“When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.” Prince Phillip

I am coming up on my fourth anniversary married, the beginning of a promising a lifetime with one another. That was the whole idea when we got married.

With two divorces behind me and an array of relationships, some worth mentioning, some not. I honestly can say somewhere along the line, I chose to leave. The exit plan was in place and implemented time and time again. It seemed more manageable; it was what I knew; I wanted to nail a landing I just didn’t. I landed on that it was better to be on square one. The entire gamut of choices and sorrows was what I knew; I could do that; I had been in that balled-up mess before. In other words, leaving was what I learned how to do.

 If I look at my relationship history, and I do, I will see patterns. The men were different, but I was the common denominator. With grand reflection, I know now that leaving was a simple decision. I was uncovering what proved to be more challenging.

And then I wrote the book; I stared at my love history. I had to face myself in a brightly lit mirror. I was glad it was time to take a good look at me.

After such profound and uncomfortable reflection, I was able to take steps to free myself from patterns. Self-love, self-healing, self-forgiveness facing the hard stuff took courage. I became courageous. Within that self-revelation, I shifted.

Then I met a man; I met the man.

Four years married, nearly seven years together, it is a choice. I had to shy away from my patterns of years of what was comfortable but did not work. I had to choose differently to deserve a forever ending. That does not come without a price, no way. I had to first work on myself.

 A very quick second every morning is to be grateful for the connection with my husband. I can rattle off a list before our porch-side cappuccinos. I want to spend time with him. He is the person I want to sit next to. He knows how to handle business and has my back. We laugh; that is the end of the day. If you can laugh, life will always find good. Life is not always good, no way, but life can find good.

We are young in our marriage, and I know it is fragile. I know that marriages can fail; that is a fact. It is a daily choice to show up as the best me.

That best I is finishing a book two, that I am running three households, that I am a mom, a grandmother, an author, a wife, a boss. That I will not back down to crappy days, I will lean into them, but not back down from them.

Four years married, my parents scoff, as their next anniversary is seventy-five years married.

Mom and Dad, I will never get the marriage thing down as you two did. However, I will also not stop trying. Thank you for shedding light on lasting partnerships and love.

Dear husband, I still do because I found the courage, and you give me reasons every day to do so; thank you.

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Katie L Lindley

Although I would like to say I am organized, focused and cookie-cutter, that simply would not be me. I am no different than any other woman in the world. I love to love, love hard, and, in the end, have learned to love myself above all else. So here I am, writing about the many men and the multiple purposes they have served in my life. Realizing that not one man on my roster had fulfilled every single one of my needs. Perhaps one man is not supposed to? I have compiled snippets of the men that have entered my world. In the end, they have shoved me towards my bathroom mirror, forcing me to take a better look at myself. Reflection is brilliant and the strongest guidepost into ourselves.

Working on the next book in the series “A House for Every Purpose, My Journey From Pillow to Pillow” revels a woman abandoning her home in search or her identity beyond men, motherhood, author.

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