The Work Of A Real Relationship Begins (With Myself)

Written by Catherine Bachelier Smith

Catherine's book is now available for purchase through

Isn't it ironic? Weddings are what I do for a living. Weekend after weekend I witness the coming together of two people and their families, yet here I am experiencing the split of my own marriage.

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I started this book for therapeutic reasons. Journaling helped me understand my thoughts and emotions about the end of my marriage, and allowed me to come to terms with the realization that the man I was married to no longer wanted me.

As I wrote it, I realized I was really writing this book for my sons. I want them to know and understand that life is full of the unexpected. I want them to know that it doesn't matter what happens (because something unexpected will definitely happen), it's how you handle it. I want them to know that even though I'm sad and disappointed and hurting, love doesn't go away. Faith that life can still be happy and fulfilling doesn't go away.

Lastly, I realized I was writing this book to make sense of the nothing I was. I don't mean that I had terrible self-esteem. I felt like nothing because I had nothing to come back to. I didn't have me. I lost the core essence of me and it was terrifying and lonely. I didn't have my philosophy, my beliefs, or my own wisdom to draw from. It was gone. It was shattered like a bulldozer smashing a house's foundation.

I have always observed people and what they do in certain circumstances. I take what I like and make mental notes. Then I come back to me. I check in with my own beliefs and truths and I remember that everyone does things differently. I'm always comforted by me. I always have faith that I have the answers within me and I believe my own intuition. This time, this year, this space, I had no beliefs and I couldn't find the intuition. I couldn't come back to me because there was no me. This was the hardest realization. Not missing my ex-husband, Joe, which I did. Not missing my boys, which I did. Not missing my life, which I did. The very hardest was that I was missing me. I couldn't function. It was excruciating. It was so unfamiliar and scary. As I wrote, I realized I was writing this book about how I was going to bring the demolished foundation of my life back together again. First I had to collect the larger chunks and start piecing them back together. These larger pieces symbolized my belief in unconditional love, the belief that I need to relinquish control for great things to happen, and the belief that Joe was a good man and that he deserved this space and time.

Next, I began slowly assembling the smaller chunks. One was the belief that I was never alone. My friends and family, and especially my boys, would see me through the pain and confusion and listen and care and be with me. The craziest epiphany was that although I was physically alone for the first time in my life, I never felt lonely. This is huge coming from a person who was not even conceived alone. I shared a womb and all the stages of growing up with my triplet sisters. I partnered with a man I thought I would be with forever at age twenty! What did I know about being alone? Realizing that I did not feel lonely was the greatest self-esteem boost.

The above is an excerpt from Catherine's upcoming book, Love Never Goes Away
Photograph by Stacey Winters Photography (Copyright 2011-2013 Stacey Winters)