While also trying so hard NOT to see my newly estranged husband living a glamorous life – globe trotting with his “rich” girlfriend.
The family I was building was gone.
You ask friends and family not to share the details of your spouse’s social media page with you, but many can’t help themselves. They are now more astonished and angered by the blatant disrespect than you are.
On top of that, strangers are bombarding you with screenshots, DMs, and questions about the husband you no longer know.
More mistresses were coming forward with their confessions & apologies, hoping to mourn the loss of “your” man together.
Maybe I should have logged off for a while. It could have protected me from being more hurt while pregnant.
But, I needed to see the truth for myself.
I needed to know who I had really married, so that I wouldn’t fold if he ever tried to come back!
I accepted the truth. He didn’t love me anymore.
But, there was still so much more work to be done.
I had to forgive!
This was a bigger pill to swallow.
How do you forgive someone who keeps disrespecting you?
And, how do you forgive someone who isn’t fucking sorry?
I get it. People fall in and out of love all the time. But, what I couldn’t grasp was the disregard for my feelings, the disrespect to our family unit, or the anger towards me.
It felt like I went from being his queen to becoming his nemesis within a blink of an eye.
Suddenly, everything happening was my fault.
I got myself pregnant.
I caused the media circus.
I’m seeking fame and attention.
Meanwhile, he was posting pictures and tagging “The Shaderoom” and other entertainment blogs. Plus, filming a freaking reality show as Salt N Pepa’s bodyguard and as Pepa’s lover!
I wonder if men ever take the time needed to reflect on their own actions.
Why is it so hard for some men to take accountability for their actions.
Even after the fire is out, they will not admit to igniting it.
I’m so tired of the “crazy ex” or “crazy baby mama” narrative men use to deflect where they went wrong.
Still, we must forgive them and heal, right?
Well, me forgiving was allowing the man who had treated me so badly to come to the hospital after our daughter was born. That was the first step.
Did I receive balloons, flowers, or a push present? Nope.
Did I expect it? Yes!
I just had a natural birth, buddy… without an epidural.
I want all the respect!
But, single moms don’t get much respect; yet the high road is one we must always take.
As I swallowed my pride and aimed to keep the focus on Legacy, I was glad to see her father loving on her as she deserved.
No matter how much we don’t like our children’s fathers, it’s important for us to support their relationship with the kids.
Children need both parents.
God created it this way for a reason.
I remember praying:
Lord please remove all the anger and hurt from my heart. Help me to forgive him. I want to be a good role model, a great mother, and a loving-kind woman of strength.
But, life doesn’t care about your prayers. You can pray all day and still get beat up until your broken.
There is no magic potion, prayer, or fairy dust that’s going to make your life just happen the way you want it to.
You have to put in the work and activate your prayers.
Things often got heated between me and my ex, as we tried this new co-parenting thing.
Two hurt and stubborn people can be a recipe for disaster.
But, as my faith grew, I learned how to deal with conflict better.
When I felt disrespected, I would try not to react at all. Instead I’d ask myself: will your actions line up with your prayers? If not, be still.
Don’t give away your power.
It was hard separating the hurt and just parenting. The tension between us was palpable.
I don’t feel like he truly understands what he put me and the kids through. Nor did I believe, at that time, that he was genuinely sorry.
He was so blind and self-absorbed. It infuriated me.
I remember one day my spirit told me: pray for him.
But, because I wasn’t all the way healed, I resisted. I didn’t want to do that.
Stubbornly, I stood my ground: Pray for him?
I’m all prayed out on him, Lord.
So, we struggled to get along a bit longer.
Exhausted, I finally accepted that only God could deliver the peace needed for me to be a great mom.
So, I had Legend join me and together we prayed for his dad.
Something beautiful happens when you pray for your enemies.
It stops you from seeing them as the villain and gives you a sense of peace.
God’s Word reminded me that we are in a spiritual battle.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The devil is an expert at destroying families. Don’t let him use you.
Whether you’re separated, divorced, or a single parent, you should always be praying for your children’s father/mother.
Your kids need you both healed and whole.
During my pregnancy, I wrote this prayer:
“Lord, when I am wronged, help me to relinquish my right to clap back!
Help me to remember the truth of your word in Psalms 135:14 that says you will vindicate me.
And when I am tempted to repay evil for evil, please help me to remember that my struggle is not another human being, but with myself.
My desire is to be a woman who is mature, wise, and who has a sound mind. I want to be a woman who possesses the fruit of your spirit.
Please, help me!”
Oftentimes, my actions didn’t line up with my prayers.
I failed numerously by saying harsh things to my ex. Sadly, I would yell and cuss at him whenever he disappointed me.
But, nobody wins when a family fights, especially not the children.
Our babies look to us for security and guidance, regrettably I wasn’t always the best role model.
But, now I remind myself that God is love.
And, His love should be reflected in your family in spite of your marital status.
So, the next time your ex drives you to the point of calling him “a piece of shit.” Pray for him instead.
Give people a piece of your heart and not your mind.
And learn how to fight in a way that will make a difference: on your knees, in prayer!
You have more power than you realize. Don’t think, and don’t worry. If the time comes, you’ll know what to do. It’s in your blood.
HELEN TO VIOLET – The Incredibles
Imagine, thinking everything in your life is falling into place.
You and your spouse are getting the hang of marriage and parenting.
Finally, you can afford to take the honeymoon you never took.
The holidays are near and you’ve just booked a family trip to spend time with your in-laws in Houston.
And, your family just killed it with Incredible costumes that left many asking: where’s Violet?
Clearly, we needed a girl to add to our Incredible unit!
The universe was talking to me. A baby girl was on the way!
I believe another sign was given the following Sunday at church.
While we were checking Legend out of children’s church, a volunteer asked what we were going to name our daughter, as Legend is a big name follow. Instantly, I said: Legacy! Legend and Legacy.
Later that night, my husband and I spoke about the future and how awesome it would be to have a daughter named Legacy.
We knew she’d be a diva. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, we joked.
After a few laughs, we agreed it would be another 3-4 years before Legacy would join the family. Our hands were already full with Legend being a busy toddler.
I went to sleep that night smiling at the thought of having my own daughter one day. But, the future was already present.
Days later, I remember zooming into our Halloween photo and noticing a little pudge around my mid-section.
Hmm… I thought: I better scale back on the Halloween candy and cookies I bake for the family.
I was still breastfeeding, so I didn’t have a period.
But then I was hit with fatigue. Why am I so exhausted?
The following Sunday, I had a melt down after my father failed to notify me in advance that he would be in town. My father always does this; it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Still, I sobbed inconsolably. “Daddy, you don’t love me!” I cried over the phone.
My husband comforted me; he was probably thinking I was a crazy woman. Nonetheless, he held me through it.
Later, he and Legend surprised me with flowers before we all took off to meet my father for dinner. My husband was thoughtful like that – always trying to keep me smiling.
The universe kept throwing me signs.
My two piece jumper doesn’t fit? It was hugging in all the right places just a few weeks ago?!
Later that night I thought: what’s wrong with you girl, you’re emotional and gaining weight… Wait, am I pregnant?
After taking several pregnancy tests, I finally accepted the reality that baby number two was on her way.
My best friend and my mom were the first to know. It should’ve been my husband, but I knew it was bad timing and he’d freak out, like always.
He is a stressor. Always worried about finances and making it in Hollywood!
How am I supposed to study my lines for auditions with two babies running around? He contested.
Little did I know, he was already filming his new role, as Pepa’s boy toy in a reality show.
That explains the anger and the ugly ultimatum I received from him. After telling him about our surprise pregnancy, he instantly became distant.
It was selfish of me to keep our baby. Abortion, or divorce. Those were my two options.
Things between us grew cold after that. I told him to leave, and astonishingly he did!
Initially, I was devastated and cried all night. But slowly I felt relief.
At least now, I could enjoy my pregnancy and my growing one-year-old son without the negative energy that was looming in our home.
So, I redecorated, watched “War Room” read some Christian marriage books and built a prayer corner in our home.
I thought my husband was just scared. When things didn’t go his way, he’d sometimes threaten to throw in the towel. So, I figured it was another manly temper tantrum.
I was confident he’d come back to the family he loved so much.
Boy, was I wrong!
The man I married was gone.
Shortly after, Pepa decided to let the world know that my husband was her boyfriend on social media while I was 8 months pregnant.
After setting the record straight, I then decided to share my experience with other women and let them know why I chose to preserves my unborn baby’s life in this IG video. I was super pregnant!
Indeed, babies are blessings. But, love does not give ultimatums. Narcissists do!
If you’re in a relationship with someone who gives you ultimatums please understand they don’t love you the way you deserve. That’s not love. It’s control and manipulation.
It took me a while to realize all the ways I had been rearranged.
When you love someone, you want to do things to make them happy. However, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your own happiness.
Plus, a person who truly loves you won’t feel comfortable forcing you to do something you’re uncomfortable with.
True love makes things grow. Its patient, nurturing, and allows you to flourish.
Any love that drains us, or makes strict demands is not true love at all.
I didn’t realize how much I wasn’t loving myself until I got that ultimatum.
But, now more than ever, I knew I had to end my walk with my spouse and begin walking with God.
So, I went to church every Sunday, bible study every Tuesday and listened to Christian podcasts by Steven Furtick, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyers, or TD Jakes every morning.
By surrounding myself in the word, I was able to walk through the fire and come out not smelling like smoke.
There were times when I questioned and doubted God. Still, I kept showing up in church because I wanted Him to show up in my crumbling life.
But, the Lord was always with me. I just needed to fully let go.
Letting go means standing still and letting your world – or a piece of it – crumble at your feet. It means saying, “I trust you Lord! Let your will be done.”
By releasing it all to God, I’ve learned the true meaning of joy.
Joy is a point of view.
It’s a focus, before it’s a feeling.
Joy comes to my life when I am focused on what God is doing in every moment.
At that time, God was gifting me with a baby girl, that’s where I needed to keep my focus.
If I wasn’t careful, I knew I would miss a wonderful experience.
Often times we miss our joy by looking around, or looking too far ahead. Or by scrolling through Instagram and Facebook looking at other people’s lives.
I want to encourage you to stay present!
Sometimes, I questioned God’s presence. Frustrated and humiliated, I asked, “Where are you?”
He was always present. I wasn’t.
Be present by appreciating the good things that are happening right now.
If you’re depressed, psychologists say, you’re overthinking the past. If you’re feeling anxious, you’re thinking too far in the future. And if you’re at peace, you’re living in the moment.
Tomorrow is never promised. Enjoy each day.
I try to exercise this mentality daily by controlling my thoughts and my focus. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. And focus on all that is good.
No longer do I attach my joy to temporal pleasures, like my job or marriage. I tried that & nearly lost myself!
Today, my joy flows from who God is to me.
God is love!
And He gave me the privilege to have a daughter during one of the worst times in my life.
Having Legacy was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I received something so wonderful in return: true love and strength.
Finally, I understood what is meant by the biblical saying: beauty for ashes. She is my living testimony!
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Unless you give God your ashes (your wounded parts) you don’t get the beauty!
We hold onto our ashes and wonder, “why doesn’t my life change? Where is His beauty?”
Well, where are your ashes?
If you keep holding onto them, He can’t give you His beauty.
Til this day I’m so grateful for the strength and courage God gave me to rock a solo pregnancy, and release the rest to God. I would do it again and again to have her with me.
P.S. Her father loves her.
And, were coparenting in the best way possible!
Every family has a story. This is a part of my testimony. May it help you through one of your trials.
Most mothers would agree, pregnancy is a huge contradiction. It’s both beautiful and frightening, especially if you’re going through the process alone.
That was my experience. Alone and pregnant, while caring for an 18-month-old.
Currently, my kids’ father and I are doing our best to co-parent and to re-establish a friendly relationship. I forgive him. But, I will never forget!
Here’s a glimpse of what it was like for me, as a pregnant single mom, followed by tips on how to maintain your happiness while rocking a pregnancy solo!
Journal Entry, June 7, 2018:
Going through a divorce while pregnant is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure.
I’m 36 weeks pregnant and excited to finally meet my baby girl.
But, the joy I feel about her arrival gets bombarded by court dates, restraining orders, custody hearings, and family feuds days before her arrival.
I feel horrible that my daughter is about to enter a world so cold that her own father doesn’t respect her mother. He’s not even descent enough to keep his “celebrity” mistress and now girlfriend, Pepa, from my home during his visits with our one-year-old son.
It’s easy to say: move on.
I’m trying to do that, but it’s hard not to be hurt when you’re carrying a baby inside of you.
Our daughter, made in love, is now twisted up in a trashy reality show lie!
I know divorce is hard, but this is a new level of cold-heartedness I never imagined I would be receiving from the man I once called my king. My husband.
We didn’t have to end like this.
I often say: When it rains, let it rain!
But, I wasn’t ready for this storm.
Still, I put on a strong face for our son, my family, and friends. As they furiously watch the man I once held in high regard treat me like trash.
Meanwhile, I try to remain calm and confident, so our unborn daughter doesn’t feel my hurt… but my heart is broken.
Note to Legacy: it’s a cold world little princess. Trust no man, but God.
People will switch up on you, lie to you, and try to convince you that you’re wrong. Don’t be fooled, sweetheart. Know who you are.
I’m just praying my son grows up to be a Godly man with integrity and respect for women. Especially, for his wife.
That was written during my third trimester of pregnancy. Emotions were running high and I was filled with disappointment.
It was the little things that started to hurt, like not having a spouse around to drive me to prenatal visits.
I went to most of my check-ups alone.
Then one day I decided to bring my mom and son along. It turned out to be one of the best experiences.
When I think about my pregnancy, this video is what comes to my mind. Which leads to my first tip of happiness through heartbreak:
1.) Build your support system. You’re not as alone as you may feel. My mom was elated when I asked her to join me on a prenatal visit.
Previously, I never considered inviting her because I was already receiving so much of my mother’s support that I didn’t want to inconvenience her, or burden my mom with anymore of my responsibilities. Plus, I kept telling myself: you’re a single mom now. You need to get used to doing everything on your own. I was wrong!
Your loved ones will feel honored to be a part of this journey. Remember, babies are blessings. Share this experience with family and friends.
2.) Reach out to other single moms who are happy and thriving.
They understand what you’re going through. They’ve been there and can offer the encouragement you need. This certainly helped ease some of my concerns about the future.
3.) Ask a friend or relative to act as your birthing partner, both for labor and throughout the pregnancy.
My cousin, Chanelle, became my “babies’ daddy.” She was my birthing partner and coached me through a NATURAL delivery. I still can’t believe I did that with no epidural!
Prior to that, Chanelle would often treat me to lunch and we’d get manicures and pedicure together – which leads to another major key:
4.) Self care!
Never give up on yourself.
No matter how I felt, I’d get up, apply a little make up, and dress up.
When you look nice, you often feel better.
And, if you add a daily dose of walking to your routine – you’ll feel even better.
Exercise is good for your soul and baby.
5.) Finally, no matter how nasty your partner is treating you, take your eyes off him & put your focus on the Lord. I promise He is with you.
God won’t take your pain away, but He will give you the strength to get through it.
What you focus on, grows.
If you look for what’s wrong, that’s all you will see. Perspective is powerful. Change your vision.
Stay focused on the good things God is doing. For example, He’s entrusting you to be a mom!
What a beautiful blessing it is to be pregnant. There’s nothing that can compare to having a sweet baby that’s yours to raise and share a life with.
Some women are praying for what you have right now. Be grateful.
I told myself and others that I would keep quiet about the reality series “Growing Up Botched”
… or “Growing Up Hip Hop”
And, I deleted some ugly truths from my Instagram page, as a means to heal and move on from the pains of my past.
But, since the demise of my family is currently being aired for entertainment purposes on WE TV, I find it only fitting to use this experience as a teachable lesson to other women and/or men.
What I’ve learned from this experience is to ALWAYS trust my gut, no matter what.
Energies don’t lie.
Don’t be a fool in love like me, ladies and gentlemen. READ THE SIGNS, or it will blow up in your face, on social media, or on TV!
For days, and sometimes weeks, we drove around in his mistress’s white Range Rover.
We even went on several “date nights” using her vehicle.
Of course I questioned why his “boss” was so generous with her luxurious SUV. It doesn’t matter what excuse he used… I went along with it.
Not long after, there were gifts being delivered to our house (Designer wallets, an Apple Watch, etc) … thanks boss!
Next, Pepa was insistent on meeting me, just so I would feel more comfortable with their “working relationship” ya know?!
So, we had dinner at Mastro’s in Beverly Hills for my birthday, followed by VIP service at an exclusive LA nightclub.
After months of being a housewife and a stay-at-home mom, I needed a wild night of fun, and had a blast!
So, I graciously thanked the two of them online for giving this “new mom” a well deserved hangover!
Despite the “turn up” that night, I remember feeling a strange energy, but I couldn’t tell if it was the patron shots or my intuition. So, I put on a lovely smile, rejecting my concerns & standing by my man.
Plus, after several failed attempts to kiss me, in the night club, I was convinced that “P” wanted “The P” – meow!
She was so affectionate. We held hands a few times and she kept rubbing all over me in the car, and in the club. (Sorry guys, there was no threesome, I’ve never been with a woman, and I’m not attracted to women.)
But, while in the car, I remember her hair and makeup artist, Troy, saying: what kind of sister wives sh*t is this? Are you going to have him and his wife?
Huge red flag, but of course I disregarded his remarks, and blamed it all on the liquor.
Then, there were all the business trips and awkward phone calls where she’d say: tell Jordyn I said hi! 🙄 And my deceitful husband saying, “P. really likes you, babe.”
I remember on Halloween, she called repeatedly to see what we were doing. Annoyed, I thought: we’re trick or treating with our son – like most families. Now, go get a bowl, you old witch, pass out candy to the kids… and leave my family alone!
But the hubby defended her lonely calls – explaining that she was new to LA, didn’t have any friends & just wanted to hangout with “us”
One night, there was a text message that read: I wish you were here!
Again, I chose to believe my hardworking husband. She was talking about him “being there” as her security guard. Silly me for thinking otherwise!
I even accepted their narrative that she was his mentor, or like he said “an aunt” to him.
A blind man could see these were lies, yet I chose not to!
And, I can’t forget the epic request for Auntie Sandra to be our daughter’s god mother!
One evening our toddler found a wad of cash in daddy’s lunch bag.
“Where’d we get so much money honey?”
But, instead of answering the question, I was accused of snooping around. This is why he couldn’t trust me!
Deflection is sign of infidelity. It’s a tactic nearly every cheater uses. I knew this, yet still chose to stay.
Here’s the lesson:
Don’t fight so hard to keep your family together that you close your eyes to the truth. I know walking away from your marriage/relationship is scary, especially when children are involved.
But, “til death do us part” does not mean your spouse gets to take advantage of you.
It took me a while to accept this, and to accept the fact that the family we were building was over!
I was so in love. And desperately wanted my son and daughter to have a two parent home. A family with one shared last name and united by love and happy memories together.
But, regardless of how you imagine your life, or how “picture perfect” your family may look, it’s imperative to love yourself more. Leave if things don’t feel right, and if your partner breaks his/her commitment to the relationship.
I feared being a single mom! That had me stuck on stupid.
But, what I once feared is now making me stronger than ever! I’m evolving as a woman, and I’m so grateful to be free from all the lies.
Most importantly, I’m motivated to be a good role model for my daughter. She will grow up knowing her worth and honoring herself because her mommy is doing it now!
It’s essential to be clear about who you are as a woman, before you can be a wife, a mother, a sister, or a even a good friend.
We teach people how to treat us when we decide to stay or leave.
And, while searching for answers and trying to heal from the destruction of my family, I learned that we are not seeking love when we stay in an unfaithful or unhealthy relationship, we’re seeking acceptance & validation.
If this is you, do what I did and get to the core of why you’re seeking someone’s approval! Walk away from anyone who dishonors you in any relationship.
I take full responsibility for the role I played in the downfall of my marriage. More than ever, I now know the importance of using my gut as my guide.
I’m loving myself more by setting firmer boundaries & I’m no longer making excuses for people who hurt me. (I.e. he has trust issues, he was abused, he’s been hurt in the past.)
Take those love shades off and see people for who they are. There’s no excuse for being mistreated.
If I had loved myself more, my family would have never been on “The Wendy Williams Show” with the host mocking Salt N Pepa’s throwback song, “I’ll take yo man!”
I’m not sure if either of us were born during that era, or during Pepa’s “golden years.” But, I do know she didn’t take my man. She bought him – for about the same amount that she probably paid for her “bonus booty” and chemical peels.