I might still be married if we hadn’t decided to have a baby.

Still lying under the sheets next to a beautiful man. Still wearing that heirloom diamond ring I loved staring at so much. Still cooking dinner for two (adults). Still hopelessly devoted to an institution I’ve had faith in since childhood.

If only my son hadn’t been born, I would still be coming home to a husband of my own. I would still be waking up on a Saturday to the sight of my young groom making me breakfast because he never forgot when I told him on our fourth date that pancakes always taste better when they’re made by someone else.

I blame my son for changing me. He’s to blame for what I saw staring back at me in the mirror ever since becoming a mother. It’s his fault that I am no longer married to his father because it’s his fault that I discovered my self-worth. I point the finger at him for showing me that I deserved more and for guilting me into the idea that he deserved more than to see his mother’s spirit wither away with each passing year.

It seemed that my baby’s sole motivation behind that first blood-curdling scream in the delivery room was to destroy the neurosis that blocked my heart. He will forever have to live with being the one to prove how wrong I was so many years before when I had the “revelation” that I was not capable of falling in love. This idea came about as I developed into a teenager then a young woman, and yet no matter how badly I wanted one of those countless dates to result in me falling head over heels, a compelling force of dread within me destroyed them all in countless ways.

So when the most good-looking 22-year-old kid I had ever seen walked into the restaurant I was working at and sat at my table, I felt lucky. If I was incapable of being in love then at least I could make a real home with the most handsome man that had ever asked for my phone number.

And even when reality hit me like a ton of disappointing bricks as my ex and I began to get to know the other, I still felt lucky. Although accepting his proposal would mean I would be forfeiting any chance of knowing what true love felt like, I also saw it as a fleeting opportunity. The ignorance of my youth accepted this was my fate, while our dreams of having a family of my own never dulled.

What a poor, stupid, shallow, and ridiculous little girl I was. 

And then our child destroyed it all. I remember holding him, just hours old, as I stared at his tiny form in complete awe. Finally, it happened. Finally, I had fallen deeply, madly, and insanely in love. 

I noticed his big brown eyes had not stopped studying my face since the moment he was placed in my arms. I felt self-conscious under his innocent scrutiny. As he was trying to decide who I was, my chest felt heavy with humiliation—who I was, who I had become, did not deserve the honor of having the title as his mommy.

Someone so perfect belonged with a strong, confident, and brave mother. Instead, I had become just another sad soul who had lost her head in her own Disney fantasies and the empty promises marriage brought.  A statistic. A prisoner in my own self-destruction. Too pathetic to stand up for herself, too much of a coward to walk away, too manipulative to allow my husband to do so, either. And for that, Mr. Flores, I am truly sorry. 

We both deserved more than the lie we were living, yet nothing could stop my heart from breaking like thin glass when I looked across the room at my husband. For I knew the foreign feeling of self-worth that began to course through my veins would only grow stronger each day as the love for my child grew. My now ex-husband later admitted that the new me, the mom me, was so palpable that he knew that with the birth of our son came the death of his pitiful little wife. I left him seven months later, and he never protested.

A seven-pound baby boy, the same baby boy we had prayed for night after night, both of us just kids desperate for unconditional love, abolished any chance of our marriage surviving by forbidding me to be anything less than the strong female role model every child deserves in their life.

Although I have yet to fall in love romantically, I have my child to blame for showing me that my heart will be capable when the time comes. 



  1. I was like this in my first marriage, in love with the idea of being in love.
    It wasn’t a child that woke me up, but I was lost for many years.
    I found my strength in another man, one that showed me more love and strength than I ever knew possible. So thankful for that man on so many nights, but this one more than most, tonight we got the worst news a parent can get. Our unborn son, will never be born.
    Years ago, I would never have survived something like this, but I blame my daughter and her Papa for giving me the strength to make it through this day.

    • What heartbreaking news, Michelle. So glad you have dear family to walk with you through this devastating loss. God give you strength and hope as you grieve.

    • Michelle, so sorry for your loss. Your son will forever remain in your heart and you always his mommy. I hope you find strength and peace from your family.

      (And Elisa’s insensitive response to your comment astounds me!)

      • Rays,

        I’m astounded that you are astounded that me praising Michelle for sharing something so personal then ending it with gratitude as something beautiful is insensitive. I genuinely had tears of hope in my eyes after reading what she so bravely chose to share with the world, and unless Michelle feels that I came off as insensitive, I am not sorry for that.

        But it’s all subjective.

        Michelle, if you did feel offended, I hope you understand the appreciation I meant to express in that comment and I do apologize if that was not clear.

        • Elisa, your comment was not insensitive at all, but encouraging. After all, that’s how Michelle ended her post, and you are just affirming it and thanking her. I think Rays must have been skimming or in a bad mood when they read it.

  2. im guessing that you are leaving a lot out of this story. I hope there is more to it that I am missing because your story doesn’t make you look like some brave woman who found the strength to leave an unhealthy situation (which seems like what you were attempting to convey). Instead, you sound like a selfish twit that destroyed a family unit because suddenly you felt important. Was this man abusing you? Was he cheating on you? Was he struggling with addictions that were depleting the family finances and making him a dangerous person to be around? What was it that he was doing that was so bad that it took bringing a baby into this world for you to recognize? The way this story is written you just sound like an immature, selfish little girl that suddenly thinks a baby is going make her important. Meanwhile, you destroyed any chance your child had on ever knowing a family unit with a mom and a dad. With your decision you changed the path of your child’s life. I hope your decision was actually in his best interest and not just because you suddenly felt there might be a better love for you out there than your husband.

    • Yea I agree with everything above poster said. I said similar on my own local facebook page that linked this blog. Marriage is hard but it’s worth it. That disney fantasy ” in lust ” doesn’t last and should grow into something much more then that, especially after having a child. . If your husband was abuisive or neglectful I can see ending the marriage. But the only reasons I see are that you are shallow, only married him because he was good looking and went into the marriage with competley unrealistic expectations. Your son would have benefited more from a two parent home then he benefits from you being a “strong female role model ” or however you phrased it.

      • Hi Lindsey!

        My reply to yours is what I wrote to Jenny.

        And a “strong female role model” is exactly how I phrased it.

        Cheers and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • Hi Jenny!

      As far as your first two sentences in your reply, you are absolutely correct. And as you stated immediately after, there are and were several extremely serious and unforgiving things that happened in my marriage. If me feeling it is in the best interest of my child and my husband’s children to not share such details on the world wide web makes me a “selfish twit,” then I’ll wear the scarlet letter with pride. And frankly, the various questions your asked are–with all due respect–none of your nor anyone else’s business. I wrote this as a love letter to my child for getting me through a difficult situation, and that is what I chose to share. I am not obligated to share details that can potentially bring unnecessary embarrassment and harm to my child and my ex-husband’s family. It’s clear you have many assumptions–many correct and many horribly off–but either way, I appreciate you sharing your opinion, whether we agree or not.


  3. I know your post is meant to come across as empowered and strong, but, honestly, you seem self-centered, selfish and foolish. Love, more often than not, is a choice, not a feeling. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side–it is greener where it has been watered and fertilized.

      • Hi Jamie,

        I am guessing you did not read the article. And if you did, you completely missed the point. You’re right, my son did not cause “that” –also known as my marriage– to flop; it was us as a married couple.

    • Hi Kim!

      I agree that the grass is not always greener but is greener where it has been watered and fertilized. Unfortunately, the grass was dead and impossible to resuscitate.

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. 🙂

  4. I hope your son never reads this post. Children automatically blame themselves for the splitting of parents. it doesn’t matter if you spin it into a positive change, you are pinning the blame on your son and he will have to sit with that. He won’t care if you found yourself, he will care that he is the reason his mom and dad don’t love each other. Through his eyes, how do you think that would feel? And as he grows he will now feel burdened with feeling that he is somehow responsible for how his Mom feels about herself. Your highs and your lows, and you will have lows. I think you should reconsider how you are viewing your self esteem and your divorce. That was all you, maybe circumstances highlighted things for you, but it was all you and nobody else. Never put a child in the position where they feel responsible for adult issues.

    • Hi Ariel,

      I appreciate your concern for my child, but I proudly disagree.

      I hope he does read this post because–if you failed to catch on–it is a tongue-and-cheek love letter to my son.

      It’s obvious you read the article–which I sincerely appreciate–but it went completely over your head.

      Becoming a mother made me reassess what I felt I did and did not deserve, and my gratitude to my child is something I will shamelessly shout out from the rooftops.

      Agree or not agree, I appreciate your point of view and opinion. We all have them. 😉

  5. I hope, really really hope, for the sake of his mental health that your son never reads this. He is not responsible for how you feel about yourself, he will never be responsible for how you feel about yourself.
    What an awful burden to place at the feet of a child, because while you may feel empowered right now and think that somehow it’s good to make a child feel like they were responsible for that…the message is that he is responsible for how you feel. You will have lows, and you’ve now set him up for feeling like it will be his fault.
    And through his eyes, it doesn’t matter if divorcing was a good thing for you. For him, he loves his dad just as much as he loves you. He will wish you stayed together and will never feel good about being the reason you aren’t.
    It will never be okay to being children into adult issues. He had no choices and had nothing to do with how you decided to manage your feelings.

    • I’m assuming this is the Ariel from the previous comment since many things were repeated, so please refer to my reply on your first post if you care to.

      To say he might wish we stayed together is understandable, but to say he WILL wish we did only reiterates my point that you do not know all the details since I chose not to share them. My son has had an amazing step-mother for almost 4 years now, and he wouldn’t give up the life we all chose for him just so mommy and daddy can maintain an image for society. He loves having his 2 mommies, his step-brother, and his baby brother much more than seeing his parents unhappy.

  6. So you seem to have forgotten that that son that made you suddenly so empowered came from the relationship with that man.
    I am guessing you were very young-and immature.

    • MN,

      As I clearly stated in the post, I admit that I was very young and immature. You say I seem to have forgotten that my son came from my husband, but the keyword there is “seem.”

      Despite any problems or situations my ex-husband and I went through, I will never be able to express the gratitude I have for him for he gave me the best gift anyone ever has and ever could give me.

      Thank you for sharing your opinion, MN.

  7. This made me sad. Love is not a fleeting feeling, love is a CHOICE. You choose, everyday, to die to self and love the one to whom you’ve made a covenant. It isn’t always easy. It doesn’t always feel like butterflies and rainbows. It is a choice. I’m sad for the son as he wont know the security that comes from an in tact family and see sacrificial love between mom and dad modeled for him. I know the intent of this post was to empower women, but it honestly made me sad for the author and her son. The husband/wife relationship is the most important one in the family unit and it takes sacrifice and work to keep it healthy. The best thing one can do for their child is love their spouse in front of the kids.

    • Hi Sara!

      You make some very valid and wise points. Unfortunately, it did not apply to my loveless (on both ends) marriage.

      And no need to feel sorry for my son. His family is intact, and he couldn’t be a happier child according to his teachers and caretakers as well as our family and friends. He is a part of a family of 5 at his father’s and part of a family of 2 at mine’s.

      Thank you for sharing your opinion and taking the time to comment!

  8. what these other ladies said is exactly what I was thinking. I sincerely hope there was more to this story than you “realizing” you were more important and could love. what you feel towards your children and what be in love with a man feels like are 2 ENTIRELY different things. the love towards your kids is so deep because it’s literally programmed in our brains, it’s what keeps the human race alive. you choose everyday to love your partner. your story made me feel so bad you husband and so sad that your child will never a true family unit because of your selfishness

    • Angela,

      Your hope that there is more is validated because there is much more. I appreciate you having the heart to feel for bad for my ex-husband, but to be honest, he would laugh at that statement. He is happily married to a wonderful woman and now has a total of 3 boys.

      And please don’t waste your sadness thinking that my son will “never a true family unit.” A true family unit is all he’s ever known and does to this day. The adults in his life are true to themselves and happy…thanks to my “selfishness.”

  9. Elisa, Thank you for having the courage to share your story and being vulnerable to criticism. The shaming comments sadden me, and I hope you will not take them personally.
    I’ll also acknowledge that I want to defend you because I’m currently in a similar situation and I’m in the midst of weighing my own choices, and I know how hard this is. This post resonates with me at just the right time.
    I’m sure you did not make this decision without long and careful thought about your child’s future and your faith in the institution of marriage. Some may feel that you were selfish and “gave up,” and maybe that’s valid from their point of view. I have plenty of respect for those with strong enough beliefs and hope to find a way to grow together through a marriage that isn’t working. But sometimes people make some pretty big mistakes, and have to make some hard choices and sometimes other mistakes in order to get things right. You acknowledged the mistake you made when you got married and started a family with the wrong person, but those choices made sense for you at the time.
    I’ve spent a lot of time stuck in “maybe I’m giving up too soon.” But I’m at the point that I’ve realized I’m actually more worried about others judging me for giving up, and that’s a crappy reason for staying unhappy.
    I do still feel sad and very guilty about how this will affect my child, because it is unavoidable that he will be negatively affected. However, as a child therapist and also as a child of divorce myself, I feel strongly that what you model for your child is a big deal. Modeling unhappiness, poor communication, relationship insecurity, and low self-worth (even if there is not overt abuse involved) is NOT a good idea. If getting divorced means that you can model healthy self-esteem, making tough choices and getting through challenges, and hopefully one day a stronger relationship that is worth fighting for, the pros will outweigh the cons. Also, if you can figure out healthy co-parenting with your ex, and allowing your son to love and appreciate his dad regardless of your feelings towards him- you will be raising a very strong and loved child. I kind of think that is more important than preserving the family unit at all costs- but that is just me..

    • Suzanne,

      WOW!!! I could NOT have said or explained it better myself!

      I am so sorry to hear you are going through such a tough time, but I live to know that what I wrote resonated so strongly with you. I am also a child of divorce who knows firsthand that raising a child with two unhappy parents that are together is much more damaging that co-parenting happy despite being apart.

      My ex-husband and I have had equally joint custody (as in not every Wednesday and every other weekend) since the day we broke up, so the last thing my son is missing is his father in his life—FAR from it. As a result, my son is the happiest, most secure person I have ever met because of the decisions we made in his BEST interest.

      Thank you so much, Suzanne, for your words!


  10. Wow. Just wow. This women has no idea that true love is about growth and sacrifice and time. It is so sad what little time she gave to trying to work on her marriage.

    • Hi DG!

      You are right–I have no idea what true love is about at all, especially as a 23-year-old bride at the time. And it is sad. Unfortunately, it takes 2 to make a marriage work, not just the “she” who was able to break her delusion to admit that with what had transpired in our short marriage could and never would be fixed. Time is a terrible thing to waste, especially with a child involved.

      I appreciate your opinion, DG, and thank you for being an AMB reader.


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