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‘Life gets loud. Pay attention to the nudges in marriage. The cues. Don’t ignore them, don’t fight them.’: Woman urges ‘you can’t put your spouse on the backburner’

“‘Okay. Bye.’ That’s what our marriage needing work sounded like. It’s wasn’t an, ‘I love you.’ It was a big ol’ red flashing sign. After 3 children and 20 years together, careers, and attempting to maintain a home, marriage became an afterthought. We function better when we are in front stage. Centre stage. Every time.”

‘We walked towards the line. John made a beeline for the door. ‘I’m here to help. Follow me!’ Tears filled my eyes.’: Mom ‘in tears’ after touching act of kindness for autistic son

“John is autistic and has a great love for animals. We thought it’d be a fun family outing to go to the Aquarium. It was a mad house. There were long lines, people everywhere. Overwhelmed, John made a beeline for the door. My heart broke. The stares stung. A man asked if I needed help. I explained we wouldn’t be staying due to the circumstances. He reached out to shake my hand. ‘My name is Chris and I’m here to help!’ He told me he had a ‘back way.’ My eyes filled with tears. In all our years, this was a first.”

‘A sleeveless shirt would ‘bring too much attention.’ Everything I did was a ‘sin.’ There was no escaping it.’: Woman overcomes ‘unique’ childhood, trauma to find self-love

“I was in his bed, having unprotected sex. I lost my virginity. I was supposed to wait till marriage. Within 3 months of meeting him, I got pregnant. I came home and caught him talking to another woman. I felt betrayed, heartbroken, and utterly lost. I convinced myself to do whatever I had to do to create a life with this man. Boy, was I wrong. That’s when a girlfriend set me up on a blind date with a man named Larry.”

‘Wen, we’d like to adopt you.’ My body was burned and abandoned on a doorstep. I was given a second chance at life.’: Burn survivor adopted from foster care system, ‘I’m so lucky to be alive and in a loving family!’

“It all started with a fire. My biological parents had bills to pay. They gave me up, knowing they may never see me again. A family reached out. I had no idea what adoption was. They didn’t look like me or talk like me. Why were they handing me gifts? Why were my foster parents crying? I didn’t know what was happening. How could I? I was only 6. Soon, I was taken away.  Little did I know that plane ride would change my life forever. I was halfway across the world.”

‘How can this be? It’s not how I wanted to bring a baby into the world.’ I heard his father met someone.’: Mom comes to accept and appreciate son’s new ‘bonus mom,’ urges to ‘let go of everything you never had control of to begin with’

“I was sitting in my car rehearsing everything I would say. ‘She better stay in her lane or there’s going to be problems!’ As I walked in, she greeted me with a warm smile and a hug. If I told you I expected that kind of introduction, I’d be lying. I was completely caught off guard. All my walls came down.”

‘Even if you lose the weight, you’ll just gain it all back. This is too hard for you.’ I felt sloppy and ashamed of my mom pooch.’: Mom of 3 dedicates to a healthy, positive lifestyle through ‘self-acceptance and love’

“I noticed it first in my wedding photos. I didn’t even want to have pictures hanging around my house because I didn’t like the chubby arms and wide face that glared back at me. I have only 2 pictures of my baby bump during my first pregnancy. I was so uncomfortable that I didn’t want any photos of my bare belly those 9 months. There was a dress I found that covered my body well and made me look ‘okay enough,’ so I bought it in 4 colors. I knew something had to change.”

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