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You Can’t Turn A Foe Into A Housewife

marriage, Mama Knows It All

Photo Credit: AJ, Yamal & Christine

Soon after Terrence and I started dating, I shared with him that if we would have met 2 years before, there’s no way that we would have worked out. We had both gone through some kind of serious relationship challenges, and while his had left him nervous and tentative about love, mine had left me bitter and mad. Add to that feelings of inadequacy that I had stemming from my childhood, and I was just an angry, angry woman. Even more than being upset with those around me, I was mad at myself. I was my own worse enemy. I started to believe that I didn’t deserve more than what I had, didn’t think I was worth of love or respect, I was my very own foe. I made decisions that were counterproductive to my success because I just…I don’t know, y’all, I was just a mess. I was carrying around so much baggage through most of my twenties, I still marvel at the fact that I made it through them.

Okay, so what changed? How did I go from a life filled with self-sabotaging decisions, to one filled with love and acceptance? Well, Ayva happened. When I was pregnant with her, I realized that I couldn’t be an effective mother to her with all that lingering crap hovering over my life. After one particularly draining experience, I decided pretty definitively that I was ready to do better, I had to do better, for Ayva, and for Brandi. Seriously, going through the journey of becoming a mother gave me the strength to get my life together. I sometimes wish my story was that I was strong enough to do it on my own, but I wasn’t, and I don’t want to lie to y’all. I couldn’t do it for myself, but I could do it for my unborn child. I started to forgive myself, and started advocating for Ayva, and for myself, both internally and to others.

By the time love entered my life in the form of Terrence not even 2 years later, I was ready. I wasn’t looking for love, but I wasn’t blocking it either, like I would have done in my previous life. I loved myself, and even though there were still areas of myself that were still (are still) broken, at least I was able to be in a relationship as an ally, rather than a foe. When Terrence and I disagree, I’m able to deal with the real issue, rather than some made up stuff that my former self would cook up in an effort to complicate and sabotage things. Instead of letting a situation go to the point where I feel disrespected or not heard, I can address it before it becomes a problem because I think, I know, I deserve to be treated with dignity and love.

My experience with learning to love myself is an ongoing journey. I have a ways to go, but I still attribute it to being one of the reasons Terrence and I were able to have a great relationship, and eventually get married.  If I was still working against myself, there’s no way we’d be here. I wasn’t able to be a friend to myself, let alone a wife to someone else. I’m not trying to be one of those relationship expert folks that make it seem like they have all of the answers because they’ve been married for 30 days (Happy Anniversary to me!).  I just know that while you don’t have to be all the way healed to find love and happiness, you do have to believe that you deserve it. Otherwise, it won’t last. Your inner foe won’t let it last. And I believe we all deserve long-lasting love. Even me.

Still DatingMySpouse

Tuesday 7th of January 2014

You said something in this article! The first last sentence is POWERFUL: you don’t have to be all the way healed to find love and happiness, you do have to believe that you deserve it.

You are so right! You must be able to recognize your worthy to be loved and can love! None of us are free from hangups but we are free from letting those hangups control our lives. Kuddos to you for recognizing you can fight for you thru Ayva!


Friday 25th of October 2013

I tell my husband the same thing. I am glad we met when we did because I was ready and had it been a year earlier, it wouldn't have worked out. I love your posts lately Brandi! They are definitely speaking to me <3

Arelis Cintron

Friday 25th of October 2013

Why am I tearing up? This is so true! We do have to let go of our past life in order to get the one we deserve! I love how you state that " I wasn’t looking for love, but I wasn’t blocking it either, like I would have done in my previous life." God gave you Ayva because He knew it was the way to open up your heart. And you're right you do not have to be completely healed to move forward you just have to be willing to do it.

I think on your 60 day anniversary you can begin to call yourself an expert :)

Brandi Riley

Sunday 13th of October 2013

Thank you, Faridha! You are absolutely right, it was a higher power. I am remiss in not stating God's role in this whole thing, but I truly believe that He showed Himself in Ayva. :-)


Wednesday 9th of October 2013

I agree-- you don't have to be all the way healed but you do have to realize that you both need and deserve healing (and understand that much of it is internal and can't be/won't be garnered from someone else). I am happy for you and proud of you. Admittedly, it's not always easy to maintain, I slip into Angry Woman mode sometimes and it is a conscious effort to realize it and reverse.


Saturday 12th of October 2013

Thank you, @Arnebya:disqus! I slip into it as well, and I have to check myself. It's so deeply ingrained in me, but it definitely helps to have some self awareness.