My Priority Is Me: A Tale About Self-Preservation


We push ourselves to excel, do more, and be better than our peers. But few people end up living a life they enjoy by striving full-tilt all the time. — Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT

My life crashed ten months ago when my husband of fourteen years left me for an older woman. Yes, you read that right – older woman. I know the usual thing nowadays is that 40-ish men would go for 20-something women. But no. My husband “fell in love” with a mature lady who is seven years his senior.

Well, that’s not my main point. My issue here really is that he left me and my world just fell into pieces. It was so easy for him to do a 180-degree turn after 14 years and two kids. I thought we were good together. He didn’t say anything. We didn’t even have any fights at home. When he told me he’d be out with friends, co-workers, or will be at work doing overtime, I believed him. Well, his mistress is his boss. He would gladly be in the office more than in the house, right?


I crashed. I hit rock bottom. The pit was my home for several weeks. I just lost it. Why? Well, first, this was my life for fourteen years. It was the only life I knew how to live and tread. I mean, I thought this was me and us forever. I was happy, supposedly. And this happens, shakes everything up to the core with a bitter ending. That’s just it – it’s an ending.

We are all guilty of avoiding things that we don’t want to do from time to time. — Christina Smith, LMHC

Looking back, he provided for the kids and me, and of course, I gladly took on the role of being a stay-at-home mom. I took care of them all at home, prepared their meals, cleaned up after them, washed and pressed their clothes, made those bake sale cookies, whipped up some cupcakes for his company team building, and just about everything. I tried to be the perfect wife and the best mom there is, but it seems my husband didn’t find me complete.


And so, I didn’t get up for days. I didn’t eat nor did I try to freshen up. I was slummin’ it. But then, my mother and my sisters intervened. They came to my house one day, barged in as if they own it, and literally, they pulled me out of bed.


My sister threw me inside the bathroom and turned the shower knob. It was so cold, and I was trembling. She told me one thing that opened my eyes – “HEY, SILLY YOU, WAKE UP. I WANT MY SISTER OUT RIGHT NOW.” My mother continued – “HE’S JUST A MAN. YOU ARE 40 YEARS OLD, AND THE WORLD IS IN YOUR HANDS. DON’T LET HIM ENJOY HIS LIFE WHILE YOU’RE IN MISERY.” By then, I was crying so hard because you know what, they’re right. They are 100% correct. I shouldn’t be doing this to myself. I should be fighting back. I should reclaim my life and make a better “me” from now on.


I cried so hard during that shower moment. But when I was done, I have cried out everything. And I do mean everything. Me, my mother, and my two sisters went to the dining room and sat down. We drank hot chocolate and binged on chocolate chip cookies. My other sister suggested that I should make a game plan. She handed me a journal and told me to write of ways to improve myself. And so I did.


Lose weight.

Eat healthily.

Go out every Friday night.

No more alcohol.

Take a daily 10-minute walk.

Check online for lessons.

Try therapy once a week.

File for divorce.


This is about me now. It is about me moving on from that stagnant fourteen years. I’m not thinking of him and the kids. I will be thinking about me and how I can be at my best.

Sometimes we need to hear our thoughts aloud to realize how ridiculous/false they really are. — Tali Berliner, Psy.D.