Veda from The Unhappy Wife book

unhappy-wifeVeda’s story came recommended by a mutual friend. When I first began speaking with her, she was hesitant. Veda didn’t believe that she was an unhappy wife.

“My husband doesn’t beat me or anything,” she said.

To which I replied, “Good. That’s my point with telling these stories. You don’t have to be in an abusive relationship to be unhappy. You just have to have questioned how you ended up in a situation, married to this man.”

Veda agreed to open up to me. I was grateful.

At the time of our conversation, her husband had suffered a stroke about a year prior. The effects of his illness were numerous. Basically, Veda had gone from having a helpful partner to being somewhat of a caregiver, while continuing to mother three daughters and working a fulltime job.

Concept: I knew I wanted to present Veda as a committed wife for several reasons. Whereas Darlene was committed due to religious principles and Crystal was committed because of her mother’s advice, Veda was committed because she loved her husband and took her wedding vows seriously. You know, “in sickness and in health”? As I listened to her story, I wondered how many women had actually thought about what that phrase might look like. How many of us could really imagine what may happen?

Veda’s story is unique because it gives a brief depiction. “In sickness and in health” looks like telling your husband to seek medical attention because another stroke might kill him, and accepting the idea that he doesn’t want to listen. “In sickness and in health” looks like enduring your husband’s stroke that left him debilitated in many ways, while maintaining some semblance of a household you both once knew.

I asked Veda if she felt as if she’d had a fourth child.

“No,” she said, “I love him. That’s my husband.”

This is what I wanted the final narrative to show. A woman can love her husband, but unforeseen circumstances can develop and cause the entire relationship to shift, thus creating aspects of unhappiness.

Additionally, I hoped this story would help women think to themselves, could I have remained with my husband if he didn’t listen to me and ended up having a stroke that totally changed our relationship and way of life? This is why I chose the past, present and future format. None of us knows what the future of a relationship will bring. The most we can do is know ourselves so that we can make conscious choices that are aligned with our values, and follow our intuition with each situation.

unhappy-wifeI hope you’ve enjoyed discussing each story with one another. I also hope that you’ve found the stories as useful reflections of your own relationships. Next month, I’ll re-blog part of Anita Charlot’s afterword from the book. Her expertise as an online relationship coach provided valuable insights. The Unhappy Wife will continue to be for sale.

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23 thoughts on “Veda from The Unhappy Wife book

  1. Hi Kathy-
    You know something that you wrote in this post really makes me say “Aha!”

    When I first read The Unhappy Wife, because the behavior of some of the men was so…undesirable…I was thinking about it like women and wives who are unhappy because the men are treating them poorly. But this isn’t the case with Veda. Still, her attitude of “I love him. He is my husband and I take our wedding vows seriously” almost made it seem as though she would be betraying her husband if she admitted to any unhappiness.

    But you wrote [above]: “A woman can love her husband, but unforeseen circumstances can develop and cause the entire relationship to shift, thus creating aspects of unhappiness.” And it clicked for me that Veda’s love and care for her husband are real, but so are “aspects of unhappiness” in the relationship.

    Thanks for the second look!

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    1. Riiiight! And that was part of my purpose with this book. One, someone doesn’t have to be disrespectful for a woman to be unhappy in the marriage; there are multiple reasons why it may be the case. Two, our happiness, whether man or woman, is up to us. Veda’s husband made a choice to not listen to advice that would have impacted his health positively; however, she’s learned it’s up to her to be happy (and at peace), regardless.

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  2. I purchased The Unhappy Wife I just finished reading about Jazz and Eddie. It’s hard to put your foot down and go with your gut it’s your life too but Jazz did

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    1. Thanks so much for the support lovely! I do appreciate it. I agree. We haven’t been socially conditioned to follow our gut; that’s why so many of us end up in negative situations.

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    1. Right JC! I think that’s what married people think they’re agreeing to. Like, “sure thing, I’ll be there for you when we’re old and gray.” No one ever thinks what would happen if it was tomorrow or next year?

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  3. A friend of a friend was married young, and her husband was severely injured in a car wreck to the point where he had to live in a convalescence home for care, so the wife divorced him because it was too much and she hadn’t signed on for it. (I think there was more to it like the divorce would enable his parents to provide his care.) But, man. Talk about an unforeseen illness/complication. I don’t judge her, but, like you said, it definitely provides food for thought.

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    1. Girl, that’s so insane to me. I actually could not imagine a scenario like that. I mean, no one marries to be a caretaker, you know? But it kind of adds a new dimension to the word “love,” I suppose.

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  4. I definitely relate to this unhappy wife as a caregiver myself. I visit an online support group with people like me, mainly wives, caring for sick husbands. Many are older, like 65+ but more than I realized are my age or younger 35-50, a time in your life when you didn’t expect to be dealing with illness. You try to go on, live life, enjoy your marriage. But it’s extremely challenging when dealing with serious health issues that have your spouse focused more on their mortality than their relationship. Very difficult for the well-spouse.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience LaCharmine! I cannot even imagine what life would be like to unexpectedly be married to someone thinking about the other side of health. I suppose it’s a different type of marriage altogether. It’s good that you have some support systems in place though. Thanks too for reading this book 😉

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  5. A moving story for your finale…I’d hope it wouldn’t change the love…a marriage is continually evolving, but more dramatically so with illness. It’s never easy watching a loved one be ill and the balance shifts and the normal disappears.

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  6. My husband and I actually talked about this years ago and we both agreed to not interfere into each others decision with regard to health. Since he is a man of the 21st century and I prefer, if possible, natural alternatives. Of course (although is this so natural?) we are open to each others view and support each other…But in the end, my body is mine and thus my responsibility. (and his, his) So far, this works 🙂

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    1. This is a great point Patty because Veda was angry at first that he didn’t listen to her, and it ended up affecting both of their lives (and their children). However, I agree with you. Once you begin trying to control someone, even under the guise of “I care about you,” then you’re going down a slippery slope. Plus, I don’t wanna be nobody’s momma (other than my kids) lol

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      1. O M G…I have said this in the beginning of our relationship too to my hubby ‘I am NOT your mother, so take responsibility for your own body (and other things) ‘ …hence the agreement, haha
        But I must also admit, that I did think and might even have said it once or twice ‘don’t make your problem my problem’ and that is not completely fair either; because -to a certain level – I did marry ‘in sickness and health’…

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