Crystal from The Unhappy Wife book

unhappy-wifeCrystal was the fourth woman that I’d interviewed. By the time I wrote her story, I had to admit that something metaphysical was happening whenever I began typing. I say this because I knew bits and pieces of her life with a drug-addicted husband, so I kind of already had a set beginning, middle and end for what I was going to write.  I assumed she was going to express regret for staying with him so long. Her interview was a technicality.

But she didn’t. Listening to Crystal, I realized that she saw her role as the person who never gave up on him. I had to write a love story about forgiveness and hope with unhappiness along the way.

How was I going to do that??? Were readers going to think I was condoning abuse and drug addiction? I decided it didn’t matter. I wrote the story she told me and allowed the narrative to unfold with metaphysical guidance.

Concept: The first thing I wanted to show was the pattern of drug addiction over the years, hence the episodes. The next thing that was important was to develop a sense of how drugs rule people’s lives. For Crytstal, each episode yielded a different phase in life: having a kidney transplant, delivering a baby, and going to college. But for 20 years, Tré focused on one thing, getting high.

The third part of the relationship I wanted to present is by episode five Crystal had decided there was nothing she could do about Tré’s habit. She realized the only person she could control and save was herself. She finished her undergraduate degree and secured a great position. She also raised her daughter. But she did these things all while remaining married.

Commentary: What’s the point? What is the point of being married to someone if you’re going to live separate lives? I thought marriage was a union, a coming together of two people because of love. Can you love someone and remain married to him, while watching him destroy his life? My husband says all the time, “You have to decide do I love this person exactly as he or she is, or do I love certain parts about him or her?”

There is a happy ending for Crystal and Tré. Crystal waited 20 years for it, but deliverance did occur. How many of us would be wiling to wait two decades for someone to get their life together and be the spouse we always wanted?

I’m not ignoring one important part to this story. Crystal’s mother kind of guilt tripped her when she first committed to Tré. She reminded her of all the other hobbies she’d given up on and basically told her that being married wasn’t a pastime.

I agree. But I think if Crystal’s mother would’ve known that Tré was an abusive drug addict, she might’ve given her different advice. Maybe.

unhappy-wifeWhat did you all think about Crystal and Tré? One of the Amazon reviewers said the she couldn’t understand why she stayed. Do you agree? Should she have left? Are concepts like forgiveness and grace just for religious books and spiritual leaders? Let me know what you think?

We’re coming to the end of this journey. Next week, we’ll discuss Veda, the last woman in the book and the Committed Wife section. Again, it’s never too late to order a copy of The Unhappy Wife. You can catch up on all of the commentary and add your thoughts whenever you can.

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23 thoughts on “Crystal from The Unhappy Wife book

  1. Marriage means different things to different people, so I can’t say someone who stayed committed despite all odds was wrong. It wouldn’t be my choice, although having said that, I was in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship for way too long, in part because I couldn’t see the problem and in part because I saw the potential between us — potential I eventually came to realize would never be fulfilled. We don’t see what the person in the relationship sees, and or feel what they feel…no doubt all of us have done or are doing things others say they would never do, but we make our choices and continue, and whose to say what choices are right or wrong?

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    1. That’s where I tend to lean to. I know I asked the question, but I do realize we’re all so different. How can we ever say what’s “right” or “wrong” in any situation. I do believe though, that if we all became a little better at following our heart/intuition within a situation, then we’d know best what to do ourselves 😉

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  2. Wow! she is a strong woman because it takes a lot of strength to forgive. I congratulate her resilience. When it comes to drugs, I mostly wonder about the issue of loss of control which mostly leads to abuse. In that case, I usually hope the spouse can avoid being in that situation. I have come to learn that we should treat each relationship as unique. it’s OK to draw lessons from other relationships but since no two people are alike, one can’t expect any two relationships to be alike. I applaud Crystal’s courage but would not encourage everyone to follow in her steps. Thank you for telling her story.

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    1. You’re right about the abuse. In this story, there was a detailed account of her husband’s abuse (due to drug use). Treating each relationship as unique is one of the “lessons” I wanted to show. There’s no way we can provide advice or even know what the future holds for our relationships because each person and union is so unique. Thanks so much for your comment.

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  3. I am in the leaving camp in this particular situation. In fact, in most unhealthy relationship scenarios. There is forgiveness and grace, but why can’t you do that after the breakup??? Also, I believe many women stay in bad relationships due to low self esteem and fear of being alone. Every relationship teaches though, and when you get the lesson you can move on.

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    1. I tend to agree with you and I’m in the leaving camp as well. Life’s too short for shenanigans that I cannot control and that negatively impact my finances and health. Low self esteem and fear of being alone are probably two of a myriad of reasons why…I just hope we as women can one day heal and rise above any reason to be disrespected.

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  4. Sigh… my tolerance level is so low, Dr. G. that I, too, like to think I’d leave. If not for me, then for our child. I also feel people stay in certain toxic situations out of fear that the addict/abuser may drink one swig too many and die if they’re not there to balance things out. I don’t know. These are very complicated stories. They seem so draining too, like you can’t live happily with all that weight on you.

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    1. I agree Kelley. You might be right about the guilt that people think they’ll feel about other people’s choices. They absolutely are complicated stories, and that’s what I wanted to show. A lot of times we want to tell someone to “just leave” or “don’t marry him,” but we don’t know what they’re motivation or root causes are. I TOTALLY agree about how draining they seem. Even while writing them, I felt drained. That’s when I picked up a steady yoga practice because it was just too much for me, so I can’t imagine actually living it.

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      1. Right. It cannot be a good feeling if a third party needs consistent stress relief. That’s crazy how it spreads beyond the two to friendships, parenting, work life and relationships with family and friends; it rarely just affects the couple. My sister endured an abusive relationship on and off for 10 years and it was like waiting out a severe storm while hoping for the best but still expecting the worst.

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    1. Sooo it’s inspired by real women’s stories, but I had to change quite a few details to protect their anonymity, soooo I have to technically call it fiction lol when is your book coming???

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  5. I applaud you for telling Crystal’s story honestly. People like her find themselves judged by family and friends for leaving… and judged for not leaving. There is a lot of guilt and no good solution, no rules of thumb on how much one should put up with, or how long she should wait and continue to try. Glad her story ended well, not all of them do. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Joan. You’re absolutely right about the judgment going both ways. Also, RIGHT about no rules of how much someone should put up with. We all have our own thresholds/limits, which I think also ties into what I continue to say about advice AND judgment, you know? If her threshold is 20 years and mine is 20 days, well, my advice would absolutely do her no good lol

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I do have to say this is much more than promoting the book. Many WP bloggers have purchased and read the book, so these commentaries have really served as a bit of a virtual book club.

      Marketing and selling have both gone generally well. I’ve sold approximately 250 books since last year’s release. Answers to your other questions are here: https://kwoted.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/4-things-i-learned-while-self-publishing/

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  6. I found this story very inspirational. Although I probably won’t stay with an addict, who refuses to better his life, it also made me think ‘if someone can stick to that, that is true love’. Which then immediately made me think ‘how judgmental am I ! ‘
    Really, who am I to say she should leave? I am not her, my relationship is totally different, my husband is…So, to compare seems foolish. Who knows, maybe if my husband got addicted I would stay…
    Anyways, a thought provoking story, but I am truly glad they found happiness again.
    XxX

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Exactly Patty! “How judgmental am I.” With many of these stories, I and others have found out that we (sometimes) tend to judge others’ relationships, when there’s no need. And I think you’re right about staying or leaving. I’d like to believe that I probably wouldn’t stay, but who knows, until your’re in that situation?

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