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‘He relapsed and started dating someone behind my back. I was completely blindsided. His secret turned out to be the best gift.’: Woman recounts emotional divorce from husband, ‘Your future is so much bigger than current circumstance’

“Months went by and I found myself falling back into him again. The codependency ran so deep, we honestly didn’t know how to be apart. But this wasn’t the man I’d married and chosen to spend my life with. ‘I’ll do anything to get my family back,’ he preached. He was faltering with his rehabilitation. Things started to derail. He was supposed to get better for us, for his family. I was caught in his web.”

‘I was offered a ‘fashion model’ job. Naive, I took it. It was a false company ran by dead people in other states.’: Human trafficking survivor speaks out, ‘I never thought it would happen to me’

“I was a junior in college who’d just lost my scholarship. I needed money to pay my tuition, so I took the job. I was a small town girl, self-absorbed in my own world. Maybe I was too young, or too naive. I thought it was a ‘black or hispanic problem’ in the urban city. Over the course of a few months, my life came to an abrupt halt. This was anything but a modeling agency.”

‘Sweetie, do you have someone you can call?’ I ask, ‘Is he going to die? OMG, I have to tell my boys.’: After losing husband to sudden stroke, widow finds love again, ‘When we first hugged, he was like home to me’

“I was DONE dating after I found out a guy I was talking to was married. ‘There’s this lawyer I see in court. Every time I see him, I think I should introduce you two,’ my cousin told me. Before I could say how crazy she was, she introduced us online. I knew immediately he was different and special. As his arms wrapped around my waist, I knew these were the arms I would be in for the rest of my life.”

‘I am tired of being in pain.’ He started to cry. I was so oblivious to it. I thought he was better.’: Air Force husband overdoses on pain pills after suffering PTSD, ‘I’m too young to be a widow, I’m only 26’

“Gavin came home from work complaining he wasn’t feeling well. I brushed it off thinking he had the flu. ‘I want to go lay down.’ He then called my name. ‘I think I need to go to the hospital and get checked out.’ I started down the hallway with him in front of me when he passed out. My mind raced the whole way to the hospital. I knew this was serious. After the doctor’s questioned him, he finally confessed. As soon as they walked out, I knew it wasn’t good. ‘We’re so sorry. His body was too weak.’”

‘Eff the PTO!’ I wanted to throw my computer against the wall. I was DONE. AA meetings? I stopped going altogether.’: Mom quits PTO to focus on sobriety, now works on ‘being present with kids’ instead of ‘giving too much’ to make up for ‘past failures’

“For 20 years, I drank. I missed birthdays, sports, parent-teacher conferences. My kids never knew if they were getting the calm, sober mom or the angry-drunk mom. Guilt ate me alive and my sobriety turned me into a new person: the yes mom. Volunteer as a coach for my daughter’s softball team? Sure thing! Soccer team needs a manager? Oh, me, me. I’ll do it! I was in over my head. I thought this PTO gig would make it up to my kids, but I was DONE.”

‘I should’ve aborted you when I had the chance.’ Her last words to me. Just like that, a weight had been lifted.’: Woman thanks narcissistic mother, ‘I wouldn’t be this strong without the pain she made me feel’

“I entered a self-portrait competition at school at age 8. I was so excited, I dug out my best coloring pens. ‘I don’t know why you’re bothering, it looks nothing like you. You’re never going to win,’ my mother said. These words hit hard, but I entered it anyway. Deep down, I wanted to prove her wrong. When I won, she shrugged her shoulders. ‘They probably just felt sorry for you.’”

‘Meg it’s not good, Travis has been in a bad accident.’ A wave of heat flushed through my body. I should’ve never left.’: Wife recalls ‘total accident’ that took husband’s life after good Samaritan tried to help in blizzard

“I had gotten a cold and he told me, ‘I need you to take care of yourself sweetheart, I need you for this adventure.’ Shortly after we hung up I sent him a text, which I found out was moments before the accident. I asked him, ‘Do you know how much I love you?’ He never got to read it.”

‘I was 32 when my husband suddenly died. I wanted to have children with him. Being without him is terrifying.’: Widow finds the ‘beautiful balance of life after loss’ with 2-year-old son

“A counselor I met with looked at me and asked this simple question. ‘Would Albert want you to grieve with fear, or grieve with hope?’ I immediately knew the answer. As I sat there on the couch, tears streaming down my face, I knew I needed to live. Just because Albert died, doesn’t mean I have to as well. That would be the last thing he would want me to do.”

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