Category Archives: Relationships

This Time It’s Going To Be Different

This time it’s going to be different.

Early on in this separation (that hasn’t officially happened, but we made the decision 5 months ago) I decided circumstances were going to be drastically different than the last go around.

Already pretty isolated in 2012 (because we’d stopped going to church a few years before and we were no longer homeschooling) I shut out my closest support system for an unhealthy relationship, that took 6 months to break away from.

My Tribe

As soon as Jason and I decided this 19 year marriage was beyond repair, I reached out to multiple friends and said, “Will you be part of my tribe so when the loneliness come (because it does come and it comes with a vengeance) I don’t make bad choices?”  There were multiple yeses and actually not a single no. I’m so thankful for my tribe.

I’m keeping in touch and being transparent about what I’m up to in life.  Lots of checks and balances.

More Doing Things

I’m spending actual time with friends.  No more isolation for this girl!  I spent the last decade doing life alone and that’s no way to live. Within the last couple of months I’ve gone out to eat, to the movies, hiking, and to friends’ houses for actual old school visits and coffee. Long visits were weekly events 12 years ago.  How I’ve missed those!

Professional Help

I’m going to counseling regularly.  I KNOW I need this additional level of support.  I tend to put far too much on my plate, so it’s nice having input so that I take on new ventures and major life choices at an appropriate pace.

“Put yourself in the way of beauty.”-Cheryl Strayed

I’m buying plants a little bit at a time, a candle here, a cheap set of curtains there.  I don’t have extra money to spend on these little luxuries but they brighten my physical space and bring me a great deal of pleasure.   The amount of debt I have compared to the amount of income I bring in is a crippling figure, so in the words of Scarlet O’Hara, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”

Speaking of tomorrow-

When life gets overwhelming, I’m taking a page from Glennon Doyle Melton’s book Love Warrior.

Do The Next Right Thing

Glennon wrote about making the decision to carry a baby after a lifetime of eating disorders and addiction.  “What is the next right thing to do?” she asked herself, with that pregnancy test in hand. That’s how she made it during her transition, always looking for the next right thing to do.

Knowing What I Don’t Want

I’ve been given some bad advice on what I should GO OUT and do.  While that might feel good in the moment, it’s not me.  I have zero desire to randomly date and have casual anything…  That seems like a fruitless distraction and way too much drama.  And besides, last time I rushed into the first set of arms willing to embrace me and ended up with a lot of regret, not to mention guilt from hurting someone looking for love in all the wrong places, and a hip tattoo! (sad but true.)

I have BIG goals for my life and chasing temporary comfort would throw me completely off course.

Back to the NEXT RIGHT THING

My goal is to continue to put myself in the way of beauty, create a life that is filled with LOVE (not the romantic kind…not yet anyway) but to focus on my other relationships, my children, my extended family, and friendships.

I am going to live a life that is so busy and full, that even though I will naturally tend to want someone to share the journey with, I won’t be wasting away waiting for it.

Be Present

I am going to live in the present as much as possible.  I am going to live each day to the fullest and squeeze every drop of goodness out of it.  Even on the hard days, I am going to “hunt for the good things.”

It’s true that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.

Gratitude

The day my dad passed away, was not a day full of painful memories, but had sweet memories folded into it.  My dear friends drove by the nursing home and slipped money into my hand for lunch, so we’d have one less task to take care of that day.

I was relieved to see how many nursing home staff genuinely cared about my dad as they expressed their condolences.  In my mind, my poor dad laid in that bed for 2 years neglected and miserable, but the reality was that he was loved.

My mom, brother, his wife and I spent the next few hours dividing my dad’s small box of earthly belongings and just being together.

A month later, Jason and I separated.  I didn’t function very well the first couple of months, but even then, I remember being thankful for my kids and for all of the laughter we shared.  Bouchers are natural comedians, so there’s always always always something to laugh about, especially when others would find it inappropriate to be telling jokes and laughing.

Pursue Goals

I’m going to write and create and dream.

I’m going to take action on those dreams.  I’m going to pick ONE BIG DREAM (decisions aren’t my favorite) and pursue it even if I change my mind 3 months down the road.

Be Honest

I’m going to be really real.  I’m going to be honest.  I’m not going to hide hip tattoos or feelings.

And I’m going to be honest with myself.  That’s tricky because I haven’t allowed myself to feel the scope of feelings available to feel, like sadness and anger.  Those “BAD emotions” have been pushed deep inside to allow only the cheery positive ones to dominate my life up until recently.  Apparently when we don’t deal with our emotions, we can’t properly heal…blah blah blah.

So yeah, I’m going to allow myself to feel some crap and I’m going to acknowledge the thought or feeling for what it is and then move along to the next thought.

“Live the life you have imagined.” -Henry David Thoreau

My future will be filled with family dinners (around the table even), extended family dinners, delightful company, kids’ sleepovers, accomplishing goals -little and big, a vacation or two along the way, but also a lifestyle that gives me the feeling that my life is already a vacation-maybe not a vacation anybody else would want to go on, but my own personal vacation living.

This is my life and it’s a good one.  I’ve had trouble seeing that the last few months, but I see it now.

This post is so full of I’s, me’s, and my’s that I’m a touch uncomfortable, so now it’s your turn to tell me about ways you actively take care of yourself.

Share them in the comment section here or post a comment over on Facebook.

Thank you so very much for reading, for being part of this journey, and for allowing me to be part of yours.

~Sarah

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I Went Crazy

This time last year, my life didn’t look much different than it does now. Our family was in the middle of a move, as we are now. I was settling into my job as a temp in a factory, making friends, and weighing every single possible educational/career option for my future during those long 12 hour shifts.

This time last year, I wrote a blog post about moving on. I declared that as we left our physical space, I was leaving my relationship baggage behind. We were starting fresh in a new home. We were going to be okay.

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While no one was watching, I grabbed a few of those “bags.” After a couple of months, I began searching through the contents. I pulled out an unresolved issue, waved it around, and then stuffed it back in the bag. A few weeks later, I pulled out another issue and went through the same routine. I have in fact spent the last year trying to divorce my husband. It’s become our joke. Before I leave for work, Jason will often ask, “Are you going to want to divorce me when you get home?”

I love joking around with Jason. The material from our lives over the last decade gives us both a ton of comedic material to pull from. I hope we always laugh with each other.

I recently read Love Warrior. One of the mantras the author applied to her life during a MAJOR transition was DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING.

Love Warrior | Making Decisions |

When Jason and I separated in 2012, I did NOT do the next right thing.

I did MOST OF THE THINGS you aren’t supposed to do in a separation. I broke common sense rules. I’m still so shocked by my actions.

When I came to my senses, I went on a mission to figure out where I went wrong. Where had my brain disappeared to in the months that followed the separation?

In my search, I got together with a couple of single women who appeared to have handled the transition better than I had. I was ready to learn.

“Are you acting…crazy?” one of them asked in a playful manner.

“YES!”

“Go to Barnes and Noble RIGHT NOW and get the book, Crazy Time. I’ve read it more than once.”

I did as I was instructed. I didn’t make it to the end of the book, but the beginning was about losing it, in one way or another, and how some people SNAP completely and go on to kill their exes or commit suicide…or both. I sure am glad I didn’t reach SNAP level crazy, just super poor decision making skills level crazy.

Why don’t people talk about this more?! It’s like we’ve all secretly agreed to not talk about this CRAZY TIME and other traumatic events and big feelings that follow.

Well thanks a lot people! I could’ve used the warning.

Consider this post your warning from me.

As you might imagine, a year of waving around those unresolved issues and living in limbo has taken its toll on both of us. It hasn’t all been bad. It never was. We’ve had more than enough happy moments to replace all of the bad ones.

So what happens next?

I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, because plans change regularly around here, but as a family, we’re headed in a direction where healthy and happy is the goal for all seven of us. In the meantime, I have the opportunity to DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING daily. I think I’ll print that out and hang it everywhere, just in case I forget.

Taking action | decision making | Love Warrior | Crazy Time

Thanks for reading!

I happily encourage women to grow in their power daily at I Am A Powerful Woman. Come join the conversation there.

If you’re struggling or dealing with a loved one in pain, check out What Every Person Can Do.  It’s incredibly affordable.  12 weeks of support for what 1 hour of counseling would cost!  But…and I know this firsthand, even reasonably priced is not an option sometimes, so don’t write this off. Partial and full scholarships are available for those that need them and are serious about going through the work.

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Always Do Your Best-This Marriage Stuff Part 2

Jason and Sarah 2014Last week I wrote about my marriage (click here to read that) and asked for pointers on getting more connected to the man I share my life with and have been friends with for over half my life.  I really appreciate all of you who shared your thoughts.  I’m condensing them here and hitting the highlights.

Jacqui-

“I advise you treat your marriage sacred like God intended and be grateful for what you have versus what you don’t, and definitely keep your marriage issues private between you, God and your husband…Good luck, you two will be in my prayers!”

Glenda-

My vote is that you go back to that therapist and start where you are at this moment. If an intersection is blocked, walking around drinking coffee and holding hands will not clear the path–although, walking and holding hands are excellent ways to approach the de-construction.

Cari-

Remember that marriage is a call to teach God’s love to the foreign culture we call our husband. Sometimes i have to step back and try to figure out how to relate to him. Sometimes I have to step back and give him room. What helps most of all is to remember the good times and try to get him to do the same. “Remember when we met?” is a good starter.

Bridget-

…we actually just started communicating better when I got ill. We threw everything right out on the table for one another, no matter how bad or heartbreaking it was. That night showed us how much we actually love and care about each other.

Nancy

It’s little things that matter. Take some time each day to show him you appreciate him. Maybe set up a regular date so you guys can connect. Sharing a cup of coffee in the morning or allowing a half hour of uninterrupted time for each other in the evening.

Janice-

You remember what drew you to him in the first place. Oh, and going to the beach is nice, if not, go for a long walk…..without kids.

Kerri-

Kiss. 15 seconds, no less every day. Even if you don’t want to. Carve out fifteen minutes of alone time together. Even if it is a walk or a coffee. I constantly feel disconnected with so many kids and a full time job, and my husbands PTSD. It is a struggle….but!!! When something is as important as marriage you do everything to keep it from being tarnished—you polish it every day.

Here’s what happened after that post.  I started thinking there were steps I could follow to fix our marriage.  I also started searching for that feeling of re-connection and happiness from him which led to some creepy neediness from me.  It felt horrible.  I don’t want to do THAT to me or him again.  I’m sure I’ll slip up and end up there from time to time, but I sure as heck hope I catch it sooner than I did this past week.  He lovingly saw me through it but we’re both exhausted and it didn’t make us feel any more connected.

Anyway, here’s what I ultimately learned and know to be true from my little visit to CRAZY TOWN.

No amount of kind words or thoughtful actions on either of our parts will fix anything or make the other person feel complete or loved.  Those activities are nice and should be done daily, but we both have to do the work of being completely happy and whole on our own to enjoy a happy healthy relationship, free of neediness, grudges, finger pointing, or guilt and shame.

The ONLY thing either one of us can do is DO OUR BEST each day to work on ourselves and be nice to our partner.  We’ve agreed that this is the best course of action, doing our best, which made me think about The Four Agreements because the fourth agreement is Always Do Your Best.

Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

I’ve decided to give away a copy of the book in January to a member of the POWERFUL Woman community (The P-dub Hub.)  To become an official member of the community and be entered into each month’s give away automatically, just fill in the form below.

Goodnight and good luck from the Kentucky Lottery!

Wait!  That’s the wrong sign off.  Let me try again.

My name is Sarah Boucher and I approve this message.

Join below!!!  I’m throwing in a little something besides the book as well.  I just haven’t decided what yet 🙂

 

 

 

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Trouble in Paradise-This Marriage Stuff

Boucher Family Pic 2014This marriage stuff is a lot harder than I thought it was. We’re almost 17 years into this and I’m scratching my head wondering what we can do to make it a happier and healthier relationship.

My experience of my marriage was that we had a pretty great one, one of the best in the history of mankind.  Unfortunately, the story stopped being legen…wait for it…dary 8 years ago.  I know it wasn’t a good experience for my husband by the 4 year mark.  That’s when he told me he thought we should see a counselor, but I “heard” what he had to say, told him we were fine, and everything got better (for me, not for him.)

If there’s one lesson I’m 100% sure of, it’s if your partner mentions counseling, don’t dismiss it.  RUN!  Don’t walk.

I want to write about my marriage because it’s real.  The struggle to be connected is real.  The feelings feel real for both of us.  There’s crap to deal with.  I don’t want any of my writing on this topic to blame or shame anyone, myself included, which is really where most of those negative thoughts would be directed since I’m the one writing this.

Here’s where I sit today.

We both had different experiences of our marriage.  We’ve made lots of happy memories over the years (I love those), but there’s also been a lot of pain and damage done on both our parts.  Our excellent communication was not as excellent as I thought it was.  We separated for 9 months in 2012 and then we made the decision to work on our marriage.  Even at our worst, separated and in relationships with other people, we still cared for and encouraged each other to make good choices.

When we decided to recommit, we went to counseling for three weeks.  The counselor told us we weren’t like other couples she’d worked with.  She really said that.  She praised our communication and respect for each other.  She told us we were doing great and sent us on our merry way.  Fast forward to today.

We’ve talked and agreed that our marriage lacks connection and we don’t know what to do about it.  We like each other.  I’d go so far as to say we love each other.  We want to stay married, but we’re just not very connected.

Here’s my analysis.  I feel like we both learned to live apart during those 9 months and since we’ve been back together, we’ve still been living separate lives.  We just do our own thing and sometimes our paths cross.  We’re both busy with life, which happens to all couples and is not unique to our situation.  So my question is what do you do when life gets busy and you get disconnected from your partner, besides the obvious.  My husband said it best jokingly, “We connect with our hearts, not with our parts.”

So, how can we get more connected?  What are your suggestions?  Seriously.  Share your ideas by commenting below or come over to I Am A Powerful Woman and post them on the wall.  I’ll compile a list and we’ll try them.  This will be fun and it might just work.

Thanks for your help!

Sarah

 

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