Welcome back for Episode 4!
I think it was courageous of Peggy to come out and talk about her postpartum and the issues and struggles she has had with that. I know that is a very sensitive topic and a lot of moms suffer from this. I can only hope by her talking about it, it will encourage a lot of other mothers who are secretly suffering to realize it is OK, it's normal, and you can get past it. We all struggle with something in our lives. The more honest and real we can be about those things, those mistakes, and those tribulations the more we can grow as people and be the best we can be. Some days I wonder if being on this show is worth it, because of all the scrutiny, false press at times, and judgments about the way we choose to live our lives, but then when I receive emails from so many people saying that they can relate to my situation or thanking me for sharing my story because it really helped them, I know it is worth it. I hope this is the case with Peggy's struggle as well.
I think Tamra and Vicki's trip was hilarious and made me laugh a lot. It was fun to see them get along with no backstabbing going on. I'm proud of Vicki for sticking to her guns regarding Tamra stabbing her in the back and saying she was owed an apology. I don’t think Tamra had her back as she always claimed to. That is honestly part of the reason I never trusted Tamra. If she was willing to do the things and say the things she said about her "friends," I knew she was capable of other things with people she didn't like. To be honest Vicki and Tamra's relationship is very confusing to me at times. As an outsider looking in, I don't believe they have the most authentic friendship, however I hope that the "truths" between them can remain true. Unfortunately, Tamra has become transparent to me. She says she has changed and is in a better place and doesn't have time for the fighting anymore. However in previews to come you see her flip out on Jeana and even throw wine in her face, we see he being a "friend" to Alexis' face but saying some pretty harsh things about her marriage behind her back, and now saying things about her desire to start a dress line. Tamra claims she said things and did things because of Simon and the place she was in her marriage, but Simon is gone now and she continues to be that same woman. I continue to see her project all her own issues onto everyone else around her. She tells Alexis that Jim is just like Simon, and that they are headed for divorce, and in this episode we see her encouraging Vicki to flirt with the man in the pool stating, "He is your soulmate," when she is still married to Donn.
I actually really wanted to make amends with Tamra, because I think she is a fun girl, but unfortunately the more I see who she really is, the more I question what value she would bring to me life. I am happy and content in my life right now, I have thriving businesses, an amazing family, meaningful friendships, and a quality relationship with Slade. Unfortunately besides her being just fun, I think I would be signing up for:
1. Talking badly about others
2. A bad influence
3. A backstabbing friendship
No thanks! Check please!
This week you see me continue to struggle with the concept of marriage again. I was engaged and married by 24, divorced by 27, engaged again, then lost Jeff to cancer all by my early 30s. Compared to most, I have been through more struggles by age 31 than most ever have to face in a lifetime.
Let me make sure I am clear about something, because I think I'm getting misunderstood a little on this subject. I am not against marriage at all! I believe in marriage, and I think it works well for a lot of couples. I just don't know if it is for me at this point anymore. I have always been an over achiever my whole life. My parents raised me in a very strict Christian household with lots of expectations, and we were all pushed to be the best we could be at everything we did in life, including marriage. When I failed at that, it really hit me hard. I don't like to fail at anything, let alone something as important as marriage was to me. I believed I would be married for life, not for only two years. I was left with only a lot of heartache and questions. I decided to get back in the saddle with Jeff, and that ended in tragedy as well. My happily ever after didn't happen the way I imagined it would, and so I think it's normal to be a little gun shy. This is part of the reason I really want to take my time before I marry again, if ever.
My parents have been married for forty years, so I had two of the best role models. I think more than anything I was afraid of letting them down when I realized I wasn't happy and needed to get out of my marriage. However I did what was best for me, not for my parents, not for society, not because we spent a lot of money on a wedding. I did it for the right reasons. I do not regret that one bit. All these relationships and trials in my life have been stepping stones to the person I am today. Here is one thing I know for sure, just because society says it's the right way to live, doesn't mean its right for you. Only you know what's right for you, and no one can rob you of that happiness but yourself.
I have chosen my own happiness by being content in love. Slade reminds me so much of Jeff and all the qualities I loved so much about him. He is so encouraging, loving, caring, kind-hearted, unselfish, and everything I didn't even know I needed in my life. Words can never explain the amount of love him and I share. The show sometimes only highlights the bickering or the hot spots between us, but we have so much respect, admiration, and love between us that sometimes we say, "We wonder if everyone else knows what this feels like," as if we have some secret formula that no one has ever been able to feel in a relationship. If you haven't ever felt this way before, you're not in the right relationship, and you're missing out on something amazing.
The experiences in our lives change our opinions on things, and marriage has been one of those things for me. I have seen so many marriages and couples break up. I have seen so many kids, families, and people hurt by divorce. I don't want to ever be complacent or take for granted what I have with someone and feel that I have to stay only because we are married. I want to love him and have him love me because we want too, not because we have too (for the kids, for society, for our church etc). Life is too short not to be happy. Some would argue that two people choosing to stay together forever and never marrying speaks volumes as to why they are together. I know not everyone will agree, and that is OK. I can only speak what my current truth is, which is that I am content being in love and don't feel the need to be married to justify that love.
I don't know if Slade and my future holds marriage, kids, family, or a lifetime together, but I have decided that it is OK not to know. I am content knowing that right now he is my Mr. Right, and until I am in the place where marriage is right for me again, I can just love him the best way I know how.
Alexis gets where I am coming from, because she has been in my position before having been divorced divorced. She gets my hesitancies, and so it is encouraging to have friends who understand and want the best for me. I know she believes in marriage and wants to see me marry Slade, however she is not the kind of friend to encourage me to do something that is not right for me, so I know I will have her support either way!
My father and I talked for a good two hours when we sat down to lunch. My parents are my best friends! I call them about everything, and we are an extremely close family (I have an older sister and younger brother). My parents have my best interest at heart and want what is best for me. We don't always agree, but their advice means a lot to me and I value what they have to say. Even though it may not have looked that way, my father really does like Slade. They talk almost every day and constantly are doing things together like going cycling/mountain biking etc. It is not so much about Slade being the right guy as it is about me making the best decisions for myself. I tend to see the best in everyone and give everyone the benefit of the doubt even to my own detriment. My Dad knows this about me and so he is cautious to make sure that I really understand the situation fully and that I am making the right decisions based off facts and not just love juice! I am very close with my Dad. He and I are a lot alike so he knows how I tick.
I am very saddened that they did now show a very special and emotional moment between my father and I in this conversation, because it was about Jeff and a lot of the reasons my father has concerns for my happiness. My father knew how much Jeff and I loved each other and was present in the room with me when Jeff passed away. He has never seen me in so much pain, and no parent ever wants to see their child in that much pain. He never wanted to see me hurt that way again. He continued that unfortunately he has had to see the other woman on the show say horrible and untrue things about Jeff and my relationship when they never knew the man or us together. This whole thing has been very hard on my parents, because they were close to Jeff and they knew how much we loved each other and how much I went through while he was sick and still struggle with today. They don't want to see me hurt anymore, especially by the women's unfair judgments, by society's judgments, or by the injustices of life.
Unfortunately, he knows that I have fallen in love with a man who has some struggles of his own right now, due to his son being very sick with cancer. I completely get it, and I don't blame my father for being protective and concerned. However my father is hopeless romantic (don't tell him I told you) and believes that love can conquer all. He sees that Slade treats me well, makes me happy, and is a wonderful father (despite what the press tries to spin). He sees how happy and in love I am again, and that is ultimately what he wants for his little girl.
So for now I think my parents are actually OK with me leasing for a while.
Can't wait to hear what you guys think through my www.facebook.com/gretchenrossi, @gretchenrossi on Twitter, or my personal website www.gretchenchristine.com about this episode.