It’s Not Another Story; It’s Not “The” Story…. It’s MY Story

It’s MY StoryI got married in August, 1993. I was married for about four years. Eventually it got to a point where all my husband and I did was argue and it was obvious to both of us that the love we had was gone. We were hiding things from each other, we were barely speaking to each other, and there was even an incident that escalated to the point where the police were called. That’s how low our union had sunk.

When my daughter was about two years old, we decided to divorce. I became a single mom. I was devastated in a way because I always thought when you got married, it was for life. I thought that wedding vows, “for better or for worse” meant that is was forever. No matter what problems or obstacles we faced, we could get over them. My parents had been married over 40 years and that’s the kind of marriage I wanted, as well.

What made the divorce even more difficult were times when I would run into his friends and acquaintances who made insensitive comments like, “What did you do to him?” and “He looks so bad!” and “He can’t take care of himself!” These kinds of interactions took such a toll on me that I ended up going to therapy. The song “Stand” by Donnie McClurkin also helped me get through this difficult time. The therapy helped me to understand that the breakup of the marriage was not my fault because I learned that my ex- husband had many complicated personal issues that he brought into the relationship and he was never able to mature and change. Also, he suffered from a lack of motivation. He always depended on me but when our daughter was born and I wanted and expected him to do more, he simply could not.

I was the so-called breadwinner in the family, making more money than he and paying most of the bills and I never questioned it or wanted to change it until our daughter was born and I needed assistance. When you have a set routine for a long time it is hard to change. I had unintentionally enabled him for so long that when I needed him to step up and bring more to the relationship – both emotionally and financially, he was not able to deliver.

In 1998, I moved back home with my parents. I was fortunate to have the support of loving parents and a beautiful girl to raise and care for. With their assistance, I was able to continue working while they cared for my daughter. I would take her to school on my way to work and my Dad would pick her up.

I made the decision to go back to school and get my Bachelor’s degree through the Nyack Adult Degree Program. I attended class one night a week from 6:00pm-10:00pm. My Mom complained at first, but eventually she came around. When my daughter was six and I was about to graduate, I found out I was pregnant. The thought of burdening my parents by staying at their home with another child didn’t sit well with me. I was 8 months pregnant when I graduated from Nyack with my Bachelor’s Degree in 2002. I was proud of my accomplishment. My boyfriend and daughter were at my graduation. My boyfriend asked me to marry him and we began looking for a place to live.

Even though things were not great between us, I thought I would give it a try for my unborn child’s sake. After my son was born, things only got worse. When my son was three months old, I found out he was seeing someone else… I actually saw him with another woman! We grew apart and I found my own apartment and moved out of my parent’s home with the kids. I would continue to be a single mom now with two children. I was very depressed and felt like a failure. I thought to myself, “What man is going to want to be with a woman with two children from two different men?”

I reached out to certain organizations for help but to no avail. My mother would help by watching my son during the day. I would drop my daughter to school, drive my son to my mom’s, and then go to work. She watched him till he was about two years old and then I enrolled him in day care. I again decided to go back to school and enrolled in the University of Phoenix Online. Classes were hard, but when the kids were sleep, I spent most nights and Saturdays doing class work and studying.

I had this routine until my children became older. It was exhausting but fulfilling because I felt empowered – I was raising my children on my own and I was enhancing my education. Throughout the years, I always attended church which was instilled in me by my parents. I found a solid Church home became a member and received much love and support.

In later years, my Mom suffered a stroke and was very ill. I moved back home to help my Dad. I put school on hold for a while. My daughter was 12 and my son 6 years old. I later got a job with the University of Phoenix and was able to go back to school FOR FREE and complete my educational objectives! I graduated with my Master’s in Human Resources in 2007. I did not attend the graduation because it was in Phoenix, Arizona, and I just couldn’t afford to go at the time. Still, I saw my graduation as another proud accomplishment and an important milestone in my life.

My parents are now deceased and I look back and thank God for them in my life and for the many blessings and lessons they taught me. They never looked down on me or said anything negative about my personal situations. My children are the most important thing to me and I love them with all my heart. My daughter just started College, and my son started middle school. I would do anything for them and I do my best to assure that they have a great life even without the benefits of having a father around or involved in their lives.

When people hear the term single mom, there should be no stereotypes or stigmatisms associated with it. I love being a single mom! The end to this story… just turned 50 years old and got engaged to a WONDERFUL man and looking forward to starting my new life with him and our children! It is my hope that this story has encouraged, inspired, and given you hope that “it’s going to be alright”.

Written by Melissa Evans

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  1. Mamachill says

    Such a lovely story, and really struck a chord with me in that I too was the breadwinner, ennabling him to always depend on me not only financially but mentally and even physically at times for strength. I always gave him props as a man and as an artist (we are both in a similar field) and somehow he felt it his right to use that prop as leverage to mentally abuse me and belittle me every chance he got. I gave up my career (in another country) and livelihood to raise the family and help support his career, but saw I was just giving, giving, giving, and getting little to nothing in return. I finally had to say “NO!” to it all and regain my independence and rights as a person and woman, hence the divorce. As I learn to navigate myself as a newly single mother, my focus is on my son but I can’t forget to take care of myself as well. I still want to learn, to love, to be the best human being I can be, to give but also be open to get. The new balance is something I’m still learning but blogs like this really helps to get things in perspective and know that I am not alone. Thank you!

  2. Patricia Anne Carolino says

    Hi Melissa,

    I am deeply touched with your story. I am a single mom too. Never got married. My first child is turning 2 years old this October and I am about to give birth of my second child this September. Both of them have different fathers who had denied paternity. I went back to my parents house after the father of my second child decided not to return from our apartment and they gladly took me back. There are times that I am still feeling blue because of my current situation. But reading your story, it makes me feel that I can make it even if I don’t have a partner. I will make my children my inspiration with everything I do.

  3. Alana says

    Your story is so similar to mine, it is touching and makes me teary… my parents both past away at the same time I divorced… the divorce for the same reasons as you stated so well. Your story is empowering. I miss my parents, but I can do it! And you found love, I’m happy to hear that. Wishing you a wonderful life.

    • Melissa says

      So glad I was able to inspire you. Hang in there, it gets better! God bless. Check out my new organization and like our facebook page Girlfriends Pathway 2 Empowerment-NY Chapter.

  4. Sarah says

    Melissa – Your story has truly touched me. I am married for 18 years though, and we have a 9 and 3 yr old. Our marriages were very similar – in that I enabled my husband because I did mostly everything and was the bread winner. Except when our 2nd came – I needed more of a partner and he couldn’t be what I needed and became emotionally controlling and abusive. I filed, we’re in the process of a divorce. Reading your story resonated with me.

    I dont know what my future with my girls holds for us, but I know there is no going back. I must keep moving forward even though some days are unbearably painful because of the loss of the marriage and future i thought I was going to have.

    Your story is an inspiration to me – truly! Wishing you a future that is bright, peaceful and fulfilling! Your children are extremely blessed to have you as their mom xo

  5. Pearl Onderi says

    Hi Melisa,
    This has really inspired me,being 25yrs with a 3yr old daughter and back in my mum’s place i pray that i too can survive this.You are a blessing through your motivational story.

  6. Rhonda Meade Nixon says

    Very inspiring story Melissa. I am happy that you went public with your story to inspire and empower the lives of other young women who live with similar situations. Look forward to meeting and working with you in the near future.

  7. chrissy says

    I just read this article its pure amazing. I am a 27 yr old single mother to a 5&8 year old and this article that my boys and I will make it. Thank you so much

  8. keisha harbajan says

    Awwwwwwww Melissa I feel privileged to have gotten to know you during the time our kids went to school together, I am not a single mom but your story has inspired and touched me. Through prayer all things are possible, congrats as you embark on this journey I wish you and your family all the best.

  9. carrie c carter says

    The story of an “”Amazing Mom” truly shows how AMAZING you really are. May God continue to stay in your life and guide you with all your future endeavor’s. GOD BLESS YOU!!!

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