When childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s book author Rachel Renee RussellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s husband filed for divorce with no prior warning, she started re-evaluating her life, and found out that her marriage had suffered because she put her dreams on hold to become her husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cheerleader. Story courtesy of Essence.com. But additional information by AKOSSA MPHEPO.
One day my husband called and told me he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t coming home Ã¢â‚¬â€ ever. He meant it. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d been married for 25 yearsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I was petrified about moving on. Still, the worst feeling was the betrayal. I always had my husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s back, side and front. But who had mine?
When I met my ex-husband he was working at a factory and I was an attorney; today heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a dentist and state dental director. Even though he had a college degree and was brilliant, he was lacking one major thing: support. So I became his full-body Spanx, I brought it all together from head to toe. Once we were married, I encouraged him to pursue his dream of becoming a dentist. After a few tough years, he graduated and eventually opened up his own practice.
With time, my husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dream grew. He told me that he wanted to be a state dental director, which required him to attend graduate school. Again, I was by his side.
Sadly, there are only so many hours in a day. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only a finite amount of energy that the body and soul can emit. So, I have to be honest, on the charge of giving all of myself, my thoughts and my time to my man and kids; this court should find the defendant guilty. Yes, I had a career, but did I love it? Was I cultivating my passions with the same fervour I gave my mateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s? Not at all. For that, I paid a hefty price.
When my ex left he never looked back. He didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care that I spent 25 years dreaming… with him. He treated our plans and goals like old garbs heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d out grown. In the midst of it all, there I stood. Alone. I lost my man… and a few months later I lost my job. Luckily, I did find something: myself.
I did something I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t done in 25 years: I only considered my wants. The first thing I did was move from Michigan to Virginia, so I could be with my family. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d been working on a manuscript for years and I decided to clean it up and finally send it out. Within weeks I edited the story, created a query letter and sent it out to 20 literary agents. I received offers from five of them in three weeks… and it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stop there.
Two years ago I thought my life was over, but now I realise it was just the beginning of a new chapter. Though IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m no longer a wife (at least for now), IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gained another title, New York Times bestselling author. My childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s series, Dork Diaries, which is published by Simon and Schuster, has more than two million copies in print Ã¢â‚¬â€ and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m just getting started. Today IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m focusing on balancing writing, starting a new family as single mother with foster care children and finding out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I finally understand that my marriage didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work because it was never about us, only him. My career and goals, were never supported. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m happy to say that will never happen again. I will always have my mateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s back, but he has to have mine too.
A lot of women in Malawi are grappling with a similar situation. They let go of their goals and stop nurturing their gifts because their men donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t approve, or because it is the woman who is expected to compromise. Some have even turned down brilliant job offers in a bid to save their marriage. But, is this healthy?
Psychologist Sandra Mapemba says the women are to blame because many do not discuss their dreams with their husbands from the onset.
“All of us usually are excited about getting married and the wedding, but forget to discuss this before and after we are in the marriage. When these dreams change, you need to discuss the change in plans. If you do this, you will know from the onset whether or not your man will support you. This way, he will be aware of what his woman wants and will cheer you on,” Mapemba points out.
She adds that, as women, we need to make a conscious effort to remain individuals and not lose ourselves in the process. We ought to remember who we are and what we love and learn to nurture this.