Losing It All—Gaining More

By: Peggy Willms

(2 min. read)

Divorce isn’t easy for anyone, and it certainly isn’t on your mind when you get married. I don’t think anyone hopes their relationships won’t work. After my seventeen-year marriage dissolved, I, like many, felt I was missing secret ingredients. And I went on a “manhunt” for behaviors I lacked. You know…opposites attract. Or do they? Let’s say that no matter what, oil and water eventually separate. Walking away isn’t always inevitable

Only months after my divorce, I quickly married a man I had known (or not known) for twelve years. Responsibility, honesty, and loyalty are my framework. In my hurriedness to fill the gaps, I suspect this serious, overworked woman needed to have more fun, worry less, and enjoy life’s little moments.

I ignored the red flags he waved from the mountain tops, assuming I needed time to adjust and settle into my freshly designed, easy, breezy lifestyle. I quit one of my favorite jobs of 14 years analyzing physician utilization (yes, I was the one dinging doctors for double charges) and as a worksite wellness coordinator. Job gone, and soon-to-be…401k. Instead of a life of relaxation, adoration, and bliss. I found an irresponsible, deceitful class clown to fit the bill.

After 2.5 years of playing mom, I filed for divorce, spending months in court representing myself. He ultimately “gifted” me with a half-a-million-dollar bankruptcy and foreclosure. One of the biggest red flags was when we were buying a house, and at the signing, I noticed his name was not on the mortgage – only mine. He promptly called me into the hallway. “My credit isn’t quite as good as yours. Let’s just get the house, and we can refinance next year and add my name.” I had the ick and the heebie jeebies, but I did it. And I signed away my life.

When you begin a relationship clouded in the “he’s everything I need,” you might miss the “he is everything I don’t want.” My life became a whoa-is-me country song. “I lost the house, the truck, and the dog. But I did walk out with my flipping coffee pot!

Here I was, starting over at age forty-three. I began focusing on myself by not looking for someone to jump into my recipe of life. I found a new job managing a multi-million dollar medical clinic, returned to personal training again, laughed more, played Yahtzee, and found new friends.

As I faced life alone, I realized there is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. Though I dipped to a credit score below 500, I came out stronger, smarter, and braver than I ever imagined. My intuition, energy, and sense of people began ruling my life, which propelled me to happiness beyond compare. I stopped settling for relationships that did not serve me personally or professionally.


Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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