Learning to Love the Life I Never Wanted


I’m going to be brutally honest. I hate my life.

I hate that I live alone. I hate that I have an ex-husband who argues with me all the time. I hate parenting by myself and I hate that I sit alone on the couch after bedtime. I hate how many hours I have to work. I hate the clutter around my house because I’m too tired from working two jobs to pick up one more sock off the floor.

Nothing about my life is what I thought it would be.

But I’ve never been one to sit around and complain. I’m learning to love the life I never wanted.

As a little girl, I dreamed of being in love and happily married just like my parents. I imagined being a mom and raising tiny humans to make a difference in the world. (Ok…I dreamt of being a mom.) I knew there would be struggles and hard days, but I thought that every night I would go to sleep next to the man who was “in it” with me.

But instead, I’m divorced, escaped from an abusive marriage. I hate that I’m divorced. I have three amazing boys, but find myself looking around the gym during school concerts missing having a hand to hold of the other “someone” who’s in it with me. There’s no one to love my kids with me.

How do I find joy in those moments that remind me most of my life failures?

Loving a life that I never wanted is a constant choice.

It’s a constant hunt for the silver lining. It’s shutting out the voice that reminds me that I’m alone. It’s quieting the voice that guilts me into feeling like I’m less than.

It’s exhausting and it gets old. I wish I didn’t have to fight for happiness every single day. I often wonder when it’ll be my turn for things to finally go right. I wonder when it’s my turn to get the life I’ve dreamed about.

But like I said, I’m not one to sit around and complain. It’s up to me to find a new perspective. It’s up to me to quiet the voices that tell me I deserve to be miserable. It’s up to me to find joy in hidden places.

I’m no expert at loving this crappy hand I’ve been dealt. But I’m learning.

Previous articleMoms :: The Real Superheroes
Next articleBouquets of Dandelions
Melissa is a Waukesha native and is raising her boys in the same neighborhood she grew up in. Her friends call her Mel. She’s a single, full-time working mama to three boys (12 and 8) and an angel. Mel lives on coffee and Diet Coke. After the boys are in bed, she spends her nights making lunches, doing dishes and crocheting to crime TV. She loves trying new things and laughing until her sides hurt. Mel is daughter, sister, mother, auntie, godmother, coworker and friend … but most of all she says, “I’m just messy me.”


  1. Melissa, thank you for this. I am in the same position and have been the last 5 years. While it gets easier, the pain and raw emotions are still there. This is also a perfect way to explain my feelings to my friends and family who don’t truly understand.

  2. Yes, thank you for this article. You have summarized my emotion set for the past many years. I’m grateful and hopeful.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here