the next girl? I was never like this before; it was something that developed over the 3 years of dating my ex-husband as a result of him spoiling me. The more he spoiled me, the more I demanded. And each and every time he gave me something, I felt vindicated that I was no longer that charity case girl who had a lunch ticket all through grammar school, never had a car in high school and hung on to guys that didn’t do a damn a thing for me.
After we got married, I got more and more wrapped up in the facade of my life. I worked part time because -as I always said- I just could. My husband hustled every day commuting an hour each way to work in traffic hell so I could spend his money. I was a good wife in terms of taking care of the house, cooking, cleaning and trying to make him happy. But he never was.
We vacationed in Newport every summer where a $150 hotel room wasn’t good enough for me. Dropping $1500 on 3 days there was the norm and I never batted an eye at how ridiculous that was. He tried to tell me so many times, but I wasn’t trying to hear it. I wanted what I wanted.
In no way was he a saint. There were terrible things about him that I swept under the rug. I realize now that the only time I felt he loved me was when he bought me things. Every Christmas and birthday when there was a Coach bag waiting for me and some piece of jewelry, (that I picked out for myself), it made me happy -temporarily and I felt loved-temporarily.
Eventually our marriage couldn’t sustain all the issues we had. Getting divorced at 33 was not in my plans. Yes, I had my precious 3-year-old son, but I still wanted a daughter (I needed a mini Marcey), a house with a wraparound porch and pool and to take a Disney vacation with my perfect little family of four. And I honestly did love him and didn’t want to lose him. But this wasn’t in the cards for me.
The day my husband woke up abruptly with the soul of the person I thought I knew, having left his body, saying he didn’t want to be married anymore, there was nothing I could do.
My gut told me that what I felt was a quick knee jerk reaction from him, could only mean one thing. There was someone else. Still not having the details of what really happened to this day, I have my personal beliefs about what changed, and enough evidence to believe in my heart that I was right. However, the fact remains, that although I feel he broke us in the end, I know my materialistic and selfish ways contributed to the breakdown of our marriage.
After getting divorced and losing everything I had, aside from my son and my dignity, I was knocked back on my ass into reality. Supporting myself alone I realized that life was not about money and the things I had and could show off. And more importantly that relationships cannot survive being based on them.
This really sank in one day, a year post-divorce when I was taking a walk past a tiny, adorable house in my mom’s neighborhood. I thought about how much I would appreciate living in any house now, big or small, having now being stuck in a condo. I thought about the person I loved at the time and how I could be happy anywhere with him. And this was not my ex-husband. It was someone who didn’t have half of what he had. Someone who had never given me anything in my life and wasn’t even in my life at the time. But despite this, I pictured myself living anywhere with him and not wanting, needing or expecting a damn thing, but being genuinely happy just having him. That would have been enough for me.
It never happened, but it opened my eyes about truly loving someone.
After everything I’ve been through and how much I feel I’ve changed, I cannot stress enough to the ladies out there needing and demanding everything brand name and boujee, that life and love does not revolve around what you have and how many places you travel to- and feel the need to post about. You aren’t a better woman because you have a man wrapped around your fingers.
I’ll never be that woman again. Yes, I’ll still like my certain higher end things, but I’ll feel better getting them when I can reward myself from time to time with a purchase I feel I’ve worked hard for. I’ll do this for myself. I will never again need validation of myself or someone’s love by having material things.