The photo shoot was a big deal…beforehand, I felt like things were going along just fine. After the photo shoot, I literally felt like a different person…especially after seeing the peaceful and serene look on my face in those first couple shots…I knew that it was time to take my power back, reclaim myself, and demand what I deserve from my relationship.

Because you guessed it, I’ve been unhappy in my marriage for a very long time. I thought it was ok, I thought it’s just the way things go after 27 years together…I made excuses because it was the easier thing to do. The experience of the photo shoot, the inspiring words from not only the photographer, but several friends and the wonderful people who helped me with lingerie shopping, hair and makeup…so many moments of kindness, and also empowerment in the whole process.

I’m going to do as I always do, use this post to process my thoughts and help others by sharing. This is not a forum used for gossip or to hurt those involved. It is unfortunate, but necessary to say this. And to those who are interested in the gossip angle, there has been no violence, no cheating, no drama.

After a rough thanksgiving, I booked myself a night at my favorite ocean getaway and steeled up my courage to talk to my husband about what I had been feeling. The next day I returned home to find our house in a state of complete disarray and I was furious!! So instead of talking to him then, I stayed up all night cleaning and feeling steaming mad.

At dawn, after 2 loads of dishes, 10 loads of laundry, two bathrooms cleaned and lots of anger brewing, I came up with this: I felt that I wasn’t liked or respected in my own home, in my marriage. So when he got up to go hunting, that’s what I said to him. I asked him to please think about that and that we would talk later.

Now I won’t rehash all of it, the shock, the confusion, all the emotions…and then the rumors and gossip and cruel use of my photos by an unknown individual who wanted to hurt my husband…it has been a lot for both of us, and our son. In these last weeks, there have been more tears shed, more words heard and said, than in all our 27 years combined. And it has been the most important work we could possibly have done yet.

We are focused on the positives in our relationship, the commonalities that we still have. We are also recognizing our own limitations and areas for growth. It’s not perfect and it’s not a done deal…We simply do not yet know what the future holds. I do feel however, that I’ve got some of my power back. I’ve been able to reclaim myself in many ways and demand what I deserve in my relationship. There is still a lot to work through on both sides…but we both know that no matter what happens in our marriage, that we are doing our best, and that the rumors, gossip, and cruelty of others do not matter. We are what matter, our son, our home, our future-it will be decided by us.