May 14, 2015. I remember the date so clearly—as if it happened yesterday.
That was the date that my whole world as I knew it was turned upside down.
Before that date, I thought I was in a secure and solid marriage. Sure, we had our struggles, but for the most part, I thought we were a happy couple.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Before that date, I came home and we would talk and plan and then I would go to work on building a business, building something that would give us a brighter and better future.
I was working a 50+ hour a week job, and doing a side hustle, building a business selling products I discovered were moving in the crafting industry.
But on May 14, 2015, my wife decided she no longer wanted to be my wife and emptied the house. I didn’t see it coming, or I didn’t want to see it coming. The only thing that was left in the house was a bed, my computer and desk, my clothes, some of the product I was selling online, and a few pictures on the wall.
And how did she break the news to me that she wanted out?
In the only way it seems to be these days. A text message. I received the message just after I got home.
Seven years of marriage, my first and I thought my only, were shot down and thrown away.
Needless to say, I was devastated. I wound up selling that bed and desk and moving into my mother’s home at 49 years of age. I felt like such a failure.
The only thing that I had left was this desire to continue with the business, if anything, to supplement my income and move on in life.
But over the course of the next month or two, I started to heal. I found and joined an online community, that was primarily a business community. It was a great decision.
I was immediately surrounded by people who were like me, starting up a business, and ready to move forward.
I also made another decision. I didn’t want to settle for anything less than what I deserved. Not just in business, but in all things in life. While I believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity of marriage, her leaving was a blessing. We were going in different directions in life, and something had to give. The divorce was finalized in October of 2015. Since it was uncontested, it was granted quickly.
It was during that time that my business started to grow a bit, even though I was down to one product.
But something else happened.
When I finally went public, meaning letting friends and family know on social media, what was going on, and that divorce was likely, there was someone who reached out right away.
It was someone I grew up with. Someone I have known since we were eight years old.
She was still living in my childhood hometown of San Antonio, Texas, while I had moved to Reno, Nevada many years before. In fact, I planned on staying in Reno, Nevada, because I loved it so much.
She reached out to let me know that there were others who had been through divorce, and if I needed to talk, she would be happy to listen.
We grew up going to the same schools, but we never were in the same circles. We even grew up in the same neighborhood, but our circle of friends did not intersect growing up.
So our conversations would go from an occasional message on social media to messaging every day, to messaging several times a day. We both figured it was safe, after all, we were 1700 miles away. What could possibly happen?
Something very special, apparently.
While I was living with my mother, I focused on working on building the business I started, and the product I was selling took off on the platforms where I was selling. Enough so that I actually thought that I could make this a real business, and leave behind my regular job.
But I was also able to heal some brokenness between me and my mother. My marriage had interfered with our relationship, and we were relative strangers when I moved in. Growing up, we were close, and being back under the same roof helped bring back that closeness again.
However, the one thing that continued to grow even more were the conversations between me and my friend as they started to turn a bit more serious. It turns out that as we shared what we were looking for, we were finding that in each other. We were both a bit scared about that, and she would even tell me that I should look for a nice Catholic girl in Reno.
Which is not what happened at all.
Instead, she gave me homework one night, to read one of her favorite poems, and then we got off the phone. I looked up the poem and then decided that I would do one better.
I recorded it and sent it to her.
That was what broke the camel’s back for her.
We realized that we had some deep feelings for each other, just from the conversations we had and how we would just talk until we were ready to fall asleep at the end of the night.
We saw each other in person in February of 2016, and we knew from the moment we hugged that we were going to be together for a very long time. Or at least I did.
Those five days were so foundational for the both of us, as we discovered that we were comfortable with each other, and we fit so well.
After she flew back home, we really missed each other. Terribly.
Meanwhile, I was still working the business, and a full-time job, but the income from the business was growing to the point where leaving the full-time job was a very real possibility.
Which made it easy to do the next thing.
I asked her to marry me, over the phone. She said yes. To be honest, we both knew it was a foregone conclusion where this was going to go.
And so, a year from that fateful date, on May 16, 2016, we married in Reno, Nevada. I had only days before I left my full-time job, and planned on moving back to my childhood hometown of San Antonio, Texas, to live with my new wife.
My point to this story is this: What you’re going through now, especially if it’s bad, it is only temporary. If you persevere, if you just don’t settle, there is something great waiting for you on the other side.
Photo: Getty Images