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A Tale of Three Marriages: Is There Happiness to Be Found?

By Linda Ward November 26, 2022 Family

I married two men who didn’t deserve me. My first marriage was with a man I loved beyond words. He was kindhearted and gentle with me. We planned a future and had two children together. The boys were high-spirited and wonderful, and a handful for me to manage.

The responsibility of raising them often fell upon me, as he often traveled for work. All the parent-teacher conferences alone, the ball parks in the summer, and the decisions that I needed to make for them to grow into responsible and moral men, fell on me.

My 23-Year Marriage Fell Apart

This man, their dad, didn’t deserve my naive devotion and love. He didn’t deserve my heart of kindness that overflowed to him consistently.

He lied to me. I’m not sure when it began, but he says it started about two years into our 23-year marriage. Of course, that could be a lie too. I’m also not sure how often he was unfaithful with men, but it doesn’t matter. He didn’t deserve me.

Seeking Love and Marriage

Incredibly discombobulated, I married another man who didn’t deserve me. He sweet-talked me and gave me a vision of life with love. His family story was that he was the result of a botched abortion. His mom raised him this way, as a bother who she never wanted.

In hindsight, the poor guy probably didn’t have much of a chance for self-esteem and to be kindhearted after his own mother told him she wanted to abort him, but the abortion didn’t take. I found myself living in a glass prison where I did nothing right, he demanded I stay in the house all day while he worked.

If he suspected I was out in the yard, I paid for it with his anger and words. Berating me and verbally abusing me was his pastime, to the point where I lost who I was.

Giving Up on Marriage

I then became single for 10 years. A reset was in order. I wanted to move ahead in life, happier. I needed to learn some life lessons that were heart wrenching.

First, that no one has the right to lie, abuse, and make me feel like I don’t count. No one.

I needed to grow a backbone and take care of myself instead of being so caring of everyone to the point of worthlessness.

I needed to find my own independence from a man’s wealth, without anyone taking care of me, except me.

Even though I wanted to be connected to someone, I had to learn it’s OK not to be.

These lessons came with lots of mistakes and failures. I even had several dates with men in those 10 years, that carried on where they left off. Until I didn’t.

What? Another Marriage?

I married a man who deserved me. Yes, another marriage, as my heart sought to connect with true love at least once in my life. This man, who has had his own heartaches in life, is kind to a default. He is devoted to me, his wife.

He loves me when sometimes I’m crabby and unlovable. He can make me laugh over silly happenings and is a truly good man.

I found what my heart wanted all along. To love and be loved. The journey to this point was full of heart break. The journey here has been worth it.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Can you relate to this story? Have you had your heart burned and hurt so much it’s broken? Have you given up on love and marriage? If you have been brave and married again, how is it going?

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Jan Borgman

I’m waiting. After 30 yrs of a one sided marriage I feel it’s all over for me at 71. Although I do want companionship.

Linda Ward

Hi Jan,
It would be so nice if single women could find companionship like you said. I have many friends who are single and would totally enjoy someone to meet for coffee and conversation! I don’t think it’s over for you at 71….there are men at age 71 who would also like a companion….it’s just finding them that’s the problem! Wishing you the best. Linda


Well, I’m a man and my wife cheated on me repeatedly during our 38-year marriage. I only found out about it after 25 years. Then she became depressed and died by suicide, leaving me isolated and alone. Both men and women can hurt others.

Last edited 9 months ago by Gerry
Linda Ward

Dear Gerry,
I am very sorry for how your marriage turned out. You are very correct, in that both men and women can hurt each other deeply. Thank you for sharing your story. Wishing you the best years ahead!


Your story is exactly mine…haven’t got courage yet to marry for the third time…I’m so scared but I really feel like you feel about this 3rd guy …thanks for the info…very thought provoking and encouraging

Linda Ward

Be encouraged Viki. If your male friend has shown very compelling character traits, and you’ve tested this out in many different life situations, I hope that fear isn’t the factor that holds you back. Sometimes we take the chance and it’s life changing (in a good way). Sometimes it’s not, but it may be time to try?

The Author

Linda Ward is a Writer and Life Coach living in Minnesota. She specializes in helping mature women find everyday happiness and a satisfying life. She zeroes in on life after divorce, retirement transitions, and finding courage no matter what the circumstances. Her inspiring new eBook is called, Crazy Simple Steps to Feeling Happier. Linda’s Professional background is Social Work and Counseling.

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