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DivorceWise Newsletter
Issue 6 - 2001 by Kari West - Garden Glories Publications
Topic: Valentine's Day

Welcome Survivor!

Welcome! You are in a place where you can let your hair down and think about what concerns you right now. It's also a place where you can dare to look back on the path you've traveled to see just how far you have come. A place where everybody struggles from time to time with the weight of the past.

Speaking of weight, Jeannie from California forwarded this e-mail poem. It made me chuckle--and my hope is that you will chuckle too. It's time to take time to laugh.

-submitted by Jeannie from California

'Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste
All the holiday parties had gone to my waist.
When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,
The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."
As I dressed myself in my ex-husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt
I said to myself, as I only can,
"You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!"
So, away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruitcake, every cracker and chip
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
'Till all the additional ounces have banished.
Won't have a cookie, not even a lick.
I want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
Yes, I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore
But isn't that just what January is for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

Here's what's new:

Focus on the Family rescheduled the broadcast on "The Hidden Enemy of Marriage." Instead of airing on November 1-2, 1999, the program is now set for February 22-23, 2000. Dr. Dobson, Laurie Hall, Noelle and I discuss the hot topic of pornography. If you have audio capacity, you can listen to this radio program on the day of the broadcast by visiting the Focus web site at http://www.family.org/ To request a copy of the broadcast tape, call 1-800-A-FAMILY (1-800-232-6459). In Canada, 1-800-661-9800.

In this 6th issue of the DivorceWise newsletter, the featured survival story from a woman just like you comes from Sheri in Maine. She shares a Valentine's Day story you will not easily forget along with all the good things that can happen in the space of a year.

Personal reflection ... by Sheri in Maine

On February 14, 1999, my then-husband and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. He bought me 24 beautiful carnations. My favorite!!! I was so thrilled. He also gave me two of the loveliest anniversary cards I have ever received. Then, he took me to our favorite restaurant for a fabulous dinner. Romantic, huh? Needless to say, I was in heaven.

But you won't believe what happened next? Exactly one week after that, he came home from work and said four words that I never thought I would ever hear him say. "I want a divorce!" As you can well imagine, I was totally shocked. Well, somehow the word "shocked" doesn't even describe it, but I guess it's close enough.

Anyway, he went on to say that he had not been happy for a very long time, which was news to me and to all our friends and family. As a matter of fact, people are still picking their jaws up off the ground. I've gotten the same reaction from everyone. I mean, for 24 years we have been "joined at the hip" so to speak. You very seldom saw one of us without the other. We did everything together and we enjoyed the same things in life. We were very loving and affectionate even in public. We were always holding hands or hugging each other.

Last June we purchased our very first home and I thought we would be there for many years. It has a two-car garage, a beautifully landscaped yard, and an in-ground pool. Well, as you may have already guessed, he will be keeping "our" home because on my salary I can't afford it by myself.

We are now officially divorced. I truly don't know how I would have made it this far without God, a few very dear true friends, and the book, When He Leaves. I bought the last copy left in the bookstore. At first, when I started to feel like I was beginning to "lose it," I just opened it up and started reading. My favorite chapter is "My Ticket Outta Here." I cried so hard the first few times I read the "Prayer of Forgiveness," especially after inserting my husband's name in the blanks.

Now as I look back over this last year, I can't believe how much has happened. I found a beautiful little Cape style house to rent in a quiet neighborhood. I started a new job working with children. And I survived my first Christmas in 25 years without a husband beside me.

In fact, this past year I began to see how important God was in my life and how very dependent on Him I truly am. I have always believed in God and worshiped Him and prayed to him, but over the years I guess I kept Him at bay much more than I should have. Well, after getting reacquainted with Him and the Bible, I was baptized on Sunday, December 26th. It was the most powerful, symbolic, and memorable experience I have ever had. In only a year's time, I may have lost a husband--but I also found the Lord again.

Help for today ... by Kari

Have you ever wondered why so many husbands choose a holiday to announce that they want out of the marriage? I have. And I'm not so sure there is an answer. But I do know that the more I speak with women, the more I see a familiar pattern. For some reason, the announcement "I want a divorce" seems to occur more frequently right before or after Christmas, before or after your birthday, or before or after Valentine's Day. So if you relate to what happened to Sheri, you are not alone. You have lots of company. I think good women will continue to hear those four lousy words from foolish men even if the holidays were banned.

In the meantime, take heart. This Valentine's Day, head down to the market, walk straight to the florist section, and buy your own flowers. And box of candy. Pick out the prettiest card you can find entitled, "To A Special Woman I Know" to set on your kitchen counter. Why? Just because. Because you are worth it! Because special is how God sees you. Because you are intimately and passionately loved by the one Lover who will never leave.

  • Jesus died for you. That's real love.
  • Nothing--not even divorce--can separate you from God's love. That's real love.
  • God's love is everlasting; He continues to pursue you. That's real love.

This year don't let a mailbox without a valentine in it get you down. You already have the real thing. Besides, paper valentines aren't just for sweethearts anymore. Lovers are low on the mailing list, according to Al Neuharth, founder of USA TODAY. He says that over 1 billion valentines are delivered each year, but not to who you think. The top three categories who receive valentines are: Teachers. Children. Mothers. Just think, your exhusband's lover (you know, his so called soul mate) may not even be on the list! (Source:2/11/94, USA TODAY)

Other interesting facts include:

  • A woman, Esther A. Howland of Worchester, Mass., developed the first commercial valentine in the United States in 1847. She sold $5,000 worth of cards that year. The rest is history.
  • Valentine was a man--a priest and physician, who lived in 3rd century Rome. Since Emperor Claudius II believed that men without wives made better soldiers, he banned marriage. Moved by compassion for young couples, Valentine married them secretly in defiance of the ban.
  • At the time, Christianity was under persecution, Valentine was imprisoned and later beheaded on February 14 because he refused to renounce his faith.

A promise you can trust

"I will be your God throughout your lifetime--until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you." ---Isaiah 46:4

"Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever." ---Psalm 23:6

Please stop by again soon

Please let me hear from you. I answer every letter and e-mail. Also, be encouraged to share what helped you through your divorce so others know they are not alone and that they too will survive. E-mail by Clicking Here or write Kari West, P. O. Box 11692, Pleasanton, CA 94588.

Copyright 1998 - 2002 by Kari West