Welcome to my stop on Becky Due's Traveling for Love, Searching For Self, Hoping for Love Blog Tour. Please leave a comment or question below for Becky to let her know you stopped by. You can follow her tour here.
The Struggle with Love by Becky Due
How do we ever really know what another person thinks, feels, wants? Is this part of the game? People can say whatever they want but it doesn’t mean they are telling the truth. Amanda, from Traveling for Love, struggles with this exact issue. She is not a mind reader though the men in her life expect her to be.
Oh, the lies we tell and the many many reasons we tell them… Maybe she doesn’t want to tell you the truth because she doesn’t want to lose you. Maybe he lies because he doesn’t want to hurt you. Maybe she doesn’t know what she wants so she’s waiting for something better to come along. Maybe he’s hoping you’ll change.
What if we just believe everything everybody tells us? What if we make those spoken words the truth, even if we feel in our gut that it’s a lie? Then we have to ask ourselves, “Am I foolish and Naïve or am I accepting and trusting?” Most of us have had enough hurtful relationship experiences to be neither naïve nor completely trusting. We’ve been crushed by somebody we lovedand never want to feel that way againwe loved and never want to feel that way again. It’s painful.
Fortunately, most of us get back on the horse (usually a different horse) for another ride, knowing we could get bucked off one more time. Love is amazing. We all strive to love and be loved because there is nothing better in the world. Healthy romantic love generates trust, safety and security, a fulfilling physical connection, companionship and a balance of importance.
Trust can be tricky, but it really has nothing to do with our lover and everything to do with us. We have to trust that there is not one thing he or she could do that would destroy us. We have to trust that we could survive a breakup, heartache, and lonely times. If there is a separation, we have to trust that we’ll learn some wonderful lesson, we will be better for having gone through the relationship, and we’ll do better the next time.
Amanda learns this through her journey; she quits worrying about what men say, and don’t say, and realizes her own strength and ability to trust and take care of herself. After changing a big part of who she was to please her husband, then struggling with an emotionally draining man, Amanda stops wondering what men want and starts asking herself, “What do I think? What do I feel? What do I want?” She stops focusing on what she can do to make a man happy and starts figuring out what will make her happy.
Like Amanda, sometimes we have to come clean with ourselves and face our lives head on. We have to get honest, so we can have solid healthy relationships. Who has time for games? Whether we’re in a relationship or not, it’s good to check in once in a while and ask ourselves, “Am I happy?
What can I do that would make me happy? What do I think? What do I feel?” And most importantly, “What do I want?”
Title: Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love
Author: Becky Due
Publisher: Telemachus Press
Purchase at AMAZON
Amanda's life is suddenly turned upside down when her husband tells her he wants a divorce. She realizes she no longer knows who she is - her life revolved around her husband.
At age 40, she finds herself divorced, childless, living in an apartment with a roommate, with little education and no career path. Can Amanda heal her pain and find love again? Will she find the career of her dreams? When will Amanda realize that she deserves to be happy?
“YOU’RE A MISERABLE person. I don’t even know who you are,” he had said to me. He was right. I am miserable, and I don’t know who I am. I stared out the living room window trying to figure out how I lost myself in these fourteen years of marriage. Tears rolled down my cheeks.
Nick left town to avoid the drama of me packing and moving out. I volunteered to leave because I couldn’t afford the house anyway. My friend Teresa said she’d love to have me live with her, so that’s where I was headed.
I couldn’t believe I was leaving my home. As I watched the cars drive by, I hoped his car would pull into the driveway and he’d rush in and tell me how sorry he was and how much he loved me and he’d beg me to stay. The cars just kept passing by. Then a big yellow school bus full of children drove by.
Feelings of failure flooded over me as I stood up to finish packing.
I took many breaks in my favorite chair to look out the window and cry over memories. I was still in shock over what was really happening—we are getting a divorce.
I should have realized there was a problem when I started researching getting a facelift. People kept saying things to me like, “You look tired.” or “Are you feeling okay?” Even Nick kept asking me, “What’s wrong?” or “You look so sad.” I just assumed my face was sagging and I needed a facelift; it never occurred to me that I was tired, I was not feeling well and I was deeply sad. I had also noticed that I didn’t stand up straight, and my shoulders seemed to slouch forward. I felt old, run down.
As I walked into each room to sort through my things, my wedding ring felt heavy on my finger, but I wasn’t ready to take it off.
You’re a miserable person. I don’t even know who you are, kept replaying in my mind and the tears blurred my eyes while I pulled shoes out of the closet by the front door. Then I saw my rollerskates.
When I was young, I used to love to roller-skate. So about a year ago, I tried to pick it up again. I ordered these beautiful white skates with red wheels and red laces. I was so excited when they arrived. Skating was my attempt to find myself again. The day they were delivered, I laced them up and took off down our long driveway. I was happy; I felt like a fearless teenager without a care in the world. The driveway was more sloped than I had realized and I was gaining speed. I didn’t remember how to slow down, so I quickly turned backwards to use my toe breaks to stop but I was going too fast and I fell hard on my hip and arm. The pavement scrapped the skin off my arm, side and butt and I was bleeding like crazy. I took off my skates and walked stocking foot back to the house. I never put the skates on again. I rolled them out of the closet but couldn’t decide if I should pack them or leave them behind.
I sat down by the window and imagined myself skating down the driveway and falling. I knew what that fall did to me. I lost another small part of who I was. I wondered if I would ever get the happy me back, if I would ever find her again.
It wasn’t Nick’s fault, I did it to myself. I let myself go. I stopped liking myself. But I did like Nick; for some crazy reason, I liked Nick. Please drive up the driveway. Please drive up the driveway!
Am I really that awful?
“You’ll find somebody who likes to do the things you like, whatever that is,” he had said to me.
I went upstairs to take a shower, and sat by the drain on the tile floor crying until the hot water turned cold. “Who am I? Who am I?” I cried.
The long shower and hard cry helped. I realized that although I didn’t know who I was or what exactly I liked, I knew what I didn’t like. This gave me hope that by the process of elimination, I could find out who I was.
I knew I didn’t like the same things Nick liked, but yet, I did almost everything he wanted to do. The last year or two I cut back on doing what Nick wanted, so he had to go with friends or alone. I didn’t even feel guilty about it anymore. I was glad when he left to do something without me. I felt off the hook and free for a couple of hours.
I was worn out from doing things that, if I were single, I would never want to do. When we met, he didn’t smoke, but he’d picked up the habit again, and I found myself married to a smoker, a habit I despised.
Nick bought a motorcycle, then expected me to ride with him even though he knew how much I disliked motorcycles. My old boyfriend had had a terrible accident on his motorcycle and I’d hated them ever since, and yet there I was, hopping on the back of his bike every time he wanted me to.
Nick liked country music and wanted to go to country music concerts. I didn’t like country. I didn’t like Vegas or gambling either, but every time he wanted to go, I went. He loved to be outside, but only to lie in the sun. I didn’t mind occasionally lying in the sun but for the most part, if I was going to be outside, I wanted to be active, playing catch, going for walks or swimming laps, not just lying there doing nothing. I was bored and annoyed every time he wanted to lie in the sun with me.
“I’d like to get you a bike so you can ride it while I run. I know you can’t run with me because of your bad feet, but you could ride with me. That might be fun,” I’d say, and he’d follow with, “You get yourself a bike; it sounds like something you’d enjoy.”
“I’d like to go to a concert coming up. Will you go with me?” I’d ask, and he’s say, “I have a better idea. Why don’t you find a friend to go with you?”
“Let’s take a weekend road trip and go someplace we’ve never gone!” I’d suggest and he’d say, “You know I can’t stand to be in the car that long.”
Our whole marriage was like that. I went his way but he didn’t come my way. And maybe it was my own fault because I didn’t force him to meet me half way.
I walked into the kitchen and stood in front of the refrigerator. The tears came back when I saw the fridge stocked full of Nick’s favorite bottled water, favorite pop and favorite beer. There was just enough room for two bottles of my favorite sparkling water on the door shelf. Each time I took one, I had to remember to replace it with one from the pantry. He said there wasn’t enough room, and because he made most of the money in our marriage, the fridge should be stocked with his favorite drinks.
I had convinced myself he was right. He made most of the money, so he dictated what we did, he chose what we watched on TV, he decided where and how we vacationed. Nick’s idea of travel was staying at a different hotel every time we went to Las Vegas. My vacations came whenever he went out of town without me—the TV was always on the Travel Channel or one of the health and fitness channels. I took better care of myself whenever he was gone, and I liked myself more. I pulled a bottle of my sparkling water from the door and didn’t bother replacing it with a warm one from the pantry.
The phone rang, startling me. I checked caller ID and saw it was Teresa. “Well, Amanda, your room is cleaned out and ready for you. Hurry up and get here. We are going to have so much fun!”
I wasn’t scheduled to start sleeping there for a couple more days—when Nick came back—but I could tell she was trying to give me something to look forward to and her enthusiasm helped. Teresa and I had been friends for a long time. We weren’t close, but she had just gotten a divorce and she was looking for a roommate. The thought of having a roommate at forty years old was unsettling, but in some ways exciting. She was in a partying mood, trying to recapture her twenties that she missed out on because she was married. And in some ways I wanted to let loose a little, drink and party.
Teresa kept telling me that I needed a nice quick rebound, but I wasn’t sure. I wanted to keep the door open with Nick just in case he missed me. Maybe he could change. Maybe I could change.
The thought of having sex with somebody besides Nick was somewhat thrilling. I was faithful to Nick but often felt lonely, sometimes even wishing for an affair. I wanted to be rescued from Nick, and I thought a man could save me.
Our sex life had fizzled out, too. For the entire fifteen years we were together, I asked him to do one simple thing while we made love: I wanted him to keep his hands on my breasts because it was the key to my orgasms, but he refused. I’d beat myself up, not understanding why he couldn’t do that for me. I just assumed my breasts were too small for his liking, not worth holding on to. And I guess neither was I.
About the Author:
Becky Due is the new voice of women’s fiction. She has the courage, honesty and writing style for today’s busy women, and she does not cringe away from hard issues. She will leave you feeling strong, self-confident, independent, and in control of your life.
Her books have won, and been finalists in, several independent competitions including the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards, 2010 Indie Excellence Awards and the 2009 IPPY Awards.
Her novels are not the same story with different characters; she has the ability to cross genres from light-hearted romance to heart-racing suspense to keep her readers entertained and inspired.
Becky has been a guest on national TV and radio programs, and the subject of numerous newspaper and national magazine articles for empowering women with her books. She has served as a guest speaker at Women’s ResourceCenters, Shelters, Colleges and High Schools throughout the United States. Becky has had extensive training at Victim Services, worked the 24-Hour Sexual Assault Crisis-Line and was a Victim's Advocate where she offered one-on-one assistance and support to rape victims. In 2007, she started Women Going Forward, the first national women’s telephone support group, which ran for almost two years. After receiving much recognition for her books, Becky’s focus turned back to her writing and empowering women with her novels.
Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love.
Visit her website at www.BeckyDue.com
Connect & Socialize with Becky: